Hello Hip Homeschool Moms! Let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Constance Smith.
I am an army wife and homeschooling mom of three kiddos, ages 15, 18 & 20. We are currently in our 13th year of homeschooling, and we have 2 graduates and a high school student. Our family has lived all over the place – Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Germany, North Carolina – and most recently we moved to Alabama after spending about 3 years in Alaska. I absolutely loved Alaska – the moose in the back yard, the Aurora Borealis dancing in the sky, and yes, even the cold and beautiful winters. But home is where the Army sends you, and now it has sent us to the South.
So why am I here on Hip Homeschool Moms? Well, I was recently approached and asked to join the team, and I was thrilled!
You see, I have had an online presence since 1998, started blogging in 2006, and can be found at The Foodie Army Wife. I specialize in sharing recipes with step by step photos to help others learn to make great dishes and treats for their families. I have a passion for the family dinner table, and I encourage families to eat together as much as possible.
Having been a Homeschool Mom for many years, I completely understand the challenges of juggling lessons and “socialization exercises” (Latin club, football, Speech class, Debate Club, Dancing lessons…GASP!!….4-H, Scouts, music lessons….and the list goes on and on) as well as trying to get a good supper on the table every night.
So, I am here to help! Right off the bat, I’m going to tell you that I think a busy family’s best friend is the good old classic crockpot. I love cooking with them so much – I have 5 of them! They are all different sizes, and one of them is a mini for sauces. The thing about crockpots is that, with a little bit of time early in the day, you can go about your lessons and activities, meanwhile your home will be filling with the yummy aromas of supper waiting for you! I don’t use mixes, and you’ll never see a recipe from me that has an ingredient that starts with “canned cream of…” Nope – can’t even go there! There are simple replacements for those, using real ingredients, and they only take minutes to make. But I’ll be sharing more than just crockpot suppers. I’ll be sharing baked goods, traditional meals, and even household & kitchen tips.
If you ever have a request for a recipe, a how-to question, or anything else, feel free to contact me at: HHM(at)thefoodiearmywife.com
So without further ado, here is my first recipe here at the Hip Homeschool Moms!
To begin, mince 3 cloves of garlic, and dice a medium sized onion.
In a skillet, toss in a pound of ground beef along with your onion & garlic. Cook these together until the meat is browned and the onions are a little tender.
Meanwhile grab a pound of red or yellow potatoes. Wash them up and then cut them into 1 inch pieces.
Wash, trim and peel 3 or 4 carrots, and dice these into 1/2 inch pieces.
Toss the potatoes and carrots into your crockpot along with the ground beef. I used a very lean beef, so there was no grease to drain off, but if you have grease in your pan, just scoop the meat out with a slotted spoon and place it in the crockpot. (I used a 4 quart crockpot here.)
Pour in 1 quart (4 cups) of beef broth.
Now you can’t have a cheeseburger without ketchup and mustard! Add in 1/4 c ketchup and 2 tablespoons of classic yellow mustard.
Give the soup a little kick by adding a teaspoon of chipotle chili pepper. (Note: I am a complete wimp when it comes to spicy food. This gives the soup just a little heat but is not spicy. If you have little ones who are super sensitive, reduce this to 1/2 teaspoon.)
Add in 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper and salt. Stir this all together.
Cook this on high for 5 1/2 hours or on low for 10 hours (depending on how soon you are starting this and when your supper time is.)
An hour before your soup is done, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan.
Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour. Let it bubble for just a minute and stir in 1 1/2 cup of milk. Stirring continually, cook this over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Turn the heat down as low as it goes.
Add in 2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese, stirring until it is melted in.
(Note: You have just made a great cheese sauce for steamed veggies!) Stir the cheesy mixture into the crockpot and let it cook together for the final hour.
Serve the soup with a little extra cheese sprinkled on top, and even add some diced pickles or crumbled bacon if you so desire. Enjoy!
Constance has been an Army Wife for 22+ years and met her husband during chapel service in Basic Training as a soldier herself. She is the mother of 3 nearly-grown kids and now lives in Alabama, having moved there this summer from Alaska. She has been eclectically homeschooling for 13 years and has two homeschool graduates and a high school student. She is an Organic Christian, loves studying scripture, and exploring God’s creation. She’s adventurous – loves hiking, hunting and other outdoor activities. Constance has maintained a food-related website since 1998, moved to blogging in 2006, and has had her content published in several local and national publications. On her website, The Foodie Army Wife she specializes in teaching others to create great meals and goodies for their loved ones using real ingredients and easy to follow recipes with step by step instructions and photos. She encourages families to cook together and enjoy family meals as often as possible. You can connect with Constance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest