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.

Slow cooker sesame chicken

The weather is cold and comfort meals are still on the menu at our house.  I love using a slow cooker for an easy delicious meal, especially when I have a busy day of activities planned.  This Asian recipe is very easy and quite tasty to make and enjoy. It will serve four people or just two with a nice amount of leftovers for another day.

Begin by slicing 1-2 whole chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.  Prepare a sauce of 1/2 cup Agave, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons dried onion, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.  Pour this sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.  I usually stir the chicken after the first 1 1/2 hours just to mix well with the sauce.

Next, add 3/4 bag of small carrots which are sliced in half, and 2 small white chopped onions.  Continue to cook on low for another hour.  Then add one can of pineapple chunks with juice, about 3/4 cup snow pea pods and turn the slow cooker up to High.

Mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch in 3 tablespoons water and add to the cooker.  Cook for another hour and then serve with brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Lasagna in a slow cooker

This was my first experience of preparing a lasagna in a multi-cooker.  It turned out perfectly. The recipe is super simple and easy to make, but allow at least 6 hours for cooking the meal.

Assemble these ingredients:  1 pound ground beef, 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, 28 ounces pasta sauce, 1/3 cup water (optional) 8-10 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 carton ricotta cheese, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (or more if desired), dried parsley for the top

Brown the beef in the slow cooker and add Italian seasoning.  Drain the beef.  Combine the spaghetti sauce and the water in a small bowl.  Drizzle a bit of sauce at the bottom of the cooker first, then place noodles as the first layer.  Add some beef, and sprinkle with both types of cheese, cover with sauce.  Repeat each layer until all of the ingredients have been added to the dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese.  Cover and cook on High for 1 hour, then reduce to low cook for at least 5 hours. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Serve with a side salad and garlic toast if desired.  Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.
This dish freezes very well and can be used for easy weeknight meals. Divide into freezer containers and allow to cool before sealing.

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October apple crisp in a slow cooker

Fall is here in Michigan, which allows me to welcome back my slow cooker for everyday recipes.  I have two different Cuisinart cookers, as they accommodate different recipes throughout the year. The multi-cooker is a larger version of the traditional slow cooker.

This recipe makes about eight small servings of apple crisp and I was able to go outside and enjoy the Fall weather while this one was cooking indoors unsupervised. It took about 3 1/2 hours for this mixture to achieve tender and delicious apples.  I made my own fresh vanilla ice cream too, or it could simply be served with whipped cream.

To make this recipe, gather these ingredients:  5 medium Gala apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup Quaker oats, 1/2 cup sugar free butterscotch pudding mix dry, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/3 cup stick margarine cut into cubes.

Cut, core and peel the apples, and place in the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Sprinkle over the apples.  Cover and cook on low for at least 3 hours and check the consistency of the apples.  If not tender, continue to cook for another 1/2 hour. Delicious served warm, but this recipe easily will refrigerate and can be served several days later warmed in a microwave.  Tastes like Fall to me.

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Bistro onion soup

French onion soup is one of my all-time favorites.  I have tried several recipes over the years and have three other onion soup recipes already posted on this blog. However, this recipe is made in a slow cooker. I prepared the onions at the start of the day, turned on my Cuisinart slow cooker and never looked back. Eight hours later, I had an amazing soup that was delicious and authentic.

Broiled cheese toasts can be added to the top or the soup could be ladled into crocks and broiled the old fashioned way for the cheesy crusty topping admired by most aficionados. Even broiling some cheese and placing on top of the soup will work for a quick alternative.

Easy and classic, I recommend this recipe for your romantic bistro night at home. Served with a side salad or crusty bread and wine will make the evening complete.

Assemble these ingredients: 2 tablespoons margarine, 2 tablespoons olive oil, dried thyme, 1 1/2 large yellow onions,  2 medium red onions, fresh garlic cloves, salt, pepper, 4 cups beef broth, 1/2 cup red wine

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Cut the margarine into bits and place in the slow cooker.  Add 4-5 fresh garlic cloves, oil, thyme and then the sliced onions. I slice the onions in medium to large strips.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

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If nearby, it will be fine if you give the mixture a stir every couple of hours. Around 7 1/2 hours into cooking, place the beef broth and wine in a sauce pot and bring to a boil.  Add to the slow cooker and continue to cook for 15 minutes on high.

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If serving with cheese toast, prepare them under the broiler and place on the soup before serving. I used Swiss and Gruyere cheese broiled on top. Save this recipe, as it is a real keeper. I used inspiration for this recipe from Eating Well magazine, Jan-Feb 2016 issue.

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Gina Neely chicken

Recently I found this recipe for a delicious and easy chicken dish which can be made in a slow cooker.  I have the Cuisinart all in one pot, where I am able to brown the chicken first and then switch to the slow cooking option.  This allows me to prepare this dish in one pot.  The chicken could also be prepared on the stove top. The chicken is delicious and comforting.  It is a great dinner option to be shared with family or friends.  Make this chicken when you need a home-cooked meal and want to feel cozy and warm.

I made this dish with four chicken thighs.  More could be used in this dish to accommodate your number of guests. To make the chicken:   Brown the chicken in the pot on both sides with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When browned, remove the chicken to a side plate while the rest of the dish is being prepared.

Next, add one chopped medium white onion to the pot to soften and brown slightly. Then, add one cup of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of white wine. Bring up to a boil, and add one 14.5 ounce can of chopped tomatoes to the pot. Season with 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary, 1 tablespoon lemon pepper, and salt to taste.  Mix and return the chicken to the pot.

Cook for 40-45 minutes with the cover on the pot.  Serve with rice or potatoes.  Sprinkle parsley on the top for the presentation. I served with broccoli and smashed potatoes.

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Easy slow cooker chicken wings

 

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March madness is here and everyone needs an easy recipe for entertaining all those men who get hungry while watching the games.

This recipe cooks in the slow cooker for 3 1/2 hours and then just needs to be broiled for 6 minutes in the oven prior to serving.  SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS.  Possibly the best wings recipe around.  AND, this recipe could be increased for a large crowd.  I used two packages of chicken drumettes with these ingredients.

Just increase the amount of sauce for a larger quantity of wings or drummies.

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To make this recipe:

In a large bowl, mix these ingredients:  1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon dried red onion.  Place the drummies in the slow cooker.  Pour the sauce over the wings.  Toss.

Cover and cook on low heat for 3 1/2 hours.  Meanwhile, mix together 2 tablespoons cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water.  Stir into the slow cooker mixture during the last 15 minutes of cooking and increase the temperature to high.

Next, place the wings on a baking sheet covered with a silpat mat.  Broil for 6 minutes and then plate for serving as a great hot appetizer.  Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

Yum Yum Yum for March Madness this year.

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inspired by: damndelicious.net