Spaghetti Squash is my favorite new vegetable. It’s so versatile and healthy. I especially love how I can substitute spaghetti squash for noodles to create a healthier Italian dinner for my family. After making spaghetti sauce with spaghetti squash I thought I’d go a step further and make spaghetti squash lasagna. It was really easy to make and so yummy! It made enough for left overs that I had for lunch all week. I’ve included pictures below with each step and the complete recipe at the bottom of this post. [Read more...]
One of my favorite new vegetables is spaghetti squash. It has such a yummy peppery flavor, completely not what I expected. In fact, the first time I made it my husband and I were very apprehensive and figured we’d end up trashing it after a couple of bites. We were pleasantly surprised that it was so delicious. I also love that it’s easy to prepare and doesn’t require a ton of complicated steps. Spaghetti squash pairs perfectly with one of my favorite easy go-to meals, Super Easy Spaghetti. Now we’ve just found a way to make it a little healthier. I serve with a big garden salad full of fresh veggies for a delicious healthy meal for my family.
We wanted to re-post this recipe from Valentine’s – because it’s also a great way to keep from using your oven on hot days!
If you happen to be staying in on Valentine’s Day and are looking for an easy Valentine’s Day dinner, Crock Pot Lasagna is a fabulous option!
Several years ago, I found this recipe for Crock Pot Lasagna and fell in love. I use a bottled spaghetti sauce but add additional spices to give it a homemade taste. If you keep browned ground beef in the freezer (read more here), it will cut your preparation time dramatically. After the recipe, scroll down as I have also included a couple of pics to answer any questions you might have.
Crockpot Barbecue Chicken Recipe
Jamie here! I really, really love barbecue and if given the choice – would eat it a couple times a week. But my husband is not a big fan, so I don’t make it very often. However today he ate a big lunch out, and that means he won’t want any dinner, and therefore friends – it’s Barbecue Night!
The kids and I have a really hectic day ahead of us – so this is going to be a perfect night for my crockpot barbecue chicken – this slow cooker recipe is easy and delicious!
Here’s the ingredients you’ll need!
- 3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Bottle of BBQ Sauce (I've got KC Masterpiece here, since it was in my stockpile)
- 1/2 cup Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper (or a generic brand is fine)
- 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp onion flakes
- Put the chicken breasts in the crockpot for 4-6 hours on Low. Shred about an hour before it's finished and put it back in. Sooooo good!
Normally I add vinegar and some brown sugar when I cook BBQ in the crockpot – but when I got out my bottle of vinegar it looked like this:
And that’s when I noticed it had expired in Feb. of 2012 (It’s now October). Since Vinegar’s job is to break down the meat and make it more tender and easier to shred – I went for the next best meat-breaker-downer – Coke. Actually – nix that – I didn’t have Coke either. Pepsi will do in a pinch, although it’s less acidic and therefor a little less effective for our purposes.
And since Pepsi is full of sugar – we can leave out the brown sugar as well! We killed two birds with one stone there!
So put the chicken breasts in the bottom of your crockpot and turn it on low. Pour in 1/2 cup soda, 1 bottle of sauce*, then sprinkle the red pepper and onion on top. Let cook for about 4-6 hours on Low. Near the end, shred the chicken and return it to the crockpot until it’s finished.
*If you don’t like your BBQ very saucy, only put in half the bottle of sauce and reserve the rest for the end so you can eyeball it to perfection.
Now – when I run in the door tonight at 5 and have to turn around and leave again at 5:30 – all we’ll do is spoon BBQ Chicken onto our buns right out of the crockpot with a side of quickly microwaved corn and baked beans and voila! Dinner is served! Check out that yummy, saucy chicken….
Jamie here!! I love baked pasta in all it’s many forms – be it the super versatile Meat Lover’s 3-Cheese Baked Rigatoni or our much loved Freezer Lasagna Recipe – you can’t go a week in this house without having pasta (and Mexican) for supper!
This Ravioli Lasagna bake is the same concept as any other baked pasta that I make – with one exception – MORE CHEESE! Guys- there is cheese within cheese within cheese here. Not to mention you really oughtta serve it with parmesan cheese just for good measure.
We have a high school girls’ retreat coming up at church and I want to make stuff the girls will really like. Since I know how much they *heart* cheese and carbs, and are picky about certain veggies, etc… I figured this would go over well
Here are the basic steps to layer up your ravioli lasagna – note that MORE cheese can be added in any of these steps – this is just to give you an idea how I did it.
- Preheat oven to 400
- Pour a layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish
- Lay out frozen ravioli side by side in sauce
- Cover ravioli with sauce (You see, the sauce on both sides makes sure the ravioli does it’s boiling in the oven)
- Sprinkle Mozzarella Cheese on top
- Lay out ravioli side by side again (Photo 1)
- Cover with sauce (Photo 2)
- Plop on several dollops of ricotta cheese (Photo 3)
- Finish with another layer of mozarella (Photo 4)
- Bake for 35 – 45 minutes
I used up about a jar and a half of sauce for this when I cooked it on Monday – and put the extra half a jar of sauce and half a container of ricotta back in the fridge for Friday – when we made it again for our Meatless meal. Noone complained – they boys said they could eat this every day!
Regarding ravioli stacking…. I had an extra large 10″ x 15″ Pyrex dish (It is my FAVORITE baking dish for our large family) – so I was able to make 2 layers of 24 ravioli. If you have a smaller dish, you’ll probably want to do 3 layers since less will fit in the dish.
Jamie here! Hope you’re enjoying a relaxing Labor Day – here’s my family’s TOP requested side for nights that we grill!
Jamie here! Any time I find myself with leftover bits and pieces of ham, I wish I knew of a good ham and bean crock pot soup recipe. Well today was the day – I decided to experiment with our Easter leftovers, and I’ll tell you that making your way through a 4th bowl in a day is a pretty good measure of success in my book.
I think of ham and beans kind of like the pork version of chicken & dumplings. They’re both bits of flavorful meat, floating around in a creamy, mushy base. Which is like, heavenly. And they both are a little peppery – which I love. But let me tell you – this is WAY easier to make.
For starters, you need about 2 Ziploc sandwich baggies of leftover slices and bites of ham. (That’s a precise measurement, right? Okay, roundabout 2 cups.) You can definitely use a hambone that has lots of good bits and pieces left on it, instead. (Trim most of the fat off before you use it if you’re going that route.)
Next, pick a bean, any bean. I used Great Northern this time, but I checked with some expert Southern food cooks I know (wink-wink, Grandma Christine) and Navy beans and Butter beans are both excellent choices as well. Rinse the beans well and add to the crockpot.
Pour in 6-7 cups of water. I used 7 because I was looking for it to be a little soupy, but if you want to ladle this over rice or something – you might want less.
Finally, add a small diced onion, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp pepper. If you’re a fan of pepper like I am, go ahead and treat yourself to a whole teaspoon.
Cook on Low for 7-8 Hours or High for 5-6 Hours. If your ham is in big chunks (or you used a hambone) take it out towards the very end and shred any ham into the soup, then re-cover.
Serve with cornbread and sweet tea!
- 1-2 Cups of Smoked Ham Pieces (Or a hambone with some ham left on it)
- 1 lb Bag of Dry Great Northern Beans
- 1 Small Onion, diced
- 6-7 cups of water
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp pepper
- Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on Low for 7-8 Hours or High for 5-6 Hours.
- If your ham is in big chunks (or you used a hambone) take it out towards the very end and shred any ham into the soup, then re-cover.
- Serve with cornbread and sweet tea!
See more Slow Cooker Recipes!
Adapted from South Your Mouth’s Ham & Beans recipe
Crock-Pot Cola Ham
Easter is coming, and even though it’s a ways away, my stress fest starts EARLY. I have no family around to bring dishes or help cook, so I really have to plan how to get everything cooked and on the table at the same time for the BIG Meal.
Some people have this down to a science, but I’m just not one of them! Crock-Pot Cola Ham my favorite go to recipe for an easy and delicious main dish.
For all you busy moms, this is my FAVORITE way to make the Holiday Ham the easiest part of your meal using Coke and a Crock Pot. I give total credit to my wonderful mother-in-law for this one – as a pastor’s wife, she just has a knack for cooking good Southern food the easy and yummy way!
Crock-Pot Cola Ham – What You Need:
- 3-4 lb Fully Cooked Ham (I’m using the “Butt” half this year)
- 1 can Coca Cola (I find it’s the most carbonated)
- Slow-Cooker big enough for your ham
Fancy People Extras:
- Orange or Pineapple Juice (For an extra basting zing)
- Any kind of fruit juice or jam or applesauce will be a great addition to the crockpot because it will give the ham more flavor
- Pineapple Rings, attach with toothpicks *Dole Pineapple is FREE at Bi-Lo this week!!
- Maraschino Cherries, attach with toothpicks
- Whole Cloves
Photo credit: RecipeTips.com
Trim the fat, leaving a 1/4″ layer. Score your ham with shallow cuts diagonally (both ways) to make a diamond pattern. Place in Crock Pot and pour Coke over it. Cook on High for 1 hour, and then turn to Low for the next 6-7 hours. While cooking, occasionally scoop out some of the liquid and pour over the ham to keep it moist.
No Crockpot? No Problem!
You can do this in the oven as well, just put it in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes/lb. You’ll want to set on a foil-lined pan and also wrap the ham in foil. Wrap it in a way that allows you to easily open and baste with Coke frequently.
Why This Works:
The acidity and carbonation in the coke tenderizes the ham, while the thin layer of fat melts (or self-bastes) to make it very moist. Plus you get a sweet flavor that no-one would guess comes from a can of Coke!
- 3-4 lb Fully Cooked Ham
- 1 can Coca Cola
- Slow-Cooker big enough for your ham
- Trim the fat away with a knife, leaving a 1/4" layer remaining on the ham.
- Score your ham with shallow cuts diagonally (both ways) to make a diamond pattern.
- Place in Crock Pot and pour Coke over it.
- Cook on High for 1 hour, and then turn to Low for the next 6-7 hours.
- While cooking, occasionally scoop out some of the liquid and pour over the ham to keep it moist.
What is your favorite way to cook your Easter or Christmas ham? Share it in the comment section!