The Kitchen: Not Just a Place to Cook

If there’s one thing that can tear your youngsters away from their tablets, smartphones or video games, cooking might just be it. Children love working some culinary magic in the kitchen. It gives them a chance to get their hands dirty and, best of all, they can eat the results! Also, you get the chance to spend some quality time with your tots this way, and you can rest assured you’re providing them with some valuable life skills.

There are certain classics that almost all children like to cook, including pizzas, chocolate brownies, and fairy cakes. However, if you’re looking for recipes that are fun and easy to prepare but healthier, reach for your slow cooker. You can use these handy devices to cook nutritious dishes that your youngsters will enjoy creating and eating.

Children and sandwiches go hand in hand. These snacks are perfect for packed lunches and parties. An excellent version to try with your brood is slow-cooked pork. To serve six, you’ll need the following:

  • 2 pounds of pork shoulder
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  •  1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 pinch of salt and pepper
  •  1/2 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 6 six sandwich rolls
  • Your own choice of salad ingredients.

To make, place the pork in your slow cooker and rub with the brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Then add the vinegar plus 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours until the meat is tender. Once removed from the cooker, shred the meat and mix in the barbeque sauce. Serve on the rolls along with a salad. Your children will love the sweet, comforting taste.

The Kitchen: Not Just a Place to Cook

For a hearty family meal, few things beat a stew and this beef version is bound to wet your kids’ appetites. For six servings, you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs of beef stew meat cut into one-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup of plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1.5 cups of beef stock
  • 3 diced potatoes
  • 4 sliced carrots
  • 1 chopped celery stalk.

To prepare, coat the meat in seasoned flour and place in your slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. The dish works a treat with creamy mash potatoes.

Whichever dishes you decide to create, leave plenty of time and make sure your kids aren’t wearing their best clothes. Children are remarkably adept at decorating themselves with even the most unexpected ingredients! Last but by no means least, remember to have fun. This is as much about the process as the results. 

“Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Learning The Ins and Outs of Frozen Crock Pot Meals

I never have been that great at being a chef, honestly if you wanted a grilled cheese I would have told you the best bet was to make it yourself and my kids would have said the same. You see, I was famous for burning grilled cheese; all.the.time. Yet now, as I work to create a family life for the first time in a few years, one that truly feels home and family-ish to me, I have wanted to make better meals. We all have to fight our horrible metabolism in our family gene pool so making better meals was a must for our health. While I still include menu items that maybe are not all healthy, I feel this is a step up and I am more about balance than cutting one thing out of our diet completely.

Testing out Frozen Crock Pot Meals

 

For our first week testing out some frozen crock pot meals, I created hot italian sausages, pineapple glazed ham, teriyaki pork chops, and chicken cacciatore. These meals were all prepared ahead of time over the prior weekend and let me tell you what, preparing meals ahead of time really makes for a yummy smelling kitchen and freezer all week long! I can give you feedback on each of these recipes, because the family has already chomped down on them;

  • Hot Italian Sausages – was a no go, we will not make this again. We much prefer the crispy texture of sausage and these were too tender for our liking.
  • Pineapple Glazed Ham – this was okay, but not that great. While the ham was delicious this recipe shouldn’t have so much crushed pineapple in it next time around.
  • Teriyaki Pork Chops – This was a total win! Our family loved the flavor and texture of these pork chops, served over rice with green beans.
  • Chicken Cacciatore – this was a total two thumbs up from my fiance and tween! The taste was perfect and while the recipe didn’t say to do so, we shredded the chicken in the sauce after it had cooked for the full term, creating a better mixed up option and the family loved it served over white rice.

The above recipes were derived from Slow Cooker Freezer Meals offered on Six Sisters’ Stuff website.

More Frozen Crock Pot Meal Planning

 

This week we will try some different frozen crock pot meals, I am having so much fun finding recipes online and changing them up to fit our family. This week we will try the following frozen crock pot meals that are sitting in the freezer waiting to be taken out to enjoy;

  • Chicken & Dumplings
  • Beef Barley Stew (I replaced barely with white rice)
  • Curry Chicken
  • Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Potatoes
  • Pulled Pork

There was a sixth recipe, all were taken from TheBusyBudgetingMama.com website, this sixth recipe was for lasagna/pasta sauce but I decided to create my own meat sauce to freeze for a spaghetti dinner later in the week instead.

Brandy Ellen's Meat Sauce Recipe

 

 Brandy Ellen’s Meat Sauce Recipe – Freeze and Use Later

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 28oz can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 24oz jar of Spaghetti Sauce
  • 2 Gloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • Optional; 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 Resealable Freezer Bag

Let’s Get Started:

  1.  Brown the ground hamburg with white rice and garlic mixed in.
  2. Drain browned hamburg, add spaghetti sauce. Cook on low for 8 minutes while stirring ingredients together.
  3. Add 28oz can of diced tomatoes and italian seasoning together in freezer bag.
  4. Label freezer bag “Meat Sauce” also note the date on bag to ensure you use it within a week of freezing.
  5. Let hamburg, rice, garlic and spaghetti sauce cool down.
  6. Add cooled down hamburger mixture into freezer bag and seal tight.
  7. Place in Freezer for future use.

Enjoy: Set the freezer bag of meat sauce out one day ahead of time to ensure it has time to thaw out. Cook in sauce pan over low/medium heat until reaches desired temperature. Use on top of spaghetti or any favorite pasta choice.

Preparing Breakfast Burritos to Freeze and Serve

I ran across a great idea while looking for frozen crock pot meals, frozen breakfast burritos that you make not buy from a box. Yes, you heard that right. It is amazing the things you can prepare on a weekend, when you have a bit more time than a week day and then heat up to heat later in the week. As a busy work from home mom of three, I am all about finding ways to make more time with my kids. Creating these breakfast burritos will allow before school time run smoother and it gives your family a quick breakfast option for a busy day. This idea is derived from the recipe found at GoodenessGracious.com.

Breakfast Burritos Recipe to Make & Freeze

This is such an easy task to do on a Sunday; I plan to make these differently each week.

For starters this is a recipe for breakfast burritos that have ham, egg and shredded cheese in them. You will need the following to do this:

  • Paper Towels
  • Scrambled Eggs (already prepared/cooked by you)
  • Shredded Cheese (any flavor preferred by your family)
  • Pre-cooked Chunks of Ham
  • Tortilla Wraps
  • 1 Gallon Resealable Freezer Bag

Breakfast Burritos Recipe to Make & Freeze

Optional fillings to replace current listed ingredients or ones to add to this recipe:

  • Chopped green Peppers
  • Chopped Onion
  • Ground pre-cooked Sausage
  • Pre-cooked bacon

Breakfast Burritos to prepare and Freeze (1)

I chose to cook about 6 eggs into scrambled format and this created about 10 breakfast burritos to freeze. My whole family won’t eat these, just about 3 of them will enjoy these for breakfast so I kept that in mind when preparing these frozen breakfast burritos for my family. I am not sure how long these will keep in the freezer, so I won’t store them longer than one week in my home.

How to Make the Breakfast Burritos -

  1. Make sure your eggs are fully scrambled to your liking.
  2. Cut up ham into about 1/4 square pieces.
  3. Have shredded cheese ready to grab.
  4. Take one soft tortilla wrap and place scrambled eggs in middle of wrap.
  5. Proceed to add your fillings one by one on top of the eggs; keep in mind this wrap has to fold up in a burrito style fold.
  6. Once the wrap is full of ingredients you wish to add, wrap it into burrito style fold up.
  7. Take one paper towel and wrap over each burrito, individually wrapped.
  8. Place all individually wrapped breakfast burritos into a resealable freezer bag and place in freezer.
  9. Optional – Label freezer bag with what type of breakfast burritos are in this bag and date that you froze it.

How to enjoy a breakfast burrito for breakfast during the week -

Simply heat one breakfast burrito for 90 seconds, while microwave ovens may vary in temperature, this is the time that has worked well for my family.

Let cool. Serve and enjoy!

What ingredients would you place inside your frozen breakfast burritos?

Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces & Crock Pot Giveaway Winner

Giveaway WinnerS Announced

Drum roll please….

The winner chosen randomly out of the 963 entries for the Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces and 6QT Crock Pot Giveaway is…

Amanda Kinder

Congrats and please complete THIS FORM so that I can send your details to the sponsor

{Review & Giveaway} Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces

Free Product

Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauces Giveaway

My family received a wonderful package that included one each of the 6 varieties of Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces along with a 6 quart programmable slow cooker.  The exciting news is that I get to host a giveaway for one person to win this same package, but first I want to share with you the details of Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces in addition to sharing our thoughts based on taste testing the products.

Cambells Slow Cookers (3)

Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces sell for around $2.99 per pouch and are available in the following flavor choices, simply add your own meat -

  • Tavern Style Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic
  • Apple Bourbon BBQ with Sweet Peppers and Brown Sugar
  • Hawaiian Luau with Pineapple, Mango and Bell Peppers
  • Sweet Korean BBQ with Roasted Ginger and Sesame
  • Mexican Red Chile Taco with Garlic and Bell Peppers
  • Moroccan Spiced Stew with Green Olives and Lemon

I made notes of which meats I needed to get during my recent grocery trip to ensure we could test out these products fully. Since my sons were doing wrestling, it was nice to have a meal ready when we got home from practices. Our first try was the Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces Sweet Korean BBQ with Roasted Ginger and Sesame. I placed the beef in the slow cooker, added the sauce, covered and set the timer for the allotted time. I believe it was 6-7 hours of cooking on low in the slow cooker.

Everyone loved this meal, I cooked mashed potatoes and green beans to go with the sweet Korean BBQ, I also placed the meat over egg noodles. It was a meal to enjoy after a long day of parenthood, working from home and being the Mama taxi driver for my family.

Cambells Slow Cookers (1)

I happened to run across a buy one get one free deal on boneless, skinless chicken breast so I thought I would switch out the pork for chicken in the Hawaiian Luau with Pineapple, Mango and Bell Peppers. This was a hit, my daughter was ooing and awwing over this decision. The fiance enjoyed it but thinks that this sauce definitely would have been better with pork. Can’t win them all, I can say my daughter talked about it for days after I created the meal with chicken instead of pork. We still have other varieties here to test out, but so far we think this is a great product to keep busy households fed well without taking more time in the kitchen.

ENTER FOR CHANCE TO WIN YOUR OWN PRIZE PACKAGE

One person will be randomly selected after February 18, 2014 based on those who entered using the Rafflecopter form below. The winner chosen out of all entrants will receive the following prize package, this is valued around $78 —-

All 6 varieties of Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces
6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

Open to USA only

Giveaway Starts today and ends 12am EST on February 18, 2014 Open to USA. Winner will be announced live on site and emailed directly. Winner shall have 48 hours from announcement post and email to claim prize otherwise another random winner shall be chosen using the random generator through Rafflecopter.

** one entry per person, while you can tweet once per day, all other entries are ONE TIME per PERSON. 

Using the Rafflecopter form below is easy; use name/email to log in or Facebook for login. Rafflecopter will not use your email or access for anything other than giving me a way to contact you should you be the randomly chosen winner! Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize or another person will be randomly selected.

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