French Dip Sandwiches


One of my absolute FAVORITE sandwiches EVER!!

1 3-lb. (ish) pound beef roast
½ c. soy sauce
1 c. beef broth
1 bay leaf
3-4 peppercorns
1 t. dried rosemary
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. garlic powder
1 c. water
6-8 hoagie rolls

Combine all ingredients except the roast and the rolls. Pour over trimmed roast in slow cooker.

Cook on low 10-12 hours.

Serve on rolls with sauce for dipping.

NOTE: This dish can be prepared with a frozen OR fresh roast. The roast can be thawed when it goes into the slow cooker OR placed in the slow cooker while still frozen. The leftover meat also freezer beautifully if you ever want to make a double batch to have some prepared meat in the freezer.

ANOTHER NOTE: My FAVORITE way to eat this is to have some cooked onions and Swiss cheese to put on top. I usually toast this sandwich, open-faced, under the broiler until the cheese is brown and bubbly, and then commence eating with a knife and fork. YUM!!


Italian Beef Sandwiches


This is definitely a special-occasion recipe for our family, and it’s also one of my favorite ways to prepare a beef roast!  I just put one of these in the freezer to pull out during the holidays.  Woo hoo!

1 3-4 lb. beef roast
1 jar pepperoncini or banana peppers
1 T. dried, minced onion
2 t. Italian seasoning
2 t. garlic salt
½ t. pepper
¼ c. water
1 ½ c. mozzarella cheese, grated
sturdy sandwich buns

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 8-9 hours until meat is tender. Shred with two forks. Spoon meat onto toasted buns; top with mozzarella cheese, if desired.

Hawaiian Chicken

We ran across this recipe recently and decided to try it.  It will be coming out of the slow cooker in 3…2…1…

4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
16-oz. pineapple bits, drained
15-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
3 T. cornstarch
¼ c. brown sugar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. lemon juice
½ t. salt
½ t. ground ginger
pinch cayenne pepper
1 green bell pepper, cut in strips

Combine all ingredients except bell pepper.  Place in slow cooker.  Cook on low 4-5 hours or on high 2-3 hours.  Add bell pepper one hour before serving.

Serve over rice.

NOTE:  If this is put in your slow cooker frozen, be sure to add a couple of hours to the cooking time.


Making Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

I was teaching an Eat Cheap! class to a group of women today, and the topic of making yogurt came up.  I had just tried this slow cooker technique last week (and am getting ready to make another batch tomorrow), so I was able to speak to the accuracy and ease of this particular recipe.  It makes just over a half gallon of plain yogurt, which is a great substitution for sour cream.  It can also be mixed with all kinds of fruit, nuts and honey for a yummy breakfast or snack.  I used whole milk for the base and plain Greek yogurt for the starter, but it looks like it’s fairly flexible.


Slow-cooker Spanish Rice


My twelve-year-old daughter found a version of this recipe a couple of weeks ago and decided to give it a try on her night to cook supper.  It was surprisingly good–not because she made it, but because the recipe’s ingredients just did not impress me.  We ate the leftovers wrapped up in whole wheat tortillas for lunch the next day.  We use our own tomato products, so my daughter typed this recipe up with the changes she made.  As long as liquid amounts stay similar, you can certainly use commercial tomato products.  If you can find ground beef for a good price, this could even be a $4 meal.

1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 pt. salsa
1 pt. tomato sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 c. water
2 1/2 t. chili powder
2 t. salt
1 c. long-cooking rice

guacamole (optional)

Combine first eight ingredients in slow cooker and mix well.

Cover and heat on low setting 6-8 hours or on high setting for 3-1/2 hours.

Serve with guacamole.

Serves 8-10 people.

Herb-Crusted Chuck Roast

This roast is a real treat, and super easy to boot.  You can also cook this in the slow cooker, but it won’t have that herby crust that comes from oven roasting.

¼ cup dry bread crumbs
2 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 (3-4 lb.) boneless chuck eye or top blade


1 cup sour cream
3 T. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt

In a bowl, combine first seven ingredients. Rub over entire roast.

Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender and reaches desired doneness.

Let stand 10 minutes before carving.

Combine the sauce ingredients. Serve with the roast.

BBQ Pork & Potatoes

For the barbecue sauce lovers among you, this is a winner.  Plus, it requires little effort for a hot meal.  You can even put the pork in completely frozen; just add a couple of hours to your cooking time.


6 med. potatoes, peeled & cubed

2 lb. pork loin, trimmed and cubed

1 tsp. dry mustard

2 c. your favorite barbecue sauce, thinned with about a cup of water


Combine potatoes, pork, mustard, and one cup of BBQ sauce.

Cook on low 8 hours; stir in remaining cup of BBQ sauce.