Tag Archives: sausage

It Cooks While I Sleep…

 I’ve always loved cooking…but I have a secret to admit: I have never been great with the crockpot! I know, I know. It’s supposed to be the simplest way to cook ever, but I seem to fail with this method. I either cook it too long or add too much liquid or it doesn’t get all the way done…. It’s a curse!

But desperate times call for desperate measures. And I am in a season of life where there isn’t much time for meal prep between when I get home from work and when Kyle goes down for bed…and we both need to eat sometime in there. And then there’s the part about kids waking up in the middle of the night…especially (it seems) when you’re already at your tiredest. So, I’m taking the plunge and attempting to cook with the crockpot! I even started a Pinterest board just for crockpot recipe ideas: Crockpot Meals (aka Working Mama Nom-Noms!).

Thankfully, I’ve stumbled across a few keepers (which I’ve modified or merged a couple of recipes together).

The Roast: 5 red potatoes (quartered), 1 small bag baby carrots, 1 onion (peeled and cut into 8), 3 cloves garlic (peeled and minced), 1 box beef broth over veggies, salt-pepper-cornstarch rubbed on the 2 pound roast and seared for 1-2 minutes on each side, then topped with fresh rosemary, basil, parsley, and sage, 1-2 Tbsp. each of honey, soy sauce, and worchestershire sauce. 10 hr. on low.

The roast I made for a friend who’s had sick kids and been discouraged recently, and I literally prayed over the crockpot! (Maybe that’s the real secret.) The recipient commented: “Well my plain ol roast will never taste the same. Delicious!” Great. Now I want pot roast. :/

Peaches ‘n’ Cream Steel Cut Oats: 1 small bag frozen peaches, 1/4-1/2 c. brown sugar,
Pinch salt, 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 c. steel cut oats, 4 c. whole milk.
Do not stir; cook on low for 8-9 hr. in slow cooker. Top with coconut butter or cream and a drizzle of maple syrup or fresh berries.

Breakfast Casserole: 1/2 bag frozen hashbrowns (so 15 oz.), 8 oz. block pepper jack cheese (shredded), 8 oz. breakfast sausage (cooked and crumbled). Sprayed crockpot with oil, then mixed the above ingredients in crockpot. This basically filled my small/med crockpot…but…Then I whisked the following together and dumped it over the top and it filled in all the nooks and crannies…12 eggs, 1 c. milk, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, fresh basil, rosemary, and sage (torn by hand and tossed in). Covered on low for 8 hrs.

Both breakfast dishes were super simple (though they made 3x the amount we need, but at least there’s leftovers). And Kyle loved it all too! They all turned out good enough to repeat! And I am very thankful!

What are your favorite crockpot recipes?

Holiday Pizza Pizzazz

Tonight’s pizza was an interesting combination of ingredients that turned out to be fabulous! It reminded me of Ina Garten’s Sausage Cranberry Stuffing for her Roasted Turkey Roulade.

I started with our homemade white wheat sourdough crust and prebaked that for 5 minutes at 425F. Then I drizzled the crust with some black raspberry vinaigrette (2 parts organic black raspberry jam, 1 part blueberry red wine vinegar, 1 part organic olive oil – whisk together over low heat until evenly combined).

For the toppings, I used cooked, crumbled sausage along with goat cheese,  caramelized onions, thinly sliced granny smith apples, chopped fresh mushrooms, chopped pecans, dried cranberries and fresh cilantro. Then I baked it for another 8-10 minutes at the same temperature, until the crust was golden and the cheese was just beginning to brown. Wow! I will definitely make this again! It was delicious! The crust was thin and crisp, the vinaigrette, cranberries and apples added a nice, sweet tang that paired beautifully with the creamy goat cheese and fresh nuttiness of the pecans. I think I’m craving another piece just writing this post!

What crazy toppings have you put on your pizza that gave it some pizzazz?!

German Festival – Homemade Organic Style (Feb. 9, 2010)

This weekend, I made a batch of vegetable boullion from a friend. I don’t own a food processor yet, but I do have a food grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, so I just threw all the ingredients through the fine grind plate. Recipe here: 101 Cookbooks: Homemade Bouillon . I didn’t have celery root, so I just used 7 oz. of celery. I also added some ground pepper (so I wouldn’t have to add it later when I use it to cook). Recipe made about 3 small canning jars of bouillon. You may want to keep 1 in the fridge and freeze the other 2 (or give them as gifts). Use 1-2 tsp. bouillon to 1 c. of water for vegetable broth.

That said, I started with a little olive oil and 4 Coleman Organic Mild Italian Chicken Sausage over Medium heat. They’re precooked, so just turn them until they’re lightly brown. Then I added 1 heaping teaspoon of the bouillon into the skillet, sauteed for a minute, then added 1/2 lb. of Organic Sauerkraut, 2 apples (cored and sliced), and 3/4 c. water. I turned the heat down to Medium Low and let it simmer till the moisture was absorbed and everything was heated through.

Meanwhile, I heated another skillet over Medium high heat with 2 Tbsp. oil and 2 Tbsp. butter. Then I sliced organic potatos into thin rounds and browned them in the butter-oil mixture. The butter gives it a great flavor and the oil helps keep the butter (and your potatos) from burning. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper to season. I served these with some Organic Ketchup and Spicy Brown Mustard for dipping.

Absolutely delicious! And 100% natural/organic.

Bon Appetit!
Melissa