Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Beautiful Bountiful Basket

When our oldest daughter Jenny got married, her husband's family had a reception in Oregon at their home for the newlyweds.  Jake's aunts (called "the Sistahs") did all of the food.  It was amazing!  My favorite thing was the vegetable tray.  Oh my goodness!  It was SO beautiful!  It totally changed my way of looking at a vegetable platter.  I have made it for 4 or 5 parties and it is always has a big WOW factor.  The colors of these beautiful vegetables are so beautiful together.   

These two pictures are of the finished basket.   I took the lower picture before we took it to the gathering, so I hadn't put the dip in the cabbage yet, but the lighting was better.  You can see all of the different vegetables we put in: carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, english cucumbers, green onions, red/orange/yellow peppers, radishes, and a purple cabbage dip bowl - all on a bed of kale. (the "Sistahs" also put blanched asparagus on theirs and it was delicious - but it was a little expensive right now)

This picture shows the basket (I line it with plastic wrap first) with the kale arranged to cover the bottom.  It took about 3 bunches of kale to do this basket- which is a large basket.  In the center is a small purple cabbage that we scooped the center out of to make a bowl to put the dip in. (you can cut the bottom of it to make it sit flat if needed)
We found that an ice cream scoop works wells to scoop out the cabbage.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Easy Crock Pot Sunday Roast and Self-Making Gravy

My daughter-in-law Estee told me about this recipe for roast and self making gravy.  She said it is a combination of our family's tradition of using Lipton Onion Soup mix in the crock pot to cook our roast, and her family's use of Cream of Mushroom Soup to cook her roast in.  She combined them and voila! - perfect tender roast and delicious gravy without any work at all!  

Easy Crock Pot Sunday Roast and Self-Making Gravy
from Estee

3-4 lb beef chuck roast
1 pkg dry Lipton Onion Soup mix
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup of water

Brown the roast in a very hot frying pan with a little olive oil.  Let cook until the meat forms a nice dark carmalization, then flip it over and do the same on the other side.  Place the meat in a crock pot. Combine the dry soup mix with 1 cup of water.  Add the two cans of cream of mushroom soup and stir to combine.  Pour over the top of the meat and turn crock pot to low and cook for 7-8 hours.  When finished, remove the meat to a serving plate, and pour the gravy into a gravy boat and it is ready to go!  (I like to put a little A-1 sauce in the gravy to give it a little more flavor)  How easy is that!!!
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