Friday, March 27, 2009

Spending Recap...along with some other tidbits

Hang on folks, this is going to be a long one!

A. I mentioned earlier this week that we had to resnake the drain. We pulled a lot of crud out of the drain so we thought that would do the trick. We tried baking soda & vinegar. We tried Draino. The drain kept getting worse. Yesterday we threw our hands up and called a plumber.

The plumber arrived around 6:15 last night and left around 9:30. He had to saw off the cover of our stack (the one that WB tried and tried to get open) and then open up the stack going from our house to the street. I don't know if this will make sense, but basically the stack right underneath our kitchen sink to the stack that goes out to the street was CAKED with crud. GROSS. Our drains have always been a little slow, we just figured that came with having an older house. Apparently both previous owners of our house thought the same thing! The plumber brought down his industrial auger (similar to the one WB came to our house with) and snaked from the kitchen stack all the way out to the street. HOORAY! $250 later and the problem is fixed. Once we realized how bad the problem was, we were happy we called him. Our little $6 snake from Lowe's was not going to resolve that problem.

B. I mentioned that the plumber was here for 3 hours. During that time I was determined to finish up Anna Karenina and I did! Phew. That was a LONG book.

C. Before the plumber came, we had dinner. Basically everything we make out of the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is stellar. Last night's pot roast was no exception! Here is the recipe:

Slow-Cooker Country-Style Pot Roast
1 5-6 pount boneless beef chuck roast, tied
Salt & Pepper
4 tsp veg oil
3 onions, chopped medium
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1 TB minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced parsley

1. Dry the roast with paper towels, then season with salt & pepper. Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the roast on all sides, reducing the heat if the fat begins to smoke, about 10 minutes. Add roast to slow cooker.

2. Add remaining 2 tsp oil to skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, carrots, and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in the wine scraping up any browned bits. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 1 minute then pour into slow cooker.

***You can do steps 1 & 2 at night and put in the fridge. Keep meat separate from vegetables if you do. In the morning add both to slow cooker and proceed.******

3. Add tomatoes, broths, thyme, bay leaves and red pepper flakes to slow cooker. Cover and cook until meat is tender: 9-10 hours on low, 6-7 hours on high.

4. Transfer roast to a carving board and tent with foil. Let cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then use a wide spoon to skim off fat. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the cooking liquid in a food processor (or an immersion blender right in the slow cooker - seriously, i use mine all the time!). Stir in parsley salt and pepper to taste.

5. Untie roast and slice 1/2 in thick. Arrange meat pour sauce over.

Note: I cut this recipe in half for the two of us and it still made a ton. The recipe as is states that it serves 6-8.

D. It is Friday so I owe you a spending recap.

I went to Target with my sister and bought 1 non-essential item: The Garnier Fructis Curl Creme. It cost $3.29 but I had a $1 coupon. I read about this curl creme on Bryn's blog and figured i would try it. If it works, it is definitely cheaper than the Aveda Confixor + Aveda Elixir potion. I used it yesterday and I LOVE it. Many curl cremes are way too thick for my hair and end up weighing the curl down and making me look like a wet dog. This one is nice and light and I literally did not even have to diffuse it, which is a huge time saver. The AC+AE potion really requires you to diffuse it until almost dry, aka take up a good 20 minutes of your morning.

AND an even better reason to find a new product - I just tried to find the Elixir on the Aveda website and found out it is discontinued!


Sarah Danielle: Jeune Marie said...

My hubby is going to die and go to heaven when I show him that recipe!

caroldes7 said...

totally worth having your drains cleared out - that is great!