Tag Archives: slow cooker

Junior League Caramel Pie

I’m normally not a fan of Southern Living recipes.  Not because they don’t work, but because I just don’t usually cook that way. 

And by “that way” I mean highly processed ingredients, like canned biscuits and condensed soup. 

I realize that’s an over-generalization of the empire of stylish living below the Mason-Dixon, but it’s mostly true.  Not always.  Keep reading.

Years ago, a friend gave me the Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook.  I’ve made a few soup-free recipes, including the raved about Lamb Meatballs, and everything has been delicious.  I was flipping through it recently and noticed a recipe for Caramel Pie.  (Remember, this is a slow cooker cookbook.)

I was intrigued and since I had a meeting the next day to which I would bring dessert, I thought I’d try it.

It was rich and yummy.  There’s no picture, because there was none left. Those Junior League bitches can eat.

Actually, the last part is a complete lie.  I’ve never seen a League member eat half of what a normal woman would. 

White wine, however, is a different story.


Caramel Pie

14 oz can fat-free sweetened condensed milk

Reduced fat graham cracker crust

8 oz container low fat Cool Whip

1 toffee candy bar (I used Heath), chopped

  1. Pour milk into a 2 cup pyrex glass measuring cup.  Cover with foil.  Place in a 4 quart slow cooker and add enough hot water to reach the level of milk in the measuring cup.  Cook on low until the milk is the color of caramel (7 to 9 hours.)
  2. Pour caramelized milk into crust and let cool while the Cool Whip thaws.
  3. Spread Cool Whip over the caramel. Sprinkle with toffee.


Tagged , ,

Applesauce and Sage Glazed Pork Loin

This is another of Emeril’s crockpot recipes that doesn’t taste like crockpot food.  The pork loin cooks in a small amount of chicken stock, so it gets really tender, then the glaze is poured on and it cooks for an hour longer.  The result is a juicy pork loin that has a nice sticky glaze. 

I didn’t find parsnips at the grocery store, so I used carrots instead and they were great.  I also couldn’t find butcher’s twine on the shelves of three groceries, so I batted my eyelashes at the fellows behind the meat counter at Langenstein’s, and they generously gave me a couple yards.

Applesauce and Sage Glazed Pork Loin with Parsnips and Turnips (Printable Version)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pound boneless pork loin, tied at 1/2-inch intervals
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
1 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cups small diced parsnips
1 1/2 cups small diced turnips
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Season the pork with 2 teaspoons of the salt, the Essence and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Sear the pork in the hot pan for 2 minutes on each of the four sides, and on the two ends as well. Place the pork in a slow cooker and add the chicken stock to the pot. Lay the parsnips and turnips around the pork, salt them with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and place the lid over the crock pot. Turn the heat up to high and cook the roast for 3 hours.

While the roast is cooking, combine the applesauce, sugar, vinegar, sage, rosemary and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir. Cook until the applesauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. After the roast has cooked for 3 hours, pour the glaze over the top and replace the lid. Continue to cook for 1 hour longer, until very tender. Serve with the pan juices.

Tagged , , , ,

Slow Cooker, Slow Cooker, Make Me a Roast

Of all the things in my kitchen, I may love this the most:

It’s the All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker with a stovetop safe insert, which means you can brown on the stove, then slow cook without dirtying another pan.  Plus, it’s 7 quarts and oblong, so you can get a big chicken or roast in without a problem.  Hubby got me this as an anniversary present a couple years ago and I’ve never been more turned on.

It’s an investment- $249 at Williams Sonoma (though it was $199 last week, so maybe it’ll go back on sale), but if you use a crockpot often, it’s worth it.


Tagged , , ,

Fun Fall Food, Day 16: Crock Pot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

There is an unbelievable amount of sugar in my house right now.  If you are diabetic, you may burst into flames at the threshold.  In addition to all the sweet recipes I’ve posted, it was AG’s birthday, so we also have leftover school cake and leftover party cake.  I can’t stop thinking about eating something savory and salty.

Here’s a yummy dip recipe that would be great if you have a crowd over to watch football today.

Or one hungry mom.

Crock Pot Spinach Dip

2 small jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained

9 oz bag baby spinach (Remove big stems, then chop the leaves)

½ cup sour cream

½ block cream cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 cup shredded parmesan

  1. In a four quart crock pot, stir together everything except ½ cup parmesan.
  2. Cook on low for 2 hours or high for 1 hour, or until the spinach is completely wilted.  You may have to stir a few times during cooking to get all the spinach incorporated.
  3. If it seems like there is too much liquid, turn crock pot on high and remove the lid for a while.  Once it’s the right consistency, sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top and either leave it in the crockpot to keep it warm, or serve in a bowl.
  4. Delicious with pita or tortilla chips.
Tagged , , ,

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

Here’s a great slow cooker recipe that doesn’t require any browning, which means no additional dirty dishes.  It’s a great coming-in-late-from-sports-starving meal because nothing has to be cooked at the last minute.

BBQ Beef Brisket (adapted from March 2011 Womans Day)

1 8oz can tomato sauce

¼ cup molasses

2 T cider vinegar

2 T brown sugar

2 t chili powder

1 half of a chipotle canned in adobo sauce, plus 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce (the original recipe calls for about twice as much, but my kids can be spice wusses, and I’d rather not hear about it)

1 red onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 ½ lb beef brisket

Rolls, coleslaw, pickles and chips for serving

  1. In a two-cup measuring cup, combine tomato sauce, molasses, vinegar, brown sugar, chipotles, adobo sauce, chili powder and salt to taste.
  2. Lay the onions and garlic at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Cut the brisket into 3 or 4 pieces against the grain, and nestle among onions.
  4. Pour the sauce over the meat.
  5. Cook until meat is tender, on low 7 to 8 hours, or high 5 to 6 hours.
  6. Shred the meat with two forks and stir into cooking liquid.
  7. Serve on rolls with coleslaw, pickles and chips.
Tagged , , , ,

I Heart My Slow Cooker

I feel like I’m in the suburban housewife version of Groundhog Day.  I swear I’ve had this conversation four times in as many days:

Similarly over-educated SAHM to me , “Hey! Haven’t seen you in a while.  What have y’all been up to?”

Me, “F&#king after-school activities.”

Other SAHM, “Same here.”

We went on to discuss how overscheduled our lives are and that we rarely get a chance to look our husbands in the eyes. The kids are exhausted, but they love it.  A is playing soccer and volleyball, and Dude is doing chess club and football.  I know it’s the same for all the mommies reading this. We have not been home on a school night before 7 or 7:30 in weeks.  And we usually walk in the house starving.  One of my basic Mom Tenets is that we eat a home-cooked meal at home on school nights.  No take-out, no eating at restaurants, no dinners at friends’.

There lies my love affair with the slow cooker.  We can literally walk in, wash hands, and eat.  I especially love one-dish meals like chili.

Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Just Like Wendy’s Chili

1 ½-2 lbs lean ground meat (chuck, sirloin, whatever)

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed well (‘cause that goo is nasty)

2 x 14.5 oz cans mild Rotel tomatoes

6 oz can tomato paste

7 oz can diced green chiles

¾ cup beer (whatever’s in the fridge)

2 t chili powder

1 ½ t ancho chile powder

2 t ground cumin

1 t dried oregano


  1. Brown the meat. Drain any fat. Add the onion and sauté until soft.  You can either do this in a skillet and transfer to your slow cooker, or get the AWESOME All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker with removable stovetop safe insert.  (I got this for an anniversary gift a couple of years ago, and it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  Pinky swear.)
  2. Add everything else, stir and cook on low 8-9 hours.
Tagged , ,