Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm in love with my Crock Pot!




I bought my first crock pot at the end of last year... Well, no I had one before but I put vermiculite in it and used it to cool my glass beads. Cooking yes, but not anything edible. Anyway, they had one on sale at HyVee grocery so I bought it, and I'm glad I did.

Now I haven't used it a LOT, but I've used it often enough to pay for itself and that's all I needed. I've made a few things with it but my absolute favorite slow cooker delicacy is...Macaroni and cheese. I kid you not. It makes the BEST mac and cheese I've ever had (sorry, Mom).

I went to All Recipes.com to look for slow cooker recipes and I found one to use as a basis for mine. I don't deviate too much from the recipe I found, but I've discovered how to make it a little creamier. So today I will share my recipe for the ultimate in comfort foods.


Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese (Francesca Style)


INGREDIENTS:
12 ounces (1 1/2 c.) elbow macaroni (pre-cook al dente; about 10 minutes)
1 8 oz block of extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (this makes up 4-5 c. cheese)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk & 1 (5 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk (if you want moister, go to 2 c)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


optional: If you want something with a bit more kick add 1 medium onion, sauteed.




DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, mix the cooked macaroni, 4 cups of the sharp Cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, milk, eggs, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a slow cooker that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese.

Cover, and cook on High for 1 hour and Low for 4 to 5 hours. Or if you want to walk away and leave it, set to Low for 5 to 6 hours. Check the macaroni as you get to the end of the cooking time and turn to "Keep Warm" once the mixture is firm and golden around the edges, otherwise it will get too brown and crusty at the edges. Do not remove the cover or stir the mixture until the mixture has finished cooking. Serve warm.

***

This is YUMMY. Now, I admit this is better on a cold winter's day. However, there are cool spring days and it is very nice then too. It would also work well for a summer picnic. Enjoy!

Do you have any slow cooker favorites? Please share by leaving a comment!

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