Cowboy Beans

I got this recipe from my Dad.  He made these for Jackson’s birthday party, and everyone went crazy for them.  They’re great for parties and potluck meals.  We served them with brisket and coleslaw.

Cowboy Beans | Sarafina's Kitchen

Photo by: Jeff Boettcher

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. sorghum or other molasses
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) pork ‘n beans
  • 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) butter beans, drained
  • 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) pinto beans, drained
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Cook ground beef until browned, breaking up and stirring as it cooks.
  2. Add onion and cook until tender; drain off excess grease.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except bacon.
  4. Put in casserole or crock pot and top with bacon crumbs.
  5. Bake at 350° for an hour, or cook in covered slow cooker or crockpot on HIGH for 1 hour, then reduce heat to LOW and cook 2 to 4 hours.

 

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

from SkinnyTaste.com

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 8 chicken thighs, with the bone, skin removed
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso my favorite!)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping

 

  1. Quick method: Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken, top with onions and peppers, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. When the timer beeps, remove lid and keep the crock pot on HIGH one hour to help it thicken.
  2. Better method but requires more prep:  Heat a large skillet over medium-high, lightly spray with oil and brown chicken on both sides a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add to the slow cooker. To the skillet, spray with a little more oil and add onions and peppers. Sauté until juices release and the vegetables become golden, a few minutes.
  3. Add to the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.
  4. Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Cheese Tortellini and Sausage

Thanks to the folks from Lid Pocket® for sending me a free holder. All opinions are my own.


It’s been a while since I’ve used my slow cooker, but this week is going to be hectic, so I knew planning slow cooker meals was the best thing to do.  It also gave me a chance to use the Lid Pocket® I received a few months ago.

This thing is cool.  It gives you a safe place to keep your slow cooker lid while you stir, check, and serve your food.  You don’t have to push stuff out of the way on your counter or find something to lay the lid on.

The low-down:

  • Hands-Free solution when seasoning, stirring or serving
  • Built-in Drip Catcher collects condensation
  • Keeps your counter top free and clean
  • Stores inside the crock
  • Fits 3-Quart and up – round to oval slow cookers
  • Fits the majority of slow cookers

Here’s what I cooked last night. The Lid Pocket kept the mess from the sauce off of the counter…it was a huge help!


 

Adapted from KeyIngredient.com

Slow Cooker Cheese Tortellini and Sausage | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 1 bag (19 oz.) frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 cans(14.5 oz each) Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-fat chicken broth
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Brown the sausage in a skillet on the stove top until cooked and crumbled. Drain.
  2. Add the sausage and remaining ingredients to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook, on LOW for 5 hours, stirring twice during cooking.

Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole

adapted from Get Crocked

tots

  • 1 lb. ground turkey, browned
  • 10 oz. tomatoes, RoTel, mild or hot, drained
  • 16 oz. tater tots, frozen
  • 10 3/4 oz. can, Low-Fat Cream of Celery soup
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a skillet, brown ground turkey, adding in chopped onion, and Rotel tomatoes.
  2. Transfer turkey, onion and tomato mixture into a greased slow cooker.
  3. Combine above with Cream of Celery soup.
  4. Place tater tots across the top of all your ingredients listed above.
  5. Cover.  Cook on Low for 2 – 3  hours.
  6. Top with shredded cheese on top of the tater tots 30 minutes before you are going to serve, allowing the cheese to melt over the tots.

Slow Cooker Chili

slow cooker chili

  • 2 lb lean ground sirloin, 10% fat
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups water (or broth)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tsp. salt over medium-high heat, breaking up beef with a spoon, until meat loses its pink color, about 8 minutes. Drain excess fat from pan.
  2. Add meat to slow cooker along with 2 cups water, tomato paste, onions, garlic, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours.

Slow Cooker Beer and Cheese Potato Chowder

Recipe courtesy of pillsbury.com
Ingredients

  • 2 lb. (6 medium) russet potatoes, peeled, chopped (6 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (14-oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1 (12-oz.) can beer
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) shredded Cheddar and American cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Rye bread, cut into cubes and toasted, if desired

Directions

  1. In 3 to 4-quart slow cooker, combine potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, garlic and pepper; stir gently to mix. Pour broth and beer over vegetables.
  2. Cover; cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. About 10 minutes before serving, coarsely mash vegetables with potato masher or fork. Add cheese and whipping cream; stir until cheese is melted. Cover; cook an additional 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with croutons.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Comfort food.  Sunday dinner.  Enjoy!

from tablespoon.com

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup sliced celery
  • 1 white onion, diced finely (about 1 cup)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (16.3 ounce) can Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers
  1. Spray a 4-6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the cubed chicken to the slow cooker and top with the celery and onion.
  2. Sprinkle vegetables with celery seed, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Pour the cream of chicken soup over the vegetables and cook on low for 4 hours.
  3. After 4 hours or when chicken is done, stir in the frozen vegetables and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are heated through.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake biscuits for 13-15 minutes.
  5. To serve, spoon some chicken filling on a plate or bowl and top with a biscuit that has been split in half.

Notes:  I used 6 chicken thighs in place of the chicken breasts and used the vegetable medley containing corn, carrots, and asparagus tips.

Super-Easy Apricot Chicken

I had issues getting the sauce to thicken at the end.  I’d recommend straining out the onions and apricots and making your own pan sauce.  I think there was too much grease from the chicken and that kept the sauce from thickening, even after I added a cornstarch slurry to it.

from myrecipes.com

  • 12 dried apricots
  • 8 medium chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 lb.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  1. Rinse apricots and scatter them in a slow cooker. Pat chicken dry; season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook thighs until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. (Brown in batches to avoid crowding skillet.) Arrange over apricots.
  2. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. fat in skillet. Add onion and cook until just soft, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add broth to skillet; turn heat to high. Bring to a boil, loosening browned bits.
  4. Pour contents of skillet over apricots and chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
  5. Carefully transfer thighs to a serving dish (they’ll tend to fall apart easily); cover with foil to keep warm. Pour remaining contents into a saucepan. Boil, stirring often, until reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour over chicken.

BBQ Pulled Pork

This recipe is great for making sandwiches, tacos, or just eating by itself. 

  • 1 (2 pound) pork shoulder
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

Place the pork shoulder in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

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