The Country Cook

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fresh Apple Cake with Honey Glaze ~ Weekend Potluck #241

The recipe with the most clicks was...

Fresh Apple Cake with Honey Glaze by Big Rigs N Lil Cookies

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Waffled Brownies by Cooking with Curls

Featured Hostess Recipe ~

Pumpkin Pie Cake by Mommy’s Kitchen

Your Hostesses ~

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken

After I shared the recipe for Crock Pot Mississippi Pot Roast earlier last year, I got a lot of folks asking about making it with chicken. This recipe really works well with just about any kind of meat you can think of. What I love most is it is a true crock pot recipe. And by that I mean you can literally fix it and forget it. Pop it all into your slow cooker and set it on low and go to work and then come home and it's ready. It won't be burned or dry at all.
My friend Cris over at Recipes that Crock makes this with chicken thighs and she loves it with that cut of meat. Chicken thighs can be a very affordable option too. And with using the chicken thighs she also cuts the butter in half. I like using frozen chicken breasts with these all-day recipes. Again, it's more affordable than fresh chicken breasts and they hold up really well to the longer cooking time. Plus, I seem to always have them in my freezer. They cook up great without any kind of thawing at all. 
Our favorite way to serve this is on a bun. We slather some mayonnaise on it and add some provolone cheese and let it get all nice and melty. Mmmmm. But you can really do much more with it. You could serve it with some mashed potatoes or egg noodles. You can't go wrong. 
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet au jus gravy mix
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
6-8 peperoncini peppers
Cook's Notes: I am using frozen breasts here. This is a 3 lb. bag and works perfect if you need to let this hang out for 8 or more hours until you get home from work and it's also a bit cheaper than it's fresh counterpart. 

Add chicken breasts to the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle both packets of au jus gravy mix and ranch dressing mix on top of the chicken. Then, top with stick of butter. 
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 
The chicken will produce its own juices so you don't have to add any other liquid to this.
When it's ready, take a couple of forks and shred the chicken. It will be very tender.
Then serve it up however you prefer. We served it up on some sub rolls here. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Aunt Max's Chicken and Dumplings ~ Weekend Potluck #240

The recipe with the most clicks was...

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Pumpkin Pie Pecan Cobbler by Together as Family

Featured Hostess Recipe ~

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos by Served Up With Love

Your Hostesses ~

Served Up With Love ~ Melissa 
Mommy's Kitchen ~ Tina
The Country Cook ~ Brandie
The Better Baker ~ Marsha
Sweet Little Bluebird ~ Mary

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Crock Pot Chunky Beef & Potato Stew

With fall and winter approaching (I know, I know - not quite there yet! But I am thinking ahead) I like to come up with recipes that are good "fix-it and forget-it" crock pot meals. I have a good number of slow cooker recipes on here that can simmer and hang out for most of the day without worry. But, I also have a few that are technically crockpot recipes but they really are not the set-it and forget-it kind. With kiddos back in school and Mom and Dad working and trying to help with homework, getting housework caught up and all of the other things that fill our days - I figured making dinner should be one less thing to worry about.
This is one of those rib-sticking, all-in-one meals that gets better as it cooks. The meat gets nice and tender the longer it cooks also. Plus, it's affordable and makes enough for a family of 6. Beef stew meat is very reasonable in price however the meat itself can be tough. So cooking it slowly and on a low temperature really helps to tenderize the meat. And to add to the ease (and nutrition) of the meal, I am adding in these Baby Boomer creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company. 
They already come pre-washed and you don't need to peel them. How's that for convenience?! All I do is slice them in half. They hold up really well to the longer cooking process. Also, did you know that if you over-salt a soup or a stew that potatoes will help soak up that extra sodium? So, in this dish, you can use a regular beef stock, and the sodium from that beef stock will help season and flavor the potatoes as they soak it all in. And this 1.5 pound bag is the perfect size for this beef stew recipe.
2 pounds beef stew meat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups beef stock
1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (1.5 lb) package Baby Boomer Little Potatoessliced in half
1 medium onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 cup baby carrots
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper, to taste

to thicken stew:

3 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. cold beef stock (or water)
Cook's Notes: If the stew meat is too large for your liking, cut it up into bite-sized pieces before cooking.
Chop up the celery and onion and slice little potatoes in half.
Begin heating up the olive oil in a large skillet. I have a slow cooker that also has a saute setting so that I can brown meat so that's what I am using here (saves on dishes!) In a bowl, mix together the stew meat with flour, salt and pepper (if using.)
Once your oil is super hot, add in half of the beef and brown it on both sides. We're not cooking it through - just browning the outside of the meat. This just gives it a lot of flavor. But if you don't have time for this step, just skip it. Place the first batch of browned beef onto a plate and brown the second batch of beef.
Once all the meat is browned, place it in the bottom of your crockpot. Pour in the beef broth, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce & balsamic vinegar. Give it all a stir.
Then stir in Little Potatoes, celery, onion and carrots.
Sprinkle oregano, minced garlic and bay leaf on top.
Stir again then cover. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Once it's done cooking, it's time to thicken it up with a cornstarch slurry. Whisk together cornstarch with cold water or beef broth.
Pour mixture into the beef stew. Stir well. Cover and switch to the "high" setting. Let it cook on high for another half an hour to thicken up. 
Then serve it up with some warm, crusty bread for soaking up those juices. Yum!



Disclosure: I am a proud ambassador for The Little Potato Company. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit Casserole

I am big on Sunday breakfast. My breakfast routine throughout the week is sketchy at best. But Sunday is the day when everyone is home and we have the chance to sit down and eat breakfast together. Not that it has to be a big to-do but it's a great day for us to take a breather and eat a proper breakfast. You know, something other than cereal. 
And if you like an all-in-one breakfast, this one is for you. It's not only simple to throw together but it hits all the breakfast marks: sausage, cheese, biscuits. Plus, I am adding Eggland's Best eggs in here. 
Eggland's Best eggs not only add nutrition (double the Omega 3's, 10x more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, 5x more Vitamin D, and more Vitamin B12 and Lutein compared to ordinary eggs), but it adds a good boost of protein. 
I also added in a little touch of gravy too which I think takes this over the top and adds such great flavor to the whole dish. You could even throw some green peppers and onions in here too. Mmm. Mmm. So many options! You could switch out bacon for the sausage. Whatever your family loves!
1 (16 oz.) can jumbo buttermilk biscuits
1 lb. hot sausage, cooked & crumbled
2 cups colby & monterey Jack cheeses, shredded
6 large Eggland’s Best eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper, to taste
1 (2.75 oz.) packet country sausage gravy
2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Cut each biscuit into eighths. 
Line bottom of the baking dish with the cut biscuits.
Sprinkle cooked sausage evenly over biscuits.
Then sprinkle shredded cheese over sausage.
In a medium bowl, whisk together Eggland's Best eggs with milk (for two full minutes) and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the cheese layer.
In a medium bowl, combine packet of gravy mix with 2 cups water. Whisk until combined.
Pour gravy over egg mixture layer. 
Cover and bake for about 45-55 minutes.

Biscuits should be completely cooked through.
Slice and serve while warm!
Cook's Notes: You can prepare this the night before and pop it in the fridge. Then the next morning, put it into the oven to bake. It may need more baking time because the mixture will be cold.


Disclosure: I am a proud ambassador for Eggland's Best eggs. All opinions are my own.