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Thursday, March 28, 2013

The casserole & the crockpot {or how I get dinner on the table twice a week}

{So excited for Lightroom 101: An Editing Class for Beginners to get started this Monday. The class is set and ready to go and looks like a great group!  I only have a couple spots left.  Details are here.}

So I have a zillion casserole dishes, (give or take a few) and it has become apparent that I've done a poor job of replenishing the the supply of frozen casseroles that I keep in the freezer.  I never make 1 casserole.  I always make 2, freeze one, and thank my lucky starts about 2 months later when I pull one out of the freezer and have dinner pretty much done on a busy day.

So the much-overflowing drawer of empty casserole dishes was a dead give-away that I needed to get cooking.  I have a hefty list of much-loved casserole recipes, but I wanted to walk on the wild side and mix it up a bit and try some new recipes.  (Ya, crazy I know!  Nothin' says livin' on the edge like a new casserole recipe!)  I put out an all call on my Facebook page for some good casserole recipes and got some great suggestions!  That of course overflowed to to crock-pot recipes, which is my all-time favorite appliance after my shower.  And my walk-in closet.  Which I realize aren't appliances, but like I said, I'm don't take that "crazy" part of the blog title lightly.  Maybe I didn't say that.

So I thought I'd pass along the ones that will go into that list of dishes that will be made again.

Tater Tot Taco Bake
Ya sure, there's a bit of guilt whenever I feed the fam anything that has tater tots in it.  There's a running joke in this house, when I once made the infamous Duggar tater tot casserole.  I am so sorry, Michelle, but it was awful and had no redeeming value.  (Ya, I doubled it too so we had to endure it twice.)  So the kiddos were doubtful when they saw that this recipe also had tater tots in it.  Whew, we were all relieved that we didn't relive that mess!  I wouldn't go so far as to say that Tater Tot Taco Bake is any type of health food. It's a layered, ground beef, corn, bean, cheese, olive, tater tot, more cheese wonderful comfort food.  We all really liked it, especially Mimi, and it did have black beans in it so that's something!  Easy peasy to make but it did require a trip to the grocery for many of the ingredients that I don't keep on hand.

Chicken Spaghetti
I have turkey tetrazzini in my casserole repertoire to use up extra turkey after Thanksgiving, and this recipe will replace it.  Much tastier and so less 50's.  Again it's no health food, but I don't serve casseroles every day.  I substituted red pepper for pimentos (really, who cooks with pimentos?  Ree Drummond apparently.)  added celery, and we all loved the addition of the cayenne pepper.  It wasn't too hot at all for any of the kiddos.  I added a nice green salad, and it's a dinner we will enjoy again for sure.   The left-overs heated through nicely too.

Sweet Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken
Okay this one is staying in the rotation because it was so flippin easy and took all of 5 minutes to make!     Then I sat down on the couch with my box of bonbons and enjoyed my favorite soap opera.  Soy and sweet & sour flavors and so simple!  I used chicken thighs instead of breasts since they are usually juicier and more flavorful.  Then I started some rice an hour before dinner and spooned the chicken and all it's juices over the rice on individual plates.  Yum!  There were no left overs.  Again, serve with a salad, and it's a done deal.

Crockpot Chicken
So... I haven't actually tried this one... yet... but I'm so excited about it that I couldn't leave it out.  I've been looking for a recipe for a chicken fryer for a while.  And anytime I can prepare dinner at lunch time, I'm a happy mama!  And wouldn't you know it, now I can't find a fryer on sale anywhere!  So I'm waiting patiently.

Thanks to all the contributions, this was so successful that I'd love to do it again!  Head over to my Facebook page to either give me some suggestions for your favorite go-to crock pot recipes or get some ideas of your own.  Crock pot post coming soon!

3 comments:

  1. Love this post and on my birthday too! I made the Duggar tater tote casserole too and it was pretty tasteless. I mentioned this to my coworker and she said certain area of the country eats pretty bland.

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  2. Thank you for linking my crockpot chicken recipe, I really hope you like it, I am making it again this week, since roaster chickens are on sale. I will be posting some other variations for the leftover chicken too, yay for fast and fun dinners:-)
    Thanks again!!

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  3. So glad you liked the crockpot chicken recipe, thank you for linking it!!! I am making it again this week, since roaster chickens are on sale so I will be posting some new variations for the leftovers, yay for fast and fun dinners:-)
    Sorry if you got this more than once, iPad not cooperating today!!
    Thanks again!!!

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