July 12, 2007
I've been bloggin' it up today! Actually I've had a crazy day, and somehow I've managed to write three blog posts, hmmm.
Anyways, I've been trying to utilize my crockpot more on busy days. I've never been particularly thrilled with my crockpot success in the past and I bought myself a cookbook called The Fix it and Forget it Cookbook. There's hundreds of recipes and some great ideas.
However, me being the non-conformist I am, I chose not to even use the cookbook today- plus it was in the back of my car. I just put the ingredients in as I would if I cooked it on the stove top, remembering that you don't need a lot of liquids. I learned that the hard way. Anyways, I made beef stew with dumplings and it was by far the best thing I've ever made in a crockpot :)
Here's what I put in there:
1 whole chopped onion (in large pieces)
2 large carrots cut in medium slices
2 stalks of sliced celery
1.6lbs of beef stew meat (that's what it said on the package, 1.6lbs)
1 bay leaf
a drizzle of worcestorshire sauce
1 can beef broth (I know, not homemade...)
a few tablespoons red cooking wine
First I put the veggies in on the bottom. Then I took about 2/3 cup of flour, 1 t salt and a pinch of dried thyme, mixed it together and dredged the stew meat in it. Then I put the meat and bay leaf on top, poured the liquids in and cooked it for 6 hours.
About 30 minutes before you want to eat, make the dumplings. Turn crockpot on high. Mix 1 cup of flour, 1 t salt, 1.5 t baking powder, 1 T butter, (I put some more thyme in, a pinch) and 2/3 cup of milk. Drop 1 tablespoon at a time in the stew and cover. When the dumplings are not mushy and sort of firm or dried out looking, they're done. I served it with a salad of romaine (chopped), some shredded red cabbage, sliced carrots and diced tomatoes. We used ranch dressing, but last night I made a yummy homemade dressing for it.
1 t dijon mustard
1 t honey
3 T red wine vinegar
1 t salt
abut 6 T olive oil (I never measure, just eyeball it)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl except olive oil and whisk well. While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle olive oil into bowl. Pour over salad- tangy, but not too much. I ate over half the whole bowl of salad last night. At least it was something healthy to gorge on, ha,ha.