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Quick fix

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

August is a month full of many exciting new ventures for us. The oldest daughter starts as a freshman at K-State and my son is now a licensed driver. The middle daughter is enrolled and ready to start third grade. August is always a bittersweet time because while we are excited to head back to school, we also hang on tight to the last few weeks of summer.

At Sutton Central that means we’ll be cooking simple but with recipes that are still quite tasty! Often a recipe serves more as an idea than as a complicated-to-follow guide with a slew of ingredients. When we can limit meal prep to one or two pans, simply pop an entrée in the oven or utilize our slow cooker, we’ll use the extra time to kick back as a family and catch a few fireflies.


Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This recipe is simple but tastes amazing! The adults like to pile a scoop of coleslaw on top of the pork before adding that top bun. Serve with baked beans and you’ll have happy tummies! This recipes serves 6 adult-sized sandwiches.

1 boneless pork shoulder roast, about 2 1/2 to 3 lbs.
1 c. chopped yellow onion
1 (12 oz.) bottle barbecue sauce
4 Tbsp. honey
Dash of hot pepper sauce
6 to 8 sandwich rolls

Place roast in a lightly-greased 5-quart slow cooker. Combine onion, barbecue sauce, honey and hot pepper sauce and pour over the roast. Cook on low setting for 7 to 9 hours.


Simple Slow Cooker Ham

I think of our friends at Springer Family Farm every time we enjoy this meal. The house smells amazing we walk in from work and school famished. For a starch we make the buttered noodles.

1 ham, pre-cooked, bone-in, spiral cut
3 c. light brown sugar, divided
1 (14.5 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, undrained

Cover the bottom of the crock with about a half cup of the brown sugar. Place the ham on top of the brown sugar and pour the pineapple over the top of the ham. Sprinkle the remainder of the brown sugar on top of the pineapple tidbits. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.


Buttered Noodles

2 1/4 c. uncooked wide egg noodles
1/4 c. finely-shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Return the noodles to the saucepot or transfer to a serving dish and immediately add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.


Bacon Pork Chops Slow Cooked

I toss this recipe in the slow cooker at lunch and it is ready to roll by dinner time. Because I have the bacon out and handy, I’ll fry a few slices in the bottom of a sauce pan until crispy and then add a can of green beans until warm. Slice a watermelon and you’ve got a great summer meal!

4 boneless pork chops, about 1-inch thick
6 slices bacon, uncooked
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
2 tsp. garlic powder

Place pork chops in the bottom of the crock and arrange the bacon slices on top of the chops. Sprinkle the seasoning evenly on top. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours.


Easy Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Kielbasa is great substitute and you can mix up the beans according to what you have in your pantry. I’ve used a mix of red beans as well as black beans. You can shortcut this recipe by using the frozen, precut veggie mix. You can also use the pre-cooked rice-in-a-bag but cut your chicken stock to 1 cup, skip the saute step and shorten the simmer time to 10 minutes.

1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. smoked sausage
1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. celery
1 c. white rice, uncooked
1 (14 oz.) cans dark red kidney beans, drained
1 (14 oz.) cans light kidney beans, drained
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. water
2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
2 Tsp. hot sauce

In a stockpot over medium-high heat the oil. Cut sausage into 1/2 inch pieces and lightly brown in the skillet. Add vegetables and saute 5 to 7 minutes. Add the rice and saute 2 more minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid, and cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes.


Creamy Tomato Tortellini with Chicken Sausage

I like to tear up the baby spinach to sneak in this veggie undetected.

1 pkg. (19 oz.) frozen cheese tortellini
2 fully-cooked Italian chicken sausage links, sliced
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
1 (6 oz.) pkg. fresh baby spinach
4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions. In a large skillet lightly coated with cooking spray, cook and stir sausage until browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and spinach; cook and stir until spinach wilts. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Drain tortellini and add to sausage mixture, toss to coat.

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