Here is the menu...Rosemary Toasted Nuts(make ahead of time), Beef Stroganoff, Wild Rice Pilaff, Coconut Fruit Salad (make ahead of time), Crockpot Chocolate Mess. You will need 3 crockpots to make this delicious meal.

This luscious pudding cake is the perfect end to a romantic dinner. Top with ice cream or whipped cream
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Crockpot Chocolate Mess Cake

1 package Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
2 cups Sour Cream
1 small package instant sugar free chocolate pudding
1 small bag real chocolate chips
3/4 cup Canola oil
4 eggs
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Spray crock pot with non stick spray
Mix all ingredients except for walnuts.  Pour into prepared crockpot and sprinkle with walnuts.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. 

Recipe Source: Recipe Bridge

Here is the menu...Rosemary Toasted Nuts(make ahead of time), Beef Stroganoff, Wild Rice Pilaff, Coconut Fruit Salad (make ahead of time), Crockpot Chocolate Mess. You will need 3 crockpots to make this delicious meal.
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__Wild Rice Pilaf in Crockpot

2 cups uncooked wild rice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 (14-ounce) cans ready to serve chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 (4-ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, undrained
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves

Spray 3 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse rice and drain well. Combine in crockpot together with onion, salt, pepper, chicken broth, water, mushrooms, and thyme and mix well. Cover crockpot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. 6 servings

Saw this suggestion on the internet and thought since we are doing the "Get your Slow Cooker On" series in Healthy Kitchen...we'd give it a try.  It will require that you use 3 slow cookers (crockpots) to accomplish if you only have one...see if you can borrow a couple of them to carry this through. 

Here is the menu...Rosemary Toasted Nuts (make ahead of time), Beef Stroganoff, Wild Rice Pilaff, Coconut Fruit Salad (make ahead of time), Crockpot Chocolate Mess.

We'll start with the "main dish" recipe. 
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_Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
1-1/2 lbs. beef sirloin tip, cut into 1" cubes
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (8-oz.) package mushrooms, slice
1 tsp. dried marjoram leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
8 oz. carton sour cream
2 tablespoons mustard
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup water

Preparation: Combine everything except sour cream, mustard, flour, and water in a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours (high for 4-5 hours). Remove and discard bay leaf. Combine sour cream, mustard, flour, and water in medium bowl and mix well, using a whisk. Add 1 cup of the hot liquid from the crockpot to the sour cream mixture and stir until combined. Return this mixture to the crockpot and stir well. Cover crockpot and cook on high for 20-30 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Taste it; you may want to add more salt, pepper, marjoram, or thyme. You can serve over hot cooked egg noodles or instead...serve with the wild rice pilaf.

If you have a new hotter cooking crockpot, check the beef at 6 hours on low.

Recipe Source:

Nothing like warm soups to get you through those cold February days.  Ready for a tasty potato treat? ya go...Loaded Baked Potato Soup
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8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices), chopped
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 pounds russet potatoes (about 6 medium), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces), plus extra for serving
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
3 scallions, sliced thin


1. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and refrigerate until serving. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat left in skillet.

2. Add onion, garlic, and thyme to fat in skillet and cook over medium-high heat until onion is softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 1 cup broth, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.

3. Stir remaining 3 cups broth and potatoes into slow cooker. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.

4. Transfer 2 cups cooked potatoes to bowl and mash smooth with potato masher. Stir cheddar into soup until evenly melted, then stir in mashed potatoes and cream. Let soup sit until heated through, about 5 minutes.

5. Microwave bacon on paper towel-lined plate until hot and crisp, about 30 seconds. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve with scallions, crisp bacon, and additional cheddar.

Recipe Source:

Oh my gosh...who doesn't love White Chicken Chili?  I Love it with a capital "L"!
3 cans (15 oz. each) white beans (cannellini, Great Northern, etc.)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies 
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 1/2 cups chicken broth


Rinse and drain the beans. Place them in a slow cooker. Add the onions, garlic, chilies, spices, and salt, and stir to combine. Place the chicken breasts over the top, and pour in the chicken broth. Cover and cook on LOW for 9 to 10 hours, or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the chicken and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, using a couple of forks; after shredded, put it back in the pot.

You can serve this with tortillas, tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, chopped fresh cilantro or shredded jack or cheddar cheese.

Recipe Source: Raise Healthy Eaters

No-Stick Cooking Spray
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into large pieces
2 cans (14.5 oz each) Diced Tomatoes with Spicy Red Pepper, undrained
1 can (6 oz each) Tomato Paste
1 pkg (0.87 oz each) pork gravy mix
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 pkg (8 oz each) sliced fresh mushrooms

  1. Spray inside of 4 to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine remaining ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cover; cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH 4 to 6 hours or until meat is tender. Separate pork into smaller pieces.
Recipe source: Ready Set Eat

_I am going to start posting some great crock pot recipes for the month of February.  I will search the internet for some great meals that any busy mom can fix.  I found some dos and don'ts for slow cooking that I thought I would post watching for the first slow cooker recipe.

How do I prevent meat from drying out? 
To prevent poultry from drying out, use chicken thighs—they have more fat and won’t dry out as quickly, says Finlayson. Cook thighs for about six hours and breasts for a maximum of five hours on low heat. Beef, depending on the cut, is much more forgiving, she says. For better results, use stewing beef, short ribs, or brisket as opposed to a rib steak or a sirloin.

How can I prevent flavors from becoming muddy? 
“Start with a good recipe and quality ingredients and you will be a long way from having muddy flavors,” says Finlayson. For fresher flavors, add chopped herbs and vegetables with shorter cooking times about 10 minutes before the meal is ready.

How can I clean my slow cooker without lots of soaking and scrubbing? 
Though the slow cooker’s insert can be heavy, cleaning shouldn’t be a problem. Slow cookers retain moisture which should prevent scorching on the bottom, says Finlayson.  Difficulty cleaning may indicate a technical issue such as the heat being on too high for too long.

Can I cook frozen meats in my slow cooker? 
Cooking frozen meats in the slow cooker is an absolute no, says Finlayson. Harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses flourish in moist environments at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Using frozen meat may cause food to remain at an unsafe temperature for too long.

Is it safe to leave the slow cooker on when I’m not home?
Leaving the slow cooker on is perfectly safe. In fact, it’s comparable to leaving a light bulb on while you’re out, says Finlayson.

Why does my food get overcooked, even on the low setting? 
Slow cookers are all manufactured differently and they don’t all cook at the same pace, says Finlayson: “Know your slow cooker. Use quality recipes, and if you are consistently cooking faster or slower, adjust your time accordingly.” Keep in mind: There are no precise guidelines, and it may take a bit of trial and error to fix the issue.

Can I halve a slow cooker recipe? 
If cutting a recipe in half, you should also reduce the size of your slow cooker so that the heat distributes evenly, says Finlayson.  If you only own one slow cooker, make the whole recipe and freeze the leftovers or stick to soups and stews, since the size of the slow cooker isn’t as important as it is when cooking grains.

Information: Real Simple
1 envelope Taco Seasoning
6 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 jar Salsa (16 oz)

Dump everything into a crock pot and give it a little stir to blend the seasoning with the salsa. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork.

For tacos, serve the chicken with soft flour tortillas, lettuce, shredded cheese and sour cream. This is very versatile and can be used for enchiladas, nachos, tostadas, etc.   Any leftover chicken can then be used for tortilla soup (make it the next day or freeze the chicken to use at a later time).

Source: My Chocolate Therapy