Saturday, December 16, 2017

Crockpot Sugared Pecans ***

So after the last time I made these, I commented that I should try adding white sugar at the end. This time, I went ahead and added about 1/4 cup to the powdered sugar in step 2 and another 1/4 cup to the cinnamon mix at the end. SO much better. The first part helps with the carmelization, and the second part gives it a bit of that cinnamon/sugar combo that I so dearly love. I might try getting rid of some of the powdered sugar next time. We'll see. No matter what, though, this remains one of our most favorite Christmas traditions. 😋

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ via TheSpruce)

16 ounces pecans (or walnut halves)
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
(1/2 cup white sugar, optional)

Turn slow cooker to high about 15 minutes in advance.
In hot slow cooker, stir together the nuts and butter. Add the powdered sugar, stirring to blend and coat evenly. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and remove ​the lid.
Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the nuts are coated with a crisp glaze.
Transfer the nuts to a bowl.
In another small bowl, combine the spices; sift over the nuts, stirring to coat evenly.
Let cool before serving.
*luckymommy's notes: I add 1/4 cup white sugar to step 2 and another 1/4 cup white sugar to step 4.

Previous Posts:
9/23/12 ~ Hubby loves the cinnamon sugar pecans that are sold at football games and at the stores during Christmas season.  For some reason, you can't find them anywhere in stores around here right now.  I went in search of some that I could make at home, and came across this recipe for the crockpot.  Score!  These are positively divine.  They taste kind of a like a mixture between pumpkin pie and pecan pie.  Yummy, yummy, yummy!  They don't get as crispy as the ones at the football games do, so I'll probably try another recipe eventually.  They definitely hold their own, though.    Both boys loved them as well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti****

I really, really, really want to love chicken spaghetti, but I just can't stand Velveeta. For years, I've been trying to find a good recipe that didn't use Velveeta. This is it! At first, I balked at the amount of shredded cheese in there, but you really do need a lot for chicken spaghetti. I don't know exactly the amount that I used, since I just went by what looked right, but I do know it was less than the full 6 cups. Maybe around 4.5-5? Anyway, it was excellent. This is going to be my go-to chicken spaghetti recipe from now on. You could sub Rotel for the chilies, but since I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes anyway, as written works pretty well for us. The recipe on the website was only for 4 servings, which never works for us (two teenage boys and a hubby who takes leftovers for lunch!), so I doubled the amounts. I am so excited to finally have a non-Velveeta chicken spaghetti recipe!

*Recipe below is doubled from website, to allow for 8 servings*
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ LaurensLatest)

4 chicken breasts (about 2 lbs)
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 small cans mild diced green chiles
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1.5-2 lbs cooked spaghetti
5-6 cups grated cheddar cheese
a few splashes chicken stock, optional

Place onion, bell peppers, green chiles, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chicken, mushroom soup and 1 cup of grated cheese together in a crock-pot. Stir to mix ingredients. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken breasts, shred and return to crock-pot. Pour in cooked spaghetti and remaining cheese. Toss to coat pasta in sauce and melt cheese, adding in a few splashes of chicken stock where necessary to get sauce consistency you want. Cook another 20-30 minutes on low and serve.
**Freezer directions: Place onion, bell peppers, green chilies, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chicken, mushroom soup and 1 cup of grated cheese together in a large plastic freezer bag. Seal and freeze. To cook, defrost in fridge, place in crockpot and cook according to directions listed above.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken and Rice****

This was amazing. Hubby doesn't like black beans, so I usually sub pinto. This time, I went ahead and used the black, since it was such a small amount of the dish overall. We loved it! The only change I made was to sub a can of green chilies for the chipotle pepper. The rest of them would have liked the chipotle, but I'm just more of a green chilies kind of gal.  I needed a longer cook time for mine, so I started with frozen breasts and cooked for 6 hours on low. It was perfect! I am going to be making this one again soon.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ 5BoysBaker)

4 boneless , skinless chicken breasts
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Ro-tel tomatoes (mild or regular)
1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobo sauce , chopped
4 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
Garnishes: Sour cream , avocado, cilantro, sour cream

Place chicken in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, enchilada sauce, garlic powder, paprika, salt, cumin and chipotle pepper; mix well and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken to a plate and shred using two forks. Return chicken to the slow cooker. Add cooked rice and beans and stir well. Sprinkle cheese evenly across the top and cover. Let heat through about 20-30 minutes.
Garnish sour cream, cilantro and avocado, if desired.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I subbed a can of chopped green chilies for the chipotle. I also started with frozen chicken breasts and cooked on low for 6 hours.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Crockpot Pizza Tater Tot Casserole ***

This was a winner for us, but it was also kind of a no-brainer. I love almost anything with tater tots (except for the regular old-school Tater Tot Casserole, oddly enough), and it's pretty hard to go wrong where pizza is involved. We love the Crockpot Pizza, so I basically put the same toppings in this one. I went with onions, green peppers, black olives, and mushrooms. SOOO good.  I used ground turkey for this one, just because I had some in the freezer to use up. I am totally making this one again, though. Yum!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ RecipesThatCrock)

2 lbs ground beef
1/4-1/2 c onion diced
10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
14 oz pizza sauce
37 pepperoni slices (approx)
1/2 c green pepper chopped
2 1/2 c shredded mozzarella
32 oz bag tater tots
Pizza toppings, per preference

Brown beef in a skillet with onion over medium-high heat and drain
Mix beef mixture with your soups
Spray your crock pot with cooking spray
Pour your mixture into your crock pot and spread out evenly
Pour your pizza sauce evenly across your mixture
Place your pepperoni slices evenly across the top
Spread your green peppers evenly across your pepperoni slices
Sprinkle your cheese on top
Cover evenly with your tater tots
Place aluminum foil on top of your crock pot
Cover and cook for 3 hours on high
Remove your aluminum foil and continue cooking on high for an additional hour
Optional: Place in your broiler (on high if you have the choice of hi/lo for 2-4 minutes, watching very closely

Monday, October 23, 2017

Slow Cooker No-Peek Chicken*

This was just so unbelievably bland. I wasn't expecting much from it, just a simple meal that had a bit of flavor to it. It just really had no flavor at all. Even with the soup mix in it. It was disappointing, to say the least. We all just kind of picked at it, but not a one of us ate our full portion. That's rare for our house. I'm not even going to waste any more of my time writing about it. It was bland, blah, and blech. That pretty much sums it up.


1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (10.5-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10.5-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water (measured from one of the cans above)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups Minute® rice (not standard rice)
1 (1-oz.) packet Lipton® onion soup mix

Add the cans of soup, one can of water, garlic powder, pepper and Minute rice to a large bowl. Mix well.
Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray.
Add half of the above mixture in the slow cooker. Lay over the chicken breasts. Spread over the rest of the rice mixture.
Sprinkle over the soup mix.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 3.5 hours. Do not peek during the cooking time!
Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

White Chicken Chili (Crockpot) **

This was okay. I mean, it was good and all, but it just really wasn't what I was looking for in a white chicken chili. I have one that I love (see recipe here), but I was looking to find a good one for the crockpot. One that I love just as much as the stovetop version. This just didn't do that for me. I think the Rotel might have thrown it off a bit. I don't think I like the idea of tomatoes in a white chili. All in all, the flavor in this was fine. If I hadn't already had something different in mind, it probably would have been okay. Just not for me, lol.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ PassionforSavings)

1 lb chicken breasts
1 white onion, diced
2 cans white northern beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 (10-oz) can Rotel
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (32-oz) container chicken broth
1 (8-oz) block cream cheese
1/4 cup half & half or heavy cream
Topping Ideas: cheese, avocado, fresh cilantro, sour cream, salsa, & tortilla chips

In a bowl combine salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder; stir.
Place chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker.
Sprinkle seasonings over the chicken.
Top with onion, beans, corn, and Rotel.
Add the entire container of chicken broth to the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (until chicken is fork tender).
Remove chicken and shred with forks. Return chicken to slow cooker.
Add in cream cheese and half & half.
Cook another 15 minutes on high.
Serve with your favorite toppings!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cherry Pork Chops (Crockpot) ***

We loved this one! I can only stand pork chops when they're done in the crockpot, and I was just kind of intrigued by the idea of making them with the pie filling. If anyone but Amylz had posted it, I might have thought it sounded crazy, but her recipes have never failed me in the past. I figured it was worth a shot. And we loved it! The 12-year-old is already asking to have it again! The cherries were actually my favorite part. I had them as a side instead of a topping, just because I liked them so much on their own. You can't beat this for ease, obviously, but they taste more complex than they actually are. Definitely a winner for us!

(Amy - amylz - The Everything Slow Cooker Cookbook )

6 pork chops
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 tsp lemon juice

Place the pork in a large skillet on the stove. Brown on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix half the can of cherry pie filling, the crushed bouillon cube and the lemon juice in the crock pot. Place the pork chops on top. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Heat the remaining cherry pie filling and serve over chops.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Crockpot Tater Tot Sloppy Joe Casserole ***

This was better than I thought it would be. I am generally not a big Sloppy Joe fan, but I am a HUGE tater tot fan (as I might have mentioned once or twice on here 😉). I figured that would be enough to keep my interest. And I was right! This was not bland at all, which can be a problem with crockpot tater tot meals. I used some frozen ground turkey that I had on hand, so I just skipped the first step and mixed everything together in the pot. I also subbed pinto beans for the kidney beans, since Hubs is pretty anti-kidney.  It was all great, though. The kids loved it. I will definitely make again!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ TammiLeeTips)

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 c tomato sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 can red kidney beans
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 bag tater tots, frozen

Brown beef with onions, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Add tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and mustard to the beef mixture. Mix well.
Add the kidney beans
Spray the inside bowl of the slow cooker with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper
Place a layer of tater tots on the bottom of the bowl
Cover with the beef mixture
Place another layer of tater tots on top of the beef mixture.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel, and place the lid over that.
Cook on high for 4 hours
In the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the lid and sprinkle on the cheese. Replace lid and continue cooking until the cheese is melted and gooey.
When serving, garnish with a dollop of sour cream or ketchup if you prefer.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I subbed pinto beans for the kidney and ground turkey for the beef.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

All-In-One Crockpot Chicken with Rice and Brussels Sprouts *

This was just disgusting. The chicken had zero flavor (which I should have known, but I must have totally been off my rocker that day). I coated it well with rotisserie rub, but you honestly couldn't taste it at all. The sprouts were decent but bland. The rice was just kind of there. I mean, it was kind of mushy, with no flavor whatsoever. We love sprouts, but this is something I will never be making again.


1 cup long grain brown rice
4.5 cups water
2 large chicken breasts, herbed to your liking with rosemary, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper
1 pound of Brussels sprouts, halved (or any vegetables you like!)

Layer as listed above and cook on high for 4 hours.
I enjoyed mine with a dollop of Greek yogurt on the side. We ate all of the chicken but had plenty of rice + sprouts to save for a side dish the next night.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

One Skillet Sausage and White Bean Gnocchi **

This was my first attempt at making anything with gnocchi at home. We love the Olive Garden gnocchi soup, so I knew we'd eventually need something for that at home as well. I'm WAY behind on my reviews, so when I made the recipe, it was way too hot for the soup. This seemed like a good way to incorporate it into our meal plan. We did all like it a lot. The gnocchi didn't quite soften up like it should have, though. I don't have a Dutch Oven, so I cooked it on the stove in my regular skillet and then transferred it to a 9x13 baking dish to put it in the oven. That could have had something to do with it, I guess. Anyway, we did like it, but I don't know that I would bother with this exact recipe again. I'm usually pretty busy in the evenings, so this takes a little more prep work that I prefer, unless it's a phenomenal dish that we all are crazy about. I doubt I'll be making it again.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ ChelseasMessyApron)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 package (13 ounces) Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage
1/4 cup water or chicken broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika optional
Seasoned salt and pepper
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans
1 package (16 ounces) gnocchi
1 and 1/2 cups fresh spinach ~4-5 ounces
1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Optional: fresh parsley

Move a rack in your oven to the upper third of the oven and then preheat to 425 degrees F.
Put a large oven-safe skillet (I use a 12 inch lodge dutch oven skillet), on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil.
Add in the chopped onion and stir until the onion is transparent -- about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
Coin the turkey sausage and add to the skillet. Cook over high heat until lightly browned or about 3-4 minutes.
Add in the water or broth, undrained Italian diced tomatoes, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, seasoned salt and pepper, THOROUGHLY rinsed, drained, and dried cannellini beans, and uncooked gnocchi. Stir until everything is well combined. Gently stir in the spinach and make sure it's covered with liquid.
Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and place in the oven.
Bake for 17-22 minutes. If desired, turn on the broiler and then broil for another 2-3 minutes for a delicious crispy top.
Remove from the heat, top with additional salt, pepper, and some chopped fresh parsley if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mexican Cream Cheese Crockpot Chicken ***

Well, I just now noticed, while typing up this post, that I put the cream cheese in at the beginning instead of waiting until the end.  Honestly, I see no reason to wait.  It didn't curdle, and letting it cook with the ingredients the entire time lets it soak up more of the juices.  But I don't really think it matters either way.  I chose it off Pinterest because of the short list of ingredients and quick preparation.  I also liked that it closely resembles Crockpot Taco Soup, which is one of my most favorite winter-time comfort foods.  Considering it's the middle of a heat-ravaged summer, I couldn't possibly go the soup route, so this was a nice way of *almost* having it. 😉

I did double the recipe, but I think that it would be better to do more like 1.5 times the amounts. We wrapped ours up in tortillas, burrito-style, and filled them with lettuce and tomatoes and such.  The original recipe mentioned having it over rice, which would be really good in cold weather.  But whatever you choose, this sucker was a big winner for us!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ GonnaWantSeconds)

4 Chicken Breast Halves, Boneless and Skinless
1 (15 Ounce) Can Black Beans, Drained
1 (7 Ounce) Can Ortega Chiles, Chopped
1 (15.5 Ounces ) Can Diced Tomatoes, Undrained
1 (8 Ounces) Can Corn, Drained
1 (6 Ounces) Can Black Olives, Drained
1 Small Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Envelope Taco Seasoning
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Cubed

Add all ingredients to crock pot EXCEPT cream cheese.
Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours or until chicken is extremely tender.
Remove chicken and shred. Add back to crock pot. Add cream cheese, cover and continue to cook on high for 30 minutes.  Stir well and serve with tortillas or over rice.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I doubled the recipe and added the cream cheese at the beginning.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mexican Spaghetti ****

Back when I still had "little" boys (sniff, sniff 😢), they loved watching iCarly.  On the show, one of their favorite dishes was Spaghetti Tacos.  So after listening to my kids beg relentlessly for Spaghetti Tacos, I finally created a recipe for them.  And they loved it.  Six years later, they still do.  Well, the hubs and I never really wanted to waste the extra carbs with noodles and shells, so we compromised and ate ours without the shells.  And so was born this Mexican Spaghetti.  To this day, we still eat ours this way.  We top it with lots of lettuce and sour cream and black olives.  Sometimes salsa.  It's a pretty forgiving recipe, but it's so, SO good!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup water
1 jar Sauteed Onion and Mushroom spaghetti sauce
1 box spaghetti noodles
Salsa, optional
Cheddar cheese, optional
Lettuce, optional
Black olives, optional

Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot.
Brown meat in pan until no longer pink; drain.  Add taco seasoning and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until sauce thickens.  Add spaghetti sauce and cook until warmed.  Add to noodles and mix thoroughly.
Add taco toppings to each serving as desired.
Very messy, but very yummy!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Crack Slaw (Low Carb) ***

I made a few alterations on this one, but the overall principle is good.  First off, I used a lot more soy sauce.  It was extremely bland.  Second, the 2 tsp of red pepper flakes is just too much for me.  I knew that when I put them in, and I definitely regretted it afterwards.  The rest of the family loved the heat.  Me, not so much.  Finally, one of the many times that I was adding more soy sauce, I accidentally grabbed the Worcestershire.  Oddly enough, it added a whole new dimension to the flavor, and we loved it!  I want to try more recipes likes this before I decide on our final winner, but this one most definitely has possibilities.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

2 lbs. ground beef or turkey (your choice on meat)
2 bags classic cole slaw mix
4 green onions, chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp ground ginger
*Optional add a single serve packet of Splenda.

Ground hamburger in pan as you normally would. Drain excess fat after cooking and set hamburger aside.
In separate pan, put sesame oil, soy sauce, chopped up green onion and chopped up garlic together and stir fry until tender.
Add cole slaw mix, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger and cook until mostly tender.
Add browned hamburger to the pan with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Can add more soy sauce to taste.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: Use the Splenda.  Add way more soy sauce.  Add a touch of Worcester.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Slow Cooker Pork Gyros with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce ***

We tried our very first gyros this past January on a trip to a school competition in another city.  We all absolutely fell in love.  Since then, we've tried a couple of other places, but we've never found one that we loved as much as that first place.  So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest, I knew that I had to see if it would work for us.  While this one didn't blow our minds like that first place did, it definitely came in pretty high on the list.  The 11-year-old wanted to have it again the next night. 😂 I didn't go for that one, but I do see us having this again soon.  It's fairly simple, in comparison to other recipes out there, and I was at least able to throw together everything on my lunch break, which is one of my big requirements for most of our meals, lol.  I'm not much of a fan of cucumbers, but even this tzatziki sauce was pretty good.  I think I want to shred the cucumber for it next time, though.  Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ 365DaysOfCrockpot)

3 pounds pork sirloin tip roast
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 large lemon, juiced
Lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced grape tomatoes, for serving

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup diced cucumber, seeded and diced into tiny pieces
1 tablespoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Place pork, onion, garlic, oil, oregano, allspice, lemon pepper and lemon juice into slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (if it’s frozen it will be like 8-10 hours)
Remove lid. Using tongs remove the pork and place on a cutting board. Shred or slice the pork and place back into the slow cooker.
Serve the pork and onions on the top of pita bread with Tzatziki sauce, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt and garlic in medium bowl. Stir until creamy and combined.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with gyros.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Crockpot Mississippi Chicken Thighs ****

We're big fans of the Crockpot Mississippi Roast, and we all love us some chicken thighs.  When this one popped up on my Pinterest board, it was basically a no-brainer that I would have to try it.  And I am so very glad that I did!  We all practically inhaled our dinner plates.  It was that good.  My local grocery store very rarely has the Au Jus packets, so I typically just use the brown gravy ones.  The Au Jus is definitely my preference when it's in stock, though.  There's nothing special about the recipe, but it's one of those that tastes like it takes a lot more effort than it actually does.  Always a good thing, lol.  I'm definitely going to be making this one again.  The kids have already requested that it go back on the menu for next week! 😊

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ RecipesThatCrock)

3 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
1 envelope Au Jus Gravy Mix or Brown Gravy Mix
1/2 Stick of Butter (1/4 Cup)
6 Pepperoncinis

Lay chicken thighs in the bottom of your slow cooker.
Sprinkle mixes on top.
Slice butter and place evenly on top.
Add peppers.
Cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pepperoni Lasagna ****

We have been firmly entrenched in baseball practices, school programs, and activities for about 2 months now.  Needless to say, I rarely get to cook, and when I do, it's always old T&T simple recipes.  That said, I finally had a day today where we had nothing to do after work and school.  Yay!  So to celebrate, I made this old family favorite.  In the old days (back before we were in so many sports and activities!), I used to make this a couple times a month.  It's a bit labor-intensive, but no worse than any other homemade lasagna.  Because of the time it takes to prepare, though, I just never really have the chance to make it anymore.  When we finally got some down time, I knew it was the perfect time for this one.  And boy, was I right!  The kids really didn't even remember how much they used to like it, so it was basically like a brand-new recipe again.  They devoured it and both asked for seconds! 

As a side note, I've also successfully tried this in the crockpot.  Click here to check out that review.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

1-1/2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2-1/2 cups water
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) carton small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 (3 1/2 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Add water, tomato sauce, tomato paste, bouillon and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese and sour cream.
Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Layer with four noodles, the cottage cheese mixture and pepperoni. Top with remaining noodles and meat sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Cover and bake at 350*F for 35 minutes.
Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through.
Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
*Amy's notes: I subbed ground turkey for ground beef and garlic powder for garlic salt. I also only cooked the sauce for 20 minutes, as opposed to 30.

Previous reviews:3/8/10 ~ I don't even know where to begin in describing how good this was! First of all, it's been ages since I've made a homemade lasagna, so you have to take that into account, lol. Even still, this was amazing. I had fears that the pepperoni would make it too salty, but it really just added an extra little zing of taste to each bite. The boys are not pepperoni lovers at all, but my 6-year-old even asked for thirds (which he did not get, obviously)! The cheese layer is perfectly baked, and the eggs actually add another dimension of flavor to it. It takes forever to throw together, but it is SO WORTH IT!!! I will be making this again and again. I'm thinking I could start putting it all together the night before and then just throw it in the oven when I get home after work. The only change I made was to use garlic powder instead of garlic salt. With the pepperoni and then the addition of salt already, I thought the garlic salt would be overkill. Oh, and I subbed ground turkey for ground beef, as usual. I also used the tiny pepperonis instead of the regular-sized ones, so there was at least a little bit of pepperoni in every bite.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Crockpot Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Tortellini ****

This is nothing special, but we all absolutely loved it.  I've made it twice now, and each time, it just seems to get better.  I love how simple it is, and you can use so many different add-ins to mix it up.  We like it as-written, though.  We're pretty plain-Jane when it comes to this one.  You could definitely use thawed chicken and just go for a shorter cook time.  My crockpot tends to run hot, so using frozen breasts gives me a little extra time to play with before supper.  I typically come home on my lunch break and throw everything in the crockpot, so I really need about a 6-hour cook time, if it's going to be ready to eat (and not overcooked or just warm) when we walk in the door after a full day at work and school and activities.  This one just works perfectly for us!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

4 frozen chicken breasts
2 jars Alfredo sauce
1 bag fresh spinach
3-4 cups refrigerated cheese tortellini

Place chicken, sauce, and spinach in crockpot.  Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 4 hours (until chicken is fully cooked).
Once chicken is fully cooked, prepare tortellini on stovetop as directed.  Shred chicken in sauce.  Combine cooked tortellini and sauce and serve warm.
Note: You can also add the uncooked tortellini to the crockpot and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Yummy Pork Steak ***

This is an older recipe, but it's been a couple years since I've made it.  I was really craving pork steaks, so I pulled this one out of my old files.  I usually do mine on low for about 6-7 hours (my crockpot runs hot).  I also prefer the dry onion mushroom soup, but the flavor is basically the same.  Still a winner for us!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

3 lbs pork steaks
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

Put pork steaks in bottom of crockpot or slow cooker.
Sprinkle onion soup mix over steaks.
Pour soup over the top.
Cook on high setting about 4 hours.

Previous posts:
11/8/10 ~ Well, I boo-boo'd, and I accidentally bought pork chops instead of pork steak.  On top of that, I bought bone-in chops, which I hate.  So, being the industrious mama that I am, I deboned those suckers and threw them in the pot anyway.  They were really good.  It's way better with the pork steaks, but it left the chops so tender, and the sauce, simple as it might be, is really yummy.  The little ones were going on and on about how much they loved it, which is always a good thing in a house with kids who think every night should be take-out, lol.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Crockpot Corn & Crawfish Bisque ***

I found this one in an old cookbook.  We adore crawfish, so we tend to try a lot of new ways to work them into our menus.  The recipe below is doubled from what was posted in the cookbook.  It's me and three me/boys in our household, and the 3-5 servings that was listed in the original recipe would NOT have held up for us, lol.  I also like to have quite a bit left over for their lunches, now that the teenager prefers to take leftovers like his dad instead of sandwiches.  The original recipe had a full stick of margarine (so it would have been two sticks for my version), but I cut it down to just 2 tablespoons.  Honestly, I think you could skip it altogether.  I don't really see a need for it at all.  That's why I just put "optional" in the recipe below.  The original recipe also said to use cayenne pepper, but I went with the Cajun seasoning instead, so that it would have that Cajun-ish flavor to it.  Anyway, we all loved this.  We had it on a cold and icy night with some crusty rolls, and it hit the spot just perfectly.  Now I just wish it would go back to being cold so that we could have it again.  Ha!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ an old cookbook)

4 cans cream of potato soup
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
8 oz cream cheese
2 pints half-and-half
2 pkgs frozen crawfish meat, thawed
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (to taste)
2 Tbsp margarine (optional)

Add all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 6-7 hours.
Stir until well-combined.

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Pasta ***

We all really enjoyed this one.  It wasn't one of our favorites or anything, but it was quick to throw together and tasted pretty good.  I used angelhair pasta, just because it's our preference.  I also just threw in a frozen bag of fajita blend peppers and onions, to cut down on the prep time.  Mine cooked on high for about 6 hours, and it was perfect.  It kind of reminds me of my mom's recipe for Chicken Spaghetti, without the rotel and Velveeta.  I can't stand Velveeta, so this definitely played in its favor for me.  I would definitely make it again, but I think that next time I'll add in a can of diced green chilies.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ MyHeavenlyRecipes)

1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Onion, diced
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 TSP Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
5-6 chicken breasts
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Box Barilla Spaghetti or Angel Hair, cooked and drained
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
3/4 C Chicken Stock (or water)

Place onion, bell pepper, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chicken, mushroom soup and 1 cup of grated cheese together in a crock-pot. Stir to mix ingredients. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is fully cooked.
Remove chicken breasts from the crock-pot, dice and return to crock-pot. Pour in cooked spaghetti, tomatoes and remaining cheese. Using a pair of tons coat the pasta in sauce and melt cheese, adding in a few splashes of chicken stock (or water). Cook another 20-30 minutes on low and serve.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I used a bag of frozen fajita blend peppers.  Next time I'll add a can of green chilies.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

One Pot Crawfish and Shrimp Creole Pasta ****

This one was basically inspired by what we were craving tonight, lol.  It was such a winner, though.  I'm so ridiculously far behind on my postings, but I wanted to hurry and get this one down before I forgot how I did it.  We all know how that can be!  I love that it only uses the one soup pot on the stove, though, and even the noodles cook right in there.  It's super easy.  Plus, everything starts from frozen, meaning that it's easy to throw together at the last minute (which is where a lot of the inspiration came from tonight - ha!).  The kids are on Spring Break this week, and they're already asking if they can have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 package frozen crawfish tails
1 package frozen extra small shrimp (precooked and deveined)
1 package frozen fajita blend peppers and onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
16 oz box angelhair pasta
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp Creole seasoning (we use Tony Chachere's)

Pour olive oil into the pot. Add frozen crawfish, shrimp, and peppers and onions.  Sprinkle with Creole seasoning. Cover and cook on medium heat until veggies are tender and everything is well-thawed, adding mushrooms and garlic about halfway through (about 10 minutes total).
Remove lid and let some of the liquid cook out, stirring occasionally to keep everything cooking evenly.
Add the dry pasta to the pot.  Pour in the chicken broth, cream, and Parmesan. Stir until everything is well-combined.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, keep covered and bring the heat down to a simmer for 10 minutes (stirring every couple of minutes).
If it's still soupy at the end (mine wasn't), you can either continue cooking, to cook out some more of the liquid, or you can add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

World's Greatest Nana Puddin' ****

There are a zillion banana pudding recipes in internet-land.  I combined my favorite parts of each and came up with this one.  I let the 11-year-old come up with the name, lol.

This was another winner for us.  To show how far behind I am, this was actually my contribution to our Thanksgiving get-together.  What little bit was leftover from dinner was scarfed down at breakfast the next morning.  I think it's safe to say we'll be having this one again. ;-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

2 boxes Nilla Wafers
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5 oz.) box French Vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
Using a different bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together, and mix until smooth.
Line the bottom of a large trifle bowl with a layer (or two!) of cookies.  Layer sliced bananas on top.
Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.
Line the bottom of a 13×9 inch inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
Pour some of the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with another layer of cookies.  Alternate layers until you get the top.
For garnish, crumble a few cookies and sprinkle on top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cranberry Kielbasa Bites (Crockpot) ***

This was my second new appetizer recipe for our Christmas Eve gathering.  Super simple, but very flavorful.  My boys (even the grown-up one, lol) ate this one up.  They all loved it.  It's similar to the Lil Smokies or meatball recipes that use the grape jelly, but I think that the cranberry adds a nice mellowing factor to it.  The grape jelly ones are just a tad bit too sugary-sweet for me, but the tartness of the cranberries kind of tone that down a bit.  Whatever it was, it was a winner for us.  My kids ate the few remaining leftovers for snack the next day and still loved them! (Sorry, but there's no pic on this one either.  I was too busy trying to get everything ready and out the door in time for the party!)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ TheFrugalGirls)

1 can Jellied Cranberry Sauce (14 oz.)
1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce (12 oz.)
2 links Hillshire Farm Beef Polska Kielbasa (12 oz.)

Slice Kielbasa links into round pieces 1/4"-1/2" thick.
Place sliced Kielbasa pieces in Crockpot
In mixing bowl, stir together Jellied Cranberry Sauce and Chili Sauce.
Pour sauce mixture over Kielbasa in Crockpot.
Cook on HIGH for 1-1/2 hours, or LOW for 2-1/2 hours, or until hot.
Serve with toothpicks and Enjoy!

Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts ***

I am so far behind on my postings that it's not even funny.  Hubby was unemployed for a while, and everything was so crazy that I mainly just stuck to old tried and true recipes.  I'm going to try to catch myself up on all the new stuff we've tried, though, so you've been warned. ;-)

These were AMAZING.  I mean, our family is crazy about Brussels sprouts and bacon, so there really was never a question.  I took these to our family Christmas Eve celebration, though, and even the folks who don't like Brussels said that they were good!  The general consensus is that they don't even taste like Brussels, since the bacon flavor is so predominant.  However you want to look at it, they were great.  Not to mention easy.  I can honestly see doing these as a side dish over the weekend or something (when you have a bit more time).  I used those sprouts that come cleaned and in the steaming bags, mainly just because I'm lazy.  Worked perfectly, though!  I forgot to take a pic of this one, but if you follow the link, you can see hers.  Mine were basically the same.  Some of the larger sprouts worked better when cut in half, so mine we're necessarily as pretty.  Ha!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ FitFoodieFinds)

12 strips of bacon
12 medium/large brussels sprouts
pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375*F and line a baking sheet with tin foil.
Then, prep brussels sprouts by washing and patting dry with a paper towl.
To make bacon wrapped brussels sprouts. Place a brussels sprouts at the top of a piece of bacon. Then roll it up, your bacon inside the brussels sprout and place on baking sheet. Season with pepper, to taste.
Bake at 375*F for 30-35 minutes depending on how crispy you like your bacon.
To serve, insert a toothpick into each sprout.