Monday, February 28, 2011

Pepper Steak

I'm so glad I decided to purchase the Eye of Round steak on sale last week!  It was perfect for this!  It was lean, but tender and juicy at the same time!  It was the perfect steak to use in this dish!  We all cleaned our plates tonight!  We simply served our Pepper Steak over rice :)

This is super simple, so I can't wait for you to try it!

1.25-1.5lb. Eye of Round Steak, sliced into thin strips (or any other cut you prefer)
1 small onion, sliced into half rings
1/4 of a large red onion, sliced
1 16oz. bag of frozen stir fry veggies
1 cup hot water
1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
1-2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. cooking Sherry (optional)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. Garlic powder, divided
2 tsp. onion powder, divided
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 beef bouillon cube

In the bottom of the Slow Cooker, place the bouillon cube, frozen veggies and onions.

Next, place the steak on top and season with 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder and 1 tsp. pepper .

Mix together the hot water with corn starch.  Once dissolved, add the soy sauce, cooking sherry, tomato paste, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. pepper and salt.  Poor over the top of the steak.

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 5-6 hours.
Stir and Serve over rice.

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CSN Gift Code Giveaway Results

Drum-roll please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
(Let's try this again!)  
And the winner is......#34, LINDSAY 
(Who said, "Love your blog, Hope! I'm entering to win, too!")!  
You have 24 hours to email me at and I'll give you the code! :)  

Thank you to everyone who participated!
The compliments I received from each and every one of you were absolutely overwhelming!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
You've really helped make this crazy pregnancy of mine go by fast!
I definitely feel the love!
I hope this is just the first of MANY Giveaways!

Happy Crock-Potting!
(edited 3-1-11 since the first winer was given 24 hours to claim her prize and did not respond)
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

This Week's Plan 2-27-11

It's been a bit of a roller coaster week!  Thursday I was admitted to the hospital because my doctor thought my water had broke.  When I got to the hospital, they determined my water had not broken.  They did keep me for several hours to see if my contractions were making any progress, but then released me early in the evening.  To top it all off, my doctor is out of the country for the next two weeks!  So, it's been a crazy week!  I am officially 36 full weeks today!  That has been our ultimate goal, so I made it! :)  I made it to 36 weeks and 5 days with Ella, so we'll see what happens with this baby!

Before I give you my plan this week, please make sure you've entered my GIVEAWAY!  It's easy to do and you'll be in the running to win a $20 gift code to use at any of CSN's 220+ websites!  You can literally order just about anything and everything you could need!  So, if you haven't already, please leave a comment under the Giveaway post! :0)

Ok, onto this week's plan!  Well, until this baby gets here, every plan is really more of a "hope!"  LOL  I was supposed to make Pepper Steak last week and that didn't happen, so I'll make it at the beginning of this week so those looking forward to it can finally get a recipe!  I'm also wanting to make something with the new Philadelphia Cooking Cream because all of my Bargains to Bounty fans have some or will purchase some this week with the sale at Meijer and coupons they've collected for it!  I also have a TON of ground beef in my freezer, so I figured I'd make some more homemade meatballs and make a good ole' Spaghetti!

So, here's this week's "HOPE!" (there are so many plays on my name!!!  LOL)

Sunday - Leftover The Best Bean and Ham Soup

Monday - Pepper Steak

Tuesday - Leftover Pepper Steak (maybe?!)

Wednesday - Something with Chicken and Philadelphia Cooking Cream!

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Spaghetti and Meatballs

Saturday - Leftovers

Happy Crock-Potting!
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Don't Forget!!

Don't forget to enter our very first GIVEAWAY!!!
Click on the link above and then leave a comment there!

Good luck!
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My First Vlog

Good Morning!
Check out my first Vlog!

Let me know what you think!
Happy Crock-Potting!
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pork Loin Steaks with Apples, Onions and Potatoes

This looked SO good going into the Crock Pot, smelled SO good all day long and tasted SO good tonight when I pulled it out of the Crock Pot!  I love it when I'm not disappointed!  LOL

Like I said earlier this week, I used a Pork Loin Roast I cut into 5 steaks.  It was on sale at a local meat market this week, so I knew I wanted to do something with it!  I saved part of it for a small roast to use at another time!  I also had a TON of apples (due to my husband thinking my daughter's grocery list with apples, fishies, apples, strawberries, raisins, apples, ponies, apples and crocodiles was serious!)  LOL  Love that man! ;)  I would actually use 1-2 more apples than I did use, so I will mention that below in the recipe.

Here's what you came for!

Pork Loin Steaks with Apples, Onions and Potatoes
(Those flowers I got at the hospital really came in handy tonight!)

1 1/2-2 lbs. Pork Loin Steaks (I cut my own from a roast, but you can have the butcher cut them for you)
3-4 Potatoes, cubed
1 Large onion, sliced into half rings
4-5 Apples, cored and sliced (use whatever kind you have on hand or like)
1 packet Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Place all your potatoes at the bottom of your Crock Pot liner.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place half you onions and apples on top of the potatoes.

Add your Pork Loin Steaks on top and sprinkle with the Onion Soup Mix.

Place the rest of you Apples and Onions on top and sprinkle with more salt and pepper.

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 5-6 hours.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

This Week's Plan 2-20-11

Well, since we still don't know when baby boy will decide to make his appearance, my plan for this week is kind of vague and may be nixed or changed at any time!  LOL  So far, he's decided it's warm and comfy enough in there to get to 35 weeks!  After my hospital stay at 33 weeks, I'm THRILLED I can say that!

PLEASE take the time to enter the giveaway here on the blog!  All you have to do it be a follower and then comment underneath the post!  Entries will be accepted until 2-27 and a winner will be announced on 2-28!  (Well, unless of course a baby comes that day!)  Nonetheless, a winner will be announced!

Thank you for all of the WONDERFUL comments you've been leaving!  I take each one of them to heart!  You are amazing and I'm so happy you've decided to come along on this adventure with me!!!! We reached over 1,100 fans this week on facebook!  Can you believe it?!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I did manage to get to a meat market this week!  If you're local to Macomb County, MI, there is a great Meat Market called Messina Meats.  Look them up!  They are awesome and incredibly helpful!  This week they had Ground Sirloin, Boneless Center Pork Loin Chops and Eye of Round steaks on sale!  So, I've decided to highlight all 3 meats!

Here's this Week's TENTATIVE plan!

Sunday: Meme's Meatball Stew

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Boneless Pork Loin Steaks with Apples (we'll see where this goes, but I have a TON of apples I need to use up soon!)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Pepper Steak "Stir Fry"

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday and Sunday: We'll see! :)

Have a great week everyone!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

GIVEAWAY!!!!!!! Because I love my fans!

That's right, you saw it correctly!  I'm having a giveaway!  In celebration of reaching over 1,000 fans on our facebook page this week, I'm having a giveaway!  

The lucky winner will win a $20 gift code for CSN Stores.  Best of all, you can use this gift code toward ANY of their 220+ websites!  How amazing is that?!
At CSN Stores, you can get anything from a Slow Cooker (yay!) to Chic Lighting to an L Shaped Desk! 
We bought our daughter 2 pieces of furniture from CSN stores for Christmas this year and were very happy with our purchases!
(The Personalized Book Sling and Princess Organizer on the left are the two CSN Store items we ordered!)

*To enter, you must be a "fan" of this blog. 
(Anonymous users will not be considered)
Please leave a comment here to enter.
You may enter only once! 
I will post the name of the randomly chosen winner on Monday, February 28.
***The winner will have 24 hours to contact me or another winner will be chosen!***

Good luck and thank you for being a fan of A Busy Mom's Crock Pot Cooking Adventures!
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chicken Chili

This was definitely an impromptu dish since we're flying by the seat of our pants right now.  We're still taking things hour by hour as far as this baby goes!  I decided to throw this together with whatever I had in the house and it turned out really good!  Everyone enjoyed a large bowl last night!

You may already have all the ingredients for this sitting in your pantry/freezer right now!  If you're missing something, just leave it out or substitute with something else!  It's a good way to clean out your pantry a bit! ;)

Here's the recipe:

Chicken Chili

2 frozen chicken breasts (or thawed, no big deal)
2 can Chili Beans
1 28oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1 can Condensed Tomato Soup
1 cup water
1 4oz. can diced green chilis
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Add all ingredients to the Slow Cooker and stir.
Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours.
Take the Chicken out and shred it.
Place the chicken back in the Chili and stir.
Serve with shredded cheese and/or sour cream!
We ate ours with some nice Italian buttered bread!
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pulled Pork

What a simple, quick, cheap and easy meal!  My husband did this all himself while waiting for me to return from the hospital.  If he can do it, you can do it!  Wait till you see how simple this is!

The flavor of this really depends on what BBQ sauce you use.  Use your family's favorite!  My husband used a honey BBQ and added more honey to the recipe.  It was too sweet for my taste, but he loved it!

Pulled Pork

3-4lb. Pork Loin or Pork Roast (You can use smaller for sure, but we like leftovers around here!)
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1 bottle Cream Soda or Root Beer (we only had Cream Soda!)

Place the pork roast in your Crock Pot with all the remaining ingredients.

Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or on HIGH for 5-6 hours.

Take your Pork out of the Crock Pot and shred.  Replace back in the sauce and stir.

Serve on your favorite kind of bun and with your favorite sides.


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Friday, February 11, 2011

Hospital Update

Good morning fellow blog followers!

I'm coming to you from the "comfort" of my hospital room.  I was admitted Wednesday night with Pre-term labor.  Thanks to some VERY powerful drugs (ugh!) the contractions have slowed enough to move me to the antipardom wing of the hospital.  I'll be here through Saturday or Sunday, unless the baby decides to grace us with appearance sooner.  Either way, he should be here very soon, which means he will be pre-term, but we are prepared!  Our last ultrasound showed he's weighing in at about 4lb. 7oz. so he's doing pretty good.  I've had 2 doses of steroid shots as well to help his lungs strengthen.  We have lots of faith and we know he is going to do great when he gets here!

You may or may not be hearing from me for a little while.  All depends on how I'm feeling, where I'm at, etc.  Please continue to use your Crock Pots and I encourage you to try a recipe you never thought in a million years you would try!  Why not?!  Live dangerously!

I'll be in contact on our facebook page as often as I can to answer questions and participate in discussions :)

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, February 6, 2011

White Chocolate and Mixed Berry Cobbler/Cake

I have been bound and determined to have cake at my house for 2 weeks now.  Today was the day!  And gosh darnit, we had CAKE!  (Although, it was more of a cake/cobbler really.) From the CROCK POT Slow Cooker!!!  LOL  It was soooo good!  So moist and delicious.  My husband would have LOVED to have had Ice Cream to go with this, but alas, we had none in the house.  I loved it just the way it was and so did my daughter!  The coolest thing about this cake is you don't have to wait for it to cool or frost it!  It's perfect just the way it is!

TIP: You can substitute the fruit for whatever frozen fruit sounds good to you!

Mine burnt around the edges a bit and was a little thick, so I've made some changes to my recipe below.

So, here's how I made it happen:

White Chocolate Mixed Berry Dump Cake

1 Yellow Butter Cake Mix (or use plain white or yellow)
1 stick butter, melted
1/4-1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups frozen mixed berries
3 Tbsp. water
2 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
non-stick cooking spray

Spray the inside of your Slow Cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

Pour the Mixed Berries in the bottom of the Slow Cooker.

Pour the Vanilla over the top of the berries, along with the brown sugar.
(the white powder you see is corn startch.....don't use....doesn't need it!!!)

Mix the cake mix and butter in a bowl until it looks like this.....crumbly.

Next mix in the white chocolate chips.

Finally, pour the cake mixture over the mixed berries in the Slow Cooker.

Cook on HIGH for 3 hours.

Here's what it looks like when done!

Serve and ENJOY!!!!

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Barbecue Chicken

I haven't had Barbecue Chicken in ages, so this was really good!  If I hadn't known it wasn't cooked on  the grill, I would never have guessed it came out of the Crock Pot!  The skin was crispy and the Barbecue flavor was throughout!  I hope your family enjoys this as much as ours did tonight!  We served ours with some baked shoestring french fries! :)

Barbecue Chicken

Bone-In Chicken (I used Chicken Thighs because they're so moist and only have 1 bone!)
BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays Regular BBQ Sauce and used about half the bottle)
BBQ Rub (I used Billy Bones BBQ Rub)
(To make your own, mix sugar, salt, chili pepper, garlic and paprika)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with your rub and press in with your fingers.

Cook in the oven about 10 mins. on each side to seal in your rub.

Place the Chicken in the slow cooker and pour the BBQ Sauce of your choice over the top.  Be generous.

Here's mine after cooking it for a couple hours....forgot to take a picture before it started cooking!

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

This Week's Plan 2-5-11

After some disappointing news from my doctor last Tuesday, I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep this baby boy at bay.  He's getting anxious!  I'm not due until March 27, so I'm trying very hard to make it until at LEAST next Sunday (when I'll be 34 full weeks).  Ultimately, making it until the end of February would be EVEN better, but it's not looking too good.  Who knows though, miracles do happen.  What my doctor says on Tuesday will ultimately decide whether or not my Crock Pot days are put on hold or not for the remainder of this pregnancy. So, my plan this week is to take things one day at a time.  I'm shooting for 2 Crock Pot meals this week, but I'm going to be flexible!

So, here's this week's "plan":

Sunday - Barbeque Chicken AND Cake (of some sort!)  YES!  I am making a CAKE in the Crock Pot!  I'm bound and determined to have dessert this week, and by gosh by golly, I'm gonna make it happen!

Monday - leftovers

Tuesday - Mjadra (per my husband's request!)

Wednesday - Saturday - Not sure yet.  Stay tuned!

Have a great week!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Vegetable and Lentil Soup

This soup was incredibly delicious and SUPER healthy!  I'm proud of myself for coming up with this yummy creation!  :)  We all savored our soup!  I put some Parmesan Cheese on top of mine! :)  My husband and daughter ate their soup with some clubhouse crackers.

This soup is great because there are so many things you could do with could add more lentils, add some pasta 1/2 hour before serving, add beans of your choosing or even add some ground beef, ground turkey or crumbles!  If you're a vegetarian or a carnivore, you'll love it!  I promise!

P.S.  This is one of those, clean out your 'fridge kind of soups! :)  Use what vegetables you have and as much or as little of what you like!  I sat down with a colander of my washed veggies and chopped away! :)  It was kind of therapeutic!

So, here's the recipe for this "oh so good!" soup!

Vegetable and Lentil Soup

1/2 bag baby carrots, chopped (or use 3-4 carrots)
2 stalk celery, chopped
2 small zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 small onions, or 1 medium-large onion, diced
2 cups Lentils, rinsed and drained (I think you could go up to 3 cups for sure!)
1 28oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
1 140z. can diced tomatoes
8 cups chicken broth, or 8 cups water with 8 chicken bouillon cubes (if you're vegetarian, use vegetable broth)
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
5-10 dashes hot sauce (depending on what level of "zing" you like!)

Place all of your chopped/diced veggies into the Slow Cooker insert.
Admire how pretty the colors look and what a good person you are for making such a healthy choice for dinner tonight! ;)

Next, add the lentils.
Now you can pat yourself on the back once again, for making such a healthy choice!

Add the broth (or water and bouillon cubes), crushed tomatoes, canned tomatoes and spices/seasonings.  Stir.

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 5-6 hours.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

WOW! I can't believe how flavorful this casserole was!  I expected the stuffing to dry out on top and for the chicken to dry out on the bottom......NOT the case!  This was moist, delicious and just plain scrumptious!  And the bubbly goodness on top......sigh!  So good!

This was super easy to put together and qualifies as a meal for under $10!  I'm so happy one of my facebook "fans" suggested I make this!

Here's the recipe:

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 can condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup Milk
1 box Chicken Stovetop Stuffing
6 (approx.) slices deli ham (I used honey ham)
6 (approx.) slices swiss cheese
2 Tbsp. butter, cut into lots of pieces
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

In the Slow Cooker insert, place the chicken.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Mix the Cream of Chicken soup with the milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Pour over the chicken.

Next, add a layer of ham slices.

Prepare the stuffing according to the box and then spread evenly over the ham.
Place butter slices on top of the stuffing.

Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.  
Uncover for about 20 mins or so on HIGH to help thicken the liquid.

Next, place slices of swiss cheese over the top.

Re-cover and continue to cook until the Cheese is melted.
Serve and Enjoy!
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Some Helpful Changes

You may have noticed a few changes to the blog in the last couple days!  All good, I hope!!!!

First of all, I am FINALLY categorizing my blog!  I just figured out how to do it and I'm totally geeked!  Please be patient as it is a work in progress!

Secondly, You can now subscribe to my blog by entering your email address on the left hand side of the page.  You will receive emails any time there is a new post on the blog!

Last, I've put my email address on the right hand side of the page.  You can feel free to email me with any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, etc. you might have!  I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Cabbage Casserole

If you like cabbage rolls, you're sure to love this very easy recipe that tastes just like a cabbage roll!  My grandma used to make cabbage rolls for us all the time growing up, but as she got older, she just couldn't do it anymore.  So, the Cabbage Casserole came to be!  I'm so glad it did!  This is a CHEAP, healthy and delicious meal for your family!  I can't wait for you to try it!

A little side note.....mine was pretty mushy, but I panicked and added a ton of water!  LOL  I later learned I would have been fine without the 5 cups I added!  LOL  (Live and learn!)  So, one way to prevent extremely soggy rice is to use brown rice because it holds up better in the slow cooker.  I only had white rice on hand, so I used it.  Soggy?  Yes.  Wonderful tasting, ABSOLUTELY!!!!

P.S.  This is a mainly vegetarian dish, but my grandma always adds the turkey sausage on top!  Not sure why, but it tastes SOOO good with it!  So, if you're vegetarian, just leave the turkey sausage off the top :)

Cabbage Casserole

1 medium head of cabbage, chopped
1 onion, chopped
14.5 oz. can diced garlic and onion tomatoes (if you don't have garlic and onion, just use regular diced tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups rice (I would use brown because it holds up better in the Slow Cooker, but I used white because I was out of brown)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (use the leftover from your bunch to make Tabulli later in the week!)
3/4 cup lemon juice, divided
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 10oz. package smoked turkey sausage links
3-4 cups water

In the Slow Cooker insert, place your chopped cabbage and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and pour 1/4 cup lemon juice over it.
(I used my 7 Quart for this....I don't think the 4 Quart would have held this amount, so you'd have to cut in half)

Next, in a bowl, mix the onion, diced tomatoes, parsley, rice, 1/2 cup lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

Pour mixture over the top of the cabbage and spread evenly.  Pour water over the top.

Lastly, arrange your turkey sausage links on top like so.

Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.

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