Food for when it is cold outside

February 23, 2012

Crockpot / Slow cooker, Food, Recipes

Given most people’s busy schedules, the slow cooker is always a welcome addition to the kitchen repertoire and can save you time, money and frustration when the family is cold and hungry.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

Having just spent two weeks in the chilly Northwest (with temperatures as low as 15° F), all I wanted to cook and eat were warming, healthy and easily prepared foods that would also feed a group of people. It was a time for family, great food, lots of fun and that marvelously versatile appliance, the Crockpot® or slow cooker. Given most people’s busy schedules, the slow cooker is always a welcome addition to the kitchen repertoire and can save you time, money and frustration when the family is cold and hungry.

Slow Cooker Mulled Cider

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 quarts cider
  • 1 teaspoon allspice, whole
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cloves, whole • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • Orange slices

Directions:

Put all ingredients in slow cooker. If desired, wrap and tie whole spices in cheesecloth or put in tea strainer. If spices are added loose, strain before serving. Cover; cook on low 2 to 8 hours. Serve from the slow cooker with a ladle or if using a coffee pot, right out of the spout, in place of coffee.

 Squash and Apple Bisque

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion (1/2 cup), chopped
  • 1 can ready-to-serve chicken broth (14-1/2 ounces)
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions:

Mix all ingredients except sour cream in 3-1/2 to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on the low-heat setting 8 to 10 hours (or high-heat setting 3 to 5 hours) or until squash is tender. Place 1/3 to 1/2 of the cooked mixture in batches in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth. Return mixture to slow cooker. Stir in sour cream. Cover and cook on low heat another 15 minutes or just until soup is hot; stir. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream. After adding the cold sour cream, cook the bisque just long enough for it to reheat. Remember, sour cream will break down and curdle if heated too long or it becomes too hot. Variations: For a delightful taste treat, serve this bisque thoroughly chilled. Garnish with thin slices of Granny Smith apples and a sprinkling of finely chopped crystallized ginger. To add a spectacular finishing touch, spoon a dollop of sour cream on top of each serving, then swirl slightly into the soup with the tip of a knife or toothpick. For an added touch of crunch and color, sprinkle with poppy seeds or chopped pecans. To finish out the meal, serve with a fresh tossed green salad and Italian salad dressing. Serves 8.

Slow Cooker Herbed Pot Roast

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-pound chuck roast
  • 1 slow cooker bag for quick clean up
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red cooking wine
  • 1 bag McCormick’s Savory Pot Roast Seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup assorted fresh herbs (basil, oregano, dill, mint, rosemary, sage, marjoram, chives and thyme)

Directions:

Place bag in slow cooker. Put roast in bottom of cooker and put onions on top. Mix wine and seasoning packet. Set aside. Snip assorted herbs to make 2/3 cup. Chop them to release the flavor of each. Add herbs to the wine mixture and pour over roast. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Slow Cooker Lemon Baked Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 16-ounces skinned, boned and uncooked chicken breasts, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Directions:

Place chicken pieces in a slow cooker. Squeeze juice of half a lemon over chicken. Sprinkle lemon pepper and paprika over top. Cut remaining lemon half into thin slices. Arrange slices around chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Sweet Potato Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 boiled sweet potatoes or 2 (16-ounce) cans
  • 1 stick butter • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk •
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Marshmallows, optional
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar

Directions:

Beat all ingredients with an electric mixer. Bake in buttered round baking dish (1-1/2 quart) at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with marshmallows, sprinkle with brown sugar and place under broiler to brown.

Sources: www.gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

 

Reprinted from AZNetNews, Volume 30, Number 6, Dec/Jan 2012.

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