Friday, October 30, 2009

Crock Pot...Pot Roast

This one is for the boys. They all LOVE it. This is probably the first thing I ever made in my crock pot. Since then, the crock pot has become almost as important in my kitchen as our stove. I use it ALL the time and I have a feeling as the boys get older I'll use it even more when trying to juggle schedules.

So here is the Crock Pot, Pot Roast.

Whatcha Need
2 lb roast. (I buy on sale and freeze them. I always have one or two in the freezer.)
2 handful of carrots
4 potatoes cut up into quarters
1 onion cut up (for some reason on this day I forgot the onion.)
1 onion soup Lipton packet sprinkled over roast
3/4 cup Beef stock or water poured over roast
Seasonings...Salt, Pepper and whatever ya like.
(Sorry no pic of ingredients.)

Whatcha do with it
Throw it in the crock pot. It doesn't get easier than that.
Here is what mine looks like before it's cooked.


Set the crock pot on low for 8 hours and viola....ya got dinner.
(Don't go over 8 hours for a two pound roast)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Canadian Bacon Fettuccine Alfredo


I don't make this a whole lot. It's super easy and cheap to make...and it's a favorite in our house, but I know it's not good for us. I try not to serve it with bread and usually do a green vegetable instead. It makes me feel a little better knowing we are eating a vegetable with this super bad for us meal.

This is a great meal to have on hand at all times. I always have the Fettuccine Noodles and Alfredo Sauce in the pantry and Canadian Bacon in the freezer. It's great to have for the nights when I get home too late to make what I originally wanted or if we need to throw together something quick.

Whatcha Need
1 lb Fettuccine Noodles
1 Jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce. I usually stick with whatever is on sale.
1 Package of Canadian Bacon
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
Milk to make a rue. (Not Pictured)

Whatcha do with it

Cook pasta...while the pasta is in the water cut Canadian Bacon into bite size pieces and warm it up in skillet.

Pull Canadian Bacon out and set aside. Let's make a rue.
2 Tbsp Butter Melted + 2 Tbsp Flour + Milk to make a cream sauce...ya know the universal rue :o) It coats the back of the spoon (seasoned with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning)

Add the One jar of Alfredo sauce and Canadian bacon back into the skillet.
**My sister asked why I make a rue and also use a jar of alfredo. I use both because a jar of alfredo doesn't seem to go far enough for an entire package of Fettuccini and the rue makes it a lot richer and creamier sauce for the dish. **

Add the cooked pasta to the cream/Alfredo mixture

Season with Italian Seasoning, lots of pepper, and nutmeg ...Stir together

YUMMMMMMMM...we served with good ole Green Trees (or broccoli for those who don't have toddlers.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taco Dip

OK, I can't say enough about this casserole. It's been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. I've modified my moms version just a little. I've attempted to make it a little more healthful, but I don't know how well I've succeeded at that. I defend it's nutrition in that a little goes a long way and you get full pretty quick.

This is often a meal we have on Monday nights in the fall cause this goes great with a Beer and Football!!!!

Taco Dip

Whatcha Need...
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans (I get the kind with jalapenos added)
1 can re fried beans (this can easily be omitted)
Taco Seasoning
1 can of condensed Cheddar cheese soup (OK, I know this is probably terrible for you, but I've tried to make it without it and it's just not the same)
1 Cup shredded Mexican cheese
Tortilla Chips

Whatcha do with it
Brown ground beef and onion until done.
Add one packet of Taco seasoning (Omit the water it calls for on the back of the package)
Add Black beans and pinto beans to ground beef mixture.

Poor Beef/Bean mixture into casserole dish that has a very thin layer of crushed up tortilla chips
(Sorry no Pic)

Add layer of re fried beans to casserole
Add layer of canned cheese soup to casserole

Looks something like this before putting it in oven.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min.

Top with extra shredded cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with Tortilla Chips, sour cream and salsa.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Skillet

Here is another super easy meal to throw together. Really economical too, we always have left overs that Josh usually takes to lunch with him. I'm doing lots of economical meals right now since I'm trying to stock up our outdoor freezer and save money for when I'm off work with Jacob.

Whatcha Need...
1 lb chicken (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 cups of pasta
1 1/4 cups salsa
1 cup corn (I would add a bell pepper too, but Josh and Justin dislike them.)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese (didn't make it in the picture)

Whatcha do with it all...
Cook the 2 cups pasta

While the pasta is cooking cook chicken in big skillet, season with salt, pepper and McCormick Hamburger seasoning. Cook about 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

Add the 1 1/4 cup mild salsa and 1 cup of corn to the cooked chicken

Drain cooked pasta and add to chicken, salsa, corn mixture.

Stir in one cup of shredded cheese

This is whatcha get...
A yummy, quick, and filling dinner. Pretty healthful, not one of the best though. I know it's under 500 calories a serving though, because I rarely make anything that's over 500 cal a serving.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Chili Recipe

Josh was actually hesitant when he saw me taking pics of the food to post the chili recipe. He is a little protective of the recipe. I told him, if I die tomorrow don't you want to know how to make my chili? LOL!!!! So anyways here is my chili recipe, it's nothing special, but ohhhhh so yummy!

Whatcha Need...
1 lb ground hamburger
1/2 onion
2 cans of Kidney beans (don't drain the juice)
2 cans of pinto beans with jalapenos (don't drain the juice)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 big ole can of tomato juice

Seasonings, I'll be honest with you. I normally buy a McCormick "hot" seasoning packet then add additional spices. Most people frown on the seasoning packets, but I don't. So a "hot" McCormick Chili packet, chili powder, cumin, McCormick hamburger seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Whatcha do with it all...

In a big ole pot brown hamburger, onion, garlic...season with salt, pepper, and hamburger seasoning (I love that stuff.)

Add stewed tomatoes (you can't see them in this pic, but they are there) and all the beans with the juices.

Add in big ole can of tomato juice and stir

Season with the "hot" chili packet and then I add some add'l chili powder and cumin. Just a little, not a lot.

Stir in all the seasonings...the chili should now be a really dark red. Bring to boil then drop down to a simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Serve it up with some shredded cheese and some good 'ole corn bread.

I make chili a LOT during the fall and winter, I'm always able to get two meals out of it by freezing half so it's super economical. We are some chili loving folks in the Cooley household.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cowboy Stew

Since it's Fall I've been pulling out my trusty 'ole slow cooker a lot more. I made one of Josh's Favorite dishes, Cowboy Stew recently. This has got to be one of the easiest things to make. Really inexpensive too, I'm always able to freeze half of it.

Whatcha Need...
1 lb stew meat (I always stock up on London broil when it's on sale and cut it into big chunks.)
1 28oz can baked Beans plus a 16oz of BBQ baked beans
1 Onion
4 Medium size potatoes cut into big pieces
(For some reason I don't have a picture of all the ingredients???)

Whatcha do with it...
Cut onion and Meat into big chunks

Add potatoes...then season...salt, pepper, McCormick hamburger seasoning.

Mix it all together...

Add baked beans on top of Meat, Potato, and onion mixture.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours and ya get this.

And I promise you; if you have a meat and potatoes kind of guy you can get anything you want with the temptation of this dish. I often use this dish in attempts to get stuff out of Josh. Our conversations usually go something like this...

Me: "Hey Josh, want to go shopping this weekend."
Josh: "Ehhhh, can't your sister or mom go with you."
Me: "I'll make cowboy stew for when we get home."
Josh: "What time do you want to leave?"

Yep, it's that good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chicken Cesar Roll-Up

Winner, winner, Chicken Dinner.

This is one of my favorite meals. It's super easy, fast and everyone loves it...even the Bean!!

Chicken Cesar Roll-Up
Whatcha need for this dinner
Romaine Lettuce
Flour Tortilla
Caesar dressing (not pictured)
Parmesan cheese (not pictured)
I had an avocado that needed to be used up, so it was added.

Whatcha do with it all...
1.) Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and I dredge it in flour because it gives it a pretty crust. Season the dredged chicken with Salt, Pepper, and Italian seasoning.
2.) Cook chicken for about 10 minutes, or until done.

3.) While chicken is cooking, cut up a head of romaine lettuce and an avocado into bite size pieces. It's a good idea to throw the tortillas into the microwave to warm up right now too.

4.) Once chicken is done it's time to assemble (I know how easy is this!!!) What I do is layer Cesar dressing (I omit the dressing for the boys, they aren't exactly keen on Cesar dressing), lettuce, avocado, Parmesan cheese, chicken, and then just roll it up.

5.) That's're done.
(We usually pair with some type of rice...tonight I had a package of the chicken flavored rice.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Val's Spicy Baked Potato

Val's Yummy Spicy baked potato.
It's a microwaved baked potato. Once the microwave beeps, pull the potato out and open it all up, throw on some shredded cheese and jalapenos and put back in the microwave until cheese is melted. Pull the now cheesy potato out the microwave and add some bacon bits, ranch dressing, couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce and lots of salt and pepper.

Viola you have a Val spicy baked potato.

(If you want to make it with a little bit of healthfulness, add some broccoli.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Our Recipe Blog

This is a collection of my recipes, meal planning and how I feed our family of four (soon to be five) with one man, two boys (soon to be three), and me.

I try to cook healthful, but inexpensive meals. I’ll post my favorites here and then I’ll eventually turn it into a Blog Book full of our family recipes. I will one day give it to my boys so they can cook for themselves and eventually their wives and kids.

I have One semi-picky eater, Josh my husband. One very picky eater, Justin my oldest boy (3), and then there is Jackson (1) and me...we will pretty much eat anything.