Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

This was dinner.  So delicious.  I ate it over Zoodles (zucchini noodles) and the kids ate it with whole wheat spaghetti.  Maria thought it was great that I put her vegetables right in the sauce!  I was just happy that the kids ate it.  The first time I think they’ve eaten homemade sauce without complaints… plus there was no added sugar.  I figured the carrots and the fire-roasted tomatoes would add enough sweetness. PLUS this was totally Whole 30 compliant!

Just a couple minor tweaks from the original that I found at  Wellness Witness
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce #whole30

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

2 onions, chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 lbs ground beef
3- 28oz cans crushed FIRE-ROASTED tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp. basil (dried)
1 tsp. onion powder
12 oz frozen spinach*

In large skillet, heat up the Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Medium-High heat. Add
the carrots, onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  Once done, drain fat and then add to a large slow cooker.

Add all other ingredients and stir. Cook for 8-9 hours on low.

This makes LOTS!  It is probably 3-4 meals total.  I love having a stocked up freezer!

*I found a bag of frozen spinach at Trader Joe’s.. it wasn’t as mushy as the traditional frozen box, you typically find…


Grilled Cheeseburger Wrap

I made these for dinner a couple weeks ago. And everyone loved them! I used a dairy-free cheese for Maria’s. And for the kids, I diced up the tomatoes to better disguise them in the wrap.  Also I added mustard to the beef mixture, because we are all fans of mustard in our house!  Very easy to prepare the ground beef the night before.


Grilled Cheeseburger Wrap

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 sandwich wraps (I use Flatout Wraps)
sliced or shredded cheese (I used cheddar and dairy-free cheddar)
2 roma tomatoes, sliced (or diced for fussy eaters)
1 cup of romaine lettuce
Additional ketchup (optional)
Additional Mustard (optional)


  1. In a medium to large skillet coated with cooking spray cook the beef on medium till almost cooked through but still a little pink (about 7-10 minutes). Break beef up as it cooks. (I prepared the hamburger in the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, 4 minutes on high, break up, then an additional 2 min on high)
  2. Add worcestershire, ketchup, grated parmesan, dried onion flakes, salt, and pepper to the beef. Mix together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Continue cooking until beef is cooked all the way through and is no longer pink.
  4. Preheat grill plan or indoor grill.
  5. In the center of  the wrap place cheese and 1/2 cup of the beef mixture. Add tomato and lettuce. Then if you are using, add some more ketchup and mustard.
  6. Roll the wrap and place seam side down on grill. Once there are nice grill marks turn over. Grill for another 2-3 minutes then remove.
  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the rest of the wraps.

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

So good!  I loved this too.


Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 5
Salt and pepper
1 cup of honey
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds

  1. Place the chicken thighs in the crockpot insert and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well. Pour over the chicken in the crockpot.
  3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
  4. When done, remove chicken from stock pot and cut into chunks. Prior to putting the chicken back in the stockpot, combine some cornstarch in water and whisk it into the crockpot to thicken up the sauce a bit. Throw the chicken back in and stir around to recoat the chicken in the sauce.
  5. Serve hot over a bed of white rice (optional) and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs

I found this recipe on Six Sister’s Stuff and made it tonight. We loved it! I used Sutton & Dodge meatballs found in SuperTarget’s meat department. I also added 3 sliced carrots! Yummm!
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs
32 oz. package of precooked, frozen meatballs (you could use turkey meatballs)
13.5 oz can of unsweetened pineapple chunks (put juice aside)
1 large green pepper, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup of brown sugar
2 Tbl. cornstarch
2/3 cup of vinegar
2 Tbl. Soy sauce
Place meatballs in crock pot and top with green pepper, carrot, and drained pineapple chunks. In a separate bowl, mix reserved pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and soy sauce. Pour sauce over meatballs, pineapple and green peppers. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

COOL WHIP Whipped Topping


Thank you COOL WHIP for sponsoring this post. Join us on Facebook for inspiration and recipes for everyday treats. What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

COOL WHIP Whipped Topping.  Yum!  A childhood favorite, not only mine, but now my kids love it too! It was for special occasions when I was a kid, which was usually at my grandparents.  COOL WHIP whipped topping on pie, gelatin salads or desserts.  And being from the Midwest, it always made appearances at potlucks!  But my favorite part was licking the tub in my grandma’s kitchen.

Whipped topping adds a touch of special-ness to our everyday food.  With a busy schedule, I am finally learning to keep things simple.  And as much as I wish I could make everything from scratch, when I can’t I’m always looking for ways to “doctor them up” to add a little “Wow” factor for my kids. COOL WHIP whipped topping is a simple way to meals and snacks a bit extra special.

  • On strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, bananas, and other fresh fruit – YUM!
  • On ice cream sundaes – YUM!
  • Banana splits minus the ice cream?  Yep – Bananas, a little Chocolate Syrup and COOL WHIP whipped topping!   YUM!
  • On pudding – YUM!  (Butterscotch is our favorite flavor)
  • On cake or cupcakes– YUM!  No need to frost a cake, especially in the warmer weather. Whipped Topping is the perfect “frosting” for cake and cupcakes.
  • In your coffee – If you like cream and sugar in your coffee, you will like COOL WHIP whipped topping in it too!
  • On top of waffles, pancakes or French toast with fresh fruit – peaches & blueberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Especially easy with frozen waffles.
  • Make a graham cracker sandwich with jam and a little whipped topping between the crackers.

And if you’re having company, there are so many easy desserts that everyone will love like…

  • All things Banana Cream (my husband’s favorite) – cupcakes, pudding
  • Angel Trifle
  • Tres Leches Cake
  • Add it to ice cream shakes with ice cream and fruit to make it especially creamy – don’t forget to add a dollop to the top!

And one of my favorite desserts, especially as we move into warmer weather and berry season – Angel food cake and strawberries.  It’s a hit with everyone!  Made especially easy with a fresh angel food cake from the bakery.   Of course, topped with a dollop of COOL WHIP whipped topping!

It’s easy to have on hand and the possibilities of how to use it are pretty endless. Summer is the perfect time to add a refreshing taste of COOL WHIP whipped topping to your day.  What’s your favorite way to enjoy COOL WHIP whipped topping?

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a favorite in our house. I grew up associating them with birthday parties. They are one of my favorite comfort foods. Plus easy and quick and my kids eat them (bonus!).

Somewhere along the way, I came up with this version of them and pretty much stick to it, although there are a few ingredients that are occasionally added or subbed depending on my mood, and I rarely measure; there is a lot of tasting going on! AND there are a few ways to make them, again depending on mood. Lately my favorite is in the microwave in my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, but stovetop and even crockpot work just as well!  This is a “quick to the table” meal and works great if made ahead of time and reheated.
Sloppy JoesPin It

Sloppy Joes

1 – 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 can Chicken Gumbo Soup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce – (Sweet Baby Ray’s is my sauce of choice)
2 tbsp mustard
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Ground the ground beef and drain.  Add in remaining ingredients. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from heat.  Sauce will thicken the longer you let it sit uncovered.

Microwave: Cook in covered glass or stoneware dish for 4 minutes. Break up ground beef and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.  Drain. Add ingredients and stir. Microwave (covered) for 3 more minutes. Remove, stir and let stand uncovered for 3-5 minutes.

Crockpot, for larger batches: Ground beef on stovetop or in microwave.  Drain the meat. Add to crockpot with other ingredients.  If I triple (or more) the batch, I usually cut back on one can of soup. Cook on low for 1-2 hours.

Other ingredients: chopped green peppers, can of diced tomatoes, ketchup (instead of BBQ), splash or 2 of white vinegar (especially if only using ketchup), white sugar (instead of brown)

Maria’s Flower Garden Project

A couple weeks ago, Maria, Charlie and I spent a fun day at a friend’s house doing lots of activities including a fun friend flower project. Since Maria loves projects (mostly because her Grandma bought her a bunch of princess glue sticks) we decided to do the project at home and make a garden of flowers with her cousins’ (and friend Lilah’s) pictures!

First we cut our pictures into 3″ circles and then cut out the flowers from construction paper. (I made this template and then printed it directly onto my construction paper)

Next, Maria used her glue sticks to glue the pictures to center of back flower.

Flower Project

She then glued the front flower on.

Flower Project

Decorated with glitter glue.

Flower Project

She was pretty proud of her project, but she lost interest while they were drying, so I finished by painting craft sticks green (although you can buy already colored sticks), and adding the sticks and leaves!

Flower Project

Flower Project

Froggy Gets Dressed

Maria and I went to the library a few weeks ago and came home with the book, Froggy Gets Dressed, by Jonathan London. 

It was just a random book that I thought looked appropriate for her age.  She LOVES this book. Not looking forward to returning it.  I think it was about a week before she pretty much knew it cover to cover!  Love hearing her reading the book to herself or with Chad. 

So I highly recommend* checking it out for your toddler-preschooler. I’m looking forward to reading more Froggy books with her.

*I will warn you that in the story his mother tells him to back to bed and he instead gets up and goes outside 3x… there was one negative review about that on, but in the end he learns his lesson and I don’t think we can blame Maria’s not listening to this book.

Chicken Macaroni Bake

I had this recipe set aside to try. Chad is always up for a good hotdish (or casserole as you may call it).

Last week I made a turkey breast in the crockpot, so I used the leftovers for this instead of chicken. It was delicious!! Total comfort food and easy to prepare ahead of time. I’m not so sure about what is involved with buttered bread crumbs, so I just crumbled some Ritz crackers over the top.

Chicken (or Turkey) Macaroni Bake

1/4 cup Onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
10.5 ounces cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups chicken (or Turkey), cooked & cubed
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces pasta, any variety, cooked
1/8 cup buttered bread crumbs or Ritz cracker crumbs

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Brown onion in butter. Stir in soup, chicken, milk, and 3/4 cups cheese; heat until cheese melts. Blend sauce with cooked noodles; pour into buttered baking dish. Mix the remaining cheese and bread (cracker) crumbs and place on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot.

Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot

I love Steel Cut Oats, but I just don’t have the patience to cook them in the morning.  But for Christmas, I received a 1.5 quart crockpot (and used it 3 times so far), so it’s the perfect size for a batch, and provides leftovers for a few days as well!  Maria LOVES oatmeal right now, so it’s perfect!

I started with the recipe that I found via Google at Mommy’s Kitchen.  She suggests trying a double boiler method with the crockpot, but I had success with my crockpot and clean up was not a hassle.  But I wouldn’t attempt this in a bigger crockpot as it may overcook. If you don’t have a small one, try her double boiler method.  I know other people who cook theirs this way too.

Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1 – fresh apple (chopped)
1/4 cup brown sugar*
1 – tbsp butter
1/2 – tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon*

Measure out one cup of steel cut oats. Pour that into the crockpot. Add the four cups of water, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, apple and cinnamon sugar.
Place the lid on your crock pot. Set on low and go to bed!

*I will probably play around with the amounts next time to make it a bit sweeter…