Today’s offering will hopefully be in sinc with a bit cooler weather here in the Dallas. I’ve got one kid who would really like for the mosquitoes to take their leave … so here’s to budding winter and one of a busy mom’s favorite cooking devices – The Crock Pot!

I received one as a gift a few years ago and have struggled through finding delicious recipes. The best place to supply those family favorites is friends. So … I asked our wonderful MOAT Foodie to share a few of her favorites. 

Thanks for sharing, Jane. I, for one, look forward to Tuesday’s Tips.
… and thanks for walking the road with me.

Aaahhh… The Crock Pot

Think Mayberry…..

Want to throw back your kitchen to a kinder gentler time? Put on your apron and pearls, dust off that crockpot and sit on your porch swing while dinner cooks. The slow cooker is an electric “casserole” that cooks food with low, steady, moist heat. It’s designed to cook food over a period of 8 to 12 hours. The Crock Pot is a busy moms best friend….it cooks a dish while you’re at work, in carpool or at soccer and it won’t heat up the kitchen.  The minus side is that some vegetables (like celery) can become mushy before the other ingredients are done.  Hate mushy vegetables? Cut them the night before, store in frig. steam prior to dinner time and stir into your crockpot creation. Allow them to soak in the flavor sensations while polishing the silver.

In the first recipe, the slow-cooker really allows the flavors in the filling to meld. Assemble the peppers the night before and refrigerate; place them in the slow-cooker on the way out the door the next morning. Dinner’s ready when you are.

Slow Cooker Italian Stuffed Peppers

1 pound ground beef
1 cup uncooked white rice
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon parsley, minced
 2 garlic cloves, minced
6 large red peppers, tops cut off and hollowed out
1 (32-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 ½ cups beef broth
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix together first 8 ingredients in bowl. Spoon mixture into peppers, filling about ¾ of the way, discard pepper tops. Place stuffed peppers into 5-quart slow cooker. Pour crushed tomatoes over peppers, then poor beef broth around the sides. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Top with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Serves 6

Honey Chicken with Dried Fruit

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup mixed dried fruit pieces

½ cup honey

1/3 cup chicken broth

1 onion, chopped

Place all ingredients in 4-5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked. Serve over hot cooked rice or egg noodles.

s=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-weight: normal;”>Serves 8

Mom’s Slow Cooker Italian Beef

1 (3-pound) beef chuck roast

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 (10 ¾ ounce) can beef broth

1 package Good Seasons Italian salad dressing

½ (16-ounce) jar pepperocini

Place meat and remaining ingredients in a a 5-quart slow-cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker. Slice and serve on hearty bread.

Serves 6

Slow Cooker Bread Pudding

8 cups cubed day-old unfrosted cinnamon rolls
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup raisins

Place cubed cinnamon rolls in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, butter, vanilla and nutmeg. Stir in rais
ins. Pour over cinnamon rolls; stir gently. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. 

Makes 6 servings

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