Ppphhhhttt... Let me just blow some of the dust out from around here.
Sorry for no posts lately. No I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Bacon bit decided to make his grand entrance into the world... 6 weeks early just like his siblings. We've been adjusting to life with a newborn again. Although it's been amazing holding my little boy, I'm feeling the sleep deprivations a lot. This also means I have little energy to get though the day and much less to actually cook anything. And with Mr. Bacon going back to work this week, I had to step up and actually cook again! I am very thankful for my slow cooker. Over the weekend when I meal planned for the next two weeks I made sure to plan lots of slow cooker meals. Using a slow cooker I can throw a ton of stuff in it, turn it on and several hours later we have a homecooked hot meal.
So in the morning when the bigger kids are at school I can toss my food in and get dinner going and I'm not stuck with the 'what to make for dinner tonight' question or trying to run around while all 4 kids are home to make dinner when I need to feed a baby and help with homework.
So what's on the menu for tonight? Cheesy ham and hash brown bake:
2lbs (or close to that size, I think the bag is just under) shredded frozen hash browns
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1/2 pint sour cream
2 cups fully cooked diced ham (bigger chunks)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Mix everything together in a large bowl, transfer it to your crock pot. This makes a lot so plan to use about a 6qt size slow cooker or so. Place on med/low heat for 8hrs or high for 4hrs. This is really good served with some biscuits too.
Variations: Don't have a slow cooker yet? No problem. This goes great in the oven too. Bake it at 375* for 1 hour. This also can make a wonderful potato side dish by omitting the ham. We make this a lot to go along with an Easter ham. And speaking of Easter ham, that's is exactly where my ham for this dish is coming from. We bought 2 hams at Easter time, Cooked both the same time in my large roaster and then froze the leftover (with our foodsaver system- I LOVE that thing!) Now I have ham for year round at the cheap sale prices at holiday time. We also do this with turkeys at Thanksgiving time.
Other easy meals I like to throw in my slow cooker are roasts. Beef or Pork. Place the whole roast in the slow cooker. Add about 3/4c. water to the bottom. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and season salt over the top (a few friends of mine sprinkle a packet of dry onion soup mix over it too) and let it cook all day long. You can even toss in a frozen roast in the morning and cook it on high all day long if you forgot to pre-plan your meal. Cook thawed roast on low for 8hrs or high for 4-5 hrs until tender. Toss in some peeled carrots and potatoes with it too and you've got a complete meal.
And one more great crock pot recipe for today-
Chicken and Rice:
1 cup rice
2.5 cups hot water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup (can use cream of celery if like more celery taste)
1lb chicken breasts- each cut in 1/2
1 package dry onion soup mix
Mix all ingredients except chicken together in slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle with a little paprika (1/2 tsp or so) and cook high for 3-4 hrs or low for 6-8hrs until Chicken is done. The rice is suppose to be a little sticky with this meal. Sever it up with a side of veggies (or throw some broccoli in to cook with it!) and you've got a great meal.
Again this meal can go in the oven too. Place in baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 375* for 2 hrs.