Category Archives: Easy

Easy CrockPot Meatball Soup

This is easy, easy, easy and everyone ate it. Warning: It does take an especially long time to cook, so plan accordingly, as in start it in the morning.

16 oz. bag frozen fully cooked meatballs
2 (14 oz.) cans condensed broth
1 cup water
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with herbs, undrained
16 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. pepper
Parmesan, as a garnish

Combine frozen meatballs, broth, water, and tomatoes in a 3-4 quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or until meatballs are tender when pierced with a fork. Stir in the frozen vegetables, thyme, and pepper and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Serve and sprinkle Parmesan on top.

What did the family think? Everyone ate it. The kids mostly ate the meatballs and a stray veggie here and there, but no one freaked out so that’s good.

Where did this recipe come from? BusyCooks

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Stew/Soup, Super Easy to Make

Wheat-Free Banana Oatmeal Muffins

I have a kid who likes banana anything and everything…banana cream pie, banana flavored candy, banana bread and of course, bananas. I knew he would love these. I also knew he would probably be the only person in our house who would eat them, but sometimes you just have to bake something for someone because you know they will love it, not because everyone will love it.

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 single serving cup (or 1 cup) of plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar, applesauce, agave, honey…whatever you want to use
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 bananas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Place all of the ingredients, including bananas in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. PUT THE YOGURT IN THE BLENDER FIRST AND PUT THE OATS IN THE BLENDER LAST. (Very important to keep things from getting stuck.)

Pout batter into cupcake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

What did the family think? He loved them just as I knew he would. He had them for snack and for breakfast for several days. The rest of us didn’t have any.

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from Keeping Up with the Joneses and they got it from Dashing Dish.

photo from Babycenter

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Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Baked Blueberry Pancakes

We love to have breakfast for dinner and we also love pancakes, but pancakes seem to take forever to make. I also must admit that I was WELL into adulthood before I figured out the finesse of making a pancake that wasn’t burnt on the outside or runny on the inside. This recipe gives you the taste of pancakes without all of the standing around and flipping them. Put these in to bake and get the rest of your dinner or breakfast made while these are doing their thing in the oven.

1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp sugar
2 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Add sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Carefully stir in blueberries. Pour batter into pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean minutes.

Cute into squares and serve with butter and maple syrup just like you would serve pancakes.

What did the family think? Our youngest who absolutely loves blueberries by themselves doesn’t like them in pancakes, so these didn’t go over well with them. That said, you could probably just make this dish without blueberries.

Where did this recipe come from? adapted from Plain Chicken

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Filed under After School Snacks, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Lent, Vegetarian

Peanut Butter Granola

I found a new granola recipe that I have fallen in love with. I can’t believe I was ever afraid of making homemade granola. I guess I thought it would be too hard or too time consuming. I’m not sure, but obviously it can’t be too hard since I make granola all the time now.

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (I didn’t add this, but I think I will next time.)

Melt the butter and peanut butter together in a 3-quart saucepan.

Add the honey, vanilla and salt. Stir the mixture until it is smooth.

Add the oats and cinnamon. Stir until the oats are completely coated with the peanut butter mixture.

Turn the mixture onto an ungreased cookie sheet, or a large 9 by 13-inch pan. Spread the granola out evenly and bake it at 375° for 10-12 minutes. It will be brown and crispy.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Break up into pieces after it has cooled.

Transfer the granola to a sealed container. Add the raisins, if you are using them, when the granola is cool.

What did the family think? The kids don’t like granola and hubby won’t touch peanut butter granola. You know what I have to say to that? Good. More for me. 🙂

Where did this recipe come from? Hillbilly Housewife

Where’s the butter? I used the last of it in this recipe and the box made it into the trash before it made it into this picture.

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Filed under After School Snacks, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Pasta Sauce with Bacon

This is for all of you bacon lovers out there. We had this tonight and I have to say I liked it very much. The bacon gives it a smoky, kind of Tuscan farmhouse, type of taste. (No, I have never been in a Tuscan farmhouse nor have I ever been to Tuscany, but I imagine that when you go there you get to eat lots of yummy food and this just might be on the menu.)

4 slices of thick bacon, chopped (you can add more less, it’s up to you)
1/4 medium onion, diced
26 oz. jar pasta sauce (I used the garlicky kind.)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tspn cayenne pepper
Parmesan, to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the bacon, onions and garlic.

Drain the fat from the skillet.

Keep the bacon/garlic/onion mixture in the skillet and add the pasta sauce and the cayenne.

Heat through.

Serve over pasta. Add Parmesan.

What did the family think? Hubby and I were the only ones who ate this. Hubby said it was fine, but he would have rather had meatballs. I thought it was super tasty.

Where did this recipe come from?

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Filed under Easy, Italian, Pork, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Dinner in a Hurry, Part 1

School is right around the corner for us which means the pace of life is going to pick up. School all day, then violin or soccer or tae kwon do, birthday parties, homework and on and on and on. One thing that is super important to us is that we all sit down together to have dinner. It doesn’t happen every single day of the year, but most days we make it happen. Sometimes that means we don’t eat until late…like really late…but at least we’re eating together.

One of my time-saving tricks on these nights is to have the kids shower while I am making dinner and they just eat dinner in their pajamas…that way we’re getting two things done at once and they’re all dressed for bed before dinner even begins.

Another timesaver is making sure that everyone is helping out. Someone can get out the plates while someone else gets the silverware out. Someone can get the drinks ready while someone else gets out the napkins…divide and conquer.

I have gathered a lot of super quick recipes to share with you, but instead of giving them out all at once, I thought I would start us off with a sampling and give you some new ones as the year progresses. That way you’ll have some new ideas under your belt throughout the year without having to try and remember all of these recipes from all the way back in August when you’re trying to find a quick dinner in February.

First of all, we have a couple of “go to” quick dinners at our house. No recipe necessary, but I thought I would put them on this list anyways.

1. Breakfast for dinner: Eggs, bacon/sausage, some fruit and maybe some toast

2. Pasta: pasta with some salad on the side…super fast. We usually have some fruit with it too.

3. Hamburgers: we usually have hamburgers with chips (we LOVE Kettle chips) and some fresh fruit

The rest of the dinners on this post are Crock Pot/slow cooker dinners:
4. Tacos are a super duper fast dinner. We keep ours pretty simple with some taco meat, salsa, cheese and these refried beans.

5. Our kids love this CrockPot Lasagna. Serve it with some salad and some fruit and call it a meal.

6. CrockPot BBQ Brisket Sandwiches: serve these with some fruit and this make ahead cole slaw and dinner will be ready when you walk in the door.

7. CrockPot Ravioli Lasagna with some fruit and a salad and…voila…dinner.

8. Slow Roasted Crock Pot Chicken…this cooks the chicken and the veggies all at the same time. Serve with some bread and butter and dinner is done.

9. West Caribbean Crock Pot Chicken…this might be a little too adventurous for the eaters as your house. It’s really, really good though.

10. This recipe for CrockPot Hawaiian Pulled Pork is seriously one of my favorite recipes on this whole blog. Have it with some Kettle chips and some pineapple…so good! Seriously.

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Super Easy to Make

Camping Menu

We have been camping a lot lately and when I say a lot I mean twice, which is a 200% increase in the amount of camping my husband and I had done in our previous 13 years of marriage.

One of the first things I had to figure out when we decided to take on this challenge of camping was to decide what we were going to eat. I now have a menu that works for us, it’s pretty low key, and it’s one that everyone will eat.

Day 1
Dinner-Hamburgers or hot dogs
Bread and butter pickles
Wine for the adults and water for the kids

Day 2
Breakfast-Cereal or pb&j sandwiches
Milk or juice

Lunch-Turkey and cheese or pb&j sandwiches
Bread and butter pickles
Chocolate chip cookies

Snacks-Apples, popcorn, cheese slices, yogurt

Dinner-Grilled Italian Sausages on hot dog buns with marinara sauce
Bread and butter pickles
Wine for the adults and water for the kids
S’mores for dessert

Day 3
Breakfast-Cereal or pb&j sandwiches
Milk or juice

Lunch-Turkey and cheese or pb&j sandwiches
Bread and butter pickles
Chocolate chip cookies

Snacks-Apples, popcorn, cheese slices, yogurt

Dinner-Kabobs (I bought these pre-made and pre-marinated at the grocery store.)
Bread and butter pickles
Wine for the adults and water for the kids
S’mores for dessert

Day 4
Breakfast-Cereal or pb&j sandwiches
Milk or juice

You may have noticed there is a lot of repetition. Yes, there is. One of my goals when planning our camping menu was to keep it simple and to bring as little food as necessary and to have as few leftovers as possible so there wasn’t much to bring home with us.

I would love to know what your family likes to eat while camping. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It

Grain-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

These have been all over Pinterest so I had to try them. They were met with approval by 1/2 of our family. My husband would have liked them if he hadn’t seen the garbanzo beans going into them. Seriously. He would have never known… all you can taste is the yummy goodness of chocolate and peanut butter and there is absolutely nothing yucky about that.

1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup honey or agave
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.

Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky. With wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising. Bake for about 10 minutes. Yields about fourteen 1 1/2″ cookie dough balls.

What did the family think? They were good, but I thought they were best about two days after I’d made them and they were less doughy and more like a cookie.

Where did this recipe come from? Texan Erin Baking

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Filed under After School Snacks, Desserts, Easy, Vegetarian

Hummus, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich

Last summer, this heirloom tomato sandwich was my go to lunch. This week I discovered this sandwich. Since we don’t have any tomatoes from our garden yet, I had to buy one. (Which absolutely kills me, by the way. I have five tomato plants with green tomatoes on them. I need it to get warmer around here so the tomatoes will actually ripen!) Anyways, this is a tasty sandwich and great if it’s too hot to turn on the oven.

2 slices of bread {toasted or not, whichever you’d like}
Hummus [store bought or homemade]
1 small avocado – halved, pitted, peeled and smashed
1 tomato, sliced
salt + pepper to taste

Spread hummus on a slice of bread. Add smashed avocado and sliced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

What did the family think? I am the only one eating this yummy creation. It’s been my go to lunch this week.

Where did this recipe come from? Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Sandwich, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

No Bake Berry Cream Cheese Tarts

My mother-in-law sent me this recipe before the 4th of July. Yes, this would have been a perfect dessert for the 4th, but we were out of town. I meant to make it last week, but the berries kept getting eaten before I could make the dessert. So, I finally got around to making this last night…we had all of the ingredients AND the family LOVED this! It only made four and there are four of us. The kids wanted to eat mine. Sorry…I am not handing over anything that involves cream cheese and berries.

4 whole graham crackers (8 squares)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 cups mixed berries: raspberries, strawberries and/or blueberries

Finely crush graham crackers and divide crumbs among four small bowls. I used ramekins.

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar with a whisk.

Put mixture on top of graham cracker crumbs. Top with berries.

Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

What did the family think? We all loved it! Hubby actually hasn’t eaten his yet and he better hurry up or it’s going to be GONE.

Where did this recipe come from? KU Med Center

photo from KU Med Center

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Make Ahead of Time, Six Ingredients or Less, Vegetarian