Put your slow cooker to work

<strong>Penny’s Pantry</strong> Penny Case

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case

Autumn is here, and I love the brilliant colors of the leaves but don’t care for the cold months that follow.

My neighbor informed me this summer that I had a family of bunnies under my doghouse. I noticed my dog was digging a big hole under the front of the dog house, which I had to fill in with dirt and rocks. My neighbor came over and told me she saw bunnies come out of the back daily. My dog must have scared them away when he started digging. I noticed a hole in back of his dog house.

A couple of years ago, my neighbor across the street was complaining about the rabbits getting into his garden every night. When I was sitting on my porch swing one evening, I just happened to look over across the street and saw five baby raccoons come out of the sewer grate and head to his garden. I went out every evening and saw them do the same thing.

I told my neighbor that rabbits weren’t eating his veggies — raccoons were. He wished he could have seen that. They were so cute! I never saw their mama. After a while, they were gone.

Well, until next time, enjoy these recipes.

Slow-Cooked Chili

• 1 lb. lean ground beef

• 1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage

• 1/2 cup chopped onions

• 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, undrained and cut up

• 15 oz. can tomato sauce

• 1 tsp. sugar

• 1 ½ tsp. cumin

• 2 tsp. chili powder

• 1 tsp. dried oregano flakes

• 15 1/2 oz. can spicy chili beans, undrained

• 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

In large skillet, cook ground beef, sausage, and onion. In a slow cooker, combine meat mixture with all the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for seven to eight hours.

Italian Ravioli Stew

• 2 cups sliced fresh carrots

• 1 cup chopped onions

• 2 cans (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth

• 2 cans (14 1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

• 19 oz. can white kidney beans or cannellini beans, drained

• 2 tsp. dried basil leaves

• 9 oz. package refrigerated Italian sausage or cheese-filled ravioli

In a slow cooker, combine all the ingredients except ravioli. Mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for six hours or until vegetables are tender. Before serving, increase heat to high. Add ravioli, cover, and cook eight minutes or until ravioli is tender.

Note: If you can’t find Italian sausage-filled ravioli, you can brown Italian sausage alone and put it in the stew along with cheese filled ravioli. It’s even better.

Tomato Bean Stew

• 4 slices bacon

• 8 oz. (1 1/4 cup) dried bean blend

• 1/2 cup sliced celery

• 1/2 cup chopped onion

• 3 cups water

• 15 1/2 oz. can whole kernel corn, undrained

• 1 1/4 oz. package taco seasoning mix

• 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, undrained (but cut up)

• 2 tsp. sugar

Cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels, crumble. Sort bean blend. Rinse well drain. In a slow cooker, combine cooked bacon, bean blend, and all remaining ingredients except tomatoes and sugar. Mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for 10 to 12 hours or until beans are tender. Add tomatoes and sugar. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes until heated.

Slow Cooker Hamburger and Noodle Soup

• 1 lb. lean ground beef

• 1 medium chopped onion

• 1 stalk celery cut into half-inch slices

• 1 package dry beefy mushroom recipe soup mix

• 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

• 3 cups water

• 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained

• 2 oz. (1 cup) uncooked thin egg noodles

In a large skillet, brown ground beef until done. Drain well. In a slow cooker, combine ground beef and all remaining ingredients except noodles. Mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for six to eight hours or until onions are tender. Stir in noodles. Increase heat to high, cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes more or until noodles are tender.

Note: I like to use spaghetti noodles instead of egg noodles because they stay firmer longer. Egg noodles tend to get to soft. Also, you can use two cans of mixed vegetables drained instead of frozen ones.

Confetti Wild Rice Soup

• 2/3 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained

• 1/2 cup chopped onions

• 3 (14 1/2 oz.) cans chicken broth

• 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram leaves

• 1/8 tsp. pepper

• 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into half-inch pieces

• 1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained

• 1 cup frozen cut broccoli, thawed and drained

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except corn and broccoli. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for eight hours. Before serving, stir in corn and broccoli. Increase heat to high and cook five minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at news@theoberlinnews.com.

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case
https://www.theoberlinnewstribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2017/09/web1_penny-case-4.jpgPenny’s Pantry Penny Case