Slow cooker beef roast with mushroom gravy.
Cook's Corner

It Is Still Slow Cooker Season

Slow Cooker Beef Roast with Mushroom Gravy (pictured above)


1 large, sweet onion chopped in pieces  

1 beef sirloin roast (3-4 pounds)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 stick butter

2 cups beef broth

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 package brown gravy mix

1 tablespoon dry ground mustard

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

14-ounce jar mushroom pieces and stems

1/2 stick butter, melted

2 green onions, chopped


Place chopped onion in slow cooker. Cut roast in half so it fits easily. Mix flour, pepper and salt together. Rub seasoned flour all over both halves of roast.  Heat skillet on high. Add olive oil and butter to skillet. When butter is melted, sear all sides of both flour coated roast halves in skillet. Sear about 2 minutes on each side. Place both roast halves in slow cooker. In a separate bowl, mix beef broth, minced garlic, brown gravy mix, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Pour on top of roast. Add mushrooms with juice on top of roast. Add butter on top of roast and chopped onions. Cover and cook in slow cooker six hours on low.

Easy Chicken And Rice In A Slow Cooker

Easy chicken and rice for a slow cooker.
Easy chicken and rice for a slow cooker.


2 cans cream of chicken soup

1-1/2 cup water

1 6-ounce package wild rice

2 cups leftover cooked chicken or pan-fry four boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese  


Open both cans of cream of chicken soup and spoon into crockpot. Add water to soup and mix. Cut up any leftover chicken you have or fry up boneless chicken breast and cut into strips. Add chicken to slow cooker. Add rice and shredded cheese to slow cooker and mix all.

Cover and cook on low for six hours or cook on high for four hours. Stir occasionally.

Roasted Asparagus

(shown with Chicken and Rice)


1 bag frozen asparagus

Sesame oil

Italian seasoning

Garlic powder

Greek seasoning

Salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Coat foil with sesame oil. Place frozen asparagus on greased sheet pan. Generously sprinkle asparagus with seasonings. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of asparagus. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 10 minutes

Easy Towboat Hamburger Stew

Towboat stew.
Towboat stew.


1-1/2 lb. ground beef

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 package McCormick’s beef stew seasoning mix

2 cups beef broth

1 can stewed tomatoes

2 cans whole potatoes

1 can carrots

1 can whole kernel corn

1 cup frozen peas

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1 tablespoon garlic powder


Brown ground beef with onion in a skillet, then drain off the excess fat. Salt and pepper beef and onion. Add beef and onions to slow cooker. Sprinkle beef stew seasoning mix on top of beef and stir together. Slowly add beef broth to slow cooker and stir. Add the stewed tomatoes (with juices) to beef mixture. Drain potatoes, carrots and canned corn. Add to slow cooker. Add frozen peas and rest of seasonings. Slightly stir all ingredients together. Place the lid on slow cooker, cook on low for four to five hours. 

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken

Sweet and spicy slow cooker chicken.
Sweet and spicy slow cooker chicken.


8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1-1/2 cup Catalina dressing

3/4 cup peach preserves or peach pie filling

1/3 cup crushed pineapple (does not need to be drained)

1 packet dry onion soup mix

1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes (or more if you like heat)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup water


Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Cut each breast into fours. It is important to keep the chicken in bigger size cuts or it will fall apart in slow cooker. Lay cut chicken breasts in slow cooker. Stir together Catalina dressing, peach preserves or peach pie filing, pineapple, soup mix, pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Pour Catalina dressing mixture over chicken. Cover  and cook on low for four hours.  Remove chicken with a slotted spoon. Set aside. Mix cornstarch with 1/2 cup chicken broth. Whisk cornstarch and broth together to remove any lumps. Stir this mixture into slow cooker. Return chicken to slow cooker. Cover and cook another 20 minutes. Serve with rice.


When preparing recipes that call for a half of can of this or a cup of that, you may end up with leftovers of items you purchased that you do not want to waste. So here are some ideas of what to do with those extras.

Catalina Dressing—add to your taco sauce; it is amazing. Or add to your chili.

Peach preserves—make an indent in your sugar cookies and add a dollop of preserves on top.

Peach pie filling can be used in a peach coffee cake using crescent dinner rolls. (See recipe in November’s column.)

Crushed pineapple can go on top of a no-bake cheesecake or use on pizza.

Chicken broth can be used when cooking frozen vegetables, or in lieu of water when making dumplings.

Brandon’s Sauerkraut And Country Ribs

Brandon’s sauerkraut and country ribs.
Brandon’s sauerkraut and country ribs.


1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 pounds country-style pork ribs

2 large jars of sauerkraut

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons sugar

Salt and pepper to taste


Place chopped onion on bottom of crock pot. Cut country ribs in half. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place ribs on top of onions. Drain sauerkraut and put in bowl. Add flour and sugar to sauerkraut. Mix well. Place sauerkraut mixture on top of ribs. Cook in slow cooker on high for four to five hours or on low for eight hours.

Mary Ann Kuper is a cook on the ACBL towboat Carl Page.