Sunday, January 30, 2011

This Week's Plan 1-30-11

First of all, welcome to ALL the new followers on Facebook as well as here on the blog! I'm so excited to have you!  We've gained almost 100 new members in the last 2 weeks!  That's pretty amazing if you ask me!!!

Looks like we're going to be getting a big snow storm here in Michigan this week!  My husband is already doing the happy dance, as he is a teacher and would have a coveted SNOW DAY!  As long as I can get to my doctor's appointment on Thursday, I'm game for whatever comes! ;)

Today marks my 3rd pregnancy goal!  I have made it to 32 weeks!  I need to make it at least another 2-4 weeks......THAT I can do! :)  As the end is nearing, we're still trying to name this poor little boy.  His room should be pretty much ready by the end of the week, so we're pretty much ready!  I just need to pack a bag and then we'll be all set!  Ella is increasingly more excited about the arrival of her little brudder!  We're having a special "Big Sister" dress made for her to wear when her brother gets here (since my child only wears dresses!).  I think she'll love it!

Last week's plan wasn't a complete wash, but pretty close.  My poor husband has been so incredibly busy!  He hasn't been able to get to the grocery store for me and of course, I can't go without assistance, so I have to be patient!  Yesterday, I got the much needed assistance I needed and was able to do some shopping for this week!  (Thanks Emily!)  I will be making the Chicken Cordon Bleu and Lentil Soup I was planning on making last week, plus a Cabbage Casserole which will be quick and easy to put together!  It's basically like a deconstructed Cabbage can you go wrong with that?!!

Please also take note, I've added a "Crock Pot Meals for $10 or less!" post on the blog!  I will update it as I go from now on.  As soon as I figure out how to categorize my blog, it should always appear as a link on one of the sides.  If anyone has any ideas on how I can do that, I'd be MOST grateful!  I know how to "label" my posts (such as chicken, soup, etc.), but not get them to show up in categories on the sides :(  I'm determined to figure this out though!

So, here is this week's plan!

Sunday - not sure's been a lazy day here and I've not managed to get anything but folding laundry done.

Monday - Cabbage Casserole

Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednesday - Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Saturday - Leftovers

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crock Pot Meals for $10 or Less!!!

I was recently asked to recommend some Slow Cooker meals that could last a day or two, but stick to a budget of about $10.  As I was typing a lengthy email response, I realized there are probably  many more of you out there who would love to have this information as well!  The original question came from a family of 2.....which is pretty close to my family of 3, (since my munchkin doesn't eat very much) so these are my recommendations!

If you would like more information on how to save money on your groceries, visit Bargains to Bounty.  They do coupon match-ups in the Metro Detroit area, but they are a great resource for tips and where to find coupon match-ups in your area.  You can also find them on facebook and join in on great money-saving discussions!

*All of my prices are complete guesses!  Plus, if you shop ads and use coupons, even better!!!!!!!!!
**I will update this list from now on, so keep checking back!

Spaghetti and Meatballs
The meatballs cost around $2.50 to make.  The jars of pasta sauce I got for about $3 and the noodles cost around $1.50-$2.00.  That brings this to a grand total of $7-8!

Salsa Ranch Chicken with Black Beans
The chicken is about $2 for this recipe, maybe less if you're a bargain shopper like me!  The canned goods come to about $2.50.  The seasoning packets come to a total of about $3.50.  That brings this DELICIOUS meal to $8!  Again, plenty of leftovers here!

Super Easy Pulled Pork
The 3 lb. Pork Roast was probably about $5 or so.  (I've had it in my freezer for a while, so I don't remember what I paid!)  Add the bbq sauce for another $2 and some buns for $2 more!  That brings this total to $9 with PLENTY of leftovers!!

Salmon Loaf
I've had canned salmon in my pantry for a long time, but I can't imagine it being more than $2.  With the amount of stuffing croutons, french fried onions and parmesan I used, it's probably another $2-3.  That all amounts to about $4-5 for this meal!  You may as well double it!

Pulled Pork
The pork loin cost around $4.  The bottle of BBQ sauce cost just under $2.  We splurged on Onion Rolls that cost us around $2.50.  In all, the whole meal cost around $8.50!

I made a double batch of this (enough for 2 dinners and plenty to freeze as well!) and still came in under $10!  Lentils cost around $2/bag.  I used a whole bag. The brown rice cost me about another $1.00.  So, for $3.....I have TONS of food!  So, go ahead and splurge on some good pita bread to eat with this!

Barbecue Chicken
All you need is chicken and barbecue sauce!  The price all depends on how much chicken you want to make!  I made enough for 2 dinners and 3 people......6 pieces, coming in roughly around $3.  I used about 1/4 bottle of BBQ sauce, so add another $1 or so!  This make for a total of $4.  I served with some shoestring french fries, generic brand, so that may cost you another $1.  Grand total.....$5!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
The chicken in this recipe cost about $1.50 or less.  The can of soup cost around $1.20.  The box of stuffing around $2.00.  The deli ham and swiss cheese probably cost another $2.00.  All in all, that brings this SCRUMPTIOUS recipe to a grand total of $6.20!

Vegetable and Lentil Soup
The healthy vegetables probably cost a total of $3.  The canned goods and broth cost about $5 or less if you use bouillon cubes.  This makes this healthy and delicious meal $8 or less!!!

Cabbage Casserole
First of all, we all know how incredibly cheap rice and cabbage let's say together they might cost you $1.  Then, add the onion for a few cents because you know you have those on hand, add the parsley for maybe another $1, the can of diced tomatoes for $1.30 or so, and the package of sausage for around $2.  That brings you to a total of just over $5!!!!!!!!  There will be enough for at least 2-3 days! Now that's a bargain!

Chickpea Chicken Tortilla Soup
This soup is very inexpensive!  I looked at the price of the diced tomatoes I bought from walmart and they were like 97 cents!  So, 2 of those cans will only cost you a couple bucks.  Then, the garbanzo beans can't be that much!  a little over a dollar maybe.  Since the rest of the soup (beside the onion) is just water, bouillon cubes and!  I added 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, but it was a lot of chicken!  If I had put in 1, it would have been totally sufficient!  So, this would be a great meal for you!  If you buy your chicken in bulk from a meat market, you can get a really great price!  I got mine yesterday for $1.49/lb. in a 10lb. bag.  I will freeze 1-2 chicken breasts/bag to use in the future.

Easy Ranch Chicken
To make this meal cheaper, use bone-in chicken!  Bone-in chicken is ALWAYS cheaper and it tastes great too!  My personal favorite thing to buy is a family pack of thighs.  They only have 1 bone in them, so the meat falls right off after cooking it in the crock pot!  This is great, especially if you have little ones because you can swoop that bone away right away.  A packet of ranch dressing is fairly inexpensive, plus all you really need beyond that is an onion!  So, I would say this meal could possibly come in WAY under $10!

Crock Pot Baked Ziti
Noodles are inexpensive.....especially if you get the store brand!  Making your own pasta sauce like this can save you a lot of money too!   Noodles are just over $1, a package of cheese is around $1.50 and the canned goods come in around $3.  So, this is INCREDIBLY cheap!!!  Add some ground beef for a couple more bucks and you have an even more filling meal that will last you a couple days!

Broccoli Cheese Soup
A head of broccoli is super cheap!  Plus, it's good for you!  BONUS!  The canned goods in this recipe probably come to around $4.50.  I'm guessing a block of Velveeta is just under $ again, this is a really inexpensive meal.  We had this for 3 nights!  There was plenty!  Buy yourself a fresh loaf of bread for just over $1 and you have an even better meal!

Chicken with Apples and Onions
Like I said before, on the bone chicken is always cheaper than boneless skinless.  Plus, it is very flavorful!  So, for a couple lbs of chicken, you can spend around $2!  Add the apples and onions and it's around another $2!  The cream of celery soup is just over $1.  So, you then have a delicious meal you can serve for a couple days for way under $10!

Butter and Sage Cornish Hens
You can get 2 cornish hens for around $5 I'm guessing.  Maybe less!  For a few cents more, you add the butter and spices! ;)  If there are 2 of you, this could be you meal for 2 days!  Just add some inexpensive sides that are hearty to go with it! :)

Creamy Potato Soup
Well, everyone knows potatoes are cheap!  Add that with some small amounts of veggis and some spices for a couple bucks.  Then add the soup, sour cream and cream cheese for approximately $3 more dollars and you have a meal to last you 2-3 days for around $10 or under!

Turkey Lasagna
This one comes in right around $10 depending on whether you can get the ground turkey on sale, or you can replace it with ground beef if it's on sale!  So, for the meat, I'm going to say around $3, add about $3 more for the canned goods.  When you add the cheeses in there, about $3 more.  The noodles are just over $1, so there you have it!  A very delicious meal that will leave you with leftovers for right around $10!

Cheese Strata
Sometimes it's nice to switch things up and have breakfast for dinner!  You can get a loaf of bread for as cheap as $1.  Eggs you can get for around $1.50.  You can get a big block of cheddar cheese and shred it yourself for around $3.  So, this meal rings in right around $5.50!  There will be plenty for leftovers too! :)

Cheesy Potato Soup
Again, potatoes are cheap, but hearty and satisfying!  The vegetables that are in this soup you may already have around the house.  I usually have carrots, celery and onions on hand at all times.  They add lots of flavor to recipes for not a lot of money!  Again, shred your own cheese and save some money.  Really, you can probably put this soup together for $5 or less!  Of course, you'll have leftovers for the next day too!

Black Bean Soup
Buying dried beans over canned beans is always cheaper.  I try to keep a variety of beans on hand to cook with.  You just have to make sure you soak them overnight if you're going to use them! :)  So, I would say the beans might cost you around 50 cents!  The canned goods will probably add up to around $4.50 or less.  The green onions and spices hopefully you have on hand!  So, this meal is right around $5!  Again, there will be plenty for more than one night!

Meme's Meatball Stew
This has always been one of my most favorite meals!  The ground beef you can probably get for around $5.  The veggies may add up to around $3, plus another $1.25 or so for the tomato soup.  So, for under $10 again, you have a very hearty meal that will last you a couple dinners!

Meme's Stuffed Cabbage
This takes some effort, but is SO worth it!  The ground beef will cost around $2.75.  The vegetables might cost you at most $3.  The rice will only cost you around 50 cents.  I always have rice on hand too, so I'm estimating from what I already have.  So, this delicious meal will come in just over $6!  Well worth the effort I would say!!!

Coq Au Vin
This impresses every time I make it!  It is so full of flavor and can make enough for a couple nights' dinners!  The chicken will probably cost around $2, maybe less!  The mushrooms might be around $1.50.  The wine, well, if you have it on hand, it won't cost you much at all.  Even if you don't, you can get an inexpensive, but good bottle for around $5.  Serve this with some rice and you have a satisfying meal for under $10 or far less!

Four Bean and Barley Soup
If you have a stash of beans on hand, this recipe will be super cheap for you!  Really, you could use any beans you have on hand.  It doesn't have to be 4 varieties of beans.  Use what you have!  So, I'm going to say the beans here might cost you around $2.  The barley won't cost much if you don't already have it....maybe $1 or just a little more.  You can get the canned tomatoes for around $1.  The veggies might cost around $3-4.  So, add that all together and you have a hearty soup for $7-8!  There will be plenty of leftovers.

Stuffed Pork Chops
These were SOOOO good!  If there are only 2 of you, there will be plenty of leftovers for the next day.  I'm going to aim high on the price of pork chops and say you can get these for around $6-7.  Add a box of Stuffing to that for another $2 and you're still under $10!

Cheese Tortellini with Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce
If you buy the refrigerated Cheese Tortellini, it will cost you around $4.  It might be less if you buy it frozen.  Pasta sauce you can always find on sale, but I'll say $2 for this just in case.  The canned diced tomatoes will cost around $1.  The sausage around $2.50.  So, for just under $10 you have a meal for 2 days!

Berry Oatmeal
Again, breakfast for dinner gives you a little break from the ordinary!  Dried fruit can be expensive, BUT the oatmeal is so cheap, you'll still come in way under budget.  So, let's say the dried fruit costs you $5.  The oatmeal might cost around $2.  So, for $7 or less, you have dinner for at least 2 nights.

Apple Breakfast Risotto
The apples might cost around $2, the apple juice, $2 and then the arborio rice might be around $3.  So, for $7, you have dinner for a couple nights.....or breakfast for a couple mornings!

White Bean Chili
Blocks of cheese go on sale all the time!  So, you can get the two blocks of cheese for $3!  The beans might cost around $1 and then the jar of salsa around $2 or less!  So, dinner for $6....for at least a couple days!

Hope's Meatloaf
I can't guarantee you'll have leftovers with this recipe, but if you double it, you will! :)  Even if you double it, you'll come in under $10.  For the ground beef, we'll say $5-6.  The bread crumbs might be around $2.  So, for $7-8 you'll have dinner for two nights.

Jalepeno Ginger Pork Loin
I'm going to guess a 2-3 lb. pork loin will cost you around $5-6.  I might be aiming high.  A jar of jalepeno jelly will be around $2.50.  So, for $7.50-$8.50, you'll have dinner for 2 nights.

Eggplant Parmesan
The Eggplant, depending on the season, I'm guessing might cost you around $3.  You can get a jar of marinara sauce for under $2.  The breadcrumbs will be around $2 as well.  I always have these on hand though, so it will cost less obviously.  This will easily last 2 dinners and only cost you $5-7!

Chicken Picatta
Well, 2 chicken breasts will cost you around $2 or less.  The pasta will cost around $1.  The lemons are usually a dollar a piece, so about $3.  The capers cost around $2.  So, for about $8 you have dinner for 2 nights.

BBQ Pulled Beef Brisket
I don't remember how much Beef Brisket cost exactly, but let's say around $6.  Buy some buns for $1 and some BBQ sauce for about $2 more.  There you have it!  PLENTY of leftovers and a delicious dinner for under $10!

Tropical Pork with Sweet Potatoes
Again, I'm going to say a 2-3lb. pork loin will be around $5-6.  The yams will be around $2.  The crushed pineapple will be around $2.  So, for $10 or a little less, you can have this yummy pork and sweet potatoes!

Black Bean Soup with Chicken and Salsa
2 cans of black beans will cost you around $3, but if you use 1 cup of dried instead and soak them overnight, you can save yourself about $2! The chicken will cost around $1, the salsa around $1.50 or so, and the veggis will probably cost about $3 more.  That brings us to a total of $6.50-49.50.  Don't worry, there will be leftovers!

Italian Sausage Meatball Soup
The meatball ingredients might cost around $3.  The remaining ingredients probably cost around $4 more.  This provides PLENTY of soup for a couple dinners for around $7.

Easy Indian Chicken
The chicken for this recipe will probably cost around $2-3 depending on how much you use.  The curry sauce probably cost $3.  Serve this with rice and there's another $1 at most.  So, this incredibly easy dinner will cost you $6 or less.

Apricot Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Apricot Orange Chicken Leftovers
The chicken in this recipe probably cost around $2 or a little more.  The veggies probably cost about $3-4 more.  The apricot preserves cost about $2.50 more.  All together, this brings you to around $8!  Just thinking about it my mouth is watering!!!

Shredded Pork Wraps
The pork will cost around $5.  The salsa, around $1.50.  The tortilla wrappers will cost around $2.  If you choose to use the Broccoli Slaw, it will add another $1.50 or so.  Either way, you have a meal for a couple dinners for $10 or less!

Apricot Chicken
The frozen chicken will cost around $2.  The onion soup mix will be around 75 cents and the apricot preserves will be around $3.  Serve this with rice for another $1 or so and you'll have 2 dinners for $7!

Szechwan Chicken with Green Beans
If you want this one to last you two days, just double the ingredients!  So, the chicken would cost around $1.50 and the veggis would cost around $3.  Add the rice for about $1.  2 delicious dinners for $5.50.

Greek Chicken with Lemon Orzo
The chicken will cost you around $2 or so.  The lemon will be around $1 and then the olives will cost around $2.00.  I'm going to go ahead and say the orzo will cost you $1 to make.  If you make slightly more for leftovers, it will only cost a tiny bit more.  So, this yummy meal will only cost you around $6.

Tomato, Bean and Vegetable Soup
The beans will cost around 50 cents or less.  The canned goods will cost around $3.50.  The vegetables will cost around $3-4 more.  That's a grand total of $8.

Lime Chicken Tacos
The chicken will cost under $2.  The salsa will cost around $2.  The limes will be around $1 and the corn, 50 cents or so.  Add in the taco shells for around $2.  That makes for a total of $7.50!

The Best Bean and Ham Soup
I'm totally guessing on how much a meaty ham bone might cost since a friend gave me one, but I'm going to guess around $2.  The lb. of beans will be around $1.25 or so.  The remaining ingredients might cost another $2 or so.  In all, this soup will cost around $5 to make!

Parsley Chicken
The chicken will cost about $2.  The veggies will cost around $6.  The lemon and cream cheese are about $1/each.  So, that brings you right to $10!

Hope's Crock Pot Mjadra
SO cheap and SO good!  A bag of lentils probably costs under $2.  The onions probably cost another $2.  That's a grand total of $4!!!!  Splurge and buy yourself some good pita bread! ;)

White Chicken Chili
The chicken will cost just around $2 or less.  Blocks of cheese go on sale all the time!  So, you can get the two blocks of cheese for $3!  The beans might cost around $1 and then the jar of salsa around $2 or less!  That brings dinner to a total of $8!

Easy Chicken
To make this meal cheaper, use bone-in chicken!  Bone-in chicken is ALWAYS cheaper and it tastes great too!   If you use bone-in chicken, it will cost around $2......using boneless skinless might cost you $3 or so.  So, this meal will cost you around $3!!!! Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chickpea Chicken Tortilla Soup

My husband never made it to the grocery store yesterday, so I had to make due with the items I had in my pantry!  Sometimes, it's a good thing folks!  Today, it was a very good thing!  This soup is filling, light and delicious!  My sister is pregnant and was having a craving for Chicken Tortilla Soup, so she asked me to come up with something she could put in her Slow Cooker.  She really wanted beans in it......and I didn't have any canned beans, nor did I soak any last night, so I added Chickpeas (garbanzo beans!).  She approved, so that's how today's soup came to be!

There's so much you could do with this soup depending on what you have in your pantry/fridge!  For instance, I had tortilla chips and some shredded cheddar, so I added that when serving.  If you had an avocado, it would be excellent in this soup!  Also, if you like a bit of heat, add a can of diced green chilies!  That would be super good in this soup!  As always, make it your own by adjusting the recipe to your families' needs!

Here's the easy, yet delicious recipe!

Chickpea Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans petite diced tomatoes (I used 1 can regular, one can garlic and onion)
1 can Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
6 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
1 onion, chopped
(1 4oz. can diced green chilies would be great!)
1 tsp. cilantro
2 tsp. garlic powder or 3-4 fresh garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika

Place all ingredients in the Slow Cooker.

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.

Shred the chicken breasts and place shredded meat back into your soup!

Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese and fresh avocado slices.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

This Week's Plan 1-24-11

Last week was kind of a crazy week around here, but I'm ready to take on the week!  I made it to 31 weeks pregnant, and every day I make it is a day to celebrate around here!  The baby's room is starting to take shape, which feels great!  I had an incredibly generous friend give me her baby boy clothes, so this child will have clothes to wear!  My sister has also given me blankets, sheets and other clothes, so we are feeling pretty good about everything!  Now, if only we could agree on a name for this poor child!  If we don't find something soon, he shall forever be known as "baby brudder!"

Last week, I had a request from a loyal follower for Chicken Cordon Bleu, so it shall happen this week!  I'm going to make our lives easier by making it into a casserole instead of individual stuffed chicken breasts.

My sister, whom is newly pregnant, has requested Chicken Tortilla Soup!  So, that shall happen too!  I aim to please, especially when it comes to my family making a request!  So Charity, this one's for you! :)

Since there's a lot of Chicken going on in the other recipes, I thought it only fair to take a break from meat all together and warm up with a delicious Vegetarian Lentil Soup!  So, I'm going to sneak a nice warm homemade soup in there this week!  I think it's going to be really good!

Please write in on the facebook page and let me know if there are any requests you have for me to make in the upcoming weeks!  I'm really happy to oblige when I can! :)

Here's this week's plan:

I'm waiting for the hubby to go grocery shopping, so it's quite vague!

Sometime this week I would like to make the following!
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Happy Crock-Potting!
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

It's been a while since I've looked forward to a recipe quite this much!  It lived up to every expectation I had!  I savored every bite, as did my daughter!  It had just enough "zing" to it to make my taste buds really happy!  My husband ate a late lunch, but he tasted it and says he looks forward to a big bowl later tonight!

Here's a little tip when you go to make this (and you HAVE to make this)!  I partially thawed my boneless skinless chicken.  If they're still a little frozen, it makes it MUCH easier to cut!  Oh, and it's VERY saucy (which I'm sure tomorrow a lot of it will soak up into the noodles), so you can definitely add more noodles than I did!

I would like to thank Michelle Ideh Youngblood for providing me with this delicious recipe!  I stuck pretty true to what she gave me.  Just made a little tweak!

Now, on to what you've been waiting for!

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx. 2 lbs or so), cut into pieces
2 cans condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
3/4 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce (You know, the orange kind!  I used mild, but you could use hot!)
1 medium Red Onion, chopped finely
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1 lb. Penne pasta, cooked

In your slow cooker insert, mix the Cream of Chicken Soup, Buffalo Wing Sauce and red onion.
(Isn't it a pretty color?!)

Season your chicken to taste with salt, pepper and garlic.

Add the chicken to the sauce in the slow cooker and make sure all pieces are covered well with sauce.

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Start the water for your pasta so you don't waste any time!
While you're waiting for it to boil, turn your slow cooker to LOW (if it isn't already there) and add the sour cream, ranch dressing and mozzarella cheese.  Stir until well-mixed.

You should be able or soon able to put your noodles in!
When your noodles are cooked and drained, add them to the Buffalo Chicken mixture in your Slow Cooker.

Mix well, let everything really meld together and serve!


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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Easy Ranch Chicken

When I saw "Easy," I mean EASY!  LOL  4 Ingredients folks!!!!  Whoo hoo!  This is really just a slight twist on the original Easy Chicken I made the first month I started the blog.  Really, the main difference is I used a Ranch Dressing Packet instead of an Italian Dressing packet.  I also used Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts instead of bone-in chicken just because it's what I had.   It turned out great!  The whole family ate well tonight!  We served ours with a salad and an Italian Risotto (out of the box!) as our sides tonight.

I was a little concerned about the Chicken drying out since it was boneless skinless, but it didn't!  Plus, there was plenty of juice in the bottom of the Slow Cooker to "soak" it with when I served it!  Bone in chicken would work great with this as well!

My friend Natalie told me she makes Easy Chicken sometimes once a week and then shreds it and makes tacos, BBQ pulled Chicken, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Here it is!

Easy Ranch Chicken

1 lb. FROZEN boneless skinless or bone-in chicken
1 small onion, cut in half and then sliced into half rings
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Dressing
1 cup warm water

Place the onions into the Slow Cooker, put the chicken on top, then sprinkle with the dry Ranch.  

Pour the cup of warm water over the top being careful not to wash off all the good seasoning!

For Boneless Skinless Chicken - Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours

For Bone-In Chicken - Cook on LOW 8-10 hours

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Easy Pot Roast

After two days on my pre-3 hour glucose test diet, I was so happy to have some "real" food!  LOL  By that I mean, I was able to eat the meat, but chose a cup of fresh salad over 1/2 cup of the cooked veggies I would have been able to have!

When I put this roast in the crock pot today, I realized I didn't have what I usually do when I make a pot roast.  So, I improvised!  It turned out great!  Lots of yummy juices to douse my meat in and I enjoyed every last bite tonight!  Best of all, it took me less than 10 minutes to get it in the Crock Pot!

So, here's how I made it happen:

Easy Pot Roast

3-4 lb. Pot Roast
4 Potatoes, washed, sliced
1/2 bag baby carrots (or as many as you would like!)
2 onions, peeled, quartered
salt to taste
pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
minced onion to taste (I used Tastefully Simple Onion Onion!)
1/4 cup water (although, I had a very small amount of wine left, so I used some of that in replacement of the water)

In the bottom of the crock pot, place all the potatoes, onions and carrots.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and minced onion.

Place the roast on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with all the seasonings as you wish.

Pour water in.

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.  

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Week's Plan 1-16-11

I hope you all had a smashingly good week!  It's been extremely busy around here as my husband has been swamped with extra responsibilities at work no top of his extra ones here!  Due to a lovely snow storm last Tuesday, (that kept me in the car for 3 hours instead of 40 minutes.....big no no in my doctor's order right now!) my husbands commitments that were supposed to end last Tuesday have been extended to this Tuesday (with another possible snow storm on the way!  Can't win!).

I also got a bit of bad news last week......I failed my glucose test.  Well, hey, if you're gonna have problems, you may as well have big problems!  I like to do things "big!"  So, I have to go for a 3 hour glucose test this Wednesday.  Due to that, my menu plan this week is slim to none right now as I need to follow a strict diet the next few days and who knows what I'll be able to eat after I get the test results.

I also unexpectedly became a brunette for the first time in my life this week!  Why do I complicate my life so?!  I'm going to live with it for a week, but so far, I shock myself every time I look in the mirror!  I've always been happy as a blonde......I miss it already.  My husband hates it.......I can't win 'em all!!!

So, here's my VERY vague plan for the week......nothing new, but some possible things I might be able to eat!

This week's plan:

Monday - Pot Roast.....I can have the meat!!!  I'm going to add carrots, onions and potatoes for my parents and Ella to eat as well.  No cabbage this time :(  I'll be having a big ole side of pasta to try to make it to my 150 grams of carbs!

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - Easy Chicken......might be a "twist" on easy chicken!  Stay tuned!

Thursday - leftovers

Friday, Saturday or Sunday - Maybe the Buffalo Chicken Pasta I wanted to make last weekend!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chili Comerford Style

When my husband and I were in College, this was my favorite thing he made me.  He actually only made a few things, Spaghetti, Sloppy Joes (which was ground beef with ketchup and mustard!), Tuna fish sandwiches and Chili!  I think what makes his Chili so good is the love he puts into it!  His dad taught him to make it, so it means a lot to him.  So, I'm happy to share it with you today.

We've never cooked this Chili in the Slow Cooker before, but it turned out extremely well!  Justin and I had seconds and Ella ate her whole bowl (mostly to have homemade Applesauce for dessert! ;) LOL)  It's a very mild Chili.  We always serve ours with Shredded Cheese and sour cream.  My husband LOVES his with Ritz crackers!!!  (We were out today!)

Chili Comerford Style

1 lb. ground round, browned and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15.5oz. can Kidney Beans
2 14.5oz. cans Stewed or Diced Tomatoes
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup (we used a family sized can which is 28oz. today, because that's all my husband could find at the grocery store.  Made the Chili extra tomatoey!)
1 beef bullion cube
2 tsp. garlic powder (use cloves if you can he says.....but the poor guy can't because of me!)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. tarragon
1 tsp. Chili powder (but can add more for more spiciness! Personally, I would add at least 2!)
Water (how much will depend on how thick or soupy you like your chili)

Brown the ground round and drain the grease.

Add the ground round, and ALL OTHER INGREDIENTS to the Slow Cooker. Give it a quick stir and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese Take #2

I have heard from several people now that my suggested changes below work great and this is the best mac and cheese!!!  Yay!!!!!!

I made Macaroni and Cheese in the Slow Cooker a couple months ago and it was basically Mac and Cheese with scrambled eggs!  LOL  Very unappealing, but it tasted good!  My husband wouldn't touch it!  LOL

Well, I was hoping take #2 would be the charm! (I was hoping not to have to wait for the 3rd time to be the charm!)  I left the eggs out to insure we didn't get scrambled eggs!  Unfortunately, it was not quite the "charm!"  Don't get me wrong, there's good and bad news here!  The good news is, it tasted absolutely DELICIOUS!  In fact, it was so good, there is NONE left!  My husband had 2 bowls, my step-dad had 2 bowls, I had 1 bowl and my daughter had 1 bowl!! No one complained about how it looked!  I was a bit disappointed, but not after I tasted it!

So, I'm getting closer to perfecting the Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese!  I WILL NOT give up!!!  I'm bound and determined to make this Mac and Cheese look as good as it tastes!  I "think" I know how to solve the problem, but I'm not a chemist by any means, so maybe I'm wrong.  If you try this recipe, and I encourage you to try it because it really was super super yummy, try adding the cheese AFTER the noodles are cooked and just before serving.  I'm going to post how I made it this time below so I remember for next time what I did!  

Please leave your comments and suggestions below if you have any ideas on how to improve my Mac and Cheese!  I combined my recipe from last time (minus the eggs) with Casey Turner's recipe she left me on the original Macaroni and Cheese post.  I decided not to cook my noodles before putting them in the Crock Pot because I want to make my life easier and yours too, so I added more liquid.  The noodles were really perfectly cooked.  I'm not giving up on Mac and Cheese!  LOL

Macaroni and Cheese Take #2
(I'd like to thank my husband for taking the picture for me since I've been confined to the couch for the rest of the night!)

1/2 lb. Elbow noodles, uncooked
1 small onion, chopped finely
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 15oz. can Evaporated Milk
3 cups milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
Non-Stick Spray


Spray your Slow Cooker insert with non-stick spray.

Add all ingredients and stir.

Cook on LOW for 4 hours or so.  


TIP:  If you would like to try it before I do, wait to add the cheese until the noodles are cooked.  Stir it in and let it melt.  See if that does the trick and you get a "pretty" looking Mac and Cheese!  Remember, be sure to comment if you do! :)
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

This Week's Plan 1-8-11

Wow!  What a great week this has been!  We've gain roughly 60 new followers on our facebook fan page this week alone!  Now that's impressive!!!  Thank you to all of you who have been "suggesting" our page to your friends and family.

I was also featured as a "Guest Post" over on the Bargains to Bounty website this week for my Applesauce recipe!  If you live in the Metro Detroit Area, it's a site you want to visit often!  It will help you save a lot of money!  You can also find them on facebook!  I would like to welcome all of our new Bargains to Bounty friends!  We're so glad to have you!

We've also gained about 15 new "followers" here on the Blog!  For those of you who don't know, by becoming a follower, you can comment on all of my posts here on the blog.  It's wonderful when you leave comments and feedback for anyone who comes to visit the site to read.  I know every time I find a recipe on a blog, or on allrecipes, etc., I always read the comments.  It helps give me a nudge in the right direction whether or not I decide to make something!  So, comment away!!!!! :)

On our facebook page, I've received so many comments and encouragement this week!  I want to thank you for that!  I am SO thrilled I can make your lives a little bit easier while making mine easier at the same time too!  This blog is helping me keep sane through this pregnancy and all of the complications which have and are coming with it.  You're keeping me busy and I appreciate it more than you know!

I aplogize for not getting to the Stuffed Pork Loin this week.  I promise to make it in the future, but I really screwed up on the grocery list last weekend!  My mom came today and cooked Pork Roast for us in the......OVEN!  GASP!  LOL  It was delicious!  I appreciate her and my step-dad coming and helping me today with my little girl while my husband worked.  My house is clean, my daughter is happy and I was so happy to have the company!

This week I again have a "loose" plan.  My poor husband has evening commitments the first part of the week, so he won't be home much.  Ella and I might just have to scrounge for things!

So, here is my plan for the week:

Sunday - leftovers

Monday - Macaroni and Cheese (2nd attempt! Let's hope the 2nd time is the charm!)

Tuesday - leftovers......and probably more Applesauce since I'm addicted!  LOL

Wednesday - Justin's Chili (because my husband's is very, very good and he deserves it after the last week he's had!)

Thursday - leftovers

Friday, Saturday or Sunday - Buffalo Chicken Pasta (THANK YOU MICHELLE!!!)

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

This takes only a few minutes to assemble and is really, really good!!!  The sauce penetrated the noodles just like a baked pasta should and the cheese was gooey and delicious!  Best of all, it was a super cheap meal because the ingredients didn't cost very much at all!  I had one large helping, my husband had 2 helpings and my daughter ate a whole plate full!

I cooked mine on HIGH for 2 hours because I got it in the Slow Cooker so late today and the pasta was perfectly cooked!  I'm so impressed with myself!  LOL I love when I experiment with a recipe and it actually works!  Whoo hoo!

If I had more energy today, I probably would have added a 1/2-1 pound of ground beef to the sauce. Since I'm supposed to be bed-resting, I decided it wasn't a good idea to stand over the stove at all today!  Plus, I wanted to bring you a super easy and quick meal that you can make for your family!  As always, add what your family likes!

So, here's how you do it!

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

1 lb. Ziti or Rigatoni pasta, uncooked (Yes, that's right!  You don't have to pre-cook the pasta!!!!)
1 28oz. can Crushed tomatoes
1 15oz. can Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1-2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


In a bowl, mix together the Crushed tomatoes, Tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt.

In the bottom of the Slow Cooker insert, pour 1/3 of your pasta sauce.  
Add 1/2 of the pasta on top of the sauce.
Add another 1/3 of your pasta sauce.

Spread 1/2 of your Mozzarella Cheese on top of that.

Add the remainder of your pasta, the remainder of your sauce and the remainder of your cheese on top of that.

Cook on LOW for 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Slow Cooker Applesauce

This was so delicious and incredibly easy!  If you can peel and slice an apple, you're golden!  It was just my daughter and I tonight and we ate our Applesauce for dessert!  She LOVED it!  She had two helpings! :)  Makes a mom happy to know her daughter thinks Applesauce is dessert! :)  One of my proud moments!

I found my particular Applesauce to be a bit tart, but I think it's because I added a bit too much lemon juice.  I ended up adding some white sugar to mine and it fixed it instantly.  I've adjusted the recipe below to what I think will work best for you, but as always, please feel free to adapt to your families needs and tastes!

I made Apple Leather with the remainder of my Applesauce.  It is INCREDIBLE!!!!!   It is everything I hoped it would be and took me right back to my child hood when my mom would buy them for me once in a while as a special treat!  I plan on making this pretty often!  I'm going to make another batch of applesauce next week (a double batch) so I can eat more and make more Apple Leather!!!  I've posted a link below to the original directions I found and I've also posted my directions with pictures.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

5 lb. Apples (I used McIntosh because that's what my husband bought!)
1/4 cup water
2 tsp. Vanilla
3-4 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/4 cup or less of White Sugar (you can leave this out, or adjust for your family's needs)
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon


Peel, core and slice all of your apples and place the slices into the Slow Cooker.

Add the water, lemon juice, vanilla, brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon to the Apples.  Give it a quick stir.

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.

Mash with a Potato Smasher.

Apple Leather:
(If you would like the original directions, please Follow this link!)

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and butter it.

Spread a layer of your Crock Pot Applesauce out on the parchment paper....about 1/8" thick.

Cook in the oven for 10-18 hours or until the leather is no longer moist.  
Mine took just over 15 hours to get to this point!  BE PATIENT!!  Relax and enjoy your day while it does it's "thing!"

Here's what it looked like when I took it out of the oven.

I cut this into about 3 inch strips width wise and then cut it in half once lengthwise.  I'm storing mine in a ziploc bag because I don't plan on it lasting very long in my house!  Hey, I'm pregnant and on bed rest!  LOL  I need something healthy to eat! ;)  If you want to store it longer, put it into an air tight container in a dark place.  It will keep a long time that way.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I am SO happy I forgot to ask my husband to buy the noodles for the Ziti so I had to make this soup today!  LOL  It was every bit as delicious as I hoped it would be!!!!  I'm incredibly thrilled the vote went to making Broccoli Cheese soup as opposed to just Cream of Broccoli soup!  I had 1 1/2 bowls, my husband had 2 bowls and my daughter said "Mmmmmm this is really good!" with every bite!  It is better than any Broccoli Cheese soup I've had at any restaurant......hands down!  This is officially a family favorite now!  I'm so excited for you to try it!  Oh, and ANYONE can make this!!!!!!  SO EASY!!!

Here it is!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 bunch broccoli, chopped into tiny pieces (it will save you from having to blend hot liquid later....or you can use frozen, but you'll have to blend later and I always get some "woody" pieces when I use frozen broccoli)
1 onion, chopped finely
2 cans evaporated milk
1 can condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
3 cups water
4 Chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 16 oz. block Velveeta Cheese, chopped into pieces (or off brand processed cheese)


Place all ingredients (except for the Velveeta cheese) into the Slow Cooker and stir.

Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.

5-10 minutes before eating, stir in the chunks of velveeta.  Crank up it up to HIGH and stir quite a bit.


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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken with Apples and Onions

WOW was this delicious!!!! I literally thought today, what can I use up in my house?!  I'm SO happy I decided to use up what I did!  This chicken was super moist, creamy and absolutely fabulous tasting!  I can't wait for you to try it!!!!  We simply served our chicken over white rice and with frozen mixed veggies on the side.

Here it is:

Chicken with Apples and Onions

2-3 lbs. chicken on the bone - I used 6 chicken legs and 1 large breast (mine were partially frozen)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 onion, sliced into rings
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Place the sliced onions and apples on the bottom of your Crock Pot liner.
(I used a Slow Cooker Liner!!!)

Place the chicken on top and add your bouillon cube.

In a bowl, mix the soup, water, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper together.
Pour over the top of the chicken.
(It doesn't look pretty, but trust me, it comes out DIVINE!!!!!)

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours.

Serve over rice.

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This Week's Plan 1-2-11

HAPPY 2011!!!!!

I can't believe it!  2011 is already here!  Today officially marks 28 weeks of pregnancy for me, which means I've made it to my first goal as a high risk-bed resting mommy!  I'm so proud!  It's been a wonderful year for our family, but challenging at the same time!  My husband and I finished our master's in 2010, we took a beautiful family trip to Disney Land with our daughter, we watched our daughter grow from a baby into a toddler then into a princess (LOL), I started this blog (Yay!), we found out we were expecting a baby boy and then we found out I couldn't work past 12 weeks pregnant (ugh!).  So, an eventful year!  We have so much to look forward to this year with the arrival of a little boy in near sight, our little girl turning 3 and the year anniversary of this blog!!!!!

I am SOOOOO happy to get back into the Swing of things this week with my Crock Pot!  I'm so tired of eating out, ordering in and eating leftovers from parties!  I'm ready to get back to my Crock Pot and eating delicious home-made food!  I'm going to back track one day because I threw a  recipe together yesterday that was absolutely divine and you must try!!!  So, my week plan really starts yesterday!

Our facebook Community page is really taking off!  Thank you for all the recent comments and posts!  It has been wonderful hearing from all of you!  Keep the responses and comments coming!

This week's plan:

Saturday - Chicken with Apples and Onions

Sunday - not shopping day!

Monday - Crock Pot Ziti

Tuesday - leftovers and Applesauce (this is not a main dish, but I've been wanting to make it and I'm going to freeze some, turn some into fruit leather (healthy fruit roll-ups) and eat some!

Wednesday - Cream of Broccoli or Broccoli Cheddar Soup (need to decide which!)

Thursday - leftovers

Friday, Saturday or Sunday - Stuffed Pork Loin

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF