Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday, February 21, Cooking and Shopping

This morning we got up to take our foster cat, Pookah, to the weekly Petsmart adoption event. She's a scaredy-cat, but we're hoping someone sees past that to the lovey kitty she is inside. Before we went out this morning, I whipped up some pancakes from a box of mix. One cup of mix makes enough pancakes for both of us, so a single box will go three or four breakfasts. Not too bad, especially since I only cook breakfast on weekends. 

After hitting up Petsmart, we stopped by Target. I'd forgotten to put canned mushrooms on my shopping list, so I had to get a can, thereby denting my twice-a-month resolution. Next month I will be better at reviewing my list of ingredients before I shop. We also looked at the Brita Filters. Yesterday after I made my wish list and decided what was actually important, I started looking around on for things to fit the bill. You can sometimes get really good deals that way. Amazon had a 5-pack of Brita filters for 25 dollars, free shipping. Not too bad. At Target today, though, they had a 3-pack for 14 dollars, and I didn't have to wait. Score! That three pack should last six months, though I know I'm using it heavily and our water is bad, so maybe not quite that long. 

This afternoon we're having leftover soup for lunch, but for dinner I'm going all out. I got a pot roast a few weeks ago at Kroger for half price, 2.5 pounds of meat for 4 dollars, no bones. I put it in the freezer to let it sit. It might just be my imagination, but I think a pot roast is actually better once it's frozen and thawed. I thawed it overnight and finished defrosting in the microwave, then got out my crock pot. I love my crock pot. It's huge, I think it's the biggest size they make. Got it for a wedding present. Got five crockpots, actually, but I only kept three, including one adorable baby-sized one for cheese dips. You can cook anything in a crockpot and it'll probably come out tasting good.

Anyway, I cut up three potatoes in chunks and put them on the bottom of the crock pot, then added about a pound of baby carrots on top of that. I love pot roast carrots, possibly more than the roast itself.I took the thawed meat and made shallow crosswise cuts across the whole surface, then seasoned it liberally with garlic salt and fresh ground pepper, flipped it over, and repeated it. The meat went on top of the carrots, and then I added the rest of my ingredients. Here's the recipe I got from my mom. It's wonderful, you just need to adjust your main ingredients to suit your needs and the size of your crockpot.

Best Pot Roast Ever
1 chunk of pot roast meat
Potatoes cut in chunks
Chunked and peeled or baby carrots
1 packet onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can mushrooms, pieces and stems
Splash of red wine, cooking wine is okay
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of minced garlic

Add main ingredients as described, then as follows, for best results: Shake onion soup mix over everything, then add cream of mushroom soup. Fill can half with water and stir to get the last of the soup out, dump it in. Open mushrooms and do not drain, dump it all in. Add wine and Worcestershire, then garlic. Put the lid on, set to cook six hours on high or 10 hours on low. Use your good judgment to decide when it's done. The meat will fall apart and your whole house will smell wonderful. 

There's a lot of ingredients here, but only the potatoes and carrots need to be bought close to prep time. You can trim a whole lot off the price by keeping an eye out and getting ingredients when they're on sale. Things like Worcestershire and wine will last you through many, many pot roasts. And, like most of what I cook, with two people in the house, this dish will easily last two meals. We're not at the smelling wonderful phase yet, but it's been cooking less than an hour. I will try to take a picture and add it when it's done, but I sometimes lose my head around a really good pot roast. 

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