Monday, January 12, 2015

Winter's Best Friend...The Crock Pot!

Make this!!!
Every once in awhile, I stumble on something that just blows me away, Something so simple and delicious, I question why it took so long to make after finding the recipe several months ago. Especially since now it is winter, and who doesn't like coming home to a warm meal, simmering in the kitchen...waiting for you.

Bring out the crock pot! It was made for cold winter days. Rainy days, snowy days, it doesn't matter. This is the go to appliance to meets you with a meal at the end of a long day. Let's sum this up. The crock pot is like the kitchen's version of an ATM. As long as you put something into it, you can easily make a withdraw after a long hard day.

Crock Pots have been around for years, and have certainly improved with age. They now have more options like programmed timers making it easier to adjust the settings to prevent over cooking. So, without further adieu, here is the knock your socks off pork chop recipe that I promised and a few other ones too!

Best Pork Chops EVER! 

  • 4-6 pork chops (thick, center-cut are best)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken
  • 2 packets of Ranch dressing mix
  • a little bit of garlic powder (a few good shakes)
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of water.

If not using a Crock Pot insert bag, spray the interior with vegetable oil spray.
Mix the soup, water, ranch dressing and garlic powder a in a bowl. Whisk ingredients well and pour a little in bottom of the pot. Then layer the pork chops and cover with remaining mixture. The gravy it produces is incredible on noodles or mash potatoes! Cook on low for 6 hrs or high for 4 hrs. Ta Da! Now, I imagine this would work with boneless, skinless chicken breast too, But the pork chops just add a really good flavor.

Easy Peasy Chili

With NFL playoffs, and the Super Bowl looming, every cook will find a way to make a great chili for their gatherings. With me, it's all about flavor and ease, both of which are found in this long family favorite!


  • 2 lbs ground meat (I use ground chicken, but do your own thing here)
  • 1 tbls pre-chopped garlic in a jar (this type of garlic tends to be strong but it is absolutely perfect for this chili)
  • 2 pks of favorite chili seasoning (I use McCormick’s. 1 pk of mild, 1 pk of hot – great compromise)
  • 1 lg jar of your favorite salsa (here are all your onions, peppers and garlic! And don’t be afraid to get a little wild with your choice of salsa!)
  • 2 tbls of Barbeque sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of dark kidney beans (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese for topping, if desired.

That’s it! Saute the garlic in a little oil, add and brown the meat then mix in the chili seasoning. Drain the meat mixture and put in the crock pot with all the other ingredients and let simmer for at least an hour, or four or five, if time allows. It is also a great stove top chili recipe as well. Assemble the same way and let is simmer for at least an hour.

The salsa really does all the work in the flavoring department here. I usually serve it with a loaf of crusty bread, but for parties (Super Bowl?), it is great to put out with scoopable  (spellcheck is having a fit with this word, but you know what I mean) Tostito chips with a side of sour cream!

Now for those still holding on to resolutions for a healthier New Year, here is another use for the crock pot this winter. Spaghetti Squash!!! Just thoroughly wash one large squash (or two small ones), pierce each one 4 or 5 times with a sharp knife. Place inside crock pot on High for 4 hours or Low for 6 hours. Be careful removing it from the pot, it will be soft and hot, but otherwise, it comes out perfect every time! 

1 comment:

  1. What's the time on the pork chops? I have some defrosting and that sounds delicious!