Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mmmmmm, Crock Pot

Today's Recipes: Pizza, Beef & Barley Stew

First of all, I have felt like there was a lot of dirt in my bed this week, but had no idea why. That's right, dirt. For no discernible reason. As I came out of Lily's room tonight, I found out why...

In case you can't tell from the crappy cell phone photo, that's Keely's dog butt right by Don's pillow, and her dirty doggie feet right by MY pillow! Yum.

Second, I decided to bite the bullet and take a look at my sewing machine. The one that I had left at my Grandmother's house assuming that it was broken and/or needed help that I could not give it. I brought it home, read the whole dang manual - o.k. fine, I skimmed it. Then I ran a few practice seams down a rag to check for evenness. It was perfect and fine. I'm a total dork. I finished all 5 pairs of leg warmers in less than 30 minutes. It rocked. AND, my adorable daughter is an excellent model for my favorite pair...

Plus, check out how great her hair is getting. I can't wait until it's long enough to be truly wild!!!

Third - the cooking stuff! I forgot to tell you about last night's dinner. I made a fantastic pizza. It went a little something like this...

Rachel's New Favorite Pizza:
Boboli pizza crust
Newman's Own Alfredo Sauce
Italian Sausage - cooked (I sliced mine, but you could crumble it)
Chicken breast - cooked & cubed (little olive oil, little Italian spice)
- I had cooked both of those for previous pizzas, and had frozen the extra - it rocked to have them pre-made!
Frozen Chopped Spinach (defrosted & drained)
Fresh Garlic - minced
- I mix the spinach and the garlic together so that the garlic gets evenly distributed
Italian Cheese Blend (pre-shredded)
Freshly grated Parmesean cheese

Now, if you need detailed instructions on how to assemble a pizza, you need to get your recipes elsewhere. The cooking directions should be on the package of the crust...

Today, I made Beef & Barley Stew in the crock pot based on a recipe from Cooking Light. As you may have discerned, I have no patience. This includes following recipes. I tend to read the ingredient list, read the directions then not really look at it again. Tonight's stew went like this...

1 1/4 lb Lean beef stew meat - cubed into tiny pieces
1 med yellow onion - chopped
3 med carrots - peeled & chopped
1 red bell pepper - seeded & chopped
1 pkg sliced mushrooms - chopped a bit smaller
4 lg garlic cloves - minced
2/3 c pearled barley
2 1/2 c mushroom broth
4 1/2 c beef broth
crushed red pepper flakes
ancho chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes - undrained
1 bag fresh spinach - slightly chopped

sautee onion & carrot slightly in a bit of olive oil. add red pepper, mushrooms & garlic - sautee until mostly done. move veggies to crock pot. add beef to the skillet - season w/ salt & pepper. cook until just brown on all sides. add beef to crock pot. add barley, broth (mushroom broth not needed - I just had some open. you could use all beef broth) & tomatoes. As for the spices, season to your own taste. I love spice, so I used a lot - maybe 1 tsp ancho & 2 tsp pepper flakes. cook on 'high' for 1 hour then turn to 'low' for 5 or more hours. 5-10 minutes before serving, stir in the spinach.


Maybe tomorrow we can talk about the holidays... maybe not. I have to make a pumpkin cheesecake, pack for our trip, then drive to Houston.

1 comment:

  1. mmmmmmmm - I love crock pot stew! I have recently rediscovered dumplings which I love because you can make it right in the stew. I am never convinced that they are going to work and am always delighted when they do. The best is that you can make them out of just about anything as long as you have a little flour and some manner of raising agent. DELICIOUS!