Monday, August 15, 2011

Lovin' The Crock Pot Day

And so a new school year begins. I would ask.....where did the summer go, but I actually know where it went. It went to work, and MO, and the pool, and Thursday nights at RD's watching Z sing. It went to really hot days, and new jobs, and new friends, and some actually really fun times. This summer I just can't complain. For once in a really long was a summer. And although they say the temperatures are going to head right back up after our little cool off, it just seems more like fall now that school is about to get underway.

David is ready to head back and for the first time maybe ever....I don't think he lost much over the summer. Thanks to his para Niki and his daycare provider Lindsay....they kept him on his toes, kept him in line with all of his therapies and made sure that there was no lapse in his learning. David too had a pretty great summer and I think he will really like getting back into the swing of a daily routine.

Z is more than ready too and since he started working....his life already has routine.   Hopefully he will find that what was negative last year has been changed to a positive and hopefully his sophomore year will be his best one so far. Yep....there is change in the air.

So with school starting and busy evenings of carting kids back and forth to sporting events, church events and other extra curriculars, sometimes having time to make a home cooked meal is easier said than done. That is why I LOVE (and I can't say LOVE enough) my crock pot. With your crock pot you can throw everything in of a morning and by the time everyone gets home....dinner is waiting to be served.

My favorite crock pot meal is Dr. Pepper Roast. Someone told me about this years ago and I was really skeptical. They swore up and down if I tried it, that I would never fix a roast any other way. Much to my surprise...they were right. The trick to this is that the Dr. Pepper breaks down the meat so it is not tough. You can use just about any type of roast in this recipe and they all turn out juicy, tender and delicious. So here is Dr. Pepper Roast:

5-6 quart crock pot
Any kind of roast big enough to feed your family
1 pkg. Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 reg. size can of mushroom soup
1 12 oz can Dr. Pepper or Diet Dr. Pepper
Potatoes (chunked) optional
Carrots (chunked) optional
Celery (chunked) optional

Place the roast in the crock pot. Sprinkle the top with the onion soup mix. Take mushroom soup and put in a bowl and whisk to break it up a bit. Pour over the top of the roast and onion soup. Add potatoes, carrots and celery if desired.  Then take the Dr. Pepper and pour over the entire roast. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours and then low for 2 hours or if you are gone all day....just cook on low for 6-8 hours. When you come home your house will smell wonderful and you will have a tasty roast. There are usually leftovers at my house and I use them for sandwiches, veggie beef soup, or roast beef hash the next day. I really love this roast, but other than the person who gave me the recipe and my kids...I have never gotten any other feedback on it. If you try it...please let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.

Recipe two today is my own brand of chili. Now this chili would not win any chili contests because it is not overly spicy. It does however have a lot of flavor and is something my kids start craving right about this time of year. The recipe comes from a mixture of three different recipes that I have come across over the years and has some unique ingredients such as mushrooms and refried bean. It is a thick chili that fills you up and is even better the second day. Here is Lisa's Chili:

5-6 quart crock pot
2 lbs ground beef (can also use 2 lbs. ground turkey or 1 lb turkey/1 lb ground beef) Have even used 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb bulk sausage.
1 reg. size can refried beans
1 can chili beans (undrained)
1 can ranch style beans (undrained) (I like the onion flavored ones)
1 med. size onion (diced)
1 can. diced tomatoes (undrained)(if you like more tomato...use the big cans)
1 pkg. Williams chili seasoning
1 med. can/jar mushrooms (undrained)
1 tbsp. red pepper
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar

In a skillet cook onion until tender and meat until brown. Add garlic and mix. Transfer into crock pot. Add all remaining indgredients and mix thoroughly. Turn crock pot on low and let cook. It will be ready after about 4 hours but can be left to cook 6-8. If you like a spicier can add jalepenos, cayenne pepper, or other spices of your choice. Once done you can serve with sour cream, cheese, green onions or just by itself. If you have any leftovers....the second day makes for great chili dogs or nachos.

So there you have this weeks recipes. Hope this helps you with the new school year rush and those up and coming cooler temperatures. Okay...maybe that is wishful thinking now....but they will eventually get here. I just know it!!!

Here is hoping that your Monday is a new beginning instead of the normal pain in the tookus. Happy Monday and happy eating!


Mark said...

All right, I'll say it... I'm offended!

Cmom said...

And well you should be!