Archive for September 2012


TWD: Whole Wheat Bread

I’ve really been looking forward to this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie! I love everything about making bread and was eager to try out a new recipe. This week’s hosts are Michele and Teresa.

The recipe calls for malt extract, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find it at the store. Though some of the comments at the TWD site said you could just leave it out, I was intrigued by the ones who said they used molasses instead.

I decided to give that a shot and I don’t know how much better using the malt would have been because the molasses, as light as the taste is, is incredible! I also love that honey is used instead of sugar.

As you can see, one loaf was a little more enthusiastic in its rising than the other, but they both turned out great. It was torture waiting for them to cool enough for a taste test, but it was worth it.

I made these Saturday night and one loaf gave us toast for dinner (breakfast for dinner), eggs in a basket for Sunday breakfast, and sandwiches for Sunday lunch. We only started in on the second loaf this morning!

eggs in a basket

The bread is just dense enough without being doughy, and it’s perfect for slicing sandwich-thin. My biggest issue with homemade breads has been that they don’t slice thin enough for sandwiches, especially for kids (I’m a fan of the protein portion being bigger than the carb portion).

The ten minutes of kneading nearly did my mixer in, but she’s recovering, which is good since I need to make another batch.


Bratwurst Stew

Bratwurst Stew

Yes, it’s another crockpot meal. Sorry! But not really because this is delicious.

Unfortunately I don’t remember where I got this one, since it’s just a text printout in my binder. I know I made several changes to it and didn’t want to print out the original just to have scribbles and edits all over it, so if I do find it again I’ll be sure to link it.

Anyway, this Bratwurst Stew is one of my top favorite crockpot meals. I realize I say that about most of them, but honestly, I’m just really not that hard to please.

Bratwurst Stew

Bratwurst Stew

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed (large cubes, about 1″ each)
1 cup chopped baby carrots
1 small onion, chopped
1 package raw bratwurst links
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil

1 pint half-and-half
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water

In order, place the cubed potatoes, cut carrots, and onion in a crockpot. Remove the raw bratwurst from their casings, and tear off chunks and place over the vegetables. Pour in the chicken stock, and sprinkle the salt, pepper and basil over top. Do not mix.

Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until vegetables are tender and bratwurst is cooked through.

Stir in the half-and-half. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth and stir into stew. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Bratwurst Stew

Placing the ingredients in order lets the vegetables all cook until tender, and allows the bratwurst, which is not submerged in the liquid, to brown and not fall apart.

Bratwurst Stew

Once you add the half-and-half and mix everything around (make sure you separate the chunks of bratwurst), the seasonings will get into the rest of the stew, so don’t worry about them only being on the meat.

Bratwurst Stew

This makes six generous servings, and is delicious re-heated the next day.


The Easiest Pot Roast Ever

Crockpot Pot Roast

I’m so glad it’s September! The last-minute rush-iness of August with the first day of school and school shopping and school registrations and stir-craziness is over and everyone is settled into the new routines, and I can take a breath.

In honor of it finally being September, I’ve made one of my favorite cold weather meals: pot roast. I know, I’m laughing too. We’re still hitting the low 100s here but that doesn’t matter! I’m really itching for the fall feeling so it works for me.

I came across the original recipe for this pot roast years ago on Allrecipes. The original was good, and everyone loved it. Over the years I’ve added and tweaked, as you do, and came up with this one, which is so amazingly delicious that there are rarely leftovers.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Crockpot Pot Roast

The Easiest Pot Roast Ever

1 5-lb pot roast
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic
1 packet onion soup mix
1 14oz can beef broth
baby carrots (optional)
diced potatoes (optional)

Place carrots and potatoes on the bottom of the crockpot and place pot roast on top (salt and pepper if desired).

Crockpot Pot Roast

I don’t usually do the potatoes because we prefer mashed potatoes, but either way is good.

In the past I’ve also added chopped onion and/or sliced mushrooms. It all works! This time I kept it to a minimum because I had to be out the door.

Crockpot Pot Roast

In a bowl, mix the two cans of soup, the can of broth and the packet of onion soup mix together until creamy. Pour on top of the roast and vegetables.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Crockpot Pot Roast

so photogenic

That’s it! The roast will practically be falling apart, the carrots and potatoes cooked to perfection, and the soup mixture makes the most amazing gravy ever.

Crockpot Pot Roast

I don’t like to use the condensed soups for a lot of cooking, but there are really no substitutes for this one.

Crockpot Pot Roast

What are your favorite cold weather meals? Do you save them for actual cold weather or make them year-round?