A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Italian Beef Sandwiches in the crockpot! March 31, 2011

Filed under: crock pot,meat,one dish — frappqueen @ 8:47 am
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I’m back! Sort of….baby is now almost FIVE months old if you can believe it! We’ve been getting back in to the swing of cooking for awhile, but I kept forgetting to photograph it til recently. I’ve been utilizing the crock pot even more now as it really is helpful with a little one at home. She’s at her best in the mornings, so she plays in her bouncy chair while I assemble dinner in the crock, and it cooks and smells awesome all day and is ready when we are tired and hungry! perfect!

This recipe is an easy one, and I made it even better by making the italian rolls into garlic bread! Try it out!

Italian Beef Sandwiches

3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style
salad dressing mix
1 (5 pound) rump roast

Combine water with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, bay leaf, and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil.

Place roast in slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.

Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork.


serve shredded, on a crusty Italian bread roll! To make it even better, make the rolls into garlic bread!

butter both sides of the roll, add some italian seasonings and garlic salt and toast til toasty! So good and so easy!


Summer Squash and Corn Chowder September 9, 2010

Filed under: one dish,soup and stew — frappqueen @ 8:35 pm
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I made this soup on a VERY hot day. That was a very dumb idea. Sure, it was tasty, and sure it wasn’t too hard to make. But uh, eating SOUP when it is about 100 degrees in your house is not fun. It makes you sweatier and then it makes you want to pass out because you are 7 1/2 months pregnant and so hot you feel like you might die! Whoops! So, it might be good to make this NOW when it is lovely and fall-like and more like 65 in the evenings. Just a thought. You can totally still get yellow squash at your local place of produce, and if not, I bet butternut squash would be delightful in it’s place!

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder (from Cooking Light, August 2010)

2  slices applewood-smoked bacon
3/4  cup  sliced green onions, divided
1/4  cup  chopped celery
1  pound  yellow summer squash, chopped
1  pound  frozen white and yellow baby corn kernels, thawed and divided
2 1/4  cups  1% low-fat milk, divided
1  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/8  teaspoon  salt
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese


Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside. Add 1/2 cup onions, celery, and squash to drippings in pan; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Reserve 1 cup corn; set aside. Place the remaining corn and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth (I used my handy dandy Magic Bullet, it is my best friend!).  Add remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to blender; process just until combined. Add pureed mixture and reserved 1 cup corn to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon bacon, 1 tablespoon remaining onions, and 1 tablespoon cheese.

Please eat in air conditioning, or else avoid during a heat wave. Enjoy!


Jambalaya Bake May 16, 2010

Filed under: casserole,one dish,poultry,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 11:00 am
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This recipe is very easy to make, courtesy of Sandra Lee (and you know I don’t really like her, but its okay!) Nice and easy for a busy weeknight:

Jambalaya Bake

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into one inch pieces

1 can (14ish ounces) diced tomatoes with onion, celery and bell pepper (Hunt’s makes this she claims, though I’ve only found whole tomatoes with the other stuff, so I buy that and just use kitchen shears to chop up the tomatoes, I’m a genius!)

1 can (14 ounce) reduced sodium chicken broth

8 ounces hot Louisiana sausage, cut into one inch pieces (We use whatever we’ve got: Andouille, hot italian or whatever)

1 box (8 oz) jambalaya mix ( I use Zatarain’s)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 2 quart casserole, stir together all ingredients. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 70 to 85 minutes.

THAT’S IT! How easy can it possibly be? The results are rather spicy, so you might opt for a less sassy sausage if its too much for you…it was totally too spicy for me! I ate it anyway though as I had severe head congestion and it sure did make that go away!


Rachel Ray’s Goulash in 30 minutes May 14, 2010

Filed under: meat,one dish,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 6:01 pm
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Well, I made this recipe a full month ago and I’ve been rather lazy with my posting lately…mainly because I am 13 weeks pregnant! I have not been as full throttle on blog updating, and for awhile, I was not too keen on involved dinners, although my lovely husband still did help with a ton of the cooking. So now I have lots of recipes on backlog! I’ll post them all eventually. This one though, not so much a winner for me!

When I was little, my mom used to make super delicious goulash. We called it “Meat sauce and macaroni” cuz we’re Polish and Irish and that’s what we called it! At any rate, my mos was always a thick, meaty sauce, with a hint of something extra in there. It was the ultimate comfort food. A month ago I was in the throes of constant nausea and so I really wanted foods that remind me of cozy times. I found this recipe hoping it would be similar. And, well, it wasn’t! It is a very thin and watery sauce, and not very saucy at all! I found it to be even a tad dry. Oh well, it was light enough on the stomach that I ate it anyway, but not satisfying enough that it stopped me from doing what I should have done originally: I emailed my mom for the real recipe. I will make that one soon and then you can see what REAL goulash is!

Goulash (kind of gone wrong!)

1 pound macaroni
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 pounds combined ground beef, pork and veal
1 tablespoon paprika
Freshly ground pepper
2 carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery from the heart, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups beef broth
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (a generous handful)
3 tablespoons freshly snipped chives, for garnish


Boil the water and make the pasta according to directions.

While the pasta is working, in a large, deep skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and paprika; season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring and crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, onion, celery, bell pepper and bay leaf and cook for 10 minutes. Add the broth and tomato sauce and heat through. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the sour cream, dill and parsley.

Serve in bowls with some bread on the side if you like. And you might like it, it just disappointed me as I had other goulash in my head when I was reading the directions!

*From Every day with Rachel Ray website!


Spaghetti and Meatballs in the Crock Pot (or…not!) March 31, 2010

Filed under: meat,one dish — frappqueen @ 7:29 pm
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This past weekend, I had a real hankering for homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Mike and I also had a hankering to go see “Hot Tub Time Machine”. But, I didn’t want to eat at like 8pm! What to do, what to do?! I finally decided, why not try to make it in the crock pot instead of on top of the stove? That way I could prep it all and come home to delicious ready-made sauce!

Usually when I make sauce I do it all in one giant pot on the stove, I also cook my meatballs right in the sauce, none of that frying or baking them first business. When you cook them right in the sauce, the results are plump and flavorful meatballs that are tender and awesome! It probably helps that I am in no way Italian, so while this recipe is not at all authentic, it really is good. Ask anyone who’s eaten it! It turns out that converting it to the crock was really easy and pretty much just as delicious. The only problem with the crock is that when I cook it on the stove top I definitely cook according to taste. I’ll just add more of this or that until it is perfect. With the ingredients going into the crock pot, I couldn’t really taste it as it went along, I just had to add stuff and hope for the best. It went pretty well though.

Spaghetti and Meatballs


1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tbsp basil

1 tbsp oregano

2 tbsp garlic salt

1-2 tbsp sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

In a large, deep pot, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until they start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and saute as well, another 2 or 3 minutes until the garlic is browned but not burnt! Add in the can of tomatoes and the can of sauce. Add in all remaining ingredients and stir. Taste sauce and adjust any flavorings as  you need. If the sauce is still very acid-y, add a tad more sugar. If you put in too much sugar, add another can of tomato sauce.  Let the sauce simmer on low as you prepare the meatballs. Cover the sauce if it is splattering all over the place, that stuff hurts!


1 or 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey (I get the dark meat from Whole Foods, I find the really lean stuff is too dry)

1/2 to 1 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 c. parmigiana cheese

1 or 2 eggs depending on how dry it is

3 tbsp milk

2 tbsp italian seasoning

1 tbsp garlic salt

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together. The way it looks will tell you what you need to do. If it is not incorporating enough, add more egg. If it is too wet, add more crumbs! Try to make it an even amount of cheese vs. crumbs. When meatballs easily form a ball, the consistency is good. Form the meatballs into about 1 inch balls. Drop the meatballs one by one into the bubbling sauce. Be careful! You don’t want to get sauce burn! DO NOT STIR THE SAUCE WHEN YOU FIRST ADD THE MEATBALLS. After a few minutes, you can stir a bit. Let the meatballs cook in the sauce, covered, for at least 20 minutes, until the meatballs have turned white and appear to be done. If you are unsure, cook another 10 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti with some garlic bread. So good!!

Crock Pot Method:

It is totally the same method to do in the crock with these few exceptions:

For the sauce, start out with the onions sauteing in a small pot. Add the garlic and cook as stated above. When they are translucent, remove and add to the crock. Add all the remaining ingredients into the crock pot. Make the meatballs and drop them into the crock full of sauce. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Easy enough, right?


Turkey Chili February 25, 2010

Filed under: one dish,poultry,soup and stew — frappqueen @ 7:42 pm
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This is one of our standard go-to recipes for weeknight dinners. It’s quick, easy, decently healthy and really tasty! I use the same general recipe that I stole from a Rachel Ray cookbook, plus I add a few of my own ingredients.  It calls for a can of diced tomatoes and what’s fun with that, is that you can switch it up a little bit. Sometimes I just use regular diced, sometimes if I can find fire roasted, I use those. This last time I used a can of Rotel- you know, the kind with diced tomatoes and little bits of chili peppers. It gave a nice extra kick of zest!

Turkey Chili

package of ground turkey (about 1.5 lbs)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped (I use a red onion, it makes it prettier!)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 c. frozen corn kernels

1 can (32 oz) diced tomatoes (any kind will do!)

3 scallions, chopped

1 tsp. poultry seasoning

1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder (I don’t ever use that much!)

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 chili packet (you can find it by the taco stuff or by the packetted spices- I use the low salt kind)

salt and pepper to taste

shredded cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream for toppin’


In a deep saucepot over medium high heat, saute onion in oil for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add turkey and brown, about five minutes. Add bell pepper, corn , tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, as well as the spices. Bring to a bubble, stir in the scallions and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, though I can never wait that long, I usually make it to 8 minutes or so! Top with cheese, sour cream and crunchy tortilla chips. Dig in!


Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup! February 23, 2010

Filed under: one dish,poultry,soup and stew — frappqueen @ 9:34 pm
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Sometimes, like when you are horribly congested for two weeks, and must take steroids to reduce the swelling and your throat hurts and you are sneezy and blowing your nose for forever…sometimes you just really want some nice comforting soup. Like chicken soup! And sometimes, you want some chicken soup that is a tad fancier and more interesting than regular kind. In case you haven’t figured it out, both these cases are referring to me! I am actually FINALLY feeling better, which is just lovely, but I had been rather miserable for awhile there. I made this soup on Sunday night and it really hit the spot. I also think it really helped me finish out being horribly sick, so I will consider it my super special cold ending soup as well as just plain delicious. It’s a Rachel Ray recipe, and the orzo is nice with all the veggies, but really its the lemon that gives it just a touch of extra fancy. It’s not too lemony, it’s just a surprising burst of flavor. Delicious!

soup's on!

I just had to post the above picture so everyone can drool and be envious of my favorite cast iron Martha Stewart pot. It’s ice blue! It matches my mixer! It would be more awesome if it were Le Creuset, but I’m not made of money you know!

Anyway, back to the soup!

Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup:

32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken stock
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast pieces or tenders
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup orzo pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel


In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock and chicken to a simmer. Lower the heat and poach the chicken for 12 minutes.

Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter to melt. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until deeply toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl

Add the oil, 2 turns of the pan, to the dutch oven. Add the zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, shallots and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Return the orzo to the pot.

Remove the chicken from the stock. Skim and discard the fat from the stock; transfer the stock to the dutch oven. Chop, dice or shred the chicken and add to the soup with 2 cups water. Bring the soup to a boil and cook until the orzo is just tender, 5 minutes. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking. Turn off the heat; stir in the parsley and lemon peel. Serve immediately.