Sunday, October 31, 2010

PW's Perfect Pot Roast

Bill bought me the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook a while back and one of the recipes I have always wanted to try is her Perfect Pot Roast.  I was home most of the day yesterday so I decided it was a good day to finally try it.  It was delicious plus I got to use my dutch oven which I love!  I will definitely make this again, and maybe throw in some potatoes or make some mashed potatoes on the side. I have a recipe for a pot roast that is made in a slow cooker (which I haven't posted yet) and that one is great for a weekday, but if you have the time I think this one is worth it!  Also, her cookbook is awesome (as is her website) I highly recommend both!

PW's Perfect Pot Roast
From: The Pioneer Woman

3-5 lb Chuck Roast
2 Onions (cut in half, skin removed and ends cut off)
6-8 carrots (washed and cut into 2 inch slices)
1 cup red wine (can use beef broth instead)
2 - 2 1/2 cups beef broth
3-4 fresh Rosemary Sprigs
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Heat a large pot or Dutch Oven over Medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it get really hot.  While it heats, prepare vegetables and generously salt the chuck roast on both sides with Kosher salt.

3. When pot is very hot, place onions in the oil and brown on both sides, about one minute per side.  Remove to a plate.  Add carrots to the same pot and toss around until slightly brown, about one minute or so.  Remove to plate.

4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot, pepper the meat to taste, then place in the pot and sear it, about a minute per side.  Remove to plate.

5. With the burner on high, add 1 cup of wine (or beef stock), whisking constantly.  Try to loosen the brown flavorful pits off the bottom of the pan.

6. When most of the bits are loosened, place the meat back in the pot, followed by carrots and onions.  Pour enough beef stock to cover the meat half way (about 1 - 1 1/2 cups more).

7.  Place fresh rosemary in and thyme sprigs into the liquid in the pot, then cover and roast in the oven for 3-5 hours, depending on the size of your roast.
**** Note: Do not disrupt the roast during cooking process. A 3 lb roast should take 3-3 1/2 hrs, 5 lb roast should take about 4-5 hours.*****

9.  When done cooking, check roast for doneness - a fork should go in easily and the meat should be very tender.  Remove to a cutting board and slice against the grain (or pull apart with forks).  Serve with juices over the top.

I served this with my mom's recipe for mashed potatoes (coming up next), but you could probably also put potatoes in the with the pot roast if you prefer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Creamy Tomato Soup

My friend Ashley posted this recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup and it looked so easy and perfect to go with some grilled cheese!  I really liked the creaminess of the soup but it still had the good bite of acid from the Tomatoes.  I first made this last spring but never posted it... with the weather cooling down, I made it again last night.  Still just as delicious as the first time and super easy!

Creamy Tomato Soup
From: All Recipes via Ashley

1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (10 oz) cans condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp shugar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese,softened and cubed


1. In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender.  Stir in tomatoes, soup, milk, sugar, basil, basil, paprika and garlic powder.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 min.

2.  Stir in cream cheese until melted.  Serve immediately. 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Greek Salad

I tried this salad from Tasty Kitchen when my mom and brother were visiting this summer.  While mine doesn't look quite as good as hers, it was quite delicious.  I mistakenly purchased reduced fat feta and let me tell you it is not anywhere close to as good as the real stuff.  I think real feta would have made this salad much better.

Greek Salad
From: Tasty Kitchen
NOTE: I didn't roast my own red pepper, and I cut the recipe in half.


For Salad:
1 Roasted Red Pepper, cut into think Strips
1 Small Red Onion, sliced
1 Cucumber, Thickly sliced
8 cups Romain Lettuce, Chopped
2 Large Tomatoes, Cut into 12 Wedges
20 Large Kalamata Olives
5 oz, weight Feta Cheese, Crumbled
1/4 cups loosely packed fresh Parsley

For Vinaigrette:
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 tsp Fresh Oregano Leaves, Minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 clove Garlic, Pressed or Minced
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Mix Vinaigrette ingredients together.

2. Marinate onions and cucumber in dressing for 20 minutes

3. Combine with other ingredients and serve

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Graham Turtle Bars

When I was in high school and college, I worked at an amazing candy store in my home town, called the Holland Peanut Store.  I loved working there not only because they had amazing candy and nuts, but because the people were so great to work for and with. If you are every in the area, you HAVE to stop in!
One of my favorite 'special occasion' treats I liked to get there were the giant cashew turtles. When I saw this recipe for Graham Turtle Bars from Cooking Ventures, it reminded me of the special treats and I had to make them.  They are fantastic!!!  Not quite as delicious as the Peanut Store, but super easy to make and a perfect treat! 

Graham Turtle Bars
From: Cooking Ventures

1 Sleeve Graham Crackers
7 oz, weight Caramels (1/2 of 14 oz Pkg)
4 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Milk
8 Oz , weight Chocolate (Milk, semi-sweet, or dark)
1 cup whole cashews (salted or Unsalted)
Sea Salt for Sprinkling

1. Break each graham cracker in half to form squares.  Lay the squares side-by-side in a jelly roll pan.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the caramels, butter, and milk  Microwave about 1 min 45 seconds( or until the mixture boils), stirring once very thoroughly during heating.

3. Immediately pour the hot caramel over the graham crackers. The caramel does not need to cover the entire graham cracker.

4. Sprinkle on the cashews - gently pressing them into the caramel to make sure they remain seated when the caramel cools.

5. In another microwave-safe bowl, add the pieces of chocolate.  Microwave on high until the chocolate melts - stirring it every 15 seconds. Using a fork, splatter the melted chocolate all over the bars.

6. Allow the mixture to cool about 10-15 minutes and then sprinkle sea salt on top of the bars if desired (I really liked the addition of sea salt)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spicy Chicken Peanut Noodles

I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen a long time ago and have always thought it looked delicious.  I have wanted to try it, but the long list of ingredients deterred me (even though the recipe says not to be).  After I realized that, yes it was a long list, but most of the ingredients I had on hand on almost any given week - I decided to give it a shot. She also said that sometimes she uses rotisserie chicken if running short on time - that sold me, since I often use that same short cut. 

Last week I finally made it, and not only was it just as delicious as I expected it was really quick to make! Once I got all the ingredients out, it probably only took me about 30 minutes, and I think I could probably make it faster once I get the hang of what things need to be done first - I always seem to be a bit clumsy the first time through a recipe, especially one with a big list of ingredients.  I didn't end up using rotisserie chicken this time, but I will definitely keep it in mind for next time!  It was really good, and I will definitely be making this again soon!

Spicy Chicken Peanut Noodles
From: gitskt via Tasty Kitchen

4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
8 ounces, weight Dry Spaghetti (I used wheat angel hair)
¼ cups Dry Roasted Peanuts, Chopped (for Garnish)

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Peanut Oil
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt

½ cups Chicken Broth
¼ cups Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Minced
1 Tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce
½ cups Fresh Cilantro, Minced

1 cup Cucumber, Seeded, Diced
½ cups Scallions, Thinly Sliced
¼ cups Red Bell Pepper, Diced
3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
½ Tablespoons Kosher Salt


1. Prepare the cucumber sambal by tossing together the sambal ingredients. Set aside till serving. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high.

3. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Toss with chicken and grill for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove chicken from grill (or grill pan), and tent with foil while preparing the other ingredients.

4. Cook the pasta according to the package; drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, prepare peanut sauce. Heat broth, peanut butter, brown sugar, vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, and chili garlic sauce in a saucepan over medium heat to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes.

5.  Take off heat, stir in cilantro and salt, then pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat.

6. Top each chicken breast with pasta and cucumber sambal. Garnish with peanuts.


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