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Katie's Cucina

{Google Hangout} Quick & Easy Dinners

Earlier last week, Christine from Cook the Story and I spoke with Jane from Jane’s Adventures in Dinners. This week our excuse to talk was back to school and the need to serve up quick and easy dinners! Whether or not you have children going back to school or just a busy work week we all are always in need of a few healthy and easy dinners to whip up in a flash. Watch our chat with Jane on tips, tricks, and recipes that will get you in and out of the kitchen in no time!

I love to reach for my crock pot in a time of need. Typically, I’ll make at least 2-3 crock pot meals a month. There is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work to smell a home cooked meal. I always joke and thank the dog for cooking as I walk in the door (each and every time I use my crock pot).

Here are a few of my favorite crock-pot recipes to get you through a hectic week.

Chicken and Black Beans in the Crock Potchicken and black beans in the crock pot

The photo might not look pretty (circa before I learned how to take really beautiful food photos), but this dish is healthy and full of flavor! Best of all you can eat it in taco’s, burritos, over rice, or just plain on its own which is what my mom does! Oh, and you can take a cup or two of the leftovers and create a chicken and black bean soup with a box of chicken stock.

Crock Pot Jambalaya

crock pot jambalaya

This meal is amazing. It is hearty and perfect for a cold winter day. Or any day in Florida since we get maybe 2 cold winter days a year!  This recipe does take a little longer. Upon your arrival from home you’ll need to add the rice to the crock-pot and let it cook… the last 30 minutes is when you add the shrimp. This is the best most authentic way to get the cajun flavors in the rice. I’ve also learned a “cheat” way… remove as much of the liquid as possible and cook the rice in a rice cooker with the jambalaya juices! Add the shrimp to the crock pot at the same time you are cooking the rice in the rice cooker. Mix the cooked rice in the crock pot and let it marry a little longer. Serve… and enjoy tons of leftovers! I’ve been told that this freezes very well!

{Crock Pot} Fresh Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage 

{Crock Pot} Fresh Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage

Cooking the Italian Sausage in the crock pot is the way to go. It becomes fork tender and seriously one of the only ways I’ll eat sausage and sauce any more! Steer away from the canned sauce and make your own. You can prep the sauce the night before, so the day of before you leave for work or get the kids off to school you put the sauce ingredients and sausage in the crock pot… turn it on low and begin your day! Your day will end wonderfully and the house will smell amazing upon returning from your busy day. Precook the pasta or boil before dinner. I always keep garlic bread in the freezer–it is a simple staple and adds an additional treat to any Italian meal!

Here are a few other recipes mentioned from Jane:

Baked Chicken waiting for you and a food waste free week

Jane’s Oven-Baked but Sticky Chicken Wings

Here are a few recipes from Christine:

Christine’s Everything in the Oven quick Sausage with Tomatoes and Pearl Onions on Spaghetti Squash

Entertaining Made Easy with Mussels for Many

 

I hope we helped give you a few ideas of recipes that you can easily get on the table with little to no fuss!

 

   

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5 Responses to “{Google Hangout} Quick & Easy Dinners”

  1. Tricia @ Saving room for dessert posted on September 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm (#)

    All those dishes look amazing but the jambalaya is calling me by name – Sounds fantastic! Thanks Katie 🙂

    • Katie replied on September 4th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Tricia!

  2. Christine (Cook the Story) posted on September 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm (#)

    That was such a fun chat! You guys were both so funny. Your crockpot jambalaya looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Katie replied on September 4th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Christine, I agree I had a blast chatting with both of you. The crock-pot jambalaya is awesome. A little extra prep but so worth it!

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