Enjoying simple, easy food makes for good week

08/12/2014 9:32 AM

08/12/2014 9:33 AM

It's been another good and productive week with the Mikester, as we traveled north to help with day care for our two granddaughters. I sometimes can't remember much about when my sons were little, but I do know why God makes parents younger! It's good exercise, though, running after the 2 year old and she moves fast!

We are still freezing okra and shelling and freezing black-eyed peas, and we both enjoy doing the shelling. The freezer is looking more abundant now with beautiful frozen peaches from Parker County. Every time I look in there, I can see a big peach cobbler on the fall horizon.

I took a chili and cheese dip recipe to a house warming for our friends - the Nelsons - and everyone seemed to really like it. What was so easy about this dip was the fact that it was made in a slow cooker a couple of hours before we had to take it to the dinner party and it stayed warm throughout the evening. Earlier that Saturday, I made my favorite lemon almond bars to take to the party for a little sweet treat. Later in the week, Mike said he was hungry for a roast, and since we had to get some errands accomplished, I got out my tried and true "go-to" pot, our larger Crock-pot for our rump roast and veggie recipe.

Dee Dee's Easy Chili and Cheese Dip

I make this in a small slow cooker.

• 1 pound ground beef, browned, crumbled fine and drained
• 2 pounds velvetta cheese-cubed
• 1 can Rotel (we like regular, not hot for this dip)
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

*Favorite tortilla or corn chips

1. Combine all ingredients, except chips, in slow cooker.

2. Mix well. Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour, stirring occasionally until cheese is fully melted.

3. Turn to LOW until ready to serve, up to 6 hours later.

I like to put the chips in a bowl and offer up paper plates for dipping the chili cheese sauce over the chips.

We sometimes order our tortilla chips from a restaurant, like Pulido's. I like to place the chips in a pan in the oven and then turn the oven to 325 degrees. When the oven reaches that temperature, I take the chips out of the oven and turn the oven off.

They are then very fresh and even warm, like we enjoy in a real Mexican restaurant!

Mikester's Favorite Rump Roast and Vegetables

There is always some left over and it tastes even better a few nights later.

• About 1 and 1/2 pounds red potatoes-OR about 4 regular sized Russet potatoes, halved
• 2 medium carrots-either cubed or sliced
• 1 sweet onion-sliced
• 1 bay leaf (remove from pot when ready to serve)
• 2 Tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
• 2 to 2 and 1/2 pounds boneless beef round rump Or a pot roast
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 10 3/4 ounces canned condensed vegetable beef soup
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Place potatoes, carrots and onion in slow cooker. Add bay leaf and sprinkle with tapioca.

2. Brown roast on all sides in oil in a skillet, then place the roast over the veggies in the slow cooker.

3. Combine soup, water, and pepper and pour over roast.

4. Cover and cook on LOW 10-12 hours, OR on HIGH for 5-6 hours.

We like this served along with a garden salad.

Lemon Almond Bars

• 3/4 cup butter-softened
• 3/4 cup brown sugar (light colored) packed
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 teaspoon amaretto
• 2 eggs
• Zest and juice of one lemon
• 1 1/4 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup sliced almonds-lightly toasted
• Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the butter, sugars, almond extract, amaretto, eggs, lemon zest and juice until creamy.

3. Stir in flour, salt and almonds.

4. Pour the dough into a greased 8X8 inch baking dish or pan.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

6. After the bars are baked, sift a generous coating of powdered sugar on top.

7. Let the bars cool before cutting.

This makes 16 bars.

Let's all remember to keep our pets cool with lots of shade and water. Watering during the evening or early morning hours seems to be the answer to our yard and gardens. I think I'll venture over to a nursery I like and see if any pottery is on sale. Have a wonderful week!

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