Saturday, January 3, 2009

Buffalo and Barley:::Monique

Today, I made one of my family's favorite meals.  It's easy, cheap, and often what we eat on Tuesdays since I'm not home that night to cook for my family.  I lead Weight Watcher meetings every Tuesday night, so if it isn't cooked before 4:30 when I leave, the solution used to be going out to eat.  My DH would usually call for take-out pizza.  When the pizzas started costing $40 we decided we really needed to do something different, especially since it was once a week.  We decided that Tuesdays would be crock pot night.  So for probably a year now, I've been putting something in the crock pot or planned something that DH can cook. I've been in a dilemma, though, since around Thanksgiving because I found out that my made-in-China crock pot may be leaching lead into our food.  The big crock pot was thrown away (it was broken anyway) and I've just been cooking things on low in the oven or on the stove.  For Christmas, my DH bought me the cooking item I've been drooling over since Thanksgiving. It's made in the USA so I'm very proud of it!  

Are you ready for the recipe now?  It's simple and I usually don't measure anything.  Choose some vegetables.  I use celery, carrots, and onions.  Instead of using beef stew meat, I use buffalo.  Tonight I cut up a 5 or 6 carrots and one whole stalk of celery.  Then I tossed in a cup or two of barley.

I usually just add all the raw ingredients and some beef broth or bouillon in the crock pot but since I was using my new "baby," I put some canola oil in the dutch oven and then browned the meat, added the vegetables and then added around 8-10 cups of water, the barley and then my bouillon and spices.  This is what it looked like at that point.

Here are the spices and bouillon I used.  You could use whatever appeals to your family.  Yes, I did use the fresh rosemary tonight.  I haven't used it since we planted it earlier last spring.

Then, because my family really likes their carbs, I made a loaf of bread that my family hasn't had in a long time but really likes.
And finally, the finished product!  Everyone ate and the four year old even thanked me several times for making a delicious meal.
One final note, my DH and I had a lunch date today that included going out to eat.  However, it was just us and the baby and we used Christmas money from my mom.  Does that count?  

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