Monthly Archives: December 2016

Homemade Roast Beef Hash

hrbhWe had a pretty big Prime Rib for Christmas for the sole purpose of having lots of leftovers so I didn’t have to cook for several days. I pretend to be exhausted after “slaving over a hot stove” all day and lounge on the couch after dinner, and then go on strike for a few more days. For some reason, it works every year. Or maybe it really doesn’t and my family has just been humoring me all these years.

Believe it or not, I did not get any leftovers. Stunning. I guess when you wait for something for a full year, you get excited. And also, when you’re a teenaged boy, you eat a lot. There was exactly one large slice left which turned out to be the perfect amount to make…

Homemade Roast Beef Hash
1/2 – 3/4 lb left over Prime Rib or Roast Beef, cubed
3- 4 potatoes, chopped into small pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
2 TBSP butter

  1. Heat some oil that will tolerate high temp on med high in a cast iron pan if you have one. Add butter.
  2. When the butter has melted, add the potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook for about five minutes. Add the chopped onion. Stir frequently to prevent burning but not so much that nothing browns.
  3. After the potatoes have browned (about ten minutes), add the beef and cook until heated.
  4. Serve instantly.

My kids have never had Hash of any kind. I am happy to report that My Faithful Assistant was very happy with his dinner. He was the only one home. This came as a relief to me since the rest of his day was disappointing thanks to his apparently incredibly jealous dog and an unexpected ending to a movie. He has cheered up a ton and I didn’t have to go to Chick-Fil-A or Joann Fabrics!

Typical of me, this would have been a much more helpful recipe if it had been posted three or four days ago. I’m really sorry about that. I’ve been super busy the past few days sitting on the couch, knitting, binge watching Dr. Phil, and  “recovering” from all the hard work of Christmas another epic Christmas Feast.


Festive Rum Cake Balls

frcbFull disclosure. What you are actually seeing here is a cake fail. HUGE. CAKE. FAIL.

When you are the one who says to all your coworkers, “LET’S HAVE A POTLUCK,” you should probably put some actual effort into your offering. Like make something with your own two hands. No cheater pit-stops at the market, even if it is Whole Foods and the cupcakes everyone loves are on sale.

You can imagine my dismay when I flipped my scrumptious Chocolate Chip Rum Cake over to remove it from the bundt pan and it stuck. And not a cute little piece it back together sticking. A keep half the cake in the pan and laugh in your face sticking.

I am not a cooking quitter. It was time to turn to my Remarkably Well Stocked Pantry and look to see what I had to help me out of this predicament. What I uncovered there amazed even me.  I found some powdered sugar, green candy melts, and red sugar. SCORE!!!

Festive Rum Cake Balls
One box cake mix prepared with rum instead of water
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
1 bag candy melts

  1. Prepare the cake mix using rum instead of water. Stir in the chocolate chips. I used Yellow cake. You can use whatever you like. Chocolate would be okay, too. Double the chocolaty goodness!
  2. Bake the cake according to the instructions on the box.
  3. Allow to cool for ten minutes, then crumble into a bowl.
  4. Stir in powdered sugar until sticky.
  5. Form into one inch balls and freeze for 30 minutes.
  6. Melt candy melts according to instructions on bag in something big enough to roll the frozen balls in.
  7. One at a time, roll the balls in the melted candy. Place on wax paper and sprinkle with the sugar.

I have to say, I am really proud of myself. Not only are these cake balls festive (as the name tells you), they are very darn delicious. And they were super easy to make.

If you didn’t figure it out, the recipe for the rum cake simply involves swapping out rum for the water in the recipe and baking in a bundt pan. Please make sure you allow the cake to cool for a few minutes before you try to get it out of the pan. Please. Learn from my mistake.

I have had horrible luck in the past making cake balls. I’m not sure why these actually worked. But who cares! I can walk into work with my head held high, holding my plate of Festive Rum Cake Balls up for all to see, instead of a grocery bag!

Five more days! Hope all the work of the season is winding down and you are close to sitting back and relaxing with your loved ones for a few days.



Bacon Beer Cheese Mac and Cheese

bbcmcWe had freezing rain yesterday. Then it warmed up and all the ice melted. It was nice and warm for a few hours until the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. Clouds filled sky. Limbs crashed to the ground.

It’s time to consider comfort food. While I am not a big fan of pasta most of the time, occasionally I really want some. Tonight, I really wanted to make my Bacon Beer Cheese Orzo but I didn’t have any Orzo. Whoa is me. I had a wide variety of other pasta so it was just a matter of modifying my Homemade Macaroni and Cheese to include beer and add the bacon. Super easy.

Bacon Beer Cheese Mac and Cheese
1 pound prepared pasta
4 tbsp butter
half an onion, chopped
4 tbsp flour
1 cup of milk
1 cup of beer
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Start boiling the water for the noodles in a large pot.
2. Melt the butter on medium heat in a pan that will be large enough to hold all the sauce ingredients.
3. Add the chopped onion and saute until slightly translucent.
4. Check your water. If it’s boiling, add the noodles.
5. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and onion and let it sit for a bit so the flour absorbs some of the butter.
6. Add the milk and beer, stirring gently to dissolve the flour.
7. Lower the heat to medium low and allow to thicken. Keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pan and burn.
8. Add your cheese and stir until it’s all melty and smooth. I used sharp cheddar. You could use sharp cheddar and something zingy like gorgonzola. So many choices!
9. Your noodles should be done by now. Drain them well, put them back in the pot and add the sauce stirring through until all the noodles are thoroughly covered with sauce.

My Faithful Assistant doesn’t usually love food prepared with alcohol of any kind but he came back for seconds. It felt good. Of course, it could be his never ending growth spurt that is feeding his insatiable hunger. But I can pretend it was so delicious he lost all self-control and ate until he couldn’t move. It’s Christmas time, after all.


White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

wcrcI am a big fan of shortcuts in cooking and baking. I am also a big fan of Immaculate Baking Company Yellow Scratch Cake Mix. It’s got a nice buttery flavor. Delicious.

We woke up to some nasty freezing rain in Central Maryland. I don’t have to be anywhere until 3:00 and even that outing has moved to a tentative status due to the state of the roads. Perfect day for baking. I have two boxes of my favorite baking mix that I got for My Faithful Assistant to use over Thanksgiving weekend. He opted out of my diabolical plot to have baked goods with no work. My loss is my own gain, I guess!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
1 box Immaculate Yellow Scratch Cake Mix prepared according to instructions
3/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1 cup fresh raspberries – Sorry! Frozen are not recommended for this. Too mushy.

  1. Prepare the mix according to the instructions on the box.
  2. Fold in the melted white chocolate so it’s sort of streaked through the batter.
  3. Gently fold in the raspberries.
  4. Transfer to muffin tin and bake according to the box instructions.
  5. Carefully remove your cupcakes from the pan and, when cool, drizzle with melted white chocolate.

In a word, AMAZING! My cupcakes were tender and buttery and practically melted in my mouth.

As you can see, I am not a very good drizzler. I melted a small amount of chips in a measuring cup and the spout wasn’t really conducive to drizzling so we have more of a plop.

This would make a very tasty brunch cake, and with Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, I think there will be a lot of people having some lovely Christmas brunches. Not a fan of raspberries? No worries! Pick a different fresh fruit. As I mentioned above, frozen are not recommended for this. They will be mushy and ruin your cute little cakes.

If you’re stuck inside, I hope you’re getting some baking done too!


Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup

psssOh my darling soup, how I’ve missed you!

You can call it laziness, or complete inability to adjust to a new routine, but I have really fallen apart in the kitchen. Dinner has turned into a bunch of adventures in heating, combined with the occasional sandwich and too much Chick-Fil-A.

When I realized that my entire Sunday from 1:00 on was going to be free, I quickly scanned the shelves to see what soup creation I could make. And since my main dinner companion these days is My Faithful Assistant, the options were great. He loves soup as much as me. We finally settled on Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup.

Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup
Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 white onion, chopped
5 medium all purpose potaotes, chopped
1 quart broth of choice
3 sweet Italian sausage links, cooked, drained and chopped
2 cups frozen chopped spinach

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the chopped potatoes and broth. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Use a potato masher (or a big spoon) to mash some of the potatoes.
  4. Add the sausage and spinach.
  5. Simmer for at least another 20-30 minutes until hot.

I love a hearty soup, but I don’t want to feel so full that I can’t move. This soup was perfect. Since I used turkey sausage, it wasn’t heavy but it warmed me through. If you are interested in something a little more decadent, you can add 1/2 cup cream and 5 slices of chopped bacon and turn your soup into Tuscan Sausage and Potato Soup.

We are all tired around here and we can’t wait for winter break and the opportunity to have our whole family in one place and for everyone’s schedule to calm down. We are in the home stretch, people. A nice pot of soup may be just the inspiration you need to make it through to your winter break, too.