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The crockpot rescues just about everything!

I originally posted this in my LJ, so forgive the blogginess :-) I forgot this community existed.


Every home should have a slow cooker. If I get fanatical about it, it's because it's simply magical. Ingredients go in and delicious meals come out :) It is often forgiving and a life saver for cheap cuts of meat. It's inexpensive and will last for years :D

I actually have an official Crockpot buffet. It's this big thing that has three 2.5 quart crocks. You can make soup, dinner and dessert all at once, or three kinds of warm drinks or chili for a party. It's amazing. I don't use it very often, but when I do, it's well worth it.

I accidentally bought a pound of radishes recently when doing online grocery shopping. That's a surprising amount of radishes. I looked online for radish recipes and one of them suggested adding them to beef stew. So into one crock went half a bound of radishes, four carrots, a red pepper, half a package of stewing meat that was languishing in the freezer, some garlic, lots of ground pepper, a boullion cube, two cups of water and two tablespoons of soy sauce. When I arrived home, I switched it to the warm setting and added a cup of frozen broccoli. The broccoli steamed while the rice cooker was on.

The broccoli was a nice touch as slow cooker dinners can get brown real fast. All the colour cooked out of the radishes and they had a mellow taste along with a potato like texture. Whew! I didn't have to try and get rid of them at work :) I would totally buy radishes again.

The second crock was a soup that I think will benefit from more salt or lemon - something to give it a little zip. I had a brand new carton of vegetable broth that had just expired. Before dumping that in, I let a half cup of red lentils soak in a cup of water while I cut up the other ingredients - namely a red pepper and garlic. I added the broth and when I got home I added some frozen peas. Whew! I hate letting food go to waste.

The third crock was left empty, sadly. Next time it won't be!
I'm a new crockpot user thanks to my boyfriend's mom who bought me a crockpot recipe book for Christmas. Before then, I wouldn't have even touched one (though my boyfriend owns one) because I couldn't come to terms with the idea of putting something on to cook and not tasting/touching it until done. The recipes looked so good...and now I'm converted, especially since it makes dinner plans easier to work with when it comes to my work schedule.

But now I've hit a bit of a problem. The crockpot I've been using tends to overcook rice (and one time, we came home to overcooked potatoes, even though the setting was on low, and the time was followed just as the recipe said) and it undercooked a cake once...we thought it was the crockpot (it was old, he didn't understand the settings, neither did I, so we bought a new/simpler one that has a timer, just the low/high setting and it switches to warm when it reaches 0 on the timer). And I tried one recipe I had tried in the old one...aaaand it overcooked the rice. Not by a lot. I did manage to take it out an hour before the recipe said to (by this point, it wasn't mush, just a tad bit overcooked).

Does anyone have this problem with crockpots?

Any suggestions in terms of how to adjust cooking times on a recipe? At this point, I may have to not use the crockpot unless I'm at home to watch it (which kind of defeats the purpose...but it'll beat overcooked/undercooked food!) so I can modify the times on the recipe based on my crockpot. I do have a lot of good recipes, though, some of which I plan to post here :-) except the cooking time...well, not so reliable (with rice, potatoes and cakes, mainly).

My Carnitas


One 3-3.5 lbs Pork Picnic Roast
One thick strip of Bacon
One Large White Onion
One Lime
One Whole Jalapeno Pepper
Four Whole Tomatillos
Five or Six cloves of Garlic
Two Cups of Strong Black Coffee

Cut the onion in half vertically, then slice each half into 3/4" thick slices
Dice the Tomatillos into 1/2" cubes
Slice the Jalapeno in half, lengthwise and make sure to remove the seeds and pith. Mince the pepper finely.
Mince the bacon like the pepper.
Mince one or two cloves of garlic.

Slice the remaining cloves of garlic. Use a paring knife and cut slits into the pork, and insert a slice of garlic into each slit. Do this until you use up the garlic.

Juice the lime, and save the pulp as well. You should have nothing but an empty lime peel when you are finished.

Place half of the onion/tomatillo/garlic mix into the bottom of the crock, place the garlic laced pork on top of that. Pour the rest of the onion/tomatillo/garlic mix over the top of the meat.

Pour the lime juice/pulp and coffee over the mixture, then sprinkle the minced bacon over the top of everything.

Place the lid on the crock, set the cooker on 'Low' for Eight hours, or 'High' for Six hours.

Do NOT lift the lid until the time is up.

After the time has passed, check the meat, if the pork is done, it will fall apart under a light touch from a fork.

Remove the meat from the crock and shred it with a pair of forks. Once that is done, use a hand-blender to puree the Liquid, tomatillos, and onions into a smooth sauce. (If you don't have a hand-blender you can pour it into a regular blender or food processor.)

This can be served over rice, or in sandwiches, or any other way you want to try.

I did not use any salt or seasoning except the jalapeno and garlic. Salt & Pepper can always be added at table.
Hi all!  I'm hosting Thanksgiving as usual and just realized that I have one more item on the menu than can fit in the oven.  So I thought I could do one thing in the crock pot.  And no... not the turkey!

I'm making a corn casserole and I know that it can be done in the crock pot successfully but I have no idea how long it'll take. Here is the corn casserole recipe I'm using (which is probably already in a jillion places on the internet but just in case....)


  • 1 can corn (I use low sodium)

  • I can cream-style corn

  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

  • 1 stick butter, melted

  • 6 oz sour cream (I use reduced fat)


  • Mix all ingredients together

  • Pour into greased casserole dish

  • Bake at 350F for one hour

As you can see, it's incredible complicated and detailed!  *grin*  Basically, if it takes one hour in the oven, how many hours will it take in a crock pot on low or on high? 
Buckwheat noodles with tender veal tenderloin, krispy vegetables, cooked in wok-pan with amazing Teriaky sauce. This dish is not only quick, easy to cook, but also very tasty. So try it!

Veal tenderloin 150 g
Yaki soba noodles 200 g
Baby corn 50 g
Baby carrots 50 g
Green beans 50 g
Ginger 10 g
Leek 30 g
Teriyaki sauce
Sesame oil 5 ml
Vegetable oil 30 ml
Tree fungus 5

Preparation: see THERE

Pasta Fagioli

This benefits from the addition of basil and not so much oregano. I can't say about the Olive Garden bit. I have never had theirs.

Pasta Fagioli in the Crockpot~ just like Olive Garden
2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta

Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. Add pasta the last 30 minutes.
Serve with a nice crisp green salad and some garlic bread!


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: http://www.raininghotcoupons.com/crock-pot-macaroni-and-cheese-easy-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?



What A Crock!

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