Another kid tested and approved,
super dooper, easy peasy recipe
coming at you!
This is an adaptation of the
famous Cracker Barrel Potato Casserole
But, given my oldest son's allergies to dyes and such,
I adapted it to fit our family!
*5-6 baking potatoes, partially baked
*1 cup sour cream
*1 1/2 cup cheese (colby is recommended)
*salt and pepper
Partially bake potatoes in microwave (I did 3 potatoes for 5 min).
Cool slightly and cut into cubes.
Mix in large bowl with sour cream, cheese and salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 for about 30-45 minutes.
The beauty of this recipe is that you an adapt it to fit your families tastes
and it's really hard to over cook - the potatoes just get more tender.
I LOVE my crock pot!
I think the inventor of the crock pot might be one of my favorite people EVER! LOL!
Even on days when I am home all day,
I still use it.
It just makes the evenings so much easier...
I can help with homework,
pick up from after school activities,
play chase with the baby...
all while giving the appearance of having slaved all day for dinner! LOL!
Now, this dish IS some what challenging...
you might want to be sure you are well rested before attempting it...
(OK, there really needs to be a sarcastic font!)
this is about the easiest recipe,
falls in the five ingredients or less catagory.
Honey Apple Pork Chops in the CrockPot
*4-6 pork chops
*4-5 apples (I used Braeburn)
Slice each apple in to 8-10 pieces,
layer in bottom of crock pot and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Place pork chops on top of apples and sprinkle with more cinnamon.
Drizzle honey over the top of the pork chops.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Yep, that's it... supper dupper easy peasy!
Enjoy the smell of cinnamony goodness as it invades your house
and be prepared to tell your family you slaved over their dinner all day!
it's what's for dinner...
in the crock pot!
OK, OK, I know, spaghetti is like the EASIEST meal out there,
so why would I feel compelled to try it in the crock pot?
Well, my afternoons and evenings are
So, if I can put it in the crock pot in the mornings when things are fairly calm
(it's all relative remember!)
life is that much easier! LOL!
Spaghetti Sauce in the Crock Pot
1 lb hamburger
1 lb Italian sausage
1 small onion (diced)
1 1/2 TBSP Italian Spices
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
Brown hamburger, sausage and onion in a skillet.
Add Italian spices.
Dump the meat, tomatoes, and tomato sauce into a crock pot.
Cook on low all day...
You will have a lovely smelling house and a wonderful sauce when you get home.
All you need to do is cook up some pasta and serve!
You can even mix everything together the night before,
store in the refrigerator,
and start heating in the morning!
OK, for some reason this didn't post when I thought it had
(I am going to blame it on being blonde!)
but since I wrote this, family ate it and LOVED it
(like licked the crock pot clean, no left overs for me to try...)
I remembered that some one recommended a while ago,
not to cook beef when you put it in the crock pot for
soups or chilis, that it will absorb more of the flavors you are cooking it in.
So... that being said (or typed) I am thinking you could not cook the beef or sausage first in this!
I will try that next time
(and yes, there will be a next time... when a recipe gets the reviews this one
got from my family, it MUST be repeated!)
This has to be the yummiest and easiest dish I have ever cooked!
It's fast, simple, freezes well and reheats well.
And, the bonus... I usually have all the ingredients on hand so I can whip it up last minute if I need to!
1 pound Italian Sausage
6 medium size potatoes - cubed
1 cup frozen spinach
4 cups chicken stock (or beef or vegi)
about 1 cup of milk
Brown sausage. Drain off the grease.
Add potatoes and stock... boil until potatoes are tender.
(sometimes I just simmer slowly and fill the house with
Add the spinach, cook until heated through.
Just before serving, add about a cup of milk, cream or half and half
(what ever you have on hand) and heat throughly.
If you want to freeze, prepare up to the add milk stage. Cool completely and place in freezer container. To serve, thaw at room temperature, place in pan and heat, add milk after heated through.
Works well as left overs.
Also, I have prepared in the morning and then placed in a crock pot on warm all day - great for potlucks or a fast dinner when you get home!
Do you ever get so excited about trying new recipes and experimenting that you forget to go back and revisit old favorites? This happens to me a lot... and this is an old favorite that deserves revisited often. It is super easy, I always have the ingredients on hand, the don't require a mixer (just a bowl and a fork) and they don't last long...all things that make it a hit in my book!
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup (actually a little less) sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup egg beaters (or 1 egg)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt (although flavored works too)
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
about 1/4 bag of mini chocolate chips
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Blend together with a fork. Add in egg beaters, olive oil, yogurt and stir well. Add in bananas and chocolate chips. Lightly oil 12 muffin cups and spoon batter in to cups. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
OK, I admit it, I love Italian food... pasta, cream sauce, true Italian pizza, wine, lasagna... but, I have really never been a fan of spaghetti sauce. I have tried a few recipes and always go back to the jarred stuff... sometimes doctored a little, until now. Now, I have found a spaghetti sauce I am enamoured with... and, it is this week's freezer meal too! If it lasts that long - I keep sneaking in the kitchen for a little taste. I had planned on pulled pork for dinner, but that plan may change! LOL
I got the recipe from this sight, Jamie Cooks It Up
! It is the first I have tried by her, but you can bet I am going to try some more. And, the beauty of it...if I can quit snitching it, there will be enough left over for me to have extras to take on our trip to Scotland in a few weeks!
I am not going to post the recipe here, it seems unfair to copy her recipe to my blog, but please, go check hers out and if I make any changes, then I will update here!
Have a great day! Ciao!
A few weeks ago, a neighbor and fellow AF wife and mom, started up a group - Freezer Club. The theory behind it being that every other week, you make four of the same freezer meals and take them to club and come home with four different meals. It takes a lot of pressure off during the week to create a meal, or even worry about what is in the fridge or pantry. After just one meeting, I am a fan... not only of the club, but of the whole dirty the kitchen, cook for the whole week in day concept!
Well, my freezer meal for this weeks freezer club... Chicken and Cilantro Lime Sauce. I originally pinned this recipe for Cilantro Lime Tacos
. I started out following her recipe, but those of you who know me, or have ever tried to get a recipe from me... recipes are just a starting point, a suggestion for me. I do have to say, the sauce was so yummy that we were fighting over who got the last lick out of the blender after I made it! The original link for this recipe suggests serving it in soft tacos with bell peppers, avocado, onions and shredded cheese...personally, I think we are going to try it with bow tie pasta, black beans and a few slices of avocado! Let me know how you fix it up and what you think!
Chicken and Cilantro Lime Sauce
original recipe by Joelen
2-3 Large boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp garlic salt (I use McCormicks sea salt and garlic grinder mix)
2 tsp cumin
a few twists of fresh ground pepper
Saute chicken in a bit of olive oil, adding your spices while it cooks. Feel free to use what you have on hand and adapt to your family's tastes.
Cilantro Lime Sauce
1 cup fresh cilantro - leaves only (although I am sure a few stems snuck into mine. Let's face it, I was working on this, 2nd grade math, 4th grade science and feeding a baby all at the same time!)
2 1/2 tsp olive oil
2 TBSP sliced almonds (she says toasted, but see above note and you'll understand how I missed that step!)
1 Clove fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 cup shredded asiago, Parmesan or Romano
1/4 cup chicken broth
Loosely pack the cilantro leaves in a blender. Add olive oil, almonds and lime juice. Press clove into mixture and add cheese and chicken broth. Blend on low speed for about 2 min (see above note... I have no idea how long I blended!)
I don't have a blender (it is in storage keeping my other 110 appliances company) so I used Chris' smoothie maker... worked just fine!
Mix sauce and chicken together and serve in what ever method you want - tacos, pasta, fajitas, in a tossed salad...
To make this a freezer meal, cook chicken, cool and place in a freezer bag. Prepare sauce and place in another freezer bag. Thaw both and reheat when ready to eat!
I love being an AF wife... the travel, the adventure... there is nothing like it... but, there are some things I dearly miss about living back in the Good Ol' US of A... pay at the pump, craft stores, and every now and then I just get a craving for a favorite dish from a dining experience after church or on a date night! Now, don't get me wrong, we have eaten at some great places over here (nothing beats the pizzas in Tuscany or the Lasagna at Da Leo) but, you know what I mean... sometimes that craving hits and it is so strong it just makes your mouth start watering with the longing for it. One of my favorite things to eat at Chili's is their Southwestern Egg Rolls and I was craving them big time... so I turned to my favorite food website out there... All Recipes
and did a search... there were a few recipes on there that sounded pretty close and once I added a few of my adaptations, this is what I came up with...now, I admit, they aren't exactly like Chili's and you still have to serve yourself and clean up the mess when you are done, but ... hey - these are certainly better for you and the price is right for a family of six!
Southwestern Egg Rolls
1 lb (about) boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 can yellow corn (I use organic, sodium free)
1 can black beans (again, organic, sodium free)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup mexican shredded cheese
1 small purple onion
1 pkg lumpia wrappers
Chop up your chicken in to bite sized (I mean small people!) pieces.
Throw them into a large skillet (I actually use my wok just because I like the deepness of it.) with a small bit of olive oil and saute.
While chicken is sauteing, dice (again, small bites!) the onion and add to the pan (wok). Continue cooking until the chicken is done. Add the cumin and chili powder (you can just use taco seasoning here if you want, but I try to stay away from all the prepackaged stuff and make my own seasoning mixes). Once the seasoning is all mixed in, take a sample bite (you know you want to!) and make sure you've got enough flavor on the chicken. Rinse and drain the black beans and drain the corn, stir in to the chicken/onion mixture. Add the cilantro... if it doesn't look very green, add some more cilantro (you want an even dispersement of green through out the chicken mixture). When it looks nice and colorful (you could even throw in some red peppers to complete the rainbow of color and flavor!), remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Now, I admit, this is tricky for me... less is more on the cheese in this recipe and generally, that's not the way I flow - but having made these a few times, I always ere on the side of less cheese! You want the cheese to melt a bit, but not be a big clumpy runny mess.
Now comes the time consuming tricky part... rolling the egg rolls. I use lumpia wrappers (these are what I can consistently find at the commissary) and put a large spoonful of the chicken mixture in one corner and roll like you would a burrito. I don't know if this is the right way to roll an egg roll or not, but it works for me! Dampen the corner a bit and seal it shut. Now, I know, technically you fry an egg roll, but lets face it, none of us are getting any younger (and I still have a little baby fat that needs to go) so, I put my egg rolls on a cookie sheet and bake at about 450 for about 10 min, turn them and again for about another 10 min. They are done when the wrappers are good and crispy. I serve them with salsa and sour cream with some lime zest and cilantro mixed in. I have been told you can freeze these for a great late night snack, but honestly, they never last long enough in our house for me to try that!