Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

This all stemmed from the worse case of the flu I've had in a VERY LONG time!!!  I knew I had to eat something with subsistence on day 2, but nothing sounded good.  Chicken noodle soup is JUST what I needed!

Obviously, I didn't leave my house for any ingredients.  I had everything here!  YAY!  I had celery pre-washed, peeled a few carrots, chopped a couple leftover onion pieces that were already peeled, grabbed frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts from my freezer, added some seasoning and that's about it!  Easy, easy, easy!!!!

Use whatever kind of noodles you like here.  I had some large shells, which were kind of fun for a change because they held in some of the chicken and veggies with each bite!  Mmmmmmm!

Ok, here's what you came for!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients: (Makes approx. 6 servings)
2 FROZEN large boneless skinless chicken breasts (you can use thawed and cut down cooking time)
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash original 
1 tsp. salt
2 bay leaves
1-1.5 cups uncooked pasta

Directions: (Use a 5 Quart or larger Slow Cooker for this Recipe)
Place your frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of your crock.
Add your chopped onions, celery and carrots.
Add Mrs. Dash, salt, bay leaves and chicken bouillon cubes.
Pour the water over the top.
Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.

Shred your chicken either by taking it out and pulling it between two forks, or like I did, by pulling it apart in the crock with tongs!
Turn your crock to warm and add your pasta about 20 minutes before serving.


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Monday, March 26, 2012

Vidalia Onion Chicken

YUM!!!!  Honestly, this was quick, simple and delicious!  I LOVE these kinds of meals.  No muss, no fuss!

Chances are, you probably already have some chicken in your freezer.  I had this Tastefully Simple Vidalia Onion Dressing in my cupboard, and probably always will from now on!  It was seriously EXCELLENT!!!!!  Sweet, smooth, spicy.....mmmmmm!!!!!  You can order it here.  There is SOOOO much you can do with it!  Personally, I can't WAIT to use it again!

We served ours over salad, but this would also be excellent all on its own.  We were in the mood for salad.  My daughter LOVED it!  Ate it right up!

You can make this with non-frozen meat and shave off some of your cooking time.  You can also make this with bone-in chicken of any type. :)

Vidalia Onion Chicken

2 lbs. FROZEN Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 cup Tastefully Simple Vidalia Onion Dressing
salt and pepper

Place the frozen chicken in the bottom of your crock and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pour the Vidalia Dressing over the top.
Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or on HIGH for 4-4.5 hours.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

A couple weeks ago, my friend Maria posted a recipe for Turkey Meatballs, made with rice and a pepper "infused" spaghetti sauce to go over the top.  It got me can I do something like this in the slow cooker?

Well, I took the SERIOUSLY easy way out of course!  Last week, Bell Peppers were on sale, so I picked up a few!  This morning, I was just about ready to get the kids in the car and it hit me......"Crap!  I have nothing ready for dinner tonight!"  (I went to bed early and didn't get anything prepped last night!)  I went to my cupboard, pulled out a can or tomato sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, grabbed an onion from my fridge and 2 bell peppers.  I chopped as quickly as I could, dumped the cans in, added some water and spices and then decided to crumble some beef in.  In 10 minutes, I had it all ready to cook all day!  Phew!  Crisis averted!

When I got home from work today, my house smelled amazing!!!!  I quickly added my rice and then took the kids out to play.  When we were done playing, dinner was ready to go!

This soup tasted great!  It was very much like eating a stuffed pepper, just in soup form, LOL!  The flavor was not overpowering.  It was very light and clean.  My husband and I both agreed that fresh garlic would have been great in this, but I didn't have any (or the time to chop it up the morning anyway!)

If you don't have time to wait for the rice to cook when you get home, make your rice the night before you plan to serve this for dinner.  When you serve your soup, scoop a serving of rice in each bowl and pour the soup over the top!  Problem solved!

I can't wait for you to try this!

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients: (This makes 6-8 servings) 
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15oz. can Tomato Sauce
1 14.5oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes
3/4 lb. ground beef (uncooked)
4 cups water
2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder (although a 2-3 cloves of minced fresh garlic would be better)
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1-2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup arborio rice, uncooked

Directions: (I used my 3 Quart Slow Cooker for this)
Place your onions, yellow and red peppers in the bottom of your crock.
(pretty isn't it?!)
Add the garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and water.
Crumble the raw beef into the soup.
Cook on LOW for 7-9 hours or on HIGH for 3.5-4.5 hours
45minutes before serving, add the arborio rice and give it a stir.

Serve and ENJOY!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

BBQ Ranch Shredded Beef Nachos - Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce

I am SO happy I accidentally came across the Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce facebook page!  As I was reading through their page, I saw that they worked with Bloggers.  I was ecstatic!  So, they agreed to send me a couple of bottles to try!  What a great deal!

A little info about Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce taken from the Country Bob's Website; "Country Bob's All Purpose Sacue is in a class itself.  It is more than a steak sauce, because of its unique flavor and the variety of uses.  You can grill, cook, and marinate with it, or put it in your soups, stews, baked beans, and your other favorite dishes."  This is a gluten free product!  

When this sauce came to our door step, my husband and I were anxious to try it!  We will admit, we are "sauce-o-holics!"  When we saw we could use it on just about anything, we were even more excited.  We tasted it........Y-U-M!!!!  We decided right then and there we needed to try it ASAP.  

On Thursday, I was running late for work, but needed to get something in the slow cooker for dinner.  Three things came to mind.....a frozen Boneless Bottom Round Roast, Country Bob's all Purpose Sauce and a dry ranch dressing packet.  DONE!

This was one of the easiest dinner's I've even put together.  When I came home from work, I had a delicious smelling roast waiting for me.  I shredded it, topped some nacho chips with it and added my own spin from there.  My husband snuck a taste before I served it and his exact words were, "WOW!  This tastes amazing!"  My thoughts exactly!  

Long story short, Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce will now be a staple in our house!  I can't wait to try their other products, especially their Spicy All Purpose Sauce!!  YUM!

To find a store near you that sells Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce, click here.

And because you are all SO awesome, I have 2 Bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce to give away to 2 lucky readers!!!!!  Scroll down below the recipe to enter!  Good Luck!

BBQ Ranch Shredded Beef Nachos

2.5-3 lb. FROZEN Boneless Bottom Round Roast (if you use a thawed roast, you can cut down your cooking time by a couple hours)
1/2-3/4 cup Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce
1 dry Ranch Dressing Packet

Place your roast in the crock and sprinkle the ranch dressing packet over the top.
Pour the Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce over the top.
Cook on LOW for 9-10 hours or on HIGH for 4.5-5 hours.

Shred your beef and place back in the crock.  Mix with the juices in the crock.
Serve over nacho chips, add cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced green onions, salsa and sour cream.
*Disclaimer: I was given 2 bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Now, on to our Giveaway!  To win 2 bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce, follow the directions below.  Please be honest and make sure you have done what is required.  I will be checking.  This Giveaway will close on Sunday, April 2, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. EST.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Baby Food - Beef

Making my own baby food is a must for me.  Especially since Gavin is our "last" child, it's even more important to me that I do everything I can while the opportunity is still there to give it to him.  Making my own baby food is definitely something I can easily do.

Not only am I providing my son with nutritious home made food, but I'm also saving a lot of money!

My husband helped me with my baby food  prep this week!  I made yogurt, peas and beef this week/weekend.  He kept telling me how awesome it was that I do this for our son and how much money I am saving us!  (You're welcome, honey!)  If I didn't have my husband cheering me on, I have to be honest, I'm not sure I could keep up with all I do!  It's nice to know someone recognizes and cares!

As for the beef baby food, it was INCREDIBLY easy to make!  You can use any cut of meat you want really.  I used a bottom round roast because it was the most meat for the money.  Season your meat any way you think would be best for your baby.  I used Mrs. Dash because it's a nice blend of spices and all things I normally cook with.

You CAN do this!  It's SOOOO easy!

Baby Food - Beef

1 1.5-2lb. Boneless Bottom Round Roast
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning
1/4 cup water

Place your roast in the bottom of your crock.  Sprinkle it with Mrs. Dash and then add your water to the bottom of the crock.
Cook on LOW for 7-9 hours or on HIGH for 3.5-4.5 hours.

Remove your roast from the crock.

Shred it a little bit and put pieces into your food processor.
Grind it into a powder.

Place about 2 heaping teaspoon fulls into snack sized baggies.  This is about 2 servings.
I stick them into my deep freezer and take them out as I need them.  I mix these with Gavin's veggies each evening.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Corned Beef with Cabbage, Carrots and Red Potatoes

I never in a MILLION years thought I would be saying this, but I LOVE Corned Beef and Cabbage!!!  Holy Cow was this good!!!!!   I've only had corned beef a few times in my life.  Only one other time do I remember enjoying it, and that was with a woman who was like my second mom in High School!  That same, lovely person, gave me her recommendations for doing this in the slow cooker!  (Thank you Debora!)

This was a GIANT hit in our house!  With Ella's first bite, she said "Wow! This is delicious Mommy! Try some daddy!"  She proceeded to clean her plate in record time and ask for seconds!  
This looks like she didn't enjoy it, but I assure you, this was a silly face because I got the camera out!  LOL!  When she doesn't want her picture taken, she closes her eyes.  This is her second plate full! :)  SCORE!
Gavin also enjoyed some Corned Beef, Carrots and Potatoes....
He just LOVES when I let him get messy!
Not only did my whole family thoroughly enjoy this dinner, but it was incredibly simple to put together.  The thing that took me the longest was peeling the carrots, LOL!  I put everything in the crock the night before and then took it out of the fridge in the morning and let it cook all day!

Since these are on sale at our local grocery store this week, I'll be purchasing a couple extra to keep in the freezer!  I can't wait to make this again!

Happy Early St. Patty's Day!!!

Corned Beef with Cabbage, Carrots and Red Potatoes

Ingredients: (Makes 4-5 servings)
1 3lb. Corned Beef Brisket (I bought a low-sodium one and I Highly recommend it!!)
1 head of cabbage
3-4 large carrots
24 oz. Baby Red Potatoes

Directions: (I used my 6.5 Quart Slow Cooker for this)
Place your brisket in the bottom of your crock.  It will come with a seasoning packet.  Sprinkle the contents of that packet over your brisket.
Cover your brisket with water.  (It took me about 4 cups)
Next, place your veggies on and around your brisket.
(I took a picture while you could still see the other veggies!  There was a lot more cabbage to add.....)
Sprinkle your cabbage with salt and pepper like I did if you wish!
Cook on LOW for 9-10 hours or on HIGH for 5 hours.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My "Recipe for Fun!"

One of the things I enjoy most is having fun in the kitchen with my daughter.  She's turning 4 this month and wants so badly to help me with everything!  I've found some fun ways to not only get her involved in the kitchen, but to get her to eat almost anything!

So, what's my Recipe for Fun?  My recipe for fun is to get your kids "decorating" their food!  Sometimes it's all about the wording folks!  By "decorating," I mean get your kids involved in making their food look just the way they like!  It doesn't always have to be about drawing "faces" on food (although that can be very fun too!)  Sometimes just putting out a lot topping options can be enough to wet the appetite of a young, opinionated toddler!  I know my daughter doesn't like me to tell her what she's having, so if she can "choose" from the options I've set up herself, she's a very happy camper.  

My daughter LOVES arts and crafts and making things look "pretty."  Whenever I tell her we she "decorate" her food, she's all for it!  Here's a picture of her "decorating" her Baked Potato Soup.
She had so much fun making her bowl of soup look "perfect!"

The other day, we had Cilantro Lime Steak Fajitas.  My daughter (almost 4 going on 15) announced she didn't like what I made for dinner......without even knowing what we were having of course. ;)  So, I slowly started putting out all of the fixings for our fajitas on the table.  After looking at all of the toppings, and me telling her she could decorate her fajita any way she wanted, she dug right in!

It doesn't always have to be a big spread to make "decorating" food fun!  A while back, I made Manhattan Clam Chowder for dinner.  Telling my toddler she was going to be eating clams doesn't sound very appetizing.  So, I pulled out those cheap and cute oyster crackers and a tiny bit of parsley.  I gave her a pile of her own crackers and she decorated her own bowl of soup with the oyster crackers and parsley.  And just like that, the soup was gone!

Last week, my daughter had a fever for 6 days straight.  She wasn't eating much at all.  One of her favorite foods is Crepes, (they are a thin French Pancake) so I made lots of them.  Since she wasn't feeling well, I did the "decorating!"  I kept it extremely simple. One day, I simply used a plate with the compartments to make a face.  The crepes were the mouth, the eyes were vanilla yogurt and the eye balls are little dabs of sparkly blue icing I had in the cupboard!  She loved it!
I switched things up the next day because she really didn't want to eat.  My daughter always wants to eat, so you know she really wasn't feeling good!  I told her she could decorate her crepes ANY way she wanted.  She said she wanted them to have faces.  Sad faces, to be exact!  LOL So, sad faces she got!  The crepes face is yogurt, the hair is mandarin orange slices and the eyeballs and tears are the sparkly blue icing again!

Now, what better way to clean up after having some fun with your food, than to use Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner?!  As fun as it is to "decorate" food, it can be a real mess!  Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner with the combination of cleaner and the disinfecting power of Clorox Bleach lets you spray away messy play. So no matter how big a mess you make of it, Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner Cleaner with Bleach can be used throughout your house to quickly and effectively clean, disinfect, and deodorize.

Clorox® has a great website set up!  The Clorox® Clean Up®Recipes For Fun site has lots of great ideas and recipes for having fun with your kiddos!  Not only can you gain great ideas and recipes, but you can submit ideas and recipes of your own there too.  

To celebrate the new Recipes for Fun site, Clorox has launched the Ultimate Mess Party Sweepstakes and they want you to clean up with prizes! Sign up for a chance to win $10,000 toward an Ultimate Mess Party, plus chances to win instantly every day. Just by registering or sharing a recipe you could win. And just for sharing your recipes for fun, you’ll get a coupon for $1.00 off Clorox® Clean-Up® instantly. You’ll also receive 10 extra grand prize entries for sharing a recipe! There’s more! Each day, Clorox Clean-Up is instantly awarding FREE Clorox® Clean-Up® coupons and $100 gift cards from a variety of favorite retailers to lucky users for just viewing recipes. Prizes are awarded randomly so good luck!

I hope you've enjoyed my Recipe for Fun!  Clorox is making it easy for you to gain some more recipes for fun as well, so I hope you will go check it out and enjoy cleaning up some messes with some Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner!  Remember, our children/grandchildren are only this young for a short time!  Enjoy each moment.  Cherish each moment.  Create your own Recipes for Fun!

*Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on this program, click here and see the Terms link. Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, March 4, 2012


We enjoyed eating dinner tonight as much as we enjoyed smelling it cook all day!  Often, I'm at work all day while my food is cooking, but today, I was in and out running errands.  Every time I came back into my house, the aroma was heavenly!!!!

It was kind of therapeutic chopping veggies today.   When I have extra time, I always end up chopping up extra veggies for snacks later.  That's what I did this morning.  This is a seasonal type soup, so there is really no right or wrong way to make it.  Add whatever veggies you like and that are in season.  I really feel Zucchini should have gone in my Minestrone, but I forgot to buy some.  No was still delicious!

This would be fabulous with some freshly shave Parmesan Cheese on top and a delicious loaf of buttered Italian Bread!  (It wasn't in the budget for us, but by all means, please indulge for me!)

If you are Vegetarian, swap out Vegetable bouillon cubes for the chicken ones.  We don't buy them because we don't use them.


Ingredients: (Makes 8-10 servings)
1 15.5. oz. can kidney beans, drained
1 15.5. oz can Northern Beans, drained
1 14.5 oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
3-4 carrots, sliced into rounds
3-4 stalk celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 hand fulls green beans, ends snapped off and broken/cut into bite-sized pieces
4 Cups Water
4 Chicken (or Vegetable) Bouillon Cubes
2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. basil
2 bay leaves
1-2 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Pour the kidney and northern beans into the bottom of your crock.
Add the carrots, celery and onions.
Add the green beans.
Pour the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes on top.
Add the water, bouillon cubes, garlic powder, basil, bay leaves, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Give it a stir,
Cook on LOW for 7-10 hours or on HIGH for 3.5-5 hours.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Cilantro Lime Steak Fajitas

It was fate really.  I was doing my very minimalistic grocery shopping for the week, (because we're still on a money diet and buying as little as possible) when I saw a halo of light glowing around a can of tomatoes that read "Mexican Lime Cilantro Tomatoes."  ♪♫Ahhhhhhhhhhhh......♪♫ (that's the sound of Angels singing by the way)

And so, like that, Cilantro Lime Steak Fajitas were born!  I already had steak in my cart, but I was going to go an Asian route until I saw those blessed tomatoes.  Oh, happy day!  The rest, is history really.  The steak and tomatoes met in my slow cooker, they cooked all day together and came out fabulous!

Have fun with your fajita toppings!  I picked up some sour cream and avocados, but the only kind of cheese I had in the house was Mozarella.....sounds weird I know, but it was good.  I highly suggest the avocados with this!  Mmmmmmmm!!!!

Set your toppings up buffet style like we did and let your kids decorate their own fajita.  I did that for Ella (but she was still feverish and didn't end up eating dinner....again, poor kid!) to try and entice her. When she's feeling well, she's all over that!

Here's the main event folks:

Cilantro Lime Steak Fajitas

Ingredients: (Makes 6-8 servings)
1.5-2 lb. Top Round Boneless Steak
10 oz. can Ro-Tel Mexican Lime Cilantro Tomatoes
1 small onion, halved and sliced
(optional) 1 Tbsp. Cilantro
(optional) 2 Tbsp. Lime Juice

Place your steak at the bottom of your crock.
Pour your can of Ro-Tel Mexican Lime Cilantro Tomatoes over the top.
Place your onions over the top.
This is where you can either start cooking your fajitas, or add the optional extra cilantro and lime juice.
Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or on HIGH for 3-3.5 hours.
Shred your steak right in your crock and mix it with all your yummy lime/cilantro/tomato deliciousness!

Set out all your ingredients buffet style, assemble and enjoy!

*I am not affiliated with Ro-Tel Tomatoes, nor did I receive any type of compensation for this post.  I bought the tomatoes with my own money and created the recipe of my own free will.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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