Archive for Side dish

Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Source: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

I have been craving cauliflower. I think it all started when I just kept hearing so much about cauliflower mashed potatoes. I just couldn’t imagine what this might taste like, but I knew I wanted to try it. My craving kept building up and building up until one day when I saw some cauliflower on sale at the grocery. I knew that it was finally time.

You can tell I’ve been wanting to try different cauliflower recipes when you look at my Google Reader. Here are just a few of the recipes I’ve been saving recently:

Cauliflower Pie with Grated Sweet Potato Crust
Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup
Baked Pasta with Cauliflower and Cheese 

This recipe was really good. When Rick and I  took our first bites, we were amazed! I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like mashed potatoes, but the texture is similar so I can see this being an easy and healthy substitute. My only complaint about this dish is that it seemed to lose its heat quickly after we dished it up onto our plates … but I’d say that’s just an excuse to eat it faster! haha

Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

1 head of cauliflower
3 cups water
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. butter
Milk (if needed)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in your crockpot. Add in the water, garlic cloves, salt, and bay leaf. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or  low for 4-6 hours.
At end of cook time, remove the garlic cloves and bay leaf.  Drain the water. Add in the butter and let it melt. Use a potato masher, an immersion blender, or just a spoon to mash the cauliflower.  If it needs milk, add it in a tablespoon at a time (I didn’t use any). Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with green onions if you have any (I wish I had!).

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Paula Deen’s Mac and Cheese


Way back in the fall of 2008, I decided to teach myself how to cook. Growing up, I never really learned to cook much of anything, but soon after I got married, I figured I’d better start learning.

My first baby steps into the kitchen were through my crockpot. It seemed like a good place to start, seeing as how you just need to dump everything in and let it cook all day. Once I gained more confidence with crockpot cooking, I ventured out into other areas. To this day, I tell people that I learned how to cook by using my crockpot, and that’s why it still holds a special place in my heart.

Anyway, this recipe for mac and cheese was one of the first recipes I had saved. And now, more than three years later, is the first time I’m getting around to making it! This recipe is really good, and tastes just like traditional mac and cheese. I would recommend going to this recipe when you’re entertaining or making food for a crowd. Throw this in the crockpot and it’s one less thing you have to worry about!

Paula Deen’s Crockpot Mac and Cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
4 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs (I used two)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. pepper

On the stovetop, boil the macaroni for six minutes. Drain.

In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.

In your crockpot, add the cheese mixture, eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard, and pepper. Add the  macaroni and stir. Cook on low for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally (I stirred about every 45 minutes to an hour). Enjoy!

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Baked potatoes


Source: A Year of Crockpotting

So this is pretty cool — you can make baked potatoes in the crockpot! This really came in handy for me the other day when we had 40 clove garlic chicken for dinner. I needed a side dish, but didn’t feel like taking 20 or more minutes to prepare something after work when our main course was sitting there, ready and waiting for us. So, since I have two crockpots, I set them both to work, and our complete dinner was ready for us when we got home!

I actually enjoyed these potatoes more than traditional oven-baked potatoes. They were so much softer. At first, Rick said the texture tasted a little off, but the more he ate, the more he liked it!


P9140724Wash potatoes, and set aside to let them dry completely. Pierce several times with a fork. Wrap potatoes in foil, and place in crockpot. I made 4, and it just barely covered the bottom, but  you can stack them as high as you need them to go. Do not add water. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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Baked beans


We took this as a side dish to a cookout we went to last week. They turned out pretty well. I’m not a big fan of baked beans, but I liked them as much as I like any baked beans. Rick says they were pretty good, but he says they were a little dry. I’ll probably try a different recipe next time, but these were good if you are looking for something different. It serves 16, so it’s perfect for a big group!


2 lbs. dried great northern or navy beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large onions, large dice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
1 can cherry coke
7 slices center cut bacon, cut into 1-inch cubes

Place beans in a large pot and cover with water with at least an inch of water over the beans. Bring beans to boil. Let boil for two minutes and remove from heat. Let beans stand for about an hour. Drain.

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Add bacon, beans, onions and garlic to crockpot. Mix brown sugar, maple syrup, ketchup, mustard, Worchestershire sauce and coke together, mixing well. Pour over ingredients in crockpot. Stir to coat everything well with the liquid. Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.

We had ours in for almost 12 hours. Some of them got a little dried out, but the majority  of the batch was good!

Shared at Eat at Home Cooks Bacon-Fest

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