Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Back after a slight hiatus!

Oh my goodness where to start!  It was a nutty December around here...it definitely went out with a bang.  Between #icestorm2013, the kids battling various viral illnesses, and the holiday season, it's been about 4 weeks since I could focus on Sunday Soup Kitchen!

We were one of the "lucky" people that were impacted by the recent ice storm.  We lost power for about 50 hours.  Definitely very trying and frustrating times.  Thank goodness for grandparents who could take our children and keep them warm at their home, friends for helping out with various problems, and a father-in-law that helped the hubby hook up a generator to our furnace on day two without power.  How many people can say their kids know that "Genny is a thing that keeps you warm"!

My freezer was stocked full of meals, and that was stressing me out BIG TIME to potentially have it all go bad.  Luckily by keeping the freezers closed, all the food survived and lived to see another day!

This weekend I was able to get back to cooking and it felt great.  I only made a two meals as I have some food we need to use in the freezer.  I figured starting off slow after a hiatus was a good idea too :)

I like the "one pot meals".  Easy, relatively mess free, and fast!  I did a chicken, green beans and potato dish a few weeks back but changed this one up a bit so here goes!

One Pot Chicken, Green Beans & Red Potatoes:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups of green beans, washed and trimmed
10 baby red potatoes, quartered
2 lemons, one thinly sliced, 1 juiced with seeds removed
5 garlic cloves minced
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place one tablespoon of olive oil in a large baking dish.  Arrange the sliced lemon pieces in the dish.

In a medium sized bowl, combine four tablespoons of olive oil, minced garlic, and pepper.

Toss in the green beans and stir to coat.  Layer the green beans on top of the lemon slices.

Place the red baby potatoes in the bowl and stir to coat.  Line the baby potatoes along the outer edge of the baking dish.

Place the chicken in the bowl and coat with remaining liquid.  Line the chicken pieces in the middle of the dish, on top of the green beans.

Pour any remaining liquid on top of the chicken.

Roast the dish, uncovered for 50-60 minutes.

Next dish up was a simple roast beef!  I bought a great roast for $8.00 on the weekend - STEAL!  It was about 2 lbs total weight.  I set the oven to 325 degrees and prepared the meat.

I went pretty simple with this one.  I put a little bit of olive oil all over the meat, then put some Montreal Steak Spice rub on it.  Another option is to make a rub of garlic powder, paprika, mustard powder, and pepper.  I've done that combination before too and it also tastes great.

I had some carrots so I chopped up a bunch and lined it along the outside of the roasting pan alongside the beef, and also threw in about 4 whole garlic cloves.

For baking it at 325, I estimate it to be about 25-30 minutes per pound to bring it to "medium".  I like my meat around "medium well" so I cooked this for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.  Turned out perfect!

Everyone needs gravy with a roast beef, but unfortunately I was too lazy to make some from scratch so luckily I had a packet of gravy and made it over the stove :)  I sauteed some mushrooms too, which I then threw in the gravy boat.  YUM YUM YUM!

Potatoes - everyone needs those with a roast!  The kids love my "potato fingers" that I make in the oven.  Home made french fries is what they are, and they are pretty much the bomb!

Oven Roasted Potatoes:

4-6 yellow potatoes peeled and sliced into "fingers"
4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
Spices of your choice - I went with garlic powder, pepper, and paprika

Chop up your potatoes and place them in a large bowl.  Pour in the olive oil and mix well to coat the potatoes.  Place the spices of your choice - I wouldn't use too much, just about a teaspoon of each spice.  Toss to coat and then line them up on a baking sheet.

As I needed to cook these at the same temp as the meat that I had in the oven, I cooked them for 45 minutes at 325 degrees, then I increased the heat to 425 for the last 15 minutes.  Turned out perfect!

Oh!  And in some other exciting news, I've been asked to be a "cooking and recipes" contributor to a website!  Stay tuned for more details!

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