Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Country Cookin' on a Cold Winter Day

Decided today was a good day to make some Beef Barley Soup in the crockpot.  I love barley--so chewy and hearty--and it's a whole grain so it's good for you.

I made a few substitutions to the recipe.  I used venison instead of beef and since I was out of bay leaves, I used some thyme to season it. I used the recipe found here.  I browned the meat first in some tallow and then dumped all the ingredients into the crockpot.  I let it cook for about 4 hours on low, then cranked it to medium for an hour or so.  Decided to crank it to high for another hour as it didn't look quite done.  

Just devoured a big bowl and it was yummy!  It could have cooked  bit longer or at a higher temp as the meat wasn't overly tender but still a good, hearty soup.  I plan to put it back on to cook a bit more tomorrow before lunch to tenderize the meat a little more.  Isn't that a potful of homemade goodness?

Next I made some homemade Egg McMuffins for the freezer.  Hubby likes these for breakfast when it's his turn as overnight caregiver at his mom's.  I have been buying them but wanted to make homemade ones as they are not only healthier, but more economical.

I found this recipe that said to "bake" the eggs.  I had never tried that before--usually just scramble and fry the eggs when I make breakfast sandwiches.  But as I wanted to make a quantity of these, I decided to give it a whirl.  I used dessert-sized bowls that are vintage restaurantware so they were ovenproof--and it turns out they made the egg a perfect size to fit the muffin.

I used Oatmeal English muffins, turkey sausage (I usually make my own but bought these patties as I didn't have any made ahead) and cheese.  I toasted the muffins before assembling and then used the method suggested in the recipe to wrap them in waxed paper before putting some in a ziploc bag and others in a Tupperware container for the freezer.

I really need to keep making these--so easy and a much healthier option to store-bought sandwiches.

And since I needed room in the freezer for the Egg McMuffins, I took out a bowl of blackberries I picked last summer.  I stirred up this Blackberry Buckle.  Mmmmmm.  Still warm from the oven.  Looks like a perfect bedtime snack with a cup of hot Ovaltine.  Can you say comfort food?

What have you been cooking lately?  Please share some recipes--I'm always on the lookout for tried and true home-cooking recipes.

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