Slow Cooker Chicken and Bacon Casserole

When Little D was a newborn I bought a slow cooker. I was breastfeeding him and he was permanently attached to me and would feed for hours so I needed something to make my life easier. I had no clue about them, what size to get, what I could make but after procrastinating for ages I picked up one from Lidl and hoped for the best. I’m so glad I did because I love that I can chuck all the ingredients in first thing in the morning and I usually don’t need to worry until later.

My Mum bought me a slow cooker cook book for my birthday and I looked on the web for ideas. I found it quite difficult finding things that worked for all 5 of us taking into account the kids food allergies. A lot of things were tomato based which were out because Miss C couldn’t tolerate it. I’m not afraid of using spice and I think kids needs to try all different flavours to adapt their palates at a young age so I was happy to make curries and hot pots as long as they suited everyone.

We eat a lot of chicken so that was the first place I looked for inspiration. I came across this recipe and it was an instant hit. The only amendment I would suggest is I usually double the flour, stock and purée quantities. I also shred the chicken halfway through cooking or it can go a little dry.

If you’re going to try it then let me know how it goes.

Good luck

Cx

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is the recipe I use for a yummy slow cooker beef stew which easily feeds us all and even has some left overs for the next day.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 a turnip, cut into chunks
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • Mushrooms, as many as you fancy
  • 900g of lean stewing steak, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 75g of flour
  • 3 beef stock cubes
  • Black pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of marmite
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons of dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 2 pints of boiling water

METHOD

  1. Put the beef in a bowl and coat in the oil, make sure it is fully covered.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, parsley, thyme, pepper and stock cubes.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the beef and give it a good mix to make sure each piece is covered.
  4. Heat some oil in a frying pan (medium/high) and add in the beef, marmite, worcestershire sauce and tomato puree.
  5. Cook the beef for 10-15 minutes to seal the flavour in.
  6. Put the veg into the slow cooker with any left over flour mixture and pour over the boiling water and give it a good mix.
  7. Add the beef to the slow cooker and mix well.
  8. Set to medium or auto for 6-8 hours

I like lots of Worcestershire sauce so wack loads in and I also like thick gravy so an hour or so before it’s done, add in some more flour if it’s needed. Taste through out cooking and add in more herbs or pepper etc if you want to.

I then serve with baby potatoes and loads of veg 🙂

House and Home

and that is what my beautiful children are going to eat us out of! I was showing my Mum some pictures recently and she said “Why are all these pictures of them eating?” and the answer is that they are always bloody eating!

It’s fair to say that my kids have healthy appetites, to the point of I don’t know where they put it. From the first tastes of weaning with baby rice to trying all different varieties of food, they will try anything which is great. When we weaned I cooked everything from scratch and made sure that they tasted as much as possible and really tried to develop their palate and luckily non of them are fussy.

Miss C has multiple food allergies which I have written about before, so it can make cooking family meals for the five of us difficult. We also discovered a few months ago that Little D is VERY allergic to eggs so need to ensure we cater for that too.

I always seem to be cooking and try to switch things up as much as I can so we don’t all get bored. I bought a slow cooker last year and I love it! Just wack all the ingredients in first thing in the morning and by dinner time it’s good to go. I’ve found some recipes online and adapted them to suit our needs. I am going to start documenting some of them because a few people have asked me to and it could be helpful to other families in a similar situation to us.

Yesterday I made a lovely slow cooker beef stew, which I will put in a separate post but until then here are some of the pics my Mum was talking about 🙂