Tag Archives: slow cooker

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

I feel kind of silly writing about soup when the temperatures are going to be in the 80s for a few days this week. Just a few days ago, however, it felt like winter. And, if the last few months are any indication of the weather patterns we will have this spring, I’m guessing that there are still plenty of chilly days to come. So, hang on to this recipe for a chilly day and bear with me!

I’ve been relying on my slow cooker quite a bit lately. I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen preparing dinner each afternoon, but I can usually get a solid 30 minutes of meal prep done during Madison’s morning nap. It’s just enough time for me to get dinner into the slow cooker. Plus, it feels good to have things taken care of early in the day (especially on those days when she chooses not to take an afternoon nap!).

This vegetable soup has become a new favorite at my house.  I think we’ve had it just about once a week since December. I’ve made a few different versions and perfected my recipe over time.  Sure, it’s fast and easy, but it also tastes great. I usually serve it with a loaf of freshly baked bread or a side salad. This recipe makes a pretty big batch (8 – 10 servings), which yields plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week! Continue Reading

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Two of the most popular recipes I have ever posted are my Shredded Beef Tacos and my Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Beef. Are you noticing a theme? They are similar recipes, and I have to admit that they are some of my favorites, too. They are easy to prepare, and the results are simply fabulous. It’s amazing what slow cooking will do for a not-too-expensive cut of beef. The meat just melts in your mouth.

The original Shredded Beef Tacos (which, even though they are from October of 2009 are still very popular every month!) were inspired by the barbacoa at Chipotle, a favorite of mine.  But, since pregnancy has kind of ruined my love of spicy food (I am hoping it returns shortly after the little one arrives!), I have since become a fan of the less spicy carnitas when the hubby and I go to Chipotle. We won’t discuss how frequently we have made trips to Chipotle in the last nine months.

So, I have started picking up pork roasts whenever I can at the local farmers market.  I am able to get great quality meat (hormone-free, all natural, local, you get the picture…) from a sweet couple who I chat with each week. I like that I am able to support a local farm and also get great quality meat (which cannot be found at local supermarkets around here).

I also like that I can make my own homemade carnitas without having to take a trip to Chipotle. Much like the Chipotle version, I have been making my carnitas without much heat. But, that doesn’t mean the dish is lacking in flavor. I make sure that the shredded pork is well seasoned. Since the spices aren’t overpowering, it lends itself well to lots of toppings and condiments. If you aren’t in the mood for heat (like me!), you can top it with lots of veggies, guacamole, and cheese.  Or, if you want to spice things up a bit, you can add some hot salsa or chipotle hot sauce, which is my hubby’s new obsession. Regardless of what toppings you like, I think this recipe is a crowd pleaser. Once you discover how easy it is to prepare,  I think you’ll find that it’s a cook pleaser, too. Continue Reading

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

In the last week or two, I’ve been taking advantage of my slow cooker quite a bit. The cooler weather has been a welcome change.  Suddenly soups and other slow cooked meals are sounding much more appealing to me. It also helps that a little bit of effort in the morning (when I actually have some energy) means I don’t have too much to do to get dinner on the table later in the day.  I’ll take whatever help I can get these days!

Even though we’ve been enjoying cooler weather, we are also still enjoying lots of great fresh vegetables from our CSA and garden. So, I have been incorporating them into just about everything I’ve been making.  This tortellini soup is no exception. Loaded with bell peppers, zucchini, fresh tomatoes, and kale, there’s no need to bother with a side salad.  The salad is in the soup! Once you add the sausage and tortellini, it’s pretty much a complete meal.  You won’t get an argument from me about a one dish dinner… Especially when it tastes this great! Continue Reading

Friday Favorites – Episode 131

Over the past few months, it’s been a lot of fun having some friends step in to share their Friday Favorites. I’ve enjoyed discovering new sites and learning a bit more about some of my blogging friends… And, I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to write a Friday Favorites guest post!

This week, I thought I’d get back to writing about my favorites again… I’ve come across quite a few great recipes, and I just had to share them with all of you. Of course, if you are still interested in writing a Friday Favorites guest post, let me know… I could be convinced to take another week or two off! Continue Reading