Category Archives: Recipes

Friday Recipe Exchange: Slow-Cooker Meals By Request

I received a request from The Mighty Trowel, friend of blog from Down Under, for some slow-cooker recipes as they move into fall.  I think Slow-cookers are one of the most versatile appliances in the kitchen – you can make a nice pot roast dinner, or recipes as simple as soups and stews. The best part is coming home from work or long hike and know dinner is ready to go and the house smells wonderful.

For recipes, let’s start with JeffreyW’s Italian Beef, pictured above and the recipe here.

A surprisingly easy and tasty Spinach Lasagna recipe is here.

Pulled Pork two ways, click here for both, makes great sandwiches or wraps, .

Then something different, and a childhood favorite meal, Brunswick Stew, recipe here. (Posting this makes me smile, because the last time I posted the recipe, commenters informed me that REAL Brunswick Stew is made with squirrel. You’re welcome to substitute as needed).

And finally, a Turkey Bean Soup,  recipe found here.

For all our slow-cooker recipes, click here and here.

I also posted my updated recipe for Extra Crispy Oven Fried Chicken today, you can find it here.

What’s on your menu this weekend? Have any slow-cooker recipes to share with The Mighty Trowel – I’m sure they would be appreciated. Vegetarian recipes would be great, we like to do at least one a week here, so new ideas are always welcome.

I really like tonight’s featured recipe because it is very simple, but so very tasty. I often make it when I have a crowd visiting. The recipe below serves 4 and I always double it.  It’s a great recipe for letting everyone help themselves when they are hungry. I toss the pasta with olive oil and put it in the refrigerator and leave the beef simmering in the slow-cooker on low for the entire day. They can mix the two when they are hungry. The longer the beef cooks, the better it gets. It’s always a hit with everyone.

Portuguese Beef & Pasta

  • 1 lb round steak, cut into thin strips, remove excess fat
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (reserve ¼ for beans)
  • 1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2-14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf (remove before serving)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 8 oz dry macaroni**

Slow-Cooker and saucepan

Add beef, salt, pepper, onion, green pepper, garlic, paste, diced tomatoes, water, bay leaf & red pepper to Slow-Cooker. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually 8-10 hours on low) until beef tears easily with a fork. In saucepan, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well (you don’t want any water in your beef mixture) and mix beef and pasta in serving bowl.


But There Are Two Sheets In The Box!

Yes, yes, there are!  Mmm… raspberry Danish!DSC_2308 (1600x1060)

Hamburger Helper

A sheet of puff pastry is what I’m talking about!  One pound of browned ground beef with gravy made from the drippings and beef broth, toss in a bag of frozen mixed veggies, cover with egg washed dough sheet –  20 minutes at 400 and Bob’s Your Uncle!

Extra Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

I’ve been playing with the different uses of potato starch. It works as a great alternative to corn starch when stir-frying and makes the silkiest gravies. I decided to give it a try with my Oven Fried Chicken (original recipe here with complete dinner menu) and it turned out amazing. The potato starch seals the chicken, keeping it incredibly moist. Combined with the rice chex cereal, it creates a super crispy crust. It’s become a favorite here that I’ve been making about once a week. And bonus, it’s gluten free!

Extra Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

  • 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
  • 2 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken legs (or two additional thighs)
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 2 to 3 tbsp water
  • 2 cups crushed rice chex cereal
  • 1-1/2 cups potato starch
  • 1 tsp each: garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried sage, paprika
  • 1/2 tsp each: salt, pepper,
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (opt)

Crush all spices together (either by hand, in a mill or with a mortar and pestle) and mix well with potato starch and cereal on the plate.

Add egg and water into bowl and beat well.

Bath chicken in egg and then dredge into cereal mixture, pressing the mixture into the chicken, turning and coating both sides evenly. Move directly to a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degree F, turning pan halfway through cooking, until internal temp is 165 degrees, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes a great dinner with Garlic Mashed potatoes (recipe here) and buttered green beans.

Nom Nom Nom

We had another beer butt roasted chicken the other day.  I’ve been limiting the seasonings on the raw bird to just a generous sprinkle of granulated garlic.  I wanted to make gravy and if you go overboard on salt the gravy will suffer.  Delicious!  Steamed broccoli and home fries rounded out the meal.  It was a big chicken so there was plenty left for……pot pie!  I made rather a hash out of the the crust.  Rookie mistake – I used a same sized pan to cut the rolled dough to size instead of laying it out over the fillings and trimming.  Plus I wasn’t sure whether to tuck the crust inside or make a lip to cover the edge.  “Plan ahead and work to the plan!” – Yeah, now you tell me!

I ate my mistake.  It was good.

Turkey Dumpling Noodle Something

We had one of those frozen turkeys leftover from the holidays and decided to free up some freezer room.  It thawed in the basement fridge for a couple of days and then spent a few hours simmering it in a big pot with lots of veggies because we wanted a nice stock to come out of the effort.  I had dumplings in mind.  I made a half recipe, using only 1 cup of flour, rolled the dough very thin, and let it air dry for a couple of hours.  The dumplings nearly disappeared in the pot they were so thin!  Mrs J said she would need a few crackers, disappointed that the dumpling were so scarce.  I have to say, though, that the broth was great – thick and tasty!We had plenty of broth left and, lest it go to waste, I boiled some wide egg noodles in a separate pot to add in lieu of more dumplings.  They were good, not dumpling good, but they sufficed.

Sammich Pr0n

I’ve always liked tuna salad on toast.  This one has enough egg that it’s as much egg salad with tuna as it is tuna salad with egg.  There’s chopped celery for crunch and a bit of minced onion and plenty of sweet pickle relish and mayo.A reuben on rye.  I’ve settled on this machine recipe for the rye, it works fine every time.There are a couple of my homemade garlic pepper links under all the grilled veggies and mustard.

Spaghetti My Way

Some diners in Cincinnati are famous for their distinctive cinnamon flavored chili served 3 and 4 and 5 ways.  This is not that chili.

Coffee. Cake.

DSC_2264 (1600x1200)


It did snow a bit but it’s been melting off the hard surfaces pretty quickly.  The forecast mentioned lows in the teens for tonight but I think they are backing off that now.  Definitely a hard freeze, though.  Some of the local big parking lot stores had plants set out already, I hope they can get them indoors.I made another pineapple upside down cake late last night.  The pineapple bits were described on the can as tidbits so you know I had to include it in this post.Yesterday was still warm enough to tend the grill in shirtsleeves.  I got a pretty good scald on the burgers.  They say it won’t get back to at least 60 until next Saturday.I set the machine to the dough cycle and started it up, it beeped done but when I went to empty the dough it was half undone – a small ball of finished looking dough along side of a mess of flour.  It looked as if one of the two kneading arms within the machine wasn’t working.  I mushed the dough ball around and restarted it and it seemed to be working fine, the loose flour incorporated itself into the dough ball and everything turned out well.  I hope it was just a mystery hiccup that remains a mystery.Tuna salad with hardboiled eggs.  It also has sweet pickle relish, mayo, chopped celery and a bit of minced onion.  I like green bell peppers in there, too, but didn’t have any.This is a no-fuss dinner.  It’s a beer-butt roasted chicken with nothing more than granulated garlic dusted all over it, along side a baked potato, and steamed broccoli.  Mrs J and I have an accommodation in re dark meat and white meat.  She will not eat the breast so it’s mine by default.Mmm… sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit with strawberry jam.  I made a minor change to the Big Daddy Biscuit recipe:  I added a half teaspoon of baking soda to go with the tablespoon of baking powder.  A TV chef making biscuits made a point of doing so with his recipe and they did puff up very well for me today.