Monday, July 28, 2014

Harvest Monday: July 28, 2014

The garden has been coming along and is kicking up it's production now.  My plum tree has gone from dormant to productive.  This is the first picking of ripe plums (about 1.8 pounds).  

My Thai basil is wanting to flower.  I snipped back the stems to allow for more leave growth.  I really wanted to let it flower since the flowers are a deep and beautiful purple.  I'm off to look for interesting recipes for my Thai basil.

Another first for this summer.  My first cherry tomatoes!!  It's always exciting when that happens!

Here's my harvest basket for this week.  It's also the first week for a harvest of my favorite pepper, Shishito and some French filet green beans!!

This week's harvest totals:
- Dill 0.04 lb
- Sweet basil 0.1 lb
- Plums 1.8 lb
- Thai basil 0.14 lb
- Green beans 0.09 lb
- Cherry tomatoes 0.03 lb
- Shishito peppers 0.34 lb

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Carrots, Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

I love my slow cooker!  My favorite slow cooker recipes are the easy peasy, drop ingredients in recipes.  I love coming home from a long day of work to a nice home cooked meal.  I was originally going to use pork chops for this recipe but had a pork shoulder roast sitting in the freezer.  I decided to change things up a bit with the roast.  It came out yummy!!  This recipe is a keeper!  

The gravy comes out on the thin side.  Add flour or cornstarch to thicken if you like.  Also don't be too heavy handed with the salt.  Remember that the gravy will evaporate and become more concentrated (thus increasing the salty factor).

I basically threw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and jetted off to work.  I think next time (if I have more time), I would salt and pepper the roast, flour it and brown all the sides before throwing it in the slow cooker.  I think browning always gives meats a nice depth of flavor.  Plus I think the flour will mix in with the gravy and thicken it up a little.  But I make no promises.  It was super easy just to toss everything in the slow cooker.  

Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Carrots, Potatoes and 
Mushroom Gravy
Serves: 8-12 (depending on size of roast)

4-5 lb pork roast (I used a shoulder roast with bones)
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken
1 (1 oz) package dry onion soup mix
1 and 1/4 c. water
1 package pre-sliced mushroom (I told you I went the easy route)
baby carrots
4-5 red baby potatoes, cut into chunks

1) Add cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, water and dry onion soup mix to the slow cooker.  Combine well.  Add mushrooms and combine.  Lightly salt and pepper roast and add to slow cooker.  Turn to coat the pork roast with the gravy.  

2) Add carrots and potatoes to the slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 8-10 hours.  

3) Once done cooking, remove roast and shred.  Place shredded pork on a serving plate.  Discard bones and excess fat.  Remove carrots and potatoes to a serving plate.  

4) You can either serve gravy as is (thin) or thicken with cornstarch or flour.  Enjoy!