Pat’s Pantry: Crock Pot Goodness


A crockpot is a simple cooking appliance that is so popular because it does all the work for you. Fill a slow cooker with all your dinner ingredients and set the timer and go to work. Dinner is ready the minute you walk in the door.




6 tablespoons ketchup, divided

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

12 saltines, crushed

1 medium onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds lean ground beef


Cut three 20×3-inch strips heavy-duty foil; crisscross so they resemble the spokes of a wheel. Place strips on the bottom and up the sides of a 3-quart slow cooker. Coat strips with cooking spray. Combine 2 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, saltines, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne in a large bowl. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into a round loaf. Place in the center of the strips. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Using the foil strips as handles, remove the meatloaf to a platter. Carefully spread remaining ketchup over top. Yield: 8 servings.




1 package (32 oz.) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed

1 can (10.75 oz.) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted

1 can (10.75 oz.) condensed nacho cheese soup, undiluted

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup (8 oz.) reduced-fat sour cream


Combine the first five ingredients in a greased 3-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until potatoes are tender. Stir in sour cream. Cover and cook 15 to 30 minutes longer or until heated through.




4 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon almond extract


2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cold butter

1 tablespoon shortening

3/4 cup 2 percent milk

vanilla ice cream, optional


Combine the blueberries, sugar, water and extract in a 3-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or until bubbly. For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until crumbly. Add milk and stir just until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto hot blueberry mixture. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Yield: 6 servings.




4 pounds pork spare ribs, cut into serving-size pieces

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup prepared mustard

1/4 cup molasses

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce


Place ribs in a 5-quart slow cooker. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until meat is tender. Yield: 8 servings.



Always use cold water for electric drip coffee makers. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons ground coffee for each cup of water.

Fruit juices, such as pineapple and orange can be used as salad dressing by adding a little olive oil, nutmeg, and honey.


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