December 11, 2010

Slow Cookin' on a Winter Weekend!

The Maine House is ALMOST ready...for a family Christmas! The decorating has been completed, the tree is simply beautiful, loaded with 48 years worth of collected and treasured ornaments, the packages have been wrapped and tied with a bounty of ribbons! Darling and I got dressed in Christmas finery and off we went to the production of A Christmas Carol in Portland last evening......

So all we have left to do is run to the UPS store and get all the packages in the mail to send to family who will not be with us this Christmas....Bah-Hum-Bug!!! Winter weather is certainly here so we are then going to relax, watch some good old fashioned christmas movies....some southern football......and arrive at the dinner table for some of our best slow cooker winter recipes!!!

Estelle's Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Sandwiches

1 (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs.) lean chuck roast
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 or 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can of tomato soup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
salt to taste
Cut roast into 4 or 5 large pieces to fit in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over beef. Cover and cook on LOW for 9 to 11 hours, until very tender. Pour juice into a small saucepan and simmer on the stovetop for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce and thicken. In the meantime shred beef with 2 forks or potato masher. Return thickened sauce to the beef in the slow cooker. Keep warm and serve with split sandwich buns and coleslaw.

Estelle's Best Slow Cooker Mac N' Cheese
1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
1/2 cup stick butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1 cup whole milk
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Cook macaroni according to package directions but do not overcook! Drain. Mix macaroni with melted butter. Place mixture in 5 quart slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, soup, milk and 3 cups cheese. Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with paprika.

Estelle's Comforting Berry Cobbler
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen strawberries
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen blueberries
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup baking mix

2 1/4 cups baking mix
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Spray the insert of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together all the frozen fruit, sugar and 1/2 cup baking mix. Transfer the fruit to the slow cooker. In another large mixing bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cups baking mix, 1/4 cup sugar, melted butter and milk with a wooden spoon. Drop spoonfuls of dough on top of the fruit in the slow cooker. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top of the dough and place the lid on the slow cooker. Turn the power onto high and slow cook for 3 to 4 hours until the topping has puffed and the fruit is bubbling!

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
 I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.
 The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.
Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!"
- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

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