Sunday, November 9, 2014

10 minute prep Roast Beef

Some days I really want to cook but Hazel wants to be held the whole time. Thursday was one of those days. However, I decided to put her down for 5 minutes and get a roast in the oven WITH vegetables! Once you prep it and get it in the oven, roast beef takes a little bit to cook but it's completely hands off so you can go back to holding the baby. This dish also makes plenty for leftovers and I highly recommend beef dip sandwiches which are super simple as long as you have fresh bread and that au jus mix from the store.

I prepped this in 5 minutes total but I am giving you 10 minutes in case you want to be a bit more exact.

2 1/2 lb rump roast, rib roast or other roast, boneless
1/2 large onion
3-4 yukon gold or other thin-skinned potato
6 carrots
seasoning of your choice (I used English Prime Rib Rub but you can just do S&P)
1 T olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 325, prepare a thermometer
2. Slice the onion in four thick slices
3. Roughly chop the carrots and potatoes so they are like-sized
4. On a rimmed backing sheet toss the carrots and potatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan in a single layer
5. Place the onion slices in the middle of the pan
6. Rub the roast all over with salt, pepper and spices and place on the onions fat side down if there is a fat side
7. Roast in the oven for 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer reads 130-135 for medium rare. If you cook your meat medium rare tonight it will be a little bit more well done tomorrow when you have your beef dips.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Potato Kielbasa Skillet

Last weekend we did some grocery shopping intending to make three meals at home. We made two. However, this meal that we saved for later has all the kind of ingredients that have a great shelf life. The main reason I didn't make this earlier is that it includes cooked bacon which would mean it takes longer. So last week we had breakfast for dinner, made the bacon and saved some slices for this meal so that it would be fast. This meal really took a total of 15 minutes. I only made one change and it probably wasn't necessary. This dish is delicious! Even though I ate a full portion and am not really hungry this 'eat more' food makes my mouth water for more! I plan to eat the rest tomorrow!!


1 pound red potatoes, cubed

3 T water
3/4 pound Polish sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 T brown sugar
2 T cider vinegar1 T apple cider
1 T spicy brown mustard
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t pepper
salt to taste
4 cups fresh baby spinach
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
optional: One apple, chopped (we didn't use this but I think it would be a great addition)

1. Place the cubed potatoes in a microwaveable dish and add 3 T of water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 4 minutes in the microwave
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and sausage and cook 3-5 minutes until browned. Add potatoes and apples if using and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir together the sugar, vinegar, apple cider, mustard, thyme, pepper and salt with a fork. Add this mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil (this was immediate for me). Simmer 2 minutes.
4. Add bacon and spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Serve warm.

You know what would be good with this? Cheddar Biscuits!

Cheddar Biscuits

A few weeks ago, I made a turkey chili one-pot dinner. The turkey chili portion was so-so. The cheddar biscuits on top were delicious! Ever since we've been wanting to make more cheddar biscuits. What I love about these is that they are drop biscuits--aka no rolling out and cutting dough. You just make rounds of dough like cookies and it works fine! They were still fluffy if not misshapen.

I didn't have buttermilk so I did that thing where you make it with vinegar. You take 1 scant cup milk and add 1 T white vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes until it curdles. This makes too much buttermilk for this recipe but then I just took 1/3 of it.

Next time you're hankering for a biscuit, this is your recipe! And, definitely consider doubling it.


1 C Flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/3 C buttermilk (I used whole milk with vinegar)
3 T cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese

1. Stir together flour, powder, soda and salt in a large bowl.
2. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two knives
3. Add cheese and buttermilk and stir until just combined
4. Drop 1/4 cup balls of batter on a baking sheet sprayed with Pam. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes until golden brown and enjoy warm!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bison Chili

We went to Costco the other day and decided to buy some Bison. It weirdly comes in a quantity of 1 1/3 lb in each pack. After buying said bison we had absolutely no time to cook it. I froze half the pack and kept the other 1 1/3lb out. Eventually, we decided to make chili. We got the ingredients and then proceeded to have no time to make the chili.  Finally, Joey made it one day after work. This chili only simmered for about 40 minutes but we have plenty of leftovers. We think there are about 10 servings in this batch of chili and bonus, just 310 calories!  You can totally layer on the cheese & fritos with those numbers!

1 1/3lb bison
1 14.5oz can pinto beans
1 14.5oz can chopped tomatoes
1 28oz can whole peeled or crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion, 1 inch dice
1 bell pepper, 1 inch dice
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic smashed and diced or pressed
1/2 t salt
a few grinds of pepper
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t ancho chili powder
1 1/2 t chipotle chili powder
1 T oil

1. In a large pot, heat oil. Add peppers, onion and bison. Let soften and become fragrant. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
2. If you used whole tomatoes, crush them.
3. Add all ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially and then cook for at least an hour.
4. Serve with cheddar cheese on top!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Homemade Chicken Stock turned Chicken Soup

AA couple of weeks ago my friends from work came over bearing roast chicken and pasta.  We froze the carcasses for stock assuming we would never consider making such a thing. Then all of a sudden we decided to actually try it! We have been spending lots of time at home so it kind of made sense. The soup was good so I think that is all due to the great stock, however, it's a lot of time for not too much output. If you go down this path...well you can still make soup with canned broth.

Chicken Stock:
Did not make enough for soup but, then again I didn't add more water when it burned off because honestly I wasn't anywhere near the pot of stock while it was simmering for the entire 4 hours.

2 chicken carcasses
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 T peppercorns
3 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 T olive oil
Enough water to cover the chickens

1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the carrots, celery onion and garlic and cook about 8 minutes until softened and fragrant
2. Add chicken carcasses, peppercorns and thyme. Add water to cover the chickens.
3. Bring to a boil, skim off foam (may be gray), reduce heat to a simmer, cover. Simmer 4 hours+.
Supposedly you should stir every so often and also add more water when it boils off. I didn't do that so the output was small.
4. Strain stock into another pan or containers. Use right away or freeze for 3 months.

Chicken and Barley Soup:
This soup was pretty good, these quantities served 4 people along with salad and biscuits with a tiny bit leftover that could be boosted with some chicken broth for another serving.

6 carrots, chopped in bite-sized pieces
6 celery ribs, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1/2 large onion, ""
6 sprigs thyme + 3 sprigs fresh oregano tied in a bundle
3 boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1 can chicken broth + all the stock you made
1 C barley (before preparation, this was actually a lot of barley so you could make less)

1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the barley. Don't worry, the chicken WILl cook.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover partially, simmer for one hour
3. In another small pot make barely according to package directions
4. Just before serving, add the barley to the soup. If you make the barley in the soup it will soak up all your hard work liquid.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Pancake Bars

For over a week I have been wanting to make these pancake bars I saw on the Kitchn website. I thought it would be quite handy to have a grab and go breakfast. And yet all week the time to make these morsels alluded me.

Finally, today as I was whipping up some homemade chicken stock and found myself with a baby-holder I was able to make these. These take no time at all to pull together but they do take a while to bake.  The recipe said 12-15 minutes but this took 25 for me. Perhaps it was the dark pan or my overly runny batter but it was sort of a long wait when we were hungry and waiting--so plan ahead!

These are good cold but I bet they'd be great heated up too.

I revised the recipe so that the main batter had some more flavor but don't skip the streusel topping, it makes it.

For the Bars:
2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
dash of ginger
3 T sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 3/4 cups whole milk (this seemed like too much)
1 t vanilla
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 apple, diced into 1/2" pieces (or bigger depending on how chunky you want)
2 C granola (I used Bare Naked Maple Pecan, you can't really taste it though)

For the Topping: (consider making a double recipe of the topping!)
1/4 C flour
1/4 C brown sugar, firmly packed
3 T butter, melted
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg

1. Mix all the dry ingredients through sugar in a large bowl.  Add eggs, milk and butter and mix until just combined. Add apple and granola and mix until just covered.  The batter for me was really runny with chunks in it but it still worked out!
2. Prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying with cooking spray. Add a layer of parchment, spray again. Pour prepared batter into the pan. Then heat the oven to 400 degrees and let the batter rest.
3. Make the topping by stirring it all together, it will be thick. Spatter the topping all over the bars. Bale 20-25 minutes until the bars are cooked through and are springy to touch.  Remove from pan, let rest on a wire rack and serve.  I cut these into small bars.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Deconstructed Grilled Cheese

The other day I got this Martha Stewart newsletter that featured this little beauty of a recipe  Grilled cheese wheel. I left this open on my browser for two days. And by the end of the day today I knew I had to have it.  A whole cheese wheel for one person is a little I had half but it was SO WORTH IT.  I recommend this for your next party appetizer!

1 baguette
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 round of brie cheese (pick a round that fits the size of your party)

1. Heat the grill to 400 and then turn off one burner.
2. Diagonally slice bread. Brush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. If you are using less than the entire round of cheese, take the cut piece of cheese and wrap in foil. If you are using the whole cheese, brush lightly with olive oil.
4. Grill bread 1-2 minutes per side over the flame.
5. Grill cheese over indirect heat or on the grill rack for about 2 minutes per side
6. Serve cheese and bread slices immediately and warm