Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finding Oven Space In a Small Kitchen

I have been very spoiled in past homes. I’ve had large kitchens that all had two ovens. Then a little over a year ago, I moved into my current home which only has one oven and it’s a small oven at that.

I love to entertain, love to cook and with only one small oven this can be a challenge. I’ve gotten creative and found ways around the one oven dilemma.

We own two crock-pots. It would be an understatement to say we love our crock-pots. Crock-pots can be used to make side dishes, desserts and even main courses. I’d like to share just a couple of my favorite crock-pot side dish recipes.

The first is a broccoli casserole. It’s just like the casserole you’d make in the oven, except we use the crock-pot to make it.

2 packages frozen chopped broccoli
1 can cream of celery soup (you can also use cream of broccoli soup)1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons minced onion (you can also mince up fresh onion)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick melted butter
Cook broccoli; drain and cool. Mix soup, mayonnaise, onion, egg, and cheese and add to cooled broccoli. Lightly grease 3 1/2-quart crock-pot and add mixture. Mix 1 sleeve Ritz crackers with melted margarine or butter. Sprinkle on top. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.

If you like asparagus, try the exact same recipe except use asparagus instead of broccoli.

The other recipe is for a brownie cake that is delicious and can be served alone or with ice cream.

1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 1/2 cups brownie mix
1 egg
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon soft margarine
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Combine water, brown sugar, and cocoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of a large lightly buttered Crock Pot. Pour boiling mixture over the batter. Cover and cook on high about 2 hours; turn heat off and let stand for about 30 minutes.

By making the side dish and dessert in the two crock-pots, I’m able to use the two shelves in my oven for making a main course and second side dish.

Try experimenting with different crock-pot recipes so that the next time you have company, you’ll be able to offer a nice meal prepared in your very small kitchen.

Audrey :)


Anonymous said...

Great recipes! We love our crock pots too! The side benefit is that you don't generate all that heat in your kitchen with the regular oven. During the summer months that's a wonderful thing!

Brandy said...

These look great! I will have to try them soon. I know my children will love the brownie cake. Thanks so much for visiting me @ Savin' Some. I love great recipes, so I will be checking in here regularly.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. Check out your award at my blog :)

Anonymous said...

hi Audrey, thanks for dropping by my blog :) You were indeed lucky to have always had two ovens. That's been my wish for the longest time but our kitchen is just way too small for two ovens.

Great recipes! I love the crock pot too. It's a time saver for busy moms.