4 Ingredient Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

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4ingredientapplesauce3

Note – mine turned out very brown ~ I think because of the cinnamon? I did use lemon juice which should have kept it from browning, but added a little more cinnamon than some recipes called for because we love cinnamon at our house. Would love to hear if yours turns out that color or if it’s lighter!

 

I’m so excited about this! Over the weekend I shared over on Facebook that I was trying my hand at homemade apple sauce, and it worked. I’d tried to make it years ago (but it may have been apple butter that I tried to make? I’m old. I can’t remember. ahem.) But whatever it was, I burned it completely and just about chargrilled Mrs. Potts by baking her in blackened-apple-crusty-this-is-a-disaster-stuff.

 

But when I found apples for $.59/lb. last week, I decided to try it out again. I was thrilled with how yummy it turned out ~ served warm or cold it’s just the best.

 

(My family claimed it almost as good as Cracker Barrel ~ high praise around here.) :)

 

If you’re trying to determine a decent price on apples to make any apple recipes (like Apple Cake, Apple Dumplings, Skillet Apple Pie, Snickers Apple Saladwhatever), aim to pay less between $.50-$.80/lb. during the fall season. And if you’re lucky enough to live near an apple orchard (or have a friend who has an apple tree), this is a great time to stock up!

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Here’s how to get cooking . . .

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 4 Ingredient Homemade Slow Cooker ApplesauceIngredients

  • 4 lbs tart apples, peeled and cored (I use this peeler/corer – it makes this recipe so much easier!)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

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Directions

  1. Mix apples, cinnamon, and sugar and place in the slow cooker.
  2. Add water and lemon juice.
  3. Cook on low 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally and mashing with a fork depending on how “mashed” you want them to be. My slow cooker cooks very quickly and mine were just about ready at 3 hours, so I turned them to the “warming” option on my slow cooker and let them cook another 2 hours.
  4. Serve warm or cold – yum!

 

skilletapplepie

 

Looking for a few apple recipes? Here are our favorites:

4ingredientapplesauce4

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Heath Bar Apple Dip

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This Heath Bar Dip (aka Apple Brickle Dip), is by far one of the easiest recipes to make, and such a yummy treat when apples are in season!  I got it from a cousin at a family gathering, and goodness now it’s one of our family’s favorites. Here’s the recipe so you can try it out too!

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Ingredients

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 bag of Heath Bar toffee bites
  • 4 apples (cut into slices)
  • 2 tbs lemon or lime juice

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Directions

  1. Mix first 5 ingredients using mixer.
  2. Chill for an hour.
  3. Toss sliced apples in the lemon juice.
  4. Enjoy!

 

heath bar dip

 

 

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites

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These Peanut Butter Energy Bites are so simple to make, and a great snack when you’re in a hurry! They’re guilt free and pretty good for you, and you can easily adapt the recipe with a few added ingredients (mini chocolate chips please?)

recipe

No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Old Fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 peanut butter or chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Cover refrigerate for an hour
  3. Use a cookie scoop to make them the shape of balls or just use your hands.
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2015/08/easy-no-bake-peanut-butter-energy-bites/

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Recipe adapted from GimmeSomeOven.

 

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Creamed Spinach Casserole

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Looking for something new to try out for Easter brunch this Sunday? My favorite side dishes are the traditional Corn Casserole, Broccoli Cheese Casserole and of course Green Bean Casserole (without the cream soup), so I decided to hunt down something different that most folks may not have tried before.

 

This was so good, and reminded me of the Creamed Spinach that Claudia Sanders restaurant serves in Shelbyville, Kentucky(If you’re ever near Shelbyville, you have to try it out. While it’s far from a penny-pinched meal, it’s so good and just a fun place to visit!) It took about two minutes to mix together after I really thawed out and drained the spinach (be sure to really drain it well), and would be a perfect recipe to enjoy this Easter Sunday. Here’s the recipe so you can try it out too!

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened - I used the original cream cheese spread which is a little more creamy and easy to work with)
  • 3 10 oz. packages frozen spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 6 oz can French's onions, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Thaw and drain spinach (you'll want to drain the spinach really well- squeeze out any extra liquid by draining spinach in a colander and pressing out as much liquid as possible.)
  3. Mix together spinach, cream cheese, mushroom and 1/2 of the French's onions.
  4. Pour into greased casserole dish.
  5. Add remaining French's onions.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through (make sure not to let onions brown too much.)
  7. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2014/04/creamed-spinach-casserole/

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 4/16/14):

  • Birdseye Veggies 50% off at Publix
  • Birdseye Veggies $1 at Target
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese $1.50 at Publix, Target and Kroger, use $.75/1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Campbell’s Cream Soup $1 at Publix or $.75 at Target, use $.40/3 Campbell’s Soups
  • French’s Onions BOGO at Publix, use $.30/1 French’s Onions, $.50/1 French’s Onions from the 2/9 Smart Source insert, or $1/1 French’s Onions from the 4/6 Smart Source insert

 

Looking for more Easter brunch recipes? Here are some of my favorites . . .

 

Sweet & Savory Broccoli Salad

Easy Slow Cooker Ham 

Slow Cooker Ham

Corn Casserole

Green Bean Casserole 

Green Bean Casserole {no cream of mushroom soup}

 

Strawberry Cake

 

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

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

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One Dish Corn Casserole

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Oh my stars, folks . . . my little family ate well last night.  Because I wanted to get a few recipe posts up to share with you all, we feasted on Broccoli Cheese Casserole, this Corn Casserole, Homemade Yeast Rolls (recipe in a bit), Mac & Cheese and Salads (I figured I need to throw something healthy in there ~ right?) My kids and hubby were so happy ~ we might just have to have Thanksgiving Side Dish Dinner once every week or two around here.

 

I’m telling you what, we suffer for you guys. 😉

 

Here’s how to get started on the easiest ever recipe I’ve found for Corn Casserole. Let me know what you think.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 package corn bread mix (8.5 oz)
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients, pour into lightly greased casserole dish.
  3. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/11/one-dish-corn-casserole/

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 11/20/13):

  • Breakstone’s Sour Cream $.95 at Publix, use $1/1 coupon from the 11/10 Smart Source insert
  • Del Monte Vegetables $.64 at Publix, use $.50/4 Del Monte Vegetables from the 11/3 Smart Source insert
  • Kroger Vegetables on sale $.50 
  • Kroger Sour Cream $1
  • Del Monte Vegetables $.65 at Target, use $.50/4 Del Monte Vegetables from the 11/3 Smart Source insert

Green Bean Casserole

Looking for more recipe ideas for Thanksgiving? Here are a few of our favorites:

 

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

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{Sweet & Savory} Broccoli Salad

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Have you started planning side dishes for the 4th of July yet? This Sweet & Savory Broccoli Salad is perfect to add, as you can make it ahead of time and it will be all ready to go before the fireworks begin. And, since both Publix & Kroger (my two most frequented stores) both have bacon and mayonnaise on sale this week, it’s a good time to stock up.

 

{Sweet & Savory} Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 heads fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked & chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup almonds or toasted pecans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Chop broccoli into bite sized pieces.
  2. Mix together broccoli, raisins, red onion and bacon.
  3. In separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.
  4. Mix together mayonnaise mixture and broccoli mixture.
  5. Chill and serve.
  6. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/06/sweet-savory-broccoli-salad/

Here are the sales you’ll want to watch for this week (week of 6/2613):

  • $1/1 Hellmann’s Product, exp. 7/21/13 (RP 06/23/13)
  •  Oscar Mayer Bacon, Select Varieties 12 to 16 oz $3.50 (ends tonight, 6/26/13!)
  • Hellman’s Mayonnaise, 48 oz, $5.19 at Kroger in Mega Sale, use $1/1 Hellmann’s Product, any 22 oz or larger (Maximum of 2 identical coupons allowed in same shopping trip) – 06-23-13 RP Insert (exp 7/21/2013) 

 

Find more great salad recipes in this Salads: Beyond the Bowl Cookbook, or get this highly rated Ultimate Summer Cookbook for just $.99 on your Kindle!  You can also check out my Summer Pinterest board for more fun 4th of July ideas.

 

If you have another recipe that your family enjoys on the 4th as a side dish, I’d love for you to leave a comment to share!

 

Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups, and check out $5 Dinner Mom for more bargain meal deals!  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Are you looking for a special side dish to share this week for Memorial Day?  This is our family’s favorite (seriously, best ever) Broccoli Cheese Casserole, and I know you’ll love it too.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • Frozen Broccoli (I usually use two bags of Green Giant Steamers)
  • 16 oz. Velveeta Kraft Velveeta
  • 3/4 stick of margarine
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers
  • 1/4 stick margarine

Instructions

  1. Cook broccoli in microwave.
  2. Meanwhile, melt Velveeta & 3/4 stick margarine on stove top over low heat.
  3. Thoroughly drain broccoli. (You'll want to press out as much excess water as you can so that the Cheese Sauce doesn't become runny.)
  4. Stir together broccoli and velveeta mixture, then put in 8x11 casserole dish.
  5. Melt remaining 1/4 stick of margarine in margarine. Crush Ritz crackers and mix with margarine, then top Broccoli Cheese mixture with crackers.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until cooked through and crackers begin to brown. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/05/broccoli-cheese-casserole/

 

Looking for more recipe ideas? Visit the Passionate Penny Pincher Recipe Index


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Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

If you enjoy this recipe, I’d sure love for you to share it with your friends on Pinterest, and come join me there too!

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

If you’ve been looking for a way to make Macaroni and Cheese in the Slow Cooker, here you go! So simple, and a great way to pinch those pennies while eating at home. Enjoy!

 

As my son headed out the door on his way to school earlier this week, he said “Mom, can we please have Macaroni & Cheese for dinner tonight?”  Well, normally I don’t consider Mac & Cheese an entree, but I had everything we needed, and had been dying to try out some Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese in Mrs. Potts (I really didn’t think it would work . . . .)  Oh my goodness: it. was. perfect.

 

I’d seen several recipes for macaroni & cheese in the crockpot and read reviews saying they usually came out mushy, but this one was just right!  I skipped a few steps in the original recipe to make life easier, so it should take you ten minutes or less to get this recipe thrown together.   All I added were some Simple 7 Up Biscuits, green beans, salads and applesauce, which made for one yummy frugal feast at our house.  If  you’ve got some macaroni-and-cheese loving kids at your house I’m betting they’ll enjoy this one too.

 

 

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 box uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk (we used 1%)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

  1. Boil macaroni for six minutes and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, spray slow cooker with cooking spray and soften butter for a few seconds in the microwave to make everything easier to combine.
  3. Once pasta is cooked, combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir well.
  4. Cook on low for between 2 and 2 1/2 hours, stirring about every thirty minutes.
  5. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/02/slow-cooker-mac-cheese/

 

 

Looking for more slow cooker recipes to add to your menu plan this week? Here you go . . .

 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Ro-Tel Dip

Slow Cooker Chicken Ro Tel Dip, adapted from All Recipes

Earlier this week my twelve-year old was in charge of making pancakes for his little sister’s birthday. He did such a great job, but after mixing the batter in the Kitchenaid (he didn’t know you could mix it by hand), making a pancake the entire size of the griddle (he didn’t understand how quickly it would expand while he was dumping . . . his sister was thrilled with her 16″ inch round birthday pancake which took three of us to flip over), and cooking up the first batch to a nicely (errrr . . . more than nicely?) browned state, he said: “Seriously, mom . . . cooking should be a sport!”

 

To which I wisely replied, “Yup, and I do it. Every. single. day.”

 

Not easily impressed (of course. . . he’s twelve, right?), he quickly came back with. . . No, you don’t. You just dump everything in your crockpot and let it do the work.”

 

Guess he’s figured he out. 😉

 

Here’s another easy recipe that requires absolutely no skill at all so long as you can dump stuff in that crockpot of yours.  Because we all know us moms never do any work. (ahem.)

Slow Cooker Chicken Ro-Tel Dip

Slow Cooker Chicken Ro-Tel Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 lb. Velveeta
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded (or substitute with canned chicken)
  • 1/3 sour cream
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. taco seasoning mix
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper
  • 1 cup black beans, drained

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high until cheese has melted, 1-2 hours.
  3. Stir in black beans, reduce to low.
  4. Cook an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Serve over tortilla chips.
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/02/slow-cooker-chicken-ro-tel-dip/

 

Looking for more slow cooker recipes to add to your menu plan this week? Here you go . . .

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Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

please forgive the photo . . . it was late and we were hungry, so no time for a pretty pic! 😉

 

I saw this great recipe for Pesto Ranch Chicken Thighs over on Pinterest, but when I went to actually make it, I was missing almost all of the ingredients! Because I’ll do anything to avoid a last minute (un-planned) trip to the grocery store, I decided to see what I could come up with using what we did have on hand.

 

Guess what? This Slow Cooker Italian Chicken turned out perfectly!  I served it with green beans, mashed potatoes, and some of those Country Crock Apples that were $.50 at Publix last week (those taste just like Cracker Barrel. . . ), and my little family gobbled down every bite on their plate. I’m planning to shred the leftover chicken for lunch to make a Caesar Chicken Wrap.  Here’s the recipe if you’d like to add it to your menu plan:

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 - 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese (I used the DiGiorno grated cheese)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients, pour over chicken.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or on high 3-4 hours.
  4. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/02/slow-cooker-chicken-pesto/

Here are the sale items and coupons you’ll want to watch for this week (2/20/13) to pinch those pennies at Publix this week on this meal:

  • Crisco Olive Oil 16.9 oz BOGO $5.99 at Publix
  • Or Extra Light Olive Oil 17 oz. $2.79 at Aldi’s
  • Perdue Chicken Breast Individually Wrapped Frozen 32 oz. $6.99, use $1/1 Perdue Chicken Breast
  • Sam’s Club also has 6 lbs. Daily Chef Frozen boneless skinless chicken breast for $10.98 (makes it $1.83/lb.)

 

Looking for more slow cooker recipes to add to your menu plan this week? Here you go . . .

 

 

 

Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups, and check out $5 Dinner Mom for more bargain meal deals!  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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