In my attempt to have a healthier lifestyle, I have discovered that I don't eat dinner on Wednesday nights & that is a BAD thing! I have decided that as long as a the girls & I are within an hour of Somerville & no one is sick, we will be at First Baptist Somerville on Sundays & Wednesdays. On Wednesday, I get off at 5 & our activities start at 6. The church does provide a meal on Wednesday evenings that starts at 5:30...but I have 2 girls who REALLY like to take their time & enjoy their time at the dinner table & I don't like to rush them. When activities started up, I started having my mother-in-law (who keeps the girls when they aren't at preschool & while we're at work) feed them something easy for dinner (sandwich or hot dog) before I get home. But I would end up not eating & just eat some junk before I went to bed...again, not good for a healthier lifestyle.
So I decided to start putting something in the CrockPot Wednesday mornings, doing all my prep work Tuesday evening. That way the girls are getting a good meal (starting a little before I get home to ensure they have plenty of time) without my mother-in-law having to cook for them (she already does ABOVE & BEYOND when she keeps the girls) AND there is a warm meal for me & anyone else that happens to decide to want one. This Wednesday was Small Crowd CrockPot Spaghetti & Bacon Bacon Cheddar Bread. I have a slightly different recipe for CrockPot Spaghetti if feeding a larger crowd or taking to a Pot Luck. BTW, the Small Crowd recipe fed the girls & I on Wednesday & then Greg & his parents on Thursday evening (while the girls & I had Mommy Bible Study/Kid Play Date at our house with another CrockPot recipe....another blog posting to come).
Here are the recipes & steps I used, along with some of my favorite products, indicated by **. I use some of these favorite products just for quickness or cause it's what I already have in the house or I just REALLY LOVE the product. If you want these products & don't know or have a consultant, I can share the info of the onese I use.
Small Crowd CrockPot Spaghetti
List of Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp miced onion (I used Tastefully Simple Onion Onion**)
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp garlic (I used Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic**)
8 oz tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (I use Pampered Chef Italian Seasoning**)
3 cups tomato juice
Big can of diced tomatoes
1 small package of spaghetti
Bacon Bacon Cheddar Bread
List of Ingredients:
Bountiful Bread Mix (Tastefully Simple & Pampered Chef BOTH offer these**)
12 oz of carbonated beverage (Sprite Zero, Beer, Mountain Dew, Coke...whatever you have in your house)
2 Tbsp Bacon Bacon (Tastefully Simple product**)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp melted butter (I used 4 Tbsp divided so I could use the whole half stick)
My Prep & Steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 & grease 9x5 loaf pan. Featured products: Tastefully Simple loaf pan & Pampered Chef Kitchen Spritzer (healther than spray out of the aerosol can)
2. Add bread mix & beveral in a bowl; quickly & firmly stir together 20-30 seconds. Add Bacon Bacon, cheese, & 3 Tbsp of melted butter.
3. Spread mixture into loaf pan.
4. Spread remaining 1 Tbsp of melted butter on top.
5. Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown & pulls away from sides.
6. While the bread is baking, I browned the ground beef. Featured Product: Pampered Chef Mix & Chop**
7. Once the ground beef is brown, I drained it & put it in the fridge till I was ready for it on Wednesday Morning.
8. Once the time went off & it looked like this, I pulled the bread out of the oven. You let it set in the pan for 5 minutes.
9. Remove from pan & let it cool on a rack (Pampered Chef product**) for 30 minutes. At this point you can slice it, but I put it back in the loaf pan & covered it till we were ready for it.
9. Wednesday morning, I got up & put all spaghetti ingredients EXCEPT THE NOODLES into the CrockPot on Low (it can cook at this setting for 6-8 hours).
Then I went to work.
10. Turn the CrockPot on High the last 45 minutes to hour & add the spaghetti noodles.
11. I wanted the bread to seem fresh (warm & just out of the oven); so I sliced what I needed for the girls & myself, spread butter on 1 side, & broiled the slices for 5 minutes.