Cheap Slow-Cooker Chili

1 T oil
3 lb Chuck roast, trimmed & cubed
1/2 t pepper
pinch salt
2 onions, chopped
1 sweet pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can beef broth
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
1 can diced tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
1 c cheddar, shredded
1/2 c green onion, chopped

  1. Sprinkle beef with salt & pepper
  2. Heat oil in heavy dutch oven & brown beef
  3. Put beef in slow cooker
  4. Add onion & pepper to dutch oven & cook until onion is translucent
  5. Transfer peppers & onion to slow cooker and top with garlic & beans
  6. Add beef broth to dutch oven & stir, scraping up fond
  7. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomatoes, & tomato sauce to dutch oven, stirring until incorporated
  8. Pour dutch oven sauce into slow cooker & stir
  9. Cook on low 7 hours
  10. Serve topped with cheese & green onion

Indian Trail Cranberry Sauce

This recipe makes about two 10 ounce containers of the sauce. The whole thing is just so easy that I have a hard time believing I ever paid for this stuff! I usually peel the orange & add the peel then I remove the pith & add the sections, but if I'm using clementines, I just quarter them & toss them in. I've heard that you don't have to peel oranges, but I think it would be bitter so I've never tried it. If you do it that way, let me know how it turns out!

1 bag cranberries
1 c sugar
1 orange or 3 clementines

  1. Add cranberries & sugar to Ninja Master Prep, blender, or food processor
  2. Peel orange, being careful to avoid the pith, and add peel to cranberry mixture
  3. Remove pith from orange & discard
  4. Quarter orange & add to cranberry mixture
  5. Blend to desired texture
  6. Pack into 10 ounce packages & freeze

Indian Trail Cranberry Sauce Recipe (from the package label)

2 pkgs (3 oz.) Cherry Flavor Gelatin
2-1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup crushed pineapple (juice and all)
1 pkg. (10 oz.) Frozen Indian Trail Cranberry
Orange Sauce Thawed

  1. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
  2. Stir in Cranberry Orange Sauce & pineapple.
  3. Pour into mold.
  4. Refrigerate until set

Black-eyed Pea Salad

15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained & rinsed
2 c corn kernals
1/2 poblano pepper, finely diced
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 t Grey Poupon (don't scrimp on this one)
2 T cider vinegar
2 T oil

  1. Mix peas, corn, pepper, & onions together.
  2. In measuring cup, whisk mustard, vinegar & oil together.
  3. Pour mustard mix over veggies & toss to distribute.
  4. Let sit 15+ minutes to let flavors meld. The longer the better.

Essence of Emeril

2 1/2 T paprika
2 T salt
2 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T cayenne pepper
1 T onion powder
1 T dry oregano
1 T dry thyme

Pizza Dipping Sauce

This is the base topping for DeAnn's delicious Pizza Hut Crust. Sometimes we top it with meat & cheese or fresh veggies from the garden, but just as frequently we bake the crust plain & dip it in this delicious sauce!

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
1 1/2 T olive oil
2 T fresh basil (2t dried)
1 1/2 t dried oregano
1 t sugar
2 cloves garlic
3/4 t salt

  1. Mix everything together.
  2. That's it!

Corn Salsa

3 c white vinegar
1 c sugar
1 T ground cumin
1 T salt
9 cups corn kernels (about 12 ears)
5 lbs. plum tomatoes, diced (I like to peel them, too)
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 T cilantro, chopped
  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, cumin, & salt in a large, nonreactive stockpot.
  2. Boil mixture 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in corn, tomatoes, poblano, sweet pepper, onion, & garlic.
  4. Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes to allow flavor to blend.
  5. Stir in parsley & cilantro, bring to a boil briefly, then remove from heat.

    To Can (about 8 pints):
    Fill half-pint or pint jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
    Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Skinny Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 c red grapes, quartered
1/4 c celery, thinly sliced
1 c fat-free mayo
1/3 c honey

  1. Boil chicken 20 minutes or until done.
  2. Mix other ingredients together while chicken cools.
  3. Shred chicken once cool & add to mayo mix.
  4. Chill to let flavors meld or serve immediately.
  5. Serve on lettuce cups with a side of celery sticks & ranch dressing.

Orange Marmalade Pork Chops

2 t olive oil
6 boneless pork chops
1 T lemon pepper seasoning
3 T cider vinegar
1/2 c orange marmalade

  1. Heat oil in a large pan
  2. Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with lemon pepper seasoning
  3. Cook pork chops 5 minutes on each side or until done
  4. Remove chops from pan
  5. Add vinegar & marmalade to pan and whisk until combined
  6. Return pork chops to pan & cook 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until heated through & well coated.

Strawberry (or Blueberry) Pancake Syrup NOW!

1 bag frozen fruit (12 oz.)
1 c sugar
1 T Lemon juice
1 T cornstarch (optional)
1/4 c water (optional)

  1. Combine ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Heat over high heat, stirring often, until fruit begins to thaw & release juices.
  3. Reduce heat & simmer until fruit is completely thawed (you can mash it up a bit with a potato masher if you want.)
  4. If syrup it too thin, mix cornstarch with water until no lumps remain & mix into simmering fruit.
  5. Enjoy over pancakes or waffles!

Cheesy Egg Casserole

1 stick butter, melted
10 eggs, beaten
1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1 can chopped green chilies (4 oz)
2 c large curd cottage cheese
1 c shredded cheddar

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Mix flour & baking powder into eggs
  3. Stir butter, chilies, cottage cheese, & cheddar into egg mixture.
  4. Pour into a 9x9 pan
  5. Bake 15 minutes 
  6. Decrease heat to 250°  & bake for 1 hour.
  7. Let set 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with salsa.

Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

The amount of onion & peppers can vary depending on how many you have & how many people you are feeding.  If you increase the amount of chicken, though, increase the amount of broth/wine and soy sauce you use to make the sauce.

3 chicken breasts, cubed
3 T soy sauce
1 T sherry or dry white wine
1 T oil
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained
1 8oz can bamboo shoots, drained
1 t grated ginger root
1/4 c dry white wine or chicken broth
1 t cornstarch

  1. Mix chicken, soy sauce, & sherry in a large bowl and marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat & cook chicken until about halfway cooked (3 - 4 minutes).
  3. Add onions & peppers and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Scoot veggies/chicken to the sides & briefly saute ginger root in center of pan.
  5. Stir in water chestnuts & bamboo shoots, cooking until heated through.
  6. Mix cornstarch into wine & add to pan, stirring until slightly thickened.
  7. Serve with Spaghetti Squash Parmesan.

Garlic Zucchini

This recipe is stupid simple, but it was so good that even my zucchini hating kiddo wanted more!

2 T butter
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 zucchini, cubed
1/4 t pepper
1/8 t salt (optional)

  1. Melt butter in a large pan until butter quits foaming.
  2. Saute zucchini until tender, about 6 - 7 minutes.
  3. Add garlic & saute 1 minute more.
  4. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

1 spaghetti Squash, halved & seeded
2 T butter
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Bake squash, cut side down, 1 hour or until tender.
  3. Cool 10 minutes.
  4. Shred interior with fork being careful not to shred skin.
  5. Add butter to squash strands & mix until butter melts.
  6. Add Parmesan cheese & stir to combine.

Roasted Chicken Stock

I make this & can it for future use (it goes faster than you think it will). I also added back some chicken pieces and gave away canned jars of this stock with little bags of homemade pasta. You can't can it with the pasta right in it, but it makes for a precious treat on a cold day.

3 1/2 lbs chicken pieces, boneless (or 7 lbs with bone)
Cooking spray
1 onion, quartered
5 celery stalks, sliced in thirds
5 carrots, sliced in thirds
1 T olive oil
5 qt water
15 parsley sprigs
15 peppercorns
8 thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray & add chicken in a single layer.
  3. Combine onion, celery, carrots, & oil, then add to another pan.
  4. Cook both pans for an hour to an hour & a half or until browned & cooked through.
  5. Combine chicken & veggies in stockpot.
  6. Add water to pot & simmer 4 hours.
  7. Cool hot stock & refrigerate overnight.
  8. Strain solids from stock & skim fat.
  9. Freeze in desired portions.
To Can stock in jars (according to Ball Blue Book 2011):
  1. Boil stock.
  2. Pour boiling stock into hot quart or pint jars leaving 1-inch headspace.
  3. Process at 10 pounds pressure (pints 20 minutes; quarts 25 minutes).

Swiss Veggie Fritatta

2 T olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 red sweet pepper, diced
10 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c Swiss cheese, shredded
2 t Italian seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet & saute onion until wilted.
  3. Add zucchini & peppers to pan & continue to saute 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir cheese and Italian seasoning into beaten eggs.
  5. Remove pan from heat, pour in egg mix, & jiggle pan to distribute.
  6. Bake uncovered 10 - 15 minutes until eggs set & top "puffs up" and browns.
  7. Slice into wedges & serve.

Favorite Low-Carb Vinagarette

You can change up the flavor of this recipe by using different flavored olive oils & vinegars. I usually use a light flavored oil with Fig Vinegar, but a spicy oil with a fruity vinegar (like peach)  might be nice, too.

1/2 c olive oil
3 T Vinegar
1 T Grey Poupon
2 cloves Garlic, pressed

Garlic Roasted Shrimp

2 lbs. frozen shrimp
1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 t salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
3 T lemon juice (one lemon's worth)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place shrimp in a single layer in a glass baking dish.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients & pour over shrimp.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until shrimp is cooked through.
  5. Serve over cooked orzo & roasted broccoli.

Canned Beans

Bulk dry beans are so cheap that I've always got some on hand, but I still found myself buying canned beans in a pinch until I found this easy pressure canning method for canning my own dry beans. This isn't strictly USDA protocol, but I feel confident enough in the method that I'll even feed it to my kids.

dry beans
boiling water
salt (optional)

Pints Jars:
Add 1/2 dry cup beans to each jar.
Add 1/2 t salt, if desired.
Fill jar with boiling water leaving 1-inch headspace.
Process 75 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

Quart Jars:
Add 1 cup dry beans to each jar.
Add 1 t salt, if desired.
Fill jar with boiling water leaving 1-inch headspace.
Process 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

BEST Homemade Pancake Mix

I mix the dry ingredients together in mason jars & just write the wet ingredients on the lids. I have also printed out pretty tags with the recipe & instructions and tied it to the jars with ribbon for an easy gift. This makes about 8 pancakes, but you can double the recipe and freeze some. That way you can just pop them in the toaster in the morning!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar

1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl & wet ingredients in a different bowl.
  2. Mix wet & dry ingredients together.
  3. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter onto hot oiled or buttered pan.
  4. Cook until edges appear dry, flip, & cook another 3-5 minutes.

Wheat Germ Bread

1 3/4 c water
3 t sugar
2 t salt
1/3 c butter, room temperature
1/3 c molasses
5 t dry yeast (2 packages)
1 c wheat germ
3/4 c warm milk
4 c 100% whole wheat flour
1 - 2 c white or bread flour
  1. Warm water, sugar, salt butter, & molasses over low heat until butter just starts to melt.
  2. Remove mixture from heat & allow to cool to 105° to 115° Fahrenheit 
  3. Mix in yeast & allow to "bloom" about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Pour milk over wheat germ & let soak in.
  5. Add water mixture & wheat germ mixture to mixing bowl & stir until combined.
  6. Stir in wheat flour & mix until combined.
  7. Add white or bread flour until dough forms a rough ball.
  8. Knead on medium speed for one minute.
  9. Spray top of ball with oil, turn over, & spray bottom of ball.
  10. Cover with plastic & let rise 45 to 90 minutes.
  11. Punch dough down, divide into two loaves, & place in loaf pans.
  12. Cover loosely with plastic & let rise until just over the edge of your pan.
  13. Preheat oven to 375°F & bake bread for about 50 minutes.
  14. Remove loaves from pans & let cool.

    To Freeze Cooked Loaves: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then freezer paper or foil. Place in freezer bag & press out as much air as possible. Write date on bag & freeze for up to 6 months.