Slow cooker pacific mussels and sausage chowder

There are many types of chowder in the world and even more variations of chowder recipes. Over the centuries if it is from the ocean then some one has probably made chowder out of it. After my last trip to the coast to forage I didn’t get any clams but I did get a nice bucket of fresh mussels. Which make a perfect chowder. The only thing that tends to throw people off about using mussels is that instead of the normal white of clams these are an orange color. Using a slow cooker for this makes the mussels nice and tender and delicious.

Tasty bowl of chowder with mussels and sausage.
Tasty bowl of chowder with mussels and sausage.


  • 8 oz chopped mussels
  • 4 sliced chicken sausages
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 6 to 8 medium potatoes
  • 3 c. water
  • 3 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 c. half and half cream or milk
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. cornstarch or (instant potatoes)

If you are using fresh mussels like I am you will need to steam them open and then cut them up. Also be careful of the occasional pearl. All of the ones that I have found were small but they would still have chipped a tooth. Cut the mussels into bite-sized pieces after removing them from the shell if they are large. In a skillet, saute sausage and onion until golden brown; drain. Put into slow cooker with mussels. Add all remaining ingredients, except milk and cornstarch. Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or until vegetables are tender. During the last hour of cooking, combine 1 cup of milk with the cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture and the remaining milk and stir well; heat through.

A link to my handy slowcooker

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crockpot beans and hamhocks

crockpot all filled with yummies
crock pot all filled with yummies

With a turn of the nice spring weather back to our typical cold and rainy weather it made for a soup kind of weekend.  Which gives me my favorite type of soup for a crock pot. As with everything I cook I tend to customize it to my tastes.  Which actually is probably true of most people who make the same recipe multiple times. Most of the ingredients that I use can have something simaler substituted in.  The only one that would be hard to change out is the mushroom powder that i make myself.


  • 1 cup tongue of fire bean
  • 1 cup calypso bean
  • 1 medium ham hock
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 tablespoon mushroom powder
  • 1/2 large sweet onions
  • 1 cup wild mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • enough water to cover beans

Any wild mushroom will work for this recipe.  Porcini (king Bolete) will give it a deeper earthier taste then chanterelle or any of the other fall mushrooms.  If I could ever find some morels I would give those a try.  To start you will need to soak the beans over night in water to rehydrate them.  Both of these varieties of beans will more than double in size after soaking.  After they are rehydrated put all of the ingredients into your crock pot and cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Keep an eye on the water level through out the cooking period.  If the beans are not fully hydrated they will absorb all the water you had in the pot.

Crock pot garlic chicken

Slow cookers make some of the best dinners.  This recipe is a modified version of my Stuffed Chicken recipe.  With the sickness season upon us in force a dinner with extra garlic is a great way to reinforce your immune system.  For those of you that don’t know this already, garlic oil has high anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.  The oil from garlic is expelled from the body through your lungs mainly.  So if you have any illness that is in your respiratory system eating large amounts of garlic will help clear it up and help prevent it from happening again.  Garlic pills are a good way to get the benefits also without having constant garlic breath, And as a side benefit it wards off those pesky vampires.  Just not the lame sparkly ones (vampires shouldn’t sparkle or be able to go out in the sun!!!).


  • 8 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped up
  • 2 cups mushrooms of choice (so glad I canned up some chanterelles)
  • 1 whole chicken or 2-3 lbs of assorted chicken pieces

Add the chicken to the pot then add the rest of the ingredients around it.  cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-5 hours.  Eat and enjoy with some rice or noodles.  After you remove the chicken from the pot take all the garlic from the bottom and mash into a paste and spread onto bread or into some mashed potatoes.  Never let the garlic go to waste!!!  If you can’t tell garlic is one of my favorite foods.  I grow around 40 heads of garlic a year.


crock pot style chicken wings (make them spicy!)


The great thing about chicken wings is the many ways that you can cook them up.  Buffalo, BBQ,  tangy, or oriental style.  All of these methods make for a great appetizer for any event.  Today’s will be the simple slow cooker recipe that you can add any sauce of choice to


  • 3 pounds chicken wings (16 wings)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups favorite sauce (frank’s hot sauce!)
  • 1/4 cup honey (if making a sweet sauce, leave out if going for spicy)
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard or spicy mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco to taste, optional

How to mix it:

Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. Cut off and discard the wing tips then cut each wing at the joint to make two sections. Sprinkle wing pieces with salt and pepper. Then place wings on a lightly oiled broiler pan.


Place pan in oven and broil about 4 inches from the heat for 10 minutes on each side, or until chicken wings are nicely browned (don’t over cook). Finally transfer the chicken wings to your crock pot.  Mix up your sauce of choice and pour over the chicken wings. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  If you are in a hurry you can put it on high for 2-3 hours instead.

Crock pot chicken with Chanterelle stuffing

Since my Daughter is getting over being sick and my sister is in the hospital recovering from back surgery we decided to make something different for thanksgiving this year.  Last week we had found a couple of pounds of chanterelle while hiking through the wet forests.  Combining this with two of my favorite foods to make a tasty treat for three.


  • Whole chicken
  • 1 lb of chanterelle
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper

After cleaning fir needles off of the mushrooms we chopped them up into pieces and added the chopped cloves of garlic to the mix.  Then you take your mix and stuff it into the cavity of the chicken.  Salt and pepper to taste (I tend to put a lot of black pepper on my foods). Place into a crock pot and cook on high for five hours.  Remove from the crock pot and serve.  This is a great easy dish to make and it has great flavor.