Monday, January 30, 2012

Salmon Cheese Casserole or Holiday Stuffing?

Today I made Salmon Cheese Casserole -- an unexpected recipe that left me pleasantly surprised.  I don't think I've ever made anything fish related in my crockpot, so I was very hesitant to make this, but I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry.  It was time to get brave.

Anytime I read the words "cheesy casserole" I picture something creamy or saucy.  This casserole isn't that.  In fact, it turned out more like a dressing/stuffing than the typical casserole in my imagination.  It had more flavor than I expected and wasn't soggy like traditional stuffing can be.  I think it is great by itself, but it would also be a wonderful side dish to a holiday dinner.  Dad, if you're reading this, you must try this recipe -- it's right up your alley!

So, call it a casserole or call it stuffing.  Either way I think you'll be surprised how rich and delicious this dish is.  It's time for you to get brave!

Salmon Cheese Casserole*

14 3/4 oz. can salmon with liquid (I used a pint of home-canned salmon)
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned bread crumbs)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated cheese (I used co-jack)
1 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS minced onion (I used a small fresh onion, chopped)

1. Flake fish in bowl, removing bones.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into lightly greased crockpot.

2.  Cover.  Cook on LOW 3-4 hours.

*Recipe from Fix-It and Forget-It (by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good) was submitted by Wanda S. Curtin from Bradenton, FL

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dump Cake

There's nothing like hot food on a cold winter day.  Today at our house we had meatball soup for supper (using the 'Make Ahead Meatballs' mentioned in a previous post) and blueberry dump cake for dessert.  This recipe is another VERY easy one that I recommend making with kiddos.  It's a hard one to mess up, and it's so yummy when it's done!

Crockpot Dump Cake

1 can pie filling (whichever kind you like best)
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted

1.  Dump the pie filling into the crockpot.

2.  In a separate bowl, mix together the cake mix and butter.  Dump mixture over pie filling.  (Cake mix will be sort of crumbly, so distribute evenly with a spoon.)

3.  Cook on LOW for about 4 hours.  Enjoy warm or cool!

TIP:  If you use apple pie filling, stir in a little ground cinnamon.  If using peach or cherry, add a few drops of almond extract. 

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012


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Put That Lid Down!

Quick Tip:

Don't lift the crockpot lid during cooking, especially if you are cooking on LOW.  Lifting the lid causes so much heat to escape that you'll need to add 15-20 minutes to the cooking time for each time you "sneak a peek" or satisfy your "urge to stir."

MOST crockpot recipes require no stirring (or peeking), so go find something else to do and let your crockpot do its thing.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Favorite Cookbooks

Crockpot recipes are found all over the place -- you can get them through online searches, cookbooks, friends & family, and so on.  Finding just the right recipe can be a little overwhelming, so just remember (especially if you're new to the crockpot) to keep it simple.

These are my crockpot cookbooks.  That's right, I only have two.  Fix-It and Forget It (Dawn J. Ranck & Phyllis Pellman Good) and Fix-It and Forget It Lightly (Phyllis Pellman Good).  Each cookbook has a wide variety of recipes including (but not limited to) breakfast, desserts, breads, stews/soups, casseroles, appetizers, and more.  Most of the recipes are very easy to make, and instructions are easy to read and follow.  If you are looking for a good 'starter' crockpot cookbook, one of these would work great. 

A bonus feature of the Lightly version is that it contains nutritional values for each recipe -- something you will appreciate if you are a label-reader.  The recipes also use low fat and/or low calorie ingredients.

Another thing I like about these cookbooks is that all the recipes are from regular people, like you and me, from all around the United States.  I've even found some from my town!  To me, a cookbook is more special when it has a personal touch like that.

Any time of year is a good time to use your crockpot, but it seems especially good during cold winter months when we all want to curl up with some warm comfort food.  Happy crocking!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012