simple

All posts tagged simple

Crock Pot Caramel

Published August 13, 2016 by lynn k scott

My favorite season of the year is almost here; no not the season with a bearded fat man in a red suit.  The season right before that; where leaves turn vibrant shades of oranges, reds and yellow, before they detach from the trees and begin to litter the ground.  Fall!  That’s the best season of the year (to me anyway).

That being said, it’s also the time some of my favorite dishes are made.  Ok, who am I kidding, I make fall food year round, but for most people, they tend to stick to seasonality when cooking.

Last night, I made a Fall staple that you must have in order to make caramel apples: Caramel.  I like to make it in the crock pot, simply because it allows me not to stand at the stove and there literally is no clean-up.

All you need is a crock pot, a can of sweetened condensed milk, three 4-oz mason jars and that’s it!

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Simply open the can and pour equally into the three 4-oz mason jars.  Set the mason jars into the crock pot, uncovered.

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Carefully, add enough water to cover the jars to where the milk stops.  This is how the milk will cook evenly; surrounded in water. Add the lid to the crock pot and set the cooking temperature to low and eight hours.

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I like to do this overnight or when I’m gone all day at work.  Then it’s ready when I wake up or come home and I am not hovering over it hoping it miraculously finishes quicker. Carefully, remove the jars and place on a heat-protected surface to cool.

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In addition to being able to use this caramel to cover apples for Halloween, you can use it as a great school or work snack.  Pour a bit of caramel into a container, pack some apple slices and a snack is ready to go.  You can use it to drizzle over baking creations or simply eat it with a spoon, if that’s your prerogative.

Crock Pot: BBQ Pulled Pork

Published January 15, 2016 by lynn k scott

Before heading out the door for work yesterday, I managed to start the crock pot so dinner would be done when I arrived home.

I had thawed some boneless pork roast.  You can use the bone-in kind too, but you just have to remove it from the bone.   That’s a time-consuming task that I’m willing for forego the majority of the time, esp. when we’re talking pennies on the dollar for boneless.

I cut the meat into chunks and placed them in the crock pot.  Then sprinkled with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.  After giving the meat a quick toss so spread the seasonings around, I added about a cup or so of (homemade) vegetable stock.  I then added roughly a quarter cup of BBQ sauce (gluten-free, of course).  Gave then crock a quick stir, add the lid, set on low for 6 hours and off to work I go.

When I come home, the pork chunks are a bit browner and ready to be shredded.

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The easiest way to shred these is put the pork in a bowl with some of the cooking liquid (1/4-1/2 cup or so).  Take your hand mixer and begin shredding.  No need to tear apart with two forks, the blender is king for this task!

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Once the pork is shredded, you can add a bit more liquid if you think the meat needs it.  If not, you can add more BBQ sauce or serve it on the side.  Take the shredded meat, pile onto a hamburger bun and enjoy.  When I could still eat hamburger buns, before I added the top of the bun, I’d add some mayo-free coleslaw.  Heaven on a bun!

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Being Content With What I Have

Published May 31, 2015 by lynn k scott

My life has not been a smooth journey.  I believe it’s true, as you get older, you start reflecting on your life.  You look back and see decisions you have made, where those decisions have taken you and what you have done, up to this moment in time.

Tomorrow is June 1st.  I tend to reflect more in June than any other month.  I have vowed to myself, to work with being content with what I have and not what I want.  It’s not always an easy goal to attain.

As I type from my kitchen table, I look up and see my onion/potato bin.  (I’ll have to add the picture later; my daughter has hijacked my phone – again.)  the onion/potato bin was given to me by a friend about a year or so ago.  She was originally trying to sell it, as she repurposes furniture, but gave it to me instead.

I fell in love with it as soon I saw it for sale.  Sadly, $80 wasn’t in the budget, but I admired it through her pictures. Something about it reminded me of my childhood.  I honestly am not sure why, as we didn’t have one growing up, but it still captured a warm feeling every time I look upon it.

The bin sits in the corner of the dining room.  The top holding the onions and the bottom holding the potatoes.  The wire mesh on the front of the bin, gives a sneak peak as to the contents.  I suppose the bin resonates “simplicity”.  It’s a piece of wood, a couple latches and knobs and keeps the onions and potatoes off the ground and separated from one another.

Why am I carrying on about a onion/potato bin?  Not quite sure, really.  With being content with what I have, that simple bin tells me I have friends who care.  I take food from the bin to prepare for my family.  It’s not high-tech, it’s not fancy, but it’s enough.

I work hard to apply this concept to other areas of my life.  It’s difficult.  I stumble often in this pursuit.  My house is smaller than I like, but it’s mine.  My kitchen could be bigger, but it has what I need to feed us.  The bedrooms could be larger and there could be more of them, but we have a comfortable place to sleep.  For this, I appreciate my home.

I hope the trials that I will soon be facing, will allow me to continue to be content with what I have.  I am grateful for what I have and will take life as it comes and with what it brings.

A Cute Easter Centerpiece

Published April 4, 2015 by lynn k scott

This morning, while out grocery shopping, I picked up a few candy eggs.  I probably could have chosen a brighter color, but I was also being cheap.  The pink wrapped eggs were less than a $1.50, so I went with it.  I wanted to make an Easter centerpiece for the diningroom table.

You will need:  several wine glasses, tulle (or Easter grass), candy and a tealight (or votive) candles.

When I got home, instead of using Easter grass, which goes everywhere, I opted to utilize some leftover tulle.  Cut long strips of the tulle from the roll, and then bunched it up.  Having already added five candies to each wine glass, I pushed the tulle in and flipped the wine glass upside down.  I had to add a bit more tulle to each glass so the candy stayed at the top of the glass. When I was satisfied with how the glass looked, I added some white tealights to the top of each glass.

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Now, my table isn’t overly large, unless I add extra leaves to extend it.  I just made three of these and put them in a row on the table.  I used a pastel green tablecloth and it made a really cute, simple and elegant centerpiece.  Now to find some cute placemats for the table and I’ll be all set.

Crock pot: Beef Roast

Published March 19, 2015 by lynn k scott

Sadly, I have no idea what roast this was.  It was wrapped in a cute little netting.  I know, it’s sad.  Forgive me.  The day before yesterday, when I made this, I only had 4 hours sleep.  I’m shocked I actually made it all day, including starting dinner.

I didn’t use my seasoning shaker.  Another pathetic excuse….it was dirty and I didn’t feel like washing it.  What?  At least I’m honest.  Onto the meal.20150318_062048

Either slice some potatoes or onions and lay it on the bottom of the crock.  I usually use onions, but felt like potatoes this time around.  The veggies become your “rack” to set the meat on.  Season meat and set on the potatoes and/or onions you already put in the crock.

20150318_063136Peel and quarter potatoes.

If you lazy cook like me, if you have red or yellow potatoes, you can just wash and quarter them, as they don’t require peeling.  Arrange them around the roast.

Next peel and rough chop some carrots (an inch or two in length).  Place them around the roast, on top of the potatoes. Add about a half to a cup of water.  If you want to make gravy, add another half cup or so.  I actually cover the potatoes, because I personally, like the way they turn out when immersed.20150318_063905

I set it to cook on high for 6 hours.  It was very tender, but I think four or five hours would have been better.  It was a fairly small roast; about three pounds.  Another quick dinner.  This time, the sides were already included.

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