Category: Dinner

Zucchini “Crab” Cakes with a freezer option! 

Zucchini “Crab” Cakes with a freezer option! 

It’s that time of year again! I am busy in the kitchen putting produce from our garden in the freezer or canning to store in the basement. Saturday, the Bearded Man helped me can 55 half pints of pizza sauce. I also woke up to this outlandish amount of zucchini.

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve had zucchini banana bread, cheesy zucchini garlic bread, zucchini pasta, zucchini chicken stir fry….it goes on and on..:but this recipe for “crab” cakes is by far our favorite! We have about 80 of them in the freezer so far, with plans to make more! It’s so nice to pull out a bag on busy nights for a fast and CHEAP dinner! They are filling enough to serve as the main dish, which allows us to go meatless more often. 
Zucchini “Crab” Cakes

-1 egg beaten 

-2 tablespoons melted butter 

-1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning 

-2 tablespoons dried minced onion*

-1 cup Italian style bread crumbs 

-2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini 

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until combined. Use a heavy duty spoon or your hands. Mixture will look like this:


Shape mixture into patties. You can either fry immediately or place onto parchment lined baking sheets and freeze**


To fry; Heat oil in a large skillet and fry over medium heat until both sides are browned. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. 


Alternately, you can bake in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes on each side. 


We had ours with corn and crockpot Cowboy Beans, yum!

*You can also use freshly chopped onions. My family doesn’t like the taste of fresh onions in their food, so I stick with the dried stuff. 😊

**Freeze on parchment paper in a jelly roll pan until they are frozen solid. Then transfer to a freezer bag. You don’t need to thaw before frying, just be very careful when placing in the oil! 

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Crock-Pot Fajitas 

Confession time: I made this recipe a week and a half ago, and am just now posting. I’m not sorry 🙂 You see, I’ve had a secret obsession that has consumed my thoughts and every minute of my “spare time” the past couple weeks. 

“Dear Mr. Knightley.” 

I started the book a couple months ago, and just read here and there when I got the chance. Somewhere halfway in, I got hooked. I just had to find out who the true identity of Mr. Knightley was, and if my hunch was right. I finished yesterday, and thought life would continue as normal…

Except for I just started reading “The Shoemaker’s Wife” 

Ugh, I remember now why I avoid starting books. I struggle with moderation and balance. 

Anyway…

Here’s an awesome recipe for Crock-Pot Fajitas! Everything goes in the Crock-Pot in about 10 minutes and you’re done! 


Crock-Pot Fajitas

-1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced 

-2 green peppers, sliced 

-1 onion, sliced 

-1 tablespoon olive oil 

-2 tablespoons lime juice 

-2 tablespoons fajita seasoning 

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray, and place sliced chicken in the bottom. Drizzle olive oil and lime juice on top. Sprinkle with fajita seasoning.


If you’re local, you’ll know exactly where this seasoning came from! You can’t beat 80 cents a bottle for spices! 


Place peppers and onions on top of chicken. 


Cook on low for 6-7 hours. 

Stir and serve on tortillas with rice! 

The kids are tucked into bed and I’m off to read “The Shoemaker’s Wife” 

What are you reading right now? Do you binge read until it’s finished? 

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One Pot Cheesy Ham and Pasta

One Pot Cheesy Ham and Pasta

Summer is officially in full swing here in the Sours’ household. We’ve been spending every possible moment outside, which means I am not wanting to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and doing dishes! Today was a busy and fun day. We had Homeschool group and were able to celebrate a sweet friend’s Birthday. We ate pizza and delicious cupcakes from Colombian House of Goodies and the kids went back and forth from the pool to the bouncy house. We came home happy, but worn out. You know what I’ve noticed though?! Regardless of how tired I am, the family still needs to eat. One Pot Meals save my tail a lot. 

I saw a recipe on Pinterest last week that sounded delicious, and changed it up to suit our tastes. It only took me 20 minutes from start to finish! One pot means minimal dishes. That left time for more important things, like making chocolate covered strawberries for dessert!! 


One Pot Cheesy Ham and Pasta 

-2 tablespoons butter 

-1 medium onion, diced 

-2 cups chicken broth

-1 cup half and half 

-4 cups uncooked egg noodles 

-2 cups cooked diced ham 

-1 cup frozen peas 

-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 

-1/2 teaspoon salt 

-1/4 teaspoon pepper 

In a large pot or Dutch Oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add diced onions and brown for 5 minutes. 

Add chicken broth, half and half, and egg noodles and bring to a boil. 

Once mixture starts boiling, stir in diced ham, cover, and simmer on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. 

After egg noodles are tender, add frozen peas, shredded cheddar, and salt and pepper. Cook and continue stirring for 2 more minutes.

Enjoy! 


We enjoyed ours on the front deck. It always makes me happy when the kids clean their plates! 


Elijah was up to his usual shenanigans of stealing food. 


Recipe adapted from: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/peas-ham-and-creamy-noodles/

Photos and wording my own. 

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Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs 

Each year, on the kids Birthdays, they get to pick what they want for their Birthday dinner. My big girl turned 7 Saturday, and she had put her request in well over a month ago. She wanted Spaghetti and Meatballs! This recipe is similar to Cheesy One Pot Spaghetti, except for I used meatballs, and it’s done in the crockpot instead of on the stove. It’s still a one pot meal-you only have your crockpot to wash! That’s right…you don’t have to boil the noodles! I don’t like washing dishes, ok?

I put this in the Crockpot Saturday morning, before we left to pick up Keira’s Birthday cake from Costco. When we got home, we were greeted with an amazing smell, and all I had to do was throw in the noodles and water. 


Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs 

* 16 ounces(half a bag of frozen) meatballs 

* 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes.(I use tomatoes I canned from the garden)

* 16 ounces tomato sauce (2 cans)

* 2 Tablespoons brown sugar. 

* 1 tablespoons dried minced onion 

* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

* 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

* 1/2 teaspoon oregano 

* Pinch of Rosemary(optional)

* Pinch of Fennel(optional) 

* Few dashes of red pepper(optional)

* 8 ounces of spaghetti noodles, or 6 ounces of linguini noodles. We prefer linguini. Uncooked 

* 2 cups water 

* 4 ounces cream cheese(optional)

* Parmesan Cheese  

In a 5 quart Crockpot, add meatballs, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar and spices. 

Mix ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

Break spaghetti noodles in half and add to the Crockpot with water and cream cheese. Keira decided that she doesn’t like cream cheese, so I left it out. Bummer. 

Turn Crockpot to high, and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until noodles are done.

Serve with Parmesan cheese! 

That’s it! No pasta to drain! Ever since I first discovered this method, spaghetti has started making its way into our meal rotation more and more! 

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Creamy Crockpot Tortellini Lasagna 

It’s always a good night when my kids eat spinach. Maybe you’re feeling smug because your kids gladly eat spinach every night. Well, good for you, but mine don’t. I’m all about keeping it real here. I put this dish in the Crock-Pot yesterday, and oh man, it was good. You can’t go wrong with tortellini. Cheese wrapped in pasta? Yum. You don’t even even have to boil it first, which is always a win in my book! 

I used a homemade cream of chicken soup mix and added half and half to make a “sauce.” If you already have some shredded chicken  in the freezer, this will come together pretty quickly! 

Creamy Crockpot Tortellini Lasagna

1 1/2 cups ricotta(I used homemade)

1 cup sour cream 

1 egg 

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1 can cream of chicken*

1 cup half and half 

1 package Italian dressing mix**

5 ounce bag fresh spinach***

19 ounce bag frozen tortellini 

2 1/2 cups mozzarella  

Mix together ricotta, sour cream, egg and parm cheese. 

In another bowl, mix chicken, cream of chicken and seasoning mix.

In a 6 quart crockpot, layer half of the tortellini, half the ricotta mixture, half the spinach, and half of the sauce, then 1 cup Mozzarella cheese.

Repeat layer with the remaining tortellini, ricotta, spinach, sauce and the remaining cheese. 

  
Cook on low for 3-4 hours. 

Enjoy! 

  
* I used a homemade mix  that I keep on hand and mix with DIY Chicken Broth.

**The packets are found in the salad dressing aisle. I used this homemade version. 

***If you’re afraid that’s too much spinach, you can cut it in half! 
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How to make Slow Cooker Ricotta Cheese

Tortellini Lasagna was on the meal plan for tonight, so of course I knew I’d need some Ricotta Cheese! Man, I love that stuff! The lasagna is in my slow cooker at this very moment, and it’s making the whole house smell heavenly. This is one of those recipes that’s ridiculously easy, and after I start making it, I feel silly for not doing it all along. 

This method is similar to Crock-Pot Yogurt. There is very little hands on time, but a lot of “waiting”, so if you need Ricotta at this very minute, you’re out of luck! 

  
Slow-Cooker Ricotta Cheese 

1/2 Gallon Milk 

1/4 cup white vinegar 

Add milk and vinegar to your slow cooker and stir. Cover and turn on to the low setting, and allow to heat for 2 hours and 45 minutes, or until milk has reached 180 degrees. 

Turn off the slow cooker and wrap a beach towel or heavy blanket around it to hold the heat in. 

Allow to sit in a warm place for 6 hours. 

After 6 hours it will look like this. This is a terrible picture, because mine was finished at 5:30 this morning. No daylight=bad food pictures.

  
Strain through a fine mesh strainer and store the cheese portion in the fridge until ready to use! The cheese will firm up as it gets cold. 

  
Recipe adapted from: http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-ricotta-cheese-crock-pot-345985

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Taco-Ranch Chicken Bake 

First off, I’d like to thank all of my new followers, and everyone who comments/likes/shares. Every time my phone *dings* to notify me, it warms my heart a little 🙂 I’m blessed to have you all sharing this journey with me! You’re probably starting to notice a pattern. I enjoy simple, budget friendly dishes. I’m in a season of life where complicated meals prepared while standing over the stove, just aren’t always practical. Not with littles running around, Homeschooling to take care of, and warm weather calling us to come outside. This recipe is so yummy and easy on your wallet! You can add extra Taco seasoning, or spicier Rotel to kick it up a notch! 

  
Taco-Ranch Chicken Bake 

-1 small can cream of chicken soup 

-3 cups shredded chicken, I used All Purpose Crock-Pot Chicken

-1 cup Sour Cream 

-1 can Rotel, undrained 

-1 can corn, drained 

-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 

-1 package Taco seasoning 

-1 package Ranch Seasoning 

-3 large burrito sized tortillas, cut into strips 

-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix cream of chicken soup, chicken, sour cream, Rotel, beans, corn, taco seasoning and ranch seasoning. 

Layer half of the tortilla strips on the bottom of the baking pan. Cover with half of the chicken mixture. Repeat with remaining tortillas and mixture.

Cover with 2 cups shredded cheese. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes. 

You can serve with sour cream and rice, or just like it is! 

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