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Volume II
November 27, 2003


Desiri Wightman, RD

Which cook doesn't know the agony of attempting to bake a holiday meal in one oven? With fruit pies, homemade rolls, turkey and dressing, baked squash, and potato and vegetable casseroles, oven space is jam packed. This year, free up some of that space by setting up your slow-cooker in a far-off room with an electric outlet. (You need your counter-top too!) The recipes below will help you envision which of your holiday favorites can be adapted for the crock-pot.

Additionally, the cooker can be used to keep the mashed potatoes warm, while you finish the gravy, or the steamed corn, dressing, or green bean casserole. Are you seeing the possibilities here? Just be sure the food is heated first before placing it in the cooker. The cooker should never be used to reheat food, as it cannot bring it up to a safe temperature fast enough. It works great for keeping hot food hot, though, freeing up that coveted oven space.

Pot Roasted Turkey
Makes 12 servings

4-5 pound turkey breast (or size to fit your cooker)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/4 cup melted margarine
Salt and lemon pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups chicken broth

Rinse turkey breast and pat dry. Place in greased 6-quart slow-cooker. Place onions and celery in cavity. Pour margarine over turkey. Sprinkle with seasonings. Pour broth around turkey. Cover. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 175-180 F. when inserted in the thickest part of the breast.

For a golden brown turkey, before placing breast in slow cooker, heat some vegetable oil in a large pot. Season the breast with salt and pepper. Place in oil and cook until evenly browned on all sides, about 10-15 minutes.

Slow-Cooked Stuffing
Makes 14 servings

2 (4.5 oz) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
4 celery ribs, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4-3/4 cup margarine
13 cups cubes day-old bread
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1 to 2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth (enough to moisten bread)

Sauté mushrooms, celery, onions, and parsley in margarine until tender. Toss bread cubes and seasonings together. Add mushroom mixture. Combine eggs and broth. Pour over bread mixture and mix to moisten. Pour into greased slow cooker. Cook on LOW 5 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in center reaches 160 F.

Holiday Mashed Potatoes
Makes 12 servings

5 pounds potatoes, peeled, cooked, mashed
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups sour cream
3 teaspoons onion or garlic salt
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all ingredients. Pour into greased slow-cooker. Cover. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours. These can be prepared in advance, stored in the refrigerator until ready to use, and then reheated in the microwave prior to serving. These potatoes also work great for filling twice-baked potatoes.

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole
Makes 6 servings

4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (4 medium cooked sweet potatoes or 2 (18 oz) cans sweet potatoes, drained)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup canned crushed pineapple
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature marshmallows, divided

Coat the inside of a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Mix all the ingredients except the marshmallows in a large mixing bowl. Spoon half the mixture into the slow cooker. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup marshmallows. Cover with the remaining sweet potatoes. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1-2 hours or until hot in the center. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup marshmallows. Cover. Cook 5 minutes more or until marshmallows melt.

Boston Brown Bread
Makes 12 servings

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons raisins, finely chopped, optional
1/2 cup warm water

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, combine egg, buttermilk molasses, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in raisins.

Pour mixture into 2 well-greased 1-pint, straight sided, wide-mouth canning jars. Cover tightly with greased foil. Set jars in at least a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker. Pour 1/2 cup warm water into cooker around the jars. Cover. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove jars from cooker and cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove bread from jars. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing. Makes 2 loaves.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding
Makes 4-6 servings

1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk baking mix
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6-7 hours or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 F. Spoon into bowls and garnish with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Bread

Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons raisins or dried currants, finely chopped

Grease well and flour two 1/2-pint straight-sided canning jars (jam jars). (Placing a piece of waxed paper on the bottom of each jar will help bread come out easier, but this is optional.) Combine flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat brown sugar and oil until well combines. Beat in the egg. Add the pumpkin and mix well. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined. Stir in raisins or currants. Pour batter into prepared jars. Cover jars tightly with greased foil. Place a piece of crumpled foil in a 3-1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker. Place jars atop crumpled foil. Cover; cook on HIGH for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. Remove jars from cooker. Let cool 10 minutes. Remove bread from jars. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 2 loaves.

         * DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

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