Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Resolution: Cook More Often, Spend Less Time Doing It

I don't think I've mentioned this here on the blog before, but for the past several months we've been participating in a dinner group with three other small families that live near by.  We each cook once a week, Monday through Thursday.  It is so nice!  

I'm always happy to have someone else do the cooking, so participating in our little dinner group was a no-brainer for me.  But here's the catch.  When it is our turn to cook, that means we're cooking for 15 mouths (8 adults, 5 small children... okay so it actually only adds up to 13, but we usually round up to 15 just to be safe).  That's a lot of food to get ready!

Usually when it's time to make dinner Olivia is cranky and I'm worn out from the day and Bryan isn't home from school yet.  So almost every single week when it's our turn to cook, we do it in the crock pot.  It's so much easier to throw everything in when Olivia's taking a morning nap and then just be done.

Today I'm delighted to introduce to you Camille of Six Sisters Stuff.  I found her blog when she commented on a post here a couple months ago and I instantly fell in love with her blog.  All six sisters are Bryan's cousins and not only are they all gorgeous (in real life too, not just in pictures--believe me), but they make super yummy food too.  

I don't follow many food blogs, but if you follow my Good Food board on Pinterest, you know I'm always pinning great recipes that Camille shares.  I can honestly say that every single recipe I've tried from their blog has been wonderful.  I'd make each and every one of them again.  (And some of them I already have made again!)  

So Camille has graciously accepted my invitation to share a recipe with us today and get everybody motivated for making delicious meals at home this year.

Take it away, Camille!

Hi! I am Camille from Six Sisters' Stuff and I am so excited to be here today! We love Katie and her blog and her cute family (did we mention that we are cousin-in-laws?)!

So, I have a secret to share . . . when I moved out of my parent's house at the ripe age of 18, I had no idea how to cook. I had never browned hamburger beef, never used a blender, never chopped a pepper . . . I barely knew how to boil water to make macaroni and cheese!

After a few years of college, I married my sweet husband and he became the chef around our house during the first 3 years of our marriage. I was busy with a full-time job and a full load of credits at school . . . too busy to cook anything (or so I thought)!

My husband was accepted into Physical Therapy school and suddenly I lost my personal chef. His long hours at school made it impossible for him to find the time to cook anything. With him being in graduate school, our bank accounts were empty so we couldn't afford to eat out. I knew that I needed to do something so that we didn't starve to death!

So, I turned to the slow cooker that was buried in the back of our closet. Some blessed person had given it to us when we got married and I had never used it. I did some research online and found a couple of easy recipes with very few ingredients. I dumped them all in the crock pot and turned it on as I left for work. When I got home, not only did my house smell fantastic but I also had a hot meal ready for my starving husband!

Thus began my love affair with my slow cooker. There were weeks where I used my slow cooker every. single. day. It was a life saver!

If you are looking for a way to simplify your life AND make delicious homemade meals for your family, look no further! An inexpensive slow cooker is all you need! Today I am sharing with you my favorite slow cooker recipe:

Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu

This recipe has only a few ingredients that you probably have in your pantry and fridge right now. It also only takes about 5-10 minutes to throw it into the slow cooker and dinner is DONE!

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup (reduced fat works great) 
  • 1 cup milk (we used skim and it worked perfectly) 
  • 4 ounces sliced ham 4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese 
  • 1 (8 ounce) package herbed dry bread stuffing mix 
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted 

 Mix together the cream of chicken soup and milk in a small bowl. Pour enough of the soup into a slow cooker to cover the bottom. Layer chicken breasts over the sauce. Cover with slices of ham and then Swiss cheese. Pour the remaining soup over the layers, stirring a little to distribute between layers. Sprinkle the stuffing on top, and drizzle butter over stuffing. Cover, and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours, or 2 to 3 hours on High. 

Also, here are a couple more of my family's favorite slow cooker recipes:

I am not kidding when I say these are easy! Only 2 ingredients are needed to make these delicious sandwiches!

Looking for a way to spice up plain ol' chicken breasts? This is one of our favorites!

I love this chicken because it is so versatile! It's yummy over rice, wrapped in a tortilla, or eaten with chips. Plus, it's incredibly simple to throw together.

Slow cookers aren't just for dinner- they also make delicious breakfasts! My mom makes these all the time and they are so good.

Want more easy recipe ideas? Head over to our blog . . . we would love to have you stop by and say hello!

Thanks for letting us be here today, Katie!

Thanks so much, Camille!  Those caramel rolls are definitely making it hard to stick to the health challenge rules!  I guess I'll have to make them on our treat day.  :)

Anybody else out there in love with your crock pot?


Kendra said...

I love cordon bleu! I'm gonna give this a try.

Anonymous said...

I love using my crock pot. My husband and I are so busy most of the time, it's nice to just come home and have it DONE! I'm definitely going to try the rolls and the bacon wrapped chicken, but it all looks delish. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

I am also one of 6 sisters, so I can't wait to check out the blog!!

Patty Walsh said...

Great post. I love it when I can make a great meal fast. Are you a fan of Jamie Oliver? He has 2 great books for quick easy delish meals. Meals in minutes, and food revolution. I think you can look them up online too. In the mean time I am checking out that food blog :)

Lisa Lou said...

The Six-Sister's-Stuff blog is usually my go-to when we're planning the menu for the week. And we usually have 1 or 2 crockpot meals. Seriously so easy. We got two (well, we KEPT two) from our wedding and I love them both and use both ALL THE TIME. Best invention.

rebecca said...

genius resolution. best of luck!