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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Freezer to Slow Cooker – 2 more pork loin recipes, and Onion Soup Mix

Freezer to Slow Cooker – 2 more pork loin recipes, and Onion Soup Mix

As I continue with the Freezer to Slow Cooker meals I have found several more that work very well for our family, and even created a recipe that was a super hit. Both of the little girls said it was a ‘maker againer’.

The first one was one I found. It was similar to another one I made recently. It was definitely similar to an old fashioned “roast with carrots and potatoes” from my childhood! The four of us liked it, and the carrots were some of the most delicious I’ve ever had in a ‘pot roast’ type of meal.

Pork Tenderloin with Carrots and Potatoes

  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • ½ pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 package beef Herbox
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup water

Combine all ingredients, except water, in a zippered freezer bag, squeeze out all of the air, zip and freeze. Take the bag out of the freezer the night before you want to cook and serve. In the morning pour the contents into the crockpot, making sure the potatoes and carrots are on the bottom and place tenderloin on top. Pour ½ cup water over the loin. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through. Keep an eye on the potatoes to ensure that they stay submerged in liquid and do not brown or burn.

This next recipe is one that I created based on the past few pork loins I have made and the ingredients I had on hand.

Cherry Glazed Pork Tenderloin Freezer to Slow Cooker

  • 2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tablespoon onion soup mix from scratch (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup cherry preserves
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Combine pork, soup mix, cherry preserves, 1 cup broth and cider vinegar in a zippered freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible, zip, and freeze. The night before you want to cook and serve the tenderloin remove it from the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator. In the morning, place the contents of the bag into the slow cooker. Add 1 cup of broth and cook on low for 8 hours.

I made homemade cherry preserves / jelly that we had made this summer from my parent’s cherry tree. Delicious. I served this with baked potatoes and green beans.

Onion Soup Mix

  • 2/3 cup minced onion flakes
  • 3 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated or turbinado sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 package low sodium beef bouillon (Herbox)

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container such as a glass jar with tight fitting lid or a zippered bag. Shake to combine thoroughly. Use approximately 2 Tablespoons of mix in place of 1 packet “Onion Soup Mix”, unless otherwise directed.

I am still just as thrilled with the Freezer to Slow Cooker cooking as I was when I first tried it! It has definitely become something I will continue to do. It makes things so simple for me from start to finish! This is definitely one of the best organizational tools I have ever found and used!

Oh, and the Slow Cooker is such a great tool now that it’s fall and soup season is upon us! I’m so excited to holler out “Soup’s On”!

Well, that’s just another little bit of my cooking adventures! Until next time…Don’t get your ‘orts’ out of ‘sorts’~

 

 

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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in recipe

 

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Freezer to Slow Cooker ~ Pork Tenderloin

Last week I made another batch of Freezer to Slow Cooker meals. There was a new ‘old standard’, White Chicken Chili. I also made meatballs, which I put in the freezer raw instead of pre-cooked. I made a new pork tenderloin recipe and a chicken ‘pot pie’ recipe. I think I will revamp and retry the pot pie before I post the recipe. There were a couple of glitches that I’d like to work out.

So, the favorite of the group was the pork tenderloin. The Hubs liked it, the girls liked it, and my mother (with whom I shared some) liked it. In fact, she commented more than once that she liked it. That’s really saying something.

I found the basic recipe on About.com. I altered it a bit to suit my families tastes and to work for the Freezer to Slow Cooker method that I have grown to love. There was enough that it made a couple of meals for our family. So that was a bonus! This is great served with baked or mashed potatoes!

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

  • Pork tenderloins, 2-2.5 pounds, trimmed of fat
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Add garlic, mustard, honey, sugar, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper to freezer bag and mix. Add pork and coat thoroughly. Remove the air from the bag and close. Place into the freezer. The night before you want to serve the pork, remove the bag from the freezer. The next morning place contents in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours.

It is just that easy! A lovely little morsel!

 

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in recipe

 

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Fall Favorites ~ Muffins and Cocoa

muffinscocoaAs I am still feeling nostalgic from the Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, I will share a brand new comfort food, and an old, tried and true comfort drink.

The weather has turned cooler and there is a chill in the air. I absolutely love this time of year. I love when the leaves start to change colors and fall from the trees. I love seeing my breath in the earlier morning crisp air. I love pumpkins and sweaters, but most of all I love to bake! I really love to bake muffins. They are absolutely my favorite thing in the world to bake, and one of my favorite things to eat. Saturday morning on our way home from the grocery store and a quick drive through at a coffee chain to pick up some pumpkin spice lattes, Daughter Number Four asked if I could make pumpkin spice muffins. I told her that of course I could. She asked if we could do that right away. I reminded her that we had to make all of the meals for the week when we got home, but that we could definitely bake muffins on Sunday. “Banana muffins?” she asked. “I thought you wanted Pumpkin Spice Muffins“, said I. “Yes, and Banana Muffins”, she said.

So when Sunday morning came it was time to get started making muffins. I looked at several Pumpkin Spice Muffins and did not find one that I fell in love with. So, I made my own. That went so well I created an all-new Banana Muffin, too. I have to admit that it is awesome! The family loved both kinds of muffins. Daughter Number Four decided that we had so many muffins that I should take the Pumpkin Spice Muffins to my office to share, so I did. Those were mini-muffins…so everyone felt like they were eating healthy!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup warm water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with papers, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together (or use electric mixer) pumpkin, sugars, applesauce, oil, eggs and water. Stir the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until just blended. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups to about 2/3 full. Gently knock the pan on the counter a time or two to evenly distribute batter and to remove air bubbles. This can be topped with turbinado sugar, or a cinnamon sugar topping, if you like. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. After 10 minutes remove from pan and cool completely.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • Turbinado sugar or pearlized sugar for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers, or grease with butter or nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips with a whisk. In a medium bowl, mash bananas. Using an electric mixer mix in eggs, sugar, and butter until smooth. Add creamed ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Fill muffin cups until 2/3 full. Knock the pan on counter top gently to distribute batter and remove air bubbles. Top with sugar, if desired. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the middle muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven to wire cooling rack for five minutes. Remove muffins to cooling rack to cool completely. Makes 12.

Hot Chocolate (Cocoa)

  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (or less if desired)
  • Sea salt, scant
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups milk

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the cocoa, salt, and sugar until smooth. Turn the stovetop on to medium heat. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Continue whisking until milk is hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and serve in mugs. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired!

I served the warm banana muffins with the hot chocolate recipe that my parents always made when we were growing up. These are the best parts of fall; sharing memories and good treats with my family and friends.
Thank you for sharing these memories with me, and I hope you can make some of your own.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2013 in recipe

 

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Freezer to Slow Cooker – Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

This recipe was a throwback from my childhood. This was the best recipe that my mother ever made in her slow cooker. She got it out of the little booklet that came with her Rival slow cooker. The avocado green one that she also made her famous ‘baked beans’ in. Her recipe calls for it to be layered, but for the Freezer to Slow Cooker method I just dumped it all in together. My changes to the original are in parentheses. The house smelled just like my childhood when I came home from work, and the family absolutely loved it! I made enough that I made two bags and gave one meal to Daughter Number One. She was thrilled!

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

  • 6-8 slices of ham, (cubed)
  • 8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced (diced)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheddar or American (1/2 pound Velveeta, cubed)
  • 1 10-ounce can cream of celery or mushroom soup (I use Healthy Soup Substitute; September 16th)
  • (1 cup chicken broth – for the soup substitute)
  • (1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped)

Place all ingredients in zippered freezer bag and mix thoroughly. Remove as much air from the bag as possible, close, and lay flat in freezer. Remove bag from freezer the night before cooking. Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray. Pour contents into slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until potatoes are done.

When I mentioned to one of my brothers that I had made this, he said how much he had liked it, too. He asked if I made it “like mom”. I reminded him that I don’t use ‘cream of’ soups but that other than that I made it “like mom”. He seemed to approve…

Some things are just nostalgic. This morsel is one of those. Maybe it will become one for you, too!

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Freezer to Slow Cooker – White Chicken Chili

 

I recently celebrated a birthday, and would you believe that I got a new CrockPot?! Yep. That makes three! Could I be more excited? Well, maybe. But it’s still awesome!

I am on week four of total slow cooker domination! Last week we only had one slow cooker meal. Life just didn’t seem to flow as smoothly as it did the previous three weeks when I had made all of the meals for the week ahead and had them ready in the freezer to whip out and toss into the slow cooker in the morning.

I only like to post the recipes that I’ve tried. I still have a few to share from weeks 1-3 and an amazing pork roast recipe from last week.

I will start with the recipe for White Chicken Chili. It is in my freezer right this minute waiting to be pulled out for dinner later this week. I made this in week 2 and again in week 3. It is just that good! My family is kind of picky and they ALL loved it! Week 3 I made it for my office, and they all loved it, too! This week I made it for the family again. This one was shared from Kate, http://didthatjusthappenblog.wordpress.com/ who got my hooked on this whole Freezer to Slow Cooker process! The original came from designwinedine.com.

White Chicken Chili

  • 1 ½ pounds uncooked chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans of white beans
  • 1 – 15 ounce can of white corn
  • 1 white or sweet onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 package low sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 – 7 ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup or Healthy Soup Substitute (http://ortsofsorts.com/2013/09/16/chicken-spaghetti-freezer-to-crockpot/)
  • 1 – 14 ounce can of low sodium chicken broth

Place all ingredients in a zippered freezer bag and mix gently. Press all the air out and lay flat in your freezer. Pull the bag out the night before you want to cook it. In the morning pour the contents into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours or until the chicken is done. The original recipe calls to smash the chicken with a potato masher prior to serving. I did not smash my chicken.

Serve with sour cream, cilantro, chopped green onion, grated cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips.

With the weather cooling down this is a great recipe to make for the family, or share with a group! Sharing food is always a good thing to do! Especially when you own three slow cookers!

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in recipe

 

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