Posted on 22 October 2008 by fruittart
I have mentioned my on again, off again relationship with the slow cooker, but this recipe could keep the love flowing. After reading several versions of this, I settled on using my own style. Since this was meant to be a time-saving dinner, I used jarred spaghetti sauce rather than homemade. The end result was pretty runny served hot from the crock. After it had cooled I pulled the liner out and stored it in a large bowl in the fridge overnight. The leftovers were reheated in the microwave, still in the liner inside the bowl, and the layers were firmer and attractive. It wouldn’t work to put it in the cooker and leave it all day, but I think you could cook it on low for 6 hrs since I did high for 3 hrs.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 lb ground meat, browned and drained (I used part chicken and part beef and cooked it with a little onion and garlic)
24 oz. ricotta
16 oz. small curd cottage cheese
2 c. mozzarella, shredded
~ 40 oz. spaghetti sauce, fresh or jarred
8-10 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 c. mozzarella, shredded
Brown the meat and set aside (or leave it out if you prefer a vegetarian dish). In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses, egg, and parsley.
Line the slow cooker, if desired. Spread a few tablespoons of sauce on the bottom. Make a layer of dry noodles on top, breaking them as needed to fit. Top with more sauce, meat, and cheese. Repeat layers ending with noodles and sauce. Cook on High for 3 hrs. Top with remaining mozzarella; let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Filed under: Cheese, Crockpot, Main Dish, Pasta, Quick and Easy | 1 Comment »
Posted on 18 August 2008 by fruittart
We went to a cookout with some friends and I thought I had a great idea for dessert. But my mental experiments resulted in a miscalculation. It tasted great, but it could have used a little help in the beauty department. I made my own graham cracker crust, filled with a cream cheese/French vanilla pudding mix, and topped with strawberries. In order to keep the strawberries from making the top runny, I decided that I’d try a little pectin in the topping, but I forgot how long it takes for pectin to set when you don’t cook your fruit, so mine didn’t set up. It would have been better had I just served strawberries on the side, scattered some whole on top and brushed with some apricot jelly, or something other than what I did. But everyone agreed it had a good flavor, so if you want to try it, I’d suggest just serving strawberries alongside the pie.
Graham Cracker Crust
1 sleeve graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Stir together ingredients and press into pie pan. Bake for 5-7 min or until golden. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1 pkg. instant French vanilla pudding mix (small size)
1 1/2 c. milk
Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the pudding mix; beat until smooth. Slowly add the milk while beating until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Filed under: Dessert, Quick and Easy | 1 Comment »
Posted on 15 August 2008 by fruittart
We were planning to visit our 5 acre lot to water our baby trees and burn some yard waste, and I didn’t have the ingredients on hand for the mandatory assemblage of S’mores that is associated with our bonfires. Tragedy!
But I had lots of mini M&M’s and mini marshmallows leftover from banana split/ice cream sundae making last week, so I was sure I could come up with something that would at least contain the two most important ingredients of S’mores — chocolate and marshmallows. The cracker is there just to keep your hands from becoming *too* gooey!
In the Tase of Home Baking Book, a gift from my mom, there was just the thing — Fun Marshmallow Bars. The only modifications I made were to use mini M&M’s and I used almonds instead of peanuts. The kids love the rich marshmallow top. I think I could come up with a better brownie recipe for the base, but this works. Calorie for calorie, I think I’d prefer to have a bowl of ice cream, but if you want a kid pleaser and something that’s simple from the pantry, this is a decent dessert.
Fun Marshmallow Bars (from The Taste of Home Baking Book)
1 pkg devil’s food cake mix
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. water
3 c. miniature marshmallows
1 c. M&M’s
1/2 c. chopped nuts
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix, butter, water and egg; mix well. Press into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with marshmallows, M&M’s, and nuts. Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until the marshmallows begin to melt. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
Filed under: Brownies & Bars, Chocolate, Cookbooks, Dessert, Kids, Quick and Easy | 2 Comments »
Posted on 8 August 2008 by fruittart
When we were in Montana, Aunt Leola made a breakfast casserole in the electric roasters to feed the large reunion crowd. It was hugely popular with many of our family members. When the bikers came to visit I tried something similar in the oven but it took more than an hour to bake, which ended up being a little too early for me and breakfast was still a little too late for them. I read a few different versions of this recipe and decided to tweak it for my own purposes. Enter the crockpot breakfast casserole, perfect for the night owl cook and the early bird eater. I popped it in at midnight and it was ready for a 6 AM breakfast, and my early risers love waking up to the smell of eggs and sausage.
I think I have a 5 qt crockpot, but you can easily adjust the quantities to suit your needs. It’s the sort of recipe that is easy to adjust to taste. I was tempted to put green chili in it, but it wouldn’t have appealed as broadly. Instead, I served it with salsa. The cheese around the edge gets brown and I wouldn’t make this without a liner in the crock.
Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
3 lbs. frozen hash browns (precooked shredded potatoes would also work, I think but I was being lazy)
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 c. shredded cheese
pre-cooked meat, if desired — sausage, bacon, etc
18 eggs, whisked
salt and pepper
Line the crock with a Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner. Layer hash browns, onion, cheese, and meat; repeat. Whisk eggs with salt and pepper. Pour eggs over the top of the hash browns, allowing the mixture to seep into all areas of the crock.
Cook on low for 6 hrs.
Serve with salsa, if desired.
Filed under: Breakfast, Cheese, Crockpot, Quick and Easy | 1 Comment »
Posted on 18 May 2008 by fruittart
People are sometimes surprised to hear that there are days that even I don’t want to cook. I’d rather bake than cook anyway, as you’ve no doubt deduced already, but I get tired of the same old reruns and thinking about what to make that will please most of the people at the table. Some days, about once a week, I just want to pick up the phone and call for Dos Reales take away or order a pizza. Unfortunately, as our family has grown it means that we can’t easily get away with that for under $30. So about once a week we have what I would consider the next best thing to ordering out — pasta.
I *LOVE* pasta. Unfortunately, The Husband not so much . . . or at least I thought so until The Great Impasta seemed to have become his favorite restaurant and then I finally realized that it wasn’t the pasta he hated, it was the tomato-based sauces that I love. He likes thick pastas like linguine and fettucini and he loves creamy alfredo and pesto, but *not* tomato. Tartlet 1 is the same — loves the pesto and cheesy pasta but rejects tomato-based sauces. So some days I please the rest of our family and we boil a box of pasta and open a jar of tomato based sauce and warm some Italian bread and have a salad or a bag of frozen veggies and we have dinner for $6 instead of take out and have to hear at least one person at the table complain about the meal (The Husband doesn’t complain, *ever*) and some days I do something a little different. Today was one of the latter.
I’ve seen purple cauliflower at The Grocery a few times but haven’t tried it before. It was on sale this week and Tartlet 2 was just talking about she likes ‘white broccoli’ (cauliflower) so I thought I’d see what she thought of purple. I picked up a variety of other veggies (broccoli, snow peas, zucchini, carrots, roasted red peppers, and onion) and lightly stir-poached them with some garlic and seasoned it with basil and a little oregano. Then I tossed it with some angel hair pasta and grated Parmesan cheese. A nice light meal with plenty of colorful vegetables.
Ruth at Once Upon A Feast hosts a weekly Presto Pasta event and I absolutely love the variety and old favorites served up there. Go check out the weekly roundups and I’ll serve up a plate of this.
Filed under: Blog Event, Cheese, Main Dish, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »