Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Sweet Sunday July 19, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Crock Pot,Desserts — lindsayrose @ 3:37 am

Sunday always has that double-edged sword feel to it.  I try so hard not to spend Sunday thinking about all that lies ahead of me for the coming week.  I try to spend my week being sure that I am caught up, so that I don’t have to spend all day Sunday catching up – feeling as though I am losing a whole day of my weekend.  Cleaning bathrooms, dusting, grocery shopping, folding laundry – not my favorite ways to spend one of my two days per week off.

Today, my in-laws came over for lunch.  I wanted to enjoy the time that we had over the weekend and not feel as though we were running around like crazy trying to get our lives in order and trying to get everything ready for both the day AND the week ahead – I wanted it to be enjoyable, not stressful.  I found a quick and easy recipe to make for lunch, slow cooker pulled pork.  We made baked beans and my mother and father in law brought corn on the cob.  It was all pretty tasty, and took about 10 minutes to throw together on Sunday morning.

For dessert, I tried a new cake.  I found the recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cake and thought it sounded worth a try.  Well, everyone agreed that it was delicious – even Ross who is not a dessert lover (crazy man).  We served it with a scoop of coffee ice cream, and the flavors went together really well.  Some of the reviews mentioned adding cinnamon, which I intended to do but forgot.  It would be good, but isn’t necessary – it is super tasty just like this.  In fact, I think I am going to go get another piece right now…

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Swiss Steak – or so it’s called July 3, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Entrees — lindsayrose @ 5:26 pm

This tasted nothing like Swiss Steak to me.  It was delicious – but not Swiss Steak.  But, that’s what they call it in the cookbook, so who am I to change it?  This recipe is from the cookbook Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook.  I don’t really get the title, because I like my mother’s slow cooker recipes, but this has good ones, too! 

The Dr. told me at my last appointment that I need to eat more red meat.  I don’t hate red meat, but I usually make mostly chicken, turkey and pork – and maybe only 1 red meat meal per week.  The past week or so I’ve been trying to eat a lot more.  I found this recipe, and it was also very convenient to have a slow cooker recipe.  Ross is putting new floors in the kitchen this weekend and that limits me to what I can get to.  Having this cook all day and not needing to be in his way in the evening worked out well!

Here’s the recipe.  The chili sauce is what intrigued me – it added a great flavor, with just a hint of sweetness.  We’ll definitely have this again!

Swiss Steak

One 3 pound top round steak, 1 inch thick, edges trimmed, cut into 4 to 5 inch pieces, and blotted dry (OK, that is too much work.  I just got a huge roast and cooked it that way – whole).

1 clove garlic, pressed

2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, to your taste

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2-4 tablespoons light olive oil

1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped carrots (I just used about 3 large carrots, peeled them and cut them into chunks)

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (again, about 2 stalks just cut into some smaller chunks)

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 cup prepared chili sauce

1 cup vegetable broth ( I used chicken because that is what I had)

Rub each piece of meat with the garlic and Worcestershire.  In a zippered-top plastic bag or bowl, combine the flour, thyme, paprika, salt and black pepper.  Toss the meat in the mixture until evenly coated.  With a mallet, pound into both sides of the steak as much of the seasoned flour as the steak will hold (Since I used the whole roast, I coated it with the flour mixture and skipped this part).

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until very hot.  Add half the meat and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes (or just brown whole roast for a few minutes on each side).  Transfer to the slow cooker.  Repeat with the remaining meat, adding oil as needed.  Add the onion to the skillet and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to the cooker.  Toss the carrots adn celery together in a small bowl adn add them to the slow cooker along with the mushrooms, chili sauce, and broth, making sure the meat is nestled into the sauce mixture.  Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender enough to cut with a fork, 9-10 hours.

At the end of cooking, taste for salt and pepper.  Serve hot with the pan juices.

 

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork June 17, 2009

Filed under: Crock Pot,Entrees — lindsayrose @ 1:22 am

OK, I know I’ve said a lot of meals that I’ve made were easy, but I really think this one takes the cake. 

  • Toss a pork tenderloin in the crock pot
  • Pour a bottle of root beer over it
  • Cook for 6-7 hours
  • Remove pork, pour in a bottle of BBQ sauce
  • Pull pork apart, put back in crock pot and cook for another 20-30 minutes.

Seriously, that is all.  All I did this morning before I left was toss meat in the pot and pour root beer over it.  And dinner was pretty much ready when I got home!  And it tasted soooooooo good.  Ross can’t stand root beer, so I thought about lying to him about it, but I was nice and told him.  He still loved it.  It was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, and a nice mix between a thin, vinegar sauce and a thick BBQ sauce.  I am sure you could use any cut of pork and not just a tenderloin, but they were on sale so that is what I bought.  The recipe, shockingly, is from allrecipes.com.

We had this with some cole slaw that I wanted to love but I didn’t.  It was a Sandra Lee recipe, a combination of slaw mix, mayo, sour cream, lime juice and hot sauce.  It was way too lime-y and didn’t taste really like slaw to me.  I think I’ll search for a new recipe for next time.  We had some fries and baked beans, too.  A great meal all in all!

 

Catching Up January 30, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Desserts,Entrees,Life,Products,Soups,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 4:03 am

I am supposed to be doing work right now, but I am really not interested so I figured it would be a good time to catch up on my blog. 

 

We’ve had some very random meals lately.  Many were not at all bad, but just not really worth mentioning.  Here are some of the highlights (some good and some not so good).

  • Chicken Pot Pie.   I originally wrote about this recipe in this post.  I love this recipe.  The thyme is very tasty and the wine adds a very nice flavor.  I made this one day last week when we were stuck home in the snow.  I decided to switch it up in a few ways.  First, I made it in the crock pot.  I made up the sauce on the stovetop and poured it over 2 large chicken breasts in the crock pot.  I added carrots, celery and onions and cooked it on low for about 6 hours.  Once the chicken was cooked through, I removed it from the crock pot and shredded it up with a fork. While I was shredding, I added a cup of frozen peas to the sauce in the crock pot and let them heat through.  I mixed the chicken back in with the sauce and put it in an 8×8 baking dish.  Now – here comes the special trick that made it extra tasty –  a few Sunday’s ago, Ross made homemade biscuits for breakfast.  He makes awesome biscuits and I always beg him to make them for me.  I think this was the second time, so hey, I can count on them once every couple of years or so.  Anyway, he froze extra dough.  I thawed it out and rolled it into an 8×8 square.  I placed it on top of the chicken mixture and baked it at 350 for about 25 minutes.  It was awesome.  I don’t know his recipe for biscuits, but any recipe would work.  It is much tastier than a pie crust, I  promise you that!
  • Tonight, we had another crock pot meal (I’ve been on a crock pot roll lately).  I was in a hurry this morning, so I just put some chicken in there and poured Lawry’s Caribbean Jerk marinade over it.  It was horrible.  I hardly ate any.  It was the saltiest stuff ever, so salty that I couldn’t even taste any of the flavor of the sauce.  I will definitely never buy that again, or probably any Lawry’s marinade.  It was that bad. 
  • In addition to the chicken (thank goodness we had something else with it) we had a Southwestern Corn Chowder.  I didn’t make it; this one came in a box.  Yes, a box.  It was a V8 soup.  Who knew V8 made soups?  I don’t think I could force myself to drink a V8 juice, but soup I could try.  It was great!  As advertised on the box (looks like an overgrown juice box) there is a full serving of veggies inside.  That along with a great flavor and hearty, thick texture, you can’t go wrong!  Apparently there are several other flavors.  I want to try the Butternut Squash and the Garden Broccoli!

  •   I have one other random note, and I add this only  because Amy Burns of Amy’s Confection Company isn’t making cakes so much as her other sweet treats anymore.  After finding out that Amy couldn’t make my wedding cake, I went on a long and difficult search for someone to do the job.  We ended up going with Once in a Blue Moon Bakery in Cary.  I am pretty sure that other than “congratulations”, the comment I heard most on my wedding was “where did you get that amazing cake?”  Not only did it look beautiful, but it was the best tasting cake I have ever had (again, only saying this because I’ve never tasted one of Amy’s!).  I mention this because I just ordered another cake from there for a gathering I have this weekend.  I ordered the same flavor as my wedding cake, chocolate with hazelnut mousse and cream cheese frosting.  I can’t wait to eat it.  They are also super cool because you can place your order online if you do it 72 hours in advance.  If you ever need a great cake for a special event, I highly recommend them!  They also have a really cute little cafe where they offer breakfast treats,  lunches and other sweet treats.  Check them out!

This isn’t the best picture of our cake, but it was the most convenient one for me to put here. 

OK, now I am off to go do my work!  Yay for tomorrow being Friday!!!

 

Frugal Food January 19, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Entrees,Panini,Products,Soups,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 3:36 pm

Frugal is something that by nature, I am definitely not.  Especially when it comes to food.  When Ross and I got married, we knew that our biggest downfall is that neither of us is very good at all about spending money wisely.  We’re a little too “live in the moment” when it comes to spending!

 

However, there are a few major home improvement projects that we really  want to do, so we are trying to save money in order to complete them before we move out of this house.  We’ll see how it goes.  Unfortunately, food is the most logical area to cut back on.   After all, it’s easier to cut back on food than electricity or something, right? 

 

I think in part this is why I haven’t been blogging as much lately.  Our food just hasn’t been interesting enough to talk about.  I’m going to try to be more creative with our cheap groceries and get more interesting.  Food is one of my highlights each day; I look forward to dinner the second I finish lunch.  So, I want it to be exciting and fun and interesting, even if it is cheap.

 

There was chicken on a major sale at Lowe’s this past week and I bought a whole bunch.  I froze them in packs of 2 so that instead of making 1.5 lbs of chicken for just the 2 of us, I am making a more reasonable amount and saving the rest for another meal.  On Saturday, I took 2 chicken breasts and covered them with my favorite lemon garlic marinade from Wegman’s.  (I always bring a bunch of this back everytime I visit NY).  I let it cook for about 6 hours and then shredded the chicken with a fork.  We loaded ciabatta rolls with the shredded chicken, caramelized some red onions and sauteed some mushrooms and topped it all with a slice of Swiss.  We grilled these and ate them alongside a new and tasty soup. 

 

Campbell’s Select Harvest Caramelized French Onion Soup was wonderful.  It was close to some I’ve tasted at restaurants, and only required being heated in a pot.  It is lower in sodium than most French Onion soups, but didn’t taste like it was.  We threw a slice of cheese on top and let it melt and really enjoyed this with our sandwich.

 

Last night, I wanted to make homemade soup.  I have a recipe for one that we’ve only had once, but I remembered that we really liked it.  I cooked this up last night, and ended up tossing in the leftover shredded chicken from the night before.  2 chicken breasts fed 2 people for 2 meals!  I’m proud 🙂

 

Bean, Pasta and Pepper Soup

 

1 tablsespoon olive oil

2 large carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can black beans

1/2 cup uncooked diatalini pasta (I couldn’t find it so I used elbows)

1 can chicken broth (or veggie to make it vegetarian, and I used doulbe this amount)

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

 

Heat oil in a pot.  Add carrots, celery, onion, parsley and garlic, cook until tender.  Add tomatoes, beans, pasta and broth.  Heat to boil.  Cover and cook 15 minutes or until pasta is done.  Add peppers and vinegar, heat through.

 

That’s all!  It is quick, easy, cheap and has a wonderful flavor.

 

The Burns Family Catalina Roast January 11, 2009

Filed under: Crock Pot,Entrees,Life — lindsayrose @ 3:56 am

This past week, Amy posted the recipe for her Catalina Roast on her blog.  It sounded so delicious to me and I knew we had to try it.  After attending a basketball game this morning where Miss Hailey Page starred as the “most spirited” cheerleader, I decided that today would be a great day to cook this one up in the crock pot.  I already had carrots and potatoes and an onion, so all I needed was the meat and the Catalina dressing.

 
As I commented on Amy’s post, we’ve used Catalina dressing before as a marinade when we’ve grilled chicken or pork.  Sometimes we use it on its own and sometimes we mix it with Worcestershire sauce.  It’s really tasty!  I would have never thought to pour it over a roast, though.  As Amy directed, I sliced the onions, peeled and quartered the potatoes and cut the carrots into large chunks.  I covered the bottom of the crock pot with the veggies, put the meat on top, and poured a large bottle of Catalina on top. 

 

That’s it!!!!

 

It couldn’t have been any easier.  And… it was AWESOME!  We really, really loved this.  Ross is a good guy and always thanks me at the end of a meal – but for this one, he thanked me after the second bite!  I think he would have done it after the first bite, but he was in a hurry to get that second taste in his mouth!  I thought about seasoning it with some spices, but I wasn’t really sure how it was going to taste so I didn’t know what to season it with.  Other than a little salt and pepper on the meat, I didn’t use a thing, and I am glad.  It is perfect just the way it is!

 

While I was washing the dishes, I got to thinking about how I love the way that recipes connect people.  Because I can imagine myself in a kitchen 40 years from now telling my grandchildren about Amy Burns from Sanford, NC and about how I got the recipe for this roast from her blog 40 years earlier.

 

I will then probably have to explain to my grandchildren the ancient concept of a blog as a spacecraft flies by and a robot prepares our dessert.

 

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner December 7, 2008

Filed under: Breakfast,Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Entrees,Life,Panini,Pasta — lindsayrose @ 12:26 am

I think today is the laziest day I have ever had in my life.  I am not one that finds it easy to sit around.  I can’t sit still for more than about 5 minutes, even to watch TV.  That is actually the main reason I started this blog, so that at night when I was attempting to sit down and relax but couldn’t, I would have something to occupy me. 

 

Well, it is after 5:00 pm and I am still in my pj’s.  I’ve only left the house to walk the dogs around the block, and I did that in my pj’s too.  I have been working on a Blackboard proficiency all day so that I can teach online classes next semester, but I have barely left the couch.  As much as I don’t do well with not having any plans, every now and then it is kind of nice.

 

During one of my breaks from my online work, I decided to put dinner together in the crock pot.  I bought ingredients last week to make Chicken Casserole with Swiss Cheese, a recipe out of  The Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook (on sale at amazon.com for $10.36 if you are looking for a holiday gift!).  It is a great cookbook that I have used tons of times over the past few years.  I’ve been trying to do at least one crock pot recipe a week, just to make life easier and to make evenings a little less rushed here and there.  Well, here is what I put together this morning.  We haven’t eaten yet, but it smells super delicious and I think the ingredients are going to be very uniquely tasty together.

 

Chicken Casserole with Swiss Cheese

2 teaspoons olive oil

3/4 lb chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (I used about a pound and a half)

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced (as much as I love them, we were out and I wasn’t into going to the store, so no mushrooms tonight)

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

4 large garlic cloves, crushed

12 fresh basil leaves, minced (I used 1 teaspoon dried basil)

1 tablespoon minced onion (I’m out, so I used 1/2 of a medium sized onion, diced)

2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon celery seeds (didn’t have any of those either, so I used 2 stalks of celery, chopped)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon milk Louisiana style pepper sauce

3 oz Swiss cheese, cubed (it calls for reduced fat, but I think cheese is the only thing I cannot stomach reduced fat versions of… and I am definitely using at least 5 or 6 oz.  I love cheese.)

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, toasted

8 oz rotelle pasta

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cicken and mushrooms; saute, stirring, until the chicken is lightly browned, 5-8 minutes.  **Since I used fresh onions and celery, I added those here, too.

Combine the chicken mixture, tomatoes, garlic, basil, onions, sugar, celery seeds, nutmeg and pepper sauce in the crock pot.  Cover, cook on LOW until the chicken is cooked through, 6-8 hours (mine is done and on warm and it’s only been 5 hours).  Stir in the cheese and cook until melted, about 20 minutes. 

 

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and divide among 6 plates.  Top with the chicken-tomato mixture and bread crumbs.  **To toast breadcrumbs, place them in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes.
I can’t wait to eat this!!!!
Making food in the crock pot around noon made me hungry, so I had to fix something to eat. I finally decided on scrambled eggs, and figured I’d make it into a panini since I love them lately.  I just put cheddar cheese on one slice of bread, topped it with a slice of bacon broken up and scrambled eggs, then topped those with another slice of bacon, some monterey jack cheese and the top piece of bread.  I grilled it up and dipped it in ketchup (if you thikn that is gross, you just haven’t tried it yet.  So very good).  It was a perfect breakfast/lunch treat all in one!