Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Freezer to Crockpot

I've been looking around online for ways to make a bunch of dinners that you can put in the freezer and then the crock pot... not in love with anything I've found yet. 
Wondering if anyone out there has any ideas?

I like THIS, but I think I would maybe do a few less veggies. 

This site HERE has some good ideas too.  And one MORE here.

I've been lucky to find some of these ideas on pinterest and I would really love to come up with my own meals to repin there, in hopes of generating more traffic for the blog.  But mostly because it would be so nice to have at home!  I'd really love to try this on a Saturday, and then not have to worry about cooking all week.

So if any of you have ever tried this and have any suggestions I would really love to hear from you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cowboy Beef & Bean Skillet ~ From Kraft

1-1/2 lb.beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
2 slices  Bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red (or green) pepper, chopped
1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed
1 can  (15 oz.) butter beans, rinsed
3/4 cup Barbecue Sauce

COOK steak strips in deep large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat 3 min. or just until no longer pink in centers. Remove to plate.
ADD bacon to skillet; cook on medium heat 1 min. Add onions and peppers; mix well. Cook 6 min. or until bacon is done and vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in beans and barbecue sauce; simmer on medium-low heat 5 min.
RETURN steak and any juices from plate to skillet; cook 1 to 2 min. or until steak strips are done, stirring occasionally.

For a spicier dish, add 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper or 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce to ingredients in skillet with the beans and barbecue sauce.

Recipe Stache

I was cleaning out my e-mails and I found a bunch of old recipes stached in there!  Thought I'd share some on the blog.  Most of these are a copy for something I found online.

These are from Gooseberry Patch:

Trim-the-Tree Casserole
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/2-inch thick
4 slices Swiss cheese
10-3/4 oz. can cream of broccoli soup
1/3 c. milk
1 c. herb-flavored stuffing mix, crushed
1/4 c. butter, melted
Place chicken breasts in a greased 13"x9" baking pan. Top with cheese. Stir together soup and milk. Spread over cheese. Toss stuffing mix with melted butter and sprinkle over all. Bake, uncovered, at 350
degrees for 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Serves 4 to 6.

Creamy White Chicken Chili
6 15-1/2 oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
3 5-oz. cans chicken, drained
6 c. chicken broth
3 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 4-oz. cans diced green chiles
12-oz. container sour cream
1 T. olive oil
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. garlic powder
1-1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. white pepper
Optional: 2 onions, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot. Simmer for 20 minutes until heated through.
Serves 16 to 20.

Bonus tip!
Transporting a full pot of soup can be tricky...slip a large rubber band under one handle, twist it around the knob on the lid and wrap under the other handle. The lid will stay secure on the way!

The next two are from:
Christine Steendahl
"The Menu Mom"

Pizza Pasta Casserole
Makes 8 servings
1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 onion chopped
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 package 16 oz. spiral pasta cooked and drained
2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
4 ounces sliced pepperoni (we use turkey pepperoni - it's healthier and less greasy)

1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in spaghetti sauce and pasta.

2. Transfer to a greased 13x9x2" baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Arrange pepperoni over the top.

3. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Pork Chop Casserole
6 pork chops
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (24 oz.) package hash browns
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can french fried onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt pork chops and brown in vegetable oil. Place in large casserole dish. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over top. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.


Stuffed Bread ~

We love these at our house! You can put one wrapped in foil in the slow cooker to warm on a Saturday morning for a quick Saturday afternoon lunch!

Use an artisan or large rounded loaf. Make cuts down to the bottom without cutting all the way through.
They can be stuffed with your favorite sandwich ingredients, wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for later. Make as many as you can fit in the freezer!

These are our favorites:
Roast Beef/Provolone
Cinnamon Sugar w/powdered sugar glaze
*These can also be baked in a 400 degree oven on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp on the outside.

Island Chicken Pizza ~ from Sandra Lee Semi Homemade

  • 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1 cup refrigerated tropical fruit
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 can (13.8-ounce) refrigerated pizza crust
  • 3 cups shredded Jack cheese
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. 2. In a small bowl, stir together chili sauce, 1/4 cup juice from tropical fruit jar, jerk seasoning, and ginger; set aside.
  3. 3. Press out pizza dough on prepared baking sheet into a 12-inch square. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.
  4. 4. Remove crust from oven and spread sauce mixture over, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with cheese, fruit, chicken, and cilantro. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to bubble. Garnish with cilantro sprig and serve with crushed red pepper (optional). Serve hot.

Stupid Chicken from Recipe Lion
This slow cooker cooking recipe is so easy, even the world's worst cook can make it. Good luck finding easy recipes for a slow cooker that are any easier than this slow cooker chicken recipe.     
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 28 ounces can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 1 envelope Herb and Garlic Recipe Soup Mix
  • Hot cooked rice or pasta
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Mix chicken, tomatoes and soup mix together, and pour into slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 
  3. Serve over rice or bow tie pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Ritz Mock Apple Pie
pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1-3/4 cups crumbs)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cream of tartar
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Roll out half of the pastry and place in 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust; set aside.
MIX sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in 1-3/4 cups water until well blended. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Add lemon peel and juice; cool. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim; seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.
BAKE 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely.

    Grilled Cheese

    I forgot how good a simple grilled cheese sandwich can be.  Especially with your favorite can of soup on a cold day.  I know this isn't really a great recipe or anything, but it's one of those things that I honestly forget about.  I'm always trying too hard to find great new recipes that I forget about the simple things.  I have seen a few new recipes lately for a twist on the grilled cheese.  Like adding slices of apples and bacon.  Or sseveral different types of cheese, with a tomatoe or adding an avacado.  How do you like your grilled cheese?

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    "The Dip"

    7 Layer Mexican Dip

    1 can refried beans
    8oz container of guacamole
    8oz container of sour cream
    1/2 cup mayo
    1/2 pkg taco seasoning
    1 cup tomato- chopped and drained
    1 cup olives- sliced
    1/2 cup green onions- chopped
    grated cheddar cheese

    1st layer: bean dip
    2nd layer: guacamole
    3rd layer: sour cream, mayo, taco seasoning mixed together
    4th layer: tomato
    5th layer: olives
    6th layer: green onions
    7th layer: grated cheese

    Crispy Bears

    My grandma used to make these every year for Christmas.  I think they are better than regular rice krispy treats. Yum

    13oz bag Rice Krispies
    2cups brown sugar
    1cup white karo
    2 sticks butter (no wonder these are so good!)
    1 can eagle brand milk
    several small decorating candy: chocolate chips, red hots, etc.
    2 or more plastic bear molds (you will want to spray these with pam the 1st time)

    Place rice krispies into bowl.
    Add together sugar, butter, syrup into pan and boil for 3 min. remove from heat. 
    Add eagle brand milk and boil 3 additional min. 
    Pour over rice krispies and mix well. 
    Fill bear mold with mixture. Careful, it's hot. Remove bear from mold, place on wax paper. 
    Use tiny chocolate chips for eyes and nose, red hots for belly button. 
    After they have cooled off and "dried" you can wrap them in plastic wrap to keep them fresh longer or if you are delivering them as treats to neighbors.

    Hot Christmas Wassail

    1 gallon apple cider
    2 quarts orange juice
    2 quarts lemonade
    18 whole cloves
    6 sticks cinnomon
    12 berries allspice

    Mix and simmer for one hour, enjoy!

    Mini Gingerbread Village

    Makes4 mini houses
    · 1    tube (6-ounce) white icing
    · 32   2-part graham cracker squares
    · 1    can (6.4-ounce) white icing
    ·       Variety of small candies for decorating ~let the kids help pick out the treats
    1.      Using squeezable icing as glue, glue together 5 graham cracker squares to make a box without a top. Let icing harden for a few minutes.
    2.      To make roof supports, use a serrated knife to cut 1 graham cracker square in half. Using a long side of a cracker half as a base, cut cracker half into a triangle. Repeat with the other cracker half. Squeeze icing onto the long side of each triangle and attach to the top of the 2 opposite walls.
    3.      Squeeze icing onto the edges of the roof supports. To make the roof, use 2 more graham cracker squares attached together with icing. Gently place roof onto the roof supports. Repeat to make 3 more mini gingerbread houses. Let icing stand overnight to harden.
    4.     Decorate gingerbread houses as desired, using a variety of candies and canned white icing.

    Copied from Sandra Lee Semi Homemade

    We made a mini village a few years ago and it was really fun for the kids.
    They go quick and easy because they are small, so the kids don't get half way done and then decide they are board.

    Five-Minute Fudge Wreath on the Food Network

    Five-Minute Fudge Wreath on the Food Network

    Love Rachel Ray's super easy Five-Minute Fudge Wreath.
    Great for the holidays!

    Cheesey Scalloped Potatoes

    Cheesey Scalloped Potatoes   ~Mom
    5 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
    3 T flour
    1 1/2 t salt
    1/4 t pepper
    1 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    3/4 cup Swiss cheese slices finely chopped, divided
    2 medium onions, finely chopped
    1 1/2 cup milk
    2 T fresh minced parsley
    Place a third of the potatoes in a shallow 3qrt dish, coated with nonstick spray.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper; sprinkle half over the potatoes.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of each cheese and half of the onions.  Repeat layers.  Top with remaining potatoes.  Pour milk over all.  Cover and bake at 350 for 50-60 min or till nearly tender.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered, 10 min longer or till cheese melts and potatoes are tender.  Sprinkle with parsley.

    Dutch Oven Potatoes

    Dutch Oven Potatoes-  These are a serious favorite!

    Brown bacon in dutch oven
    add diced onions & peppers to bacon.
    After it's simmered for a bit add a small can of sliced mushrooms including juice.
    Layer sliced carrots, and sliced potatoes sprinkling garlic powder and lemon pepper.
    Add about 1/2 can of Mt Dew (or sprite)
    Let cook on coals, camp chef or in oven until carrots and taters are tender.
    Top with cheese

    Funeral Potatoes

    I've got more potatoes than I know what to do with!  Thank you Bountiful Baskets.  We will have plenty of taters for a while.

    Funeral Potatoes ~Grandma Ruth
    6-8 medium potatoes, cooked, cooled and sliced
    Pour 1/3 cup melted butter over potatoes
    Combine: 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup shredded cheddar.
    Mix lightly and pour over potatoes.
    Put in greased casserole or 9X13 pan.
    Top with crushed Ritz crackers and butter.
    Bake at 350 uncovered for 30 min.

    Spinach Salad

    I had a bunch of fresh spinach and a pomegranate, so I thought I'd put them together as a salad to go with our dinner tonight.  I couldn't decide what kind of dressing to put with it, so instead I got out a little jar of herbs de provence and sprinkled a tiny bit over the salad.

    Hawaiian Haystacks

    Need a quick, easy (and cheap) dinner idea?
    Try Hawaiian Haystacks, the kids love it!
    I was curious what other people use for toppings and
    found a crock pot method for busy/working mom's who are really short on time.

    Hawaiian Haystacks

    Stove top method: This is the way I've always done it
     2 cans of cream of chicken soup- or cream of mushroom
     1 can of milk (you can use a little more if you like)

     Heat soup and milk on the stove until heated through. You want this to be the consistency of gravy. You can add more milk if the mixture is too thick.

    Crock pot method:
     2 cans cream of chicken soup
     2 frozen chicken breasts

    Put chicken breasts in the crock pot and then cover with soup. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken from the crock pot and shred or dice the chicken and return to the crock pot. Add enough milk to make the consistency of gravy.

    Serve the sauce over COOKED RICE. Plan on one cup per person.

    Then top with any of the following toppings:
    *2 cups of cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded (or you could use pork)
     shredded cheddar cheese
     pineapple tidbits
     sliced olives
     diced green onion
     chopped celery
     shredded coconut
     slice almonds
     diced fresh mushroom
     Chow mien noodles
     diced tomatoes
     mandarin oranges

    I like this, because a lot of the toppings can come out of a can.... which saves me time.
    Plus, my kids eat it.  And it's not bad for left over lunch the next day either.