Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crockpot Tips

Hi all,

I've moved temporarily into another apartment because of terrible, terrible neighbors. If I'm in the other apartment for over a week, I'll bring over pots and pans, until then, I'm fine eating oatmeal, cantaloupe, and stir fry in the student union.

Here's a link to some helpful crockpot cooking tips I found today: Crockpot Tips

Happy cooking,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beef Stew

This is the first beef I've cooked all school year! Before you ask if I'm going vegetarian--heck no, I'm not. It's just that when I visit my family and Jesse's family every weekend I typically eat beef at least once, maybe even twice. As a result, I haven't felt inclined to make any of my own beef for just 'lil old me. Tuesday I decided it was time for some beef, in the crockpot. I've never made beef stew before, but with the help of Coyote Country Seasoning Co. it turned out delicious!

1 pack of Coyote Country Seasoning Company's "beefy stew soup"
1 can of mushrooms, drained
handful of baby carrots
1 onion, chopped
1 can baby potatoes, drained
1 pound of steak, cut into cubes
4 c water

Get Cookin'

Place everything in crockpot and cook on low for 7-9 hours or high for 4-5. The seasoning package called for 6 cups of water, but I thought it was too much, just so you know. Remember, stews and soups taste better the longer they cook, so try to opt for cooking it on the low setting.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Caramel Pumpkin Cupcakes

I had a can of pumpkin I used for about two days to make pumpkin oatmeal. I lost interest because I didn't like washing a pot every morning at 7am. I've gone back to microwavable oatmeal. But, I still had a lot of pumpkin to use. My roommates and I found this recipe in the Hungry Girl cookbook. It's better than pumpkin pie. Seriously. The pumpkin makes them so moist, and the caramel topping is amazing.

The original recipe only made 12 cupcakes and used only 1/2 a box of cake mix. Who wants to save 1/2 a box of yellow cake mix? Not me. So, I doubled the recipe, as seen below.

For Cupcakes:
1 box yellow cake mix (most-style)
2 c canned pure pumpkin
2/3 c liquid egg substitue
2/3 c water
4 T maple syrup
4 t cinnamon
4 t granulated sugar
1/4 t salt

For Topping:
6 cubes chewy caramels
4 t vanilla soymilk

Get Cookin'

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all cupcake ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix until well blended (about 2 minutes). Spray muffin tins and evenly spoon the batter into the pans. Cook for about 12 minutes.

Immediately after the cupcakes are finished cooking, place caramels and soymilk in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave at medium power for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir vigorously until completely blended. Microwave again for 30 seconds. Drizzle caramel sauce over cupcakes.

Each cupcake only has 108 calories and 2 grams of fat. :)

Mediterranean Stew

This is a dish that is perfect for the beginning of fall. Now that we've made this, I can consider it fall. It's pretty versatile, throw in whatever veggies you have on hand--except potatoes. I tried that once last year, and they soak up all the extra virgin olive oil. :(

I didn't get to take a picture of the finished stew because Jesse and I were famished when we got home from class today. We had to dig in. Sorry.

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
4 c. chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5oz.)
1 can tomato sauce (I used low sodium)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut up into cubes
handful of baby carrots
2 celery stocks, chopped
1 T Italian seasoning
3/4 c. frozen mixed veggies

Get Cookin'

Throw in all ingredients except frozen veggies into crockpot. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or high for 4-6. Add the frozen veggies about an hour (or half hour) before eating.

HINT: Soups and stews taste best the longer they cook, so try to opt for cooking the stew on the low setting.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sweet Potato Chili **vegan**

My best friend from elementary school is a vegan. I think that's why this recipe caught my eye. (Hi, Stephanie!) I also was trying to use up all the kidney beans I have (thanks to a sale at Fry's).

This was delicious, and different from your typical bowl of chili. I dare you--try it!
Thanks to my favorite crockpot lady for this recipe base. I changed the spices, but the rest is the same. Next time I'd cut the sweet potatoes into smaller chunks-they looked like carrots.

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and in 2-inch chunks
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes--I used a can with chilis in it as well
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice

Get Cookin'

Place all ingredients in 4 quart crockpot. Cook on low for at least 5 hours (I had classes all day and a lecture at night, I think mine cooked for about 9 hours)!

Santa Fe Foldover

The night I made this Jesse told me I really like to make Mexican food because I make it a lot. So, here's the most recent Mexican recipe that goes out to you, babe! I think I know the reason I make a lot of Mexican food: beans! They're inexpensive, healthy and are packed with protein.

I modified a recipe from eatbetteramerica.com. The original said it could feed 3 people. I don't think so. Jesse and I ate the whole thing and were not stuffed. I'd double the recipe next time.

1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart mix
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup very hot water
1 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed
1/3 cup salsa
Handful of shredded cheese
Handful of shredded lettuce
Handful of chopped tomato
A spoonful fat-free sour cream

Get Cookin'

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Stir Bisquick, cornmeal and hot water until soft dough forms. Knead until mixed. Roll dough onto cookie sheet, forming a circle like a pizza crust.

In another bowl mix beans and salsa and spread over the dough within an inch of the edge, again, like putting sauce on a pizza--leave a crust.

Fold edges over. Sprinkle cheese over beans.

Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with remaining ingredients.