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Gotta Love That Crock-Pot

Gotta Love That Crock-Pot

We all know we just had a week where the heat was unbearable. Days like that, the last thing you think about is cooking. This is why I love my Crock-Pots! I tend to associate them to the winter months, when it’s cold and I have a nice hot stew or soup ready to go for dinner. It makes the house extra cozy and smells so nice. But, in the summer when I do not feel like firing up my ovens, there is tons of summer friendly recipes to do in a Crock-Pot. Like right now, I have homemade pork BBQ in mine for dinner! Let it do all the work and your house stays as cool as a cucumber! It’s perfect. Irving Nachumsohn, the man who invented slow cookers in the 1940s was a blessing to all. He deserved some kind of an award or somethin’. Wish I could give him a big ol’ smooch and thank him! What a God send Crock-Pots are to many of us! Busy days, hot days, or cozy fall nights, it’s always there when we need it.

Now, I love crock pot recipes when there isn’t much prep. Just chop up an onion, add a can a soup, or something small the recipe requests. Wham bam thank you mam’, dinner is served and it tastes good! I mean come one, I LOVE to cook, but we all have those days where you are just like “Dang, can’t dinner just make itself tonight!?” These kind of recipes are awesome to have, like Crock-Pot Cheesy Chicken Casserole! But my all time, top favorite Crock-Pot meal ever is lasagna. Yes, I said lasagna! You don’t even have to cook the noodles! This recipe is nice because you can do some of the prep ahead of time! I’m all about easy prep and being organized. Cook the meat a day ahead if you want, let it sit and cook in your sauce for more flavor. Mix up the cheese mixture and place it in the refrigerator until ready to use , then all that is left is building your lasagna into your crock pot. And let me just tell you, folks that say to me that they arent big lasagna fans and try mine, they became lasagna fans! It’s just so darn good! Go ahead and try it for yourself and keep your house cool as a cucumber, too!

Crock-Pot Cheesy Chicken Casserole

• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (season with salt and pepper or chicken seasoning)
• 1 large onion, chopped (I use Vidalia)
• 1 -8 ounce box Zatarain’s Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to directions
• 1 cup cheddar cheese
• 1 – 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup
• 1 -15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Scatter chopped onion over top. Spoon cream soup over top of that. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. A few minutes before serving, add in cooked rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Crock-Pot Lasagna

• 1-½ pound ground beef
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
• 1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
• 1 cup water
• 1 (15 oz.) container small curd cottage cheese
• 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning(optional)
• 1 teaspoon pepper
• lasagna noodles, uncooked
• pepperoni (also optional)
• salt, to taste

Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet. (You’re going to be adding the sauce and water to it after the meat is cooked)

Then add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Drain excess grease from beef. And put back into skillet. Pour in spaghetti sauce and water.

Stir well and taste to see if you need more seasoning. Let simmer to get all those flavors through the meat.

In a separate bowl, mix together cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese, egg, pepper and chopped parsley.
(Put your remaining cheeses back in the fridge, you’ll be using those after your lasagna is cooked.)
Spray Crock Pot with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop approximately 1 cup of meat sauce into bottom of slow cooker. Top with one layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. Just do your best to break them up to fit into your crock pot. Then place pepperonis on your noodles. Next top with a layer of cheese mixture.

Keep adding layers, ending with meat sauce. (I put a few pepperonis on the top as well!) Put the lid on and cook on low for 4-6 hours. (It took exactly 4 hours in my Crock-Pot. DON’T OVER COOK!)

You want most of the liquid to be absorbed and noodles should be soft. Put a knife through the noodles to see if they are soft.

When it is finished cooking, add remaining cheeses. Put the lid back on for about 10 more minutes until cheese is melted. Slice and serve it up with a crisp salad and some garlic bread.

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