Two yummy Crock Pot recipes

When my husband and I got married way back in 1999, someone gave us a slow cooker.  I honestly don’t remember who it was.  For the first few years of our marriage, it was packed away in my parents’ garage because our small apartments didn’t have enough room for it and I didn’t really know what to do with it anyway.

My 14-1/2-year-old slow cooker is finally being put to use in my house.

Once we got our house and the slow cooker came out of storage, I still didn’t do much with it.  I never came across Crock Pot recipes that didn’t focus on meat.  I hear you can make a good pot roast in the slow cooker or pulled pork barbeque.  My husband isn’t a much of a meat eater, so I never make pot roast.  I can’t have barbeque sauce because it bothers my bladder (and my husband wouldn’t eat pulled pork barbeque anyway), so I never make that.  I did make cheese dip with it a time or two.  It wasn’t fancy.  It involved Velveeta and salsa.

In November of 2012, I decided to try making dinner in the slow cooker.  It didn’t work well.  We ended up eating frozen pizza.  I told you about it on my blog.  I didn’t do much again with my Crock Pot.  I had a year of difficulty between a hard pregnancy and surviving my son’s first year.  I didn’t try another recipe.  I barely had time to make one dinner for us, let alone backup dinners if new recipes failed, so I wasn’t interested in trying again.

About a month ago, though, I was ready to try again.  I’ve made two soups in my Crock Pot since then and both turned out so well that we’ll have them again.  They were hits with my husband and both kiddos.  I am not a Crock Pot master by any means.  I’m never going to be like the one lady who’s recipes go all around on Pinterest who made something different in her slow cooker every day for a year.  But, I am thankful to have found a couple of new recipes that are super easy, super yummy and make my family happy.

The first is a delicious potato soup.  I love that it uses frozen hashbrowns so that I don’t even have to peel and chop potatoes.  It’s nearly perfect. The original recipe included onion, but I omitted that.  I also topped my daughter’s and mine with some shredded cheese and bacon bits.  It was so good and made such a huge amount of soup that we had a couple of meals out of it.  My husband informed me it was the second best potato soup he’s had.  The first was at a restaurant, so I’m not complaining.

Crock Pot potato soup
(Adapted from Worthy of the Prize)

Ingredients:
1 (30 oz.) bag frozen hash-brown potatoes (I use the squared, southern style)
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of potato soup
1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (softened)

Directions:
1. In a slow cooker, combine potatoes, broth, soup and pepper.
2. Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours.
3. Stir in cream cheese, cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined.

 

The next soup I actually made this past weekend.  My baby boy loved it and my daughter told me I was a great dinner cooker.  My husband and I both liked it, too.  It will go into our rotation.  The only changes I made were using about a half pound of ground beef because we’re not big meat eaters.  Next time, I might even use less.  Also the next time, I will probably send the tomatoes and chilies through the food processor to make them less chunky per my husband’s request.  I also used garlic powder instead of minced garlic because I didn’t have a clove of garlic.

Nacho grande soup
(Recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff)

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (1 oz) package taco seasoning
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilis, undrained
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. In a skillet, cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked; drain.
2. Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place cooked meat mixture in slow cooker.
3. Add taco seasoning, cheddar cheese soup, tomatoes, milk, and shredded cheese. Stir together and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
4. Stir before serving. (We enjoyed ours with a dollop of sour cream on top that we mixed into the soup.  It cut the spiciness a bit for a spice wimp like I am!)

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