Crockpot Chicken Lasagna

This was the first time I attempted dry pasta in my crockpot. To be honest, I was doubtful it would work. However, I was wrong! It worked GREAT!  So well, I think I’ll always make lasagna’s in the crockpot! I actually just ate some of the leftovers for lunch – YUM! I accidently bought a giant box of Lagana noodles (like 24 boxes) from Amazon, so I am going to be using lots of lasagna noodles in dishes (at least they were an excellent deal!). I think I am going to try a butternut squash lasagna when we get back from vacation next week!

Now I did not make it with Ricotta. My husband does not like ricotta and I forgot to buy some anyway. So make it with or without, it tasted fine without.

I also realize that Crockpot Lasagnas do not photograph well. Oh well! Someday, when the kids (and me!) aren’t dying to eat, I’ll take the time to take “pretty pictures,” for now, you get real life “this is how it is, but tastes delicious!” pictures.

 

Ingredients

  • 1lb cubed or shredded chicken (cooked or uncooked. Can use leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 3-4 cups shredded Italian Blend cheese/Mozzarella (or your own blend of cheeses)
  • 1 15oz container Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 15oz jars of Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • 9-12 lasagna noodles

 

Directions:

Open the alfredo sauce, and add water to each jar. You could pour them into a bowl and add 1/2 cup of water, but that makes another dish to wash, so I just added water to the jar and stirred it in. Toss your chicken in the garlic and Italian seasoning. Pour a thin layer of alfredo on the bottom of your crockpot. Add a layer of noodles, then alfredo on top of the noodles, then chicken, then cheese (honestly, I did not measure the cheese, I just sprinkled until it looked good). Make sure to get the alfredo to the edge of the noodles. This is what will cook the noodles. Repeat for 3 layers. I had a layer of noodles on top, with Alfredo and then mozzarella cheese to top off the lasagna. Cook on low 3-4 hour until noodles are soft.

Yum! Enjoy!

 

Crockpot Chicken Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1lb cubed or shredded chicken (cooked or uncooked. Can use leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 3-4 cups shredded Italian Blend cheese/Mozzarella (or your own blend of cheeses)
  • 1 15oz container Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 15oz jars of Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • 9-12 lasagna noodles

Instructions

  1. Open the alfredo sauce, and add water to each jar. You could pour them into a bowl and add 1/2 cup of water, but that makes another dish to wash, so I just added water to the jar and stirred it in.
  2. Toss your chicken in the garlic and Italian seasoning.
  3. Pour a thin layer of alfredo on the bottom of your crockpot. Add a layer of noodles, then alfredo on top of the noodles, then chicken, then cheese (honestly, I did not measure the cheese, I just sprinkled until it looked good).
  4. Make sure to get the alfredo to the edge of the noodles. This is what will cook the noodles.
  5. Repeat for 3 layers.
  6. I had a layer of noodles on the top, with Alfredo and then mozzarella cheese to top off the lasagna.
  7. Cook on low 3-4 hour until noodles are soft.
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Water, Water, Water

 

I was reading a blog post about a woman talking about how she started drinking a gallon of water a day and it changed her life (The way she felt, etc.). I am a big water drinker, in fact, it is just about the only thing I drink, but got me thinking that I should probably drink even more. A gallon sounded good to me! So I ordered this Gallon Coleman water jug, so I could fill it up with ice water in the morning and make sure I drank through the entire thing in a day. It came yesterday afternoon. (Oh how I LOVE Amazon Prime!)

Initially, I thought I’d just lug it around. Yeah. Quickly decided to just grab one of the many water bottles we have and fill it up from the jug. Super easy to fill from the jug.

Well, I must drink more water than I think! I had the whole gallon drunk before dinner. Wasn’t even difficult. I did make a conscious effort to drink today, carried my water bottle everywhere, even with being out with my daughter all morning. Sometimes I forget to drink through out the day, so this give me a visual of how much to drink each day (to be sure I am drinking enough!). I liked having the water bottle with me all day too. I need to make that a habit. Mmmm… I like water. I plan to keep using my new gallon water jug each day (all part of my weight loss strategy!) and it’ll also be great to take in the car on trips to refill everyone’s water bottles!

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Scale Shenanigans

I finally decided it was time to drop the baby weight. I actually don’t gain much during pregnancy, but I do while breastfeeding. Yes, I know that’s weird, but my body is odd… Anyway, I decided to enjoy my summer and then I figured I might as well enjoy the holidays too… But now, I’m on the bandwagon and going to shed some of this excess weight! I’ve been consciously working at it for about 2 weeks and dropped 3lbs already, so not too shabby.

I decided to buy a new scale, to track my journey and to keep myself accountable. We had an old scale from Ikea, but it did not work well. The one nice thing about it was it always showed you about 10lbs less than you really were. Kinda liked that. HA! So I went with this scale because it was cheap and digital. (and Amazon shipped it to my house… No leaving the house and putting on pants!)

Well, it is between the toilet and the shower in our bathroom. My husband noticed it goes down to the oz (well actually .2lbs)… So you can guess what we’ve been doing….. Yep, we are that weird/funny/odd….Hey, my husband started it! You know you’d do it too if you had one right there… I texted him while he was in a meeting with his boss about the amount I’d just lost, ’cause I knew he’d laugh…

Ok, so you might not be as weird (or freaking hilarious?) as we are, but this is a pretty good scale for the money! It comes in black and clear, but I think the clear is pretty cool. Our kids think it’s fun. And we can weigh the baby on it too!

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Instant Pot


I just did it. I took the plunge. I’ve heard soooo much about the Instant Pots lately, I took the plunge and got one. I guess if everyone is jumping off a bridge, I will too. It will be here this weekend. YAY! I got the 8qt one, because Hello? Big family! Ha! I did my research. Read Reviews. Checked Amazon prices and it is at its lowest price ever. I have always wanted a Pressure Cooker, but honestly, they’ve always freaked me out. So now I’ll be searching out recipes and doing a lot of experimenting. Of course, I’ll blog it all here! If you want to join in the journey with me, head on over to Amazon and pick one up at it’s lowest price yet! (better than Christmas!)

Now to blog my backlog of recipes we’ve been making. We’ve had some good ones lately!

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Easy Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream

I picked up some pumpkin egg nog on clearance at Fred Meyer’s – $.99. I figured someone would drink it or something. When I got home, I got the brilliant idea to stick it in my ice cream maker. 

Genius!

My husband wasn’t sure. “Won’t it need more sugar or somthing?” I was thinking egg nog is pretty much custard ice cream in liquid form. Eggs, milk, cream, spices. This kind just happens to taste like pumpkin.

Guess what?!? It worked perfectly! Not only was it delicious, it tasted just like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie ice cream people! YUM!!!! And I got 4 overflowing quarts (my ice cream maker makes 2 quarts, I think? Maybe 1.5 and I did it twice), from one $.99 clearance pumpkin egg nog!

Not only was it cheap, delicious, it was super easy! Seriously just buy the egg nog and stick it in your ice cream maker. I mean it has all the ingredients in a custard like ice cream all ready to go! 

Seriously. Try it! See if you store is clearing it out after the holidays too! We are going to be doing this next year for sure! 

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BEST Thermometer for Kids

After having baby #5, we received a new thermometer for our kids as a baby gift. Now, with 5 kids, we have used and gone through many thermometers. Forehead, underarm, ear. All with varying success. I have found the underarm one is the most accurate. However, they take FOREVER (or at least that is what my kids think) and my boys, for some odd reason, HATE having thermometers in their arm pit. Why? I have no idea. When I think of all the places that a thermometer could go, under the arm is one of the best options, but they find it to be torture.

The forehead ones we’ve had have been hit and miss. Some worked better than others, but none lasted that long. They feature I like most about the forehead thermometers is that they are easy to use on the kids and they don’t complain about it. Plus, you can easily use it while they are sleeping. Same with the ear thermometers, but they are a bit more intrusive while they are sleeping.

Now most forehead thermometers vary what temperature you get, depending on how to take the temperature, what side you take it on, and if the kid has been laying on that side. I tend to take it several times on their forehead and kind of get an average number of what their temperature is. Since it only takes a second to take their temperature with a forehead thermometer, taking it multiple times is not a big deal (still much faster than the “torturous” underarm one – ha!)

I was pretty excited when we received the Innovo Ear and Forehead thermometer because I had been eyeing one for awhile. We have used it several times now – including a sickness with our newest little one, where he was sick with a fever for 4 days! This thermometer was priceless during that time to monitor his fever. A great feature is that we can use it either for his forehead or in his ear. Sometimes I would use both, to be sure I was getting an accurate reading. What I love most about it is that the results are almost instant. I believe you get a reading in one or two seconds. When it is so fast, you get much less complaining from little ones about trying to get their temperature.

Having the best of all worlds, you get BOTH an Ear AND Forehead thermometer. You can use what will work best for you at the time! LOVE IT! Seriously, I rarely get excited about a product like this, but this was such an AWESOME gift that we simply LOVE, I had to share it with everyone. Such a wonderful gift for any expectant parent or if you are in the market for a new thermometer, I HIGHLY recommend going with the Innovo Ear and Forehead thermometer!

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Costume Proton Pack

Costume Proton Pack

For Halloween this year, (I guess it was last year now!) my son wanted to be a Ghostbuster. Well, the store bought costumes were expensive and quite frankly, lame. So we looked at pictures online and looked around the house, as well as hitting up the dollar store, to see what we could come up with.

He already had Khaki Pants, so we just bought him a khaki shirt off ebay or Amazon (don’t remember which place we picked it up inexpensively)

We then searched for the Ghostbusters logo, and printed it out on Sticker Paper (I have used this paper for soooo many projects!) to put it on the arm of his shirt. We also printed the red “CAUTION” sticker (google for a picture of it) for the proton pack on the same sheet of Sticker Paper.

The Proton Pack was easier that I thought it would be and practically free to make (I think we bought $3 worth of stuff for it? All reusable for something else)

We started with an Amazon box, because we have lots of those around! We then spray painted it black with some cheap black spray paint we had in the garage from another project. We used some black duct tape for the straps (simply double side it where it is not attached to the box, so it’s not sticky)

For the top rectangle, that is simply one of those leftover lunch meat containers. If you don’t have something like that, they sell them at the dollar store. The round part is an old, foil pie tin we had. They also sell them at the dollar store – or a round plastic container would work as well! Simply spray paint them with the same black spray paint. We used the black duct tape to connect them to the box.

I made the red dots with some red duct tape. You could simply tape off the circles when spray painting, then once dry, remove the tape, and color the spots with a red sharpie or marker.

We had the computer ribbon from an old computer. If you don’t have one, some wide, multicolored or gray fabric ribbon would work – or be creative, I’m sure you could find something around the house that would work!

We bought 2 different colored jump ropes at the dollar store and a light-up wand/lightsaber. We simply wound the jump ropes around the Proton Pack and stuck the excess rope inside the box, so we could re-use the jump ropes. You could simply cut them as you see fit, if you don’t care about re-using them! We used the black duct tape to attach the lightsaber to the end of one of the jump ropes.

We then just took the tops off of 2 different types of water bottles (we have soooo many water bottles around here. Or buy one or 2 at the dollar store, if you don’t have any), put one on the box and the other in the center of the round (now spray painted black) pie tin.

We created a spot on the side of the box, with the black duct tape, to holster the lightsaber.

It turned out REALLY cool! The kids at school and the other Halloween parties we attended thought it was awesome. Our boy was pretty thrilled with it, so it was a complete success – with little cost to us!

Costume Proton Pack

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