Freezer to Crockpot Cooking | Appetizers Recipes and Instructions

appetizers-crockpot-recipes

Welcome back to Freezer To Crockpot Cooking – Appetizers Week!

These appetizer recipes are perfect for football season or any time that you need some easy appetizers to feed some guests. My husband is famous for telling me on a Sunday morning “Oh – I invited a few people over to watch the game today!”. With these in your freezer, you won’t need to scramble to figure out what to serve!

See all of the other weeks in this series:

You had a few days to get everything on the freezer cooking shopping list, so now it is time to assemble everything and get it in the freezer!

Don’t forget:  the shopping list for this week was designed to make 4 hearty appetizers.  If you doubled or tripled the shopping list to make even more appetizers, you will need to adjust these instructions for the increased quantity of food that you are making

There really isn’t much prep work to these recipes, just slice the kielbasa! I prefer about 1” thickness so they are a bit heartier for a bunch of hungry fans. If you want to use your own recipe for homemade meatballs, go ahead and make them now and allow them to cool completely before bagging time.

Now lay out your freezer bags, you will need 4 -gallon and 1- quart sized bags, grab your sharpie, and lets label with cooking directions (as a reminder, you want to do this BEFORE you start filling your bags. Writing on a lumpy bag is just NO fun!):

Beer & Barbeque Meatballs

  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Pour entire contents of bag into crockpot
  3. Pour ½ – ¾ bottle of beer into crockpot
  4. Cook over low heat for 4-5 hours
  • Additional Fresh Items:  Rolls and cheese if you want to serve them as sandwiches

Sweet and Saucy Kielbasa Bites

  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Pour contents of bag into crockpot
  3. Pour ½ bottle beer into crockpot
  4. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Pour contents of bag #1 into crockpot
  3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours
  4. Shred chicken fine, using 2 forks
  5. Add contents of bag #2, stir
  6. Cook for an additional 1- 1 ½ hours
  • Additional Fresh Items: celery sticks and crackers for dipping

Spinach Dip

  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Pour contents of bag into crockpot
  3. Cook on low for 1-2 hours
  • Additional Fresh Items: Crackers, Fresh Veggies or Fresh Crusty Bread for dipping

Now let’s get to filling those freezer bags, you will need 4 1-gallon size bags, and 1 1-quart sized.

The following is what you will need to put in each bag. These all make pretty good size portions but feel free to double or triple for a big crowd, and big appetites.

Beer & Barbecue Meatballs

  • 3 lbs. cooked meatballs
  • 1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

Sweet and Saucy Kielbasa Bites

  • 3 packages sliced kielbasa
  • 1 ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup spicy brown mustard

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Bag #1- Gallon Bag

  • 4 large Chicken Breasts
  • ½- ¾ cup buffalo flavor hot sauce

Bag #2

  • 2 -8 oz. packages of cream cheese
  • 8oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup ranch dressing

Spinach Dip

  • 2- 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
  • 2 – 10 oz. packages of frozen spinach
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

And that’s it! You now have 4 ready-to-go appetizers in the freezer! Some of these recipes I will be doubling for my freezer (especially the meatballs and kielbasa, since our friends just INHALE those things). It will be nice to not have to worry about what to serve when we suddenly have guests for the Steelers games!

Next week?  We are filling the freezer with beef dishes!

Need more slow cooker recipes that are great for freezer cooking? See all of the other weeks in this series:

Fun and Creative Toppings For Oatmeal

oatmeal-toppings-breakfast

Toppings for Oatmeal

On its own, oatmeal is a rather boring and bland breakfast. But with how inexpensive it is compared to other breakfast foods, it’s worth it to try and find some fun and unique toppings for oaatmeal. The basic recipe starts like this:

Basic Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup rolled old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water

Cook on the stovetop until the oatmeal is tender.

Now here are some fun different toppings you can try with your next bowl of basic oatmeal.

Maple and Brown Sugar – Pour a little maple syrup (the real stuff!) in your bowl and sprinkle a bit of brown sugar over the top.

Berry – Add in 1/3 cup of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or any kind of berries while your oatmeal is cooking.

Peaches and Cream – Instead of adding water, add in ½ cup of juice from a can of peaches and some diced peaches while you cook your oatmeal.

Peanut Butter Banana – While cooking your oatmeal, add in half of a diced banana and ¼ cup of peanut butter.

Chocolate Coconut – Add in a handful of chocolate chips while you oatmeal is cooking and sprinkle a bit of coconut over the top when it’s done.

Apple Crisp – Add in some thinly sliced apples while you are cooking your oatmeal and a little bit of brown sugar.

Pumpkin Pie – Spoon ¼ cup of canned pumpkin into your cooking oatmeal and sprinkle a little bit of pumpkin pie spice in as well. For a real treat, top with whipped cream.

Peach Crunch – Add in some canned, diced peaches while cooking and top with some crushed gingersnap cookies before serving.

Full Breakfast – Once your oatmeal is finished cooking, sprinkle fried bacon over the top and place a fried egg in your bowl. That’s a full meal all in one!

What are your favorite toppings for toppings for oatmeal?

Freezer To Crockpot Cooking | Chicken Recipes and Instructions

Bulk Cooking Chicken Meals

Welcome back to Freezer To Crockpot Cooking – Chicken Week! You had a few days to get everything on the freezer cooking shopping list, so now it is time to assemble everything and get it in the freezer!

 See all of the other weeks in this series:

Don’t forget:  the shopping list for this week was designed to make 4 meals.  If you doubled or tripled the shopping list to make even more meals (or larger meals), you will need to adjust these instructions for the increased quantity of food that you are making

Step 1 – Prep your ingredients:

  1. Dice 1 cup of celery
  2. Slice 1 cup of carrots into coins
  3. Slice all 3 peppers into strips
  4. Slice 1 onion into strips
  5. Dice 1 onion
  6. Cube half of the chicken

chopped vegetables

Step 2:  Write out the instructions – You will then want to write cooking directions on your bag prior to filling them – don’t try writing on a lumpy bag. At the bottom of the bag I write additional ingredients, such as fresh items that cannot be frozen or if I need to add some additional frozen veggies. By doing this, a quick check of my stock of crockpot meals will let me know if a trip to the store is in order.

The directions to write on your bag are as follows for each recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie

  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Dump entire bag into crockpot
  3. Cook on low 3-4 hours
  4. Remove chicken from crockpot, shred with forks
  5. Put chicken back into crockpot along with frozen peas (if desired)
  6. Add ½ cup of milk and cook an additional 30 minutes or until heated through
  7. Bake canned biscuits according to package directions, slice in half and top individual bowls of pot pie.

Additional Ingredients: 1/2 cup milk (or heavy cream), canned biscuits, small bag of frozen peas (if desired)

Chicken Fajitas

  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Dump entire bag into crockpot
  3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours
  4. Remove chicken from crockpot, shred with forks
  5. Place chicken back into crockpot
  6. Cook additional 20 minutes and serve.

Additional Ingredients: tortillas, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, or whatever fresh toppings you like

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Pour contents of bag 1 and bag 2 into crockpot
  3. Cook on low for 4-6 hours
  4. Add bag #3 (broccoli) in last hour of cooking
  5. Serve with a salad

Additional Ingredients: Salad

Chicken Alfredo

  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Pour contents of bag 1 into crockpot
  3. Cook on low for 4 hours
  4. Add contents of bag #2
  5. Cook an additional 30 minutes
  6. Serve over cooked fettuccine pasta with a salad on the side

Additional Ingredients: 1 Box Fettuccini Noodles, salad

SONY DSC

Step 3 – Fill Your Bags – The next step is to assemble your ingredients into bags, ending with chicken on the top of each one. When you pour ingredients into the crockpot, meats should always be on the bottom for best cooking results.

You will need 4 gallon freezer bags, and 3 quart freezer bags. Here is what goes into each bag:

Pot Pie

  • Half of the cubed chicken breasts
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup carrot coins
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1-2 cups any of the following; peas, carrots, corn, green beans (or if you will be using frozen veggies for these, you can just add them in the last 30-40 minutes of cooking)
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can full of chicken broth
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

Chicken Fajitas

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 3 bell peppers cut into strips
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 onion, cut into strips
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Bag #1- gallon bag

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 can condensed cream of broccoli soup
  • 1 can of chicken broth (fill the can from the condensed soup with the chicken broth from the box you bought in the shopping list)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper

Bag #2-quart freezer bag

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked rice

Bag #3-quart freezer bag

  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets

Chicken Alfredo

Bag #1-gallon Freezer Bag

  • half of the cubed chicken breasts
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary

Bag #2- quart freezer bag

  • 1-10 oz. cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

And that’s it! You now have 4 meals, ready to go from freezer to crockpot. You can even make it easier on yourself by freezing the tortillas along with the fajita bag.

I would love to hear from you to see how your prep day went!

Need more slow cooker recipes that are great for freezer cooking? See all of the other weeks in this series:

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

Hot Fudge Sauce is one of those things that I rarely eat because there is no way to even pretend that it is healthy or good for you. So on those rare occasions that I do have it, I want it to be worth it and this homemade hot fudge sauce recipe is definitely worth it!

Smooth and velvety, this sauce is the perfect topping for ice cream. You can use it immediately or even just store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it (just heat it in the microwave before serving).

For this homemade hot fudge sauce recipe, you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream (you can also use half & half)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl and melt chocolate by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, stirring and repeating until chocolate is melted.
  2. Transfer melted chocolate to a sauce pan over low heat and add butter, salt and sugar.
  3. Add the cream in small amounts, stirring constantly until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Continue to stir frequently until heated, but not boiling.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  6. Refrigerate unused portion for up to 10 days.

Serve and enjoy!

Have you ever made your own homemade hot fudge sauce?

10 Recipes for Canned Pumpkin Besides Making Pie

pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Recipes

Do you, like me, have a pumpkin dependency?  I truly love all things fall; cool weather, crisp smells, pretty sweaters, apple cider,  scarecrows, hayrides, Cinnamon Spice Lattes at the old Five-Bucks, etc… But pumpkin just calls to me on a personal level.  Every year I complain bitterly  wait patiently for it to be Fall-y enough to break out the Pumpkin.

I enjoy it because it’s high in fiber and packed with vitamins A and C, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese, and because it’s also low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.  Ok, right-that’s just what I say when I am trying to excuse myself for scarfing down 10 Double Chocolate- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins. But seriously, pumpkin covers a multitude of  calorie laden sins. I am always looking for new ways to use it.  Also, a can of pumpkin can go a long way, so it’s economical.

Here are some of my favorite uses

Pumpkin Smoothie- 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, 2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey to taste.

Pumpkin Ravioli- Use wonton wrappers, or make your own ravioli-fill with a mixture of; 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup ricotta, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Pumpkin Mac Cheese Stir canned pumpkin into your favorite macaroni and cheese sauce (even boxed) mix with boiled elbow macaroni.

Pumpkin Trifle- Mix 1 can of pureed pumpkin, 1 tub of cool whip, 1 tsp. cinnamon together. Layer in a pretty glass bowl with pecans, and your favorite brownies cut into cubes.

Pumpkin Soup- Combine 1 can of pumpkin, 1 can of chicken broth, ½ tsp. chili powder, ¼  tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. cumin, ½ tsp rosemary, ½ tsp. parsley, and ¼ cup of water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add ½ cup sour cream and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pumpkin Hummus- combine 1 can of pumpkin puree with, 2 Tbsp. Tahini (sesame-seed paste), 1Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. cumin, 2 garlic cloves-minced or chopped. Serve with pita chips, pretzels, or veggies. Bake at 400° for 6-8 minutes.

Pumpkin Waffles- Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder,1 tsp. ground cinnamon- make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Combine 1 cup of milk, ½ cup pumpkin puree, ¼ brown sugar, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, and 1 egg, Pour into well in dry ingredients, stir until just combined.  Spray waffle maker with non-stick spray and cook for about 5 minutes or until steam stops.

Pumpkin Chili- Mix 1 can of pumpkin and ½  tsp. of nutmeg into your favorite chili recipe. Top with a dollop of sour cream.

Pumpkin Oatmeal – Prepare your favorite brand as directed. Stir in pumpkin puree, and cinnamon to taste, add pecans , walnuts, or chocolate chips for even more

Pumpkin Roll- Personally I just can’t beat this recipe - I’ve tried, trust me. The only improvement I can make is that sometimes, for variety, I stir 2-3 Tbsp. of Nutella into the cream cheese filling.

You can also use pumpkin as a replacement for eggs and oil in your favorite muffins, and cakes. For each egg use 4 cup canned pumpkin instead. This also substitutes for the oil. For oil replace with the same amount of pumpkin and follow the directions.

What are some of your favorite recipes for pumpkin?

Spinach Salad with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Remember when I said that, once you made my homemade blue cheese dressing recipe that you would never buy it at the store again? Well, the same goes for this balsamic vinaigrette recipe!  The addition of orange juice concentrate and a touch of honey gives you just enough sweetness, yet still manages the calorie count down.

This would make a great side salad, appetizer or even as a meal all on it’s own.  If you want to add some protein, you could always add a little bit of crumbled feta cheese or even sliced boiled eggs. I wouldn’t add any protein with a strong flavor (seasoned chicken breasts, etc), because the orange balsamic vinaigrette recipe is really the star of the show!

To make it, you will need:

balsamic vinaigrette recipe ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice Concentrate, thawed
  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • Baby Spinach
  • Red Onion sliced
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Almond Slices
  • 1 tsp Sugar (optional)

Scroll down for the complete directions!

You might also like these other recipes:

Spinach Salad with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Spinach Salad with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

Ingredients

    For the Dressing
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice Concentrate, thawed
  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For the salad:
  • Baby Spinach
  • Red Onion sliced
  • Mandarin Orange Slices, drained
  • Almond Slices
  • 1 tsp Sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a non-stick skillet, toast almond slices with the sugar (you can omit the sugar if you like) until slightly brown. Set aside
  2. Add all dressing ingredients to food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Place Spinach on plates.
  4. Top with Mandarin slices and onion slices.
  5. Add toasted almonds on top.
  6. Serve with dressing.
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Nutella Pop Tarts Recipe | Homemade Pop Tarts!

nutella pop tarts

My children are big fans of Pop Tarts, but I don’t like buying them that often – they are just too full of sugar and chemicals. But I don’t like to be a total downer, so homemade pop tarts are a nice compromise. They are so easy to make and can really be filled with other things besides Nutella – chocolate, fruit jam, peanut butter, fluff…pretty much anything that can be spread smoothly!

You can make the dough using a traditional pastry cutter or, if you have a food processor, you can easily use that to cut the butter in to the dry ingredients. I would then remove the mixture (it will look like pebbles) from the food processor and add the milk and egg in to the dough by hand. You don’t want to over-mix this dough or it will be tough and not at all flakey like a pop tart should be!

To make this homemade pop tarts recipe, you will need:

Ingredients:

nutella pop tarts ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 9 tbsp Nutella (or filling of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Cut butter into small cubes.  Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Work butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. (or in a food processor)

      homemade pop tarts cut butter

  3. Whisk together one egg and milk and add to the flour mixture.
  4. Knead until ball forms.  DO NOT OVERMIX!
  5. Turn dough out on to floured surface and knead for 1 minute.  

    pop tart dough

  6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350.
  8. Divide dough ball in half.
  9. On floured surface, roll out dough into a 9″ × 12” rectangle.
  10. Cut into 9 rectangles (or you can use a rectangle cookie cutter to make sure that they are all exactly the same size)
  11. Repeat with other piece of dough.  

    pop tart process

  12. Make an eggwash by beating the remaining egg and brush over entire surface of first 9 rectangles.
  13. Place a tablespoon of Nutella on top of each egg washed rectangle and spread. Be sure to leave 1/2″ of uncoated dough around edges.
  14. Place a rectangle on top of filling and press with fingertips to seal around edges.
  15. Use the tines of a fork to seal all around.
  16. Poke top with fork to allow steam to vent.
  17. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  18. Cool on wire rack.

Have you ever made homemade pop tarts?

Pepperoni Pizza Crescent Rolls Recipe | Game Day Recipe!

pepperoni pizza crescent rolls

Sometimes you just have to go back to the most basic of recipes! A nice baked brie with apricot jam is fun, but sometimes (and especially for football parties), you just want simple “guy food”.

These pepperoni pizza crescent rolls fit that requirement quite well! Not only does it make a great appetizer recipe, it would even make a nice quick dinner recipe for the kids!

You can use just pasta sauce or jarred pizza sauce, but I find that those tend to be too “runny”. I like just doctoring up a can of tomato paste. You get plenty of flavor without the cooked pepperoni pizza crescent rolls being a gloppy mess! HOWEVER, when it comes time to dip them, I prefer to use my homemade pizza sauce recipe!

To make them, you will need:

pepperoni pizza crescent rolls ingredients

  • 1 can Crescent Rolls
  • 24 slices pepperoni
  • 2 Mozzarella String Cheese
  • 1 6oz can Tomato Paste
  • 4 oz Water
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Basil

Scroll down for complete directions!

You might want to try these other appetizer recipes, perfect for game day!

Pepperoni Pizza Crescent Rolls Recipe | Game Day Recipe!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Pepperoni Pizza Crescent Rolls Recipe | Game Day Recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 can Crescent Rolls
  • 24 slices pepperoni
  • 2 Mozzarella String Cheese
  • 1 6oz can Tomato Paste
  • 4 oz Water
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 T dried Basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine tomato paste, water, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar and basil in a small saucepan.
  3. Heat over medium heat until well blended and warm.
  4. Cut each string cheese in half lengthwise and then in half the other way (you want it half as wide and half as thick).
  5. Open crescent roll can and separate out the triangles and place them on a cutting board
  6. Spread small amount sauce near wide end of crescent.
  7. Place 3 slices of pepperoni on top of the sauce. Top with 1 piece of the cheese stick.
  8. Carefully roll the crescent roll like you normally would and place, seam side down on a cookie sheet
  9. Bake for about 12 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and serve immediately
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Copycat Chick Fil A Chicken Sandwich Recipe

copycat-chick-fil-a-chicken-sandwich recipe

Oh – I love Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, but I never seem to get them. Either I just don’t feel like driving to get them, or I get a craving for them on a Sunday (when they are closed), or I just don’t feel like spending the money that day. When my children were younger, we were at Chick-Fil-A at least once a week for lunch. Their playland is ideal for the younger children and there were ALWAYS a bunch of moms there (so I got some adult contact as well).

Chick-Fil-A sandwiches have a very distinct flavor – unlike that of any other fast food chicken sandwich. This can be credited to two very important things: marinating the chicken in pickle juice and frying the chicken in peanut oil. I know that some people will try to make this and substitute olive or vegetable oil for the peanut oil. Let me say this right now – I guarantee you that it won’t taste the same and won’t be a true copycat Chick Fil A chicken sandwich recipe…it just won’t.

To make it, you will need:

chick-fil-a-ingredients

Ingredients
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz each – or 4 4 oz chicken breasts)
1/2 cup pickle juice (just use the juice from any pickle jar)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp basil
1 cup peanut oil for frying
4 Hamburger Buns (buttered and toasted)
Pickle Slices

Scroll down for complete directions!

You might want to also try these other copycat recipes:

Copycat Chick Fil A Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Rating: 51

Copycat Chick Fil A Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz each - or 4 4 oz chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 cup pickle juice (just use the juice from any pickle jar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 cup peanut oil for frying
  • 4 Hamburger Buns (buttered and toasted)
  • Pickle Slices

Instructions

  1. Place chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper or in a freezer bag and pound gently with the flat side of a mallet until about 1/2" thick.
  2. Cut each breast into 2 equal pieces.
  3. Marinate chicken in the pickle juice for about an hour.
  4. Beat together egg and milk in a bowl.
  5. Mix together the flour, sugar, and spices in another bowl.
  6. Heat the oil in a skillet to about 350.
  7. Dip each chicken piece into the egg, covering both sides
  8. Transfer to the flour mixture and turn to completely coat.
  9. Fry each chicken piece for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked throughout.
  10. Place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  11. Serve on toasted buns with pickle slices.
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Easy Meatloaf Recipe | Mini Meatloaves With Mashed Potatoes

Easy Meatloaf Recipe - Mini Meatloaves with Mashed Potato Topping

Meatloaf has received a bad reputation over the years and some of it is deserved. Meatloaf is so easy to make, but also so easy to ruin. The biggest problem that I have seen is when people attempt to make meatloaf is that it ends up being too dry, be it from not adding enough moisture to the meatloaf mixture or from cooking it for so long that it is completely dried out and rubbery.

This easy meatloaf recipe solves all of those problems: it is just the right balance of ingredients and because you cook it in a muffin tin you don’t have to worry about the ends drying out while you wait for the middle to be fully cooked (as you do when you cook it in a traditional loaf pan).

Another benefit to making mini-meatloaves is that, like my Mini Chicken Pot Pie recipe, it is built-in portion control. One of these is just about the right serving size for most people (although my husband will usually eat 2 of these).

I started using oats in my meatloaf recipe several years ago. When my children were younger, they didn’t like the “chunks” of the oats so I would put them in the blender to make “oatmeal breadcrumbs” before adding them to the mixture. Now that they are older, they don’t mind them so much. Adding oatmeal gives this easy meatloaf mixture a little bit more fiber than breadcrumbs would, but you can always substitute bread crumbs if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Quick Oats or breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed Club Crackers
  • 2/3 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 2 cup Mashed Potatoes (use your favorite recipe)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 350.
  2. Combine ketchup, mustard and brown sugar together and stir to mix well. Set aside (this will be your topping for your meatloaves)
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients (except the mashed potatoes) and mix well
  4. Divide the mixture evenly among the 12 wells of a standard muffin tin.
  5. Top each  mini-meatloaf with the ketchup mixture.
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before you remove from muffin pan
  8. Place mashed potatoes in a zip-top bag or piping bag.  Cut a corner off of the bag and pipe on a mashed potato “frosting”.

Serve and enjoy!

Easy Dinner Idea | Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

easy dinner idea ham and cheese pinwheels

With all the running around that we do, sometimes we just want an easy dinner idea that we can throw together quickly and that our children will enjoy. These ham and cheese pinwheels are exactly that! It takes just a few minutes to assemble them and they cook in just about 12 minutes. As an added bonus, they can also do “double-duty” as an appetizer/finger food at parties!

These are made with cheddar cheese, but give other cheeses a try. My children prefer when I use mozzarella cheese or even American cheese, as they end up being more “gooey” once they are cooked. I just think they look better with cheddar!

To make them, you will need:

pinwheels ingredients

Making them is easy!

pinwheels assemble

Simply unroll the crescent rolls and pinch together the seams to form a solid sheet.  Top with the mustard or mayonnaise (optional), ham and cheese.

pinwheel roll

Starting at one end, tightly roll the sheet up in to a log.

pinwheels bake

Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll in to about 10 even pieces.  Place on cookie sheet and bake!

Scroll down for the complete directions!

You might also want to try these other easy dinner ideas:

Easy Dinner Idea | Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Easy Dinner Idea | Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated Crescent Rolls
  • 5 - 6 oz Sliced Cooked Ham
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • 2 tsp mustard or mayonnaise (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper
  3. Unroll dough onto prepared sheet and crimp together all seams to form a solid sheet.
  4. Spread mustard or mayonnaise over dough (optional)
  5. Spread cheese evenly over the dough. Top with the ham.
  6. Starting from the long side, roll up tightly to form a log.
  7. Slice into 10-12 slices with a sharp knife.
  8. Place slices on baking sheet and cook for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
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Crockpot Pepper Steak Recipe

crockpot pepper steak

Is there really a more basic and hearty recipe than a good pepper steak? I love making it in the skillet, but even better is a “set it and forget it” crockpot pepper steak recipe! I am just addicted to my slow cooker.  I can spend a few minutes putting everything together and come back in about 8 hours and it is done!

One of the best things about cooking in a slow cooker is that it allows you to buy cheaper cuts of meats. Those are the ones that taste best when they are cooked “low & slow”. Just make sure to trim all visible fat and you will be good to go!

The beef does need to be browned/seared before you throw it in to the crockpot – please don’t skip that step. It will really make the difference between having nice tender beef and having shoe leather!

Hennyway – to make this Crockpot Pepper Steak recipe, you will need:

crockpot pepper steak ingredients

  • 2 lb Beef Roast cut into strips
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 T Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 cup Beef Broth
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 14 oz Stewed Tomatoes with liquid
  • 3 T Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt

Making it couldn’t be easier! Scroll down for complete directions!

You might want to also try these crockpot recipes:

Crockpot Pepper Steak Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 sesrvings

Crockpot Pepper Steak Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Beef Roast cut into strips
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 T Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 cup Beef Broth
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 14 oz Stewed Tomatoes with liquid
  • 3 T Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 cups cooked white or jasmine rice, cooked according to package directions

Instructions

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet and 2 T vegetable oil on medium-high
  2. Season beef with salt, pepper and garlic powder and brown in vegetable the skillet.
  3. Transfer beef to your slow cooker, reserving drippings in skillet.
  4. Add cornstarch and beef broth to skillet and heat over low heat stirring until dissolved. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any of the drippings from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Pour mixture over the meat in the slow cooker.
  6. Remove stem and seeds from bell peppers, roughly chop and add to slow cooker.
  7. Chop onion and add to slow cooker.
  8. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours.
  9. If your sauce looks too thin after 8 hours, spoon about 1/4 cup of the sauce into a dish and blend in another tablespoon of cornstarch and then add it back to slow cooker to thicken.
  10. Serve over rice
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