Crock Pot Recipe for Vegetables …Easy!

Looking For an Easy Crock Pot Recipe for Vegetables ???

Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables

I love oven roasted vegetables and now I’m going to show you how to make an easy crockpot recipe for roasted vegetables.  The secret ingredient is one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix.  

Here is the Crockpot Recipe for Roasted Vegetables

Crock Pot Roasted Veggies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh vegetables ( broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, etc)
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. (I used my 2 quart insert)
  2. Wash and trim the vegetables and put them into the crock pot.
  3. Sprinkle with the dry ranch salad dressing mix
  4. sprinkle with the water.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 2½ to 3 hours.

You can watch my Video Tutorial for this easy crockpot recipe here:

 

Here are the ingredients for this easy crockpot recipe…Only 2 main ingredients…Easy!

Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables Ingredients

 

You can use any combination of fresh vegetables that you like.I like the combination of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.  

Fresh Vegetables for Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables

Add all of the vegetables to the crock pot.  Sprinkle with the dry mix.  Sprinkle the water over all.  Stir, cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

There are many advantages of crockpot cooking.

  1. Crockpot cooking is convenient!  Crockpot recipes allow you to throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a delicious home cooked meal in the evening.
  2. A crockpot does not heat up the kitchen the way the oven does and that is especially important during the hot summer months.
  3. Crockpots are portable so they are great to take to potlucks and parties.  Just plug the crockpot in when you get there and it will keep the food warm for hours!

What would be your favorite vegetables for this easy crockpot recipe?  Share your ideas in the comments section below. 

Be Sure to Try These Other Make Life Special Crockpot Recipes!

Vickie’s Mom’s Sunday Pot Roast Dinner

Cooker Chops – Great for Easy Entertaining!

Vickie’s Italian Beef Recipe

Remember, “Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”

 

 

Video: Crock Pot Roasted Veggies


Crock Pot Roasted Veggies are quick, easy and healthy!


Potato Smashers for Easy Potato Recipes

Looking for some easy potato recipes?

Potato Smashers are like Potato Skins, covered with crisp bacon and sharp cheddar cheese…but on a grander scale!  You can make these in about 15 minutes and your family and friends will rave!

Print the recipe here:

Potato Smashers
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 small new red potatoes, about 2 inches in diameter
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
  • ½ to 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes and water in 2 quart microwavable bowl. Microwave, uncovered, om HIGH for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let stand a couple of minutes to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet 8 minutes or so..until crisp, turning frequently. Drain on paper towels, leaving the grease in the skillet.
  3. Drain the potatoes, press each potato with the bottom of a small bowl or saucer to flatten to ½ inch thickness.
  4. Heat Italian dressing in the skillet with the bacon grease. Add potatoes; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, crumble bacon. Turn the potatoes over; sprinkle with the cheese and bacon.
  6. Cover skillet with lid and cook an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Potato Smashers Ingredients 

Place potatoes and water in 2 quart microwavable dish.  Microwave, uncovered on HIGH for 10 minutes…

Microwave Potatoes

Cook the bacon…and save the grease!  You are going to brown the cooked potatoes in that grease in a few minutes!

Cook Bacon

 

Drain the potatoes and “smash” each one with the bottom of a small bowl or saucer..

Smash Potatoes

 

Heat the dressing in a large skillet with the bacon grease..add the potatoes. 

Add Italian Dressing to Potato Smashers

 

Use kitchen scissors to crumble the crisp bacon.

Crumble Bacon with Kitchen Scissors

 

Cook the potatoes 4  minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.  Turn the potatoes over.

Flip Potato Smashers

 

Top with bacon and cheese.

Top Potato Smashers with Bacon and cheddar Cheese

 

Serve….

Potato Smashers

This is one of my favorite potato recipes!

Video: Potato Smashers

Potato Smashers are loaded with bacon and cheddar cheese.

You Have to Make This Parmesan Pasta Recipe!

A simple pasta recipe is a must for every cook!

This Parmesan Pasta Recipe is a great side dish that’s quick and easy.  I like to use either Spinach Fettuccine or Garden Blend Fettuccine.  This is good served with any main dish – especially seafood or chicken.

Toss Noodles Together with Other Ingredients.

 

 

Parmesan Pasta
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 12 oz Garden Blend or Spinach Fettuccine
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the noodles in boiling salted water. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in another pan or skillet . Add the drained noodles, tossing until hot. Add ½ cup whipping cream. Quickly stir in the beaten eggs and ¾ cup of the Parmesan cheese.
  3. Turn noodles onto serving platter. Sprinkle on the remaining ¾ cup Parmesan cheese.

Cook the pasta….

Boil the Pasta

Make the sauce in a skillet and add the drained pasta.  Enjoy!

Here you see my Parmesan Pasta topped with Scallops ‘A Moscato.  Delicious!!

Parmesan Pasta Topped with Scallops 'A Moscato

Make Life Special Makes Pasta!

Try our other quick and easy pasta recipes!

One Pot Pasta

Easy Pasta Alfredo 

Baked Ravioli Casserole

 

Let’s Make Chunky Beef Stew in The Crock Pot!

Savory Chunky Beef Stew for a Winter’s Night!

Provencal Beef Stew in Bread Bowl

My Chunky Beef Stew goes together in a snap and your crock pot does the rest of the work!  This stew is full of hearty beef chunks, bacon, potatoes, baby carrots, whole pearl onions and mushrooms and cooks up in a tomato and brown gravy sauce.  This is sure to warm you up on a cold winter day!  

Homemade Bread Bowls!

Here, I’ve served Chunky Beef Stew in my “Homemade” Bread Bowls that are made with frozen bread dough.  Check out that recipe too!

Chunky Beef Stew Recipe:

Chunky Beef Stew in the Crock Pot
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 4 bacon slices, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 12 oz jars brown gravy
  • 14.5 oz can diced peeled tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh whole baby carrots
  • 8 new red potatoes, quartered
  • 10 oz bag pearl onions OR 2 small onions, cut into eights
  • 8 oz whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup red wine ( optional - but I always add it)
Instructions
  1. In medium skillet, cook the bacon ( I use kitchen scissors to cut it up quickly) and the beef stew meat until browned. Do not drain.
  2. Combine the beef stew meat, bacon and liquid in the crock pot along with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Ingredients..( The only thing I added was the optional 1 cup of red wine because I really like the depth of flavor the wine adds to this stew)

Provencal Beef Stew Ingredients

Success Secret:  Use kitchen scissors to easily cut the meat into pieces!

Use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon into pieces and then brown the bacon and stew meat in a skillet.

Provencal Beef Stew Cut Bacon with Kitchen Scissors

Add the browned meat along with the liquid from the skillet to a sprayed crock pot and add the remaining ingredients.  Note:  If you are using the pearl onions, boil them separately for about 3 minutes, cut off the ends and the skins should slide right off.  The other option is to use 2 small onions and cut them into eights , however I really like the look of the pearl onions best.

Adding Carrots to Provencal Beef Stew

Adding Tomatoes to Provencal Beef Stew

Adding Beef and Bacon to Provencal Beef Stew

Now just set the crock pot on low and let it simmer away for 8 to 10 hours.  You won’t believe the aroma that will fill your kitchen as this stew cooks!  If you don’t have 8 to 10 hours to let this cook on low…no worries!  You can let it cook on high for 3 hours and then turn it to low for another 3 hours and that will work just fine.  

Here you see the finished beef stew in the crock pot…

Provencal Beef Stew in Crockpot  

I made my EASY “Homemade” Bread Bowls to serve this stew in.   

 

Try this crock pot recipe too!

Vickie’s Mom’s Sunday Pot Roast Dinner

 

 

Remember….Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

Hickory Farms Features Vickies Baked Potato Bar Ideas

Baked Potato Bar

Looking for some baked potato bar ideas?

I recently posted  baked potato bar ideas and how to bake the perfect baked potato.  You can check out my post here:  Perfect Baked Potatoes and a Baked Potato Bar.  This is an easy way to entertain because your guests help themselves.  The baked potato bar is great any time of year.  It would be perfect at a BBQ on the patio or for a Super Bowl Party as suggested by Hickory Farms.  It is fun to combine different options on the baked potato bar – depending on the season.  Add piping hot chili as a topper in the cold winter months.  Add fresh chopped tomatoes or green onions when the garden is busting with fresh vegetables.  Hickory Farms suggested adding chopped summer sausage as a topper and I like that idea too.   There are really countless options..just use your imagination for creative flavor combinations. 

My recipe for the perfect baked potato is also easy.  You can bake as many potatoes as your oven will hold!  I love to add the sea salt or kosher salt to the outside of the potato skin before baking because it adds a nice salty flavor and some crunch to the potato.   And, potatoes are loaded with nutrition!   

 

Hickory Farms just featured our Make Life Special Baked Potato Bar ideas in their “Winning Super Bowl Party Foods” post.  In addition to the toppings I suggested, they added their chopped summer sausage — what a great idea!

Check out the Hickory Farms post on Super Bowl Party Foods for some great entertaining ideas:

Hickory Farms Winning Super Bowl Party Foods

Thank you Hickory Farms for the great shout out!

Remember, “Let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”

 

   

Robust Risotto

Risotto originated in Italy and is a rice dish that is cooked in broth to a creamy (dreamy!!)  consistency.  Risotto can be served as a first course – with some crusty bread – as we are doing  here.  As a first course, it is great paired with a Brut Champagne.  Check out this great pairing at Velvet Palate.

Risotto is typically cooked in a meat, fish or vegetable based broth.  This recipe uses chicken broth ( low sodium) .  Many types of Risotto contain Parmesan cheese, butter and onion.  This recipe uses Parmesan cheese, butter and shallots.  Then we ramp it up to robust by adding 1/4 pound diced asparagus, 1/4 pound sliced shiitake mushrooms and Prosciutto (which is a type of Italian bacon).

You have to use a high starch rice to make risotto and this recipe uses Arborio Rice.  This type of rice has the ability to absorb liquids and to release starch and so it is stickier than the long grain rice varieties.  

While there are many variations on Risotto, the basic preparation remains the same.  

  • The rice is first cooked in onion ( or shallots ) and butter or olive oil to coat each grain in a film of fat.  
  • Then, red or white wine is added and has to be absorbed by the grains.  This recipe uses white wine.
  • When the wine is absorbed, the heat is raised to medium and very hot stock ( I used chicken stock in this recipe) is added in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly ( this process is what creates the smooth creamy-textured liquid).  
  • At this point, it is removed from the heat and the finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is vigorously stirred in to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible.  
  • This recipe adds the cooked asparagus and mushrooms at this point and is then topped with the scrumptious cooked prosciutto for a robust and over the top risotto!             

Robust Risotto
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth, heated
  • 4 ounces diced prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • ¼ pound sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine, heated
  • 1 cup to 1½ cups shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Simmer the broht in a saucepan. Keep warm.
  2. Heat the wine in a separate saucepan and keep warm.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large pan and heat. Saute the prosciutto for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Add the asparagus and saute 2 minutes. As they begin to get tender, add the sliced mushroom and cook an additional 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is removed. ( do not include any of this liquid or the risotto will not be creamy!). Remove from skillet and set aside.
  5. Add the additional 1 tablesppon of olive oil to the skillet and sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the DRY rice and saute until each grain is coated in oil.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the warm white wine and stir until completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Now, start adding the hot broth to the pan in ½ cup increments; simmer and stir frequently until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next, about 45 minutes total.
  8. Lastly, stir in the cooked asparagus, mushrooms and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Season with salt and pepper, top with cooked prosciutto.
  9. Enjoy!!

Be sure to check out Nicole’s Mushroom Risotto which is a more delicate risotto recipe with a creamy cheesy texture.

This Robust Risotto is a little more time consuming than my other Make Life Special recipes but I was requested to feature this recipe.  I think it is really worth the effort because the layers of flavors in this dish are outstanding.  This really is very easy to make.  Here are the how-to photos:

Ingredients….

 

Crisply cooked Prosciutto ….

 

Heating the liquids….

 

Saute the asparagus and then add the mushrooms….

 

Ladle the broth into the rice…

 

Grate the cheese…

 

Ingredients ready to add to the Risotto mixture….

 

Risotto after it has absorbed all of the liquid…

 

Stir in the cheese, asparagus and mushrooms….

Risotto is great to serve as a first course with crusty bread or as a side dish with pork.

Remember,” Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!”  

 

Prime Rib with Herb Blend Crust and Horseradish Sauce

Prime Rib with Herb Crust and Horseradish Sauce is delicious and impressive.  I love to serve this for dinner parties or special family occasions.  Have your butcher cut the prime rib roast for you.  I always bake at least a 5 pound roast.  You can allow 1/2 pound per person when ordering the roast.  If you would like to serve wine with this dinner, The Velvet Palate recommends  Cicchitti – a Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina.  (Tasting Notes)

To view the YouTube step by step tutorial video for this recipe, click here:  Prime Rib with Herb Blend Crust and Horseradish Sauce

Prime Rib with Herb Blend Crust and Horseradish Sauce
 
Serves: 8 to 10
Ingredients
  • 5 to 6 pound boneless prime rib roast ( or larger)
  • ½ cup Kosher or Sea salt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoon parsley
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup dried rosemary
  • ¼ cup dried red chilis
  • 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • olive oil to rub on roast
  • Horseradish sauce: Sour cream and horseradish
Instructions
  1. Blend the salt, lemon zest, parsley,sun dried tomatoes, rosemary,dried red chilis, black pepper, dry mustard, dried basil and vegetable oil together and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool. (Note: you can do this step a day or two ahead of time and store the herb blend in a zip lock bag)
  2. Let the prime rib roast come to room temperature and place in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Coat the roast with the Herb Blend.
  4. Place in a 450 degree oven and bake prime rib for ½ hour then turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Roast for 15 minutes per pound.
  5. It will be perfectly medium rare at the end of the cooking time.
  6. To make the horseradish sauce, combine 1 cup of sour cream with 3 to 5 tablespoons of horseradish. Serve with the prime rib.

Combine the salt, lemon zest, parsley, sun dried tomatoes, rosemary, red chilis, pepper, dry mustard, dreid basil and vegetable oil in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Let cool.

Baked herb blend…..

Let the prime rib come to room temperature and place in roasting pan.

Drizzle with olive oil and pat the herb blend on the roast.

Ready for the oven…..

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Bake prime rib for 1/2 hour and then turn the oven down to 325 degrees.  Roast for 15 minutes per pound.  The roast will be perfectly cooked to medium rare.

To make the horseradish sauce, combine 1 cup of sour cream and 3 to 5 tablespoons of horseradish.  Serve with the prime rib.

 

Enjoy this prime rib with a wonderful dry red wine.

Praline Topped Brie

Praline Topped Brie is a decadent appetizer that can be whipped up in 5 minutes and is sure to impress your guests!  What could be better than the gooey savory flavor of warm brie hot out of the oven – topped with the sweet delight of orange praline topping!

To view the YouTube step by step cooking tutorial for this recipe, click here:  Praline Topped Brie


Praline Topped Brie
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 8 oz OR 13 oz round of brie cheese
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • Crackers or toasted baguette-style French bread for serving
Instructions
  1. Place pecans in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to toast.
  2. Trim top rind from brie round .
  3. Place brie in baking dish.
  4. Mix the orange marmalade and brown sugar together in a small bowl, Spread on top of the cheese.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes or until cheese is slightly softened and topping is bubbly.
  7. Serve with crackers or bread slices.

 

Place the pecans in a baking dish and lightly toast in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.

Trim the top off of the brie round.

Place the round in an ovenproof baking dish.

Mix the orange marmalade and brown sugar together in a small bowl.

Spread the topping on the brie.

Sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes or until cheese is slightly softened and topping is bubbly.

Remove from oven and serve.

Praline Topped Brie hot out of the oven:

Serve with crackers or hot bread.  Enjoy!

Remember, let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  

 

Mom’s Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

No dessert speaks to me like pecan pie!  I can’t resist it. I’ve even been known to have it for breakfast ( but don’t tell anyone) !  My Mom always made a good old fashioned pecan pie every Thanksgiving and every Christmas.  I still make pecan pie for special holidays but I don’t reserve it only for special occasions.  It is so quick and easy to make – you can have it anytime!  In fact, the filling only has 6 ingredients and you can whip it up in about 5 minutes.  Here is my Mom’s Old Fashioned Pecan Pie recipe:

Mom's Old Fashioned Pecan Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Pie
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup Karo light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Combine sugar, light corn syrup and melted butter.
  2. Add beaten eggs, chopped pecans and vanilla to the syrup mixture, mixing thoroughly.
  3. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. (Note: Since this is a high sugar content pie, sprinkle a little flour on each side of the pie dough before putting it into the pie plate.)
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, cover the edges with aluminum foil or a pie crust protector to prevent burning.
  5. After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 15 to 20 minutes.

Click the link to view the YouTube How-To Tutorial for this recipe:  Vickie’s Mom’s Old Fashioned Pecan Pie 

 

Combine the sugar, light corn syrup and melted butter.  Stir well.

Add beaten eggs, vanilla and chopped pecans to syrup mixture, mixing thoroughly.  

Bring the refrigerated pie crust to room temperature and unroll.  Sprinkle both sides of the pie dough with flour.  Place into the pie pan and flute edges.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  NOTE:  After 20 minutes, put strips of aluminum foil around the edges of the pie or use a pie protector to prevent the edges from burning.

After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Let the pie cool before serving.

Here is the pie— hot out of the oven.  (Notice my vintage pot holders?  My daughter, Nicole, made these for me when she was a little girl ( now she is a Mom too) and I love using my handmade pot holders !)

 

Vickie’s Almost Famous Chili

Fall is for football games, pumpkins and mums at the front door and a big pot of Chili simmering on the stove.   I was in a Chili Cook Off  years ago with several girlfriends and I discovered that there are about as many recipes for Chili as there are people who love it!  We called our team “The Red Hot Chili Peppers”.  Our recipe had about 25 ingredients and cooked all afternoon.  We won the Chili Cook Off but I’m sure none of us ever made that Chili recipe again because it had too many ingredients and cooked too long for all of our busy schedules.  That’s why I call my recipe “Almost Famous”.  I never won a Chili Cook Off with this recipe – but it scored big with everyone who has ever tasted it.

This recipe only has to simmer 15 minutes – so it can easily be cooked after a long day at work.  So, grab your Chili pot and get ready to round up some great chili for your gang!

 

Vickie's Almost Famous Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces chili beans ( I use medium, but feel free to use mild or hot)
  • 15 ounces dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons instant dried onion flakes
  • 2 packages chili seasoning packets ( that are supposed to each season 1 pound of beef)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Condiments to sprinkle on top of each bowl of chili: chopped onions, Fritos corn chips, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef and drain well.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to blend well.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve piping hot with the condiments sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Brown the ground beef and drain well.

Add the remaining chili ingredients and stir to blend well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Ladle up a big bowl of this yummy chili and serve it topped with chopped onions, Fritos corn chips, a big dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.

Remember, let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

 

 

Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com