Crock Pot Cubed Steak With Gravy

***I am making this as I type this because finally cooler weather has come to Kentucky and of course I am always looking for recipes to enjoy on these wonderful days. Also, because it is Sunday, my standing rule of an old fashioned Sunday dinner is in effect too. I found this recipe at the Country Cook  and so far it smells heavenly! ***

Ingredients:

1 packet of au jus gravy mix

1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of chicken condensed soup

1 (10.5 oz) can of French onion soup*

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 – 2 pounds of cubed steak

To Thicken Gravy:

3 TBS. cornstarch

3 TBS cold water

Directions:

In the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker (a.k.a crock pot), combine the cream of chicken soup, the au jus gravy packet, French onion soup, and 1/2 cup water. Mix well. 

Put cubed steak in the slow cooker with gravy mixture.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

After cooking, it is time to thicken the gravy, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the cold water. 

Stir mixture into the slow cooker. 

Cook on high for 30 minutes until the gravy is thickened. 

Serve with mashed potatoes. 

****IF-sensitive to salt, use the low sodium options on the soups and au jus if available****

COOK’S NOTES: First off, I substituted the French onion soup for beefy mushroom as I am allergic to onions. Secondly, when the meat is done the cooking, I am going to remove it to stir in the thickening mixture, then add it back into the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes on high. It just seems the best way to handle that situation, so that it gets mixed into the gravy well. You could also substitute the French onion soup with golden mushroom soup as well, I wanted a really beefy flavor, so I went with the beefy mushroom.

 

Bow-Tie Chicken Alfredo

** This is another recipe I love from The Pioneer Woman’s newest cookbook, Dinnertime. I love this cookbook because it is solely dinner recipes. It is quick and easy as well. If  you have this cookbook this recipe can be found under Comfort Food.**

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

1 TBS Italian seasoning

1 TBS butter

1 TBS olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken broth, divided into 1/2 cups

1/2 cup half and half

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

12 ounces bow tie pasta, cooked to al dente

2 TBS minced parsley

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice chicken into strips and season with the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until it is deep golden brown on both sides and done in the middle, 6-7 minutes.

Remove chicken to plate and set aside.

Add the garlic to the pan and quickly stir it around, letting it cook and release it’s flavors for 30 seconds.

Then add the chicken broth, scrape the bottom of the pan, let the liquid bubble up and reduce by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the half and half and cream

Let the sauce heat up and thicken for a few minutes.

When the sauce has thickened remove it from the heat. Add the Parmesan cheese to the pan and then the pasta. Then add the chicken.

Toss it around, taste, add more salt and pepper if needed. Top with parsley and more Parmesan cheese.

Cook’s Notes:

I have made this and the recipe is spot on. My only mistake was not letting the chicken  broth reduce enough before adding the cream and half and half. This is a great recipe and quick and easy, perfect for a week night dinner.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

** I got this recipe here. I have made this once and as always I will put all my changes in the Cook’s Notes at the bottom of this recipe. This is really good and you can add more Cajun seasonings to fit your taste **

Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

16 ounces of bow tie pasta

3 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/4 cup flour

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 small yellow onion or white, diced

1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 cup whole milk, heavy cream, or half and half

4 TBS butter

3 cloves garlic (optional)

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to directions

Cut uncooked chicken into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle one teaspoon Cajun seasoning over chicken, add salt and pepper.

Spray a large pan or skillet with non stick spray and cook chicken, stirring constantly for 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, melt butter, add peppers, onions, and garlic to melted butter and cook for two minutes.

Add flour to pan and stir until flour and vegetables clump together

Slowly add milk to pan stirring until sauce until smooth and creamy.

Stir in 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning until well combined. Mix in pasta and chicken until coated and the chicken is warmed through.

Garnish with scallions and Parmesan cheese if desired

 

Cook’s Notes: First of all I did not use any onion or peppers. I am allergic to onions and do not like the peppers. For the chopped tomatoes I used a can of diced tomatoes to make my life easier. I did have trouble with the proportions for the sauce. I used the same amount of butter and flour but I ended up using 2 cups of heavy cream and at least one cup of whole milk, bringing the total to 3 cups of liquid and not the 1 cup stated in the recipe. I came out good anyway and the sauce was thick. I also misread the recipe on the first read through, I thought it said 3 TABLESPOONS of Cajun seasoning not 3 TEASPOONS. I thought that seemed a bit much and read through it again before adding anything, so be careful when reading recipes and if something seems like too much or too little you might be looking at it wrong or there might be a mistake in the recipe. In the end, I did not add the tomatoes, mainly because the recipe does not state when to add them.. So I left them out. I would assume that you add them with the onions, peppers, and garlic

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

** I got this recipe here and it is amazing! If you love chicken Parmesan, you will LOVE this recipe! I was not sure about some of the ingredients because, it seemed strange to me, but it totally works! I made this last night and my family gobbled it up! Almost none left! **

Ingredients:

1 (28 ounce) jar of marinara sauce

3 cups cooked chicken, cubed

2 1/2 cups garlic croutons, semi crushed

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste

kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with non stick spray.

Evenly spread out garlic croutons in the baking dish, then cover with cubed chicken.

Season chicken with garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and sprinkle chopped basil over the top

Place baking dish in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving

Cook’s Notes: I did not use the 1/3 cup fresh basil, instead I used 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil and that was enough. I also did not have cooked chicken on hand, so I cubed up some chicken breasts and cooked them before making this casserole. I just threw them in my cast iron pan and cooked the chicken in melted butter really quick. You can also use any kind of left over chicken you have on hand which would make this dish even quicker! I mixed all the seasonings together and sprinkled on the chicken at once and that was really good, so you are not getting a mouth full of salt or basil, it was all mixed.

Pizza Pasta Bake

** I made this Tuesday for the first time. I can not remember where I got this recipe, but it is really good and very kid friendly! You can also customize this as you want or need, this recipe is that versatile! As usual, I will tell you what changes I made in the Cook’s Notes at the bottom of this recipe.**

Ingredients:

12 ounces of uncooked medium pasta ( I used penne)

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 pound of Italian sausage (mild or hot) removed from casings if using links

1/2 pound lean ground beef

3 cloves garlic

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 can ( I used the normal sized, I think it was 10.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained

2 tsp. oregano

4 cups pasta sauce

3 cups mozzarella cheese

28 slices of pepperoni ( I used Hormel, the already packaged you can find near the pizza sauce usually)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook pasta according to package directions, making sure it is el dente, rinse under cold water and drain well.

Brown onion, garlic, sausage, and beef in a large pan over medium heat. Drain any fat. Add in red and green peppers cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add oregano, drained tomatoes, and pasta sauce, stirring together until well mixed.

Place the cooked pasta into a 9×13 pan. Pour the meat mixture over pasta and top with cheese and pepperoni slices.

Bake 35-40 minutes uncovered or until the cheese is melted and the pasta is heated through.

 

Cook’s Notes: I did not use the onion or peppers, mainly because I am allergic to the onion and do not like the peppers. I did not have any sausage on hand, so I used a full pound of ground beef. It was so good! My 2 year old loved it! He had 2 servings of it. I loved it because it was quick and easy. Perfect for a week night dinner. You could add any kind of pizza ingredient you like such as mushrooms as well, it is easily customizable.

Garlic Chicken

***I am not sure where I found this recipe, but because it only uses a small amount of brown sugar and you are making boneless, skinless breasts, it is quite the healthy dish. Pair it with a healthy side like steamed veggies or what ever you like. I actually made it with baked potatoes and it was so good!***

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 TBS olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 TBS brown sugar

1/2 TBS soy sauce

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cook garlic with the oil on medium heat until softened and fragrant (do not brown) Remove from heat and add in brown sugar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes.

Put chicken breasts on a foil lined pan and top with the garlic brown sugar mixture.

Bake uncovered 18-22 minutes or until the juices run clear

 

**Cook’s Notes: My chicken breasts were huge so I sliced them horizontally to make 2 pieces and thinner, so they would cook in the allotted time. This was so yummy even my almost 2 year old loved it! I did cook the garlic and oil on a lower temperature because my stove runs hot and I was prepping everything else while the garlic cooked **

Paula Deen’s Goulash

***I am not sure where I found this recipe but I made it last night and it was good! I will admit that I usually have some issues with Paula’s recipes, either a measurement is not right or there is a direction left out, so I will tell you what I changed or did in the cook’s notes at the bottom of the recipe.***

Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic chopped

3 cups water

2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce

2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

3 bay leaves

3 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS Paula Deen’s House Seasoning

1 TBS salt

2 cups elbow macaroni. uncooked

Directions:

In large pot, cook ground beef over medium heat until browned, spoon off any extra grease.

Add onion and garlic, sauté until transparent.

Add 3 cups of water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, all seasonings, soy sauce, and bay leaves (if you choose to use them). Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add macaroni and allow to simmer an additional 20 minutes or until tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.

 

***Cook’s Notes: First of all, I did not use the onion because I am allergic to it. Secondly, I did not use her house seasoning, that is way too salty for me, but I did add 3 large pinches of my own season salt instead. With all the liquid in the recipe, you will need to let it simmer until some of the liquid cooks out unless you like your goulash soupy. I did eat it like that last night and it was not bad, it was like a hamburger soup, but I left it on the heat, at medium low for about 10-15 minutes while we were eating and the liquid cooked out and it was more like goulash. There is not a step for this in the recipe that I have, so I changed it. I use the season salt recipe that you can find here. It is the best one I have found personally.**