Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yummy crockpot pork chops & cuban rice and beans

I have done my heritage proud! I made cuban rice and beans and boy was it good. I don't know why I never tried to make this was so simple.

Cuban Rice and Beans

1 cup of rice
1 can of plain black beans
1 can of vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
Goya adobo or any season salt to taste
tsp. olive oil
1/2 lb cooked salt pork (optional)*

add rice to rice cooker and coat with olive oil.
empty the can of beans and the can of broth in cooker.
add bay leaf
season to taste with salt.
turn on rice cooker, wait and enjoy.
* i didn't do this for this recipe but you could also cook 1/2 lb salt pork and add to rice mixture before cooking rice.

Yummy Pork Chops (serves 2)

2 small onions
2 3/4-inch thick pork chops
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp mustard with white wine ( i used grey poupon)
ground pepper to taste

cut off ends of onions and peel. cut onion in half and place on bottom of crockpot.
sear both sides of pork chops in skillet and then place in cooker on top of onions.
in another contain mix mustard and chicken stock together and pour over porkchops
cook on high 3-4 hours.

So Easy Pot Roast!

I love love love LOVE my crockpot! Who knew dinner could be so easy? This thing is awesome. I made pot roast. ME!
I was searching through the cookbook trying to find the perfect meal to start off my crock pot adventures and this one just spoke to me. Pot roast is a far cry from the take out food I'm use to eating so my boyfriend was thrilled at the idea of having homemade pot roast for dinner.This just looked so simple and easy, I couldn't resist giving it a try.

Here is the recipe adapted from Fix it and Forget it:

3-4 lb roast

4 medium potatoes, cubed

4 medium carrots, sliced

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

3 cups of water

all you have to do is put everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours.

how awesome is that??!!

you could leave the meat in tact if you want. I chose to take a fork and shred it .

so delish :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Crockpot anyone?

I want to cook a good meal. Great! now what?

I needed a plan. First stop: book store. There was no way I was just going to walk into the kitchen and come out with a roasted chicken or a pot roast. I had no idea where to start. So i went to my local bookstore and browsed the cookbook aisle hoping for some inspiration and sense of direction. Talk about being overwhelmed! French cuisine , mediterranean meals, grilling,vegan recipes. Ahhhh! Where's the simple "this is how you make dinner" book i was hoping for?

After a couple of minutes of taking it all in, I found Fix it and Forget it. The concept seems simple enough. Throw all the ingredients in a slow cooker, wait a couple of hours and voila! dinner's ready. This seems like the perfect place to start. Next stop... Walmart. Time to buy a slow cooker.

Let's keep in mind I don't even know what a slow cooker looks like; which anyone watching me as i wondered through Walmart would have told you. I ended up in the section of kitchen appliances where I found out a slow cooker looks similar to a rice cooker. So how do you know what's a good brand? Which one do you buy? Having no idea what makes for a good slow cooker ...i started comparing sizes and prices.

It was here that I learned something knew.. I had heard the term crockpot before but it turns out crockpot is a brand of slow cooker. who knew? I thought a slow cooker was one thing and a crock pot was another. I know. I'm a sad excuse for a cook. I ended up going with one that was large and on sale. That way you get the most for your money..right? that's my approach anyway. so $24.99 later, I was the owner of a 7 quart black crockpot.

I'm ready. I have my crockpot and my cookbook. I've basically got half the meal over with! ha! I wish! my homework tonight is to go through the book and choose what my first meal will be. Can't wait!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cranberry Pecan Brie day 1 didn't turn out as I had expected. I planned on making my first meal for Friday night. A nice romantic meal for two. Then life happened. Not only did by boyfriend end up having to work but it turned out to be a long day in the office for me as well. So long that it turned into a long night..really long night. So after a 13 hour day, I decided to spend my friday night like any self-respecting woman would: Wine and cheese. Alot of wine and cheese.

I love brie. I normally wrap some dough around it and bake it, but decided to try something a bit more creative. I found some dried cranberries and candied pecans and decided..why not? I grabbed a handful of each and chopped them up, topped the cheese with them and baked it at 350 for 20 min.

Whoa! that was good stuff. The candied pecans had a sort of caramel coating so when it baked..yummy ..melted caramel. I am definetly going to be trying this again. Next time I might add a bit more cranberries because you really couldn't taste them. or maybe I was just so obsessed with the pecans I didn't even notice.

Here are some pictures I took. I ate the brie with some sesame crackers and green apple slices. Oh and most importantly a glass of cabernet that was amazing. Here is the name in case anyone is interested: Sterling Vintner's Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage 2005

Thursday, October 8, 2009

cook? me?!?..ok, it can't be that hard. right?

This picture sums up my life in the kitchen. ok, so maybe I don't have a kid ...or a cat for that matter ..but I do have a boyfriend and some pet fish. close enough.
Up to this point my cooking experience has consisted of pasta and brownies. sad. i know.
Give me a break. I'm 25. I'm turning a new leaf. I want to learn how to cook. I want to make yummy food and give up on the pizza and wings that has become a staple in our house.
I know it won't be easy. I'm sure I will make horrible messes, burn down the kitchen and rarely make something edible.
But I have to hope that after a while.. I will be good at this. I can do this. I hope sharing this journey will welcome some much needed tips and advice. (please give me tips and advice!)
Yummy delicious food here I come!