Monday, March 31, 2008

Crockpot Madness

I've always loved the "idea" of slow cooking, but most recipes I've tried haven't been very successful. Lately, I've been trying to find good recipes and actually get them into my recipe box for future use. With kid activities and my own I don't always have a lot of time in the evening. Or I don't want to spend a lot of time cooking when my kids are home and I can enjoy some time with them between sports and homework. Next thing I know I hear "What's for dinner? I'm starving." I like to eat in as much as possible first off it just tastes better, it costs less and generally more healthy. I just tried a new recipe that turned out quite good. Did I think to take a picture of it? No! I make a stove top version that is very similar to this. It includes Worchestershire sauce and a bay leaf. So, I added them to this recipe. Here's the recipe...

Slow-Cooked Swiss Steak
Taste of Home's Slow Cooker Favorites
Serves 6

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless round steak
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sliced celery, optional
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 scant tbsp of Worchestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 to 3 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

In a shallow bowl, combine flour, pepper and salt. Cut steak into six serving-size pieces; dredge in flour mixture. In a skillet, brown steak in butter. Transfer to a slow cooker. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over steak. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until the meat is tender.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Christmas Card Challenge

I started a Christmas Card Challenge (CCC) this year with some friends from RCS, so that when December came I'd have handmade cards ready to go. I'm just loving it. Each year I'd try and hand make them in December and never had enough cards or enjoyed making them in such a hurry. Now I'm enjoying making new and different cards each month. By December I should have MORE than enough cards to send to whom ever I want.

This card is made using the Tag Punch Star technique I found on Split Coast Stampers. I thought it was so pretty I wanted to try it at least once. It was pretty time consuming, but well worth the effort.

The next card I tried using a masking technique to get different colors in the words. Again a card I got the idea from SCS ( I just love the creativity over there.