Monday, December 11, 2017

What's for Dinner? Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Egg Noodles, Carrots



Recently at Aldi I got 2 barbecue-flavored pork loins and threw them in the slow cooker so we can have pulled pork tonight when we get home from Religious Ed class. I go with about 6 hours on low.

The cost of the pork loins was $11.13

Bread to turn it into sandwiches $0.85

I served carrots my husband had canned from our garden the previous summer. What price should I put on things we canned? It does take some money to make a garden and buy canning supplies once and reuse them, etc. I'm going to call it $1.00 per jar and we go through 2 jars. Let me know what you think on pricing this!

I also served egg noodles on the side $1.29

Half gallon of milk to drink = $1.25

Total for meal: $16.52

Total per person divided by 7 = $2.36 (of course, the 6-year-old eats less than the 14-year-old but it all evens out!)

UPDATE: Julia ate with us and there were leftovers so we are calling this divided by 8 = $2.07 per person plus leftovers for Mr. Kerrie for the next day!

I think that's a decent price but we can do even better. Don't worry ... I have a stupid dinner purchase coming up where I spent $5 per box on potato-encrusted cod at Aldi so I'll show you how I sometimes also can make a more costly dinner!!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookies Using Coconut Flour #glutenfree


I accidentally fell into these and now I don't want to make them any other way! I've had this coconut flour around the house FOREVER. I bought it a long time ago because I am a sucker for anything coconut. Coconut fanatic, that's me. But I never could cook anything with this flour just right. Until my accident.

I had made the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the package like usual. Then I remembered I wanted to use up that blasted coconut flour. So I tossed in a cup (normal cookies take TWO cups of white or wheat flour) and it got pretty thick. I tossed in a third egg and it seemed perfect. Baked those puppies and VOILA!

I later looked online to see that you use less coconut flour than regular flour, so I'm glad I didn't try to cram in 2 cups of coconut flour or we would have had some hockey pucks around the house to play with.

Here's the recipe:

1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks; I put them in a plastic bowl and microwave them for 30 seconds to get them soft)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I'm too lazy to pack it so I just toss in a full cup; seriously!)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut flour
12-ounce package chocolate chips

I do not mix dry and wet ingredients separately. This blog should be called THE LAZY COOK, quite honestly. My stuff always turns out great anyway. I put the things in the bowl in the order shown above and stir here and there, of course sampling it after the butter/sugar part YUM.

Toss in chocolate chips last.

I have this great little scoop that I use to make little balls on the sheets but you can do regular spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. I bake them about 5 minutes then smack them flat with a metal spatula or they won't fall down themselves.

Then I cook them maybe another 5 minutes but all ovens are different so watch them the first batch.

ENJOY! These are moist and yummy even if you burn them. Ask me how I know!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili #Healthy #KidFriendly

I will always remember making this meal. My friend Jill posted about it on Facebook and I wanted to try it. I got all the stuff to double the recipe knowing we would be roofing our house and would have help and company staying over. I needed something for the slow cooker to keep me from dropping $70 on Jimmy John's! We ended up having this the day after my Poppy's funeral, on a Saturday, and it was the PERFECT comfort food for that time.


Easy to assemble then walk away from for the day, it was just what was needed: me not having to think about cooking ... and being able to eat something yummy knowing I was serving something everyone would love. I have modified the recipe I found. There are lots of versions out there, so feel free to modify it even more! Keep in mind I have a massive slow cooker and 7 people to feed plus leftovers, so you might want to HALVE this recipe!


You will need:
4 chicken breasts
1 pound black or white beans (I like to soak my own and use them but you can also use 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained, or white beans if you prefer)
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes (recipes I have seen would call for 2, but most of my kids don't like spicy)
2 packages Ranch dressing dry mix
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup water
2 bricks 1/3 less fat cream cheese

Basically you toss everything in together. Stir the best you can but if your slow cooker is full like mine, don't worry about it. Set the heat for low and cook for about 5 hours. Check it after a couple of hours and stir it up. You'll need to poke on the chicken to get it into bite-sized pieces, but it should be falling apart after a while in the slow cooker or at least toward the end.

Garnish with avocado, cheese and cilantro and serve with tortilla chips!
Here's what my bowl looked like after I tossed in garnishes. I also served it over rice to get more mileage out of it. If you are watching your weight, fat-free cream cheese would be a great option, but I like to go moderate in most things and used low-fat.



I'm slowly working on this cookbook, which is the brain child of my friend Eva, who I have known since our oldest boys were nurslings. She's my Eva's godmother and a great friend and I want her to have a cookbook she can go to for all the busy sports nights she has! I also think it would be neat to have all my family's favorite recipes in one book and will be taking this one to print as well as Kindle. Coming soon!

In the meantime, please check this out!


Taco Soup Recipe #Healthy #KidFriendly #CheapMeals

I like to make this as a new-baby meal (Roxi's was a little late but I did end up finally getting it to her ... or was it a pre-moving meal?). Anyway, she has requested the recipe so here you go!


Taco Soup

2 pounds ground beef, turkey or chopped chicken*
Chopped onion if you wish
1 can Rotel (more if you like spicy!)
4 T taco seasoning mix, or to taste
1 package Ranch dressing dry mix
2 cans undrained corn
3 cans undrained chili beans (or you can use dry pinto beans that you precooked)
3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce (or more to stretch the recipe)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Avocado
Tortilla chips

1. Brown ground beef and onion and drain.

2. Stir the rest of the ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes.

3. Serve with chips and cheese and sour cream and avocado!

*(I like to put my chicken or ground beef in the slow cooker then add all ingredients later)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Lazy Shepherd's Pie Your Kids Will Love


This one’s “lazy” because it has no crust (which also means less preparation time AND fewer calories).

Ingredients:
Box mashed potatoes (even though this is faster, my husband is not a fan, so I actually peel, boil and mash about 6 medium potatoes)
1/2 stick butter for potatoes
1 Can peas, carrots, whatever
2 lb. ground beef
1 T. garlic, pinch onion salt, pinch thyme, pinch white pepper
2 packages brown gravy mix (yes, I DO know how to make real gravy, thank you very much)
Melt a couple of frozen zucchini cubes into gravy (or not!)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Process:
1. If you use real mashed potatoes, add at least ½ stick of butter and some white pepper. Otherwise, make the boxed variety as directed. Set aside potatoes. This morning I used heavy whipping cream because I needed to use it up. So these aren't lazy potatoes, they are heart-stopping potatoes!

2. Brown 2 pounds of ground beef in 1 T. minced garlic. Drain the fat and put the beef in a 10” x 8” pan, or whatever you have around. Add some onion salt and thyme and mix. You can skip the onion salt, but don’t skip the thyme! You need the thyme/time.

3. Cook one of the brown gravy mixes according to the directions, sneaking in a couple of frozen zucchini cubes, if you had a few baseball bat-size zucchinis over the summer, like I did. Dump the gravy over the ground beef and stir it around.

4. Open up a small can of peas or carrots or corn (or none of the above if your kids hate them all) and add to beef mixture. If your kids hate veggies, puree some and sneak them into the beef mixture.

5. Spoon potatoes over beef mixture.


6. Cook at 350 degrees for ½ hour.

7. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and cook another couple of minutes.

8. Prepare the other brown gravy mix and serve some over each individual piece of “pie”.

9. Smile to yourself that you snuck veggies into dinner!

By the way, I’m usually the anti-Martha Stewart, so if you have problems with this recipe, please contact her because she will know what to do.

Chicken Lasagna Recipe with Spinach and Cheddar Cheese


Make a few of these in advance and freeze them for a nice, lazy evening where all you have to do is pop the pan in the oven and turn it on.

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup frozen spinach or other veggie (thaw and drain)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese + 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
½ small onion, chopped finely and sautéed in a pan with some olive oil and garlic
1 T cornstarch
1 t. black pepper
1 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup (or mushroom)
1 cup sour cream + ½ cup mayonnaise
9 lasagna noodles, cooked

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine in a large bowl: chicken, spinach (or other veggie), cheeses, onion/garlic, cornstarch, pepper, soup, sour cream and mayo.
3. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and place a layer of noodles in the pan.
4. Spread about 1/3 of the chicken mixture over noodles and repeat twice more.
5. Bake for 45 minutes.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

At-Home Iced Coffee (Cheap and 1 Weight Watchers Point)


1/4 cup cold-brewed coffee (I love Trader Joe's but you can cold-brew your own at home even cheaper)
1/2 cup water
1 T half and half (I do not use fat-free)
2 T sugar free vanilla syrup
Ice

Mix the ingredients together and you have a little iced coffee!

You can double it.

You can change up the syrup flavor.

You can add more cream, less cream or go fat-free.

Customize it for your own taste!

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my book, The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook! It's available in print and ebook versions (free if you are a Kindle Unlimited member so you can try it before you buy it in print!).