Monday, November 11, 2013

Pot Roast, Scalloped Potatoes, and Olive Bread

Today is Sunday, and Travis' day off. I have been studying hard all weekend because I have another CPA test Tuesday. There is a football game and a hockey game. Plus we had to put our beloved cat Snickers down on Friday thanks to the rapidly advancing cancer. So I decided to make a real Sunday dinner. On the menu, Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread and Perfect Pot Roast as well as Mrs. Stoller's Kosher Scalloped Potatoes.  This is a recipe I picked up a long time ago from a friend's mom. She followed a Kosher diet and these are the potatoes she prepared to be eaten with meat dishes. I fell in love with it and can't get enough, though it takes a while to cook. I started this adventure at about 3:45 pm.

First I needed to bake my french bread for the Olive Cheese bread.

Thank goodness for Pillsbury.

While that baked. I started on the roast since it was going to need 3+ hours to cook. First step, finding a lid to the pot I was going to use. There has got to be a better way to figure out which lid goes with which pot. Once I had accomplished this task, I heated the olive oil. I love the smell of olive oil. Is that just me?

On a side note, I love this pepper.
While oil heats, salt and pepper the roast. Mine is 3lbs. Next I was to seer two onions cut in half and 6 to 8 carrots cut into pieces. I cheated. I used 1 cup diced onions and 16 baby carrots. Then I seared the edges of the meat.

Then everything goes into the pot with rosemary and thyme and enough beef stock to half cover the meat. Then cover the pot and cook at 275 for about 3 hours.

While this was cooking, I started on the potatoes. This way I can put everything in the fridge and just have to put them in the oven at the right moment, not hope my timing is right on preparation.

These potatoes in their original format were kosher. I use butter instead of a butter substitute so they are no longer kosher. Super good either way. Also, I hate mayo and I love these.

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a pan. Then slowly add 1/2 cup flour until thick.

Then add 1/2 cup mayo (the real stuff) and 28 oz of chicken broth. Heat on low and stir until thick. By thick we mean all combined and beginning to thicken.

I only had 20 oz of chicken broth (apparently I missed counted for grocery day) so I used 8 oz of left over beef stock from the roast. Now I don't have waste!

Slice peeled potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. You will need between 5 and 10 potatoes. I usually place them in cold water while I wait for my sauce to get thick.

Layer sauce then potatoes into dish. I usually end up with 2 or 3 layers. Remember to end with potatoes. You are supposed to bake for 1 and 1/2 hours at 350. Because my roast is in at 275, I am baking at 310 for a little longer.

Next up, Olive Bread. This was one of our Sweet as Pie Cooking Club from April of last year. I didn't get around to it because 1. it was April and 2. because I didn't have a reason. Travis doesn't like olives. But everything I flip through my PW cookbook I see it. And it looks so good. So I planned making a half batch tonight. Travis can eat the other half of the french loaf. Because I can't read my own hand writing at the store and only ended up with 4 oz of olives (instead of 10 oz) I am cutting the recipe by 1/4 (kinda). Really need to work on reading recipes before grocery shopping.

Originally this called for 14.5 oz of black olives and 6 oz of green. Yuck to the green. Also, I am lazy and I picked up a 4 oz can of already sliced black olives. Instead of 2 green onions I will add just 1. These both need to be diced and put into a bowl with 2 tablespoons of softened butter, 1/8 cup of mayo, and 1 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese (I may have used some Pepper Jack for a little kick).

I am really glad I quartered this recipe. It took up half the loaf. Now to just let everything finish baking!

The potatoes were as always, melt in your mouth delicious. The olive bread wasn't bad. I probably should have diced the olives. This is good for a party, but I won't make it just for us again. The pot roast was good, but nothing special. Next time I will probably use my crock pot recipe. Though in truth we don't have pot roast very often since Travis isn't a fan. I plan on taking my left overs to my brother and his roommates. They eat anything.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Delicious Chocolate Pie

Recipe two of my cooking Sunday is for Delicious Chocolate Pie. I got to pick this one for the Sweet as Pie Cooking Club. I happened to see it on a Pioneer Woman episode and said, hey I like chocolate. So I picked it for the month.

First up, melt 4 oz of unsweetened baking chocolate. I actually used the microwave like the recipe said instead of my normal double broiler. I just didn't want the extra dish to clean. Meanwhile I creamed two sticks of butter with 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar until fluffy.

I guess this counts as fluffy.
Then add the chocolate and 1 teaspoon vanilla. This is were I read I should be using the whisk attachment. Oops. There went trying to save dishes.

Good thing my whisk was clean.
Next add the four eggs five minutes apart. Yes I set the timer. When that was all done I put the filing in my graham cracker pie crust.

I am very glad I got the large crust.
Next for a two hour chill while I make dinner.

I ended up not getting to have pie after dinner. It was two days later by the time I got to try this. Travis had already eaten almost half the pie. Obviously he likes it. I like it too. Whip cream would be most welcome. I think on the way home tonight I will get some. This will get made again.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

So it has been a week of my feeling horrible, but now that I feel better I need to catch up on a lot of cooking. Between work and CPA review class, Travis and I need a lot of meals ready.

First up on my list today is Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup. I am not a tomato soup fan, but Travis is so I thought I would give it a try. It was certainly easy. First, dump everything in but the tortellini and cheese. I used a 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder instead of cloves, because it is easier. I used dried tomato paste, not chopped tomatoes because while Travis loves tomatoes, he doesn't like cooked chunks of them. I also realized that I did not have any Italian Seasoning (I cleaned out my spice shelf of all the outdated items and this was one). So I made my own by mixing 1 teaspoon each of oregano, marjoram, basil, sage, and rosemary with a heaping teaspoon of thyme and a pinch of mint. This made a little more then a tablespoon.

After this came to a simmer I added the tortellini and let it cook for another 10 min.

I tried a taste and surprisingly it wasn't bad. Not that I would eat a bowl. Travis thought it wasn't bad but hasn't had a bowl. I was disappointed that it made so little. Three 2 cup bowls. I put two in the freezer for later and one in the fridge for this week. We will see how he likes it.

Travis liked it but thinks that it needs more tortellini. Next time I will either get a bigger box or add two.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Caramel S'more Cups

So after spending three hours cleaning the bathrooms, I needed chocolate. Travis ate the last of the death by chocolate last night, so I decided to make the Caramel S'more Cups I picked for Sweet as Pie this month. Then to settle down to reruns of Big Bang Theory. Oh Sheldon.

First I needed to grease 36 mini-muffin cups. At this point I remembered that I need to buy more tins, I have 24 mini-muffin cups. First I made the chocolate chip cookie dough. I used the Betty Crocker mix like the recipe instructed, because I was too lazy to make it from scratch.

An egg and a stick of butter is so much easier then from scratch.

I used a teaspoon to make my balls.
Then into the oven for 8 minutes. While I waited I unwrapped the Rolos. Despite my love for caramels, I have never had a Rolo.
Our of the oven I added a Rolo to the center and 3 mini marshmallows on top.
Back to the oven for a few minutes. Then they needed to cool for 30 minutes. Instead of baking the rest of the dough into s'more cups, I baked them into cookies. 

After they cooled,  I added the chocolate glaze.

I say yummy and easy. I plan on making these again.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Country Quiche

So now that life has slowed down I finally had time to make one of the recipes from Sweet as Pie. I made the country quiche because I like quiche and it looked easy. I took pictures, but due to technically difficulties none of them will load. Anyway, here is how it came together. I browned the sausage (note, this takes longer then the 10 minutes the recipe says). I then added the rest of the ingredients, but instead of tomatoes I added 2 cups of frozen potatoes.

After mixing the ingredients together I decided to add 4 more eggs, because really 6 was not enough. I baked as instructed. I had a slice and decided that 1 pound of sausage was too much. Plus the quiche didn't fill the pie crust like I expected, despite my extra 4 eggs. Travis and I ate about half of one pie before it was past its life in my fridge. I took the other pie down to Thom, aka the human garbage disposal. I figure him and his roommates would eat anything. They finished it off and liked it.

I don't plan on making this quiche again. Partly because I don't like tomatoes and partly I just wasn't a fan of the overwhelming sausage flavor. I will keep looking for the perfect quiche recipe.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Easy Pasta Carbonara

It was my turn to pick a recipe for Sweet as Pie and I picked Easy Pasta Carbonara from the Pampered Chef. Mostly because it is tax season and when I get home I want a quick meal. I actually didn't even have time to make this until a weekend, about three weeks after I meant to.

The original recipe calls for turkey bacon. I decided to go with real bacon. And I went with precooked because although I love bacon, the smell of cooking bacon makes me sick. So I microwaved my precooked bacon, diced it up, and threw it in a pan. I also used onion powder (1 teaspoon) and garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon). If I had used real onion Travis wouldn't try it and I hate buying fresh unless I plan to cook that night. Otherwise things go to waste in my house.

I got everything in the pan when I realized that the evaporated milk I had bought and been used to make brownies last week. Like I said I had meant to make this three weeks earlier. So I had to run to the store for that and a little more chicken stock. My store sells it in 26 oz not 32 oz. Thankfully Meijer is less then a mile from the house.

I also am not sure that it thickened as much as it should have. I was washing dishes while making this. I have had a dishwasher my entire life and two days ago it decided to stop working. I had to had wash a lot of dishes, something I have only had to do one or two dishes at a time in the past. I probably took three times longer than I should have but oh well.

Overall I liked this. The red pepper flakes give it a nice kick. I had three helpings, plus had enough for three left over containers. I will make this again, though we will have to see what Travis thinks. He will just be glad that he isn't taking pizza for leftovers at work.

Chocolate Blueberry Cobbler

So this month for our Sweet as Pie club we had a dessert option, chocolate raspberry cobbler. Now seeing as how I am not a fan of most berries I didn't think I would make this, but seeing as how I had the cookie mix left over from Christmas cookies I decided to try it. I of course substituted blueberries for the raspberries because its the one berry I like. Plus I got to use one of the new pans I bought in Texas. Remember to spray the pan with some Pam first.

First, add 1 can of blueberry pie filling. I did this even though usually I prefer to make my own.

Next layer 1 package of Betty Crocker double chocolate chunk cookie mix.

Pour 3/4 tablespoon of melted butter on top.

Bake at 350 for 30 min.
When it first came out of the oven I took a bite before it went in the fridge. It was good, very sweet but good. Travis has since devoured half the pan. A good pair with ice cream since it is so sweet. I plan on keeping this one. It is a very simple recipe that takes no work. And obviously it was a hit with Travis.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Garlic and Onion Biscuit Ring

So yesterday Travis and I had a lazy day, but I still had to cook. So I made sloppy joes, potatoes from a bag, and a Garlic and Onion Biscuit Ring, one of our Sweet as Pie Cooking Club pics for the month. I was so lazy I didn't even take pictures. I did get to use my bunt pan for the first time ever. I have had it for years (thanks to someone selling a second home) and it has just sat in the cupboard, so I was kind of excited to use it. This was a very simple recipe. Really just melting butter and dipping the canned biscuits. I used powdered onion instead of chopped because Travis claims he doesn't like onions. I also used powdered garlic since it was just easier, and no poppy seeds because I am not a fan. This baked beautifully and I am eating it the next day. Which is a surprise because I am not usually a fan of these biscuits. Defiantly added to our list of recipes. Makes it look like I spent lots of time creating something when in fact I took five minutes.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

A new year, and a new set of recipes. This year our cooking club is branching out from the Pioneer Woman and opened the choices up to any recipe. So the first recipe that I have had time to cook is Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans from Real Simple. New red potatoes are included too! It's been a busy two weeks at work getting everything ready for tax season as well as reporting on the fiscal cliff deal, so I was glad to have a simple to put together recipe. Plus a new camera (Christmas present) to take all sorts of pictures with.

I like recipes with only a few ingredients.
Preheat oven to 450. Now I am supposed to line the bottom of the pan with lemon slices, but as you can see I don't have lemons. Which is just as well because I am not the biggest fan of lemons. So I skipped the first part and went straight to coating the green beans and potatoes in olive oil (5 tablespoons), lemon juice (2 tablespoons), garlic (1/2 teaspoon), salt (1 teaspoon), and pepper (1/2 teaspoon).

After coating the green beans (I used 1lb because that was the bag size), I decided that there wasn't enough coating to do the potatoes, so I made more coating. Somewhere in the middle of coating potatoes (10 because I love new red potatoes) and coating chicken my shelf of cookbooks fell over. The royal mess on my floor (and broken glass) meant that Snickers got to go in the garage for once. She loves the garage and whines if we don't let her out.

I put the pan in the oven and proceeded to clean the kitchen. Probably needs it anyway.

I didn't need the extra 10 mins of potato cooking so after 50 min I piled it onto my plate.

I thought it was delicious and Travis had some the next day and liked it as well. Though next time no green beans, neither of us are really big fans of them.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year

Well we ended a very busy year. December just flew by and now I am cleaning up the house after hosting one of our Christmas'. As I attempt to stay motivated, I thought about what I wanted out of 2013.

  1. Pass the CPA
  2. Eat out less
  3. Cook more meals
  4. Stay on top of chores
  5. Work out more
  6. Take a vacation (not involving any family)
One a more minor note I would like to also:

  1. Add more flower beds
  2. Add a vegetable garden
  3. Paint two more rooms (at least)
  4. Take lots of pictures (I did after all get a new camera for Christmas)
One last note. Travis is once again doing Polar Plunge to support the Special Olympics. Last year he raised $460. This year his goal is $500. All donations are tax deductible. Just click the picture to donate!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!