Crock Pot Escalloped Apples

This recipe is the direct result of two completely different factors=

1. we’ve been getting great fall apples and need to use some up, especially the ones with bruises  

2. it’s almost the holiday season and I’m trying to find lower calories, but equally delicious dishes to serve up as dessert

This recipe is best served warm with a scoop of either vanilla ice cream or just a dollop of whipped cream. It tastes like the inside of a warm apple pie, but barely has more calories that a cup of applesauce. It’s soothing and comforting to the whole body and there is no reason to save this dish for dessert— try it for breakfast with your oatmeal, as a side to lunch or dinner or as a snack at any point of the day!

Unlike applesauce, this dish should be made with large chunks of apples. As they cook down, the apples might fall apart a little bit, but that will help the juices flow. Do not overcook this recipe or you will wind up with apple butter.

8 medium apples, peeled and cored and cut into large chunks

2 T. salted butter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 t. cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1/2 t. black pepper

1 T. vanilla extract

1/4 c. cold water

1 t. corn starch

Put apples in the crock pot first, then sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and drizzle with vanilla. Put butter on top of mixture, it will melt as it heats. Cook on low for 4 hours or until apples are softened, but still firm. Dissolve corn starch in water and then pour over apple mixture and stir. Turn crock pot off and let sauce thicken until it gets syrupy and easily coats the apple chunks.  Serve warm. 

(Makes 8 servings)

Crock Pot Noodle Kugel

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

16 oz. sour cream

16 oz. cottage cheese

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1 T. vanilla

1 c. raisins

1 c. Special K cereal (crushed)

2 T. butter, melted

Mix all ingredients except noodles in crock pot until smooth. Fold noodles into mixture gently. Mix crushed cereal and melted butter in a separate bowl and then flake on top of casserole mixture. Cook on low for 4 hours. For last 15 minutes, position lid sideways so that air can escape during final moments of cooking.

Crock Pot Peach Cobbler

The only thing better than a local farmer’s market is a neighbor with an amazing garden and fruit trees. I had the pleasure of pillaging the peach trees yesterday and came home with about two dozen little peaches, ripe and ready to be enjoyed. They were sweet and juicy, broke easily off the pit and cooked down perfectly into my peach cobbler.  I’m not sure what makes me happier– the warm cobbler with it’s sticky sweetness stuck to my spoon… or the fact that I can walk next door, fill my basket and make another pot full tomorrow.

I like the keep the flavor of my cobbler simple. The peaches are already so sweet, I really just want to be able to cook them down a little. And I like the oatmeal topping, it makes me think of a cookie up on top.  This recipe definitely craves a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, but it’s also really good with some vanilla yogurt or just a little half and half… or nothing at all. It’s really good that way, too. Enjoy!

(You’ll see in the recipe directions that I use the crock pot in an unconventional way. I cook the dessert on low, half uncovered, for the last hour. This helps the peach portion thicken up and the crumbly top crisp a little bit.)

4 lbs peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

1/4 c. brown sugar, not packed

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

cobbler topping:

2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 c. brown sugar, not packed

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. salt

1 stick butter, melted

Put the first four ingredients in the crock pot and stir together. In a separate bowl, pour in the oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir, then slowly pour in the melted butter and continue stirring. Then, pour the crumbly mixture on top of the peach mixture already in the pot. Cook on high for 2 hours. Remove lid and turn it so that steam can easily escape and cook on low (half covered) for one more hour. Serve warm.

Crock Pot Apple Brown Betty

 Your crock pot isn’t just for cooking main dishes, I’m on a kick cooking desserts too! If you are a fan of baked apples or even just apple sauce, you’ll love this take on what I call “apple brown betty”. If you look up the meaning, it’s still unclear who this “betty” is and why her apples were so brown. Most sources date the dish back to colonial times and confirm that the dessert is truly as American as… well, apple pie. 

The flavor and composition of my apple brown betty is similar to a cobbler, so if you’d like to try this with peaches, berries or any combination of fresh fruit, give it a try and please post a comment and let us all know how it turns out. Enjoy!

6-8 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 T. vanilla

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. nutmeg

For the crumbles–

2 cups of granola

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

2 t. melted butter

Put apples in crock pot first and then rest of filling ingredients. Toss together so that the apples get coated. Then, in a separate bowl, mix together crumbles ingredients and then pour on top of apples, but do not mix. Cook on low for 3 hours. Serve a scoop of dessert with a scoop of ice cream– the warm sweetness and the cold creaminess are a delightful combination.

Crock Pot Carrot Cake

I would like to begin this post with an argument. The title of carrot cake is really a misnomer. This shouldn’t be considered a dessert. It is based foremost on a VEGETABLE for goodness sake! It is a carbohydrate next and then a treat after that. It is vegetarian, kosher, can be low fat and I’d almost put the gold sticker of “healthy” on it!

Based on these clear and evident facts, I would like to share with you my recipe for crock pot carrot cake. Serve it for breakfast, after lunch, for an afternoon or evening snack or just about any point of the day. Chalk it up as doing a good deed for yourself. And trust me, this tastes soooo much better than drinking v8!

1 c. flour

1 c. oatmeal

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. applesauce

2 t. potato starch

1/4 c. apple juice

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

1 t. cinnamon

1 c. grated carrots

1 t. vanilla

1/2 c. raisins

1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a separate mixing bowl by hand. Coat a loaf pan with non-stick spray and then pour batter in. Place entire loaf pan in crock pot (use oval shaped crock pot to make it fit). Cook on high until center of cake is no longer jiggly– about 2-2.5 hours. Let cool and then shmear with whipped cream cheese or cream cheese frosting.

Crock Pot Blueberry Cobbler

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 some ripe pears.  It you want this dish to be even more divine, throw in a 1/2 c. of butterscotch morsels or chocolate chips with the top layer. Enjoy!

1 c. flour

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla

2 t. butter, melted

1/2 c. half and half or milk

16 oz. fresh or frozen blueberries


1 c. quick oats

1/3 c. flour

2 t. melted butter

1/2 t. cinnamon

2 T. brown sugar

Spray the entire crock pot with a non-stick spray. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Add the melted butter and half and half. Dump in blueberries and stir well. Pour into crock pot. Then, in another separate bowl, cut together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping on top of mixture already in crock pot and DO NOT MIX.   Cook 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.

Crock Pot Bread Pudding

This crock pot bread pudding makes a great breakfast or dessert!

This crock pot bread pudding makes a great breakfast or dessert!

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

4 cups milk

1/4 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

1 t. vanilla

2 T. maple syrup

1/2 c. raisins

Throw all the bread cubes into the crock pot first. Then, in a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Pour mixture onto the bread crumbs and make sure all pieces are coated. In another separate (small) bowl, mix together the raisins and maple syrup and then sprinkle the coated fruit on top of the swelling bread in the crock pot. Cook on high for 2.5 to 3 hours. You want to make sure the eggs are cooked through and there isn’t any liquid left.

Crock Pot Purple Oatmeal

This oatmeal is an easy way to invite your senses to wake up and start the day.  I love the surprise of removing the crock pot lid and seeing a beautiful bright purple, smelling the sweet steam and seeing the little bubbles around the edges on this thick and smooth oatmeal.

This would be a great holiday dish, easy to serve to overnight guests and would even be great for a morning meeting at work.  Seriously, they make portable crock pots for a reason! Enjoy this sweet treat for breakfast tomorrow. If you spend the rest of the day humming “Purple Rain” or singing “Flying Purple People Eater” to your kids, you can thank me later.

2 c. quick oats

2. c. water

1 c. milk

1 T. vanilla

1 can cherry pie filling

1 c. frozen blueberries

Put everything in the crockpot, stir gently and cook on “keep warm” for 8 hours over night. When you mix this in the morning, stir gently so you don’t make the blueberries fall apart— they will be juicy and ready to explode.

Crock Pot Tapioca Pudding

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

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 t. vanilla

1/2 t. cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

Mix everything together in the crock pot and then cook on low for 4 hours or on high for about 2 hours. Can be served warm or cold.

Crock Pot Fruity Oatmeal

Good morning, friends! While this is technically breakfast and not dinner, I figured a nice, warm meal would be a good way to start Monday morning.  After reading pages of posts online, I decided that the only way to figure this recipe out would just be to avoid all the major complaints that people had about the other recipes. So, to save you the time of researching everyone else’s negativity, here is the insight and recipe that I have to share with you.

1. Cook time: I suggest 8 hours on the “keep warm” setting. Everyone else said to cook the oatmeal for 4 hours on low, but who wants to get up in the middle of the night to start breakfast?! Cooking on “keep warm” means you can wake up looking rested, too.

2. Burnt edges: The downside of crockpot cooking is the clean up. I’ve been known to let a burnt pot sit for a couple days. My mother-in-law and I used to joke that we were just letting the dirty ones soak in hopes that someone else would scrub them clean. You can buy crockpot liners which makes clean up super easy and keeps complaining and procrastination to a minimum.

3.  Oats: There areusually three types of oats at the grocery store– quick oats, regular oats and steel-cut oats. If you vary the recipe, you can use any of these, but since I have quick oats in the pantry at all times, that is what I use. Steel cut oats are probably best for crockpotting because of their tough exterior. And yes, I might have just made up that word– crockpotting does look pretty funny, but it’s grammatically correct if “to crockpot” was an actual verb.

2 c. quick oats

2 cups water

1 cup milk

1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/2 c. applesauce

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

1/4 c. brown sugar

Add everything to the pot and give it a stir. Set crockpot to “keep warm” setting for 8 hours or to low for 4 hours. Cook overnight for breakfast in the morning, then reheat leftovers with a little bit of water and half and half for breakfast the following day.