Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cooking in the Camper

Savory seasonings stimulate the appetite. - Latin Proverb

Normally, I place the crock pot outside in the outdoor kitchen area of the camper but it was raining yesterday. So, we spent the day indoors doing homeschool in the camper with the smell of Spaghetti sauce. It was almost torture to be stuck in a box with the smell!

At home I don't bring out the crock pot until winter but while on the road it has been getting a work out. I have brought it out 2 times just this week. I may need to add some new crock pot recipes so if you have any good ones let me know! 

As you can see my oven is small and only barley fits a 9 x 12. So, all my 9x12 recipes are getting tweeked too! Of course, we enjoy cooking on the coals in the open fire pit but we typically save that type of cooking for the weekends.

Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound of meat (Italian Sausage or Beef)
1 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 (12oz) can tomato paste
3 (28oz) cans Italian Style Spaghetti Tomato sauce (I use Hunts)
2 cups of water
4 tsp garlic minced or 4 cloves
4 bay leaves
4 tsp basil leaves
2 T sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
4 T. parsley
 2 tsp sale

Brown Sausage/Beef.  Then add all ingredients together in a crock pot.
Simmer all day!

Cook Spaghetti Noodles when ready to eat.

* This recipe is okay in the crock pot but it doesn't seem to get the same blend of flavors as it would in a stew pot on the stove simmering for 2 hours.  I know that sounds crazy but it really is true!
This recipe makes a Full Crock Pot of sauce so if you have left over sauce consider making Manicotti and freeze it for another time!


Use Spaghetti Sauce from above - 2 1/2 cups
1 (8oz) pkg of manicotti
 1 T. vegetable oil
1 (15oz) carton part skim ricotta cheese
1 (16oz ) carton small curd, low fat cottage cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs

Boil manicotti according to pkg directions, adding oil to water so they won't stick together. Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, parsley and egg. Drain manicotti over cold water and stuff manicotti with cheese mixture. Place in a 3 quart casserole after treating dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour spaghetti sauce around stuffed manicotti. Cover and Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake additional 15 minutes.


  1. There used to be a blog about a lady who cooked in her crock pot every day for a year. I can't remember the name of it but I got a lot of good recipes from there (maybe 365 days of crock pot?). I just made potato soup in mine yesterday, yummers!

  2. Here is the address for the 365 days of cooking. I just went there a few days ago with Jessica who just got herself a crock pot. Enjoy your day and God bless.

  3. Crockpot Italian Chicken

    8 Chicken breasts (I filet mine in half...and you could also use a bag of frozen chicken tenders)

    1 envelope Italian dressing mix

    1/3 cup water

    1 8oz. cream cheese

    1 can cream of chicken soup

    1 can mushrooms

    Hot rice or noodles

    Put chicken in crockpot. Combine dressing mix and water; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Whisk cream cheese and soup. Stir in mushrooms. Pour over chicken. Cook 1-3 hours longer. Serve over rice or noodles. (I would double check on the cooking time because I think if I recall, that when I filleted the chicken it didn't take that long to cook and you don't want it over done!!


  4. Thanks Melissa. I will give it a try next week!

  5. Yummy! Gonna make this over the weekend! I use the crockpot at least once a week. If you consider getting a second, try a table top roaster. Got one for Christmas from my grandma one year and thought, "What am I going to do with this?" Turns out I use it three to four times a week. You can slow-cook in it, but you can also roast a mean chicken and bake in it, too. I have a 6qt, but they come large enough to cook a turkey! We are having baked chicken and rice cooked in it tonight. It sure beats heating up the entire kitchen with the oven!

  6. Hi, I linked here from Mary's blog (CanadaGirl). I've enjoyed this post...I can imagine that the scent of marinara could be a bit much in a small space! Too funny!
    Here are a couple of our favs...

    Vero Beach PotRoast (so named because I make it every time we travel to our vacation place in Vero Beach, FL)...

    Empty a small bag of those peeled, ready-to-eat baby carrots into your crockpot. Brown a nice rump or chuck roast (not fatty) on all sides in a little oil, then place on top of the carrots, and pour about a 1/2 bottle (standard size) of Vidalia Onion dressing over top. Cook 5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low (best for flavor). When I've had really nice cuts of beef, it's just fallen apart and is SO delicious!

    Vero Beach Chicken (same thing on the name!):
    Rinse and pat dry a whole roasting chicken (or you could use a cut=up chicken, bone in). Trim excess skin away. Rub skin with butter or olive oil (I use butter), and place in crock pot, breast up. Squeeze an entire lemon over chicken (or use 1/4 to 1/2 cup bottled lemon juice), then season with your favorite chicken seasonings (or just salt and pepper!). Cook 5 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours (depending on size of bird) on low. NOTE: This is SO tender, the chicken WILL fall off the bones as you lift it out of the CP. I take a sharp knife and cut as I lift, to help get the drumsticks out intact, etc. Pour the lemon sauce thru a strainer into a serving bowl (I'll often just use my Pyrex 2 c. measuring cup) could make a gravy out of this, if you wanted to.


  7. Mrs. Andrea, I might have to consider a table top roaster! ;) I typically simmer on the stove all day so my recipes are coming out a little strange. The crock pot is being used so I don't make the Iceman go to fill up the propane tanks weekly!

    Mrs. Lori, Vidalia Onion Dressing is calling my name! I love that stuff. It is speaking to my Southern root side!! Thanks so much for taking the time to write the recipe down for me!

    Thanks Jenny and Donna for the 365 recipe blogspot. I forgot all about her site.

  8. Try this one. I did for Sunday dinner and it seemed to be a hit. I got a smoked ham. Place 1cup of packed brown sugar in the bottom of the crock pot. Place the ham flat side down on top of the brown sugar. I poured drained pineapple chuncks over the ham (you know how I like ham and pineapple). Slow cook for 6 -8 hrs.
    It makes it enough juice to cook pinto beans to go with leftovers or for another meal(you know how dad likes his pinto beans--it's a western thing).

  9. giggle. The pinto beans are NOT speaking to the western side of me! ;)But, the pineapple sounds good.


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