Thursday, October 18, 2012

A New Take on Old-Fashioned Favorites

Old-fashioned food is the best.  There's something so comforting and warm about it.  Maybe it's because you're grandma used to make it for Sunday dinner?  Or maybe because your mom made it for you when you needed cheering up?  No doubt about it, good food makes good memories.  Classic, old school recipes are classics for a reason.  They're time-tested.  People have been making them and eating them forever.  Why?  Because they're delicious!  But, sometimes these recipes require a lot of work and a lot of us just don't have the time.  So, today I'm going to show you a new take on some old-fashioned favorites.

The first recipe is Pot Roast.  It's usually made in a pot on the stove top or in the oven and requires a lot of babysitting.  My version is made in the slow cooker.  Just throw it together in the morning and that evening, you have a delicious, tender meal waiting for you.


1 (2-3 lb) chuck tender roast
1 large carrot
1 stalk celery
2 green onions (or 1 yellow onion, sliced)
2 cloves garlic, sliced into thin slivers
seasoned salt
1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes
1/2 of a package of dry onion soup mix

Cut the carrot and celery into long, thin sticks.  Cut green onions in half.  Lay them in the bottom of the slow cooker (like a bed of flavor for your roast to sit on).  Cut small slits into the roast (deep, but not all the way through - you're making little pockets to put the garlic in).  Stuff the sliced garlic into the slits.  Season the roast all over with seasoned salt.  Drain the juice from the tomatoes into a bowl (keep this - you'll need it).  Add the tomatoes to the slow cooker.  Mix 1/2 package of the dry onion soup mix with the reserved tomato juice.  Place roast on top of the vegetables.  Pour tomato juice mixture on top of roast.  Add enough water to make the liquid level go about 1/3 of the way up the roast.  Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

This is what it looks like before you cook it.

This is what it looks like after.  It's so tender that it falls apart.

Another classic is Salisbury Steak.  My version is easy and it's baked instead of fried.  But, it's still very tender and when you serve it with the onion gravy, it's down-right comfort food heaven!


1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 (6oz) package chicken flavored stuffing mix (Stove Top)
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup diced onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Zip the stuffing mix in a food processor until fine crumbs.  (Or put it in a ziploc bag and smash it with something - but you want fine crumbs)  The great thing about using stuffing mix is that it already has all the seasoning you need.  Put the onions and stuffing mix crumbs in a big bowl.  Add water and stir well.  Add ground beef and mix together, but don't over mix (that'll make the meat tough).  Form into 6 oval-shaped patties.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  Serve with gravy.


2 TBS diced onion
1 TBS butter
1 pkg Pioneer brown gravy mix (2 cup size)  or use two 1 cup size gravy packets

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Saute onion until soft and golden.  Add 2 cups water and gravy mix.  Whisk well!  Let come to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.

Mashed potatoes go well with either of these dishes.  A tip about mashed potatoes:

If you're going to the trouble of peeling and boiling potatoes, make extra.  Take the left overs and divide them out into a muffin tin.  Put the tin in the freezer for an hour or two (until just frozen), then pop the potatoes out and put into a large freezer bag.  Then, you have individual servings of mashed potatoes ready to go.  All you have to do is take out what you need and thaw them in the microwave.

So, that's my take on old-fashioned favorites.  I hope you prepare these recipes for someone you love.  Remember, good food makes good memories!

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