Ahhh, School, How I’ve Missed You So…

Three more days until the happiest day on Earth! Yep, it’s back to school time, and I am so ready for it. My poor kids are bored to death, and after bring trapped in the house because of the heat, they are in dire need of some active playtime with friends, even if it is just in the school gym.

As exciting as this blessed event is, I need to circle the wagons and gather up all my weeknight recipes, creative lunch ideas and long-forgotten organizational plans. Between homework, projects and activities, I’ll be lucky to make sure the boys make it out the door with clean clothes on. I know my back-to-school scatterbrain is about it hit, so I try to plan out my meals and lunches through the first two full weeks of school; I need all the help I can get while we all get back into the routine. That much planning takes a little time, but I know it will pay off when I am scrambling to adjust to new homework styles and PTA meetings. Guess we know what I’ll be doing on Saturday.

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite weeknight recipes that I found on Southern Living’s website. This dish utilizes my BFF (a.k.a. my crock pot), so that when I hit the door after work, all I have to do is boil some noodles and steam a vegetable for a side dish. I love making this on a crisp Fall day, and nothing beats coming home to a dinner that is 90% complete.


  • 1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (1-oz.) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 (14-oz.) can beef broth
  • 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


1. Place mushrooms and onion in a lightly greased 5-to 6-qt. slow cooker.

2. Sprinkle roast with pepper. Cook roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

3. Place roast on top of mushrooms and onion in slow cooker. Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast; pour beef broth and tomato sauce over roast. Depending on your preference, you made want to add some salt and pepper, but remember, onion soup mix is kind of salty. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork.

4. Transfer roast to a cutting board; cut into large chunks, removing any large pieces of fat. Keep roast warm.

5. Skim fat from juices in slow cooker; stir in tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Stir together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until smooth; add to juices in slow cooker, stirring until blended. Increase slow cooker heat to HIGH. Cover and cook 40 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Stir in roast. Serve with egg noodles.

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