Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beef Crock Pot Roast

1 beef roast of your choice
1 box of lipton onion soup mix
water or beef stock
1 crock pot
salt to taste

This is the favorite dinner of the five my mother used to make for us. Put roast and desired amount of veggies into crock pot. You can use baby carrots and new potatoes, or cut up regular sized carrots and potatoes. Dilute one packet of the onion soup mix in a cup of water or broth then add to the roast, repeat with the second pack. Fill crock pot with more water or broth if needed, I myself use large cups of water. Pot roasts are best when cooked long and on low, 6-10 hours, but 4 hours works as well if you can't wait too long. Check roast every couple of hours, it may need more water or flipping.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alfredo Sauce

Cooking noodles and covering them in sauce can be a quick and easy meal. I'm very much a pasta kind of girl, and when the craving strikes me, I've learned how to make a very easy Alfredo sauce.

What you will need:

1/2 cup butter
2 cups milk
a couple of pinches of black pepper
1 package of cream cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
a saucepan
a whisk

Melt butter in pan over medium heat, then stir in cream cheese and garlic powder, whisk until smooth. Pour in milk slowly, while whisking out the lumps. Stir and whisk in the parmesan cheese and pepper. Be sure that all of your parmesan cheese has melted and isn't clumping in the sauce, when smooth remove from heat. Sauce will thicken as it cools, if you cooked it for too long, just thin it out with a bit of milk.

Microwave Bacon

Sure, cooking bacon isn't exactly a difficult thing, but the popping grease can be a pain, literally. I honestly hate cooking bacon in a skillet because I always get hit with at least a speck of the hot grease. If you're like me, and you don't enjoy risking your digits to flip the bacon, using the microwave can be a doable alternative.

What you will need:
a plate
paper towels
a microwave

Line a plate generously with paper towels, bacon is fat, so there will be a lot of grease. Fill the plate with bacon, tuck the ends in, you don't want the grease pooling on the bottom of your microwave. Cover the bacon with a paper towel, or two, to prevent splatter. Now I microwave at first for two minutes, then turn the plate, microwave for two minutes more. When using the microwave, you want to keep a close eye on the bacon, because it can go from undercooked to overcooked fast. If the bacon is still not done to my satisfaction, microwave for a minute more, again, keeping a close eye on it. Once the bacon is cooked, move it to a clean plate to cool, enjoy when crisp.

Vegetable Soup

Sure you can buy it in a can, but if you're in the mood for a healthy dinner, it's an easy thing to make and customize. When you make it yourself, it always taste better.

What you will need:

1 huge can of vegetable juice
Lot's of fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice
1 big chili pot

So first you dump your can of veggie juice into your big chili pot. Next, you want to add veggies, I'm really lazy, so I usually just add 2-3 bags worth of frozen vegetables. After you have all the veggies you want in the pot, start using the vegetable juice can to add more water, fill to your desire. Set the burner to low, to let it simmer for a couple of hours, or bring it to boil and reduce the heat for 30 minutes for quicker cooking. Salt to taste, varies on your taste and the brand of juice you're using.

Vegetable and Meat Soup

If you're not in the mood for just veggies, you can add stew meat to the soup. Just brown the meat and add it in with the veggies. Be liberal with the meat juice for better tasting soup.

Easiest Banana Bread

Banana Bread is a yummy breakfast bread, but some recipes can be overly complicated. Here is the recipe my family and I love.

What you will need:

2 bananas (the riper the better)
1/3 cup of melted butter
1 cup sugar (if you don't like it sweet, reduce to 1/2 cup or substitute honey)
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour (bread specific flours work very well)
1 loaf pan

This makes a small loaf, double the recipe for a larger loaf.

Mix melted butter and bananas in a large bowl, I recommend mashing your bananas before mixing them with the butter. Mix in sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle baking soda on top, add the salt then mix. Finally, add your flour and mix. Bake bread for 1 hour at 350 degrees, you may have to bake for longer if you doubled up. Let Bread cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from pan. Enjoy!

Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge

I'm not the greatest cook, in fact, all I did while growing up was microwave things. My mother tended to make the same 5 dishes a week, and the other days we just ate out. Now that I'm married, I've picked up a few recipes that even I can do.

Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge is tasty, but not as good as traditionally made fudge. The consistency of the fudge just doesn't come out quite right, the fudge is softer in texture, but still yummy. This recipe was passed on to me by an online friend many months ago.

What you will need:

1 cup of butter
1 cup of peanut butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 pound of powdered sugar
8x8 buttered pan lined with wax paper

Microwave butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes on high, then stir them together and microwave for 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, mix with wooden spoon. Pour into a buttered 8x8 pan lined with wax paper. Place a second piece of wax paper on the surface. Refrigerate until cool.