Quick and Easy Cheesy Beef Sandwiches

I love a quick meal during our fall harvest season.  My Farmer is in the midst of corn and soybean harvest.  And my kids are all in between basketball practice, FFA and 4H meetings, cattle and rabbit chores, potty training a new puppy and quickly nearing Thanksgiving!  We are chasing our tails around our cornfields.

Because we recently had a beef butchered, I have an entire brisket that I needed to use.  The brisket is the part of the cow above it’s front legs.  What I would call it’s chest.  Brisket is a tough cut of meat.  It is what is used to make corned beef or pastrami.  And to make it taste really good, I think it needs smoked for a long time or submerged in brother and slow cooked all day!

Usually, I would smoke a brisket.  But we didn’t get it done over Labor Day during our camping outing with friends, so I needed another use for the hunk of meat.  8 hours submerged in the crockpot was all this meat needed to be pull-apart tender and a delicious base for this sandwich!

Yes, these are paper plates.  And probably the worst food pictures I’ve ever taken.  The whole family was eating outside and I don’t use fancy plates when we are on the run!

Many thanks to Indiana’s Family of Farmers for my new Crock-Pot Indianapolis Colts NFL Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with Bonus 16-ounce Little Dipper Food Warmer!  This CrockPot features a cook and carry inside dish and I love it!





Quick and Easy Cheesy Beef Sandwiches

Quick and Easy Cheesy Beef Sandwiches

Quick and Easy Cheesy Beef Sandwiches
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 sandwiches
Let your brisket cook all day and dinner will be quickly assembled!
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-5 lbs. beef brisket
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 5 chopped potatoes
  • 1 bag of mini carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine (great way to use leftover wine)
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • enough water to cover brisket
  1. Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper on all sides. Cook the brisket until browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  2. Put the onion, carrots and potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add brisket on top of the vegetables. Add garlic cloves, rosemary and bay leaves. Add the wine, broth then fill with enough water to cover all of the beef and vegetables.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours, then high for an additional hour. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
  4. Sandwiches
  5. Remove the brisket and shred. Butter both sides of the buns then place them under the broiler on low for 1-2 minutes. Be care not to burn! Place shredded brisket on one side of the bun and top with cheese. Return that half back under the broiler for another 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with the other half of the sandwich bun. Use remaining broth from the slow cooker as a dip for the sandwiches. Serve cooked potatoes, carrots and onions alongside.


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I’m linked up to Whatcha Crockin!  Check out their website for more yummy recipe ideas!


And check out my blog idol, Southern Plate, for her recipe ideas this week!  I’m linking to her Meal Plan Monday – #34 This week.

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

This post features me comparison shopping at three different grocery stores.  This trips were sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers.  And while they compenstated me for the post, the opinions are all my own.  Including my disgust with Whole Foods.

I’ll admit to really loving the grocery store.  I like looking at packaging, products, marketing and new items.  I laugh out loud at the companies who label apples at gluten-free, and then wonder who exactly falls for that?  I get excited when new products are released or my favorite mini-sweet peppers are on sale.  Crazy, maybe.  But I love to wander the aisles and look at what is being sold.

I do most of my grocery shopping at Aldi’s and Kroger’s.  Plus I visit the locally owned Amish market for my lunchmeat and cinnamon rolls that are better than I ever make.  Those are the only places I shop.  Today I was shopping for ingredients to make Crockpot Lasagna Soup.

Easy, Comforting, Crockpot Lasagna Soup!

So to my surprise, I learned that I was going to need to shop at a Whole Foods.  Let’s be clear, Whole Foods goes against everything I stand for as a hog and grain farmer.  I believe in using clear concise measure in selling foods.  Whole Foods markets gluten-free apples.  I believe that consumers should choose how they spend their food dollars.  Whole Foods tells customers that if you don’t buy their food, then you are not feeding your family correctly.

For this trip, I took my friendly dietician Kim and my blogger friend Crystal with me.  We were going to shop three different stores, buying the same recipe ingredients at each store, and compare prices.

First stop was Kroger’s.  Since this is one of the stores I shop often, i breezed through the aisles and found my ingredients. I purchase store-brand on nearly everything I buy, except tomatoes.  I always buy Red Gold tomatoes.  As an Indiana company with Indiana growers, I love the tomatoes and the company!

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Cost? $20.61 total.

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Then she told me we were going to Whole Foods.  I was less than happy.  I didn’t want to spend one dime of my hard-earned, hog-raising, corn-growing money at that store.  I thought the store smelled bad and I was upset that I couldn’t find every ingredient I needed, as they didn’t sell pork sausage.

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And the real shocker?  The cost.  $33.17 for the ingredients that they did sell.  Don’t forget they didn’t have sausage.  And to top it off, the ground pork I did buy for this recipe was rotten when I unwrapped it.  I pulled it out one day before the best-by date and it was stinky and rotten. So that was a waste of $6 on a pound of meat.

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Then it was off to Aldi’s.  I really love shopping at Aldi’s.  It is my go-to for pantry and kid snack staples.  I usually don’t buy meat at any grocery store, so I was happy that they had the meat I needed.

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I was most excited about the price! $17.13 for the entire meal!  Almost $16 cheaper than Whole Foods.

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As a hog and grain farmer, I support people spending their grocery income however they choose.  If you want to shop at the Whole Foods stores, then please do so.  If Aldi’s is your favorite store, that is great.  What I don’t like is a grocery store telling me that I’m not feeding my family the “right” way if I don’t shop their store.

Now for the recipe!  I made a Crockpot Lasagna Soup.  This is a simple, filling recipe and perfect for fall nights!

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Crockpot Lasagna Soup



Crockpot Lasagna Soup
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Super easy, crockpot soup that is tasty and will please the entire family!
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable juice or V8
  • 2 cups uncooked shell pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Brown pork and sausage on the stove.
  2. Mix together the can of tomatoes and tomato paste in crockpot.
  3. Add broth, beef, garlic, parsley, basil, onion, vegetable drink, salt and pepper
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  5. Just before serving, boil pasta in a saucepan. Add prepared pasta to crockpot and stir.
  6. Serve with salad, garlic bread and cheese for topping!

I’m hooking up to my lovely friends Whatcha Crockin’ weekly blog fun!

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Can you Feed Your Family for $50?

As a farmer, feeding people is my priority.  I want to make sure families are eating three good meals a day, each meal with meat, veggies and milk to drink!  But how far will $50 go in the grocery store?

I’m excited to bring you this new series, from my friends at Indiana Family of Farmers.  For the next 4 months, I’m going to see how many meals I can make for $50. I will not only share a recipe for an affordable meal, but I’ll also share a few meal plans, why I’m cooking those meals and challenge you to make  your own affordable meal plan.
I’ve been asked to follow a few guidelines.  The meals can be breakfast, lunch, dinner or a combo of all three.  Each meal must include one meat protein.  As a hog farmer, that isn’t hard in this house.  We LOVE our pork chops and bacon!!
What is more difficult is realizing the cost of meat in the grocery.  I believe beef, pork and chicken are very affordable and we enjoy the safest, most affordable food of any country on the planet.  But I don’t buy meat in the grocery.  We butcher our own hogs every winter and I buy half a beef from a cattle farmer friend, thus avoiding the grocery store.  We don’t raise our own chickens, yet, so I will buy those in the grocery.
This week’s meal plan is based on how much we aren’t home at night!  All three kids are playing baseball and have practices every night.  I have some work travel as well and will be gone one night this week.  That requires me to plan ahead so The Farmer doesn’t hit up the local fast food joints!  So my slow cooker is going to get a lot of use.
I feed a family of 5 every night.  And I always need at least one serving leftover to pack for my Little Man’s lunch at daycare the next day.
Meal #1
Chicken Tetrazzini
Green Salad
Garlic Bread
White or Chocolate Milk
Meal #1 is a Sunday night supper.  The tetrazzini was a big hit for the entire family.  My kids love anything that includes pasta and cheese.  They are also big salad eaters.  The garlic bread was to round out the meal.  And the meal must have milk on the table as well.  Cost of meal – $13
chicken tetrazzini
 Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
A tasty, easy chicken tetrazzini that your family will love!
  • 1 lb linguine
  • 4 large chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 5 TBSP butter
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms, portabello or button
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese
  1. Cook pasta per package directions. Drain.
  2. Saute mushrooms in butter until softened and browned. Add garlic and chicken broth and continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half.
  3. Add cream of celery, cream of mushroom, sour cream and milk to mushrooms. Mix. Add chopped chicken breasts to mixture and stir. Dump soup mixture into pasta and stir to combine.
  4. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Dump mixture into dish. Put cheddar cheese on top of mixture and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Meal #2
Slow Cooker Chicken & Bean Nachos
Blue Corn Chips
Sliced Veggie Tray
White or Chocolate Milk
Chicken thighs are a cheap, go-to meat in my house.  And canned beans are a great shortcut and cheap meal maker!  Many of the ingredients for this recipe were purchased at Aldi’s.  My secret weapon for saving money is to do the majority of my shopping at this store.  It is so much cheaper than the bigger retailers!  Chicken thighs were on sale.  My package of 6 skinless thighs were just $2.  Pretty cheap!  Aldi’s blue corn chips are very good and only $2 a bag.  I don’t buy many of my veggies at Aldi’s, making another trip to Kroger or Marsh for a wider variety of vegetables.  Cost of meal – $10
Meal #3
15 Ham & Bean Soup
Crusty Bread
White or Chocolate Milk
I had leftover ham from our Easter celebration.  I froze most of it and will pull it out for this super easy soup!  A precooked ham is very inexpensive around the holidays and can be stored in your freezer for some time before being used.  My spiral cut ham was cooked for a few hours and enjoyed on Easter and the rest frozen.  This recipe uses a double dose of protein, with the ham and the variety of beans.  A loaf of crusty bread, dipped in some olive oil and vinegar, rounded out the meal.  Cost of meal – $10
Meal #4
Maple crusted pork loin
BBQ Green beans
Orange brown rice
White or chocolate milk
This meal is my most expensive of the week.  While I don’t buy pork loin at the grocery since I have my own in the freezer, I realize it is a more expensive cut of meat.  But it is one of The Farmer’s favorite foods!  So I pulled mine out of the freezer for this meal.  I did price the pork loin at the local grocery and found it on sale for $1.99 per pound. I could have purchased a decent size loin for $10.  BBQ Green Beans are also a big favorite in our house.  I use green beans I canned from last years garden and add a homemade BBQ sauce.  You can buy a big can of green beans.  I then fry a few slices of bacon.  To the bacon, I add brown sugar, ketchup and  worchestershire sauce.  Voila!! BBQ sauce!  Add to the green beans and stir.  Whip up some brown rice and the meal is done.  Cost of meal – $16
How would you use $50 in your meal planning?  Can you make $50 stretch to make 4 dinners?  Or maybe a combination of lunches and breakfasts?  Let me know how you would use $50!