Archive for April, 2012

Roast Dinner

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

I know this has various fancy names in cookbooks, but to me, it’s just roast. This is another “Sunday dinner” type meal but it happens to be Monday. My belly doesn’t know days of the week. It’s okay.

I like that this fits in one roaster pan, and you can also adapt it for the slow cooker. Today we’re doing the pan method but 6-8 hours on low in the slow cooker works too.

Roast dinner:

A large enough roast for your family – if you get one with a bone in it, boil the bone later to make broth
10 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
5-6 potatoes, washed and cut in half
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and scored
1 onion, peeled and quartered
salt and pepper
1 cup red wine

Lay the meat down first, then surround it with the veggies and garlic. Salt and pepper all of the above, then pour the wine over the meat. Bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours (you can play with higher cooking times to make it cook faster but slow and steady wins the race). Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes after removing from oven, before cutting.

That’s it!

Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday Dinner

April 29, 2012 1 comment

First of all, a brief explanation is in order. I find myself with this public blogging space that I haven’t been using. The one thing I do most consistently, aside from parenting, is cooking. I’m not going to call this a cooking blog exclusively, but I don’t want to be a mommy blogger either. Since this is what I know, this is what I’m going to do here for the time being. I’ve also been doing as much scratch cooking as I possibly can lately. The result is a better attitude, more energy, and a sense of satisfaction with myself. It’s not for everyone. Not everyone can cook. That’s fine. Not everyone wants to cook. That’s fine. Not everyone has time to cook from scratch. That’s also fine. I do.

Roasted Chicken

This one is pretty simple, actually. A whole chicken only looks intimidating.This is also how I cook a turkey, but that obviously takes less time.

1 whole chicken (fryer, roaster, whatever’s on sale)
1 stick of butter
Whole onion, peeled and quartered
Olive oil

Remove giblet packet from inside of chicken, if there is one. Pat skin dry. With clean hands, take roughly two tablespoons of your favorite seasoning combo (Mrs. Dash is good but anything is fine) and rub them on the flesh of the chicken, under the skin. Gently tear the center membrane of the skin as you work and try to get as much as you can to the legs. Cut the butter in to quarters and stuff it under the skin. Rub the top of the skin with olive oil and sprinkle more seasoning on it. Then place the quartered onion in the cavity where the giblet packet was.

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, covered. Remove lid/foil and continue to cook another half hour. Then remove from oven and “tent” or recover and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. A half hour is ideal. This keeps the meat moist when you carve it and is more important than any other preparation above. (Well, aside from the cooking. That’s kind of important.)

Mashed potatoes
Steamed Broccoli

(I’m going to assume you can do both. If not, google is your friend. I cook mine from raw and do it all from scratch but do what works for you.)

Today we’re also having leftover cole slaw from yesterday (see previous post), but that’s only because it’s there. It’s not traditionally a part of this meal.

I’ve also determined Sunday to be dessert day. It’s the day when everyone, or almost everyone is home, and it’s the day I have more hands to help with the toddlers, so it seems like a good day for it. We don’t need the sugar and fats but everything in moderation, right? That dessert will vary, but this is what I chose this week:

Strawberry Shortcake

(Adapted from Betty Crocker)

1 quart strawberries, washed, stemmed, and quartered
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk

whipping cream, redi whip, or cool whip topping

Toss the strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar. Refrigerate at least one hour.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees (unless your chicken is already cooking).

In medium bowl, cut shortening into flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, salt. Use pastry blender or two forks to mix until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add milk. Knead 7 or 8 times. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness and use large circular cutter, glass, or even a tuna can to cut circles in the dough. When you run out of room, place circles on ungreased cookie sheet, roll up and roll out dough, and repeat. Continue until you run out of dough. The Betty crocker recipe says it makes 12. I can get as many as 18.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until bottoms are browned but not burned. Remove from pan immediately and cool completely.

When you’re ready for dessert, split the cakes in half and fill/top with strawberries, then garnish with your choice of whipped topping. Cool whip is the only place I cheat here because I like the taste of it. Hey, I’m entitled to one thing!

Categories: Uncategorized

Pulled Pork Sliders from the slow cooker

April 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Pulled Pork

Pork roast (I’d go for about 3 pounds not counting bone. It doesn’t matter if it’s boneless, but it will take longer to cook)
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cook all of the above in the slow cooker on low for four hours. If the meat is boneless, it should tear apart easily at this point. If it isn’t, you can cut the bone away (Hey, use it for broth!) and continue to cook the meat another hour or so. It should shred at this point.

Cole Slaw

Meanwhile, you’ll want to make the cole slaw for the sliders. It will need at least an hour in the refrigerator for the flavors to combine.

Small head of cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1 tbsp onion, minced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper

Combine. Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour.

Now you’ll want to start your barbecue sauce.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider or wine vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tbsp black pepper
1/4 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp soy sauce

Pour over shredded pork in slow cooker, cooking on high 30 minutes.

Serve pork with cole slaw topping on your favorite rolls. I like King’s Hawaiian. (I really do. They haven’t endorsed this. Yum!)

Categories: Food, Uncategorized

Garden 2012

Today was my first day getting into my yard this year and prepping for the growing season.

Once I got everything raked and weeded, I trimmed back my raspberry bushes. I attempted to transplant some of the canes but we’ll see how it goes.

In my raised bed, I planted basil, dill, oregano, spearmint, radishes, and green beans. Then in my three large planter pots, I planted miniature bell peppers. I have another spot by the garage that I can get about 2 rows of garden out of. I planted cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini.

We’ll see how it goes. I know it’s a little early in the year to plant things in my zone but with such a warm spring so far, I hope I’m able to get some more time out of the growing season. By the time the seeds poke their little heads out of the dirt, we should be well past the last frost. I think we are already, but in other years I wouldn’t even attempt to plant anything until May 1st.

So if we do manage to get everything to come up and produce, it was $8 for the seeds for enough vegetables to feed us all summer, aside from lettuce, potatoes, and onions, which I didn’t bother with, but they’re all cheap enough that it seemed like it wasn’t worth the trouble to plant them in a space where I could plant something else.

Categories: Uncategorized