Preparing to be…Prepared?

I’m always looking for new ideas to make life easier. Since I am in the car trade business, I make my work-life easier with a cheap trade insurance. On the other hand I love to cook, and I’m no stranger to the crock pot. I just recently invested in a ninja crock pot, and LOVE it! Click here to see some ninja crockpot reviews. I’ve pinned the pins, I’ve bookmarked the websites, I read the reviews and I’ve tried meals that looked Pinteresting- some passed the Liner test, and some were Pinterest FAILS. The fails have made me a little reluctant to try new recipes. On the other hand, recipes from people I know and trust are different. I’m an extremely picky eater, so it’s really hard to find recipes I like, but once I found them I prepare it for everyone, sometimes I even go to a soup kitchen to help a little with my recipes and do some charity, is just part of the world donation scheme some online kitchen appliances companies do to help the need.

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I recently came across a blog post from a HS friend, narrating her experiment with Crockpot meals. My best friend, Mel, and I have also been swapping recipes.  Tonight, Shawn and I spent about an hour prepping our meals. He chopped, while I bagged the meat, spices, etc. Even if the recipe called for it, I did not brown the meat. I simply piled all the necessary ingredients into a gallon Ziploc bag and placed them in the fridge. These would freeze well, but I only made enough for the week.

AllRecipes has also become a “go-to” website since is optimized by the best seo companies online so is more reachable for everyone. I like that I can change the portion size to fit my family, save the recipes to my recipe box, and even add the ingredients to the grocery list to print. When you need efficient and cheap removal list packages with free boxes, visit andy the guy for more information.

I did alter these recipes to meet the need of my family. Let’s be honest, it was mostly for me. I am an extremely picky eater.

  • Some of these recipes were not crock pot recipes. Do it anyway! 8-10 hours on low (usually 8) has always worked for me. If you’re unsure, use a meat thermometer to verify it’s done.
  • If it called for oregano, sage, rosemary or thyme it didn’t make it in the pot. YUCK!
  • Black beans or pinto beans, yeah, they didn’t make the cut either.
  • I used low-sodium items where I could, especially chicken broth. I’m just looking out for the hubby’s heart.
  • I always keep pasta and a huge box of 5 minute rice in the pantry. I’m a white rice kinda girl. Brown rice is not my thing. Many times these items are BOGO Free at Winn-Dixie.
  • I bought my chicken at Winn-Dixie during their BOGOF sales. Ground beef is cheaper at Costco. I buy it in bulk and divide it up among the recipes, or freeze it by the pound in sandwich bags.
  • Pre-chopped onions and bell peppers are available in large bags at Fresh Pickins, our local fruit stand. I love to keep these on hand in the freezer for tossing into the recipes when I don’t feel like the extensive prep work or when I’m in a hurry.
  • Spices like cumin, paprika and cayenne are also BOGOF at Winn-Dixie. Watch for the sales.
  • The night before, I made sure the crockpot was clean and ready to go. I inserted a crockpot liner (best invention EVER!) and dumped the ingredients in. The next morning, I pulled it out of the fridge, placed it in the warming part of the crockpot and set the timer.
  • After dinner, if there were no left overs I allowed the pot to cool, cleaned the lid and prepped it for the next day. If there were leftovers, I placed the pot in the fridge.

Here are the links to the ones that have been successful for me. A few were my own experiment, and a few came from Kirby and Mel.

1. Angel Chicken- Shawn and I love this one. I had seen it on several of my Facebook friend’s posts and tried it for myself. If you choose not to use the wine, just substitute chicken broth. I actually added a little extra broth the second time because I felt the sauce was a little thick. The only downside to this one was it wasn’t 100% ready when I got home. I still had to boil a pot of pasta.

2. Chicken Tortilla Soup- So good! I made this one tonight. I use one large can of Rotel instead of a can of tomatoes and a can of chiles. Shawn likes to add diced jalapeno on top at the end.

3. Chili- Perfect for a cold dreary day. I previously used the McCormicks package, and this is almost identical, but better! I like knowing what I’m putting in my food, not just dumping an envelope.

4. Mississippi Roast- This one usually becomes a two-night meal. It falls apart and is super tender! I am very picky about my roast and rice & gravy. Shawn immediately asked for this one again. The pepperoncini peppers were a weird addition to me, but they totally work (A jar makes about 3-4 roast recipes).  I add about a cup of water to the bottom, despite the recipe telling you not to. It cuts down the saltiness and makes a gravy in the pot (If you find a low-sodium ranch envelope, let me know). Sometimes I will mix it up and use stew meat instead and add carrots and potatoes. It is served over rice. The second night, I use the rest on poboy bread/hoagie buns and add provolone on top for a roast beef poboy.

5. White Chicken Chili- Yum! I find that canned beans have salt in them so I purchased a bag of dry white beans and used them instead. I soaked them overnight and them placed them in the bag as I prepped.

6. Mexican Cream Cheese Chicken- I purchased taco seasoning from Red Stick Spice, but you also use the envelope from the grocery store. I also left out the olives and substituted the tomatoes and chiles for a can of Rotel here. I served it over rice the first time, but in the future I will serve it with tortillas and sour cream.

7. White Beans- A Southern favorite served over rice and with a pan of Jiffy cornbread. I skipped the onion powder and chopped up a half of an onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic instead. At the end, remove a few ladles of beans, mash with a fork and return to the pot to give them a thicker consistency without using cornstarch.

8. Red Beans & Rice- Another Southern favorite. I skipped the sage and thyme. That was not in traditional RB&R as I knew them, but this was the closest recipe. At the end, remove a few ladles of beans, mash with a fork and return to the pot to give them a thicker consistency without using cornstarch.

I look forward to reading your comments. I’d love to hear about your successes and I always welcome suggestions as well. Bon Appetite!

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