The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 278 – 284 (Week 41)

October 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again my friends, and welcome back!  Hope you all had an amazing week!  Mine was interesting…

Wish I could say I did a lot of original cooking this past week, but I can’t.  I can, however, say that I did some really good cooking, when I cooked that is.  Had one of those weeks where I had a few nights where I just didn’t have the energy to cook, or to fight with William about trying something new, so I went for cheap-but-tasty take out.  I felt terrible afterwards, not so much physically, but mentally, felt like I let myself and my family down, but some days, you just need to give yourself a break!

Work has been strange.  Got my first permanent employee review coming up, have a couple of co-workers telling my I should get a promotion already (I know I COULD do the job, but I still feel like I have a lot to learn), training a new girl who is doing really well, found out my supervisor is leaving the group and we’re getting a new one.  Not sure how I feel about that last one…  she’s been a thorn in my side some days, but I’ve learned so much from her, I’m going to miss her and not miss her.  I’m sure you’ve all worked with someone like that before, so you know what I mean.

William had an awesome week at school, doing really well on his homework, having a ton of fun with his music classes, thinking about trying out for the soccer team.  Mixed feelings about the soccer…  he’s never really been the outdoorsy type, but then neither was James, and he did marching band and was amazing at it, and I want to encourage William to be more active, maybe this is a good thing?  Need to teach him the right way to put on sunscreen though, that fair skin and red hair, he’ll burn like I do!!

James is James, I never know what he’s doing or when he’s working or how his life is going, he doesn’t talk to me, which really disappoints me.  I feel like maybe I’ve done some things in the past that now he doesn’t want to talk to me, and I had hoped for so much more.  We were best buddies when he was a kid, but I guess I should just be thankful that he talks to his grandparents and I find out what’s going on in his life through them.  It’s still weird…

And I’ve been doing beadwork on my lunch hours at work, so I feel like I’m getting to work and play at the same time.  I finished a bracelet, didn’t take a picture but I will.  I finished the center piece to my first bead embroidery piece, now I just need to finish off the sides and put it on a cuff with some backing.  Bought the backing this weekend, but not ready to sit down with it just yet.  Soon though!  Started another piece, I really like the way it’s going, but I haven’t touched it all weekend.  But boy is it nice to do something I love at lunch time!  It’s so relaxing, and my co-workers are finding out that I do beadwork, and some are already asking about holiday gifts, so maybe I’ll have a little extra cash this Christmas!!

Anyway, you’re here for the food, not the gossip, so let’s get to it!

Monday

Pot Roast

1 beef roast of your choice (I prefer a beef chuck under blade roast, not too much fat, turns out really nice)

1 pkg french onion soup mix

1 quart water

Put all these into a crock pot, stir a little, set on LOW and cook 8-10 hours.  Remove roast to serving platter, allow to rest while you strain about 2-3 cups of the broth into a sauce pan.  Add in brown gravy mix to package directions to make a nice gravy.

The roast should fall apart when you try to cut it, serve it just like that with the gravy!

Broccoli 

1 bag frozen broccoli florets

About 2 Tbsp butter cut into chunks

Put these in a microwave safe bowl with a cover, microwave on HIGH 7 minutes, comes out like fresh steamed broccoli with butter, maybe just a little more tender, but yummy!!

Peas

Microwave Brownies

4 Tbsp flour

4 Tbsp white sugar

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 Tbsp water

Mix all these in a small microwave safe bowl, sprinkle in a couple tablespoons of chocolate chips if you want, or some chopped nuts, or not, it’s up to you!

Microwave on HIGH 1 minute 10 seconds, allow to cool AT LEAST 5 minutes, serve!  You can top this off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you want, we haven’t yet, but it sounds like it would be good!!

Tuesday

Fried Chicken Everglades

3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess skin or fat

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/8 cup Everglades seasoning for fish and chicken (the orange one)

1 Tsp fresh ground black pepper

Cut the chicken into nugget sized pieces.

Mix the flour and seasonings in a wide shallow bowl.

Heat about 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

While that’s heating up, put the chicken into the flour mixture, flipping several times since the first dip coats it, but gets damp again really fast because chicken is damp, so if you dip it again, it gets coated better, and you actually get some of it on the chicken once it’s cooked.

Fry a few pieces at a time, a few minutes on a side, or until done through and crispy brown on the outside.  Remove to paper towel lined serving dish.  Serve when they are all cooked!

Glazed Carrots

Frozen crinkle cut carrots, about 1 cup

1 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp brown sugar

Put all these into a small microwave safe covered dish, microwave on HIGH 5 minutes, spoon the resulting sauce over the carrots just before serving…  YUM!

Broccoli

1 bag frozen broccoli florets

About 2 Tbsp butter cut into chunks

Put these in a microwave safe bowl with a cover, microwave on HIGH 7 minutes, comes out like fresh steamed broccoli with butter, maybe just a little more tender, but yummy!!

Peas

Wednesday

Jet’s Pizza

If you have one of these in your neighborhood, I HIGHLY recommend it!!

Thursday

Five Guys burgers and fries

Again, if you have one of these in your neighborhood, I HIGHLY recommend it!!

Friday

This was a pat week, so we went out to dinner, after our bi-weekly trip to the comic book store.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza

Really good thin crust pizza, not greasy at all, really good Tomato and Mozzarella caprese-style salad.

Saturday

Home Made Meatballs

2 pounds ground beef

1 pound ground Italian sausage

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

2 eggs

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat (about a 4 if you have a numbered dial like mine).

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, scoop about 1 Tbsp of this mixture and roll it into a ball, fry until as much as you can get is crispy, they WON’T be done in the middle, but you’re going to put them in the oven for about 15 minutes after they are fried, so they will get done perfectly.

Pizza Muffins

1 can refrigerated biscuits

About 1/4 cup small diced pepperoni

ABout 1/2 cup spaghetti or pizza sauce

Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Spray a muffin pan with butter flavor cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Press the biscuits as flat as you can with your fingers.  Put one flattened biscuit into each muffin cup.

Mix the diced pepperoni and the sauce in a small bowl, put about 1 Tbsp in each prepared muffin cup.  Top with about 1/8 cup shredded cheese, bake 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and serve!!

Meatball Muffins

1 can refrigerated biscuits

10 Home Made Meatballs (above)

ABout 1/2 cup spaghetti or pizza sauce

Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Spray a muffin pan with butter flavor cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Press the biscuits as flat as you can with your fingers.  Put one flattened biscuit into each muffin cup.

Put about 1 Tbsp sauce in each prepared muffin cup, add in one meatball.  Top with about 1/8 cup shredded cheese, bake 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and serve!!

Pigs in a Blanket

1 can Crescent roll dough

1 Bag beef Little Smokies

Spray a cookie sheet with butter flavor cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut each triangle of dough into three smaller triangles, I usually cut off the tip, then cut the remaining piece at an angle, so I end up with three pieces that sort of look alike.  Roll one sausage in each triangle of dough, rolling from the wider end to the narrow end, rolling them sort of like a crescent roll.  Bake about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce(s).

Chips and Dip

Virginia Light Rolls

1 Cup + 1 Tbsp milk, warmed about 1 min in microwave

3 Tbsp honey

2 large eggs

6 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces

3 1/4 cups white bread flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 Tsp salt

2 Tsp yeast

4 Tbsp melted butter for brushing

Put milk, honey, eggs and butter into the bread machine pan.

Add in the flours.  Make a small well in the center, add salt and yeast.

Set the machine for DOUGH, hit start and go do something else for an hour!

Turn the dough out onto a floured towel, knead with a little whole wheat flour for just a couple minutes.

Line a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with parchment paper.  Pull globs of dough off the pile, roll into balls and put into pan.  Because you cook the whole pan at one time, it really doesn’t matter if you make big rolls or little rolls, I found this out this weekend.  I made slightly smaller rolls this time, so I got about 30 rolls out of my batch, just as high as the bigger rolls, but a better side dish size.

Cover, let rise for 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 25-28 minutes, brushing with melted butter at the 15 minute mark.

Just so you know, I made these two weeks ago with twice as much whole wheat flour, and while they tasted amazing, they were really dense and heavy.  This version is much lighter, they rose better, and everyone liked them much better!

Sunday

Grilled Everglades Pork Chops

Super simple…

4 thin cut boneless pork chops

Everglades seasoning (green)

Heat your George Foreman grill to medium, put the chops on, sprinkle with seasoning, close the cover.  Cook 3-4 minutes, flip, sprinkle some more seasoning, close.  Cook another 2-3 minutes or until done.  Serve!

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Bacon

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

8 slices bacon

1 box Dreamfields penne pasta, cooked to package directions

1 container Pesto cooking cream

Trim any excess skin or fat from the chicken, cut into bite sized pieces, sprinkle with a little olive oil, saute in a skillet over medium heat.

At the same time, cut bacon into small pieces, cook until crispy, drain on paper towel.

Add cooking cream to cooked chicken, stir in cooked pasta.  Cook until sauce is melted.

Scoop about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups pasta and chicken into a bowl, top with bacon, and veggies of your choice, serve!

I put some of the broccoli and bacon on mine, plus I added some chopped cherry tomatoes, SO good!

Broccoli

1 bag frozen broccoli florets

About 2 Tbsp butter cut into chunks

Put these in a microwave safe bowl with a cover, microwave on HIGH 7 minutes, comes out like fresh steamed broccoli with butter, maybe just a little more tender, but yummy!!

Peas

Glazed Carrots

Frozen crinkle cut carrots, about 1 cup

1 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp brown sugar

Put all these into a small microwave safe covered dish, microwave on HIGH 5 minutes, spoon the resulting sauce over the carrots just before serving…  YUM!

So that’s it for this week, hope you found something you liked!!

Until next time, eat well, love well, live well!!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 264 – 270 (Week 39)

September 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!

Everyone was actually healthy, no one missed any work or school, feels like we should celebrate!!  And it was a pay week, so of course we went a little overboard this weekend, but that’s nothing new.

The only stories for this week revolve around my fun day yesterday, the rest of the week was kind of quiet.  But, it was a pay week, so we did the Friday night out, more on that a little further down.  And then Saturday…

Started the day getting my nails done, getting my toes done (hurt a bit, but SO worth it!), got my hair cut.  William joined me for this part of the trip, he likes to sit in the massage chair while I get my nails done.   Then we made a quick trip into Winn Dixie to see what meats they had on special.  Got two pot roasts, two packs of boneless pork chops and stir fry beef for $32.

Then it was off to Game Stop to get William the current free character for Pokemon, and he put a game on order.

Next, my first trip to the local Oriental Market.  WOW!  I could spend a whole day in there if I didn’t have William sitting the car waiting!!  Maybe next time…  But I did get some cool food for Saturday movie night.  More on that below.  And I think I found the elephant I want for my desk, but I didn’t want to spend the $8 that day…  kind of glad I didn’t get him this week, since I ended up spending almost $400 on groceries at Walmart later!!  Still haven’t figured out how I spent so much, I didn’t feel like I got that much, but I think prices are going up little by little.  Have to pay more attention to the individual items next time, see if I can figure it out…

So, sort of a “me” day, sort of a “me and William” day, sort of a shopping day, all in all, a very GOOD day, even if it was expensive.

Monday

Spaghetti with Beef and Sausage Sauce

1 box Dream Fields angel hair pasta, cooked to package directions

1 pound ground beef

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

Brown and drain ground beef and sausage together, crumbling as fine as you can.  Put the meat back in the pan, add in the sauce, and heat while you cook the pasta.  Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday

Pork Roast Everglades

1/2 pork loin roast, about 2-3 pounds

1 quart water (will NOT cover the roast, that’s OK!!)

1/8 cup original Everglades seasoning (the green one)

Put everything in the crock pot, set on LOW, cook 8-10 hours.

Remove from pot, slice and serve!  We had some steamed veggies along with this, it was YUMMY!!!

Wednesday

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pound bacon

Dry Ranch dressing mix

Flour tortillas

Cook the bacon crispy, set aside.

Clean any excess skin or fat from the chicken, cut into very small pieces, cook over medium heat just until no longer pink.  Sprinkle with about 2-3 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix, mix well and cook about 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat.

Spoon a couple large spoonfuls of chicken into a tortilla, add in 2 slices bacon, cheese if you want it, and a little bit of prepared ranch dressing, wrap and serve!

Bacon Grilled Cheese

William’s idea…

Basically, we saved a few slices of cooked bacon from the wraps, and put them inside a grilled cheese sandwich, and it was AWESOME!

Thursday

James brought us Wendy’s for dinner

Friday

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Yogurtology, comic book store

Gotta say, the pizza was REALLY good, the yogurt was over priced and just not that good.  The store was cool, and William enjoyed it, but it was just GOOD, not GREAT, and for $20, it should have been AMAZING!!!

Saturday

Steamed buns with chicken (purchased at the Oriental market – OK, not great)

Steamed dumplings with chicken (same as above)

Fried dumplings with chicken (same as above – would have been better deep fried rather than pan fried)

Quick cheesecake (I bought a graham cracker crust, and a container of Philly pre-made cheesecake filling, and put them together)

Sunday

Southwest Egg Rolls

Egg Roll wrappers

2 pounds Ground beef

2 cans Black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup Taco seasoning

1 1/2 cups Water

Brown and drain ground beef, add in water, taco seasoning and beans, mix well, cook until sauce thickens, remove from heat, allow to cool at least 1 hour.

Put an egg roll wrapper on a plate, spoon in about 2-3 Tbsp filing.

Fold up bottom, tighten up the filling inside, fold in the sides roll forward, dampen the last open tip of the wrapper and finish rolling.  Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.

When done, fry in oil over medium heat, about 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Serve with your favorite salsa.

Vegetarian Egg Rolls

Egg Roll Wrappers

1 head cabbage, shredded extra fine

12 baby carrots, shredded extra fine

3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce

2 Tbsp Teriyaki sauce

Mix the cabbage, carrots and sauces.

Lay an egg roll wrapper on a plate, spoon in about 2 Tbsp filling.

Fold up bottom and tighten up the filling a little.

Fold in the sides, and roll ONCE.

Dampen the last tip with water and finish rolling.

Continue filling wrappers until you run out of filling or wrappers.

When done, fry in oil heated over medium heat, about 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Remove from oil to paper towels, serve with your favorite sauce, I prefer Duck sauce since the Hoisin is a little spicy.

Southwest Wonton Bites

Wonton wrappers

Leftover filling from the SW egg rolls above

Put the wonton on a plate, put in about 1 tsp filling, dampen two edges of the wrapper.

Fold over into a triangle.

Dampen the two furthest corners and fold in towards each other.

Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling!

Fry in oil over medium heat, almost exactly 1 minute per side, just a few seconds more maybe, or until golden brown.

Serve with salsa!

Mongolian Beef

About 1 pound stir fry beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp honey

1 Tsp rice wine

2 Tbsp water

3 green onions, green part only, cut into 1″ strips

2 Tbsp oil for frying

Put oil in frying pan, heat over medium heat.  Add in beef, cook just until no longer pink.  Mix the rest of the ingredients (except the onion) in a cup, pour over beef, add 1 Tbsp corn starch or flour to thicken, cook about 8-10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Add in onions and serve!

Orange Chicken

4 – 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 Tsp orange extract

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 Tsp ground ginger

1 Tsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp flour or corn starch

Trim chicken thighs of any large pieces of skin or fat, cut into very small pieces.  Cook over medium heat with just a touch of oil, cook until no longer pink.  Add in remaining ingredients, stir well, cook just until sauce thickens.  Serve!

Virginia light rolls (sort of!)

This is a recipe I got from my mom, but I have no idea where she got it, and I changed it!

1 Cup + 1 Tbsp milk, warmed about 1 min in microwave

3 Tbsp honey

2 large eggs

6 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces

2 1/4 cups white bread flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 Tsp salt

2 Tsp yeast

4 Tbsp melted butter for brushing

Put milk, honey, eggs and butter into the bread machine pan.

Add in the flours.  Make a small well in the center, add salt and yeast.

Set the machine for DOUGH, hit start and go do something else for an hour!

Turn the dough out onto a floured towel, knead with a little whole wheat flour for just a couple minutes.

Line a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with parchment paper.  Pull globs of dough off the pile, roll into balls and put into pan.  You should get 15 balls, pan should end up 3 across and 5 rows.

Cover, let rise for 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 25-28 minutes, brushing with melted butter at the 15 minute mark.

Serve with butter and honey!!

Bacon Egg and Cheese Casserole

12 eggs

1 Cup half and half (fat free)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 pound bacon

2 Tbsp flour

Cut the bacon into small pieces, cook until crispy, drain.

Mix the eggs, half and half, cheeses and flour, pour about 2/3 into a greased 13″ x 9″ dish.  Sprinkle about 2/3 of the bacon into the eggs, push it down into the eggs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

Bacon Egg Cheese and Spinach Casserole

Take the rest of the egg mixture and bacon, pour into a greased casserole dish (or in my case a souffle dish), add in about 1 cup frozen spinach thawed.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

And that’s it!  I cooked all day, and my feet hurt, but it was ALL so good!!

So until next time, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 60

March 2, 2012 at 1:43 am (Food) (, , , , , , )

Hello again, and welcome back!  Hard to believe it’s been 60 days already…

Tonight, I had some leftover stuff from a couple of meals, and my fridge is almost empty since pay day is tomorrow, so I experimented a little…  it was OK, and JUST OK.  Here’s what we had…

Broth, which was made from beef broth, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and garlic powder, leftover from last night’s roast

Rice, leftover from something a couple of days ago

Beef, leftover from last night’s roast, cut into small pieces

I put all these together in a pan and simmered about 30 minutes, just long enough for the rice to absorb some of the broth and thicken it up a little, so it was sort of like a stew.

I served this in a bowl like a stew, with a side of peas.

Easy, cleaned out the fridge, and we had a decent meal.

Sorry, no pictures.  Maybe tomorrow…

Until then, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 43

February 14, 2012 at 1:34 am (Food) (, , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  So glad you decided to join me again…

Monday’s around here are a little hectic, scouts, early release from school, the one night a week things aren’t very laid back, so it’s quick and easy dinner night.  Tonight, it was…

Beef Quesadillas

1 pound ground chuck, browned and drained

2/3 cup cold water

1/4 cup taco seasoning (I use Tone’s, got a HUGE bottle at Sam’s)

Shredded cheese of your choice

Flour tortillas, about 6

Cooking spray (I used olive oil)

Mix browned ground chuck with cold water and taco seasoning, cook over medium low heat 10-15 minutes or until thickened.

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray, place in 1 tortilla, sprinkle with about 1/4 cup shredded cheese, 1/3 of the prepared beef mixture, top with another 1/4 cup shredded cheese and another tortilla, spray with cooking spray.  Cook 2-3 minutes or until tortilla is lightly browned and cheese is starting to melt.  CAREFULLY flip over and brown other side, cooking another 2-3 minutes.  Remove to plate, cut into 6 slices with pizza cutter and serve!  You can also serve sour cream or guacamole on the side.  Or you can substitute chicken for the beef.  These are a great quick and easy meal!

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 42

February 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello my friends, and welcome back!!  So glad you’ve decided to join me again…

Tonight, I had planned another pot roast, not sure what was going to be “different” about it, but I have a couple of cookbooks…  HOWEVER, I mentioned pot roast, and William says “again?!”  Apparently, we’ve been having a lot of roasts lately, but I’ve been getting really good deals on them, and they are SO easy!

Anyway, I decided, maybe we were having too many roasts, and I needed to do something different.  So, I trimmed the larger portions of fat from the sides of the roast, there weren’t really many since I bought an eye round roast, but there was just a little.  Then I cut it into bite sized pieces, and they turned into:

Pot Roast Stew

2 pound eye round roast, trimmed of fat, cut into bite sized pieces (approx 1/2″)

1 pound small red potatoes, cut into similarly sized pieces as the meat

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into same sized pieces as meat

2 cups frozen green beans, STILL FROZEN, cut or broken into roughly 1″ pieces

1 cup frozen peas, STILL FROZEN

1 carton beef broth

1 Tbsp each rosemary and thyme (I put mine into a tea/spice ball so I don’t hear any complaints from the peanut gallery, mainly William)

1 Tbsp each salt and pepper

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 cup cold water mixed with about 1/2 cup flour

Brown beef in a few Tbsps of oil in a large stock pot.  Add in beef broth, then veggies, salt and pepper.  Place spice ball with rosemary and thyme into broth, cover and simmer over medium to medium-low heat for about 1 hour, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Stir in soy sauce.  Stir in flour mixture, and serve!

Even the picky one liked this, and there are just about 3 servings left over for lunches.

Until tomorrow friends, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 30

February 1, 2012 at 1:24 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

WOW!  Sort of a milestone for me, 30 days straight!  WOO HOO!

Welcome back!  Hope you’re still enjoying my ramblings and recipes.  Hey, that’s a good book title, “Ramblings and Recipes”!  I’ll have to remember that…

Tonight, we went sort of old school, and I have to say, I will NEVER buy another “pot roast” from Walmart or Sam’s!  I don’t think I’ve ever had a tougher piece of meat in my life.  I even had trouble cutting it with a steak knife, and that after 4 hours in the crock pot, which usually turns any piece of meat into wonderful tender yummyness.  Not this time!

ANYWAY, here was the menu:

Pot Roast (go ahead and splurge on a decent piece of meat, Winn Dixie usually has good stuff, and they put it on sale every few weeks!)

3-4 pound pot roast with SOME marbling, but not TOO MUCH fat

1 medium onion, chopped into roughly 8 wedges (or you can cheat like I did and add about a cup of dried onion flakes!)

1 Tbsp rosemary leaves (I put my in a tea ball so I wouldn’t have to fish them all out again before making gravy)

Place roast in crock pot, add onion and tea ball with rosemary leaves inside, cover with water or beef broth (I prefer broth, but I didn’t have any tonight…  😦

Cook on LOW 8 hours, or until extremely tender and falling apart.

Remove from pot, and let rest while you use the juices from the pot to make gravy.  Then slice and serve!

Gravy

Strain juices from crock pot (above!), mix with “brown gravy” mix using measurements from the package. (yeah, I know, it’s cheating!) Bring to a boil, simmer 1 minute or until nice and thick.  Serve!

Cheese Toast (James made this tonight)

Slice fresh bread loaf, French or Italian breads work well.  Slice enough so everyone gets two slices.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Spray ONE SIDE ONLY with butter flavor cooking spray.  Cook, sprayed side up, at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven, turn bread over, sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice (ours tonight was a blend of mozzarella, cheddar and provolone), cook another 5 minutes at 400 degrees, or until cheese is fully melted and edges of bread are toasty.  Serve.

We also had canned (GASP!) veggies, just because I have a pantry full of them to get rid of, and I ate the last of the leftover Brussels Sprouts from a couple of nights ago, which I have to say taste even better having sat in the fridge mixing it up for a couple of days, they were AWESOME, some plain cooked egg noodles (really good with gravy over them) plus we had a nice fresh salad.

So, to wrap it up, HORRIBLE roast, GREAT bread, AWESOME Brussels Sprouts (who ever thought those words would ever go together in the same sentence, right?!) and OK everything else.  Definitely a filling meal, and everyone got SOMETHING they liked.

Tomorrow, curried chicken and home made Mac N Cheese, James style.

Until then, eat well, love well, live well!!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 16

January 17, 2012 at 11:57 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Welcome back food buddies!!

Today, we had BBQ beef sandwiches for dinner, they were YUMMY!!!  We also had some leftover potatoes and carrots from last night’s dinner, and a nice fresh salad with Italian dressing.  Still have a couple of those mini banana breads left from last night, but they won’t make it until tomorrow.

I got the idea for the BBQ beef from a friend, think I should give her credit (Candy Allman!).  Not sure exactly what she puts in hers, how long she cooks it or anything like that, but she made some over the weekend, and I said “I can do that!”  So, here’s my take on BBQ beef…

BBQ Beef

1 pot roast of your choice (I used an eye round roast for this**), 2-3 pounds

1-2 boxes beef broth

2 Tbsp garlic powder

1 1/2 – 2 cups BBQ sauce

Put the roast, beef broth and garlic powder in a slow cooker, cook on low 7-8 hours, or high 3-4 hours, or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.  Remove the roast from the pot, remove any remaining fat if desired, cut into thick slices, and shred with two forks, literally pull the meat apart.  Put the shredded beef into a large sauce pan, add 1 1/2 – 2 cups BBQ sauce of your choice, I used Great Value brand hickory flavored BBQ sauce.  Heat over medium low for about 15-20 minutes, or until hot.  Serve with sliced buns (I used fresh hard rolls), cole slaw if you want it (I wish I had some tonight, I love cole slaw on BBQ!), and whatever side dishes you want.  This would make a good picnic food, so other picnic foods would probably go well with it, like baked beans, fresh fruit, fruit salad, just whatever you want!  Also makes really good leftovers…

**So I have to tell you, I picked this roast because it doesn’t have a lot of excess fat, and once it’s cooked, it’s easy to see the fat and remove it.  Standing joke in my family, I do “surgery” on steaks before I eat them, have to remove anything that even remotely resembles fat, before I will eat it.  So of course, I couldn’t use a regular pot roast for this, or I would have been standing at that stove for hours removing all the fat, and there wouldn’t have been any BBQ for dinner because I would have gotten frustrated and threw the whole thing out!!

Anywho…  BBQ beef sandwiches are awesome!!  Dinner was a hit, and no roasts ended up in the trash, so it was a good meal.

Not sure what’s on the menu tomorrow just yet, thinking maybe cheese souffle…

Until then, eat well, love well, live well!!

 

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