Saturday, October 26, 2013

Drip Beef

    Oh, Pioneer Woman, how I love thee!  Not only is her food delicious, her recipes are practically foolproof due to her presentation. If you haven't checked out her website, do yourself a favor and click here. Knowing what food should look like at each step is a wonderful thing.  The link goes to her drip beef recipe, which was our game day food today.

    The basic recipe appealed more to me, so that's what we enjoyed while watching the Noles beat up on NC State this afternoon. I have no food pictures (the Pioneer Woman's are more than enough), but here's a random one of our mini Noles:

    Is the high five for the delicious drip beef sandwiches, or a touchdown? 

    Anycahoots. In the absence of a Dutch oven, I used my biggest pot with its ill fitting lid. This is probably the reason there was no juice left for sandwich dipping. They were also on the salty side. Regardless, the drip beef sandwiches were delicious! 

Sutton ratings:
Alec: Pretty good
Bekah: 4/5
Asher: Actually chewed and swallowed roast for the first time!

Whipped Cream

    This morning, I had every intention of making biscuits and sausage gravy...until I realized our butter supply is practically non existent. Thus, a grocery run became my new intention...until I saw that it was 38 degrees outside. That's when Alec suggested making hot chocolate. Yum!

    A replica of Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate was on our menu this week, until I found Publix doesn't carry English toffee syrup. So, our hot chocolate was created from the basic recipe on Hershey's cocoa boxes.  The whipped cream, however, was a delectable masterpiece. 

Have you seen the picture on Pinterest of the cream filled strawberries? Pinterest actually removed the one I pinned; it seems the original source wasn't too fond of their creation going viral. Anyhew. Normal whipped cream doesn't hold it's shape long enough to use on desserts that won't be immediately consumed. Considering we weren't planning on using all the whipped cream at once, I decided to add some gelatin to my recipe.  Here's what I did:

2 T cold water
1.5 tsp gelatin
1.5 c heavy whipping cream
1/2 c powdered sugar 
1 tsp vanilla

Pour heavy whipping cream in cold mixing bowl (I had mine in the freezer for awhile), set on a medium speed

Combine water and gelatin in small mason jar
Set the glass with the gelatin mixture in a saucepan of simmering water
Stir until gelatin is completely liquified, remove from heat

Set mixer at a higher speed; once it starts thickening, add sugar and vanilla
Add gelatin to whipped cream as it's still whipping
Whip until the cream forms peaks

At this point, I created a fabulous pastry bag:

And topped the hot chocolate in my favorite mug: 

Sutton ratings:
Alec: "Yummy"
Bekah: 5/5
Asher: *signs for more*

Friday, October 25, 2013

White Bean and Ham Soup

    Ready for the third Mimi reference in a row? Here it is: Mimi makes the best soup in the world. It's been years since I've had her white bean and ham soup, but it sure made a long lasting impression.  So savory, warm and filling...just thinking about it makes me happy!

    Recently, we had leftover ham and Alec suggested we do something creative with it. When I decided on white bean and ham soup, I had no idea what I was getting into. Soaking beans? Making stock with ham hocks? 'Twas a great recipe to further this amateur cook's kitchen skills. I only strayed from this recipe in two respects; our soup had grated carrot instead of chopped, and included more ham than the scant amount on the ham hocks. 

     The process took about 24 hours, but the soup was well worth the wait!  After feasting on the delectable concoction, there were all of two servings left. It took all my willpower to leave some for Alec the next day! 

Sutton ratings:
Alec: 4/5
Bekah: 5/5
Asher: n/a (He was on a supper strike, his loss!)

   It seems appropriate to include a picture of my inspiration: 

Chicken and Dumplings & Cream of Chicken Substitute

    Have you seen the chicken and dumplings recipes making the rounds on Pinterest? I have quite the soft spot for chicken and dumplings, it's one of my favorite Mimi dishes. It seems as though many of these popular recipes use refrigerated biscuit dough in place of homemade dough. Weird, right?

    This week, I took a plunge and tried out one of the recipes. The end result can't exactly be labeled as a success or a failure. Cream of chicken soup is supposed to be used, so I made a substitute.  The substitute turned out well. What didn't turn out well were the 'dumplings'.  They added a sweetness to the dish that I didn't care for, and Alec couldn't get past the texture. In a nutshell, they tasted like boiled biscuit dough. Gross, right? 

At least the cream of chicken substitute was a success! Here's the recipe:

Sutton ratings:
Alec: 2/5
Bekah: 2/5
Asher: 3/5

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Banana Bread

    One of the biggest blessings we received around the time of Jackson's birth was a six week hiatus from cooking. Planning and creating meals is typically a joyful task. At 41 weeks pregnant, cooking becomes a troublesome chore; with a newborn and a toddler, it's nearly impossible. I am so very thankful to our family and church family for giving us that much needed break!

    Since I've returned to being the family chef, Pinterest has been utilized quite a bit. There are so many delicious looking recipes to try! My absolute favorite find so far is this banana bread recipe from :

    This recipe is the closest I've found to my Mimi's banana bread. It is absolutely delicious! One recipe 
made two nice sized loafs, which we've been enjoying for three days now. Follow the recipe to a tittle, and you'll have banana bread fit for a king!

Sutton ratings: 
Alec: 3/5
Bekah: 5/5
Asher: 5/5


Asher approves :)