Friday, September 16, 2011

Crock Pot Recipe for Tex-Mex Beef

Last night I was thinking about what I wanted to make in my crock pot, for dinner tonight. So found this recipe for Tex-Mex Beef Wraps. Well, of course the ingredients sounded just right, so what did I do???? Turned it into the best beef enchiladas!!!

I wanted it to be pretty much plain-jane, but next time will add more ingredients to it, to possibly make it even better. The reason, I didn't add extras this time was to taste the flavor by itself. I am impressed, it was great just as is.
Here are the ingredients for the wraps - chili powder, ground cumin, salt, ground red pepper, beef chuck pot roast, onion, garlic, salsa, tortillas (corn or floured), cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, tomato, cilantro, avocado. Basically you put everything into the crock pot up to the tortillas and cook all day. Then of course, take a tortilla and add the rest of the ingredients, roll it up and eat like a wrap.
The ingredients I used:

1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher salt)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound boneless chuck roast
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 big red bell pepper, sliced thinely
1/2 cup salsa
1 can - 4 ounce tomato sauce
1 cubed tomato boullion
2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
2 cups water
Put all of this into your crock pot and cook on low for about 6 hours.
Beef should be tender enough to shred. Take out the roast and shred, set aside.

Take the juices and vegetables that are left in the crock pot and pour over a seive that is over a medium bowl. Save this sauce and discard the vegetables. (I didn't want to add them to my enchiladas.)
Put the sauce (juice) into a 3 quart pot and add a can of tomato paste, a little at a time to get to the consistency you want for the thickness you want, for your now home-made enchilada sauce. (This taste so good!)

When I know that I am making enchiladas, I have a pint size heavy cream on hand. Since I didn't know that I was making these today, I did with what I had on hand and that was plain home-made yogurt. With the cream I add to canned enchilada sauce and dip the tortillas in it, to make them soft when they bake. And also have two glass pie pans, one with red sauce and one with the cream in it. Well, I just wanted to make 4 enchiladas to try out with. And I saved the rest of the beef and sauce for another day.
So this evening, what I did was to take my cooking dish and put some sauce and yogurt in it, then dipped a tortilla in it.
Sauce and yogurt

Then added some more sauce and yogurt, beef and cheese and rolled it up.

Then I decided just to go ahead and put just the beef and cheese and roll each enchilada up.

Made four of them and baked them at 350 degrees, for 20 minutes.
After the 20 minutes, I put them on a plate, along with some applesauce. That was just right to cool off the spice of the enchiladas. It was a great dinner and worth the time to make them.
This was the first time, I made home-made enchilada sauce, and it was totally by accident. The juices looked to good to throw away and tasted of just the right spices for a sauce, but it was thin. So that is when I thought of the tomato paste, and it worked out great!
Of course, you could make the wraps or shredded beef tacos with this meat or whatever you might like! It is very tender and delicious! Isn't it fun to recreate something from an already great recipe?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My friend at Arctic Garden Studio

You know I love to read your blogs and try to keep up with your doings. Well, today while I was reading on Arctic Garden Studio blog, I see Nicole has a cool giveaway going on. So I just had to join and see if possible there's is a chance to win! Go here to check this out:

I mean how could one go wrong with this? To be able to list the titles of  your cookbooks and be able to find the recipe you want faster! So, I went down to my bookshelves and reorganized them and took these pictures:

And this is not all, because there are magazines and recipe card boxes. I sure enjoy cooking!

I didn't know that I have over 158 cookbooks, pretty cool. Don't you think I might have a chance???? You should enter yourself, it will be fun to see who wins!
I do enjoy reading Nicole's recipes and have tried a few. She lives in Alaska, what an adventure! Although I love reading everyone's blogs and where they are from. I think the old saying is true, "Home is where you hang your hat." Every place on this earth to me has beauty, we just have to find it.  I have lived in 3 different states of the United States and have found great people in each one. But I feel I have many friends now through blogging. Thanks, blog world!

Just wanted to update on what I am working on!

I have been filling my hours of each day doing this:
 Sorting through lots of pictures, getting them ready to post on my family history blog.

I just didn't realize how many hours this would take, but I do enjoy it and it keeps me busy! I am working on the Armstrong side of the family for now and have over 100 pictures just from this family. How cool is this? Thanks, Karen!
Thanks for visiting with me today!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

Ok, so I had some pumpkin thawing out and some cream I wanted to use up, so what better than pumpkin soup. I put the pumpkin in the crock and started heating it up.

In about an hour, I mashed the pumpkin with a potato masher then added some red bell pepper, (about 1/4 of one, sliced), 1/2 onion, and diced 2 apples.

Let that cook for another hour.

After a total of about 2-2 1/2 hours, it was smelling pretty good, so I let it cool for about 1/2 hour and added 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of whole milk, along with a can of drained green beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Put it all into a container and put the soup in the refrigerator for the night, (as I still needed to finish eating up the chicken noodle soup).

During the night I kept thinking I wanted this soup to be more creamy. So this afternoon,  as I pulled it from the fridge, I took out all the pieces of green beans and set them in a separate bowl. Then I put this mixture into a colander to drain out the cream and milk. Yep, I actually did this, so that I could take this soup and put it into my blender and blend away! As the blender was mixing, I added back the cream and milk to get the right consistency.  Then I put all of this, including the green beans into a 3 quart pot and heated the soup up. Now I have a cream soup!!! I  also sprinkled some cinnamon, and grated some nutmeg into it. All I can say, it was delicious and creamy, and perfect to my taste, I shall make this again. Only next time, I will do the blending before I put in the green beans and cook all in one day, using just the crock pot!

Thanks for popping in and seeing my craziness sometimes in the kitchen!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lasagna in the Crock Pot

How I to made lasagna in the crock pot:
Brown one pound of ground beef with 1 onion, 1/2 sliced red pepper and 1/2 cup shredded zucchini. Then add about 2 teaspoons Italian spices, (or how you spice your Italian dishes). Next add 1 can (15 ounce size) diced tomatoes, 1 can (8 ounce tomato sauce) and 1 can (6 ounce size) tomato paste. Plus I add a jar of spaghetti or marinara sauce. To this I add a container, pint size of cottage cheese. This is my meat mixture.
I took my new 5.5 quart crock pot (you should spray with PAM, as it would of been easier for me to clean) and first put in the meat mixture, then the lasagna noodles, (about 3 at a time, broken in half, I did not cook these up), and some sliced cheeses of your choice, (I use cheddar/colby and mozzarella and Parmesan). Continue to layer at least 3 or 4 layers. Ending with meat mixture. Put plastic wrap right on top of this and your lid to the crock pot. Put this in refrigerator overnight. Make sure this crock is not the machine part of the crock you are putting in the refrigerator, but only the stoneware part. This process will soften the noodles.
Five hours before serving, take out crock from refrigerator and take off plastic wrap, (throw away plastic wrap) and let set on counter for about an hour. Then put into your crock pot machine and cook on low for 3-4 hours. The last 1/2 hour sprinkle on the last layer of cheeses and turn off crock and let cheese melt. Spoon out and serve.
Next time I make this I will take pictures as part of the process, I am sorry I didn't think to do this before I started.
This was so good and easy, didn't have to heat up the house to make it. Had my daughter and the 3 grandchildren over to enjoy it with me!!!! It was cooking while we were at church (our church last 3 hours on Sundays) and came home to a nice supper.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Way to Stretch Chicken and Cornbread Yogurt Recipe

I bought a 2.5 package of chicken tenders. I put 1/2 of the bag in the crock pot and just boiled them with carrots, celery and onion. Then for the first dinner, I had chicken, scalloped potatoes, carrots and a small salad.
I just wanted plain chicken, tonight. But you can fried them or spice them up however you want.
The next day, I received the 5.5 quart crock pot in the mail, which I won! So I decided to make up a big pot of chicken soup for days 2, 3 or 4 until I finish up the soup.

I did have some cornbread leftover, so I also tried out the little crock with honey butter in it, to spread on the cornbread. Delicious dinner! I enjoy homemade chicken noodle soup!
What did I do with the other 1/2 bag of chicken? It was used in this recipe:

And I was happy to win the crock with that recipe through facebook of a group call:!/pages/Crock-Pot-Recipe-Exchange/132953486751094

You should check out their recipes, as there are many for crock pots!

Will put on the cornbread recipe as it is made with yogurt.
Southern Yogurt Corn Bread
Adapted from:  Don Holmes

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (opt.)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil
Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to blend them . Spoon into a greased round 8" cake pan or 8x8" square pan. Bake in a preheated oven set at 400 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a light golden brown on top and make sure it is done in the middle with toothpick test.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Junior Year 1967-1968 Part III

Will end this part with pictures of my friends!

I just loved what Gary said!

Lindy and Shellie. Wonder where Shellie is now?
We must have lost this game bad!

We didn't have many colored pictures this year.
Up  next my senior year!!!!!

Potato Casserole - Crock Style

Hoping to make more recipes using the crock-pot or slow cooker, depending on how you personally call it.
I think it takes me more time to find the right recipe than it does to get ingredients together. Today, I decided to make a potato recipe. I had most ingredients but  needed to buy the squash and cheese. I know, I couldn't believe I was out of cheese! It gave me a chance to go and look at the new Wal-Mart Grocery Store.. We have 5 going up in town! I am sorry to say this, but I was disappointed, as it wasn't what I expected. The floors are not tiled and I felt like I was going into a super discounted place, not friendly and clean, like a new store should be. It wasn't dirty and the cement floor was wax, but it gave me that not friendly feeling. Sad... because I like Wal-Mart, and I do have family who work there. My opinion only, I think they will be less expensive on the groceries, which is good, but I feel that they are even competing with themselves on their 'Super Centers'. Ooooops, need to get back to the recipe, sorry.

Potato Casserole
recipe adapted from Rival Slow Cooker cards

1 1/4 pound baking potatoes, (about 6 medium) sliced, can be with or without peels
1/2 big red bell pepper, thinly sliced (although next time, I will add a whole pepper)

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes                       
3 small yellow squash, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby/Jack Cheese

Step 1 -  Place potatoes, bell pepper, onion and some of the cubes of butter in crock-pot. Evenly layer these. Add water and cream.

Step 2 - Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours. Or HIGH for 3 hours.
Looking good!

Step 3 - Take off cover and put in sliced squash, with a little more salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 more hours on HIGH.
Looking better!

Step 4 - After time is up, check with fork to make sure potatoes are tender, if not, then turn on LOW and cook until potatoes are tender. After potatoes are tender, sprinkle shredded cheese on top and let set for about 3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with more cheese or chopped chives on top.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Junior Year 1967-1968, Part II

I need to get busy and finish up my high school years. With school starting again,it has once again got me in the mood to work on my memories of high school days. I have four grandchildren in school, one playing football this season, one who will be graduating from high school, one from middle school and one who is starting  school. So with this said, I need to finish up and get these memories past down, before I forget.  As I look at the yearbook, I could say something about every page. But that would take me forever and I just spent another 1/2 hour looking at all the pictures.
By this time in my life I had started my first paying job! Working at Bullock's Pasadena. I won't go into that here, as it is already on this blog post:

So, back to sports. I loved most of the sports. I went and watched basketball, track, wrestling and I think one tennis match. Basketball was fast and exciting. Track had a few friends on it and asked me to come watch them, same with the other sports. In wrestling this is where the x got kneed pretty bad and Coach Drake did give him some salve to cool the pain. Plus this is the year he got the mumps. Let's just say that during our marriage down the road, we were glad to have our two daughters. I enjoyed watching and learning about the different sports. Mostly from my brother and his friends, who were like brothers. And I was lucky enough to be Kent's little 'tag along' sister. Who sometimes, like our mother would just happen to show at the wrong time and not know that Kent was there too. Enough said about that.
On to the dances:
Christmas Dance, this is one dance I actually missed.
On to the Valentine Day Dance
This dress cost me, my hard earned working money, but it was a nice dress and saved my mom the stress of making another one. For those of you who remember the store Anita's, yep that's where I bought this dress.
Jim Shofner and me
Next up was the Junior-Senior Prom. Lots of fun there!
May 18, 1968 at El Rancho Verde Country Club in Rialto. Theme was 'A Knight in the Days of Old'. Wish we could of dress like the Renaissance Days. But of course, I enjoyed dressing up in my formal. Music was by The Educated Sound. (who were they?)  This dress I bought in Pasadena for $10, as there was a stain on it, and my mom talked the store people into taking it out. Dad said no way, was I wearing a strapless dress, so mom made my little straps from velvet ribbon and hand stitch the rhinestones on, with a matching headband to boot. So I got to go!
Wasn't it a pretty dress?

We had a photographer who came by the house this year and no one but my mother and I were home, so she had me put on the Valentine dress and take another picture. Only reason I am putting it on here, is that my hair was longer and I wish I was the size again.
Summer of 1968.
The clubs  and activities I was in:
Congress is in session! Me to the very left, you can tel it is me, because of hairband.

Back of me towards the right, with the hair curled up in a flip! We sure had fun at those meetings. Thanks Stephanie!

Yep, I actually was President of a club! Future Business Leaders of America!

I was also in Pep Club. I remember this was the year that we were working on posters for a up coming game, I'm thinking basketball and all of a sudden the wind came up and we had dark, dark clouds. (We didn't have many dark clouds when I grew up in Azusa.) Then a burst of rain, just came pouring down. This was about the time, we all left for the evening, and got soaked. I was so glad to get home and change into dry clothes. Anyone else remember this night? Phyillis Arrigo, now Rathburn, took me home this night.
Me with the braids and turn around. Sock hop dance.
Here's a picture for Janice, Debbie and the rest of the choir!
I was also in CASO, but we didn't have a picture of that. Gregg Mayfield enjoyed our group discussions!
A picture of Kent and Brian with the hypnotist guy. Remember that school assembly? The hypnotist had to come back and undo on kid, as he was walking around weird that day.

That's it for now!