Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sunday pot roast...

I've made pot roast more times than I can count. However, I haven't had a favorite recipe. They've all been good, for the most part, but not necessarily good enough to make twice in one week.

The very best thing about this "Sunday pot roast" is that it happened on a Thursday...that's a fabulous thing. It had been a long, busy, rainy day and I had no plans for dinner. It needed to be easy and stick-to-your-ribs delicious (and NOT pizza). Well, it delivered in all categories. Throw it all in one pot, put in the oven and in three hours you have a melt in your mouth dinner. Don't be turned off by the gravy packet. I don't usually use them, but it worked perfectly here. It made a lovely little sauce under the beef that was so delicious.
The name for this came from the fact that my mom would put a roast in the oven on Sunday's before church and three hours later we walked in the door and dinner was done! My kids do not know that luxury.

The only catch here is that you need a Dutch oven (type) pot with an oven-safe lid. You could transfer everything to a 9x13 pan and cover with foil if your pans are not oven safe.

1- 3lb (approx) chuck roast 
Potatoes (1-2 per person); quartered *
Carrots (1 per person); sliced in half, then in half again 
1 onion; quartered
1 pkg low sodium brown gravy
Salt and pepper 
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
Heat Dutch oven on medium heat with olive oil. Season meat with salt & pepper. Place in pot and cook until golden brown and a crust begins to form. Turn and repeat on other side. Turn off heat and remove pot. Add vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle gravy mix over everything in pot and pour in water. Cover and place in oven for three hours.

*I use white or red potatoes, russets have too much starch and would not hold their shape & turn out mushy...not good.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

oatmeal muffins...

I have a picky eater at my house. She doesn't "do" sandwiches. She loves muffins, though, so when I saw this recipe I thought it might be a good addition to her lunchbox. One batch makes 18-24 muffins so I freeze them and pop a frozen muffin in her lunch. 

These are perfect for a weekend breakfast/brunch, as well. 

The recipe has a lot of steps but each one is easy. Plus, when you get so many for your efforts it's worth it.

2 T butter
2 cups oats 

Melt butter over medium heat and toast oats until golden, 6-8 min.*

*(I usually skip this step)

Place oats in food processor and process to flour. Add:

1 3/4 cup flour 
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp baking soda 

Pulse to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl mix 1 1/3 cups brown sugar and 6 Tbsp melted butter. Stir until lumps are gone.
Add 1 3/4 cups milk and 2 beaten eggs. Mix to combine. 

Add dry ingredients in two stages (folding in with a whisk), turning and shaking off of whisk as you go. Let batter sit for 20 min.


1/2 cup oats 
1/3 cup flour 
1/3 cup brown sugar 
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon 
Pinch of salt 
4 Tbsp melted butter 

Stir to combine 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tins really well. Fill muffin cups to the top with batter. Top each with 2 Tbsp topping. Bake 18-25 min. Rotate pan halfway through baking. Let cool in pans for 10 min on top of cooling rack.

If freezing, let cool completely and place 9 muffins in a gallon sized freezer bag.

Recipe source: Americas Test Kitchen 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

loaded mashed potato bake...

This is a favorite at our house. Any time 4 lbs of potatoes are polished off in one sitting...(keep in mind I do have three teenage boys) you know it must be good. 
This is everything you love about a loaded baked potato and everything you love about mashed potatoes combined in one delicious, creamy side dish.

4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper 
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt 
1/2 tsp garlic powder 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese 
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled 
2 green onions, sliced 

In a large pot boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain well and return to pot. Mash potatoes. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
Add butter, milk, sour cream and seasonings and mix well. Stir in Parmesan cheese and one cup of cheddar.
Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 25 min. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheddar cheese and bacon. Bake for 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with green onions.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

chocolate chip cookie pie...

I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. LOVE. This pie is my new favorite dessert. It comes together so fast and is extremely gooey and delicious. The chocolate chips sink to the bottom creating a fudgy layer and the center is what chocolate chip cookie dough dreams are made of. To make this happen even faster, buy frozen pie crusts already in the pie tin. I usually make two because...why not? Take one to a friend and keep one for yourself! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

1 unbaked 9 in. deep-dish pie crust (or frozen pie crust)
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature 
1 tsp vanilla 
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
Beat eggs on high speed until light and foamy. Add both sugars, the flour and vanilla and mix until combined. Mix in the softened butter. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared, unbaked pie shell. Bake 50-60 min or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set on cooling rack for 15-20 min before slicing. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

the BEST sandwich...

If you are, by chance, in need of a lunch idea this week...well, look no further. This combination of hearty bread, cream cheese and veggies is perfection. You could add turkey or ham to make it even more filling. Have you tried "Dave's Killer Bread?" This is the Good Seed variety. The story behind this bread is so worth the read (

This is how I doctored up the sandwich, but by all means, cater it to your own liking!

2 slices Dave's Killer Good Seed bread (or any hearty, seeded bread)
Cream cheese 
Salt & pepper (very important!!!)
Sliced English cucumber 
Sliced green onions 
Shredded carrots 
Spinach leaves 
Yellow banana peppers 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

chocolate chip m&m cookies...

I am a cookie snob. There, I said it. These cookies are the BOMB! It doesn't get much better than this folks. This recipe makes a BIG batch of cookies...the good news is that the dough freezes beautifully. If you don't need 6+ dozen cookies in one shot (and why wouldn't you) just scoop dough onto cookie sheets and place in freezer. Once frozen place into freezer bags. The beauty of this is that if you have a hankering for one or two cookies, and who doesn't from time to time, just pull from freezer and bake. You're welcome.

1 1/2 cups shortening
1/2 cup butter; room temp
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar 
4 eggs 
2 tsp vanilla 
5 cups flour 
2 tsp salt 
2 tsp baking soda 
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 
1 cup m&m's 
1/2 cup m&m's; set aside

Cream butter and shortening; add both sugars and cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla and mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add in three batches, mixing just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and m&m's. Scoop onto lined baking sheets. Use reserved m&m's & place 1-2 m&m's on top of each cookie before baking. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 min. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

crispy roasted potato wedges...

Do you ever buy a giant bag of potatoes for $1.99, use what you need for one...maybe two recipes and then still have a giant bag of potatoes left?? Well, here's one solution for you. These bad boys are addictive. They are crispy and delicious on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. Mmmmmm!!

1 medium russet potato per person
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 3-4 wedges. Place in a large ziplock bag. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat and sprinkle in salt & pepper. Shake to coat. Place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake about 10 min and flip to other side (don't rush this step...if potatoes don't lift easily after 10 min give it a little longer. When they have developed a crust they will lift easily) Bake an additional 10-15 (approximately) until crispy on each side and tender in the middle.