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Day 13 Eating at home…Penne w/ Roasted Asparagus & Balsamic Butter

There is no meat in the recipe. It does have butter and cheese in it so I don’t think it qualifies as Vegan but I am sure you could make some adjustments to fix that.

Here is what you need

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1/4 lb butter
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and some additional for when serving

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the tough parts of the asparagus then cut into one inch pieces.

Toss these in the olive oil and 1/4 tsp each of pepper and salt. Put on a lined baking sheet and cook for 10-15 min or until tender.

While those are roasting put the vinegar in a small sauce pan and simmer until about 3 tbsp remain. You can also start boiling your water for the penne and cook those.

Once the vinegar has reduced stir in the brown sugar and 1/4 tsp of pepper and remove from heat.

The vinegar should be thicker and slightly syrupy.

Cut you butter up into slices.

The in a big bowl add the penne, butter, vinegar, asparagus, parmesan, and 1 3/4 tsp salt.

Toss this until the butter and cheese are melted and everything is well coated.

Serve in a bowl with a little extra parmesan sprinkled on top. 🙂


This is one of my husband’s favorites. I have also added chicken or shrimp to this in the past.



Day 12 of Eating at Home… Bourbon Chicken

I have been sick so I am way behind on my posts. You will be happy to know that I did not give in and eat out. I dragged my self out of bed to cook dinner. I am going to try to get a few up right now so I am just going to run through these.

Day 12 was Bourbon Chicken. I have been making this for years I think I found the original recipe in an All You magazine. Here is what I do.

You will need.

  • 2 lbs of chicken
  • 3 tbsp of you preferred cooking oil (mine is olive)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (or if you use the already minced kind about 3-4 tsp)
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes (you can use more or less depending on how much heat you want)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • rice

If you make your rice in a rice cooker you want to get that going first. Don’t forget to add some olive oil on top and sprinkle some pepper and garlic salt on top as well.

Once that is going cut you chicken into bite size pieces.

You want to brown the chicken till there is no more pink visible.

Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.

Add remaining ingredients to the pot.

Cook this until it is boiling and everything is combined and then add the chicken back to the pot.

let this simmer for about 15-20 min. The ingredients for the sauce are tripled so it takes a while to thicken up. After 20 min if it does not thicken then you want to do the cornstarch trick and stir till it thickens.

Once the sauce has thickened you are done and you can serve it over rice.


This recipe is very tasty and pretty east to whip up. It is spicy though so make sure you keep that in mind when feeding it to kids. You can control though by dialing down the red pepper flakes. It’s also another good one for left overs. You could even put in lettuce and have lettuce wraps with it for lunch the next day.

Enjoy! 🙂

Day 11 or Eating at Home… Easiest Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches EVER!

This is a recipe I heard about a year or so ago. I was really skeptical but had to try it. If it was good then AWESOME if not I would have just ordered pizza. Luckily it was great! I did try it a couple of different ways and found the way I like best. This is also fantastic for potlucks or if you are having a summer get together. Best thing is that it only has a few ingredients! Let’s get started!

Here is what you need

  • 2 liter of root beer (or enough to completely cover your roast)
  • your favorite BBQ sauce
  • pork roast
  • buns

Normally I use pork tenderloin for this. I personally like it better but Crest had a great sale going on for Pork Shoulder Roast. You can use shoulder, butt, or tenderloin.

Put the roast in the crock pot.

Pour your root beer right on top. It will foam up but that goes away quickly.

Make sure you put enough to completely cover the roast. The original recipe I found only called for 1-2 cups of root beer but, when I made it like that the part of the meat that wasn’t in the root beer turned out dry and didn’t taste as good as the meat that was in the root beer.

Here you can see how much root beer I used. This was a full bottle when I started.

Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. This does have an odd smell while it is cooking. Nothing bad, just different. Here is what it looks like when you are done.

Take the roast out of the pot, discard the root beer, and shred up the roast.

Now if you aren’t serving this immediately you can put the meat back in the pot (make sure you have dumped out the root beer) and add your favorite sauce. Just make sure you add plenty and put the crock pot on warm. I usually serve it right away so in a bowl I will just add enough BBQ sauce to coat the meat. You can also split the meat up and coat them with different sauces if you are having a get together.

If we were having people over or if I had more time I would make some coleslaw and cornbread muffins to go with this. But of course we didn’t eat till after the baseball game and it was around 8:30 when we got home. So, we just went with some chips on the side.

So there you have it! Easy right?? It’s very yummy too. I’ve always wanted to try making my own BBQ sauce so if you guys have any suggestions on recipes please link them in the comment.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you guys enjoy this!

Day 9 of Eating at Home- Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops

This dinner is really easy and only has a few ingredients so it is definitely budget friendly. I wish I would have had more time to enjoy it because it was pretty good. But we only had 30 min to eat AND get to the baseball field for my son’s game. Also, because we were so rushed I completely forgot to take pics of it completed but I do have pics of the prep. I hope you don’t mind. If you have been reading my blog you know I have to double just about everything to feed my growing boys. (we are in big trouble when they are teenagers!) So as usual for a smaller or less hungry group of people you can cut this in half. I am glad we had the extra because both big boys had an extra pork chop when we got home from the game. 🙂

Here is what you need.

  • 4-6 pork chops
  • 2 cans cream of chicken
  • 2 packets of Ranch dressing mix
  • a little bit of garlic powder…. maybe a teaspoon?? I don’t really know
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of water.


In a bowl mix your cream of chicken, ranch mix, and water. Add some garlic powder on top if you want. I added about 1 1/2 cups of water. You can do more or less depending on how long you are cooking it. This recipe calls for about 4-6 hours on LOW. If you go with 4 you could even omit the water all together. That’s all up to you.

Now pour about 1/4 of the mixture in the crock pot or just enough to coat the bottom.

I used 6 pork cops so I did it in layers. I added 4 chops.

Coated with some of the mixture.

Then added the other 2 chops and poured the rest of the mixture on top.

Now just cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. About 30 min before it’s ready make some rice or whatever your family prefers and then serve over rice. The chops come out super tender and you can cut them with a fork. Everyone in my family is different. Some like to eat the chop separate with sauce on the rice and some like the chop and sauce right on top. Personally I like to shred my pork chop and mix it with the rice and sauce. Oh and don’t forget the sprinkle of pepper on top!!

Thanks for reading!

Day 5 or Eating at Home – Crock Pot Italian Chicken over rice

I am sorry I did not post yesterday. I was busy finishing up a crocheting project…

I was also busy watching the news for the tornado warnings and watches.  So, since I didn’t get the recipe up yesterday you get two today!

This crock pot chicken recipe is SUPER yummy. I ate the left overs for lunch yesterday!

Here is what you need.

  • 2-4 chicken breast or whatever kind of chicken you like. (I used 3 breast pieces)
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1-2 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 package of Italian dressing MIX (the dry stuff)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • pepper to your liking
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken
  • rice

First you need to zest your lime. I couldn’t find my micro-planer so I used the small side of my cheese grater.

How much lime juice you put in it is completely up to you. I put the juice of 2 limes but we really like the taste of lime so it’s you call.

Now put everything in the crock pot except the rice and the chicken. I like to cube the cream cheese to help it melt faster.

Put the cover on and turn the crock pot on LOW. Let this cook for 15-20 min then give it a good stir to combine.

Once it is all combined you can add the chicken right on top.

Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. Here is where you get to make another personal preference choice. After about 2 hours you can pull the chicken out and cut it into strips or you can do what I did.  About 30 min before we were ready to eat I got my rice going in my rice cooker and pulled the chicken out and shredded it with two forks.

Once it is all shredded add the chicken to the crock pot and stir to coat all the chicken and let it sit while the rice is cooking.

Just a little tip on the rice. If you use a rice cooker, I like to add some olive oil right on top this helps give it good flavor and it won’t stick to the pan. Also I sprinkle garlic salt or powder and pepper all over the top. Then cover and turn on. This equals really tasty rice that is good all by itself.

Once the rice is done just serve with the chicken mixture on top and you are done!


Here is my oldest son enjoying his dinner. He gushed about how delicious it was!

This recipe is really easy and can be modified for more or less people. For my family. The three chicken breasts was more than enough to feed everyone till they were full and have left overs for at least 2 people. I think this would also be good in enchiladas or tacos or even over mashed potatoes.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and stick around because I am going to be posting a delicious salad recipe shortly. 🙂

Day 3- Eating at home- Crockpot meatballs and gravy.

HI everyone! Day 3 was delicious and beyond easy to make. Last night we had Meatballs and gravy over egg noodles. I got the original recipe here but changed it up a little bit. So here is what I did.

You will need….

  • a bag of frozen meatballs (you can make these your self if you want)
  • 2 packets of dry turkey gravy mix
  • 2 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil leaves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • about 1/2-1 tbsp onion powder (I am infamous for not measuring)
  • and a sprinkle of garlic salt (again with the not measuring)

Oh an egg noodles…. I forgot to put them in the group picture. They were sad and felt left out so I gave them their own picture.  🙂

Now the original recipe called for Thyme and after searching my herbs and spices cabinet, thyme was no where to be found. So I pulled up this handy little herb substitution chart and found out that basil, marjoram, oregano, or savory (??) can be substituted for thyme. I decided to go with a little basil AND oregano. You will also notice that I doubled the amount of ingredients for the sauce and the bag of meatballs is slightly less then 2 lbs. I am glad I did all this because it was just enough sauce and there were only two meatballs left after we ate. The kids loved this and had a couple servings!!

OK back to the recipe.

Put the meatball in the crock pot… yes frozen!

In a separate bowl put all the ingredients except the bay leaves.

Then with a whisk mix it all up till it’s all combined. Then add the bay leaves on top so they don’t get broken up while mixing and are easier to find an not eat when it’s all done cooking.

You can now pour everything right on top of the meatball and give it a little stir to make sure they are all covered in the sauce.

Now cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours… I did 4 hours. Make sure it is LOW, you don’t want this to burn.


After a couple hours I gave it a stir every 30-40 min. I don’t know that you have to do this but I did. When it is done it will look like this…  YUMM!About 20 min till it is done cook your egg noodles, you could even have this over mashed potatoes or rice. Serve right on top of the noodles and enjoy! (I sprinkled some pepper on mine)So this is a really easy meal to make and a crowd pleaser. You could even double or triple for a potluck. Let me know if you try it and what you think. 🙂