Monday, May 20, 2013

Ultimate Savory Pot Roast w/Gravy

Back in February Me, my sister Jessica, my mom Heather, my cousin Kasey and a good friend of ours Barb went to see The  Addams Family play here at our local performing arts hall. We love going to musicals its kind of our "thing" we like to do with just the girls! Here is a picture from the matinée we went to.

The night before the play my mom and sister came and spent the night at my house so they could attend church with me and my husband in the morning before we went to the play. But before my mom and sister were to get here we had planned on "spring cleaning" our downstairs bedroom. I knew that because of this I wasn't going to want to cook a huge meal that night because I would be tired from cleaning so I planned on making a roast in the crockpot. 

I found one I had never used before on the Crockingirls website and thought it was pretty interesting since it included a can of coke in its ingredients!! It was super simple to throw together and super delicious to eat. I served it with rice, green beans and a dinner roll!! 

Ultimate Savory Pot Roast w/Gravy
  • 4 Pounds Chuck Roast (any beef roast will do)
  • 1 Package Savory pot roast seasoning
  • 1 Can Coke
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Package Au Jus gravy mix


Step One

Mix the pot roast seasoning with the cup of water in slow cooker.

  1. Step Two

    Place roast in mixture, then pour coke over top 

    Step Three

    Cover with lid and cook on LOW for 8hrs. DO NOT LIFT THE LID!

    Step Four

    After it's done cooking take the lid off (depending how lean your roast was at this point I skim the fat off) and sprinkle the AuJus packet over the top of roast and replace lid for about 5 mins. Take roast out of slow cooker then just slice, serve, and enjoy. :)

    And of course here is my final plate!! 

    Hope you guys try it and like it as much as we all did! I have many more recipes that im gonna try and post soon so check back later for more!! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lunch Time: Soup and Sandwich!!

Prior to my transplant in 2010 I woke up every morning starving and ready to eat breakfast. Since then I don't know if it is due to all the medications I now take or what but I just can not eat a big breakfast. If Danny and I go for breakfast with his parents on the weekend sometimes the most I can handle is a bowl of grits and maybe a bagel but not much more.

Thats why I am pretty big into lunch and of course dinner! My usual standby is some sort of soup and sandwich combo with a little variety every once in awhile. I love making homemade soup but I haven't done that in awhile (I have actually been looking recently for a good ham/bean soup) so its the canned version I have been eating lately. 

The sandwich that I made for myself the other day is a sandwich actually made for me YEARS ago by my Aunt (my dads sister.) I think she just made it up....remember a few days ago me telling you how good my grandma was at cooking something out of nothing? Well my Aunt got that same awesome gift! Me.again.not so much....

2 slices bread
Cream cheese
Deli meat (ham, turkey, etc.)
1-2 Slices American cheese
2 Slices tomato
Salt and Pepper


  1. Toast Slices of bread.
  2. Take a few slices of deli meat and top with the slices of cheese and heat in the microwave for about 30 sec. or just till the cheese is melty.
  3. On the toasted bread, spread the cream cheese on one slice and the mayo on the other slice.
  4. Place the meat/cheese on the slice with the mayo, then top that with the slices of tomato, salt and pepper to taste and then top that with the bread slice that has the cream cheese on it.
  5. Slice in half and enjoy! 

I know it might sound a little strange but I love it and its something out of the norm of just a regular grilled cheese sandwich (which believe me I eat a lot of!)


And just because I think its cute, my owl soup bowl I got from my Mom for Xmas! 

Well, I am off to make dinner. Look at me with TWO blog post in one day....YAY!! :) 

Quick Snack

The other day while I was waiting for Danny to come home so I could start dinner (he worked later than usual) I was a little hungry but I didn't want to eat something real filling since dinner wasn't to far off the horizon. 

So, I opened up my trusty Macbook and went to my all time FAVORITE cooking blog For the Love of Cooking! I go on Pam's blog several times a week just to go over her many recipes to get different ideas on what I would like to make. She also takes amazing pictures of her food, something I really want to learn how to do better! 

I remembered that on one of my many trips to her blog I saw a simple recipe for what she calls Tomato and Basil Sandwich with a Twist. Its an open face sandwich on bagel thins which I just love because I love bagels but sometimes a whole regular size bagel is just to much bread...the bagel thin is a perfect size for an afternoon snack or a light lunch! 

Anyway, I didn't have all the exact ingredients she used but it was close enough! If you want her original recipe you can go see it here

Tomato and Basil Sandwich with a Twist!

  • 1 whole wheat bagel thin, toasted
  • Philadelphia cream cheese (as much or as little as you like) 
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

  1. Toast your bagel then spread the cheese evenly over both slices of bagel.
  2. Top the cheese with basil leaves then the tomato slices.
  3. Season the top with salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

**I have in the past made this with the everything bagel and it was FANTASTIC I just didn't have that on hand this time! 

Enjoy and have a great day!! :) 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Country Fried Steak with Creamy Mashed Potatoes!

Last night I did not cook dinner, instead Danny and I went with his brother and some friends to check out a new "wing night" spot (new to us, not them.) 

We had a wing place that we frequented almost every week with his parents but it ended up closing down. That place had wings for $.45 a piece every Wednesday and the new place we went to last night was $.55. I of course get plain wings and then dip it in ranch because I have such a sensitive palette to anything spicy that even mild is to much for me sometimes (I know I am a wuss, can't help it!) Danny on the other hand gets Molten Lava Hot Spicy Garlic that smells SO spicy that when it comes to the table its like my nostrils are on fire...true story. 

BUT, the night before I cooked and it was de-li-cious!! The previous week when I was at the supermarket I noticed they had cube steak on sale and I though to myself "we haven't had country fried steak in FOREVER" So I picked us up a couple packages. This is hands down one of my favorite meals and its not hard to make it just makes a HUGE mess in my kitchen. By the time I am done cooking there is flour all over the kitchen from dredging the steaks plus grease splatter that ends up all over my stove after frying them in my cast iron skillet. But in the end taking that perfect bite of fried steak with creamy country gravy is SO worth the mess....

I have made several different recipes through the years but its the Pioneer Woman's recipe for country fried steak that I love. When Ree's show first aired on the food network I wasn't really sure what to make of her (and honestly thought she was kind of annoying) but after making a couple of her recipes, this one being one of the first I came to the conclusion that she is an absolute miracle worker in the kitchen! The following two recipes one for Country Fried Steak and the other for Creamy Mashed Potatoes both came from Ree's cookbook "The Pioneer Woman: Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl"

Lets get to it shall we.....

Country Fried Steak...aka Chicken Fried Steak by Ree
  1. 3 pounds Cube Steak (tenderized Round Steak That's Been Extra Tenderized)
  2. 1-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  3. 2 whole Large Eggs
  4. 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  5. 2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons Freshly ground black pepper
  7. 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I honestly used only 1/8 tsp but we already discussed me being a wimp)
  9. 1/2 cup Canola Oil, For Frying
  10. Salt and Pepper
  11. 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Begin with setting up an assembly line of dishes. Mix the milk with the eggs in one; the flour mixed with the seasoned salt, black pepper, paprika and cayenne in another. Then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.
  2. Work with one piece of meat at a time. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, then place it in the flour mixture. Turn to coat. Place the meat into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat. Finally, place it back in the flour and turn to coat (dry mixture/wet mixture/dry mixture). Place the breaded meat on the clean plate, then repeat with the remaining meat.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure it's sufficiently hot. Cook the meat, 3 pieces at a time, until the edges start to look golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the meat to a paper towel-lined plate and keep them warm by covering lightly with another plate or a sheet of foil. Repeat until all the meat is cooked.

Now, if you have Ree's cookbook you will see she also has a recipe for country gravy. I will hang my head in shame and say that my gravy actually came from a packet...I know, I know but it was STILL delicious! :) 

We had creamy mashed potatoes that I kind of adapted from another recipe by The Pioneer Woman. In her recipe you make the mashed potatoes and then put them in a baking dish and finish them off in the oven. I skipped the last step and just served them after mashing them.

    2 1/2 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  1. 1/2 stick Butter, Softened
  2. 1/2 package (4 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  3. 1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half (i just used whole milk cause that's what I had)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a large colander. Place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape before adding in all the other ingredients.
  3. Turn off the heat and add butter, the cream cheese, half-and-half (or milk), seasoned salt, kosher salt and pepper. Mash to combine.
**I served them at this point but if you want to go ahead with the original recipe you can find it here

And here is my final plate! I served them with buttered green beans and a side salad... still trying to decide/learn how to use my new camera. Im not 100% sure if I am gonna keep it yet or get a new one. We shall see.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pasta in Olive Oil with Pancetta, Shallots and Garlic!!

Well I have FINALLY decided to dust off the old blog and and get back into the habit of cooking and then documenting my food here. Its not that we have been not eating around here, trust me on that one!

It all started with my camera's battery charger deciding it didn't want to charge anything anymore which left me without a working camera. Of course I had my trusty IPhone but unfortunately with all of the meds I am on because of my transplant my hands shake a lot and makes for some VERY blurry pics and I just didn't want to post pictures of my food that tasted SO good but looked SO crappy once I snapped the picture!

Then I had a few months of being in and out of the hospital due to severe nausea caused by a lovely med I am on that just hates me and causes me all kinds of problems! So I literally at one point didn't eat really anything of substance for like a week because everything I ate, smelled,  or even looked at made me sick so the LAST thing I wanted to do was cook and blog about it. Luckily (knock on wood) I am better and working at trying to pack on some of the calories I lost PLUS I got a new camera for Christmas so I am ready to rock and roll!! :)

I have SO many recipes that I have made recently that I want to share with you PLUS I am attempting to channel my inner craftiness and I borrowed my mom's sewing machine so that I can TRY and attempt a few DIY projects around my house. I am so inspired when I read some of these amazing moms out there who can turn nothing into something fabulous and if I can even have a remote oz of that I will take it! LOL I will be trying to take pics of my sewing projects along the way and post about them (good or bad) so keep your fingers crossed for me...

Today, I thought to myself ok today when you make lunch document it so you can get your first blog post of the year up...mid Feb I know but better late than never, right?

So anybody who knows me knows I love to cook but am still pretty terrified if I don't have a recipe and I think its cause I just don't trust myself or something I don't know. My grandma can go into a kitchen, a dash here, a pinch there and out comes a fabulous meal every time! Me not so much.

So when I was hungry this afternoon but didn't want the old stand by of soup and a sandwich I decided I would look through my pantry and fridge and just try and make lunch by "winging it" and I don't mean to pat myself on the back or anything (ok I do!) but I think I did a pretty good job!

Here's the ingredients I came up with:
Spaghetti noodles~ 4oz (about half a box)
Olive Oil~ 2 tablespoons, or more as needed
Parmesan Cheese~ 1/2cup grated from a block of Parmesan
Pancetta~ 4oz (you could use bacon here if you don't have the Pancetta on hand)
1 Shallot~ chopped
4 cloves of garlic~ minced (can you tell I LOVE garlic?)
Fresh Parsley~ about 2 tablespoons....just to add some pretty color! 
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Bring a pot of large salted water to a boil.
2. While that gets started go ahead and put the oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and minced garlic, stirring occasionally. Then add the pancetta and cook until nicely browned (about 10 minutes.) Turn off the heat.
3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until tender. Drain it (or I just scoop it out and put it right in with the olive oil and pancetta) reserving some of the starchy pasta water.
4. Toss the pasta with the pancetta, shallot, garlic and olive oil. Stir in the cheese and parsley. If the mixture is dry, you can either add a little of the pasta water (which I did) or a little more olive oil. Taste and then adjust the seasoning if needed with salt and pepper.

**You most likely wont need a ton of salt because both the pancetta and parmesan have a salty flavor but I did end up adding a little bit to mine in the end! 

Well, there you have it. Nothing fancy but very flavorful (how could it not be with ALL the garlic...but can you really ever have too much garlic??) and I for one had a second helping!! 

I hope that since I have been away for so long I still have some people willing to check out my little old blog from time to time and I promise that if you come back and read I will post! 

Just heard the hubby pull up so I am off to start dinner! Its the Pioneer Woman to the rescue for tonights menu....more on that later....