Posted in In The Kitchen

Orangeade

I know you know all about lemonade. We make that here, too. And I know you know limeade. We have that on occasion. The real hit around my house is orangeade. My kids love it. I love it. The Pastor loves it. Guests love it (for the most part). And it is super duper simple to make. Basically, it is just like making lemonade, only with oranges. Nothing ground breaking or revolutionary here.

– 4 medium oranges

– 1 cup of sugar

– water

– a gallon pitcher or jug of some sort

Put a couple cups of water on to boil. (I have friends who just microwave water in a pyrex measuring cup. I use my tea kettle on the stove because I have no microwave.)

Pour the cup of sugar into your pitcher. Cut 4 oranges in half. Squeeze the oranges into the pitcher. Throw at least half of the orange “skins” into the pitcher. (If you skip this, for some reason, your orangeade tastes a little weak. Same for any other citrus-ade.)

Pour the hot water over the orange juice, orange skin, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is melted. Add cold water to fill the pitcher.

That is it. And you’ll love it. You should also try with grapefruits. It is fabulous! (3 medium grapefruits or 2 huge grapefruits)

Posted in In The Kitchen

The Best Roast Beef Sandwich

I have had so, so many requests for how to make my unbelievable roast beef sandwiches and for the horseradish sauce I make to go with. So, instead of writing the recipe over and over, I figured I would share it here! Believe me, this is how you make a man happy!

I got both recipes (for the roast beef and for the sauce) on Recipe Zaar. Of course, I made my little changes and it turned out beyond perfect!!!

Ingredients

For roast:    3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast

soy sauce

1 beef bouillon cube

1 bay leaf

peppercorns

dried rosemary

garlic powder

dried oregano

water

For horseradish sauce (taste like Arby’s horsey sauce):

horseradish (I got the jar of minced stuff)

mayo

salt

sugar

white vinegar

For sandwich assembly: french bread

cheese (I used muenster, but anything creamy would work well.)

The original recipe for the roast beef is a slow cooker recipe. If you work or like your slow cooker, you can go with that. My slow cooker has been broken for 6 years and I never missed it, so I never replaced it. (Though the dumb, broken thing is sitting in my cupboards and somehow manages to move with us every time. Why? Who knows!) I changed the recipe to an oven roasting method. You can change it back if you want. Ready for this super roast that will make your man think you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day?

Put the beef in your roasting pan. (I used my shallow one.) Pour soy sauce over it and cover the bottom of the pan in soy sauce. (I do not measure things unless I am baking.) Pour a couple cups of water over the roast. Sprinkle the roast with dried herbs and throw the peppercorns on top (I threw in a small handfull of peppercorns). Throw in the beef bouillon cube. Place the bay leaf on top. Put the lid on your roasting pan and put it in the oven (on 300 for the first 2 hours, then turn it down to 250 for the next few hours). Don’t touch it. I cooked mine for 5 hours, but it could have gone 6 and it was probably done at 4.

To make your horseradish sauce, you’ll need a container with a lid. Mix a few Tablespoons of horseradish (I did a little under 3.) with about twice as much mayo. Add a couple teaspoons of sugar, a dash (maybe a Tablespoon or so) of vinegar, and a pinch of sugar. Mix it up and refrigerate!

Assemble your sandwiches just before serving. (I pull the beef apart with a fork.) Spoon the sauce from around the beef into small bowls for dipping! (Believe me, you want the au jus!) Put on an apron and make him think you spent all day in the kitchen making the perfect roast! (Warning: he will insist you cook this often once he’s tasted it once! The beautiful children even ate this and loved it! Made about 6 sandwiches (most eaten by The Pastor).

Posted in Uncategorized

Lentil Soup

First, I apologize for the lack of pictures. I am blogging from my BlackBerry. I think it is cool that there is a WordPress Application for BlackBerry. It is really easy to use, but I’d much rather blog from a computer! Hopefully, we will have a new computer soon. Fingers crossed!

On to the reason for today’s post- lentil soup! Although, you may call it stew. I would, but soup sounds more elegant and appetising than stew. You expect bad, unidentifiable things in stews. Lentil soup is so ridiculously cheap to make! And while it does take a little time, it doesn’t need much petting. This recipe makes a lot of soup! You’ll want to cut it in half (or fourth) or prepare for lots of leftovers if you aren’t feeding several very hungry people!

The Ingredients:
1 small yellow onion, chopped
Half a bunch of parsley, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 T of butter (or whatever you want to use to sautee your celery and onion)
1 bag of dried lentils
2 quarts vegetable broth
As much bacon as you want (If you want, you can omit the bacon and you’ve got a hearty vegetarian meal.)
Small pasta (I actually just use whatever dry pasta I have leftover. I’ll break up leftover spaghetti or put in those half containers of macaroni or penne.)

First, you’ll want to soak your lentils overnight. It’s really no big deal to do so. Just put your lentils in a stockpot. I generally sift through them a bit to make sure there is nothing odd in there. Put plenty of water over the lentils and cover. If you don’t want to soak your lentils, or if you forget, it isn’t a huge deal. It will just make your cook time longer. (An hour or so longer.)
Strain your lentils. Remove all the water from your stock pot. Pour both quarts of vegetable broth and cook over mediumish heat. Add salt and black pepper to your taste. You want to get it up to a boil, then simmer. In my experience, you’ll cook them for about 30 minutes if you soaked them or about an hour and a half if you forgot. While the lentils are cooking in the broth, chop up your veggies. In a separate pan, sautee the onion and celery with the butter (you can also use olive oil if you prefer). Once your veggies are tender, dump them into the stock pot with the lentils and broth. Check and see if your lentils are done (eat one). When they are done, toss your small pasta in the broth to cook. While your pasta is cooking in the soup, cook the bacon if you’re putting it in. (I bake mine in the oven. Just lay it flat on a baking sheet and into a 400 degree oven it goes. My mom microwaves hers. You do it your way.) Add the parsley to the soup just before serving! I add the bacon to each person’s bowl before putting it on the table. (That way if someone wants none, fine. If someone wants lots, okay.) That is it. Enjoy! It really is good, just ask the Pastor.

Posted in In The Kitchen

Boston Cream Cupcakes (Filled Cupcakes)

I promised that I would post how to make my yummy Boston Cream Cupcakes. Well, here I am making good on my promise! Here is what you’ll need:

– one package of butter yellow cake mix

– one regular size package of instant vanilla pudding

– one container of chocolate icing

– cupcake cups (paper or foil- whatever you want)

– zipper top bag

Make cupcakes using the instructions on the box of butter yellow cake mix. Let them cool.

Using a chopstick or skewer, poke a hole in each cupcake. I wiggle my chopstick just a little to make a little room inside my cupcake. Be careful not to poke through your cupcake cup! (I’ve done that before and the filling comes out the bottom!)

Mix your instant vanilla pudding according to the package directions. Pour into a zipper top bag. (I usually do this while my cupcakes are cooling. ) Once your pudding sets (just wait a couple minutes), you can continue. Cut the corner of the zipper top bag. Don’t make your hole too big.

Now fill your cupcakes with pudding! Put the cut corner of your bag into the hole you’ve made in your cupcake and squeeze the bag! Be careful not to over-fill your cupcakes. You’ll notice if you’re putting in too much- your cupcake will start splitting apart.

Now put the chocolate icing on and you’re done! Eat and enjoy! I do not take the time to ice my cupcakes all pretty. I just blob some icing on. I’ve been let down by pretty cupcakes in the past. They look so nice and pretty- you bite into it and find that you were deceived by a pretty exterior. So, I make yummy cupcakes, not pretty ones! You can use any combination of cake mix, pudding, and icing you like. I have made chocolate with vanilla pudding. I’ve made butter yellow with chocolate pudding. You can make whatever your little heart desires!

Posted in In The Kitchen

Spider Monkey Bread

spider monkey bread“Chip, I’m gonna come at you like a spider monkey!” For those that don’t get the reference, that is a quote from the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. In my attempt to make mini monkey bread, I have created a dessert/breakfast The Pastor loves. I call it Spider Monkey Bread. It is just as simple to make as Monkey Bread, you just don’t end up with half a bundt pan of bread left over.

Ingredients:

2 cans of biscuits (10 biscuits per can)

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons of cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350. I always forget this part. It occurs to me when I am placing my ramekins in the oven that the oven isn’t hot. I then have to turn the oven on, wait for it to preheat, and stand around feeling like a doofus. Mix your granulated sugar with your cinnamon in a bowl. Hey! Hey! You’ve made cinnamon sugar! Look how talented you are. Take your canned biscuits out of the cans. This always proves to be the most difficult part for me because I, inevitably, mess up the “tear here” line and end up prying the can open. Cut each biscuit into 4 (or 6) pieces. (You can tear ’em or cut ’em. The size of the pieces is up to you. Just try to make all of them similar so they will all cook in the same amount of time.) Roll your dough pieces in the cinnamon sugar you made. Plop the sugared dough into ramekins. (I guess you could try other small things that you can bake. Muffin tins, maybe. I haven’t tried it because I have ramekins.) I usually make 4 ramekins. You don’t want to fill them to the absolute top because the dough will rise while baking. But you do want it to rise above the top of the ramekins. That is what makes it spider monkey looking. (Leave a space above the dough about the size of the end of my thumb. I’m really bad at guessing inches and such. So, I measured the end of my thumb with my yard stick and that would be about an inch.) I sprinkle in a little of the cinnamon sugar that is left over the top of the sugared dough, not too much, just a little. (About a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar per ramekin.)Place your ramekins on a cookie sheet. Believe me, this makes it easier to handle the hot little ramekins an it catches any glaze that creeps out during cooking. Now you make your fabulous glaze! In a saucepan, melt your butter. (You can use margarine if you want. I just usually use butter.) Once your butter is all melty, add half a cup of brown sugar. (I think mine is light brown.) You can add a little more than half a cup. I usually do. (I’ll remind you that I don’t measure things while I am cooking.) Stir and stir and stir and do not stop stirring the brown sugar. Your brown sugar and butter will begin to become caramel! Yeah! You’ve made caramel! Your talent continues to amaze me! Once your caramel is, well, caramel, pour it over the sugared dough in the ramekins. Just eyeball it and try to keep it evenly divided between the four. Put them in the oven. (Hopefully you preheated it and are not now standing there in front of a cold oven feeling like a doofus.) In 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll have spider monkey bread!!! (You will know it is done when it has not yet burned and no longer looks like raw dough.)

I will warn you about spider monkey bread. Once you start making this for those you love, they will ask for it often. Don’t make the first batch if you aren’t ready to make the second! (The Pastor should be proud. That was almost a Wesley quote.) The end.