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January Recipes

SLOW COOKER PORK AND SAUERKRAUT

Super-easy slow cooked pork tenderloin with sauerkraut and potatoes. Use a slow cooker liner for effortless cleanup. This is also good served with mashed potatoes if you don't want to use the whole baby ones.

1    (1 lb.) Whole Pork Tenderloin

1    (24 ounce) Bag Baby Potatoes (unpeeled*)

1    (20 oz.) Can Sauerkraut (undrained**)

1    Cup Water

1/4 Cup Butter (cubed)

      Salt and Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

* or leave these out and make mashed potatoes.

** If you rinse your sauerkraut (like I do) then add an extra 1/2 cup or so of water.

Place whole pork tenderloin into a slow cooker. Arrange potatoes around the pork; pour the sauerkraut, juice and water over the pork and potatoes. Add butter cubes, salt, and black pepper. Cook on Low until pork is tender, 8 to 10 hours. Add more water after 8 hours if mixture seems dry.


CROCK POT PORK AND SAUERKRAUT

Traditional Pa Dutch New Year's Day meal. Serve with mashed potatoes.

4    lbs Pork Loin Roast

1/2 tsp. Caraway Seed

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

1    Small Baking Apple (peeled, cored and diced very small)

2    lbs. Sauerkraut (undrained)

1/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

4    Tbsp. Butter (melted)

      Salt (if needed, to taste)

Place pork loin in crock pot. Sprinkle with caraway seeds and black pepper. Place diced apple (or applesauce) on top of pork. Pour sauerkraut and juice on top.

Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the sauerkraut. Drizzle the top with melted butter. Cook on low for about 8 hours or until pork reaches internal temp of at least 160 degrees. Stir the sauerkraut around a bit before serving.

Servings: 6


CREAMY CHICKEN LASAGNA

This is an unusual but fantastic combination. Everyone that tastes it raves!

3    Chicken Breast Halves (skinless, boneless)

6    Uncooked Lasagna Noodles

1    Cube Chicken Bouillon

1/4 Cup Hot Water

1    (8 oz.) Package Cream Cheese (softened)

2    Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1    (26 oz.) Jar Spaghetti Sauce

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the chicken in a saucepan with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from saucepan, and shred.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Dissolve the bouillon cube in hot water. In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the bouillon, cream cheese, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

Spread 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover with the chicken mixture, and top with 3 lasagna noodles; repeat. Top with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven.


CROCK-POT CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

1 1/2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

2      Cups Carrots (peeled and chopped)

1      Medium Yellow Onion (diced)

3      Stalks Celery (chopped)

3      to 4 Cloves Garlic (minced)

3      Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2   tsp. Dried Thyme

1      Bay Leaf

6      Cups Chicken Broth

1      Cup Water

1/2   tsp. Salt (or to taste)

1/4   tsp. Pepper (or to taste)

2      Cups Uncooked Wide Egg Noodles (no-yolk)

3      Tbsp. Fresh Parsley (chopped)

In a 6 quart crock-pot add in whole chicken breasts, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, olive oil, thyme and bay leaf.

Next add in chicken broth, water and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low heat 6 to 7 hours.

Remove cooked chicken breasts and cut into bite sized pieces. Place chicken back in to the crock-pot. Now add in egg noodles and parsley. Cover and cook just until noodles are tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

Serves: 8


CROCK-POT BEEF BARLEY STEW 

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Stew Beef  (cubed)

1       (14 oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes

1       (8 oz.) Can Tomato Sauce

2       Cups Carrot Slices (cut in-to small pieces)

1       Cups Celery Slices (cut in-to small pieces)

1       Cup Onion Slices (cut into small pieces)

3/4    Cup Pearl Barley (rinsed and drained)

5       Cups Beef Broth

1       tsp. Salt

1       Bay Leaf

1/2    tsp. Sage

1/2    tsp. Thyme

1/2    tsp. Pepper

Combine all ingredients in crock-pot. Mix well. Cover and cook over low heat for 7 1/2 to 8 hours.

Serves: 6 to 8

NOTE: At about 7 1/2 hours, check to see if it might need more liquid, if so add 1 cup water.


CROCK-POT CREAMY CHICKEN WITH BISCUITS

3/4    lb. Carrots (cut into 1 inch lengths)

2       Ribs Celery (thinly sliced)

1       Small Onion (chopped)

1/4    Cup All-purpose Flour

1 1/2 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

1/2    tsp. Poultry Seasoning

         Salt and Black Pepper

1       Cup Low-sodium Chicken Broth

1       Cup Frozen Peas

1/2    Cup Heavy Cream

6       Biscuits (split in half)

In a 4 to 6 quart crock-pot, toss together the carrots, celery, onion, and flour. Place the chicken on top and season with the poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste). Add the broth.

Cover and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender, on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 1⁄2 to 3 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, prepare the biscuits if you are making your own.

Ten minutes before serving, add the peas, cream, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more.

To serve, place the bottom halves of the biscuits in shallow bowls, then top each with some chicken mixture and the remaining biscuit halves.

Serves: 6


TUNA ALFREDO CASSEROLE

Tuna casserole is the ultimate in comfort food. But when it's made with just five ingredients and updated with some pesto and fancy pasta, it's fun to make and eat too.

3    Cups Mafalda (mini lasagna) or Penne Pasta

1/2 Cup Basil Pesto

1    (10 oz.) Container Alfredo Sauce

1    (12 oz.) Can Solid White Tuna (drained)

1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to directions, taking one minute off the cooking time. When the pasta is almost al dente, drain well.

Meanwhile, combine pesto and Alfredo sauce in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add the cooked pasta and tuna and mix gently.

Pour the tuna mixture into a greased 2 quart glass baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is hot.  Yield: Serves 6

Note: You could add just about any frozen, thawed vegetable to this easy casserole recipe; peas or corn would work well. Or add some drained canned mushroom slices, or chopped green onion or some chopped cooked bell pepper or regular onion. That's what is so nice about casseroles; they can be changed to suit your mood and whim and what you have on hand.


FRIED CABBAGE WITH BACON, ONION AND GARLIC

This family favorite is a beautiful dish with many colors and full of flavor. Warning, it is addictive.

6       Slices Bacon (chopped)

1       Large Onion (diced)

2       Cloves Garlic (minced)

1       Large Head Cabbage (cored and sliced)

1 1/2 tsp. Salt (or to taste)

1       tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1/2    tsp. Onion Powder

1/2    tsp. Garlic Powder

1/8    tsp. Paprika

Place the bacon in a large stock pot and cook over medium-high heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon and save to add at finish. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion caramelizes; about 10 minutes. Immediately stir in the cabbage and continue to cook and stir another 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes more. When cabbage is tender, crumble and add the bacon and serve.


ALMOND JOY BROWNIES

Rich chocolate brownies with a coconut and almond filling, and topped with chocolate.

Bottom Layer:

1    Favorite Brownie Batter Recipe (9"x 9" size, prepared as directed)

Middle Layer:

1    Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

4    Cups Flaked Coconut

1    Cup Powdered Sugar

      Roasted Almonds

Topping:

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

1    Tbsp. Butter

1    Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Prepare and cool the brownies. Do not remove them from the pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the condensed milk and coconut. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Spread the coconut mixture over the brownies. Wet fingers work best to do this! Top the coconut with the almonds.

In a small sauce pan, heat the cream and butter over low-medium heat. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Cool slightly. Pour the chocolate over the coconut and almonds. Cover and refrigerate. Cool completely before cutting. Serve from the baking pan.


MINI BANANA PANCAKES

An easy way to get kids to eat their fruit, you'll love these mini flapjacks, too!

1    Cup All-purpose Flour

2    Tbsp. Sugar

2    tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1    Large Egg

1    Cup Milk

2    Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

2    Bananas

Preheat oven to 175 degrees F. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg, milk, and butter; whisk until combined but still slightly lumpy.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 5 banana rounds in pan, about 3 inches apart. Spoon one tablespoon batter over each; cook until large bubbles cover surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip, and cook until bottom is golden, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a baking sheet, and keep warm in the oven.

Repeat with remaining banana rounds and batter. Sauté extra banana slices in butter until golden; serve with pancakes.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen


CREAMY CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM SOUP

So cozy, so comforting and just so creamy. Best of all, this is made in 30 minutes from start to finish - so quick and easy!

1    Tbsp. Olive Oil

8    oz. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (cut into 1 inch chunks)

      Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2    Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

3    Cloves Garlic (minced)

8    oz. Cremini Mushrooms (thinly sliced)

1    Onion (diced)

3    Carrots (peeled and diced)

2    Ribs Celery (diced)

1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme

1/4 Cup All-purpose Flour

4    Cups Chicken Stock

1    Bay Leaf

1/2 Cup Half and Half (or more as needed)

2    Tbsp. Fresh Parsley Leaves (chopped)

1    Sprig Rosemary

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stock pot and cook until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes; set aside.

Melt butter in the stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken thighs, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and rosemary, if desired.  

Yield 6 servings