Monday, September 26, 2011

Beef Stroganoff in the Crock Pot

Happy Monday everyone!! Ok...perhaps Monday isn't particularly happy...maybe we should rename it, "Mundane."

See what I did there?? Funny ha-ha? Ok maybe not.

For the most part I have nothing to complain about this week...the weather is nice, I have a weekend trip planned, and my life is relatively drama-free at the moment. However...there is literally a plague on my house right now. When Mike went to Pendleton for September's drill weekend, we believe he brought home bed bugs from the barracks. Yes really. And let me tell you a thing or two about bed bugs:
1) They turn red after sucking your creepy is that???
2)They usually only hunt at night, so it's a couple days till you catch on to their shit.
3) They leave bites that resemble flea bites, except they take longer to heal and are itchy as all hell.

So a hefty portion of our weekend was spent waging a war on these little bastards. Fun times. now that I've gotten that little grievance out of the way, on to the good stuff. With my new busy schedule, the crock pot is now the most-used appliance in my kitchen. Not that I'm complaining. Anything that can turn raw meat and soup mix into hearty, tender stew has my respect. So naturally I'll be making two or so meals a week with it. My first attempt at Beef Stroganoff in the crock was last Thursday night. And it turned out, amazingly well. Absolutely delicious. And with enough sauce to soak into the noodles. I don't think I'll bother making stroganoff any other way from now on. It was that good. And you don't even need to mix in the usual sour cream. Which cuts down on the fat/calories. Hey-O!

Beef Stroganoff
Makes 6 servings

1lb. lean beef strips
1 white onion, sliced
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Water to cover
Salt & Pepper to taste
**Noodles of your preference, cooked to al dente
(I normally use egg noodles, but was out, so used rigatoni, which worked fine as well)

Place the beef, veggies, soup, and seasonings into the bottom of the crock-pot. Add water to cover the beef/veggies and mix well to "water down" the soup base. Put the lid on the crock-pot and set it to the low setting for 10 hours. Go out and enjoy your day. When you come home, spoon some of that meaty goodness on the noodles and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Missing In Action + Cookies

It's been weeks since I've posted anything. Been a busy little bee. And guess what kids, I found a new job! Finally! It's been a week already and things are really good. Just, amazingly busy. And this coming Thursday I start my classes at I'll go from amazingly busy to horrifically, tragically busy. But I will try to keep up with the blogging, even if it's only once a week or so.

I'm finding that my new best friend will be my trusty Crockpot. So expect lots of recipes using that as my medium.

As for now, here is a yum yum cookie recipe for you kids to try. It's super easy, super delicious, and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who won't like them! They are chewy, butterscotchy bites of homemade love. ***Kudos to Katie for sharing this recipe!***

Butterscotch Drop Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

2 sticks of butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
 In the bowl of your handy-dandy stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on a low speed until they are combined. And the eggs, one at a time until thoroughly mixed.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together and slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. When they are mixed, add the vanilla, mix and then turn the mixer off.
Using 2 small spoons, drop small spoonfuls of the batter onto your baking sheet. If you are using a metal cookie sheet, either cover it with parchment paper, or give it a liberal spritz of Pam. However, if you're awesome like me, drop your silicone mat onto your cookie sheet and drop the batter straight on to that.
Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. They'll keep up to a week in a ziploc...that is if you manage not to eat them all straight out of the oven.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sausage and Peppers

Sausage and Peppers for 2

2 Chicken-Andouille Sausages
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 cup frozen bell peppers
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
Pinch of Salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pour the olive oil in a skillet and heat to medium-high heat. Throw the sliced onion in and let it saute for several minutes until they are starting to soften and brown.
Add the bell peppers, season with the oregano, garlic and a pinch of salt, and cover to allow the bell peppers to steam and heat up. Leave covered for 3 or 4 minutes.
When you uncover the veggies, they should smell very fragrant and be softened, but not mushy.
Move the veggies off to one side of the skillet, and place the sausages in to saute.
Leaving the sausages whole allows you to get a nice slight char on them. You'll saute for about 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot the pan is. You want them browned, but not burned.
Load up a bun with some of the pepper mixture and top with a sausage.

This week I had used half of the package of chicken-andouille sausages I bought at TJ's in the gumbo, and Mike and I are escaping to Sin City this weekend to see my family, so I needed to use the rest of the package. I decided on Sausage and Peppers. Italian heaven. Turned out really well. The sausages were spicy, and the peppers were slightly sweet and salty. So good together.

I plated them with a hodgepodge of steamed veggies and salad, which was excellent. The only fat was in the sausage, and the rest of the meal was vegetables....except for the bun. And now we are all prepped to go out of town for the long weekend. I'm stoked. Will be great to see the Vegas-contingent of the family. I hope Labor Day weekend treats you all well! Go out and have one last Summer hurrah!