good eats

I’ve never been that big on crockpots — planning ahead?  raw meat in the morning? — but when we feed our local missionaries each month, it’s for lunch (the biggest meal of the day for Chileans) and it’s almost always on Sunday, which means something delicious needs to be ready basically right after church.  So now I’m looking for great crockpot recipes besides pot roast (which always works for me) or chicken (which never works for me — you?).  This one is fabulous, so I thought I’d pass it along — Shredded Steak Sandwiches.  The meat I bought was more like a pot roast than a steak (why waste steak in the crock pot?) and I left out the celery.  We served them on regular hamburger buns.  (The grocery stores here have bakery fresh hamburger buns — they are cheap and delicious.)  One of the missionaries ate four.

Since the meal needs to be ready right after church, and I need to get five kids ready before  leaving for church at 9:30 (Matt is usually at church early for meetings), most of the prep work needs to be done the night before, which is sometimes tricky on a Saturday night.  Last Saturday, I started dessert at 10 PM.  I tried these No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars, which were basically just like those gloppy, tasty-but-ugly no-bake cookies, but with the chocolate and oats in separate layers so they were much better looking.  Fast, easy, and delicious.  My kids were fighting over the last couple, which was so silly, because of course I ate them myself.

In other cooking and eating news, I’ve been trying to make breakfast every morning lately.  Cold cereal is more expensive here in Chile (none of those big cheap bags) and my big boys can polish off a box in one morning.  Also, a homemade breakfast is less processed, and best of all, it helps motivate everyone (including me) to get up in the morning.  The kids leave the house at 7:00, and getting everyone up is one of the hardest things I do each day.

Here are some fun ideas to try (all things we’ve eaten the last week or so):

Yeasted Waffles.  I didn’t make the apple topping, but we’ll try it sometime.  These are really good if you like things that taste, well, yeasty, and also good for a school mornings because you make the batter ahead of time.  I always make extras and freeze them for another day.

Soft-boiled eggs.  If you click that link, you’ll read Anne’s description of these childhood favorites, and an explanation of how to make them.  I hadn’t made them for my kids forever, and they’re not really hard.  Use a timer to get them cooked just the right amount — three minutes or a tiny bit longer.

Banana chocolate-chip muffins.  I always substitute half the butter with applesauce these days, and I think the texture is actually better that way (for 1/2 cup of butter, substitute 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup of applesauce).  Half wheat flour, too.  (See, they’re healthy!)  I make these the night before.  If you would get up at 5:00 to make muffins, I’m not sure we can be friends.

Swiss Muesli.  I just tried this for the first time and it’s a winner:
1/3 c. oatmeal
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. wheat germ
1 Tbsp. honey or sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 Tbsp. chopped almonds
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 apple, cored and grated with peel
1 cup fresh fruit (I used bananas and strawberries — almost anything would work)

Mix together and let stand 10 minutes (longer is ok) before serving.
Only a couple of my kids really liked this, but I LOVED it.  Really healthy and delicious.

What’s for breakfast at your house?  Something delicious that I should know about?


4 thoughts on “good eats

  1. Meg

    Check out It is fantastic and has lots of great tried and true crockpot meals. My favorite is Creamy Italian Chicken.
    4-5 large chicken breasts
    2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
    2 cans cream of chicken soup
    1 packet of dry italian salad dressing mix
    Layer chicken breasts in the bottom of your crock. Mix other ingredients together and pour over the chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Serve over rice or egg noodles. We actually make our own cream of chicken from here.. instead of the processed stuff.
    -Meg(I was your “little sister” in the Saturday’s Warrior that never happened. I love your blog!

  2. Danielle

    I always thing chicken in the crockpot is kind of dry too…and I am not big on the crockpot recipes where you have to cook a bunch of stuff and add it in a different times. We do something similar to you and cook a pork roast, then add BBQ sauce and have pulled pork sandwiches. Sorry I have nothing more creative.

    We eat eggs for breakfast every morning. Or meat. Because Avery wakes me up and says, “I want eggs mom” or, I want a tiny meat” No cereal for that girl!

  3. Michele

    Jerilyn just recently made this granola for us and it is the best I’ve ever had! I’ve had it for breakfast every morning since! (Clever comments in the recipe are hers, not mine.)


    3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

    Use a mix of following options to make 3 cups (I starred my favorites):

    slivered almonds*
    sunflower seeds
    chopped walnuts*
    chopped pecans*
    shelled pistachios
    flax seed*
    wheat groats (these are super crunchy and add a strong wheaty flavor, so go light on them until you know you like them)

    Mix oats with nut and seed mixture together.

    Mix the following together:

    1/4 c maple syrup (or honey or light corn syrup)
    1/4 c molasses
    1/2 c brown sugar
    1/2 c canola oil (I am going to try olive oil the next time I make this because I hear it’s really yummy.)
    1 t ground cardamom
    1 t kosher salt (I leave this out if I’ve used any salted nuts or seeds)

    Pour over oat/nut/seed mixture and stir to mix. Don’t worry if it doesn’t get evenly distributed; that will happen in the oven.

    If you’ve used a metal bowl that will fit in your oven, I’d just use that. Otherwise, use a greased cookie sheet. (I don’t have to tell you it should have sides so the granola doesn’t fall into your oven, right?)

    Bake in a 300º oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. If you like crispier granola, bake a little longer. If you like your granola chewier, bake a little less. I bake mine for 20-30 minutes—just long enough to heat up the syrup mixture to evenly distribute throughout the granola.

    When it’s out of the oven and still hot, I add dried cranberries and dried blueberries and mix them in, although I also like it without any fruit in it. (I add the fruit for my parents.)

    Once the mixture is cool, I put it in ziploc bags and store it in the freezer.

    This recipe makes about 9 cups of high-fiber delicious crack.

  4. Robin

    Thanks for these suggestions, Liz. It’s great timing, because I forgot to get cereal the last time I went shopping, and since I spent way too much that trip, I didn’t want to go back for a while, so once we ran out of the instant oatmeal and panacke syrup, we had to get creative. So I made pillsbury biscuits and served it with pineapple chunks on the side, and my kids thought they had died and gone to heaven. I’m all for a home cooked breakfast, but I’m not big on cooking it! have you tried doing smoothies? I’ve considered those, but I think I need to find some healthy ones with more protein so they fill you up longer. What’s your banana choc chip muffin recipe? I tried carrot raisin muffins with applesauce yesterday and they didn’t turn out too well.

    By the way, I love all your witty, self-deprecating quips–it reminds me that we miss having you around!


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