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How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Sides

Crockpot Homemade Applesauce

Guest Post by: Katie at The Cutting Back Kitchen

By the time September hits, I have had more than my fill of summer, and I am ushering in the fall season.  The fall decorations come out, pumpkin lattes become all too often indulgence, I anxiously await the changing leaves, and the fall recipes make their yearly appearance.
I love fall recipes, and this applesauce is no exception!  If you have never made homemade applesauce, it is a must this year.  The taste exceeds the store bought variety by a mile.
The great thing about homemade applesauce is that you can enjoy it all year long; it doesn’t have to be just a “fall recipe”.  Every fall I buy about 20-30 pounds of apples and feed the freezer.  I take one day to peel, cook, and package up the yummy stuff in freezer bags, and we enjoy it all year!
3 pound bag of apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (or other sweetener)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup water
Place your apple slices in the bottom of a Crockpot.  (If you don’t have a Crockpot, you can make it on the stove.) Top with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Add the water. (I always just make sure to add enough water to cover the bottom of the Crockpot.)    Cook the applesauce on low for 4-6 hours or until apples are tender.  Once the apples are tender, mash them with a potato masher for a chunkier consistency.  For a smoother consistency, mix in blender.
This is more an idea, than an exact recipe you need to stick to.  I try to keep mine pretty low in sugar, but if you like yours sweeter add some more.  Sometimes I add a handful of frozen berries to add some color and lend a slightly different flavor.  Get creative!
Freezing Instructions
I just package mine in quart sized freezer bags.   Thaw and enjoy!

Katie blogs at The Cutting Back Kitchen.  Her passion is helping women serve up big flavors on a bland budget.  There you will read all about her newest recipes, couponing adventures, freezer cooking frenzies, and really…everything that is kitchen related!


Easy Shredded Beef Taco Meat In The Crockpot

I found this recipe online years ago. The story was that it came from small, family- run, Mexican restaurant in Chicago.  The original poster said he had to beg the owners for the recipe for at least a couple of years, until they rewarded him with a copy for being such a faithful customer.

It is a favorite of mine, and everyone I serve it to wants the recipe.
It really could not be easier!

Easy Shredded Beef Taco Meat
1lb. beef stew meat
3-4 cloves of garlic
3-4 Tbls Worchestishire Sauce
3 capfulls hot sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix all and cover with water in the crockpot.  (water should come to just above the mixture)
Cook 5-6 hours on low, until tender and can be shredded.  Drain.
Serve on tacos, with your choice of taco toppings.
Is also great on nachos!

This post is linked to:
Foodie Friday @ Designs By Gollum
Friday Food @ MomTrends

Healthy Eating/ Meals/ RECIPES

Simple Shredded Chicken

The last few weeks, I have been using this method of cooking my chicken, and really love the simplicity of it.  I stocked up on Smart Chicken Bone-In Chicken Breasts when they were on sale.  They come 2 to a package, which I have found makes about 2 cups of shredded chicken.  I use the bones to make Bone Stock, then I use the chicken in Chicken Soup for my husbands lunches, or I use it for different dinner recipes that I have (Chicken Tacos, Chicken & Rice casserole, Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Tortilla Soup, etc)

All I do is:
1.} Thaw the chicken
2.} Slice open package and get the chicken out with tongs so I don’t have to touch its slime:)
3.} Plop it in a stock pan
4.} Cover it with water
5.} Quarter an onion and add.
6.} Peel and cut in half 2-3 carrots, add.
7.} Wash and cut in half 2-3 celery stalks, add.
8.} Bring to boil
9.} Turn down heat and simmer for 11/2 hours, or until no longer pink.
10.} Take a long whiff of my incredible- smelling house.
11.}Remove chicken from broth using tongs (don’t pitch that broth!)
12.} Let cool.
13.} Take off bone and shred. (don’t throw away those bones!)
14.} Use in a recipe or freeze in a mason jar for later use.

Use bones to make very healthful chicken stock:
1.} Throw bones in crockpot
2.}Add broth saved from above steps.
3.} Do steps 4-7 above. (depending on how much broth you had from cooking chicken, you may not need to add water.  Just eyeball it and fill crockpot up about 2/3 full.)
4.} Add 1 Tbls vinegar (this helps all the healthful minerals extract from the bones into the stock)
5.} Cook in crockpot on low 12-14 hours.
6.} Cool and strain.
7.} Put in mason jar and freeze until needed.
8.} Remember to season with salt and pepper when ready to use.

Read this post for more information on the health benefits of making your own stock.

This post is linked to:
Food on Fridays @Ann Kroeker. Writer.
30 Minute Blog Challenge @ Steady Mom
Made It Mondays @ The Persimmon Perch

Homemaking/ Meals/ RECIPES

60 Nourishing Crockpot Recipes!

I’ve been surprised at how much fun I am having with the blogging community.  It is so fun learning and sharing with other mom’s/women!  My favorite fun is when one decides to have a “link up” party.

A “Link-Up” or “Linky” party is when one blogger allows other bloggers to come to her site, and leave a link to one of their own posts.  Different link parties have different themes.  I was very excited about a “Nourishing Crockpot Recipe” theme.
I think the beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to simplify, so I plan on using my crock-pot more often, especially when I have 60 healthful recipes to choose from!  Thank you, Lindsey @ Passionate Homemaking for hosting.

Crockpot Beef Stew

It’s been cold and snowy here in Nebraska.  I was aching for a bowl of beef stew so I brought up the website and found this simple recipe, and hoped for the best.  What I got was a very easy, flavorful stew.  It hit the spot… ooooh yeah…yum.

If you want to read reviews and nutrition information, go to

Crock-Pot Beef Stew


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped


  1. Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

How-Tos/ Meals/ RECIPES/ Sides

Rotisserie Chicken In The Crock Pot/Healthy Chicken Stock

My oldest girl is home from school with a fever today.  I’m going to make her some homemade chicken noodle soup, but the poor thing will have to wait for a day.  Today I am making Rotisserie Chicken in the crockpot, that will stretch to 3 meals, one of them being Homemade Chicken Soup.

What I like about this recipe is how easy it is, how cheap it is, and how you can use the bones to make a super healthy, full of nutrients and minerals, homemade chicken stock.  If I am going to take the time to make homemade chicken soup, I want to know that it really is going to make a difference in the health of my family.

I have learned that the key to the most healthful soup is not only the veggies in the soup but the chicken stock itself.  Don’t throw away those chicken bones!  By cooking the heck out of those bones, you are extracting the gelatin, which is a nutritious source of protein, as well as collagen, calcium, minerals and amino acids.

I had no idea until recently that bone stock was such a big deal! It strengthens the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system, plus it takes the flavor and texture of your soup and savory dishes to a whole new level.

Chefs worldwide and through the centuries have sought out this marrow bone stock as a very important ingredient for soups, sauces, and pilafs.

The stocks you can buy at the store do contain gelatin but is thinned down with water so the gelatin content is very low.  They have to make up the flavor somehow, so they use additives: salt, yeast extracts, and MSG.



Knowing what I know now, I am going to be much more purposeful about saving bones and making my own stock, especially if I can make a whole chicken stretch over a few meals.  My plan for the chicken sitting in my crockpot right now, is to eat some of the Rotisserie-Style Chicken with rice and veggies tonight, then I will cook my (chicken :))bones in the crockpot overnight, to make stock for my chicken noodle soup (stock, some of the chicken meat, potatoes, carrots, onion, peas, noodles, and seasonings) and whatever chicken is left will go into chicken fajitas!  (I use this recipe on my sister’s blog, but instead of grilled chicken, I use shredded chicken. The seasoning I use is a garlic and pepper grill seasoning called Misty’s, it is sold here in Nebraska, but you can order it online

Rotisserie Chicken In The Crockpot

(recipe from A Year Of Slow Cooking)

–1 whole chicken, skinned (4-5 pounds)

–2 tsp kosher salt (if you’d like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
–1 tsp paprika
–1 tsp onion powder
–1/2 tsp dried thyme
–1 tsp Italian seasoning
–1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
–1/2 tsp black pepper
–pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)

–4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
–1 yellow onion, quartered (optional)

The Directions.

I used a 6-quart crockpot for a 5-pound bird. It fit nicely.

In a bowl, combine all of the dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crockpot.

If desired, shove 4 whole garlic cloves and a quartered onion inside the bird.

Do not add water.

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.

***Update:  I just made chicken in my crockpot today but was in a rush so instead of the above seasonings, I just dumped Old Bay Seasoning all over the chicken and added some pepper.  It really tasted good, it is a great alternative for those days you just don’t feel like measuring!

Bone Stock
Chicken bones or carcass
Water to cover (about 6 cups)
1 tsp vinegar for every 4 cups of water (helps extract the good stuff from the bones)
onion, cut in large chunks
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
2 stalks celery, cut in large chunks
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 T. Italian seasoning
Dump all into the crockpot.  Cover and cook 8-10 hours.  (I do overnight)  Remove from heat and cool completely.  Strain the stock.  Pour into jars or freezer bags in manageable portions.  If using ziplock, lay on a cookie sheet to freeze flat, they will be much easier to fit into your freezer.  I have also seen people freeze their stock in ice cube trays and dump the cubes into a large ziplock.

There is no salt added to this recipe, but the stock will need salt for flavor.  When I use it in my recipes, I will taste and salt as needed.  The overall sodium content will be much lower than store bought broths/stocks.  

I’m happy to know that there will be healthy, homemade stock in my freezer, so the next time one of my little boos get sick, I will be able to make the soup that same day!

Click here for how-to make the above Chicken Soup.