Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 16

I blame school. For everything. Especially my inability to post a blog in a timely manner. So, there you have it.

I know you were worried...

This recipe is really a no brainer. I love pulled pork sandwiches and don't really remember where I learned to make this. I just know that it's a favorite.

You will need:

1 pork loin or pork roast (I had this one in the freezer from a sale at Target)
1 bottle of barbeque sauce - any kind (I like KC Masterpiece)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon worstershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke (less is more - the stuff has some serious flavor)

Mix all of the above in the crockpot and place the pork in the middle of it. Cook on low for 8 hours and then shred with a fork. We like to eat ours on little hoagie rolls.

*For the record, I do serve most of these meals with a vegetable or two on the side. I just don't take pictures of them because it really takes a lot of effort to take the pictures I do take. If you know me at all that makes sense:)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Day After 15 and Before 16

In other words, I took a break today. I know I was going to cook in my crockpot for the next 30 days, but I have a pretty big crockpot and a LOT of leftover food. I want to be creative and prepare good meals for my family but I also want to be a good steward of our money and resources and I just couldn't make myself do it today. We had to eat through the leftovers before I could feel okay with making something else... I hope you understand. All three of you:)

This actually happened on a good day because blogger is being really crabby and is taking forever to upload pictures so the pulled pork barbeque recipe will have to wait to be shared for tomorrow.

"But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." 1 Timothy 6:8

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 15

Well friends, we're halfway there! So it seems fitting that one of my favorite eats so far would fall on this exciting day. I'm calling it Peach Pobbler. I thought it was going to be a pie, but it tasted more like a cobbler, so...

For this recipe you will need:

1 bag of frozen sliced peaches

1 pie crust

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 stick butter

3 tbsp corn starch

3 tbsp flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Cut a circle out of the pie crust to fit in the crockpot and set aside. Spray the crockpot with nonstick cooking spray or with Baker's Joy (oil and flour). Slice the remaining crust into little 1 inch slices and line the bottom of the pot. Mix the peaches and dry mixture together and place on top of the crust slices. Slice the butter and place on top of the peaches and then place the circle of pie crust on the top. I sliced a few places in the top so it wouldn't puff up too much. Cook on high for 2 hours.

Serve with vanilla ice cream (we love Blue Bell) and repeat over and over again "Oh my dang this is WONDERFUL!!!"

I think Finley liked it the most. You know, since he was licking the plate!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 14

So today I severely needed to go to the grocery store. I had planned on going yesterday but we got busy decorating for Christmas and I never really got out of my pajamas. I ended up making Chicken Alfredo Pasta in the crockpot the same way I normally make it in the oven - minus all the nasty clean up afterward. I may be a titch obsessed with the old gal...

The only thing you really need is some chicken and a jar of alfredo sauce. I really like the Bertoli Brothers (I think that's the brand), but I'm sure I got this jar on sale with a coupon so I used it instead. We aren't super picky around here. I placed frozen chicken in the pot and covered it with the jar of sauce. After about 7 hours I boiled some water, dropped in the pasta, mixed up a bag-o-salad and voila! dinner was served. I forgot to take an after picture so I just got up and told everyone to say cheese:)

They actually listened!

You should probably check in tomorrow to learn how to make a fabulous Peach Pobbler - that's what I'm calling it because I thought it was going to be a pie and it tasted like a heavenly cobbler. So, pobbler it is.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 13

Yesterday I was craving something sweet. And since we still had some Thanksgiving food leftover I didn't want to make anything big. So I made something small. But oh so delicious.

I'm calling these Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Apples. I'm claiming them because I looked up a bunch of recipes and came up with my own mixture in the end.

You will need:
6 apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg (to taste)
1/2 stick butter

Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Slice the apples. I used my apple corer and then removed the skin. Place the apples in the crock and coat with the mixture. Place butter slices on top. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Die because they are so good.

We had ours with a little bit of cool whip on top. I'm thinking of trying out some sort of apple pie in the crockpot next week with this little recipe. I also think these would be good with pancakes. The possibilities are endless folks. Just endless.

What is your favorite dessert?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 12 and a Winner

Today's recipe is one of my childhood favorites, courtesy of my mom and, well, subsequently, me:)

Red Beans and Rice:

1 onion
1 small bag pinto beans
enough water to cover the beans
Beef or pork sausage
a dab of crisco (yes, I realize I just lost some readers there, but I'm a southern gal through and through and I occasionally cook with crisco) I apologize...
2 cans tomato sauce (there is only one in the picture because I'm a goober - but I used two)
As much Tony's Seasoning as your mouth can stand

Place the beans in the crock, cover with water, add the tomato sauce and dab of crisco (I'm guessing there are a couple of tablespoons on that wooden spoon. I'm an eyeballer:))Sprinkle with Tony's. (I actually use so much that it covers the entire mixture.) Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours.

After 4 hours, slice up the sausage and mix it in with the rest of the goodies and cook on low another 4 hours or so. You may need to add water occasionally throughout the day depending on how fast/hot your slowcooker actually cooks.

Serve over sticky white rice, yes white, with cornbread or corn muffins (our favorite!). Sweet tea is optional although it actually isn't at this house. Southern remember?

Enjoy!!! I didn't get any after pictures because John was in such a hurry to eat and then I took the leftovers to my neighbors house... My bad.

Aaaaaaand, we have a winner! My neice pulled a name out of a hat, okay my sister-in-law's lap, on Thanksgiving Day.

Lacy!!! Contact me at meredithtemplin(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address and I'll put your Starbucks giftcard in the mail. Congratulations!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Today I am thankful for this man. My husband, companion, partner in crime in this thing we call parenthood. He is a good man, a hard-working man, an amazing father and the love of my life.

The only man you want to give your life to is the one who makes you hunger for Christ, believe in grace, experience the other-world love of God.

Ann Vonskamp

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 11

Today's recipe is courtesy of one of my besties, Laura! Hey Speerio;) Laura was my carpool buddy until I stopped working as much. A Sonic buddy and fellow Twi-hard there's not much we disagree on. She is definitely one of the world's greatest friends and my life is richer because of her. She makes the best homemade Queso, Eggplant Parmesan, and apparently, Beefy Noodles!

You will need:
1 package of cubed steak
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 4oz tub of sour cream

Cut up the steak.

*I feel like I need to share a tip with you. If you have an electric can opener, you probably have a knife sharpener on the back. Use it. Before you cut the meat:)I didn't know this for years and it was the source of a lot of unnecessary cooking frustration for me. Ha!

Mix the soups, soup mix, steak, and mushrooms in the pot and cook on low for the day. An hour before serving add the sour cream to the mix. Serve over egg noodles. Or rice. Or mashed potatoes. I have an oral aversion to egg noodles so I served it to my family over rice. I was going to make mashed potatoes but I ended up going to the Cheesecake Factory with the girls. And then we saw Twilight. Again. So I didn't have time to make mashed potatoes. The end. Of that story.

I promise you will love this recipe. So give it a try.

And this is the last day to enter to win a Starbucks gift card... so get on it!

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." Proverbs 27:9

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 10 and what good books have you read lately?

"Did I just eat a piece of pineapple?" These words came out of John's mouth during dinner last night.

"Ummmm, yeah..."

"It's good."

And that is all I needed to hear. I don't know if John will ever admit it but I think he secretly likes my little crockpot adventure.

Today's recipe, "Stuffed Peppers", comes from my friend Jessica. Hey Jessica! I met Jessica 8 years ago when I started working nights at a new hospital in Denver. Well, not a new hospital altogether, just new to me:) Anywho, she sent me a message with this recipe and it sounded like nothing I've ever made before so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm glad I did.

*These aren't your average stuffed peppers. In the past I've tried the peppers with rice and some type of red sauce and hamburger meat and they were okay but these peppers are delicious. Seriously.

You will need:

4 or 5 bell peppers (I used 3 green and 1 yellow and 1 orange)
2 cans of chicken (or the equivalent in prepared chicken breasts)
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1 jar pineapple salsa (I used Peach Pinapple Chipotle - it's all I could find!)
1 can pineapple tidbits with juice (I used 3 snack ones - I had them in the fridge)
2 packages of grated cheese
2 packages frozen rice (I cooked 4 servings of Minute Rice)

Now Jessica's recipe calls for cutting up the peppers and mixing everything together (except 1 package of cheese) in the crockpot and cook on low all day.Then place a some cheese over the top before serving.

I like how pretty bell peppers look when they are actually stuffed. So I cut up 1 green bell pepper, mixed everything together and cooked on low all day. About 30 minutes before dinner I washed and "gutted" 2 green peppers and 1 orange/ 1 yellow and put the mixture inside, topped with cheese and baked on 350 for about 30 minutes. I bought some tortilla chips and served the mixture on them for the boys and called them nachos! Win - win!

This is honestly different from anything I've ever attempted before but I'm glad I tried it because I feel a little fancier for it. Oh, and Jessica made this recipe up by the way so kudos to the creative people of the world.


Have you read any good books lately? I've been told that the Hunger Games are good and also The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. A few weeks ago I read Kisses from Katie and it was absolutely wonderful. Like a three hour read wonderful. And I've been told Beautiful Outlaw is also worth reading.

What books do you recommend?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters" Colossians 3:23

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 9 (and a pic of the burnt lasagna)

So there it is - the big nasty. OR the burnt lasagna. Potato pototo.

In case you missed my post yesterday, I decided to post each meal the day after I try it. This way I don't feel so much pressure:)

Today's (yesterday's) recipe comes from my friend Mary. I have worked with Mary at the hospital for years and she is one of my favorite people. In fact, she solidified that status when I found out she got kicked out of one of those bounce house places. With her kid in tow. Because she was being a smarty pants:) I also enjoy giving report to Mary in the mornings because she has an icy Diet Coke in hand and tells me it's her "drug of choice". Oh how I could listen to her talk all. day. long. She's a funny one. And now I'll stop going on and on about her because after these pork chops, my husband may be in love with her and I don't want to add any more fuel to that fire. For realz. About the love and the fire.

Mary's Yummy Pork Chops! You will need:

pork chops (any kind, I used bone-in because that's what they had at the Walmarts)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
a little bit of butter

Um, yeah, that's all. And it is so good. It makes the most magnificent gravy as it cooks all day.

In fact, John decided yesterday afternoon that he wanted to take me on a date. We found a babysitter and were going to go to dinner and a movie and just eat the porkchops the next day for lunch. I opened the lid to stir those angels and pulled out a piece for John to taste... and we ended up eating them for dinner that night and lunch the next day (today). They are that good. We were going to eat at the Japanese restaurant near our house and the porkchops trumped the fried rice. Darn you porkchops.

So, you know, just so you know. You know?

Put a little butter in a pan and brown the pork chops. (on a sidenote I'm not sure if pork and chop belong together or separately so I'm using them interchangeably because I can)I browned ours for about 30 seconds on each side.

Then place them in the crock pot. (again, one word or two? I don't know)Cook on low around 6-8 hours depending on how thick the chops are.

Pour the soups on top. Stir occasionally throughout the day. Sing Mary's praises for the rest of the evening. We did. And I hope you do too.

The end.

"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life..." John 6:27

*Don't forget to leave me a comment and be entered for a chance to win a Starbucks giftcard on Thursday. I've decided that anyone who leaves me a comment on any of the "Crockpot Challenge" posts will be entered to win, unless you tell me otherwise, in which case I may have to reconsider our relationship because you don't like free stuff.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 8

So here's the truth. Or some truths.

1. I promise I will post pictures tomorrow of the burnt lasagna and the most wonderful, easiest pork chops ever that I made today.

2. My phone, camera, computer essentially all hate me at the same time and I'm having issues.

3. It works out well that all technology has a conspiracy against me because it made me realize that it is cuh-razee to try and cook and blog the same recipe every day. This way I will be one day behind and I can put more time and energy into each post.

4. Okay that last sentence was a lie. School requires most of my time and energy, as well as two little blonde-headed boys, so my posts will still have the same amount of suckage each day. (possibly more, who knew?).

5. I saw Twilight again tonight with my sister-in-law. I know! It's a condition. I may need a therapist. Or medication. Or an intervention. Or something.

See you tomorrow and I'm going to tell you how a nurse named Mary's (super easy) porkchops can save your marriage... or something less drastic.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 7 (and something else entirely)

Go figure. I made two bad meals two days in a row.


This morning, I thought I would be really crafty and do something crazy like make lasagna in the crockpot with what I had on hand. I layered lasagna noodles, hamburger patties, garlic salt, marinara sauce and mozarella cheese in the ole girl and put the lid on. I HONESTLY thought I was going to blog about this fantastic meal we ate for dinner. Ha! Somehow, someone during the day turned the pot on high and by 4:30 I had a crockpot full of something awful. Terrible. Awful terrible ya'll. I did take pictures and I will post them tomorrow. I just wanted to get this on here so you will know that I did cook in the crockpot today but it was absolutely horrific.

In other news, I saw the new Twilight movie "Breaking Dawn". Let me just say that I, for one, am glad that teenage girls are in love with this series. Hear me out. Before you get all being in a codependent relationship with a vampire isn't healthy or romanticizing bruising/ pain associated with love is unacceptable, we need to look at the practical lessons involved, not the over-the-top ones.

1. Twilight tells the story of a boy and a girl who spend hours talking, excessively talking, and getting to know each other for who they are - the good and the bad. They accept each other. They develop a relationship through friendship, not jumping into bed with each other or groping each other through their clothes. Which leads me to my second point...

2. Twilight is teaching young girls that they are worth being pursued by a gentleman. Bella Swan is a clumsy, super-shy girl in the book. She isn't dressing provocatively or trying to jump into bed with Edward. She is intrigued by him, they get to know one another, and they fall in love. Contrary to the first movie, they actually develop their relationship over months (not minutes) and he doesn't even attempt to kiss her until the end of the first book. So there...

3. If you've stuck with me this far, congratulations!!!

4. Twilight is showing teenagers that it is okay to wait until marriage to have sex.

5. Twilight lets teenagers know that it is normal to have sexual feelings or urges toward someone you are involved with/dating/in love with, but the author has her characters show restraint; they balance each other out.

I could go on and on but no one really reads my rantings anyway:) My point is, yes there is a cheesy vampire/werewolf story involved and yes it is very juvenile in a lot of ways, but I think it is better for our teenagers to read this type of story than watch one episode of Teen Mom or the new 90210.

Is it super obvious that I felt really old watching that movie and need to justify why? Oh, okay, good then:)

*If you stuck with me throughout this entire rambling, nonsensical post (without pictures), leave me a comment to tell me what you think about Twilight and I'll enter your name into a drawing to win a Starbucks gift card!!!

(I'll draw a name out of a hat on Thanksgiving - seems fitting since most normal people are thankful for Starbucks.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 6

This is going to be a quickie... I've had a busy day and my hubby's plane just landed so the rest of my evening is reserved for the fam.

Today's recipe is courtesy of this blog. Again.

Cranberry Pork Roast
You will need:
1/2 lemon
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. dried mustard
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 pork roast
1/3 c. cranberry juice
*the recipe calls for some golden raisins too.
*I left those out.
*because it just sounds nasty.

Mix all of the dry spices and garlic together, rub over pork and then pour cranberry sauce and juice on top. Cover with the sliced lemons. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 until done.

Honestly? Not impressed. It was pretty at first but pretty food that doesn't taste pretty is ugly. U-G-L-Y.

I know there are plenty of people who would love this. Just not the person writing this blog thankyouverymuch. So, after cooking dinner all day I'm still hungry.

(Don't get me wrong. We still ate this. We just didn't really like it that much that's all.)

Good thing I have some cookie dough left... or I'd probably be mad:)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 5

Well good morning! And a good morning it is because I woke up to breakfast in crock. What's that you say? You had breakfast waiting for you when you woke up this morning? How? How can I achieve this level of greatness aunti won kenobi?
Don't fret little padawans... I'm going to tell you right now.

You will need:

2 cups of steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups of water
Toppings - the possibilities are endless. Endless people.
*Some of our favorite toppings are chocolate chips and bananas, pecans with cinnamon and brown sugar, berries with cinnamon and nuts, you get the idea...

Either line your crock pot with a liner or spray with nonstick spray, place the oats in the pot and cover with water, cook on low for the night. The best thing I have found is to put them in the crock early, let them soak, and turn the pot on before going to bed. Or, if you have a husband who stays up late like mine and gets up all hours of the night, have him turn the pot on around midnight-ish and they will be perfect around 7:00 am.

Like them, you will...

This morning I had mine with peanut butter chips (what can I say, I must've gotten crafty last year sometime because I cleaned out my pantry this past weekend and I found these peanut butter chips that I don't even remember buying) and dark chocolate chips and a big glass of ice cold skim milk. It was glorious.

May the forks be with you.

You're welcome:)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 4

Introducing Chicken Tortilla Soup (I just said that, out loud, in my best Gloria accent)

Then I said, in my best Gloria accent, "don't you give me and old tomato!"

And, FYI, this is where the magic happens:)

Sorry, sidetracked.

Today's recipe comes from my sister-in-law Melissa. Hey Melissa! She emailed me two recipes this week and one of them had me salivating and I actually had the ingredients in my pantry so...

You will need:

4 frozen chicken breasts (or thawed, whatever)
2 cans black beans, undrained (15 oz)
- I actually just realized this says 15 oz. I wonder what size I used?
2 cans stewed tomatoes - Mexican style (15 oz)
- Dang! Strike 2. I just realized mine are normal. No super angry mexican tomatoes here... hehe:)
1 cup salsa (I used Sprouts brand because it is pure deliciousness and it doesn't have any sugar...not that that even matters since I'm sure everything else does..)
And I used it because it was in the fridge.
1 can chopped green chilies/chiles? (4 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (14 oz)

(next time I make this soup I am going to put the stewed tomatoes in the blender for a few seconds... I think the kids will be more willing to try it without those big ole nasty tomato chunks in there)

Mix it all together in the "beast" as my friend Kim so recently called it (love it!) and cook on low all day. When the chicken is done, shred it with a fork and serve over tortilla chips. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream and green onions (optional as far as I'm concerned because I don't have any)(any green onions, that is). Freeze the leftovers! 3 of my favorite words:)

I had to include that last picture because it didn't feel right to leave it out...

So, here is what it looks like before you put the lid on. I didn't take a picture during the day because I actually didn't touch it all day. Score!

I'm not going to lie, when I took the lid off this evening I was a little worried. To be completely honest, this stuff looked nasty! I was especially concerned because while picking up my oldest from school, I invited another mother and her son over for dinner. You know the drill, "why don't you guys just come on over, we'll let the kids play... I have dinner in the crockpot so it's no big deal at all... I'll chill some wine", etc. etc. Then I took the lid off to shred the chicken breasts and my first thought was crap! I invited people over for a meal I've never even tried. But....

This soup? In a word? Tasty! It is like a little fiesta in your mouth. When I stopped myself to take a picture, my friend Nicole thought I was nuts! I told her what I was doing and she stuck her bowl alongside mine - you know - like a true girlfriend:)

We both ate every. last. bite.

And then I made cookies.

Because I'm a good friend.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Crockpot Challenge: Day 3

I had no idea that my fun little crockpot challenge would be, well, so much fun. I have gotten a few facebook messages with different recipes to try and they sound really good! So, if you have a recipe you think I would like or just want to be featured on my blog for my three faithful readers, send me a message to meredithtemplin(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thanks:)

Today's recipe, CrockPot Bacon and Cheese Chicken, is courtesy of this blog. I thought it would go nicely with our leftover Baked Potato Soup from last night.

Here's what you need:

2T Olive Oil (if you are using lean cut; if you are using fatty pieces - omit this)
6 Chicken Breasts (I used a 1 pound package of tenderloins - not frozen) but frozen works too!
12 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled (I probably ended up using 6 pieces, maybe 7)
*don't get me wrong, I cooked 12 but dang you bacon you are so delicious!
1/4 c. teriyaki sauce
1/2 c. ranch dressing
1 c. cheese

Line your crockpot, or don't it is really up to you. Drizzle the olive oil around the bottom. Place the raw chicken on the bottom. After mixing the ranch and teriyaki together, (go ahead, taste it, different but good right?) pour it over the chicken and then use a spoon to get it in between the chicken pieces. Finally, put the cheese and crumbled up bacon on top. Turn on low, pop the lid, and walk away!

I decided to cook mine on low for 7 hours. You can cook on high for 3 - 4 hours if you please...

On a little bit of a side note, I have decided this is the kind of cooking for me. I turned on my iPod this morning, put on my apron, sang my heart out into a cooking utensil and cooked up the bacon to perfection. Perfection people. How many of you can say that you have done this with your family in the house at dinner time? Exactly! This morning, there was no pressure. (and by pressure I mean a child or two harassing the other or each other, or an emergent I can't really get my pants buttoned and I need you to do it right now episode; seriously, at least once a week I get side-tracked, burn something, and John inevitably walks into a smoke-filled house, smiles, and says "I see mommy is cooking dinner.") Anywho, I cooked the bacon, and while it was cooling off, I washed the pan. The past two nights have made me realize that I enjoy dinner with my family more because there is less mess to clean up afterward. I wash a lot of the prep dishes early in the day (and by wash I mean rinse and put in the dishwasher) and after dinner, the only things to load in the dishwasher are the dishes we actually used.

Back to the actual food: the chicken looked different than I thought it would, rather ugly actually, but it tasted really good so go figure...

I served it up with the potatoes from last night - they aren't very soup-y today and some carrots.

But let's be honest, the carrots on my plate were, well, for effect I guess because you know I didn't eat them:)

*I love carrots. I just wanted comfort food tonight...

The end.