Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meal 9 - Slow Cooker Cooking

This recipe came from allrecipes.com again. I use that site a lot. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
1lb shredded, cooked chicken (rotisserie will work for this) 
1 15oz can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
1 med onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 14.5oz can chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 10oz package frozen corn
1 TBSP chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

1. Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker.  Pour in water and chicken broth and season with cumin, chili powder, salt bepper, and bay leaf.  Stir in corn and cilantro.  Cover, and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or on high setting for 3-4 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.

4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

I didn't get to this until after lunch so I was in a hurry. I didn't have cooked chicken but had a small amount of frozen fajita chicken and some frozen chicken breasts. I through all of that in - approximately 1 lb. - The large pieces I pulled out before serving and chopped up. - this worked well because I chopped up 1 piece per bowl.
I didn't add the green chili's because I didn't have any.

Everything else, I followed the recipe. HOWEVER - I only had flour tortilla's. I burned them.... :)  

So- I served with tortilla chips and we also put a bit of sour cream into our bowls.

This was VERY tasty! Lot's of liquid, though.

Randy gave it a 5.
I gave it a 5.
Andru a 2.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Will Rogers   

I often wonder if "wisdom" is the right word to put in the title of my Wednesday musings. It is usually a quote - or a thought I've had or a soap box. Sometimes it's wise but not always.

Will Rogers was known for being wise and for being able to tell the truth with humor - that would often take a bit of the sting out of it. It's a gift to be able to do that. Not all can.

He once said:

"I don't tell jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

The thing is, the way things are in our country now, it's hard to find the "funny" in the facts.

Meal 8 - Slow Cooker Cooking

Last week we were going to meet with a group of friends that try to meet once a month. I found a recipe for Chili Cheese Dip as we were to each bring snacks.

The evening was canceled due to the host's Father having emergency surgery that day. I had already purchased the stuff for the dip so we invited some friends over.

It looked horrible but tasted great!!

Chili Cheese Dip

1 lb lean ground beef
1 lg jar (16 oz) picante sauce, mild
2 cans (15 oz each) refried beans
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
Jalapenos or mild chile peppers, chopped 

Cook ground beef with onion, mix everything in slow cooker or crockpot and cook on low about 3 to 4 hours. Serve with favorite vegetables or chips.

I didn't add the Jalapenos, but had them in a bowl on the side.
I served with tortilla chips.

What was left over I served for lunch on tortilla chips with lettuce, chopped onion, tomato, sour cream and picante sauce.  Randy and I really liked it this way.

Forgot to get ratings from friends.

I would give it a 3 or 4.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meal 7 - Slow Cooker Cooking

Meal 7 was another recipe I found on http://allrecipes.com/

Chops With Fruit Stuffing found HERE.

6 (1/2 inch thick) pork loin chops
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 (6 oz) package herb stuffing mix
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 med tart apple, peeled and chopped
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil - on both sides.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
Place half the stuffing mixture in a 3 qt slow cooker. 
Top with pork and remaining stuffing mixture.
Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
submitted by Suzanne Reyes

I really liked it. Randy doesn't like pork very well so he wasn't a fan. Andru said it was ok. - But it was ok if we didn't have it again!!  :)

So I probably won't fix it like this again but may try the same recipe with chicken.


"Whenever I'm asked if I vote,
I respond that some women paid such a dear cost for me to have this right
that I don't feel I can sit at home on election day."

Becky Garrison in "Jesus Died For This?" 

We have such a great responsibility.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Meal 6 of Slow Cooker cooking.

I have never fixed baked potatoes in a slow cooker before and I was amazingly surprised. I may never fix them any other way again!! They were moist and cooked to perfection.

I pricked the potatoes with a fork, rubbed olive oil on them and put some kosher salt on them. Then wrapped them in aluminum foil. Placed them in the slow cooker and cooked for about 3 hours on high, I thought they smelled like they were getting WELL done so I turned the slow cooker to low for 2 to 3  more hours. They were perfect. 

We all gave them 5 stars.

Served them with butter, sour cream, onions, cheese, and bacon.
Served asparagus spears on the side.

This was such an easy meal. I'm not sure how they would work if you needed to put them on early in the morning before work. However, 4 - 5 hours on high would work great for a Sunday lunch - or if you have the privilege of going home for lunch from work and put them on for dinner.

Meal 5 - Slow Cooker Cooking

Meal 5 was probably my favorite so far. However, I didn't think it was going to be! 

Randy had been saying he was hungry for Chicken and Dumplings. He wondered if there was a slow cooker recipe for this comfort food. So I looked and came up with another great recipe from http://allrecipes.com/. You can find the recipe HERE.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I cut these up in bite-size pieces)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
onion (to taste) finely diced
2 (10 oz) packages refrigerated biscuit dough torn into pieces.
   (I didn't have the 10 oz size I had the bigger size so only used 1 and cut into fourths with my kitchen shears.)

1. Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.
2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. (it will be bubbly) About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center. (my larger biscuits took a little longer than 30 minutes.)

I was very surprised at how good this recipe is. I would never have tried it if I weren't in this 31 day challenge. I'm usually not a fan of cream of chicken soup but this recipe wonderful!!

As you can see, this recipe of Chicken and Dumplings was very popular in the 
Cohorn household!!
Hope you try them, Hope you enjoy them. 



Sunday, January 8, 2012

Meal 4 - Slow Cooker Cooking

On Thursday's we eat out with friends so no slow cooker cooking for the 5th. Then on Friday, we had leftover crock pot Taco Soup. Andru had another friend over Friday evening and he did eat a bowl but then the boys filled up on frozen pizza.

Saturday evening we were invited to some friends house for dinner. I took dessert. I made "Unbelievably Easy Slow Cooker Black Forest Cake
 from allrecipes.com. You can find it HERE.

1/2 cup butter
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1 (21oz) can cherry pie filling
1package chocolate cake mix

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and mix with reserved juice from the can of pineapple. Set the mixture aside.
2. Spread the crushed pineapple in a layer on the bottom of a slow cooker. Spoon the cherry pie filling in an even layer on top of the pineapple, and empty the dry cake mix into the slow cooker on top of the cherry filling. Stir the butter and pineapple juice mixture, and pour it over the dry cake mix.
3. Set the slow cooker to low, and cook for 3 hours. Spoon the dessert into bowls and let cool about 5 minutes to cool the hot pie filling before eating.

I love All Recipes.com and get many of my recipes from there. - not just the crock pot recipes but all types of recipes.

There were six of us and from 1 to 5, the cake got three 5's, one 10, a 4 and I gave it a two because I'm not a real chocolate fan and this is BIG on chocolate!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Meal 3 - Slow Cooker Cooking

Meal 3 was a hit. This recipe came from http://www.cooks.com

It wasn't actually a slow cooker meal so I changed it up a bit. This is how I did it:

Taco Soup

1 lb lean ground beef 
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg taco seasonings
1 pkg dry Ranch seasonings
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can rotel tomatoes, undrained
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can whole kernal corn

I added 2 1/2 cup water

Brown meat and onion with 1 1/2 cup water on stove.
I use the leanest meat I can get then I always brown my ground beef with water for soups and chili's because it gives it the consistency I like.

When browned, dump into slow cooker.

Add seasonings envelopes.
Drain beans and corn and add to meat along with both cans of tomatoes and rotel tomatoes.

Cook in slow cooker on low for 4 - 6 hours.

Serve with sour cream, grated cheese and tortilla chips.

 Everyone really liked it. Michael (Andru's friend) joined us for dinner and Andru informed him that we "have to" rate our meals!!
You know I use the 1 to 5 rating with 5 being the best.

Randy gave it 5 stars.
I gave it 5 stars.
Andru gave it 3 - 4 stars.
Michael gave it 6 stars!!! (he REALLY liked it!)

As you can tell from the recipe - it made  a very large pot. So I'm going to freeze some for later. - that's the plan anyway! Randy says he wants the rest tomorrow so it may not make it to the freezer!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meal 2 - Slow Cooker Cooking

This is my friend, Hennypen. She lives on top of the corner cabinet in my kitchen. And, yes, she is guarding the grapes. I know most of you think hens guard their eggs, and some do, but in my kitchen, she guards the grapes.

I have absolutely NO reason to introduce you to Hennypen at this time other than my 2nd Crock Pot Meal included c-h-i-c-k-e-n. Shhh. I would rather she didn't know.

Brown Sugar Chicken

2 lbs Boneless Chicken (I used breast meat)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Lemon Lime Soda
2-3 TBSP Minced Garlic
2 TBSP soy sauce (I always use Kikkoman) 
1 TSP black pepper

Place chicken in crock pot
combine remaining ingredients and pour over the top of chicken
cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours
Serve with Rice

I cut the recipe in half for the three of us. If/when I ever fix this again, I will add some thickening to the sauce before I serve it.

I thought this turned out GREAT.

I gladly give it 5 stars.

However, Randy wasn't a fan and only gave it 2 to 3 stars 

but Andru gave it 4. 

Say Good Night, Hennypen.

Slow Cooking

"Pots such as this were designed to be hung directly over an open fire. This was for a time when all the cooking and heating of a house was done over the same fire. Food cooked in this way, like cooking over a camp fire, could take up the smell from the smoke and give it a very particular taste. Cooking pots and kettles made of cast iron came from factories where iron was poured into moulds the shape of the cooking utensil needed."

Slow cooking has been around for a very long time but in the 70's the "crock pot" made it's appearance. It actually started out as a "beanery" created by the Naxon Utilities Corp. Rival purchased Naxon and had their on staff cooks see what they could do with a "beanery." They soon discovered this "beanery" was good for much more than beans.

I love using a crock pot. It's easy, and now that you can purchase them with removable stoneware lining, clean up is a breeze.

When I became single again a few years ago, I found a small crock pot to use for 1 or 2 people! LOVED IT! It holds 6 cups of water. ( I just measured because I couldn't find a size on it!) 

This is my small crock pot purchased for $14.?? at W**m*rt.

 Now with 3 of us, I'm using this one, which is much larger:

I'm not advertising any particular brand. The first one, I bought because it was cheap and where else is there to shop in Enid? This one, I inherited when I moved here!!  I really like both of them.

Crock pot cooking is GREAT in the summer because you don't have to heat up your house for a good meal.

Crock pot cooking is GREAT in the winter because it just lends itself to delicious stews and soups to warm you up.

It's a year round kitchen appliance! 

Since I have committed to doing 31 meals of Crock Pot cooking, 
tell me if you like slow cooking.

What's your favorite Crock Pot meal? 
(I beg of you, please, share your recipes! I need more ideas!!)




Meal 1 and a half! Slow Cooker cooking!

I can't really count this as a slow cooker meal because it was leftover from Meal 1!!

When I put the roast away from Meal 1, I poured the leftover gravy over it and stuck it in the fridge. Then for dinner Monday night I heated the leftover roast in the slow cooker on low for about an hour and a half and served it over noodles. Very tasty!

I know, not very original, but it sure tasted good! It would have been good over rice, too, but we are having another rice meal this week so thought I'd stick with noodles.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Meal 1 - Slow Cooker Cooking

So I did my first meal of the 31 slow cooker meals today. I will admit, it was an easy one. Most would have done black eyed peas but we decided that was too many peas for us! So I did a roast. However, I did use a very simple recipe that I had never tried before. Here's the recipe - and I don't know where I got it, it has been in my recipes for years:

Place the Roast in a slow cooker
Sprinkle over the top:
1 packet Dry Ranch Dressing mix
1 packet Dry Italian Dressing Mix
1 packet Dry Brown Gravy Mix
1 cup water in bottom of the crockpot
Cook on low for 7 hours.

It was delicious. We had been gone all day and got home later than I had planned so instead of making gravy, I used another  packet of  brown gravy mix but instead of mixing it with water as directions stated, I used a cup of the juice off of the roast. Best brown gravy I think I've ever had.

I give this recipe 5 stars!!

P.S. Randy gives this recipe his seal of approval, also!