Showing posts with label slowcooker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label slowcooker. Show all posts

11/6/14

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes



If you are like me, no matter the size of your kitchen, when Thanksgiving rolls around, it never seems big enough. There are never enough cooking surfaces, oven space or counter space to fit all of the dishes you are hoping to serve piping hot, at the same time for your Thanksgiving feast.
So many dishes, so little space.
Enter the humble and oft forgotten slow cooker. Dump the potatoes in,  add a little water and salt. and in about 4 hours. BAM. You're in business.



It really is that simple.
Amazing.
Why didn't I think of this years ago??
Why doesn't my keypad have multiple emojis so I can insert the - bewildered, embarrassed, and now totally happy emoji  face parade??!! I'm sure you can picture those faces.
Happy days are here again my friends.
One less dish to keep warm on the stove or in the oven!
Happy cooking.
Here's a fantastic gravy recipe to go with your mashed potatoes- Simple Pan Gravy
PS are you following on INSTAGRAM? Look to the right, see the icon?  If not, do it. now. You'll be glad you did. Next week, I'm partnering with Harmons and 4 other bloggers to bring you original recipes for a delicious holiday meal AND  a big giveaway just in time for your multiple trips to the grocery store!





Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

5 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into fourths (I leave the peels on)
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2- 3/4 cup butter, cut into tablespoons
half and half, about 1 1/2 -2 cups
1 cup sour cream (optional)
pepper and more salt if needed

Place potatoes in large 6-7 quart slow cooker or crock pot. Pour in water. Sprinkle salt over potatoes.
Place lid on slow cooker and set on high heat. Don't lift the lid! Cook for about 4 hours.
Leaving the insert (bowl) in the slowcooker do the following:
Do not drain the potatoes. Place the butter in with the potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and butter together.  Add the half and half (about 1 1/2 cups). Continue to mash until desired consistency. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of half and half,  if needed.  Add sour cream (if using) and mix well. Taste and add more salt and a little pepper if desired.
Turn the heat to warm and keep warm until ready to serve for up to two hours. If needed, just before serving, add additional milk or half and half and fold the potatoes

Tips:
-Do not over mix, or beat the potatoes for a long time with a mixer. The potatoes will  take on a gluey type texture.  It is almost impossible to over mix the potatoes with a potato masher.  If you don't have one,  I highly recommend buying one.  I've had mine for at least 25-30 years,  and it's still going strong.
Click on the photo below to order yours for just a few dollars:









2/5/14

Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup




Sometimes, I get funny little texts or emails or phone calls from friends about cooking.
My friend Jo sent me this text a few days before Christmas:

Dear Si
I need new
soup recipes. Please.
Help soon.

A month and a half later, I'm coming to her rescue. 
Good thing she didn't fall into quicksand.

Dear Jo
Here is a
recipe I made.
just for you.
Sorry not soon.
But it is
so good.






Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

3-4 chicken breast halves (about 2 cups, after cooking)
2- 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
1 teaspoon each- salt and pepper

1 cup water
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 stalks or about 1 cup chopped celery
2 medium to large carrots, sliced thin
1- 6 oz box- Long Grain and Wild Rice

1 cup parsley, loosely packed, chopped
1/2 cup cream or half and half

Place chicken in slow cooker with 2 cans chicken broth. Generously salt and pepper. Place lid on slow cooker and cook for 2 hours on high.
Remove chicken, chop and set aside, leaving broth in slow cooker.
Add one cup water to slow cooker.
Replace lid, leave temperature on high.
Add chopped mushrooms, celery, carrots and box of wild rice mix and flavor packet.
Replace lid and cook for another 30-45 minutes on high or until rice is done.
Add chicken, chopped parsley and 1/2 cup half and half or cream to ingredients in slow cooker. Replace lid and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Garnish with additional parsley, if desired.
Serve while hot.
About 6 servings.

Tips:
-I doubled this so we had enough for dinner, and some to give to a family with a new baby. I know, I should have taken some to Jo  : o
-I used Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix. You may use any brand available that is approximately 6-8 oz.
-This recipe may be made either in a slow cooker, or on the stove top.
If stove top:
Cook the chicken in broth for about 20 minutes boiling on high heat. Remove chicken and chop. Set aside.
Follow directions above, except, cook the rice in the broth and additional cup of water according to package directions, adding the mushrooms, celery, and carrots as well.
-If the soup seems a little thick, you may add more water, broth or cream.
-This soup may be made with any combination of added vegetables.
Additional suggestions: water chestnuts, onion, corn, peas.

10/29/13

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup





Every year on Halloween, it was a trick to get the kids to eat real food before going out in the neighborhood to collect treats. My rules on Halloween (besides stay in the neighborhood, don't run, say "thank you" after screaming trick or treat and don't eat the candy till we inspect it) were:
1. Eat dinner before you go out. 
2. Eat a few pieces of candy that night, then put the stash away until the next day. There was a limit on how much candy you could eat each day, something like 3-5 pieces.

Then I grew a new brain, and came up with the new Foster Family Halloween standard:
1. Eat a bowl of home made chicken noodle soup and buttermilk scones before going out. Invite your friends over to eat with you. Amazing how your kids will actually eat dinner if their friends are with them, and they're eating something they love. 
2. Eat the candy you gathered that night ASAP, therefore alleviating your mother the hassle of policing how much candy you eat every day for the following month. The bulk of treats were usually gone in a day or two. 
If you're looking for an easy fix for dinner on Halloween, try this recipe. I Pinned it a while back, made it and loved it. After you take the blender to the ingredients, the kids will never know they are eating something healthy.
Happy Halloween!




Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup
adapted from Big Girls Small Kitchen
print recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots, scrubbed or 2 cups baby carrots
2 medium sweet onions, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
3 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 quart chicken (or vegetable) broth
10 basil leaves, fresh, plus a few more for garnish
Fresh grated Parmesan for garnish
Slow cooker:
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly.  using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Or puree in batches in a blender. Serve immediately, or keep on low until ready to eat.
Stove-top version:
Combine all ingredients in a heavy lidded pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low, and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Then puree as instructed above. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Tips:
If you like a creamier version, omit about 1 cup of the chicken broth and add milk or half and half.