Sunday, January 31, 2010

Any Roast

Large chunks of meat have never been appetizing to me. I probably dislike them as much today as I did as a kid. What appeal does a chunk of fatty meat have anyway?

Having a husband who loves meat and loves roast, I have had to find a way to make it and make it edible. I have messed up more than I have made edible, unfortunately.

I think I have finally come up with a crock pot mixture that helps make the meat tender as well as give it flavor.

I start with a cup of apple cider vinegar and a cup of water, if it is a lean piece of meat. I add chunks of half an onion, salt, pepper and mustard. After I score any large pieces of fat, I drop in the crock pot and let it cook.

The roast is tender and tastes good.

Leftover factor:  Stay tuned, any number of things could happen.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mini Pizzas

Movie, shopping, a day out in the cold winter's sun with my wonderful husband.... but now I want to sit and relax. The bottom drawer of my fridge has been holding a package of english muffins for a couple weeks now that were screaming my name.

Since I had all the fixings for pizza but no energy to fix a real crust, I decided to make mini pizzas with...drumroll please....english muffins. I know it seems like an overused hurried meal, but not for me. I can't just throw sauce, meat and cheese on something and shove it in the oven.

First order of business, slightly toast all of the muffin halves. Seems easy so far.

Second, the sauce. Yes, a jar of cheap pizza sauce was staring me down, daring me to go ahead and use as is. But alas, I too would win the battle of the cheap pizza sauce.

In a small sauce or saute pan, I added a dab of olive oil, half of an onion thinly sliced, a can of mushrooms and three cloves of garlic finely chopped. Once the onions were clear and the mushrooms were slightly sauteed, I added the jar of sauce and a couple dashes of fresh cracked pepper.

The rest of the story reads much like any pizza....a layer of crust/muffin, layer of sauce, layer of pepperoni or meat or veggie of choice and a layer of cheese. I add Italian seasoning to my cheese so it bakes across the top of the pizza.

Pop in the oven and bake at 425 until the cheese is melted and gooey.

Leftover factor:  (provided there are leftovers) Throw in fridge and eat at will. They refridgerate well.

Friday, January 29, 2010

BLT Spaghetti

Last week, I watched Rachael Ray make bacon and leek spaghetti on her morning show. It looked great, but I have never tasted a leek or cooked with them. So, I decided to modify the recipe and make my own creation.

1 package of bacon
1 small package of angel hair pasta
1 bag fresh spinach
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 can whole tomatoes or 1 cup pasta sauce

Cook the pasta, let it sit in the water until you are ready for it. Cut bacon in to chunks, cook along with diced onion and garlic. Once the bacon is crispy, drain most of the grease. Put all the fresh spinach in the pan with bacon and let it cook down. Once it is reduced, add the pasta along with a cup of the starchy water from the pasta. Add the tomatoes and break apart or add pasta sauce. I used plain Ragu. Mix and cook until pasta is coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with shredded parmesean or mozerrella.

This is a great side dish or meal. It would be good with meatballs or chicken as well.

To cut fat and calories, use whole wheat pastas and reduced calorie sauces. To reduce fat more, drain bacon completely and pat dry with paper towels. Use a little water and a dash of olive oil to reduce the spinach or use frozen spinach.

Leftover factor:  I put the leftovers in an oven safe dish with shredded chicken and mozerella. I put it in the fridge and will throw it in the oven when I'm short on time. I'll bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.


The thing I love to do the most is be in the kitchen. I love to cook and bake. Some of the things I make I use recipes, others I don't. Sometimes I work from scratch and other times, I make a box meal into a gourmet meal. Join me as I share my creations with the world.