Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thank You, Crock Pot...

Yesterday after a fabulous (very productive) day at work, I arrived home to the delicious smell of stew beef in the crock pot... ahhhhh...  This is one of my favorite fall meals because it is so easy.  There are different types of Crock Pot Recipes.  Some of them are the kind where you do some prep work, like brown the meat, and then throw everything in and let it cook.  Then, there are other recipes where you do little to no prep work and let it cook.  This was the latter. 

Mornings in the Bridges household are always a little crazy.  The rule is, we have to be out the door by 7 a.m., and really I would rather be out the door at 6:50.  So when the alarm goes off at 5:50 (or 6 if I hit snooze) it is a mad dash.  Having a child will add some work to your morning routine.  And having a child who is potty training will add some MORE work.  And having a child who is potty training AND cranky at 6:30 a.m. will add some MORE work. 

Around 6:30, I go into Sadie's room a nd turn her light on.  This is the first stage of her wake-up process.  If we're lucky, about 5 minutes later, she'll come wandering into our room, hair looking very lion-like (wonder where she gets that from?) and say, "Good morning, Mommy!  Good morning, Daddy!"  But sometimes Ryan has to go in and drag her out of bed to screams of  "Noooooo!  Go away!  I don't want to get up!"  Then we've got to go potty.  This is easy if we're in a good mood.  But if we're in a bad mood, welllllll..... you try getting a crank two-year-old to pee pee on the potty first thing in the morning.  You'll see.  The next hard part is the outfit.  Now, if we have clean Cinderella panties and a dress, we are golden.  It's a breeze.  But if all the "pretty panties" are dirty and we only have plain white ones, and then we only have pants or shorts... well... it's a scream-fest.  

Once all that is done, we're over the big hurdle.  Then we're all downstairs in the kitchen grabbing lunch items, fixing our "to-go breakfasts," pouring Cheerios ("Not the Honey Nut ones, Mommy!  I want the real ones!  In the yellow box!") into a baggie, mixing chocolate milk ("Is it brown now, Mommy?"), and getting hair brushed.  All of this happens at mind-boggling speed.  And if all goes well, we're out the door between 6:50 and 7.  I remember when I was growing up, we sat around the table and had breakfast together.  I remember my dad making us muffins or cheese toast or, if we were REALLY lucky, Corned Beef Hash.  (If you don't know what this is, you missed out.  And if you go out and get it, don't judge it by the appearance!)Can you imagine?  A sit-down breakfast!  All 5 of us.  I don't know HOW my parents managed that! 

I say all this to you to stress that doing ANYTHING extra in the morning is a big deal.  There's not a lot of time to spare.  So if you ever hear me saying that I started a Crock Pot meal that morning, you KNOW that it was something EASY.

This recipe is easy, but when you come home after work, it will smell AMAZING.  And it tastes so delicious.  You'll be glad you spent that extra 5 minutes in the morning getting it all ready. 

So here's the recipe for my Stew Beef over Noodles, or as Sadie calls it, "Beefy Noodles."

2 lbs of Stew Beef (I like larger chunks, rather than smaller, because they really shrink as they cook.)
1 can of Campbell's French Onion soup
1 can of Campbell's 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 cup light sour cream
sliced green onions for garnish
pasta (whatever you like, but something broad works best.  I used Mueller's whole-wheat egg noodles.)

In the morning, mix the beef and both soups in the Crock Pot.  Turn Crock Pot to low and cook for 8-9 hours, until beef is very tender.  Then, turn Crock Pot to warm setting.  Stir in the sour cream.  Let everything sit on warm for about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare the noodles.  If you like, add a pat of butter to the noodles once they are cooked and are still warm.  Garnish with green onions.

I served it with french green beans cooked with garlic, butter, and salt.  And some sliced tomatoes.
Sadie ate... in her princess nightgown... with a princess cup... see a pattern here?
And one of us left this mess on the tablecloth.  Any guesses?  Yep, it was Ryan...

1 comment:

Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! It makes me so happy when I see messages from readers!