Really Valuable Real Estate

Can you ever have enough counter space in your kitchen? I don’t think so. My house was built in 1965 and when we moved into it in 1995, the kitchen showed all of its 30 years. There was built-in bench seating in one corner (for a kitchen table) but very little counter space. To make matters worse, we moved into the house bringing an old, and very large microwave oven. Between this and a toaster oven, half of our counter space was gone.

About five years ago, we remodeled our kitchen, removed the bench, built-in a microwave and even knocked down a wall. Our counter space opened up wide and when we put all of our stuff back into the kitchen we faced a dilemma for what would sit on the counter.

Counter space is really valuable real estate. For someone who likes to cook, and is slowly collecting tools that are really focused on specific purposes, I have a lot of stuff. What goes on the counter must not only have to be used a bunch, but it needs to look OK sitting there.

Toaster oven went back on the counter. Keurig coffee machine too. I added an electric can opener, six bottle wine rack, blender, phone charging station and a small TV. One last item, sitting in a deep corner, is my slow cooker. I use the thing almost every week during the cold weather months, so it does get a workout.

Here is one more way to use it….

Photo Dec 10, 5 19 28 PM

A savory tasty meal.

Photo Dec 09, 1 54 00 PM

A big ole hunk of meat.

Photo Dec 09, 2 01 43 PM

I cut it in half to better fit in the slow cooker.

Photo Dec 10, 5 18 55 PM


Photo Dec 10, 5 19 21 PM

Zesty Slow-Cooker Italian Pot Roast

Prep Time: 10 Min | Cook Time: 11 Hrs | Makes: 6 servings


  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen whole baby carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium Italian plum tomato, diced
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef bottom round roasts or beef chuck pot roast
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped roasted garlic* or chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar


Place potatoes, carrots, celery and tomato in 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Season roast with pepper and place on top. Mix soup, water, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley and vinegar. Pour over all. Cover and cook on LOW 10 to 12 hour or until done.**

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 376 | Total Fat: 12.6g | Cholesterol: 66mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beef, Italian, kosher, Low Carb, Recipes, Slow Cooker

Author:The Ranting Chef

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11 Comments on “Really Valuable Real Estate”

  1. March 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    I totally get what you mean about the lack of counter space, I face the same problem! And your pot roast looks amazing! Great for a warm meal in cool weather!


  2. midatlanticcooking
    March 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    I had this issue in culinary school. The chef said that we had to learn to work in tight spaces, even if the kitchen was huge and had lots of space, a chef would spread out and take over every space. He confined us to four people on a table, you were forced to learn how to be organized and thrifty with space. It was probably one of the best lessons you can teach a chef for when you find yourself in small kitchens. You really find that all the gadgets and toys that people put on counters are largely unnecessary. Michael Rahlman did a great piece on breaking his kitchen down to just the five essential items he needed to cook. It was a really cool piece.


  3. March 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    We are very limited for counter space – I want a food processor but i haven’t got one because we have no space for it


  4. March 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    We’ve found that kitchen tools, like work, always expand to fill the space and time allotted. The pot roast looks great; Keep on rantin’.


  5. March 11, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I need to use my slow cooker more thanks for the inspiration.


  6. March 11, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Looks delicious!


  7. March 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Slow cookers are the best. Fortunately they don’t have to remain on the countertop. Space is an issue, but did you mention outlets? They’re in short supply as well. And our new electric teakettle arrives tomorrow!


  8. March 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    I want to buy an induction cooker but no counter space. Its the most valuable space heer.


  9. March 16, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    We are in the planning stages of remodeling our kitchen-who am I kidding-my kitchen, and counter space is indeed one of my biggest problems. This meal looks and sounds marvelous, perfect for the end of winter doldrums we’ve got going around here. Thanks!



  1. Product Review: Proteak Cutting Board | Rantings of an Amateur Chef - May 10, 2013

    […] any wear and is easy to maintain. I cannot recommend the board enough – it is fabulous. While counter space is always at a premium, this board will always have a prominent home on my counters. Proteak makes […]


  2. Product Review: Proteak Cutting Board | Ranting Reviews - December 27, 2015

    […] any wear and is easy to maintain. I cannot recommend the board enough – it is fabulous. While counter space is always at a premium, this board will always have a prominent home on my counters. Proteak makes […]


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