Crockpot Cooking Saves Time

Crockpot cooking is a convenient way of preparing meals for today’s busy families. Meals are simple to prepare, healthy, and the food cooks to perfection all day long. All you have to do is put your food in the crockpot, put the lid on it, turn on the switch to “high” or “low” and you … Continue reading “Crockpot Cooking Saves Time”

Crockpot cooking is a convenient way of preparing meals for today’s busy families. Meals are simple to prepare, healthy, and the food cooks to perfection all day long. All you have to do is put your food in the crockpot, put the lid on it, turn on the switch to “high” or “low” and you will come home to a ready to eat dinner. This is so much better than any drive-through-window meal!

Crockpot

Crockpot recipes provide nutritious meals with ingredients that are practical and economical as well as wholesome and good. Crockpots, also called slow cookers, are very versatile. They are great for preparing most vegetables and meats, perfect for potluck events, and great for keeping food warm when entertaining.
Basic Crockpot Tips

Cut all meat and vegetables the same size to ensure even cooking. Place vegetables on the bottom of the slow cooker as they tend to take longer to cook. Don’t be tempted to lift the lid and peek at the food as it cooks. Every time you lift the lid, this allows steam to escape, reducing the temperature inside the crockpot by several degrees.

Most crockpot recipes cook an average of seven to nine hours on the low setting. Never put frozen food in the crockpot. Always thaw food overnight in the refrigerator or use the microwave to thaw food before adding it to the crockpot.

Crockpots are simple appliances that are easy to use. First introduced in the 1960s, they became more popular in the 1970s and are making a come-back today. Busy families are finding that crockpot cooking is the best way to enjoy family meals together without all the work.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/J._Wilson/124429

3 Cheesy Crockpot Recipes

Crockpot meals are always easy, and very tasty as well. If you love a good cheesy meal or snack, these recipes are just right for you!

Crockpot

Recipe #1 – All Day Macaroni & Cheese
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
4 cups(16 ounces) shredded sharp Chedder Cheese
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Place the cooked macaroni in crockpot that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add the remaining ingredents, all except 1 cup of the cheese, mix well.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and then cover and cook on low setting for 5 to 6 hours or until the mixture is firm and golden around the edges. Do not remove the cover or stir until it has finished cooking.

Recipe #2 – Artichoke & Cheese Dip
1 lb. shredded Mozzarella
1 c. grated Parmesan
1 c. (8 oz. jar) mayonnaise
1 c. (8 1/2 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
Minced onions
Mix ingredients together. Bake in casserole at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or in lightly buttered 3 1/2 quart slow cooker/Crock Pot on (high) for about 1 hour. Serve with broken up French bread or wheat crackers.

Recipe #3 – Broccoli & Cheese Soup
2 c. cooked noodles
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli,thawed
3 tbsp. chopped onions
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
2 cups shredded American cheese
Salt to taste
5 1/2 c. milk
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on low for 4 hours. 8 servings.
Enjoy!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Kara_Kelso/5602

Chicken Curry Recipes – Easy & Quick To Prepare!

These chicken curry recipes are easy, quick and delicious. Just check these out and I’m sure you’ll be amazingly surprised.

 Chicken Curry Recipes

So put your hat on and get ready for some quick easy chicken curry recipes:
>> Curry Chicken Casserole
4 c Chicken – chopped up not too small
2 pk 10oz. frozen broccoli cooked and cut in halves OR
2 bn Fresh broccoli
1/2 t Salt & pepper
2 cn 10oz. cream of chicken soup
1 c Mayonnaise
1/2 c Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c Soft bread crumbs
1 t Curry powder
1 t Lemon juice
1 T Melted butter

Use cooked chicken (or better yet cook some up fresh). Place cooked broccoli and then chopped chicken in a large casserole. Mix together soup, mayonnaise, curry powder, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Pour over the chicken and top with cheese. Toss bread crumbs in melted butter and sprinkle over the top.
>> Chicken Curry
4 skinless boneless chicken breast about 7 oz. each
15 to 16 oz.can garbnzo beans rinsed/drained
1 small onion thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper chopped
1 cup snap pea pods
9 ounce jar mango chutney
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (to 2 tsp. to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups hot cooked rice

Layer chicken, beans, onion, bell pepper and pea pods in 3 1/2-4 quart crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients except rice; pour over mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 6-7 hours or until vegetables are tender and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Serve over rice. Serve with condiments such as: shredded coconut, chopped peanuts, lime
soaked banana slices, raisins and grated eggs.
Makes 4 servings.
That’s it for today! If you want more chicken curry recipes just check below:

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Nathalie_Sanders/123688

3 Easy Vegetable Crockpot Dinners

If you aren’t in the mood for beef or need a meal with no meat in it, the following are three recipes you can use with your crockpot.

Crockpot

Recipe #1 – VEGETABLES ITALIAN-STYLE
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium eggplant, cut in 1″ cubes
2 to 3 medium zucchini, halved & sliced 1/2″
1 large onion, sliced thinly
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
Toss eggplant and zucchini with the 1 teaspoon of salt. Place in a large colander over a bowl to drain for about 1 hour. Drain and squeeze excess moisture out. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion, eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms until slightly tender. In the slow
cooker/Crock Pot, layer 1/3 of the vegetables (including sliced tomatoes), 1/3 of the the tomato sauce. and 1/3 of the cheese. Sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Repeat layering 2 more times. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve over rice, pasta, or other grain.

Serves 6.
Recipe #2 – CROCKPOT CHUNKY VEGETABLE CLAM CHOWDER
2 6 1/2 oz cans minced clams
2 c. peeled potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 c. finely chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 10 3/4 oz cans condensed cream of potato soup
2 c. water
1 c. nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 c. flour
1 c. cold water
4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
Paprika
Drain clams, reserving liquid. Cover clams; chill. In CP combine reserved clam liquid, potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, sugar, salt, and papper. Stir in potato sour and 2 cups water. Cover; cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat for 4 to 5 hours. If using low heat setting, turn to high. In a medium bowl combine nonfat dry milk powder and flour. Gradually whisk in 1 c. cold water; stir into soup. Cover; cook on high 10 to 15 minutes or till thickened. Stir in clams. Cover; cook 5 minutes more. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon and paprika. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe #3 – MIXED VEGETABLE BAKE
* 2 cans Creamed corn, 17 oz each
* 2 cans Green beans; cut, 16 oz each
* 2 cans Peas, 16 oz each
* 1 can Tomatoes, 17 oz
* 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
* 1 teaspoon Tarragon
* 1 teaspoon Basil
* 1/2 teaspoon Salt
* Pepper
Combine all ingredients in removable liner, mix well to blend herbs. Place liner in base. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours.
Enjoy!

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Kara_Kelso/5602

Crockpot Cooking Safety Tips

Although I have never had a bad experience with my crockpot (and I’m sure you won’t either), there are a few safety measures you need to follow to ensure food safety. Some of them are pretty basic and common sense and you are probably doing them already. But it never hurts to go over them and to just continue to be aware of the importance proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Crockpot

Always start clean, a clean cooker, clean utensils, a clean work area. And wash your hands before and during food preparation.

Be sure to handle ingredients carefully. Since slow cookers can take a while to get to temperatures hot enough to kill off bacteria, it is imperative to keep the ingredients constantly refrigerated prior to food preparation. Remember that bacteria multiply on food quickly at room temperature. Therefore perishable foods should remain refrigerated until you need them.

Defrost your meats and poultry prior to putting them in your slow cooker. This helps the crockpot achieve proper cooking temperature faster, eliminating the possibility of bacteria growth on your food.

Cutting food into smaller chunks helps to ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly. For example, don’t cook large pieces of meat such as a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Doing this increases the opportunity for bacterial growth because it takes a longer time to get to proper cooking temperature. Meats and vegetables can be cut up in advance but make sure you store them separately in covered containers.

Keep the lid on. Experts say that removing the lid can add 20 minutes to the cooking time! This is because it takes that long to re-generate the lost heat and steam. Remove it only to stir the food or check for doneness.
Since vegetables cook slower than meat, place the vegetables on the bottom. Then add the meat and cover the food with your broth, sauce, or water.

If possible, set the slow cooker setting on high for the first hour of cooking to get the food warmed up quickly. Then switch it to low for the rest of the day. If it is not possible, the Food Safety and Inspection Service says it is still safe to cook foods on low for the entire time, since the temperatures stay hot enough for long enough to prevent any bacterial growth on the food.

If you are away during the entire slow-cooking process and you know that there has been a power outage, don’t take any chances. Throw the food out. Although it may look done, it could also be unsafe for consumption. You can know if there was a power outage by the time flashing on your other appliances such as microwave or VCR.

If you are home during a power outage, complete the cooking another way -gas stove, etc.
A food thermometer can be used to test for ‘doneness’ on your meat and poultry to make sure they have reached a safe internal temperature:

Poultry – 170 deg for chicken breast – 180 deg for chicken thigh
Ground Meat- 160 deg
Roasts -145 degrees (medium rare) -160 degrees (medium) -170 degrees (well done)
Casseroles -165 degrees
Stuffing – 165 degrees
Soups – 165 degrees
And when it comes to leftovers, make sure you refrigerate them within two hours after cooking is finished. Store them in shallow covered containers.

It is not recommended that you use a slow cooker to reheat these leftovers.
These tips should give you the added confidence that any food you have prepared is safe and hopefully delicious!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tony_Buel/7497