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Slow-Cooker Pot Roast and an update!

I hope I can remember how to do this blogging thing!  It’s been a crazy past couple of months…In February, we had a house-hunting trip to Virginia, returned to Bahrain in the middle of protests, then a week after I was back home the Navy approved voluntary departure and we decided to take them up on it!  SO, I was shuttled back to Virginia and got settled into our wonderful rental house with an air mattress and 2 suitcases.

My mom came out for a week to help me clean and paint the house.  We worked our little behinds off! Here are a few pictures of the house:

So, in order: the laundry room, our kitchen, the master bedroom, our future office, the den (in the process of being put together), and now our backyard.  We have a few extra bedrooms that haven’t been photographed yet…

Now that some of our household goods have been delivered, I have my kitchen stuff and I can cook again! WHOO HOO! 🙂

NOW, onto the pot roast:

I took a small bag of baby carrots and layered them along the bottom of the crock-pot, added some potato chunks, a thinly sliced onion and 3 crushed cloves of garlic.  Next, I added a 2 pound bottom round roast and poured an envelope of onion soup mix over it.  Then, I poured a 1/2 cup of chicken broth over it.  The original recipe called for beef broth, but I prefer chicken broth.

I put the crock-pot to cook for 11.5 hours on low before I headed for bed and woke up to a wonderful smelling kitchen! When I woke up, everything was the same color and didn’t look very photogenic but it sure was tasty!!

My trip to Virginia…

We have had quite a bit of excitement while we have been here in Virginia!  We came thinking we were going to find a rental house in Virginia, but halfway through our first day of driving around with our wonderful realtor, we decided to buy a house….it was a surprise on my part! 🙂

After Keith left to go back home, I planned to stay in Virginia for another week to get papers signed and inspections done on the house we put in an offer for.  That “another week” turned into 2 more weeks….I’m glad that I have been able to stay for an extra week to start the job-hunt, but it does stink being half a world away from the hubby.  I guess that’s just the life of a military wife!

Since I haven’t been cooking lately, I have been taking more pictures so I can post SOMETHING while I’m in Virginia. So, here it goes:

Here’s Keith and I after waiting at the gate for about 5 hours…

Here’s airplane meal #1 (the meat under the veggies
was chicken piccata.  It was good! Keith seemed to
like the dessert too…)

Meal #2 (the chicken was really great, but I didn’t
try the salad dish in the top left.)

Meal #3 (the pasta was pretty good, but
the banana yogurt was not!)

Meal #4 (I really don’t have much to say about
this one….the chips were kinda good. kinda.)

Keith let me have the window seat
on the second leg of the trip.

Our friend, Matt, just happened to be in
the seat in front of Keith!

I think he was tired of me asking to take
his picture!!

Once we got to Virginia, I loved just driving around….

Here’s the road (it’s a sidewalk, actually) that
we had to drive on to get in and out of
our neighborhood a couple of times.

And here’s a highway in Virginia. BIG difference!

Although, it was very cold for these Texans!

The house we’re buying is in a great, very established neighborhood and we are really looking forward to move!

Here’s our front yard….

and here’s the front of the house.

I’m super excited to move into my new kitchen!

And since Keith has gone back home,
I’ve kinda taken over the hotel bed!

 

I know this is a food blog, but I really haven’t done much cooking (Hamburger Helper is on the menu for tonight!) and I feel a little funny taking pictures of my food while I’m sitting alone in a restaurant!  But I’ve really enjoyed being able to eat out at so many restaurants.

Bahrain Update…

So, things have been getting pretty crazy here in Bahrain in the past week.  I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the news, but there are quite a few people protesting or “demonstrating” in downtown Manama.

I know it looks pretty bad on the news, but Keith and I are safe.  We have been advised by the US Embassy to stay out of certain areas where there are protestors and that is exactly what we are doing.

The Embassy has not decided to evacuate the Americans, but if they do we are on their contact list.

We will be on a house-hunting adventure for the next couple of weeks in Virginia, so we will be stateside if things get any worse!

Just wanted to let everybody know that we appreciate the prayers headed our way and I’ll try to keep yall updated!

Grandma’s Spicy Crackers

Keith and I went camping with a couple of friends last night and in anticipation of the event, I made Spicy Crackers.  Several years ago, my grandma made these when she came to visit and once I moved away from home, I begged my mom to get the “recipe”.

Photo courtesy of Hannah. I forgot our camera at home.

Here’s what ya do:
Take one bag of Triscuits (my version) or Saltine (grandma’s version) crackers and pour them into a gallon freezer baggie.  Don’t get one of the regular baggies because somehow or another, the oil always gets through…

Next, measure out 1 1/3 cups of oil (I use olive, but veggie oil is okay too), 3 tablespoons of red pepper flakes, you know, the kind that comes with the pizza delivery.  Then add in 1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix.  Stir it all up together, then pour the mixture into the bag with your crackers.  You can adjust the amount of pepper flakes according to how spicy you like your food.

Seal up the bag and mush the mixture around the crackers. Let the baggie set on one side for about 6-8 hours, then turn it over and let the mixture move through the crackers to the other side for about 6 more hours.  The longer they soak, the more the oil mixture is absorbed into the crackers. I wouldn’t recommend letting them soak for more than 24 hours though…

Bisquick Sugar Cookies

Keith is at work on Christmas Day, and I was in the mood to bake but I was COMPLETELY out of sugar.  Well, except for about 20 little sugar packets. I only had about 2/3 of a cup of flour, but about 4 cups of Bisquick.

I hopped on the computer and went to BettyCrocker.com and searched for what I could make with Bisquick.  I found several recipes for food-food, but nothing for desserts or sweet treats, until I came across the recipe for sugar cookies.

The recipe got some bad reviews, but I don’t see how people can’t like these cookies!

Here’s what ya do:
Mix 4 cups of Bisquick, 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 3/4 cups of room temperature butter, 1 teaspoon of almond extract, and 2 eggs.  I cut the butter in with a fork, but once I got the eggs and butter somewhat mixed in, I abandoned the fork and used my hands.

The recipe calls for you to roll the cookies into 1 inch balls and roll them in sugar, but since I needed to be stingy with my sugar packets, I altered this part of the recipe.

I made colored sugar and just dipped the tops of the dough balls in it. To make colored sugar, you scoop some sugar into a sealable container, add some food coloring (I did 13 drops for 11 packets of sugar), seal the container up, and then shake it up til you see that it’s mixed.  If I would have known it was that simple, I would have started using colored sugar a LONG time ago!

Ok, back to the recipe: Once you get the dough all mixed together, scoop out the dough by tablespoons (I use my measuring spoon for this).  After you roll the dough into a little ball, either roll it around in the colored sugar container or just dip it in and place the dough ball with the sugar side up.

Then, flatten the dough ball just a little bit with the bottom of a drinking glass.  Pop the cookie sheet in the 400*F (205*C) oven for about 5-7 minutes or until the undersides are lightly browned.  I got roughly 36 cookies out of this recipe.

Honey Ham Glaze

We decided to have a ham for our Christmas Dinner yesterday.  Keith and I bought a precooked honey ham from the exchange and I was a little nervous about cooking my first ham.

I cooked my 8 pound ham for about 65 minutes and then put a glaze on it and it turned out FANTASTIC!!

Here’s what I did:
Mix 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar with 6 tablespoons of melted butter.  Stir in 8 tablespoons and “drizzle” it over the ham.  Cover it and stick it back in the oven for about 15 more minutes or until your mouth starts watering!

My wonderful husband, Keith, working his magic with the ham!

Merry Christmas, Y’all!

 

Pimento Cheese

So, a while ago Keith asked if I had ever seen pimento cheese at the exchange…the question came out of the blue and after I had told him that I hadn’t ever noticed it, the subject didn’t come up again–until a few days ago!

Keith emailed me from work letting me know that he put in a special order with the manager for pimento cheese to be stocked at the exchange.  I told him that we could always look out in town for it and if all else failed I could whip some up.

When I told him that, I only knew it was the orange stuff that went inside celery for the veggie tray for Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  I started looking up recipes for it online and discovered it was a “southern thing”, somewhat of a comfort food.

I decided to try a recipe I found online and since Keith was off work today we went on a scouting trip to the grocery stores across the island to find some pimentos.  We weren’t entirely sure that we would come across any, but we went to 4 grocery stores in a 3 hours and finally found them!  They weren’t in a cute little jar all diced up for us, but in a small can needing to be diced.

In honor of Patti’s Kitchen getting 1,000 views, Keith encouraged me to make a video of this recipe that is near and dear to him.

Here’s what ya do:
Grate 16 oz of sharp cheddar cheese (I used the Cracker Barrel brand).  Add 4 oz of diced pimentos. Stir in 1/2 of a cup of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of Miracle Whip, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a few splashes of Pete’s hot sauce, and a few splashes of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce.

Mix it all together and stick it in the fridge to chill before you make it into a sandwich! 🙂

Homemade “Arby’s” Sauce

Last night, I was laying in bed and was craving an Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich with Horsey and Arby’s sauce.  When my husband and I woke up, the craving was still there so we decided to order the closest thing we have to Arby’s here in Bahrain–Hardee’s.

We still had a problem though, Hardee’s doesn’t have Arby’s sauce.  I sat down at the computer and Google searched a recipe.  What I found wasn’t exactly Arby’s sauce but from 8 time zones away, it tasted pretty darn close!

This is what I came up with:

1 C. Water
1/2 C. Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/4 C. White Vinegar
3/4 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Corn Starch Mixture (thickening mixture)
1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
2 Tbsp. Water
Mix well set aside.
I dumped all of  the ingredients into a small saucepan (except for the cornstarch mixture) with the heat on medium low. I simmered it for about 10 minutes, stirring several times. After 10 minutes I added the corn starch mixture and stirred well. When the sauce began to thicken, I let it simmer on a very low temperature for ten minutes. Next, I just removed from heat. The mixture was similar in thickness to thin steak sauce, so it was great for sandwich-dipping. We didn’t use all of it, so I plan on storing it in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Hey y’all!

Welcome to Patti’s Kitchen.

I have never blogged at all, so this is my first shot….If y’all have any suggestion or advice, please tell me 🙂