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Freeze!

I think one is supposed to stop and put your hands up when you hear “Freeze!”, but my mind just keeps going “Hammer Time!”  Yeah…I don’t get it either.  Stop…Freeze.  Not even close.  Whatevskis… 

(I’ll pause here for you to go get your 90′s on…You know you want to…)

Back? Gnarly.  Anyone else feel a strong urge to go call someone a scrub
Moving on!  I swear there’s a point to this post.  Maybe someday I’ll blog and NOT ramble….Ha.  Such a jokester…

Awhile back I mentioned that I may or may not have a slight obsession with my slow cooker.  Well, this post slaps me in the face with that “may not”.  We’re full steam ahead on this obsession!  You see, last night I made SIX meals, none of which we actually ate.  (That was meal number seven, but I made hubby whip that one together.)  I threw virtually all the ingredients for six separate slow cooker meals into individually labeled freezer bags and plopped those suckers right into the freezer.  I think this may be the smartest thing I’ve ever done.  You know, besides marrying hubby.  (Sometimes he reads these…) 

Now, all I have to do is dump the contents into a crock pot in the morning and we’ll have a meal ready to go when we get home from work!  I think I’m going to try to do this at least once a month.  I’ll wait for some good sales and just go nuts! 

Obviously I can’t give you a verdict on the tastiness of the six meals, but I can at least list them here for you!  I wrote the name, date, and cooking instructions for each meal on the outside of the bag. 

    • Cranberry Porkchops (I used chops instead of a roast.  A big pack of chops was on sale. :))
    • Orange-Apricot Porkchops
    • Beef Stew (Code for throwing anything I can find into a bag and adding stew meat and a stew seasoning packet.)
    • Jalapeno Pot Roast (I don’t love spicy, so I stuck to just one jalapeno.  I would have done the green chiles instead, but I was out.  Also, I made a note on my ziplock bag to add sour cream at the end of the cooking time.  Totally would have forgotten otherwise.)
    • Creamy Beef over Noodles (I didn’t have anymore stew meat, so I just ripped apart a hunk of ground beef and called it a day.  I used cow’s milk instead of soy milk, shrugged my shoulders at “herbs de Provence” and just whipped in some italian seasonings instead.  I’m Italian…it worked for me.  I also made a note about adding cream cheese at the end of the cooking time and serving over rice or noodles.)
    • Red Sauce Beef Stew (This was a nice little experiment.  There was a can of tomato soup, some browned ground beef, beef broth, onion soup mix, and some random veggies involved.  It’s a crock pot.  Nothing can go wrong, right?)

Non-Frozen Meat Looks Less Than Appetizing

Someday It'll Look Delicious

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’m pumped to have ready-to-go meals that are homemade and NOT loaded with sodium!  Do you have any favorite slow cooker meals?  Looks like I’ll be needing some recipes.  I’m so excited I just…

Can’t stop this! 

(Yes, it was completely necessary. :D)

 
 The Stuff of Success

Gone Bananas!

Welcome to my very first post as a 26-year-old.  That’s right folks, I’ve gone and gotten older on you…

This afternoon I was sitting at work contemplating my plans for dinner.  At this point I had none…No clue.  I ventured over to one of my favorite websites, A Year of Slowcooking.  Let me just start by saying that I just might be obsessed with this website (and my crockpots).  My coworkers actually laugh when I mention that our supper, once again, came from the slow cooker. 

Before I discovered the beauty of the crockpot my husband and I pretty much stuck to three meals:  Spaghetti, Chicken Patties & French Fries, or Cereal.  I wish I was joking… 

Cooking was terrifying new territory for me.  I could follow recipes to the letter and somehow they would still always turn out tasting like cardboard.  Dan attempted to convince me that I was overreacting, but being the perfect wife I am… I told him to shut it.  So, back to the three meals we’d go.  I decided that I hated cooking, and I wanted to do as little of it as possible.  Enter, the crockpot.  It seemed like the perfect fix for me.  I could whip a bunch of crap into a pot and walk away.  Seriously, how hard could that be?  Thanks to the slowcooker, my dinners starting tasting good!  I gained more confidence in the kitchen, and now I have a blog!

So today when I was at a loss for dinner plans I, of course, leaned towards my crockpot…and A Year of Slowcooking.  (PS – If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading Stephaine O’Dea’s blog I would highly suggest it!)  I came across her posting for “Clean out the Pantry Minestrone Soup” and decided to give it a go.  With all of my rambling, I bet you’d guess this is going to be a blog post about making soup in the crockpot.  You’d be guessing wrong.  I just ramble.  Just ask my husband…  To tell you the truth I couldn’t even give you a recipe for the concoction I made today.  I whipped so many random things in that pot I wouldn’t even know where to start.  But, it tasted good and I have a cleaner fridge and freezer.  This is the part where I finally get to my topic.  You see, when I was rummaging through my freezer I found a bag of frozen-so-long-I-don’t-even-remember-freezing-them bananas.  I grabbed them out of the freezer and decided tonight would be a blog and wine kinda night.  (Aren’t those just your favorite!?)

Okay, down to business.  I had 4 bananas so I made 2 different recipes.

Recipe #1:  Banana White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
I thought I was a genius today.  I have never had a banana oatmeal cookie, so naturally I thought I invented it.  Turns out that’s not the case.  Darn it…  I did add white chocolate chips, though!  I made the recipe up using my recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies as a guide.

Ingredients:

Plus 2 overripe bananas


2 overripe bananas
2 TBSP honey
3/4 cup cinnamon flavored applesauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup egg replacer
2 1/3 cup oats
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

 
Directions:
1.  Beat together the bananas, egg replacer, honey, applesauce, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
2.  Stir in the oats, flour, and flax.
3.  Drop 32 spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
4.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Verdict:
I don’t love banana nearly as much as Dan, and I found these cookies to have a bizarre texture.  They are actually kind of spongey.  You can squish them, and they’ll bounce back.  Dan found this texture to be amazing.  He said “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I wish all cookies were like this!  It’s like mixing a cookie with a muffin top!  It’s perfection!” 
Then I couldn’t stop thinking about Seinfeld.

32 cookies at 96 calories a piece

 

Recipe #2:  Cranberry Banana Bread
I found this recipe at The Fresh Loaf and just made a few changes.

Ingredients:

And 2 overripe bananas

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup egg replacer
2 overripe bananas
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP milled flax seed
1/2 cup dried cranberries (soaked in hot water to plump up)
Directions:
1. Blend together the top four ingredients.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
3. Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Verdict:
I’m actually surprised at how moist it is without the butter.  It’s pretty darn tasty, and I think it will be perfect for a morning snack.  Dan likes it too.  He didn’t rave about its texture like he did with the cookies, though. 

Each of the 12 slices will be 176 calories

 

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