Slow Cooker Sunday: Hawaiian Barbecue Ribs

I can’t remember the last time I had or made ribs. I am pretty sure it’s been over a year, maybe even two. I wasn’t even sure if I still liked them to be honest. Then I came across a recipe for baby back ribs in a slow cooker and they sounded simple (and tasty) enough that I decided it was time to have ribs again.

While the recipe called for 2 small racks of baby back ribs about 2 lbs. a piece, I ended up getting one rack that was 4 lbs. I divided this rack into 4 pieces and then seasoned it with salt and pepper then rubbed them with vegetable oil and sprinkled chile powder over the ribs. Rubbing the chile powder onto the ribs.

In a measuring cup I whisked together teriyaki barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic and ginger and then poured this into the insert of my slow cooker. I then added in the seasoned ribs and coated them in the marinade. To make sure each rack was coated, I added each rack one-at-a-time to coat.

I covered my slow cooker and set it to cook on low for 7 hours. Well, I don’t own a digital slow cooker, so, I actually set it to cook for 8 hours. And intended to take the ribs out at 7 hours, but, I put them to cook overnight so by the time I woke up my slow cooker had already switched to the warm setting… Oops! It was all good though, the meat was thoroughly cooked and thankfully still intact.

I transferred the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet bone-side down. In a small bowl I whisked together some of the cooking liquid from my slow cooker, teriyaki barbecue sauce, pineapple preserves and ketchup to make a marinade. I then generously brushed it on the ribs.

I then broiled them on high for about 5 minutes, until the sauce was sticky and the ribs were charred in spots.

I’ll definitely be making these again, but, I think next time I will make them with Honey Barbecue Sauce for a sweeter flavor.

 

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Barbecue Ribs

Ingredients:

Small Racks of Baby Back Ribs (1 4lb. rack cut into 4 pieces, or 2 2lb. racks cut in half)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons chile powder

2/3 cup teriyaki-style barbecue sauce*, divided

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup pineapple preserves

2 tablespoons ketchup

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

*I used Sweet Baby Ray’s

Directions:

Season the ribs with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Rub the ribs with the olive oil and then sprinkle with the chile powder. Rub the chile powder onto the ribs so it will adhere.

In a measuring cup whisk together 1/3 cup of the barbecue sauce, the vinegar, ginger and garlic and then pour into a slow cooker. Add the seasoned ribs and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, until the ribs are tender.

Preheat the broiler. Transfer the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet bone side down. Remove 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker and combine with the remaining 1/3 cup of barbecue sauce and the pineapple preserves and ketchup in a small bowl. Whisk together.

Brush the sauce generously on the ribs. Broil until the sauce is stick and the ribs are charred in spots, 3 to 5 minutes.

Recipe from Food Network

Pink Hot Chocolate

An all-natural Pink Hot Chocolate just in time for Valentine’s Day! How you may ask, well, instead of using red or pink food coloring to get the pink hue, you use a few tablespoons of beet juice. And before you cringe your face because beets are not your favorite vegetable or something you are willing to try once or again, just know that you will not be able to taste the beet flavor whatsoever. But, if you are still intrigued by the idea of making Pink Hot Chocolate for your Valentine this week (or for yourself) but are completely against the beet juice, I will give you a few options to get the pink color that might sound more appealing.

The base of this hot chocolate is white hot chocolate. You start off by bringing milk (I used whole milk) and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Then remove it from the heat and add in grated white chocolate and vanilla extract. Grating the chocolate allows it to melt easier and quicker. Once the chocolate has melted then stir in a few tablespoons of beet juice. But, if you are not inclined to use beet juice, you could substitute it with cherry juice or the juice from maraschino cherries. Just be aware that either of those options could make your hot chocolate a tad bit sweeter. Now, if none of those options work for you, you could tint the hot chocolate with a few drops of either pink or red food coloring. And finally, top the hot chocolate with a healthy topping of whipped cream and then sprinkle with cinnamon. YUM!

Pink Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

2 cups milk

Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces white chocolate, grated*

2 tablespoons beet juice**

Whipped cream, for topping

Cinnamon, for topping

 

*I used Baker’s White Chocolate

**substitute with cherry juice, maraschino cherry juice, food coloring

 

Directions:

In a small saucepan combine the milk and a pinch of the kosher salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Remove the saucepan from heat and add in the vanilla extract and grated chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir in the beet juice.

Diving among mugs and top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

 

Recipe from Real Simple

 

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken Enchilada Chili

When it comes to chili the possibilities are endless. I’ve posted quite a few on this blog, traditional, vegetarian, beef and today I am bringing you a chicken one. A Chicken Enchilada Chili that is easily made in a slow cooker. And not surprisingly it’s one of my favorites, set it in the slow cooker and forget it. Lately with these types of recipes I’ve been cooking the recipes overnight in my slow cooker. I am apprehensive to leave my slow cooker on if I’m not home but somehow I am okay with sleeping while it’s on. It’s the best though, I place all of the ingredients in around 12m and by 8am it’s done. I’m an early riser so this actually works out best for me.  My food is done in the morning and I can attend to other things during the day. Since I usually do this on a Saturday night my Sunday then consists of cleaning, laundry and all those other fun Sunday things to do.

One of the great things about this chili is that it gets better each day. I would suggest heating your leftovers on the stove as opposed to the microwave. Because of the cream cheese, which makes this chili super creamy, you may find that your chilled leftovers become quite thick and I personally think heating the chilled leftovers on the stove re-melts the cream cheese perfectly as opposed to the microwave. Either way, make sure to add some toppings before enjoying. I enjoyed mine with avocado and shredded cheddar and it was perfect! Squeeze some fresh lime juice to really bring out the flavors.

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Oh, one more thing. Per the directions it says to cook the chili on low for 6 to 8 hours until the chicken shreds easily, don’t worry about overcooking. As I said, I cooked this overnight and left it for the full 8 eight hours without checking it prior and my chicken was perfect for shredding by then and the rest of my ingredients hadn’t suffered because of the extra time in the slow cooker.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Chili

Ingredients:

1 10 oz. can red enchilada sauce

1 14.5 oz. can of petite dice tomatoes with green chilies*

1 16 oz. can of chili beans in mild chili sauce**

1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz. can of corn, drained

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

2 cups chicken broth or stock

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, at room temperature

Toppings: sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, avocado, lime, cilantro

 

*I used a can of Rotel

**Available from Bush’s beans

 

Directions:

In the insert of your slow cooker add the enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chili beans, black beans, corn and chicken. Add in the chicken broth (or stock) and the seasonings and give everything a good stir.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until the chicken will shred easily.

Remove the chicken and shred using two forks. Set aside.

Cube the softened cream cheese and add to the slow cooker. Stir well and cover. Switch the temperature setting to high and let the chili sit for five minutes. Use a whisk to whisk the cream cheese to melt into the chili.

Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and cover. Continue cooking on high until the cream cheese has completely melted and then stir again.

Serve with your desired toppings.

Recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Slow Cooker Sunday: Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my favorite type of slow cooker recipe is the dump it in and forget about it kind. This beef ragu is just that. I added all of my ingredients to my slow cooker…

Set it to cook on low for 7 hours, shredded the meat, added it to some cooked pasta…

And had a delicious meal to pack for lunch.

 

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

Ingredients:

1 lb. beef chuck roast

1 15oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 sprig of rosemary

1 3-inch piece of Parmesan rind

Kosher salt

Black pepper

12 oz. fresh pappardelle

Directions:

Add the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a slow cooker and whisk together. Add the rosemary spring and Parmesan rind. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Shred the meat with two forks, discard any fat, the rosemary and Parmesan rind and set the slow cooker to warm while you cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the past and cook according to label directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot and add the meat and sauce from the slow cooker as well as the reserved cooking water. Cook on medium high heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle each serving with olive oil.

Recipe from Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Mushroom Spinach Tortellini

This is one of my favorite type of slow cooker recipes… set it and forget it. I actually made it overnight and then woke up in the morning and finished it. Granted, the one downfall of making something in a slow cooker overnight is that you are awoken by the smell of something delicious cooking. The downfall isn’t the deliciousness, but, the interrupted sleep of course. Especially on the weekend when you are trying to get the few extra minutes you can’t afford to get during the week because of work, school, life, etc.

To start, cook mushrooms and onions in a greased slow cooker insert (I sprayed mine with cooking spray) along with butter, vegetable broth and spices for about 7 to 8 hours, until the veggies are tender. Next, stir in refrigerated tortellini and cubed cream cheese and cook, covered, for an additional 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Stir in the spinach and let it stand (covered) for an additional 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, stir in parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and enjoy!

If you plan on reheating this, add some vegetable broth to it prior to doing so. Doing so will give you a creamier sauce. The first time I heated it up I didn’t and while it was delicious, it didn’t have the same creaminess it did when it was done cooking initially. So, the second time I added a little broth and that did the trick.

Slow Cooker Mushroom-Spinach Tortellini

Ingredients:

8 oz. Mushrooms (I used baby bella)

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2  teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoons onion powder

3/4 teaspoons garlic powder

3/4 teaspoons dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon black powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups vegetable broth

20 oz. package refrigerated tortellini (I used Buitoni three-cheese)

8 oz. package cream cheese cubed, at room temperature

6 oz. bag of baby spinach

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

 

*Original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of Garlic & Herb Seasoning (Mrs. Dash)

 

Directions:

Spray the insert of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the mushrooms, onion, spices, butter and vegetable broth. Give everything a good stir and cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the tortellini and cream cheese and continue to cook on low, covered, for an additional 30 minutes. Stirring once halfway through.

Stir in the spinach and let stand for an additional 5 minutes, covered. Sprinkle with the cheese and parsley then serve.

Recipe slightly modified from Tiny Kitchen Capers

Slow Cooker Sunday: Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

I’ve posted a fair amount of chili recipes and today I am bringing you one more… A Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes. This chili is loaded with kidney beans, black beans and chunks of sweet potato. And if you are not keen on spicy chili then this is the chili for you.

While I normally do most of my slow cooking on Sunday’s I ended up making this chili in my slow cooker overnight Saturday to Sunday since I had plans to go apple picking on this particular Sunday. I like to be home when my slow cooker is on, I know it’s completely safe and all, but, I just don’t like leaving it unattended. Also, if there happens to be a power outage I can always switch the dish to cook in the oven or on the stove as opposed to my entire meal being ruined because it didn’t cook properly, especially with a meat dish. I once read that if you do leave your slow cooker unattended and there happens to be a power outage and you’re cooking meat the best bet is to toss the food since you can never be sure of bacteria growing. And yes, I know it’s not any safer to have it on while I am sleeping, we can all recall how Jack died on “This Is Us” (even though the slow cooker wasn’t on but had a switch malfunction), in the back of my mind it’s safer thanks to my smoke detector and my keen nose. Speaking of my keen nose, the delicious aromas of this chili woke me prior to the 7-hour cooking mark and I couldn’t go back to sleep, so, I decided to check on it and happily discovered that the sweet potatoes were fork tender so I was able to turn it off and go back to sleep. If it had been on any longer the sweet potatoes would have turned to mush, but, as you can see from the picture below the sweet potato was intact.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 14.5 ounce cans of diced fire roasted peppers

1 15.5 ounce can of black beans, rinsed

1 15.5 ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Options for serving: sour cream, sliced scallions, shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips

Directions:

In the insert of your slow cooker combine the onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their juices), beans, sweet potato and 1 cup of water.

Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, 7-8 hours on low and 4 to 5 hours on high.

Serve with your favorite toppings or eat on its own.

Recipe from Real Simple

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Sunday: Spiced (Candied) Mixed Nuts

Today’s slow cooker Sunday recipe is something perfect for this time of year… Spiced Mixed Nuts. If you are thinking they are spicy nuts sorry to disappoint you, but, these are more sweet over anything else, think candied nuts. Although, if you would like yours to have a little kick, add a teaspoon (or two) of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture to get them sweet & spicy.

The original recipe called for a cup each of almonds, pecans, walnuts and cashews, which, in all honesty can get a bit pricey to purchase separately. So, what I ended up doing was purchasing a bag of roasted and unsalted mixed nuts from my local Trader Joe’s. It had approximately 4 cups of nuts which was just perfect and only cost $8. Included in this mix are almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and pecans.

While you could simply bake these in the oven, cooking them in a slow cooker really gives the spices time to develop and flavor the nuts. In one bowl I whisked together an egg white with vanilla extract until it was well blended. I added in the nuts and stirred them until they were coated. In another bowl I whisked together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg & cloves and salt.

I then added the nut mixture to the sugar mixture and gave it a few good stirs to coat the nuts.

I sprayed the insert of my slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and then transferred the nuts into it. I also added in the extra sugar mixture that didn’t stick to the nuts. I covered it and set it to cook on high for 90 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. Truthfully, my slow cooker isn’t one of those nifty digital ones that you can set the time, so, I set it for the least amount of time on high, 4 hours.

After the 90 minutes, I stirred in 2 tablespoons of water and covered it once again and cooked it for an additional 20 minutes on low. This will allow any of the sugar mixture that hasn’t adhered to the nuts stick. During those first 90 minutes there were a few times I thought that the sugar wasn’t going to stick but, it all came together during these final 20 minutes.

During the final 20 minutes I covered a rim baking sheet with wax paper, and once the 20 minutes were up I transferred the nuts to the baking sheet and let the nuts cool completely. I then transferred them to an airtight container. These were destined for a dear friend in another state, but, before boxing them up I had a few friends taste test them and they immediately put in their requests for a batch for Christmas!

These would make a nice a gift or a nice treat to have at home for yourself or for when guests arrive.

 

Slow Cooker Spiced Nuts

Ingredients:

1 large egg white

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup almonds*

1 cup pecan halves*

1 cup shelled walnuts*

1 cup unsalted cashews*

1 cup sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons water

 

*Use any nut combination you choose. Or purchase a mixed bag as I did

**If you want sweet & spicy nuts add in a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture

 

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the egg white and vanilla extract. Add the nuts and toss to coat.

In another large bowl whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg cloves and salt. Add in the nut mixture and toss to coat.

Using butter or non-stick cooking spray, grease the insert of a slow cooker. Transfer the nut mixture, along with any of the remaining sugar mixture, to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. After the 90 minutes gradually stir in the water and cook covered an additional 20 minutes.

Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and spread the nuts on the paper and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe from Taste of Home