Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crock Pot Sweet Pork/Venison/Chuck Roast

3 -5 pound Roast of your choice (We prefer pork)

1 package McCormick Puller Pork Seasoning divided in half. (Save the rest for the next roast)

2 Cups Chicken Broth

Potatoes cut in eighths

Carrots cut in chunks

Make up the half the seasoning mix using half the amounts of ketchup, vinegar and brown sugar, mix into the crock pot with the broth.

Peel and cut potatoes in eighths. Peel and cut carrots into large chunks.

Place the veggies in the bottom of the pot., then place the meat on top and press down so it's setting in some of the broth mixture. Let cook on high for about 5-6 hours. Or let cook on high for 2 hours and turn down to low until supper time. Make a gravy with flour and water mixture after removing the meat and veggies from the pot the last half hour on high setting.

NOTE: Right now I'm using a small 2 LB venison roast. The venison burger which came from the same deer tasted kind of "gamey"so I soaked it in vinegar water for 24 hours.

Sponges for Bread

I was all Gung Ho for sourdough bread in the past.  I had a yeast starter I use for rye bread, but the rye never tasted like the store bought Jewish rye bread.. so I decided not to make it anymore. Even my parents prefer store bought! (No way was I putting citric acid in my dough to make it taste sour!) Now I make a SPONGE the night before I make a batch of bread. It does make it chewier which we all love since we toast my bread more often than eat it soft. Here's my sponge recipe:

SPONGE for Bread

2 Cups warm water

2 tsp dried yeast

1 TB Salt

1 TB Sugar or Honey

2-3 Cups Flour.

Mix well with a whisk until smooth, cover with plastic wrap and let ferment overnight.

BREAD for 4-5 Loaves

2-3 Cups slightly hot Water

2-3 Cups Oatmeal or Whole Oats

5 TB Sugar

5 TB Veg. Oil

2 rounded tsp Dry Yeast

2 tsp salt

Bread or Unbleached All Purpose Flour

Mix up the bread ingredients, minus the flour, then add to the Sponge to it. Now add flour a cup at a time until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Now turn out onto the counter and knead in flour until it's no longer as  sticky and looks smooth about 200 1/4 turns . It will be textured from the oatmeal.

Now wash the two large bowls you used and oil spray them. Divide up the dough between the two bowls unless you have  jumbo bowl for the whole batch and let raise a good hour or two in a warm room or the unlit oven with the light on.

Now get out your food scale and measure out 24 ounces for each loaf of bread. Knead out the bubbles and shape into 4 loaves. Place in oil sprayed loaf pans. I make cinnamon rolls with any left over dough. Let rise about an hour or more until 1 inch above the edge of loaf pans before baking at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

NOTE: You can always use warm milk in the recipe, or add mashed potatoes or potato flakes in the beginning. Even add onion and garlic or herbs to the recipe. It's your baby! LOL

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Plastic Wrap Helpful Hint..

I got sick and tired of my roll of plastic wrap coming out of the box while unrolling it, so I decided to tie it into place with some yarn, using a long knitting needle to thread it through the center. There are those little trap door flaps they suggest you poke into the ends.. so the holes are already there.

Out of Gas..

I ran out of gas/propane for my stove about 6 months ago and have lived without my stove and oven.. was it hard? No.. I have a large toaster/convection oven and I make baked chicken nuggets, baked salmon cakes, mini meatloaves, garlic roasted potatoes, roasted cubed sweet potatoes, and small 8" X 8" coffee cakes in it.
I use mom and dad's oven to bake bread and I often bake 4 loaves of oatmeal bread at a time and give my parents 2 loaves since I use their oven. Why do I bake 4 loaves at a time? Whether I bake one loaf or 4 loaves it takes the same amount of gas, that's why.. why waste the fuel that way? I also have an electric single burner I use and I must admit I crock pot all the time.. at least twice a week. I make a lot of soup, chili, roasts, General Tso's Chicken, yogurt.. I've discovered all kinds of food I can make in a crock that I never dreamed of making in the past!

Yogurt Update

Here's a photo of the thickened yogurt.. see all the bubbles on top?

I made yogurt last night/this morning. I wanted to make organic yogurt using organic whole milk, but it costs twice as much as store brand so I didn't since I'm on a rather tight budget. I poured the milk in to the 4.5 qt crock pot and left it alone for 2 hours before measuring the temperature. It was only 150 degrees with the candy thermometer, so I replaced the lid went to watch the repeat Ancient Aliens since a new show was coming on in an hour later. Unfortunately I kept dozing off and when I woke up another 2 hours had passed. The milk had a thick skin on top and a ring around the pot, so I turned it off and removed the skin, hoping the milk didn't actually boil around the edges., and let it cool down for a half hour. It was still too hot to add the one cup of yogurt I set aside from the last batch. So I decided to pour the scalded milk into a glass bowl and promptly cleaned the crock out! It needed lots of scrubbing! Then I dried it and poured the hot milk back in, by then it was a nice warm temperature so I whisked in the yogurt. I wasn't sure it would work since I'm quite sure the milk was much hotter than the last time made some. I draped two thick towels over the pot and went to bed, then I woke up this morning to a nice crock pot of thickened yogurt. It's nice and tangy too! 

Mom gave me a few cups of Blueberry Sauce she made from thawed frozen blueberries for the pancake supper at the church last Tuesday to put in my servings of yogurt, but the blueberries weren't as tender as the wild huckleberry sauce she made before, so I chopped up the sauce in my food chopper. The yogurt is so sour I admit to adding a rounded spoonful of sugar to each 6 OZ serving along with the cornstarch and sugar thickened blueberry sauce.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Crock Pot Yogurt

1/2 Gallon Milk

8 OZ  Plain Yogurt with live cultures

1/2 Cup Powdered Milk (Optional for thicker yogurt.)

Scald the milk in the crock pot on high setting. This took 1 and 1/2 hours in my 4.5 quart crock pot.

Allow the milk to cool to 115 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. Now stir in the yogurt with a whisk and replace the lid on the pot and place a towel on the top. If your house is cold wrap the whole crock pot in a few bath or beach towels to insulate the pot.

Now let the mixture ferment for at least 12 hours. You will notice it's much thicker on the bottom layer and tiny bubbles are on the top layer. Now stir well and refrigerate. Save 8 OZ of yogurt for your next batch.  It seems very thin until refridgerated, when it thickened up to heavy cream consistancy.

I added Huckleberry pancake sauce to my yogurt serving because I didn't have any jam. I admit I had to add extra sugar, maybe I can wean myself off of that.. LOL!

NOTE: I use Chobani brand yogurt because it has 3 live cultures in it.