Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Full of 'Crock'

The past week, being under the weather, and still needing to eat and feed people, I tried a couple of crockpot recipes.

The first, shown above, was a crockpot oatmeal recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.  While I am not totally up on the program with the additional stuff added to the recipes, I made this oatmeal.  Just oatmeal, water, 2% milk, vanilla, bananas and brown sugar.  

First off, I am not an oatmeal person, but trying to become one.  Second, I did the full recipe which makes enough for me to feed about 100 people it seems.  I did up the rest in the fridge and reheated and it was good.

Third, and the best for me, is it's really creamy.  Really,  really creamy.  And the brown sugar and bananas gives it a Bananas Foster taste.  I will probably do it again, but only for half the recipe.

And a bonus fourth, they tell you to put the ingredients in a bowl in the crockpot and turn the crockpot into a water bath basically.  This way, you are not scraping oatmeal off the pot (I don't have the crockpot liners).  I think this adds to the creamy texture.

So definitely a recipe I will keep and fix occasionally.

The second crockpot recipe I did this week was Crockpot Lasagna by Ali at Gimme Some Oven.  If you haven't ever been to her site, GO! NOW!  She has some of the best recipes.  Right now Savvy and I are loving her Green Smoothie for breakfast.  Savvy took some to work and it was taken by a coworker, so I have orders to make more.

The lasagna is cheesy goodness all piled in a crockpot.  Salad and garlic bread and dinner was done.  You use the ready-to-go lasagna noodles in the recipe, so no fussing with cooking noodles.  Browning the meat is about the hardest thing you have to do.  The rest is just laying the bottled sauce, three cheeses, meat, spinach and noodles.  I included the spinach so CJ was forced to eat 'green things'.

But no pictures of the lasagna.  In fact, I haven't checked, but I think a huge hunk of the leftovers went to Dungeons and Dragons night with Savvy and CJ.

So now I have two more recipes to add to my rotation.  Just need a few more.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ramping Up for the Rest of the Year

I have been severely neglecting my 'foodie' indulgences over the past months.  So when Wendy, my new blogger friend from A Day in the Life on The Farm had a post on Cook the Books Club, I knew I had to join in.

I ran over to see if we have the August/September selection at the library (and we do, hint, hint, CS).  I reserved it from home so I can pick it up tomorrow when I go into work and start reading.  Maybe something from the book will be one of the first dishes I cook up at our new home in the next few weeks.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Five Meals in the 'Bag'

I came across Hip2Save's link last week and thought about it some.  While the recipes were pretty much in my ballpark taste-wise, there were a couple of curves.  But I thought I would broaden my horizons and give it a try.  The thought of having 5 meals all ready to go was the deciding factor.

I also wanted to see if it would help drop my grocery bill a bit.  Tuesday, after work, I did my grocery shopping for the month - or at least my main purchases.  I did come in under $200, but that also included stocking up on diapers, a bag of laundry soap pods, and a few staples that needed replenishing.

So Thursday morning, while waiting for UPS to deliver a package, I pulled everything out, labeled my bags and started chopping and dicing.

Please note the large glass of sweet iced tea in a prominent position on my counter.  We finally hit the 90's here in Helena and we don't have air conditioning.  Luckily, a fan, open windows and the fact it really cools off here in the evenings and doesn't heat up until later in the day, makes it tolerable.

So with Lady K happily getting into everything and Texter on the couch monitoring her activities (and the status of the UPS delivery), I put together my 5 meals.

So we shall see.  They are all in the freezer now, awaiting use.  One thing I noticed was that the meals made up enough for what I consider 6 - 8 servings a bag, especially since you serve them over rice or noodles or as tacos.  I did change out the sausage in the far right bag for polish sausage instead.   The cilantro lime chicken I included the cilantro, even though I don't really care for it.  

My biggest issue with this, and it's just a quirk on my part, is I'm not really into 'mixing' my food.  I like everything in it's own place on the plate.  So, for example, to have the green beans in the Creamy Italian Chicken mixed in already is a bit hard for me to take.  But my desire for good meals with easy preparation won out.

I figure that we can get at least 2 dinners out of each bag, with leftovers for me to take to work for lunch from each bag.  That means these meals should last me about 2 weeks if I did nothing but these meals.  I will do sandwiches, salads and the like in between preparing them.  

A taste report will be forthcoming as I fix each of them.  If it works out, I may check out the cookbooks on fixing a month of meals in a weekend.  I don't have the freezer space for it, but I could do half a dozen meals and have them ready to go. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dutch Babies or "They Didn't Warn Me"

I was looking for something 'different' for breakfast the other morning and I had seen this recipe on a blog I follow and it looked good.  The recipe was simple enough and I halved it since I would probably be the only one eating on it.

Now all the pictures for "Dutch Babies" come out all golden and FLAT.  Mine, however, came out of the oven looking like this...

It looked like something out of a horror movie that was going to come and get me.   I was scared to pull it out of the oven.

But once out of the oven it did 'settle down' some and became flatter, easing my mind about attempting to eat it.

The verdict?  The recipe is quick and easy and it tastes like a really thick crepe, so you do have to put powdered sugar and syrup on it to make it really tasty.  The recipe of easy to divide in half so that I only had an 8X8 pan rather than a 9X13 pan.

In fact, I have some strawberries in the fridge, so there might be Dutch Babies in my future again shortly.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Little Ham Goes a Long Way

I am a good ol' Southern girl.  Born in Tennessee, raised in Texas and spent the last 25 years in North Carolina.  And if there is one thing besides ice tea that I love, it's country ham.  Good, salty country ham on a biscuit with molasses....nom, nom, nom....that's the way to start a Sunday morning.  Throw in a few hashbrowns (don't do grits, sorry) and eggs and we are on our way to bliss....and a nice morning nap followed by several glasses of tea during the day.

But the problem with the ham I have found here in North Carolina is that they cut it as thin as paper, so when you cook it up, it is like cardboard or a doggy chew.  So when I found this little place on the back roads between Raleigh and Jacksonville (taking Texter to/from my home to her home), I decided to give it a shot.

Now I have not seen Westwater Country Ham in the store or at least not that I remember.  And they don't have a website (in this day and age!).  So one day I stopped at the 'ham house' as it is called.  Just a little house set back from the road.

There was a gentleman there before me coming to pick up a couple of hams.  Seems there is a local monthly breakfast and they always serve Westwater Country Hams.  After he left I told the gentleman I was getting ready to move to Montana and wanted to know where I could get some ham ordered up as I doubt Montana is home to country ham.

When I told him I had not tried his ham, but was curious to see what he had to offer, he gives me a package of ham.  That's right!  He GAVE me a package of ham to try and his business card.

Westwater Country Ham

So the next Sunday morning, I pulled out the molasses and biscuits and Texter and I had a great breakfast.  I even had enough ham to give away a couple of biscuits and have an afternoon snack.

Verdict:  I am ordering me up some of that there ham!  It was sliced thick enough so that it didn't turn to a piece of cardboard, but not so thick you feel like you are eating a chunk of ham.  Not overly salty, tender....ok, I'm drooling just thinking about it.

So if you want some ham, or want to send me some ham here is their contact information:

Westwater Country Ham
1277 NC 24 & 50
Warsaw, NC  28398