Saturday, October 24, 2009


If the Gators continue to play tonight the way they have been playing the past few games, I will definitely have heart palpitations. That is all I have to say.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Ok, so this is the last recipe from A Year of Slowcooking that I absolutely had to try right away. I am sure I will be making more in the very near future, like next week haha. The Buffalo Chicken Lasagna recipe just sounded so delicious, I knew it would be a hit. It definitely would have been out of this world if we had cooked it the correct amount of time. Lets just say ours cooked about 4 hours longer than it was supposed to... not a good recipe to leave cooking for 12 hours straight. Our noodles were soggy and the cheese burned, but it was still actually tasty and it looked good. I was actually worried that uncooked noodles wouldn't cook enough in the crockpot. So I can imagine how awesome it would have tasted when it was cooked correctly, and I will definitely be trying it again.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna... in the crockpot!

--uncooked traditional lasagna noodles
--4 already cooked chicken breast halves
--jar of prepared pasta sauce
--1 cup buffalo wing sauce
--3 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (I didn't use any, we didn't care)
--tub of ricotta cheese (15 oz)
--2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella and cheddar blend- or whatever your fave is)
--1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles
--1/4 cup of water (add at very end)


use at least a 5qt crockpot, or cut back on the amount of ingredients.

In a large glass bowl, combine cooked and chopped chicken breast, the pasta sauce, and 1 cup of buffalo wing sauce.

Ladle a big spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of your crockpot. Cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. You'll have to break them to get a proper fit.

Add a smear of ricotta cheese to the top of the noodles. Add a layer of chopped bell pepper. Sprinkle on a handful of shredded cheese.

Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients.

Add the bleu cheese crumbles, if desired. Put the 1/4 cup of water into your empty pasta sauce jar and shake. Pour the liquid over the top of the entire lasagna.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5. When cooking time is complete, unplug and take off the lid of the crock. Let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting into. Or it will fall apart. We didn't have this problem though because it was so overcooked.

Crockpot kick continues.... Chicken Noodle Soup

Here comes another recipe from A Year of Slowcooking. Who doesn't want chicken noodle soup when it is finally cool enough to need long sleeves outside? I busted out the brand new digital crockpot for this recipe, and I can tell it has changed my life already (and you can see it's gorgeousness in the above photo.) This crockpot holds 6 Quarts, so not to repeat the overflowing that occured with the Shepherd's Pie.


1 1/2 cups already cooked chicken meat (I used 3 boneless chicken breasts.)
6 cups water
1 or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt to taste (probably a good 1 teaspoon, since the base is water)
50-cent piece size, or so, handful of raw spaghetti noodles to add at the end (I used about half a bag of egg noodles.)
1 large handful raw spinach leaves to add at the end (I forgot to buy the spinach, so we went without.)
Parmesan and Asiago cheese, optional garnish


Start with a slow cooker with 6 cups of water, and add chicken. Add all vegetables except for the spinach leaves. Stir in the bouillon and vinegar. Salt to taste. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender and the onion is translucent.

15 minutes before serving, put in raw spaghetti noodles and a large handful of spinach. Cover and flip to high.

Garnish with parmesan and asiago cheeses, if desired.

We absolutely enjoyed it and it was a definite comfort food!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shepherd's Pie, crockpot style

One of my favorite cooking blogs revolves around crockpots, which is great because I am a faithful user of mine. Stephanie O'dea decided to make a new year's resolution to use her crockpot EVERY DAY for the year of 2008. And she did it! Now she has a cookbook out and has made several TV appearances. You can check out her blog here, and this is where I found this recipe.

Well we had a very cold and windy Sunday morning, so when I asked the hubby what he wantes for dinner (I was smart and only gave him a few choices) he quickly chose the Sheperd's Pie because it felt so wintery. I totally agreed, and after our monstrous breakfast at Cracker Barrel this morning, I set up the crockpot and let it cook until we we were finally hungry again, late into the evening. I probably should have used my large crockpot, but I still haven't ever taken it out of the box yet. I definitely will the next time I cook, as you can see how filled this one is. Use at least a 4 Quart crockpot for this recipe (mine was 3.5 Quart, no wonder it was so stuffed!)


--3 cups leftover mashed potatoes (I made fresh ones in my Kitchenaid Mixer with real potatoes)
--1 lb ground turkey or beef
--2 cloves garlic, chopped (I used minced garlic)

--2 cups frozen vegetables (I used 2 cans of veggies)
--1 medium onion, chopped finely, or 1 T onion flakes
--1/2 tsp seasoned salt
--1/2 tsp onion powder
--1/4 tsp black pepper

--1/4 tsp paprika (then a bit more for garnish)

--1 cup water (DO NOT add water if using canned veggies.)
--2 cups shredded cheese


Brown the meat and onion on the stove, and drain any fat. Add in the garlic and spices and then remove from the stove.

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray. Put the meat in the crockpot and stir in the frozen vegetables, and a cup of water. Add two cups of cheese on top. Press the mashed potatoes down on top of the cheese and meat. Sprinkle with a bit of paprika.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for about 3, then remove the lid and cook on high for 30 minutes to release the condensation and allow the potatoes to brown a bit on top. Everything is cooked already, so you're really just allowing the flavors to meld and the potatoes to get crusty.

The hubby really loved how this came out, he ate two huge plates and then ate the rest for lunch the next day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

I have been insanely busy with work, meeting with brides and vendors, and interviewing for other jobs, I haven't had a lot of time to blog. I generally get home around 9 in the evening on weekdays, sometimes later, so I for sure don't cook a huge meal at that time. Hence my love affair with my crockpot. I currently have 3 of them, but the one I use the most is 3.5 quarts, and was given to my hubby years ago from his mom. Of course he never used it and I had the pleasure of christening it myself. I have been looking through tons of crockpot recipes lately and they are mostly chicken ones because chicken can often be dry, bland, and plain. Therefore I will be posting a bunch of slow cooking recipes over the next few days.

Well my BFF Yvonne has been raving about this dish for awhile, and I have seen several different versions of it on the internet, so I created one based on my own preferences.

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

1.5-2 pounds any kind of chicken (I use boneless skinless breasts)
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I actually used about a half cup but I think it was way too much)
1 tsp of Paprika
1 onion, any size or color
40 or so cloves of garlic (I used 3 bulbs)

First you need to peel the garlic, or throw it in a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds first, which allows you to peel it easier. (Thanks Yvonne and the internet for this trick.)

Slice the onion so that it makes rings and lay them on the bottom of the crockpot. Salt and pepper the chicken on all sides. Put it in the crockpot- the size of the crockpot doesn't matter too much. It is okay to stack meat and chicken on top of each other, it doesn't all have to touch the bottom. Sprinkle the paprika all over the chicken, and cover with the olive oil.

Throw in your peeled cloves of garlic and set on low 6-8 hours or on high 8-10 hours. You can also use frozen chicken, doesn't have to be thawed, just cook a little longer. We will be eating our chicken with leftover potatoes and veggies.