Showing posts with label Slow Cooker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slow Cooker. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Homemade Chili - A Winter's Delight!


Chili is probably one of our favorite soups/stews at our house. Everyone loves it except for my son who doesn't love beans, but loves the rest of it! My daughters make it at their college apartment  for themselves and their friends. This goes over very well for crowds. We make this a lot in the winter!

The original recipe was my mom's recipe. However, I couldn't leave well enough alone. She doesn't blame me. She messes with recipes too! 

This recipe is really versatile! I have warmed up the recipe a bit from my mom's recipe because I like my chili a little spicier, but not too spicy. However, you can add more spice, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or some hot sauce if you would like. 

I also use two pounds of ground meat in my recipe. I usually use one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground pork. You can use whatever you like. This is good with all ground beef, all ground pork, with ground venison, and/or ground turkey. You can cut back on the meat to only 1-1/2 pounds of ground meat, but I like my chili to be more like stew instead of soup. So I use more meat. 

The tomatoes can also be played with a little. I usually use a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. I have also used a quart jar of home canned crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes. If I use whole tomatoes, I just crush them with my hands before adding them to the pot. 

If you are accommodating the picky people in your life (no judgment from me on this!), you can use a 1/4 cup of dried minced onion instead of using the fresh chopped onion. You can also use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead of minced fresh garlic. 

You can also make them on the stove or put in the slow cooker on low all day! Didn't I say this was versatile? 

Homemade Chili

2 pounds of ground meat
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped

Seasonings:
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Canned goods:
1 - 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes or a quart jar of home canned tomatoes
1 - 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I use mild)
1 - 15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 15 ounce can chili beans with sauce, undrained



Brown the meat with garlic and onion. If you using the dried versions of garlic and onion, you can still add them now. If you cooking this on the stove, brown the meat in the pot you are using to make the chili. I usually use my 6 quart cast iron enamel pot. If you are using the slow cooker, just brown the meat in a frying pan.



After the meat is browned, you can drain it if you would like. I don't usually drain my meat unless the meat is swimming in the grease. I like the favor the grease adds and I don't usually have a lot of grease in the pan. 



If you are making this on the stove, add the seasonings and the canned goods to the pot. If you are making this in a slow cooker, you can add the meat, seasonings, and canned goods to the slow cooker. Stir well. 



Bring the chili up to just a boil and then turn it down to low. Cover and simmer on low for a hour or longer if you want. 

With the slow cooker, set it to low and let it cook for 8-10 hours. Although, we have ate it after 4-6 hours with no problem. 

This serves at least 4-6 people. We serve it with cheese, crackers, and sour cream. 

I also apologize for the splatter stains on the stove. Just keeping it real. Normally, the stove is a lot cleaner!

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Applesauce - Eating, Canning, and Freezing Instructions

Slow Cooker Applesauce is probably one of the easiest recipes I have in my arsenal to make. I love that I can sweetened it to taste, spice it if I want to, and make enough to can.

Slow Cooker Applesauce also has the benefit of saving me money by using the slow cooker and not the stove. I also like this recipe because there is no babysitting the stove! I have better things to do with my time than babysit the stove.

Per pint, Slow Cooker Applesauce is also cheaper than purchasing it in the store. I know what is in my applesauce versus the store bought applesauce which can have high fructose corn syrup and other preservatives that are not necessary!

During the fall, apples are cheap! If you don't have a tree or two to pick from, you can pick up 10-20 pounds pretty cheaply at the store. I know our local stores were advertising $.69 a pound for apples during this last fall. When you do the price break down, you can make your own cheaper than the store. During the rest of the year, I can find apples for $.89 - $.99 per pound which isn't a bad price. I refuse to pay more than that anyway. I can usually pick up bags of apples on clearance for $.99 a bag. What Dane doesn't eat gets made into this applesauce.

The apples will turn brown as the slow cooker cooks them down. I am okay with this. Some people might not be okay with this and they can choose to add Fruit Fresh or lemon juice.

Also, I am using a 6 quart slow cooker. If you are using a smaller one, adjust the recipe to fit your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

20-30 apples, peeled, chopped or sliced with cores removed
sweetener of choice, to taste
spices, to taste (I use cinnamon and sometimes nutmeg)

1. Place the apples in the slow cooker. I run my apples through an apple peeler/corer/slicer and throw the apples in the slow cooker as I go. When the slow cooker is full, I put the lid on so 20-30 apples is an estimate.

2. Set the slow cooker on low and walk away. Occasionally check the slow cooker and stir if you would like. It does help to break up the apples.

3. After 6-10 hours, if your apples are broken down and basically mush, you can do a few different things. I like to use the potato masher to get the apples to the chunky applesauce consistency. Then I sweeten them and spice them. If you like a smoother consistency, you can use an immersion blender, food mill, or a food processor and puree them smooth. Then you can sweeten and spice them.

4. Serve as part of a meal or make it the meal. Who am I to judge? Otherwise, move to the canning portion of this recipe. You can also freeze this applesauce.

To Can Applesauce:
1. Fill water canner and bring water to boiling.
2. Clean jars and rings with hot soapy water and dry. Keep jars and lids hot, either using the water canner or the warm setting in your oven.
3. Fill jars with hot applesauce leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe the rim of the jars off with a wet washcloth.
4. Place lids and rings on jars. Tighten them to finger tight.
5. Process pints in the boiling water canner for 20 minutes. If using quart jars, process for 30 minutes.
6. Take out of canner and let cool. You should hear a pinging sound as the lids cool and seal. Let cool for 24 hours and put away. I generally get 4-6 pints of applesauce canned, depending on how much we eat first.

To Freeze Applesauce:
1. If using containers or jars, clean them in hot soapy water along with the lids. If using bags or a Food Saver, get them out and ready to go.
2. Fill containers/jars with hot applesauce, filling only 3/4 of the container/jar. You need to allow room for the applesauce to expand as it freezes. Otherwise, you will have a big mess. If filling bags, the same philosophy. Fill only 3/4 full, squeeze as much air out as you can, and seal.
3. No matter what you are using, place them in the refrigerator for 24 hours to cool. If you don't moisture from the hot to the freezer may cause freezer burn, breaking of containers or bags, and a mess in your freezer.
4. Place into the freezer after the 24 hours cool down in the fridge.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Thrifty Thursday Linky Party at LivingWellSpendingLess.com!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Three-Bean Turkey Chili

This recipe is from quickandsimple.com. I found it when I was looking for more recipes that used ground turkey and a crockpot. If you don't use ground turkey, I would encourage you to try it. It is readily available in the frozen food section and is almost $2.00 a pound cheaper than ground beef. Ground turkey can also be substituted for ground beef in a lot of recipes.

This recipe is also great for using items in your food storage since it requires a lot of canned goods. If you would like to use dried beans, you can substitute a 1/2 cup of dried beans. You will need to soak them overnight so they are tender.

Three-Bean Turkey Chili

1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
28-oz. can diced tomatoes with their juice
15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
8-oz. can tomato sauce
4-oz. can chopped mild green chilies
1 to 2 Tbsp. chili powder
Shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish

In a medium skillet, saute turkey onion over medium-high heat until turket is not longer pink, about 5 minutes, stirring to break up meat into crumbles. Drain and transfer turkey mixture to slow cooker.

Add tomatoes with juice, beans, tomato sauce, chilies, and chili powder; mix well. Cover and cook on high for 6 to 8 hours. Serve hot with shredded Cheddar cheese and cornbread, if desired. Serves 6 to 8.

The only substitution I plan on making with this recipe is swap out the diced tomatoes for crushed tomatoes. My kids are happier and more willing to eat meals when they cannot see chunks of tomatoes!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Working through Cookbooks - Easy Swiss Steak

I have a lot of cookbooks. So much so that I have almost quit buying them unless they have something related to whole foods cooking or food storage cooking. I am still wanting the Food Storage cookbook by Peggy Layton.

Right now, I am working my way through 101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker by Stephanie Ashcraft and Janet Eyring. I am a total devotee of the slow cooker. It ensures we have supper at our house at least once to twice a week.

We have already had Roast Chicken in the slow cooker Monday night and tonight's supper was Easy Swiss Steak.

Easy Swiss Steak

1.5 lbs. round steak, cut into serving-size pieces
1 lb. baby carrots
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Place carrots in bottom of greased 3.5 to 5-quart slow cooker. Top with steak. Combine soup mix, tomato sauce, and water. Pour over other ingredients. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours. To serve the steak, ladle over plain or garlic mashed potatoes.

Makes 4-6 servings.

This was delicious! I was a little perturbed at having to use dry onion soup mix. I am trying to find a way to make it myself and be preservative free. Or find one on the shelf that is. Otherwise, this was a hit!

Have a great night and thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roast Chicken - Slow Cooker Style

As some of you know, I am a huge fan of my slow cooker. I even have two - a small 3 quart size and a bigger 6 quart size. I use my slow cookers year round. Besides being more energy efficient than cooking in the oven all day, slow cookers should not heat up your home in the summer. I love coming home to a meal already prepared besides just fussing with some easy side dishes. This is the perfect recipe!



Roast Chicken - Slow Cooker Style

1 - 3-4 lb. whole chicken, raw and thawed if frozen
salt and pepper to taste
any other seasonings that suit your fancy
aluminum foil

Rinse and pat your chicken dry. You can remove the neck and giblets if you would like. You may want to put some seasonings inside or some garlic, onions, apples, oranges and/or lemons inside.

Tear off four large pieces of aluminum foil and crumple each piece into a somewhat loose ball roughly about three inches across. Put the foil balls into the crockpot in a square formation.

Set the chicken on top of the foil balls breast side up so none of the chicken is touching the bottom of the slow cooker. Season the chicken with whatever suits your fancy. I usually use Morton's Natures Seasoning Salt and paprika.

Put the lid on the slow cooker and set the slow cooker to low. If you have a timer on your slow cooker, set to eight to ten hours depending on when you would like dinner. My big slow cooker will only go to eight hours, but has a eight hour warmer that kicks on after the eight hour cooking time is up.

Voila! Dinner is ready! Lift the chicken off the foil balls. The skin will be crisp as if you cooked it in the oven for several hours and should be juicy inside. Put the chicken on the platter and serve!

I also save the chicken juices in the bottom of the slow cooker. I just use them in whatever I do with the leftovers - chicken & noodles, chicken noodle soup, cooking rice, etc.

Give this recipe a try and tell me what you think! I will be MIA until Monday so no blog posts unless a miracle happens and I find a computer with an internet connection.

Have a great day! Thanks for reading!

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