French Dip Sandwiches


1 2.5-3 lb. beef roast (you can use a frozen roast if you want)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 1-ounce packages dry onion soup mix
2 c. water
2 cans beef broth
6-8 large buns (or more…6 would be VERY generous servings!)
Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced.


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and rub roast with salt and pepper. When very hot, carefully place roast in pan and sear on all sides. You’re not cooking the meat, you’re just browning it quickly on all sides to add flavor and seal in the juices. Oh, and it smells so good–just like Grandma’s house on a Sunday afternoon.

Place in crockpot and sprinkle with onions soup mix. Pour water and beef broth over roast. Cook 8-10 hours on low or cook 4-5 hours on high and another 3-4 hours on low. It’s hard to screw this part up; basically, the longer it cooks, the more tender it will be. But you know it’s done when you pop a fork in it and the meat just falls apart. When meat is ready, shred with a fork.

Place meat in crusty rolls. Top with cheese and broil open-faced in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes, until bread is golden and cheese is melty. And don’t even think about walking away–things can go from lightly-toasted to on fire within a matter of seconds when you’re using your broiler. Ladle juices into small cups for dipping and enjoy!

Source: Our Best Bites


Spaghetti Sauce


5 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole large yellow onions, diced
2 whole green bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine (or low sodium beef broth if you prefer)
2 cans (28 oz. size) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz. size) crushed tomatoes
1 can (4 oz. size) tomato paste
1-2 jars storebought marinara sauce (use 2 if you like the sauce to be more saucy than meaty)
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground thyme
4 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley (or 3 tablespoons parsley flakes), more to taste
1 whole rind from one wedge parmesan (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)


IMPORTANT: This recipe can easily be halved! I just like to make a ton so I can freeze it.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.

Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute.

Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid.

After an hour, add the minced parsley and the rind from a wedge of Parmesan (or grated Parmesan if you prefer–or both!) Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Shepherd’s Pie


For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds potatoes
1/4 cup milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
extra Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over top

For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels or 1 can creamed corn


Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the milk, butter, salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, and Parmesan cheese and continue to mash until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the meat filling. Place the canola oil into a large pot and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on colour, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn (if frozen) to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. If using creamed corn, spread a thin layer of corn on top of the beef layer. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a fork. Place several pats of butter on the top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place on a cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Turn the oven on broil for the last few minutes to get the potatoes nice and crispy on top. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Alton Brown

Garlic-Butter Chicken with Tomatoes


2 tbsp (30 mL) garlic butter or 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter and 1 garlic clove, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
generous pinches of salt and pepper
1/4 cup (50 mL) white wine
1/2 pint grape tomatoes


Melt garlic butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. If using regular butter, melt, then stir in minced garlic. Add rosemary and chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, until chicken is golden, 4 minutes per side.

Add wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Stir in tomatoes. Cover and simmer, turning chicken occasionally, until springy when pressed, 6 to 8 more minutes. Place chicken and tomatoes on plates and spoon pan sauce over top. Great with rice or boiled new potatoes.

Adapted from Chatelaine

Roast Beef


joint of beef
medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tbsp. flour
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 450°F. Pour olive oil over the joint of beef and rub it in with your hands. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the joint and rub that in. Sprinkle the flour over the top beef fat and pat it with your hands. This will crisp up the fat when it’s cooked. Peel and chop the onion and sprinkle the pieces under and immediately around the beef.

Calculate cooking time based on the weight of the meat. If you want your roast beef rare, cook it for 17 minutes per 450 g of meat. Add an additional 15 minutes for medium or 30 minutes for well-done meat. Cook for 15 minutes at 450°F, then lower the heat to 375°F and cook at this temperature for the remaining amount of time.

While the beef is cooking, baste it at least twice. Take the meat out of the oven, tip the juices to one end and spoon them all over the meat. This helps to keep the joint moist when cooking.

When the beef is cooked, cover it with foil and let it stand. This will enhance its flavour and make carving easier. For a 450 g (1 lb) joint, 20 minutes standing will be enough. For larger joints, let the meat stand for 40 minutes.

From Cook UK

Baked Pesto Chicken


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 375°F. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken pieces, then cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 strips.

Spray a 9″ x 12″ baking dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup of the basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread the final 1/4 cup of basil pesto over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. Don’t cook it too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. (If your broiler is separate from the oven, start preheating it when you take the chicken out.) After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

Serve hot. There will be some flavorful juice in the bottom of the dish when this is done, so you may want to serve with rice, couscous, or quinoa to soak up the juice.

From Kalyn’s Kitchen

Chicken Fried Rice


1 1/2 cups rinsed, drained uncooked long-grain white rice
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. canola oil , divided
2 large eggs , beaten to blend
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-size pieces
4 small peeled and finely diced carrots (about 4 ounces total)
1 1/2 cups broccoli , cut into small pieces about 1/4 inch in size
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tsp. toasted sesame oil


Combine 2 2/3 cups water, rice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a rice cooker, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the steamed rice to a baking sheet to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and stir with a fork for about 30 seconds or until just cooked. Remove the eggs from the wok and set aside on a plate.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok, season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of canola oil in the wok over medium-high heat.

Add the carrots and broccoli to the wok, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the cold rice, and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the eggs, chicken and 3/4 of the green onions. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Transfer the rice to a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining green onions.

From Oprah