Monday, February 28, 2011


We had such an amazing turn out at our Relief Society Meeting on Feb. 24th. Thank you Sisters for coming! We learned how to make freezer meals, how to adapt any recipe into a crock pot meal, and menu planning. The crock pot samplings as refreshments were a huge hit. We would like to thank all the sisters who made crock pot meals. Especially Chelsea Heaps who brought two chicken crock pot dinners!

Once again I was pretty lame on the picture taking front. Sorry. I promise to do better next month when we celebrate the Relief Society's 169th birthday! More information on that exciting activity coming soon!!

                   Rachel & Nicole chatting in the kitchen.

*Posted by Tobi Wilkinson

Friday, February 25, 2011

Crockpot Ideas From 24 Feb Meeting!!

Many of your favorite recipes can be successfully adapted to the Crock-Pot® or slow cooker if you follow a few simple rules. Here you'll find a basic time/temperature guide for converting recipes, some do's and don'ts for specific ingredients and a few tips for making your slow cooker dishes more flavorful. Use the index on the right to jump to the recipe index.

Never put raw hamburger meat in your crockpot. Always brown at least a little before cooking with other ingredients. Fish cooks fast so always add during last hour of cooking.
Dense vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables should be cut no larger than 1" thick, and placed in the bottom of the pot, since they take longer to cook.
Usually liquids may be decreased in slow cooking - about half the recommended amount. Unless the dish contains rice or pasta, one cup of liquid is usually enough.
Pasta and Rice
If a recipe calls for cooked pasta to be added, cook it until just slightly tender before adding to the pot. Add 1/4 extra liquid per 1/4 cup uncooked rice, and use long grain converted rice for the best results. For long-cooking recipes, add cooked rice shortly before serving.
I find it best to soak beans overnight before cooking them in the crockery cooker. The Rival brochure recommends pre-soaking then boiling for at least 10 minutes in unsalted water, draining, then add to the recipe. Before adding sugar or acidic ingredients, the beans should be softened first, either in the slow cooker or on the stove top. If your recipe includes tomatoes, salt, or other acidic ingredients, the beans should be tender before beginning. Someone wrote recently that instead of pre-soaking, she cooks her beans (in the crockery cooker) on low for about 8 hours through the night in water with a little baking soda. In the morning, she drains the beans, adds the ingredients with fresh liquid, then cooks per recipe directions. Cooking times might be shorter using this method.
Herbs and Spices
Ground herbs and spices tend to dissipate over long cooking times, so it's best to add them near the end of cooking. Whole herbs release flavors over time, so are a good choice for crockery cooking. You should taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary, before serving.
Milk, sour cream, and cream break down over long periods of cooking, and should be added during the last hour. Condensed cream soups are good substitutions for milk and can be cooked for extended times. "Healthy," or reduced fat cream soups can be used in any recipe as a substitute.
Cheeses don't generally hold up over extended periods of cooking, so should be added near the end of cooking, or use processed cheeses and spreads.
Add water only to cover ingredients in soup, and add more after cooking if necessary for a thinner soup.
For milk based soups, add 1 or 2 cups of water and during the last hour, stir in milk, evaporated milk, or cream as called for.

Over long cooking, some dishes may lack flavor, but some extra preparation steps can be worthwhile. Though it isn't necessary to brown most meats first, flavor is often enhanced by browning, and fat is decreased. Dredging meat or chicken in flour, browning, then deglazing the pan with wine, a little vinegar, or broth and adding that to the pot can make quite a big difference in flavor. For the best color and texture, ground beef is best browned before using, except in meatloaf or other similar dishes. To simplify preparation, brown ground beef, drain, and freeze in batches for your crockpot meals.
To make a flavorful sauce or gravy from your cooking liquid, first make a roux of flour and water (roughly 1 tablespoon of each for each cup of liquid) in a medium saucepan. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid in the slow cooker then add the liquid to the roux. Simmer, stirring, until the sauce is thickened and reduced. Serve with or over meat and/or vegetables. You can also add cornstarch dissolved in water (1 or 2 tablespoons cornstarch to 2 or 3 tablespoons cold water, depending on how much liquid you have) directly to the slow cooker near the end of cooking to thicken the liquids.

Time Guide

Conventional Recipe:Low (200°):High (300°):
15 - 30 min4 - 6 hrs1 1/2 - 2 hrs
35 - 45 min6 - 10 hrs3 - 4 hrs
50 min - 3 hrs8 - 18 hrs4 - 6 hrs

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Additional Relief Society Meeting

... “Filling our hearts with food and gladness." Acts 14:17

Thursday, February 24th at 6:30pm
Be EARLY and enter drawing for a door prize.

3 Mini Classes
Crock-pot Cooking by Chelsea Heap
Freezer Meals by Kerri Cannon
Menu Planning by Vanessa Scadden

Crock-Pot samplings for refreshments.

Have any great Crock-Pot Recipes you would like to share?
Please e-mail recipes to
Amanda Mata-
 Tobi Wilkinson-
Please submit recipes by February 20th.

 We will be giving out a ward Crock-Pot Recipe book
to all the Sisters!

Nursery will be provided.