Freezer Meal #1 – Update

Yesterday I made the first of five slow cooker freezer meals I prepped last weekend. Thanks to Kelly from New Leaf Wellness for the recipes & grocery list!  My kids and I are big soup lovers, so I started with the Vegetable beef soup.  Although I make a good Chicken Noodle soup & Golden Potato soup, I have never made beef soup.  EVER!  I have been wanting to try is since we always have beef & venison in the freezer.  The recipe, instructions and grocery list were all laid out in Kelly’s post, so I thought this would be a great place to start.

There were several things that surprised me about this recipe.  First was the addition of chicken broth when adding ingredients to the slow cooker.  Chicken broth in beef soup?  The second was adding the beef to the slow cooker raw.  Well, I made the recipe exactly as written and I must say, we were all VERY pleased.  The soup was GOOD!  Hurray!  This one is definitely going in the recipe binder!

Next time I will only change two things:  I will probably add two more cups of chicken broth and I will make it on a day when I can be home to make bread bowls!  Yum!

Thanks again, New Leaf Wellness!

Freezer Slow cooker Meals – first attempt

Here is how I spent an hour of my Saturday afternoon.   It is my first attempt at freezer meals.  I spent about $33 on the ingredients that I didn’t have in the pantry.  I have 5 meals ready to go into my slow cookef (I only have to add some broth to the soup).  It was really pretty easy to put together.  20141108_150341I can’t wait to try them!

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

The other day I heard a recipe for Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese on Listen to the Mrs. It’s not one of the healthier recipes I’ve posted, but it is a comfort food. If you like Cream of Mushroom Soup and cheese you will probably like this recipe. Two of my kids and I loved it. One disliked it and my DH said it was okay. It’s called 3-3-2-1 Mac & Cheese.

3-3-2-1 Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

3 Cups milk
3 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 Bricks (8 oz each) Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 box uncooked pasta (16 oz)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in slow cooker (I use a slow cooker liner for easy clean up). Cook for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.

We tried this for the first time yesterday. I used whole grain Penne pasta which worked great. It took 2 hours on high. You can definitely taste the cream of mushroom soup, but it was very creamy. I will probably make it again. It was very easy to put together for an easy meal. I added a side of fresh asparagus & we had a great meal. There was enough left over to send with two of the kids for lunch today. Definitely a winner at our house!

Pasta Alfredo in the Slow Cooker

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Last week I tried a recipe for Macaroni and Cheese in the slow cooker. It was very easy to put together.  All the ingredients were simply placed in the slow cooker, including uncooked pasta.  This got me to thinking about the alfredo my kids love.  If mac and cheese can be made in the slow cooker with uncooked pasta, maybe pasta alfredo could be as well.  I often use penne or spiral pasta with alfredo sauce anyway; it is easier for the kids to eat. I tried making it today using extra cream cheese and extra milk.  The pasta was cooked all the way, but the sauce was VERY thick (there was almost no sauce left at all).  If I make it this way again, I will try adding more liquid so the pasta does not absorb all the sauce.  It still tasted great so the recipe just needs to be tweaked a little. I will update the post the when I have adjusted the recipe to our satisfaction.

Pasta Alfredo in the Crock Pot

2/3 cup margarine or butter
2 pkg cream cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
4 cups milk
6 oz grated parmesan cheese
dash of pepper

I heated the margarine and cream cheese in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. I stirred with a whisk until it was smooth. Heat it a little longer in the microwave if necessary.

I added the garlic powder and milk. Again stirring until there were no lumps.

Next, I added the parmesan cheese and dash of pepper.

Last I added the pasta and sauce to the slow cooker. I cooked it for 4 hours on low.

Coleslaw Dressing

Broccoli Slaw

I usually make my cole slaw dressing without using a recipe – just make it to taste. But a friend asked me for my recipe so I wrote this one down one day. It is sweet and tangy and my kids love my broccoli slaw! I put this on the menu when we need a quick supper. Today we had brats, broccoli slaw and green peppers. It took us about 5 minutes to prepare! Gotta love that when we get home from volleyball practice at supper time!

Slaw Dressing

3/4 c. Miracle whip (I use Aldi brand)
1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar (Balsamic works well, also)
1/4 c. sugar
2 TBS milk
Celery seed (optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients and stir until smooth. Add shredded cabbage or broccoli. Sprinkle some celery seed on if desired.