Friday, December 20, 2013

Eat your Crock Pot Veggies

Saving time is always right up there on my number #1 list.

Investigating over the years of how to save time, I've found an all time saver being my beloved crock pot. If you've discovered the time savings appliance such as a simple crock pot, then you'd have to agree, that the last thing you wanna do on a special day is to spend your time slaving over the stove. I am continually on the prowl for good, I mean "really good", recipes that turn out wonderfully from my crock pot. I don't enjoy soggy, or over-cooked meals. Let me hear an Amen. 
In order to reduce my stress and pressure of performance in the kitchen, I choose a few recipes that allowed me to either prepare ahead of time or to cook in my crock pot. Does anyone one else feel like if you don't come into the dinning room with the turkey glowing with it's golden cooked awesomeness, that you ruined everything?
Do-Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Do-Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Last year our Thanksgiving Menu was the first time I tried a couple new dishes (with altered recipes). Besides the Butterball Turkey Breast=cooked in my crock pot, we had Garlic Mashed Potatoes from [HERE].

The next dish was a hit with the fam as well. 
So much so that I've made it repeatedly over the course of the year for my dish to pass at potlucks. 
Swiss Vegetable Casserole

Swiss Vegetable Casserole

Doesn't it look so scrumptious, that even your very picky eaters will give it a try? I didn't make this in the conventional oven...NO...had to modify it for the crock pot.


tablespoons butter or margarine
green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1/2 cup)
I used one medium regular onion
tablespoons all-purpose flour
teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper
1 1/2
cups milk 
or a little milk and a jar of Prego Alfredo Sauce
cup shredded Swiss cheese (4 oz)
bag (1 lb) frozen broccoli, carrots & cauliflower, cooked, drained 
or in the crock pot;2 bags frozen broccoli & cauliflower, uncooked
cup crushed round buttery crackers
I omitted this step

There directions are listed below & I followed each step with my modified directions in this lovely shade of red.


  • 1Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 1- to 1 1/2-quart casserole with cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Spray Crock Pot with cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until tender.
  • 2Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture is bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat.
  • This step stayed the same.
  • 3Add 3/4 cup of the cheese; stir until melted. Stir in cooked vegetables. Spoon mixture into casserole. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Add 3/4 cup of the cheese; stir until melted, then add a jar of Prego Alfardo Sauce.  Open frozen vegetables and pour into the crockpot. Slowly pour sauce over vegetables. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  • 4Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and casserole is bubbly. 
  • Cook until vegetables are heated through. Really can't recall the time frame, that's so wrong, I know, so try this on a day you'll be home so you can record your timing. Approximately 3 hours.

    Expert Tips

    To lower the fat in this casserole by about 2 grams per serving, use skim milk and reduced-fat Swiss cheese.
    To make ahead, prepare this casserole as directed, reserving the crushed crackers. Cover and refrigerate up to one day. Then, sprinkle the casserole with the crackers and bake it for 30 to 40 minutes.

    Gotta love these type of recipes that have you prepare ahead. This is my usual type of recipe that I look for to alter to my style of crock pot cooking. Yummy!!!

    Along with other dishes too that our friends who joined us, & we all enjoyed a wonderful, peaceful time together. 

    Hey I'm all for sharing quick recipes, tips or tricks you've discovered. 
    If you have one tucked up your sleeve--then it's time to give it up.

    See ya, 

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    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Stop! Don't throw out the Cranberry Sauce


    My husband was so kind to do the shopping for me this week, you know the last minute stuff you just think you wont survive without for the Thanksgiving meal. I had a list...he didn't use it, so I ended up with a few things I really didn't want. One of those things was canned cranberry sauce. I already had one can (which really is enough for my family since we are not all that particularly fond of it) and now I owned 2 additional cans of sauce. Isn't it fun to have so much help with the shopping & in the kitchen? I hope you were blessed on the dinner preparations as I was. During preparations I noticed my teenage girls, who are a tremendous help to me, had opened two cans of cranberry sauce. My first thought was 'Well I hope our guest really love it'. My second thought was 'This is going to be too much cranberry sauce', especially when I didn't think we'd even finish one. However it was set on the table along with everything else.

    What to do with the leftover cranberry sauce? 
    We so wanted to use the leftover cranberry sauce instead of throwing it out.
    Remember the saying "Waste  not, want not"? so I try to not be wasteful with GOD's provisions.

    We made a scrumptious quick bread. Revised from another quick bread recipe which called for zucchini. I love substituting ingredients don't you? I often tell my children who ask "What's for dinner"? that we are having a concoction.
    Here's our recipe:

    3 C. Flour—spoon measured
    1 t. Salt
    1 t. Baking soda
    ½ t. Baking powder                                  
    1 ½ t. Cinnamon       
    2 Large Eggs
    2 C Sugar—Reduce to taste
    2 C Cranberry Sauce
    2/3 C Canola oil
    2 t. Vanilla

    16 oz. Pineapple-drained 

    Measure flour into Lg. bowl, and whisk together; salt, baking soda, baking powder, & cinnamon.
    In a separate bowl; mix eggs, stirring after each until frothy. Add sugar, cranberry sauce, oil, & vanilla to eggs.
    Pour into flour mixture, blend until ‘just moist’.
    Fold in pineapple.
    Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2 loaf pans, spoon in batter. Bake 1 hour, test for doneness with a toothpick, when finished. Cool completely on wire rack.

    You have leftovers? Instead if throwing them out, create a concoction for dinner.

    See ya

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

    Christmas with the Bradshaw's

    Mantle Decorating is new for me. This is the first house with a fireplace.
    Christmas Mantle

    There are a few blogs out there in blogger land that I love to view.
    I noticed many mantles with garlands decorated with Christmas ornaments, stockings hung with care, candles in different sizes and shapes.
    Nativity Scene

    Since they all are lovely, however, I couldn't duplicate. So I thought of my Nativity scene, which I haven't had out of the box for about 5 years. And I knew what my mantle would display. 
    3 Kings, JESUS, Mary & Joseph

    3 Kings brought presents of; gold, frankincense and myrrh

    Shepherd boy, sheep, 3 Kings, JESUS, Mary & Joseph, donkey, & a cow

    The Nativity Figures
    The remembrance of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, brings me JOY. 

    Gold Jingle Bell Wreath

    I have a few more things to show you before Christmas arrives, so stay tuned for my next feature. 

    See ya