The NFL Playoffs are a good time to tailgate. The Patriots / Broncos game is in cold weather while the Arizona / Carolina game is in a bit milder climate. Either way we need some real good food options for attending the games or tailgating at home.
When the weather is cold and it’s snowing outside, it can be tough to work up the motivation to cook yourself or your family a nice hot meal after coming inside from the cold. It is always nice to have a hot meal waiting inside for you and it is nice and easy to do this with a slow cooker. A slow cooker allows you to have a meal waiting for you that has been cooked slowly allowing the meal to be prepared in such a way to make the meals even more delicious. There are so many different recipes that you can make in a slow cooker. There are entrees, sides, soups, and even desserts that can made using a slow cooker.
Chili has long been a family tradition for snowy days or days that we are all in a hurry because it is a very simple recipe that is delicious. By starting it in the morning, the entire family can sit down and enjoy a nice meal without having to wait for the meal to cook when everyone is so busy.
SLOW COOKER CHILI
RECIPE FROM HTTP://WWW.MCCORMICK.COM/RECIPES/MAIN-DISHES/SLOW-COOKERS-CHILI
SERVES: MAKES 8 SERVINGS.
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 package McCormick® Slow Cookers Chili Seasoning
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) tomato sauce
- Brown ground beef or turkey in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
- Place cooked beef, Seasoning Mix, tomatoes, beans and tomato sauce in slow cooker. Stir until well mixed. Cover.
- Cook 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. Stir before serving.
Soups can seem very intimidating but by using a slow cooker, it simplifies the entire process and can be ready at dinnertime. Then there will also be plenty of leftovers to allow for great meals for more meals.
CHEESY CHICKEN AND BACON SOUP
RECIPE FROM HTTP://WWW.BETTYCROCKER.COM/RECIPES/SLOW-COOKER-CHEESY-CHICKEN-AND-BACON-SOUP/77CDC84F-57C6-4BCF-A281-39A2E4AF5B78
4 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped (4 oz)
1 tablespoon Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Montreal chicken seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
1 package (20 oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
2 cartons (32 oz each) Progresso™ chicken stock
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 bunch sliced green onions, whites and greens separated (1/2 cup whites, 1/2 cup greens)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced carrot
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (16 oz)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Spray 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate; cover and refrigerate.
- Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix flour, Montreal chicken seasoning and salt. Add chicken, and toss to coat; set aside.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to skillet, and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on first side. Turn chicken, and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until beginning to brown. Meanwhile, mix stock, wild rice, green onion whites, celery and carrot in slow cooker. Refrigerate green onion greens.
- Add chicken and pan drippings to rice mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours. Chop chicken, and return to cooker; stir in 3 cups of the cheese and the whipping cream. Divide soup among 8 bowls. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese, reserved bacon and green onion greens.
It’s always nice to have a new way to easily make a delicious dessert. A slow cooker is a great way to make a dessert that is ready after dinner and that will make the kitchen smell amazing while it is cooking.
RECIPE FROM HTTP://WWW.FOODNETWORK.COM/RECIPES/FOOD-NETWORK-KITCHENS/SLOW-COOKER-GOOEY-BROWNIE-CAKE.HTML?OC=LINKBACK
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing insert
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Line the insert of a 4- or 6-quart slow cooker with a large piece of foil, then generously butter the foil.
- Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder, flour, eggs, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Scrape the batter out into the prepared insert in an even layer. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours; the cake should be set around the edges and gooey in the center.
- Serve the cake warm, scooped into a bowl and topped with ice cream.