Livin Life, one day at a time, and filling you in on the randomness of it all!

Crockpot Chicken and Veggies March 1, 2012

Filed under: Link Ups,Money Saving Meals — Sara @ 7:31 pm
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This is more of guideline than a recipe but here we go…My Easy Peasy Crockpot Chicken and Veggies


  • 1 whole chicken or bone in chicken pieces – frozen or thawed
  • Fresh veggies – I use potatoes, carrots, and celery…that way the leftovers can be stirred with some noodles the next night for chicken noodle soup…but wait I’m getting ahead of myself…
  • Salt, pepper, whatever spices you like (Fresh rosemary, rubs for the meat, garlic powder, Cajun spices, a dash of liquid smoke…uses your imagination….)
  • ¼ – ½ c liquid….I use water, but chicken broth, wine, anything works
  • 1 crockpot

• Wash you veggies…you never know who scratched their butt, touched the carrots, and put them back on the shelf…and chop them in to chunks.

• Drop your veggies in the bottom of the crockpot, sprinkle with seasoning if you choose
• Pour your liquid in the crockpot
• Season your meat if you so choose and plop it on top of the veggies
• Put the lid on and cook

o Here’s the deal

 Frozen Chicken (whole or pieces) – Cook on high for 6 – 8 hours
 Thawed Chicken (whole or pieces) – Cook on high 4 hours or low for 6 – 8 hours
This isn’t like cooking in the oven, the longer you cook this the juicer it gets…all that happens it the meat will fall off the bone

This guy started frozen, was covered in a spice rub, and cooked on high for 6 hours….that’s why he stayed whole, cook him the whole 8 hours and he’ll fall off the bone

Ready for the best part of this beyond simple recipe?? You can change out the chicken for a roast or a pork loin, whatever’s in the fridge or freezer. Don’t have veggies? Throw the meat in the crock pot, rub with bbq sauce, and pour in 1/4 – 1/2 c water and cook for the times as listed above. If you do this you can shred the meat for pulled meat sandwiches or slice and serve….

You want more??

If you make the recipe above and have leftovers turn them into one of these MEALS . Just replace the turkey that the recipe calls for with whatever you’ve got leftover 🙂

You still want more?? You guys are killing me!?!
Go check out all the great recipes here Photobucket and don't forget to link up!


National Peanut Butter Day!! January 24, 2012

It’s a !!Celebration!! Not only is it National Peanut Butter Day, which is pretty awesomely amazing as it is, but it YeahWrite41, time to Link-up again!! Double Win! This calls for a drink \_/ *Cheers* \_/…and with that drink how about a cookie, a sandwich maybe, what about brownie bites?

So in honor of National Peanut Butter Day I’m sharing a few of my favorite peanut butter recipes

I’m pretty sure everyone’s heard of recipe where you bake a peanut butter cookie in a mini muffin tin, and as soon as the cookies come out of the oven you pop a peanut butter cup or a mini chocolate kiss in the middle of the warm cookie….Well I have a half assed slacker mom version that’s just as good…yup, that recipe can get even easier…and if you make the Brownie Bites too, you’ll get a 2:1 dessert..Pretty sure that’ll make you the most awesome mom ever!

Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

1c Peanut Butter

1 egg

1 c sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Mini chocolate kisses or peanut butter cups

Mix the peanut butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spoon into a [greased or lined] mini muffin tin (filling each about ½-2/3 way full) and bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and pop a candy in the middle of each cookie. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

And now for the variations on this one:

Peanut Butter Cookie Brownie Bites & a Pan of Brownies
2 Desserts in One!

1 pkg Brownie mix
[Prepared according to pkg instructions but don’t bake]
1 c Peanut Butter
1 c Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a bowl. Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray and fill 2/3 full of the peanut butter cookie dough, then spoon brownie batter to fill the muffin tins. Bake at 350 for about 20 min. Pour remaining brownie batter into an 8 in round pie pan and bake for about 30 min it until the edges of the brownies start to pull away from the pan.

One More Variation:

For my GF/CF friends (Gluten Free / Cassin Free)

Peanut Butter Cookies

1c Peanut Butter

1 egg

1 c sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

What….is this looking a little familiar so far? Yep…you take the recipe above but just make the cookie….So, we mix the ingredients, spoon onto a lined/greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes. Easiest peanut butter cookies ever! And they don’t taste like many of the GF/CF cookies I’ve tried in the past.

And for another peanut butter recipe…because it wouldn’t be National Peanut Butter Day with only one recipe….

Grilled PB&J

This one is as basic as it sounds, and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before….


Peanut Butter



Heat a skillet on the stove over medium-low – a medium heat, while it preheats make your PB&J as you would normally, but butter the outsides of your bread too. Grill until golden brown on both sides, and let cool for a few minutes, then Enjoy!!!….the cooling is important…sticky gooey hot peanut butter can really burn ones tongue…not that I would know from experience….

What you want MORE peanut buttery goodness??? Well know you’re asking a lot….Go grab a stalk of celery, dip it in the peanut butter and you’re good to go ;p

Oh wait….I do have ONE MORE…don’t get too excited…this one’s beyond basic, but it’ll save you a few $$$

Peanut Butter Crackers

A box of saltine crackers, I guess any crackers would work….

Peanut Butter

Smear the peanut butter on a cracker, top with another cracker, and Voila! Those little prepackaged crackers we buy made in 2 seconds for way cheaper, just bag them up and thrown them into your lunch bag.

And there you have it….My National Peanut Butter Day Easy Snack Recipes



***Helloooo!!!! It’s me! I forgot to tell you about one of favorite peanut butter recipes….is it too late to add another?


Take a waffle or pancake and follow the beyond easy recipe (if you can call it that….it really is that simple)  HERE . But add a smear of peanut butter before you add the chocolaty hazelnut spread and the banana.


Oh…and how could I forget?!?!?!

The Peanut  Butter and Marshmallow Sandwich…yup it’s as sugary good as it sounds….

2 slices of bread – 1 smeared with peanut butter, 1 smeared with marshmallow cream, smushed together and enjoyed in a sugary good sandwich

Or, if you want the sugary goodness without the guilty feeling about busting your diet try the

Peanut Butter Nutella Sandwich 

Same easy idea as before [or as a PB&J if you want to get technical about it ;P ]

2 slices of bread – 1 smeared with peanut butter, 1 smeared with Nutella, and smushed together….delish grilled or not


Okay, that’s really all I’ve got…for now at least…I’ll have to dig out the puppy chow recipe for you guys soon, it’s soooooo good!


Pancake Nutella Banana Roll Up January 16, 2012

Filed under: food,Money Saving Meals,Parenting,Uncategorized — Sara @ 12:53 am
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Need a quick kiddo breakfast or snack? Have leftover pancakes or waffles? What about frozen waffles?

Microwave, or heat them up in the toaster, they need to be warm but soft, not crispy so the microwave works well. Better yet grab a fresh one from the stove….But in this case it’s this mornings leftovers….Smear with a smudge of peanut butter and/or spoonful of Nutella, top with a slice of banana, roll up, and enjoy….I mean hand to the kids to enjoy as an easy (relatively healthy) breakfast / snack to go 🙂



Easy Taco Soup January 15, 2012

Filed under: food,Money Saving Meals — Sara @ 2:19 am
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Remember the Turkey Taco Soup I told you guys about a few posts backs in 10 Ideas For Your Turkey Leftovers? It’s one of my favorite soups because it’s so versatile. I made it tonight using leftover chicken from last nights dinner….. Never let not having all the ingredients deter you from trying a new recipe. Take this recipe for example, it calls for canned corn, but if you only have fresh use it and add a little extra water. Watching calories? You could easily sub the cheddar cheese soup for chicken broth or tomato juice. Want the cheesy flavor but don’t have canned soup? Make a version of your own, just melt Velveta with some milk. No Rotel? Use a can of diced tomatoes and a jalapeño. Don’t like spicy? Just use the diced tomatoes and skip the pepper. Have fresh tomatoes? Dice them up instead. There are so many easy substitutions you can make when cooking, wether it’s to cut calories, accommodate food allergies, or because you don’t have exactly what the recipe calls for on hand. Playing with a recipe to make it your own is one of the best parts of cooking. So here’s a closer look at my Chicken Taco Soup (notice my can of beans isn’t the size called for, I just added an extra pinch of taco seasonings and no one can tell a difference).

Chicken Taco Soup

1 – 15 oz can black beans
1 – 15 oz can pinto beans
1 – 15 oz can corn
1 – 10 oz can cheddar cheese soup
1 – 10 oz can Rotel (or diced tomatoes if you don’t like spicy)
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 cups cooked chicken (Rotesserie, home cooked, or canned all work well)

Mix all ingredients (juices included) in a medium pan over medium low heat and let simmer for about 20 min.

Cost: About $8 – And you should get 2-3 meals out a pot of this friending on how you serve it…check out my ideas below


*Idea* Serve over rice
*Idea* Top with sprinkle cheese and sour cream.
*Idea* Strain and use as an omelet filling
*Idea* Strain and serve with sprinkle cheese an tortillas, taco style
*Idea* Enjoy as a pipping hot bowl of soup
*Idea* When you get to the bottom of the pot and it doesn’t look like there’s enough to feed everyone, strain what’s left and sprinkle on top of chips and cheese, bake at 350 for 10 minutes and you have nachos


Italian Meat Loaf October 5, 2011

Filed under: Money Saving Meals — Sara @ 3:14 pm
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Money Saving Meals – Italian Meatloaf


Before you roll your eyes…I PROMISE this is not the same nasty, make you want to gag, meatloaf you grew up eating as a child…go ahead, give it a try…you’ll be impressed!


1 lb of ground meat (I use turkey, but any will work)

½ c of bread crumbs

1 egg

Seasonings of your choice (I use dried Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese)

1 Package of sliced cheese (I usually use mozzarella or provolone)

1 Package of sliced ham

Ketchup / Tomato sauce / or Spaghetti sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350. Mix meat, bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings until well combined.
  • Press meat out, onto a piece of wax paper or cutting board, in the shape of a rectangle. Make it as long as your loaf pan.
  • Top with sliced cheese and ham
  • Roll up, jelly roll style
  • Place in loaf pan and place another couple of slices of cheese on top
  • Cover with sauce. This time I used ketchup and a can of diced tomatoes…don’t laugh, I was in a hurry – no time to make sauce
  • Bake for 1 hour  and enjoy

Step By Step Meatloaf Making













1 lb of ground turkey – $3

½ cup of Bread Crumbs – Under $1

1 egg – under $.50

1 package of lunch meat – $2

1 package of sliced cheese – $3

Tomato sauce – $2

I served the Italian Meatloaf with a loaf of frozen garlic bread that was on sale for $1, a package of frozen veggies my local grocery sells for $.88 a package, and some mashed potatoes made from potatoes that were about to start growing something funktastic. Dinner  in my house is all about using what’s in the pantry. So while this meal costs a little more than $10, the only things I don’t always have on hand are the ground meat and sliced cheese. Dinner is a lot cheaper when you use what you have. You never have to follow a recipe exactly, use what you have and make the meal your own.



Money Saving Meals – Pound Cake Made Easy October 4, 2011

Filed under: Money Saving Meals,Uncategorized — Sara @ 5:06 pm
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Money Saving Meals

Some of you may know this already, but I have another blog. It’s a food/recipe blog, but due to my laziness and a lack of online traffic the site rarely gets updated. However…I think the idea behind the blog was genius. Cooking for a family of 5 for under $10.00. So, I’m adding a new posting topic to my blog called Money Saving Meals where I’ll share recipes (some from the other blog, some new posts) with you guys. Hope you enjoy!!

Pound Cake Made Easy – Chocolate, Lemon, or Classic

1 Yellow, Chocolate, or Lemon Cake mix

1 pkg instant vanilla, chocolate, or lemon instant pudding mix (whichever goes with the cake mix flavor you choose)

1 cup milk

1 stick butter softened

4 eggs at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your bundt pan. Dump all your ingredients in a bowl, mix on low-speed for 2 minutes, scrape bowl, mix at medium-speed for 2 minutes. (You have to mix for this long, on these speeds, or the cakes seem to fall…atleast for me) Pour your batter into the greased pan and bake for 50 -55 minutes.

If the top of your cake looks too brown spray a sheet of aluminum foil with non-stick spray and lay loosely over the top for the last 15 -20 minutes of baking.

Variation ~ Uses a chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, and once you grease your pan coat it with cocoa powder instead of flour….and of course top with a chocolate glaze…because you can never have too much chocolate!!

Another Quick Tip – If you don’t have milk use 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of yogurt, or 1 cup of your favorite coffee creamer (I use vanilla)

Cake mix- $1.50

Pudding- $1.00

4 eggs- Under $1.00

Stick of butter – Under $1.00

Cup of Milk – Under $1.00

Total Cost for Pound Cake – About $6.00

~~I’m convinced pound cake is not only a dessert but a breakfast food too…Hey, it’s gotta be better for you than doughnuts :0)


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