My crockpots are probably one of the busiest pieces of equipment in our kitchen. I use them weekly. This morning I prepared a simple yet delicious dinner (the tween queen’s favorite meal actually) in the crockpot for tonight’s dinner.
This roast is tender and full of flavor.
You can find my recipe and the ingredients on my Facebook page today here: Sweet and Savory Pork Roast
I always try to keep a few chunks of ham when we have it for dinner to make ham salad. I made this for lunches today with some of the leftover ham from the Split Pea soup I made last week. It’s a great lunch or snack!!
You can see how I make our ham salad on my facebook page here: Ham Salad
Today we kicked off apple pie season with our first pie we were making for a good friend and his wife.
You can find our super EASY apple pie recipe posted on our facebook page here: ChasenChanceRanch apple pie
Baking the apple pie while cooking an 11 lb turkey (post for another day) sure made our house smell wonderful on this very cold rainy day!!
Oven roasted potatoes give me a “homey” feeling. I know that sounds weird but it takes me back to a time when I was about 12 years old and staying at a friends house whose mother was very “old fashioned” at the time. A typical 1978 stay at home housewife she always made meat, potato, and vegetable dinners. Most every time I ate over she was making her oven roasted potatoes with some type of roast and peas. I lost touch with the friend over the years and last year her mother passed away.
Tonight I made our oven roasted potatoes and while they were cooking, my mind drifted back to to those times and how I loved watching her work in their tiny kitchen in the simple home they owned. I was snapped out of my trip down memory lane by my 12 year old daughter coming into the kitchen and opening the oven while making her “mmmmm” sound. Shortly after, the man of the house came through and also opened the oven and smiled.
Here is how I make our oven roasted potatoes.
We love using some of the potatoes we grow for oven roasting.
Wash and chop the potatoes
Place them in an oven safe bowl and drizzle with oil (see note below)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir to combine
Bake in a 375 degree oven until soft and browned (about 35 minutes)
You can put sour cream, ranch, or blue cheese on these or eat them like a french fry using vinegar and ketchup!!
NOTE: I use Wildtree Grapeseed oils for almost all of our cooking. They have infused oils and they are light and fabulous. One small jar lasts our family a year!! Our favorites are the garlic and the basil pesto oils!!
This salad is a huge hit!! It can be a full meal, served hot or cold, and you can add many additional items to it. Here is how I made mine:
1 bag of romaine lettuce (or any lettuce of your choice). You can add as much or as little lettuce as you like.
1 8 oz bag shredded cheese (sharp, taco, cheddar)
1 12 oz bag Doritos (crush them in the bag)
1 16 ox bottle Catalina dressing
1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
Brown the ground beef and add the taco seasoning
Put the lettuce in a large bowl
When beef is done, pour it over the lettuce and stir it around
Top with shredded cheese and Catalina dressing and mix again
Refrigerate if you want to serve it cold and place crushed Doritos on before serving.
If serving at room temperature or warm, place the crushed Doritos on top and stir before serving.
NOTE: items you can serve on the side or mix in–chopped tomatoes, kidney beans or black beans, corn, black olives, jalapenos, chopped onion, sour cream etc. The items are endless!!!
This past Tuesday was the man of the house’s birthday. It was a big one (50!!) and the kids were very excited to have a wonderful grilled strip steak dinner along with the potatoes they harvested and a chocolate chip cookie cake for dessert.
He works in the medical field and had a first case at 6:30 a.m. and a late case that started at 6:30 p.m. so the kids had to contain themselves until he was finally home.
I am not a master on the grill. As a matter of fact, I probably shouldn’t be allowed to use that thing!! But use it I did and I think I did a great job on our steaks.
When cooking any type of steak I always rinse it first. I season it with Montreal Steak seasoning which has all the wonderful spices you need such as garlic, black pepper, salt, onion powder etc. I let that sit for 1/2 hour and then before grilling I put a few pats of butter on the side that will be face up on the grill letting it melt and season the meat as it cooks.
For perfect steaks you should always cook them on high heat quick. We like ours medium rare so it does not take long for the outside to get browned while the inside stays light pink and juicy.
The potatoes were grown in containers this year (see post here on how we grew potatoes). I steamed them in a little garlic oil and water and seasoned them with freshly ground sea salt.
A side of corn and a tad of sour cream with chopped chives finished our plates. It was delicious.
The kids were finally happy to sing to their dad!!
Orange juice is not just for breakfast!!
Pork Tenderloin prepared with OJ
I LOVE to cook pork with it. It really brings out flavor in pork loins, tenderloins, or chops. Recipe for tenderloin here and pork chops here. When frozen you can just pop in 5 frozen OJ cubes.
It is fabulous in smoothies adding the natural sweetness you need to offset some of the bitter greens you may put in there and aids in the digestion of them. You can add the ice cubes in place of plain water cubes.
These are great in many drinks including Mimosas, punch, iced tea, green tea, seltzer, and tonic. My kids like them right out of the bag and the minute one complains of a sore throat I hand them a cube!!
Whenever I have Orange Juice that is getting close to the expiration date I will fill up the ice cube trays and freeze it for future use!!
A nice light salad is perfect for lunch or dinner on warm days. Tonight I decided to make a caprese salad. Most places leave the tomatoes whole, but I like to chop it all into nice size chunks and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. This was a great side to serve with our leftover Pork Roast (recipe here).
Tomato season is right now so get those tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar and give this is a try. Chop it all or slice it and drizzle with the balsamic. You can add some fresh ground pepper if you like. You can also chop it very fine and serve as bruschetta on crusty bread. It’s a great summer food 🙂
When you are baking or cooking, having the right tools makes all the difference in the world. This little “crust cover” is a GODSEND!!!! No more messing around with tinfoil so the edge of my crusts don’t burn. I just lay this baby on after the pie edge has browned and cook the pie the rest of the way without worrying about burnt crust.
It’s pie season with all these fresh fruits coming into season. I have made cherry pies (recipe here) and blueberry pies (blueberry recipe here) to freeze and last night the man of the house asked the big question, “Can you please cook one of these to eat” when I was putting the pies into the freezer. How could I say no!! So we set off today to pick a few more cherries to replace the ones the kids have eaten and the pie we cooked.
When any berries or fruits are in season it’s a scramble to get them at the best possible price for two reasons. First because they are wonderful to eat/snack/cook with after a long winter and second because you can freeze or can them so you have wonderful fresh natural fruit for the whole year!!
Our local grocery store had buy 2 pints of blueberries and get 3 free. That is 5 pints for the price of 2!!!! Of course I bought 10 as that will hold us through the year with pies and frozen berries for yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, smoothies, and blueberry syrup for ice cream.
Here is what I do with our berries to keep them as fresh as possible in the refrigerator and how I store them for the winter in the freezer:
FLASH FREEZING: Wash the berries and remove all stems. Pat them dry with papertowels or a non lint dish cloth. Lay them on a cookie sheet and let them air dry so they are not wet. Once dry place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove them and store them in freezer bags. They will not stick together so you can grab as few or as may as you will need and will be perfectly sweet when you remove them to use.
TO KEEP IN THE REFRIGERATOR:: Place the berries in a large bowl with a teaspoon of white vinegar and cover with water (you do not have to remove stems unless you want to). Let sit for about 4 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Place them in an airtight container laying them flat on a papertowel. Use a papertowel in between each layer. Place top on. These should hold your berries in the fridge much longer than if you just place them in there in the containers they came in.