Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sunday Supper Beef Pot Roast

You can enjoy this classic Sunday supper with
almost no effort. This moist and tender 
pot roast couldn't be any easier.
I've made this with any size chuck roast.
The first was a small one and the next is a 
larger one that gave us leftovers for 
another dinner. 
It uses very basic pantry ingredients. 
Salt, pepper, onion and one unexpected 
ingredient; apple cider vinegar. 
Salt and pepper all sides of the meat generously.
Put into a foil lined metal roasting pan. Top
with sliced onion. Pour the ¼ C of apple cider
vinegar around the roast. 
Seal all the seams of the foil tightly.
Pour water into the bottom of the roasting 
pan until it's halfway up the sides of the 
meat packet. Replenish the water as 
needed, about 2 more times. 
Roast at 400º for 3-½ hours
 Remove the roast to a serving platter. 
It will be fork-tender.
 Pour the meat juices into a gravy boat.
Serve over the beef as a natural au jus.
with natural au jus
You can also thicken the juices and make a
 traditional brown gravy. 
with brown gravy

Sunday Supper Beef Pot Roast
3-5-pound boneless chuck roast
Salt and pepper
red onion, sliced (or vidalia)
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a metal roasting pan or your oven's broiler pan with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to fully wrap the roast. The shiny side of the foil should be up. Sprinkle the roast on all sides with salt and pepper and place it in the center of the foil. Spread the onion slices over the top of the roast and pour the vinegar around it. Bring the ends of the foil together and fold several times, and then fold the ends together to completely enclose the roast. Pour about 1 inch of water into the pan around the foil-wrapped roast. Bake until the meat is fork tender and brown, 3 to 4 hours. Check the water level in the pan regularly during cooking and replenish it if necessary. 

When the roast is done, remove the package from the baking panOpen the package carefully to preserve all the juices and transfer the meat to a platter. Cover with the foil to keep it warm while you make the gravy. You can also just serve the roast with the pan juices. To make gravypour the roasting juices into a measuring cup and let the fat rise to the surface. Skim off the fat, and put 

2 T fat in a saucepanIf the fat measures less than 2 tablespoons, add enough butter or shortening to make up the difference. Measure the remaining pan juices, if you have less than 2 cups juices, add water to make 2 cups. Add 2 T flour to the fat in the saucepan and stir with a wire whisk to make a roux. Cook over medium-low heat until the flour is golden browned, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the reserved pan juices and stir until thickened. It's the basic 2-2-2 ratio 2-fat, 2-flour, 2-liquid. 
Slice the roast or cut it into chunks (it will be very tender), and serve it with the gravy. I usually double the gravy; 4-4-4. 


Recipe adapted from Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cranberry Nut Bread

Loafing around.....with a loaf of
Cranberry Nut Bread and a cup of coffee.
It's that time of year when it's always nice 
to have a sweet homemade treat in the house. 
  Cranberries are plentiful in the grocery store
 right now and that got me in the mood
 for this classic quick bread.
In a large bowl whisk to combine the dry 
ingredients. Toss the cranberries and nuts 
into the flour mixture. You can also add 
them at the end as I did this time. Next, 
melt the butter in a glass cup then add it 
to the orange juice. Then use that cup to 
whisk the egg lightly with a fork and add 
that to the orange juice and butter mixture. 
 Whisk that all together and add to the 
bowl with the dry ingredients.
 Stir just to combine.
 Add the nuts and cranberries if you didn't 
already toss them in with the flour mixture.
I don't cut the cranberries in half as in so
many recipes. Too much trouble and they 
bleed into the batter. It also saves me a step!  
 Put into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. 
I love using this vintage pyrex one. 
 Bake for an hour. 
Check for doneness with a wooden skewer.
 Wait 10-15 minutes before inverting out.
 I freeze this bread in sandwich baggies 
placed flat with 2 slices (side by side) for us. 
 I love a warm piece slathered with soft butter.
Also good is a spread of equal parts butter and
 cream cheese whipped together. 

Cranberry Nut Bread
2 C flour
! C sugar
1-½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl
the add:
1 heaping C cranberries
½  heaping C chopped pecans
Toss to coat with flour mixture.
In a 2 C measuring cup combine:
¾ C orange juice
¼ C melted butter
1 egg, beat with a fork
Mix together then add to the dry 
ingredients in the bowl. Stir until
blended. Pour into a greased 9x5
loaf pan and bake at 350º for 1 hour.
Test for doneness. Toothpick inserted 
in the center comes out clean. Cool for 
10 minutes. Remove from the pan. 


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Crock Pot Roast In Golden Mushroom Wine Sauce

This souper-easy pot roast will satisfy 
your need for yummy comfort food. 
It takes only 5 minutes to put together. 
I used the crock pot, but when I was given this
recipe from a relative, crock pots weren't even
on the market yet. That's how old this one is.
I love the memories behind each recipe I've
been given. They're the best "souvenir". 
So, you can make this pot roast in the 
crock pot or in the oven. I've given cooking
times for each option. 
The Golden Mushroom soup and sherry wine are
what make this recipe different from others.  
I always use the dry sherry (not cooking sherry) 
in this recipe.. I use it in several other recipes 
as well, but it's also suitable to drink.
 Mix everything together in the crock pot 
then add the meat. 
 Turn it over to coat 
both sides with sauce.
 My favorite: cover and know that 
dinner is taken care of and the house
will smell amazing when we walk in. 
 I love mashed potatoes with this dinner. 
They are so worth the effort, but if you're
short on time, you can microwave a potato.
There's plenty of gravy to ladle over 
everything. Carrots always seem appropriate 
with pot roast for me. I just microwaved 
them, then added butter, salt and pepper

Easy Pot Roast In Wine Sauce
2-3 lbs chuck or rump roast
1 can Golden Mushroom soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
½ C dry sherry (or burgundy)
½ C water
Add the mushroom soup, onion soup, garlic,
and bay leaf to the pot. Pour the sherry and
water into the empty soup can; stir to get
out any remaining soup. Add to the pot. 
Mix everything together. Add the meat
turn it over to coat both sides.
Cover and cook:
crock pot on low for 8-9 hours
oven 325º for 2-3 hours
oven 300º for 3-4 hours
oven 250º for 5-6 hours
oven 200º for 9 hours


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cast Iron Splayed Roast Chicken

Just when you thought you didn't need yet another
way to roast a chicken I give you this one. 
The reason I love it is because I can have
 a roast chicken for dinner in half the time. 
The skin is crispy all over and the inside is 
cooked evenly and juicy. Plus I get to use my
favorite pan, the cast iron skillet. 
Here we go. First put a 12" cast iron pan in 
 the oven and turn it on to 425º to preheat. 
Rinse the chicken inside and out. This was
a Purdue roaster, about 4.5 pounds. Dry the 
outside all over with paper towel. Squeeze
a lemon over the outside and inside, then 
tuck the lemon wedges in the cavity. I 
also added a few herbs from my garden. 
Next, you need to splay the chicken. 
Cut through the skin where it attaches 
between the leg and the breast. Then 
break the bone so that the legs lay flat. 
Drizzle with olive oil and rub it over the skin.
Season generously with salt, pepper, and 
you choice of seasonings, I added ½ t 
paprika this time. 
 Carefully remove the preheated HOT skillet from
 the oven and put the chicken in the pan. You'll
 hear a nice ssss! sear!
 This method allows the legs to cook
 evenly with the breast. Put it back in 
the oven for 45 minutes. You can prep it 
however you like, just be sure to use oil
all over the outside and season. 
Remove from the oven and press down on the
 lemon to release any juice, then tilt the bird
 so all the juices in the cavity go into the pan. 
Allow to rest for 10 minutes. 
Serve with pan juices.   
 Remember to save all the bones for chicken 
soup. I also had enough leftover chicken to 
make chicken salad this week. It's 2 more 
 reasons why I love roast chicken for dinner. 


Monday, October 10, 2016

Easy Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

If you just can't get enough pumpkin flavor.
These mini rolls are a yummy treat 
with your morning coffee.
Not really a recipe so mush as a few 
simple instructions. 
 You need a tube of crescent rolls, pumpkin
 butter, brown sugar, and pumpkin spice or
 cinnamon. I found the pumpkin butter at
Trader Joe's. 
 Unroll the dough and press the seams together.
Spread evenly with pumpkin butter. Sprinkle 
evenly with brown sugar and pumpkin spice. 
You really don't need to measure 
anything. Just eyeball it.
 Cut into rounds. Dental floss works great for this. 
Be sure it's unscented, of course. Put into
a greases pie dish
Bake until golden. Glaze with frosting if desired. 

Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
 1 tube crescent rolls
¼ C pumpkin butter
3 T brown sugar
 1 t pumpkin spice or cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Unroll dough into one large rectangle, 
pressing seams to close. 
3.  Spread pumpkin butter evenly over the dough. 
4. Evenly sprinkle brown sugar.
5. Evenly sprinkle with pumpkin spice or  cinnamon.  
6. Starting with short side of the rectangle roll up
 into a log. Using string, dental floss, or a serrated
knife, cut the roll into 10 sliices. Place slices, cut 
side down, in a greased in a 8 x 8 pan or a pie dish.
7. Bake 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. 
     Let cinnamon rolls cool in pan for 5 minutes.
8. While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, make the
    cream cheese frosting. In a medium bowl, stir 
    together cream cheese and butter until smooth. 
    Whisk in the confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and 
    milk. If the frosting is still too thick, add a 
    little more milk and whisk until smooth.
9. Spread frosting over cinnamon rolls and serve! 

½ C powdered sugar
1 T butter, soft
1 T cream cheese, soft
 1 t milk (enough to thin)
a few drops of vanilla


tip: You can also try this using apple butter.
Links: Between Naps On The Porch

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Simple Spinach and Avocado Salad

Simple, healthy, tasty lunch.
spinach leaves, avocado half, drizzle of olive oil, 
spritz of lemon juice, garlic salt and a grind of
 fresh pepper. No fuss delicious.


Links: Facebook,
Between Naps On The Porch

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

Another favorite breakfast at our house is 
Cottage Cheese Pancakes.
These are delicious, high protein, 
and will remind you of a delicious
 cheese blintz, only these are
so much easier to prepare.
I top them with raspberry sauce, a
dusting of powdered sugar and a
dollop of sour cream. Like I would a blintz.
Here are the ingredients.
 Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl, then
add the cottage cheese and whisk until
well blended.
 Whisk in the sugar and lemon juice.
Stir in the flour starting with ¾ C 
until it's the right pancake batter 
consistency. You may need to add a bit
 more. Don't make it too stiff. Stir just 
until the flour is blended.  
 Use about ¼ C for each pancake and flatten
then with the back of the scoop or spoon.
Fry in hot butter/oil until on MH
 heat until the edges are nice and crispy 
and the bottoms are browned. Flip to
cook the other sides. 
 For the raspberry sauce I use a
bag of frozen raspberries.
 Combine the sugar, water, lemon juice
and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
Bring to a simmer and stir until
thickened and clear.
 Add the raspberries and heat
to boiling stirring to combine.
Let cool a bit.
Spoon the warm sauce over the pancakes.
 I always serve pancakes on warmed plates.
 If I don't use all the sauce I freeze it
in small 1C containers.
I'm way ahead for the next time we 
have cottage cheese pancakes. 
 I like to garnish the plate with a few
fresh raspberries, a dusting of
powdered sugar, and sour cream
This is such a great flavor combination. 
 If you don't want to make the raspberry sauce
you can cheat and use raspberry jam
thinned with a bit of lemon juice and warmed.
That's good too.
I'm going to try it next time with my
cranberry chutney or easy cranberry sauce,
 warmed a bit. I think that would be
tasty and give it that holiday flavor.

This recipe is easily divided in half for just
 the two of us. Half the recipe will make 8 small
3" pancakes. They mix up so easily we can enjoy
them any anytime. Makes your morning special.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
2 C cottage cheese, 16 oz container
2 eggs
4 T (¼ C) sugar
1-2 T lemon juice
¾ C to 1C flour
Whisk the cottage cheese, lemon juice, sugar 
and eggs until well blended. Stir in the flour,
just until you get the right consistency.
Use a large spoonful of batter for each
pancake and pat down to flatten a bit.
Fry in butter/oil until golden and crispy
 around the edges, turning once. Serve on
warmed plates with warm raspberry sauce
and a spritz of lemon juice, a dollop of
sour cream and a generous sprinkle
of powdered sugar. 

Quick Raspberry Sauce
12 oz bag frozen raspberries, about 2C
¼ C sugar
¼ C water
1 T lemon juice
2 t cornstarch
Combine sugar, water, lemon juice,
and cornstarch in a pan. Whisk to blend.
Add raspberries and heat to boiling
stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer
for 2 minutes until the sauce is slightly
Here's an alternative sauce.

Raspberry Jam Sauce
Thin seedless raspberry jam with a little
lemon juice. Warm in the microwave.