Crockpot Steak and Gravy

25 07 2014

Even though it is summer it seems like things have been crazier than ever and getting dinner ready can be a challenge some nights. Swim team practice and swim lessons in the evenings means we aren’t getting home till dinner and after setting on a pool deck in 105 degree weather the last thing I want to do is make dinner. That is why I love my crockpot, get everything ready in the morning and come home to dinner cooked in the evening. Also great in the summer because it doesn’t heat up your house like the stove or oven do.

FFR Steak and Gravy

Now our family has lots of favorite Crock Pot meals like Crock Pot Beef Pot Roast, Crock Pot Black Bean and Corn Chicken, and Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwich’s. Sometimes you need something new and something even easier than the others. That is why I was super excited to find this recipe over at Favorite Family Recipes. It only has 3 ingredients if you don’t count water and it was so easy I think my 7 year old could of pulled together dinner. Whip up some of The Pioneer Woman’s Mashed potatoes and dinner is served!


Crockpot Steak and Gravy

~ 2-3 lbs top sirloin steak or London broil, sliced think

~ 2 packets brown gravy mix

~ 1 packet Au Jus mix

~ 2 1/2 cups water

Place all ingredients in crockpot. Cook 8-10 hours on low. Serve over rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes.

One Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls

23 07 2014

I don’t know about you but I love when I meal cooks in one pot, that means less dishes and a faster clean up! Plus for me it seems like dinner is a bit easier when I am only dealing with one pot or pan. Things don’t get burnt and everything is done at the same time. So I was super excited to find this recipe while I was wasting time on pinterest. It was over at No.2pencil and a great find!

One-Pan Chicken Burrito Bowls

Super simple to throw together for a tasty weeknight dinner. Plus there was enough left over for dinner the next night!


One-Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls

~ 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used chicken thighs since that was what I had on hand), diced into bite sized pieces

~ 3 Tbsp. olive oil

~ 1 small yellow onion diced

~ 1 cup of uncooked rice

~ 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, drained

~ 1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

~ 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

~ 1/2 tsp. chili powder

~ 1 tsp. cumin

~ 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth

~ 2 cups shredded cheese

~ salt and pepper

~ fresh diced tomatoes

~ diced green onions

~ sour cream

~ guacamole


1. Start by sauteing onions in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until they start to soften.

2. Season diced chicken with 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper. I used some cilantro lime salt I got from a friend, it was amazing!

3. Add chicken to pan and cook over medium high heat until chicken has started to brown.

4. Move chicken to one side of pan, in the other side of the pan add an additional Tbsp. olive oil and saute uncooked rice for about 2 minutes or just until some grains start to turn brown.

5. Stir in black beans, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin.

6. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low.

7. Cook about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

8. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

9. Sprinkle with cheese, recover and let set for 2-3 minutes off of the heat to melt the cheese.

10. Garnish with fresh tomatoes, green onions, sour cream and guacamole.


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One Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

4 02 2013

So in my house we eat a lot of chicken. I really don’t have a reason for why we do, seems that everyone likes it and doesn’t cry or complain to much when I serve it. I especially like to find good chicken recipes that I can make extra and then use it on top of my salad for the next few days. This turned out to be one of those recipes. It was really simple to make and I pretty much always have the ingredients in my house so extra bonus not to mention the kids ate it! I hope it is a hit in your house to.

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

~ 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

~ 4 garlic cloves, minced

~ 4 Tbsp. brown sugar

~ 3 tsp. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and lightly grease a casserole dish.

2. In a small saute pan, saute garlic with olive oil until tender.

3. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.

4. Place chicken breasts in prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.

5. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes or until juices run clear.

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Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

14 01 2013

A good meatball recipe is great to have especially if it makes a lot. You can freeze them and add them to pasta sauce and spaghetti for a quick week night dinner, throw them in some minestrone soup, or even make meatball subs.

What I like about this recipe is that it uses ground turkey which is leaner. Also I could buy this at Costco and freeze what I didn’t use in this recipe for another recipe. The other great thing is that it used spinach, which when you have children trying to get veggies in them is sometimes hard. So if you had Spaghetti and Meatballs they would get a dose of veggies and probably not even know it.

I found this recipe over at home cooking memories. It makes around 40 meatballs but you can cut the recipe in half if you don’t want as many or freeze the ones that you don’t use once they are cooked. You can also use frozen spinach or if you have a bundle of fresh stuff, just sauté it down and it is the same as having a package of frozen stuff. Lots of ways to make this recipe fit your family!

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

~ 2 Tbsp. olive oil

~ 1 large onion, chopped

~ 2 garlic cloves, chopped

~ 1 tsp. salt

~ 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

~ 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

~ 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

~ 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to your taste)

~ 16 oz. frozen chopped spinach (defrosted, drained, and squeezed to remove excess water)

~ 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

~ 1/3 cup chicken broth

~ 2 1/2 lbs. ground turkey

~ 3/4 cup bread crumbs or Panko

~ 2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray.

2. In a frying pan on medium heat, heat olive oil until hot. Then add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until onion is tender.

3. Add spinach to pan and combine with onion mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth and mix to combine. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked out. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, and egg. Add cooled onion/spinach mixture to the meat.

5. With your hands, create meatballs that are about 1 – 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave a little bit of space between each meatball. When you are done shaping your meatballs, you will probably have about 40 meatballs.

6. Bake until your meatballs are cooked through which is about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve as desired or once cooled freeze.

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Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

8 01 2013

My family has been on a taco kick lately mainly because we found these amazing tortillas at Costco. They come uncooked and you have to cook them a few minutes on each side. My husband says they remind him of the awesome tortillas that you get at Café Rio in Utah.

Anyways we have been eating them so much I was starting to get a bit burnt out and looking for an alternative. I found this recipe over at how sweet it is. It was an amazing recipe full of flavor. It was super simple to make and it used some of our awesome tortillas. So all in all I would say it was a hit.

Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

~ 2 Tbsp. olive oil

~ 1 onion, diced

~ 2 garlic cloves, minced

~ 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

~ 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

~ 1/4 tsp. salt

~ 1/4 tsp. pepper

~ 1/4 tsp. cumin

~ (15 oz.) can of black beans, drained and rinsed

~ 8 flour tortillas, warmed

~ freshly crumbled Queso Fresco cheese

~ fresh cilantro for topping

~ lime wedges


Chipotle Lime Sauce

~ 3/4 cup sour cream

~ 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

~ juice of half a lime

~ zest of half a lime

1. Season chopped sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, cumin and smoked paprika. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and garlic, tossing to coat, then add sweet potatoes and stir. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until sweet potatoes are just softened and cooked through.

2. While sweet potatoes are cooking, combine sour cream adobo sauce, lime juice, and lime zest. Stir to combine.

3. Once sweet potatoes are cooked, add in black beans and toss well. Cover and cook again for 5-6 minutes until everything is warmed through. Heat tortillas and serve sweet potato mixture topped with cheese, Queso Fresco, Chipotle lime Sauce, and cilantro.

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Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Crock Pot Beef Pot Roast

7 01 2013

I am sure many of you are wondering what happened to me. Well it was a long six months that included 2 moves across state lines. We were hoping for things to go a bit smoother but are very thankful for how things turned out. My oldest started kindergarten and after a month off we are back to a school schedule and routine. I am getting used to a new city and trying to make some friends as well as find some things to fill my time with.

Thirty-One Gifts Home

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So while all of our stuff was in boxes and we were living out of suitcases for 5 months it was hard to cook. However I did get a chance to try out some new recipes and have found a few that my family loves.

One of which is this Pot Roast recipe. It was so good that my husband asked for me to make it again and I did just that a few nights ago. The best part about it is you cook it in your crock pot which makes it super simple to make. I actually found this recipe over at When the Dinner Bell Rings and made a few changes to it. I have tried to make pot roast in the past and never have a found a recipe that I was successful at until this recipe. Defiantly will be a house favorite of ours for years to come.

Crock Pot Beef Pot Roast

~ Small to Medium size rump roast

~ 1 envelope onion soup mix

~ 1 envelope brown gravy mix

~ 1 individual size serving apple sauce

~ 2 cups beef broth

~ salt and pepper, to taste

~ 1 small bag of carrots

~ 2 medium to large size potatoes, cut up

~ 1/2 yellow onion, sliced

~ 4 Tbsp. butter

~ 4 Tbsp. flour

1. Season roast with salt and pepper. Then sear the roast in the frying pan with a small amount of oil. Sear it well on all sides.

2. Put roast and then vegetables in crock pot. Don’t forget your crockpot liner for easier clean up!

3. Mix envelope mixes with beef broth and apple sauce, then pour over all.

4. Set crock pot on low and let it cook for at least 8-10 hours.

5. Once the meat is done cooking drain out 4 cups of the liquid in the crock pot.

6. In a medium pot melt butter over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted whisk in the flour cooking for a few minutes. Once the flour is mixed into the butter whisk in the liquid you removed from the crockpot.  Keep mixing until the liquid has thickened up to form your gravy, it will take a few minutes of stirring.

7. Remove your meat a vegetables from the crockpot and serve with the gravy.

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Crock Pot Beef Pot Roast

Freezer Burritos

6 03 2012

My husband loves the frozen burritos that you buy at the grocery store. I don’t understand why, they kind of gross me out. Any ways he used to buy them quite often and take one with him to work, microwave it, and have it for lunch or dinner. When I saw this recipe over at the Finer Things in life it reminded me of those frozen burritos but I just knew that they had to taste better and be better for you.

So I gathered up all the ingredients and made a batch. Just as I had finished up the meat mixture my kids came in and said they wanted lunch. I made each of them one of these and they were gone with in minutes. My son then had another after he finished his first. What a huge hit these were and since it made 24 burritos I know that we will have enough for a few quick and easy meals during a busy night.


Freezer Burritos

~ 2 lb. ground beef

~ 2 cans refried beans (or homemade)

~ 1 1/3 cup enchilada sauce

~ 1/2 cup water

~ 1 tsp. onion powder

~ 1 Tbsp. chili powder

~ 1 Tbsp. garlic powder

~ 1 tsp. salt

~ 1 tsp. dried oregano

~ 3 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc.)

~ 24 medium flour tortillas (you can make them bigger or smaller depending on your liking)

1. Brown ground beef and drain. Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Heat 3-4 tortillas at a time. Spoon 1/4 cup beef mixture down the side of each tortilla.

3. Roll up. Wrap each burrito in a paper towel, then wrap in foil.

4. Refrigerate or freeze.

5. When ready to eat, remove foil and microwave for about a minute. The paper towel keeps the burritos moist. You can also heat burritos in the oven wrapped in foil, just make sure to remove the paper towel before heating.

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Freezer Burritos

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake

29 02 2012

Since I started on Pinterest I have been trying really hard not to just pin aimlessly. I try to pin with the intent to make or do what I pin. This is a recipe that I pinned a few weeks back. It was posted over at Get Off your Butt and Bake. I had been waiting to get some broccoli in our basket so that I could make it and this was the week.

It was a great all in one meal. The other thing I really loved about this recipe was that instead of using a condensed soup to make it you basically made your own. Everyone in my family loved it and there is enough to have leftovers another day.

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake

~ 1 lb. fresh broccoli cut into pieces and steamed for 2 minutes

~ 3 cups cooked chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

~ 3 cups grated cheddar cheese

~ 2 cups plain Panko bread crumbs

~ 1 stick melted butter plus 1/3 cup melted butter

~ 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

~ 1/4 cup cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water

~ 1/4 tsp. salt

~ 1/4 tsp. pepper

~ 2 cups milk

~ 1/3 cup chicken broth

1. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan and layer broccoli and chicken, then set aside.

2. In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine 1/3 cup melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat down to low, and add 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. Top with remaining 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.

3. Melt 1 stick of butter, add the poppy seeds and stir well. Mix with Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the grated cheese.

4. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

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Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake

Eggplant Parmesan

27 02 2012

Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite dishes. I love to order it in restaurants. These version is pretty simple to make and is a bit lighter than the restaurant versions. If you want to make it even lighter don’t fry up your eggplant instead bake it in the oven.

Although it might seem like soaking the eggplant in salt water is a skip that isn’t necessary make sure you don’t skip it. Depending on the size of your eggplant they can be a bit bitter or full of moisture. Soaking your eggplant in salt water will cut down on the bitterness as well as pull some of that moisture out of it. Make sure to dry it really well once you have removed it from the salt water.

Another tip I have is that you can take a vegetable peeler and peel off the skin of your eggplant. This is personal preference, I don’t mind it but my kids were more willing to eat it with the skin off.


Eggplant Parmesan

~ 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

~ 2 cups Panko Italian seasoned bread crumbs

~ 1 cup milk

~ 1 egg

~ mozzarella, sliced

~ favorite pasta sauce

~ basil for garnish

~ salt and pepper

~ oil

1. Start by slicing your eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds and then soak in a salt water bath for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the salt water bath and dry well with paper towels.

2. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl mix egg and milk together. Dip eggplant in milk and egg mixture and then bread crumbs until coated well.

3. Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat. Place breaded eggplant in pan and cook on for about 7-10 minutes or until brown. Then flip over and cook for about 5 minutes and then place a slice of mozzarella cheese on each eggplant. Cover with a lid and cook for another 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and eggplant is browned.

4. Place eggplant on a plate and top with your favorite pasta sauce and garnish with a bit of fresh basil. Serve warm and enjoy.

* You can also bake these in a 425 degree oven until eggplant is browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes and flipping the slices after 20 minutes.

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Eggplant Parmesan

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

31 01 2012

Pinterest is my new addiction. It is a great way to organize and save things you find on the web. However it is also a great way to end up with 100’s of pins and no intention of doing anything with them. I am trying really hard to make or cook some of the great things I am finding on Pinterest and this recipe is a great example of that.

This recipe is from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and her picture along with the fact that this was made in the crockpot and I had all the ingredients in my kitchen made this a no brainier for dinner the other night. It was super simple and easy to make. I really liked the taste of the Teriyaki sauce which is another reason why this recipe will become something we make regularly in our house.

By the way if you haven’t check out pinterest you must do so and if you would like to see what I am pinning go ahead and follow me ( If you need an invite to start using pinterest let me know your email and I will send you and invite.


Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

~ 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

~ 3/4 cup sugar

~ 3/4 cup soy sauce

~ 6 Tbs. cider vinegar

~ 3/4 tsp. ground ginger

~ 3/4 tsp. minced garlic

~ 1/4 tsp. pepper

~ 4 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

~ 4 1/2 tsp. cold water

~ Cooked rice

1. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, garlic and pepper. Mix well and then pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.

2. Remove chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Place liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into liquid and stir until sauce is thickened. Serve with chicken and rice.

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Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

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