Monday Menu ~ Crock Pot Jambayala with Mrs. B!!

Today is pretty awesome! Yea… yea… I know it’s Monday and that aside it’s a good day. Why you ask? Because today I have the talented Jen Bardall here visiting  from The Misadventures of Mrs. B and if you’ve ever been to her blog you know that she makes some pretty amazing dishes like this peanut butter cup cheesecake or her double chocolate brownies! So, let’s give her a magical welcome as she shares one of her amazing dishes with all of us.

Hi, everyone! It’s great to be here with Jackie and with you all, sharing a recipe which I am so glad my husband found and tweaked over time because it has become a huge favorite of ours.

I mean, what’s not to love about the flavor you get from chorizo, shrimp, chicken and veggies left to simmer for hours? Not to mention the fact that it feeds an army. When it comes to the three of us, we normally get two dinners and a few lunches worth of jambalaya out of this recipe. It’s saved our hungry hides many a weeknight.

And – hello! – it’s a crock pot creation. Set it and forget it, as they say.

You can always adjust heat level as you like. The original recipe called for only one teaspoon of hot sauce, but it was virtually undetectable to me and I have low heat tolerance. I bet you could use chicken or vegetable stock in place of water, too.

I hope you take the time to chop all those veggies and make a pot of jambalaya for your family. Be warned, though: The smell will darn near kill you as this cooks. You might want to leave the house for a while so as to avoid temptation, unless you’re a much stronger person than I.



Crock Pot Jambalaya


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 sweet red peppers, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 12 oz chorizo or preferred sausage, cut into ½ inch thick rounds
  • 3 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbs fresh parsley, minced


  1. In a slow cooker, layer the ingredients in this order: Onions, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, rice, chicken and sausage. Add hot sauce, salt, pepper and thyme. Pour water over all. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  2. In the last hour, add the shrimp and parsley, then stir to combine all ingredients. Add more water if jambalaya is dry.

Want to hear a funny story? I bought this delicious chicken andouille sausage with making jambalaya in mind. I usually wing it when making jambalaya and just toss this and that into the pot. For the most part it turns out but is always a little different each time. I think that it’s time for a change… if I used a recipe like this one I’d have more consistant results and it’d always be awesome!

Thank you Jen for sharing your recipe with all of us!

You can find Jen on her blog,  Twitter, Facebook, and of course Pinterest.

Monday Menu ~ 30 minute chili mac soup

Okay… first things first! I am beyond excited to tell you all that I have been featured on BlogHer! I was shocked when I got the email on Sunday afternoon… at first I thought that it was wrong or something but as I read more and then clicked over, there is was… my post about a soldiers homecoming. I don’t know how the process work… how they select someone’s post to be featured… but all I do know is that if you keep writing your best and from the heart it pays off.

So, now on to the regularly scheduled post. Today on the Monday Menu I have yet another soup… one of these days I’ll make something different. I promise! But for now I have a really easy dinner for you, 30 minute chili mac soup.

30 minute chili-mac

My family isn’t big fans Hamburger Helper and I hide the box for this recipe when I bought and then made sure that they never saw it while I was cooking. They never knew what it was and even commented how much they liked it and then I told them what was in it and they were pretty surprised. Of course they sighed and went on about how they don’t like Hamburger Helper and blah…blah…blah… Regardless of the complaining they still liked it and ate it.



1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 32oz carton of beef broth
1 cup of water
1 box Hamburger Helper® chili macaroni
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 28-oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 can corn with red and green peppers – drained
1 can of black beans – drained & rinsed



In 4-quart Dutch oven, cook beef, onion and green pepper over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, until the beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

burger & onions

Stir in the broth and water water, sauce mix (from Hamburger Helper box), chili powder, garlic salt and tomatoes.


Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in uncooked pasta (from Hamburger Helper box), corn and beans. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer.

After a day this thickened up pretty good and it tasted even better! Now, that I have this recipe I’m going to try using Hamburger Helper for other quick soups!

What’s your go to 30 minute or less dinner?

Monday Menu ~ Sausage and Bean Casserole

If you’re a busy mom … wait, aren’t all busy? Maybe you work full time but still love to cook from scratch for the family, then you have come to the right place. As you probably already know, cooking in big batches and freezing is the easiest way to feed the whole family. And there’s nothing more fun and inviting than placing a big plate of hot, home cooked food in the middle of the table and letting everyone dig in.

It is of course nice to experiment with complicated recipes, but as you know, baking in big batches is much easier, quicker and hassle free. You’ll find that making all-in-one casseroles and soups saves you a lot of time; you might find that it even gives you a spare half an hour to read your book, play a quick round of bingo at or catch up on your favorite show (Once Upon a Time for me!).

Below is a great family recipe you are sure to like and best of all it’s pretty easy & fast.

This recipe is perfect for feeding the whole family. Your kids are sure to love the sound of sausage and beans, and it makes a fun Friday night meal.

Bean and sausage casserole

(Serves 4)


8 large sausages – Italian would be best but you could use brats too
1 jar of tomato sauce
3 14oz cans of butter beans – You can use any beans you want or mix it up and add 3 different kinds (I’d use Randall White Beans)
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp English mustard
1 carrot – chopped
1/2 cup of peas
1 onion – chopped
1 teaspoon of tomato paste

Seasonings: Thyme, rosemary, garlic, fennel, salt, and pepper are all options that you can use in this dish.


In a large casserole dish, fry the onion, chopped carrot and sausages until they are brown all over. This should take about 10 minutes.

Next, pour in the tomato sauce and add in a squeeze of tomato paste. Season well and stir in the beans, along with the sugar and the mustard. Bring the whole casserole to simmering point, cover and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, pour in the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.

If you double or even triple it you can portion it out and freeze it for busy nights when you don’t have time to make something.

This warming and filling casserole is great served with crusty bread, rice or pasta, and a big green salad.

Monday Menu – Summer Veggie Bake

By now everyone’s garden or farmers market should be over flowing with all sorts of delicious summer veggies, fresh zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and everything in between. This year I skipped planting a garden and have just been getting what I need from my local farmers market and it’s been a lot easier but it’s also been a bit more expensive… I guess it’s a trade off… convenience over cost.

Once on a while I like to make a simple dinner that is meat free (GASP…. ). I’d probably be mostly vegetarian if it weren’t for my husband and a couple of the kids. Anyway, this recipe is amazing and as I was making it I realized how versatile it really is! The recipe calls for herbs de provence but you could easily use some fresh basil and thyme instead.

I should mention that this recipe is not of my own creation, although I wish it were. I found it in the August edition of Family Circle and when I happened upon it I knew that I had to make it and of course share it with everyone.

My oldest daughter and I loved it but the younger two girls didn’t like it at all. I’m pretty sure that it was the eggplant… they tried it and immediately made a yuck face!

Summer Veggie Bake


2 medium or 1 large sweet onions
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 can (15oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 tsp herbs de provence
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large eggplant
3 large summer squash (zucchini & yellow squash combo or whatever you like)
1/2 lb russet potatoes (I used 2 potatoes)
3 plum tomatoes
4 ounces of goat cheese

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

Peel & slice onions and saute in 1 tbsp of the oil and 1/4 tsp salt over medium heat. Cook 8 – 10 minutes or until softened, add garlic and cook for another minute or so, and then stir in the beans and 1/2 tsp of the herbs de provence. Pour into the bottom of a 13×9 pan.

sliced veggies sliced potatoes
Slice the eggplant, summer squash, potatoes, and tomatoes into 1/4 inch or so slices and then toss with the remaining olive oil, herbs de provence, and pepper.

arranging veggies in pan veggies ready for the oven
Arrange the sliced veggies on top of the onion mixture and pack tightly. As you can see I forgot to add the beans to the onion mixture so I tossed them on top of the veggies with the rest of the herbs. Cover the dish with aluminum foil tightly and bake for 30 – 45 minutes (veggies should be tender). Remove the foil and crumble the goat cheese over top of it and bake for 15 more minutes.

veggie bake

I think that this could be a main dish or you could cut the recipe in half and use it as a side dish with some grilled chicken or fish. Either way it’s perfect for a summer dinner! Like I said earlier I think that you can easily change the recipe up and use different herbs such as basil, thyme, or oregano or feta cheese or fresh mozzarella.

If you’re interested in the nutrition stats… made as is you will get 4 servings with 378 calories per serving, 17 g fat, 15 g protein, 45 g carbs, 12 g fiber, and 701 g sodium.

Do you think you’re family would like it? What’s your favorite way to use fresh summer veggies?

Monday Menu ~ Easy Chicken & Rice

Every once in a while a meal pops into my head and sounds so good that I just have to make it as soon as possible. Not that long ago in the middle of a work week I decided that I wanted chicken and rice with broccoli. Go ahead and laugh… I know it takes time to prepare that and after a busy day at work how was I going to get it done?

Well, I waved my magic wand and…. TADA… dinner!

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that easy but I was able to get it to the oven in about 30 minutes and then to the table in another 30 – 45 minutes. I call that a win for a homemade dinner.

The ingredients are super simple.

2 boxes of Uncle Ben’s Broccoli Rice au Gratin

1 can of cream soup – any kind you like. I used cream of celery because it’s what I had and I hate cream of mushrooms or mushrooms of any kind.

10 oz bag of frozen broccoli & cheese. The one you see in the picture I got at Kroger and it is incredible!

1 lb or so of boneless, skinless chicken. Get the tenders if you want… they’re faster to cut up.

1 cup of shredded cheese

Easy chicken and rice ingredients

The Ingredients

Now here is the method to the madness.

Cook the rice and while that is cooking cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and and brown them. The chicken doesn’t have to be fully cooked, just get it started.

Toss the bag of broccoli in the microwave for a couple minutes to soften it up a bit, again it doesn’t have to be done.

Alright, here comes the dump and mix part….. mix the rice (this doesn’t have to be all the way done), chicken, broccoli, and soup together. Don’t worry if it looks all soupy… it should look that way. Pour all of this into a 13×9 pan and top with the shredded cheese, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes. Take the foil off for the last 15 minutes or so.

Easy chicken and rice ready for the oven

There you have it… easy peasy right!

Easy chicken and rice

Now if you want to really make it an amazing meal you need to make the Beer Bread recipe from Kludgy Mom! The bread is really good and ever since I haven’t been able to find the Paula Deen beer bread mix in the stores for a while I was excited to find this recipe. Try it and you’ll love it too.

What is your go to quick meal for a work night? 

Are you looking for more great recipes? Check out the Monday Menu page!

Monday Menu ~ Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

One of my dishes is stuffed cabbage rolls, but they are a lot of work and take so much time that I rarely make them. Instead of the traditional cabbage rolls I’ve been making stuffed cabbage casserole! It’s just as delicious and it takes half the time which means that I can still make it after work during the week. I won’t say that this is one of those 30 minute meals though… it does take a little time.


1 -2 lbs of hamburger or ground turkey if you prefer

1 large onion – chopped

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp or more chopped garlic

1 -2 cups of uncooked instant rice – white or brown

2 14oz cans of beef broth

1 head of cabbage chopped

28oz can of stewed diced tomatoes or sauce, whichever you prefer (I used tomatoes that I cooked & froze over the summer)

Salt & pepper to taste

Spices – Now you can use just about any spice that you want I think. Thyme, oregano, basil, savory, or rosemary are all fine it all depends on the flavor that you want.



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the meat and when it’s almost done add in the onion, garlic, and bay leaf.

browning the meat

Once the onion is cooked, it’ll look translucent, add in the rice, broth, and seasonings and stir until it is combined and then add in the cabbage. You will need to make sure that you have a large pan to fit everything in!

add in the cabage

Stir this up and then add in the tomatoes.  It will seem a little soupy but don’t worry because it will all be soaked into the rice and cabbage.

Once you have everything combined pour it into a 13×9 pan and cover tightly with foil.

ready for the oven

Bake for about an hour, uncover and stir, and then bake for another 15 – 30 minutes. When it’s done remove it from the oven and enjoy with fresh bread and a salad!

cabbage roll casserole

 What are some of your favorite go to casseroles for dinner?