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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Best ever Pot Roast: Quick, easy, and oh-so delicious

Pot roast is one of my absolute favorite meals--it's filling and satisfying in every way, it's wholesome, and every time I eat it I think "dang, I could eat that every night and never get sick of it." The funny thing is, no matter HOW MANY times I make pot roast, I can never remember how I do it! How long do I cook pot roast at? What temperature should I cook pot roast at? Should I do a crockpot roast or should I cook my roast in the oven?  Should I sear my roast first? When do I add the vegetables to my pot roast again? I have to find a recipe online EVERY time.  And I can never find the same recipe. I mean, really, how can I not remember these things?! So, having made a yummy pot roast last night, I decided I'm going to write down exactly what I did!

Easy and Delicious Pot Roast Recipe

-One roast (I used a rump round roast, chuck roast is usually a bit cheaper I think...I usually buy a 3 pound roast for around $10-$15)
-Garlic salt
-Onion powder

One large onion, cut into wedges

6 large carrots, peeled and diced (I used the large setting on my ChopChop, sometimes I use a small bag of baby carrots and leave them whole)

6-8 potatoes (I used 8 smaller potatoes)
-salt/pepper (to taste)
(you can add anything to mashed potatoes: sour cream, cream cheese, evaporated milk, heavy cream, any combination of spices, bacon--do what sounds good to you)

-cornstarch (or flour)
-bouillon (I actually use a powdered form of CHICKEN bouillon--I like it better than the granules and I HATE the pain of using the cubes. I'll explain why I don't use beef bouillon below)

A lot of recipes will tell you to sear your roast first.  Usually I do. Last night I didn't.  Honestly? I didn't notice any difference whatsoever (besides the fact that I had one less pan to wash-yahoo!).  If you do want to sear your roast, preheat oil on high in a skillet, season your roast, and sear each side for a minute.

Baking options:

Crockpot: 8-10 hours on low
Place your roast in crockpot fatty side up after seasoning all sides. I sprinkled each side with onion powder, garlic salt (you could obviously do garlic powder, onion salt...or both as powders and then just add salt) and pepper.  Then I added a couple cups of water to the bottom (the water was 1-2 inches thick) and put the lid on.  It's ideal to cook pot roast on low (8-10 hours), but if you cook it on high it should be ready in 5-6 hours. Pot roasts are like sleeping babies: they do better if you just leave them alone. Don't open the lid or mess with your roast...just let it cook.

After nine hours, I opened the crock pot to throw in the onions and basted the roast while I was in there--it didn't look dry at all and I could tell it was already super soft.

At this point (an hour before serving), I started to boil my carrots in one pot (on high, already diced and in salted water), and my peeled, whole potatoes in another (on high, in salted water).  It took the carrots about twenty minutes and the potatoes about thirty to be as soft as I like them.

Returning to the roast: it's best to let your roast sit for 15 minutes before serving.  I flipped my roast over for a few minutes so that the seasoning from the fatty top could soak into the juice, then I removed it to a serving plate (I hate fat so I scraped it all off), basted it in juice, and covered it with the now soft and yummy onions.  I poured the remaining juice into a small sauce pan and turned it to medium.  

To make the gravy, I scooped out some of the hot juice into a cup and mixed it with a couple spoonfuls of cornstarch (you could use flour) until smooth and then returned that to the juice to thicken it up.  I added some pepper, rosemary, thyme (to taste), and a cup of hot water with a spoonful of my powdered chicken bouillon.  I don't use beef bouillon because I feel like it has a super strong, fake-tasting flavor.  Any time I've used beef bouillon in something (gravy, soup, etc.) it starts tasting like I dumped it out of a can, and I hate that!  Chicken bouillon adds awesome flavor while keeping things would never even know that the gravy had "chicken" seasoning in it--it just had a great, yummy flavor.  If your gravy is thick, add more water/bouillon (or just water if it's too strong). If your gravy is thin, add more cornstarch/flour. If you don't stir the cornstarch/flour into a small amount of liquid first, you'll get lumps that you'll never be able to get out.

Right before serving, drain carrots and add pepper and butter (and more salt if necessary).  Drain potatoes and mash with 1-2 tablespoons butter, a huge squirt of ranch, a dash of milk, and some pepper (as you mash you can add more of anything to make them creamier or more flavorful). I mash my potatoes with my hand-held electric beater.

And, voila, you have a yummy, awesome pot roast that everyone will rave over!

Baking a roast in the oven:
If you want to bake your pot roast in the oven (it's faster, so it's a great option if you forgot to throw it in the crockpot)--preheat oven to 275 and bake in a covered baking dish for 3-4 hours (depending on size of the roast...though I lean towards 4 hours even for a three pound roast).  You'll want some water in the bottom (same as with your crockpot) and you can throw your vegetables in there too, but if you cook them the entire time they'll be pretty mushy by the end.

When do you add vegetables to your roast? If I'm not doing mashed potatoes, I'll throw my cubed potatoes, carrots, and onions into the crockpot about two hours before the roast should be done (maybe an hour and a half before it's done if your adding them to a roast in the oven).  You don't want to open your roast because you don't want it to dry if you do open it to add something just make sure you baste your roast in juice before closing it back up again.

And there. Now you (and by "you" I really mean me) have one place to come for an awesome roast reference whether you're making a pot roast in the crockpot OR cooking a roast in the oven.


Want more great ideas?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Treasure Hunt Ideas "Show me the Money"

I have a little grandson who is OBSESSED with money.  Big money, little money, it doesn't matter if it's a penny or a ten dollar bill--he loves it all! For his sixth birthday I couldn't help but throw him a cash-themed birthday party.  This Online Treasure Hunt Ideas "Show me the Money" was the treasure hunt that he got with his birthday and he absolutely loved it! Ten clever clues lead the treasure hunter to cash prizes (you could use coins or bills to make this as big or as small as you wanted).  This treasure hunt is fun, witty, and everyone wins in the end--you'll love it!

To download Treasure Hunt Ideas "Show me the Money" just CLICK HERE

We've got plenty more!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mother's Day Homemade Party Favors

Think that  your mom is a Super Mom? Well show her! Surprise her with this funny "mom-mobile" (Super Mom's signature car) full of her favorite candy for Mother's Day! Mother's Day Homemade Party Favors Mom-mobile "Super Mom" designed to print from your computer--you just have to cut and paste!
To download Mother's Day Homemade Party Favors Mom-mobile "Super Mom" just
We've got more where that came from!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easy Quillow Patterns "Hippo"

We love quillows in our family--the quilt/pillow combination is something cozy and cuddly that children and adults of all ages love.  This Easy Quillow Patterns "Hippo" is extra adorable with this cheerful little hippo face--make it for a girl, or take off the bow to make it for a boy!

To download Easy Quillow Patterns "Hippo" 

We know you want more!

Mother's Day Printable Games "Not Your Mom!"

Mother's Day is just around the corner! Have you found yourself thinking, "what should I get my mom for Mother's Day?"  Well, if you want a fun, cheap idea that will have the whole family laughing--print this game off for your mom for Mother's Day! When my kids were growing up we absolutely loved to play "don't eat Pete," and this Mother's Day Printable Games "Not Your Mom!" is just a fun Mother's Day twist on that game.  One contestant leaves the room while everyone else chooses which of the nine pictures is "mom" and puts a candy on each picture.  When the person returns, he picks candy by candy (while the group says "that's not your mom!" each time he picks a new picture) until he selects the candy on top of the picture that the group has chosen.  At that point everyone shouts "that's your mom!" and the player doesn't get any more candy.  You can repeat this game indefinitely until everyone has had a chance to be "it" (and then continue playing for second turns!).  You and your mom will have tons of fun :-)

To print Mother's Day Printable Games "Not Your Mom!" just CLICK HERE

We've got more where that came from

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Printable Treasure Hunt Ideas "Super Mom"

Mother's Day is coming up, have you thought of something awesome to do for your mom yet? If you want to mix things up a bit and go above and beyond the usual expectations, consider wowing your mom with our Online Treasure Hunt Ideas "Super Mom".  This treasure hunt will take mom all around the house with fun clever clues that lead to all of super mom's most frequented places...just leave a prize for mom to find with each clue and she'll have a fun and exciting, special day!

To download Online Treasure Hunt Ideas "Super Mom" just CLICK HERE

We know you want more!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Name Place Settings "Candy Leg"

Easter is THIS Sunday--are you ready or are you still hopping around town trying to pick stuff up? If you want adorable (and yummy!) place settings for your Easter table, or cute handouts for an Easter Sunday lesson at church, then you need our Easter Name Place Settings Candy Leg Cutouts.  Just cut out the cute Easter figure and attach candy-filled legs.  Easy and oh so tasty!

To download Easter Name Place Settings Candy Leg Cutouts, JUST CLICK HERE for fat bunny or HERE for fluffy chick

We know you want more!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Quilt Patterns "Friend I Will Remember You"

We've all had friends who have made a difference in our lives and who we want to remember forever.  This quilt is what friendship is all about--keeping our dearest friends close to us forever.  The quilt reads "friend I will remember you, think of you, pray for you. And when another day is through I'll still be friends with you!"  If you have a friend that's important and dear to you, make their day by making them this quilt and give them something that they can hold onto forever!

To download Quilt Patterns 
"Friend I Will Remember You" 

We know you want more great stuff!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Printable Bingo Games "Easter"

We love to play Bingo in our family--both the young kids and the grown-ups always get really into it! Naturally, this has led to the creation of specialty Bingo cards for every holiday and for every birthday theme.  Why not, right? You can download these super adorable Printable Bingo Games "Easter" and start a fun Easter tradition with your own family now!

just click HERE

We know you want more!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter Games "Easter Egg Olympics"

Sick of the ordinary Easter egg hunt? Looking for something new and exciting? Well we've got a treat for you! Put a twist on this year's Easter egg hunt by adding in these special "Easter Olympics" cards.  Players open eggs as they find them...but then must perform the challenge on the card before finding the next egg! Both fun, funny, and physically challenging, these Easter Games "Easter Egg Olympics" are sure to make your Easter eggstra exciting!

To download Easter Games "Easter Egg Olympics" just CLICK HERE

We know you want more great stuff!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter Activity Ideas "Easter Fortunes"

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Every now and then we like to switch things up and get a little crazy, hence the birth of Easter Activity Ideas "Easter Fortunes".  We've created tons of fun "Confucious"-inspired Easter fortunes that you can put in your Easter eggs--it will be a blast! You can put them in the eggs with candy or by themselves, either way you'll be in for a fun treat and a lot of laughs.
Easter Activity Ideas easter fortune eggs easter egg fortunes fun easter activities fun easter traditions
To download Easter Activity Ideas "Easter Fortunes" just CLICK HERE
We've got more where that came from
Easter Activity Ideas easter fortune eggs easter egg fortunes fun easter activities fun easter traditions

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Baptism Quilt Patterns "Choose the Right"

baptism quilt ideas baptism quilt patterns little girl baptism quilts religious quilt ideas girl quilt ideas spiritual quilt ideas online quilt pattern

baptism quilt ideas baptism quilt patterns little girl baptism quilts religious quilt ideas girl quilt ideas spiritual quilt ideas online quilt patterns
To download Baptism Quilt Patterns "Choose the Right," just CLICK HERE

We know you want more!
baptism quilt ideas baptism quilt patterns little girl baptism quilts religious quilt ideas girl quilt ideas spiritual quilt ideas online quilt patterns