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Shoyu Pork Roast

This is a very simple, fast to prepare & yummy meal. It’s a classic pork roast with a slight Asian taste to it from the added soy sauce.

Ingredients

1/3 c. Soy Sauce (I like Kikkoman)

2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp Garlic Salt

1 Tbs Brown Sugar

1 or 2 small pork roasts (I like the ones from Costco)

Put the pork roasts in the crock pot (they can be frozen or not) and pour the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt & brown sugar over the roasts.

Cook on low for 8 hours (or 4 hours on high, if you don’t have that much time.)

Serve with rice or potatoes and some steamed vegetables.

*You can also add fresh, frozen or canned pineapple and juice to make this more of a Hawaiian styled pork roast.

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My tried and true, amazing classic Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 8 Medium) Red Potatoes and Russets work as well, but Yukons are my favorite in this dish!
  • 4 whole Hard Boiled Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup Real Mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip)
  • 1/4 cup Prepared Yellow  Mustard
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8 whole Small Dill Pickles
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped thinly (or 1 teaspoon dried chives)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (optional, but I love the crunch it adds!)

    Preparation Instructions

    1-Boil your eggs (you can find really great and easy to follow instructions here) and let them completely cool. (I like to do this a day or 2 before if possible so there’s 1 less step.)

    2-While your eggs are boiling and cooling, wash the potatoes really well (no need to peel unless using russets.)

    3-Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks (the size you like in your potato salad), then boill until fork tender. Drain. And let them cool in large bowl in the fridge. (If you’re in a hurry you can run cold water over them, even adding ice, just be sure to drain them well and then put them in the fridge.)

    4-While the potatoes are boiling and cooling, wash and cut up your green onions and chives (kitchen shears work great for this!) If you’re using a yellow or golden onion make sure you dice it into really small pieces, unless you like bigger pieces of onion in your salad.

    4-Cut up your dill pickles and cold boiled eggs ans add them to the large bowl with the potatoes.

    5–In another smaller bowl, mix together the  mayonnaise, mustard, green onions, salt, pepper, and spices, saving a little of the chives and paprika to sprinkle over the top of the salad at the end.

    5-Pour this mixture over the potatoes, pickles and boiled eggs. Gently mix everything with out smashing the potatoes or eggs too much. Make sure all the potatoes are well covered in everything, being sure to check the potatoes at the bottom of the bowl.

    6-If you like you can transfer the salad to a pretty bowl now or keep it in the same bowl and sprinkle the salad with the rest of the chives and paprika.

    7-Cover the bowl with a tight lid or aluminum foil or plastic wrap and put in the fridge. (Potato Salad is great after it’s aged a day so if possible, make it a day a head of time and let it chill in the fridge.)

    8-Make sure your potato salad stays cool when you’re serving it and store any leftovers (not likely!) in the fridge for up to 5 days or so.  A good way to keep it cool at a picnic is to put your bowl of salad in a larger bowl that is filled with ice. You can also buy a variety of bowls that stay cold for hours, here are some examples on Amazon.

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Popping Popcorn using a glass bowl in the microwave

This is one of those “Why didn’t I know about this awesome thing earlier?!” things. We love popping popcorn seeds at our house and usually eat this snack several times a week. I love that it’s whole grain, real food, super cheap and  totally versatile so you can top it with whatever you like. (We won’t even bring up all the ways that prepackaged microwave popcorn is gross and not healthy!) My organization loving heart is always so happy when you can eliminate a kitchen appliance and use things you already have!

For those of you who don’t know about this tip, here are the instructions:

Super Simple Microwave Popcorn

1-Get a large glass bowl and pour 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels into it

2-Put a microwave safe, ceramic plate or do what I do and use your microwave cover (If you don’t have one of these you really should pick one up-very cheap (I got mine at the dollar store) and they keep your microwave nice and clean!)

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3-Microwave for 3-4 minutes, listening for when the pops are slowing down. Since the bowl and cover are clear, my girls love watching the kernels pop.

4-Enjoy with some melted butter and salt, dark chocolate drizzled over the top or whatever you like.

*Cool tips:
-If some of the kernels don’t pop, you can take them out of the popped kernels and microwave them again until most of them pop!
-If you want to easily get the unpopped kernels out of the popped ones, put a cooling rack over your bowl and hold the rack tight to the bowl while you turn them upside and shake until the unpopped kernels fall out!

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The Perfect Brownies (great GF & dairy free options too!) aka “Hershey’s Best Brownies”

We LOVE these brownies at our house and it’s kind of dangerous how easy they are to whip up.  Takes only 1 bowl and a few minutes and you’re on your way to fudgey, chocolatey brownie heaven…
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Ingredients:
-1 cup (2 cubes) of  Butter (Olive Oil & Coconut Oil both work too to make these dairy free!)
-2 cups of Sugar
-2 tsp Vanilla
-4 Eggs
-3/4 cup Cocoa
-1 cup Flour *If making these Gluten Free, replace with any GF flour of your choice)
-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
-1/4 tsp Salt

Directions:
1-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2- Grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.
3-Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl.
4- Stir in each of the rest of the ingredients by hand until everything is well mixed.
5-Pour into the greased pan and spread it out evenly.  The batter will be thick.

6-Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.)

7-Let them cool for about 10 minutes (if you can wait that long and enjoy!)

**There are a lot of awesome things you can do with these brownies.  One of our favorites is to sprinkle chocolate chips over the top right after the come out of the oven and leave them for 5 minutes or so and then when they are melted spread them over the brownies like a lovely ganache or frosting.  Super easy and delicious.

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Sprinkle chocolate chips (or any chocolate candy!) over these brownies when they are right out of the oven and wait 5 minutes and then you can spread them over the brownies for a very simple, delicious frosting!

*These are the best gluten free brownies I’ve ever tasted and feed them to gluten eating people all of the time with no complaint!  You can also make them dairy (CF) free by subbing coconut oil or even olive oil for the butter and they are amazing!

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My Mom’s Whole Wheat Pancakes

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2 cups whole wheat flour (or half white, half wheat)
1 Tbs Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 egg
1 cup Milk
1 cup Water
1 Tbs Oil

 

1-In a big bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, mix well and set aside.
2-In another bowl mix the egg, milk, water and oil.
3-Combine the 2 bowls and mix only until combined (it will still be lumpy.)
4-Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat (about 350 degrees.) Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. (A soup ladle works great for this!)
6-cook until bubbles appear on the surface like this…


7-Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

 

-This recipe makes 10 to 12 pancakes so I cook up all of the batter and freeze or refrigerate the extra pancakes to eat later.  To reheat just microwave the pancake for 30 seconds to a minute.
-I love these pancakes with almond butter and or applesauce.

 

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Bacon cooked in the oven

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My favorite way to cook bacon is to bake it in the oven.  So much easier, turns out perfect and easy to clean up. (from http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/breakfastcookery/ht/bacon.htm)

 

1-Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier later.
2-Arrange the bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven. (Try not to stretch the slices out. Just gently drape the bacon across the pan.) Close the oven door. Turn the oven on to 400°F. Walk away.
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3- Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it’s done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
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4- Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb any excess fat.
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Perfect to use on BLT’s!
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Beef Stroganoff (in the crock pot or stove top)

Ingredients:
1 lb of beef stew meat, cubed, frozen or not (you may want a more tender cut if you’re doing the stove top version)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (10.75 oz)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 small can of sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. (1/2 a bar) of cream cheese or ½ cup sour cream
Egg noodles, or any kind of pasta noodles or rice

Crock Pot Directions:
1-Put everything BUT the cream cheese or sour cream  and egg noodles into the Crock Pot.  You do not even have to brown the stew meat!
2-Mix together.
3-Cook on High for 5 hours or on Low for 8 hours.
4-When you are close to serving dinner, prepare about a half bag of noodles according to the package directions.  Mix in the cream cheese or sour cream about 20 minutes before serving.
5-Top the noodles with the Beef Stroganoff and enjoy.  We love this with peas or broccoli on the side.

Stove Top Directions:
1-Follow the directions on your pasta package to boil the noodles.
2-While the pasta is cooking, cut up the meat in small squares, then cut them in half to make them thinner.
3-Put a frying pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium. After it has heated up, put the meat in the pan and brown in on each side until it is no longer pink in the middle.
4-While the meat is browning, peal, wash and dice the onion and add it to the meat to cook for the last few minutes of cooking.
5-In a sauce pan add the cream of mushroom soup, water and Worcestershire sauce (and mushrooms if using them) and stir all together while you heat the mixture on medium. When everything is combined and warmed, turn the burner to low and add the sour cream (or cream cheese) and melt into the sauce.
6-Add the cooked onions and browned meat to the sauce.
7-Drain the noodles and serve the sauce over the noodles and enjoy.

*I have this crock pot and highly recommend it!
Adapted from: http://www.thefrugalfoodiemama.com/2013/01/slow-cooker-beer-stroganoff.html#.U4ZI9PldUSF
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Barbecue Chicken and Potatoes

This one is so easy and basic it doesn’t really require a recipe but I’ve been requested to put it on the blog so readers can keep track of the groceries needed for this meal for their monthly meal plan.
1.5 lbs or 5 chicken thighs, boneless skinless (can be frozen or not, can use any chicken) I like these
½ to 1 cup Bottled BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
5 potatoes
1-Wash the potatoes, poke them with a fork and set them on the middle rack in the oven.  Turn the oven to 350 degrees.
2-Place the chicken in a 9×13” pan and pour the BBQ sauce over the top.  Place the pan next to the potatoes in the oven.
3-Bake for 30 minutes if chicken is not frozen and potatoes are smaller, or up to 60 minutes if chicken is frozen and potatoes are larger. (If you’re doing larger potatoes with non frozen chicken you can microwave the potatoes for 3-6 minutes and then put them in the oven to finish baking.)
*You can also make the chicken in the crock pot by putting in the chicken, pouring on the sauce and cooking on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 5.
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BBQ chicken thigh (boneless, skinless) with baked potato, steamed broccoli & baked sweet potato plantomakeitsimple.com
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Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 cup Mayonnaise (some people like ½ c mayo, ½ c sour cream or even sub the mayo with greek yogurt)
⅓ cup Milk (and more as needed to get the right consistency)
1 teaspoon Dried Chives
1 teaspoon Dried Parsley
1 teaspoon Dried Dill Weed
½  teaspoon  Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Dried Onion flakes (or Onion Powder)
¼  teaspoon Salt
¼  teaspoon black pepper


1-Mix everything together really well.  (I put everything in a jar or “Blender Bottle” and shake it like crazy.
2- Refrigerate it for an hour if possible before you enjoy it.
3- Add more milk as needed to make it thin enough to pour.

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Delicious Whole Wheat Waffles

Makes 12 Waffles
2 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder


4 Eggs
2 cups Milk
1 cup Oil or Melted Butter
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 teaspoons Cinnamon


1-Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
2-Mix wet ingredients together well ((if using melted coconut oil or butter add it after step 3.)
3-Combine the 2 bowls and mix only until combined (it will still be lumpy.)
4-Cook in a waffle iron


-For extra fluffy waffles you can start by separating the eggs, adding the yolks to the other wet ingredients and beating the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and save them until the end to gently fold into the batter.

Inspired by the Better Homes and Garden’s recipe for waffles