Tuesday, November 23, 2010

5 Fall Faves

I haven't got to experience a lot of "fallish" weather here in the Carolinas, but it hasn't kept me from getting in the fall mood. Some of the things that have helped me do this are in this list, but the best part is NONE of them cost more than $5! Sometimes it truly is the little things in life. So here are a few of my favorites things...
  1. Orange Spice Hand Soaps from Bath & Body. I love this new scent so much that I bought 3 of them! 2 Foam versions for the kiddos Bathroom & 1 regular for my kitchen sink. Plus the color coordinates beautifully with both rooms:)
 2. This is a gorgeous oval plate that I picked up at Marshalls for $4! It is a great size, not to big. SO I am sure you will be seeing in several of my Food Posts:)

3. Bear Creek Soups!!! I LOVE these! We have tried several flavors and haven't had a bad one yet. I love putting this packet and some water in my crockpot and knowing I will have a tasty meal with NO effort later that night. That is truly how easy these are, just add water. And while they are a little pricey (especially if you have to buy them in a regular grocery store) I pay just under $4 for them in the commissary. But they are totally worth it since normally all I add is water and usually a meat. For the one pictured (which is our family's favorite) I saute turkey kielbasa and add it in towards the end.
P.S. You can totally make this in a sauce pan in less than 1/2 an hour, but I am having an affair with my slow cooker right now so I put anything I can in it!

4. The Night Before Thanksgiving. This book has been in our house since before Gillyan was born, and we bring it out every year and read it the week of Thanksgiving. It makes me smile because so many of the little things in it remind me of my family. It is written in the same form as the Night before Christmas, so it is a fun read that my kids look forward to:)

5. Starbucks drinks! I love that I can taste the season in a yummy Pumpkin Spice Latte, or cozy up with some Hot Cocoa. But I am loving even more that I scored this box of Salted Caramel Cocoa at TJ Maxx for around 4 bucks! That means I can make my own cup of cozy at home for under 60 cents, and that makes it taste even better:)
Hope you are enjoying what's left of fall, and be sure and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite fall thing this year has been!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Roast 2 Ways & a Bonus.

So I have actually been cooking at home the last couple days, and was so excited about how easy and yummy these recipes were that I had to share! I have been breaking in my new crockpot, and the most recent triumph was this super easy roast.

Easy 4 packet Roast
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 packet onion soup mix
1 roast of choice ( I used a 3 lb round roast)
1/2-3/4 cup beef broth
Carrots, Onion, Potatoes cut to taste.

Place roast in crockpot.  Arrange vegetables around the roast if being used.  Sprinkle the mix packets over the roast.  Pour Broth over all.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Now I personally think my roast was totally done at 6 hours on low, but I am sure it depends on the size of your meat and the size of your crockpot. This roast was not exceptional, however it was pretty tasty and did fall apart. I think next time I may skip the ranch packet and double the onion soup mix, but that is just my personal taste. Either way this will be a repeat in the Goodman household. 
Just a note as you look at the photo, I do NOT believe there is a good way to photograph roast beef or vegetables. Especially not if you are an armature! So please base your expectations on the review, NOT the photos;)
Now fortunately for our family of four a 3 lb roast made plenty for dinner with leftovers for my next yummy meal! 

French Dip Sandwiches
1-2 lbs shredded pre cooked roast
4 Chibatta Buns
6-8 slices good white cheese such as Gouda, Muenster or Harvarti
McCormick's Au jus Packet
2 Cans Beef Broth

For this "cake" meal all you will need to do is heat your meat in a saucepan with one of the cans of beef broth. Follow directions on back of Au Jus packet, except replace half the water with beef broth. While the beef and au jus are cooking take your ciabatta rolls, split them and place on baking sheet. At this point I brushed a little butter and sprinkled some garlic salt on the rolls, but that is entirely optional. Place rolls under broiler till light tan. At this point I drained the meat and shredded it even more. Pile meat on one half of roll and cover with 1&1/2 to 2 pieces of cheese, place bake under broiler till cheese is melty and buns are browned. Serve on plate with small bowl of Au jus and chips. That's it:) Again my camera, the lighting in my home, and myself did NO justice to how yummy this dish was. Sorry!
The last thing I want to share is the "bonus" recipe. This little gem isn't so much a recipe as a idea. You may notice in my first photo the little yellow pile of stuffing. That is actually a "stuffin muffin"! These were so easy and tasty. All I did was buy Stovetop Stuffing ( I used Cornbread flavor) and prepare according to the microwave directions with butter. Then I scooped the mix into a muffin pan. I made 6 very dense muffins by cooking them at 375 for 12 minutes or so. In retrospect I think it would have been better to make more like 8 muffins, so they would have been a little crunchier. But I also used a stone so that means I could have just needed to bake them longer. However these were a fun new way to eat something that I typically think of as thanksgiving food, plus I loved how they were crunchy on the outside and dense on the inside like a muffin:) Hope ya try one or two ideas of these and let me know!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Washington DC Fall 2010

So Steve's work sent us to a leadership conference in Virginia this last weekend. We had conferences Friday & Sunday, however Saturday was "Family Day". So since my hubby has never been to the nations capitol he decided to hop on the metro and drag our family on a whirlwind tour of DC. The kids actually really enjoyed it, and we took a bunch more pics. But I will just post the highlights.
P.S. The Tour of the Capitol Building was arranged by Steve's unit and actually took place on Friday.

Here is the link to see the pics of our trip PhotoBucket Trip to DC 
Hit the Red Slideshow button in the upper corner for the best view with captions.