I’m a huge fan of making cooking simple. Don’t get me wrong, I like to fancy it up, but it is nice to have everything done and not be thinking about dinner on a Monday night. In this recipe you make a pot roast on Sunday – divide it in half and get 2 great meals out of it (all for about 30 minutes of actual work).
Part One: The Pot Roast
· ½ an onion cut into slices
· 1 carrot cut into ½ inch slices
· ¼ cup – ½ cup beef broth
· One 3 pound pot roast
· Worcestershire Sauce
· Garlic powder (about ½ tsp – 1tsp)
· Montreal Stake Spice (I have a heavy hand – go with your families tastes)
· 4 potatoes cut into quarters
Place the onion slice, carrot slices and broth into your slow cooker. Place the pot-roast in the middle. Liberally cover the pot-roast with Worcestershire Sauce (several splashes will do) and then sprinkle garlic powder and Montreal Steak Spice. Arrange potatoes around roast. Cook covered on low for 10 hours, high for 6.
Serve half the roast with 2 servings to potato quarters for dinner and serve with a side of carrots (you can add extra to the slow cooker to take out a step). I also serve mine with sautéed onions and mushrooms (make a double batch – you’ll need them for the Sheppard’s Pie).
Part Two: Pot-roast Sheppard’s (Kinda) Pie
· ½ of the pot-roast, shredded
· Mushroom and onion sauté (I use the half of the onion that was leftover from the pot roast and use two packages of mushrooms and that’s enough for the two meals)
· Frozen veggies – dealer’s choice in type and amount, I like to add a lot of veggies
· Gravy, about ¼ cup – ½ cup depending on how saucy you like your pie (yep, I used a package – it is about making an easy meal after all)
· Remainder of the potatoes and carrots from slow cooker
· ¼ cup milk
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Your favorite cheese to top
This is super easy – combine first 4 ingredients and place in a 9x9 baking dish (heck – mix it in the dish and save a bowl). Mash potatoes and carrots together and add milk and salt and pepper. Cover meat mixture with smashed potatoes and top with cheese. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.
Taco/fajitas/wraps are one of our favourite weeknight dinners, and in the past I have mostly used prepackaged spice mixes to make this yummy meal. There’s always a time for those, but I wanted to make something with less salt and that was spiced the way my hubby and I like so I made my own mix. I hope you enjoy this easy-to-make dinner!
Ingredients (for roughly 2 people, or 4 with less hearty appetites)
· ½ cup – 1 cup of chicken stock
· ½ tsp – 1 tsp of chili powder
· ½ tsp- 1 tsp of chipotle chili powder
· ½ tsp garlic powder
· 1 tbsp of paprika
· ½ an onion roughly diced
· Pepper to taste (I don’t salt because stock tends to be salty but feel free to add salt if you prefer)
· As much hot sauce as you and your family like
· 2 chicken breasts
· Toppings – as many as you like!
· Place first 8 ingredients in slow cooker and stir to combine.
· Add 2 chicken breasts and cover.
· Cook for 5 -6 hours on low.
· Remove chicken breasts and turn slow cooker up to high – let mixture reduce for about 10 minutes.
· In the meantime shred chicken, then return to slow cooker and keep on low until dinner is ready and while you prepare the toppings.
Note: This is great if you and your partner work different hours, my husband ate 3 hours after I did and it was perfectly warm and delicious!
The best part of fajitas/wraps is all the toppings in my opinion. I love to make a pepper and onion mix where I just sauté the ½ of the onion I didn’t use with a variety of brightly colour peppers in olive oil with a little salt and pepper. I also tend to add a variety of frozen veggies to up our vegetable quota (this mix included corn which added a fresh element). We also like to serve ours with sour cream, cheddar cheese and extra hot sauce but there are no rules – it’s just what you love. To mix it up I buy different flavoured tortillas and sometimes add a hint of citrus.
I’m going to tell you a secret, historically I am not a huge fan of soup. It took me years to work up to making my own soup and then I found when I make the soup I actually enjoy it (some of them). We had this kind of soup at a friend’s wedding and I absolutely loved it and knew that when I got home I would start experimenting. Over the past year or two the recipe has changed and morphed and below is what we agreed tastes the best. With a little preplanning/prep you can make this soup on a weeknight and enjoy it for dinner and then a few lunches too!
· One butternut squash peeled, seeded and copped into 1 inch (ish) cubes
· 2 -3 carrots washed and chopped into ½ inch pieces
· 1 sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
· 1 onion – peeled and roughly chopped
· 1 apple
· 2-3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
· Olive Oil
· Chicken or vegetable stock, enough to cover all ingredients in the pot
· ½ tsp chili powder
· ½ tsp of cinnamon
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Splash of cream or buttermilk to finish
· Chop first 5 ingredients into similar sized pieces (or cheat and buy the squash and sweet potato pre cut).
· Heat a large pot on medium high heat with some olive oil; add all the veggies, cover and let sweat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
· Cover veggies with stock (it usually takes me one of the stock boxes to cover).
· Bring to a boil on high heat and then reduce to medium heat. Cook for 30 – 40 minutes or until tender.
· Add chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Use the measurements as a guide and mix the spices to what tastes good for your family.
· Using your handy emersion blender begin to puree until desired consistency. TIP: I sometimes need to add a bit of water to help my soup get past the baby food stage and onto pureed soup.
· To finish add a few tablespoons of cream or buttermilk to finish and help make the soup silky smooth.
First of all – welcome to my blog and my first post! I am glad that you are taking a few minutes to join me. I thought the best way to kick off the blog was by focusing on something I really love – cooking! And what better way to start the New Year than what I made for my guests yesterday for New Year’s breakfast. This easy to make monkey bread is delicious and takes about 10 minutes to get ready. Yes there are a few cheats involved, but when you have company that stayed over after a late night I think you deserve a few cheats!
I took this recipe from the Pillsbury site (click here for the original) and made a few adjustments (partly because I left the recipe at home when I went shopping – woops).
This easy to make breakfast is best made while alone in the kitchen so no one knows how much sugar and butter goes into it. I added apples to the mix to round out the flavours and to pretend that I was making it better for you.
· ½ - ¾ cup granulated sugar
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon
· 1-2 apples, pealed and diced
· 2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury biscuits, separated and cut into quarters
· 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
· ¾ cup butter or margarine, melted
· Pre-heat oven to 350 (I had to up my oven to about 365, but I always feel like my oven isn’t hot enough, so I would start at 350 and see how the cooking goes)
· In a large Ziploc bag mix granulated sugar and cinnamon (I used more than a teaspoon of cinnamon because I absolutely love cinnamon – so add what ever spice feels good to you). Add apple pieces and biscuit pieces and then shake the bag to coat everything in the sugar mixture.
· Place biscuit mix in a greased bunt pan (I couldn’t find mine so I used a spring form pan with a little Pyrex dish in the middle).
· In a small bowl mix brown sugar and melted butter/margarine together and the pour over biscuit mix. Give your baking dish a few taps to help the brown sugar mix get in all the nooks.
· Bake for 30 minutes + or until the biscuits are cooked through – I cooked mine for about 35-40 minutes.
· Let stand for 10 minutes and turn out onto a plate.
· I put a cookie sheet under the baking pan as some of that yummy brown sugar mix bubbled over and I didn’t want it on the bottom of my stove.
· When you remove it from the oven the sauce will look really watery – be patient – 10 minutes of resting helps to thicken up the sauce.