5 Minute Prep – Crock Pot Christmas Day Bread

Merry Christmas all!!!

Quite some time ago I shared a post about the ‘Crusty No -Knead’ bread that I have baked several times. It’s a great recipe (found here) and you can create many variations. Hands down, the best crusty bread EVER. So when time permits, I mix up a batch in the evening, let it rise over night and bake it in my dutch oven the next morning.

Today, I was wanting some homemade bread to go along with our fettuccine Alfredo that I am making tonight. Time, however, is not on my side. I have read many recipes about baking break in your crockpot. So after scrolling Pinterest for a bit, I landed upon this recipe (found here). No kneading, no rising, mix it up and plop it into your crockpot for 2 1/2 hrs.

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I must admit that I did not exactly measure the herbs and spices…..a few shakes of each and I called it good. I also read a few posts that used parchment paper on the bottom of the crockpot, instead of oiling the entire thing. This makes clean up a breeze……because there is no clean up.

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So, if you’re wanting bread on the fly…..this is a great go to. I heated up the crockpot while mixing up the ingredients, dumped the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, set it inside the crockpot, prepared the lid/paper towels as recommended and 2 1/2 hrs later……I had warm, yummy bread. And the house smells wonderful.

May you all enjoy a blessed day!

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Southwestern Pork Chili

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So, my family loves chili and Mexican food…..and anytime I can change things up a bit I’m all in. Typically, I make our chili with organic ground turkey or chicken. However, I found some great looking organic pork ‘stew’ meat. So, I thought I would cut the pieces much smaller and make a hearty chili. This turned out fantastic and can certainly be made using whatever meat your family prefers……or go totally vegetarian with it and add a bunch of multi colored prefers to it at the end. Here is what I did, and so you know, I don’t really measure anything unless I’m baking. I believe majority of people cook this way……..who knows?

Chop one medium onion and sauté in a bit of olive oil. Once the onions are transparent, add 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped. Add the stew meat and brown lightly. To this mixture, I added a few shakes of pepper, red pepper chipotle flakes, chili powder, cumin, taco seasoning (MSG free), probably 2 tsp of sugar and dried cilantro. (I prefer fresh but was all out). After all of those flavors combined I transferred everything to my crockpot. I wanted to cook the pork for quite a while so the meat would get super tender.

Once in the crockpot, I added 2 cans of low sodium, petite diced tomatoes in their own juices, 1 cup of medium heat picante sauce and about a cup of organic vegetable broth. (beans go in much later so they do not become mush). Set my crockpot on high and let the magic happen. After about 3 hrs I turned the crockpot to low. An hour after that I added 1 can of kidney beans, drained, and 2 cans of black beans, drained. I let everything warm and come together for an additional hour and then it was good to go.

We enjoyed this delicious Tex Mex Pork Chili over a bit of quinoa. Topped it off with some cheese, a dollup of sour cream and sliced avocados. Nice big salad on the side and it’s ‘dinner done’. So yummy. Let me know what you think, or what you come up with.