Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coca-Cola 7 Bone Pot Roast

My family loves pot roasts, but we love our gingersnap pot roast recipe so much we rarely ever try a new recipe. My local grocery store was having an awesome sale on 7 bone roasts. I'd never used one before so I googled recipe's using one. I looked through a ton and my eye caught on this one. It was easy and we loved it. The gravy is SOOO good. I will definitely make it again!

Prep Time- 30 mins
Cook Time- 2 hours, 10 mins
Total Time- 2 hours and 40 mins

*1 (3-4 lb) beef 7-bone roast (or other chuck roast)
*Kosher salt and pepper
*1 T olive oil
*1 lb baby red (creamer) potatoes, scrubbed, skins on
*8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned (we omitted these since I am the only one in my family that likes them)
*1/2 lb baby carrots, peeled (they usually come already peeled for you- doesn't get easier than that!)
*1 onion, very thinly sliced
*1 cup Coca-Cola (or other cola, just NOT diet), at room temp (I didn't read and used a whole can)
*1 cup tomatoe sauce (canned or homemade) (I used Hearty Healthy traditional Preggo)
*1 packet dry onion soup mix (Lipton makes a good one)
*1 T sweet hungarian paprika (this was hard to find, had to get it at a specialty grocery store. This isn't
          your normal paprika. It's sweeter which I think did wonders for the flavor)
*2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
*1 tsp garlic powder

1. Prepare 9 x 13 baking pan by lining it with foil. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Sprinkle roast liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet until hot. Add olive oil and quickly sear roast on all sides.

3. Place seared roast in baking pan. Surround with potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots in an even layer. Spread sliced onions evenly over top of meat and veggies.

4. In medium bowl, mix cola, tomatoe sauce, onion soup mix, paprika, oregano, and garlic powder. Pour evenly over meat and veggies. Cover tightly with foil.

5. Roast for 2 hours. Remove from oven and let rest about 15 minutes. Carve meat and serve with veggies and pan gravy.

(You could use a slow cooker for this too, cooking on low setting for 6-8 hours).

We served this with Pillsbury Grands Buscuits. It was great left over as well as a pot roast sandwich!

Hope you enjoy!

Roast after I seared it on both sides

the seasonings I used

Place Roast in center of pan and place potatoes and carrots all around it. Then layer the thin onions evenly over top.

the seasonings, cola and tomato sauce in a bowl before I mixed it.

Pour mixture evenly over top.

Cover with foil and bake. Here is the picture after baking for 2 hours.

I placed half the meat on a platter and surrounded it with veggies and gravy to make it easier to serve table side. Serve with bread. YUM

This is a great, affordable Baking Dish... And better yet, it's made in the USA!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grilled Artichokes

I was up late watching the food network channel the other day and I saw this recipe. Our family LOVES artichokes. Even my 4 year old picky daughter who won't eat anything else green without a fuss!  Here is the recipe I found online, called Grilled Artichokes with Parsley and Garlic... I modified it a bit and will show you how I made mine below.

I will definitely be making this again. I made this whole platter for only my husband, my 4 year old and myself and served it along side the McCormick Apple and Sage Pork Chops. There wasn't a drop of artichokes left tonight... we practically licked the platter clean!

*2 artichokes
*2 lemon halves + about 1 T of lemon juice (you can freshly squeeze a lemon... I didn't have an extra one
      so i used lemon juice that comes in the container that looks like a lemon)
*2 T Olive Oil (good brand if you have one)
*2 tsp montreal steak seasoning
*2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
*1 T sea salt
(I didn't have any fresh garlic on hand, but if I did I would have minced a clove or two as well for this)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Trim the stem from each artichoke to 1-inch long, then bend back and snap off dark outer leaves. Cut top inch of artichokes with serrated knife. Using a vegetable peeler, peel dark green areas from stem and base of artichoke. Quarter each artichoke. Using a small, sharp knife, cut out the choke and remove the purple, prickly tipped leaves from the center of each wedge. I then cut each quarter in half again, making each artichoke 8 pieces.
Place finished artichokes in a large bowl of cold water and squeeze 2 lemons into the water and stir. Continue with remaining artichoke. 
Once you have cut both artichokes and your water is boiling, drain the artichokes and place into boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 12 minutes.
Drain the cooked artichokes and place onto preheated grill. Grill on medium until tender and lightly charred in spots, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. 
Right before I took them off the grill, i combined remaining ingredients on a platter. Drizzling the olive oil and lemon juice down first and then sprinkling the seasonings on top.  I took the platter out to the grill and placed the artichokes on the platter. I tossed them around a bit on the platter to coat them with the oil and seasonings. Serve immediately.

cut in half after i trimmed top inch and cut down outside leaves, as well as removed some outer leaves and trimmed stem.

This is half the artichoke cut into quarters.  (or eights of the whole artichoke). Purple leaves and fuss have been removed... leaving heart intact!! Place these into your cold lemon water while you cut remaining artichokes.

boil till fork tender

After boiled

Place each on grill. Grill on each side 4-5 minutes

platter with my olive oil, parsley and seasonings

coat the artichokes in the oil mixture