Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Love Pot Roast

I've had a craving for pot roast since the weather has started to get cooler. I love this time of year when the leaves change color, you can drink warm apple cider (even though I'm not a big apple fan), and you can enjoy a day buying pumpkins, mums, and wandering through a good corn maze. As much as I love warm weather, I am a sucker for the changing seasons.

Yesterday was a long day at work and I knew I wouldn't want to cook when I got home, so I invited my beau Pete over for a pot roast dinner. It was AMAZING! I love a good pot roast and I love it even more when I barely do any work! I made a nice green salad and mashed potatoes on the side. I know a lot of people put potatoes in their pot roast, but I love mashed potatoes.

Lindsay's Pot Roast
- Olive Oil (~2 TBS)
- 1 onion sliced or chopped in chunks
- 4 carrots peeled and chopped in 1-inch pieces
- 2-3 lb. chuck roast
- Salt & Pepper
- 1.5 cups of beef broth

Before I went to work, I put about 1 TBS of olive oil in a skilled and browned the veggies. After browning veggies, put them in the crockpot. Salt and pepper the roast. Put another TBS of olive oil in pan and brown meat on both sides. Once brown, place in crockpot on veggies. Pour in broth. I set my crockpot to cook on low for 10 hours.

When I came home, I broke apart the meat with two forks and let it sit and soak up the juices while I made the mashed potatoes and salad. Great meal!

Paula Deen's Brownie Cake - YUM

I made some amazing brownies last night, courtesy of Paula Deen. I cooked them about 32-35 minutes and they were still gooey.

Brownie Cake
- 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2.5 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a double boiler, or a microwave set on low power, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and let cool. Whisk in the cocoa until smooth. Whisk in the granulated sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the flour and salt until just blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the brownies are slightly overdone (they should be gooey inside), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beef Stew

I love to cook. When I am stressed, cooking relaxes me and as it starts to turn cold, I love to be in the kitchen every weekend. By the way, I promise this blog won't always be about food, but that's what I have to write about at the moment :)

I wanted beef stew on Sunday and I didn't have a lot in the kitchen. It was pouring rain all day, so I had no desire to go out to the grocery store. I had beef cubes, carrots, a red onion and every seasoning you can think of in the pantry.

On the side, I just cut up a beautiful, ripe tomato, topped it with feta cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Lindsay's Beef Stew
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/2 lb beef cubes, coated in flour
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 onion sliced
- Handful of baby carrots or two regular carrots, cut into chunks
- 1.5 cups of beef broth (I just used bouillon cubes that I had on hand)
- Italian Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper

Put olive oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat. After coating beef in flour, put beef cubes in pan with garlic and onions; cook until beef is browned. Add beef broth, carrots, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Tasty!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Culture Voyagers (aka Culture Vultures)

I have the pleasure of being a member of a dinner group in Green Bay, organized by good friend Barbara Vo Koldos. The dinner club, known as Culture Voyagers, is ten fun ladies who dine out once a month for a new food experience, fun and frienship. We enjoyed our second dinner last night at Caffe Mario, a fantastic little Italian joint on the east side of the Fox River.

Pesto

I love making pesto! It's quick, easy, and wins the heart of any man!

What is pesto? I'd a wonderful tasty sauce of basil, cheese, nuts and olive oil! According to Wikipedia (because you should believe everything they say! Note my sarcasm) pesto originated in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy.

Pesto
  • 32 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pinenuts (you can also use walnuts)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • A couple of fresh sprigs of parsley (if you have on hand, don't buy just for this)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
In a blender or food processor, process all ingredients. I recommend starting with 1/2 cup of EVOO. I generally find that 3/4 cup is perfect. Serve on top of pasta, chicken, fish, sandwiches, etc.

Leftovers? Pesto can easily be frozen and thawed for a future use. You can make single servings of pesto in an ice cube tray. Freeze pesto in each tray and when frozen, place single servings in ziplock bags in the freezer.  One pesto ice cube is the perfect amount for one person.