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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!

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!

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.

Pre-Packing Snacks

granola bars

My kids have to take their lunch to school every day. One of the hardest parts of making lunches for me is packing snacks. That’s why I like to get snacks ready for the whole week at once. This week I made granola bars. Once they had cooled I packed them into snack sized bags so all I would have to do is grab them in the morning. They can do the same when they get home from school.

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I also like to cut cheese in chunks at the beginning of the week. Again, I pack them into small snack sized bags so they are easy to grab when needed.

bagged popcorn

Sometimes my husband pops a BIG batch of popcorn on Sunday evenings. This also is bagged for snacks later in the week – either at home after school, or for their lunch boxes.

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Dried fruit, trail mix, crackers, raisins, grapes, etc… All get packed at the beginning of the week. My mornings go so much smoother when all this prep is done ahead of time.