Tag Archives: Who Needs a Cape.com

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Weeknight Pulled Pork Sandwiches

9 Oct
I don't usually think of pulled pork sandwiches as a week night meal at our house, but these were a hit!

I don’t usually think of pulled pork sandwiches as a week night meal at our house, but these were a hit!

Are you getting tired of my crock pot adventures yet?

You might be.

But, I’m not done yet! I have a few more coming, including this one.

I am loving finally having a series of crock pot success stories to share, after years of really never having many “keeper” recipes.

Tonight’s is another Who Needs a Cape recipe. Hers have all been winners pretty much, and this one is no different. It was easy and delicious.

Recently, my kids were out and they were asked by another mom what that mom could make for an upcoming event, and they all three suggested this recipe. I wasn’t even in the room when this conversation took place, so I can’t even say I influenced them in any way!

That means that all the ribbing they give me about all the crock pot cooking I’ve been doing, they really are enjoying 1) being able to eat dinner and 2) the variety of great recipes we’ve tried.

Which makes me right, again. This was a great idea, all this crock pot cooking.

Anyway, enough about how right I always am, and back to this great recipe.

We actually make pulled pork in the crock pot for birthday parties here all the time, but I never think of them for weeknight dinners. When I saw this one, it was super-easy and part of her 40 meals that I’ve been plowing through for weeks now, so I figured I’d give it a go.

We cheated and used regular hamburger buns for these because that’s what we had on hand, and served them with a side of veggies.

All thumbs up. Everyone liked the sandwiches and we had no complaints.

Definitely a keeper recipe, again!!

I encourage you to give the recipe a try and see what you think!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Mongolian Beef (Take Two)

2 Oct
This was so good, I almost forgot to take a picture of it!

This was so good, I almost forgot to take a picture of it!

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

As you probably know by now, I’ve been making crock pot meals approximately four times a week, as a means of getting us through this fall sports schedule (which ends at the end of October for us).

So far, it’s been working out well, allowing me to “cook” meals that are ready when we get home from whatever we’re at, arriving home in time for dinner even though no one was here to cook dinner. I’m lucky, in that I am usually home from work at lunch time most days, so I set my dinner up at that time and let it go when I go back to work. Depending on when we need to eat, I put it in anywhere between 10 am and noon.

A week or two back, however, we had a crock pot debacle. As I was making the Who Needs a Cape Mongolian Beef, one we were really looking forward to, I licked the spatula before throwing it into the sink (AFTER I’d used it) and realized the Hoison sauce I’d bought was VERY VERY spicy. I was nervous for the outcome. I even watered down the sauce during the cooking time.

I kept my fingers crossed that it’d work out for the best, but it didn’t. It was so spicy. No one really liked it.

I wrote “BLECH” on my recipe sheet and prepared to throw it in recycling.

I was so disappointed. We’d really been looking forward to this one.

However, when I shared the news with my friend Gina, she asked what kind of Hoison sauce I used. When I told her, she looked it up and found that it contained red hot chili peppers.

Just like the band from the 90’s.






We’re not spicy food lovers here, most of us.

I decided to try the recipe again, because both Gina and another friend of mine, Amy, had both tried it and proclaimed it to be as amazing as we’d thought it would be; a top favorite on their lists of meals.

I went to the store, I turned all the Hoison sauce bottles around so that I could see the ingredients. I found one with chili peppers. That one was definitely out. I found another that said “slightly spicy.” Forget it.

I finally chose one that seemed safe and decided that this week we’d give it another try.

This Monday night, we did.


It was sooooooo good. Totally delicious.

And, there was a little bit left, just enough for my lunch on Tuesday, and guess what??

It was even better the second day! The flavor was bursting! I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch.

We served our beef with our usual Chinese Fried Rice, but I also added a batch of quinoa as one of our side dish offerings. Personally, I love mixing the quinoa with the rice, and that’s what I did with the Mongolian Beef. It was fabulous.

So the lesson learned is two-fold: 1) check the ingredient labels when buying a new sauce, and 2) don’t give up!

I’m so glad we tried the Who Needs A Cape Mongolian Beef again, it’s most definitely a keeper!!

I’ve linked to the recipe twice in this post, and I’m putting her recipe below as well. I hope you’ll give it a try, and remember, if you don’t like spicy, CHECK YOUR LABELS!



  • 1 lb. stew meat
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce


  1. Freezer directions- dump all ingredients into a labeled freezer bag, seal, mix up, freeze flat. It’s as easy as that!
  2. When you’re ready to cook- take the bag out of the freezer the night before and let it defrost in the fridge. The next morning dump the bag into the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you’re going to be longer just add a bit more water so it doesn’t dry out. Serve with fresh slice green onions and rice. Yum!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Chicken tacos…the dinner that kept on giving

18 Sep
Chicken Tacos in the crock pot was one of our favorite meals last week!

Chicken Tacos in the crock pot was one of our favorite meals last week!

Just the other day I talked in my post about how I love meals that I can cook enough of to last more than one day or night.

Well, last Thursday’s dinner, a crock pot meal of Chicken Tacos was amazing in every department: It was fast and easy, delicious, everyone loved it, and I got four people’s lunches plus another whole dinner out of it.

“That’s amazing!” You must be saying.

“I wonder how she did that!!” You’re probably wondering.

Well here’s how it all went down:

As you know, we’ve been in need of some heavy duty crock pot cooking with the advent of the new school year. I figured that if I can do crock pot recipes four nights a week, we will be in good shape with our dinners. My friend Gina sent me this link with more than a dozen recipes for crock pot cooking. I talked about it last week in my What’s for Dinner Wednesday post as well.

So far we’re up to six crock pot meals and we’re pretty much six for six. Everyone’s liked everything.

I made due with what I had to make the fresh Pico de Gallo and it was amazing.

I made due with what I had to make the fresh Pico de Gallo and it was amazing.

Last Thursday I tried the Chicken Taco recipe, which you can find here. It called for Pico de Gallo, which I didn’t have but I had two large tomatoes and a regular onion so I adapted this recipe from Allrecipes.com to make my own, fresh batch, and I threw it on there.


We served it with a choice of hard or soft taco shells and we had toppings of nonfat refried beans, nonfat sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Those toppings are an important detail.

The reason they matter is that forever, Elizabeth has been asking for a seven layer dip type of recipe that she saw in her lunchbox cookbook, as her lunch. I had actually seen something similar, called Burrito in a Jar on Skinnyms.com and I thought she’d like that. I kept saying that the next time we had tacos I’d do the dip for her lunch the next day.

The lunches following the Chicken Taco dinner were a big hit the next day!

The lunches following the Chicken Taco dinner were a big hit the next day!

Additionally, Alex had been asking for a Taco Salad ever since we had it at our annual Labor Day cookout. Someone brings it every year, and Alex declared it to be so fabulous that she wanted it for lunch asap. I had been giving her the same answer; next taco meal, she’d have Taco Salad for lunch.

Well, the leftovers for this meal provided all the fixings for both the dip and the salad. I prepped everything for everyone’s lunches as I cleaned up from dinner, basically using the leftover toppings from the tacos to make the dips and salad. I put some multigrain tortilla chips into ziploc bags and four lunches went into the fridge, all made for the next morning, when dinner was cleaned up. Done and done.

You’d think that there was no place else to go with this meal, that we’d used it and used it again, so it was done, but it wasn’t! I actually had not yet used the leftover chicken and Pico de Gallo that had cooked for the hot portion of the tacos. I’d only used the leftover toppings. So I saved them, on the advice of my friend Gina, who said that I should consider making Tortilla Soup with the leftovers, on another night. Coincidentally, my other friend, Paula, just happened to post a recipe for Tortilla Soup on her soup blog, My Soup For You, the very next day. Gotta love friends like that! They work together and don’t even know it. One’s in Florida, one’s in Maryland, and I’m here! But we all got my dinner for Monday night, prepped and planned!!

Tortilla soup preparation was fast and easy and it simmered in the crock pot all day long on Monday.

Tortilla soup preparation was fast and easy and it simmered in the crock pot all day long on Monday.

To make my own Tortilla soup, I used Paula’s recipe as a guide. I threw in the leftover chicken and pico, with a 32 oz. container of chicken broth plus two cups of water with two boullion cubes dissolved in it (I had run out of the containers of broth, but would’ve just used two if I had them.)

In addition, I threw in a can of black beans (rinsed), about a half bag of frozen corn, and at the last minute I decided to saute half a green and half a red pepper and throw that in near the end of the cooking time.

I served the soup with nonfat sour cream, nonfat shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips that you could crush up and put into the soup if you wanted to.

It was amazing. I loved it, Liz loved it, Don loved it. Alex and Caroline did not love it. But they are the pickiest of the five of us, so I wasn’t surprised at all that it wasn’t up their alley.

I’d totally make it again.

And the best part…..there was leftover soup.

For my lunch for my lunch the next day.

This was by far the furthest I have ever stretched a meal of ours. It was inexpensive to make too. Nothing in it cost very much and every part of it was delicious.

If you’re looking to stretch your budget and your meals, I highly recommend you try this out!

I got two dinners and two lunches out of one crock pot meal!

I got two dinners and two lunches out of one crock pot meal!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Anything I can crock pot

11 Sep
On the table and ready to eat!

On the table and ready to eat!

It’s back to school time.

Back to sports time.

Back to scouts time.

And of course, back to work time.

That makes cooking dinner time quite complicated.

This fall, for the first time, everyone’s every thing is on every night, with pick ups and drop offs in and around dinner time.

Most nights we can eat together but most nights there is going to be no one home to cook.

As I looked at my schedule for the next eight weeks, I knew I had to come up with a solution, and fast. If I could figure out how to get everyone everywhere and home again, I needed to have a meal waiting when we got here. Eating together is really important to us, and so is eating a home-cooked, healthy meal.

Around the same time I was contemplating my fall schedule dilemma, a friend of mine, Gina, forwarded me a link to the blog whoneedsacape.com, Specifically, to the 40 Meals/Four Hours recipe collection.

I was sold. It looked like exactly what I needed–the ability to prep meals way ahead of time and cook them while I was gone on the days that I needed them. It almost sounded too good to be true.

Very rarely have I found a crock pot meal that we all like, that I’d want to make again. But, with so many options to choose from–more than a dozen recipes, all of which could be prepped ahead, it was worth a try.

I decided that rather than prepping several sets of any one recipe, I’d instead go through the list, see what sounded like things my family might like, and try each one just once. If they were successful, then I’d prep more of the ones we liked for the future.

Elizabeth happened to be around when I first received the link. We clicked through and looked at every photo, every recipe. We came up with a list of those we wanted to try. It seemed doable.

This week alone, I’ve got several of these recipes on my list to try out. The very first one, made on Monday night, was a keeper, according to my family. As I try each one, they’ll appear on future “What’s For Dinner Wednesday” posts if they’re deemed worthy by my family.

Maple Dijon Chicken was the one I chose to try out first. I opted to switch out the chicken thighs that it called for, switching in boneless, skinless breasts instead.

The recipe was simple and quick to prep, which I liked. I could have prepped it ahead and froze it, but this time I didn’t need to. I had some time in the morning to do it. The house smelled great all day long! I love that about crock pot cooking!

Here is the recipe as found on Who Needs A Cape.com, with my few modifications. Give it a try and see what you think! I served ours with brown rice and veggies on the side. Thumbs up all around!

Throw it all in the crock pot and turn it on!

Throw it all in the crock pot and turn it on!



  • 6-8 Chicken thighs  (I used boneless, skinless breasts, thawed.)
  • 1/2 C Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  • 1 T Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 can of Sliced Mushrooms, drained* (I used fresh mushrooms.)
  • 1 onion sliced*  (I used half an onion.)


  1. Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Place chicken in crock pot
  3. Mix together mustard, syrup, vinegar and pour over chicken
  4. Top with mushrooms and sliced onion
  5. Cook on low for 6 hours