Jun 172016
 

This is a family favorite I posted some time ago and finally added a couple pictures. I’m still trying to remember to take pictures when I make some of the variations, but we don’t have this recipe often due to the high-calorie content.

I also discovered something after making this recipe many times. If you stir the mixture after 30 to 45 minutes of cooking, it resembles more traditional baked macaroni and cheese. If you don’t stir, it comes out more like layers with the top being a fluffy cheese layer.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  2. 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  3. 12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
  4. 4 oz. mozzarella cheese
  5. 5 cups milk
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Layer macaroni, butter, and cheeses in a 9-by-13 dish. Pour milk over the top layer.
  3. Bake for one hour. Do not cover.
Notes
  1. To prevent this dish from becoming too brown and crusty (I like the brown and crusty myself but I know some people don’t), cover with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  2. Experiment with other cheeses!
  3. You can turn this into an entrée by adding your favorite meats and veggies!
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Some variations:

 

Baked Mushroom Cheeseburger Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb hamburger
1 diced medium onion
8 oz fresh, sliced mushrooms or 12 oz can mushrooms

Brown hamburger with onion and mushrooms. Drain and add meat mixture before cheese layer. Reduce milk by 1/2 cup. Follow remaining directions above.

 

Baked Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb hamburger
1 diced medium onion
6 slices bacon, crumbled

Brown hamburger with onion.  Drain and add hamburger and onion mixture before cheese layer.  After cheese layer, sprinkle with crumbled bacon.  Reduce milk by 1/2 cup.  Follow remaining directions above.

 

Baked Ham and Cheese Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb ham and choose any combination of the following veggies:
Onion
Mushrooms
Broccoli
Cauliflower

Fry ham and veggies to remove excess liquid. Drain and add before cheese layer. Reduce milk by 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Follow remaining directions above.

This is a very versatile dish. Try using leftover taco meat, chicken, peppers, or any number of variations to make a completely different dish every time. Let me know what you tried, what worked and what didn’t!

May 292016
 

Spaghetti is an easy meal for my husband to take to work with him, so I make quite a bit of it. With my current obsession with the crock pot, I decided to see what would happen if I added the uncooked noodles directly to the slow cooker and cooked them with the sauce. I expected to wind up with a gooey, nasty mess but was shocked to find that it turned out great. The noodles were plump and filled with flavor.

I haven’t found a jarred spaghetti sauce that I like, they’re all too sweet or bland, so I played around with tomato sauce and spices until I came up with something that I thought tasted pretty good. Not sweet, tons of tomato flavor and just a tad spicy. If you like the jarred sauce, you can always replace the tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste and spices with an equal amount of your favorite sauce. That should be somewhere around 85 ounces of sauce.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti
Serves 10
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Cook Time
4 hr
Cook Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds Italian pork sausage or hamburger or a pound of each
  2. 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 cups chopped onions
  4. 16 ounces (2-3 cups) sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
  5. 1 green bell pepper (optional)
  6. 3 cans (15 ounce) tomato sauce
  7. 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  8. 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  9. 1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes
  10. 1 can (12 ounce) tomato paste
  11. 1 1/2 Tablespoons dried basil
  12. 1 1/2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  13. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  14. 1 teaspoon pepper
  15. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  16. 1-2 cups beef broth
Instructions
  1. Cook sausage/hamburger, garlic, onions, mushrooms and green bell pepper until browned. Drain.
  2. Empty 2 cans tomato sauce into slow cooker.
  3. Break spaghetti noodles in half and place on top of sauce. Cover with last can of tomato sauce.
  4. Add sausage/hamburger mixture on top of noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. On top of cheese, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs and spices.
  6. Cook on high for 3 hours. Stir well and add 1-2 cups beef broth depending on how thick or thin you like your sauce. Cook for remaining hour or until ready to eat.
Notes
  1. If you like your sauce thinner, you can always add more beef broth or water.
  2. This recipe fills a 6 quart slow cooker. If your largest size is 5 quart, consider waiting to add the sausage/hamburger mixture until you are ready to serve.
  3. If you don't like your spaghetti spicy, make sure to leave out the crushed red pepper flakes.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Slow Cooker Spaghetti

Update: June 21, 2016
I tried this recipe with rotini instead of spaghetti noodles, but I didn’t like the way it turned out. The rotini was mushy and didn’t hold up well. I think the rotini might have been too “thin” and a thicker noodle type would have worked. I doubt I’ll try it again with rotini or noodles like it.

Update: July 13, 2016
I tried the recipe this time with macaroni noodles and it worked wonderfully. Noodles weren’t mushy this time. I had to add 2 cups of beef broth, 1 wasn’t enough. The noodles soaked up all the liquid making it an even thicker dish. It was more like Spaghetti Macaroni Casserole. I will probably make it this way from now on because macaroni would be easier for the hubby to eat at work than spaghetti noodles.

I’m going to try it with penne next.

May 132016
 

Slightly smoky and full of flavor, this easy baked beans recipe is great for a small meal or can be doubled, tripled or more to feed a crowd. If you double the recipe, it just fits in a 1.5-quart slow cooker.

Make sure to add extra time to the minimum if you double, triple or quadruple the recipe. The sauce will thicken the longer it cooks.

You can use your favorite BBQ sauce. I use KC Masterpiece because that’s what I usually have on hand.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (16 ounce) can pork and beans, undrained
  2. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  4. 2 teaspoons dry minced onion
  5. 2 sliced crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
  6. 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  7. 2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce
  8. 2-4 drops liquid smoke (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a 1 or 1.5 quart slow cooker.
  2. Stir and cook for 4 to 8 hours.
Notes
  1. Sauce thickens the longer it cooks.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Slow Cooker Baked Beans

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