Recipe | Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

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Put your slow cooker to use this week and make yourself some yummy rice pudding – my kids LOVE rice pudding. And I always make it on the stove with Sweetened Condensed Milk.

I had a reader ask for me to repost this recipe today – and thought it would be a great time for everyone to try it out.

It’s great if you have leftover white rice, toss in the slow cooker with Milk, Evaporated Milk and Water, throw in Cinnamon and  put it on low.

It turned out super… the kids gobbled it right up (even my smallest one that’s 10 months old!)

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding
With a few simple ingredients from your pantry make the most delicious rice pudding in your slow cooker within just a few hours.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 C. Cooked White Rice
  2. 1 - 2 Cans of Evaporated Milk (I prefer two)
  3. 1 C. Whole Milk
  4. 1/2 C. Water
  5. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 3/4 C. Sugar
  7. 3 Tbsp Butter (Softened)
  8. 1/2 C. Raisins
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker - start with ONE Can of Evaporated Milk.
  2. Stir well, and cover.
  3. Cook on low for 2 - 2 1/2 hours.
  4. If you love a more liquid rice pudding add the second can of Evaporated Milk - if you do, then stir & cook another 20 minutes on low.
"The" Cents'Able Shoppin http://www.thecentsableshoppin.com/

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Homemade Pumpkin or Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Do you love Pumpkin Bread? It’s a favorite in our house – far more than Banana Bread. I had a craving for it yesterday and I found the Kroger Brand Pumpkin (15 oz. Can) for $1.00 per can on sale at Fry’s.

I picked up a few so I could make some bread.  Trouble is.. my router decided to take a day off, so I worked between my in laws & McDonalds & wasn’t able to make the Bread until 1 a.m. when the kids were fast asleep.

Because it was so late & I was a little tired, I accidentally put MORE flour than what was called for — but, it turned out for the better.  This recipe made 2 loaves – I made one last night – and threw the rest in the fridge, and put in to make a second loaf this afternoon – one with chocolate chips and one with just Pumpkin. Yum!

Pumpkin Bread
This recipe makes 2 huge loaves - keep one plain, and throw chocolate chips in the second for a nice treat.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 3/4 C. Flour
  2. 1 C. Vegetable Oil
  3. 4 Eggs
  4. 3 C. Sugar
  5. 2 tsp Baking Soda
  6. 1 Can Pumpkin - 15 oz. (Not Pumpkin Pie Mix)
  7. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  9. 2/3 C. Water
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt & spices and set aside.
  2. Mix the Pumpkin, Water, Sugar, Eggs, Oil. Beat well.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry - mix well.
  4. Pour the batter into 2 greased and floured loaf pans.
  5. Bake at 350 for just over 1 hour - or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Notes
  1. This makes 2 rather large loaves -if you have extra batter you could also supplement and make some muffins and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Chocolate chips can also be added, fold those in just before you pour the batter into the loaf pans.
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
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Recipe | Slow Cooker Beef Lasagna Soup

Slow Cooker Beef Lasagna Soup In the Crock Pot

I came across this recipe last week and thought it would work super for us – not only as a quick dinner but also as a Crock Pot Freezer Recipe.

The original recipe asks you to use Raw Ground Beef sprinkled on the top before you cover in the crock pot – and I did make it like that. But it seemed as if it had more fat when it was done versus cooking the meat and adding it later… I re-made it a second time and used 93/7 ground beef – that was much better than the 80/20 I was using the first time around.

It’s a great recipe to keep on hand – the ingredients are those that can be picked up for almost nothing, and are items you might even have in your pantry.

Slow Cooker Beef Lasagna Soup
Serves 6
A very easy soup that can be made with items you have in your pantry, or even as a Crock Pot Freezer Meal.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
7 hr
Total Time
7 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
7 hr
Total Time
7 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. Ground Beef, Raw (I used 93/7)
  2. 1 Onion, diced
  3. 1 Can (10 3/4 oz.) Condensed Tomato Soup
  4. 1 Can (14.5 oz.) Diced Tomatoes
  5. 1 Can (15 oz.) Tomato Sauce
  6. 2 each Beef AND Chicken Bouillon cubes
  7. 4 c. Water
  8. 1 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  9. 1 1/2 tsp. Basil
  10. 1 tsp. Parsley
  11. Salt & Pepper to taste
  12. 8 Lasagna noodles broken into smaller pieces or Bow Tie Pasta - UNCOOKED
  13. 1 Bag (12 oz) Shredded Cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine the Onion, Tomato Soup, Tomato Sauce, Diced Tomatoes, Beef & Chicken Bouillon, and Water in the crock pot.
  2. Add the Spices and the Parsley, Basil & other.
  3. Sprinkle the Raw Ground Beef on the top.
  4. Sprinkle broken Lasagna noodles on top, OR if you prefer, then Bow Tie pasta.
  5. Cover, and let cook 6-7 hours on LOW.
  6. You can top with Shredded Cheese & Diced Onions.
Notes
  1. If you are making this as a Crock Pot Freezer Meal, it is very easy to assemble - simply use a Hefty One zip to mix the Tomato Sauce, Soup, Diced Tomatoes, & Spices.
  2. When you get ready to use, just pull out of the freezer, and put in the crock pot, all you need to do is add 4 Cups of Water and the Bouillon cubes, top with the uncooked pasta, & beef and cover.
Adapted from Family Fresh Meals
"The" Cents'Able Shoppin http://www.thecentsableshoppin.com/

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Recipe | Crock Pot Apple Crisp

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

Have some extra apples in the kitchen? I picked up over 10 lbs last week – they were on sale for $.48 per pound and I price matched 3 separate trips. WOWsers :)

This is ONE of 3 things we are making today.

Crock Pot Apple Crisp
Serves 4
With just a few ingredients, thrown in the crock pot you can make a very easy dessert without turning on a hot oven or rolling a pie crust.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 Granny Smith Apples, Peeled & Sliced
  2. 3/4 C. Flour
  3. 3/4 C. Oatmeal
  4. 3/4 C. Brown Sugar
  5. 1/2 C. Butter (NOT Margarine!)
  6. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray.
  2. Peel & slice apples; put them in the crock pot.
  3. Cut the butter into the Flour, Brown Sugar & Oatmeal until it resembes coarse crumbles.
  4. Pour over the apples in a nice layer.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon - be generous if you love more versus less.
  6. Put the lid on the crock pot - you can throw 2-3 paper towels under the lid to catch the condensation.
  7. Cook for 2 1/2 Hours on high.
Notes
  1. Don't overcook..... you'll dry the apples out and it won't be as good.
Adapted from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
"The" Cents'Able Shoppin http://www.thecentsableshoppin.com/

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Fry’s: Frank’s Red Hot Sauce $.67 {+ Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe}

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Pick up this coupon for $.30 off Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (register or log in!) – we can pick up the small bottles at Fry’s for $.67.

We go through this like crazy – I’m sure you do too!

Here’s a great recipe to put that Franks to good use!

Frank’s Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cans (12.5 oz. each) Hormel Chunk Chicken or Valley Fresh Chunk Chicken (in the can)

Throw the Cream Cheese into the dish, stir it till smooth, mix in the dressing, Franks, and chicken – then toss in cheese. Bake 20 min at 350.

Recipe | Traditional Mexican Abondigas {Meatball} Soup

Abondigas

We’re huge fans of soup in our house – and since we’re a rather large Hispanic family, we have a few favorites that we tend to lean towards when it comes to making huge pots for the family.

Meatball Soup (known as Abondigas) can be made many different ways. Over the last 15 years, and eating at various places – restaurants in California, Arizona and also in Mexico, it’s really fun to see the variations on some of the most popular recipes.

There is no right or wrong way to make the soup – we made it for 10 of us and it was well enjoyed – so much there wasn’t any left over.

Traditional Mexican Abondigas {Meatball} Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 - 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  2. 2 Eggs
  3. 1 Diced Onion
  4. 1 Finely Diced Tomato
  5. 1 C. Cooked Rice
  6. Seasoning (Salt, Chile Powder, Cumin)
  7. 8 oz. Tomato Sauce
  8. 1 heavy spoon of Knorr Caldo de Tomate (alternatively you can use Caldo de Pollo)
  9. 1/2 Onion, Sliced
  10. Cilantro to taste
  11. Optional: Zucchini, Carrots
Instructions
  1. Fill a 5-6 qt Dutch Oven to the halfway point with water, and place on the stove on medium heat.
  2. Pour in the 8 oz can of tomato sauce (I use a slightly larger can of 15 oz and it works super too)
  3. Add a Heavy Spoon of Knorr Caldo de Tomato or Pollo (your choice - I use Tomate)
  4. Bring to a boil - throw in the sliced onions, and Zucchini (if you choose)
  5. Make the meatballs - stir together the ground beef with the rice, eggs, 1 - 2 tsp Cumin, Diced Onions and Diced Tomatoes.
  6. Mix those meatballs well and form into balls. I used 1 1/2 lb Ground Beef and made 20-25 meatballs.
  7. Set those meatballs on a plate.
  8. Carefully drop each meatball into the Dutch Oven. If you have too many to fit, do what you can fit and add the rest as the first batch cooks.
  9. As the mixture boils you'll want to add 1 can of Chicken Broth, and continue to cook.
  10. The meatballs may fall apart (slightly) - that is expected.
  11. Ladle into Soup Bowls - you can opt to add the cilantro to each bowl or to the pot as a whole, whatever is more desired.
Notes
  1. Add salt to taste - if you prefer to salt as it cooks, or each individual bowl based on preference.
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Recipe | Copycat Crock Pot Mexican Bean Dip

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Over the last few weeks we picked up quite a few FREE cans of Herdez Salsa after coupons – if you have this sitting in your cabinet pull it out. I was thinking of a great way to put it to use this weekend, and something that I could incorporate my crock pot into….. I think I found the perfect recipe.

We always seem to have a can or two of beans in the cabinet, and this week, Sour Cream is on sale at Fry’s (the store brand) for $1.00 – what better way to combine forces and make something easy.

You won’t need a ton of time to make this – and it’s so easy even your older children could put it together.  

Crock Pot Mexican Bean Dip
Serves 6
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 C. Sour Cream
  2. 4 oz. Cream Cheese
  3. 1 15 oz. Can of Refried Beans
  4. 8 oz. Salsa (Small cans or use Jar variety)
  5. 2 C. Freshly Grated Cheese (Monterey Jack or Cheddar)
  6. 1 tsp. Cumin
  7. Chili Powder, Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all items to the crock pot.
  2. Turn the crock pot on high for just 1 hour
  3. After 1 hour, turn it on low heat
  4. All items should blend nicely - add salt and/or chili powder to taste
Notes
  1. You can adapt this as needed based on your preference; I made the first batch with medium salsa; the second batch I made with hot salsa and threw in green chiles.
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Recipe | Crockpot Strawberry Jam

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Have you picked up Jam lately? The price of Jam is sky high – at least for the variety without High Fructose Corn Syrup…..  Cascadian Farms is what we usually buy but I can’t bring myself to spend $3.39 on a tiny little jar. That’s just outrageous.

I have been wanting to try making jam for a while – and it entailed getting myself up to the Farmers Market to pickup inexpensive Strawberries. I was able to score 3 pounds for $1, and decided it was a great time.

Crockpot Strawberry Jam
Yields 5
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Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4-5 lbs of Fresh Strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
  2. 3 C. of Sugar
  3. 1-2 boxes of Pectin (I used Kroger brand)
  4. 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Instructions
  1. Wash the Strawberries, and cut out the stem.
  2. Slice them up in half or quarters & toss in the crockpot.
  3. Use a potato masher to mash them up slightly (you want a little liquid).
  4. Then add the sugar and pectin, and cook on low for 8 hrs (I cooked mine overnight)… or high for 4.
  5. Open up the lid, and if the mixture hasn't thickened enough, add 1/2 – 1 box of additional Pectin in and stir around, re-cover.
  6. Pour into jars, put the lid & cap on, and throw in the freezer – it’ll continue to thicken in the freezer (and will keep there, too!)
  7. You can move one to the fridge if you'd like.
Notes
  1. My children took off with the potato masher so after 8 hours, I poured 1/2 of the mixture from the crockpot in the blender to blend slightly, then re-poured back into the crockpot.
  2. I used 5 lbs of Strawberries - each pound made 1 Pint of Jam.
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
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Recipe | Agua de Sandia (Watermelon Drink)

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If you come across a great sale on Watermelon, much like what we have this week (and next by the looks of it), you can pick up a few without being worried about them not going to use.

I usually pick up several …… we cut one up a watermelon on Monday morning and put it in a container each day for school lunch.   I picked up an even cheaper deal at my Fry’s last night when I found the Personal Mini Watermelons for $.75…… I bought 3 (and had one already at home).

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My kids love Watermelon Drink …… and it’s really easy to make. You can use one mini Watermelon or, 1/2 of a larger Watermelon.

Agua de Sandia
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Ingredients
  1. Watermelon (1 Mini or 1/2 Whole)
  2. Water
  3. Ice
  4. Any type of Garnish (Mint, etc)
Instructions
  1. Cut up the Watermelon and add to your blender.
  2. Fill the blender 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with Watermelon.
  3. Add Water to the blender, covering the Watermelon.
  4. Blend on high until well blended.
  5. Add to your Beverage Jug (Glass or Plastic)
  6. Add ice as necessary before serving.
Notes
  1. No sugar is needed.
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Recipe | Crock Pot Fudge Brownies

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I just realized that I never posted my Crock Pot Brownies that we made this week with the kids. They were so good, the crock pot was gone within less than 1 hour…. hate to say it, but it was. Between me and all 3 of them (baby can’t eat this yet, she’s too small!) .. Dave never got to eat them. But that’s ok – we’re making another batch tomorrow.

Just in case you want to put that almost FREE Crock Pot to work that you got from Walmart, here’s a great one to add to your recipe collection.

Crock Pot Fudge Brownies
Serves 5
Easy, and delicious way to enjoy brownies with just a few ingredients and a crock pot.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Egg
  2. 1 Package Fudge Brownie Mix
  3. 1/4 C. Water
  4. 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  5. 1/2 Stick Butter
  6. Cooking Spray
  7. 1/4 C. Rolled Oats (not Quick Oats)
  8. Walnuts, Coconut or Chocolate Chips - if desired
Instructions
  1. Get out a 4 Quart Crock Pot
  2. Spray the inside of the pot with cooking spray.
  3. Add Melted Butter
  4. Combine Fudge Brownie Mix, Egg and Water - Mix well and pour into pot.
  5. Add Sweetened Condensed Milk by pouring over the top.
  6. Over that, pour the Oats, followed by any extra items (i.e. Chocolate Chips, Coconut or Walnuts).
  7. Cover and let cook on High for 2 hours - knife inserted in center should be clean.
Notes
  1. As good as it smells, try not to lift the lid until around the 90 minute mark. I used a 4 Quart Crock Pot - if you opt for a larger, you may need to cook longer, and on low versus high.
Adapted from Crockpot 365
Adapted from Crockpot 365
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Recipe | Easy Homemade Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

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This week we have a great price on Sour Cream at Fry’s ($.49) and also on Cauliflower ($.98 per lb at Sprouts) – Barilla Pasta as well. I took this time to use this to my benefit last night & put together food for the kids for today – turned out terrific!

As much as my kids love most vegetables, any time that you can sneak them in their favorite food so they can eat more is a plus –  I opted to puree the Cauliflower – so that they were out of sight, out of mind….. they had no idea the half head of Cauliflower was in there, and today the pot is almost half gone.

Ingredients:

1/2 Head of Cauliflower, cut into pieces
1/2 C. Butter
2 C. Milk – more or less – use your judgment!
1/4 C. Flour
1 – 1/2 Blocks of Kraft Cheese, 8 oz Medium Cheddar
1/2 C. Sour Cream
A spoon of Ground Mustard
1 Box of Whole Wheat Barilla Mustard

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Chop up the Cauliflower with a knife – throw in a pot of boiling water on the stove. Meanwhile, throw the pasta into another pot – and cook al dente (4-5 minutes).

In a pan on the stove, melt the butter, and add the flour – make a paste, and add the milk – whisk until well blended and let thicken slightly on the stove. Drain the Cauliflower and toss into your blender along with butter/flour/milk mixture and puree until blended.

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Put the puree mixture back in the pan on the stove and add the cheese until melted – season with salt to taste, pepper, and ground mustard.

How much milk? I can’t say I even measure – use your judgment. Use 2 Cups to start – you can add more from there. I love creamy mac & cheese so I tend to use more.

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Drain the pasta, and throw in the Dutch Oven – mix in the pureed mixture and add 1/2 C. Sour Cream and mix until well blended.  Top with bread crumbs and pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Recipe | Easy Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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This week, we are picking up Sour Cream for just $.49 at Fry’s – it’s a great time to stock up – I picked up 6 over the course of this weekend and am using it to make inexpensive Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

You can top this cake with a few Heath Bars smashed up – or, if you’re not open to that, just the regular topping without the Heath Bars works well too.

My cane sugar was a little lumpy, and I was in a hurry to get it made, so I didn’t work out the lumps – but it tasted just fine.

Cake:

  • 1/2 C Margarine, room temp (or you can use butter, whatever you have)
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 container of sour cream 12 oz
  • Vanilla Extract

Topping:

  • 1-2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 C. Sugar
  • 1/4 C. Brown Sugar
  • A few Heath Bars Smashed Up (MMMn!)

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Blend the butter & sugar, add the eggs, and blend well. Then in the meantime mix the dry ingredients, toss them in with the wet ingredients and pour half the batter into a greased pan.

Add half the topping, and then top with the rest of the wet mixture. Add the rest of the topping. Toss in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes – I usually try to test with a knife at that point, if it’s done the knife inserted in the center will come out clean.  We eat ours with Cool Whip (if I have it available).

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

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Ever made Crock Pot Baked Potatoes? I made them last night (for today) – much easier than making them on the stove, or in the oven.

Normally I’d toss them in a stock pot of boiling water, or, in the oven for 45 minutes – but since it’s starting to get warm outside, I prefer to keep my house as cool as possible. 

Using your Slow Cooker is easy – I actually made mine overnight. You can also set your slow cooker outside on the porch and make them outdoors as well.

::: Wash & thoroughly dry your Potatoes

::: Wrap them in Tin Foil (make sure they are dry or the potatoes & foil will be colored when they are done) – make sure you wrap better than I did :)

::: Put in the slow cooker – no liquid, just potatoes (Wrapped).

::: Place on high, 6 hours, or low, 10 hours – I did mine overnight. 

I had a bag of potatoes that was needing to get used up… so I wrapped ALL of my potatoes, and used both slow cookers ( I have a programmable and one that is not programmable).  

I unwrapped 3 of them this morning, took the peels off, diced them, a`nd put them in coconut oil on the stove for Potatoes & Ground Beef for the kids – we made Burritos with Sour Cream for lunch.

How to Freeze Asparagus

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This week we have a great price on Asparagus- great time to stock up. The month of March usually lends way to the best price on this all time favorite. To take advantage of the low price, it’s a great idea to freeze so you can save later.

Reader Beth was generous enough to send forward her tips for freezing asparagus in hopes it will encourage some of you to give it a try yourself.

This is a super easy process. If it weren’t for the boiling water it would take less than 5 minutes.

Step 1:  Start a pot of water to boil and a large bowl of ice water.

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Step 2: Wash and prep the asparagus. If you hold it near the middle with one hand and the bottom with the other and then bend a little it should naturally break at the woody end. You can cut it into 1 inch pieces or leave  whole.

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Homemade Macaroni and Cheese {6 Ingredients}

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I love homemade Mac & Cheese, I could eat it daily – and it’s definitely my weakness!

Although sometimes I will pick up Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese in the box, after making your own you definitely won’t go back to the boxed variety.

Pick up a few items at the store and you can make it quite easily yourself. This is great with all the cheese we are picking up at Fry’s through today 2/23.

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Gather together:

1 box of Elbow Macaroni (I like the big noodles myself)
1/4 C. Butter (though.. I’m more generous – I use 1 stick!)
(Try not to use margarine.. you really want to stick with real butter)
1/4 C. Flour
1 1/2 C. Milk – preferably Whole
8-12 oz. Cheese, preferably Sharp Cheddar
1 Large Egg – not required but certainly makes it better!

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