Category Archives: slow cooker

Crazy Crockpot Week in Cajun mama’s kitchen…the grocery list!!!

So lately everything has been upside down, inside out, crazy, nuts, like living in the wonka factory…and frankly I am just done. Worn out. Slap worn out. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. But you know…with a hubby with a constant on the go job, 4 kids in school, 3 pets (one of them a new puppy), and everything else…I cannot ever be done even if I wanted to. Ya’ll know what I mean. And lately, the drudgery of life has gotten to me. Maybe it was losing my precious Toby or maybe it’s all the rushing I am doing, trying to fit it all in and make everyone happy…but I just feel so…Blah. I am assuming at least a few of you out there get what I mean? I need some inspiration. I need some time. I need some rest. I need some peace. I need less laundry, more reading a good book. Less time in the kitchen, more time chilling with the fam. I know every woman (and man) knows just what I mean. I need life to stop being so freaking busy and hard!!! How realistic is that though? I am nothing if not realistic and I am pretty sure life is not going to get easier or more calm. So I must adapt. I must pull up my big girl panties, pour a cup of coffee and get it done. So in my effort to find some me time (and you some you time) and still try to adequately meet the needs of my family (they do have to eat…), I decided it was high time for a crazy crockpot week in my kitchen. And maybe yours too. I like to think of cajun mama readers as a group, a team…so many of ya’ll are just like me, and I consider you friends, and I want to help you too. We can all benefit from less stress in the kitchen, right? (All together now!!) RIGHT!!! So here is the plan. I am posting the shopping list broken down by recipe. I don’t assume everyone will be into trying all 5 recipes so you can pick and choose. The idea though is to bring out our slow cookers, crockpots whatever and make life a little easier on ourselves. I scoured Pinterest for some really tasty and different slow cooker recipes that would offer a little variety for everyone. I am making one recipe each day. You can do it along with me or you can mix it up. I will post a recipe and then after it’s done, I will take pics and our opinion on it. I want to share first the list of stuff you need for the week, in case you want to buy the stuff and then start cooking!

Beef ribs in the crockpot

3 pounds beef ribs
Sherry cooking wine
Worcestershire sauce
Barbecue sauce

Chicken potpie stew
16 ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1 pound chicken breasts
2 can cream of chicken
One chicken bullion cube
Can of Grands biscuits
Red potatoes

Beef and broccoli

1 pound chuck roast (I could not find one that small…I bought a 2 pound one and will either double the meat or cut in half and freeze the rest)
Cornstarch
Sesame oil
Head of Broccoli
Beef consommé
Garlic
Brown sugar
Soy sauce
Rice

steak and gravy

Family pack of cubed steak
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom
1 packet onion soup mix (I am using beefy mushroom)

slow cooker lasagna soup

1 pound ground chuck
1 box hamburger helper lasagna
Mozzarella cheese
1 cup frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic

heaven in a crockpot

1 package Betty Crocker brownie mix
1 pouch Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
4 eggs
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

There you have it! So get to the store and get your stuff and be ready for a little me/you/free time. It’s crazy crockpot week ya’ll and the livin is easy (easier I should say…easy is over…sigh.)

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French dip sandwiches and finding peace

This has been one heck of an week y’all, I am not going to lie. I am ending this week even more grateful than usual that today is Friday. I am just worn out and in need to quiet. Being a mom is a big job, sometimes more than others. This week seems like one of those times. All this school stuff is a lot to take these days. At the same time it is a blessing because my kids go to a really wonderful school full of amazing teachers, faculty and staff. My oldest is in his last year at this wonderful school and with all the changes across the state happening in the classroom, it has all been a lot to take for him. For me. It all kind of came to a head yesterday. He is too smart for his own good and knows too much. Being a type a person like his mama, he takes so much to heart and became overwhelmed by it all. Too much stress for a kid. Heck, too much for a mama. I think we got it all worked out, thanks to some really wonderful teachers who love my kid(s) to pieces and are not afraid to speak up. We had a talk last night and I think it is going to be ok. Of course it will. Even still, I am in need of a retreat from the world. I am seeking peace. When I feel that way, I just want to feather my nest. Clean, straighten up, and of course, cook something really delicious. Or even better…have my trusty crockpot aka big red, do it for me. Yeah that’s even better. So I came across this one on Facebook yesterday and I pinned it, thinking that might be perfect for tonight. Here is the link http://creolecontessa.com/2014/06/slow-cooker-french-dip-sandwich/. So mit’s happening. Now, it’s a recipe I have never made before so I will have to wait to tell you how delicious it is, though I am feeling pretty confident that it will be really tasty. So now pictures of the final product until later. For now, we will just get the recipe down.
Ok! Let’s get down to it y’all!!

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

stuff you need

3-4 pound chuck roast
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Tony’s seasoning
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon dried crushed oregano
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

what to do with the stuff~

In a small bowl, mix together the spices. Like so…

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Now, rub that spice all over both sides of the roast. I did this all in the crockpot.
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Ok. Now just pour the liquids over the roast and then lay your sliced onion on top. Cook on low heat for 5 hours. Remove from crockpot and shred. Return to crockpot. Serve on a hoagie bun with mayo, mozzarella, and/or mild pepper rings. Add some juice to the bowl for dipping if you are so inclined. And I will be.
Enjoy!!! (And I will post pics of the finished product later. Also look for a recipe for apple sangria and crockpot beef enchilada soup…both on tap for this weekend!! Oh and Patti Labelle’s over the rainbow macaroni and cheese!! Comfort food!)

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supper is cooking away and I am cleaning…feathering my nest. Finding peace.

**UPDATE…they are delicious!!!! Must try friends! Must try!

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wipe the drool off your face…

Crockpot jambalaya

I am about to tell y’all something. I may shock you. It’s quite the revelation. I have never made jambalaya that was not out of the box. And to go further, I cannot remember my mom ever making jambalaya. Maybe she did but I don’t remember. I mean, we ate lots of rice for sure, but not what I would call jambalaya. But I get asked often if I have a really good jambalaya recipe. My answer is always…”um…no”. I feel it is time to right this wrong. How can I call myself Cajun Mama without a good jambalaya recipe? And not jambalaya from a box. Also, I had brunch with my home chick, Joni today, I was inspired. No we did not eat jambalaya for brunch. She told me her husband, Heath, made a kick butt pot of jambalaya last night. So I knew the day had come. I hollered at my pal Google, and searched for an easy crockpot chicken and sausage jambalaya. Ole Google delivered, as usual. Here is the original link http://www.myrecipes.com/m/recipe/easy-slow-cooker-jambalaya-10000001875863/. It was quite tasty, but the rice was a little chewy. Well now that I look at the recipe again, it says clearly to switch the slow cooker to high after you add rice. So my bad!! Cajun mama is not always so bright y’all. Learn from my mistakes and avoid chewy rice!

Crockpot jambalaya

serves 8 or more

Stuff you need

1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 teaspoons of the jarred stuff)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 package smoked sausage, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice

What to do with the stuff

Add all the ingredients except the rice to a large (5 quart) slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 5 hours. It may take less time, mine took about 4 hours.
Now stir in the rice. Switch the Slow cooker to high and cook for 30 minutes. Season according to taste.

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Lisa’s elegant beef tips, bringing home a baby and and a fairy godmother

I have told y’all about my good friend Lisa. She is the mother of my babysitters, April and Alaina. Now, these girls rarely babysit for us anymore as they are both away at college. These days, when they babysit it is more like spending time with my kids because they miss them and cannot take not seeing them another minute. We have been together so long that it supersedes any definition. We are family. We spend holidays together. We love each other. And Lisa is at the helm of our ship. She is the most fabulous. She is an excellent cook and southern woman extraordinaire.
Back in the day, when I was a mom of 3 little kids and pregnant with baby Lucas as we called him…April and Alaina babysat for us a lot. I was a needy person if there ever was one. I was tired, pregnant, and just likely a hot mess. Big Daddy worked all the time and I needed help. So no wonder, those sweet girl and their mama were there. Sometimes daily. Thank God. So when I went into labor with Lucas a month early, they were right there during the following days, taking care of kiddos, cleaning the house, and waiting for us when we got home from the hospital. And the house smelled so wonderful because these beef tips were cooking away in the crockpot. I still have the piece of paper the girls had written the recipe on as Lisa called it out over the phone, I suppose. I pulled it out yesterday to make these beef tips and I just smiled. I will never forget when Lisa was leaving my house that day we got home from the hospital. She came to get some baby Lucas snuggles and pick up the girls (so long ago they could not drive yet…crazy business folks). She was walking to her car and I said “thank you so much for everything” and she said and I quote “well Mrs. Aimee (that is what the girls call me and she does too…even now…) everyone needs a fairy godmother and I may as well be yours.” I knew then that woman would be my friend for life. I was not wrong. Her recipes are divine and these beef tips are no exception. Try them. But I have to say, her friendship is the best. ~AMB

Lisa’s elegant beef tips

serves 8

Stuff you need~

1 (3 pound) chuck roast, cut into chunks, fat removed
1 cup sherry cooking wine
1 cup chopped celery
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained (I used the larger sized jar)
2 packets of beefy mushroom soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can of water
Cooked rice

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ready to go

What to do with the stuff~

Whisk together the soup, water, soup mix and cooking together. Stir in the celery and mushrooms. Finally, stir in the cubed up beef. Cook on low for 6 hours or until beef is cooked through. I will be honest and say I put mine on around 11 and they were cooked by 3:30 when I got home from picking the kids up. It depends on your crockpot and anywhere between 4 and 6 hours is normal. Just check them if you don’t know.

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cutting into that roast (it is more economical to do it this way but stew meat is convenient so do what works for you)

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whisking the soups and wine together

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add the celery

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it’s go time

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so good

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my two angels several years ago with baby Lucas(that was their baby and he still is)

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my fairy godmother and 3 year old Lucas

Crockpot chicken and gravy and welcoming Fall

I know we all love a good crockpot recipe. We also love a good crisp Fall day. First off I want to say “Happy Fall y’all!!!!” There is a slight chill in the air and it is so welcome over here. Now, I know the other side of all this is that for some of y’all this means a little fall and then here comes the power outages, freezing cold and snow, snow and more snow. But for today, we will enjoy this lovely Fall weather and a deliciously easy crockpot recipe. I am waiting in the Starbucks line for my triple shot pumpkin spice latte. It seems appropriate. This recipe was a big hit in our household. I found it on http://www.thecountrycook.net. I served it with a side of steamed broccoli and served the gravy over rice along with some Sister Schubert rolls. My little lamb chop aka Pappy aka Lucas (yes they have a million nicknames) loves those rolls. I really hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we did. Madame Toot happily exclaimed in her sweet little voice “yum! This tastes like Thanksgiving!!”
Get inspired my friends. Enjoy this new season rolling in because all too soon it will change. Break out your crockpot and make life easy on yourself. Let supper cook itself so you can sit outside and watch the leaves fall and the kids run. Or just sit there and enjoy this day for the beauty it is. Enjoy the moment because truly it is all we have promised. ~AMB

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a little glimpse of Fall in our hood

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy

Stuff you need~

1 pound chicken breasts
2 packages (0.87 ounce) dry gravy mix
1 (10.75 ounce) cream of chicken soup
2 cups water
1/2 cup sour cream (optional but definitely recommended)
Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder

What to do with the stuff~

Season chicken busoms with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
In your crockpot, whisk together the dry gravy mix, water and cream of chicken soup until fairly smooth. Now lay the chicken busoms in the crockpot. Cook on low about 4 hours (mine cooks fast so it takes less time so do what works for your crockpot). Remove chicken breasts with slotted spoon onto a plate. Shred and then set aside. Whisk in the sour cream. Return shredded chicken to it’s lovely gravy. Now spoon over mashed potatoes, cooked white rice, or cooked noodles. Easy at that. Delicious chicken and gravy and Fall has arrived! Ahhhh!!

Most of all…

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my friend Liz posted this on Facebook this morning and I figured I would share.

Slow cooker hot fudge sundae cake

This dessert is a real winner. It is not only a chocolate lover’s dream…it is made in the slow cooker. Oh yes. You heard me. Slow. Cooker. Cake. When my editor for Red River Mom’s asked me for some slow cooker recipes for our September issue, I of course had several on hand, tried and true and no fail. But then I thought of this little nugget I had found on Pinterest (where all things magical come from…happy sigh) I was skeptical (really? Cake in a crock pot…yeah maybe.) and I decided I would give it a go. The blogger at Country Cook blog (www.thecountrycook.net) made it sound heavenly and she had found it in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook. That alone said so much! I am a Gooseberry Patch lover from way back and I always loved their cookbooks (and sidenote…I actually have a recipe in one of them…little Cajun Mama trivia for the day). The recipe uses pretty basic ingredients and is super simple. PI did not double the recipe the first time around and I really should have. We had a friend and her son over and it was gone in no time flat. Bluebell Homemade Vanilla on the side of this ooey gooey delight pushes it right over the edge into pure dessert nirvana.
I urge you, out of the goodness of my heart, to do what is right and try this dessert very soon. That’s my challenge to y’all. No ice water here, just hot fudge sundae cake ba-beee!!! So glad the als challenge is going well, but over here we prefer hot fudge over our cake to ice water over our heads. It’s the Cajun mama way!~AMB

Slow cooker Hot fudge sundae cake

*this recipe is meant for a smaller slow cooker (3 quart) so double it if using a larger crockpot. Doubling is recommended if you have more than 4 people who will be eating it and you want to avoid an angry mob.

Stuff you need~

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
3/4 brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cup hot water

What to do with the stuff~
**IMPORTANT–be sure to spray your slow cooker with some Baker’s Joy or cooking spray before adding the first ingredient. Trust Cajun Mama on this!

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder. Or instead of sifting, just use a fork to mix it together really well and mashing the ingredients up against the edge of the bowl until it’s all really fine. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Fold in the chopped nuts at this point if you are using them.
Spread this mixture evenly all over the bottom of the sprayed slow cooker. Ok now, for the second layer, in a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cocoa powder. Next, stir in the hot water and mix until smooth. Finally, pour this mixture evenly over the first layer. Now DO NOT STIR!!! Do not stir the two layers. This will mess with the perfection that is this dessert. No stir–got it?!! This how the hot fudge sauce and cake layers form. Important scientific stuff.
Put the lid on and cook for about 2-2 1/2 hours on low. Use toothpick test if you are uncertain on the doneness.
Let this sit in the crockpot for 30-40 minutes after the cake is done, so the layers can settle.

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mash all those dry ingredients together

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cook and then let it sit. So tempting and hard to do…it’s worth it

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see what I mean? Worth it. A la mode honey. All the way!

Weeknight wonder #2!! Crockpot brown sugar pork loin with balsamic glaze

So for today’s weeknight wonder I have a recipe sure to be the talk of the town, the bell the ball, the cat’s meow. Maybe I am exaggerating a tad but it will definitely be a hit in your house! This is a knockout pork loin with a sweet tangy glaze. My kids all devoured it. They could not get enough. It was the easiest thing to make too. I made this before this whole Cajun Mama thing, when it was everywhere on Pinterest, but not since and I have always wanted to blog this recipe to share with y’all. This is the link I found the recipe on this time http://brooklynactivemama.com/03/2014/slow-cooker-pork-tenderloin-recipe.html. I wondered if it was as good as I remembered it being. The answer to that question is yes. It may have been better than what I remember. Not sure if it is the simplicity that makes it so terrific or if it is the sweet, thick tangy glaze. Maybe it is those two things combined. One thing is for certain, this a pork loin for all seasons. It’s cooked in the crockpot so it is perfect for summer time. It’s delicious and hearty, so it is great for winter time, out of the house all day, come home to a great smelling dinner. Anyway you go, it is all good.

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though he is never hard to please, my baby really ate this roast up!

Crockpot brown sugar pork loin with Balsamic glaze

Stuff you need~

2 pound pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 clove garlic, smashed (I used minced garlic because that is what I had. Worked fine)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

What to do with the stuff~

In a small bowl, mix together the sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Put your tenderloin in the crockpot. Rub that seasoning all over that roast. Now add the first 1/2 cup of water to the crockpot. Put the lid on. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Mine took 6 hours and it was fork tender.

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easy enough? Yes it is! Ok good!

Ok at some point before the hour 6, whisk together in a small saucepan the water, cornstarch, soy sauce, Balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to whisk the mixture until it is thickened. About 4 minutes or so. Remove from heat. For the last hour, brush the sticky sweet glaze over the roast 3 or times as it continues to cook. When done, transfer the roast to a large serving plate. Drizzle the remainder of the glaze all over that tender roast. It will make you drool. It is absolutely as yummy as it looks.

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there you go. You are welcome. Enjoy!!

Heavenly Balsamic pot roast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 So this here’s a story a little pot roast that could.  It was a good little pot roast.  It had dreams of being more.  And it was.  It had dreams of being all dressed up in a balsamic sauce and being cooked in a crock pot along with his friends carrots, onions, and celery.  Ok, kidding aside, because I am pretty sure that joking around about balsamic anything is a capital crime.  Because balsamic anything is awesome and should be revered and coddled and loved and praised.  I have posted my mother in law’s excellent pot roast recipe before and that is my go to recipe.  If you have never made it, check it out here~https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2013/06/17/tonight-is-a-roast-night/.  Making that recipe is like putting on a comfortable pair of jeans, which ironically I find rather hard to do after eating a serving of pot roast and rice and gravy.  ha ha!  But the other day, I was scanning Pinterest and came across a recipe for their balsamic pot roast and thought, “oh my.  that is a super idea.  Big Daddy would love that.”  You can see that post here~ http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/09/slow-cooker-balsamic-pot-roast-recipe.html.   Well, continuing to scan Pinterest (see how I do that?  I scan it.  That makes me feel like I am not wasting time and I am not on Pinterest…just scanning, ya’ll…scanning.  I can quit at anytime I want.  Wait, I think that is what addicts say…oh my.) and I saw another recipe for regular pot roast by PW about her perfect pot roast.  You can check that out here…http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/09/2008_the_year_of_the_pot_roast/.  I could not decide which one to make.  Pioneer Woman is always a safe bet because she knows her stuff.  But I love those six sisters too.  And, their pot roast had balsamic vinegar in theirs’, which kind of amps up the yummy a couple of notches.  Plus, theirs was made in the slow cooker.  I know you peeps love a good slow cooker recipe, so I took what I loved about both and combined them into one delightful, fantabulous, knock your socks off pot roast.  You are welcome friends.  I made a batch of mashed potatoes to go with that heavenly thick balsamic flavored gravy and also warmed up some of those Sister Schubert rolls aka they are worth it carbs.  My baby boy can eat nearly the whole pan.  I will add this…use one of those rolls to sop up that ridiculously good gravy and you will be in hog heaven.  But I don’t have to tell ya’ll that, do I?  No.  Because if you are following my blog, you know all about the good stuff in life.  Wink Wink!  See what I did there?  I gave you a compliment and me a compliment at the same.  Because let’s face it.   We both rock!!  Now, on to this pot roast that I have been yammering on and on about.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Let’s get to it baby!!

Heavenly Balsamic Pot Roast 

Stuff you need~

4-5 pound beef chuck roast

2 or 3 small onions (peeled and then cut in half from root to tip)

5 or 6 carrots, not peeled (PW says to maintain their rustic quality and I agree…damn good. Give it a try), just cut them into about 2 inch pieces, discarding the ends

3 stalks of celery, cut into 2 inch pieces

olive oil and a pat of butter

kosher salt and black pepper

2 tsp. dried rosemary

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I used 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and  1/4 cup balsamic glaze my mother in law gave me but I also saw it at World Market aka my mothership the other day just FYI)

1 cup tomato juice

1 can beef broth (reduced sodium)

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic or 3 cloves if you are going the “I chop my own garlic here me roar!!” route

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons warm water

What to do with the stuff~

Turn the heat under a big ole skillet to medium.  Now, melt the pat of butter (about a Tablespoon if you need that measurement…you little control freak…that’s why we get along because I am one too so I get it!) and about 2 Tablespoons olive oil nice and warm.  Now, add in only your onion .  You want to get the onion lightly browned on one side and then with a pair of tongs, flip it to the other side and do the same thing…a minute or so on each side will do.  Remove them from the skillet.  Add in your carrots and give them a good toss in the olive oil/butter combo.  About a minute or so is perfection.  Good girl.  Or boy.  Now, put the little browned unpeeled, so rustic and lovely carrots in the plate with the onions and tell them to hang tight.  Wait, what?  You don’t talk to your food.  Is that weird?  Then I don’t either.  Now, back to this lovely pot roast.  Yes, yes, I am getting to that.  Now, take that hunk of meat and rub it down with olive oil.  Give it a good rub down on both sides. Now, season the mess out of that thing with good old kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Now, I took some dried rosemary and sprinkled some of that on each side.  Ok, now if your skillet needs more olive oil, add some because we are going to brown our roast.  With a pair of tongs, place it in the still medium hot oil.  Brown it on every side, about a minute or so each side.  Flip, brown, flip, brown, got it?  Ok.  Remove that roast from the skillet and set it on a plate.  Whisk in the beef broth and make sure to remove any little brown bits from the bottom of the skillet, pan, what have you.  This is your gremille and it makes your gravy richer and just better.  Let this kind of simmer a few minutes and then whisk in the tomato juice, garlic, and balsamic vinegar.  Continue to let this luscious mixture simmer for a few minutes so the flavors can hang out and get comfortable with one another.  They can make friends.  When you are going to hang out in a crock pot for 6 or 7 hours, you want to get to know your tomato juice.  Just saying.  

Ok, now you are going to spray a 6 quart crock pot lightly with some cooking spray.  Put your lovely browned roast in there.  Toss the carrots, onions, and celery in there.  Now, using caution so you don’t burn yourself, slowly pour the balsamic magic liquid on top of the meat and veggies.  Now, cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Your slow cooker may take longer, so add time accordingly. When you can stick a fork in the roast and twist and it falls apart, you are ready.  

Now for the luscious gravy…yes you will want to do this.  Skim as much of the fat off the top of the liquid as you can.  Now, pour about 2 cups of the balsamic magic liquid into a medium sized sauce pan.  Bring it to a low boil over medium low heat.  In a bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until well combined.  Whisk this into the balsamic liquid.  Let it simmer for a few minutes until it thickens a bit.  You will have some fabulous gravy ya’ll.  Roll soppin worthy gravy.  Spoon this liberally over the meat and the mashed potatoes.  So.  Dang.  Good.  Enjoy.  Take a bow.  Enjoy your moment in the spotlight because YOU are AWESOME!!!~AMB

 

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Oh sweet little onions, I have big plans for you.

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Carrots, unpeeled…carrots gone wild.

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Sit there and look pretty my darlings

 

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Giving my roast a lovely little seasoning rubdown. 

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Remember…brown, flip, brown, flip

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Balsamic magic liquid 

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Ready to be more…ready to become a balsamic pot roast.  MMMMMM

 

 

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Ready to be covered in that lovely gravy.  Mouth watering. 

 

Slowcooker Caramel Apple Cider

Holy cow friends, this is one delicious recipe.  I have had this one for a while, just waiting for semi fall like weather to get here.  I needed to get my recipes turned into my editor for my Red River Moms column and since we are working on the November issue, I figured it was a perfect time to try it to test it out for my column.  Well I was not disappointed.  So. dang. good.  While it is cooking, it makes the whole house smell so inviting and tastes like Fall in a mug.  It is a copy cat Starbucks ecipe that I came across on Pinterest and I thought it sounded yummy.  I have never ordered it at Starbucks and actually  just noticed it for the first time on the menu the other day.  First sip and I was hooked!!  It warms in the crock pot making it fuss free to boot!!

You will need a small crock pot for this.  I used my 4.5 quart and it was a little too big.  It still worked fine though so if that is what you have you can use it and if you are making it for Halloween night or for guests arriving on a (hopefully) chilly Thanksgiving morning, this could and should be doubled and the 4.5 quart size would actually be perfect.

Slowcooker Caramel Apple Cider (adapted from crockpot 365 blog) 

Serves 4 but can easily be doubled

4 cups apple cider

3 Tablespoons caramel syrup (the ice cream topping…like Smuckers)

1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

whipped cream in the can for topping and extra caramel syrup for drizzling

Directions

In a 2 quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except whipped cream.  Whisk all ingredients together until good and combined.  “Cook” on low for around 4 hours.  Ladle into mugs and top with a good dollop of whipped cream and drizzle a little caramel syrup on top for good measure.  Now…call me crazy…but next time I am going to sprinkle a little fleur de sel (flaky salt) on top.  Because I am a sucker for salted caramel anything.

Image

Fall in a mug my friends!!!

Updated: Crockpot Chicken Burritos 

You know those days when you want the comforting and familiar?  Today is one of those days.  This week I have been so pleasantly surprised by how great the new crock-pot recipes we have tried have been.  Seriously impressed ya’ll.  But today I woke up and looked around and feel like my house and chores have been neglected.  I know I need to get it together.  Being a stay at home mom is a job.  It is my job.  So no matter what you do for a living, I know you take it seriously and I do the same.  Laundry needs to be done, dishes, in general straightening.  And today is one of those days where I know I need to cry uncle and remind myself that I can’t do it all.  So instead of blogging about a recipe that I have not tried yet today, I am bringing you one of my all time favorite crock pot recipes.  It not only makes itself but it is pretty nutritious too.  Also it is very versatile and it can be as kid friendly as you want it to be.  It requires only a few ingredients that you most likely have and is just so darn good.  Everyone I have ever given this recipe to has raved about it and it has become a regular on their menu line up.    I hope you will try it out.  I am going to blog this recipe while I drink my second cup and then I am going get busy on this house.  Time to kick it into gear.  If I don’t do it, it won’t get done…ya’ll know what I mean!!

The 3 main ingredients for this yummy recipe(plus the chicken)


Crockpot chicken burritos (from Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker Recipes)

Ingredients

6 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts (typically like 2 pounds)

1 can black beans, drained

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 16 oz. jar of salsa or picante sauce

tortillas

burrito fixings~shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onion…

All set and ready to cook!!

This is a picture of it when it is about to start cooking.  

Directions

Pour corn, black beans and salsa into the crockpot.  Lay your chicken breasts on top of the mixture.  Put the lid on the slow cooker and then cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 7-8 (depending on your crockpot).

Remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred them with two forks.  Return chicken back to crock pot and give it a good stir so the chicken and black beans, corn and salsa can get good and comfortable together.  You can serve right away or let it sit in the crock pot a while.

When you are ready, spoon some of the filling into your warmed tortillas and add shredded cheese and sour cream if desired.  Now the beauty of this recipe, is that it is so versatile.  You can serve it over rice, baked potatoes, or tortilla chips like nachos.  Make it your own.

*I am updating this post to really focus on the beauty of this recipe. I have not made it in a while and I am literally salivating while thinking about having these delicious chicken burritos. The simplicity of the recipe mixed with the tastiness and semi-healthy nature (black beans and corn are both superfoods!!) We are staying with some friends in the cabins at Lake Claiborne and we needed something good for supper that we did not have to slave over. This recipe is perfect!!