Swedish Meatballs Trial 1

As part of last week's challenge, I am on the hunt for the perfect (but easy) Swedish Meatball sauce recipe. I had just cut one out of Taste of Home so, I started with that one. There was one other I tried back in September but I do not remember where I found it. I liked it better than this one though.

The Ingredients

1/2 cup all purpose flour*
2 3/4 cups milk
2 cans condensed beef consomme, undiluted
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
pepper and salt*
*as usual, I use Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour so I leave out the salt and pepper

I opted for frozen meatballs, mostly out of laziness but also because they are just as good to me! Throw some in a skillet with a little oil or butter and get a little color on them.

Take them out, then add flour to the drippings to make a roux.

Whisk in the milk and keep whisking until smooth and thickened.

Stir in the consomme and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil and stir for two minutes while thickening occurs.

Add the meatballs back in and cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until meatballs are warmed through. Stir occasionally. Serve over hot cooked noodles.
Like I said, the hunt will continue. This tasted more like a Salisbury Steak gravy to me than the Swedish Meatballs I am longing for!

Awesome and Easy Pot Roast

Until about a year ago, I had never made a successful pot roast either in the oven or the slow cooker. They always turned out dry and bland and disappointing. I decided to try again when I read the simple and easy recipe in the Pioneer Woman cookbook. I just adore her, don't you?! I changed it only in that I finished it in the slow cooker instead of the oven. I have so much confidence in this recipe that I made it on a night when not only my parents, but my in-laws were coming over for dinner. Here's how it works:

The Ingredients

2 or 3 TBSP olive oil
dried or fresh thyme, rosemary or both
2 to 2 1/2 cups beef broth or stock
3 to 5 pound chuck roast
2 to 3 onions, halved
1 1/2 cups baby carrots 

Find a skillet large enough for your roast to go in and add olive oil to it. Put it on a medium-high flame to get pretty hot while you prep your onions. Salt the roast on both sides. When the skillet is ready, put the onions in to get some color on them, about a minute per side.

Remove the onions and put in the carrots. Same thing, just a minute or two to get a little color on them.

Take the carrots out and let the pan get hot again. While you wait, dust some pepper on the meat. Then put them meat in the skillet, again just a minute per side so it gets a good sear on it.

Take the meat out and put it in the slow cooker. Add the veggies around it. Now go back to your skillet and pour in some of the beef broth to deglaze it. Stir it around to get all the flavor left behind by the meat and veggies.

Pour that broth on top of the roast, then add more broth until the roast is sitting in a nice bath, about half covered. Sprinkle a little dried thyme or rosemary or both on top or add some fresh sprigs if you have them.

Throw the lid on your crock and set it to low for 6 to 8 hours. 

You will want to check it about 5 1/2 hours in, and then every 30 minutes or so after that. You will know that it's done when you stick the fork in and it shreds into pieces, like so:

My personal favorite part is the onion! Also, don't put potatoes in with the roast. They taste great but they tend to soak up too much moisture from the meat. You can make some separately in no time. I cheated and used boxed mashed potatoes but I also sauteed some mushrooms and everyone raved about dinner!

Menu Monday 1/28 - 2/3/2013

I'm a day late posting the menu but I have a SUPER good reason!!! When it was time to take my oldest to school yesterday morning he burst into tears and told me he just didn't think he could make. He had run fever on Saturday and felt blah since but I had no idea he felt this awful. So instead of school we went to the doctor. We spent three hours at the Walgreens clinic in total. And he has Strep Throat and....the flu. Poor guy. Now he CAN'T go to school until Thursday and I spent the day trying to make it up to him that I tried to send him to school. 
Then a cool thing happened when I went to my Blogger homepage to write this up. This blog has had 20,000 page views!!! I am amazed. Thank for coming by everyone!! Last week was pretty good. I managed to stick to the menu almost every night and I did make  my challenge recipe which I will post after this one. There was only one meal in the left-out section so we had it last night :)
Monday: Salmon Patties with Mac & Cheese
Tuesday: Jayme is out of town for a funeral so we are having frozen pizza
Wednesday: Soup and Grilled Cheese
Thursday: Double Decker Tacos
Friday: Fettucine Alfredo with chicken **
Saturday: Boys are going to Monster Jam and Pattie and I are going to my folks' so we will probably all eat out
Sunday: More than likely, leftovers


#200!! And A Challenge....

Well, here we are at post #200! This is pretty cool! I have been thinking about how I would celebrate my 200th post here and I have come up with this idea that will also help me get back to blogging and trying new things. I have challenged myself to make a new recipe every week! I have so many cookbooks and recipes I have cut out of here or printed from there and I need to MAKE some of them! First up for this week is one I just cut out of the newest Taste of Home magazine. It's for Swedish Meatballs which I have been craving as of late. It may have to do with the fact that ever since we moved here, 5 months ago, I have been wanting to go to Ikea but haven't yet found the time :( After we have them, if they are a hit I will post the recipe. Until then, here is my belated menu post for the week:

Monday: Hot dogs (don't judge me!)
Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas *we had the plague run through the house last week and didn't get to several meals
Wednesday: Swedish Meatballs
Thursday: Roast
Friday: Salmon Patties
Saturday: Soup and Grilled Cheese
Sunday: Leftovers or out (if I am lucky)

I sure hope my challenge goes well, and I hope I keep up with it. Mostly, I hope you all keep coming back to motivate me :)


Menu Monday 1/14 - 1/20/2013

First Menu Monday post this year!! didn't take me too long to get back into the swing of things, I guess. Now if I can just get myself to FOLLOW the menu plan for once, we may be heading into the new year right! Here's what's cookin' this week:

Monday: Salmon Patties with Mac & Cheese
Tuesday: Roast (in the crockpot) with Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday: Chicken Enchiladas and salad
Thursday: My mom will be here so we will have pizza, either delivery or fancy frozen
Friday: Kids are out of school and we may end up going out
Saturday: Party at my in-laws
Sunday: Italian Crescent Casserole and salad

Shouldn't be too hard to foloow with three nights in a row not planned!! LOL Have a great week ;)


Italian Meatloaf

My mom has made this tasty version of meatloaf for us a few times and when she told me the recipe was on the Progresso Breadcrumbs box I had to try it out! I am not a huge meatloaf fan but this version has a subtle sweetness to it and it was fun to serve it with noodles instead of potatoes.

The Ingredients:

 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup ketchup

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all ingredients except ketchup. Shape into a loaf and place in either an ungreased 9 x 5 loaf pan or a 13 x 9 baking dish. Spread ketchup over the top.

Bake, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until no longer pink in the middle. If you have a meat thermometer, the center should be at least 160 degrees when done. Let stand for 5 minutes, slice and serve!