Main Dishes, Recipes

Slow Cooker Cola Pot Roast

It’s cold outside! I’ve been in comfort food mode lately, and this is the perfect cozy, cold weather main dish. Assemble this roast in the slow cooker in the morning or at lunch time. Savor the aroma all afternoon, or be greeted by the yumminess as you come home from work. The sugar from the cola adds sweetness to the meat and helps to tenderize it.

Slow Cooker Cola Pot Roast

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup cola-flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce seasoning mix (a store bought packet would also work)
  • 1 coarsely chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped celery (about 3-4 stalks, give or take)
  • 1 additional teaspoon salt (the sauce seasoning mix has salt in it as well – so you can omit this if you’re watching your salt)
  • Additional garlic, minced, if desired (there’s dry minced garlic in the seasoning mix, too)
  • 3 lbs. beef chuck roast (the roast pictured above is bottom round)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, break up tomatoes in their juice. Stir in cola, spaghetti sauce seasoning mix, celery, and the additional salt and garlic if desired. Stir until spaghetti sauce mix is dissolved.
  2. Place the onion in the crock pot and put the roast right on top. Pour the sauce mixture over the roast and cover.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.

So how about you? What’s your favorite cold weather comfort food? Link to the recipe in the comments – I’d love to check it out!

Beverages, Recipes

Homemade Hot Cocoa

This is a rich, creamy, and (most importantly) easy homemade hot cocoa recipe. You will never want to go back to instant packets again.

The Hubberman likes to joke. Not in the “a penguin walks into a bar” sense, but more in the “I’m pulling your leg” sense. So when he looked at his phone yesterday morning and said, “Hey, they’re saying six to eight inches of snow for tomorrow,” I thought for sure he was joking. You see, he pulls this stuff so much (at least once a day) that I have to sift everything through my gullibility filter before responding. Well, imagine my surprise when Hubberman brings his phone over and shows me his weather app. Six to Eight. As the afternoon progressed, the projected totals increased. Now as I sit typing, the snow is falling and they are now predicting up to 18 inches. It is a hot cocoa day for sure.

Continue reading “Homemade Hot Cocoa”

In the Garden

It’s about that time…

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Winter has been a bit underwhelming this year in our region. All the things my family loves about this season have been sorely lacking. Namely, snow. The kids actually resorted to trying to sled on sleet a few weeks back. Instead of lots of fun, fluffy white stuff (remember, we homeschool and hubberman works from home so getting snowed in is fun for us) we have instead been getting an abundance of grey skies and wind. Lots and lots of wind.

Add to that the Seasonal Affective Disorder that seems to be scooping up people by the armful, and then sending them all out twitchy and grumpy on the roads to honk their dissatisfaction at anything that moves.

I think we all need a little sunshine about now!

While keeping the plates of homeschool spinning over the past two months, I’ve been staring longingly at my seed and garden catalogs. I’ve decided, it’s time. Tomorrow I sit down with my seed catalog and plan out and order this spring’s garden.

Last year, I made a point of journaling my lessons learned my first year of gardening. Now that I have two years under my belt, I’m adding to my list of lessons and goals. Here’s what I have so far:

  1. This year, no cabbages. They were yummy and all, but they just take up too much square foot garden real estate. There is so much more I can be doing with that space.
  2. No squash either. Same reason.
  3. Last year’s amount of green beans was perfect! Just enough to keep a steady flow coming in the kitchen without being overwhelming. Plant the same this year.
  4. Try a leaning trellis for cucumbers. I don’t want to give up on cucumbers just yet, and I think that a trellis might be the answer. I’ll give them one more chance to not be annoying in my garden, and then sadly they will have to go the way of the squash.
  5. Try a few new things I have not tried yet. As I browse the seed catalog, I’m going to challenge myself to order something a little unusual, just to give it a whirl. You never know until you try!

What are your garden plans this year?