Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. If you don’t have quite that much, supplement with canola oil. When the bacon is cool, transfer to a small bag or tupperware and refrigerate until later.

Heat the skillet with the drippings over medium or medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until they are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, cooking them in batches in the skillet if your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all six at a time in a single layer. When golden on each side, transfer the chops to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining pork.

Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow cooker. Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).

When ready to serve, carefully transfer chops to serving platter with a large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, reserving the solids. Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into remaining liquid in the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream (iambaker.net)

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (you can reserve a few for garnish if so desired)

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans. Grate a large zucchini (or two small zucchini) and place in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until most of the liquid comes out. You will want to have 2 total cups of shredded zucchini after it has been drained. Set aside. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Bake 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Lemon Buttercream

Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat till well combined. Add lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minute or until creamy. Fold in zest (If you are piping this buttercream, I recommend leaving out the zest).

Zucchini Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (Betty Crocker)

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat cake mix, milk, 1/2 cup melted butter, the eggs, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, the ginger and nutmeg with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini and walnuts. Pour batter into pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the vanilla. On low speed, beat in powdered sugar until frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread frosting on cake. Cut into 4 rows by 3 rows. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cake.

Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
Glaze ingredients
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 TB milk

Directions

Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then add oil and sugar until well blended. Add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest to this mixture and blend all together. Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend all together until well combined. Pour batter into greased 9×5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Let the glaze set up before cutting and serving.

Chicken & Noodles Crock Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cans chicken broth (15oz each)
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 lb chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 package frozen egg noodles (24 oz)
Directions
In crockpot put chicken on bottom. Pour the chicken broth and soup on top. Then top that with the stick of butter. Put the crockpot on low for 6-7 hours. Take the chicken out and shred. Put back in crockpot. Add the frozen noodles and cook for 2 more hours.

Cheesy Bacon Frittata Muffins

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in medium bowl until well blended. Add bacon, onion, zucchini and 1/2 cup of the cheese; mix well.

 

Spray 1 (12-cup) muffin tin generously with no-stick cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup egg mixture into each cup. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

 

Bake 20 to 22 minutes or just until eggs are set. Run small knife or spatula around each cup to loosen mini frittatas. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 lb package dried northern beans
  • ham bone, hocks, shanks or diced ham (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 6 cups water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Rinse and sort the beans for any pebbles. Add the rinsed beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ham to the crock pot. Add water. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours, until beans are tender. Remove ham bone, shanks or hocks and pull off the meat. Add meat to the crock pot and mix. Serve with cornbread.