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Showing posts from July, 2014

Slow Cooker Easy "Baked" Beans

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I love this recipe for making me look like an awesome cook when I go to barbecues without a lot of effort. The leftovers freeze well to pull out later as an easy microwavable side. This would be vegetarian if you use vegetarian baked beans (not at ALDI) or substituted another can of beans instead.


Ingredients 1 can light red kidney beans, drained 1 can chick peas, drained  1 can Great Northern beans, drained 1 big can pinto beans, drained 1 big can baked beans with sauce 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 2 cloves of garlic minced 3/4 c. ketchup 1/2 c. maple syrup 1/4 c. brown sugar 2 T. steak sauce or Worcestershire  1 T. prepared mustard 1/2 tsp. black pepper (omit if you use steak sauce)
Directions 1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker on low for at least 4 hours.
2. Stir every hour. If it is too runny, leave the lid off for the last hour to thicken.

Freezer to Crockpot: Place all ingredients listed into a gallon freezer bag. Press air out of the bag, seal and freeze for up to 3…

Slow Cooker Ketchup

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I'm not a huge fan of HFCS-laden ketchup, especially when my five-year-old would eat ketchup with a spoon if given the chance. This one is a great weekend recipe when you are going to be home throughout the day because it requires attention about every hour. This does have a different consistency than commercial ketchup, but that's one of the best things about it!

Recipe cost: $3.79, yields approx 6 cups
Ingredients 2 cans SimplyNature Diced Tomatoes (Organic) 2/3 c. Baker's Corner brown sugar or maple syrup 3/4 c. Happy Harvest white vinegar 1/4 c. chopped onion 1/4 c. finely chopped celery 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp. sea salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper 1 pinch of cinnamon Directions 1. Put all ingredients on high in the slow cooker. Once boiling, turn to low.
2. Using an immersion blender, blend well. (You could also transfer in small batches to a regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender).
3. Even hour or so use a rubber scraper to scrape down the sides a…

Simple Salsa

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Mild salsa similar to local Mexican restaurants - must have a food processor for this recipe as a blender will come out too thin.

Recipe Cost approx. $1.65 Ingredients 1 can Happy Farms diced tomatoes, drained
1 can Casa Mamita diced tomatoes and chiles, drained ("Rotel"-type stuff)
1/2 medium onion, loosely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 clove of garlic
1/4 c. fresh or frozen cilantro (seasonally available at ALDI- I freeze tons of it when they have it in)
1/2 tsp. sugar/agave nectar/honey/sweetener of your choice equivalent to 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Directions 1. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until onions are finely chopped and all ingredients are incorporated.
2. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving for flavors to blend.
*I freeze this in batches to always have on hand. If you find this to be too mild, you could always add a fresh jalapeno to the batch. If you would prefer to use the SimplyNature Organic diced tomat…

Pretzel Cheesecake: Happy Independence Day!

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Ingredients Crust: 2 c. crushed pretzels (measure after crushing or you will be short) 5 T. sugar 3/4 c. butter, melted
Filling: 2 block cream cheese, softened 1 c. sugar 1 container (8oz.) whipped topping (or make your own whipped cream-about 4 c. needed)
1 pint fresh strawberries, trimmed and quartered 1 c. fresh blueberries
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350* Mix together crushed pretzels, sugar, and butter. Press into a 9x13 baking dish in an even layer. 
2. Bake for 10 minutes to lightly toast the crust. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. 
3. For the filling, use an electric mixer to cream together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in whipped cream. 
4. Spread evenly over cooled crust. I like to use a table knife run under hot water to get a smooth finish. 
5. Decorate with strawberries and blueberries as pictured. (On other holidays this dessert gets topped with cherry pie filling).