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Monday, January 12, 2015

My friend. The Crockpot.

Ever feel this way? Me too! 

Feeding a family of 7  fast food after ballgames gets expensive (and old) and since we have three playing ball right now, there are a lot of nights when we have to eat dinner at 5pm (before a game) or at 7pm (after a game.) This is when my crockpot love comes in. I have a few simple recipes with easy ingredients to share with you guys that either
A. don't like to cook
B. just not home and need a quick meal when you do get home with hungry kids.

I want to say I am not doing this because I think I am a great cook or know better than anyone else how to feed my family. I do think that a lot of the time cooking isn't the hard part  of meal is the planning of the meals that trip people up.

 These dishes are usually served with rice, mashed potatoes ( try the Bob Evans already made ones if you really want a short cut. They are really good and super easy) or over toast/biscuits.

I have been thinking about doing this for a while, but here is the thing...I am not a very detailed cook. As in my recipes are a little more pinch of this and a pinch of that.. a blob of this and a glump of that. BUT they turn out pretty good even if they don't taste the same way twice. ;)  I am sure you will catch on to my dump and cook methods  and see a pattern emerge if you keep following along this post,

Sooooooo get your crock pot and your grocery list ready and tell Chickfila  & Micky D's you are not breaking up, you just need more balance in your relationship and lets cook!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

4-6 frozen boneless skinless chicken breast
3/4 cup of sugar
6 T of ketchup
2T soy sauce
1 t. garlic salt
1 can of diced pineapples
1 T of corn starch
Place your frozen chicken in the crockpot.  mix everything else up in a bowl except the pineapples. Add to the chicken and cook on low 4- 6 hours or all day. Right before serving, drain your pineapple juice into a cup. Dump the pineapples into the crockpot. Then mix 1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch with your pineapple juice. Mix well and pour into the chicken mixture. { If you don't want to use pineapples just mix about 1/2 cup of water with the cornstarch }  Stir and watch it thicken before your very eyes.

Serve over steamed rice and broccoli. If you eat a lot of rice and don't already have one, I would recommend you buying a rice cooker. I lived approximately 38 years without one and I am not sure how. It is used at least twice a week. 

Pork and Peas (This recipe was an accident because I didn't have the right ingredients on hand and had to substitute, but we liked it so much, it became a keeper.) ( Don't be afraid of Cream of Celery tastes nothing like celery) 

1 package of boneless pork chops
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 can of water
 Dump and cook all day. S & P to taste. Right before serving, shred the pork into the soup to make a meaty gravy. Serve over rice or over toast My side dish for this is usually with green peas.... Thus the name Pork and Peas. 

BBQ Chicken 

4-6  Boneless skinless frozen chicken breast
1 bottle of bbq sauce ( OR I cup of ketchup and 1 can of coke) 
Dump and Cook all day, shred before serving and serve on buns (if desired.) Usually paired with baked beans and slaw,

Beef tips ( Super easy, yet fancy enough for company) 

1 package of beef round steak  or stew beef
1 can of golden mushroom soup
1 can of water 

Dump and cook all day. Serve with mashed potatoes. Perfect with green beans, corn & rolls or biscuits. 

* You can double this one (or just use your leftovers) and..... 

Beef Stroganoff the next day 

save the meat and gravy from your beef tips. 
Add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, a few shakes of worcestershire sauce and a few heaping spoonfuls of sour cream. Heat together and serve over egg noodles for great beef stroganoff.

Italian Beef
I large beef roast or london broil roast
1 can of beef consumme'
1 package of italian dry dressing mix
1 package of Au juis mix
1 cup of water
Mix everything except the meat and pour over the meat in the crockpot, Cook on low all day. Slice or shred. 

My family likes as opened faced roast beef sandwiches. With toast or rolls, mashed potatoes and then the meat and gravy. You can also slice it and serve it as your meat with other veggies. 

SB Chicken ( SB is my moms initials because this is her easy recipe) 

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 family size can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 the can of water

Dump and cook all day. Shred the chicken. Boil and package of egg noodles and combine with the chicken for yummy chicken and noodles or serve it over rice. I usually serve this with lima beans and apple sauce. 

Taco Baked Potatoes  ( Perfect for a Meatless Monday Meal) 

Wash, prick with a fork all over and foil however many potatoes you need. Place them in your beloved crockpot. Cook on low all day. When you arrive home. Warm up a can or two of refried bean and set out taco fixings your family likes. Set up a taco bar with potaoes and fill the potatoes with yummy goodness. 

Meatball Subs

1 bag of your choice of frozen meatballs 
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Dump and Cook on low/warm all day ( Depends on how hot your crockpot is...I do this on warm because the meatballs are already cooked and low makes them overcooked and mushy) 

Serve on hot dog buns with Parmesan cheese. and usually with gator tots or chips and dip. 

Salsa Chicken

4-6 frozen boneless skinless chicken breast
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 jar of salsa

Dump and cook all day on low. Shred chicken. Serve over rice. Sides are usually black beans and corn. 

Roast with potatoes and carrots
Rump roast
10 carrots sliced
5 potatoes diced
1 onion sliced 
1 cup of water 
S & P to taste
Dump and cook all day ( if you are doing this for Sunday lunch, start the night before) 
Serve with green beans and corn

* After the meal, cube  or shred your leftover meat, dump the leftover corns and green beans in the crockpot with the main dish, add a family size can of tomato soup. Place your crockpot in the fridge and tomorrow take it out and place on low all day for some fabulous vegetable beef soup for dinner. Usually served with grilled cheese sandwiches. 

There ya have it!! 

10 ( maybe 11) super easy crockpot meals to help you out on days when you are simply not home until dinnertime. 


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