Slow Cooker Ribs

These are SO good (for the whole family!) and so easy! Prep time is about 5 minutes.

Slow Cooker Ribs 1

Grease a crockpot and line the bottom with 2 cups chopped onion (I use the frozen, pre-chopped onions for faster prep).

Slow Cooker Ribs 2

Place 3-4 pounds of boneless pork ribs on top of the onions.

Slow Cooker Ribs 3
Sprinkle pork with ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, ¼ cup brown sugar and 2 cloves minced garlic and stir to coat all pieces.

Slow Cooker Ribs 4
Pour 2 c apple juice (or 1 c apple juice and 1 c water) evenly over pork and cook on low for 8-9 hours.

Slow Cooker Ribs 5

Once it’s cooked, drain all liquids from the crockpot and add 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 1 more hour.

I won’t show you the final picture because these ribs are so tender that they fall apart, so they look like a big blobby BBQ’y mess with my subpar photography.

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6-8 Month Recipes

*Food combinations are fantastic, but always try to have your baby taste the food by itself before mixing it in a combination.

*Always wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking.

*You can use a baby food maker, food processor, or blender to puree. I use the Cuisinart Baby and love it. It even comes in handy for just steaming small amounts of veggies for a meal for my husband and me, too.

*Add breastmilk to any of these recipes.

Apples and Pears

1. Cut 3 apples and 3 pears into 1/2″ pieces (do not peel).

2. Steam fruit until just soft enough to puree.

3. Remove fruit from your steamer, but reserve the water.

4. Puree, adding reserved water to reach desired consistency.

Peas and Pears

1. Cut 1 pear into 1/2″ pieces (do not peel).

2. Steam pear until just soft enough to puree. Remove fruit from your steamer, but reserve the water.

3. Place pear pieces, along with 8 ounces  of frozen green peas, in your food processor.

4. Puree, adding reserved water to reach desired consistency.

Apples, Pears, and Green Beans

1. Cut 3 apples and 3 pears into 1/2″ pieces (do not peel).

2. Steam fruit until just soft enough to puree.

3. Remove fruit from your steamer, but reserve the water.

4. Place fruit, along with 1-2 cups frozen (thawed) green beans, in your food processor.

5. Puree, adding reserved water to reach desired consistency.

Apples and Sweet Potatoes

1. Rub unsalted butter on a sweet potato and bake it for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees, until tender.

2. Cut 2 apples into 1/2″ pieces (do not peel). Steam them until just soft enough to puree.

3. Remove fruit from your steamer, but reserve the water.

4. Scoop the meat of the potato out of the skin (discard the skin).

5. Puree apples and sweet potato together, adding reserved water from the apples to reach desired consistency.

Pears and Zucchini Squash

1. Peel 2 medium zucchini, slice into 1/2″ slices, and roast at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until tender.

2. Cut 3 pears into 1/2″ pieces (do not peel). Steam them until just soft enough to puree.

3. Remove fruit from your steamer, but reserve the water.

4. Puree pears and zucchini  together, adding reserved water from the pears to reach desired consistency.

Mangoes and Butternut Squash

1. Cut a butternut squash in half and, using a small metal spoon, scoop out the strings and seeds. Place the halves open side up in a roasting pan with about 1/4″ of water. You can sprinkle the squash with cinnamon and/or nutmeg for added flavor. Roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until soft enough to puree.

2. Peel 1 mango and chop it into 1/2″ pieces.

3. It isn’t necessary to steam mango, but I do because it makes it  softer and easier to puree. Plus it gives you reserve water to mix into the puree. So, I recommend steaming your mango when you’re making purees.

4. Remove mango from your steamer, but reserve the water.

5. Once the squash is finished, scoop the meat out of the shell.

6. Puree the squash and the mango together, adding reserved water, to reach desired consistency.

Pumpkin, Parsnip and Peaches

1. Wash 1 small pumpkin, 1 parsnip and 3 peaches.

1. Cut 1 small pumpkin in half and, using a small metal spoon, scoop out the strings and seeds. Place the halves open side down in a roasting pan with about 1/4″ of water.

2. Peel 1 parsnip and cut it lengthwise. Place it on tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil. Close the tinfoil around the parsnip pieces and place on a baking sheet.

3. Bake pumpkin and parsnip in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 45-60 minutes, until they are both soft enough to puree.

4. Meanwhile, peel 3 peaches and chop them into 1″ pieces.

5. Once the pumpkin has finished cooking, scoop the meat out of the shell.

6. Add pumpkin, parsnips and peaches to the food processor. Puree them all together until you reach the desired consistency. Use breastmilk, if necessary, to thin it out.

Bananas, Butternut Squash & Carrots

1. Cut 1 medium butternut squash in half and, using a small metal spoon, scoop out the strings and seeds. Place the halves open side up in a roasting pan with about 1/4″ of water. You can sprinkle the squash with cinnamon and/or nutmeg for added flavor. Roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until soft enough to puree.

2. Peel 2 carrots and chop them into 1/4″ pieces. Steam them until soft enough to puree (I find that carrots need to be very soft in order to puree them smoothly).

3. Peel and chop 2 bananas into 1/2″ pieces.

4. Once the squash is finished, scoop the meat out of the shell.

5. Remove carrots from your steamer, but reserve the water.

6. Puree all three together, adding reserved water from the carrots, to reach desired consistency.

Bananas, Avocados & Tofu

1. Peel 2 bananas and 1 avocado and cut them into 1/2″ pieces.

2. Mix the bananas and avocado with 8-12 ounces of tofu. Silken tofu works nicely, but you can also use tub tofu (just drain it well).

3. Puree all three together until you reach a soft consistency. Use breastmilk, if necessary, to thin it out.

For more ideas, go here! Don’t be afraid to make your own combinations.

Beer Chicken (Lesson 47: Learn a ton of crockpot recipes)

…because that’s pretty much all you’ll have time for. Here’s one to get you started.

 

All you’ll need is 2-4 frozen chicken breasts, 12 ounces of beer, 1 tsp salt, 1 ½ tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp dried oregano and ½ tsp pepper.

Beer Chicken 1

Place your chicken, still frozen, in the crockpot.

Mix all the other ingredients together.

Beer Chicken 2

Pour beer mixture over chicken.

Beer Chicken 3

Cook all day on low.

Voila. Anybody has time for that!

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna

Lasagana is an easily freezable meal, and this recipe is yummy! I always make a double batch when I make it–one to serve for dinner and one to freeze for later. If you only want to make one (which, why??), you can just half this recipe.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 1

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (always use fresh if you have it–it makes all the difference!)
  • 24 oz tomato paste
  • 32 oz tomato sauce
  • 12 lasagna noodles (I use whole wheat so I can pretend like it’s healthy)
  • 24 oz small curd cottage cheese (small curd is a must or it will be too runny)
  • 24 oz ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 4 tbsp dried parsley (or use fresh if you have it)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 8 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

First, boil your lasagna noodles according to package directions. I always add a bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together. When you’re finished, drain the noodles and set them aside to cool.

Next, brown the ground beef. Drain and rinse with hot water to get the extra grease off.

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 2

Put the meat back in the pan and add garlic, basil, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 3

While your meat is simmering, mix together the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 4

Grease 2 lasagna pans (I use one regular pan and one disposable pan to freeze) and layer each pan with 3 lasagna noodles.

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 5

Add 1/4 of the beef mixture to each pan.

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 6

Follow that up with 1/4 of the cottage cheese mixture in each pan.

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 7

Complete the first layer with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese each.

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 8

Top that with 3 more noodles and repeat your layers (1/2 of the remaining beef mixture per pan, 1/2 of the remaining cottage cheese mixture per pan and 2 more cups of mozzarella cheese each).

When you’re finished, bake the pan you plan to serve immediately on 350 for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

For the pan you plan to freeze, just top it with the plastic lid that comes with disposable pans.

Yummy Cheesy Lasagna 9

Wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil.

If you want to skip the disposable pan, you can. Just prepare both lasagnas in regular baking pans and bake them both. Serve one and refrigerate the one you plan to freeze overnight so that it sets well. Then, cut it in half and freeze the halves in two gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags. This also works well if you’re only feeding 2-3 people because you can thaw them one at a time.

Either way you choose to freeze it, it should hold fine in a regular freezer for 2-3 months and in a deep freezer for 4-6 months.

When you plan to serve it, set it in the fridge to thaw overnight. Then bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

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