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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.


Pumpkin Love: No Kid Hungry

pumpkincollageHave you noticed that orange has become the color of hunger? Through No Kid Hungry, schools, restaurants and regular people everywhere are taking up the cause to end childhood hunger.

In my own community, an astonishing 52% of the children at the closest elementary school qualify for free or assisted meals. I saw the number and it knocked my socks off. I have heard the stories from people close to me of what it was like going to bed hungry and hoping that the next day would bring food.

My friend Jen of The Whole Bag of Chips is also very passionate about doing something about childhood hunger. In her own community last year, she and her daughters and husband rallied everyone from the Mayor to many schools to this cause. They raised about $1000 and collected several hundred pounds of food for the local food bank. And they’re doing it again this year, on October 31st.

Jen and I love pumpkin. Love it! It’s orange and now, it reminds us that, while we enjoy all our delicious pumpkin treats, there are families that won’t have these treats. They will barely have cereal for breakfast or PB&J for lunch.

So we bring you four fun pumpkin recipes that are very tasty. And while you make them and enjoy them, we hope you will think of some things that you and your family can do to help end childhood hunger.

52% of the kids who attend the elementary school four blocks from my home need help with meals. That is a very sobering statistic. Pumpkin up and help us bring an end to childhood hunger.

Pumpkin Soup – Lowfat, healthy and hearty! This a great soup to throw in the slow cooker and head off for a day of errands. Yum!

Pilgrim Pies – Also known as Whoopie Pies, these are so much fin to make and even more fun to eat! We encourage you to work them into your schedule the next time the kids are off from school.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread – You can use dried cranberries instead of chocolate chips. Or divide the recipe in half and do one loaf of each! We’ve made this bread with as little as 1/4 cup of oil. Truly a lowfat, delicious breakfast or snack bread.

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix  – We love homemade Chex Mix. And there are so many varieties out there! This is one our fall favorites!


Recipe for Hope

hopeThousands of tributes poured in over social media overnight as the people of the world process the death of Robin Williams. All seems quite hopeless.

On my refrigerator is a sheet a paper called The Spectrum of Agony. It’s meant to help my family keep things in perspective when we feel like they aren’t going so well. It’s a line with a range of feelings from “extra stuff” to “tragedy”. Exams count as extra stuff. Grandma dying is a tragedy. The spectrum caught my eye this morning. Robin Williams’ death is a tragedy for not just his family, but for everyone. It’s so scary to think that a man who is so beloved was suffering so much that taking his own life (his alleged cause of death) was the only solution he felt would relieve him of his pain. His pain is gone. May he rest in peace. But ours remains.

Is there a recipe for hope? I’d like to think there is. People are hurting everywhere. Can we truly resolve their pain? Probably not. But everyone should make some effort to try. Everyone should care a little about other people. Smile at them. Say hello. Ask them how they are and really want to hear their response. Offer to help. Maybe even know where to direct them if their troubles are too big for you to handle. So my recipe for hope is humanity caring about humanity.

Here’s a poem about hope that you probably read in high school It’s by Emily Dickinson, another troubled soul. To Emily, “Hope” is a thing with feathers.

Let’s keep hope alive today.

Homemade Mint Foot Scrub

hmfsI have a lot of mint that has been shared with some garden critters. I really just let it grow. No fertilizer. No pesticide. No attention what so ever. So my garden friends get to share in my bounty. I’m not comfortable using the gnawed leaves for food or drink, but I’m fine with using them cosmetically.

I love sea salt scrubs but they can be very pricey. This homemade foot scrub is very affordable and works pretty well, too.

Homemade Mint Foot Scrub
1 handful of sea salt
2 tbsp of olive oil
Chopped mint leaves

1. Mush everything with a mortar and pestle. I got mine a couple years ago for about $10 as an Asian market. We use it very often.
2. If your scrub is too loose, add more salt and mix a little more.
3. Scrub your feet. Refrigerate any unused portion.

Do I need to tell you to be careful using this in the shower? I guess I should. Your feet will be very slippery after you apply this. I recommend sitting on the edge of the tub to apply this. Or in the tub. If you’re going to use it in the shower, please be careful. You don’t want to fall on your keister after you make your feet so smooth! You want to be able to walk around in lovely, open toe shoes and show them off!


Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

hcsdI have been wanting to make salad dressing for a few weeks. I have been waffling between Caesar and Ranch and today I finally settled on Caesar.

I am not a huge salad fan so I really don’t know why I felt the need to make dressing for one. Sometimes it’s best not to try to understand these things and just go with them.

As I’m sure you’ve read here, I am very fortunate to have a nice, high speed blender so I didn’t have to worry about whisking endlessly. I let my blender do all the work.

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
2 egg yolks
1 clove of garlic, or more if you’d like garlic Caesar
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup grated parmesan
2-4 anchovy filets

1. Put the ingredients in your blender and slowly increase speed.
2. Blend on high for 20 seconds.
3. Refrigerate until cool.
4. Serve on your favorite mix of greens.

As I was prepping to make my dressing, the Teenager was returning from giving a new student a cello lesson. And what did he have in his arms? TWO HUGE CUCUMBERS! Yay! So happy! I will put some in my most Americanized Caesar Salad which will be served alongside some French Bread Pizza. I’m looking forward to this very simple summer dinner.

If you don’t love anchovies, you can leave them out. I happen to really like them in my Caesar Salad dressing. In fact, I put them on top of my salad!