Saturday, April 28, 2012

Look! I made a roast...and a fab gf find!

Mmmmm...looks good right? I made it all by myself with a little help from Boar's Head and King Soopers.

 Now, you do have to put on your big girl panties and be brave if you're going to do it... but here's how you fake a homemade roast for your next dinner party:
Step 1: 
Go to the deli counter where they carry Boar's Head meats. Pick out the roast you want in the window based on how many people you're feeding and what seasonings you want. Go here to pre-shop, if you're so inclined:

Step 2: 
Tell the deli person that you'd like the whole roast "un-cut, un-opened". They will weigh it, as usual, and put the label on it with price etc. I chose the All Natural, Cap Off Roast Beef because it comes in a smaller chunk (around 3 pounds) and it's organic, cruelty free etc. I'm sure any other type of roast would be good too and they come in various seasonings.  The best thing is that Boar's Head brand are all gf so you don't have to grill the deli person on ingredients.
Anyway, I have done this a couple times and find that a man give you a tentative stare, smile, slap the sticker on it and wish you a nice day. A woman will ask you what you're planning to do with it. Be prepared to say "Eat it." and smile.
*Bonus* Getting it unopened will also protect you from any cross-contamination issues that run rampant in a deli.

Step 3:
Take it home, cut it into thick slices or chunks (like you'd do any roast), tent with foil and put it in the oven to heat. 400 degrees for 30 mins or so will do it. You could put it in the microwave but then you'll miss out on the drama of taking it out of the oven and the authentic roasting smell. :)

Step 4:
Once your guests are assembled around the table, take it out of the oven with great panache and serve with flair. 
While you're at the store also pick up a package of pre-washed veggies like greens (organic), grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, baby carrots and toss together for a beautiful salad. I'd also recommend instant mashed potatoes with some sour cream stirred in and whatever other favorite sides you like.
So that's my secret to feeding a ton of people in 30 minutes or less without looking like you catered it.

In other news, I discovered a fab find. Gimball's candies! They are allergen free according to the website: and so yummy!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crock Pot Meat Balls

Once in a while I cook...a lot of food...all at once...and freeze it. This happened with beef soup and meatballs in the Crock Pot.
My store had a BOGO deal on Laura's ground beef so I took full advantage of it and so thankful for my giant crock pot so I could cook all 4 pounds at once, and probably could have fit another 4 in it too! So I chopped up about 2 large onions and a couple cloves of garlic...
 Got out my 4 pounds of meat...
Put on my gloves 

and my fancy cooking shoes (they get me up high enough to make mixing in the c.p. easier)...
 Put it in the crock and mixed it all up with some salt & pepper.  I was going for fairly plain here since I expect to use the leftovers as burgers, meat sauce, meat loaves etc.
Then I divided it in half again and again until I had 8 half pound balls - effectively 2 servings each...
Then I dumped in 3 cans of Contadina tomato sauce so the cooker would be full enough to work...

And after they were all done I put them in baggies in the freezer. I use baggies instead of my containers because of tomato sauce stains, and I'm going to reheat in glass anyway.
Nestled in with the containers of beef soup * I made the day before. That's like a month of dinners, right there! Woo Hoo!
So, do you do a big cooking day to stock the freezer? Any favorite recipes?
By the way, if you're curious, each 8 ounce meat ball is 8 WW points, including the sauce.
 *Beef soup recipe: 2 pound roast, small baggie of baby carrots, 2 onions quartered, 1 tsp each rosemary, thyme, salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, couple dashes of red pepper flakes and water to fill the Crock Pot. It was too simple to blog alone

Saturday, April 7, 2012

When I'm in, I'm all in...

My curiosity continues around Weight Watchers. I Googled it to see if anyone gluten free does it and there are only about 12 results. So, I would the points compare?
So of course, I went through my kitchen and wrote the points on everything, which lucky enough wasn't much!
compared to their plain (wheat) mac & cheese - same 9 pts
  compared to a Tombstone pizza @8 points for same serving I wonder how other gf items compare to non-gf - but that's a blog for another day.
Also, curious about regular foods I eat regularly, I did a quick chart...
The chocolate chip Larabar was less than the Cashew Cookie - interesting! And finally, I had to figure out exactly what size 1 ounce of cheese really is and much like onions, got a little crazy with the dicing...
 I basically cut 8 oz chunks into 8 and this is what it looked like.
 Also, they say 1 oz is about the size of your thumb - but I'm not so sure!

 So, have you ever done Weight Watchers gluten freely? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience! Let me know :)