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Getting the Most from Your Crockpot
Whether it's a busy day or
wanting to have a meal ready when we return from church, crockpots are
often the answer. Today, we would like to help you get the most from
your crockpot. We'll give you a few tips and a handy time chart that
will help you convert your conventional recipes to the crockpot.
1. Soak beans overnight before cooking in the
crockpot. Do not add salt, sugar, or tomatoes until the beans are
cooked. (Salt and acidic foods tend to toughen beans and make them hard
2. For extra flavor and less fat, brown meats before adding
them to the crockpot. Always brown hamburger first.
vegetables like potatoes and carrots take longer to cook. Cut them into
smaller pieces and place them on the bottom of the pot where it is
4. Herbs and spices tend to weaken in flavor over long
cooking times. Add them at the end. Taste and adjust the amount as
5. At the lower temperatures of the crockpot, it takes less
liquid. Try cutting the liquid in half.
6. Try cooking the pasta or
rice separately and add to the crockpot just before serving.
Dairy products tend to break down over long cooking times. Add them at
the end. Consider using dried milk when you can.
A Time Guide for
Converting Conventional Recipes to the Crockpot
conventional recipe calls for 30 minutes on medium heat:
• Cook in
the crockpot for four to six hours at low heat
• Cook in the crockpot
for 1-1/2 to two hours at high heat
If the conventional recipe
calls for 45 minutes on medium heat:
• Cook in the crockpot for six
to ten hours at low heat
• Cook in the crockpot for three to four
hours at high heat
If the conventional recipe calls for 60
minutes on medium heat:
• Cook in the crockpot for eight to ten hours
at low heat
• Cook in the crockpot for four to six hours at high heat
Dennis, the Prepared Pantry
For Terry in NY:
I would suggest for the
leftover wonton wrappers
placing a square in a small muffin cups than has been prepped with
cooking spray, such as Pam, leaving the four corners pointed upwards.
This will form a small "basket" . Bake at 350º for 7-10 minutes or until
browned. Cool and fill with a filling. This can be cold style dips,
salads such as chicken or ham, tuna, egg etc. You can also fill with hot
fillings but don't let these stand before serving as they will make the
wrapper soggy. Some ideas for that are taco/sloppy joe cups, creamed
chicken, creamed vegetables. You can make dessert bites too by filling
the cups with puddings, pie fillings, fruits mixed with cool whip. The
ideas are endless.
Nana in SE Ohio
The last few days I have spent a lot of time
surfing the net for free downloadable recipe booklets. Today most of my
time was spent looking for crock pot recipes. The manuals for slow
cookers and crock pots provide not only recipes but great hints and
Dennis, my friend at Prepared Pantry has some of the best
recipe books out there. They are colorful and contain great tried and
tested recipes. Many of his books are downloadable to not only your
computer but Ipad, Nook, Kindle and more. Dennis requires only your
email address so the link can be sent to your inbox.
If you need
an idea for a wedding gift, Dennis has recipes that could be printed out
and bound at some place like Kinko's.
Pear Preserves Cake
2 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. flour, divided
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. pear preserves
Cream margarine and sugar until
fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Combine 2
cups flour, soda, salt and spices; add to creamed mixture alternately
with buttermilk. Mix just until blended after each addition. Stir in
vanilla. Dredge pecans and raisins in 1/2 cup flour. Stir pecan mixture
and pear preserves into batter. Bake in 13x9 pan at 350 degrees for
50-55 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
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Ice Cream Tacos Recipe
6 wonton wrappers
vanilla ice cream, lightly softened
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400.
Using a deep, high-sided baking dish (or taco rack), lay the wonton
wrappers on the diagonal over the sides of the pan. It's ok if they
overlap a little bit. Spray the wrappers with cooking spray. Bake for
4-5 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from pan and sprinkle with
cinnamon sugar mixture.
Using a small spoon, scoop the softened ice
cream carefully into the taco shells. It's best to do this while they
are still warm, because they crisp up more as they cool which makes them
more fragile. Drizzle with chocolate syrup, if using, and serve
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Pauline requested easy recipes in the 1/14
newsletter. The first two recipes is from a 11/12 newsletter, and I
believe the second recipe was a winner in the Pillsbury bake off contest
a few years ago. I hope these help.
Baklava is the aristocrat of pastry desserts. It is of
Byzantine origin, made in all Middle Eastern countries, and each one
claims it for its own. This fabulous pastry is recognized by its layers
of nut filling and many sheets of phyllo. It is usually bathed in syrup
flavored with rose water or brandy. I am including two separate recipes
for this tasty dessert!
3 c. water
3 c. sugar
of 1/2 lemon and rind
1 cinnamon stick
Boil until it comes to the
soft ball stage using a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Add 2 TBS.
honey and let cool.
4 c. shelled walnuts, chopped
1 box Zweiback (Holland Rusk Toast)
2 TBS. sugar
1 lb. phyllo dough
1 lb. butter, melted
nuts, sugar, cinnamon and finely ground Zweiback. Brush bottom of 11x16"
pan with melted butter. Cover with 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each
with melted butter. Sprinkle with nut mixture. Continue this procedure
every 2 phyllo sheets until nut mixture is used up, ending with 5 top
phyllo sheets. Brush top with butter; cut into diamond shapes. Bake
about 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees until golden brown. Pour cool syrup
over pastry when removed from oven. Allow to cool completely before
removing from pan to serve.
NOTE; Use an electric knife to score
baklava or other pastry before cooking. Also excellent for slicing
Artemis in NYC
Variation #2 for Baklava:
lb. phyllo dough sheets
3 c. or more chopped nuts
(walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios or a combination) (I use walnuts
and pistachios mixed)
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 lb. melted sweet butter
3 c. sugar
2 c. water
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. rose water or brandy flavoring or 1/4 c.
Defrost frozen phyllo to room temperature. Mix ingredients
for filling in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter and keep it in pan to
reheat if it cools. Use a pastry brush to butter generously the bottom
and edges of an 11x16 baking pan. Using scissors, cut phyllo 1" larger
than your pan. Place a sheet of phyllo in pan and sprinkle lightly with
warm butter. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first sheet,
and sprinkle lightly with butter. Continue until you have spread 6 or
more sheets. Spread half oaf the filling, including the corners. Cover
with 6 or more sheets of phyllo sprinkling with butter between. Add
remaining filling. Cover with remaining sheets, buttering between each
one. Roll edges and tuck inside of pan. Do not trim as you would for a
pie. Butter the top with the remaining butter. Before baking, cut
through the to layers only, into the traditional diamond shapes. Use a
small sharp knife with a ruler to guide you.
Make vertical cuts 2" apart. Turn pan
horizontally and make cuts at an angle, 2" apart. Stick a whole clove in
the center of each diamond. Besides adding flavor, it keeps the layers
together. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Check it during the last 20
minutes to see if it is browning evenly. Begin boiling the syrup 20
minutes before taking baklava out of the oven. Pour hot syrup over hot
baklava immediately after remaining it from the oven. Use a ladle or
large spoon to distribute syrup evenly over all of it. Set aside to
cool, at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. Keep in pan
overnight or at least 4 hours before cutting and serving.
Quick Crescent Baklava
2 (8 ounce) cans Pillsbury
Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
3 to 4 cups walnuts, finely
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter or
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Unroll 1 can of dough into 2 long rectangles. Place in ungreased 13 x
9-inch pan; press over bottom and l/2 inch up sides to form crust.
Firmly press perforations to seal. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
In large bowl, combine walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; mix well.
Spoon walnut mixture evenly over partially baked crust.
remaining can of dough into 2 long rectangles. Place over walnut
mixture; press out to edges of pan. With tip of sharp knife, score dough
with 5 lengthwise and 7 diagonal markings to form 28 diamond-shaped
pieces, using dough edges and perforations as a guide.
saucepan, combine all glaze ingredients. Bring to a boil; remove from
heat. Spoon half of glaze evenly over dough. Bake an additional 25 to 30
minutes or until golden brown. Spoon remaining glaze evenly over hot
baklava. Cool completely. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Cut into
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One of our favorite "comfort" meals all in one.
One Dish Meal Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2-1/2 cups hot water
2 cups egg
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. Worcestershire
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can (15 oz.) cream-style corn
Brown ground beef with onion;
Drain, if necessary, and add tomato sauce, hot water, noodles, chili
powder, salt & pepper, Worcestershire sauce, cheese and corn. Spoon into
a 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake, covered at 350 50 minutes, or until
noodles are tender.
Makes 12 servings.
NOTE: I find this to
be be a bit "soupy", so I always add a little more of the uncooked
noodles to it.
Judy (in Alaska)
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