Supper #1 – Kelvin and Katie

January the 4th marked the beginning of my 52 suppers in 2016 goal. Our friends Kelvin and Katie came over to talk a bit of business (Kelvin is one of our hard working employees) but also to just visit.

I made fresh white bread and turkey soup made from the carcass of the Christmas turkey. I served it with cheese, deli meat, pickles and honey.

The soup was easily the best 100% from scratch soup I have ever made. But I have made some really terrible soups, so that wasn’t a difficult standard to reach. I didn’t follow any recipe so uh..no promises that it will turn out next time. Oops.

The white bread was also great. It has been a long time since I have baked bread and I almost forgot how simple it is. The recipe was easy to follow and my stand mixer did all the work. I followed this recipe from Dinner With Julie and I highly recommend it!

 

 

Fool Proof Roast Beef and Right Living

Today at 11:30am I decided I was going to cook a big family dinner. My two close cousins were coming into town, I had a free afternoon and a roast thawed and ready in the fridge. It was super last minute but everything just worked!

(dinner for 9 please and thank-you)

I spent the morning at the Yarrow Plant Sale with my mom, sister and grandma and then invited them over for coffee and cake and cookies ( ahem yes at 10am) and to come look at my gardens. Also, my mom did my dishes and picked a bunch of pretty blooms from my garden for my kitchen! Lovely.

(These are all from my yard! So fun!)

(garden touring)

(Thank-you Momma!)

Until recently I have not had a green thumb. Not even close! I have actually killed everything I have tried to grow in my house except a Christmas cactus which can go a very long time without water and still come back to life. Early this spring I planted basil and lavender seeds in small containers in my house. To my surprise 99% of the seeds came up and are now living happily in bigger pots! The lavender will take a good year longer till I will ever see flowers. Talk about patience.
I also have spent hourssss weeding and pulling out buttercup ( ahh I HATE buttercup!) from my mostly overgrown rental house gardens. They are now looking pretty good and healthy! I just hope we get to stay here all summer so I can enjoy all my work! I actually am starting to feel knowledgeable in my gardens and really loving being out there on gorgeous, sunny days. I have planted a very small veggie garden of brussle sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, sugar peas, swiss chard, tomatoes, dill, summer savory and mint. Ok that list doesn’t make it seem small..but its like… four or six plants of each and the garden plot is verrry tiny. The herbs and tomatoes are in pots on my porch. Ohh yes and 12 strawberry plants!
Also, I am helping Jill plant her gardens (and to share in the harvest) at my mom and dads house. We expanded the previous garden so we could plant more potatoes and zucchini and cucumbers! Today we worked on weeding a insanely overgrown smaller garden where we hope to plant corn, pumpkins and squash.

Its great gardening with Jill because she knows sooo much and, as a bonus, I get to spend time with my sister. Jill went to UFV and got her horticulture certificate? diploma? I don’t know…two year program thing. Anyways, she knows a lot about all sorts of gardening things so she it a great person to be learning from.

(Matching garden boots)
(Jam cat in the row of peas)
(Essie painted nails permanently caked with mud…also this is probably not good for my wedding rings)

After spending many hours in the gardens today, I made a super great dinner for my cousins, sisters and mom and dad! We had roast beef, roasted potatoes, roasted broccoli and zucchini chunks and a fresh salad. (wow so much roasting going on). It was a super easy dinner to feed so many people! (nine in fact). I did have help from everyone though. For dessert we had left over chocolate sheet cake, ice cream and vanilla sugar strawberries.

(easy, delish dessert)
(tossing broccoli and zucchini)
(medium- cooked roast)
  
Fool Proof Roast Beef
      While this does occupy your oven for quite some time, it also lead to a great, hands off dinner!

2-3lb Roast thawed and brought to room temperature
              (today I used a sirloin tip roast, but I have also used a prime rib roast and a rib roast with success!)

2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
3 tbsp Olive Oil
*any spice combo would do, this is my favourite right now* 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Mix together herbs in a small bowl.
2. Rub roast with olive oil then, while your hands are still slimy, rub herbs liberally into roast. Use all the herbs and cover the entire roast.
3. Place roast into a roasting pan fat side up ( if possible) and place in heated oven for 1 hour.
4. After an hour, turn heat off but leave roast in the oven for an additional hour this hour should end about 1 hour before dinner to be served.
5. If you do not need your oven, leave roast in oven till 30 min before serving time. Turn heat back on at 375 degrees F and heat till warmed through. Let sit on counter 10 minutes covered with foil, before slicing. With a three pound roast this should be about medium rare. If your roast is closer to two pounds decrease waiting in the oven time to 1- 1 1/2 hours.

6. If you do need your oven, remove roast from oven and immediately cover roasting pan. Wrap in a towel or place somewhere to keep it warm as long as possible. 30 minutes before serving place back in oven till headed through. Let sit on counter ten minutes covered with foil, slice and serve.

*cooking longer during the second heating time will result in a more well done cut of meat. Mine was in for 45 minutes and was medium-well done*

Sausage On a Bun

My husband is not a picky eater.

He hates carrots and doesn’t like mustard. In other words I can make almost anything and he will never complain. 
His favourite meal, he claims, is sausage on a bun. 
How easy is that? 
Its a quick supper that takes very little time to prepare, and is really tasty and man pleasin’.
This time I made homemade Pesto Buns ( I need to make them again so I can post them!) for the Sausage on a Bun dinner, but you could totally use and hamburger bun or deli bun or even bread if you really wanted. 
Our favorite way to prepare them goes like this:
1) Buy pork farmer sausage ( my personal fav) 
2) BBQ sausage till nice and toasty
3) Toast buns while BBQing and slather with mayo, BBQ sauce (and sometime relish and mustard)
4) Slice BBQed sausage into chunks as thin as you like and pile a bunch on prepared bun
5) Top with gouda, cheddar or your favorite cheese. 
6) Tada! dinner is served! Of course adding a salad would never be a bad thing! 
Is this really a recipe? Not really. But we love it and eat it all the time and this is my blog so I can do what I want 🙂 

African Chow Mien

(PS. Im sorry, this was night time photography)

I have no idea what makes this dish “African” or what African food tastes like or if they even eat chow mien in Africa. But thats what this dish is called so thats just the way it is.
Basically this is stirfry but with hanburger and cans of condensed soup. Its comfort food in its finest. I love love loved it.

Back in…September I think it was, my sisters and cousins and friend ( ie, my wedding party) threw a hugeee and amazing bridal shower for me. It was great. They made SO much food…like it was insane. They decided that the theme would be…Pioneer Woman. Because I read her site everyday. So naturally all of the food was made from pioneer woman recipes. We had pizza, pasta, salad, stuffed potatoes. I don’t even remember it all. but it was delicious. AND my dear bridal party also spent hours on the Pioneer woman website finding funny quotes from her blog and copy and pasting them to a word document. Then they made them look pretty and printed them all out and used them as place cards. I wish I had taken pictures but it was such a surprise and I was so overwhelmed so I didn’t take a single picture. I don’t know it anybody did. Thats a shame. ( I am so so so so so bad at taking picture of momentous events like that. I always forget. Hence my new years resolution to take more pictures.) But it was a great night. Thank-you bridal party 🙂
Anyways, my whole point of that long story was to tell you how I acquired this recipe. In the invitations my sisters sent for this fabulous party, they included a recipe card for my guests to write a good recipe on that I might want to cook. That was so so so great because I can bake and make desserts till the cows come home, but dinner ideas are generally a little more tricky. It could be because my husband prefers to eat zero veggies and lots of : a) Bacon, b) Steak, c) Potatoes, d) Grilled Cheese sandwiches, e) Mini Pizzas ( like the McCain frozen ones..yucky) . He will eat anything I make though…mostly. Carrots are an absolute no go. He even picks them out of soup!
Anyways, a goood friend of mine, Kristi, wrote this recipe on my card. I think it was her mom’s recipe. And then the other night I was so so so so so hungry (because I generally forget to feed myself if Gary isn’t home)  and I was grummmpyyy and tired and really wanted some sort of comfort food. I was searching food blogs with no success and we have decided to not eat out for a while or order in. So we were going to starve or Gary was going to whip out the grill to make some gilled cheese sandwiches. I did not want to eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Then I remembered back in the day when I didn’t rely on food blogs for recipe ideas and flipped open my recipe box. Tada! Great dinner ideas, that I know I like and that I know how to make. YAY. I found Kristi’s recipe card and then jumped in car and went to the store to grab some chicken soup and some chow mien noodles. The evening just went up from there.

This is super easy! and yummy and warm and creamy and the prefect thing when you just want to lay on the couch and watch a movie or veg and read a book. If you keep chow mien noodles on hand, you probably have almost everything to make this for dinner tonight.
I served this with rice and a spinach salad ( with orange pieces, crasins and balsamic dressing) and french bread broiled with butter and some Parmesan cheese. It was delish and fast and yummy.

I say yummy waaayyy too much.

I have lots to say today, I am sorry. I am home alone this morning. I called my husband but he was busy…apparently he had to work or something…
Yesterday I talked so much, my jaw was sore when I went to bed. For real.

I just about posted this recipe without actually including the recipe. Haha.

African Chow Mien

1 lb Ground Beef/Hamburger Meat
1 medium Onion
2-3 Celery stalks
1 cup mushrooms ( or 1 cup or mushrooms)
1 tablespoon oil

1 can Condensed Mushroom Soup (284ml, 10 oz)
1 can Chicken Noodle Soup ( 284ml. 10 oz)
1-2 tablespoons Soya Sauce
1/2 bag Chow Mein Noodles. ( My bag was 397grams and I used about 1/2)
Salt and Pepper to taste

1) Fry up the first 5 ingredients in a large frying pan. Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions and celery are soft and opaque.
2. Add soups, soya sauce and salt and pepper. Mix in Chow Mien noodles. Cook till noodles are soft. ( I put a lid on my fry pan and that helped it cook faster.)
3. Serve over rice. (we did that the first night but the left overs we are without rice and they were just as good!)