Gluten Free Crock Pot Ranch and Onion Roast

We have just ended a budget series and one of the things that helps set the stage for success is having a plan. Menu planning definitly keeps me on target and in budget. Tomorrow is Foodie Friday. I will share my 14 day menu plan with you to give you some ideas. To the right of my blog is a Menu Plan button. Clicking that button takes you to the menu plans listed on this site.

Have a plan for the weekends. I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my Friday. I am so ready for some downtime on Friday that cooking is the last thing I want to do. The same can be said for my Sundays. We don’t get home from church until after 1pm. By the time I get everyone down for a nap it’s 3:00 pm. Time to start dinner. No fun. So, I try to plan crock pot meals for Fridays and Sundays. We all need rest on Sunday so let your crock pot do the work for you. I just so happen to have a great recipe to get you started this weekend. *wink*

Crock Pot Ranch And Onion Flavored Roast
Author: Tara Norman

1 tbsp dill

1 tbsp thyme

1 tbsp garlic minced or salt (I used freshly ground salt)

1 package of GF French Onion Soup Mix (dry or both)

6-8 small red potatoes

GF Chicken or Beef Broth (pour in enough to reach the sides of the roast)

1-2 pound boneless chuck roast ( any kind of roast will do- this is a cheaper roast).

Put your roast and potatoes in first. Add seasoning. Pour in broth to desired level. Cook on low for 6-8 hours and let it go.

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Crock Pot Stuffed Bell Peppers

How did everyone do with the Marriage Challenge yesterday? The Man loved his Valentine’s and took them to his office to hang up. He sent the Things a text picture showing them where he hung them. Continue to ask God to reveal to you different ways you can help your husband. He will because He has a desire to bless us. This is the last post for this week. Get ready for more on our Marriage Challenge next week! My desire in this is that it blesses you as much as it is me. Everyone have a great weekend!

I have meant to write up this post at least a dozen times over the years. My sister would constantly ask me for this recipe, I finally gave it to her and her husband for Christmas. Ok, so that’s not the only recipe I gave her! I made them a cook book of some of our favorites and her favorites so she could make them for her family. When I first started to learn to cook, this was one of the very first meals I tried. I wanted to impress The Man and felt sure if I could manage this, he would think I was awesome. It’s incredibly easy to put together and it looks impressive on a plate. I am glad I waited to post this recipe because a good friend (hi Rebecca T. from Texas) made these in the crock pot for our family one evening and I had never even thought of that! The best part of this recipe is that this was an easy meal to whip up when we first switched to Gluten Free. I didn’t have to buy anything special. For those of you who are trying to eat healthy or are trying out Gluten Free recipes, this one is for you!

Stuffed Bell Peppers
Author: Tara Norman

4 Green Bell Peppers
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water (for the rice)
1 lb ground hamburger meat
2 28 oz cans of GF crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp basil leaves
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper

Dump your crushed tomatoes in your crock pot and add your seasoning. Turn your crock pot to low and let your sauce heat up while you prep the rest of your meal.

While the rice is cooking (cook according to your package), brown your meat. Season with salt and pepper as desired. I like to shake a little onion powder over my meat as well. Set aside.

Wash your peppers and cut the tops off, being sure to remove all seeds and the stem.

This part is optional, but I take 2 red sweet peppers (when I have them on hand) and mince them in the food processor and hide them in the sauce. I do this because I have two Things that will not eat the bell peppers with this meal. Just the filling. Doing this ensures they get some Vitamins in them.

Combine cooked rice and beef and spoon some sauce into the mixture. Fill your peppers with your rice beef mixture. Set them carefully in the crock pot and scoop just a little more sauce over the tops of the peppers. Cook on low for about 4 hours. Sprinkle your cheese on top right before serving!



A Chili Recipe You Will Want To Try This Fall!

I was finally able to finish decorating for fall this past weekend. One of the things that I do when I start to nest is craft like crazy. I was very busy crafting some fall stuff two weekends ago with a friend. We spent the entire afternoon crafting! Don’t you love when you have friends who have the same hobbies? These are two of the four wreaths we made.

This was one of my must do’s before the baby comes. Why? Because Pinterest put it into my head that I could make one for cheaper than buying one and I really wanted one made with deco mesh so… I finally got that out of my system. Nesting is a crazy crazy thing I tell you. Wether it’s cleaning, cooking, crafting, organization,… whatever it is that get’s you going, that nesting bug will literally make you stay up all night doing it or thinking about it.

I think a house looks it’s best around fall and Christmas. There is something so heart warming about walking into a fully decorated house during the fall and winter. With the decorations comes a longing for cooler temperatures. While I am not suffering in 100 degree weather every day, I could still wish for at least 70 degree weather. Since we don’t live in Vermont (my dream one day), we will just have to pretend it’s cooler outside and bring in the fall foods regardless of the temps because that doesn’t change for us until December. One of of the first foods that I crave as soon as fall hits is chili.

Last year I posted a chili recipe that I loved to make. Well, I have a new favorite right now. This is my friend, Vickie’s chili recipe. She has given us a few recipes for this blog such as her minestrone soup and the best ever lasagna. If you have tried any of her recipes, you can attest to her great taste in food. What I love about this chili recipe is it’s creaminess. It’s thick and hearty without being too chunky. I also love that it is simple and does not call for 15 ingredients- just 6! This recipe makes a whole lotta chili. Sorry, I have been watching Swamp People. I think I have picked up some Orleans slang. Choot ’em! Yes, I am laughing at myself right now. That awkward moment when you realize you are making yourself laugh in a blog post & probably everyone reading it is wondering what’s funny about what you just typed. Back to what I was saying. I like to make this around the holidays when we have a house full of people right before Thanksgiving or Christmas. When I make it for us I just freeze the leftovers for later.

Let’s pull out the grocery list:

2 lbs of beef (or turkey)
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 cans of bushes chili beans or kidney beans (I only use one)
2 packets of McCormick’s chili seasoning
40 oz of tomato juice

Brown your meat in large soup pot or dutch oven and add your chili packets according to the directions on your packet. Once you have done this step you can continue to make this on the stove top or throw it all in the slow cooker. Add all of the the remaining ingredients and stir. Bring to a slow simmer if on the stove top and let it go for at least an hour. If using your slow cooker, cook on low for 3-5 hours.

I serve this with a side of cornbread, sour cream, cheese and crackers on top! Enjoy!

Slow Cooking with Jana on Tuesday: Fried Chicken

Fried chicken in a crock pot! Looking at that plate of goodness makes me hungry. Jana knows how to make some good southern food!  This is recipe number 10 as Jana and I cook our way through A Year of Slow Cooking! Stop over to Just Makin’ It and browse through Jana’s posts. She has a lot of great natural cleaning tips as well as recipes.

I did it. I sure did! I “fried” chicken drumsticks in the crockpot. I found this recipe after searching on Stephanie O’Dea’s website, A Year of Slow Cooking, for something to do with drumsticks. We are low in the meat department of our freezer, and I’m not much for the bone-in-my-chicken meal, but it was on sale, and I bought it. After checking out Stephanie’s site, I have learned to read the comments to see other suggestions. What I have found at Stephanie’s website is the recipes are good, but not exactly healthy. So I try to reduce the fat and increase the healthy. I didn’t do it with this dish. Now that I know how it tastes, though, in the future I am going to change it up just a bit.

Here’s the original recipe.
And here is mine.

Crockpot Fried Chicken:

  • 5 thawed drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (this is what I’m changing next time. Not sure yet, but I’m changing it)
  • 1/4 cup flour (probably going to change this to wheat next time to see how it tastes)
  • 3 T seasoned salt
  • 1 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Shake and bake that chicken. Dump all your ingredients, minus the butter, into a plastic bag, dump in your chicken, and SHAKE!!
  • Place your seasoned chicken into the crockpot and pour the melted butter over the chicken. This is how the chicken is going to “fry”
  • Cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8-10
This came out yummy, yummy. I think it needed a little more seasoning. Stephanie suggested her’s needed more, so I added more to mine, and I still think it could have used more. The meat fell off the bone, though, and even my non-eater at the chicken. I served it with steamed collard greens, steamed sweet corn, and a biscuit. It was a great Sunday afternoon dinner that I served on a Monday. I will try this again, with the new adjustments. If I remember, I’ll let you know how it turned out.

Slow Cooking with Jana on Tuesday: White Bean and Apple Chili

Good morning! I am on the ball this week. If you are new to MommyTime, Jana over at Just Makin’ It and I are cooking our way through Stephanie O’Dea’s A Year of Slow Cooking. I do believe we are on recipe number 9. We post twice a week. Tuesday’s and Friday’s. Since I am behind, I am going to post Jana’s recipe from last week, Cowboy Soup and Cornbread on Friday. Next week I will post the two I plan to review: Slow Cooker Cheese Fondu and Pumpkin Spice Latte! Stop by and say good morning to Jana. She is doing a series on Every Day Cleaning Items. Last week she blogged about the uses of Baking Soda. Good stuff. On to the post!

Ahhhh….cool weather. Here I am sitting in my jeans and long sleeve t-shirt in front of an open window, snacking on some ginger snaps, and kissing getting hot and sticky goodbye (for the next few months). This time of year is seriously my favorite. Not only is the only time of year that I feel completely comfortable all the time, but it gives me excuses to use spices and cook soups that just seem out-of-place any other time of the year. So when a friend of mine (Hi Charity!!!) brought me a bag full of apples straight from her mama’s apple trees in Pennsylvania, I knew I was going to have to try a few recipes to eat those apples right up. As I and my friend Tara (over at MommyTime) are cooking through Stephanie O’Dea’s Year of Slow Cooking recipes, I checked out her recipes that had apples in them. And let me tell you, she’s got quite a bit. Warning, though, most of her recipes call for green apples, so if you use other types (like I did), it may not turn out like she is describing. I DID try her ApplesauceApple Cheddar and Turkey MeatballsApple Crisp,  and Stuffed Baked Apples. I made slight adjustments to all of these to fit my family, so check them out and let me know what you think.


Today’s feature recipe is White Bean and Apple Chili (Original recipe here).


And sorry, there are no pictures. This was eaten so quickly that there wasn’t even a chance to snap a picture.


Ingredients: (Don’t be intimidated by the amount that goes into this. It’s really a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Prepare the spices together ahead of time and it should take no time at all the make this soup) 


  • 3 Cans of white beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 small apples, chopped (leave peel on)
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 tsp chili powder (use more if you like spice)
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups broth (I used chicken, but vegetable is a good substitute….I wouldn’t do beef)
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream


  • Put butter in the bottom of the crockpot.
  • dump in the rest of the ingredients, saving the sour cream for last
  • Cover and cook LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4-5 hours
  • Stir in cheddar cheese (and I did a dollop of sour cream) in your bowl and EAT!

I served this with some Jiffy Cornbread muffins. My husband was seriously skeptical about this recipe. He was not excited about eating a soup that tasted like apples. But after eating one bowl, pretty quickly, he got seconds. This was amazingly good! It wasn’t sweet and surprisingly filling. Two bowls was plenty. If you are looking for a good vegetarian meal or something pretty quick to put together, this is really a great recipe. It’s not too heavy, but just perfect for these 60 degree weather days. It took me no time to put it in before church and was ready by the time we got home. Please, please try this one. And if you try it with a green apple, let me know how it tastes. I bet it’s just as good!

Slow Cooking with Jana on Tuesday: Crock Pot Raisin Bread

Good morning everyone. This is recipe number 8 from A Year of Slow Cooking. Follow Jana over at Just Makin’ It and I as we slow cook our way through Stephanie O’Dea’s blog. You may not hear a whole lot from me this week as we are a little tied up over here but next week I am hoping to get back on track! In the mean time, I can not wait to try out this bread!

I love to make bread. I really, really do. So as I was looking through Stephanie O’Dea’s recipes for bread ideas (because I know I saw desserts and such), I found a plain, well, gluten free, recipe for bread in the crockpot. I was SO excited! Here’s the thing, though, I don’t really do gluten free. And by “do” I mean it is not necessarily a priority in my household. I know it’s important to some of my friends (Kristin!), so I will provide the link to her bread, and then show you how I adapted it for me and mine. And remember, Tara, over at Mommy Time, and I have been working through these recipes. Since we have started, she and I both have come across some great recipes, and there is even a Facebook page (Slow Cooking Freezer Meals) where we can share (because Sharing is Caring). 🙂 

Oh, and PS: there are three very nifty links in the above paragraph. Check them out. You will not be disappointed. 

Original Recipe “Perfect Gluten Free Bread Baked in the Crockpot” 

And here is my recipe: “Raisin’ Crockpot Bread” (Pun intended) 


1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup warm water
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup raisins
8 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Don’t mind my generic products from, like, 4 different stores.

  • Warm the milk

  • Dissolve the yeast in the water and let sit until it foams (about 10 minutes)
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix yeast mixture, eggs, sugar, salt, butter, and raisins. Stir in milk.

  • Gradually add the flour in until the dough is firm.
  • At this point, you are supposed to add the dough to a greased loaf pan and place it inside your crockpot to cook (picture 1), but my loaf pans wouldn’t fit inside the crock. So, I just put the dough inside the crock (picture 2). First though,  I mixed the sugar and cinnamon. As I was dumping it into the crock, I was sprinkling the mixture in. Turned out great!

  • Turn on high for 3-4 hours, checking it every 45 minutes or so.
  • This rose crazy high, so after about an hour in the crock, I deflated it.
  • After about 3 hours, mine was done. So I turned it out on the cooling rack. Check out this baby!

  • So….it’s huge. Once it cools, I cut it in half and froze half of it. I’m going to make some french toast with the other half.
What I love about this is that it shows that I could bake some bread in my new (kitchen) best friend. If you are in to baking bread in the crockpot, give this a shot, but make sure you keep on eye on it.

Slow Cooker Friday: Slow Cooked Black Beans

Friday! So, if you have been keeping up, Jana and I from Just Makin’ It are cooking our way through Steaphani O’Dea’s A Year of Slow Cooking. We are on recipe 7. Everyone make it through this week? Great. Let’s talk about Black Beans. Black beans… black beans… I wish I could come up with something nice to say. They smelled good… We just aren’t besties. I started this recipe with full intentions of making Black Bean Enchiladas. I threw it on my menu plan twice because I couldn’t bring myself to make them the first week. I finally made them. They smelled awesome in my slow cooker but they just weren’t for me. I think it’s a texture thing. I just couldn’t get over it. More about that in a second.

Click on the link below to get the original recipe.

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans Recipe
Adapted from Stephanie O’Dea’s A Year of Slow Cooking
6 cups of water with 4 chicken Bullion Cubes
2 Soup Spoons full of minced garlic
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 pack of taco seasoning
1 pound of black beans (Make sure to do the overnight soak or the quick soak- directions are on the back of your bag of beans)

Add ingredients to your slow cooker. Make sure to stir and set it to low and cook for 8 hours.

They smelled so good when they were cooking. I could not wait to try them. When they were done, I quickly made myself a bowl and,… I can’t put my finger on why the texture got to me, but I just couldn’t finish the bowl. The taste was great. If you like black beans then try these, but if you are like me then skip the beans and make chicken enchiladas for dinner 🙂