Monday, November 21, 2011

Just Curious: Any easy meals to help my pathetic self?

It's time for an utterly selfish "Just Curious" (because this is much more about me than you)!

While I take a lovely hiatus from fighting the Culture of Death (don't worry, I'll be refreshed for the battle again soon), I need your help with something.

As you are well aware, I am not a cook. I've analyzed why preparing a meal is so stressful and difficult for me in particular, and I have concluded that it's all about my utter inability to multi-task. The best way I can describe it is that I am completely linear in my thinking and in my execution of tasks. I am not spacial (as opposed to special, ha ha), and I think that most good cooking requires spacial thinking.

So, today I am going to coin a phrase and ask if you have any "linear meals" to share with me? I will make it easy and give you an example of a linear meal, one that we use at the Miller home. Please note the number of ingredients and steps:

"Amazing Beef"
(which we have dubbed "Spicy Beef")

  • Small roast
  • 32-oz. jar of pepperoncini peppers
  • Crushed garlic

Place the roast in the crock pot. Dump the entire jar of peppers and liquid over it. Add garlic. Cook all day on low.

The end.

Oh, I almost forgot: Serve over rice.

Okay, so do you get the picture? That's what I am looking for. I'm "just curious" if you all have any linear meals to share with me. If so, kindly put the recipe in the comments, which won't take long and will fit nicely in the little box, because it will be so short and linear, right?

Bless you!



  1. HI! I love to cook, so I hope that this is linear enough....
    1) boil pasta
    2) when pasta is just about done throw uncooked shrimp into the boiling water (do I need to mention they should be cleaned?) and cook until pink
    3) drain pasta and shrimp
    4) return to pot and dump a jar of pesto sauce in; stir.
    5) to make it "non-linear" (are we suddenly in the land of algebra - eek) - you can chop up some cherry tomatoes or grate parmesan on it.

    It goes well with a rather linear salad:
    1) prepare caesar salad from bag
    2) toss with can of boneless, skinless salmon

  2. I've always been a fan of 3 ingredient meals. The simpler the better, not to mention keeping it cheap!

    We just had a very simple meal the other day.

    1 rack of ribs
    1 bottle of barbecue sauce
    1/2 cup of spicy brown mustard

    Mix the barbecue sauce and mustard together; spread all over ribs. Throw in the crock pot on low for 4 hours.

    Then, if your kids and husband act like they don't like what you've made, you growl at them, "I've slaved over this meal all day!"

    They don't need to know the truth. :-)

  3. Okay, girls, I am liking this so far!! Very nice, very nice! Keep 'em coming!

  4. I'm more of a 3-ingredient breakfast person. Here's a scramble I love

    Chop up and fry 1 link of sausage, either Chorizo or Italian (turkey is good too if you're doing low fat, but you will need to add a bit of oil or cooking spray first)

    When sausage is browned, add a handful of (washed!) spinach leaves, cook until softish.

    Scramble two eggs, add, lower heat, cook to desired eggy firmness.

    When I was doing weight watchers this was a favourite quick, healthy breakfast, along with a fruit salad the total points value was 8. I think egg scrambles are the best things ever, they're not as laborious as omelets and you can make a complete breakfast relatively quickly.

  5. Santa Fe chicken! Dump all in crockpot for 6 hours on high

    Can of black beans
    Can of stewed tomatoes (Mexican style)
    Bag of frozen corn
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp garlic
    1 tsp onion powder
    14 oz chicken broth
    Salt and pepper
    Pound of chicken breasts on top

  6. Oh and I serve that chicken on tortillas with cheese or sour cream. So good :)

  7. Pasta with feta cheese and asparagus (Smitten Kitchen)
    1 5 oz. log of goat cheese
    Lemon peel (optional)
    1/4 cup Olive oil
    Tarragon (but Rosemary also tastes nice)

    Boil pasta in pot (spiral pasta). Just before it's done, add in the asparagus. Drain the two together, saving a cup of water. Pour olive oil over pasta, sprinkle herbs, crumble the cheese, add some water to the mix and toss it altogether. The heat from the pasta and the water will melt the cheese.

    "Insanely Easy Vegetarian Chili" - open cans and dump, some chopping of fresh veggies required:

    Chicken, lemon, potato and rosemary bake (
    Ingredients (serves 4)

    - 8 chicken legs
    - 1 lemon
    - 1 pound (450 g) potatoes
    - 10 cloves garlic
    - 4 tablespoons olive oil
    - fresh rosemary
    - coarse salt & pepper
    - glass of dry white wine (I don't drink so I use white cooking wine)

    Put chicken legs into a roasting dish. Cut potatoes and lemon into wedges. Add in the wedges and peeled garlic cloves. You can half some of the largest cloves.

    Add in olive oil, coarsely chopped rosemary, salt and pepper and toss until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Pour in a glass of dry white wine. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 40-50 minutes until tender, fragrant and beautifully browned.

  8. This may not be linear enough for you, since it is in two parts, but if it helps, I don't do both parts on the same day. The cranberry sauce (which I'm making today, by the way, for Thursday) can freeze REALLY well, so around this time of year, I double the recipe and keep some on hand for future dinners.

    Cranberry sauce:
    2 cups red wine (the drier the better, and has the added perk of not being an entire bottle, so you can have some while you cook. haha)
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups cranberries
    1/2 tsp each cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg

    Boil the wine and sugar together for 5 minutes. Add cranberries. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes (FYI : the cranberries will "pop" as the boil, so don't wear a white shirt).

    Remove from heat, stir in spices. Let cool. Can be frozen, or if you'd prefer...served over vanilla ice cream. YUMMMMM

    Cranberry pork roast:

    Throw a tenderloin pork roast into a crock pot. Cover with about 1 cup of cranberry sauce (see above recipe). Cook on low all day. Enjoy. We serve it, typically, with a side of mashed potatoes.


  9. I'm going to try Kara's Santa Fe Chicken AND Leila's roast with peppers! Thanks for the ideas (that I have now stolen from this post!). Haha


  10. If you're cooking with shrimp, be sure they're deveined or they'll taste gritty. I learned that the hard way. Deveining isn't hard, just slice into the shrimp gently with a knife till you can rinse out the 'vein'.

    My offered recipe is split pea soup. Just don't use a bad of peas that's been languishing in your cupboard for six months. It'll be full of bugs.

  11. Leila, you MUST get the following cookbook, you'll love it: Fix It and Forget It 5-Ingredient Favorites!

    Here are a couple of my favorites; I'll put them in separate comments.

    Roast Beef with Ginger Ale

    3-lb beef roast
    1/2 cup flour
    1 envelope dry onion soup mix
    1 envelope dry brown gravy mix
    2 cups ginger ale

    1. Coat the roast with flour. Reserve any flour that doesn't stick to the roast. Place roast in slow cooker.

    2. Combine the dry soup mix, gravy mix, remaining flour, and ginger ale in a bowl. Mix well.

    3. Pour sauce over roast.

    4. Cover and cook on Low 8-10 hours or until the roast is tender.

  12. Fruity Meatballs

    2lbs frozen meatballs
    1 cup brown sugar
    16-oz can crushed pineapple with juice

    1. Combine ingredients in slow cooker

    2. Cover and cook on Low 4-5 hours. If you're home and able, stir every two hours.

  13. Honey Baked Chicken

    4 skinless, bone-in chicken breast halves (you can also use thighs)
    2 Tbsp butter, melted
    2 Tbsp honey
    2 tsp prepared mustard
    2 tsp curry powder
    salt and pepper (optional)

    1. Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and add chicken

    2. Mix butter, honey, mustard, and curry powder together in a small bowl. Pour sauce over chicken.

    3. Cover and cook on high 3 hours, or on low 5-6 hours.

  14. The following recipes aren't from the abovementioned cookbook, but they are a staple in our home.

    Garlic Chicken

    2 teaspoons crushed garlic (I use more because we're big garlic fans)
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    2. Warm the garlic and olive oil (in the microwave, 30-45 seconds) to blend the flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish.

    3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

  15. Seasoned Green Beans (my brother in law, who hates green beans, loved these - even my kids will eat them! I'm making them as part of our Thanksgiving meal this year).

    3-1/2 cups fresh or frozen green beans (about 1 pound) [fresh are better]
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/8 teaspoon onion powder

    Place beans in a steamer basket; place in a saucepan over 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 7-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. In a small bowl, combine the butter and seasonings. Drain beans; add butter mixture and toss to coat. Yield: 4 servings

  16. Oh, and here's a really yummy and easy side dish from the crockpot cookbook:

    2-lb bag baby carrots
    1-1/2 cups water
    1/4 cup honey
    2 Tbsp butter
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper

    1. Combine carrots and water in slow cooker.

    2. Cover and cook on Low 6-8 hours, or until carrots are tender.

    3. Drain carrots and return to slow cooker.

    4. Stir in honey, butter, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

    5. Cover and cook on low 30 minutes, or until glazed.

  17. Taco Chicken:

    1/2 cup salsa, any kind
    1 package taco seasoning, any kind
    5-8 frozen chicken breasts

    Put frozen chicken breasts in crock pot. Pour salsa and taco seasoning over the breasts. Put lid on and cook on low all day. When ready to serve, chicken will shred easily with tongs. Serve with tortillas, shredded cheese, and anything you like with tacos.

    Makes enough for my family of 5 with leftovers, so I imagine it would work fine for a larger family.

    Jen in OK

  18. Here's one of mine:

    Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

    Chicken breasts
    jar of red sauce (whatever you have)
    chopped green pepper
    chopped onion
    minced garlic

    Cook all afternoon and shred chicken 1/2 hour before serving over any kind of noodles you have on hand!

  19. Chicken Bruschetta Bake

    stovetop chicken mix
    diced tomatoes
    shredded Mozzarella (I use a mixture of Italian)

    Cut chicken into small bite sized bites and line a large casserole dish. Season to taste. Cover with cheese.

    Mix stovetop with 1 cup water and can of tomatoes and cover the chicken with it.

    Put in the oven for an hour (I think I don't have the recipe with me. It is on the back of the stovetop box though!!!!!)

    YUMMY and it makes you look like a really good cook

  20. Leila... you crack me up. I am definitely a kitchen multi-tasker, but I will go through our family's "regulars" and see if I can come up with some recipes for you!

  21. We make your beef dish, only we put it on a sub buns with a slice of provolone. Serve with chips, and a beer if you're old enough.

    I found something similar to this on a slow-cooker website.

    Pesto Minestrone

    Toss 4-5 cups of what ever veggies you have, chopped if fresh, or frozen in crock pot (5-6qt)

    Add 4c of broth (veggie broth works great during Lent)

    add two cans of any type of beans (or two different types)

    Add one can diced tomatoes
    add 1 jar of pesto sauce.

    cook on low for 7-8 hours. Smells wonderful.
    And the kids eat their veggies.

    Serve with crusty rolls.

  22. "Cajun" Fish and Rice

    Saute diced onion, garlic diced, and bell pepper in lots of butter until onions are clear. Add fish (season with cajun spices), cook several minutes until done and flaky. Serve over rice.

    Voila! Proportions are totally up to you. You can't mess this up :).

  23. Roast chicken is surprisingly simple and not difficult at all once you forget that Julia Child used to make it. It's also a good way to get older children involved in the meal-making process by having them do the veggie-chopping or chicken-cleaning. Warning: the instructions look intimidating, but that's because of added commentary.

    -1 whole roasting chicken
    -1 head (not clove, head) garlic, halved
    -1 or 2 lemons, quartered
    -your choice of root vegetables, cut into similar-sized medium-large pieces (e.g. potato, fennel, carrot, onion)
    -half a stick of butter, melted (use microwave)

    Preheat oven to 425.

    1. Clean the chicken. Better yet, get a child interested in blood and gore to do it, just as long as they understand that they need to wash their hands very thoroughly. Place the chicken in the center of a roasting pan.
    2. Shove the garlic and lemon in the cavity of the chicken. If you can't fit all the lemon in the chicken comfortably, it's okay.
    3. Put the root vegetables around the chicken in the pan. You want enough so that you're not going to feel deprived of vegetables but not so much that the vegetables might fall out of the pan. It's all a matter of what you like.
    4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken and the vegetables.
    5. Pour melted butter over the chicken until it's thoroughly but thinly coated (you'll be able to see this point easily). Pour remaining butter on vegetables. If you're concerned about the fat, you can substitute an equal volume of olive oil instead. The fat keeps the skin from burning and the chicken from drying, so you don't want to leave it out entirely.
    6. Put the pan in the oven and let it roast for 15 minutes per pound of chicken. A four pound chicken roasts for an hour, a five pound chicken for an hour and fifteen minutes, etc.
    7. When the time's up, take the pan out of the oven and remove the chicken to a serving platter. Cover with aluminum foil. Put the vegetables back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Serve warm.

    Best part about the recipe: if you end up overcooking the chicken so that it's dry, you've now got all the ingredients for a chicken noodle soup.

  24. I shamelessly admit that I perused this post selfishly--I come here not with a recipe to share, but rather to steal all the recipes found in the comments. I'm bookmarking this post.

    Since I have no recipe, I'll share a tip I learned--lots of these recipes are slow-cooker or crock pot recipes--I recently discovered that the grocery store sells crock pot liners, so that you can just pull out the liner when the meal is done, and cleanup is a cinch.

    We were out of liners when we made roast last time, and the crock pot is still sitting on the counter in need of cleaning. I'm embarrassed to tell you how long ago it was that we made roast last. Use the liners. You won't regret it.

  25. Two easy chicken recipes:

    1. Sautee an onion (optional) and add 1/2 to 1 can or jar of prepared red or green Thai curry paste (usually in Asian section of grocery store) and 1 or 2 cans coconut milk. Throw in some chicken pieces (if you prefer you can cut up boneless chicken breasts) and a bag of frozen green beans or broccoli. Simmer till cooked through. If it gets thick just add water. For extra pizzazz, add a couple tablespoons brown sugar and a shot of fish sauce (again, optional). Serve over rice or rice noodles.

    2. Put some chicken pieces (skin on is better) in a pan. Melt 1/4 cup butter and stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Louisiana hot sauce. Dump over the chicken and bake at 425 for 45 minutes or until done. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes, or the following potato recipe:

    Boil potatoes (skin ON) till mashable. Drizzle some olive oil on baking sheet. Place potatoes on top and smoosh the tops slightly with a potato masher. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top plus some crushed garlic or green onions. Bake with the chicken for 20 minutes or until crispy.


  26. Pork tenderloin is about the easiest thing to make. Season, put in the oven on 350 for 45 minutes, and serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable. Meat n potatoes! I have a chicken recipe the whole family loves, and it came about 1 day while I was too lazy to grocery shop. You saute chicken breasts, sliced, with onions and peppers and dump a bunch of turmeric in with. Serve over rice and add shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream to the top right before serving...wa-la!

  27. Joanna's meatball recipe works great with bbq sauce instead of brown sugar...great appetizer!

  28. I just accidentally created a new chicken crock pot recipe. My husband liked it, so much, I made it again the NEXT DAY!

    about 1/2 cup of red wine (enough to just cover the bottom of your crock pot)
    same amount of water as red wine
    2 small onions diced up
    1 heaping Tablespoon of minced garlic (mine was from a jar)
    4 frozen chicken thighs (mine were bone in and skin on=cheaper)

    Salt and Pepper the whole pile liberally (be especially liberal with the pepper)

    Cook on low for 8.5 hours and enjoy over some rice or noodles.

    Note: other vegetables could be added if you want, like carrots, celery or potatoes.

  29. All the recipes on here are awesome. And the best part is once you get the ingredients ready, you dump them in a freezer bag and freeze until you need the meal, then use the magical crock pot for 4-8 hours and POOF! Meal, with no work!

  30. A few more ingredients, but mix it in one pot and it's super-easy:

    Corn & Sausage Casserole

    1 lb sausage
    1 can corn, drained
    1 cup milk
    2 eggs
    12 saltine crackers
    tater tots

    Brown & drain sausage. Stir in corn. Crumble the saltines by hand and add them. Whisk the egg with milk and stir into the sausage mixture, then salt & pepper to taste. Pour into a greased baking dish & top with tater tots. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until the tater tots are nice & golden brown.

  31. Here's another that has been a BIG hit in our family (I took it to a potluck and brought home an empty crock!).

    Beer-Braised Kielbasa

    3 pounds kielbasa, cut into ½-inch slices
    6 ounces beer, canned
    1 cup brown sugar

    1. Place kielbasa into stoneware.

    2. Combine beer and brown sugar and pour over kielbasa.

    3. Cover and cook on Low for 7-8 hours or High for 3-4, stirring occasionally.

  32. My easiest recipe! I make this all the time b/c it literally takes 5 minutes of prep.

    Salsa Chicken

    1.5 cups of Salsa
    4 frozen chicken breasts (boneless skinless)
    1 can black beans- drained and rinsed
    1 cup frozen corn

    Put all of the above in a crock pot at 10am. Put on low. Serve at 6pm.
    If you need to add more chicken up the salsa.
    Right before we serve it we shred up the chicken w/ a fork.
    Eat in large, soft taco shells. Serve w/ rice.

  33. Sarah's recipe reminded me that I missed an ingredient in my chicken recipe- black beans! Oops! You serve the turmeric chicken, onions, and peppers over black beans and rice with shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream on top.

  34. Dethaw chicken breasts in the morning before you sit down at your blog. :)

    Once thawed, add salt put in fridge. Go back to your blog

    Chicken breasts, egg, seasoned flour ( flour with a chicken or all purpose seasoning in it), lard

    dip chicken breasts in egg, dip in flour seasoning, fry each side on #5 (heat setting on stove) flip over. Dinner is served. :)

    I could eat this every single night. It's my go to meal about 3x's a week. :)

    And yes, you know I had to post this! LOL

  35. Buy this book for your "daughter" at University:

    It's my favorite Leila-level cook book. Great for newlyweds and college students.

    Seriously. The whole book is linear.

  36. Place 4-6 Boneless skinless chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover with swiss cheese slices. Pour a big can of condensed cream of chicken soup on top. Dump a box of herb stuffing mix on top and dot with butter (this is real Crank the crock pot for 8 hours on low. So good!

  37. Take the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Put it in the freezer. Six months later, take it out and throw it away due to freezer burn. Easy! No cooking at all!
    Oops. I guess that leaves you without a meal, though...not to mention being wasteful. Unfortunately, it happens at my house every year.

  38. "Pioneer Woman Cooks" is a great book. (Treat yourself!) Each step has pictures and the recipes are great. I am the same kind of cook as you. I make dinner in the morning whenever I can (crockpot) or at least I plan it in the morning. I only grocery shop once a week. I have several side dishes I rotate and then just switch entrees.

  39. These are great. I don't have much to add since all my stuff is kind of made up as I go. For roast I like left-over coffee (pour it on the meat straight from the morning's pot) and a sprinkle of Adobo seasoning. Makes a good roast.

    Needed the cooking inspiration. Thanks Leila and everyone!

  40. Dh and I just had this new-to-me recipe that has a few pluses:

    It's hardy and wintry and yet also perfect for a Lenten meatless Friday. Now, it's technically not perfectly linear but I have full confidence in your abilities to boil pasta, so I am not going to count that part of the recipe as a real instruction. :)

    *Mom's Pasta Soup*

    Part I: Gather and chop ingredients
    Part II: Cook and simmer ingredients
    Part III: Add pasta


    *1/4 cup olive oil
    *1 cup chopped onion (or on a really relaxed day, use those frozen, pre-chopped baggies of onions!)
    *1 TBSP parsley (dried)
    *1 large can red kidney beans
    *1 TSP dried oregano
    *2 cloves chopped garlic (or the stuff out of a jar)
    *2 stalks celery, chopped
    *1 can chicken broth (we use organic broth from a box)
    *1 8oz. can tomato sauce
    *1 TSP basil
    *2 cups water or optional: White wine
    *Pasta (preferably small macaroni shells)

    Cooking Directions:

    *Saute onion, garlic, celery and parsley in oil in large pot
    *Add beans, broth, tomato sauce
    *Add 2 cups water (or some ratio of water and wine... don't think you can go wrong here)
    *Bring to boil
    *Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil (taste test a little here)
    *Cover lid and let simmer for 20 min.
    *Cook pasta

    Serve soup over pasta in a soup bowl.
    Serve with garlic bread kids have made for you on the side. ;)

    Overall, I really want to get better at soups... they are good for you and everything is just in one pot. :)

  41. Um, can I just tell you all how much I am loving this?????

  42. Sounds like you need a One Pot Cookbook from Santa Claus! Those are great - put it all in the crock pot and go!

  43. This is the exact recipe I used today, and just about everybody was happy:

    Preheat oven to 425.

    Sprinkle a bunch of pork ribs with salt and pepper on both sides. Put on broiling pan.

    Stab a bunch of sweet potatoes with a fork. Put them right on the oven rack.

    Cook for half an hour. Flip the pork ribs. Cook for another half hour.

    Say, "Oops, I forgot to make a salad."

    Serve ribs with bottled BBQ sauce. Serve sweet potatoes with butter. Everything was yummy, the ribs were juicy, and nobody missed the salad.

  44. Meat: Beef, Pork, Chicken
    Lawry's Season Salt

    Sprinkle meat with Lawry's Salt and cook on stove top in a frying pan. Lawry's goes well with all meats, though I wouldn't try it on fish, and pretty good seasoner for mashed potatoes, too.

  45. One of your best posts ever, Leila! Keep 'em coming...I can use all the help I can get (just ask my husband about our "dinner" from tonight. Note: I am not adding a recipe!)

  46. Reposting, because I forgot the Cup of white wine!!! Add it to everything else: Place 4-6 Boneless skinless chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover with swiss cheese slices. Pour a big can of condensed cream of chicken soup on top. Dump a box of herb stuffing mix on top and dot with butter (this is real Crank the crock pot for 8 hours on low. So good!

  47. This recipe for Corn Pudding is awesome, makes an excellent side dish for bbq, steak, pot lucks, etc. I'm making it as a side for Thanksgiving this year. Very easy to do and my kids love it too!

    Corn Pudding

    What You Need
    1 can (15-1/2 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
    1 can (15 oz.) cream-style corn
    1 pkg. (8-1/2 oz.) corn muffin mix
    1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
    3 eggs

    Make It!
    Mix all ingredients until well blended.
    Spoon into 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
    Bake 35 to 40 min. or until golden brown.

  48. Here is another favorite of ours. It takes less than 10 min if you make instant potatoes instead of from scratch. We found the garlic in the potatoes was too much for the kids, so we just left out the garlic and topped with shredded colby, which was delicious.

    Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

    For the crock pot:

    6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick (or you could use chicken breasts)
    1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
    2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup

    Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

    For the Homemade Potatoes:

    4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes
    5 Tablespoons real butter
    1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
    6 cloves roasted garlic (directions are below)
    1- 1 1/2 Cups warm milk
    1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
    1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

    Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stove top over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consistency.
    Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot. I put a little parsley on top to serve.

    Roasted Garlic

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bulb of garlic with skins on, wrap lightly in tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from foil and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove garlic from skins, place in a bowl and mash with a fork until completely mashed. Set aside. One garlic bulb will have around 12 cloves.

  49. Needed to mention for the Ranch House Pork Chop recipe, if you use chicken I'd suggest checking the crock pot after 3 hrs on low. Mine cooks much faster than what most recipes call for, don't know why, but I always cook chicken for about an hour less than what the recipe calls for.

  50. The Kraft Brands Breakstones Sour Cream website has awesome recipes. I've found the Corn Pudding recipe (above) there, also Creamy Chicken Enchiladas is really yummy, and easy to double and freeze enchiladas either individually (by wrapping each enchilada in plastic wrap and a freezer bag) or freeze just the filling in one freezer bag.
    Here is the website:

    Hope this helps!!

  51. One more, 3 Ingredient Crock Pot Chicken and Gravy

    4-6 chicken breasts
    pour 2 cans cream of chicken soup on top
    sprinkle 1 packet chicken gravy (powdered) on top and mix lightly

    Cook on low 3-4 hours.

    This can be frozen as well. I'd recommend shredding the chicken a little while it's hot and mixing it with the gravy, then freezing in freezer bag.


  52. One of my faves "Bruschetta Chicken"
    In a bowl, combine 1 box stove top stuffing, 1/2 c. water, 1 14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained and 2 cloves garlic. In 13x9 pan layer 1 1/2 lb diced chicken breast, 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella, 1 t. dried basil.
    Cover chicken and cheese with stove top mix. Bake 350 for 30 min. yum.

  53. Okay Leila - here's a Cincinnati/German recipe that I had to learn how to cook when I got married: I just moved it from the big pot on the stove to the slow cooker!
    1 cottage ham (I believe the cut is rump roast everywhere else in the country!)
    snap and put fresh green beans in the pot - as many as you want
    fill with water to cover ham

    I start this in the morning on high - then later in the afternoon I add either the little red potatoes (that I don't have to slice and dice!) or I slice and dice Idaho potatoes and add to the mix for another couple of hours
    (I found that if you put the potatoes in early in the day - they turn to mush while the green beans are still crisp - blech!)
    You can even find the potatoes all ready for you in the freezer dept. of the store - Voila!

    I like linear meals, too!

  54. I am making southwest chili tonight and thought it should be added to your list! (living in AZ your PROBABLY already know how to make southwest chili but what the heck) With your big family you would need to double the recipe---

    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, cubed
    1/2 an onion, chopped
    1 can cannelini beans 19 oz(white kidney)undrained
    i can green chilies, 4oz chopped undrained
    1 cup chicken broth
    2 green onions sliced

    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp cilantro
    1/8 tsp ground red pepper

    First, cook the chicken in the olive oil in the bottom of the pot. Then add everything else and let simmer for a bit. Serve with...surprise! Rice or cornbread. So easy and delicious!

  55. I am taking notes on all these amazing crock pot recipes. Here's one my 13 year old can cook (and does.)

    Frozen chicken breasts (however many you need or want)
    Can of pineapple chunks drained (or 2 cans if you have a lot of chicken)
    1 bottle BBQ Sauce. (I use Sweet Baby Ray's...again bigger bottle if you have more stuff)
    dump it all in a crock pot cook on low all day.
    Serve over rice

  56. My favorite is roasted chilcken with sweet potatoes and onions. Buy a whole chicken, coat the skin with butter and salt and pepper (or olive oil and salt and pepper if you're no fun), roast for one hour at 450, then lower the temp to 400 and add to the roasting pan:

    4 cubed sweet potatoes, which you have tossed with 1-2 chopped sweet onions, 2-4 Tablespoons of honey, 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil, and some kosher salt and pepper

    Cook for about another hour, stirring the potatoes occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chicken reads done with an instant-read. Super easy, and if you serve it with a salad or broccoli it's pretty healthy. Also, I always use the leftover chicken carcass for chicken stock.

  57. Wow. That comment was absurdly riddled with typos. Most are self-evident. My apologies.

  58. Oh yeah I forgot to mention, we make your "amazing beef" all the time but when it's done we serve it in buttered and toasted deli rolls, topped with provolone, and dipped in the sauce. Perfect beef dip sandwich! Also, that sandwich kind of makes me swoon.

  59. Oh, I forgot one!

    Crock pot Curry Chicken (easy!!)

    6 boneless,skinless chicken breasts

    2/3 cup Miracle Whip

    1 (10 ¾ oz) can Cream of Chicken Soup

    2 T. curry powder

    2 T. sugar

    1 bag of peas/carrots (frozen)

    Rinse chicken and place in slow cooker. Keep in a single layer as best as you can. Dump frozen veggies on top.

    Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and pour evenly over the chicken

    Cook on low for approximately 8 hours. Stir gently before serving. Serve over rice or noodles.

  60. Bookmarking this post forever. One of my favorite - Ribs

    Boneless ribs
    Bottle of Chili sauce, then fill up half the bottle with water and dump it in
    Cut up green pepper and onion
    2 tbs of brown sugar (or just dump in a handful)

    Simmer on stove for about 3 hours til meat is falling apart. You can also do all day on low in crock pot but if you do it on the stove the sauce is a little thicker.

    Serve over rice with the yummy sauce!

    I usually do roasted broccoli or asparagus.

    Chop up broccoli, add olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few minced cloves of garlic. Roast around 400 until it starts getting crispy. SO yummy. I could eat a whole head of broccoli or a whole bunch of asparagus myself. But I hold back ;)

  61. Yum - Beth, we do the same thing with cauliflower and roasting it. Even my KIDS devour it!

  62. Okay, might as well add my simple roast:

    IN a large slow cooker, place:

    nice beef roast - whatever looks good to you

    sweet mini carrots (notice no slicing or dicing!)

    little red potatoes (again no slicing or dicing!)

    add water to cover the meat - however, prior to adding the water - mix half a packet of Lipton's dry French onion soup mix in with the water (use a whole packet if you like a heavy onion taste - I find that half a packet is enough)

    Cook on low all day long - should be ready by dinner-time! If you have any concerns, then crank it up to high for the last hour....

    Thanks for this post - I'm copying down a lot of recipes!

  63. Crock pot chili

    Brown ground beef (I'm not giving quantities, since your family is like 400 times bigger than mine, haha!)
    Put in crock pot. For every pound of ground beef, add a can of diced tomatoes, a can of red beans (drained and rinsed), a can of corn, half of a diced onion, and an envelope of chili seasoning (or a mix of chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and oregano)- cook on low all day.

    Serve with cornbread.

    The next day, serve the leftovers over baked potatoes, and sprinkle cheese on top for loaded baked potatoes.

  64. Oven fried chicken

    Get out an appropriate number of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the morning.

    An hour before dinner, put a TBSP of mayonnaise per chicken breast in a shallow bowl, and mix with some chicken seasoning. Coat each chicken breast in mayo, then in bread crumbs, place on parchment lined cookie sheet, bake at 400 for 30 mins.

  65. Variation on Hafsa's pizza idea-

    Use BBQ sauce instead of pizza sauce, add cheese, then use leftover bbq chicken (cut into chunks), then rings of sweet onion, and broccoli florets for topping. YUM.

  66. Tortellini Bake

    In a large pan for the oven, mix together- store bought frozen tortellini, a half cup of water, a half cup of half-and-half, cream, or milk, diced up ham (lunch meat is fine), roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and some olives if you're into olives. Throw some Parmesan cheese on top and bake, covered in oven until heated through, 30 minutes or so, then uncover and let Parmesan cheese get toasted.

  67. I remembered another: "Good Simple Soup" I got this from another blog a year or two ago. here is the url:

    The ingredients:

    1 cup red kidney beans (soaked overnight OR canned) (I must confess I used canned)
    2 onions
    1 carrot
    2 large potatoes
    1/2 cup pearl barley
    1 sweet bell pepper (or fresh hot pepper-optional)
    6 cloves of garlic (or jarred minced garlic--approx 1 1/2 tsp.)
    1 Tablespoon tomato paste
    1 tsp salt
    4.5 cups of boiling water ( you can also subsititue broth in here)
    salt and pepper
    seasonings to taste, suggestions from original blogger: turmeric, cumin, paprika

    Chop up the veggies any way you want.

    1. Saute the onions in a little bit of olive oil for 3-5 minutes.
    2. Then add boiling water and the beans. Let cook on med-high heat for approximately 10 minutes. (I frequently forget to boil the water first and it still works! Just bring the water to a boil first then time the ten minutes)
    3. Add carrots, potatoes and pearl barley. Let cook 5 minutes.
    4. Add sweet pepper, garlic, fresh hot pepper (opt) and tomato paste. 5. Add salt and spices to taste.
    6. Let soup simmer (med-low heat) until the beans are soft.

    It is a one pot, meatless meal. So easy and tasty!

  68. My gosh, there is enough here to compile a Bubble cookbook!!! Wow!!

  69. haha, that sounds like a fundraiser idea! ;-)

  70. Cornish hen:
    1) Thaw, rinse, toss in baking pan.
    2) Poultry seasoning on the inside, Lowry's on the outside.
    3) Bake at 350 for an hour (covered), baste, bake at 400 for 10 minutes.

    Stovetop stuffing optional.

    I do it all the time.

  71. Grace, Redemption and Peace!
    We invite you to put this blog the image of the Lady of All Nations and the prayer taught by her for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the world!
    "This prayer was given for the salvation and conversion of the world!

  72. Asian Chicken

    Add the following to Crock Pot.
    3-4 pounds Chicken (We use thighs)
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    2 Tbsp brown sugar
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp ginger powder
    optional - 1/4 cup slivered almonds to garnish
    about 5-6 hours on low
    serve over rice

  73. I need a crock pot. When I get one, I'l be coming back to this post.

  74. We made this one tonight (it's my crazy day of meetings and classes over here, so Wednesday is my crock pot night). It was REALLY good!

    Drizzle olive oil into the crockpot (I didn't measure - used maybe 2TBS)

    Cut boneless skinless breasts into strips (optional - or just use the whole breast).

    Dip into a bowl of one beaten egg.

    Dip into a second bowl containing 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Put the strips in a single layer in the crockpot. Top with a layer of mozzarella cheese slices and a jar of marinara sauce. Cook high for 3-4 hours or high for 7-8 hours. Serve over hot cooked pasta.

  75. Buy a rotisserie chicken. Or several, for your family size ;)... Slice it up. Serve with veggies.
    Lol I'm good right?!
    Ok I have a better one. Put sliced ham on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Put chicken breasts on top of it. Put Swiss cheese on top of the chicken. Take cream of chicken soup, mix with a little water or wine. Dump over chicken/ham. Pour pepperidge farm stuffing mixed with melted butter on top of all that. Cook for an hour. Serve over rice.
    I'm so lazy I don't even mix the melted butter in with the stuffing, I just slice butter across the top and let it melt when it goes in the oven hahaha!!!!!

    I make this recipe when priests come for dinner- it seems fancy but it's (secretly!!) easy. ;)


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