Thursday, January 27, 2011

Amazingly delicious, and Easy Roast Beef

4lb Top Sirloin Roast
2 t. Pepper
2 t. Salt
1/4 C. Vegetable Oil

Remove the roast from it's package and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt. (1t. on each side) Put on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

Remove plastic wrap. In a skillet heat the 1/4 C. vegetable oil on high heat. Pat the roast dry again and sprinkle both sides with pepper. Put one side flat down into hot oil and cook on high heat for 4 minutes or until very well browned. Flip over and repeat on the other side.

Remove roast from skillet and place in the middle of a roasting pan in the middle of the rack. Place in oven and cook for about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the a thermometer stuck in the middle reads 125 degrees.

Once you reach the desired temp. take out and place aluminum foil over it. Let it rest, covered, for 25 minutes. Then cut and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.

This is by far the best flavored roast I have ever made and juicy and tender and amazingly delicious. I have cooked so many roasts and I have never liked one as much as this one!! If you try it let me know!

Easy Focaccia Bread

You can make this into a pizza, dessert, or just the bread. It's easy and delicious! You just have to have the patience to let it sit for the 24 hours!! It's worth it I promise!


3 c. flour
1 2/3 c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 ½ t. salt
¼ t. yeast

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together until flour is just moistened. Cover tightly and let sit out at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. To bake, resist the temptation to stir and carefully pour out on to a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle about 2T. olive or other oil over the dough and spread dough with a rubber spatula to ¾ inch thickness. Let rise for 15-20 min.

Add simple herbs like rosemary or sage, with coarse salt. For dessert, drizzle with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar and bake. Then drizzle with frosting once it's cooled and done baking.

Bake at 450° for 20 to 25 min.

Thick and Meaty Crock Pot Stew

 My MOST favorite cooking appliance

This is one of my husbands favorite winter meals.  It's so easy and delicious.  All you have to do is throw everything in together, set your crock pot, and forget it.  

Crock pot meals are my favorite dishes of all time because they are easy, delicious, and feed the entire family!

1-2lb. Ground Mild Italian Sausage browned and drained
3 Russet Potatoes cut into chunks (3-4 potatoes)
2 bags of frozen veggies any kind you like
1 cup Beef Broth
1 onion diced
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Okay, I have made this 2 ways.  I have browned the meat before and then dumped everything in, and I have also just added the meat raw and mixed everything together.  Then I let it sit in a greased crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6.  It turns out delicious!  By far one of the easiest and tastiest crock pot meals that I have made.

Deliciously Easy Lasagna

This is the easiest recipe in the world and it's delicious! If you don't want to make the marinara sauce for this recipe, it's as easy as going to to the store and buying your favorite jar of sauce. Not difficult at all. If you want a homemade meal that is so good and soooo easy, this is definitely my pick! This recipe feeds 6-8.

1 box No-Bake Lasagna by Barilla (or you can cook your own, I'm just writing the Simplest Recipe)
1 Large Carton Cottage Cheese
2 C Mozzarella Cheese
1 Cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese
1 lb. Ground Italian Sausage Cooked
1 Jar or make my marinara sauce recipe (remember, if you want it easy and are on your way home from work, grab a jar of sauce. No big deal. This is a FAST and EASY dinner.)


Pre-Heat oven to 350F

Brown Sausage in Pan and drain grease

Mix the marinara sauce into the sausage and let heat on stove top, but save 1/4 cup marinara sauce for bottom of pan

Spray a 9x13 casserole pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
On the bottom of the pan dump the 1/4 cup of marinara sauce so your first layer of lasagna will stick. On top of the sauce cover with the no bake lasagna. On top of the lasagna spoon your marinara and sausage over the noodles, then spread a layer of cottage cheese. Sprinkle a 1/2 of the mozzarella, and parmesan on top of the cottage cheese. Do this one more time, but make sure to reserve a little of your sauce and cheese for the very top.

When you are done layering it should look like this:
Lasagna Noodles

After you have 3 different layers of noodles take the little bit of your remaining sauce and spread over the top layer of noodles. If you have any cottage cheese left spread the remaining on top (if you don't have any cottage cheese left it's fine). On top of the sauce sprinkle a little parmesan and mozzarella on the top. So, final lasagna back should be layered accordingly:

1. Plain Marinara
2. Noodles
3. Toppings/Sauce
4. Cheeses
5. Noodles
6. Toppings/Sauce
7. Cheeses
8. Noodles
9. Toppings/Sauce
10. Cheeses

Place in oven uncovered for 35-45 minutes. When it is finished let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it.

Best Marinara Sauce

1 T. Butter
3 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 large onion diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 t. dried basil
4 T. fresh chopped parsley
2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
6 oz Tomato Paste


In a saute pan melt butter. Combine onions and garlic and saute until onions are clear. Let cool. After they have cooled, combine onions/garlic, olive oil, dried basil, parsley, stewed tomatoes and tomato paste in a food processor or strong blender. Mix/pulse the ingredients until smooth but still has a little bit of chunkiness to it.

You can use it immediately, freeze it for up to 4 months, or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

I like the stewed tomatoes the best because of their flavor, but you can also use just plain canned or whole tomatoes. All in all it doesn't matter because you are blending it. If you want a little edge to the sauce you can add 1/4 cup FRESHLY grated parmesan cheese. It adds a little stronger flavor to the sauce. You can also add salt and pepper if you want a stronger flavor. Mix and match with this recipe. Make it to your liking and what you want it to taste like. These are just the basic ingredients and what I normally use. In the summer months I use fresh tomatoes instead of stewed.

Italian Dressing

I don't really like Italian dressing, but my husband loves it, and I had to come up with one that I love.  Now that I have tried fresh I could eat it on everything! I love fresh Italian dressing!  Here is my simple recipe...

1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil
4 T. red wine vinegar
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice shopping list
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dry oregano
1/4 tsp. dry basil
dash salt & pepper

whisk all ingredients together and always serve fresh

Key Lime Pie


5 Egg yolks beaten
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. Lime Juice
1 Graham Cracker Crust Unbaked


I just made mine in a food processor. I put all the ingredients in and mixed it up until it was well combined and creamy. It doesn't turn out too green, so if you want it a green color mix in a little food coloring.

Bake at 375F for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Graham Cracker crust recipe:

1 1/2 C. crushed graham crackers
1/3 C. sugar
6 T. melted butter

Mix all ingredients and press into a 9in pie pan. If you use this with the Key Lime pie recipe, don't bake it. You just pour the creamy pie mixture directly into the crust and then bake the pie.

This is by far my most favorite Key Lime Pie recipe I have ever had! I love it! The crust is delicious!

Nutella Marshmallow Cupcakes

So I have become obsessed with Nutella lately. It's creamy, delicious, chocolaty, and makes one moist cupcake! I had a recipe for peanut butter cupcake, and used Nutella instead....AMAZING!! If you try this you have to let me know what you think. The marshmallow frosting was by far my favorite! Here is the recipe....
 Nutella Cupcake

1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Nutella
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla extract and Nutella and mix until light. Add the eggs and beat well.

Mix the flour and baking soda. Gradually add to the creamy preparation until well mixed. Half-fill paper cake cups in muffin tins with the mix.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove from tin and let cool

Marshmallow Frosting

4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
One 16-ounce tub marshmallow cream

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.

Beat in one-fourth of the sugar until fluffy, then repeat with the remaining sugar.

Beat in the vanilla, then stir in the marshmallow cream until well blended.

One Pot Meal

Get your 1 big soup pot and put it on the stove.

Coat the bottom in Olive Oil (about 3-4 T) and heat on medium high

1 Kailbasa Sausage
1 Softball size Onion Diced
1 heart of Celery diced (leaves included)
4 cups frozen hash browns
4 ears of fresh cord removed from ear/or 1 family size bag frozen corn
1 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 Quart chick stock
1 lb. uncooked peeled shrimp

Remove casing from sausage and cut in quarters and then dice
throw into bought with heated olive oil and let sit for 3 minutes until they start to get color
toss in some tyme, a bay leaf, and rosemary (I always use fresh if I can)
dice onion, and celery with leaves, and toss into pot
Dump in 4 cups hash browns and corn
Pour in can of fire roasted tomatoes and chicken stock
let sit for about 10 minutes and then dump in shrimp
let the shrimp cook until pink
add a dash of hot sauce and then cover and let simmer until veggies are soft.
Eat with toasted english muffins.

This is super easy and SOOO delicious!

Americanized Mexican Chicken and Rice

My new spin on Chicken and Rice  :)

5 T. Olive Oil
8 T. Sour Cream
4 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (or canned)
16oz jar of salsa
2 cups cooked white rice
8 oz. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cooked, and diced
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. Pepper

In a saute pan brown chicken in 3 T. oil.

Saute mushrooms in 2 T. oil.
cook until chicken is no longer pink and mushrooms are tender.  Let chicken cool a bit and dice.

Combine mushrooms, chicken, sour cream, salsa, and white rice in a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle with cheese. and bake at
350 for 25-35 min.