Eat From the Pantry Challenge January 2010

I have decided to attempt to participate in the "Eat from the Pantry Challenge" being hosted on Money Saving Mom's website. I usually try to use the items we already have on hand in order to make room for more, but clearly since my freezer keeps getting fuller, we are not consuming as quickly as we are acquiring the food. Currently, our three freezers are bulging at the seams as well as show off my organizing skills - or lack there off. My goal in this challenge is to reorganize and make a log of what I have in stock. Ideally putting like items together will be on the top of my list, but this all depends on how long my attention span lasts.

My husband just brought home a ton of deer meat that we cut up and portioned into roasts and stews, so I will need to incorporate my meals around this new and unique to me, type of meat.  If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them.

My goals for this challenge during the month of January 2010 are:

1. To limit spending at grocery stores to no more than $20 a week and mostly on items such as milk and eggs. While trying to use giftcards from RX transfers when possible to buy some of these items.

2. To create meals using items from our stockpile and post the recipes  here.

3.   To continue eating at home every night - we just do not go out to eat much around here.

4. To use the money saved to go do something fun as a family (i.e. movies, dinner out)

5. And lastly, to update my inventory and post updates on the Challenge status weekly.

Note: I am sure there will be exceptions to my grocery spending. For example, starting tomorrow Super Fresh is having another triple coupon event and it has been quite some time since they have done this, so I HAVE to go at least once. Other items that are at rock-bottom prices or free will more than likely be picked up too.

Menu Plan Monday Happy Holidays 12/18

Are you still recovering from all the Christmas festivities? How about that waistline - is it growing? I know mine is. I do not plan on doing a New Year's Resolution because, lets face it, most of us do not follow through with it anyways. I plan on just continuing on with my workouts and maybe around March I will kick it up a few notches to get rid of this holiday sag. How about you? Anyone have a New Years Resolution? What do you plan on changing or doing differently in 2010? If so, how will you stay focused and motivated on the goal at hand? Well, whatever your goal, I wish you luck.
    This week I will be continuing my freezer and pantry purge. I cannot purchase any more frozen food until I clear out some room, so my goal is to use items from my freezer.

If you are interested in more menu plans, recipes or other tips, check out OrgjunkieDining with Debbie or Blessed With Grace

  • Turkey and Sausage Gumbo
  • Jack Daniels Chicken Sandwiches (chicken breasts frozen in marinade) with glaze, and Sweet Potato Fries
  • Chicken Parmesan with Pasta (dip chicken breasts in beaten egg then in bread crumbs, italian seasonings, salt and pepper. Place on cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake until done)
  • Ground Beef Taco's (use master meat mix) with Black Beans (make Crock-pot Beans ahead and freeze) and Spanish Rice or another version here
  • Vegetable Soup (sautéed onions and garlic, beef broth, frozen veggies) and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Turkey Sausage Gumbo

Turkey (or Chicken) Sausage Gumbo 

(turkey broth not shown)

This is a revised version in order to utilize my leftover turkey. Check out the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo recipe here.

½ cup vegetable oil, bacon fat, or lard

½ cup flour


1 onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped (red seems to look the best)

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 lb smoked sausage, cut into slices and then halves

3 cloves garlic, chopped

Pinch of Pepper, hold off on the salt until after adding the creole seasoning because it has a lot of salt in it already.

Creole Seasoning to taste

6 Cups Turkey Stock or Chicken Stock

1 bay leaf

3 Cups Cubed or shredded cooked turkey

1 - 1 lb bag of frozen okra

First step, chop up your onions, green pepper, garlic and celery

Next, heat the oil and flour over medium heat; stirring constantly (you are making the roux). Cook slowly until the roux looks like a copper penny - about 20 - 30 minutes.

Add onion, bell pepper (or green chili pepper), celery and sausage to the pot; cook for about five minutes.  Add garlic, pepper and Creole Seasoning and continue cooking two more minutes.

Pour in chicken broth, bay leaves, and okra.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour; stirring occasionally. Add the turkey during the last 10 minutes.  Taste and add more Creole Seasoning if needed. Serve over cooked rice.

Tip: for thicker gumbo use 1 cup flour and 1 cup of oil. Roux will darken faster if you use bacon fat or lard versus oil.

CVS 12/27 - 01/02/10

Colgate Toothpaste $2.99 - $2 ECB
~ $1 CVS home mailer coupon
Colgate Total Toothpaste, any one 4 oz. or larger. - 11-01-09 SS $1/1 (*expires 12/31)
Final cost; $1 PROFIT

Revlon BOGO Free (lip liners, eye liners were 9.99 when I last checked)
~ $2/1 insert coupons
Final Cost; Varies ($6 for 2 liners)

Coke 3/$3 - Get $1 ECB
Final Cost; .67 each

Dove, Ivory or Yardley 3 pk soap $.99
~Zest, Ivory, or Safeguard Body Wash or Bar Pack, any - 12-27-09 PG $1/1
Final Cost; FREE

Bayer Contour Monitor $14.99 - $5 ECB
Bayer Breeze2 or Contour Meter, Up To $30 Off. - 10-25-09 RP
Final Cost; $5 PROFIT

Metamucil $9.99 - Get $2 ECB
Metamucil product - 12-27-09 PG $3/1
Final Cost; $4.99

Ester-C BOGO
Ester-C, any product - 12-27-09 Kroger $2/1 (store coupon - not sure if this will work)
Ester C products, any - AllYou, January 2010 $2/1 
Final Cost; Varies 

Menu Plan Monday 12/21 ~ Soups, Simplicity and Sanity

I have been making more Crock-pot meals lately since it is easy to throw it together in the morning and I do not have to fret about it when I get home in the afternoon. I know this week is going to fly by since Christmas is almost here, so I catered this weeks menu to Crock-pot or quick and easy meals. My goal is to keep it simple to keep my sanity around here.

If you are interested in more menu plans, recipes or other tips, check out Orgjunkie, Dining with Debbie or Blessed With Grace

  • Chili and Cornbread
  • Bean Chilito's – Chili Cheese and bean burritos (heat tortilla in pan. Smear refried beans down the middle of the burrito. Add cheese and leftover chili; roll up and serve. 
  • Corn Chowder (I use this with a few modifications: milk instead of half and half, omit bacon and just saute the onions in 2 tbsp bacon grease)
  • Black Eyed Pea Restaurant's Broccoli Cheese soup (family favorite for years!)
  • Ham, Scalloped Potatoes and Green Beans
  • Turkey Pot Pie

Speedy Slow Cooker Swiss Steak and peppers

Speedy Slow Cooker Swiss Steak 
with Onion and Peppers

This was a huge hit last night with the family and it was really simple to make. The recipe came from a version I vaguely remembered out of the 30 Day Gourmet cookbook.  I could not find the book, so I improvised. It turned out rather nicely. Did I say how much my husband LOVED it? It will definitely be on our meal plans again. I also served this with "Ghetto" garlic bread - SO yummy!

1 pkg cubed steak
2 - 8oz cans tomato sauce or 1 - 28 oz large can tomato sauce
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Beef Broth or 1 cup water and beef bullion
pinch thyme
pinch oregeno
pinch crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 tsp salt
few twists fresh pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced

Place all ingredients into a Crock-pot or slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Serve over cooked rice.

Giant Eagle 12/17 -12/23 Coupon Matchups

GIANT EAGLE 12/17 - 12/23 Ad Matchups

Birds Eye Bagged Steamfresh or Boxed Vegetables $1
Birds Eye Vegetable, Any Bag Or Box Excluding Steamfresh - 12-06-09 SS $0.50/1
Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables, Rice or Pasta, Any - 12-06-09 SS $0.50/1
Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables, Rice or Pasta, Any - 12-06-09 SS $1/2
Final Cost; FREE or .50 each

Land O Lakes Butter Quarters $2
LAND O LAKES Butter, Any - 11-01-09 SS .50/1
Final Cost; $1

Jell-o Pudding or Gelatin 15 for $10; or .67 each
Kraft products: Any (3) of the following products: Baker's Semi-Sweet chocolate, Jell-O pudding or gelatin, Philly cream cheese - Maxwell House coffee
Final Cost; .25 each

Coffee-Mate Creamer $3
Nestle Coffee-Mate Liquid Creamer, any - 11-01-09 RP $0.50/1, $1/2
Printable $1/1 coupon here
Final Cost; $2

Giant Eagle Mini Marshmallows $1
Giant Eagle Flaked Coconut $1

Freschetta Pizza $5.99
Freschetta Brick Oven Multi or Single Serve, Naturally Rising, Fire Baked, Original Crust, or Flatbread PIzza, any (DND 5) - 11-15-09 SS $1/1
Printable $1/1 here
Final Cost; $4.99

Carnation Evaporated Milk $1
Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk, Any - 11-01-09 RP .50/2
Printable coupon .50/2 
Final Cost; $0.50 each

Daisy Sour Cream $1.50
Daisy Brand Sour Cream (16 oz. or larger) - 12-13-09 SS .50/1
Daisy Brand Sour Cream, any 16 oz.+ - 11-15-09 SS .50/1
Daisy Brand Sour Cream, Any 16 Oz.  - 11-15-09 SS .60/1
Final Cost; .50 - .30 each

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa $1
Swiss Miss Cocoa, Any - 11-15-09 SS .50/2 or $1/3
Final Cost; .50 - .67 each

Purina Dog Chow 17.5 to 20 lbs $9.99
Printable $2/1 
Final Cost; $7.99

Holiday Wrapping Paper $1

Oranges .20 each

Celery $1.50

Tape .50

Giant Eagle Plastic wrap $1.50

Crock-Pot Turkey Tortilla Soup

Turkey Tortilla Soup

This is a revised version of the original, Delish Tortilla Soup, but this one is even easier if you have leftover turkey. I recommend chopping the turkey into cubes or shredding before freezing to save a step later. Then all you have to do is thaw the turkey the night before and place in the slow cooker the next morning. Throwing this together literally only took minutes. I placed all the ingredients on the counter or in the refrigerator the night before, so I would be able to whip up the recipe on my way out the door in the morning.

Yields: 5- 6 servings

2-3 Cups Cooked Turkey, cubed or shredded
1 Can black beans, undrained
1 Can Corn with juice or half 12 oz package of frozen corn
1 Clove Garlic, chopped, or 1 tsp prepared garlic 
1 can of Rotel or 2/3 jar of salsa
Chili powder and cumin
5 shakes Tabasco jalapeno sauce, optional
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Cans of broth (chicken or vegetable)
Small hand full of fresh cilantro, chopped
Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded, optional 
Tortilla Chips

Place all ingredients except the cheese and tortilla chips in the slow cooker. Set cooker to low and heat 6 - 12 hours. To serve, pour soup into a bowl; top with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

You can also make this on the stove. Combine and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Freezes well. 

5 Minute Cream Cheese Spread (or Ball)

5 Minute Cream Cheese Spread

This is such an easy spread to make when you are in a hurry.  Honestly, are we ever not in a hurry these days? It is really good and it received rave reviews at our last Pot Luck. The hardest part is getting your ingredients together and then it can be whipped up literally in a jiffy. Measurements do not really matter, just eye ball it; taste and adjust fire.

5 Minute Cream Cheese Spread (or Ball)

This is such an easy spread to make when you ...

See 5 Minute Cream Cheese Spread (or Ball) on Key Ingredient.

Menu Plan Monday 12/14

I cannot believe Christmas is almost here and I am still not done with all our shopping. I have not been consistent with the meal plan the last few weeks, but I am still cooking at home. I just have had to adjust the menu a little due to being sick. I am hoping to get back on track this week, but with the shopping and several appointments the probability is pretty low.

Check out these other sites for more menu plans or recipes to help you plan dinner and save $$$
Dining with Debbie
Blessed with Grace
All the Small Stuff

Master Meat Mix

I am not sure if master meat mix is the right thing to call this, but for now thats what I call it. Its basically several pounds of ground beef browned with onions and garlic and then frozen to use later in dishes like taco's, enchilada's, spaghetti, sloppy joes, or chili. When ground beef goes on sale, I purchase 4 - 8 pounds and then cook a few pounds for this master meat mix. This is a wonderful time saver because it saves you a step when making dinner. Later, just add a few ingredients to the pan and dinner is served!

4 -6 lbs of ground beef
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
lightly salt and pepper

Brown ground beef; drain and rinse (can skip rinsing if you use lean ground beef)
Return ground beef to pan; add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute until onions and garlic are opaque. Cool meat mixture and place 2 cups in each freezer bag; label and freeze.

To use, thaw and heat meat mix in refrigerator, microwave, or on the stove. Use as needed in recipe. Keep seasonings simple and light, and add seasoning when preparing your meal.

Easy Potato Soup

This is the easiest potato soup and it is really good. I remember seeing my BF Laura's mom make something similar and that is where my inspiration came from. The recipe has been adapted as the years have passed.

The kids love it. My youngest daughter said, "Did you make the potato soup? I teared it up."  It's definitely a family favorite.

Easy Potato Soup

1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
Drizzle of olive oil
10 Small Red Potatoes (or 5 Large Russet), diced small *see photo
1 Can Chicken Broth
5 Cups Whole Milk
Large Handfull Real Bacon bits (I get mine from Costco)
Salt and pepper
1 -2 pinches of hot pepper flakes (optional)
Sprig of fresh thyme or pinch of dried

In a stock pot drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil to brown the onion. Add onion and pinch of salt; stir occassionally until golden brown - takes about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Pour in chicken broth, milk, potatoes, bacon, salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes and thyme. Taste. Add salt if needed. Simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes. When potatoes are tender, puree some of the mixture with an immersion blender.

$1 IKEA Swedish Meatball Plate 12/13 & 12/14 - YUM!

IKEA is offering their Swedish Meatball plate this weekend December 13 & 14th for only $1! We ate this last year when it was on special and it was so awesome! Its served with graddsas sauce (cream sauce) mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce (somewhat like cranberry sauce). I fell in love, so now I make my own version of the sauce at home. It does exclude Houston, Hicksville and Ikea direct locations.

The only problem with this deal is making sure you do not go overboard when you peruse the IKEA store. I can never leave that store without spending at least $100.

Thanks, Penny Possibilities!

Safeway/Randalls 12/9 - 12/15 Nabisco Deals

Safeway and Randalls are doing a promotion this week on Nabisco Crackers which will be free after rebate and a possible money maker if you have coupons. Make sure you do not buy the Kraft Macaroni And Cheese crackers if you plan on doing the rebate, since they do not qualify for it (Thanks, Erin @ Jane4girls)

Cheese nips are $.99
Scenario: Buy 10 boxes of cheese nips = 9.90
Use 10 $1/1 Nabisco crackers or cheese coupons 11/08 Smartsource insert (regional coupon) = (.10) refund
Submit Kraft rebate, form found here, and make a $10.10 profit!

Wheat Thins, Triscuit, Premium Crackers, and Ritz crackerfuls are $1.49 each
Scenario: Buy 10 boxes of crackers = $14.90
Use 10 $1/1 coupons from 11/08 SS = $4.90
Submit rebate and make $5.10 profit!

Ritz crackers, Honey Maid Grahm Crackers are $1.99
Scenario: Buy 10 boxes of crackers = 19.90
Use 10 $1/1 coupons = $9.90
Submit Kraft rebate and make .10 profit

If you do not have the regional $1/1 coupon there are a few printable coupons as well. Head over to Jane4girls to print them.

A few other deals:
Chuck Roast 1.69lb
Digiorno Pizza $3.99 (i think there was a printable out a few weeks back for $1.50/1)
Baby Carrots $1

What a deal! I picked up 10 boxes of crackers, pizza and 2 cliff bars or about $7. And I will get the Kraft $10 rebate back!

Turkey Taco's

I was not quite sure how my idea of turkey taco's would taste, but suprisingly, they were awesome! Much better than ground turkey taco's and it was a wonderful change from eating leftover turkey and stuffing. The whole family loved the taco's. They had so much flavor, even more so than shredded chicken. So, if you have tons of turkey left from Thanksgiving, give this recipe a try. It is really simple. To complete the meal, serve with rice and refried beans.
(don't you love the fancy plate?)

Approximately 1 lb of shredded cooked turkey
1 pkt taco seasoning
1-2 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil (just enough to drizzle in the pan before cooking)
Taco Fixin's (tomato, lettuce, etc)

Drizzle oil in pan and heat on medium high heat. Add turkey and taco seasonings. Cook for a few minutes until warm. Add water to moisten it up a little. Warm tortilla's in another pan, one at a time. Fill tortilla's with turkey filling. Add shredded cheese, sour cream, lettuce and tomato to your liking.

Kraft $10 Rebate on Nabisco Crackers, Easy Cheese and Nuts

Kraft has a new rebate out for a $10 rebate when you purchase 10 qualifying items. Items include: Nabisco Crackers, Easy Cheese, and Planters nuts.

Print the rebate form here.

I have seen Ritz crackers on sale in a few stores for $2 or less, so when combined with $1/1 coupon from 11/08 Smartsource insert, the crackers would be $1 each. Purchase 10 for $10 and submit for the $10 rebate to get FREE crackers.

Menu Plan Monday 12/7

I am feeling a little under the weather today. I sure hope I do not have the flu. My plans are to cook things I already prepped or precooked from the freezer, so it should limit my kitchen time. To view more menu plans and recipes, check out

Ground Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas with Roasted Red Chili Sauce (using cooked ground beef, onion, garlic mixture from freezer)

Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Breast, Squash, Rice (froze chicken in marinade, just thaw and grill)

Easy Potato Soup (I did not get to make this last week)

Pepperoni and mozzarella sandwiches with Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

Shredded Turkey Taco's, refried beans, rice (Thanksgiving turkey shredded in freezer)

Grilled Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo and squash medley (using evaporated milk instead of heavy cream)

To see more great recipe links check out Beauty And Bedlam, Blessed with Grace or Dining with Debbie.

CVS Holiday Freebies 12/6 -12/9

There are a few items free or cheap this week at CVS. To see more great deals, check out Deal Seeking Mom's Website.

Deals good Sunday through Tuesday Only

Merry Brite Santa Hat, $3.99
Get $3.99 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs!
Merry Brite Mini Ornaments (12-ct. - small ornaments) $3.99
FREE after ECBs!

Essence of Beauty Bath & Body $4.99 Includes hand soap  
Get $4 extra care bucks (limit 2)
Final price $.99

Zantac Deal is good all week

Zantac 150 24ct or Zantac  75 30ct $8.99
Get $8.99 extra care bucks (limit 1)
Use $1 coupon from 11/15 Sunday paper
Use $2 coupon here
Final price as low as FREE, or $1-2 money maker

RiteAid 11/29 - Free Contact Solution

Complete Contact Solution 7.99 - SCR Rebate 7.99
~ $1/1 10/25 Redplum; Final cost $1 Profit

Gillette Fusion Razor $9 - SCR Rebate $5
~ $4/1 Gillette Fusion December P & G insert; Final cost; FREE

Duracell Batteries 40% off
4pk AA, AAA 3.30 with 40 % discount
~ $1/1, 11/22 Smartsource
~ $1/1 peelies on some of the batteries

Purchase 5 pkg batteries @3.49 = 16.50
-$5 in coupons = $11.50 - Get $5 SCR; Final cost $6.50 for 5 pkg of batteries or $1.30 each

You will qualify for the Holiday Gift Of Savings when you spend $25 - $50, you get a $5 gift check.
So, if you purchase the batteries, contact solution and the razor, you can qualify for the $5 check and the batteries will only cost you $1.50 after the gift check.

To view more of the weekly ad, head over to Southern Savers. They have a great site where you can do a printable shopping list!

Giant $5 off 50 Coupon December 2009

Click here to print a coupon for $5 off  a $50 purchase at Giant Food.

The coupon is good through December, 19th.

Thanks, Bargain Briana!

Safeway Coupon Matchups 12/2 - 12/8

Saturday and Sunday Only

Fruity Pebbles or Honey Nut Crunch .99 - limit 3
Pepsi  or 7-up (Canada Dry) 2 liter products .69

Good All Week
Chicken Breast 1.77 lb
Rancher's Reserve Chuck Roast 1.99 lb
Bananas .39 lb
Yoplait Yogurt .50 when you buy 8
~Yoplait Yogurt Cups, (including Original, Light, Thick & Creamy, or Whips!), OR Yoplait Original OR Light Smoothie, any variety  .40/6 - 10-18-09 SS
~ .50/6 Yoplait Cups from Cellfire (can combine this with a manufactures coupon)
Safeway Bacon 1.99

Fillipo Berio Olive Oil 4.99
Mission Tortilla Chips 1.88

Fresh Express Shreds 1

Kraft Shredded Cheese 1.49 when you buy 5
~Kraft or Cracker Barrel Natural Cheese, any Shreds or Chucks - 11-15-09 RP $1/2
~Kraft or Cracker Barrell Natural Cheese (shreds or chunks) any (2) - 11-22-09 SS $1/2
Final Price $1 each when you buy 5 (scenario: Buy 10 - use 5 coupons)

Philidelphia Cream Cheese .99 when you buy 5 (flavored tubs of cream cheese are included, i.e. strawberry cream cheese spread)
~ use 1.25/3 tearpad
~ .55/2 printable

Safeway Select Pizza $2.99  with in ad coupon *these are great
Lucerna eggs .99 with in ad coupon

Betty Crocker Brownies .89
~ cellfire coupon .50/1
Final cost; .39

Hot Pockets $2
~ cellfire .55/1
~Lean Pockets or Hot Pockets, any 6.5 - 9 oz. packages - 10-25-09 SS $1/4
~Hot Pockets Brand Cheese Stuffed Crust, Hot Pockets Brand Deep Dish, Hot Pockets Brand Crispy Crust, Hot Pockets Brand Calzone, Hot Pockets Brand Pizzeria, Or Lean Pockets Brand Seasoned Crust, Any 6.5-9 Oz. - 09-13-09 RP .50/1 and $1/2

Fresh Pumkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

I merged two recipes from I was tipped off to this recipe by a great site, Blessed With Grace. I did not have a spice cake mix, so I used a yellow cake mix as well as this Pumkin Spice Cake recipe to help convert the yellow cake to a spice cake mix. If you do not have any pumpkin pie spice, you can use ingredients on hand using this recipe. The original Cream Cheese Pumpkin Cupcake recipe can be found here

 Fresh Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

  • 1 Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 pkg.  (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 cup mashed cooked fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup  oil
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 3   eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Cream Cheese Mixture
1 pkg.  (8 oz.)  Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar (I think brown sugar would be really good)
1   egg

HEAT oven to 350ºF.
Mix cake mix, pudding, spices, eggs, water, oil, and pumpkin using a hand mixer. Beat for 1 minute until combined on low and then for 2 minutes on medium. Pour into mini muffin tins, add dollops of cream cheese mixture (see below) bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Blend in sugar and egg; spoon over batter. Swirl gently with small spoon.

Simple Crock-Pot Split Pea Soup

I realize how gross this looks, but my husband swears it was the best Split Pea Soup he has possibly had. I am not a big fan of peas, but it was actually not bad. I have to confess - I did not eat it for dinner, but the kids did enjoy it. The soup is pretty thick in the photo (baby food consistency) but its easy to thin it out with water. It is a personal preference on how creamy or soupy you like it.

1 Bag Split Peas
1 Ham Knuckle
1 Can Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper
Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
1 Small 4 oz Can of Evaporated Milk

Place peas, ham knuckle and chicken broth in Crock-Pot; Cover with enough water so peas are submerged about 1 inch. Add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Simmer on low for 4 hours; stirring occasionally. Place ham bone to the side. Use immersion blender to puree soup; add evaporated milk and puree again. Place cooker on Warm until ready to serve.