Can a cobbler be made in the slow cooker?
Are there any new ways to make a seven-layer salad?
The questions arrived in my email last Monday morning. Readers in need of help.
Well, that’s my job. So, the answer is yes to both.
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The Black and Blue Slow-Cooker Cobbler recipe from Taste of Home uses frozen blueberries and blackberries, which may be a bit of a disappointment with so much fresh fruit around, but they hold up best in these kinds of recipes that cook for several hours.
Advantage to using a slow cooker: The kitchen will stay cool and you can serve out of the cooking container. (Put the cooker with lid inside a cardboard box with an old kitchen towel under it to contain any possible spills if you need to transport it.)
On to seven-layer salads: They remain very popular because they deliver a dish that is as tasty as it is colorful. Presentation in a glass bowl is required.
I chose the Layered Tortellini Pesto Chicken Salad recipe by Betty Crocker. (The chicken is optional.)
The pasta adds a nice layer to the green salad and the pesto dressing on top is just the right touch of summer basil. Of course, if you’re lazy, busy or in a hurry, you can use whatever bottled dressing you like.
Also, I think fresh pea pods could easily be substituted for the peas.
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Black and Blue Slow-Cooker Cobbler
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional
In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Combine the eggs, milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Spread the batter evenly onto the bottom of a greased 5-quart slow cooker.
In a large saucepan, combine the berries, water, orange peel and remaining sugar; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; immediately pour over batter. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out clean.
Turn cooker off. Uncover and let stand for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
Yield: 6 servings, each with 391 calories, 7 grams fat, 72 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 80 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams protein.
Layered Tortellini Pesto Chicken Salad
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1 cup frozen sweet peas
5 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 1/2 cups julienne (matchstick-cut) carrots
2 cups chopped chicken or grilled chicken strips, optional
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Cook tortellini as directed on package, adding peas during last 4 minutes of cook time. Drain; rinse immediately with cold water. Pat with paper towels to remove moisture.
In 3- or 4-quart clear bowl, layer the lettuce, the carrots, chicken, peas, tortellini and bell pepper.
In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, pesto and buttermilk. Spread a small amount over top layer of salad. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled or overnight. Sprinkle with basil before serving. Have remaining dressing on hand.
Makes 8 servings, each with 330 calories, 18 grams fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 24 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 17 grams protein. Exchanges: 1 starch; 1/2 other carbohydrate; 1 vegetable; 1 1/2 lean meat; 2 1/2 fat. Carbohydrate choice: 1 1/2.