Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dueling Pot Roasts

This past weekend my newest sister-in-law (Sharon) and I were talking. She mentioned that she had cooked dinner in her crockpot the day she and her sister went skiing and that dinner turned out great. That conversation sparked something in me that I nearly forgot about.....I need to cook in the crockpot more (something I have wanted to learn how to do for years, but have been incredibly distracted by buying and selling houses and moving a million times). Since I am a crockpot gimp, I was thinking that I would make a pot roast tonight in the crockpot and see how it comes out. You are probably thinking, what's so unusual about cooking in a crockpot. And to that I will say "absolutely nothing". But alas, my name is Carol and I can't leave it at a single crockpot recipe. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???? Tonight I will be competing against myself. I am making dueling pot roasts. One in the oven that is slow cooked (thanks Alton Brown for your recipe), and one in the crockpot. I want to see which one comes out better....and which recipe is better so I can put it into my rotation of dinner recipes. Plus, I will be able to freeze quite a bit of pot roast for left over meals in the near future. I will be sure to let you know how it turns out. :) (And, if one of them are especially good, I will post the recipe).

(Have you see the Thanksgiving Friends episode where Monica competes against herself to make a better Thanksgiving dinner than last year??? Am I completely unhinged???)

Hmmmm, this reminds grandmother has a very simple but really good Chicken Cacciatore recipe...I wonder how that would taste in the slow cooker???? I feel an experiment brewing.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Here's why

One of the only reasons why I am thoroughly enjoying being a stay at home wife is cooking. I love being able to see something on TV, eat something at a restaurant or hear about something, doing a bit of research and trying to figure out how to make it. A few weeks ago Shawn and I went out to an Italian restaurant and had a really good grilled pear salad with balsamic. We also went to a different place and had some amazing butternut squash soup. Since those visits I have made both, and actually had both for lunch today. I should be a chef.....kidding of course......but I really do love to cook and create really good food. Between yesterday and today I have made:
-Lemon balsamic roasted vegetables
-Butternut squash soup
-Pear and walnut micro greens salad with the same lemon balsamic I used to roast the aforementioned veggies
-Greek chicken with a yummy yogurt sauce

There are also a bunch of other "signature Carol" dishes that I make:
-Pesto chicken pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes (sundried and fresh), baby spinach and pine nuts
-Bruchetta (2 different kinds - one with artichokes and one without...although I can't decide which one I like most)
-Chicken stir fry
-Cream of mushroom with chicken over rice
-Eggplant Parmesan (this was my grandmothers recipe)
-Lots of different pasta dishes that I have copied from restaurants and have added my own twist
-A wonderful garlic bread
-Pesto bread with mozzarella cheese
-Navy bean soup (which coincidently I burned myself on pretty badly about 6 months ago)
-Awesome Salmon skewers
-Meat sauce
-Stuffed chicken breast (stuffing needs some tweeking, but the sauce is lemony needs nothing different)
-BLT pasta salad - yum
-Many many others

So, as you can see, I love to cook. Now, I must give props to my husband because he tests all of my cooking. Sometimes my recipes work, other times they don't....but I always learn something from my experiments. That's the beauty of staying at home for a period of time.....the experimentation of cooking. You know what's sister does the same thing....she is an amazing cook. Maybe she and I need to open up a catering business (we should think about that). So, if you would like any of these recipes, message me and I will be sure to send them along to you.