Sunday, June 24, 2012

7 more freezer to crock pot recipes

The first attempt at bulk buy and freezer-to-crock-pot meals was a huge hit in our house. I spent another day of recipe research and list writing before our next big grocery trip. This time, I got husband involved! He did most of the prep chopping, while I did the mixing. 6 of these recipes are new, 1 is a repeat from the first time around because it was such a hit. Most of the recipes were taken from Kraft's slow cooker website
These recipes serve 4-6 people. Generally I calculate a large portion around 1/4lb of meat.
Savory Chicken
Sweet & Tangy Meatballs
South African BBQ Chicken
Sweet & Sour Chicken
Beef Barley Stew (this is a repeat of last go around, but we loved it so much we wanted more)
Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes
Curry Chicken
Shopping list:
zip freezer bags (find a brand you can trust not to leak. I use freezer bags from Aldi)
Staples: (at least in our house)
brown sugar
soy sauce
onion soup mix (1env)
curry powder
dried parsley
white wine
ginger root
4 onions
2 bags baby carrots
1 rib celery (I usually get hearts because they take less prep)
2 green peppers
1 red pepper
1lb red potatoes
1 jar minced garlic or 7 gloves fresh garlic minced
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
Cans, jars and condiments:
2 cup chicken broth
29 oz beef broth
10 3/4oz cream of chicken soup
14 1/2 oz diced tomato
2 can stewed tomato
1 jar salsa (mild, med, hot- your choice depending on how hot you like it)
2 med jars grape jelly
1 bottle Catalina dressing
32oz BBQ sauce
8oz chunked pineapple
velveeta or similar easy melt cheese (I use cheese dip found in chip aisle with salsa)
12 lbs chicken breast
1 1/2lb stew beef
1 lg bag of meatballs
1 md bag frozen broccoli

South African BBQ Chicken 
3 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1-1/2 cups Barbecue Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, quartered
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp. curry powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups hot cooked rice

Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice (Crock pot rice: 2 cups water, 1 cup rice, 3 tbs butter, 1 tbs salt. Cook on high 2 hours)

Cheesy Chicken & Potato
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 lb. red potatoes (about 3), very thinly sliced
1 tsp. paprika
2lb chicken breast
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4lb. (4 oz.) VELVEETA®, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley - (I subbed dried parsley)
When making freezer back add everything but the cheese. Cook 6 hours low. Add cheese and cook high for 5 minutes. Stir melted cheese in.

(sorry its upside down!)
We ran out of chicken.  I put all the ingredients together anyway.
Ready to just add chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup KRAFT Classic CATALINA Dressing
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. grated gingerroot
1 can (8 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained
1 each green and red pepper, cut into strips
3 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice

Cook low for 6 hours. Serve over rice. For thicker liquid make a roux, add to crock and heat on high for 30 minutes until thickened.

Curry Chicken
2-3/4 lb.chicken breast
1 jar (16 oz.) Salsa
1 onion, chopped
2cTbsp. curry powder

Cook low 8 hours. Serve over rice with steamed vegetables. To take some heat out add sour cream when serving. (for us, this was mild enough that we didnt add sour cream. we also used mild salsa

Beef Barley Stew
2 cup carrot
1.5 lb cubed beef
1 envelope onion soup
29 oz beef broth
14.5 oz diced tomato w/ liquid
2 cup water
1 cup uncooked barley

Cook low 8-10 hours

Sweet & Tangy Meatballs
1 lg bag frozen meatballs
2 md jars grape jelly
20oz BBQ sauce
Cook low for 2-4 hours. Serve over egg noodles with vegetables

Savory Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
2 cans stewed tomatoes
4 tbs white wine
4 cloves minced garlic
1 lg onion
1 c chicken broth
2 tbs salt
*4c frozen broccoli (do not put into freezer bag with rest of ingredients)

Cook low for 8 hours. Add broccoli for last 30 minutes of cooking time

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's day food and drink

Father's day is at hand.  Im spending mine with my mom and daddy at a minor league Mets game.  Afterwards, Im going back to their house for bbq.  It's summer.  Its hot and sunny.  I dislike mayonnaise, especially in warm weather.  I did my thing and looked up a couple recipes to prepare.  The meal plan is steak, coleslaw, potato salad, grilled corn on the cob and sugar-free Arnold Palmers (half lemonade/half iced tea).

Coleslaw- I bought the pre-packed coleslaw mix in a bag.  At mom's suggestion, I mixed in fat free Italian dressing.  Yum!  I had to have some with dinner last night just to taste test.  Its not only yummy but a healthier alternative to coleslaw laden with mayo.

Potato Salad w/out mayo
for this I tweeked recipe to delicious results

2lb red potatoes, cubed
2tbs vinegar
1/4c extra virgin olive oil
1tbs dijon mustard
to taste: salt, pepper, onion powder, dried basil

In large pot bring potatoes to boil in lightly salted water.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender; drain
In large bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together.
Mix hot potatoes into bowl with flavored mixture.
Allow to cool before serving.

Sugar-free Arnold Palmer
This is Tyler Florence's recipe.  I just subbed sugar for Splenda.  I also changed a bit of the measurements because it isnt specific about how much they mean when they say "kettle of water"

4 tea bags
6 c water
1 c simple syrup (1:1 sugar solution.  boil to dissolve sugar if using sugar instead of Splenda)
1 c lemon juice
2 c ice cubes

Bring tea bags to a boil in water.   Boil for 3 minutes.  Remove tea bag and allow tea to cool on counter or fridge.  Leave tea bags in longer for stronger tea.
While tea is boiling, blend simple syrup, lemon juice and ice.  Keep slushy lemonade in freezer while tea is cooling.
When ready to serve, mix 1:1 tea & lemonade slush.

Foil Grilled Corn on the Cob
Just a suggestion here: prep ahead of time by wrapping the cleaned, lightly salted cob in foil with a couple pads of butter.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Yummy Gummy

Husband and I both love those gummy fruit snacks that you put in kid's school lunch.  Husband love to take them to work but I find myself grabbing a package or 3 along the way.  Although they arent expensive, I thought, there has to be a way to make it.  Behold the wonders of the interwebs!  Im not going to link a recipe because, to be honest, there are so many of them I cant give credit to one recipe author.

Jello Gummies
1 package flavored Jello (sugar free or regular is fine)
2 packages unflavored Knox gelatin

1/3 cup water

Pour water into a small saucepan.  Sprinkle the Jello & gelatin into water and let set for 10 minutes.  While pot is setting, prep your molds**.  Heat pan on medium, continually whisking/stirring until gelatins are dissolved.  Once dissolved pour into molds.  Let set 20 minutes on counter or 10 minutes in fridge.

**As I've mentioned before, we're all about the cheap.  Screw buying expensive silicon molds.  I use cupcake tins lightly greased with a oil soaked paper towel.  Once the gummies have set, I use my kitchen shears to cut the disks into bite size.  I then lightly toss in corn starch to remove/cover the sticky parts.  Husband has suggested using Splenda on the sugar-free ones instead of corn starch.  When I make another batch I will try that and update the blog.
I cant tell you how long these gummies are good for because a batch has never made it through the night.  They are wicked addictive!

Monday, June 4, 2012

French Toast Casserole

Husband and I recently we given a couple nice loaves of leftover bread.  It was more then we would eat before it would go bad.  I remembered a great recipe my sister gave me a couple years ago for a French toast casserole.  Since French toast was invented as a way to use stale, leftover bread, this recipe was perfect.  This recipe is fantastic, too, for pot lucks and big family brunches.

French Toast Casserole
8oz (1/2 large loaf) French bread
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
cinnamon, sugar, butter

Cubed bread and put into a greased 9x9 pan
Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar and salt, pour over the cubed bread
Refrigerate for 8 or more hours.  Its best to sit overnight at least
Remove 30 minutes before baking
Top with cinnamon, sugar and pads of butter
Bake, covered, at 350* for 45 to 50 minutes

**French bread isnt a must.  You just want to make sure it is a nice, crusty bread.

Another great option that I just discovered is to cover with apple slices.  You could also mix in raisins and/or apple chunks.

I want to sing the praises of electric knives.  I love mine.  I bought it originally for meat carving but I use it the most on bread.  An electric knife is a quick and easy tool for butting up bread.  Especially stale, crusty, bread.