Slow Cooker Applesauce

I have always made applesauce on the stove top.  It really doesn’t take all that long and usually while it’s going I’m doing something else in the kitchen so I can keep an eye on it.  I came across a recipe for applesauce in the crockpot and thought I would give that a try.  I do love my crockpot and the ability to just put food in there and leave it for a bit.


Quarter, core and peel the apples.

I prepared the apples the same way as I always do and followed the recipe which was pretty close to the way I do it on the stove top.  The big difference is that you leave it for four hours.  On this particular day that was perfect.  I needed to walk the dog and do a few errands and I thought it would be great to come home to a nice smelling kitchen and some applesauce for the kids when they got home from school.


Three pints of applesauce.

I used 12 apples and got three pints of applesauce.  This applesauce is too runny for my taste.  We like our applesauce a little chunky.  That being said, the 15 yo girl really enjoyed it and ate almost half of one of these jars after school.  The rest (including me) didn’t really care for it.  I see more applesauce cake in my future.

I’m not sure what I did wrong.  Maybe the apples were left a little too long in the slow cooker?  Maybe I used the immersion blender a little too vigorously?  I don’t know, but I think I’ll stick to the stove top.  I like the way the sauce comes out and I really don’t mind watching over it.

Brussel Sprouts

Our family loves brussels sprouts.  Usually I just toss them with olive oil and a little salt and pop them into the oven, but this Brussels Sprouts Gratin recipe from Skinnytaste found it’s way into my email inbox and I had to give it a try.


Brussels Sprouts Gratin

I think this is one of the only recipes I have ever made where the end product looks like the photo from the recipe.  This was simply delicious and easy to make.  My husband and every single one of my kids enjoyed this dish.  A complete win!

Whipped Cream

My kids LOVE whipped cream and so do I.  I was at Safeway and they have chocolate whipped cream and mint whipped cream – these are holiday items and won’t be there all the time.  I had not seen these before and had to bring them home and give them a try.


Hot chocolate with fancy whipped cream.

I made these for the two that happened to be at home at the time.  They both wanted both kinds of whipped cream.  It was a hit!  I’ll have to go back and stock up on a few more of each flavor.

Chicken Stock

Every time we bake and eat a whole chicken, I save the carcass and bits to make chicken stock.  Sometimes I don’t have time right away so I will freeze them.  As I was perusing the internet, I discovered a way to make the stock in my slow cooker!  This has saved me so much time – I just load up the slow cooker and let it go.


Loaded slow cooker.

I used to make it on the stove top, but  I needed to be around so that I could make sure it didn’t boil over or boil down.  Now I pop everything in the slow cooker and forget about it.  I usually do this in the early afternoon and let it go all night.  In the morning, I will turn off the slow cooker, let everything cool a bit and then strain into jars.



One batch usually makes three jars of stock which is good for a meal plus leftovers.  I have ideas for this particular batch!


Periodically, during the week, I make the kids a special breakfast.  They really enjoy the surprise!  I was at Cost Plus World Market earlier this week and came across several mixes that I NEEDED to try.  I’m not a big mix kind of gal, I prefer to make things from scratch, but I have found some mixes that are really good and make up super quick.


Peppermint White Chocolate Pancake and Waffle Mix.

I made a double batch of these.


The Waffles.

Each kid ate two and were clamoring for more!  I am told that they were delicious; however, since they were devoured so quickly, I never had the chance to taste them!  Guess I’ll have to make these again!


I tend to go through phases in my dinner making.  The comfort food phase (food from my youth), the easy food phase (tried and true, most of the family likes it), new food (trying out some of the endless recipes that I have clipped and saved) and the OH.My.Goodness is it already dinner time? (panic at 6:00).  Last night I was in the “new food” phase.  I started reading a blog called This Miss Cooks and have saved some of her recipes.


Mexican Chopped Salad with Avocado, Black Beans and Quinoa.

I decided to try the Mexican Chopped Salad with Avocado, Black Beans and Quinoa.  This salad is DELICIOUS!!  It’s also really easy to make and goes together quickly.  We had some leftovers and I’ll edit when I’ve eaten them to let you know if this salad saves well.


Fried Tofu Cubes.

My husband likes tofu and I had bought some at Costco two weeks ago and wanted to use it up.  I tried Fried Tofu Cubes from the website listed on the packaging and they came out pretty good.  I think I fried them a little too long as they were a bit more crunchy than we like, but overall pretty good.  My husband and I really enjoyed this meal as well as two of the kids.  The other two tried the meal and then opted for leftover pizza.  Oh, well…you can’t please everyone all the time!

Quick and Healthy Dinner

The other night, as so often happens right now, I found myself at dinner time with no plan.  After school sports and activities are really playing havoc with my meal time plans.  I have to be super organized during the day to make sure things are prepared and waiting to be put in the over.  Some days are better than others and on this particular night, we went to my daughter’s volleyball game an wound up not getting home until after 7:00pm.  What to do…


Whole wheat pasta and veges.

Quickly cut up veges from the fridge and sauté them while pasta is cooking.  Not very elegant, but quick, easy and healthy!