Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BBQ Potato Slow Cooker Meal

What's Cookin'?

BBQ Potato Slow Cooker Meal:  This was a big hit with the kids and I!  Note to self: Original Woodstock BBQ sauce is way too spicy for us (but DH will probably like it!).


2 lbs organic red potatoes (1 smallish bag)
1/2 jar BBQ sauce of your choice (we choose organic and are careful even with organic ones)
1 C sweet peas (optional but I wanted a complete meal with some greens)
1/2 pound pre-cooked grass-fed ground beef
1/4 stick butter
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese


1. Wash and quarter the potatoes.  Put in crock first.

2. Add the peas on top of potatoes (if using), spreading them around as a layer.

3. Layer the ground beef on top.

4. Dollop the BBQ around all over the top. 

5.  Add pats of butter (we were able to get some Minerva Amish butter for grocery store prices, yum!).

Cook on high 4-6 hours until the potatoes are tender (I stirred it up to test the ones on the bottom and ended up just stirring everything up together).

Layer the shredded cheese over everything and turn off slow cooker.  Serve once the cheese has melted.  Since we accidentally used a very spicy BBQ sauce, I added 1 pint of milk and stirred it into everything like chunky mashed potatoes before adding the cheese.  THEN we also put a bunch of sour cream as garnish when serving.  Can you say dairy overcompensation for the spice??? :)

By the way... the leftovers are reheating as I type for lunch today!

This recipe is part of Real Food Wednesday.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Senior Frenzy!

What's Schoolin'?

Yes, I seem to have fallen off the face of the Earth lately!  Between still living at my mom's, having unpredictable access to my computer/internet, and... our senior frenzy - Please be impressed that we are actually on target with college apps and such! :)

So, that's pretty much it in a nutshell for school for my senior the last month-ish.  We are finally pretty much done with the applications (except for one that came up the other day so we need to get SAT scores and transcripts to them) and have already gotten those much awaited letters for almost all of them.  Phew!

We are also in the midst of moving and setting up in our rental.  The timing could not be more perfect because she is ready to jump back into her school work for the last stretch.  They will each have their own space again which will create a more peaceful working environment.

Plans?  This week I'll have one-on-one conferences with each child to set up fresh schedules, plans, and to prioritize.  We'll also visit new 4-H clubs.  We have MISSED cooking from scratch!!!  My daughters and I can't wait to make bread and such again.  That should also help with the budget...

I have a transcript template to share with you all and just some senior ideas to share, so stay tuned... :)

Easy Pretzel Sausages

What's Cookin'?

This made a very hearty lunch!  The recipe made 4 servings and cost just under $3/person.  If you think about the cost of a fast food burger (and the fact that I used high quality grass-fed sausage) then it seems like a bargain!  We added fresh fruit and avocado along with some chip choices for sides.  Oh!  And it took about 3 minutes to prepare :).


Grass-fed Sausages  (my package had 4 good-sized sausages)
1 Can Pretzel dough (homemade dough would be best!)

[Update:  *I just carefully read the ingredients (after we bought and ate it, of course) and I can't personally recommend this pretzel dough in the photo at this time because of several ingredients.  However, I LOVE this company's products (many are Non-GMO Verified and they don't use trans fats) and hope to be able to recommend this product in the future.  Plus, if you are going to buy a pre-made pretzel dough anyway, this may be a better option.]


1. Divide the pretzel dough with 2 strips together, forming 4 strips instead of the 8 (they are perforated)

2. Wrap each sausage with a "2-strip strip" in a slanted fashion until it is covered.  Place about 2 inches apart on a pizza pan or cookie sheet (in the picture mine is covered in foil - I don't recommend foil, but it's not my cookware, so...).

3. Bake approximately 15 minutes at 350F.  If any stick together you may need to separate and cook just a little longer.

4. Ta-da!  Serve with condiments/sides of you choice.

Sorry, no photos from out of the oven - everyone was circling the kitchen for lunch!