Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast!!

This is a very easy recipe for a delicious pot roast. It makes its own gravy. It's designed especially for the working person who does not have time to cook all day, but it tastes like you did.  It got rave reviews from the peanut gallery, which consisted of my Husband, my Mother, and even my 3-year old enjoyed the carrots, potatoes & sauce (just not the meat).  Can't win them all!

I'm not too picky with my meat, I usually buy whatever I can find cheapest, tonight it was a 2.5 lb Top round roast.  It had very little fat and was the perfect meat!  I will put down what my recipe, but using only 2.5 lbs of meat, you could cut it down to 1 can of mushroom soup and less water.  The gravy was really good, but I'd have liked it to be thicker.  

What you need:
Crock pot
2.5 lbs meat
salt & pepper
1/2 onion
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1 1/4 cups water
Russet Potatoes (we used 5 & peeled & cut them in half)
1 - bag Mini Carrots

1.  salt & pepper meat to taste
2.  in a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.
3.  Cut onion & throw in (we quartered the onion)
4.  Cook on High for 5 hours
5.  Add potatoes and mini carrots
6.  Cook another 3 hours on low

It was a divine meal!  The meat was super tender and the gravy was very flavorful.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Race Car Birthday

For my sons 3rd birthday, he'd been telling me he wanted a race car Birthday. I came up with this as the invite and knew I wanted to try to theme the entire party around race cars.  This is really the first time I've ever thrown a theme party before.  Guess I'd better get used to it now!

I had thought long and hard about how in the world I could do a fun race car cake.  I didn't want to do just a race car, but, I'd seen on google a few track cakes and I loved them.  But I am NOT a cake maker!  I called around and got some estimates on cake, all of which were way too high to spend on a 3 year olds cake, IMO.  So I thought, maybe I can do this.  I've tried to make a double layer sheet cake in the past, it was a disaster, so I had our local grocery store make me a chocolate sheet cake with no frosting.  I'm sure they've had stranger requests.

I had found at the store something new Duncan Hines Amazing Glazes, just microwave and pour onto your favorite dessert.  From the photo on the bottle, it looked like it would be the perfect smooth surface for my road.  Because I knew I didn't want to deal with fondant, I don't like the taste, and black fondant with 3 year olds would be MESSY!!  I poured on the Glaze, let it sit up and free-handed my 3.  I didn't glaze the entire cake, only where I wanted my road to be.  
Next up was the daunting task of grass.  I didn't want to smear on a flat green frosting, I wanted it to look like real grass.  Little did I know, that this would be the longest part!  I believe it took me around 2.5 hours to frost my cake with my grass.  I had made homemade frosting, so it was all ready for me.  I used a frosting bag with a star tip on it, to give me the grass look I wanted.  The top is what took me the most time, I wanted each to be its own grass, on the sides, I did rows of grass.  The sides took me no time at all.  I also added the road dashes with a basic white can of frosting using a round tip.                     
I let my son pick out the cars he wanted to showcase on his cake the day before.  Of course, he picked some pretty cool cars!  I had also made a checkered flag for the finish line and the 3 candles were red, yellow & green.  

I didn't get all crazy with decorating the rest of the party, I'd had big idea's but decided it wasn't about those small details.  I had made him a banner on a checkered flag ribbon and gotten orange cups (I thought they looked like cones)  and our plates were yellow, green, and red.  Plus, who doesn't love balloons!   

Waiting to blow out his candles.  

For thank you gifts, I decided on some crayon caddies from Two Little Monkies with a Matchbox car in the band on the outside (I didn't photograph them, sorry, but here are the Caddies from her site) & I made a thank-you note to thread through the band as well.  

My son loved the party, and while it wasn't the full out theme party I had originally thought about, it was just perfect for us!  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cranberry Chicken - My #1 Favorite

I do not like cranberries, I do not like jellied cranberry on my turkey at Thanksgiving, but I absolutely LOVE cranberry chicken!  The flavor is so delicious and it is probably my #1 favorite chicken meal.  I think, no I know, that when my hubby and I were married the first year, it's pretty much all I made and he was so sick of it!  But that's what happens when you marry someone who doesn't have much sense in cooking unless she has a recipe.  I'm still that girl, but I'm getting more daring.

Here's what you will need:
Skinless Chicken breasts (I usually cook 4)
1/2 package of onion soup mix (shake to get mixed up)
1 -  14oz can of jellied cranberry
4-6 oz - French or Russian salad dressing (This will be up to you, I don't like mine so runny, I like a thicker sauce)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix:  Onion Soup mix, cranberry sauce, & dressing together.  Pour over washed chicken that has been patted dry with paper towels.  (I know there has been tons of debate as to whether or not you should in fact wash chicken, but I'm so diligent about keeping the juices off everything)  Bake for 45min-1hour.

I usually serve mine with Wild rice and Peas.  I love to smother the entire dish in the extra cranberry sauce.

So I will apologize for the lack of a beautiful image, this bed rest thing makes it very difficult for my "keepers" to let me get up and photograph food.  Which is making me very sad!!  I'm going through a photography withdrawal.  But they also aren't "styling" my food before they serve it to me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lucky me!

Well Im sorry to say that I won't be posting all those Yummy Pinterest items I find to eat and make on here, nor will I probably be posting many of the crafts and projects.  I've been put on bed rest for the next 8 weeks.  I may need padded walls and a straight jacket sometime in the coming weeks.  I'm on day 3 and I'm already totally bored.  Pinterest is keeping me pretty busy, but I'm so sad I can't do DOING most of what I find on there.  I will be updating the Baby Blog now.  Because thats what 99.9% of my day is about now.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fun for Hours!

If you have a 3-year old and you live in the desert, you know as well as I do the most asked question when it is a blazing 108+ degrees is "Can we go outside?"  Let me think about that for a second, "Um, no, we cannot!"  So this being said, I needed to find some fun things for him to do that weren't the normal playing cars, coloring, and running around like a maniac!

So what you do is take a baking pan and fill the bottom with Baking Soda.  Then take Tupperware dishes and put some vinegar and food coloring in them.  Then use a dropper (I used one from an old Tylenol bottle).  I showed the boy how to use the dropper, and he's been at this "project" for well over an hour.  We are actually on our 2nd pan of Baking Soda.

Plus, its a good teaching lesson as well.  You should know that when you drip vinegar into the baking soda, it will fizz.

"I can do this, I'm a boy"  Direct quote from the boy.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Great way to store muffin cups!

I went to a friends house and she's all about the organization!  If you're like me, I buy those darn muffin cups when I see them go on sale, or more recently, I found them for .99 at Big Lots!  Woo!  I never seem to have enough, and when I do, they get squished or lost in my pantry.  My friend puts hers in Mason Jars, but I didn't have any of those on hand, but they fit perfectly in a salsa jar!  I just peeled the label off and used Goo Gone to get the sticky off.  One of these days I'll probably repaint the lid to some pretty color, but for now, it works!