Slow Cooker Pork Cacciatore

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Looking for a twist on plain old chicken cacciatore? Here you go!


After scoring a great price on pork chops last week at Fresh Thyme, I had to come up with something to actually do with them.


And while normally I’d grill them or bake them, I came across this recipe and decided to try it out. (My husband loves any type of spaghetti and I haven’t made it in ages.)


This was so good, and easy. I did brown the pork chops ahead of time but several commenters shared that they skipped that step and it worked out fine too ~ easy way to make a different meal and have it all ready early in the day for a busy weeknight!



Here’s how to get started . . . 


Slow Cooker Pork Cacciatore




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 18 oz jar pasta sauce
  • 18 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (I omitted them because I didn’t have any, but they would have been so good!)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese (substituted with shredded Mozzarella)



  1. Lightly brown pork chops in olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Place pork chops in slow cooker.
  3. Cook onion same pan over medium heat until browned.
  4. Add in mushrooms and bell pepper, cook until these vegetables are tender.
  5. Add in pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, and white wine or chicken broth.
  6. Season with Italian seasoning, basil, and garlic.
  7. Cover pork chops with tomato sauce.
  8. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  9. Serve over cooked pasta, and top with mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!


5 reasons to use your slow cooker

Love slow cooker recipes? Here are 5 reasons you need to use your slow cooker every single week + 17 recipes to help you get started. 


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And if you’re looking for a decent slow cooker, this one has fantastic reviews!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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6 Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

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You guys.


I LOVED this recipe.


And, since I’m doing the 21 Day Fix right now (so far, so good!), I’m even more excited because it’s (for the most part) 21 Day Fix approved!




I pre-cooked a ton of chicken that I got last week on sale (y’all, making it myself saved me a bundle), but you can use canned chicken or make it yourself too. Super simple, and if you want to make it a little more “man” approved, add some sour cream and tortilla chips.




Easy Peasy Chicken Tortilla (6 Can) Soup





  • Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans, and diced tomatoes with green chilies.
  • Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.
  • Or, pour it all in slow cooker and cook on low for a few hours.
  • Enjoy!

21 Day Fix equivalents – makes 4-6 servings, 1 serving = 1/2 purple, 1 yellow, 1 red (make sure to use enough to chicken to count as a full serving of chicken



Recipe adapted from All Recipes. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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12 Christmas Treats You Need to Make This Year


You all know I love (looooove) me some Christmas baking, so I pulled together a roundup of our family’s favorite Christmas treats! While we love just about everything Christmas around here, baking is probably the thing I most enjoy during the Christmas season.


(In fact, I snagged a ba-jillion bags of Nestle last week at Kroger. ‘Nuf said.) 


I’d love to hear what your family makes this time of year too ~ leave a comment to share! Here’s a peek at our favorites . . .



1. Christmas Crack

This has been the number ONE recipe on PPP for several weeks now.  It’s so worth your time (and so simple) and EVERYONE you share this with will thank you (and hound you for the recipe)!


2. Slow Cooker Christmas Candy

Such an easy way to make delicious treats for teachers, mail carriers, neighbors, and just about anyone on your list.


3. Christmas Treat:  Buckeye Balls

We love these and just made a double batch this week to share. So good!


4. Honey Bun Cake {aka Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

This is by far our family’s favorite Christmas tradition. I only make it once a year, but it’s just perfect.

finished cake title sm

5. Peppermint Glaze Chocolate Cake

This one is so simple but looks just perfect. Use a box mix to save time this year!


6. Perfect Peanut Butter Fudge

The. best. peanut. butter. fudge. ever. I promise.

Easy Marshmallow Fudge

7.  Easy Marshmallow Fudge

This one has just three ingredients, and if you have older kids at home they can make it without any help. Love that!


8.  Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

We usually make these during Christmas week as a special treat. My kids love my almost-homemade-cinnamon rolls anytime of year, but after seeing my friend Jen make hers in the shape of a Christmas tree, I had to tweak our recipe too for the Christmas season!


9.  Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

All you need is a jar of peanut butter, some chocolate chips, a box of Chex mix and a bunch of powdered sugar. Honestly this is one of my kids favorites and they devoured ours when we made it over the weekend.


10.  White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

This is a Martha Stewart recipe, but they’ve got so much real butter in them that you’d swear they were Paula Deen’s. Super easy to make and I love that you can cook them in one big batch.


11. Best Chocolate Chip Cookies {EVER}

I’m not kidding, these are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever eat. For real. It’s the only recipe I have down by memory, and I’ve even tripled the batch before in my Kitchenaid. By far the best cookie recipe around!


12.  {Simple} Pumpkin Quick Bread

This one’s perfect to put in the mailbox for our mail carrier, drop in the front office of our local school or just enjoy ourselves. It’s so easy and makes several loaves, so you’ll have plenty to keep and share. (Or, just keep.) :)


What recipe is the one your family just has to have at Christmas? I’d love to hear ~ always looking for a few more to add to our baking list each year!

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Foolproof Fudge

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Re-post from 2012 ~ I made this one again today while visiting family using the microwave instead of the stovetop, and it was even easier!

I’m betting quite a few of you have tried this recipe before, but if you haven’t, it’s a great simple fudge recipe that’s finished in just a few minutes!  My sister-in-law gave it to me forever-a-go, and my family loves it.

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It’s so easy that my seven year old whipped up this batch almost completely by herself, and was standing pretty tall when her big ten-year-old-brother said he loved it :)  (That little girl would cook anything to win his approval!)  Here’s what you’ll need to mix it up in your kitchen this Christmas:


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Simple Marshmallow Fudge

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  • 1 small sweetened condensed milk
  • 16 oz. semi sweet morsels
  • 4 cups marshmallows
  • 1 tsp vanilla


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  1. Grease 8×8 pan.
  2. Combine chocolate chips & sweetened condensed milk in pan on stove.
  3. Cook over medium heat until completely melted, stirring constantly. (OR, just melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.)
  4. Add in vanilla and mix well.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Let cool a minute or two, then gently add in marshmallows.
  7. Cool completely and cut into squares to serve.  (You’ll want a glass of milk nearby, these jummy treats are rich!)


Looking for more recipes to make this Christmas? Here are 12 more Christmas treats you need to make this year.

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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M&M Oatmeal Chocolate Bars

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Looking for a new treat to try this Christmas? This one is so good, and a great way to make an easy bar recipe instead of cookies in a hurry!



Here’s how to get started . . . 


M&M Oatmeal Chocolate Bars



  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups gold medal flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened (almost melted)
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cup M&Ms



  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together first four ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Remove 1 cup of the flour mixture and set aside.
  4. Grease 9×13 pan and press onto bottom of pan.
  5. On stovetop, mix sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and two more tablespoons butter.
  6. Stir until chips have melted and mixture is smooth.
  7. Pour chocolate mixture over oat mixture, then sprinkle leftover cup of oat meal on top of chocolate.
  8. Top with M&Ms and bake 20-25 minutes.
  9. Let cool, slice and serve!


Looking for more treats to make this Christmas? Here are a few of our favorites:

Recipe adapted from Lil Luna.  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE



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Christmas Crack

 Find more Christmas recipe ideas

Okay, let me just preface this post by saying that’s the most horrible name for a recipe, but it’s the only way to describe just how good and addictive this stuff is. . . I promise, you will LOVE every bite!

Good gracious guys, folks have seriously loved this Christmas Crack recipeI decided it was time to update it (after making it twice yesterday to verify the exact cooking directions), and re-share it again.


Be sure to read through the comments on the original post HERE for even more ideas ~ your cooking will vary a bit by the temperature of your stove and oven, but if you make sure to cook the brown sugar right it should work perfectly. We love this one at our house, and hope you do too!



  •  1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I go ahead and add a few more because we love chocolate around here. . .)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • aluminimum foil
  • cooking spray


  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Line 12×17 cookie sheet with foil and spray well with cooking spray.
  3. Layer the saltine crackers on top of the foil.
  4. Heat butter and sugar on stovetop and heat until gently boiling, stirring constantly.
    Reduce heat to low boiling and cook, uncovered, between 3 and 5 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and sugar is dissolved. (Be careful to avoid burning the butter and sugar- that will ruin the recipe, but do make sure the sugar is dissolved and mixture is thickening. This is by far the trickiest part of the recipe ~ just make sure it thickens and dissolves but does not burn.)
  5. Pour butter and sugar mixture over crackers and spread evenly.
  6. Bake 5-6 minutes in oven.
  7. Remove pan from oven and let cool 3 minutes, then sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over brown sugar mixture.
  8. As chocolate chips melt, carefully spread into an even layer over the toffee layer using a knife. (Note – I pop the pan back in the oven for about 20 seconds after sprinkling on chocolate chips so that they melt faster.)
  9. Refrigerate for one hour.
  10. Break into bite-sized pieces and serve. . . yum, store covered in refrigerator.

Note: Be sure to put a larger pan underneath your pan in case any of the butter/margarine mixture seeps over – you’ll want to watch it closely while in the oven so that it doesn’t melt over the edges of your pan.






Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here!

Looking for more Christmas treats? Here are a few of our favorites:

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Buckeye Brownies

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Looking for a simple dessert to treat your family with this Thanksgiving (or anytime during the Holidays season?)


These Buckeye Brownies are oh-so-simple to make, and any peanut butter fan will love them. Since moving to the Buckeye state we’ve noticed that peanut butter chocolate recipes seem to be just about everywhere ~ kind of a dangerous thing for this peanut-butter-chocolate-loving-girl!


Here’s how to get started . . . 

Buckeye Brownies


  • 2 brownie cake mixes (I like the Ghirardelli box mixes best)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk (additional milk if necessary)
  • 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar



  1. Bake brownie mixes in 9×13 pan (will need to bake a little longer according to package directions since you’ll be baking two mixes in one pan)
  2. Once brownies have cooled, mix together peanut butter and butter with electric mixer in large bowl.
  3. Slowly add in powdered sugar.
  4. Once mixture gets thick, add in one tablespoon milk at a time until frosting is the desired consistency.
  5. Beat for 3 minutes until light and fluffy, enjoy!



Recipe adapted from All Recipes.  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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I love me some white chicken chili.


Like really, L.O.V.E. it. 


And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, you can easily swap out leftover turkey with chicken too.  I made up this pot last week for dinner, and loved that we had plenty for leftovers for dinner, plus I ate it for lunch all week too. Yum!


Here’s how to get started . . . 

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili (makes 8 servings)


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 14 oz can chicken broth
  • 14 oz can navy beans
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • (2) 14 oz. cans white corn
  • (2) 4 oz cans cohpped green chiles
  • (4) 14 oz cans navy beans, rinsed & drained


  1. Add chicken to slow cooker.
  2. Cover with remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook on low 7-8 hours.
  4. Remove chicken and shred.
  5. Return chicken to slow cooker.
  6. Cook an additional 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!



5 reasons to use your slow cooker

Love slow cooker recipes? Here are 5 reasons you need to use your slow cooker every single week + 17 recipes to help you get started. 


Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.54.40 AM


And if you’re looking for a decent slow cooker, this one has fantastic reviews!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Deep Dish Caramel Brookie


I found this recipe over on Facebook last week, and when my twelve year old saw it she was determined to try it out. 

I was busy however typing away on Saturday morning, so asked if she’d handle making it for me ~ and take a few pictures to share with you all along the way.

Folks, she did an incredible job. 

This was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. and so much better than I expected. If you’re looking for a restaurant-quality dessert to treat your family with, this one’s for you!

Here’s what you’ll need . . .


Break your cookie dough up . . .


press 1 package of cookie dough down into greased 10″ round cake pan or skillet




Unwrap caramels . . . (don’t eat them all)carmels


Melt caramels for 30 seconds, then stir, then melt another 30 seconds until smooth. caramel

Pour on top of cookie dough, then sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and cover with another layer of cookie dough.



Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.brookie

Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips.


Top with ice cream and serve warm. Enjoy!

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Deep Dish Caramel Brookie


  • 1 bag square soft caramels (we used Kraft)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 packages cookie dough
  • vanilla ice cream


  1. Press 1 package cookie dough into bottom of greased 10″ round pan.
  2. Unwrap caramels and melt in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, melt for another 30 seconds and continue until melted (be careful not to burn them.)
  3. Spoon caramel onto first layer of cookie dough, sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  4. Add another layer of cookie dough on top.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with ice cream.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Buzz Feed. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 11/9/15


Have you made your menu plan for the week? After my big Kroger trip yesterday I came home and took stock of our pantry, and came up this menu plan for our house this week:


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Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  



Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 


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