Warm Pears and oranges

Tender pears and Mandarin oranges prove to be a delightful dessert when warmed in a slow cooker.  As I have shared in previous posts, fruit desserts are some of my favorites. Of course, they can also be served with a slice of pound cake, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, or even vanilla Greek yogurt.  This recipe is one to try before the warmer weather sneaks up on us this Spring.  The comforting flavors of this recipe can be enjoyed throughout the Fall and Winter months.

Here is how I make this recipe–gather these ingredients:  1 can sliced pears with juice, 1 can mandarin  oranges without juice, 3 cinnamon sticks, and 2 fresh Bosc pears peeled and sliced.  Additional fresh pears or canned pears could be substituted for each ingredient.

In a small bowl, combine these ingredients:  1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 Tablespoons melted margarine.

Place the first set of ingredients in the slow cooker, and then cover with the ingredients from the bowl.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours.  Serve warm. I topped each serving with whipped cream and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Yummy.

crock pot ginger apple crumble

Warm fruit desserts are perfect for Fall entertaining and enjoyment.  And, making them in a slow cooker is just so easy.  This recipe comes together in about 10 minutes, but cooks very slowly on low for 6 hours. Served with either whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this ginger apple sensation hard to resist seconds.

How I made this delicious Fall recipe:  Start by peeling and slicing 5-6 apples of choice.  I used Gala apples last week. I used a quick spray of Pam around the ceramic crock pot and placed the apples in the bottom of the cooker.  Next, I combined the following ingredients and placed them on the apples– 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, 3/4 cup rolled oats, about 1 teaspoon of chopped candied ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of chopped margarine.  I had mixed these ingredients well before placing into the slow cooker.

Cover the crock pot and allow to cook for 6 hours.  Stir and serve warm.  A simple but tasty dessert. And, the ginger is what makes the difference. Yummy.

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easy crock pot macaroni and cheese

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making macaroni and cheese in a crock pot can be a bit tricky.  the challenge comes from using milk and cheese in a crock pot.  these ingredients tend to curdle when not treated properly. i have been researching recipes, as i have wanted to have a fool-proof way to make this dish without running into soggy noodles or poorly blended cheeses.  i found the technique and the perfect recipe.

the recipe comes from the six sisters cookbook.  actually, i own a couple of their books and really like their easy to make recipes.  if you haven’t checked them out, i would recommend trying a recipe or two from one of their books.

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the macaroni and cheese recipe comes from this book and worked perfectly in my crock pot. i followed their ingredients and suggestions exactly as written in the book.  this recipe could easily be doubled or tripled.  i used my smaller crock pot, and could have easily doubled the recipe for a larger crowd in this pot.  i would say that the recipe given makes six servings.  i had leftovers for another couple of days that i easily stored.  here is how to make the macaroni and cheese:

boil 2 cups of elbow macaroni only 6 minutes and drain. this shorter cooking time helps the noodles from becoming soggy in the slow cooker. in a medium sauce pot, melt 4 tablespoon butter or margarine and add 2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese to melt.  stir until soft and melted. watch this carefully and don’t walk away.  spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.  add the following ingredients and stir:  1/2 cup sour cream, 1 can cheddar cheese soup, 1 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, salt and black pepper to taste.  add the melted cheese and the drained noodles.  stir very well and cook on low heat.  this recipe will be perfect in 2 to 2/12 hours.

this is not an all day slow cooking recipe.  but, this recipe can be used when you don’t want to be baking a casserole of macaroni and cheese, but would like to serve on a buffet or for a sports party.  guys love this recipe and will enjoy having a scoop with just about any other sandwich or dish on a buffet.

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orange chicken in a slow cooker

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are you looking for another way to make chicken in a slow-cooker?  if so, i found this recipe, which was quite delicious. the method was published by Kraft foods many years ago.  this recipe will take less than 6 hours to prepare and cook.

i cooked the chicken for five hours and it was very tender and perfect for dinner.  the published recipe calls for 8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, but i used 4 chicken thighs with bones.  i would adjust the cooking time if more meat was being used.  the printed recipe says cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  i think that would work for the larger quantity of meat.

to make this recipe:

toss the chicken with about 3 tablespoons of flour and place in the slow cooker.

add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of orange marmalade.  i used apricot jam, and it was equally tasty.

add 1/3 cup of barbecue sauce to the slow cooker.  next add 1 to 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.  season with fresh ginger if desired.  i also added one sliced white onion for added flavor.

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stir and cover with the lid.  cook on high for up to 5 hours or as suggested above for larger amounts of chicken. i served the orange chicken with white rice and fresh steamed broccoli.