Sunday, December 23, 2012

Crockpot pot roast

With everything going on these days - wrapping presents, last minute shopping, big meal planning, cooking, baking, cleaning, card writing - I don't seem to have much time to cook the regular meals.  So this weekend, instead of caving in to Chipotle or Dominoes, I did a swing through the meat section while at the store and threw a roast in the crock pot.  The house smelled delicious all day, plus this recipe couldn't have been easier.  And by dinner time, we had a delicious and reasonably healthy meal waiting for us.  I love the crockpot, and I'm really enjoying trying out new recipes.  It's such an easy alternative to slaving away on a big meal in the kitchen! 

Easy Crockpot Pot Roast
(from My Life as a Mrs.)

Makes: 6 servings  Prep Time: 10 minutes (if that)  Cook time: 8 hours

28 ounce bag of mini potatoes, rinsed and pierced with fork
1 onion, quartered
2 1/2 pound boneless chuck roast (Wegmans didn't have chuck roast, so I used beef shoulder - it was probably a little tough, but still tasty)
1 packet onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
cracked black pepper
1 small bag of carrots (I used baby carrots)

Spray Crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Add Potatoes and onion quarters then top with chuck roast. Add onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, red wine vinegar, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Cover and cook on low for at least 8 hours. (I was late getting started, so I did about 4 hours on high and the last hour on low) During the last hour of cooking add the carrots, making sure they are submerged in the cooking liquid.

Place some of the meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions in a bowl and ladle broth on top. Enjoy with some warm crusty bread if desired!

This is delicious and we will certainly be making it again this winter!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend snapshots

Time is flying, I can't believe it's December 10 already!  Luckily we were in town this weekend and able to get some good Christmas decorating done!

Friday night we hung around our area - first we met some friends for a happy hour to celebrate one girlfriend's completion of grad school - wooo!  That's such a huge accomplishment, especially to do it while working and having a life!  Then we headed to Dogfish to have a couple of yummy beers and dinner.

Saturday morning we lounged a bit, ran errands, and headed out to Christmas tree hunt.  We decided to try a new place this year, Joe's in Chantilly.

We had a bit of a challenge finding a tall tree - having a 6'1" husband is a good judge when looking for a big tree!  We finally found one, and while M was cutting it down, I happened to notice what looked like a birds nest or something inside.  So once it was on it's side, I reached in to get the ball of leaves out.  As soon as I moved the first handful, I saw these 2 beady eyes staring back at me!  ANIMALS!!  After a little scream and getting my courage up, I looked back in at a little mama mouse protecting her 2 babies.  I felt awful that we'd disturbed their home!  After a little encouragement (and some light shaking) we got them out of the tree, and they scampered off to another one.  Wow, am I glad we found them in the field rather than our living room!!  

Sunday morning bright and early we headed downtown to meet some coworkers for the Jingle All the Way 8k.  Somehow I keep getting talked into doing these races!  My coworker Nichole is very persuasive :)  Despite the cold, rainy morning, we had a good time at the race.  Well, all but the running part!  It was fun to see all of the costumes that people came up with - Santas, a full nativity scene complete with 'Jesus in the manger stroller,' all of the reindeer connected pulling a sleigh, and even a guy playing Christmas carols on a tuba! 

It was the longest race I've done, and happy to say I didn't do too bad...maybe I will run a bit more before the next race and do even better!  But that requires more we'll have to see about that part.

Back home Sunday afternoon to watch the REDSKINS beat up on barely squeak by the Ravens!  Then we turned on some Christmas music, poured some wine and got into the holiday spirit...and actually decorated the tree.  

Cady supervised...and then was forced to join in the fun!  Although...not sure she'd consider this fun, but we sure did, and I know Grandma enjoyed receiving all of the photos of our little reindeer!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thanksgiving in Richmond

One of my favorite holidays of the year is Thanksgiving, and I can't believe it has already come and gone.  Time this year is just flying by.  As we do every year, we celebrated Thanksgiving in Richmond.  We split time with both parents, and then my mom hosts my aunt, uncle cousins and kids for the big dinner on Thursday.

The delicious turkey and cousin Jason's creative and beautiful turkey plate

The calm before the storm dinner!

Cheers to another wonderful meal!

Makes me hungry again just looking at it!

When cousin Kristin and husband Steve showed up wearing their favorite sports jerseys for the big Skins-Dallas game that afternoon, Dad dug in the back of his dresser for this beauty.  I proudly wore it all day - Go Skins!

After all of the delicious food, it was time for dessert!  Including the ice cream turkey.

I made MK's delicious pumpkin spiced cannoli dip - it was a huge hit!

Quick family photo op

You can't forget cutie Pearly Sue, my parents sweet dog.

Cady was definitely tuckered out after the big day chasing kids, playing ball, and catching any food before it hit the floor (or Pearl got it).  She slept for days after Thanksgiving!

There's so much to be thankful for this year...I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

And before we know it, it'll be Christmas!