Thursday, March 27, 2008

" But I don't want to eat at Carl's Jr."

Yes, more words a mother loves to hear from her teen. See, in the morning before we left, I had put all the fixings for Split Pea Soup in the crockpot, so we'd have dinner ready when we got home after our busy day at Tae Kwon Do and other running around.

Well, we did alot more running around than planned and hunger hit me! I had to eat right then!! There was no way I was going to make it the 4o minute drive home, I was starved!!

So I suggested we stop at Carl's Jr. to grab a quick bite. You'd think I suggested we stop and eat liver and onions!!! Fast food is suppose to be a treat(a rare one in this household!!) but the teen was less than excited about the idea...."but mom, you promised split pea soup!" he whined!!

A few months back I was again making this dish when the neighbor teen stopped in. We offered him a bowl and he insisted he HATED split pea soup. He knew for a fact he hated it, as they recently had it at his house and there was no way he'd ever eat it again!!

We finally talked him into it, and guess who is always a guest at our house on split pea soup night??

So, here's the recipe that makes split peas more appealing than the local fast food joint, and turns even split pea haters into split pea lovers:

Split Pea Soup

8 cups liquid(I use 4 cups veggie broth&4 cups water.)

2 cups dried split peas

1/2 cup dried barley

1 onion diced

3 carrots sliced

2 bay leaves

I put all of this in the crock pot first thing in the morning on high. About noon I add:

2 tsp salt

2 tsp garlic powder

I add other seasonings depending on my mood, usually thyme and basil

cook until soft and serve with whole wheat rolls(I use a recipe from my bread machine cook book)

It sounds so plain and simple, but I swear, it is always a hit!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Those were the words that slipped from my teens mouth when he opened the lid on the crockpot and saw we were having potato soup for dinner the other night!! That always makes a mom feel good when anyone, especially a teen has such words about her meals!

Even better is how easy(and cheap!) this one is to make

Potato Soup
6 cups diced, peeled taters
5 cups water
2 cups diced onions
1 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup butter
4 tsp. chicken bouillon granules OR vegetable granules
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
12 oz can evaporated milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Mix all ingredients in crock pot except cheese and milk. Cook on low 8 hours(may need to cook on high if using a newer crock pot) just before serving add cheese and milk and mix well.
This one gets rave reviews from all! Everyone from the baby to the teen and visiting grandparents love! So easy to make!
I usually round it out with homemade whole wheat rolls. I really like the recipe I got from HERE
Download the free booklet as it is full of good and healthy recipes! I use the bread machine for the dough then shape it by hand!
I have a split pea soup recipe that gets similar reviews, I will post it next time!

Friday, March 21, 2008


I have been meaning to start posting recipes here for weeks now, but I wanted to include photos of each meal, and until last week my computer was in the shop. Therefore my camera wasn't able to plug in to transfer photos. Now that all is back up and running, I haven't remembered to take photos as I've prepared our meals. So, I figure I just better start posting, and I will come back and add photo's later.

With prices of everything rising, my already small food budget has to stretch even further. I know the high cost of everything is affecting many people, not just me. So I thought I would use this blog to share low-cost and mostly easy to prepare recipes and tips.

As a busy homeschooling mom, my best friend is my crock pot. I highly recommend if you don't already have one, you run, don't walk and go out and get yourself one!! I also recommend you get an older one from a garage sale or thrift store. Not only will this save you TONS of money(I find them for as low as a quarter each!!) but the older ones work better and last longer. I have several I either bought used or were given to me used and they are still working great! I thought I needed a newer and better one and purchased one for nearly forty bucks at a big warehouse store and it lasted less than three months!!

Once you have your crock pot, I HIGHLY recommend the book Fix-It and Forget-It

There are several similar titles in the series, but this one in my opinion has the best recipes by far! I cook using this book more than any other! A crock pot and this book are a must for you working moms out there! Just throw your food in it in the morning, turn it on low, and when you get home dinner is done! I have tried using my crock pot in the past before this book and was not impressed, but thanks to this book, my crock gets used nearly almost everyday!!

Over the next few days I will share some favorite recipes, some inspired by this book! So come back, I promise I will do my best to have at least 2-3 recipes a week or at least some great tips!