Roast Beef Sandwiches and Gravy

This is a sublimely easy recipe, but these are the recipes I love. It’s super quick and may be one you already know, but I wanted to share. We usually eat it with chips, but you can also make mashed potatoes and use the gravy on the mashed potatoes as well. The recipe below is enough for 2, but can be easily doubled.

Ingredients:

Crusty Sub Rolls (I recently found some called Filone rolls which are delicious, but any crusty sub roll will do. Don’t get soft ones as they will fall apart in the gravy.)

Sliced roast beef (I usually get a half pound for my husband and I)

Sliced cheese (provolone or sharp white cheddar)

1 tbs of olive or vegetable oil

2 tbs of butter

About 3 tbs of flour

1 can of beef broth

About 8 oz of milk

Instructions:

Turn on oven broiler.

Turn on a medium saucepot to medium heat. Drizzle olive oil in saucepot and add butter. Melt butter into oil. After butter has melted in oil whisk in flour slowly and let cook for about 3 minutes. Whisk in beef broth, then whisk in milk. Bring to a low simmer and and let simmer for about 5 minutes then turn to medium low. Stir occasionally while you fix sandwiches. Split rolls in half and butter. Place in broiler for a few minutes until the butter has melted and sides of the bread begin to turn brown. Remove rolls and place a slice or two of cheese on each roll. Place back under broiler for a few minutes until cheese begins to melt (watch carefully! Don’t let rolls burn). Then pile sandwiches with roast beef. Transfer gravy to bowls and dip sandwiches in the gravy.

Bubbly butter and flour
Bubbly butter and flour
Gravy Cooking
Gravy Cooking
Finished Roast Beef Sandwiches and Gravy
Finished Roast Beef Sandwiches and Gravy
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Springform Pan

I love baking, I really do. However, I am a far better cook than baker. Which is probably why I love cupcakes so much because I meet them with much less adversity than some of my other baking experiences. I could list many different examples of this, but one that comes to mind involves a springform pan and a flourless cake recipe. The recipe was simple enough; melted chocolate chips, eggs, sugar, and a few other essentials. I mixed it all together and poured the batter into the springform pan. Now if you have any experience with springform pans you are probably thinking right now that I didn’t make sure the bottom of the pan was secured inside the outer metal loop. However, I did make sure the metal bottom was secured tightly in the metal ring. I popped it into the oven, set the timer, and went outside to check on the garden. I came back in about ten minutes later to discover that the house was not filled with the wonderfully delicious smell of chocolate cake. Instead it smelled like something was burning, which is never a good sign. I was optimistic, hoping that it was perhaps some leftover food on the bottom of the oven that perhaps was burning. It was not. A good half of the cake had leaked out onto the bottom of the oven and was burning. I quickly turned off the oven and got the cake out. It had turned into a half gooey brownie-ish state, that obviously was inedible. Although I did try it and it tasted pretty good, but I figured it wasn’t able to be served at that point. Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. I then decided to get rid of the burned mess on the bottom of the oven I would turn on the oven’s self-cleaner (which I had never used before). Soon my husband and child were barricaded in the bedroom as I opened every window, turned on every fan, and was desperately trying to stop the self cleaning function (which is not easy to do), to stop the excessive amount of smoke that was pouring out of the oven. It took several hours to completely air out the house and I am still cleaning out the oven!

The moral is that there is a right and a wrong way to put a spring form pan together. Even if it is secure make sure the bottom of the pan is right side up so the edge prevents the batter from running out. And don’t take the easy way out of cleaning an oven.

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Why I Cook Cupcakes Wednesdays

– Because they take less time to bake than cake.

– Because you can decorate them according to each individual person’s preference. For example, this year for my husband’s birthday we will be having both peanut butter icing and vanilla icing.

– Because you can buy cute cupcake containers and put them in your kids’ lunch for school.

– Because you only have to frost the top of a cupcake, not the sides (which can be difficult and normally causes my cakes to lean).

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Sprouts in the Raised Vegetable Bed

Last week we planted vegetable seeds in our raised vegetable garden and have waited for the little seeds to grow into seedlings.  I went out to check the garden today and we have little sprouts! The cucumber, zucchini, jalapenos and tomatoes have sprouted. As I mentioned in the previous post I planted way too many cucumber seeds and they all sprouted so I’ll have to get rid of some. Below are some pictures of a few of our little babies

Zucchini Sprout
Zucchini Sprout
Cucumber Sprout
Cucumber Sprout
Jalapeno Sprout
Jalapeno Sprout
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Cinnamon and Chocolate Croissants

Chocolate and Cinnamon Croissants

I created this recipe after having run into a cooking conundrum (not unusual). I was going to make Giada De Laurentiis’ cinnamon twists, but the puff pastry I had defrosted had somehow gotten dried out in the freezer. In addition I didn’t have the cardamom the recipe called for. What I did have was a package of croissants and chocolate chips, which became the recipe here.

1 tube of store bought refrigerated croissants

1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

½ tablespoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of ginger

1 egg

Preheat oven according to croissant package directions. In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Beat egg in small bowl. Brush each croissant triangle with beaten egg. Place about a half of a tablespoon of the brown sugar mixture on each croissant. Then line each croissant with 4 chocolate chips. Roll flat croissant into the normal croissant shape (haha). Brush tops of rolled croissants with beaten egg mixture and place on a sheet pan. Cook according to croissant package directions.

*Tip: I place the croissants on parchment paper on the sheet pan, it keeps the bottoms from getting to brown

*Side Note: I have to give credit to my in-laws for this idea as well. They always have chocolate croissants when we come to visit and they are hard to find where my husband and I live.

Cinnamon and Chocolate Croissants

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Laundry Day

I just had to post these pictures of Super A because they were too cute! Super A helps me with laundry during the week (and by help I mean he plays on the floor while I sort, wash, dry, and fold), but one of his favorite things is the laundry basket. I can set him in the laundry basket and he will just sit there and play with his toys while I fold laundry. Who knew a laundry basket would be so much fun?? So here are some pictures of him playing in his basket. By the way Doggy M is Super A’s stuffed dog that M gave him when he was born. Since A doesn’t have a real dog, Doggy M is the next best thing (And yes I named it Doggy M. And yes, I got the idea from an episode of Full House. If you can name the episode you get a gold star for your 80s-90s television knowledge!)

Aidan Playing with Doggy McDavid in his Laundry Basket
A Playing with Doggy M in his Laundry Basket
Aidan in his laundry basket
A in his laundry basket
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Old Fried Shrimp

As you may have noticed many of my cooking beginning debacles involve fried food. I’m not sure why I try to fry food because I am not particularly good at it and it usually ends with some sort of disastrous results. These include fanning out the entire house and opening all the windows so the fire department doesn’t show up because I’ve built up too much smoke in the house, and standing in a shower with water running over my face continually because I’ve burnt my eyes from the smoke. I’m not sure if it’s my love of Paula Deen, or my distinct love of the south that draws me to frying. This should provide some background for my next cooking beginning. It involves a box of old fried shrimp, and a lot of oil. I tend to buy most of my fried food in the freezer section of the store and bake it in the oven. Back when I had moved into my first apartment (back in the day, oh five years ago) I bought some butterfly fried shrimp thinking I would bake it one night in the oven. However, I didn’t read on the back of the box and realize that it needed to be fried. So I kept sticking it into the back of the freezer thinking I would fry it one day when I had time. Well the time came 2 years later when my then boyfriend (now husband), and I were looking for something to eat and he opened up the freezer and found the “tada” fried shrimp. I couldn’t remember exactly at that time when I had bought it, but I thought it couldn’t have been that long ago (only two years…isn’t frozen food like canned food? NO. It’s not). Even canned food has an expiration date. Anyway we decided to try it anyway so we dumped some vegetable oil into a heavy sided skillet and let it heat up to medium high (which on my stove should have been called “don’t go there high”) and dumped in the shrimp. Despite the fact that the oil was spewing hot the shrimp was so cold the oil popped sizzled then basically lost all its heat. I being the eternal optimist when it comes to cooking just tried to break apart the huge shrimp ice block so that it would begin to fry. As the ice block dissolved so did the shrimp. It dissolved into a disgusting mess, with no actual shrimp left, just floating remains of what was probably breading. And so, we ordered pizza. But at least I didn’t start a fire!

The moral of the story? Don’t cook old food and expect it to turn out well. You’re a cook not a magician. Oh and don’t fry in a skillet unless using very little oil to make say crab cakes. OH and buy a thermometer that can go in oil to know what the heat is, so that way when the food is burning you can say as I did “oh so 400 degrees IS too hot”.

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