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Interrupted cook time for Mac and Cheese?

I somehow agreed to bring macaroni and cheese in to one of my classes tomorrow for a "party" (they eat while we review for the final). This was prompted by the chicken and tator tot thing I already had cooking for a banquet after school, but now I'm running into a timing issue.

I leave for work around 6:15 and it's a thirty minute trip there between when I walk out and when I can confidently say that I'll be in my classroom. The class that gets the macaroni and cheese eats around 10:10.

I was looking at doing this recipe:

[Easy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe]Ingredients:
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 1/2 cups milk
1 bag macaroni elbows (16 oz)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Cook macaroni noodles 2-3 minutes less than what packaging says. You want them Al dente (I cook mine for 5 minutes).
Put noodles in crock pot
Add cheese, soup (undiluted) and sour cream to noodles and mix
Cook on low for 1 hour
Add milk and stir
Cook for 1 more hour

Or any other where I can have it cooking before, but ultimately I'll have that thirty minute window when the contents are cooking/maintaining temperature and I'm just not convinced by myself that it'll stay safe and bacteria free. I need other opinions or suggestions, please, on whether I can start the mac and cheese at home and finish it there with the break or whether I should just make normal mac and cheese and dump it in the crock pot to stay warm in the morning.

So tonight, I went to the store to buy all the ingredients I needed in order to make this:

I get home and start putting everything away, and of course the $6 bottle of the good Bragg's apple cider vinegar I bought to put in the recipe breaks on my kitchen floor. I am very sad and mad and also concerned!
I don't have time to go back to the store before my meal goes into the slow cooker in the AM, and I am missing an ingredient. I have other vinegars (regular plain white, Balsamic, rice, and a Pomegranate red wine one) and I even have some fresh lemons--but I have no idea if any of those are a reasonable substitution in this case (I don't want to mess up the flavor profile and ruin a big hunk of meat!).
Thanks so much!

Thrift Store Find

Yesterday, I spent $5 on a small Rival brand Crockpot at Goodwill.  It doesn't have any temp settings, and the crock is not removeable, but it looked like a good size.  I love my big crock, and I love having leftovers to freeze, but from time to time, I'd like to be able to just throw a couple chicken breasts or pork chops in and have just enough for 2, and this looked like a good size for that.

Got out it home, filled it with water (seems to be about 1.5 quarts) and plugged it in to make sure it worked.  3 or 4 hours later....the crock was very warm, but I could touch it with my bare hands, and the water was quite warm, but not boiling.  Whaaaaaaat?  I'm pretty sure my Little Dipper gets hotter faster than this thing!

does anyone know anything about this appliance?  Did Rival, at some point, make a 1.5 quart warming thing, like the Little Dipper, but bigger?  Should I test it again, but pay closer attention to time and temperature?  I'm not ready to throw the thing out yet, but I'm not sure what to do with it...

Caramelized Onions in the crockpot?

I remember seeing a method of doing this in the crockpot itself here in this community.  I can't remember when I saw and apparently I didn't save it.  Could someone point me toward it?


French Toast Bread Pudding

Oh, this just HAD to happen, once I decided to see if it was even possible as a recipe!

I basically followed the recipe I found over at Chew Nibble Nosh. They adapted one based on something published by America's Test Kitchen, so I figured it had to be good, right?

Slow Cooker French Toast CasseroleCollapse )

Wifi slowcooker announced at CES

My SO is a tech geek and has been closely watching any and all news coming out of CES.

He forward this onto me at work... I may have squealed a little.

I'm an old fashioned girl, I plug my crock into a powerpoint timer do-hickey-whatsit if I know I want it to stop cooking an hour or two before I get home.  We have however been caught late at work with something stupidly urgent, trains were delayed (when I used to live in Sydney) and things have over cooked.  Annnnnd sometimes I've just forgotten to turn the switch from high back to low, or just plain turned it on.

Those days may be over, provided the unit cooks well! 

Recipe: Crockpot Beans

I don't remember where I got the basic recipe, but this is what I'll be making tomorrow for dinner. It's pretty warm out this week, so I'll grill some hot dogs too.

2 lbs dried northern beans or navy beans
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 ham bone plus about 1 cup of chopped ham
3 cups hot water
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup or tomato paste
1/4 tsp allspice

Night before:
Rinse beans and remove any small stones. Place in a large pot and cover with a little more than twice the volume of water. Soak overnight or for at least eight hours.

Drain and rinse.

Place ham bone in center of crockpot. Mix beans, onion, and ham; add to crockpot. Add ketchup, molasses, allspice, and brown sugar to half of the hot water, stir, and add to crockpot, stirring to combine.

Add the remaining hot water, or enough to bring the level to at most an inch below the top of the crockpot.

If possible, leave on high for an hour; otherwise, just set it to low. Cook for about eight hours or until tender. Stir if you're home, and try to keep the beans below the water level.


Hi everybody!

My mother is having a hysterectomy this Wednesday (11/20), and she will be laid up for awhile, as it's major surgery. That leaves me to be the preparer-of-the-dinner! The only problem is that a couple of nights during the week, I don't come home until well after dinner time.

I'm pretty well-versed in crockpot recipes and what's out there (i.e. "The Crockpot Lady," AllRecipes, etc.) but my uses for the crock tend to be for the "exotic-type" dishes and all those other fun uses for it. My folks don't like a lot of "different" foods - I'm the one that'll try just about anything, but they're more the meat-and-potatoes type, which are the types of recipes I'm *least* familiar with. I'm also going to try to use my time in charge to change up their diet a little bit... it's a little heavy on the processed-and-packaged.

SO, I'm looking for crockpot meals that are hearty, homestyle, and healthy! I'm looking for your personal experiences with some tried-and-true hits. Please hit me with your best (but simple) shots - your chilis, your roasts, etc.

Thank you!

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Slow -Cooker French Onion Soup

This is a very simple recipe, with an easy prep and service.


Four (4) baseball-sized Yellow Onions.
Three (3) cloves of Garlic.
One (1) cup Dry Red Wine.
One Half (1/2) tsp sugar.
Two (2) Quarts of Beef Stock*
One (1) Dash of Balsamic Vinegar.
One Half (1/2) Cube Butter.**

S+P to taste

Smoked Gruyere cheese
French Bread (Fresh Baked is best.)


Slow cooker, 5-6 qt.
Large Skillet 12-14".
Wooden spoon/Spatula


Peel and slice the onions, roughly 1/8" thick.
Peel and mince the Garlic.

Heat up a large skillet. I used a 14" Cast Iron. Drop the butter into the pan and let it melt.

Add the Onions, Garlic, and S+P.

Saute the onions until they turn clear, then sprinkle the sugar over them and stir. (This promotes carmelization.)

Keep an eye on the onions, and when they turn a dark golden color, add the wine.

Stir the onions, add the Balsamic Vinegar. (just a dash!)

Saute until there is almost no liquid left in the pan. Kill the heat and pour the onions into the crock.

Add the Beef Stock until it fills the crock. Cover, set it on 'Low' for 8 hours, or High for 4-5 hours. (I left it on Low and let it cook all day.)

After 8 hours, taste and adjust the seasoning. You may want to add salt and/or pepper.

To Serve:

Grate the gruyere, then Slice and lightly toast some french bread, one slice per bowl.

Set the toasted slices on a baking sheet and cover each slice with the shredded cheese. Pop them into your broiler for 2-3 minutes, you want the cheese to be melty and bubbly.

Fill the bowls with soup, and float the cheesy toast on top. You can add more cheese at table if you want.


*Use the good stuff; get Trader Joe's brand or Pacific Foods Low Sodium beef stock.

** Do NOT use margarine! That $#}t is nasty! If you don't like butter, use olive or canola oil, but for f&^k's sake, *don't* use margarine!


favorite chili recipes?

I haven't tried any chili yet in my newer model crockpot. Wondering for the best recipes for the newer models..m


What A Crock!

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