Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

This French Dip is seriously so delicious!  It’s the perfect sandwich for the busy mom who needs to get a great easy meal on the table.  All the hubby could say was WOW! I’m totally making this again for the family.


approx. 3 1/2 lbs. beef chuck roast
beef broth (1 1/2 cans)
1 (10.5-oz.) can condensed French onion soup
6-oz red wine
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 French rolls or this fabulous Quick Rise Bread sliced
provolone cheese, optional


Trim excess fat off of beef roast and season meat all over with salt and pepper.  Pour beef broth, condensed French onion soup, red wine and garlic powder into slow cooker and place beef roast into liquid. 8 hours.


You don’t  have to worry about the meat drying out in the same way you might if you were roasting the meat in the oven. Mine took 7 1/2 hours and was falling apart tender.  Take beef out and rest it, covered with aluminum foil, for about 15 minutes. Slice beef and return to slow cooker on low or very low for 30 minutes.


Lightly toast the bread and evenly distribute cheese between rolls.  I also sliced and cooked a bell pepper and onion. Divide beef onto rolls and spoon the beef juice into small bowls and eat everything while it is hot. Serve each sandwich with its own dip.  Serves 4-6.  Enjoy!



Pirate Birthday Party

It’s March madness in our house, all three of our kiddos have birthdays this month.  We kicked off the month with a pirate birthday party theme for my son Colson and it was a huge hit with the kiddos. Overall, it was fairly easy, frugal and lots of fun!


Here’s the menu:

Golden Nuggets (I purchased chicken nuggets from chick-fil A)
Scurvy Rolls (Turkey Wrap w/Cranberry Cream Cheese) I bought these at Costco but you can easily make them!
Octopus dip (beer dip) Everyone raved about this! So creamy and delicious, and really does go best with pretzels.
Cannon balls (black olives)
Fish & Chips (Goldfish crackers & plain potato chips)
Watermelon pirate ship with fresh fruit
Watermelon Shark with fresh fruit
Seaweed Salad (pasta salad) This is a great recipe!
Ahoy Ma-Tea (Sweet Tea)
Pirate Punch (Hawaiian Punch)


The fresh fruit & Watermelon Boat and Shark was a huge hit! My hubby did a fantastic job planning and did a lot of research to put this masterpiece together.  Here are a few sites he used!  How to make a watermelon shark carving and How to make a watermelon ship carving


 A little Shark humor before the party with these two!


We served up Ahoy Ma-Tea (Sweet Tea) and Pirate Punch (Hawaiian Punch).  My niece helped with labeling everything with her beautiful pirate handwriting.


Russell made a Hook Toss out of an old pallet and a walk the plank out of some wood.

20140324-105031.jpg  Lastly, I found this super cute pirate ship piñata I showcased at the cupcake table before we took it outside and got everyone involved in the birthday activity.


Happy Birthday to our precious, sweet hearted, adventurous little pirate.  There hasn’t been a single day in the last three years that you haven’t brought joy to our life.  And so much love.  I feel blessed to live my life with you and thank God he gave me the privilege of being your mommy!


Snowman Salad

This is one of my favorite salads a friend introduced to me to in college.  I’ve changed the name to Snowman Salad because the name “Frog Eye Salad” wasn’t appealing to my kids.  If your not a coconut fan, you can definitely leave it out:)  I have found after many trials, It has a much better texture if you make sure that the pasta, fruit and egg mixture are very cold before you mix the ingredients together.  This recipe makes a lot so I’ll normally put a few batches in freezer.


1 cup white  sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups pineapple juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (16 ounce) package acini di pepe pasta
2 (20 ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained (save juice!)
2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained (save juice!)
1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
Whipping cream, whipped with sugar


In large  saucepan over low heat, combine sugar, egg yolks, flour, pineapple juice  and lemon juice (and reserved juice from pineapple and mandarin orange cans).  Stir and cook until thickened.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.  While sauce  is cooking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add  pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse  with cold water.


In large bowl, combine cooked juice mixture with pasta and toss to coat thoroughly.  Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight (if you can).


Toss delicious pasta with pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, marshmallows and whipped cream.  This is great for picnics or family gatherings.  Enjoy!

Devil eggs

Just let me say this, these deviled eggs are AWESOME! Easy, tasty, – and almost everyone in my family  loves them.  These are a great way to get put your Easter ‘love’ in the food or any addition to a yummy meal.   Needless to say, these are frugal to make.


12 large hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons sweet relish
Paprika, for dusting


Place eggs in a large wide saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil for 12 minutes. Remove eggs and and cool in refrigerator. Remove shells from eggs and slice in half lengthwise. 20140304-121553.jpg

Separate egg yolks and place into a bowl. Place whites on a separate plate. 


Add mayo, mustard, relish and salt and pepper, to taste, to yolks and mash together with a fork until creamy and smooth.


Using a small spoon put the yolk mixture back into each egg, enough to fill yolk holes completely.


Dust tops with paprika. Refrigerate. Serve cold. Enjoy!





Dr. Seuss Day 2014

Mark your calendars, March 2, 2014 is NEA’s Read Across America Day.  In honor of Dr. Seuss, here is a great recipe for Dr. Seuss Bread originally found here.  I took a very good bread recipe and made it in my bread machine on the dough cycle.  (If you don’t have a bread-maker recipe can visit Sandwich Bread Recipe  to see  a fabulous FRUGALICIOUS recipe).

Dr seuss bread 4

Dr Seuss Bread 1

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, using a dough scraper or knife {just eyeball it}.  Mix in the food coloring to each dough ball to get the colors of the rainbow; since the food coloring is liquid you will probably need to mix in a bit more flour with the coloring to keep a nice, not too sticky dough {make sure you keep them separate and you probably don’t want to set them on your counter, they may stain it with the colors}:
RED: red food coloring
ORANGE: a combination of red and yellow food
YELLOW: yellow food coloring
GREEN: most basic packages of food coloring
have green in them, although if yours doesn’t mix a combination of yellow and
BLUE: blue food coloring
VIOLET/PURPLE: a combination of red and
blue food coloring

Dr Suess Bread 7

To assemble the RAINBOW, lightly grease your work surface and your rolling pin. Roll the red out to a roughly 11 x 14 inch rectangle, then place it on another greased surface {I used a 11 x 14 inch cutting board}Repeat the rolling process for all other colors (oil surface and rolling pin before each color to prevent sticking); layering them on top of each other in the order of the rainbow. (Stretch as needed to make them as close to the same size as you can; the oil makes them easy to move if needed.) Layer in any order you feel called to.

Dr Seuss Bread 3

Roll the dough out into a larger rectangle; about 1/2 inch thick.  Grease  (9 x 5) loaf pan very well and Carefully roll the rectangle dough into a “log”.

Dr seuss bread 4

Place the dough rolls in the prepared loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place loaf pan on the top of the oven, cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise about 30-45 minutes(the heat from the preheating oven will help the dough rise).  Bake loaves in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

dr seuss bread 5

Wait 5-10 minutes and remove bread from pans, place on wire rack to cool completely (cool completely before cutting, to be able to cut nice slices).

dr seuss bread 6

This is Kinely’s lunch today!  The kiddos LOVED eating every bite!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Oreo Truffles

These truffles are super easy and delicious. If you like a certain cookie flavor, use your favorite It makes no difference.  One piece of advice is to make sure you chill the dough for at least 15 minutes before rolling.  And then chill them in the freezer again to help make it easier to dip in chocolate.


1 package Oreo Cookies
1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 package chocolate flavored Almond Bark


Remove cookies from the package and finely chop. (The best way is to put them in a chopper or food processor, but a blender works well, too.) Place the now cookie crumbs in a large bowl.  20140224-122436.jpg

Remove room-temperature cream cheese from the foil and microwave for 20 seconds to make it extra creamy and easier to work with. Combine the cream cheese with the cookie crumbs and stir till well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.


Remove the bowl from the fridge and cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Form the mixture into small balls (a little smaller than a gum ball) and place on the wax paper. Fill the cookie sheet with the balls and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to become firm. While the pan is in the freezer, fill a saucepan about 1/3 full of water and heat on the stove top on medium-high. As the water begins to boil, place a glass bowl over the sauce pan and place three squares of Almond bark in the bowl to melt. (This process is called double boiling and works great to melt chocolate!)

Once the chocolate is melted, begin adding the little balls to the chocolate and coating each one all around. Place the balls back on the wax paper to cool and dry. 20140224-122503.jpg

Drizzle with melted white chocolate, add sprinkles or chopped pecans, or leave them as they are! Place the prepared truffles in the fridge to keep them cool. Keep the truffles refrigerated till you need them. Enjoy!

Hawaiian Bread

I love Hawaiian bread, it is my favorite way to eat a hamburger. I have tried many times to make it and it was never sweet enough.  I finally decided to just substitute ingredients in my faithful yeast bread recipe. They turned out excellent. Sweet and soft!


Who would have thought a simple swap of water and milk for pineapple juice was all I needed to do.  Plus…a touch of ginger.  WOW!

Here is what you need:

3 3/4 cups flour
1 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp instant yeast


Dump all your ingredients into your bread machine on the dough cycle. If you don’t have one just mix and knead for 12 minutes before letting it rise for an hour.  Once the dough has completed the first rise, divide it into 8-10 buns.  Let rise one more time for about 45 minutes.

20140211-140855.jpgBake on 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  YUM!

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