Two words: dinner hour.
Two more words: shoot me.
Between kids’ activities, Scott’s work schedule, my graphic design work and my inability to drink Dr Pepper intravaneously, preparing for dinner sometimes puts me in the crazy house. It also means that sometimes we eat nachos for dinner with a side of goldfish. Just keeping it real.
I try, very hard, to prepare great meals for the family that fit within our $250/week grocery budget. And, as much as I love to cook, when you prepare food for an army around the clock, sometimes you just want the food to cook itself.
Enter, my new kitchen BFF:
Most of my previous slow cooker recipes entailed a big hunk of meat, some spice packets or cream of “something” and then letting it simmer all day. It was great food, but the troops were all “it all tastes the same, mom” and I was starting to give up on my slow cooker.
But, isn’t it fun when Instagram saves the day? One of my favorite grammers, Samantha at Five Heart Home has a fantastic feed, and food blog. Did I mention she’s an Aggie Catholic who lives in Austin?! She shared the awesomeness of her new cookbook, Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers, and I was intrigued. When she said there were no spice packets or soup cans involved, I was sold. Isn’t that so great for folks with food allergies, too? A cookbook to love!
We’re 8 recipes in and they have all gotten thumbs up from the kids (and several got two thumbs up). So far, we’ve tried:
Stacked Sante Fe Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Alfredo Tortellini
Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers
Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Dippers
Chicken Parmesan Soup
Raspberry-Chipotle Chicken Sliders
Mini Pulled-Pork Pizzas
Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
To say we love it is an understatement. Every recipe has a photo, that Samantha took, so you can see just how it should look. Quite honestly, mine have been pretty close and that’s not because I’m some awesome chef. She is. Samantha also shares some insight on each recipe and few tips and tricks to make it awesome. It’s almost like she’s in the kitchen cooking with you. I kinda love that.
QVC even came calling and she appeared on the show and rocked the segment. What?! In the cookbook, she also shares some quick seasonings and stock recipes you can make to have on hand that save you time and money – yes, please. This cookbook is so much more than I imagined and y’all know how much I love me some Southern Living cookbooks. It can also save you during the holidays. Holla.
Last week, she and I finally met in real life and shared, what else, Torchy’s tacos and green chile queso. We chatted Catholic schools, Aggie football, blogging and her cookbook – all while being stalked by an army of grackels who stole one of our chips. True story. I’m still in bird therapy. If only I could share Samantha’s passion for this book. The hours she spent making it just right, taking all those photos and putting her life into it – such admirable dedication. I’m so very proud of her!
The best part? I’m giving THREE away. Yes, three. You can enter here on the blog, or over on Instagram. Y’all know how Rafflecopter works. Get to it. Or, you can just order it and get to cooking a little faster.
Happy cooking, y’all!