Filed under: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, Recipes, Side dishes
This is one of my favorite foods from my experience with Jewish holidays. This casserole is sweet and dense with a wonderful warmth of cinnamon and vanilla. The noodles are soft and bound with the creamy egg filling. But my favorite taste is the plump raisins that swell with flavor and are a great contrast to the texture of the noodles.
I’ve made this dish many times in the oven, so it seemed like an easy transition to do it in the crock pot. Plus, it was so much easier to serve this dish hot as a buffet item when guests could just scoop it up still steaming. Plus– no one had to be embarrassed to have seconds when they could just go back to the crock pot for more!
1 lb. yolk-free broad egg noodles, cooked
5 eggs, beaten Read more
Stuffing is an under-appreciated side dish. It completely defines a Thanksgiving dinner and can sometimes be found at kitschy homecooking restaurants, but there is no reason to leave it alone for the rest of the year. Plus, it’s a great way to use leftover or stale bread. The more variety you use in your bread selection will equal a total change in the taste of the end result.
In my fridge right now, I have half a loaf of wheat bread (very dense and yeast-smelling) and half a loaf of what was labeled a “tomato bread” (tastes like Italian bread with a swirl of seasoned tomato paste in it). Here is how to prep your bread for stuffing: cut into slices and then into bite-sized cubes. For example, I would cut a normal piece of wheat bread four times each way = 16 smaller pieces. Then, lay cubes out in one layer on a cookie sheet and cook for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, just until the bread toasts.
Instead of just pouring the stuffing into a pan, I love the idea of hand rolling the stuffing into balls. It cooks into nice individual servings and leaves lots of surface area to crisp. These balls also freeze really well, so make a full recipe and then save what you don’t consume. Enjoy!
6 cups homemade stuffing cubes
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 c. water
1 16 oz. can cream-style corn
1 T. parsley
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. celery seed
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
10 little pads of butter or margarine
In a bowl, mix together all ingredients, except butter or margarine. After combined, mixture should be moist, but not dripping wet. Form 10 balls, using your hands and mush it together so that it can stand on it’s own. Coat oval-shaped crock pot with non-stick spray. Place stuffing balls side by side in crock pot. Place one little pad of butter or margarine on top of each stuffing ball. Cook on low for 3 hours.
(The original inspiration from this dish came from crock pot maven Mable Hoffman’s Crockery Cookery Cookbook. No offense, but her recipe was bland and suggested using packaged stuffing mix; my adaptation takes it up a notch and makes it flavorful and heartier.)
Forget dinner– let’s skip straight to dessert. What could possibly be better than dumping everything in the crock pot and having your entire house filled with the glorious, sweet, satisfying smell of freshly baked dessert?! Cooking dessert in the crock pot requires a little more attention to detail than the normal dump-and-go meal prep, but I think you’ll really like this recipe. In all honesty, it still only took me 6 minutes from start to finish to get everything into the crock pot. Since this is a slow cooking method, you won’t dry out or burn the edges of your tasty treat like you might in the regular oven. Plus, it is way better to use the crock pot for a few hours than to heat up the entire house with conventional baking.
This cobbler recipe can also be made using a variety of other fruits. Go for what is in season, grown locally or on sale in the freezer section; I would suggest trying cherries, peaches, apples, mixed berries or maybe Read more
Mac and cheese= kid favorite, adult favorite, crowdy pleaser. Unless you are lactose intolerant, I’m guessing mac and cheese is a staple in your diet and probably gives you warm fuzzies of memories as a kid. Whether you liked the stove top blue box, orange carton that went in the oven or something homemade with buttery crumbles on top, cheese and noodles are a great combination.
Noodles are a challenge for the crock pot, however. I would recommend cooking the noodles in advance. I know it makes TWO pots to clean instead of just one, but it’s the best way. You can reuse the pot to make the sauce before pouring it into the crock pot. You may be saying, but then isn’t this a stove top recipe and not a crock pot recipe? But by adding these things together into the crock pot, you are actually working to increase the creaminess, less the seasoning melt together and ultimately have dinner ready when you get home.
I also would recommend shredding the block of cheese by hand instead of buying preshredded cheese. It makes it a little creamier, although I’m not quite sure why. But if you cook the noodles in advance and shred the cheese too, you are eliminating some of the prep time to make it easier to start this dish over breakfast and then enjoy it at dinner time.
Once this becomes one of your favorite dishes, there are lots of ways to add variety: add 1/2 c salsa or 4 strips of crumbled bacon or freshly snipped chives or some steamed vegetables like broccoli or peas. If you want more protein in the dish, add a packet of drained tuna fish or some fajita-style chicken strips. If you are serving this to adults and want to make it more grown up, Read more
If you could smell my house right now, it is sweet and a little spicy with a creaminess swirling around with every breath. Somehow, it is like a combination of slow Sunday mornings and early weekday diner breakfasts. If you are preparing your house for the Jewish holiday of Passover– this is the ultimate way of using up the last of your chametz (leavened bread). You can use any combination of plain breads, but I’d recommend using white, wheat, french, italian… even leftover hamburger or hot dog buns if you’ve got them. Honestly, this might be for dessert, but if I had more bread to use, I would totally make it again for breakfast.
As this time of year seems to fill with baby and wedding showers in preparation for summer celebrations, I would also absolutely recommend making this to share at a brunch. Since it only takes three hours, you can start it when you wake up and be ready to entertain guests with ease. For my male readers and/or sports fanatics– you might be spending too many nights staying up and watching March Madness basketball games; start the following day with this hearty dish to help wake you up and fill you up (and maybe even absorb that last bit of “adult beverage” festering in your belly).
So no matter what catagory you might fit into from this post, I think you all will fall in love with this sweet dish. Enjoy!
6 c. cubed bread
8 eggs, beaten Read more
Growing up, my dad really liked tapioca pudding and I could never understand why he enjoyed eating eyeballs. They looks gooey and slimey and smelled like playdough. I also remember seeing vats of it at chinese buffet restaurants and was again reminded of things like eyeballs and fish eggs.
Then I discovered that with a little love, it could actually be a delicious treat. The addition of vanilla and cinnamon make this more of a dessert, but I wouldn’t be opposed to eating it for breakfast. As an additional note—tapioca pearls are also a great way to thicken up desserts, stews and sauces, but use the small pearls in those instances.
Try serving this dish with vanilla wafers or a few little chocolate cookies that might be “thin” and “minty”. If you eat it warm, you might also like it with some pound cake and fresh fruit.
4 cups milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. tapioca Read more