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April 16, 2009

Slow-Cooker Beef and Black Bean Chili

Filed under: Beef, Main Dish, Mexican — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:54 pm

My husband is a self proclaimed chili officiando.  When he was in college he lived on tortilla chips, chili (out of can) and Mountain Dew.  Sounds like a bachelor huh?  He would  still eat that every day if  I would let him!  I buy all that for him when he needs a treat!  He has some things that he’s picky about, I won’t bore you and list them all but big pieces of tomatoes are on that list.  So that makes a lot of the classic home made chili recipes a bit difficult to make for him.  When he tried this recipe he said that he may never he canned chili again.  He liked it that much!

This chili was delicious!  The pieces of beef were so tender that they nearly fell apart in your mouth before you could chew it.  I love my slow cooker.  This recipe was so easy to throw together and forget about.  I made this before I taught my night class and it was great to come home to.  I thought that it would be really spicey with the amount of chili powder but it wasn’t that spicey.

I told my mom about the recipe and she was interested because she isn’t a fan of ground beef.  If that is you, I suggest you try this recipe.  It does make enough for 4 people so double the recipe if you intend on making it for a crowd. This would be great with some corn bread too!



Slow-Cooker Beef and Black Bean Chili

source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart


Serves 4

  • 1 pound beef chuck, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, for serving


  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine beef, tomato puree, beans, onion (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish), garlic, chili powder, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover, and cook on high, 6 hours (or on low, 8 hours). Serve chili topped with sour cream and reserved onion.

January 4, 2009

Beef and Barley Soup

Filed under: Beef, Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 5:48 am

Ahh! The crock pot is becoming my good friend! Now, if only it had a better home than in a closet on a high shelf with stuff stacked on top of the box! I love apartment living! Can’t you tell? I would love to incorporate it into our menu rotation once a week. We’ll see how I do!

This soup came together quite quickly, even though I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all my leftover barley that I have! Recipes would be appreciated! The only glitch that I had was finding French onion soup in my regular grocery store! They were sold out. I really hate going to two different stores in one trip!

My husband and I will eating this for leftovers this weekend. I’m so sneaky, I even scheduled leftovers on the menu!

Enjoy! Check out my new soup tureens from Crate and Barrel from my friend Brooke! Thanks!


Beef and Barley Soup

source: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes


Nonstick cooking spray

12 oz boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 cups water

1 10 1/2 oz can condensed French onion soup

1 cup grated carrot

1/2 medium pearl barley

1 tsp dried thyme or oregano, crushed


Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. In hot skillet cook meat until brown. Drain off fat.

In a 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 quart slow cooker combine the meat, water, soup, carrot, barley and thyme.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Season with salt and black pepper.

December 12, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Filed under: Chicken, Chinese, Main Dish, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 11:39 am

I would like to start off by thanking my wonderful husband for putting this meal together! He is working a different shift with his current job, that I have dubbed the “night shift” he gets home in the evenings around when I should be going to bed but he has managed to come home on his “lunch” break and have dinner with me a few nights a week. It is so nice to eat with someone else rather than cook a large meal for yourself. I suppose I could eat cereal but this blog would get very boring, very fast!

We have had this meal several times since I received the cookbook it is in for a Christmas gift last year. We got a crockpot for our wedding but I was antsy for some recipes that we could throw together in the morning or even the night before and have it waiting for us when we got home from work in the evenings. This is just one of those perfect meals. I love that the ingredients are very easy to find and are relatively good for you too! We topped our bowls with chopped cashews instead of the almonds that were called for. We have also tossed in canned water chestnuts and some pineapple and let that meld for about 30 minutes also. Yummy! Enjoy!


Sweet and Sour Chicken

source: Better Homes and Gardens: 5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 9-ounce jars sweet and sour sauce

1 16-ounce package frozen loose-pack broccoli, carrots and water chestnuts

2 1/2 cups hot cooked rice

1/4 cup toasted almonds


1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. In a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker combine chicken, sweet-and-sour sauce, and frozen vegetables.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat for 5 to 5 1/2 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours. Serve with hot cooked rice. Sprinkle with almonds.


June 26, 2008

Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish — Tags: , , — bettylou79 @ 12:52 am

This recipe has also become a hit in our house. I love how completely easy it is to throw together and walk out the door. It just cooks in the crock pot without needing you to stir it or anything! We had left overs for lunch the next day. Since it was so similar to chili I thought it needed some cornbread to go with it. I can’t remember if I used the recipe on the cornmeal box or if I went with the standby Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. This also came from Everyday Food by Martha Stewart. Once again after too much searching (read frustrated) I figured out that it is not on her website but after some more googling I found it on our local newspaper’s site! Hmm!!

Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

source: Everyday Food November 2007

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: Varies, depending on method.

1 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed

1 jar (11 ounces) mild or medium salsa (1 1/2 cups)

2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 )

coarse salt and ground pepper

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), chopped

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream, for serving

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Step 1: In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together beans, salsa, chiles, flour and 1 cup water. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of bean mixture. Scatter onion and bell pepper on top of chicken.

Step 2: Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours (Do not open lid or stir).

Step 3: Remove chicken from stew; shred into large pieces and return to stew. Serve topped with sour cream and cilantro.

Oven method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow step 1, using a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot, substituting 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed, for the dried beans, and increasing water to 2 cups. Cover pot and bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Transfer to oven and cook until chicken is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Proceed with step 3.

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