Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012 - What's for Supper?

So what are you having for supper tonight? The question most of us dread, and wished someone else would answer or handle. Here is what is on at my house. Some of you may know that for the last year or so I have fallen in love with…. My Crock Pots. Yes MULTIPLE ones! I even took one on vacation with us to the lake resort this past month. It all happened when I stumbled across these gals on Face book that had gone viral and were in some news report I read. They were called Crock Pot Gals at that time, but are now known as Crockin’ Girls (due to legal issues they were forced to change). I have used several of their recipes, and love the idea that they give me a grocery list for the meals in ADVANCE, but the real TADA moment for me was that they do it all in a CROCK POT… YES, main meats, potatoes, vegetable, but they even do breakfast and desserts TOO! OATMEAL for heaven sake! I was blown away; all I ever think of was a roast and some potatoes in one crock pot, and usually a tough piece of meat at that. Now every recipe I have I re-looked at. And yes, I am always on the lookout for an even better crock pot. Those gals from Texas own some really nice ones. Did I mention they also do a video on making the recipes? Anyway, away I went on the crock-pot craze… and here are a few of the regular sites I hit for some recipes:


http://www.crockpot365.blogspot.com/ – This is by Stephanie O’Dea. The Pulled Pork recipe that I posted below is from her site, and I have personally made more than a dozen of her recipes and every one that I have made, have all been KEEPERS. Her blog indicates she challenged herself to make every meal from the crock pot for a whole year (2008), and even mentions how she saves money doing it. With the price of groceries today, she shopped from her cupboards first, and talks about it in her blogs.  We love the Apple Crisp, the Pull Pork recipe, and OMG…. I just saw the Cranberry Roast one that I will be trying next…

hillbillyhousewife.com/ - I have made several of her recipes as well. The Beef Stroganoff is really good and one I use frequently. I find myself going to this site frequently, but we do use Deer here at this household and she has a category called Wild Game that I am found surfing through.

crockingirls.com/ - is the gals from Texas, and they were the ones with the Awesome Crock Pots (that I OPENLY envy) and are active working Moms with hectic schedules. They do the video/grocery lists for you, and I have bookmarked many of their recipes as “Keepers”. Remember to check out their Crock Pots in the videos, so you can drool along with me.

Now, if you do still have that old crock pot that you hate to clean after you use it, (if it is 15 years or older (wedding gift by chance?) pitch it and spend the $35 dollars to get one that you can program the temp by ½ hours. Go with the reason, it is probably not SAFE to use, due to AGE! I was given a 7 QT for Christmas from Nick several years ago (& yes I asked for that), and I went back last fall and bought a 5 QT programmable one for about $20.00. They both are the Original Crock Pot with High/Low and Warm with programmable timer on it. I think I would like one in the 3 to 4 Qt range too. I prefer the oval crock pots a little more than the round ones, but the smaller the size the harder it is to find in the oval shape and programmable. Supposedly the round ones have a tendency to have a rattling lid. I have not had that experience at all. But I am always on the lookout for a better model, so you will find me detouring through the kitchen appliance aisle in EVERY STORE! Then the very next investment you need to make is BUY the CROCK Pot liners in the grocery aisle by the Ziploc bags, trash bags and Foil. When the meal is over, the liner is lifted out of the crock and a swish and a swipe and cleanup is done! The liners only come in OVAL, another reason I lean towards the OVAL shape versus the round. My next letter writing campaign may need to go to REYNOLD’s who make those wonderful OVAL liners, but no round ones?



Oh yeah, here is what is on for supper at the Anderson’s: (I did cut the potato recipe in ½ due to only Nick and I are eating here tonight and the Pulled Pork will be leftover/lunches this week and probably frozen for another day too!)



From a recipe found on http://www.medicinenet.com/ (did I forget to mention it was a HEALTHY (shhhh don't tell anyone) recipe? The serving size mentions 6 – 8, I cut in ½ and it is still a lot of potatoes… but we Americans SUPERSIZE everything right?)

Slow Cooker Skillet Rosemary Potatoes

This dish has two side dishes all rolled into one (potatoes and carrots). Throw lean meat or fish on the grill and dinner is done!

Ingredients:

• 7 cups of quartered medium-sized red potatoes (about 8 potatoes)

• 1 sweet or yellow onion, coarsely cut into chunks

• 2 cups baby carrots

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, packed

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preparation:

1. In large bowl, combine potato wedges, onions, carrots, olive oil, rosemary, and salt and pepper until the vegetables are evenly coated with oil and seasonings.

2. Coat the inside of the slow cooker with olive oil cooking spray. Spoon the potato mixture inside, drizzling any oil or seasoning in bottom of the bowl over the top.

3. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours. Enjoy!

Yield:

Makes about 6-8 servings

Nutritional Information:

Per serving: 191 calories, 5 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 3.7 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g fiber, 167 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 17 percent.





The next piece of my meal is from a recipe found on Stephanie O’Dea’s website (http://www.crockpot365.blogspot.com/) and does contain Sauer Kraut. I love Sauer Kraut, but this is the only thing I think Nick will turn his nose up at. He eats everything else, or at least appears too. He loves this recipe, because you don’t have any of the sourness of the Sauer kraut (much to my disappointment), but it adds the right flavor to the Pork. Nick sometimes will put bbq on the meat like ketchup, but mostly he doesn’t. The Sauer kraut is mixed into the meat and really isn’t noticeable to my eyes, but remember I do love Sauer kraut.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Sauerkraut

2 pounds pork tenderloin (I used a Pork Roast)

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried sage

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1 (14.5-ounce) can sauerkraut (the whole thing)

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

8 rolls for serving (optional)



The Directions.



Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the roast into the bottom or your cooker. In a mixing bowl, combine the dried spices: mustard, thyme, sage, paprika, salt, pepper.

Rub these spices on all sides of the roast. Put the shredded carrot, sauerkraut, and caraway seeds into the empty bowl, and stir to combine. Then pour all contents on top of the spiced roast.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the meat shreds easily with two forks.



HEY! there's no liquid? no broth? what's up with that?



It's not a mistake, I promise. The wetness from the sauerkraut combined with the meat juices is plenty for your roast to cook properly, and become fully shredded and lovely. If you have a pot that doesn't trap heat/moisture in very well because of a gap in the lid, or a spoon notch, you can lay down a layer of foil and then put the lid on. You want to see a bunch of condensation on the lid while the Crockpot is in use.



Shred the meat completely, and stir well. Serve as is in a bowl, or serve spooned into toasted rolls.



I would have made the Apple Crisp for supper, but I am out of crock pots (another valid reason I should buy another one), but if I have it all ready to go when the potatoes are done, I could have still this before bed tonight…  This one is from http://allrecipes.com/  and another great site for slow cooker recipes. 



Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

Ingredients

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/2 cup light brown sugar

• 1/2 cup white sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 1 pinch salt

• 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

• 1 cup chopped walnuts


• 1/3 cup white sugar, or to taste

• 1 tablespoon cornstarch

• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 6 cups apples - peeled, cored and chopped

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

1. Mix flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl. Combine butter with the flour mixture using fingers or a fork until coarse crumbs form. Stir in walnuts and set aside.

2. Whisk together 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Place the apples in a slow cooker, stir in the cornstarch mixture; toss with lemon juice. Sprinkle the walnut crumb topping on top. Cover and cook on High for 2 hours or Low for 4 hours, until apples are tender. Partially uncover the slow cooker to allow the topping to harden, about 1 hour.

Enjoy the day and chat with you later!

Connie

Saturday, February 5, 2011

January 2011 is finally over...

January was a long month for us here at this household and yet so short... The month started out with Wyatt's baptism and we got to meet Miss Emma, Wyatt's first cousin from Colorado.  We had a surprise visit from Kat and Paul in the middle of the month and have lots of photos from that short but long weekend, I will actively work to get the balance of them loaded for you to look through.  This video seems to be our funniest and has had the most visits from our 'YouTube' site (rdreams81).
Warning:  It is either going to make you giggle or gag

'We' caught a cold, and I managed to hang on to it for 3 weeks, and I am still not sure that I have won this battle, but please don't let the 'COLD' know that.  And for all of my moms out there.. Yes I did seek medical care.

We have had lots of snow, and yes I know that most of you have more, so please don't feel you need to send it to me...

Nick and Erik have managed to work in a couple of days on the ice - - fishing, so I hope to load a few of those shots in my web albums located here.  Feel free to browse around:

https://picasaweb.google.com/rdreams81

My company was sold at the end of the month, and it looks like the office complex I work in while be closed/merged into the new owners headquarters in Norcross, GA.  So change will be headed my way in the future.  I will face that when it arrives.  The sale is not suppose to be final until the end of the 2nd Quarter.

I have managed to sew a little, but really have not felt up to it.  My goal is to sew everyday for at least 15 minutes, most of January did not see that. 
I am hoping February is a little kinder month to us all.  I do also want to take this moment to thank each of you for dropping in and catching up with us here!  We do appreciate it~!

Connie and Nick