Slow Cooker Spare Ribs, Sauerkraut, and Potatoes

Slow Cooker Spare Ribs, Sauerkraut, and Potatoes

The slow cooker is a wonderful tool for helping prepare dinner on a busy weeknight, but most recipes are only for the entrée.  I love this recipe because it’s for a complete meal in the slow cooker that takes care of  itself while I’m at work.  All I need to do is come home and serve it.  Actually, there’s other one step that makes the ribs prettier, but it’s completely optional.

Jack-o-lantern Brownie

The first time I made this was when I was in college.  It was first year that baker’s man and I were together.  I wanted to impress him with my domestic skills, but I wasn’t really good at cake decorating.  Instead of the usual way to decorate, I used a bag of m&m’s and some jelly candies that we had on hand to decorate a pan of brownies.    It was a tradition early in our marriage, but after we had kids, we eventually switched to making mud for Halloween dessert. 

Cream cheese and pepper jelly decorated wtih ripe olives make the perfect appetizer for your halloween buffet

A Simple, Frank, Halloween Appetizer

If you are looking for an easy appetizer that is sure to impress, we have the perfect solution for you.  This Frankenstein appetizer is made from only three ingredients.  It’s easy to prepare, and your friends will think that you are a Halloween  menu planning genius. 

Four simple and delicious appetizer recipes to make in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Appetizer Recipes for “Crocktober”

I love my slow cooker.  I add ingredients to the ceramic crock, and when I return,  there’s  a prepared entrée or even a complete meal.  My slow cooker is a life saver on busy weeknights.  Since this is October, a month being referred to as “Crocktober” in certain circles, I decided to share four of Patty Cake’s Pantry’s favorite slow cooker appetizer recipes.   After all, there are many reasons to gather together this month.  In addition to Halloween, there’s football and the World Series

Baked Pork Chops Puttanesca

Baked Pork Chops Puttanesca

Pork Chops Puttanesca is another one of those simple meals that practically cook themselves in a large baking dish.   The ingredients can be combined the night before and the pork chops allowed to marinate in the tomatoes, herbs, and spices.  This helps your Pork Chops Puttanesca to be more tender.    It’s a simple and delicious meal that’s perfect for a busy weeknight.

$25 menu plan, weekly review

$25 Grocery Budget–Week Six Review

The sixth week of our $25 grocery budget challenge is finished, and I will no longer be posting my grocery hauls and menu plan here on Patty Cake’s Pantry.   This challenge has been a learning experience for all of us, and I was surprised that I didn’t feel like we were deprived during this time.  Except for my refusal to buy soft drinks, no one had any complaints.  I bought soft drinks for our family during my over budget, third week on this challenge.     Since soft drinks have no nutritional value, and they are expensive, I am attempting to relegate […]

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

What do you do when you are trying to cut back on bread, but the family wants to grill burgers?  It’s simple.  You make a cheeseburger salad.  If you want to make it even better, make it a bacon cheeseburger salad.  This salad is a definite winner in our house. 

$25 Grocery Haul and Menu Plan--Week 6

$25 Grocery Haul and Menu Plan–Week 6

This is going to be my last week posting this experiment, but I plan to continue with a more restrictive grocery budget until the week before Thanksgiving.   I think that I will follow Amanda’s lead, and allow $30.00 per week for our family’s groceries, but I know that as long as I have a plan, and stick to it, I will be able to adhere to this budget without our family feeling deprived.    This week, I did something different. 

$25 menu plan, weekly review

$25 Grocery Budget–Week 5 Review

The fifth week of my challenge has come and gone, and we did much better this week than last, but we continue to have difficulty with adhering to our menu plan.  Sue Chef pointed out that it has been a month, and we have still not had pulled pork sliders or Linguine with Clam Sauce.  She’s right, but fortunately, the ingredients for those two dishes are safely stored in the freezer and in the pantry.  She also pointed out that the Menu Board really is a Suggestions Board.   This is true. 

Shrimp Louie Salad

Shrimp Louie

Shrimp Louie is another salad that I first learned about during visits to Castagnola’s Lobster House in Santa Barbara.  The salad is simple to prepare, cool, crunchy, and very satisfying.  The combination of the sweetness from the shrimp and the heat from the green onions and radishes tantalizes your taste buds and makes this a perfect dinner salad for a hot summer evening.