Easy Crock Pot Applesauce

Sora 100%

Welcome fall! Cooler temps, beautiful colors, and harvest–these are some of my favorite things about fall. However, when it comes to food, fall makes for a very happy time. Garden carrots, potatoes, and onions are hard to beat, but when it is time to pick apples, oh my! We all get a little excited. I’ve made apple crisps, baked apples, and dehydrated apples, but applesauce never gets old!

It takes forever though when you have to peel, core, and slice every apple–especially if they are small apples–so I’ve become a huge fan of Crock Pot Applesauce. I originally saw the idea on a recipe page a couple years ago (sorry, I can’t remember which one), but using a potato masher made the applesauce too chunky for my taste.

What worked well this year was simply quartering the apples, removing the core, and throwing the quarters into the crock with a little water, coconut sugar, and cinnamon.

Sora 100%
Quartered apples with cinnamon and sugar.


I cooked them on high for 3-4 hours, then ran them through my food processor once they were soft. There is some texture this way since you don’t peel the apples. I put the applesauce in my nutribullet though and it became so creamy! My family preferred the texture, which means one less step for me, so I simply stayed put with food processing. Yum!



Fill a 5-6 quart crock pot with quartered apples. (You do not need to peel them!)

Add 1-1/2 cups water.

Sprinkle with 1 TBLS of cinnamon.

Add 1/2 cup sugar. (I used coconut sugar for lower glycemic reasons.)

Stir, cover, and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

When apples are soft, put through a food processor with the S blade. (Or leave them and eat them as is–they are like pie filling!)




Stuffed Peppers

I’m excited about the arrival of garden peppers! They are so tasty! We whipped this up the other night and it was a hit.

1 lb hamburger
taco seasoning
4-5 peppers
Taco toppings, such as olives, cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomato, etc.

Brown hamburger and onion. Add taco seasoning with water according to package directions. Mix in rice.
Cut peppers in half, hollow out seeds. Stuff pepper halves with meat mixture and wrap in tinfoil. Place on the grill for about 20 minutes. Serve with taco toppings.

The peppers got really soft, but flavorful and the kids even used chips to scoop up their bites.

Three Bean Bake

1/2 lb ground beef (I add a lb of meat sometimes and it works too)
5 bacon strips, cooked and diced
1 onion chopped
2 16oz cans pork-n-beans
1 16oz can butter beans
1 16oz can kidney beans
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. BBQ sauce
2 T molasses
2 T mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper

Brown beef with onions. Rinse and drain butter and kidney beans. Mix sauce. Add all together and bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hr.

Baked beans were common on wagon trails west. This is a beefed up version from my friend Suzanne.


If I could survive healthily on only breads, well… I’d stay in my kitchen only to bake! I enjoy baking and although we don’t eat a lot of bread, I do enjoy muffins. We whip up pancakes and waffles too. I don’t tend to make homemade rolls often, but muffins and banana bread top our list. I love the smell on a cold day…It heats the heart in the cold of winter. In the summer, I bake more often at night and then use the next day or pop in the freezer for later. My personal cooking means using gluten free flour, but you can substitute most flours in these recipes.

Zucchini Bread

Huckleberry Muffins

Chicken and Rice (Crock Pot)

I know we are cattle people, but we do eat white meat… Although I still prefer red! This is a quick and easy dish that can be put together in the afternoon and ready in a few hours.

1 cup rice
3 cup water
2 tsp chicken bouillon
1 can chicken soup or mushroom soup (I use Pacific Organic because it is gluten free)
2 cups cooked chicken (or a can of chicken works too)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
broccoli if desired–frozen or fresh
1 cup grated cheese

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker except cheese. Sprinkle with cheese when serving.

Cowboy Stromboli

new phone, recital, beach, Katie b-day, concert 017

This is a hearty meal that my kids ask for often.

Pizza Dough for two large pizzas (I make up one package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough)
10-12 strips cooked bacon crumbled
various lunch meats (or use leftover ham, turkey, roast beef)
2 cups grated cheese (I use both cheddar and mozzerella)
8 oz pizza sauce
(I make my own: 8 oz tomato sauce, 1 tsp diced onion, 1/2 tsp italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp garlic salt)
2 tbls (ish) butter
grated parmesan

After I’ve made the pizza dough–if using Bob’s gluten free, use wet hands to keep it from sticking to you–hand press onto parchment paper into large rectangles. (Split dough in half and hand press onto two large baking sheets. 12×17 works well.) On half the dough, spread out half of your pizza sauce. Add a layer of lunchmeat. We usually do ham for one and roast beef on the other. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Add half your grated cheese mixture on for the next layer.

Carefully pick up the end of the dough that does not have toppings and fold it over the half that does. When using gluten free dough, this is tricky, thus the parchment paper comes in handy. Wet your hands again if needed. Pinch the sides together so cheese doesn’t ooze out. Repeat for other one. Using butter knife, spread top with butter like you’re frosting a cake, but not as thick! Sprinkle grated parmesan over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Make additional pizza sauce for dipping if desired.

Main Meals

After a hard day of working, we all love to be able to have a hearty meal. Here are some of our family favorites and ones we’ve used with our crews.

Later on I may add specific recipes, but if you are stuck for what to do for supper with a crowd of guys–don’t forget the beef you may have in your freezer.
Throw in a couple of roasts with potatoes and carrots.
Grill hamburgers.
Slice kielbasa or summer sausage with vegetables in olive oil, cook until tender. (Add Braggs for extra flavor.) I know, I know…cowboys don’t do stir-frys. But if you use potatoes, green beans, corn, peas, carrots and sausage…well, they’ll eat it. Just don’t call it stir-fry. Call it Sausage and Rice. They may not notice. Mine hasn’t. Shhh!
Round Steak and Potatoes.
Fajitas (These are awesome in a crock pot!)
Shredded roast–put on buns for sandwiches, or serve on top of rice.

I’ll keep adding more…as I remember what I’ve done or try something new.

Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole
*This is a family favorite and can be multiplied easily for big crowds.

1 lb ground beef
1 TBLS dried onion or 1/2 onion
1 packet taco seasoning (we use organic valley because its gluten free)
1/2 cup water
15 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup rice
1 15 oz can chili beans
1 cup grated cheese
tortillas and/or tortilla chips

Brown the ground beef and onion until no longer pink. Drain fat. Add taco seasoning, water, tomato sauce, rice, and chili beans. Simmer covered until rice is tender. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve once melted. Sprinkle with crushed chips or scoop with chips. Or spoon into tortillas for burritos. Top with lettuce, tomato, guacomole, sour cream.

If desired, cook in 9×13 pan in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes instead of simmer on stove. Or toss into crock pot on low for a couple hours. If baking add cheese before putting in oven. If putting in crock pot, add cheese just before serving.

Recipes from the Range

Part of a ranch wife’s life includes cooking. Since we have rented much of the land our cattle graze, many meals I’ve made have been packed up in our suburban and hauled out to the crew. Sure I’ve done the obvious sandwiches, especially on hot days. Even sandwiches can become creative though when you vary the kind of bread you use–hoagies, buns, etc. Sandwiches can be cold cuts with plenty of toppings or shredded meat sandwiches.
Yet my goal is to not write only of sandwiches, but to add some recipes that my family enjoys. Many of these can be cooked in larger quantities for ranch crews. I love to use the crock pot.

Most of these recipes will be gluten free as well. Six years ago I began cooking gluten free when my son was found to have a wheat interolerance. I’ve felt better since eating this way, so we continue to cook with various grains.

If you have suggestions or would like to add one of your recipe favorites, feel free!

Click here to go to my recipes…