How to make pot roast with potatoes and carrots – can’t get easier than this!

Smells heavenly doesn't it?
B E A U T Y !

Most everyone loves a good pot roast. The taste is so wonderful, like you’ve been slaving away for hours and hours, when in reality, it basically does most everything itself. Some people prefer to make mashed potatoes, if you’re on of those people, you can certainly pull the veggies and pot roast out when done, and maybe stir in a little corn starch/water mixture and and to pan, heat to thicken the gravy. I don’t bother, the juice is just that good. I usually throw my carrots and potatoes in the pot instead of making mashed potatoes, it’s just too easy this way!

I follow this recipe from Cooking Light magazine – not exactly, but its a starting point. Add more of what you like, less of what you don’t!

My notes on the recipe below… I rarely use wine, I just like the taste of pot roast best without it, same with Thyme… garlic I use occasionally, but rarely… I buy a large container of Kitchen Basics Beef Broth (unsalted), and use about 3/4 of it. I don’t measure I just make sure it covers most of the veggies… I use a lot of carrots and a few potatoes. For a 1.5# roast, I usually bake it for about 45 minutes, then add the potatoes and carrots (I put the roast on top) and bake another hour. It’s perfect when the meat falls apart easily.

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine!

Classic Beef Pot Roast (with Potatoes and Carrots)


1 teaspoon olive oil 
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2 cups coarsely chopped onion 
1 cup dry red wine
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth $
1 bay leaf
4 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces $
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
Fresh thyme leaves (optional)


Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chuck roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.

Return browned roast to pan. Add the red wine, thyme sprigs, chopped garlic, beef broth, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover pan and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.

Add carrots and potatoes to pan. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pan; discard. Shred meat with 2 forks. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.


MyRecipes is working with Let’s Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Jeanne Thiel Kelley,


Ok, now for my step by step shots!

Sear the meat first!

Sear to lock in juices on all sides
Sear to lock in juices on all sides

Since there are only two of us, I usually go to Whole Foods or EarthFare and buy a pot roast (chuck roast) and if it’s really thick i have them slice it in half lengthwise, I usually end up with about a 1.5 pound roast, but if you have more than two people in your family (this is several meals for us), then you may opt for the larger cut, just keep it in the oven longer.

Start by adding a little olive oil to the pan so it won’t stick, get the pan nice and hot so you hear SIZZLE when you put the roast in the pan… you aren’t cooking it through just browning on all sides, at medium high, I even sear the sides… keeps all those juices where you want them to be! Once it’s seared, move it to a plate…

Sautee onions...
Sautee onions…

Now sautee the onions… smells wonderful doesn’t it?

Add seared roast and beef broth to pan
Add seared roast and beef broth to pan

Now add the seared roast and the beef broth to the pan – cover and bake OR… go ahead and add potatoes and carrots (If roast is small) and bake all together for around 1.5 hours or until it starts to fall apart! I tuck the potatoes and carrots all around the roast… you can check on it a time or two, splash a little more broth on top… a few hours later (and a WONDERFUL smelling house)… you have…

This is what BEAUTY Looks like when you pull it out of the oven… oh. my. word.

Smells heavenly doesn't it?
Smells heavenly doesn’t it?

Too good for words!!

Catch you back here tomorrow!


Short Rib Vegetable Soup Recipe… perfect for a cold day!

Short Rib Soup
Short Rib Soup

This recipe has been a family favorite for as far back as I can remember. My mom and dad are both excellent in the kitchen, and this is one of those soup’s you can throw together with whatever sounds good at the time, which is convenient. Add vegetables that take the longest to cook earlier in the recipe, and others that cook quickly (spinach), towards the end. Any spices that you enjoy will work well. I can remember having this with amazing French bread growing up! Hope you enjoy one of my staple recipes… click HERE to print this recipe without photos…


To recap…

Set out your ingredients, wash potatoes, greens, etc. if using…

Brown the short ribs in a little olive oil – use a heavy bottom pan if possible…


Chop, chop, chop… Sometimes I sauté the carrots with the onion/celery, sometimes I don’t… whatever… easy peasy, no worries!

This time I browned the short ribs and got nice crusties on the bottom of the pan, and THEN I sautéed the onion and celery… Last time I did it all together. No rules… do what you like!


Saute veggies…


Add short ribs back to the pot… when this soup is done the meat will fall off the bone… heavenly!


Add that biggee can of tomatoes and juice, as well as at least one big can of water (or more)…


Add the beef consommé…. this gives it a nice rich flavor…


Add the big carton of beef broth… as the soup cooks down add more broth/water…


And any spices you like…


The secret is the center of the celery stalk with the leaves, throw it in whole…  this will give the soup an amazing flavor!


Now, take the meat off the bone and fat – toss it back in the pan… yum!

Now… a story about the photo… if that baguette looks frozen, it’s because it is! I made soup yesterday for dinner with a hot, crusty baguette. I took photos along the way, but then we were hungry… so we ate. Once the soup was in the fridge… Dang it! I realized I had forgotten to take a photo… so I just had lunch, and snapped a photo… baguette was frozen to use at a later date, but it looks nice, huh? Hee….


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…        Featured Artist… Karin Olah Knowlton!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Med Pasta Recipe (shrimp, feta, spinach pasta, artichokes!)

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Recipe: How To Make Beef Stew: Quick & Easy!

Beef Stew...

For those of you out there who have never made a beef stew, I’m going to show you a quick and easy recipe… In the photo above… I look like I have control with one tiny piece of bread (whole wheat at that!), right? Truth is, I took all these photos while cooking (which is similar to juggling in my opinion), by the time it was ready, LETS EAT is what came to mind… and we did. I think I had two bites left and said HHHHHHIIIIIIIIEEEEGGGGHHHHH! I forgot to take a PHOTO! Poor Fred. Every time I make a recipe that ends up on this blog he watches a tornado with a camera in the kitchen, then a crisis afterwards because I FORGET TO SHOOT THE LAST PHOTO, good grief, the most important one! Lo and behold, there was one slice of bread left… enough to make me look dainty. Ha.

Ok, on to the recipe… click HERE for the printable recipe (minus all the photos)…


Ingredients: 1 # stew beef, carrots (4-6 should be good), 4-6 medium potatoes (I used red and did not peel, but that’s up to you), 1 onion, chopped (I used slices to try, but it cooks down so you really can’t tell), salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, olive oil and beef broth.


Start by chopping the carrots, potatoes and onions, I usually cook this for a few hours so the veggies will be done and the meat will be tender.


In a plastic zip bag or on a plate, add a few spoonfuls of all purpose flour (I always use unbleached), add salt and pepper.

Coat with flour

Roll the pieces of stew beef around so that they’re coated in flour, this will help thicken the stew slightly.


Heat some olive oil (or canola oil) in a heavy bottom pan.

Drop em in the oil

Drop the flour coated beef stew pieces into the hot oil to brown (not cook all the way through).

Once browned, move to the side

Once the meat has browned, move it off to the side…

add onions

Now, toss in the onions. stir them around until they’re translucent…

Stir together

Once onions are translucent, stir to combine.

Time to add some broth

Now is the time to add some beef broth and Worcestershire Sauce (at this point you can also add some red wine if you like). You can use all beef broth or part beef broth and part water. The amount will depend on how many veggies you added… you’ll want to almost cover it… Stir it around and loosen up all those tasty brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of your pot. They add some heavenly flavor!

Add potatoes and carrots

Now add the potatoes and carrots, salt and pepper and any other seasonings you might like…

Now it's ready to cook!

Now it’s ready to cook! Turn the heat on medium high until it comes to a slight boil (where you see bubbles), then turn it down to low and simmer. I usually do this with the lid off most of the time… or I’ll crack it so steam can escape if I don’t want the liquid to reduce any more…

Can toss in the center of the celery

Something that gives soups and stew some nice flavor are the center pieces of celery, you know, the ones with all the leaves… toss them in whole, and you can pull them out when it’s done. It adds a nice flavor.

And that’s it! This is a great dish to make on a cold day, keeps the kitchen nice and warm. You can serve this with warm bread and a salad… or all by itself! Enjoy!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Steak fajitas… quick and easy! Delish!

Quick and easy fajitas

You know when you need to get out of a rut and try something different? Summertime is the hardest time for me, in the winter I can think up all kinds of things that bake, stew, roast, all with the oven on slowly making a meal into a masterpiece while heating the kitchen all at the same time. Then it’s summer. It’s hot and the last thing you want to do is spend too much time with the stove/oven on… enter FAJITAS. I usually make them with chicken, but on this day we needed a break from chicken. So I ran to the store and got 1/2# of flank steak. I whipped together a marinade in a ziplock with a clove or two of garlic (use the microplane!), some olive oil, and some lime juice (one nice big wedge squeezed into the bag). I then mixed the ingredients in the bag by mushing around with my hot little hands, then tossed in the hunk o’beef and let it sit and fester for a while (in the fridge of course!). Actually that night dinner plans changed so it sat in the bag for about 12 hours which was perfect! Fred threw the hunk o’meat on the grill, then right before it was ready he took it off, wrapped it in foil and allowed it to rest. Then we sliced it at an angle against the grain. We heated up some tortilla’s that we had, cut up some tomato, green onion, grated some cheddar and threw on a nice plop of greek yogurt! (We use it instead of sour cream). Oh, and we had some of that tasty salsa from Trader Joe’s… nice touch. It’s quick, you can put what you like on it, you can spice it up more (or less), add avocado, onions, etc. Use chicken, tofu, steak, fish or whatever else you may have. As they say… No rules, it’s just right.

Enjoy a fajita tonight! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Foods that should never cross your lips… #2


I happened upon a fantastic article in PREVENTION MAGAZINE, and I thought it was worth sharing… Each Thursday I’ll post another food that should never cross your lips. It’s a great article because it tells you WHY! I am doing it to the best of my ability!

Ok, here it is, from PREVENTION MAGAZINE:

Corn-Fed Beef

Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming, gives us the scoop:

The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E,omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.

The solution:
 Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.

Budget tip: Cuts on the bone are cheaper because processors charge extra for deboning. You can also buy direct from a local farmer, which can be as cheap as $5 per pound. To find a farmer near you, search

Excellent information from a reliable source. That’s why I read Prevention. If you haven’t subscribed, trust me it’s worth it… and it’s nifty size is so perfect to toss in your purse to take with you! Check it out! If you’re in the Charleston area I know EarthFare and Whole Foods carries it. The taste simply cannot compare to corn-fed. It costs more, yes. But we don’t need to eat such large portions, cut your portion and spend the same amount for something that’s better for your body and fill up on those veggies!

So to backtrack… last week it was CANNED TOMATOES… this week, CORN FED BEEF… What do you think it’ll be next time?

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Steak, Mushroom and Bok Choy Stir Fry!


Ooooowie, here’s a fantastic recipe from Cooking Light, and NO you will not know it’s light… it is FABULOUS! Having it for dinner tonight, woohoo! It’s a flexible recipe, you can use Shitake mushrooms, or cremini, or button, or whatever you have or can find, it’s all good… don’t get too worried about making sure you have every ingredient… I didn’t have a red pepper or hot pepper flakes and mine was TO. DIE. FOR. Also, I had “Fajita Meat” from Whole Foods which they sliced into stir fry size for me, and whoa… it’s was so tender I absolutely couldn’t believe it! Give this recipe a shot if you like stir fry AND do not be afraid of bok choy, trust me, it’s your friend… it’s mild, has no taste really, the stems are like celery offering you a nice crunch, where the leaves are just fantastic… I used a microplane for the fresh ginger (A MUST!) and garlic, that way you don’t bite into hunks of it. The flavors meld together and are a treat to your tastebuds. TRUST ME on this!

You can click HERE to go directly to the My Recipes website where you can print the recipe -next time you’re out, grab the ingredients and give it a whirl. Just have everything measured out before hand, the cooking goes quickly! Also, have your rice done, or almost done, otherwise you’ll be waiting on it… hmmm, how would I know that? ha ha…  Enjoy and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!
Hey, check out my photo blog at for a special birthday wish for someone very dear to us… Fred’s Dad! Happy Birthday DC!
 And now… for the recipe…
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (I need to buy, had to use olive oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 cup thinly vertically sliced onion
  • 1 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 4 cups sliced bok choy (about 1 medium head)
  • 1 cup less-sodium beef broth
  • Combine ginger, garlic, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, oil, and crushed red pepper in a large zip-top bag; add steak to bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray, and add mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper to pan. Cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; transfer to a large bowl. Add bok choy to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until slightly wilted; add to bowl; keep warm.
  • Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add half of steak mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl; keep warm. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add remaining steak mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add to bowl; keep warm.
  • Combine broth and remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Add to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Return steak and vegetables to pan; toss gently to coat.

Lisa Bell, Cooking Light

You can make Beef Bourguignonne even if your name isn’t Julia!

Image via

While the air still has a tad of a chill left to it, this is one HOT recipe to make… great when you have a group, or great to eat for a few nights. This is a Cooking Light recipe, therefore it’s not as fatty as the original recipe. I would never have known that it was lighter. My favorite part… the mushrooms! WOW!

Beef Bourguignonne (click HERE if you want to know how to pronounce it! Click on the little symbol that looks like a speaker and you will hear someone say it) is basically beef cooked in red wine with bacon, onions and mushrooms. It’s better if it sits a day… Click HERE if you want to be taken to to the actual recipe where it’s quick and easy to print, or here it is… You may want to rent Julie and Julia for more details… This was a dish made famous (in my eyes) by Julia Childs.

Yield: 9 servings (serving size: about 1 cup beef mixture, 3/4 cup noodles, and 1 teaspoon parsley)

Beef Bourguignonne with Egg Noodles

Yield: 9 servings (serving size: about 1 cup beef mixture, 3/4 cup noodles, and 1 teaspoon parsley)


  • 1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 3/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 1/4  pounds  beef stew meat
  • 3  bacon slices, chopped and divided
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  sliced carrot
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2  cups  dry red wine
  • 1  (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
  • 8  cups  halved mushrooms (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 1  (16-ounce) package frozen pearl onions
  • 7  cups  hot cooked medium egg noodles (about 6 cups uncooked noodles)
  • 3  tablespoons  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add beef; seal and shake to coat.

Cook half of bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add half of beef mixture to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan; cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining bacon and beef mixture. Remove beef from pan; cover and keep warm.

Add chopped onion, sliced carrot, and minced garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in red wine and broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add bacon, beef, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, mushrooms, tomato paste, chopped thyme, bay leaves, and pearl onions; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Uncover and cook 1 hour or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaves. Serve beef mixture over noodles; sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 447, Fat: 14.6g (sat 5.1g,mono 6.1g,poly 1.5g), Protein: 32.7g, Carbohydrate: 45.7g, Fiber: 3.9g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Iron: 6mg, Sodium: 677mg, Calcium: 47mg

Recipe and Image via (Becky Luigart-Stayner; Melanie J. Clarke and Celine Chenoweth)