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The Sailaway Gourmet

It’s October and everyone is back into the routine of work, school and all other non-boating activities. Hopefully everyone made some great memories with family and friends out fishing, sailing, cruising or taking that much-awaited vacation somewhere fun.

Being back in the routine means busy, busy, busy and a lot of running around, especially if you have children involved in numerous activities. Getting a meal prepared can become a challenge. Though I don’t own one yet, my friends tell me that their crock-pot is a real time saver when it comes to getting dinner on the table. From what I understand, it takes a little more time in the morning to prep, but when you come home to a fully cooked and ready to serve dinner, the extra effort is worth it. My friend Ann’s eyes light up when she talks about having her crock-pot ribs and another friend loves to make stew.

So if you own one, pull it out and try these recipes – I may even have to break down and buy a new toy for my kitchen!

Very Easy Fall Off The Bone, BBQ Ribs

1 rack (2-3 pounds) of baby-backed ribs

Salt & freshly ground pepper

Garlic powder

1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (or make your own)

Season the ribs on both sides with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Make sure you rub it all in.

Place the ribs in your crock-pot with the meat side facing the wall. Pour enough BBQ sauce over to cover both sides of the ribs, saving some sauce for serving. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the thickest part of the rib reaches 145°. Serve and enjoy!

Crock-Pot Chicken & Noodles

1 5-6 pound chicken

3 cups water

3 tsp. of salt

1 tsp. of black pepper

1 tsp. of garlic powder

1 tsp. of onion powder

1 12-oz.bag home style or extra wide egg noodles

1 can cream of chicken soup

Add chicken, 3 cups of water, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to a large crock-pot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours or until chicken is cooked through and tender. Remove the chicken from the crock-pot and set aside to cool a bit.

Pour broth from crock-pot into a large measuring pitcher. Measure 5 cups of broth and add back to the pot. If you don’t have 5 cups of broth, add water to make up the difference. Cover the pot and heat broth on high until it reaches a low boil. Add noodles, cover and cook on high for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove skin, bones, etc. from chicken and pull/shred chicken into bite-sized pieces with fingers or two forks. Add chicken pieces and cream of chicken soup to the pot and gently stir until combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10-15 minutes or until noodles are tender. Serves 4.

Crock Pot Guinness Stew

(a lot of ingredients but oh, so yummy)

8-10 red potatoes, quartered (leave skin on)

6 carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks

2 stalks of celery cut into chunks

3 bay leaves

3 lbs. of stew meat, cubed

1/2 cup of flour

1 dash each of salt and garlic powder

2-3 Tb. of olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

4 large garlic cloves, minced

8 oz. of baby Portabella mushrooms, halved

16 oz. of tomato sauce

10-3/4 oz. of beef broth

1 package of Lipton Beef and Onion Soup mix

1 tsp. of dried thyme

Black pepper and garlic powder to taste

1 tsp. Creole seasoning

1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning

12 oz. of Guinness beer

1 cup of frozen peas

Put the potato, carrot and celery chunks in the bottom of crock-pot. Top with 2 bay leaves.

Season the flour with a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder and coat the beef with the flour mixture. Heat a couple of tbsp. of olive oil over med-high heat in a large skillet and add the remaining bay leaf. Sauté the beef in batches, until just browned. Add more oil to pan as necessary for each batch. Remove and set aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the same pan and sauté over med heat for a few minutes, then add about half the can of beef broth to deglaze, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the meat and onions to crock-pot and top with the mushrooms. Mix the remaining beef broth with the tomato sauce, onion soup mix, remaining seasonings, and add to crock-pot. Pour in most of the bottle of beer. Cook 8 hours on low heat. Stir in frozen peas when done, they’ll heat up on their own. Ladle into bowls and serve with a crusty French bread. Serves 10.

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