Monday, February 27, 2012

Speedbo Prep with Missy Tippens! What Will you be Eating?

Missy Tippens, here. Are you already prepping for Speedbo? I know I am! So I thought I’d share some suggestions for preparing food during a busy month. I had planned to make a shopping list for you, but I decided you’d want to make your own according to what recipes and suggestions appeal to you. I’ll include my favorite quick meal ideas and will also share input from two other Seekers.

Advice from Gynna Kaye:

I like to freeze things that warm up well for evening meals--spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, taco beef, shredded BQ chicken. Baking potatoes also come in handy--they can be cooking on their own in the oven while I keep writing. I also make salads in advance as well, either for lunch or dinner.

Breakfast is something fast but healthy--like instant oatmeal with fresh fruit.

I get sleepy if I eat a very big mid-day meal--I'm better off eating frequent small meals throughout the day when I'm heading for a deadline. So I stock up on items I can eat at my desk--apples, clementines, grapes, walnuts, almonds, celery.  It's important, too, to keep a frequently filled glass or bottle of water nearby as dehydration can also make me sluggish.

Ruth Logan Herne has these suggestions:

I survive on tuna sandwiches and paninis. And the occasional real meal, but rare. We buy ham, bologna, turkey, salami, thuringer... Whatever's on sale that week.

[Note from Missy: What on earth is thuringer??? I looked it up. Seems to be a type of German sausage. You’re welcome. :)]

More from Ruthy:

Salad base ready in fridge all the time. Throw on some cheese, some sunflower seeds, DONE. (See Ruthy’s post at the Yankee-Belle Café on this one.)

Once-a-week Chinese take-out. Dave figures that's his meal contribution.

Coffee. Diet soda. Assorted flavors so I don't get bored. Assorted creamers, same reason.

Okay, Missy again. Some foods I like to keep around when I’m near deadlines or doing Speedbo:

One of our Favorites!

--Frozen pizzas. I know. It’s not the healthiest. But the kids love them and can make them by themselves. Same thing with hotdogs and lunchmeat for sandwiches.

--Breakfast food for dinner—like frozen pancakes or waffles, Poptarts, pre-cooked bacon you heat in the microwave, instant oatmeal or cereal. See the Café for my favorite oatmeal recipe.

--Muffins, made ahead and frozen for a quick snack or breakfast. Love Inspired Suspense author Sandra Orchard is sharing a recipe that’s mentioned in her new release, Shades of Truth, at the Café today! Click here to visit. Also, you can click here to find my easy-peasy two-ingredient pumpkin muffin recipe.

--If I’m grabbing a meal for myself, omelets can be filling and healthy as well as quick. Click here to see my favorite at the Café.

--Crock-Pot meals that make enough for leftovers are great paired with a pre-packaged side dish like Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes or mac and cheese. Here are two recipes that I love and another I plan to try:

Crock-Pot Spicy Beef

Beef roast (I don’t even brown it first, just pop it in)
1 jar pepperoncini peppers (including the liquid)
1 packet McCormick Au jus gravy mix
Cook on low all day or on high 4-6 hours.

Crock-Pot Chicken
[Note, this is from memory so may not be exact. Adjust amounts to suit your taste]

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 can (about 8-12 ounces) V-8 juice (or tomato juice) diluted with water to cover the chicken
Salt, pepper, or other spices, to taste (I like to add a little sesame oil)
Chicken (I use breasts or tenderloins)
Cook on low all day.

Crock-Pot Pork Roast
[Note: I haven’t tried this yet. I jotted the recipe while watching a show on Food Network and now can’t find it on their website! The recipe was not done in the Crock-pot but I plan to do it that way.]

Boston Butt pork roast (bone in)
2 cinnamon sticks
Whole head of garlic with the end cut off
Salt to taste
1 can condensed milk
1 can Coke/Pepsi
A little water

Make slices through the roast to the bone to allow flavors to seep in
Put everything in the cooker and cook on low all day. Shred meat and serve with tortillas or in taco shells.


**We’ll accept your recipes until 12:00 noon on Tuesday, Feb. 28th**

1. Prepare your recipe labeled with your name the way you want to be listed (yes, you’ll get credit for your recipe!).

2. Send the recipe only (no photos) to:

I’ll compile these and Tina will put them into a PDF that will have a link from our website. We appreciate your input to help us eat through March! Our families thank you as well. :)

3. Remember, the deadline is NOON TOMORROW!

March is HERE and along with SPEEDBO in SEEKERVILLE, we've got some Irish stuff cookin' at the Cafe! If you have an Irish or Celtic or spring favorite you'd like to share, e-mail us at

We'll get you in the kitchen while we man the coffee pots! And don't be shy... oh my stars, the days of being shy around us are long past!!!

I can’t let February pass by without mentioning the fact I have a Love Inspired book out this month! A House Full of Hope (4-1/2 stars from RT!) is still available from

More info at


  1. Pull up a seat. Have a cup of fresh brewed coffee!

    I like to put a roast in the crock pot and let it cook until extremely tender, shred it, dump BBQ sauce on it, and put it on buns. It's fast and easy, and we like it.


  2. Missy thanks for the definition of thuringer, now could you also explain sloppy joes. here they are another name for a sweater.
    I think the mac and cheese is like me having cans of spaghetti and baked beans on hand. I know its not for speedbo but I have taken to freezing rolls ready made. where my friend lives an hour away they have a really good baker and the rolls and bread are all natural not persevatives etc so when she comes this way will bring a dozen hi fibre low GI white rolls which I then will make up (with vegemite an butter) and freeze on there own for a quick lunch etc.

  3. vegemite is a spread made with yeast and salty, (Camy has tried it) its an Aussie icon. you can see more at
    its best spread thinly.

  4. Hmmm okay then I'll share sloppy joes.

    Hamburger and tomato sauce

    Ladle onto a toasted hamburger bun.


  5. so thats why its sloppy? Sauce is what you call ketchup right?
    right now it doesn't sound appealing but hopefully in a few days! I had toast and vegemite for tea.

  6. Ketchup is a dressing like mustard.

    Tomato sauce is like spaghetti sauce.

  7. First, A House Full of Hope deserved EVERY ONE of those stars, Missy Tippens!!!!

    And oh my stars, this is a great reminder that preparation (especially if you have family to contend with) is the key to jumping in, both feet, for Speedbo!

    Missy, thank you so much for doing this! I need to try that pork recipe because the idea of Coke in my crock pot... Just amazing and probably LOVELY!

  8. Tina turned us on to Bear Creek soup mixes.

    They have become a staple in our house for writing nights.

    Buy them at Walmart, grocery stores, online at Amazon... They are awesome and make a half-gallon of soup.

    Two meals: DONE!

  9. Wish I was doing speedbo! Frozen pizza is a staple in our house.

    Congrats on your RT review!! So exciting!

  10. Love this post! You are mentioning all my favs--sloppy joes--Jenny--I make sloppy joes like my mom--hamburger meat, ketchup, and dill relish--mix it all up to taste. I LOVE them!
    And my fav frozen pizza is Digornos--(spelling)-sorry. :)
    I have a couple recipes to send in--super easy stuff--
    Since we are empty-nesters my hubby is so amazing when it comes to food--he'll do whatever-eat left-overs-soup and cheese quesadillas--bologna sandwiches--occasionally I'll buy some lean cuisine meals for us-but not too often-Oh, and the Bertollini--frozen dinners--they are quick and yummy.
    Go Speed-Bo!

  11. Good morning, everyone! I need to feed dogs and kids and will be back to check in soon.

    Of course, that's after my first cup of coffee as well! (Thanks, Helen!)


  12. Good morning, Seekers. I'm blessed with a husband who cooks. Unfortunately, afterward the kitchen resembles a tornado victim. (smile)

    Congratulations on the book, Missy.

    I can't wait for speedbo. Today I'm deep cleaning my house in the hopes that little maintenance will be needed during March. :)

  13. Great suggestions for SpeedBo meal prep, Missy! The crock pot is a huge help, but whenever I use it, the wonderful aromas make me hungry all day!

    I loved A House Full of Hope! A wonderful, heartwarming story!

    Jenny, I had to smile that sloppy joes is another name for a sweater. Here it's cooked ground beef in tomato sauce with spices and is messy, thus sloppy, no idea where Joe came from.


  14. Missy, your crock pot roast beef has become a staple in the Harders' household! Beef, pepperocini and au jus...what could be easier and it's delicious!!!!!!

    LOL, the frozen pizza thing is so our house, too. When Bud discovered food (we were lucky, he didn't start eating like an elephant until Junior year high school), he'd eat a frozen pizza for breakfast.

    A whole pizza. Imagine that. He's still skinny as a rail. Oh heavy sigh,there is no justice in this lifetime.

    Thanks for all the great tips, Missy!

  15. Oh man, Missy, I haven't had breakfast yet, so now I'm ravenous!!

    I find Quaker Oats instant flavored oatmeals (my fave is peach) to be quick and easy (two minutes to cook, I generally let sit and cool anywhere from five minutes to ... uh ... even an hour when I'm writing, so yes, I have to re-add milk and reheat!!

    Now I seem to be on a blueberry bagel kick, but they are so much more caloric the way I eat butter with them that sometimes I wonder why I just don't eat the butter alone in a dish!!

    The easiest meal I have is spaghetti from a jar, but trust me, it's not just any spaghetti. It's Aldi's spaghetti sauce, which is probably a St. Louis company, but WOW, is it good!! Shop 'N Save's is too, both WAY better than the brand names such as Prego. In fact, I used to slow-cook my own spaghetti sauce with ground beef, sausage, etc. all day and all night in a crock pot for YEARS until one day I picked my kids up from my friend's, and she was feeding them dinner. "Sit down and eat," she tells me, so I do, and I almost went crazy over her spaghetti sauce. "OH MY GOSH," I cried, I need this recipe!! "Sure," she says, and strolls over to the pantry. I haven't made homemade spaghetti since!!


  16. Helen, I like your idea of barbecue sauce on the meat! I do that sometimes for leftovers. But in the case of Speedbo, that sounds quick and easy on the first round. :)

    Jenny, I need to share a sloppy joe recipe at the Cafe! I usually just use a can of Manwich. But we have a friend from church who makes the most amazing sloppy joes! I'll have to get his recipe and share.

  17. Tina, thanks for explaining ketchup and tomato sauce. :) And Jenny, thanks for explaining vegmite. Isn't it amazing the different foods we have!

  18. Ruhty, dear, your check is in the mail. ;)

    I love the idea of coke in that recipe, too! I found another one (I think it was one of Ree's) that has Dr. Pepper! I love it!

  19. Ruthy, thanks for reminding about soup!

    Jessica, thank you! We can't wait for your LIH release, Love on the Range, in April!! Woot!

  20. Lindi!! Yay, I hope you'll share your Crock-Pot macaroni and cheese recipe!! That's a family staple around here, too. :)

  21. Bridgett, you're so blessed with a cooking husband! Mine could survive on his own but would live off salads and delivery pizza. :)

    Although I have to give him credit. He's learned to cook spaghetti noodles and open a jar of sauce. :)

  22. Wow Missy, Love all the recipes. I'm like Julie, you've made me hungry.

    Crock pot meals are a staple here too and like Lindi, with just the two of us, a crock pot meal goes for two or three dinners.

    A quickie I make sounds strange but is fast and YUMMY. Put two corn tortillas on a plate, pour some salsa on them (I use my favorite Macayos but any jar of salsa will do) Split a piece of string cheese and lay it on the two tortillas. Plop on two hot dogs (I use Hebrew National fat free which are only 40 calories each) Put the plate in the microwave and wap the quesadillas for two minutes and walla instant meal.

    Also check out my eggplant recipe in last weekend's edition of Yankee Belle. This is something you can make ahead of time and freeze.

    Thanks for the great ideas.

  23. DiGiorno's comes with chocolate chip cookies! Who knew? We are so behind the times here in the backwoods. I know what I will be looking for next time we go into the city.

    Thanks for the tips Missy! I'm counting the days till Speedbo starts.

  24. Janet, I know! That cracked me up that it's a sweater in Australia. :)

    Audra, my skinny as a rail son can eat a whole pizza, too! He's a junior in high school and still growing. Is 6'1" now. I don't know where he's going to stop.

  25. Speaking of feeding the dogs...I must not forget to make sure I have a month's worth of dog food on hand before Speedbo starts. Busing to his exclusive pet store for the perfect kibble would definitely cut into my writing time! How's that for food prep?

    I've been making crockpot soups and freezing them in single serving portions so I just have to heat them up. Quick and nutritious and easy clean up.

    Oh and to cater to my sweet tooth I have made a a big batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The dough is in the freezer so when I want a break I can bake up a few cookies and eat them warm with cold milk. Yummmmmmmmm!

  26. Julie, I love the peach oatmeal, too!

    So funny about the sauce. I use whatever sauce is on sale most of the time and add a bay leaf and thyme. But every so often I make it homemade. I really do like the homemade better! (it's my dad's recipe). :)

  27. Wait, what?? DiGiornos... like the frozen pizza? That comes with chocolate chip cookies? Ooh I need to find that. Is that a new thing?

  28. Sandra! That's amazing and quick. I've got a recipe for something similar, pigs in a blanket. It's at the Cafe a week or two ago. :)

  29. Jamie, the cookies are so good! They also make a combo with breadsticks and another one with chicken wings! The kids like them all. :)

  30. Kav, individual servings is a great idea! My mom and dad do that with chili and spaghetti. They freeze in small containers, and then when we go to visit, we can pull out whatever we want whenever we want.

    Yes, be sure to have your doggies taken care of! You don't want them feeling neglected. :)

    But hey, do me a favor and don't talk about the fancy food around my dogs. They'll feel cheated having to eat their Purina! ;)

  31. Joanna, it is fairly new. Maybe about a year old? You'll love it! :) You bake them at the same time. The cookies are amazing.

  32. Sweet! Pizza for the fam, cookies for me. Sounds like a plan!!

  33. Fabulous recipes, Missy! I love to use the crock pot. I'm also counting on frozen pizzas, sloppy joe's etc. Since Damian has food allergies, I have to check all the ingredients first I cook so I don't have to make 2 separate meals.

  34. Ok, dumb question. I know speedbo is some sort of writing marathon, but can someone explain exactly what it is? Or point me in the direction of a rule book? Just curious. This WIP is in definite need of a push.

  35. I thought the pizza/cookie combo was photo shopped. Lol. Had no idea.

    Our microwave went out about a year ago and will still haven't replaced it so some of the delicious ideas won't work for me.
    I have several kids who can help cook so I really can't blame cooking for my interuppted writing.

    I will buy snacks and food easy to fix for our family and am dusting off the crock pot.

  36. Our family became experts at these kinds of meals back when we were homeschooling full time (that's 8 to 5 full time - I really put my poor children through the wringer).

    Any meal that takes less than 30 minutes prep time is the key - so grilled chicken breasts with stir fried summer squash, or hamburger steaks with baked potatoes and salad, or ANYTHING I can put in a crock pot.

    Crock pots are great. You can start the meal before you start your writing day and no matter how distracted you get by your writing, you still have a wonderful meal ready by suppertime. What can be better than that?

    ...unless, of course, your writing time is in the morning and you don't get to the kitchen until sometime after 1 PM....

    We aren't empty nesters yet, but two or three days a week my dear husband will be alone for a meal. Then our favorite is to go to the mall, split a 5 dollar foot-long at Subway, and put in 30 minutes walking time before we come back home.

    No, I tell a lie, it isn't our favorite, just the easiest ever.

  37. I think I need my tea, and fast.

    That should read "my dear husband and I are alone for a meal".

  38. I love the Crock pot recipes!
    I always keep Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners on hand so no clean up even!
    The oven cooking bags are easy and no mess also. Just put any kind of meat and throw in some vegies.

  39. Missy,

    Your crock pot spicy beef sounds wonderful. I'll have to give it a try. It's just me in the house, so doing quick meals is pretty easy, and normally I make a casserole or meal on Sunday that lasts a few days since after fighting traffic home I usually don't feel like making something. So, I'll just keep to the same routine during Speedbo, but maybe add a couple frozen pizzas. :o)

    Congrats on the 4.5 Stars from RT!

  40. Hey, Missy!!! Great post! Thanks for all the quick meal ideas!!! I am big on leftovers, so I always cook extra, but my kids don't like leftovers (don't like anything healthy, but that's a frustrated rant best left unsaid) so I always have stuff around that they like--macaroni and cheese in a box, noodles and alfredo sauce, frozen pizza, and my personal favorite is frozen chicken strips. You can have a chicken strip sandwich, cut up the chicken strips and put them on a salad, or eat them plain with a side dish of fruit, baked potato, or something else easy.

    I actually watched a little bit of the Oscars last night and saw Octavia Spencer who played Minnie on The Help, and she is from Alabama! So is the woman who played Aibilene. Yay for Alabama girls! We rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. I meant to say, I saw Octavia Spencer win the Oscar for best supporting actress. Alabama girls got talent!!! Um-hm.

  42. Joanna, here's the low down on Speedbo, the final rules (no rules just write) and incentives will be announced Thursday. Midnight even. (11:59 Wed)
    On Your Mark, Get Set...for Seekerville Speedbo!

  43. Thanks Tina! I even Googled it and couldn't figure out what Speedbo was. Off to read :)

  44. I love, love, love crock pots. The meat is so lovely and tender when it comes out.

    Your spicy roast beef sounds really great, Missy. I'm trying that.

    For the absolute FASTEST roast.

    Roast (any kind)
    Quarter about four whole potates (peeling optional)
    Quarter one whole onion (more or less, no problem)
    Dump in one bag baby carrots
    Throw in some cloves of garlic (any amount)

    That's it. The only thing that takes any time here is peeling the onions and garlic...which might be reason enough to skip them. Turn on the crock pot and run out the door to work.

  45. A personally beloved crock pot recipe
    Barbeque Chicken Breasts
    (all in gredients dumped in crock pot)
    One bag frozen chicken breasts
    One diced onion
    One can pineapple chunks, drained or not, your call
    One bottle barbeque sauce.

    That's it. Four minutes prep time.
    When you get home, use two forks to shred the breasts, all mixed up in the sauce.
    Cooks all day on low. Those little bits of pineapple when you bit into them are like nuggets of glory.

  46. There are CROCK POT BAGS?????

    NO CLEAN UP????????



  47. Missy, I'm so glad you shared the roast beef recipe. Last time you mentioned it I thought you meant cans of Au Jus sauce. Needless to say, mine was a bit runny. LOL Great tips!

  48. Oh man, am I a BIG crock pot fan!!

    Easy Cheesy Chicken is a big winner around here and truly 'easy'.

    Blondies are fast - and I've trained my oldest son how to make them. I plan to use him as much as possible (once he's finished with his performance in Hello Dolly on Friday)

    Frozen Soups...YUM! There's a new brand of frozen pasta chicken soup by Bernolli that is OUT OF THIS WORLD (and really fast and easy)

    Chicken and Dumplings can be made in the crock pot too. That's my favorite way to make them - but I alternate between pot on the stove and crock pot.
    Helen's crock pot roast sounds fabulous. Yum

    All this food talk is making me hungry

  49. Ruthy, love the salad and Chinese ideas!

    Glynna Kaye, great tips! Thank you!

    Missy, don't forget about my tatter-tot casserole. It's so quick and easy to throw together! Yummy, too!

    I just realize I have lot's of planning to do to get ready!

  50. My sloppy joe recipe

    Brown hamburger
    squirt in ketchup
    Squirt in mustard.

  51. Cara, I'm lucky I don't have to worry about any food allergies. Unless, of course, you count my son's aversion to most vegetables. :)

    Connie, I really rely on my microwave to heat leftovers! But you can always use the oven and stovetop. :)

  52. Jan, I'm with you on splitting a $5 footlong from Subway! My daughter and I always do that. :)

    And good for you for getting your exercise in! We can't forget that while glued to the computer during Speedbo.

  53. my husband does a lot of cooking. A Lot
    He's really into soups lately.
    He has about four soup recipes that he loves and while I'm at work, over the noon hour, he'll get a pot of soup going in the crock pot.
    Our favorite is something we call
    Everything in the Garden Soup.
    Brown hamburger with an onion and garlic
    put it in the crockpot
    Add: Everything in the garden (this is a very UNSTRUCTURED recipe)
    can of corn (include liquids)
    can of green beans
    can of diced tomatoes
    can of tomato juice
    We sometimes dump in a can of great northern or black or pinto beans.
    So easy, you can have all the cans open and dumped, the potatoes and carrots chopped in the time the hambu8rger browns, so it's a 10 minute meal. It's done as soon as the potatoes and carrots are tender but my husband usually puts in the crock pot at noon and it simmers all day.

    We've got a taco soup that is ridiculously easy

    Canned Chicken broth
    canned chicken
    can pinto beans
    can of diced rotelle tomatoes
    1 cup Pace picante sauce.
    heat and eat
    it's really good, too.
    The only prep time here is opening cans.

  54. Donna, thanks for reminding about the bags! I finally bought some and used them the last two times I made something in the slow cooker. It was amazing! No mess!!

    Yes, Mary. It's true!! LOL

  55. Kirsten, that's so smart to cook a meal that'll last into the week! And I love casseroles.

    Thanks on the RT stars! I was really thrilled. It was my first time to get that extra half a star. :)

  56. Melanie, great idea on the chicken strips!

    Can you believe I forgot all about the awards last night?! So I've been trying to catch up this morning. I was thrilled for Octavia! I LOVED her in that movie. So well deserved.

  57. Mary - that's my kind of prep time!

    and Julie - LOL!

    I'm sure I have some but... woke up with a headache. Went back to bed. Still have a headache :/.

    I <3 leftovers too but the really good stuff? With 6 of us there aren't many...

    Y'all need to send them in [I'm looking at you Pepper] so I can steal them next month.

    And yes, Mary, crock pot bags. Have used them for a couple years - mostly because we make turkey in the crock pot for Thanksgiving. I don't use it a ton otherwise - DH doesn't like the crock pot spaghetti... /sigh/

  58. Mary, thank you! I'll include your recipes in our Speedbo Recipe Roundup!

  59. I'm hungry! :)

    Wraps have recently become my go-to meal in a hurry!

    I love Kroger's frozen sliced sweet onion, green and red pepper mix. I throw a package into a skillet with garlic, add a bit of this or a bit of that--ground chicken is yummy! Also love Italian tomatoes and tomato paste, frozen cut spinach, frozen cut okra. Cook a bit and then serve in a wrap with a side salad. Fast and delicious!

  60. I am SOOOO not into cooking. Ever since hubby went into semi-retirement, I've been trying and trying to get him to cook more. He's improving...gradually...but he still interrupts me around 5 p.m. several times a week to ask, "Um, any ideas for supper? I'll start it if you'll tell me what to do."

  61. Mary, I also meant to say to use red potatoes (new potatoes) and you don't need to peel them. :)

  62. LOL, Linnette! Sorry about the au jus mixup. :)

    Hey, be sure to submit your tater tot recipe! I made it and the family loved it!

  63. Pepper, I saw that frozen soup and will have to try it!

    You need to send us your recipes! They sound amazing!

  64. Missy, congrats on the review. You know I loved your latest.

    Now on to food...

    When things are crazy, I tell my husband to eat a big lunch at work! We eat lighter at dinner and it is better for us.

    For health reasons, I must make things from scratch and tend to freeze a lot. I have a great gluten-free lasagna, three bean soup, and chicken stock ready for thawing.

    Also, for health reasons, I can't sit at the computer for more than a half-hour without taking a break. That is good advice for anyone at the computer but a necessity for me. So I break my cooking chores into smaller steps. Chopping veggies that go in the fridge for later. Mixing up a salad. Just like exercise can mount up in small increments so can cooking chores!

    Oh, for smaller households, Lucini spagetti sauce now comes in pouches for three servings. Two for dinner and one for lunch the next day! Stocked up on these and can throw them over everything from steamed veggies to a crust for pizza.

    Jenny, I love that sloppy joes are sweaters.

  65. LOL on the sloppy joe recipe, Mary. :) You cook like I do. I hardly ever measure anything (unless I'm making it for the first time).

  66. Carol, I hope your headache goes away!

    I imagine with 6 there are never leftovers. Unless you learn to cook for an army. :)

  67. Debby, great idea!! I've shared a couple of wrap sandwiches in the Cafe. I love them!

  68. Myra, at least he's willing! You need to take one day to show him how to make your favorites. :)

    I've always told my husband that when he retires, we're taking a cooking class together. He needs to learn to cook.

  69. Julie, thank you!

    I've never heard of Lucini sauces. Will check them out!

    And what you said reminds me that I once saw someone freeze chicken stock in ice cube trays. Once formed, pop them out and put back in the freezer in a ziplock bag. I thought that was a great idea!

  70. Now...I've got to go work on my taxes. Ugh. Have to pull it all together for the accountant.

    Every year at this time I promise to be more organized for the next year. [sigh] Maybe this year...

  71. Carol, don't worry. Someday you'll have leftovers again...but first you have to get through the "eat everything that isn't nailed down" phase!

    Mary Connealy - YES! Those crock pot liners are WONDERFUL! Buy some today (I always keep an extra box or two of them in the pantry...don't want to run out!)

    Julie - I love your tips for doing a little prep at a time. 30 minutes of computer...5 minutes chopping veggies...30 minutes of computer...5 minutes changing laundry... See? You can get a lot done that way.

    BTW, have you tried standing to use your computer? I have a table that's counter-top height, and I switch my laptop between that and my desk during the day so I'm not sitting so long.

    My sons have odd schedules this year between jobs and classes and they're rarely at home during meal times, so they're learning to cook on their own. If I keep the ingredients on hand, they'd rather cook a healthy chicken fajita or an omelet than throw in a frozen pizza.

    On the other hand, they never put veggies in the fajitas or eggs, but the frozen pizza has at least a smidgen of tomato sauce...

  72. WOW! Looka at all these recipes!!

    And is this what you peeps cook for lazy days?? Man. I'm really behind!

    Missy, I LOVED this book. I need to review it on Amazon.Your style is so, so lovely. I fell in love with ALL these characters. :D

    Ausjenny, I never had a sloppy joe until I was 35. I kept hearing they were the best EVER but every single person in my house hated them.

    When we get in a rush we just make quesadillas (cheese melted in flour or corn tortillas) with sliced avocados on the side. My husband really likes to keep cooked cactus on hand (he does the de-stickering, I refuse) and a big ol' pot of beans.

  73. Virginia, thank you!! And thank you for reading! :)

    We do quick quesidillas, too. And quick nachos (put chips on a plate, sprinkle on grated cheddar cheese and microwave until melted. YUM!

    I've never eaten cactus. Is that the stuff I see at the grocery in a jar in the international food section? What does it taste like??

  74. Okay, let me try again to spell quesadilla correctly! :)

  75. Is Thuringer only a regional thing?
    I knew what is was- so is it not common in the south?

    Sloppy Joes are best eaten on a plate with a fork, not like a sandwich, AusJenny. It has the consistency of thick 'meat sauce' (that might not be helpful)

    Spaghetti sauce with cooked, broken up ground beef is generally called Meat Sauce.

    I wish you all success with Speedbo and trying to feed your families.

    I'm more of a Huge Pot of Soup Sundays girl and eat that all week.

  76. Missy, I LOVE those little red potatoes. I am totally doing that.

    With only two of us at home or problem is a five pound bag of potates getting soft before they get used.

    The onions sprouting before they get used.

    So do you buy TWO single potatoes for about the price of a five pound bag???????

    ONE onion at a time instead of a three pound bag?

    This from a woman who used to by things in 25 pound bags.

  77. So who has a really good potato soup recipe? Like the one from Panera? In the crock pot would be good...

    We used to do quesadillas all the time - not so much anymore. Not sure why. <3 my quesadilla maker though!

  78. I'm getting hungry reading this post... I think it's time for lunch. :) Can't wait for the recipe ideas.

    Jodie Wolfe

  79. Do y'all remember when those electric quesadilla makers were so popular? We just had to have one, but now it is languishing in the pantry.

    I'd rather order my quesadillas at Chili's--like we did last night! Yum!

  80. Debra, I guess it must be regional. I'd never heard of it, and I'm from KY and live in GA.

    And we never eat our sloppy joes with a fork--unless it falls off the bun! :) For us, it's always a sandwich. :)

  81. Mary's soups rock.

    What a huge bunch of great ideas, Dudes!!!

    I love to eat but I don't want to waste writing time cooking, so that's where the Panini press became a lifesaver.

    Sandwiches that taste like deli/restaurant sandwiches. I'm all over them.

    Crock pot... I've got a nice one, must see if I can re-schedule mid-day routine to use it. I'm busy with kids then, so stopping to do anything domestic doesn't happen.

    But there must be a way.




    Problem solved!

    Laughing in upstate

  82. Mary, I buy the 5 pound bag of red potatoes and use them even after they get soft. I just rub the eyes/sprouts off. :)

    I buy individual sweet onions. But when it's Vidalia season, I do buy a bag of them. They keep well in my cool, dark pantry.

  83. Hey Missy,
    Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to the time saving recipe link, too.

    Ausjenny, I use a can of Manwich original flavor for my sloppy joes and it's so easy. Just brown the beef and dump in the canned sauce.

    My refrigerator staple is hard boiled eggs. I like to grab and peel one for an afternoon protein snack and/or if I get into a pinch, I will make egg salad, or chicken salad using left over chicken that's not enough to cut up for sandwiches.

    A quick dinner is creamed chicken over mashed potatoes. Use a family size can of Campbells Creamy Chicken Mushroom soup, about a quarter cup of milk (or no milk if you like it thick), and add cut up cooked chicken (I just tear the chicken because it looks more rustic), a can of drained mushrooms, and heat through. Each person scoops creamed chicken sauce over top of their mashed potatoes. It's comfort food here.

  84. I still have one of those quesadilla makers...

    We had one that put cool designs on the pieces but then someone gave us a combo quesadilla maker/George foreman grill so we gave away our old ones of each.

    My Walmart no longer has Missy's book [:(] but I did pick it up last week so it's all good.

    Plus they have Glynna's now.

    Can I go stay in that cabin for the next month?

    Pretty please?

  85. Carol, I have a great cheese and corn chowder I plan to share at the Yankee-Belle Cafe soon. So keep your eye out!

    Jodie, it was making me hungry, too! I just finished lunch. :)

  86. Myra, I've never seen one of those. But I bet it's similar to a sandwich press. I would love that!

  87. Ruthy, you better be careful what you say! LOL We know you're teasing. But others may not. :)

    Hey, you need to do the crock-pot thing EARLY! You can't wait for an afternoon break. Of course, midday for you is about the time most people are getting up. haha

  88. Lyndee, that creamed chicken sounds amazing! I hope you'll submit it to our recipes!

  89. Carol, as long as you were able to get a copy, then I'll celebrate that Walmart doesn't have any more! Let's hope they sold. :)

    And yay for Glynna's being out!! Woo hoo!

  90. I just left a review of Missy's book on Amazon and Amazon gave me the options of TWEETING the review and putting it on FACEBOOK.

    Is that new? How long as it been since I've posted a review (slacker, Mary!) I've read all the Seeker books but have I reviewed them on Amazon????

    Has anyone else seen that?

  91. I just googled pepperocini. Does this pepper have anything to do with in the sausage that goes on pizza???

  92. So many recipes! I think with all the recipes shared, we could eat something different every day each month!

    Frozen pizza, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, spaghetti- those are our "quickie meals." For crock pot food, I like to make a roast with a packet of onion soup mix and Worchestshire sauce. Veggies optional, depending on time.

    MARY, I have a taco soup recipe that's also all about easy. Just toss it all in the crock pot and serve with sour cream and Fritos.
    Can of crushed tomatoes
    Can of tomato sauce
    Three cans of pinto beans
    Can of Corn
    Packet of taco mix
    Packet of ranch dressing
    Chopped onion
    Browned hamburger

    Anyone else hungry? :)

  93. Mary, thanks for doing a review!! I haven't seen that feature yet (I've been a slacker, too!).

    The peppers have NOTHING to do with pepperoni! LOL I'm sure you've seen them on salad bars. Check this out (I looked it up to see how to spell it! LOL):

  94. Actually, now that I think of it, Mary, it's banana peppers that I usually see on salad bars. So never mind my last comment. :)

  95. I stink at crock pot recipes. Really. I'm mortified to admit it. :)

    I like stuff you can throw in the oven and forget. Here's a quick meal we like.

    2 lbs frozen chicken breasts
    1 package McCormick's Grill Mates Chipotle Pepper marinade mix.

    Mix the marinade according to directions (just olive oil, water, and lime juice if you've got it).
    Spread the chicken breasts in a baking pan and pour the marinade over it. Bake at 375 for an hour.

    We eat it with mashed potatoes (instant stuff is pretty good nowadays) and frozen veggies. The chicken has a bit of a Tex-Mex flavor so we like sour cream on it. Very fast, very easy, very yummy.

    And leftover chicken can be shredded and reheated the next day for chicken tacos. So two meals in one. :)

    I skimmed through the comments so maybe I missed this, but we like the Stouffer's frozen lasagna. Another good meal that I can throw in the oven and forget.

  96. You guys are so inspiring!

    It's lunch time here in the west. Supper is in the crock pot, laundry is caught up (one load in the washer, one in the dryer), and I'm chowing down on a Ruthy salad for lunch (check out the recipe over at Yankee-Belle if you don't know what I'm talking about).

    I'm all set for Speedbo!

    And getting my Genesis entry ready to send in this afternoon, followed by my Great Expectations entry.

    Oh yes, Mondays are good days!

  97. I LOVE the cover of your latest book, Missy, and am looking forward to reading it! ~ Thanks for sharing these tips and recipes--YUM! ~ I'll be sharing one or two of my favorite (EASY!) crock-pot recipes, and hope they'll come in handy for someone. ~ Now that 2 kiddos are married and my baby is away at college, my husband and I keep suppertime simple (many evenings he has a salad and I eat cereal) but when the kiddos visit I "cook big"! ~ Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  98. is there a difference between a sweater and a sweatshirt.
    the sloppy joe would be a loose sweatshirt (which we call a windcheater, jumper, pullover)

    Ok i am getting it here tomato sauce is what you call ketchup. I understand spaghetti sauce. It sounds a little like spaghetti Bolognese only its in a bun I believe.

    Dont think we have manwich here either.

    another thing is we dont have ground meet i think we call it minced meet.

    I am thinking some roast lamb would go down well right now.

  99. Jenny, isn't the language barrier fascinating? Don't we all speak English?

  100. Oh, wow! All these yummy recipes! Loving it!

    Hopefully I'll remember to send in some more of my quickie recipes later, but for now, I'll leave one of my favorites.

    To Go Wraps:

    sliced deli meat of your choice
    cheese--optional(well, technically all these ingredients are optional. lol)
    dill pickles
    a sprinkle of Tony Chachere's(or Ranch Dressing mix)
    Flour tortilla

    Microwave tortilla for 10 sec. Wrap all ingredients in tortilla.

    I love wrapping things in tortillas. My breakfast a couple days ago consisted of bologna and white american cheese melted in a flour tortilla. Yum. Deli ham would be even better.

  101. Mmmmm, yall are making me hungry! I'm gonna need all the help I can get to do Speedbo. ;)

    Congratulations, Missy, on your release!

  102. Sally, those pepper marinades are to die for.

    You just soak the meat and grill.

    If you want to go low-carb HAPPILY try the McCormick pepper marinades that Sally's talking about.

    Delicious. Mouth watering.

    And Missy, is it okay if the toddlers CRAWL into the dog crates on their own????

    And then shut the door?

    I'm just wondering.

  103. Hey, all! Missy wanted me to submit my Tater Tot Casserole. You'll find it at the Yankee Belle Cafe here:

    It's easy, quick, and yummy!!!! Enjoy! :D

  104. I"m finally home and can catch up! We had tennis matches this afternoon and then a dinner at church.

  105. Stephanie Q. that sounds so good with onion soup mix and Worcestershire sauce!! I'll have to try that. I always have that on hand. :)

  106. Sally, your chicken recipe sounds amazing. Especially since I never remember to thaw things out. :)

    And I LOVE Stouffer's Lasagna! Better than homemeade, in my opinion.

  107. Jan, way to go on getting your Genesis entry ready!

    Patti Jo, I'm with you on cereal when you don't have other mouths to feed. :) I do that often!

  108. Natalie, that sounds really good! Thanks for sharing your wrap sandwich idea!

  109. Thanks, Sherrinda!

    Ruthy, I don't know. It still sounds fishy. :)

  110. Natalie, if it's okay, I'll just cut and paste your wrap recipe.

    Don't y'all forget to send my noon tomorrow!

  111. Just want to vouch for Sandra's Eggplant Casserole. I made the veggie version of it yesterday and it was delicious!

  112. For anyone who loves coconut, I made a delicious dinner salad last week.
    I poached chicken breasts in Coconut milk/coconut water which made them really sweet. Did that in the Dutch Oven so it was really just pour the milk and water in, put the chicken breasts in and cover.

    When that was done (about half an hour), I peeled and cut up an orange, tossed that with the chicken pieces and some shredded coconut and put it all on a bed of greens.

    Fast and delicious!

  113. Cheesy CHicken:

    4 or 5 pieces chicken breast (frozen)
    1 large can of cream of chicken soup
    1/2 cup of water
    1 bag of Lipton Rice (any kind you like)
    Cheese sprinkled to taste (I like to use Monteray Jack and Colby)
    Turn on high in crock pot for 4 hours. 6-7 hours on low.

    Love it!

  114. Mary, that sounds so good! I can't wait for you to share it at the Cafe!

    Pepper, thank you for sharing! I automatically love anything with the word cheese in it. LOL If it's okay with you, I'll copy and paste into our recipe file.

  115. Okay - do you want Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings.
    They're not as easy - but OH SO YUMMY!

    4-5 Chicken breasts boiled (until tender and done)
    Place them in a crock pot with 2-3 cups of the water you just boiled them in(depends on how broth-y you want it :-)
    Add 1 stick of butter
    Salt and Pepper to Taste
    1/2 cup milk
    Make Bisquick dumplings and place by the spoonfuls on top of your chicken mixture.
    Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
    VERY light and fluffy dumplings :-)

  116. Good night, all! Remember you can email your recipes if you'd still like to include them. Send my noon tomorrow!

  117. Crockpots rule. If it weren't for crockpots my family would have to make do with the old apples/peanut butter/yogurt buffet more often than they already do.
    Ruthy's salad looks so yum. I recommend those big bags of romaine lettuce that you can get from Sams Club, not prechopped - but fresh and they will last all week.
    Favorite frozen pizza: Freschetta's Simply Inspired ones. Farmers Market Veggie/Classic Bruschetta/and my carnivores like the Hawaiian Style with pineapple and ham. Get two, the crust is very thin and a serving is 1/3 of the pizza (which really means 1/2).

  118. PreventionGuide has a "Slow Cooker Recipes" booklet with 54 recipes in it. I picked it up at the grocery store last week. Most of the recipes have more ingredients than I want to worry with, but there are some easy ones in there.

    Here's an easy one. My son's girlfriend made something similar a few weeks ago, using her own recipe:

    Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya

    1/2 lb spicy chicken sausage (or pork)
    1 pkg frozen pepper stir-fry mix
    2 ribs celery, chopped
    1 can Ro-tel
    1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
    2 cups water
    1 pkg rice mix (Zatarain's New Orleans Style Jambalaya Rice Mix)
    1 lb frozen, peeled, and cooke shrimp

    I'll spare you the details. Just throw it all in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours. Except for the shrimp: Stir in shrip and cook for about 5 minutes.

    Another easy variation would be shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob, onions, potatoes and crab boil. That's what my future DIL made in the crockpot. Easy peasy.

    Oh, and my crockpot staple: Throw an entire bag (sans the bag) of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in with chicken soup and/or mushroom soup, some water, S&P, worchestershire sauce and let cook all day. Divide up your chicken and make chicken salad, chicken and rice, chicken spaghetti, and chicken noodle soup.

  119. Maybe we should have done Speedbo in February: Subway had all their foot-longs for $5.00. lol