Monday, February 22, 2010

What's NOT in My Crock Pot?

Connie wants to know what's in all of our Crock Pots. And since I'm more in the mood to blog about what's in my Crock Pot than I am to, say, fold laundry, here I am posting for the second whole day in a row. I'll pause here for a minute while you catch your breath from all the successive-days-of-blogging-ing.

So, here we go. Crock Pot. The real question is what's NOT in my Crock Pot?

Pot Roast
1 beef roast
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
2T corn starch
1/4c water

If you thought ahead and thawed the roast in the fridge overnight, then you can rub the roast with minced garlic and sear it in a pan on the stovetop before placing in the crock pot. If you're me, you plunk a frozen cow-brick into the crock pot and call it good. Either way, then you mix the mushroom soup and onion soup mix (no need to add water), and smear it over the roast. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours (closer to 8 for the cow-brick). Remove the roast to a platter, pour the juices into a sauce pan and warm over medium heat. Stir 2T corn starch into 1/4c cold water. Whisk into meat juices and stir constantly until slightly thickened. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles or rice or Ding Dongs, depending on the time of the month.

BBQ Round Steak

2# or so of round steak, cut into serving-size pieces
2c of your favorite BBQ sauce (bottled or homemade...we like Head Country)

Brown the steak portions lightly if you like, but you don't have to. Depends on whether you have a kid assigned to kitchen duty to clean up the extra pan. Place round steak portions in the Crock Pot and cover with BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours or longer. Sometimes I serve these with mashed taters, sometimes with buns for BBQ sandwiches. Sometimes with Ding Dongs. See above.

Apple Butter
4# or so sweet apples (I use half Gala and half Fuji)
4t cinnamon
1/2t cloves

Wash apples and remove stems. Slice apples into wedges (or the shape that makes you happy), and fill the crock pot until the lid will barely fit. I overfill by 1/2" or so, because they cook down so far. Cook on LOW 12 hours or overnight, or until someone says, "Hey. What's all the brown stuff in the crock pot?" Remove the lid and blend the apples with an immersible (stick) blender until smooth. Stir in spices. leave the lid off, set on HIGH and let the apples reduce another 8-12 hours. I lay a tea towel or piece of cheesecloth over the crock pot to discourage the addition of Monopoly pieces, jacks, or other non-traditional enhancements. Stir occasionally. When the apples are the consistency of softened butter, take a little sample. If you'd like 'em a little sweeter, add white or brown sugar to taste, stir well and let cook another hour or so. Ladle into prepared 4oz. or 8oz. canning jars. Sealed jars are good for months. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten within a week or so.

For most of my Crock cooking, I use these. When I need Crock Pot inspiration, I go here, and this is my favorite Crock Pot cook book.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Crocking!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Could Be the Tamer

Claire keeps us laughing ALL. THE. TIME. Thought you guys would appreciate this story from last week...

Setting: MomMobile
Cast of Characters: Mom, Claire

Claire: You know that doo-doo-doo-DOOT doo-DOOT song?...Mom? Do you know it? It's the song on Pink Panther. doo-doo-doo-DOOT doo-DOOT?

Mom: Mmmhmm

Claire: We have enough people in our family to play that song. We could play it if we had some tubas.

Mom: I think they used saxophones.

Claire: Yeah. Those are just like tubas. So, we should all get inster-mints. We would probably know how to hold the inster-mints, but we might have to learn how to wiggle our fingers over the holes to make doo-doo-doo-DOOT doo-DOOT. You know that Pink Panther song, right? doo-doo-doo-DOOT doo-DOOT.

Mom: Mmmhmm

Claire: And you could be the Tamer. You know, the Tamer, right Mom? The one who stands at the front and doesn't have a inster-mint, but just shakes a stick up and down? The Tamer? You could be the Tamer.

Mom: Mmmhmm

Claire: doo-doo-doo-DOOT doo-DOOT doo-DOOT doo-DOOT doo-DOOT doo-DOOT doo-DOOOOOOOOT doodlie-doot-doot...

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled programming, already in progress...