Monday, September 26, 2011

Classic Pot Roast

I have been making Pot Roast in my crock-pot for years and while I love a good roast, I haven't been able to find that ONE recipe that surpasses anyone that I have tried before. It seems almost every recipe I have ever found/tried has one of the following ingredients: cream of mushroom soup, french onion soup packet or beef stock or water with some herbs. That's it!

So when I was flipping through a new magazine I just got in the mail last week and came across this recipe for classic pot roast I knew I had to try it. I mean between the pictures and the list of ingredients it just sounded/looked delicious! I thought...hmm....could I have possibly found my recipe?? So here it is....

Classic Pot Roast
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 boneless chuck roast, trimmed, seasoned with S&P (3-4lbs.)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 cups sliced onions
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

1) Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high. Sear roast on all sides, 10 minutes total. Transfer roast to a 4 to 6 qt slow cooker.

2) Stir flour into saute pan; cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute more.

3) Deglaze saute pan with wine, cooking until liquid evaporates. Stir in broth and worcestershire; bring mixture to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits.

4) Transfer broth mixture to the slow cooker; add onions, carrots, celery, and cook until meat is fork tender, on high heat setting for 4-5 hours or on low heat for 8-9 hours. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves before serving.

Now generally when I make a pot roast I throw potatoes in the crock pot with the roast but this recipe had mashed potatoes along side the roast so I went with that suggestion for something different....

Mashed Potatoes & Peas
2lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup milk, warmed
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Salt and white pepper to taste
minced fresh chives

1) Boil potatoes in a pot of salted water until tender, 12-15 minutes; drain. Return potatoes to pot; cook, stirring, over low heat for 1 minute to remove moisture. Mash potatoes until smooth.

2) Stir in milk, butter, peas, salt and pepper; serve immediately topped with chives!

And here is my plate! I served it with some biscuits and honey...YUM! This roast was very flavorful and a nice change of pace from the old cream of mushroom soup roast. I will definitely be making this roast again but I am still on my journey to find the PERFECT roast recipe so if you have one I would love to hear it!! :)

P.S. In case you were wondering the potato and roast recipes both serve 6 people!! I do have another recipe from Saturday I am going to try and get up tomorrow but I am going to Gainesville for a couple of days for a check up so I am not sure if I can post it before I leave. If I don't I will do it when I get home and update you all on how my appointment went as well!!

Good Night!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops!

Last night we had pork chops for dinner and this recipe is by far our FAVORITE way to have them! They aren't dry at all and are so yummy and really easy to make. That Giada really knows what she is doing! :)

I forgot to put my EVOO bottle in the picture of ingredients and I usually don't use the lemon wedges and to be honest it doesn't really make that big of difference in the meal its still delicious!

Also, when I bread them instead of having three separate plates I just use two. One for the eggs and one for the parmesan cheese and italian breadcrumbs~I just mix them together. I used to do it separate but somewhere along the way I decided to mix it and it turns out the same so its one less dish that needs to be washed!

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 ounces)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle thepork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

I almost always make this meal with Velvetta Shells and Green Beans. Try it. Trust me you will LOVE it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Southwest Pasta Skillet

Here is last nights dinner. Its made with the new Philadelphia Cooking Creme (Santa Fe Blend) thats out now and I have to say its pretty good!

I have made this dish once before and the last time I made it I didn't have a green pepper like the recipe called for so I used green onions instead and it turned out great so this time when I went to the store to get the ingredients I just used green onions again! If you try this recipe and use the peppers let me know what you think....

Southwest Pasta Skillet

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1 can (14.5oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 pkg (10oz) frozen corn
1 tub (10oz) Philadelphia Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme
2 cups hot cooked rotini pasta
1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

1. Cook and stir chicken and peppers in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for 6 to 7 minutes or until chicken is done. Add tomatoes, corn and cooking creme; cook and stir 3 minutes.

2. Add pasta and 1/2 cup shredded cheese; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

3. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand until cheese is melted!

**because I used green onions instead of peppers I didn't stick them directly in the pot with the chicken, I cooked the chicken until it was almost done then I put in the onions. I also served this dinner with some texas toast...we love bread in this family if you couldn't tell! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sweet N Sour Sirloin Stir-Fry!

Well, its taken me a few days to get Thursday's dinner up but here it is!! :)

I had watched an Episode of 30 Minute Meals where Rachael Ray makes this recipe but on the show she puts the stir-fry ontop of ranch mashed potatoes. Now call me crazy but a sweet n sour stir-fry over mashed potatoes just doesn't cry out "MAKE ME" in my mind so I decided to go the more traditional route and poured it over brown rice instead!

The sweet n sour sauce that I made was great and I was a little shocked because all it is, is ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and soy sauce! YUM!

This is a VERY quick and easy meal...once you have all the meat/vegetables chopped the actual cooking time is like 10 minutes for the whole meal~including the rice! I do suggest that you prep everything before you start cooking cause it does go so fast once you start you will want everything ready to dump in the pot.

Sweet N Sour Sirloin Stir-Fry


  • 1 1/2 pound piece sirloin, 1-inch thick
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable, peanut or canola oil
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces on bias, greens and whites
  • 2 cups shelled frozen edamame
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup


Pop the meat in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen it up for slicing.

Halve the steak lengthwise then very thinly slice the meat. Heat the oil in a very large skillet over high heat. When oil wafts smoke and ripples, add the meat and stir-fry until caramelized 3 minutes. Add peppers and stir-fry 2 minutes then add in scallions and edamame for 2 minutes more. Stir together the sugar, soy, mustard and ketchup and pour over stir-fry the last minute of cooking. Season, to taste, if necessary.

Here is my final plate! :)

I couldn't find frozen Edamame when I went grocery shopping (dumb neighborhood walmart!) so I just substituted frozen snap peas and it worked out fine! All in all it was a good meal and a nice change from the usual chicken or pasta dishes that Danny loves and ALWAYS wants to have! :)

Have a great week ya'll!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner!

OK I am going to let you all in on a little secret here. Although I LOVE to cook....I don't really "do" breakfast. That's more Danny's thing, which he is AWESOME at btw! Except for fried potatoes and onions...I can make a mean batch of those. :)

Anyway, I get side tracked easily. So last weekend I was watching Food Network (shocking I know!) and Cooking for Real was on with its host Sunny Anderson. She was making the best looking breakfast and I decided right then and there that we were having THAT for dinner one night that week! So here are the recipes!

Open-Faced Breakfast Sandwich



Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small saucepot over medium heat add the oil, rosemary, thyme sprigs, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Heat until the garlic begins to brown and thyme is crisp. Strain the oil and remove the thyme to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard the rosemary and garlic, but reserve the oil.

Brush one side of each piece of bread with the oil and place them oiled-side up on a wire rack fitted inside a baking sheet with sides. On another wire rack place the strips of speck ham and brush the top of each with maple syrup. Bake in the oven until both the toast and ham are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the eggs. In a nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat, add a few tablespoons of the reserved olive oil. Crack each egg over the pan and allow to fry until most of the whites are cooked, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and a grind or two of pepper, then lower the heat and cover until the top of the eggs are cooked, but the yolks are not, about 2 minutes more.

To assemble the sandwiches: Spread a tablespoon of grape jelly on the oiled side of each piece of bread. Top with a few strips of folded over ham, an egg and a few sprigs of the reserved fried thyme.Garnish with the shredded Parmesan cheese.

Sunny's Sweet and Spicy Breakfast Sausage



In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, fennel seed, paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Break the beef into chunks and add to a large bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning evenly over the top then with your hand gently mix the beef until the seasoning is evenly distributed. Divide the mixture into 8 even portions and roll gently into balls. Place back in the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove the sausage from the refrigerator and one by one place each ball between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Using a meat pounder, flatten out the sausage balls into 1/8-inch thick patties.

In a large saute pan or griddle over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and cook the sausage patties in batches. Sear on one side until caramelized and golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes, then flip to cook just a minute more on the other side.

Sunny's Saturday Special Hash Browns



Using a box grater or a food processor with the shred attachment, shred the potatoes and place them in a colander over a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water and agitate the shredded potatoes and rinse with water until the water runs clear from the colander. Strain the potatoes and pour into a clean kitchen towel, gather the edges and twist the towel around to squeeze the excess water out of the potatoes. Do this as hard as possible, changing towels if needed to remove the most moisture. Transfer the dried potato shreds to a large bowl. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, Hungarian paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt, and a grind or two of pepper. Toss with your hands to combine.

In a large nonstick saute pan on medium heat, add the olive oil and shredded potatoes. Spread the potatoes evenly and allow a bottom crust to build before tossing to cook some more. Continue to cook while tossing until most of the hash browns are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour into a serving plate.

And here is the final meal plate!!! :)

**I did change only a few things slightly. One is I couldn't find Hungarian Paprika so I just used regular, I used bacon instead of the cured ham and I really cheated by using a bag of frozen hash browns that I thawed out before hand!

Also, I don't know about you but when I saw the grape jelly Danny and I thought that was a little strange but went ahead and added it anyway to see what it was like and it was surprisingly good! The sausage to me was REALLY spicy so next time I make them I personally will only add 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper instead. But if you like spicy you will probably think its fine Danny did....maybe im just a wuss?

OK well thats it....have a good night!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Savory Garlic Marinated Steaks W/Scalloped Potatoes and Cheesy Broccoli!

Last night we had I think the BEST marinated steaks I have ever made...and that's saying a lot considering I am more of a plain steak with a little steak sauce type of girl! They were SO flavorful and smelled so good. Like the minute I opened up the marinade bag to put them on the grill I was ready to eat thats how good it smelled! I wish your screen was "scratch and sniff" cause then you would get what I am talking about!! LOL

The Scalloped Potatoes is a recipe I got from my grandma years ago. Its my favorite recipe for scalloped potatoes and its SO only takes 20 minutes in the microwave and they are a million times better than anything you would make out of a box! I have NEVER made scalloped potatoes out of a box since I have had this recipe I refuse to.

The Cheesy Broccoli I believe is from my Betty Crocker cookbook but I don't 100% remember. are the recipes!! :)

Savory Garlic Marinated Steaks


  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 4 (1/2 pound) rib-eye steaks


  • In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, honey, olive oil, ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper.
  • Place steaks in a shallow glass dish with the marinade, and turn to coat. For optimum flavor, rub the liquid into the meat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
  • Preheat grill for medium-high to high heat.
  • Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill steaks 7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Discard leftover marinade.

  • Scalloped Potatoes


    1/2 cup chopped onions
    2 tablespoons margarine
    2 tablespoons flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    1 cup milk
    5 cups peeled and thinly sliced potatoes


    1. Place onion and butter in 1 1/2qt casserole. Cook in microwave HIGH HEAT for 1 1/2 minutes, or until onion is tender.

    2. Blend in flour, seasonings and milk. Cook in microwave on high for 4 minutes or until thickened. Stir halfway through cooking time.

    3. Add potatoes. Stir lightly to coat. Cook covered on full power for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender!

    Cheesy Broccoli


    1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup

    1/4 cup milk

    4 cups frozen broccoli cuts


    1. Stir the soup and milk in a 2-quart microwavable casserole. Stir in the broccoli.
    2. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 5-10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender-crisp, stirring once during cooking.

    And here is my final plate!!! Seriously if you want a DELICIOUS steak dinner make this recipe you won't be sorry!! :)

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Basic Tossed Salad and Milky Way Fudge!

    Friday night we had company again. My husbands brother, his wife and kids all came over for dinner and then we watched Bridesmaids (hilarious movie btw!) I had planned on a Mexican themed dinner with Chicken Enchiladas, refried beans and Spanish rice but I was worried that the kids wouldn't like it and to be honest my back has been killing me all week so I really just wanted something easy that I could prepare ahead of time so I wasn't standing in the kitchen while everyone else was hanging out.

    So I went with my awesome Baked Ziti (you can find that recipe here!) a basic salad with homemade dressing and for dessert I made Milky Way was SO good and every single one of the kiddos cleaned their plates. That's a WIN in my book!! :)

    Basic Tossed Salad W/ Homemade Dressing


    • 2 hearts romaine lettuce
    • 2 small plum tomatoes, diced
    • 1 Kirby cucumber or 1/4 European seedless cucumber, diced
    • 1 small yellow onion or 1/2 red onion, chopped
    • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
    • 1 /4 cup (a couple of glugs) extra-virgin olive oil,
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • Coarse salt and black pepper


    Place salad greens in a salad bowl and top with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and carrot. Place oil, vinegar and sugar in a small plastic container. Put the lid on the container and shake dressing until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad. Season salad with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to combine.

    Milky Way Fudge


    1 teaspoon butter
    1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
    2 cups (12oz) semisweet chocolate chips
    3 Milky Way candy bars (2.05oz each), chopped
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Line a 9in square pan with foil and grease the foil with butter; set aside.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine milk, chocolate chips and candy bars. MIcrowave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 15 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in Vanilla. Spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

    Using foil, lift fudge out of pan; cut fudge into 1 inch squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator!

    I just have to say that this fudge is AWESOME but very chocolaty and super easy to make!! Danny wants me to try it using snickers next time so I will let you know how that turns out! :)