Easter Weekend Ham Meals for Two

Easy to Fix Meals for Two

on Easter Weekend

The best kind of cooking on Easter weekend is with a slow cooker because there is very little food preparation to do. A slow-cooked ham is so easy. Buying a ham works well for two people because it goes a long way. You can make many meals out of a large ham.

honey ham
Slow Cooker Lemon Honey Ham

On this Saturday before Easter, I am making breakfast with eggs, ham that I bought on sale at the grocery store this week, and Thomas Nooks and Crannies English muffins. These muffins are light, 100 calorie, multigrain, eight grams of fiber, less than 1 g sugar, 170 mg sodium, and 0 g saturated fat.

The ham I purchased is 7.72 pounds, a lot of ham for two people. However, some of this ham will be frozen for later. Part of it is being cooked in a slow cooker today with asparagus, lunch (and maybe dinner, too) for two, my husband and me. 

What I like about this particular ham, other than that I just love the taste, is the price. It was on sale for $.88 a pound. I only paid $6.79. A big ham for two. A humdinger of a ham. It’s enough to make several meals for us and saves a lot of money on meat. It comes in handy to purchase meat when on sale.

Farmers’ Market Eggs vs. Supermarket Eggs

I did splurge, however, on eggs. The farmers’ market had fresh organic eggs, not the least expensive for sure. Spending $6 or $7 (I saw eggs for sale at both of these prices there) on eggs definitely is expensive when you are trying to stick close to a budget. Nevertheless, I purchased the eggs because they are fresher than what is found at the grocery stores. Or are they?

Are farmers’ market eggs really that much better than what you find in the supermarkets? And are farmers’ market eggs worth paying $6 or $7 a dozen in 2017 when you can find them at a dollar store for less than two bucks? It was worth it to me, at least that day. Actually, I prefer organic food over chemically-sprayed farm and garden veggies and fruits. They are simply better for us.

Bloggers Team Up for Meal Plans in April 2017

Speaking of food prices, do you follow pattycakespantry.com? I just love the new feature Pattycakes has added to her blog. She now shows the cost of each recipe ingredient, a wonderful convenience for budget-conscious home chefs.

Pattycakes and I teamed up April 2016 for 30 days of slow cooker meals (kitchenhospitality.com) and 30 days of bean recipes (Pattycakespantry.com). We decided to do this again for this month, April 2017. Pattycakes is doing 30 days of canned meals, and I’m doing the meals for two.

The plan was to announce it by the first of the month. An unexpected dilemma, however, hindered me from accomplishing that task – technical computer and Internet difficulties. Finally, I figured out what the problem was and fixed it.

Kitchenhospitality.com is featuring meals for two during this month. If you have missed the previous fourteen days of recipes, be sure to look at what has already been posted this month. One day was skipped (due to that crazy WiFi/Internet/Computer problem) that I will make up by posting two recipes one day this month.

Posts on this blog sometimes include affiliate links to items or services that I like or recommend. If you decide to purchase any of those items or services, I will receive a small commission. Though at no additional cost to you, I sincerely appreciate your support by purchasing any of these items or services.

Meal Plan for Today

Today’s meals, as previously mentioned, include ham. Beginning with breakfast, here are the menu plans:

  • Breakfast – Two Thomas English muffins, 4 fried eggs cooked over medium well, and 4 slices of ham
  • Lunch – Honey lemon ham half sandwiches on rye bread, asparagus (see recipe for slow cooker ham and asparagus meal below)
  • Dinner – Honey lemon ham and asparagus leftovers plus my Easter weekend fresh veggie and fruit salad (see yesterday’s salad recipe)

Today’s Slow Cooker Ham and Asparagus Recipe

In the following recipe, I’ve used a particular seasoning that my trucker husband purchases occasionally on one of his routes. It’s called Santa Fe Seasons Six Seasonings, and I love it. This seasoning is a blend of various herbs and spices. You may use whichever herb and spice seasonings you have on hand. Santa Fe Seasons also carries amazing salsas.

Slow Cooker Lemon Honey Ham & Asparagus Meal for Two

Lemon honey ham and asparagus meal for two cooked in a slow cooker

Author Angie Horn

Ingredients

  • 16 Slices Ham
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Honey (or your favorite honey)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Santa Fe Seasons Six Seasoning herbs and spices Use your favorite herbs and spices to season if you don't have the Santa Fe Seasons brand.

Instructions

  1. Cut 16 slices of the ham and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.

    honey ham
  2. Dissolve/melt two tablespoons of lemon (or other flavor) honey in 1/2 cup hot water.

    honey glaze
  3. Pour honey water into the bottom of the slow cooker.

  4. Cut off the hard ends of the asparagus.

  5. Tear a sheet of foil (if it's thin, double it) big enough to shape into a bowl to place into the slow cooker.

    using foil inside slow cookers
  6. Put the foil into the slow cooker and form into the bowl shape, and place the asparagus into the foil, sealing the foil to keep the steam inside.
    asparagus cooked in a slow cooker
  7. Cover the slow cooker with its lid, plug it in, turn the dial to high, and cook four 3-1/2 hours.

    slow cooker ham

If you like asparagus and have never cooked it in a slow cooker, you have to try this. It is so tender. This ham and veggie slow cooker meal is one of the easiest ones to make and perfect for Easter weekend – not a lot of meal prep or cooking required.

Thank you for visiting kitchenhospitality.com. I’d love to have you come back again to enjoy my southern flair of recipes.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

lilies, purple flowers, Easter
Easter Lily

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Hash & Leftover Corned Beef for Two

A Nutritious Corned Beef & Hash Meal

Slow Cooker Cauliflower
Cauliflower Hash

Try Cauliflower Hash the next time you have corned beef left over, healthy conscious folks. Serve it as a main brunch meal. Potatoes contain nutrition, but Cauliflower Hash can be used as a substitute if desired.

Cauliflower Hash & Corned Beef Recipe

 

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Hash & Leftover Corned Beef

A nutritious corned beef & hash recipe

Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Angie Horn

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Corned Beef, chopped in cubes
  • 2 cups Grated Cauliflower
  • 1 cup Diced Yellow Onion
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Blend of oregano, cumin, coriander, garlic, cilantro, saffron Or use your favorite seasonings.
  • 1 each Egg
  • 1/2 cup Organic 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese (grated or cubed) Substitute Monterey Jack cheese if desired
  • 4 pieces Fried Bacon optional

Instructions

  1. Cut corned beef into cubes.

  2. Grate cauliflower.

  3. Dice onion.

  4. Beat egg.

  5. Mix corned beef, cauliflower, onion, and egg then stir in milk.

  6. Add salt and seasonings.

  7. Divide the two tablespoons of coconut oil into the bottom of slow cooker.

  8. Pour cauliflower mixture into slow cooker.

  9. Sprinkle with cheese.

  10. Cook on high for three hours.

  11. Fry four pieces of bacon, crumble into small pieces, then sprinkle them on top of cauliflower hash when done. 

Cauliflower Nutrition

There are about 25 calories, 2 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein in one cup of cauliflower. Of course, the amount of calories changes as you add the additional ingredients from the Cauliflower Hash recipe above. But compare the difference between cauliflower hash and potato hash. One cup of diced potato has 110 calories.

Use turkey bacon, or leave out the bacon option if you choose to eliminate those extra calories. Not worried about the calories? Go all out then, and enjoy the bacon.

This Cauliflower Hash can be baked instead of cooked in the slow cooker. If you’re home all day and want to bake it in the oven, try it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (less if your oven cooks fast).

Substitute these types of cheese instead of the cheddar:

  • Monterey Jack – I’ve made this recipe with the Monterey Jack which is also a favorite recipe of mine.
  • Kerrygold Dubliner aged cheese – This cheese has a sharp yet sweet flavor and is imported from Ireland (tastes SO good).
  • Swiss cheese – goes great together with corned beef. You could even make an open face sandwich on rye bread, add sauerkraut if you like, and top it with the Cauliflower Hash & Corned Beef mixture.

Cauliflower Hash & Corned Beef cooked in the slow cooker is very easy and makes a wonderful meal for two. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Meals for Two Makes Life More Simple

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Soup

A Spicy Enchilada Quinoa Soup

I’ve noticed some great slow cooker enchilada recipes lately and have really been wanting to try them out. Rather than go to the supermarket for more ingredients, I decided I’d use what I have on hand. One recipe I saw had quinoa in it, and I just happened to have a box of Nature’s Earthly Choice Easy Quinoa, Garden Vegetable flavor.

This enchilada recipe is a meatless meal. Personally, I think cheese enchiladas are the best. The chicken and beef kinds are good, too. But quinoa enchiladas? I wasn’t too sure how that would taste. Sounds quite nutritious, doesn’t it? Quinoa

Quinoa nutrition offers great benefits and is good topped with vegetables or meat. Want more information on why you should include quinoa into your weekly menus? Visit cookingdetective.com to learn more about the Surprising Health Benefits of quinoa.

Have you ever had spaghetti squash? This particular quinoa recipe would be good as a topping for spaghetti squash. No meat required for it. It reminds me of a spicy spaghetti sauce. I had a bowl of the spicy enchilada soup with crushed crackers on top. Very tasty.

Let’s see what you think about this healthy creation from my kitchen today. Here’s the recipe:

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 box Nature's Earthly Choice Easy Quinoa, Garden Vegetable flavor
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 1 large can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 sweet onion
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • cumin
  • Queso Fresco cheese, 1/4 of a 10-ounce package

Instructions

  1. Saute bell pepper and onion seasoned with garlic powder, salt, and cumin in a little olive oil in a skillet or on a griddle.
  2. Put veggies in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Add tomatoes on top of vegetables.
  4. Layer the quinoa next, then the enchilada sauce, the beans, and crumble the cheese evenly on top.
  5. You can pour all ingredients in and stir since this is a soup.
  6. For less liquid, add another can of beans, drained, drain the tomatoes.
  7. Option: add meat of your choice
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The quinoa enchilada soup was good, but it’s only making me want the real enchiladas now. Have you made enchiladas in your slow cooker? It’s a little different making them in a slow cooker than in the oven. But my 30-day slow cooker experiments this month have given me the opportunity to try new recipes that I wouldn’t have even thought of before. For instance, it never had occurred to me that rib-eye steaks could be cooked in a slow cooker. They’re a-m-a-z-i-n-g! They were so tender. In fact, today I had the leftovers for lunch. I cut a small piece of the rib-eye into strips and stir-fried veggies to go with it.

What’s Ahead in May at Kitchen Hospitality

Creating 30 days of slow-cooker recipes has been a huge challenge at times but fun. As you can tell, the rib-eye is among my top recipes of the month. Tomorrow I will be blogging about the best slow cooker recipes. Incidentally, I’m probably not going to be blogging too much in May about cooking in a slow cooker. Occasionally, perhaps. Topics for May will include nutrition, eating healthy, living healthy – and pretty kitchen linens and aprons. More about that later. For now, enjoy your weekend.

Happy Cooking!

 

Ribeye Steak in the Slow Cooker

Best Ribeye in a Slow Cooker

What is your favorite way to cook a rib-eye steak? If you haven’t yet tried it in a slow cooker, you are missing out. Like juicy, tender meat? You’ve got to try this. I had no idea how good this steak-in-a-slow-cooker experiment was going to be. It only takes four hours on high (double the time if you need it to cook all day).

Sear or Not to Sear?

I used to think you had to sear all kinds of meat for the best results before putting it into a slow cooker. But I was wrong. Maybe that is the best way when cooking pork chops in the slow cooker – but not for rib-eye steak. A friend had read about searing meat after you take it out of the slow cooker. I had considered doing that but decided not to when the steaks tasted so good.

A couple of days ago my hubs asked me to thaw the two rib-eyes we had in the freezer and he would grill them. I thawed them then marinated them in the refrigerator. Circumstances, however, changed the course of our dinner plans. Hubs asked if there was another way I could cook the steaks. Of course, I could easily fit them into my 30-day slow cooker recipe plan. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how they would turn out but was willing to go for it.

Cooking with Foil in the Slow Cooker

Foil is the key. I’ve used foil before in the slow cooker but not a lot. I decided on cooking steaks and sweet potatoes together in the slow cooker. This is the recipe:

Slow Cooker Rib-eye Steak and Sweet Potato Meal

Slow Cooker Rib-eye Steak and Sweet Potato Meal

Rib-eye Steaks and Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 Rib-eye steaks
  • 2 Small sweet potatoes (I made 3 to have an extra for leftovers)
  • Foil
  • Vela Farms Texas Sweet Tea Marinade
  • "holy chipotle!" Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Season the steaks, and marinate them with the Sweet Tea Marinade overnight.
  2. Wrap each steak and each potato separately in foil, sealing the ends.
  3. Cook on high in the slow cooker for 4 hours (or 8 if cooking all day).
  4. Open the steaks carefully and add the barbecue sauce, sealing the foil again and putting back into the slow cooker for about 15 minutes (or add the barbecue sauce before cooking for 4 hours).
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When I first tested the rib-eyes after cooking for four hours, the steak was perfect. Juicy, tender.  I ended up adding the barbecue sauce then and letting the rib-eyes cook another hour. They were good then, too. However, next time I cook them in the slow cooker, I will turn the slow cooker off at four hours and not add the barbecue sauce. The steaks tasted so delicious in their natural juice.

Sweet Tea Seasoning

Like Southern sweet tea? Down South, we like to keep a gallon of sweet tea in the fridge handy at all times. Make it sweet with regular granulated sugar or a sugar substitute. There’s nothing like a glass of sweet iced tea on a hot day, and summer is arriving soon. Iced tea, at least for Southerners, means a glass FULL of ice. You can even order K-cup machine compatible sweet iced tea packets.

If you’re not a Texas resident and can’t find Vela Farms Texas Sweet Tea Marinade, look for Smokin’ Sweet Tea, a naturally flavored marinade by McCormick Grill Mates or order it from Amazon.

Another idea hubs and I discussed was putting them on the grill after cooking in the slow cooker. We’ll try that and see how it turns out. When we do, we’ll only put it on the grill for five minutes or less to add the smoked flavor.

Have you cooked steak in your slow cooker? If so, let me know how you cooked yours.

Thank You for Visiting Kitchen Hospitality!

Slow Cooker Corn Chicken Chowder

A Southwestern Chowder Chile Recipe

corn chowder
Slow Cooker Green Chile Corn and Chicken Chowder

On a road trip with my husband, a professional driver, I purchased a corn chowder soup mix. We made the journey to our cabin where there was very little in the pantry. Since I had the soup mix, I went pantry hunting to see what could be used with the soup mix in my slow cooker. The results? Corn and chicken chowder. It was great because that day was windy and cold. Nothing like hot soup on a chilly day.

But it’s spring! Soup is supposed to be for late fall and winter days, right? I think soup can be made whenever you feel like having it. On this particular day, it’s about all there was to cook unless I wanted to make a trip to the grocery store. We got by just fine on the chowder, but I did make a grocery list and go to the store. By the time I got back and walked inside the house, the corn soup smelled wonderful and was ready to eat.

New Mexico Hatch Chiles

The recipe I chose turned out to be a chowder with a Southwestern flair with a kick to it. If you notice in the photo, the box says “Green Chile” which indicates it probably is spicy. The soup mix was made in New Mexico, the state known for hatch chiles. We stopped at an Allsup’s store where they had made burritos with hatch chiles. Spicy, but very good.

hatch chiles
Hatch Chile Burrito, New Mexico Style

The recipe includes the corn chowder soup mix. If you want to make this and don’t have the exact brand, substitute with another similar brand of corn chowder mix. Another option is to make your own from scratch (those are usually the best kind).

Slow Cooker Corn and Chicken Chowder

Slow Cooker Corn and Chicken Chowder

Slow Cooker Green Chile Corn and Chicken Chowder

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Santa Fe Seasons Green Chile Corn Chowder Soup Mix
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 2 Small Cans White Chicken
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into slow cooker and stir.
  2. Turn slow cooker on low and cook 4-6 hours (if cooking 6-8 hours, add a cup of water).

Notes

Add 1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream for creamier soup.

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Corn Chowder Variations

I cooked my soup for 6 hours. If I cooked it longer than 6 hours, I would add a cup of water because the soup had begun to stick a little to the sides. A creamier soup would also taste great by adding the extra evaporated milk. Because of my limited pantry stock, I decided to use one can instead of two. There are so many variations you could make with this soup mix. Make it creamier, leave the chicken out, make it even spicier.

If you try this or a similar corn chowder in the slow cooker, let me know the variations you use. I love corn chowder and enjoy trying different soup recipes.

Thank you for visiting my southern kitchen blog. Join in with your comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Slow Cooker-ing!

 

 

Slow Cooker Zesty Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Tomato soup brings back memories from way back for me. I attended the first five years of elementary school in an East Texas town where there was a square. That meant that the courthouse was in the center of the square, and there were businesses across the streets from the courthouse. The school allowed children to walk to the square for lunch if their parents signed a permission slip. My parents gave the okay for me to walk the block to the square for lunch. It was the highlight of any school day for me.

There was a drugstore on the square that had a fountain, the old-fashioned kind where you sit on the stools at the counter and order a vanilla malt, coke, and a hamburger – or a grilled cheese sandwich. Every time, I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a coke and sat in one of the two booths they had. On my way back to school, I stopped at an auto supply store on the square to see my big brother. The store kept a giant jar of big dill pickles, and my brother always gave me one to eat on my way back to school.

Memories. Certain foods bring back the feelings of home, family, friends, and fun times in our lives. Maybe that’s why I like grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup so much. Or maybe I like them both because they simply taste delicious together. I’ve liked tomato soup all of my life. My mother always kept a few cans of soup in the pantry. Tomato, cream of chicken, and chicken noodle soups are the ones I especially remember.

The tomato soup I like to make is Zesty Tomato Soup. Serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches, and you have a quick meal for the family.

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Zesty Tomato Soup

Slow Cooker Zesty Tomato Soup

Zesty Tomato Soup with Toppings

Ingredients

  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 cups Slow Cooker Stewed Tomatoes (or use 1 large can of stewed tomatoes)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • grated cheese
  • croutons
  • green onions, if desired

Instructions

  1. Put everything in slow cooker except the cream, cheese, and croutons.
  2. Cook on high 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.
  3. If you have a slow cooker with the "Buffet" or "simmer", you can choose either of them for cooking for a longer time.
  4. Add the cream at the last part of cooking.
  5. Top with grated cheese and croutons.
  6. Optional: green onions or other desired toppings
  7. For creamier soup, put the tomatoes in the blender on grind, grate, or to a texture of creamy that you like.

Notes

Make the soup creamier with more heavy cream or chunkier by less cream.

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Slow Cooker Garden Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed Tomatoes for Salsa Recipes

 Tomatoes picture from kitchenhospitality at blogspot

Fresh garden tomatoes make the best salsa. This is a recipe for making your own fresh stewed tomatoes. When your summer garden produces tomatoes in abundance, prepare stewed tomatoes for recipes requiring tomatoes, like salsa.

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

If you grew up on a farm or in a family who gardened, you are probably familiar somewhat with blanching vegetables. When I was young, I wondered what my mother meant at blanching the squash, tomatoes, and other vegetables. In my observance, she was cooking them. That was somewhat true. She cooked them long enough to soften. For instance, my favorite vegetable was yellow summer squash. First, Mother sliced the fresh squash and onions then blanch them. Next, they cooled. Finally, the squash and onions were put into freezer bags and placed into the freezer. Whenever squash and onions, tomatoes, or other vegetables were needed for a meal, they were thawed and ready to cook with seasonings. Stewed tomatoes are peeled and blanched to use for later use.

Combine other vegetables from your garden in the slow cooker with the tomatoes. For instance, I used yellow summer squash in one of my salsa recipes. The aroma of those fresh garden veggies brought back memories of tomatoes and okra cooking in my mother’s and grandmothers’ kitchens.

Recipe Ideas

Here are five recipe ideas for using stewed tomatoes:

  1. Zesty tomato soup
  2. Relish for topping on peas or beans – Good homemade Chow-Chow is the best, but a stewed tomato relish is good.
  3. Eat the tomatoes as a side – Back in the day, stewed tomatoes and bread made up the whole dinner.
  4. Chili – Chili without the tomatoes? No way! The way my family ate chili when I was growing up was with plenty of ketchup on top and served with crackers.
  5. Vegetable soup – You may like your vegetable soup without tomatoes, but mine end up with tomatoes every time.

Slow Cooker Stewed Tomatoes

Slow Cooker Stewed Tomatoes

Slow Cooker Fresh Stewed Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10-15 fresh Roma (or other) tomatoes from the garden (or enough to fill slow cooker to halfway)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder or one fresh garden onion
  • Garlic Powder or 3-4 garlic cloves.
  • 1 Yellow Summer Squash

Instructions

  1. Place tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about a minute.
  2. Transfer them to a bowl of ice water to soften the skins.
  3. Cut off the stems.
  4. Peel the tomatoes.
  5. Mash the tomatoes, or cut them in quarters.
  6. Slice squash (or blanch).
  7. Put all ingredients in slow cooker with the seasonings.
  8. Cook in slow cooker on high for 3-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  9. Allow vegetables to cool.
  10. Use for salsa or other recipes.
  11. Optional: This recipe works well with tomatoes that are not blanched, also.

Notes

Substitute squash with any of your garden vegetables to cook with the tomatoes.

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I love the flavor of stewed tomatoes. But they taste great in salsas without stewing them. Try both, and see which you like best. Here are my organic Romas I cooked for my last salsa.

Garden tomatoes
Organic Roma Tomatoes

Slow Cooker Queso Chicken Spaghetti

Two-Hour Slow Cooker Queso Chicken Spaghetti

Slow Cooker Meals
Queso Chicken Spaghetti in the Slow Cooker

Cooking for my monthly challenge, 30 Days of Slow Cooker Recipes, has been fun. I love creating recipes. What has made it interesting is visiting with my daughter and her family and trying out the recipes in her huge seven-quart KitchenAid appliance. Seven quarts of food swallows up the amount my little round slow cooker makes.

The other interesting factor of cooking the slow cooker meals at my daughter’s place is I’ve been taking a chance by trying out different recipes for four people. Although we all like several of the same foods, there are differences. A couple of the recipes had pasta that turned to mush – but they were not in vain. My little granddaughter that eats baby food and now some table food really liked them.

One of my favorite new recipes I tried this month is the chicken spaghetti. Oh my! Wow! It’s SO good, and I’ll definitely be making it again. The only drawback was that I forgot to serve the salad like I had intended. You can only handle just so much carbohydrates. I even had the salad in the frig.

Cooking With Cheese

What kind of sandwich did you make for National Grilled Cheese Day on Tuesday, April 12? I didn’t realize until today that I missed it, but I made up for it at lunch for my two little granddaughters. Like their Grummy, they love grilled cheese sandwiches.

I read on one of the grilled cheese sandwich recipes I saw on Pinterest that covering the sandwiches while cooking makes them creamier so I tried it. I’ve never covered mine before.

National Grilled Cheese Day
Cover Grilled Cheese While Cooking

They turned out great. I used grated Mexican cheese and cooked mine on a griddle on the stove.

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I missed out on cooking the sandwiches on their special day, but I did cook the wonderful slow cooker chicken spaghetti with cheese. The spaghetti recipe includes Velveeta. I saw some recipes on Pinterest that I liked. Most that use Velveeta cheese indicate one or two pounds on the list of ingredients. Instead, I split my two-pound box of cheese into four different recipes. One was for the awesome chicken spaghetti. Another was a really different twist for Nachos (come back to read that one this Friday, April 15th).

Recipe

Slow Cooker Queso Chicken Spaghetti

Slow Cooker Queso Chicken Spaghetti

Slow Cooker Queso Chicken Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb Velveeta
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes and Chilies
  • 1/2 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 3/4 16-oz Pkg. Spaghetti
  • Frozen Chicken Fajita Strips (as many as you want)

Instructions

  1. Place frozen chicken strips in bottom of slow cooker (enough for a layer to cover bottom of the pot).
  2. Cut Velveeta cheese in cubes.
  3. Mix cornstarch well in 1/2 cup water.
  4. Break spaghetti into small pieces.
  5. Put the remainder of ingredients in slow cooker.
  6. Cook 2 hours on low.
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I can’t wait to fix this yummy slow cooker chicken spaghetti again. If you decide to make it, tell me what you think.

 

Blog Linking Parties:

Full Plate Thursday

Easy Peasy Mac & Cheese in the Slow Cooker

Boxed Kraft Mac & Cheese in the Slow Cooker

Mac & Cheese
Mac & Cheese in the Slow Cooker

Macaroni and cheese – I can’t get away from it. Remember the Creamy Cheesy Chicken in the Slow Cooker I blogged about? When I made that recipe, my daughter knew it didn’t turn out just like I had intended. She surprised me that evening after she returned from a meeting. She walked in the door and asked my toddler granddaughter, “Will you go give this to Grummy?”

Mac & Cheese
Easy Mac & Cheese

My little grand handed me a box of Kraft Velveeta Shells and Cheese. I laughed. We were determined to get that recipe just right. And my two little granddaughters and their mommy and daddy LOVE good ol’ macaroni and cheese).

Actually, my most favorite macaroni and cheese recipe is a homemade one I used to make often with large elbow macaroni. There are a variety of recipes to make with macaroni. My mother used to make a delicious huge pot of what we call goulash down South. One of the ingredients was large elbow macaroni. Like suspense? Good. I’ll tell you more about these two recipes in a later blog post. You’ll have something to look forward to because Mother’s goulash dish is the best I’ve ever had.

Easy Mac & Cheese

All you need in this recipe is water and your favorite box of macaroni and cheese. Save the cheese to put in at the last.

Mac & Cheese
Velveeta Cheese

Easy Peasy Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Easy Peasy Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Easy Peasy Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 Boxes Kraft Velveeta Shells and Cheese
  • 6 Cups Cold Water

Instructions

  1. Pour water into slow cooker.
  2. Turn slow cooker on low.
  3. Add macaroni.
  4. Cook for an hour, then stir and taste to see if the macaroni is al dente.
  5. Continue to check to see if the pasta is done (every 15-20 minutes).
  6. When macaroni is a firm texture (al dente), drain, but don't rinse the pasta.
  7. Return macaroni to cooker pot and mix in cheese sauce.

Notes

Cooking time depends on your slow cooker. In this recipe, the macaroni was done at 1 hour and 15 minutes. The packets of cheese were added in then. It was perfect and creamy.

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https://kitchenhospitality.com/2016/04/easy-peasy-mac-cheese-in-the-slow-cooker/

This recipe is for lovers of boxed Mac & Cheese. Individuals have different tastes. If yours is the simple box flavor, go for it. The purpose of this blog post and recipe is to let you know it’s possible to cook boxed macaroni and cheese in the slow cooker.

Why Cook Boxed Macaroni and Cheese in a Slow Cooker?

Why cook such a simple boxed meal in a slow cooker when it’s just as easy to cook on the stove?

  • You may be cooking a large meal for a group of people or guests, using all of the burners on your stove, and needing to cook an extra side dish of pasta.
  • The stove may not be working, and you have to cook in a different cooking appliance. I’ve experienced that in my fixer upper place. When I would cook on the stove or oven, at times it would trip the breaker. Such times require some ingenuity. A little creativity is all it takes. Cook in electric appliances like a slow cooker, microwave, toaster (yes, even the toaster – it’s great for breakfast), griddle, and grill.
Mac & Cheese
Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

When have you needed to get creative with cooking appliances and come up with great recipes and meals? I’d love to hear your stories. You can share them in the comment section.

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Creamy Cheesy Chicken in a Slow Cooker

Chicken and Mac & Cheese

Kraft Velveeta Mac & Cheese
Slow Cooker Chicken Mac & Cheese

Want to cook chicken in the crockpot but forgot to defrost the chicken? I wanted to make chicken with macaroni and cheese in the crockpot. But I forgot to thaw the chicken ahead of time. Some recipes say to put frozen chicken in the slow cooker. There are differing opinions on this. I read an article about the danger of not thawing chicken before cooking it in a slow cooker. To be sure, I defrosted mine in the microwave. The easiest way is to take it out the day before and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Next time, I’ll do it that way and save cooking preparation time.

Seasoning with Herbs

When I made the recipe, I was at my daughter’s house. Her family loves macaroni and cheese. She and I agreed that the chicken and mac & cheese sounded good. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, a package of “Fine Herbs” (includes chervil, chives, marjoram, parsley, tarragon), and garlic granules.

Chicken
Seasonings for Chicken Mac & Cheese

The Fine Herbs mixture, defined below, adds a good flavor to the chicken.

Chervil – a French parsley

Chives – a perennial plant from the lily family

Marjoram – an aromatic herb in the mint family

Parsley – two kinds: crinkly, curly and the other is flat; has amazing nutritious benefits

Tarragon – a perennial herb from the sunflower family

Finally, the thawed chicken was cooking. My original idea of cooking the large package of chicken in the slow cooker was to make two recipes with it (one was barbecue chicken). That was before the idea of mixing the macaroni and cheese in.

Slow Cooker Chicken
Slow Cooker Chicken

After making rice in the slow cooker a couple of times and having it turn to mush, I hesitated to cook the pasta with the chicken. Recipes for macaroni and cheese in a slow cooker vary quite a bit. Some recipe directions say to boil the macaroni first, al dente style. Others say to cook it in the slow cooker for two or three hours. I cooked mine for less than two hours and the pasta shells were too soft.

Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole
Creamy & Cheesy Chicken in the Slow Cooker

The intended Chicken Mac & Cheese tasted like a creamy cheesy chicken casserole. I liked it. But I wasn’t trying to bake a casserole. I wanted chicken. Got that. It tasted great. But the pasta wasn’t like good ol’ mac & cheese.

Mac & Cheese
Easy Mac & Cheese

Easy Way to Cook Chicken and Mac & Cheese in the Slow Cooker

I came to the conclusion that the easiest way to cook macaroni and cheese from the box is just as the directions say on the box. On the stove. When it’s done, drain and add to the chicken. Mix in the cheese just before serving.

This is the easy way to make a chicken and macaroni and cheese casserole.

Slow Cooker Creamy Cheesy Chicken Casserole

Slow Cooker Creamy Cheesy Chicken Casserole

Slow Cooker Creamy Cheesy Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 package of 8 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, thawed
  • salt & pepper
  • Fine Herbs (chervil, chives, marjoram, parsley, tarragon)
  • garlic granules
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 boxes Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese

Instructions

  1. Season chicken when thawed.
  2. Place chicken in slow cooker, and add water.
  3. Cook for 3-4 hours.
  4. Cook macaroni according to box.
  5. When macaroni is done, drain liquid from chicken.
  6. Mix the Velveeta Shells & Cheese with the chicken.
  7. Ready to eat!
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When your schedule becomes too busy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, experiment with slow cooker meals. They save time, and it’s nice to come home to a ready-to-eat meal.

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