A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Posts tagged ‘Slow cooker’

Cool Weather Inspiration

We had a busy summer.  Busy and hot!  We used the AC a lot this summer.

This morning we woke to cool, crisp air and it put me in the mood to cook, preferably comfort food.  One of my favorite crockpot meals is Salisbury Steak.  We love it.  It makes a perfect hearty meal.  The recipe I use came from allrecipes.com.

I like to serve it with mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles.

Lemon cake

Lemon cake

salisbury steak allrecipes

I also baked a lemon cake.  No recipe needed.  Mix up a lemon cake mix according to pk directions.  Plop tablespoons of lemon pie filling (1 can) evenly onto the batter.  Bake.  Poke holes in the cake with a wooden spoon handle.  Pour on a glaze made with 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/3 cup orange juice or lemonaide.  Done!


2 pounds lean ground beef

1 envelope onion soup mix

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup milk

Mix well and form into 8 patties.

Dredge patties in flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet, and brown patties well.

Transfer browned patties to slow cooker.


2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 (1 oz) pk. au jus mix

3/4 cup water

Pour over the patties in slow cooker.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours until patties are done.

November 2012 News, with Bonus Recipes


I don’t have much to say about November 🙂  The high point was Thanksgiving and although it was just Lee and I, Meredith, Aubrey and Carys, we had a nice dinner and enjoyed each others company so much.  Late in the afternoon we Skyped with Nikki and the boys.  We miss them a lot!






Weather-wise, it was a quiet month here.  Warmer than normal, and just a few stray snow flurries.  Crops were harvested with no serious problems.  Life moves on at a steady pace.





I’m still having fun with Pinterest.  In fact, I’ve recently tried two new recipes that I found there.  Both are keepers, so I’ll share them with you. You can access my boards on Pinterest by clicking on the link in the side bar. You’ll find the original recipes, with photos there.
I just made this recipe for Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes for dinner tonight.  I’ll definitely make them again.  Lee liked them a lot.
Although I found this recipe on Pinterest, it had been adapted from one by Rachel Ray.
My change?  The recipe included a provolone cheese sauce.  Everyone knows that Philly Cheesesteaks require Cheez Whiz.  I skipped the provolone and went straight to the jar of Cheez Whiz.  I don’t regret it.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons steak sauce, like A-1
1 cup beef stock
salt and pepper
4 Kaiser rolls, or hard rolls
In large skillet over medium-high heat add the oil and then brown the ground beef, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the onion and green pepper and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables start to get tender.  Stir in the steak sauce and beef stock, salt and pepper, and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes more.
To serve, split the rolls, removing some of the soft inside if desired. Toast the rolls.  Put a big scoop of meat in the roll, topped with warmed  Cheez Whiz.  If you gag at the thought of putting Cheez Whiz into your temple/body, then by all means use provolone or American cheese, or make your own cheese sauce.

The next recipe is one I made as a Christmas treat.  I made some to send to Collin, who is serving overseas in the Army.  This was pretty easy to make, and the bonus was the way it filled the house with the smell of cinnamon.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg white
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups whole almonds (I used 4 and I think even 6 cups would still work..that’s a lot of sugar)
1/4 cup water
Mix together sugars, cinnamon, and salt.  In another bowl whisk egg white and vanilla until frothy.  Coat the almonds first with the egg white mixture, and then with the sugar mixture.  Put into prepared crock pot.  You can either spray it or use a liner.  I used a liner and it worked well.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours.  I used the full 4 hours.  After 3 hours add the 1/4 cup of water and mix well.  The coating will become very wet but eventually dries up and starts to harden.  Spread onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed or lined with parchment.  Separate the almonds when they’re cool.

Asian Flavors

I love so many of the asian foods and I especially like finding recipes that let me indulge my tastes without excess fat and carbs.  The three recipes I have today are tried and true, and delicious.

I made this yummy appetizer for Christmas and it was a big hit.  It has the familiar flavor of traditional crab rangoon, without all the grease of deep frying.  Ours turned out a bit soggy on the bottom so I would follow the alternative directions to bake the won ton wrappers for a few minutes before adding the filling to finish baking.  In this recipe the ratio of filling to wrapper is higher, a definite plus.  The tops of the wrappers got crispy and crunchy but we were OK with that.


1-6 oz can white crabmeat, rinsed, drained flaked

4 oz neufchatel cheese, softened

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup light mayonnaise ( no Miracle Whip allowed!)

12 wonton wrappers

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix 1st 4 ingredients.

Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Place 1 wonton wrapper in each cup, extending edges over sides of cups.

Fill with crab mixture.  Bake 18-20 minutes.

OR….Bake the wrappers in the muffin cups at 350 for 5-7 minutes, then fill and bake an additional 6-8 minutes.

Serve warm or cold. Recipe from kraftrecipes.com

This soup is so good.  It’s very light, healthy, and satisfying.  If you want a heartier soup, add some asian noodles.


1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

5 cups low sodium broth, beef or vegetable

1 1/2-2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (shiitake or portobello)

1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp sesame oil

salt to taste

fresh chopped green onion for garnish

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and add ginger and garlic.  Stir fry for 30 seconds.  Lower the heat and add mushrooms, stir frying for 2 minutes.  Add broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add rice vinegar and sesame oil.  Stir well. Serve garnished with green onions on each bowl.

Makes 4 servings.  Recipe from dlife.com

This last recipe is one that I would  happily eat weekly.  The only thing preventing that is the sodium content.  I did modify the recipe to decrease the sodium.  You can do that or not. 🙂

You can substitute white wine for the sake, and because I live in a tiny town with small local grocery stores, I had to sub anise extract for the star anise, but it worked just fine.

What could be easier than putting it all into the slow cooker?  It’s traditionally served on white rice, but I prefer brown rice.


3 1/2 lbs chicken thighs

1/2 c brown sugar, firmly packed (or 1/4 c Splenda brown sugar blend)

1 cup soy sauce ( light would lower the sodium content)

2 1/2 c chicken broth

1/4 c sake

2 inches ginger, crushed

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 star anise (or 1 tsp anise extract)

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tbls cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 c water

Chopped green onion for garnish

Place all ingredients except corn starch and 1/4 cup water in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  Mix corn starch with water and add to pot.  Continue cooking 30 minutes.  Serve on rice, garnished with green onions.  This recipe came from cookinghawaiianstyle.com

Kalua Style Pork in the Slow Cooker

   Kalua Pork is a Hawaiian comfort food, served at luau’s, parties, and in restaurants and diners in the islands.  It’s also frequently on the menu in Hawaiian homes.  You can make a delicious Kalua style pork in your slow cooker with only 3 ingredients.  Start with about 5 or 6 pounds of pork shoulder roast.  Rub it with liquid smoke, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons.  Then salt it well all over.  Hawaiian sea salt is the salt of choice, but if you don’t have that you can use any coarse sea salt. You have to plan ahead with this meal because it goes into the slow cooker on low heat for 16 hours.  I start mine the night before I plan to serve it.  You won’t need to add any liquid to the pot.  When it’s done, remove the meat from the slow cooker, and let it cool enough to handle.  Remove the juices from the pot and place in the freezer for  30 minutes or so, to solidify the fat for easy removal.  Remove bones and fat from the pork, and shred the meat using two forks.  Return the meat and the defatted juices to the pot, and keep warm until ready to serve.  Typically Kalua Pork is served with rice, but it’s also good with noodles.
Because you started with a large roast, you’re likely to have leftovers.  You could make sandwiches with your left over meat, adding barbeque sauce if you like.  I turned my leftovers into Spicy Pork Burritos and they were so good.  Lee liked them a lot.
First make a sauce:
1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chilies  (I pureed the tomatoes, undrained) mild for us
1/4 cup chili powder
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
salt to taste
If you want it more spicy, add a chopped jalapeno, or use the spicy Ro-Tel tomatoes.  Season it the way you like it.
Heat the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the shredded pork and continue to simmer on low for 15 minutes.
Serve on large flour tortillas with lettuce, avocado, and sour cream.

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