Category: Crockpot

Dec182012

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

One of my planned dinners for last week was Breakfast for Dinner, which is one of the girls’ favorites. Though I like it well enough, I hate babysitting the bacon, the eggs, and the griddle of hash browns. By accident I came upon a recipe for a crockpot egg bake and was thrilled to find that I had everything on hand because I was going to use them all for our regular meal.

But I have a confession: I’m not a fan of baked eggs. I’ll eat quiche or frittata but I prefer the quicker and less-drying methods of scrambled or over-easy.

I decided to give it a shot, and thankfully it was early enough in the day that I had plenty of time to get it going in the crockpot.

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

I ended up combining several different recipe, and all of them called for an overnight baking. Since ours was going to be for dinner, I started at around 10:30 AM, and it was perfect by about 6:00 PM on low. It turned out well enough that I’m going to use it overnight next week for Christmas breakfast.

I did have to fiddle with it a bit since I really wanted to make sure it turned out right. The basic recipe I went with is below, and my notes are under that:

Crockpot Breakfast Bake
makes 8 generous servings

12 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper

1 28 oz bag Potatoes O’Brien
1 cup chopped onion
1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix eggs with the milk, ground mustard and garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spray your crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/3 of the bag of potatoes into the bottom. Layer 1/3 of the onion, 1/3 of the cooked bacon, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat these layers two more times.

Pour the eggs over top and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

~ I used the Ore Ida Potatoes O’Brien, with the potato chunks and not the shredded hash browns.

~ I baked my bacon in the oven instead of on the stove top. Cram the strips of bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet (make sure it has a lip so grease doesn’t go everywhere). Place the bacon in a cold oven, and start heating to 400 degrees and continue baking. Keep an eye on it and when it’s done, remove from the oven and place the bacon on paper towels to drain.

~ After about four hours I started to get a bit nervous because the center of the bake was still really watery. I got a big spoon and gently started lifting the liquid out and redistributing it around the top of the rest of the eggs. This created a crater in the middle, but I think that helped it cook that much more evenly.

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

~ It was also at this point that I realized the steam accumulating on the lid was falling back down onto the eggs, which were trying to bake. I draped a clean kitchen towel over the top of the crockpot, and nestled the lid on top of the towel. Any steam that accumulated on the lid now hit the towel instead of the food.

~ I used my beloved Slow Cooker Liners with this, just spray the liner with the nonstick spray.

~ I served these with a side of popovers — they were just as big of a hit.

~ I’m not a huge Cholula fan, but these were absolutely delicious with some dribbled on top.

~ My fall-back in case this wasn’t that great was to wrap it up in tortillas and make breakfast burritos out of it. We all liked it just fine on its own, so we did the breakfast burritos the next morning with the leftovers. They were delicious and by far the easiest I’ve ever made!

Sep52012

Bratwurst Stew

Bratwurst Stew

Yes, it’s another crockpot meal. Sorry! But not really because this is delicious.

Unfortunately I don’t remember where I got this one, since it’s just a text printout in my binder. I know I made several changes to it and didn’t want to print out the original just to have scribbles and edits all over it, so if I do find it again I’ll be sure to link it.

Anyway, this Bratwurst Stew is one of my top favorite crockpot meals. I realize I say that about most of them, but honestly, I’m just really not that hard to please.

Bratwurst Stew

Bratwurst Stew

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed (large cubes, about 1″ each)
1 cup chopped baby carrots
1 small onion, chopped
1 package raw bratwurst links
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil

1 pint half-and-half
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water

In order, place the cubed potatoes, cut carrots, and onion in a crockpot. Remove the raw bratwurst from their casings, and tear off chunks and place over the vegetables. Pour in the chicken stock, and sprinkle the salt, pepper and basil over top. Do not mix.

Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until vegetables are tender and bratwurst is cooked through.

Stir in the half-and-half. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth and stir into stew. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Bratwurst Stew

Placing the ingredients in order lets the vegetables all cook until tender, and allows the bratwurst, which is not submerged in the liquid, to brown and not fall apart.

Bratwurst Stew

Once you add the half-and-half and mix everything around (make sure you separate the chunks of bratwurst), the seasonings will get into the rest of the stew, so don’t worry about them only being on the meat.

Bratwurst Stew

This makes six generous servings, and is delicious re-heated the next day.

Sep12012

The Easiest Pot Roast Ever

Crockpot Pot Roast

I’m so glad it’s September! The last-minute rush-iness of August with the first day of school and school shopping and school registrations and stir-craziness is over and everyone is settled into the new routines, and I can take a breath.

In honor of it finally being September, I’ve made one of my favorite cold weather meals: pot roast. I know, I’m laughing too. We’re still hitting the low 100s here but that doesn’t matter! I’m really itching for the fall feeling so it works for me.

I came across the original recipe for this pot roast years ago on Allrecipes. The original was good, and everyone loved it. Over the years I’ve added and tweaked, as you do, and came up with this one, which is so amazingly delicious that there are rarely leftovers.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Crockpot Pot Roast

The Easiest Pot Roast Ever

1 5-lb pot roast
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic
1 packet onion soup mix
1 14oz can beef broth
baby carrots (optional)
diced potatoes (optional)

Place carrots and potatoes on the bottom of the crockpot and place pot roast on top (salt and pepper if desired).

Crockpot Pot Roast

I don’t usually do the potatoes because we prefer mashed potatoes, but either way is good.

In the past I’ve also added chopped onion and/or sliced mushrooms. It all works! This time I kept it to a minimum because I had to be out the door.

Crockpot Pot Roast

In a bowl, mix the two cans of soup, the can of broth and the packet of onion soup mix together until creamy. Pour on top of the roast and vegetables.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Crockpot Pot Roast

so photogenic

That’s it! The roast will practically be falling apart, the carrots and potatoes cooked to perfection, and the soup mixture makes the most amazing gravy ever.

Crockpot Pot Roast

I don’t like to use the condensed soups for a lot of cooking, but there are really no substitutes for this one.

Crockpot Pot Roast

What are your favorite cold weather meals? Do you save them for actual cold weather or make them year-round?