Chunky Applesauce Recipe is Versatile

Tip of the Day:

The applesauce recipe that follows is very versatile, it’s also delicious as a dessert too… just serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can also use it as a base for an apple cobbler. It can also be used in a main dish, I originally got the recipe idea from a pork chop recipe (recipe to follow). In any case, it’s very easy and absolutely delicious.

Recipe: Chunky Applesauce

This recipe for chunky applesauce is an adaptation of a number of recipes I found. I adjusted it until I liked the consistency and flavor. The recipe is quick and easy.

The recipe calls for Golden Delicious apples. I tried it with Granny Smith apples with great success, I just upped the brown sugar to 1 cup. I particularly liked the sweet and tart flavor.


Recipe:  Chunky Applesauce

All you need:

6 Golden Delicious apples, cored and sliced
2 cups of apples juice
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

All you need to do:

Put the apple slices in a large pot. Sprinkle the cornstarch on the apples…turn with a spoon to coat evenly. Sprinkle the nutmeg and cinnamon on the apples… turn to coat evenly.

Add the remaining ingredients and cook over a medium high heat until mixture starts to bubble, turn heat down to medium and cover, stirring periodically. Cook the apples until they are semi soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe: Pork Chops with Chunky Applesauce Topping

This is a quick and easy pork chop supper made using the Applesauce recipe as a topping. It adapted slightly from a Rachael Ray recipe. It’s absolutely amazing. Your family will love it. It is a hearty meal when served with Au Gratin potatoes as one of the sides.


Recipe:  Pork Chops with Chunky Applesauce Topping

All you need:

4 thick boneless center cut pork loin chops
Olive Oil (just enough to lightly coat a skillet)
¼ cup apple juice
2 tablespoons butter
Applesauce (see recipe) enough to top the chops

All you need to do:

Coat the skillet with olive oil and heat on medium high. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Place the chops in the skillet and sear both sides (about 2 minutes a side). Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook until juices run clear, about 5 minutes. Remove the chops from the pan and place on serving platter.

Deglaze the pan with the butter and apple juice, scraping all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour over the chops. Place a generous helping of the warmed chunky applesauce over the chops and serve.

Recipe: Apple Cranberry Stuffing

I came across a recipe similar to this apple cranberry stuffing recipe a few years ago when I was planning a Christmas dinner. I wanted to make something different and decided to stuff Cornish Game hens. The original recipe was for Apple Cranberry stuffing to stuff pork chops, which by the way, would also work very well.

I liked the idea of the apple and the cranberry, the flavors go well together and the colors make it look festive. I thought with some alterations it would be perfect for stuffing the hens. I use mostly apple juice or cider, rather than mostly chicken broth… I feel it makes the apple flavor more apparent.


The onion, celery and apple quantities are approximate.. add or substract depending on your personal tastes.

Use all red or green apples or a combination of the two.

If you like a more moist stuffing... leave the foil on during the entire cooking time.

We loved the stuffing so much, that my son insists that I make it every Thanksgiving as a side dish.


Apple Cranberry Stuffing Recipe:

All you need:

1½ cups chopped celery
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium tart red and /or green apples, cored and chopped
1 bag (6 ounces) dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 small bag dry seasoned bread cubes
½ can (14 ½ ounce can) chicken broth
2 cups apple juice

All you have to do:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with butter flavored cooking oil spray (butter flavored is preferred, however, if not available other cooking spray oil will do).

Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat and add the onion and celery. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in apples, cranberries, parsley, rosemary and thyme.

Place bread cubes in large bowl. Add onion mixture, broth and apple juice; toss gently until well mixed.

Spoon the stuffing into the baking dish. Cover with foil.

Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake additional 10 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned and top is slightly crunchy.

Flipping Tortillas

Tip of the Day:

Okay so you've layered your perfect quesadilla with all the ingredients and heated the first side, now if you don’t have a quesadilla maker or sandwich press, you have to flip it.

I use a plate larger than the tortilla. I slide the quesadilla off the griddle and onto the plate. Then holding the plate in the palm of my hand I quickly flip the griddle over on to the top of the plate and then quickly flip it right-side up, and remove the plate from the top. It’s a challenge but believe it or not… you can be an expert in no time.

Honestly, I want a quesadilla maker for Christmas, they’re not expensive and if your family loves quesadillas, it’s well worth it. I was looking around the net recently and saw them for about $30 and up.

Recipe: Smoked Turkey Quesadillas

This recipe for smoked turkey quesadillas is one I have made for years. It’s a wonderful change from the ordinary sandwich. The smoked turkey gives it a very unique flavor… just perfect!

I purposely left out the measurements for all but the peppers and green onions. You really need to use your judgment. I would only use a thin layer of the cheese and enough turkey to have one thin layer across… otherwise they get too thick. The amount of peppers and onions will depend on personal tastes.

I make mine in a non-stick griddle but you can use any pan large enough to handle the size of your tortillas. You can use the larger size tortillas but they are more difficult to flip over. It’s not impossible to flip the larger ones, it just may take practice, Warren has it down to a science. See the Cooking Tip of the Day Flipping Tortillas for pointers.

Smoked Turkey Quesadillas Recipe

You will need:

Smoked Turkey from the deli, sliced very thin
Shredded Monterey Jack and/or Cheddar Cheese
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup chopped green onion
Flour tortillas
Olive oil cooking spray
Sour Cream

All you need to do:

Spray a non-stick quesadilla maker, sandwich press or griddle lightly with cooking oil. Heat over medium high heat.

Make sure you have all your ingredients lined up and ready to use, you need to assemble the quesadillas quickly.

Place a tortilla on the heated griddle…sprinkle a thin layer of grated cheese over it…. then sprinkle chopped green pepper, chopped red pepper and green onion over the cheese. The amounts are a matter of personal taste… I recommend a sprinkling of each. Then place a thin layer of smoked turkey over the top. Lastly, sprinkle a thin layer of grated cheese on top of the turkey. Top with a tortilla and press down firmly with a spatula.

As cheese begins to melt the layers will adhere together. If using a griddle keep a watch on it… peeking under by using a spatula to lift the bottom tortilla… when golden brown, flip the tortilla and brown the other side.

If using the large tortillas, cool for a minute then cut into wedges. If using the smaller ones, cut them in half. A pizza cutter is perfect for cutting these.

Serve warm with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

So full of robust flavor, the family will never know how healthy Tortilla Soup really is.

Perfect by itself or with a sandwich.


This can also be made in a crockpot and slow simmered.  Either 4-5 hours on high or eight on low.

The chicken can be cooked in the crockpot and either shredded or diced.  You can also add more if you like.

If using the crockpot method, add the corn during the last hour of cooking.

Make this soup as spicy as you like... add more spices or add a chopped jalapena pepper or more canned green chilies.

You can use any brand canned tomatoes you prefer, Rotel canned tomatoes provide even more zip.

The quantity of black beans is 1 or 2 cans... we like black beans, so I add 2 cans.. you can add less if you prefer,

If you don't want to do the corn tortilla garnish.. you can sub crushed tortilla chips, just rough crush some and sprinkle them on top of the soup.

For a thicker soup you can add a small can of plain tomato sauce (not Italian) or tomato puree (about 1 cup) to the pot.

This soup is a delicious accompaniment to Smoked Turkey Quesadillas.

This is a great, easy to prepare supper that the whole family will love.

Recipe:  Chicken Tortilla Soup

You will need:

2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced *See Tips
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp lime juice
1 ½ cups frozen corn or fresh corn.
2 cans (14.5 oz) Del Monte Diced Tomatoes with Zesty Mild Green Chilies
About 4 cups chicken broth
1-2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed *See Tips
1 small can green chilies


4 corn tortillas * See Tips
Olive oil cooking spray
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
Grated Monterey Jack and /or Cheddar Cheese

All you need to do:

In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, lime juice, black beans, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 hour.  *See Tips for crockpot method.

Stir in corn, cilantro and chicken. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray both sides of the corn tortillas with cooking spray oil. Cut tortillas into fairly thin strips and spread on a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls garnish with grated cheese, chopped green onion and tortilla strips.


Tip of the Day:

You can peel and seed them then shred or the grate zucchini when the produce is in season (and cheaper) and freeze pre-measured amounts in freezer bags. By doing this you will have most of the prep work done for when you want to use it in recipes, such as zucchini bread. This not only saves time and mess, but also money.... by buying produce when it’s in season at farm stands you can save money too!

Recipe: Zucchini Bread

This recipe for zucchini bread is from my Mother. She’s made these zucchini loaves for as long as I can remember. It’s quick and easy and delicious. If your family doesn’t completely devour it, it will last up to a week, just wrap it in foil. When my Mother has her bumper crop of zucchini she makes extra loaves to keep in the freezer. It’s a quick thaw to accompany coffee for unexpected company!

You may also want to read my Tip about freezing peeled shredded zucchini in pre-measured amounts.

Zucchini Bread Recipe:

All you need is:

2 cups shredded, well drained zucchini
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup Crisco oil
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup golden seedless raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

All you need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour two 8x4 loaf pans.

In a medium bowl blend the oil, vanilla and eggs.

In a large bowl mix the remaining ingredients.

Pour the oil mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well.

Turn mixture into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake in the center of the oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes.

Turn loaf out of loaf pan and cool completely.

To store, wrap loaf in foil.

Hash Brown Potatoes

Tip of the Day:

There is some debate about whether to par boil potatoes first before shredding for hash browns or just peel and shred the raw potatoes. I’ve always par boiled them first (thank you to the cooking institute of Mom and Grandma), however, I have found that cookbooks containing hash brown recipes simply peel and shred the raw potatoes.

I’ve tried it both ways and have found the raw potatoes cook up gummy, even when you make sure they’re thoroughly dry before cooking. So I recommend, when making hash browns from fresh potatoes, it is best to gently par boil them first in their skins until partially cooked, potatoes should be very firm, not soft. For large Russet potatoes, boil them approximately 5 minutes after they start to gently boil.

Boiling in a hard boil will result in a mushy outer potato and a firmer inside, which is not what you want. Allow them to cool first then peel the skins off… the skins come off very easily.

It’s also recommended, for easier shredding, that you put the cooled and peeled par boiled potatoes in an airtight container and refrigerate them overnight, shred and cook them the next day, however, waiting until they are completely cooled and cooking the same day works too.

Recipe: Roesti Potatoes

Roesti potatoes is a delicious side dish of German – Swiss origin and was a favorite of mine at a German restaurant in Connecticut many years ago. There are many versions of Roesti Potatoes, this version of the dish uses grated Swiss cheese, something I have yet to find in other recipes. It’s simple to make and the potato mixture can be prepared ahead.

Finally, a word about using fresh parsley, I recommend it over the dried variety, to me, the dried parsley lacks flavor. See one of my previous Tips of the Day for chopping and freezing fresh parsley for easy use in recipes.

You may also want to read my Tip about Hash Brown Potatoes.

I hope you enjoy this side dish as much as we do.

Roesti Potatoes Recipe:

All you need:

4 large Russet Potatoes
½ cup melted butter or margarine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste

What you need to do:

Gently par boil the potatoes in their skins on medium heat until they are partially cooked but still firm. I try to boil them no more than about 5 minutes after the water starts to boil gently. You don’t want the potatoes to be mushy when you grate them. Let them cool completely and peel them. It is best to refrigerate them overnight for easier grating, but they can be grated after cooling.

Grate the potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Melt the butter or margarine (I do it in a liquid measuring cup in the microwave. You should have approximately ½ cup melted butter or margarine). Add the margarine to the potatoes, turning them so they are coated evenly. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

If you are making the mixture ahead, this is where you would store the potato mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate it. I wouldn’t recommend doing this more than a day in advance.

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Using a non-stick skillet is best.

You do not need to grease the skillet since you already have put the butter or margarine in the mixture and it’s a non-stick skillet. If you use a regular skillet, you will need to melt additional butter or margarine, so they won’t stick. Grease the skillet sparingly or your potatoes will be too greasy. Butter flavored spray oil works too.

I have found its best to make smaller mounds of the mixture in the skillet (individual serving size, approximately ½ cup). Press gently down with your spatula to compact the mixture.

Fry the individual “pancakes” on medium high heat, until underside is golden brown and a bit crispy. You can flip them and crisp the other side or just remove them at this point and place them crisp side up on a serving platter or plate. We prefer them crispy, so I usually crisp both sides.

Alternate Cooking Method

You can also use a non-stick omelet pan if you want to make one large “pancake”, and serve it on one platter, but I have found it’s more difficult to handle and you have to make it into 2 batches and use 2 platters. To serve it, you would cut the pancake into wedges.

If you decide to make them this way, place ½ the potato mixture in the heated skillet, press down gently to pack the mixture. Do not stir or flip, let mixture turn golden brown on the bottom and crisp up. You check on the progress by gently lifting an edge with a spatula and peeking.

Removing the larger potato “pancake” from the skillet to a serving platter can be a little tricky because you want the golden brown crispy side up… the best way I have found to do this is to have a serving plate a little larger than the skillet, place the topside of the plate down on the skillet and flip.

This serves six and makes a wonderful accompaniment to many meals. I always serve this with applesauce.


Freshness of Eggs

Tip of the Day:

To test an egg for freshness, place it in a bowl of cold water. A fresh egg will sink to the bottom. An older egg will start to skim the water’s surface. A stale egg will float and should be thrown away.

Recipe: Gooey Butter Cake

I had this gooey butter cake at a family gathering and thought it was delicious. The baker sent me the recipe which I duly made with great results. I used the Duncan Hines Butter Recipe cake mix, but the original baker used a regular Duncan Hines Yellow cake mix. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference, so you can easily substitute it if you don’t have the Butter Recipe mix on hand.

This recipe is quick and easy.

The leftovers need to be refrigerated and taste just as good cold.

You may want to read my Tip about the Freshness of Eggs.

Gooey Butter Cake Recipe:

All you need:

1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe cake mix (or lemon)
4 eggs
8 ounces of Philadelphia cream cheese (softened)
1 stick or 1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 pound box of confectioners sugar

All you need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 13x9 inch metal pan, melt margarine in oven. Do not allow melted margarine to brown.

Tip pan to evenly coat, then pour melted margarine into a medium mixing bowl. Add cake mix. Add 2 eggs. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix ingredients thoroughly. Batter will be very thick. Spread evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan.

Measure 1/4 cup confectioners sugar into small bowl and set aside.

In a deep mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese. Slowly add the remaining confectioners sugar and continue to beat. Add the remaining 2 eggs and beat until smooth.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cake mixture, spreading to all sides to cover. Sift the 1/4 cup confectioners sugar over top.

Bake at 350 for no more than 35 minutes or until top is light brown. Allow to cool 2 hours before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers.

Variation: Use lemon flavored cake mix and add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to cream cheese mixture before baking.

Freezing Cooked Sausage

Tip of the Day:

I cook up hot and sweet Italian sausage (the ground variety) and after cooling, I freeze it fully cooked in airtight containers.

When I cook recipes calling for sausage, all I have to do is remove some from the container in the freezer. Also when I make meatballs I freeze a few in an airtight container. I use them in tomato sauce, lasagna, baked ziti, pizza, stuffed mushrooms and much much more.

 It saves time and money because it’s ready to use and I only take what I need which is usually less than the packages at the meat counter, so there isn’t waste.

Recipe: Italian Sausage Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

These Italian sausage stuffed portobello mushrooms are a quick and easy appetizer and always a pleaser. This is great for entertaining, the stuffing mixture can be made ahead. As I noted in my cooking tip today… I keep cooked meatballs and cooked crumbled sweet and hot Italian sausage in my freezer that I use for a multitude of recipes. It makes cooking a snap.

This is also a great lunch or light supper... just serve it with a garden salad or a pasta salad and you're good to go.

I like to use the ground variety of Italian sausage for this recipe, but the link variety works just as well, just chop it into small pieces (after cooking is easier).

The recipe is very versatile and you can make easy substitutions if you have to. If you don’t have garlic olive oil you can substitute regular olive oil and dried parsley can be substituted for the fresh, but the flavors won’t be as robust. If you don’t have the meatball meat on hand you can just increase the two kinds of sausage amounts.

You may also want to read my Tip about Freezing Cooked Sausage.

Italian Sausage stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipe:

You will need

4 Portobello mushroom caps, medium size
½ garlic olive oil
½ cup cooked hot Italian sausage, crumbled
½ cup cooked sweet Italian sausage, crumbled
½ cup cooked Italian meatballs cut up into small pieces
About 1 cup Tomato Sauce
½ tsp Italian Seasoning
2 tbl chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Olive Oil cooking spray

All you need to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush mushrooms completely with garlic olive oil and place in an oven proof baking dish, sprayed with cooking oil,gill side up.

In a medium size bowl mix the hot and sweet Italian sausage, cooked meatball meat, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese. Divide mixture evenly and scoop onto the Portobello mushrooms. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese. Spray the cheese lightly with olive oil cooking spray (this will help the cheese to melt and be gooey).

Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

French Toast

Tip of the Day:

French toast can be made with any type of bread, not just French bread. Different kinds of breads will give a different texture and flavor. Thin breads like white sandwich bread will give it a more custard like taste and texture. Whole grain breads will give it a nutty flavor and be more dense and heavy. Using cinnamon or cinnamon raisin breads will give it more flavor.

Recipe: Baked French Toast Casserole

This Baked French Toast Casserole is always a welcome breakfast treat…. I’ve taken it to work so many times I've lost count. Since all the prep work can be done the night before it’s perfect for holiday breakfasts as well….

I’ve been making this for years. There are numerous variations of it in cookbooks and on the web… but none exactly like this… I’ve tried some of them thinking I could improve on the recipe…but I keep coming back to this one… it’s simple and delicious.


I found that you don't have to refrigerate it overnight... you can prepare it and let it stand for about 30 minutes and then bake it... the overnight idea is good though.. let's you sleep in and just pop this in the oven...

I use whole milk.. it makes the casserole more custard like... I wouldn't recommend fat free milk.. if you truly want it fat free... use fat free half and half.

If you use a deeper square dish... you will need to up the baking time (second baking time) by at least 15 minutes... test it by inserting a pick to see if it's still wet in the middle...

As you can see by the picture above... it will deflate ... mine did before I took a picture... it still looks really pretty and tastes wonderful... so don't be surprised if yours deflates within 10-15 minutes.

Just so you are aware...... the casserole in the picture has the optional crumb topping.

The crumb topping is a nice touch.. but totally optional... I used to bring it to work sans the topping.. so trust me.. it will be devoured with or without the topping.

Baked French Toast Casserole:

You will need

1 loaf Cinnamon Swirl bread ripped into small pieces or about 2/3 of a large loaf of white bread
6 eggs
2 ½ cups milk
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 container frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed (optional)
Whipped Cream (optional)
Maple Syrup (optional)

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Topping (optional)

4 tablespoons very cold butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A sprinkling of salt

All you have to do:

Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter flavor cooking spray. Arrange the bread in the bottom of the dish. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour over the bread pieces. Cover with foil, pressing down on top of the mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning

Put the casserole with the foil still on it into a cold oven set for 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.

If making the topping.. make it in the morning.. during the first baking time.... it only takes a few minutes... slice the butter into pats of butter of about 1 tablespoon size (use the markings on the butter wrapper as a guide)... then cut each slice into quarters... handling them as little as possible... drop them into a mini food processer... add the remaining topping ingredients into the processor and pulse (about 10-12 quick pulses should do the trick) until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is incorporated... then sprinkle on top of the casserole when you take the foil off.

Gently remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes. The casserole will puff up. It is best to serve it immediately. You can also take it to work and serve it warm, the casserole just won’t be puffy but it will still be delicious.

I serve it with thawed strawberries and whipped cream. You can use maple syrup as well or even give your guests a choice.



Tip of the Day:

I always have fresh parsley ready to use. When I get a bunch of parsley, I clean and chop the whole bunch… I use my mini chopper to chop it… and I store it in an air tight container in the freezer… so when I have a recipe that calls for parsley, I always have fresh…. I just take what I need out of the container (I just gently scrape what I need) and put the rest back…

Recipe: Italian Meatballs

There are a million Italian meatball recipes and this one is mine. I always get raves when I serve them. Warren even brings them in to people at work because they love them so much.


The secret is in the spices… fresh herbs are always better… I try to never use dried parsley… fresh parsley adds so much more flavor. The milk helps keep them moist… I’ve tried making it without the milk and it’s just not the same.

The garlic has a range in how much to use... the amount depends on.... how long the garlic powder has been in your pantry... it loses it's strength as it sits... and it also depends on how much you like garlic... start with 1 teaspoon... and if you like more .. the next time up the amount... it really just depends on what you are used to.

The recipe is as low fat as you can get and is fast and easy. While the meatballs are baking, you can start the clean-up and while their simmering in the sauce… you can make the pasta. This recipe is great for cooking after work.


Italian Meatball Recipe:

All you need:

1 pound ground sirloin
1 egg, beaten (you can also use egg beaters if you want to cut the fat even more)
1/4 cup milk (I use fat free milk, any type of milk will work)
1 medium onion finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder *See Tips
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (I use curly parsley, but flat leaf works just as well)
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Salt and pepper
Tomato Sauce

All you need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix beef and egg, milk, onion, garlic, parsley, Italian Seasoning, bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper.

Roll meat into 1 1/2 inch medium-sized meatballs and place on nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.

I love to use the Reynolds Wrap Release Non-Stick aluminum foil, nothing sticks to it and I don’t have to use any oil.

Bake balls 25 minutes until no longer pink.

Add the cooked meatballs to your favorite tomato sauce… cook on low for about 20 minutes. (just to have the sauce flavor absorbed into the meatballs).

Cuts of Beef

Tip of the Day:

When using your crock pot to make a beef roast… you can save money by using more inexpensive cuts of meat such as a chuck roast… because of the slow cooking, the meat will still be very tender.

Recipe: Easy CrockPot Pot Roast

Updated 03-11-13

I will never make Pot Roast the same again! Well... at least I found a quick and easy recipe to make often!

I tried a new Pot Roast recipe that is unequivocally the best I have ever made and the easiest. Coming from the Northeast… I have been making Yankee Pot Roast since I was a teen. There must be a million recipes for it out there… everyone has their own… just as I did until last week.

I bought a boneless beef bottom round and intended to make my usual Pot Roast. While at the checkout I bought The Taste of Home Thanksgiving issue of their small recipe book.

About five years ago I used to chat online with one of their Food Editors when we both frequented a chat room. At the time I had a hard time finding the magazine but within the last few years I started seeing it regularly. I’ve found their recipes to be very good and their directions easy to follow…. most are not that complicated.

 On the back of the recipe book was a Campbell’s Slow Cooker Savory Pot Roast Recipe from the Campbell’s Kitchens. Frankly, I was skeptical when I read the ingredients but the picture looked good and I figured I would give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did.

It came out perfect. I wasn’t so sure about the Cream of Mushroom soup… but it made perfect gravy. What else I liked about it was that I didn’t have to use any oil to brown the roast… I’m always looking for ways to cut the fat.


I updated the recipe .. the change was to add a cut-up onion.. it isn't entirely necessary.. but I like onion so I added it.

I also changed when to add the vegetables... I now add them an hour before the pot roast is done.  They cook perfectly and aren't mushy.

I used small, very small red potatoes, cut in half.....

You can leave out the vegetables entirely if you prefer you vegetables made separately and prefer mashed potatoes over ones made with the pot roast.

If you need to make it before you leave for work... leave the vegetables out... cook the roast on low... when you get home remove the roast and cook the vegetables in the gravy...

By the way, I used two cans of soup instead of one… I feel it made just the right amount of gravy. If I make a bigger roast for company I will use three cans of soup and 2 pouches of dry onion soup and just increase the amount of veggies… you always have to have enough gravy!

Recipe:  Easy CrockPot Pot Roast

You will Need:

2 cans (10 3/4 oz) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup – Regular, 9 Fat Free, 25 Less Sodium or Healthy Request – (I used 98% Fat Free...the Campbell's Kitchen recipe uses 1 can ..I like using 2 cans better, the flavor is better)

1 pouch (2 oz) dry onion soup and recipe mix

6 small red potatoes, halved

6 medium carrots, cut into 2” pieces – (I used about half a bag of small Belgian Carrots you find in the produce section of the supermarket)

1 medium onion, cut up

3 to 3 ½ lb boneless beef bottom round roast or chuck roast (I always use boneless beef bottom round)

All you have to do:

Stir soup, onion soup mix,  in a 4 ½ qt slow cooker. Add beef and turn to coat. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 9 hrs or on HIGH 4 to 5 hrs until beef is tender.

An hour before serving, add the vegetables. 

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What's more comforting on a cold day than Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup? .. and it's so easy to make!

Chicken Noodle Soup