Thursday, October 4, 2007


So, my fall resolution is supposedly to start using my slow cooker, so that on days like yesterday, I don't actually have to worry about dinner. It'll be like June Cleaver has slaved all day in her pearls in my kitchen. Except if a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step... let's just say I'm still working on making my packing list. The step hasn't quite been made yet. :)

So after our walk yesterday, I needed to get supper on the table. I had already planned to give Michael a "comfort food" meal for last night since I knew he'd had a really long day at work. Fortunately, some of his favorite comfort foods are exceptionally easy. So easy, I can make it in my sleep -- literally. I think that's been the theme for supper this week! Anyway, I'm posting some yawn-worthy recipes... so that if you're as pooped as I am, you, too, can put supper on the table.

First: the drink you'll need in order to get through the cooking.

Iced Mocha
Serves One
  • Fill a tall glass with ice
  • Pour about half a glass full of cold coffee (I seldom drink all the coffee I ambitiously make in the morning)
  • Add 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup (the 50% less sugar by Hershey's is great)
  • Fill the rest of the glass with cold milk
  • Stir
  • Resist giving yourself a freeze-headache by sucking it down as fast as I know you will want to
I have yet to try this in the blender as a "frappuccino", but I'm sure it would be marvelous. Anyway, it's a great afternoon pick-me-up, and it's a whole lot cheaper than running out to Starbucks.

So after you've had your caffeine fix...

Simple Beef Stroganoff
Serves Six (even though there are only 2 of us, we make the whole batch -- great reheated)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 a small package of mushrooms, diced (if your husband hates mushrooms like mine, still include them... we just make them either extra small so they're not noticeable or extra large so he can pick them out; but it DOES make a difference)
  • 1 package of onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 small can of beef broth
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 8 oz of medium egg noodles, cooked and lightly buttered
In a pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and allow to cook 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and mushrooms, and cook until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in onion soup mix and stir well. Then sprinkle flour over meat evenly, and stir for about 30 seconds until flour is no longer raw. Stir in broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low. Stir in sour cream and allow to bubble for another 7-8 minutes, which is exactly how long it will take for your egg noodles to be done. Spoon beef over noodles, and voila! Super easy, super comforting. If you want to get fancy, add some fresh parsley chopped over the top.
Michael particularly loves this beef stroganoff because once, when we were dating, I tried to make him some Rachael Ray stuff that involved dijon mustard. Kids, don't do it. Don't put mustard in it. We still laugh about it.

And one more super easy pasta dinner...
Easy "Sketti"
Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of basil
  • 1/4 cup of parmesean cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Place garlic and red pepper in a cold skillet. Add oil and heat on medium low. Cook about 3 minutes until garlic begins to fill your kitchen with a great smell. Add ground beef, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brown beef. Stir in can of tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Stir in seasonings and cheese. Allow to simmer on low for at least 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Serve with your favorite pasta and some garlic bread.

Note: Having grown up Italian, I am accustomed to sauce. This is not sauce. This is my easy, "I don't want to slave over a hot stove for four hours" stuff. It's good. It's comparable to what you might get out of a jar, but I think it's cheaper (key) and tastier. If I was of the "canning" type, I would can this stuff so that I would have my own personal stash of jarred spaghetti sauce on hand.

So anyway...
here's a few ideas to get your table full tonight! Have a blessed day!


Anonymous said...

So, have you ever noticed that 98% of the time, June enters the scene from the kitchen?! Rarely is she anywhere else, but by the front door or sitting on the arm of Ward's chair. But I must say, she always looks great and has a fantastic attitude! :) We, here at the resort notice these things since frequently TVland circulates thru the hallways and creeps into our minds. Just a thought to ponder since you mentioned June.
Ah, slow cooker! Thanks for the recipe...I'll have to dust mine off and return it from the pantry to the counter...grilling has ruled over the summer months and though it will be close to 90 here this weekend (may break the record from 1951 - 91, I think), we are decorating with pumpkins and fall leaves. Thanks for the recipes...I love mushrooms! Love, MrsStev and the resorters!

Daniel and Kimberly Jordan said...

Looks yummy!! I have been such a BUM about cooking lately! I think I may try the stroganoff one this week-thanks for sharing!! PS-I really have no idea how to spell stroganoff. PSS-We really do need to get together soon. It's been a very long time!