It is no secret that my cooking skills are rudimentary, at best. However, there is a comfort zone, a cushion of confidence, if you will, for me in the kitchen. What is it, you ask?
It's the blessed CROCK POT.
: : Angels singing. : :
So imagine my shock and even disgust as @thenextmartha (Jen at The Martha Project) declared loud and proud on Twitter, and later on her blog, that she does not have the Crock Pot love.
Immediately, Twitter was abuzz (aTwitter?) with a huge ruckus of supporters and naysayers yelling their opinions as loudly as 140 characters will allow.
I think I might have shed a tear that night.
Being the sane (???) people we are, @notsuperjustmom, @ksluiter, and I (@middlemommyhood, if you're not yet following me on Twitter) decided to defend our dear appliance's honor in the one way we know how.
It's a blog hop, people.
You are more than welcome to link up on this blog hop and share your recipes, and we'll be doing the same. You can have one post with several recipes, or you can write several posts and link them individually. The hop will be ending on Wednesday, January 12, 2011, so you've got a week to dig out those recipes.
For those of you who are still taking @thenextmartha's side, please do us all a favor and try out these simple and yummy recipes before casting judgement on the Crock Pot. Now, let's get down to business.
By far my favorite recipe, the one I want to make and eat leftovers of constantly, is my Chicken Taco Soup. It's a thick and hearty soup that I actually like to scoop up with tortilla chips instead of using a spoon, and not just because I have no manners...it's actually delicious that way. Also? My husband loves it, and I once saw @notsuperjustmom go back for seconds at my house, so it must be pretty tasty. Even I can't screw this up, so you know right off the bat that you're going to be a success.
Chicken Taco Soup
1 chopped onion
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans (drained)
1 (15 oz) can black beans (drained)
1 (15 oz) bag of whole kernel frozen corn
2 (29 oz) cans of tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (undrained)
1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning
1-1.5 lbs whole skinless boneless chicken breasts (can be frozen)
1 package ranch dressing mix (optional, but yummy)
Mix all ingredients well in a crock pot, add chicken breasts, making sure they are completely covered. Set for low heat, and cook all day (if cooking on high, you'll probably need about 6 hours, but keep checking it). You'll know it's ready when the chicken is starting to fall apart.
Remove chicken from soup and shred into pieces, and return the chicken to the soup.
Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips, if desired.
And this is even better the next day as leftovers as the flavors have even more time to mingle. Mmmmm.
Next up, possibly the easiest pot roast recipe EVER. That's why I call it...
The Easiest Pot Roast Ever
1 Chuck Roast (4-5 lbs...and it's going to shrink by about half while cooking, so keep that in mind when shopping)
2 cans Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup
1 onion, cut into large chunks
2 cans whole white potatoes (or 3 or so potatoes cut into large pieces)
1 can carrots (we prefer baby carrots to sliced)
Put both cans of soup and the onion into the Crock Pot, and mix in a little bit of water. Plop the meat in there. That's the technical term. (*If you're putting in fresh potatoes, you can put them in now. Otherwise, you're done adding ingredients for now.*) You'll need to make sure the roast is just about covered with the liquid, so add water if you need to.
Put the lid on it, turn it on low, and walk away. At suppertime (why, yes, I AM Southern, thanks!), drain the cans of potatoes and carrots, and put them into the yummy meat and gravy that's been bubbling away. Cook about 30 minutes more, just enough time to pop some bread in the oven to sop up all that gravy.
This will be tender and juicy and flavorful. Promise. You can't NOT like this.
Since I've done two meat dishes, I'm going to give you a recipe for a veggie. Or a gourd.
In my experience, everybody, including picky kids, will love this. It's so sweet that it's almost a dessert, but it's packed with vitamins, as well. Even babies love to nom this, and it's a great food for them once they're mushing up solid food well.
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash
1 cup of apple juice
1/4 cup of brown sugar (y'all know you're supposed to pack it down when measuring brown sugar, right?)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Or more. I like more.
4-5 tablespoons melted butter
Chop off the stem of the squash, cut it into quarters, and take out all the seeds. Yucky part done.
Pour the apple juice into the bottom of the Crock Pot. Mix the brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon. Put two of the butternut squash pieces (the inside facing up) into the Crock Pot, and pour half the butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture on it. Put the other two pieces in, inside part facing up, and pour the rest of the mixture over those pieces. Put a lid on it, and cook it on low for 6-8 hours...just like most things in this appliance.
The hard part about this one? Smelling it! I don't bake, but it smells like I can when I cook this!
These are the only recipes I'm posting today, but I'm pretty sure I'll be back later this week with more.
Now it's your turn. What recipes do you have for this glorious kitchen contraption? Link up! We have to prove that the doubters are wrong! Plus, my family needs to eat, so I want your ideas of how best to not let them starve.