Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spicy Wine Pot Roast

Today, I am making some banana breads for a friend who plans on selling them for a 'Curl for Cancer' fundraiser she is participating in. So while they are baking, i thought i should get this posted. After Christmas dinner, I had a leftover half bottle of red wine. I am not a wine drinker. I can't stand the taste. I don't want to throw it out, so I have been looking for recipes that i could use it in. I found this one just after Christmas on cooks dot com. I just finally used it last Sunday when I was able to get a pot roast on sale for seven dollars. It was smaller than what the recipe called for, but i figured it would do.

Spicy Wine Pot Roast.

3-4 Lb roast.
1 onion, chopped.
1 pkg brown gravy (clubhouse)
1 cup water.
1/4 cup ketchup.
1/4 cup red wine.
2 tsp mustard.
1 tsp worcestershire sauce.
1/8 ts garlic powder.
salt 7 pepper.

Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Set in crock pot. Combine remaining ingredients, pour over meat. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

I made a gravy out of some of the drippings, there was a lot; i strained some of them into a smaller pot, then mixed a couple tablespoons of flour with about a quarter cup of water. I poured that into the pot and heated while stirring. It thickened up in no time once it started simmering. I found it tasted a bit funny, a little fruity is the only way to describe it. Maybe because of the wine?

The only change I made was to throw a couple of bay leaves in. I had another recipe that called for them, so i thought it would not be a bad addition. I also omitted the onions because my tester does not like them. As you can see above, I served it with mashed potatoes and peas. Yummy.

The banana breads are starting to smell good! I have a few more recipes to post when I have time, stuff i didn't get posted last year. I am having a hard time believing that January is almost over! Next will be Valentine's day, I have lots of cookies to make for different bake sales and events. Then once March comes, I am planning a baby shower! Before you know it, the miserable weather will be gone and it will be summer again!

We didn't get much snow during last's weeks storm, and since it rained all week, was foggy Monday and Tuesday and extremely warm yesterday, it is gone again. They are calling for a repeat tomorrow, though. Snow and then rain on top of it. Yuck. 

Hope everyone has had a great week, stay toasty!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No-Bake Energy Bites

They are calling for a huge snowstorm tomorrow. Depends on who you ask, it is between 4 and 12 inches, so i decided I needed an energy filled shovelling snack. This is only going to be our third storm this winter, the first was the day after American Thanksgiving, way back in November. The second was about two weeks ago. We've had a few bits of snow here and there, but it has been closely followed by rain or higher temperatures, so it has disappeared!

I found this recipe on Pintrest, it led me to a really nice blog called Smashed Peas and Carrots, what an awesome name for a blog! The best thing about this recipe is that you can easily substitute different things if you have an allergy to one of the ingredients!

No-Bake Energy Bites.

1 cup oatmeal.
1/2 cup peanut butter.
1/3 cup honey.
1 cup coconut.
1/2 cup ground flaxseed.
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
1 tsp vanilla.

Mix all together until well combined. Refrigerate half an hour. Roll into small balls. Store in sealed container, refrigerated, for up to one week.

Last summer I went to a Farmer's Market, the only thing I bought there was this mini jar of honey:

I am not wild about honey, i just thought it was so cute! So I finally found something to do with it aside from sitting in my cupboard. Thee was only about a quarter cup in it, so i added a bit more peanut butter to fill it out.

Smushy honey and peanut butter mess. I also substituted the flaxseed for a finer coconut. I do not have flaxseed in the house, it is quite costly around here, but i think when i make these again I will see if i can get a bit.

I also substituted half the chips for some dried cranberries. I usually use them in my oatmeal, they are delicious! The recipe said you can substitute anything, even another nut butter for the PB and someone in the comments said they used agave nectar instead of honey!

I more or less had to press them together than roll them, but they turned out great! I plan on making these again soon, since they taste delicious and are pretty healthy!

As for the snow, so not looking forward to that. But it is bitter cold here today, and snow means it will warm up a bit. This is a picture I took yesterday of the picnic tables at work. It is not a very good shot, since i took it through my car windshield.

Usually by now it is up to the benches, at the very least! They are calling for quite a bit tomorrow, and more Monday, so soon it will start looking like the winter we are used to. Boo. I miss summer.

Hope everyone is having a great week, it's almost the weekend once again!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Brown Sugar Blondies

So, here it is halfway through the month and I get to my first post of 2012. I made these Friday and tried to post them that day, but Blogger was freezing and crashing my browser every time i attempted to open it. I couldn't even look at anything, it froze and i had to close it.

This is another recipe I found on Pintrest, this time the pin led me to a blog called Baked Perfection. I haven't had a lot of time to poke around to deep, there are almost 5 years of archives on the blog, but from what I have seen everything looks delicious! I've made plenty of Brownies, but this is the first time I have made Blondies, if you have not tried them, here's the recipe!!

Brown Sugar Blondies.

1/3 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tap baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup to 1+1/3 cup M&Ms or Smarties

 Melt butter. Add brown sugar and mix well. Cool slightly. Add egg and vanilla and blend well. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture, a little at a time, mixing well. Fold in half of the M&Ms, fold to combine. Spread into prepared 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with remaining M&Ms. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes.

I used leftover Christmas Smarties. I have been told Smarties are a Canadian candy, in case you do not know what they are, basically they are like milk chocolate  M&Ms, with no M. And they are a bit bigger and flatter. The best thing about Smarties is that they use all natural dyes for their colours, so you don't have to worry about what chemicals might go in there to make them so colourful. They are great for my little man K, who can not have red food dye (lest he goes nuts, i missed his crazy Christmas Eve antics after indulging in some Cherry Winks and Peanut Butter Balls, Momma forgot maraschino cherries = red food dye).

The recipe came together really nicely, and I am thinking now as i type this a good mix-up for it would be to substitute half of the butter for peanut butter. These are really sweet, the recipe said to pack the sugar but I did not. I usually don't, it saves me a bit of money on sugar and maybe also a few extra calories.

I took some squares to work with me Friday and shared with my cubicle neighbours, they all agreed that this was a successful recipe to go into the make again file. My little man K is going to be a big brother in May, as big sis to his Mommy, I have volunteered to throw the shower. If I can find some baby blue smarties, I might make this recipe again for the party!

I hope everyone has had a great new year so far, I can't believe the first month is half over already! It's been a busy month, but I am planning on trying some new recipes again soon. I got a few cook books for Christmas and have lots of Pins I want to try on my Pintrest boards.

Have a great week, everyone!