I am the world's pickiest eater. Seriously! I won't touch 99% of the food known to man. I have my reasons varying from the odd textures of things to the horrid smell wafting from the foods to the fact that I just don't like it. Couple this with the fact that my mom didn't cook a lot when I was growing up and it is a miracle that I can even find a kitchen let alone cook. While I didn't receive a lot of instruction on cooking, I was taught the basics of baking by my great-grandmother and then by my granny. At one of my bridal showers a gazillion years ago, someone gave me a cookbook as a gift. You know, the red and white one that every home is apparently required to have (at least in the south). It is probably the most practical gift I received during all those showers. Anyhoo, I figured that I knew how to read so I could probably figure out the whole cooking thing with that skill and the cookbook. Well, it took a few years to figure out the real secret but since I learned it I have been a regular Food Network-quality cooking superstar (at least in my own mind). The secret I figured out is that pretty much any recipe you encounter is a starting point. Absolutely no where in the universe is there a rule that says you must adhere completely to any given recipe. Take the recipe and make it your own. For example, the recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup but you can't stand mushrooms. Well, change it. Use cream of chicken or celery instead. If it doesn't turn out well, oh well. It isn't the end of the world.
Now, no blog about my enthusiam for cooking would be complete without mention of my crock pot. (You knew it was coming!) What got my thinking about all of this stuff to start with was a stew I make in my crock pot pretty often. It started off as a basic recipe from my cookbook and I have tweaked it a bit to make it my own. (Of course, I don't eat it but the boys and Martin love it.) And of course, I'm gonna share it with you :)
Meatball and Veggie Stew
16-18 oz pkg frozen meatballs
10 oz pkg frozen mixed vegetables
3 medium potatoes, diced
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
12 oz jar mushroom or beef gravy
1/2 cup water
Place meatballs, potatoes and veggies in crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over meatballs, potatoes and veggies. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high.
And there you have it. Another creation from my beloved crock pot.