Slow Cooker Spicy Italian Beef Sandwiches

Just a quick recipe here- I was sure this was going to be terrible and I didn’t take step by step pictures!

Ingredients:

  • A bottom round beef roast (though I’m sure other cuts would be acceptable)
  • A jar of peperoncinis (these were near the olives at the market)
  • A can of beef broth
  • Your choice of seasoning (I  used Montreal Steak)
  • A small onion, diced
  • 2 packets Italian Dressing Mix (the seasoning packets with the salad dressing)

Directions:
Sprinkle diced onions on bottom of slow cooker. Place roast on top of onions, fat side up. Season. Drain half the jar of peperoncinis. Sprinkle peperoncinis atop roast. Add remaining liquid and beef broth to the bottom of the cooker, along with the dressing mix. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Remove big chunks of fat. Shred and eat on French rolls. I toasted the rolls in the broiler, then added a little bit of mayo, shredded lettuce, the beef, and shredded mozerella cheese. It was DELICIOUS.

beefsammies

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I got a dinner request from my husband last week- for tomato basil soup. I guess I could have just gone to the market and bought some- they have some fancy (spendy) pre made soups like this, but I wanted to see how easy it would be to make it. I adapted a recipe from Shared Appetite, and it came out great!

Yes, this picture is not pretty. It’s taken with my phone. Someday I’ll grow up and style my food and stuff, but this blog is all about simple food and ain’t nobody got time for that right now.

soup

It was pretty easy. I started late, and still was able to get it (and four huge grilled cheeses) on the table on time.

I could have blanched the tomatoes and removed the skins, but I didn’t have time to do that after work, so I just went with a big can of crushed tomatoes. You’ll also need two red onions (or whatever you have around), olive oil, garlic, a bunch of fresh basil and heavy cream.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (6 teaspoons if you use the jar)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken or veggie stock
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, cut or torn into small pieces

Heat up oil in a dutch oven (or similarly sized pan) on medium and throw your diced onion in it. Stir occasionally until onion seems soft and begins to brown. This takes around 15 minutes. Add your garlic- I use heaping teaspoons because I love it. Stir it all up until it’s all mixed. Add your crushed tomatoes, your basil and your stock. I used veggie as I have a pescatarian in my house! Season generously with salt and pepper. Don’t worry- you can always add more in the end. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer for at least 15 minutes. You can leave it on longer, of course, but you want the flavors to meld.

Use your immersion blender to blend the soup to the consistency you like. If you don’t have a stick blender, you can transfer to a blender. But if you can, you should get an immersion blender- they are pretty cheap and super awesome to have.

Return soup to pot if you put it in the blender. Stir in the cream and allow to simmer for around 15 more minutes.  If it’s not thick enough for you, leave it on longer, and it’ll reduce and thicken. Mine was fine after 15 minutes- but I used extra heavy whipping cream.

Serve immediately with some parm on top.

Protip: if you are making grilled cheeses to serve with this, put your oven on warm (175-200) and as you make the grilled cheeses, put them on a baking sheet in the oven to stay warm so you can serve with your soup.

——————————————————–

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (6 teaspoons if you use the jar)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken or veggie stock
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, cut or torn into small pieces

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot and add onion. Stir occasionally, until onions are soft and become a little brown. Add garlic and stir. Add tomatoes, basil and stock and combine. Cook until a boil, then simmer at least 15 minutes. Blend with immersion blender or transfer to blender. Place back in pot, add cream and simmer 15 more minutes. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese.

Simple Baked Tilapia

Just a quick and easy recipe- no step by step pictures, but it was ridiculously easy to make this! I know the picture isn’t great, either. But it tasted really good. I served it with green beans and mashed potatoes, but this would also rock with some pilaf, especially when it’s warm outside!

tilapia

———–

Simple Baked Tilapia

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 tilapia pieces
  • ½ C breadcrumbs
  • ¼ C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 TBS of herbs, such as Italian seasoning, or whatever you might like to use
  • 3 TBS olive oil

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese and herbs together in a small shallow dish. Place olive oil in a small bowl. Brush a tilapia piece with the olive oil, then press into the breadcrumbs. Do this for both sides, and place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the other fish pieces. Bake at 350 for 8-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Fish is done when flakes easily. Serve with tartar sauce (below)

—————–

Tartar Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 TSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBS sweet pickle relish

 Directions:

Combine all ingredients and taste. Add more of whatever you think it needs!

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork (for BBQ Sliders and Carnitas)

pork

This is a recipe for delicious, moist pulled pork that can be used in several different ways. I took the result and split it into two batches so I could make two meals out of it: BBQ chicken sandwiches and Carnitas street tacos.

20140106_212435

I made the original pulled pork by rubbing a pork shoulder with a dry rub. I created the dry rub with spices and brown sugar (recipe below).

20140106_211657

Slice onions and put them on the bottom of the slow cooker- you don’t want the pork roast to stick.

20140106_211455

After the roast is rubbed, put it atop the onions. Close the lid and cook 8-10 hours on low.

20140106_212839

Yeah, there isn’t any liquid, but it will be fine. The roast will make it’s own juice as it cooks, and I didn’t want it over flavored one way or another because I wanted to use it in multiple recipes. I chose a pretty small pork shoulder- 2.88 pounds- $4.50, but I made it stretch into two meals: BBQ sliders and carnitas.

See! Look at the liquid. Yum!

20140107_175326

Once it was done, I shredded it, and  split the resulting meat in half.

20140107_181133

I put one half in the fridge, and mixed BBQ sauce into the other half. I just mixed it up until I liked the taste. I served the BBQ pulled pork with slider rolls, thinly sliced onion (red is the best), and potato salad.

20140107_184259

Two days later, I took out the other half of the pork to make carnitas. For the carnitas, I took a half cup of water and mixed my spices into it: cumin, onion and garlic powder.

20140109_181915

If you like spicy- go spicy! I then stirred this spice water into the shredded pork. I heated the oven up to 375. I covered a baking sheet with foil, and spread out the watery pork mixture on it.

20140109_182356

This cooked for 10-15 minutes. You don’t want it to be watery, and you want it to be a little brown, but not too dry. I served these with corn tortillas, salsa, pico de gallo and cheese.

20140109_185915

 

One pork shoulder, two yummy meals!

—————————————————

 

Pulled Pork for BBQ Sliders and Carnitas

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pork Shoulder (Butt) Roast
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 1 Dry Rub (recipe below)

Directions:

Use dry rub and rub all over pork shoulder. Place sliced onions in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place pork shoulder atop the sliced onions. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Shred with two forks.

 

Dry Rub Recipe:

  • 1 TBS Garlic Powder
  • 1 TBS Cumin
  • 1 TBS Onion Powder
  • 1 TBS dry mustard
  • 1 TBS pepper
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Combine all ingredients to make a dry rub. I only used half of the rub, so I saved the other half for next time.

 

For Pulled Pork BBQ:

Add BBQ sauce to coat. Serve with slider buns and thinly sliced red onion.

 

For Carnitas:

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 TBS Garlic Powder
  • 1 TBS Cumin
  • 1 TBS Onion Powder

Preheat oven to 350. Add spices to water. Add spiced water to cooked pulled pork. Lay pulled pork out atop a cookie sheet. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until meat has dried a bit and is a little brown on top.

 

Slow Cooked Apple Cobbler

With only three ingredients, this is a really quick and simple dessert. It’s great warm right out of the slow cooker, especially when it’s topped with ice cream!

You’ll need a box of yellow or white cake mix, a can of apple pie filling, and a stick of butter (I bought the half sticks, that’s why it looks like two). I did this in my 3Q crock pot.

20140105_182818

First, GREASE YOUR SLOW COOKER with cooking spray. You’ll be happy you did (or sad that you forgot)! Then, empty the can of pie filling into the crock.

20140105_183015

Sprinkle the cake mix on top of it, so it’s even.

20140105_183111

Then, slice the butter into pats and lay it all over the cake mix- make sure it’s spread out evenly.

20140105_183338

Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

20140105_215303

Consume.

 

____________________________

 Slow Cooker Apple Cobbler

 Ingredients:

  • 20-21 oz can of apple pie filing
  • 1 box of white or yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter, sliced into thin pats

 Directions:

Grease your slow cooker. Place pie filling on the bottom of cooker, and sprinkle cake mix evenly on top. Place the pats of butter evenly atop the cake mix, making sure it covers as much of the mix as possible Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

 

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

I didn’t take a bunch of pictures of this, but this is my go-to hot dip. I like to serve it with salty tortilla chips (get the thicker ones, it’s a thick dip), or toasted bread! Mmmmm baguette!

spindip

______________________________________________

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2- blocks of cream cheese
  • 1- package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1- can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped.
  • 1- 8 ozb lock of monterey jack cheese, cubed
  • 1- 8 oz bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: 

Place cheeses in 3Q slow cooker, then place spinach and artichokes ingredients in the cooker. You want the cheeses on the bottom, so they’ll melt more quickly. Cook for 2 hours on high, or 4 on low, stirring occasionally.

Slow Cooked Turkey Breast

This is the easiest, most delicious turkey breast ever. No basting needed. It’s perfect to save some oven space for the holidays, and it makes the most delicious fall-apart-but-still-sliceable-turkey.

First. rinse off turkey breast and cut off any weird loose skin. There’s usually all kinds of weird skin at one end of the bird. This skin isn’t going to crisp up, so you may as well, cut that off. Leave the skin on the breast intact, though. Then. rub onion soup mix all over the breast and place in your slow cooker. Cut an onion in a few large pieces. Place one in the cavity, and the others around the bird. If you are using a small breast, use these onions to keep it standing up straight.

20131221_112039

 

Cook on high for 1 hour, then low for 7.

20131221_111938

It is delicious! I can’t find a picture of the finished piece, all plated and pretty.

Here’s a horrible picture, though, from the winter solstice gathering I took it to. I know. It looks like it was taken with a potato, rather than a phone.

20131221_212534

And some chopped up leftovers for a recipe I’ll post later on. You can see, it doesn’t end up shredded. Be aware, however, that if you cook a boneless breast, you’ll end up with it really falling apart, unless you watch your time well!

20131222_174701

_________________________________________________________________

Slow Cooked Turkey Breast

Ingredients:

  • 1 bone-in turkey breast (anywhere from 5-8 pounds)
  • 1 package of onion soup mix
  • 1 onion

Directions:

Rinse turkey breast and cut off any weird loose skin, leaving most of the skin intact. Rub onion soup mix all over the breast and place in slow cooker. Cut onion in a few large pieces. Place one in the cavity, and the others around the bird. If you are using a small breast, use these onions to keep it standing up straight. Cook on high for 1 hour, then low for 7.

 

Breakfast Casserole

No step by step pictures- it was late and I was tired! This was ridiculously easy. I used O’Brian potatoes, because I wanted bell peppers and onions and I didn’t want to do the work, but you could easily substitute hashbrowns.

You layer potatoes, cooked sausage (or bacon), and cheese. Repeat. Whisk a dozen eggs together and pour over the whole mess. Cook on low for 8 hours.

The top picture is the finished product. Below from left to right- what it looked like before, it in the cooker, and what it looked like afterwards. The eggs set up perfectly, and I was a little worried. It was perfect after 8 hours on low, and my new crockpot automatically set to warm.

PhotoGrid_1388520445873

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of O’Brien potatoes (I used a bag and 1/4 of another- Ore Ida’s bags are 22 oz)
  • 2-3 cups of shredded cheese
  • 2 packages of sausage links, cooked and cut into pieces (for veggie version, leave this out and add bell peppers, mushrooms and/or onions)
  • 12 eggs

Directions
Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Put half of your potatoes on the bottom of your slow cooker. Add half of your sausage mixture, then half of your cheese. Repeat. Whisk all 12 of your eggs, add salt and pepper and pour over the top. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

This is my favorite go to soup for a cold, rainy day. I like to serve it with crusty french or sourdough bread. If you can get sourdough bowls, I suggest that!

For this, you’ll need four pounds of potatoes. That’s about six large potatoes.

You’ll also need a small onion, chopped, and 2 cans of chicken broth.I used no-chicken broth since I was feeding a pescatarian tonight.

20131218_224248

Lay sliced potatoes in crock-pot or slow cooker.

20131219_081405

Place onion on top.

20131219_081434

Mix salt and pepper with broth and pour over the potatoes and onion. It won’t cover all of the potatoes and onion, but that’s okay!

20131219_081518

20131219_081925

Cook 4-6 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low.

I added a bit of extra salt and pepper to the top. Soooooon.

Once it’s done cooking, mash potatoes with potato masher to desired consistency. If the potatoes don’t seem done, go from low to high for a half hour and try again.

20131219_184502

Pour half and half in and cook about 20-30 minutes.

20131219_190444

 

Serve with toppings of bacon, sour cream, shredded cheese and green onion.

20131219_192134

Yes, that’s a shot of alcohol for me. Reward for a job well done! Don’t hate.

20131219_193020

 

SO GOOD!

* If you want to do this the night before, peel and slice the potatoes and place into water. Chop the onion and put into a sealed container or bag. I took the salt and pepper and put it in the broth and shook it up. Easy peasy!

———————————————————

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Ingredients: 

  • 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 28-30 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 pint half and half

Toppings:

  • bacon bits (I used 3/4 lb bacon cooked in the oven
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • sliced green onion

Directions:

Lay sliced potatoes in crock-pot or slow cooker. Place onion on top. Mix salt and pepper with broth and pour over the potatoes and onion. Cook 4-6 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low. Mash potatoes with potato masher to desired consistency. Pour half and half in and cook about 20-30 minutes. Serve with toppings of bacon, sour cream, shredded cheese and green onion.

Slow Cooked Cabbage Soup

A very simple comfort food, this cabbage soup doesn’t use many ingredients, but it’s really delicious. The way I usually make it is vegetarian, so my pescaterian husband can eat it, but after I show you how to make it, I’ll tell you some awesome things you can add to make it a little more hearty with meat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Cabbage Soup

 

Potatoes, onion, cabbage, shredded carrots, and broth. Now, you could totally shred 4 cups or so of head cabbage, and shred a carrot by hand. I’ve done this, too- I use my handy-dandy kitchenaid mixer attachment and it’s not that much extra work, but if you’re in a time crunch, no one will judge you for using packaged stuff. I was in a time crunch.

Get out at a 4Q+ slowcooker. Empty all of the cabbage from that package (~4 cups give or take) into the slow cooker.

20131207_134144

 

Now, peel and cut up two potatoes. The smaller the chunks, the quicker it’ll cook.

Cabbage Soup

 

Yum! Potatoes! Add it to your cabbage!

Cabbage Soup

 

Now, dice an onion and add it to the slow cooker, along with a large handful of that julienned carrot. If shredding your own, one carrot would suffice.

Cabbage Soup

 

Season it with garlic salt and pepper. I just shook a bunch in there. You can always taste a little later and add more if you need to.

Cabbage Soup

 

Add 4 cups (one box) of vegetable broth and put your lid on.

Cabbage Soup

Don’t worry- it won’t look like soup- the broth won’t cover your veggies, but as it cooks, the veggies will produce their own delicious liquid that will mix with the broth.

Cabbage Soup

 

Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 10-12. This is a good soup to make if you plan on a long workday.

Cabbage Soup

 

One more shot before I share with you a few meaty options.

20131208_000816

 

Alright, so if you wanted to make this with meat, two popular options are 1 pound of kielbasa, cut in half and then cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Another option is to brown 1 pound of ground beef, drain and then add. You likely could also add beans to this for a different kind of protein punch- it’s a light colored soup, so possibly white beans? I haven’t yet tried that, but I will next time and update. And, as always, substitute chicken broth for veggie broth.

______________________________________________

Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded (or a big handful of packaged shredded carrot)
  • 4 cups cabbage
  • 4 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • Garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 pound kielbasa (sliced lengthwise and then cut in 1/2″ slices) or 1 pound hamburger (browned and drained)

Directions: 

Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or 5-6 on high.

 

 

1 2 3 4