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Monday, July 21, 2014

What's Cookin' in the Country?

I'm linking up with OrgJunkie today on her Monday Menu planning.

You know, when you plan ahead of time, meal prep is soooo much easier.  What are some of the benefits of planning out a weekly menu?

  • It keeps you from spending money at the last minute when you need to run  to the store to  "grab something for dinner" or buy the missing ingredient.
  • You and everyone else know what's on the menu for that day.  
  • It keeps your mealtimes on schedule.
  • You can start your prep the night before or early in the day.
 All of those components make for a happy you and a happy family, too!  

Here's my menu for last week:


Breakfast:
  • English Muffin with Tomato and Mozzarella
  • Quesadillas
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • Taco salads
Dinner:
  • Sunday - Balsamic Roast (See recipe below), Potato Wedges, Fried Okra, Cucumber Salad w/Dill, Wheat, Feta, Dill biscuits 
  • Monday - Leftovers from Sunday
  • Tuesday - Dollywood!
  • Wednesday - Italian Meat Loaves, Roasted Potatoes, Tomato slices
  • Thursday - BBQ Pork Ribs, Oven "fried" Onion Rings, Strawberry Salad, Inside Out Apple Pies (Come back later this week for recipe!)
  • Friday - Leftovers
  • Saturday - Grilled Pizza, Salad



The Balsamic Roast was a new recipe for me and we LOVED it!  It's a great crock pot recipe for a Sunday dinner - or anytime you are going to be away from home and want to come home to a tender, juicy roast!


Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast in the Crockpot

Ingredients:
3-4 pound boneless chuck roast
1-2 T steak rub (I used Szeged Steak Rub.)
black pepper to taste
1-2 T olive oil (depends on your pan)
1/4 cup water to deglaze pan
2-3 large onions, peeled and thickly sliced
1 cup beef stock, reduced to 1/2 cup (can use a can of beef broth, but be sure to reduce it)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used one can diced tomatoes, drained well.)

Instructions:
Trim as much fat as you can from roast, and cut if necessary to fit into Crockpot. Rub meat well with steak seasoning and black pepper. Heat heavy pan with small amount of olive oil and brown roast well on both sides. 

While roast browns put 1 cup beef stock in saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, then let cool slightly and mix in balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce. Peel onions and cut into thick slices. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup water and add to sauce mixture.

Place onions in bottom of Crockpot. Put meat on top of onions and pour beef stock mixture over. Set Crockpot to low and cook 6-8 hours, until beef is tender. The meat might be partly submerged in liquid after this much time. 

Remove meat from crockpot and cover with foil to keep warm. I removed the fat from the liquid and added a little cornstarch/water mixture to thicken the juices.  This made a great gravy to pour over the meat and onions!

Do you plan a weekly menu?  What is challenging to you about making one?

With love from my country kitchen,

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