Typically, we don’t cook dairy items in the crock pot, especially not on low, because we don’t want to run the risk of spoilage. But when you are making yogurt, this is exactly what you want to happen! I was skeptical of making yogurt in the crock pot, but a friend of mine asked me to give it a go, so I did. And I’m thrilled with this delicious, healthy snack!
There are so few ingredients in this that you won’t believe how good it will actually turn out. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. You need time to make this recipe… there are three separate steps. I started mine at 11 am and it was finally done at midnight.
2. It sounds silly, but you actually need to buy yogurt in order to make yogurt. Much like a sourdough bread, you need a “starter” to get the process going and plain yogurt has the live cultures needed to make this work. Once you make your first big batch of crock pot yogurt, you can save the last cup of it to use in the next batch and then the next and the next…
3. Regular yogurt is TART! But you don’t need to add high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, sugar or junk to make this yogurt yummy. But be prepared that your first taste will be fresh tasting.
4. This is not the recipe to try and be homemade and low-fat. Use whole milk and yogurt to have the best final product. But it’s worth it and one serving is a great snack or breakfast, especially when you use a variety of add-ins to adapt the flavor.
1/2 gallon whole milk
1 c. plain yogurt
3 T. honey (local, if possible)
1 T. vanilla
Pour milk into crock pot and cook on low for 2.5 hours. Turn crock pot off and let it sit undisturbed on the counter for 3 hours. Then add in yogurt and stir into lumps are gone. Cover crock pot with a big dish towel to keep all moisture inside and let it sit for another 8 hours. Add honey and vanilla to the yogurt and stir. The yogurt is now finished and should be transferred to an air-tight container and stored in the refrigerator until eaten.
Save the last cup of this batch to use at the starter yogurt in your next batch.
Other great add-ins would be cut-up strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, canned crushed pineapple, chocolate chips, jelly/jam or any combination of all these great flavors!
(This recipe is based off of a fellow blogger’s A Year of Slow Cooking.)
Filed under: Appetizer, Dinner, Recipes, Side dishes, vegetarian
I’m totally enjoying soups this week and I hope you are getting a chance to enjoy some of these recipes too. I love it when I can make an entire meal in ONE pot and feed the whole family. This soup is a variation on my crock pot potato soup recipe (search for it in the recipe index) and adds in the unique sweetness of parsnips and carrots and sweet onions.
Even though it’s almost spring, we still need to survive on the rest of winter’s vegetables. If you can already grow things in your garden or windowsill, try adding fresh herbs like flat parsley, dill or chives to your soup when it is done cooking. I think you’ll find the promise of spring in the soothing warmth of this chowder. Enjoy!
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 c. water
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 t. celery seed
1 c. milk
1 T. corn starch
1 can cream-style corn
Put all vegetables and seasonings in crock pot, cover with water. Cook on high for 4 hours. When vegetables are all soft, dissolve corn starch in milk and then add to crock pot. Add cream-style corn and mix ingredients together. Cook on low one more hour. Use an immersion blender and puree the soup until thick and creamy. Serve with fresh parsley, dill or chives on top.
Filed under: Appetizer, Dinner, Side dishes, vegetarian
This recipe comes from my friend I.H.K. and she is an amazing cook. This soup is thick and chunky and a whole meal in one bowl. She recommends serving it with tortilla chips or corn bread. Using an immersion blender can really change a soup from drab to fab by altering the consistency to be smooth and creamy instead of watery.
Since this recipe takes 8 hours on low, it’s a great one to start before you leave for work in the morning and then come home to a beautiful dinner. Take a chance on this vegetarian chowder and enjoy!
2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1/2 inch)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can whole-kernel corn (15-16 oz.), drained
1 can creamed corn
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups broth (I use the vegetarian “chicken” flavor)
2 cups half-and-half or whole milk (depending on how virtuous you want to be)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon smoked sweet or hot paprika (optional)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Put first set of ingredients in crock pot and cook for about 8 hours on low or for 4 hours on high. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, stir everything together. Use an immersion blender to break up the ingredients as much as you want–I like my chowder chunky, but breaking up some of the sweet potatoes and corn makes the soup thicker and more luxurious. When only 1 hour of cooking time is left (if the slow cooker has been on high, turn down to low) ADD: half and half or milk, butter, paprika and cheddar cheese.
Did anyone else just do a double take to the title of this recipe? It’s funny to read Pot Pot and not giggle… but this pot pie is indeed made in your CROCK pot. I guess I could just call it crock pot pie, but then it makes me think of ooey gooey apple filling and flaky, buttery crusts and sorry fans… that is not this recipe. I will, however, promise that this recipe is for a new favorite for your whole family. It has meat, dairy, vegetable and carb and if you serve it with a side of fruit (maybe cranberry sauce??), you’ve fulfilled every food group. Except dessert… and I’m ok with that still being it’s own food group.
I will probably repost this recipe around Thanksgiving, because it’s the PERFECT thing to do with leftover turkey. I actually roasted a whole turkey this past weekend and have enjoyed easy meals all week from all the leftover meat. You can also do this dish just as easily with a rotisserie chicken that you pick up at the grocery store though.
Here’s another worthwhile note: I use a pancake mix that is entirely egg-free because my son has allergies… so I just made pancake mix according to the directions on the box for 12-14 pancakes (2 cups mix, 1.5 cups water). I would recommend that you follow the directions on YOUR box, so if it asks for eggs, you should probably include it.
Also- please be cautious when you put the crock pot (removed from the heating unit) into the oven and then taking it out. I scalded my arm nicely on this one because I wasn’t paying attention. Ahhh, the things I’m willing to do for great cooking and blogging… yeah, you’re welcome. Enjoy!
1-1.5 lbs cooked turkey or chicken, skin and bones removed, then meat cut into bite-sized pieces Read more
Filed under: Breakfast, Dinner, Recipes, Side dishes, vegetarian
Happy New Year, friends and fans!
So to be perfectly honest, I haven’t done a lot of cooking since January 1. We’ve relished in some easy dinner like grilled cheese and tomato soup, grilled chicken with steamed veggies and even ordering in Chinese food. But yesterday I tried a little baking and the result turned out so funny, I thought I would share.
I recently bought some organic veggies, including purple sweet potatoes. These potatoes are the same size and shape as regular sweet potatoes, but the insides are a vibrant purple (think the color of Barney or pansies!!) When I roasted the purple sweet potatoes, they were beautiful, but when I used them in this biscuit recipe, they turned out to be a purplish/blueish/greenish color instead! We were all entertained and they were really funny to see. But the taste and light, fluffy texture was great.
So here’s the recipe for you to try. This is NOT my recipe. It’s from www.foodnetwork.com with the original recipe provided by “Mama Dip”, whoever that is. You can use regular sweet potatoes if that is what you can find, but I assure you that the purple variety is much more entertaining. Enjoy!
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (skins removed)
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/4 c. milk
4 cups self-rising flour
3 T. sugar
pinch of baking soda
Mix together the sweet potatoes, butter and milk until well blended. Stir in the flour, baking soda and sugar. Shape the dough into a ball and knead about 10 times on a well-floured board. Roll the dough out 1-inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. Bake in a greased baking pan in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until brown on top.
((if you don’t have self-rising flour you can substitute with all purpose flour and a few more ingredients and the result will be the same. 1 c. self-rising flour= 1 c. all-purpose flour+ 1 1/2 t. baking powder+ 1/2 t. salt))
Yields: 15 biscuits
This recipe gives me crazy flashbacks! My mom use to make this when I was a kid. She made it in the oven, but it was almost the same recipe— broccoli, chicken, rice and some sauce that had a little bit of an orange color but didn’t taste at all like oranges. It took me a few more years of life to find out that the color was from the curry powder. I think Crayola should add the crayon color “curry”.
It’s hard sometimes for my taste buds to explain the flavors to my head, but I think I’ve figured out most of my mom’s recipe. I’ve added the crock pot. Maybe the celery seed, too, but I think it adds a nice flavor. I start with frozen chicken breasts because I never think ahead to thaw it out and I don’t like when I defrost it in the microwave and then the edges get a little cooked and weird. Using frozen chicken breasts works just fine, it will defrost and cook and fall apart into the creamy goodness of the sauce and the starch of the rice and absorb all of the spices by the time it’s done.
This home cooking will serve a table full of happy tummies and happy hearts. Enjoy!
1 lb. frozen broccoli cuts
1 c. uncooked white rice
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 t. Worchestershire sauce
1 t. fresh lemon juice
2 t. curry powder
1/2 t. celery seed
1/2 t. ground black pepper
2 T. melted butter
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese sprinkles
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. mayonnaise
Put frozen broccoli in crock pot first. Sprinkle with rice. Lay chicken breasts on top. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour on top of chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Prior to serving, shred chicken and mix everything together.
OK, so this one might seem a little like ”school lunch”, but I like the combination of creamy noodles and easy protein. Anytime I make this in the oven, I always wind up burning the edges. When I make it in the crock pot, it keeps the meal warm and creamy and doesn’t get crispy crusts. (Although, if the crispy crusts are your favorite part, feel free to use this recipe and just shove it in the oven for an hour instead.)
One of the things that is really unique about my tuna casserole is that I used diced water chestnuts. I like the surprise burst of these moist, crunchy morsels. They keep to the neutral color of the dish and add a little bit of jazz that is pleasing to the palate. I also suggest using tuna from a foil packet, not from a can. The canned fish is great for tuna salad, but I like that the foiled fish has better texture and bigger chunks. If you are not a fan of peas, you can try any frozen vegetable– corn, green beans and mixed veggies are good ones to try, too.
One last big difference in my version is that most tuna casseroles call for cheddar cheese and mine adds something extra. While I think melted cheddar cheese adds to the creaminess, I think including something like feta actually gives the whole dish more flavor and an overall better success. With these modifications, we are taking “school lunch” into the adult world. You could serve this to family or friends on real plates.
The only thing that could be better than this tuna casserole would be if the school lunch ladies could be here to serve and clean everything up. Enjoy!
1 lb. broad egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 6 oz. foil packet of albacore tuna Read more
After some trial and error with cooking potatoes in the crock pot, I’ve finally got some advice for you. First off…don’t try to make mashed potatoes. The long amount of time and lack of high heat sort of ruin the effect. But, if you want to make them on the stove and then keep them heated in a crock pot, that works out fine.
I really wanted to make a side dish of potatoes that was easy to cook and didn’t take an excessive amount of prep work (or extra dishes or pots). These scalloped potatoes turned out bubbly and flavorful without having to add a canned creamy soup. Give this a try, especially if you have two crock pots, so you can do a meat main dish in one and this delicious accompaniment in the other. Enjoy!
4-5 medium-sized potatoes, skin on
1 medium onion
1/4 c. flour
2 T. parsley flakes
1 T. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheese (try cheddar or mozzarella)
Use a food processor to slice potatoes and onions thin (this is much thinner than what you can do with a knife!). Put in pot and then mix in flour and seasonings. Smooth out mixture so that is it flat, then pour milk over entire surface area. Potatoes should not be completely covered by milk. Shake paprika on top as garnish. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 3-4 hours. Stir in shredded cheese before serving.
(This is a really good recipe to use a crock pot liner, the edges crisp first and get stuck to the sides. If you use a liner, it is much easier to clean out the pot! You can buy some by clicking here.)
Not to be too corny, but I’m a big fan of corn. I love fresh local corn on the cob in the summer, corn chowder soup in the winter, corn muffins, popcorn at the movies, canned cream corn, kettle corn at the apple festival, even cooking with corn oil.
I’ve got some great leftover meat from this weekend, but I really want a yummy side dish to go with it to make it seem like a whole new meal. It’s already the middle of the afternoon, so I’m short on time, but this is a perfect time to make a delicious corn side dish as an accompaniment.
The contrast of the sweet corn and creamy cheese to the sting of the jalapenos is a great chemistry. When you make this dish and someone tells you how much they love it, just smile and say, “awww shucks!”
1 32 oz. bag of frozen corn
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 T. butter, melted
1/2 c. milk
1 T. parsley Read more
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