Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Filtering by Category: "slow-cooker"

Crock Pot Mac n' Cheese

This post may give you the impression that I'm addicted to mac n' cheese, I'm not really, but I sure do love it. Especially crock pot mac n' cheese, it's so simple! You just throw all the ingredients in the pot and after a few hours you have a creamy, delicious batch. This isn't a really good recipe to let cook all day, only 2 hours, but if you have a timer for your crock pot, then by all means throw it in and make the necessary settings. Hope you enjoy!

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups grated pepper jack cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

Boil the macaroni in salt water for six minutes and drain. In crock pot, combine macaroni, butter, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, egg, sour cream, cheddar cheese soup, salt, whole milk, dry mustard and black pepper. Mix well and incorporate through. Cook on low for 2 ½ hours stirring occasionally. 

 Kitchen Tips 

Why add salt to water when boiling pasta?? To some of you this may seem like a silly question. Some may add salt to water, but don't really know why they are doing it. Then some...wait you're suppose to add salt to the water before cooking pasta?? So again, why salt the water before boiling pasta? Because, it is really the only point in the cooking process where you can season the pasta and you should be generously adding salt to the water, it should taste like salt water. Some of the salt is absorbed into the noodles during the cooking process, not doing this will give it a bland taste. But, can't I just season it later?? No, since you aren't cooking the pasta anymore, the salt has no medium (i.e. water) to absorb into the pasta. Instead you will just have a bland piece of pasta with a salty exterior. Really whenever you are cooking, you should be salting each individual element of the cooking process. Doing this will ensure that the whole meal is properly seasoned. Meaning your guests will be less likely to say "pass the salt." 


Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Cold Beer, Pulled Pork Sandwich & Football...sounds like a great time right? I am a huge beer fan and I love cooking with it as well. So when messing around with making pulled pork in the crock pot, I decided that instead of cooking it in water...might as well add some more flavor by cooking it in some Yuengling (Pennsylvania Lager, for those who don't know). This is a very easy, quick and cheap recipe that would be great at your Super Bowl party or to have ready when you come home from a long day at work! Bon Appétit!

  • 4 Lbs. Boneless Pork Roast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 (12 oz.) Bottle Yuengling (or whatever beer you want)
  • 1 (18 oz) Bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • Cole Slaw; optional (Recipe Follows)

Season the outside of the pork roast with salt and pepper. Place pork in the crock pot bowl with onion, garlic and beer. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Remove pork from crock pot to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Drain left over liquid in crock pot through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve liquid. Return pork to crock pot, add bbq sauce and a few tablespoons of the liquid (just to help keep the pork moist). 


Cole Slaw Ingredients
  • 1 (16 oz) bag cole slaw mix
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix together and serve as a side or on the pulled pork sandwich.

Prices subject to change; cole slaw not included
Kitchen Word of the Day

Lager (German: storage) is a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. Pilsner pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world. Bock, Dortmunder Export and Märzen are all styles of lager. There are also dark lagers, such as Dunkel and Schwarzbier.

Slow-Cooker Chili

Everybody has their own chili recipe, so this is nothing special. I'm not intending on changing the way you make your chili or saying that mine is better than yours. This is just the way I like it, nice and spicy. It wasn't until recent that I started making my own chili, my mom used to always make it. When I was perusing google looking at the vast varieties of Chili recipes I came up with what I like in mine, which turned out to be very similar to Lee's (my girlfriend) mom's recipe...so it worked out perfectly. This recipe is also intended to kick off my next couple weeks of super bowl party recipes. Bon Appétit!

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 Jalapeno’s, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese, for garnish


In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the next nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish individual servings with cheese if desired.

**Note: if you want a spicier chili use Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Chili’s & Rotel Spicy Tomato Sauce**

Prices may change.

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