Friday, March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012

Nearing the middle of March, already! Quick question for you...have you filed your taxes yet? Don't wait until the last minute!, on to the cooking! This week we tried a few different meals, but only one was voted a keeper. On Sunday I made a beer braised pot roast, and it was enjoyed by everyone. For fun I decided to set the dining room table with the good china and we enjoyed our dinner out there. Memories of Sunday evening dinners in the dining room...though growing up we usually had more than just the immediate family on Sunday night. Friends, neighbors, relatives...the more the merrier! It was just the five of us on Sunday night, but we had a great meal with even better conversation. For the first time Liam sat on a regular chair and ate off my Bunnykins china from when I was a child. We were celebrating us...nothing fancy or special, just being together and thanking God for the gift of each other. It was an added bonus that everyone enjoyed the meal enough to include it here as a keeper!

For our Sunday dinner I tried out a new dessert recipe as well...Snickers Cream Pie. With a name like that, it was bound to be good. And it didn't disappoint! Very easy to throw together, and you could even dress it up a bit with some extra snickers crushed and placed on top, or pipe some whipped cream around the edge. We just made it as directed, though I added some caramel topping drizzled over the top after we made it. The hardest part of this dessert was a toss up - chopping up the Snickers or waiting for the Cool Whip to thaw!

We did try a few other new things this week, but nothing easy enough or delicious enough (or both) to be shared. I already have a new dish in mind for tomorrow, and I am sure I will try a few other dishes in the week ahead!

New Recipes
Beer Braised Pot Roast
Snickers Cream Pie

Snickers Cream Pie

* 1 chocolate cookie crust
* 4 oz cream cheese, softened
* ¾ cup powdered sugar
* ½ cup creamy peanut butter
* 2 regular sized Snickers candy bars, chopped
* 8 oz Cool Whip , thawed
* caramel topping to drizzle on top

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until creamy.
2. Stir in chopped candy bars.
3. Gently fold in the Cool Whip just until mixed.
4. Pour into crust and drizzle with caramel sauce.
5. Put into the freezer for 3-4 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

I used an Oreo cookie pre-made crust, though you could make your own. We did put it in the freezer, and we just left it in there while we worked on it for a few days.

Beer Braised Pot Roast

* 2 medium onions, sliced thin
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tbs vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into large cubes
* 5 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
* 1 tbs flour
* 12 ounces beer (dark or light, depending on your preference)
* 1 tbs dried thyme
* 1 cup beef stock

1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat heat 1-2 tbs of vegetable oil. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook over low heat until they are deep in color and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes.
2. Remove the onions to a plate. Add another tbs of vegetable oil if needed. Raise the heat to high. Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper and sear, in batches, until nicely browned on both sides.
3. Once the meat is browned, add the first batch of meat (and any juices) back to the pan along with the onions and carrots. Sprinkle in the flour and stir. Cook for 1 minute before deglazing the pan with the beer. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pot and put it in the oven to braise until the beef is tender, about 2 hours. Remove the pot from the oven and transfer the pot roast to a serving dish.

We served this from the Dutch oven, rather then putting it on a serving platter. This was a delicious dinner! We served roasted cauliflower and potatoes on the side, using the recipe from the back of the onion soup box. To make the potatoes we mixed 1 envelope of onion soup mix with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (you can also use olive oil). We mixed this with 2 lbs of quartered red potatoes. Throw it all in a 9 x 13 pan, roast in a 425 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. The potatoes went nicely with the pot roast.