Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Super Easy Pulled Pork

This was JUST what I needed this week!  SUPER SIMPLE and SUPER EASY!  With only 3 Ingredients, seriously, how could you pass this one up?!

This was the perfect meal on Sunday for us and our guests!  There was plenty for 6 of us, plus leftovers for the 3 of us the next day!

If I were to make this again, I would cook with only some of the BBQ sauce and add the rest afterward.  I think it lost a lot of it's flavor and I like BBQ sauce!!!!!  I've fixed that below.  Also, we served ours on Onion rolls, but I think I would have preferred Kaiser Rolls instead.  However, serve yours the way you think you'll like it!

Super Easy Pulled Pork

3 lb. Pork Roast
1 Packet Onion Soup Mix
1 18 oz. bottle Barbeque Sauce

Place your Pork Roast in the Crock Pot and sprinkle with the Onion Soup Mix.

Pour half the bottle of BBQ sauce over the top.

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

Shred the pork right in the Crock Pot.  Add the rest of the BBQ sauce and stir.

Serve on Buns and Enjoy!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Week's Plan 3-27-11

Well, after eating pre-cooked, processed and restaurant food for 2 weeks straight, I'm pleased to say, I have a PLAN this week!!!!  I cannot WAIT to eat a home cooked meal!

Right before I had Gavin, my husband requested "healthier" meals for the week, so that's what I'm planning.  I'm making a couple dishes I made last Spring, but for most of you, they will be brand new!  LOL

Ella's 3rd Birthday is on Tuesday, so it will be her choice!  (I'm guessing it will be a Kraft Mac and Cheese night!)  If it were up to her entirely, we would just be eating "Princess Cupcakes!"

I am planning on making a 4th dish on Friday.  Yes, I'm feeling overly ambitious!  It's a Salmon Loaf Christa Torgl Lass suggested on Facebook.  Since many of you are probably observing no meat on Fridays for Lent, I thought this was a good choice!

So, here's this week's plan:

Sunday: Super Easy Pulled Pork

Monday: Healthy Chicken Chow Mein

Tuesday: Ella's Choice

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Szechwan Chicken with Green Beans

Friday: Salmon Loaf

Saturday: Leftovers

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Featured in Macaroni Kids Lake Orion-Rochester Hills!

I would like to send a personal "thank you" to Natalie from Macaroni Kids Lake Orion/Rochester Hills for featuring my French Dip recipe in her latest Macaroni Eats blog post/newsletter!

This is a local newsletter/blog that gives you fun and a lot of free activities/events you can do with your family (teens too)! She has giveaways as well!  Please check out her blog and if you're in Oakland or Macomb County in Michigan, please sign up to receive her newsletter!  You won't be disappointed! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, March 18, 2011

Announcing Gavin Alan!

Well, our little boy, Gavin Alan is FINALLY here!  He was born Sunday, March 13 at 8:38a.m.  He was 7lb. 3oz. and 19" long.  He is perfectly healthy!  We are both doing extremely well!  Ella is BEYOND thrilled to finally have her baby brudder here!  She tells anyone who will listen about him.  She's been mommy's helper since we've been home.  I'm definitely enjoying life as a mommy to two!

My husband got the nurse to forbid me from cooking for 2 weeks, so I'll be on a bit of a hiatus from posting recipes.  Please remember to use the tabs on the left to search for recipes.  At the top of some of the categories, you'll see it says "show older posts."  Click on that to find more recipes under each of the categories!  There are some oldies, but goodies!

I am still available on facebook or by email, so don't hesitate to contact me!

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy!

Gavin's Birth-day!
His first day home. 
Ella enjoying her new baby brudder in HER bed!  She was thrilled to have him in HER bed!  LOL
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Beef Stew

If only you could smell the goodness in my house today!!!!   WOW!  Most everything I cook in the Crock Pot smells WONDERFUL, but this smelled seriously AMAZING!  It tasted just as good!  My parents were here for dinner tonight and they loved it as well!

This is one of those dishes that take a bit of time to prep, so it might be better for you on a weekend when you have a bit more time.  The result is well worth the work though!  You won't be disappointed!

Beef Stew

1.5 lb. Stew Beef (I still cut mine into smaller pieces.  I have a toddler, so I like things to be bite-sized!)
4 potatoes, diced (you don't need to peel!)
4-5 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes
1 6oz. can tomato paste
7 cups water
6 beef bouillon cubes
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
2 bay leaves

Place all your veggies into the Slow Cooker.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and meat.

Add all your seasonings.

Add the water.

Stir and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours.
Serve with some yummy fresh bread!
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spinach and Mozzarella Stuffed Steak with Cabernet Sauce and Potatoes

I was SO excited to try this recipe when I saw Rachel Ray make something similar this past weekend.  I decided to try a "cheaper" version by using Bottom Round Steak that my butcher tenderized for me.  It didn't work out the way I had envisioned!   LOL  I will make this again, BUT (BIG BUT!) I will use the Flank Steak Rachel Ray used!  LOL  My butcher said it would taste totally different, and I thought to myself, "How would I know the difference?!"  Well, there was a HUGE difference.....the biggest being the Bottom Round was DRY!  Very dry!  Ugh!  The "stuffing" was really good though!  So, I will make this again, but with Flank Steak! :)

Spinach and Mozzarella Stuffed Steak with Cabernet Sauce and Potatoes

1 lb. Flank Steak (thinned in half ALMOST completely lengthwise, and laid out flat)
1/2 cup-1 cup fresh Spinach
1/2-3/4 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Butcher String (twine)
4-5 potatoes, sliced
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 cup water
1 jar Cabernet Marinara Sauce
1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Garlic Toast slices to serve Steak over!

First, cut your butcher strings!  It will make your life easier as you're working.  Mine were about 7" long.  Use your best judgement.
(I cut 5 at first and then ended up cutting like 4-5 more.  Cut extra just in case!)

Salt and pepper your steak.

Lay your Spinach leaves down on the steak.

Lay your Mozzarella cheese over the top of the spinach.

Next begin rolling your steak and tying it.
 Keep going!!!

Heat the Olive Oil in a frying pan.  Sear the steak.

Lay your potatoes along the bottom of the Slow Cooker and salt and pepper them.  Add the bouillon cube and water.
Place your seared Stuffed Steak on top of the potatoes.

Pour the jar of Cabernet Marinara Sauce over the top.

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

Untie and slice your Stuffed Steak.  Serve over Garlic Toast slices.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Salsa Ranch Chicken with Black Beans Leftovers

The leftovers were JUST as good as the original dinner last night!  There are so many possibilities here, but here are two options we went for!

My husband had it wrapped in tortillas.
(My tortillas were on the "old" side and they all ripped!  Grrr!)

I decided to go for the mixture over Tortilla Chips!
(It's what baby wanted, really!)

So, be creative!  Make those leftovers exciting!

Happy Slow-Cooking!
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Salsa Ranch Chicken with Black Beans

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This was seriously, INCREDIBLY good! It was SO easy to make as well, which is why it has now made it's way to one of my FAVORITE Slow Cooker Meals of all time!  I cannot wait for you to try this!  It was PACKED with flavor and so simple.  I can't say enough about it!  Because of that, I'm going to get RIGHT to the recipe tonight!  Mmmmmmmmmm......LOL

(I would like to give a special thanks to Mandy Beth Bryce for providing the original Salsa Chicken recipe!  I just changed it a tiny bit!  Thanks again Mandy!!!!)

P.S. This is great served in Tacos, Walking Tacos, on soft tortillas, or scooped up with tortilla chips!  YUM!!!  It would be a great tailgate recipe!!!!!

Salsa Ranch Chicken with Black Beans

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (or about 1 lb.)
1 packet low-sodium taco seasoning
1 packet dry ranch dressing
1 cup (or more) salsa
1 can condensed Cream of Chicken soup
1 can black beans, drained

Sour Cream and Shredded Cheese to add on top!


Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the Crock Pot Slow Cooker and sprinkle with the taco and ranch packets.

Mix together the salsa, Cream of Chicken soup and black beans.

Pour the mixture over the Chicken.
(I used a Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner to save on clean up time!)

Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Shred the Chicken and stir it in the sauce.
Serve over rice or on a tortilla
with some shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

This Week's Plan 3-6-11

First of all, can anyone believe I made it to 37 weeks?!!!!!!!  I know I can't!  Well, none of my family and friends can't, but here I am, pregnant full-term!  Never thought I'd make it!  I've had more discouraging trips to the hospital, but it will be all worth it in the end.  I know the end is near and I'm SO happy about that!  We are ready to meet this little boy!  I would like to thank each of you who have sent all your thoughts and prayers to me and my family!  They are so much appreciated!  I've felt the love!

We made yet another trip to the hospital this week.  I was having contractions every 3 mins and then by the time I got to the hospital, they spaced to 10 mins. apart.  DISCOURAGING to say the least!  The contractions are finally getting stronger, so I'm just waiting for them to get closer together.  I keep telling myself.....any day.....any day!!!  LOL

I get asked all the time what "liners" I'm talking about when I use them.  The disposable liners I use are called "Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners."  They are WONDERFUL and make clean up so much easier.  Here are some links to them....

I also get asked a lot which Crock Pots I use.  I own a Crock Pot brand 4 Quart and a Crock Pot brand 7 Quart.  Here are the links to my Crock Pots!

This week I'm planning on making 3 dishes.  The first will be either a stuffed flank or bottom round steak.  We'll see what the butcher recommends when I go tomorrow!  I took a little inspiration from Rachel Ray after watching a 30-minute meal episode this weekend!  My husband and I both thought it would be great in the Crock Pot!  I'm going to try and Vlog part of the assembly so you can see how to stuff, roll and tie up the steak.  I have to make sure my camera-man is available! ;)

I'm also making a recipe one of our facebook and blog followers suggested.  It will be Salsa Chicken.  Not sure I can improve this simple recipe, so I may be copying it exactly as is!  We'll see what happens! :)

The third recipe I'm going to make is Beef Stew.  There are LOTS of recipes on the facebook page from some of our followers!  I'm going to combine some and make a great hearty stew!

Here's This Week's Plan:

Sunday : Leftover Spaghetti and Meatballs

Monday: Salsa Chicken

Tuesday: Leftover Salsa Chicken

Wednesday: Stuffed Mozerella and Spinach Steak

Thursday: Leftover Stuffed Mozerella and Spinach Steak

Friday: Hearty Beef Stew

Saturday: Leftover Stew

Have a great week everyone!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Spaghetti and Meatballs

If you have the time to make your own meatballs, I highly suggest it!  There is really nothing quite like a homemade meatball!  I understand that you don't always have the time, but plan ahead!  If you know you'd like to use them in a recipe during the week, make them on the weekend when the rest of your family is just sitting around watching TV one morning!  I made enough meatballs on Saturday to freeze a batch and use a batch for the Spaghetti and Meatballs!  They were absolutely delish!!!!!

Ok, my step-dad makes Spaghetti and Meatballs in the Slow Cooker all the time.  It's probably one of his and my mom's favorite things in the Crock Pot.  My mom says it tastes like her Granny's Spaghetti and Meatballs, so I definitely wanted to try it.  I changed the recipe only slightly because I like tomatoes in my sauce!

As I was putting the ingredients into the Slow Cooker, I never thought about the noodles clumping together.  Well, they did.  My step-dad says to add oil and to give it a stir toward the end.  So, I'll include some oil in the recipe I post below.  I think if I had stirred this halfway through the clumping wouldn't have been so bad.  I easily broke most of the clumps up with a large spoon....no biggie really!  Nonetheless, this tasted really really good!  The noodles are more cooked than we usually like them, but they soaked up SO much flavor and together with the meatballs, it was awesome!  We're excited to have the leftovers tonight!

I again used a Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner to help ease clean-up!  I am in LOVE with these!!!!   You can buy a single box or a 12 pack!!!! 

TIP:  If you are in a pinch, just use frozen meatballs.  Don't beat yourself up!  You can make them when you have time and use them next time.  It doesn't make you a bad cook! :)

Spaghetti and Meatballs


2 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 cup Italian Bread crumbs
2 eggs
Olive oil to brown them in

1 lb. Wheat Spaghetti Noodles (they hold up better and are better for you!)
2 jars Spaghetti Sauce (I used Classico Sweet Basil)
1 jar water (use one of your Spaghetti jars)
1 14.5oz. can garlic and onion diced tomatoes (or whatever flavor your family likes)
1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil

To make the meatballs:
Combine all ingredients and roll into golf-sized balls.  
Brown them in hot olive oil on all sides.
Pour 1 Jar of the Spaghetti Sauce and jar of water into the bottom of the Slow Cooker.

Break your spaghetti noodles in half and add those to the sauce.
This is where I would add the olive oil so the noodles don't stick so much.  Give it a quick stir to move that olive oil through the noodles.

Pour your can of diced tomatoes on top of that.

Next, place your browned meatballs on top.
(Mine were extra brown because I added a real onion to the mix.  It's harder to keep the meatballs together that way.  Stick to just the onion soup mix!  They taste just as good!)

Pour the second jar of Spaghetti sauce on top.

Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.

Serve with buttered bread or garlic bread!
I added Parmesan Cheese on top of mine!
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Green Beans

I believe this will become a dish I will make often!  My husband and daughter both LOVED it!  My husband said the Sun-dried tomatoes are what "made" this dish!  Whatever it was, I'm just happy when everyone in the house is happy!  I had one bite just to see how it tasted.  I thought it tasted great!  Maybe tomorrow I can enjoy a bowl!  (My pregnant acid reflux is ROARING its ugly head tonight, so no dinner for me!)

This was my first experiment with the Philadelphia Cooking Cream and I think it went quite well!  I used the original flavor so I could add my own seasoning to it.  Please feel free to use what you feel your family will like.  I had a lot of requests to use the garlic flavor, but garlic flavored stuff and I don't always get along.  :(

This is a meal you'll want to make when you have a few extra minutes when you get home since it requires some assembly in the end.  To make things a little easier on yourself, prep everything the night before when you have time.  It will make the "last minute" assembly a breeze when you get home!

TIP: Don't buy the sun-dried tomatoes in the Ethnic section of the grocery store.  You'll pay an arm and a leg!  I found them MUCH MUCH cheaper over in the produce section, next to the pine nuts and such on an end-cap display.

Ok, here's the good stuff!

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Green Beans

2 large frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts (if yours are thawed, just cook about 2 hours less)
1 packet Onion Soup Mix
1 cup hot water
1-3.5oz. package of Sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly
2 large handfuls fresh Green Beans, cleaned, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 lb. Bow Tie pasta, cooked, drained
1-10oz. container Philadelphia Cooking Cream (I used Original, but you can use whatever flavor you like)
12 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Place your frozen chicken breast in the slow cooker and sprinkle with the Onion Soup mix.
Pour the hot water over the top.
Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 5-6.

Take the Chicken out and cut it into bite sized pieces.
Add the Green Beans and Sun-dried tomatoes and stir.

Let this cook for about a half hour so the Green Beans can become tender.
(If you don't have time for this, steam your green beans the night before so they are ready to just place in the slow cooker!)

While your Green Beans are steaming in the slow cooker, boil your water and make your pasta.
When it is done, drain and add it to the Slow Cooker. 
Stir in the Philadelphia Cooking Cream, salt, pepper and basil.

Serve and Enjoy!
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Free E-Book!

Don't miss out on this great opportunity!
This is a free download for a limited time.
Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can read it from your computer!
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