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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Food Hussy Recipe: Crock Pot Pot Roast

I did some recipe planning over the weekend and prepped a bunch of items for Crock Pot Freezer Meals as well as just regular meals. Larry was bugging me to make a pot roast - so I found a crock pot recipe that I thought would do pretty well with my picky eater! 

I have to say - it's one of the most photogenic recipes I've had! 

It's even pretty after it's cooked! 

How was it? Well - it really needed 8+ hours to cook. We tried it after 6 and it was not done...the sauce mentioned in the recipe is fairly dark and tomato-based which Larry wasn't a fan of. If you don't mind a dark sauce - then it would be good - the rosemary also added a lot of strong flavor to the meal. All in all I won't make it again - but if you like a lot of seasonings - then you would probably like it. I just happen to be married to a guy that likes salt & pepper only (argh).

Thanks to Crepes of Wrath for the recipe.

Crock Pot Pot Roast
5.0 from 2 reviews
Print

Cook time: 10 hours
Total time: 10 hours
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 pound boneless chuck roast
  • 32 ounces low-sodium beef broth or stock
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons smoked (or regular) paprika
  • 3 teaspoons allspice
  • 2-3 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 medium sized carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 to 2 pounds potatoes, diced (about 3 medium potatoes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Spray your crock pot generously with Pam or line it with a crock pot liner.
  2. Pour the beef stock, balsamic vinegar, honey and tomato paste into the crock pot. Stir it together and add in the paprika, allspice, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss in half of the vegetables and place your chuck roast on top of everything. Toss in the rest of the vegetables and stir everything all together as best you can, making sure that the beef is mostly submerged in the broth. Top with your rosemary.
  4. Set the crock pot on low and cover. Let it cook for 8-10 hours on low. If you can, check on it every so often and give it a little stir (this isn’t necessary if you are away from the house).
  5. When ready, move the roast to a cutting board and slice to serve. Serve with the vegetables and juices from the meat and broth. A salad might go well here too, but we were all about meat and potatoes that night. Serves 4.
Adapted From





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Product Review: Sea Cuisine Tuscan Herb Cod

For a while - I was a pretty heavy-duty couponer. I had my binder and my ads and my lists and my extra bucks...I enjoyed it. I got free stuff (which is fun) and planned my grocery visits exquisitely! But then I got tired. 

Ugh - it's just exhausting to plan your grocery visit 3 days in advance! So - I've ditched the coupons for a bit and (the horror of it) am paying full price for items - at least for now. But while I was couponing - I had a coupon for a free item from Sea Cuisine

I've not had good luck with frozen seafood products - but for free - I'll try it again. The Meijer I shop at didn't have a great selection - but I chose the Tuscan Herb Cod. 


Premium flame seared fillets with garlic, basil, and Romano cheese plus roasted bruschetta finishing sauce. 

Sounds pretty good - right? Well you open and there's the fish fillet and then a frozen packet of sauce which you thaw in a bowl of cold water or in the microwave. 


This is the piece of fish after baking - looks pretty tasty and if it were actually cooked! 

Then with the sauce on top...

The Verdict: Disappointment again. I know I know - there's no need to buy packaged processed fish when the fresh stuff is so much better!! I just got caught up in the coupon craze and couldn't pass up a free product! It tasted very "chemical" and just like it came out of the freezer. The sauce did help it's cause - but not by much. 

So yeah - don't buy this crap. Any of it. Even if it's free. Give the coupon to someone you don't like. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Food Hussy Recipe Time! Italian Chicken

I've been having a renewed interest in Pinterest - I guess work must be slowing down a bit if I have time for browsing the very addictive site. That said - I found a great recipe from another blogger that I had to try - Italian Chicken

The ingredients: chicken breasts, can of artichokes (drained/chopped), 5 roma tomatoes diced, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, sugar, flour and pasta. I went off of the site without an exact recipe - so I'm sure you can too! 

Chop/dice the artichoke & tomatoes and then stir in a big bowl...

Add 2 cloves garlic (or a couple tsps of the minced), salt & pepper, 3 T olive oil, 1 tsp sugar and a few T of flour to the bowl. Stir it all up...

Then into a greased baking dish with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and into a 350* oven for 40 minutes or so. After 40 min, pull them out and top with shredded mozzarella (and fresh basil if you like) and then back in under the broiler for a few minutes.

With our gas stove - I'm not quite sure how the broiler works - so I just put it back in the oven and had it melted rather than browned - still tastes the same.

I boiled up some mini-farfalle and served the chicken dish over top of it. I used chicken tenders so they were a little more manageable than the behemoth frozen breasts you usually get. There was enough for 4 servings.

This was probably my favorite dish that I've made recently - it was SO easy and SO delicious! I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone and everyone! Larry doesn't love cooked tomatoes or artichokes but I loved this so much - I don't even care - I'm making it again!

I hope you enjoy it too!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Crock Pot Freezer Pizza

A while back - I did a blog post about the Crockpot Freezer Meals and one of them that I hadn't had time to try was a Cheesy Slow Cooker Pizza


This wasn't too bad to put together although it's more than a "open the bag and dump". It took about 10 minutes to layer which wasn't too bad.

I used the Crock Pot Liners - these things are heavenly! I only used about half the cheese it called for but I had a feeling it was going to be plenty.

And here's the finished product - it definitely smelled delicious and we couldn't wait to dig in!

Now - obviously - it looks like hell - but it tasted great! And hey - isn't that the important thing?

I've made the first batch of the Freezer meals and this was my favorite - followed closely by the Sausage and Bean Supper.

These are such a huge help though - I hate cooking when I get home from work. It's so great to just take this out and drop it in the crock pot and come home to a great meal!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shredded Pork @ Noodles & Company - GIVEAWAY!!!

My friends at Noodles & Company have come up with a new menu item that is really great and one of my favorite - slow-braised pork

They sent me a few coupons to try it for free and share it with you! 

My friend Maureen went a little wild - she got Pad Thai with the shredded pork. To be clear - she didn't realize it was shredded - but she liked it. The pork had a bit of a kick but was MILD compared to the Pad Thai! Wow - if you like spicy - try this dish! 

I went for one of the restaurant reco's - Barbecue Pork Mac! I'm a huge fan of their mac & cheese and then throw some of the delicious shredded pork, bbq sauce and those awesome french fried onions - and you have a lotta lunch! The bbq sauce is sweet but not too overpowering and I tried some of the pork on it's own - good stuff. It's a lot like the shredded pork from Chipotle - which is my favorite meat to get there - so needless to say - I liked it! 

And if you're ever still hungry for dessert - they have ginormous cookies and rice krispie treats. The RKTs are pretty much the size of Delaware - so there's enough to share! 

And now you can try the pork too! I have 2 extra coupons for bowls at Noodles & Company and they don't expire until the end of 2012! Enter below and be sure to LIKE my new Facebook page for extra entries! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Frosties: The Little Diner that Didn't

I love drives. I love diners. Put a drive with a diner - it's gotta be great - right? Not always. 

We headed to Christmas Around SabinaTown and that - was a bust. Most of it was crafts your grama would make and you would re-gift to someone else's grama. :-(

But surely a diner would fulfill the lack of crafting goodness...right?

We passed Frosties on the way into town so I thought - let's stop by. Larry said, "If this makes me sick - I'm not going to be happy." Come on!!! Buck up!

They have Keno! I have never played but found it interesting to find Keno in a diner...I think maybe there was a bar in the back too. Not sure...

Because of the craft shows - they were also selling homemade bread. I was going to hold off until I'd tried the food.

And hey - there were decked out for the holidays...

I got the Frostie Burger - which seemed like any normal Big Mac/Big Boy - it was a double burger with a "special sauce". I didn't hesitate - how special could it be?!

It was horrible! I never did figure out what the special sauce was but I think it was some type of honey mustard. It was really sweet and sticky and awful tasting. The burger had this sauce smothered all over it and dripping off. Yuck Yuck Yuck.

I couldn't even eat half of the burger - that sauce was just too overpowering. Then it didn't help that the burger itself was basically a thin awful meat-like patty.

Why Should You Go? Don't.

Frostie Drive Inn Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 19, 2012

Recipe: Thanksgiving Stuffing in a Crock Pot


As you know - Thanksgiving is almost upon us! Luckily I was able to try out a Thanksgiving recipe and use coworkers as guinea pigs and YOU WILL REAP THE REWARDS! 

We had a Thanksgiving potluck for work and I decided to not chicken out and actually cook something for the feast rather than pick up a lame veggie tray. I did a quick check on the interweb and then grabbed the "stuffing" item on the list. 

I realized if it needed to stay hot - the crock pot would be the way to go. Thus I found a recipe on AllRecipes.com for Crock Pot Stuffing. I went with the first recipe and called it a day. 

Then the perplexing part - how do you make stuffing at work? Bread is gonna get soggy on a 30 minute car ride - or in the fridge overnight - so it was a dilemma. I ended up doing all the prep the night before. I:


* chopped the bread (and hamburger buns we hadn't used) 


* diced & sauteed the veggies and added the spices
* packaged it all up in ziplocs and storage containers (just like on Top Chef) 

Then the next morning - off to work we went! 

The first step was mixing the bread and warmed up sauteed veggies. Rather than dirtying a bowl - I decided to mix them up in my ziploc bag! 


Shake Shake Shake - Shake your bread and your veggies! Then I cracked an egg in it - more shaking!!!

And into the crock pot she went! Yes - those are mushrooms - I love mushrooms. 

I did cut the recipe in half - it called for 12 cups of bread. TWELVE CUPS!!! That seemed like a lot and I thought - there's always so much food at a potluck - let's just do half. 

Then the reality set in - even in my small crock pot - it was only 1/3 full! Oh well - too late to do anything about it now! I added a little chicken broth (not NEAR as much as it called for) and turned it on low for 4 hours. 


I forgot to take a pic of the browned finished product - but let me tell you - it was DELICIOUS! Everybody kept saying all morning how the kitchen smelled like Thanksgiving and it sure did. But then when my sad little amount of stuffing made it into the bowl - it was gone in a minute! But hey - at least I didn't have a ton of leftovers to take home! 

This stuff was DELICIOUS! I would definitely make this again in a heartbeat. So if you're looking for one way to lessen your load on Thursday - don't hesitate to make this one. But...don't cut the recipe in half...unless you're only feeding 2-4 people! :-)

UPDATE: I made this again in 2013 for the potluck. Full recipe this time and it was still gone SO FAST! Delicious! I also tweaked the recipe a bit. Easy and delicious - it's a keeper!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Slow Cooker Stuffing

Ingredients:
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups diced onion
2 cups diced celery
1/4 cup fresh parsley
8-12 oz sliced mushrooms
12 cups (1 loaf) diced bread
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1+ cup chicken broth
2 eggs

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom and parsley in butter - stirring frequently.

2. Add spices to skillet and mix in well.

3. In large bowl, mix together bread cubes and vegetables - stir well.

4. Beat two eggs and add to the bread mixture. Stir.

5. Add chicken broth to the mixture slowly - only add enough to make it "gloppy" - not soupy. Add sparingly - you can always add more while it's cooking.

6. Transfer to slow cooker and cover. Be sure to spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray. If using a liner - spray that too!

7. Cook on high for 45 minutes, then reduce to low for 4-8 hours. Check every couple of hours and add more broth if needed.





Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cooking Light: Mexican Skillet Casserole

As I mentioned last week, I tried out a couple of recipes from the Real Family Food cookbook from Cooking Light. While I was searching for my Classic Mashed Taters - I came across this Mexican Skillet Casserole

It's really simple - cook some rice in one pan, then cook up ground round, onion and a bunch of spices in another (I threw in some frozen red peppers we had as well). Mix in tomatoes, black beans and the rice.

Then top with cheese!

Voila - Mexican Skillet Chicken. This was delicious! I did top with a little sour cream when I ate at home - but didn't bother when I was heading to work. This is definitely one we'll make again.

Mexican Skillet Casserole




  • 2 teaspoons canola oil $
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped onion $
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground round $
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
  • (14.5-ounce) can petite-cut diced tomatoes with jalapeños $
  • (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ounces shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup) $
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add beef; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain, and return to pan. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt. Add rice, tomatoes, and beans; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 1 minute or until cheese melts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Winners Pub & Grub

For the past year - there's a spot right off Colerain that's had a "Coming Soon" banner - I thought - after a year - it was never going to be anything...but alas - it finally opened! 

It's really open - off to the left is a game room and off to the right is a bar and big open room. They have some tables really spread out - but it's mainly a bar and I think a lot of room for bands.

The menu is pretty small - there are a few app, a few salads, wings and sandwiches.

Here are the mozzarella sticks...they're battered rather than breaded - which I liked. The marinara was really thick and a little bitter - too much paste.

We also ordered sandwiches - but my phone died. I got the Buffalo Grilled Chicken sandwich - it was pretty good - messy but good. I ordered the medium and liked it - it was spicy but not too crazy hot. Larry got a cheeseburger but soon realized the buns had eggs in them and didn't get to eat much of it.

Why Should You Go? Well - there's no ambiance to speak of. It's not bad for a quick sandwich and I'd like to try the wings since I did like the sauce. They have enough TVs and it's not real busy yet - so probably a good place to watch a game as well.

Winners Pub & Grub on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cooking Light: Twisted Fish & Classic Mashed Potatoes

I love being one of the Cooking Light Bloggers! I get a free subscription as well as free cook books every now and again. One I recently got was Real Family Food:

I really love it! And why? 

In the index there are pics of every recipe! Then you can see what you're looking up! I'm all about the visuals - so this was really helpful.

I was specifically looking for mashed potatoes since Larry said he wanted some...yeah - I'm that dumb - I need a recipe to make them. I mean - I know how - I just wanted to make sure I had the measurements for the milk, etc.. right.

I also have some parchment bags left from Paper Chef and I saw this recipe called Twisted Fish and thought that would go really well with the mashed taters!

Ahhhh homemade mashed taters! I just used regular baking russets and they were easy to make. These had milk and sour cream in them - which was a great mix. I used four big potatoes and we had enough for dinner plus leftovers!


Dog is such a beggar - she was sitting so well - so I grabbed a spoon and scraped out the pan...she was much obliged to take care of that spoonful for me!

The recipe for the Twisted Fish called for Halibut, unfortunately Meijer was out of it! So I decided to try Mahi Mahi. I know it's not the same consistency - but we both like it so I went for it. It did take longer to bake - but came out perfect!

It's funny - this photo looks like I colorized it - but no - it's just the veggies are the only thing that isn't beige!

Overall this was a great meal! I was able to make it after work - which is quite a feat for me - as I'm usually too tired - but they actually worked well together. While the potatoes were boiling I put together the veggies in the parchment bags and then got the fish on top. Then while that was baking - I finished off the taters.


Twisted Fish




  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
  • (6-ounce) halibut fillets
  • lemon, cut into 12 thin slices
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved $
  • 4 teaspoons butter, melted $
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. 2. Cut 4 (18-inch-long) pieces of parchment paper. Spoon corn and zucchini evenly onto center of each piece. Top evenly with asparagus, placing spears lengthwise on paper. Place fillets lengthwise over asparagus; top evenly with lemon slices. Place tomatoes around edges. Drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon butter; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Bring long sides of paper together; fold down tightly over fish and vegetables. Twist ends to enclose contents. Place packets on a large baking sheet.
  3. 3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Place 1 packet on each of 4 plates. Let stand 5 minutes; cut open.

Classic Mashed Potatoes


4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes $
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk $
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream $
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. 1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. 2. Press potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer into a large bowl. Add butter, stirring until melted. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients.
  3. Tip: If you want to make these mashed potatoes a few hours ahead of time, simply keep them warm over a double boiler on very low heat. Keep in mind that you may need to add a little milk before serving if the consistency becomes too thick.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cooking Light: Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples

I was really excited to get this month's issue of Cooking Light! It's the Best Recipes of the First 25 Years! 
I typically go through the magazine and tear out the recipes that work for us - 
this issue - it's like EVERY RECIPE! 

One of the first items I found while flipping through the issue was the Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples. Larry's been talking about having sauteed apples - so I thought this would be a good way to try it. 



It's really easy - it's actually listed as a 20 minute recipe - and it is - with one caveat: don't include prep. Slicing a tenderloin, apple and shallots takes about another 20 minutes.

So you mix up a few spices, slice up a 1-lb tenderloin and sprinkle the spices over top. Cooking spray the pan and cook the pork 3 min on each side...remove the pork and keep it warm.

And here are my sliced apples and shallots. I need to buy a mandolin - that slicing apple shiz was for the birds! The annoying thing about the recipe was "2 cups of sliced apples" - well how damn many apples is that? Turns out it was one big Gala.

After you remove the pork, you melt a couple tablespoons of butter and then saute the apples, shallots and a touch of salt. Then after a few minutes, you add some apple cider (we don't like cider, so just used apple juice) and fresh thyme (Meijer was out so I used fresh savory). Cook down a couple minutes and you're done!

And I finally got to use this! I wanted a dutch oven but the Le Creuset's are so expensive - earlier this year I got this puppy at an estate sale for THREE DOLLARS! It's not LC - but hey - it's fine for me!

And voila - pork tenderloin slices with sauteed apples and shallots from Cooking Light!


Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples


Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 pork medallions and about 1/2 cup apple mixture)
Total: 

Ingredients


  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper $
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces $
  • Cooking spray $
  • 2 tablespoons butter $
  • 2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn or Gala apple $
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider $
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Preparation

  1. 1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.
  2. 2. Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, 1/3 cup shallots, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes or until apple starts to brown. Add apple cider to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Serve apple mixture with the pork.
Note:
This recipe originally ran in Cooking Light October, 2010 and was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.






Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Healthy Choice Baked Entrees

I'm always up for trying new healthy frozen entrees - I have leftovers about 2-3 days/week - so the frozen dinners are a great backup. Healthy Choice came out with a new variety called Baked Entrees.  


I can't explain to you in words how awful these are. Post-microwave they "bake" down and are dry as sawdust. And they have this awful aftertaste. I tried the chicken & rice cheddar bake as well as the fettucini alfredo bake.  

Blech.

One bonus - I mentioned on Twitter how bad they were and Healthy Choice said they'd send me coupons for their steam entrees (which I complimented). So at least I'll get a couple good ones in exchange for these awful ones. 

Blech. 

That after taste never leaves. 




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fish & Chicken Joint

We've gone to most of the places within earshot of our house but there was one we hadn't made it to yet - BFC! It's in a little (ghetto-ish) strip mall with a Rent-to-Own place and a cell phone/clothing store...but we were optimistic...and hungry. 

It took us quite a few drive-bys to figure out what BFC stood for...but now we know.

We both opted for the Chicken & Fish Combo for $8.95. That comes with 2 pieces of fish (cod, whiting or tilapia), 4 pieces of chicken (wings, legs or thighs), fries, coleslaw and bread - all for $8.95. Yeah - seriously - $8.95!

They do "drop it fresh" - everything is made to order and done right when you ask for it. We actually stopped in and ordered take-out - so it took about 15 minutes for our food to be ready.

The amount of food you get is huge! I mean - 4 damn chicken legs! So here's the breakdown:

  • Chicken - both of us liked our chicken. It's VERY crispy and not at all greasy. The chicken was a little dry - but for the lack of grease - we were really happy. 
  • Fish - we both got cod and it was tasty. Since it was so fresh - it was really hot - and just as crispy as the chicken. The breading doesn't have a lot of flavor - but at least it's not really peppery (hate that). 
  • Fries - these were good - not too crispy, not too soggy
  • Coleslaw - this might have been my favorite part. I'm a big fan of the original KFC slaw - this actually tasted similar but not quite as creamy - which I liked. I ate mine and then the next day I ate Larry's with our leftover chicken. I'm not a huge fan of coleslaw - but when it's good - I love it. 
  • Bread - they put like 4 pieces of bread in. I have no idea why. It gets hard under the chicken (maybe it absorbs whatever grease was there?). It's odd to me and neither of us ate it. 
  • Seasoning! They shake a lemon/herb seasoning on top (if you don't want it - just let them know) of everything - I loved it! That little twang of lemon made it all better! 
Why Should You Go? We both really liked it - the owner/manager (not sure) was really friendly and talked to us a great deal of the time we waited. They do a heavy take-out business with most of it being call-ahead. They also have a good selection of sandwiches and cakes! We were encouraged to come back and try the gyros. Happily I saw that the gyro meat was on a spit like a real gyro place - so I definitely will be back for that! Side note: I wouldn't ever plan to eat there - they have 3 tables and it's not really inviting for that. 

Also - I think they used to be with Hook Fish & Chicken by some of the signs inside - but now it's BFC (and has been for at least the last year). 


Brian's Fishin 4 Chicken on Urbanspoon