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Fall is officially here. With the cooler weather (well maybe) and hectic schedules, it’s still nice, more cost efficient and many times healthier to sit down to a home-cooked meal. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with a slow cooker, for example a crockpot. This week’s cook column revisited some of the cooks from the past three-plus years and their slow-cooker recipes.

Slow Roasted Beef (Crockpot)
Jolene Pisel
1 sirloin tip roast
1 can beef broth
1 package of French’s au jus
1 package of Zesty Italian
seasoning mix
Thaw roast completely. Place thawed roast in crockpot. Combine beef broth and au jus mix; pour over roast then sprinkle with dry Italian dressing mix; covering meat. Cook on low for 6-8 hours depending on the roast size. (Cooking longer doesn’t seem to hurt anything if your day doesn’t go as planned!) This not only makes a great roast, but also shredded roast beef sandwiches. Leftover roast makes great beef and noodles and vegetable beef soup. Save both the juice and meat and re-use as desired.

King Ranch Chicken
Kayla Newton
3 chicken breasts, cooked and
1 can cream of chicken or
mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with
green chilies
2 cups cheddar cheese
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot, heat and serve over rice or pasta.

Crockpot Meatloaf
Ann Thomas
1 pound ground beef
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 medium green onion (sliced)
1 medium green pepper (diced)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
Mix meat, onion, pepper, and seasonings. Place in crockpot, top with cabbage. Cook on high 4-6 hours.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
Rachel Underwood
4-6 Boneless skinless chicken
3/4 bottle Sweet Baby Rays
honey BBQ sauce
1 large can crushed pineapple
Combine all ingredients in crockpot cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken, serve on bun with left over BBQ Sauce or over white rice.

Crock Pot Pizza
Cristy Meyer
6 ounces extra lean ground
turkey or beef
20 turkey pepperoni cut into
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell
1/2 cup (2.5 ounce jar)
sliced mushrooms, drained
1-3/4 cup (15 ounce can)
tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon pourable sugar
3 cups cooked noodles, rinsed
and drained
1/4 cup grated fat free parmesan
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat
cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat
mozzarella cheese
In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, brown ground meat, onion and green pepper. Stir in mushrooms, tomato sauce, pepperoni, Italian seasoning and sugar substitute. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into a crockpot. Layer on 1/2 of the noodles and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat and finish off with the cheese. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Makes 6 cups.
*Hint: 2-2/3 cups uncooked noodles usually cooks to about 3 cups. This will freeze well and makes great leftovers.

Slow Cooker French Dip
Laura Heider
3 pounds beef boneless chuck
1-1/2 cups water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 dried bay leaf
3 or 4 peppercorns
2 loaves (1 pound each) French
If beef roast comes in netting or is tied, do not remove. In 3.5 or 4-quart slow cooker, place beef.
In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients except bread, pour over beef.
Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.
Skim fat from surface of juices in cooker: discard bay leaf and peppercorns. Remove beef from cooker; place on cutting board. Remove netting or strips from beef. Cut beef into thin slices.
Cut each loaf of bread into 5 pieces, about 4 inches long. Cut horizontally in half. Fill bread with beef. Serve with broth for dipping.

Crockpot Sandwiches
Christel Becker
3 pounds thinly sliced deli ham
2 cups apple juice
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
Separate ham slices and place in slow cooker. In a bowl combine apple juice, brown sugar, relish, mustard and paprika. Pour over ham. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serve on your choice of bun. Serves approximately 12

Family-Pleasing Sloppy Joes
Mindy Skow
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1-1/4 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain. Place ground beef, ketchup, water, brown sugar, white vinegar, salt, mustard and chili powder in crockpot. Stir together and cook on low for 1 to 2 hours. Serve on buns, makes 10-12 sandwiches.

Wild Rice Soup
Donna Liscum
1 cup wild rice
1 pound bacon (fried and
1 large onion (chopped)
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pint half and half
1 pint water
2 cans mushrooms (drained)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
Combine all ingredients and put in a crockpot on low for 2 hours or until rice is tender. Can be left most of the day simmering.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
Jodi Pedersen
1/4 cup margarine
Onion flakes to taste
2/3 cup flour
(3) 10-1/2 ounce cans of chicken
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups finely chopped celery
and carrots
16 ounce bag frozen cut
broccoli, rinsed in hot tap
1/2 pound Velveeta cheese,
2 cups Half and Half
Melt margarine in microwave. Stir flour into melted margarine and place in crockpot. Sprinkle onion (I use 2 tablespoons) into chicken broth. Add salt, celery, carrots and broccoli. (Broccoli may need to be cut into smaller pieces.) Combine and add to crock pot. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Add Half and Half. Cover and continue cooking 30 minutes or until soup is hot.

Lori’s Chili Recipe
Lori Flurey
40 ounce can chili beans
2 cans diced petite cut tomatoes
1 medium can of tomato paste
1-1/2 pounds of ground beef
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown ground beef with onion. Put all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low all day.

Slow-Cooker Potatoes
Michelle Lindemann
2 pounds frozen hashbrowns
1 pint sour cream
10-1/2 ounce can cream of
chicken soup
Dash of pepper
2 cups Velveeta cheese, cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Spoon into slow cooker and cover. Cook on high 1-1/2 hours then on low for 2-1/2 hours.

Crockpot “Roni’s”
Lois Nerem
2 cans whole kernel corn (do
NOT drain!)
2 cans creamed corn
2 cups dry macaroni
1-1/2 cups chunked Velveeta
1 stick margarine
Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients and dump in crockpot. Cook 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. Great for potlucks!
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.