• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

23 November 2009

mmmm, beefy.

On Sunday, I made this recipe.

P-Hubby took most of these photos because I was busy a-cookin' the food. In fact, I think the only photo I took of this series is the very last one.

ready for prep

I left out the mushrooms. Neither of us likes them. And I didn't really know what "italian seasoning" would mean (I wonder if it meant italian dressing mix?), so I instead used basil, oregano and thyme. I associate all of those things with beef and with italian food, so why not?

bell peppers

I put garlic in it. Garlic wasn't on the official ingredients list, but it is on MY ingredients list, almost always.


The recipe called for frozen steaks. Mine weren't frozen, so instead of cooking for 7-9 hours on low, I left them go for about 4 1/2 hours. (I probably could have gotten away with 3 hours but we didn't want to eat at 3:30.)

All cooked up


These were really good. We both agreed that we'd enjoy eating this dish again. A few changes I'll make:

1) More black pepper. The recipe is called "peppercorn steaks". Tastes more like tomato-and-bell-pepper steaks (which is good! But still, more pepper please).

2) Frozen steaks and more of them. I only cooked three and (as I said) they were thawed. They were tender in some places, but tough in others. If cooked longer -- from colder -- I think they'd be much tenderer throughout. And more steaks equals more leftovers for lunch!

This is a recipe I can see myself making on a work-day, no problem. There's enough liquid in there that I wouldn't have to worry about the burnation fiasco, hopefully. It made the house smell great and was a very satisfying supper for a cold night (which, all of ours will be for the next 4-5 months).

It really makes me happy that I'm having some crockpot success! I got off to such a rocky start and was worried that this type of cooking just really wasn't my thang. This crockpot helps us out twofold:

It prepares our meals for us while we're off being busy workers/students, and most of the recipes I choose also make enough food to be frozen for future meals and/or lunches!

I went to the grocery store on Sunday and spent $60 on ingredients for some recipes I'd picked out, including this one. I was shocked at the cost, until I considered the breakdown:

The recipe above produced a lunch for me today. So:
2 dinners
1 lunch

I anticipate Tuesday's soup (coming soon!) will produce 2 dinners and 3 (maybe 4) lunches' worth of food:
4 dinners
3 lunches

I estimate that Thanksgiving weekend's dish will give us:
2 dinners
2 lunches

And the final crockpot dish (TBD, next week sometime) will produce another:
4 dinners,
2 lunches

So for $60, I bought 12 dinners and 8 lunches. Not bad at all. Well under 5 bucks a meal, and it's not from the drive-thru! I feel like such a domestic-type-person!

Other things we did this weekend? Finished writing the wedding Thank You cards. Wooooooooo! Fixed our bedroom door so the knob actually latches. Got a humidifier for the bedroom. Took a second to organize my pile-o-recipes. Bought cookie dough at Papa Murphy's on impulse, and then ate it. Played Mario Bros for Wii. Played Civilization IV. Did laundry. Did homework. Brought our winter boots up from the basement and readied them near the door. De-clogged a slow-running drain. Played with our new flashes. And much more. It felt good to get some non-homework stuff done, but oh boy do I/We have a lot more to finish in the next few weeks.

*These are some of the first photos with our new off-camera strobes (flashes), which arrived in the mail last week. More on that tomorrow, or soon.