Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

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slowcookerbroccolicheesesoup2

Oh my.

 

This Broccoli Cheese Soup at home is divine. 

 

Better than Panera.

 

And Mrs. Potts will do most of the work for you.

 

You’re welcome. ;)

 

My husband and I loved this recipe, my 14 year old liked it, and my 11 and 7 year old actually ate it. Success? :)

 

Here’s how to get a yummy warm & toasty meal on the table at your home too (and I highly recommend you include a side of homemade bread. Perfection!)

slowcookerbroccolicheesesoup

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 12 oz cans evaporated milk
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups broccoli florets (I substituted with frozen broccoli which I cooked in the microwave and drained well - to make sure there wasn't too much liquid I reduced the chicken broth by 1/2 cup as frozen veggies are usually packed with water when they cook)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In large skillet melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Saute onions until they become transparent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and flour, as well as a little salt and pepper to flavor.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Using a whisk, slowly add in evaporated milk and stir well to make it smooth.
  6. Cook mixture until it begins to thicken, then pour into slow cooker with chicken broth, broccoli & thyme.
  7. Cover and cook 2 1/2 - 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  8. Turn heat off (or warm if you have that option), and add in heavy cream, shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 11/19/14):

  • Broccoli Buy One Get One Free at Giant Eagle and Food Lion
  • Kroger Shredded Cheese $1.99
  • Swanson Chicken Broth $.50 at Dollar General (14 oz) or $1.89 at Walmart & Target (32 oz), use $1/2 Swanson coupon from the 10/5 SmartSource insert or $1/2 Swanson printable coupon

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy – thanks for a wonderful recipe!  Thanks also to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 11/17/14

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m so excited because I have most of the ingredients that we’ll need for these recipes already at home, so it’ll help keep our budget in check too this week.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 12.27.57 PM

 

If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

Shopping List
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 soft or hard taco shells
  • 2 cans Rotel
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 yellow onion
  • fresh garlic
  • 2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups small diced broccoli floret
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • bag of potatoes for mashed potatoes
  • tortilla chips

Side Dish Extras

  • apples (for salad)
  • grapes (for salad)
  • walnuts (for salad)
  • loaf bread for broccoli cheese soup night (store bought or  homemade bread)
  • carrot sticks or fresh veggies
  • toppings for nachos and tacos – sour cream, black olives, green onion, lettuce, tomato

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour
  • thyme
  • baking powder
  • milk
  • 2 eggs
  • oil
  • onion powder
  • brown sugar
  • minced onion
  • chili powder
  • corn starch
  • cumin
  • red pepper flakes
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic
  • oregano

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!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

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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Mini Sliders with Secret Sauce

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minisliderssauce

I’ve found the perfect burger for you when it’s too cold outside to grill. 

 

You’re welcome. ;)

 

We don’t eat hamburgers all that often in the winter, but these taste so good that they’re worth the extra effort! And, since I have a tiny obsession with slider sandwiches (they’re the perfect size for my kids to decide if they just want one or two), these were just a great weeknight meal.

 

There really isn’t all that much to them beyond a regular burger, but the special sauce (and some French’s onions if you’re really going all out), make them a little more exciting than your regular weeknight meal. I ended up shaping the burgers in muffin cups like the original recipe suggested (it made it easy to come out with the right portions), but think you could probably skip this step if you have a good idea of what the size of your burger should be.

 

Here’s what you’ll need to get started . . . 

slider4

Mini Sliders with Secret Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • muffin liners (optional, but this makes them easier to portion)
  • salt and pepper
  • slider buns
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • dijon mustard
  • relish
  • extra toppings (optional) - lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cheese, French's onions

Instructions

  1. Divide ground beef into 8 portions.
  2. Place muffin liners in muffin tin - sprinkle each cup with salt and pepper.
  3. Shape each portion of beef into a ball and place in lined muffin cup. Season with salt and pepper on top.
  4. Add another liner on top of the meat and push down to form the burger (I skipped this step and just formed the burgers with my hands.)
  5. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and cook burgers in hot skillet until slightly browned (3 minutes) then flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and relish in a small bowl to make the sauce.
  7. Add burger to slider bun, top with secret sauce as well as any other toppings and enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 11/12/14):

  • Kroger Mayo $3.49 when you buy 10  participating Mega Sale items, use $.75/1 Kraft Mayo
  • Kroger Slider Buns $1.49
  • Publix Hunt’s Ketchup $.93
  • French’s Dijon Mustard $1.97 at Walmart, use $.75/1 French’s coupon

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

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Menu Plan Week of 11/10/14

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chilil

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m so excited because I have most of the ingredients that we’ll need for these recipes already at home, so it’ll help keep our budget in check too this week.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 10.37.00 AM

 

If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

 
Shopping List
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 box fettucine noodles
  • garlic
  • sundried tomato halves
  • 8 slices roma tomatoes for hamburger sliders
  • 14.5 oz can petit diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (plain)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 bags baby spinach (enough for spinach salad and for Tomato Fettucine recipe)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 package Ranch Dressing mix
  • 8 slider buns (I’ve found Kroger has the best price on these)
  • store bought pizza dough (Publix makes a great dough in their bakery if you live in the Southeast – I’m going to use Pillsbury pizza dough if I can’t find anything else here) :)
  • pepperoni
  • mozzarella cheese
  • additional calzone toppings – mushrooms, spinach, onions, green peppers, etc
  • marina sauce for dipping calzones in

Side Dish Extras

  • apples (for salad)
  • grapes (for salad)
  • walnuts (for salad)
  • loaf bread for chili night (store bought or  homemade bread)
  • carrot sticks or fresh veggies

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • sugar
  • butter
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • vanilla
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • onion powder
  • dijon mustard
  • relish
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • Italian seasoning

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!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

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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Apple, Spinach Salad with Warm Vanilla Bean Dressing

 

apple

Note from Laurie – Shannon shared this recipe with me when she got back from her mission trip to Japan and it looks delicious ~ I’m thinking it would such a great salad to have on Thanksgiving (I love that the dressing is served warm), and I’m planning to make this at home tomorrow!

 

This recipe for Spinach Salad with Sweet Vanilla Bean Dressing is soooo good and so easy to make!  I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite recipe I’ve shared here on Passionate Penny Pincher. (Not that I’ve posted all that many, but this one is just amazing!)

 

Laurie can attest that I’m one of the pickiest eaters alive.  I don’t like condiments. (No ketchup. No mustard. No mayo. Nothing.)  I eat all my sandwiches, salads, and everything else plain.

 

On my recent mission trip to Japan we stayed with a sweet missionary couple for two days and I helped our host Susan with dinner preparations.  As one of the side dishes for a meal she made this salad, and while we were making it I realized I actually did like all the ingredients and it was possible I might like it. And I did!

 

After we got home from our trip we had family over to visit and made this salad, and they all loved it too. I’m betting your family will enjoy it as well ~ here’s how to get started . . .

Apple, Grape, Walnut Spinach Salad with Homemade Vanilla Bean Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Add all the top 4 ingredients together for Salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 3 apples
  • grapes
  • Walnuts
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 Tbsp of honey
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (can substitute more vanilla or vanilla paste since vanilla bean is so expensive)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in saucepan.
  2. Add honey and brown sugar. Stir until melted.
  3. Add a pulp of vanilla bean. (If you're substituting with regular vanilla, skip this step.)
  4. Transfer to blender.
  5. Add vanilla and olive oil. Pulse until combined.
  6. Mix together spinach, grapes, apples, and walnuts in large bowl.
  7. Drizzle vanilla bean dressing over top while still warn - enjoy!
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Recipes adapted from Our Vintage Home Love.

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Menu Plan: Week of 11/3/14

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m so excited because I have most of the ingredients that we’ll need for these recipes already at home, so it’ll help keep our budget in check too this week.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 8.54.53 AM

 

If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

 
Shopping List
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (2 large chicken breasts, cooked)
  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 12 oz barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • bag of potatoes – 5 for baking plus enough for mashed potatoes on Thursday night
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix
  • 12 oz ziti
  • garlic
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • fresh parsley (optional)
  • eggs
  • bacon
  • Bisquick (or pre-made biscuits)
  • sour cream (for topping potatoes and biscuit mix if not buying pre-made biscuits)
  • 7 up or Sprite (for biscuits)

Side Dish Extras

  • shredded cheddar cheese, chives (for topping baked potatoes)
  • salad
  • fresh, canned or frozen vegetables
  • fresh fruit

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • Worcestershire
  • brown sugar
  • soy sauce
  • olive oil
  • flour
  • milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • butter

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!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

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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Simple Spooky Halloween Treats

spookysnacks

My friend Cathy shared these cute “spooky” snacks on her Facebook page, and I thought they were way too cute (and easy) so I had to share them with you! All you need is pretzel sticks and string cheese for the brooms, apples, peanut butter and marshmallows for the teeth, and mandarin oranges with a sharpie for the jack-o-lantern.

Jack O Lantern Quesadillas

I just loved these (and have all the items in my kitchen to surprise my kids with them after school today too.) You can also have fun making these cute Jack-O-Lantern Quesadillas - such fun simple treats to enjoy this Halloween!

Thanks so much for the smart idea Cathy – I love it! ;)  See more penny pinched recipe ideas over HERE.

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{Lightened Up} Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

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pumpkinchocolatechipbread

I’m so excited about this new recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread that I tried out this week! While I love my usual pumpkin bread recipe (it’s so good), I love that this one calls for only whole wheat flour, substitutes the oil for applesauce, and tastes oh-so-good.

 

Most of the recipes that I bake with whole wheat flour call for half whole wheat and half regular white flour, so I wasn’t quite sure how this one would do. It definitely is a little more dense than our regular recipe, but it still tastes delicious. It has 155 calories per serving and 2.9 grams of fat per serving (assuming 12 servings per loaf), which is half the calories of my regular recipe that has about 319 calories per serving and 12.6 grams of fat. I’m pretty sure I won’t make my old recipe again after tasting how yummy this one was!

 

Here’s what you’ll need to get started . . .

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin pie filling (I think I may try substituting it with canned pumpkin next time to cut down on some of the sugar)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 and grease 9x5 loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together pumpkin pie filling, applesauce, sugar, egg, egg whites and cinnamon.
  4. Add flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined, then add in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!
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Thanks All Recipes for another great recipe to try! If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan With Grocery List: Week of 10/27/14

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m so excited because some of these just look so yummy, and I can’t wait to try a few new recipes this week.

 

Wednesdays and Fridays are nuts at our house with kids activities (3 kids going 3 different directions makes for crazy nights around here!), so making big enough portions on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday to have extra leftovers (along with on occasional PB&J) realistically works great for our family. If you cook big meals at home every single night of the week you may need to add in an extra recipe or two, but hopefully this gets you started!

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 11.15.50 AM

 

If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

 
Shopping List
  • 3-4 pound boneless roast beef (chuck, round, or shoulder)
  • 22 oz pre-cooked chicken (recipe calls for Tyson Grill & Ready Fajita strips), or 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked (could try a recipe like this one or just pan fry in olive oil and a few seasonings)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 sub sandwich rolls
  • french bread
  • beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 packet au just seasoning mix
  • 3 large onions
  • 3/4 cups sliced swiss cheese
  • 15 oz black beans
  • 15 oz can corn
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips (optional – for Chicken Black Bean Casserole)

Side Dish Extras

  • Homemade or store bought crusty bread for French Onion Soup night
  • carrots
  • salad

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • Worcestershire
  • soy sauce
  • honey
  • red pepper flakes
  • garlic
  • margarine or butter
  • flour
  • sugar

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!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

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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Slow Cooker Meat Lovers Spaghetti

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slowcookerspaghetti

Looking for a new way to spice up spaghetti night? While I love (love love love love love love ~ did you catch that?) my favorite recipe ever for this Heaven Sent Cheesy Baked Spaghetti, I don’t have time for fancy spaghetti every weeknight. So, this one comes in at a close second. ;)

 

It was so easy to pop in Mrs. Potts in the morning, and nice to come home at the end of running kids around town to dinner already done. The best part is it makes a ton (like, L.O.T.S), so you can freeze the leftover sauce and have dinner done on another busy night. (Don’t you just love that?)

 

Here’s how to get dinner on the table (easily) in your home today too.

slowcookermeatloversspaghetti

Slow Cooker Meat Lovers Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1/4 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15.6 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. In skillet, heat olive oil.
  2. Cook and stir onions and Italian sausage until browned, then add those to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook ground beef in same skillet, along with Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  4. Transfer beef to slow cooker.
  5. Dump remaining ingredients (except the sugar) into crockpot and cook for 8 hours on low.
  6. Add sugar and cook an additional 15 minutes, and serve over cooked pasta.
  7. Enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 10/22/14):

  • Meijer Ground Beef $3.49/lb.
  • Target Market Pantry Ground Beef Buy One Get One 20% off
  • Publix Italian Sausage $5.79 20 oz
  • Kroger Johnsonville Italian Sausage $4.99, use $1/1 Johnsonville product
  • Kroger or Dollar Tree Hunt’s Tomatoes $1, use $1/4 coupon from the 9/21 SmartSource insert

Recipe adapted from All Recipes. Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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