Crockpot Chili

Hello friends! I know it has been a while since I have blogged. Between activities, sickness, and work there has been a lot of repeat recipes and quick throw together meals. I made this last night for a Relay for Life fundraiser at my school. Chili is always a hit with everyone! I will be back later with another quick and easy meal. Have a great Wednesday!

Crockpot Chili

Ingredients

2 pounds ground meat (I used chuck and sausage, but turkey or chicken would be a healthy option)
1 onion
1 can of pinto beans
1 can cannellini beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 large and 1 small can of diced tomatoes with green chilies added
4 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons chili powder
4 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Brown the meat and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat with all of your spices. Add in your tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and stir well.

Add the meat mixture and beans in to the crockpot.

Cook at HIGH 4 to 5 hours or at LOW 6 to 8 hours. Top with crackers, cheese, sour cream, etc

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Crockpot Marinara Chicken

Hey guys! Happy Thursday! So glad tomorrow is Friday!!!!

This morning I threw 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (could use breasts) seasoned well with salt and pepper, 1 jar of marinara sauce, and some random mushrooms in my handy dandy crockpot. It cooked on low all day. When I got home, I made a batch of rice (could use pasta), toasted up some bread, and dinner was served! The girls gobbled it up! Lots of leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Hey guys! I made this meal  last night for the family. It was so easy. All I did was put six chicken breasts in the crockpot with a bottle of barbecue sauce. I added some salt, pepper, and onion powder. I cooked it on low all day long, and when I got home from work, dinner was almost ready. All I had to do was shred the chicken. We put it on buns and made BBQ sandwiches. I served with a side of mac & cheese and broccoli.

Make Ahead Meatloaf

Another busy weekday calls for a make ahead meal. Last night I assembled this meatloaf ahead of time so all I had to do when I got home was pop it in the oven. It took a good 1 hour, but I still had dinner on the table by 6:30. Most families I know eat between the 5:30-7:00 window, so this is a perfect thing to make the night before. You could even make 2, and freeze one uncooked for another night!

Easy Make Ahead Meatloaf- Feeds 4-6- You can double this recipe for a bigger family, leftovers, or an extra uncooked meat loaf to go in the freezer

Ingredients
1 pound of ground meat- I used 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground mild sausage
1 egg
1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs (add more if too wet)
2 tablespoons Worchestershire
1 can tomato sauce (1/2 in the meat and 1/2 on top)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 splash of red wine (more if too dry)
1 garlic clove grated (or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder)
1/4 onion grated (or 1 teaspoon of onion powder)
fresh or dried herbs- This time I used dried Italian seasoning- about 1 tablespoon
salt and pepper to taste- do not skimp

Directions

In a large bowl combine all your ingredients. I get in there and mix it up with my hands. Mix just enough to combine the ingredients. DO NOT OVERMIX! I do not use ketchup at all. The tomato sauce, tomato paste, and Worcestershire combo is better and gives the meatloaf so much more depth of flavor than ketchup ever could. I take my mixture, form in a loaf shape, and put it on some aluminum foil in a long baking dish. Top with more tomato sauce. 350 for about an 1 hour or until meat is at 155. Take out and let it sit for 10 minutes to set and for carry over cooking. Enough leftovers for the hubby and I to take for lunch tomorrow!

I served with some green beans and fried potatoes (small white potatoes diced with salt and pepper cooked in a bit of olive oil and cooked until tender, about 40 minutes).

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Recipe Review- Chicken Fricasse

So I made another recipe from the beautiful book, The Chef Next Door, by Amanda Freitag. She has a whole section on low and slow recipes, which I love. This recipe was shown 2 ways- on the stove top and slow cooker! You know I love a good crock pot meal on a  busy night! I assembled everything in the morning before I took the girls to school. I served it on top of rice, but pasta would work, too. So good! The girls even ate the green olives and capers! Working on a stuffed mushroom dish up later tonight or tomorrow!

Chicken Fricassee

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes
1 yellow, orange, and red pepper- julienned
1 Spanish onion
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces of beer or white wine (I used wine)
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
20 green olives, pitted
5 small Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
4 bone-in, skin on chicken legs (I used thighs, but breasts would work)
1/4 cup drained capers
2 limes, cut in to wedges (I did not use lime)

Slow Cooker-

Combine everything in the crock pot. In the directions, she cooks it on high until it boils, then turns it down. Since I was working all day, I just put it on low until I got home. The meat was falling off the bone. If you are adding capers and lime, add them right at the end002

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Rigatoni Pasta

Happy Thursday! I am so glad tomorrow is FRIDAY! Looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend spending time with family and friends. Yesterday, I cooked this lovely meal in my slow cooker. By the time Becca came home from cheer practice, dinner was already on the table. Lots of leftovers to eat and share!

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Rigatoni Pasta

Ingredients

4 Beef Short Ribs, salted and peppered on each side. Coast with olive oil. Massage.
1 container mushrooms
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1 beer
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1 pound Rigatoni (or any hearty noodle)

Directions

*****Can be done the night before******
Brown ribs on high heat, about 6 minutes on first side, 3 minutes on second side.
Take out meat and turn down heat to med. Saute veggies, about 15 minutes. Add in tomato paste and stir together, about 3 minutes. Add in red wine. Reduce, about 3 minutes. Put ribs in the bottom of slow cooker. Add veggies, Worcestershire, beer, and tomato sauce. Mix with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, plug in slow cooker and cook on low heat for about 8 hours. If you have to go longer, that is just fine. If you can prepare all of this in the morning that is fine. You can also cook this on high for 4-6 hours.

All you have to do in the evening is make the pasta. This would also be amazing over Polenta or mashed potatoes.

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Crock Pot Beef Short Ribs

Happy Friday! The other night I made this delicious meal in my crock pot. It was a life saver after a long day!

Crock Pot Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pack mushrooms, sliced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
3 clove garlic, minced
fresh herbs, chopped (thyme, rosemary, etc)
1/3 c flour
6 beef short ribs
1 container (box) of beef stock

Directions- This can be done the night before…

Place all the raw vegetables and herbs in the bottom of the crock pot.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Season the flour generously with salt and pepper. Coat the short ribs well in the flour. Brown the short ribs until golden brown and crusty. Remove the ribs from the pan and place on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.

Cover the meat and veggies with your beef stock. Cook on high for 3-4 hours and low 6-8 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes or a creamy polenta. Enjoy!


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Crockpot Spaghetti Squash

Evening guys! I thought I would share this amazing tip… cook spaghetti squash in your crock pot! I saw this tip the other day on TV, and I just had to test it out!

Crockpot Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients
1 large spaghetti squash
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

Directions
With a sharp knife or fork, poke your spaghetti squash a few times all around.
Place the entire squash in a large slow cooker. Add your liquid and cover.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

I am going to add some butter, Parmesan cheese, and possibly some leftover veggies from tonight’s dinner (recipe coming soon) and take for lunch tomorrow!

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Here is how I did it in the oven. https://funfoodiefamily.com/2015/03/23/roasted-spaghetti-squash/