Friday, December 25, 2015

ROAST BEEF for Christmas Dinner... or any day of the week!

OK OK OK OK OK, I have diverted from my Nana's "milwaukee" method of roast beef and have altered it somewhat.  I found that it's similar to many methods out there, there are no new ideas.  THIS is my version...

How to cook a no fail, 

I promise, I absolutely promise, 

Standing Prime Rib Roast Beef

Here's the instructions,

Any prime rib roast beef, bone in, ANY size

Take the roast out of the fridge and leave it on the counter, uncovered, to dry, for at least 5 hours. You want it to get to room temperature, whatever your room is :)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees for at least 45 minutes.

Slather the roast LIBERALLY with butter, all sides.
Cover the butter LIBERALLY with salt and pepper, all sides.

Place roast, bone side down, in a dry roasting pan.  Put it in the oven. Cook the meat for 6 minutes per pound of meat.  Calculate from the weight on the package and round UP to the nearest minute.
Set timer for that length of time.

At the end, turn off the oven and leave for 2-3 hours, the oven is cold after 2 but I Take it out of the roasting pan so I can have the juices which I separate and use for beef fat in the freezer and to make the gravy.  I put it back in the cold oven in anothr pan and leave it another hour to just sit there and do meaty things.  I make the gravy, cook the veg and generally get dinner ready.

Remove from cold oven, slice, eat, slice, eat, slice, eat.  I slice it by removing the bones in one swipe and then slicing down on a cutting board.  Add any accumulated juices to your gravy.

I promise, on my honor, this is the best you'll ever eat.

Here's the beauty shots, I did it for Christmas dinner today:




Merry Christmas from me to all of you, Thanks for your support, here's to fun cooking in 2016! 



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The turkey. In a countertop roaster. It shouldn't work but WOW, it does.

I did the turkey, in an electric roaster.  There are ups and downs to this roaster, I'll detail later BUT in the mean time.....

AT the moment, I am not going to tell you WHICH roaster I have.  As I said, I am hoping to test different brands and offer you a real option as to where to spend your money
I tested with a pork roast.  Perfectly juicy.  Perfectly tender.
I tested with rolls, they say you can bake in these things.  You can!
I tested with muffins and cookies and biscuits.  You CAN!

Finally, I tested with a turkey breast, delicious, juicy, tender.  I did 30 minutes/lb at 450 then reduced to 325 for another 30.  Turned the roaster off. Left it to rest an hour and sliced.  Gorgeous.

THEN the main event, 14 lb bird, 1 hour 52 minutes. Juicy, tender, delicious, tender.  Best gravy made from the turkey juices.  Wow. After the holiday I'll write out long winded details so you can do this for Christmas.  BUT this is how I did it this time: PREHEAT roaster to 450PREP the turkey, dry it, salt, pepper, sage, poultry seasoning (just a bit) inside and out.PUT a carrot, onion and celery and the neck in a foil pan. PUT on a rack in the preheated roaster.DRIZZLE olive oil on the bird and add about a cup of water to the hot roaster, around the foil pan. ROAST at high temperature for 45 minutes.  Do not open the lid.REDUCE temperature to 325, leave to do it's thing for a total of 8 minutes per pound, INCLUDING the 45 minutes hot roast time.  I did mine a total of 1 hour and 52 minutes.  Temp the bird if you must at this point, 165 in the breast, it'll increase while it rests.TURN the roaster off and leave it closed, leave the bird for 45 to an hour to rest. OR you can take it and out and tent it, resting is key.  This makes the best gravy of my life, really intense flavor.  IF you remove and tent, be sure to drain of all the juice and make gravy!!!  CRAZY delicious, crazy tender, crazy method that should dry the bird out but just doesn't.   You need one of these roasters.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Love me some counter top appliances. I'm hoping to test the Nesco, Oster and/or Rival roasters so we can all turn off our ovens!

I've received a load of requests for recipes, reviews and insights into the countertop electric roaster.

I'm in the process of trying to put hands on different brands to test, review and develop recipes.  I will find groovy ways to use these things for more than roasting a massive bird for a holiday. When I get going, I will start inundating you with great ideas for Holiday cooking.

No, I don't think you need to be a crowd to use one, to need one.

Just a quick note to let you know what's in the works. I'm borrowing a friends right now but think there's got to be a better version than this...

Although.....  look at these birds!

Pretty?  Hell no
Delicious, OH grief YES YES YES

I'll share my recipes and my techniques when I get my own roaster.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

BAGS! Wine bags are up on my Etsy store TracyMakesIt and you need them :)

The coolest part of this food blog gig is the blatant self promotion.  Ok it's not, the coolest part it cooking with cooking types and talking food with food types and sharing what I do  BUT the other cool part is blatant self promotion.

On top of cooking and writing about it, I sew.  I LOVE to create stuff and I've been called a fiber artist but that title seems too hipster, I sew, let's leave it at that.

I sell quite a few Bread Bags and if you haven't had a look, go take a peek.  I use them all the time for everything.

I am in a Maker Faire next week, it's a private sale so I am putting the cool bags I've made on my Etsy shop so everyone can buy them.  At the moment, I only ship within the USA but I am looking into finding cheaper ways to ship worldwide so all of you can inundate your friends with wine in my bags.

Here they are, take a look, see if there's anything you dig and then head over to my store.  IF you message me that you saw the link here I'll cut you a deal because we foodie types have to stick together.

Check out what came out of my head.  They are linen or ticking and I printed the images onto them.

OH and I'll get back to food now, thanks!!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, my stovetop version, Easy, Cheap, Delicious and they taste like chicken!!

Let's begin.  Firstly, I will acquiesce that yes, there are a zillion ways to cook chicken.  There are even more ways to cook boneless, skinless, chicken thighs.  *I* cook chicken thighs a thousand ways.  I usually use thighs with both skin and bone BUT I have been known to divert and go both skinless and boneless. This is one of my quickie 'go to' versions.

It's stove-top but you can easily shove it in the oven if you don't want to look at it.  Looking at it is really the only involvement you have after the initial cook so that's why I keep it on the stove-top, so I feel involved and as though I'm doing something :)  Love food that deals with itself.  That being said, let's cook it.

My easy Chicken thighs, stove-top version 

A pack of chicken thighs, I found boneless skinless thighs on sale for $2.99 for 8, seriously you can't beat that.

whatever herbs or spices you like (I use thyme and sometimes sage)
plain oil

chicken stock (or water, Truly, don't not make this for want of stock)

Quickie instructions; 

Season, flour and fry thighs in batches.  Drain out most of the oil and fill pan half way with stock, bring to a boil.  Scrape up any stuck bits, that's the flavor there baby. Return chicken to pan, lower heat, cover and simmer till cooked, up to 45 minutes, you can't really overcook this and the longer is better because the chicken just gets more tender

I serve with mashed potatoes and something orange or something green


LONG version with the photographs and play by play instructions 

I don't like to wash dishes, yes I have a dishwasher, that doesn't matter, I like few dishes.  SO, to that end, I marinate, season and prep all of my meat in my sink.  Yes, I wash it.  Yes, I disinfect it.  Yes, I hear you telling me not to but I am going to anyway.  So, now we have that out of the way, let's cook this.

Take thighs and put the in your clean sink, season liberally and sprinkle, also liberally, with flour.

Let them fry, on a pretty high flame until they are crispy and beautifully brown.  Do not touch them till you're going to flip them,
When the batches are done, put them on brown paper to drain a bit.

Drain off most of the fat left but leave the bits!  Long live the bits!!  Add some stock to the pan and bring to a boil, scrape your bits!  Bring it to a hard boil and return the chicken to the pan.  Turn the pan to low, cover it and leave it to simmer and do lovely happy things.  I leave it a healthy 30-40 minutes.  The chicken just gets more tender and succulent.  Use the time to make veggies or have a glass of wine, that's my go-to.

IF you can't cope with a pan on the stove, toss it in a low oven for 45 minutes or so.

When it's done, it looks like this, lovely and soft and juicy and unctuous.  All the right food words, all the right flavors. You can cut it, for samples, with a spoon!  I live for samples, you can probably imagine.  It's pretty important to sample.  You will want to sample this, over and over.  Truly.  It's so gloriously pure in it's chicken flavor. 

I don't give any excuse or explanation to not adding onions or other flavors here.  This is meant to be easy and delicious and it is.  It tastes more like chicken than most of the chicken dishes you make, I promise you. 

Now, when it's done and you want to eat, you can take the lid off and let the sauce reduce a bit, you can take the chicken out and add a little cream and nutmeg to make it richer (that's what I am about to do) or you can simply serve it up and eat it. 

I will post update pics later today but I wanted to get the basics down for you in case you have chicken thighs in your fridge, or freezer and realize you have to have this for dinner. 

I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think...


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My EASY One Rise (oil) bread when you just can't face the thought of making a two rise bread. I feel your pain. I can help.

Sometimes you need a loaf of bread and you simply cannot face a two rise bread.  Sure, we've all been there.  I am here to help.  I have an EASY, ONE RISE white sandwich type bread loaf recipe that you will send me flowers for.  Truly.

It's quick, easy and about 90 minutes from the wish to the deed.  The deed being eating warm, homemade bread with thick, icy cold, butter melting into it.

My One Rise, easy, White Bread Sandwich loaf Recipe


1 1/2 cup warmish water
1 Tablespoon sugar (you know I heap it)
2 1/4 tsp yeast (that's one packet for those who buy packets, really though, buy the vacuum pack, dump it into a mason jar and measure out what you need, that's how I roll)

2 1/2 - 3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tablespoon plain oil (veggie, canola... NOT NOT NOT olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp salt.

COMBINE water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a Kitchenaid mixer, mix with your hands and leave to proof about 10 minutes?

2 1/2 cup of the flour, the oil and salt and mix by hand for a minute to get it started, add the dough hook.

Knead by machine, adding up to another cup of flour, until it's soft and clears the bowl completely. Try not to add more than the 3 cups of flour.  The dough will be soft and on the edge of sticky.

Remove it from machine and knead a time of two to get a smooth dough.  No, you don't have to but this is the only part in the recipe I ever feel involved in the process.  I'm a tactile kind of gal and need to get my hands into everything.

Flatten the dough and roll it into a loaf shape.  Put in a greased loaf pan of your choice; a smaller pan for a tall loaf, a long pan for a lower loaf.  *I* use a steam tray insert pan purely because my one pound loaf pan is missing and I want a tall loaf.  You can also make rolls from this dough, let your imagination fly.  BUT today, we're making it into a white sandwich type loaf...

Lightly flour the loaf and put in a plastic bag.  Again, I use the vegetable bags I get from the grocery store.  I'm classy like that.  I'm sure there is some formal proofing box or bag or plastic but I don't have that sort of time.  So, I use the vegetable bags or the plastic bags from Walmart, use what you have, the point here is that the plastic helps it proof and keep it soft without forming a skin before you bake it.

Leave it to get poofy, at least double.  That will take as long as your house takes.  It takes me about 30-40 minutes but I have a warm kitchen and yeast in the air which makes everything proof ridiculously fast here.  It takes my mom about an hour.  It will take as long as it takes.

Preheat your oven to 400 and bake the loaf, nothing sprayed or brushed on it for about 30+ minutes, turn it at 20 minutes to help it bake evenly.

Remove from the pan immediately and leave to cool then eat with abandon and joy.

OH this recipe is EASILY doubled, double everything except the yeast, increase it to 1 Tablespoon.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!!!!!


Add the water, sugar and yeast to the bowl, shush it around and leave it to get poofy.  Add the 2 1/2 cup flour, salt and oil.

Pat it out and start to roll it, seal each time you flip a roll over.. look, it's easy to do, hard to write out. 



After about 40 minutes, oooh, look, it's poofy! Into a 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes, voila!
Out of the pan, onto the rack.  This is short because it was looked in a really large deep pan.  When it's cold, I'll cut into it and update the pictures here.  In the mean time, go make it...  

It's quick, easy, there's only one rise and you'll be DELIGHTED with it. It makes great sandwiches toast or just sitting there eating it 

Let me know what you think!