Easy Crock Pot meals for summer cooking
When the weather is sizzling out and you come home worn to a frazzle, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. Prep this the night before and come home to the aroma and a pot filled with supper goodness and no hot kitchen. With a little prep work, you can have this ready in 25 minutes to go in the pot. Stop at the grocery for a loaf of crusty bread and a package salad mix and you are in for a treat.
MOCK STYLE BEEF POT ROAST
• A 4-qt. slow cooker: 25 minutes prep time.
• Cook time: 8 hours on low
• 1-1/2 pounds beef boneless round steak
• 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
• 4 medium potatoes, peeled and each cut into 6 pieces
• 4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
• 1 dried bay leaf
• 1 (14-oz.) can beef broth
• 1 tsp. Worcester Sauce
• 2 tbsp. cornstarch
Cut beef into 4 equal pieces. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Add beef pieces, turn to coat both sides. Spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium high heat. Cook beef in skillet 4-6 minutes, turning once, until brown. Mix potatoes, carrots and onion in in the slow-cooker. Add bay leaf. Place the beef on the vegetables. Mix 1-1/2 cups of the beef broth (reserving remaining broth until tomorrow in frig).and the Worcester sauce pour over beef. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until beef is tender. About 5 minutes before serving, remove beef and vegetables from cooker, using a slotted spoon; place on serving platter. Cover to keep warm. Pour liquid from cooker into a 1-1/2 qt. Sauce pan; remove the bay leaf and discard. Mix the reserved broth and the cornstarch, stir until smooth. Stir into liquid from cooker and mix and heat to boiling over medium high heat. Serve with beef and vegetables. It doesn’t get any better than this.
EASY FROZEN FRUIT CUPS
• 1- 16 oz. carton sour cream
• 3/4 cup regular sugar
• 2 tbsp. lemon juice, fresh/or bottled
• 3 chopped bananas
• 1-8 oz. can crushed pineapple, plus juice
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
• 1 cup seedless, halved green grapes
Freeze in paper muffin cups in a muffin pan, filled full. When frozen, bag into Zip-Loc bags and return to the freezer. These will keep indefinitely. When ready to serve, take out of freezer, top with Ready-Whip or Cool Whip topping. Really fabulous taste and easy.
ICED TEA WITH MINT
• 2 family sized tea bags
• 4 cups boiling water
• 4 sprig fresh mint
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• Lemon slices for garnish
Steep tea in boiled water in covered pot for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add mint. Steep for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Strain over 2 cups of ice in heavy half gallon pitcher or container. Stir until ice dissolves. Add cold water to nearly fill pitcher. Add lemon juice and lemon slices and refrigerate at once. Keeps well.
HINT OF THE WEEK: Slice a loaf of French bread nearly through. Spread slices with a mixture of 3/4 cup shredded cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon paprika and 3 to 5 cloves of minced garlic. Wrap up in foil and heat on 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Tasty!
Patti Howerton is a retired accountant and caterer and can be reached at phowerton@ gmail.com.