Zesty Pot Roast

I learned about Mississippi pot roast a few years ago and that is the only way I cook my roast. What is a Mississippi pot roast? Mississippi pot roast is a roast that is slow cooked in a crock pot along with a stick of butter, a packet of ranch mix, a packet of au jus gravy and pepperoncini. Its a meal that you can easily drop into the crock pot on the way to work and when you get home cook some noodles and add some carrots, celery and onions.

This recipe came about because the wife bought a pack of zesty ranch seasoning mix. I really did not know what to do with it since I am not a big fan of dip mixes and I make and sell my own ranch seasoning which is so much better (yes that was a shameless plug). So instead of using my ranch mix I decided to use the zesty ranch mix and it really kicked up the flavor. It got me thinking about making a Habanero Ranch mix (another plug).

Zesty Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 1 3-5 lbs chuck roast
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 packet Fiesta Ranch dip mix
  • 1 packet au jus gravy mix
  • 5-6 pepperoncini peppers

Instructions

  1. Turn crock pot on low and add the roast. Sprinkle the fiesta ranch and au jus gravy mixes on the top of the roast add the peppers on top along with the stick of butter.

  2. Cook on low for 8 hours and serve on top of mashed potatoes or noodles

I like to add some carrots, celery and onions to my roast. If you do add the vegetables add them about two hours prior to serving. Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Homemade Vegetable Broth

It’s always a good idea to have some type of broth in your pantry. Chicken, beef, vegetable or seafood broth can be the base of so many amazing dishes but have you ever went into your pantry and realized there was no broth to be found? I have and it stinks. But what if I told you that making your own broth is not only simple but also tastes 100 times better than the stuff you get in the box? It is and today we are making vegetable broth.

The broth will take about 3 hours but most of that time you will be sitting back drinking a beer or a glass of wine. Don’t worry, I don’t judge. You will spend under 10 minutes chopping up your vegetables and sautéing them and then you can sit back while the stove does the rest of the work. Once done and cooled strain the broth and its all done.

Vegetable Broth

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 3 carrots roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 tomato quartered
  • 10 parsley sprigs
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast omit if you don’t have any
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes stirring often

  2. Add water and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

  3. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and partially cover with lid

  4. Allow to simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Once done allow the broth to cool and then using a strainer pour into another pot.

There you go. Easy vegetable broth that can be the base for so many different recipes. I think I’ll use this for vegetable soup. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

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Medicine Ball Tea

I have been stuck with a wonderful cold for the past two weeks (thanks better half). You know what I mean… coughing, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat etc. I am finally beginning to feel better but my throat is still a little sore and you can only drink so many Hot Toddies, or can you?

While searching the inter webs for a new concoction that would help my throat and maybe just make me feel a bit better I came across the medicine ball. The medicine ball is a drink from Starbucks that many people have been ordering to help alleviate cold symptoms. Once learning of this medicine ball drink I knew I had to make one at home immediately.

This is not a copy cat of what Starbucks serves. This is similar but I choose not to use lemonade and use a lemon wedge instead. I just don’t want all that sugar that comes with the lemonade especially when I’m not feeling well.

I must say this drink soothed my throat and did help my symptoms. I felt a little bit more alive after having one of these so I did what anyone else would do. I made another. Enjoy

Medicine Ball Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 sachet Teavana Peach Tranquility
  • 1 sachet Teavana Jade Citrus Mint
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 lemon wedge

Instructions

  1. Once your water is heated add the honey and squeeze the lemon wedge into the water

  2. Add the two sachets of tea and allow to steep

Thanks for stopping by Life 44… live, laugh, love & learn

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Za’atar Pork Loin

Lately I have been spending a lot of time working with spices and spice mixes. I really love trying new spices, spice combinations and seeing what works with what. Thats where Za’atar came along.

Za’atar is used throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean on meats, breads and vegetables. It is made with sumac, toasted sesame seeds, thyme and some versions even add oregano.

For this recipe I mixed a tablespoon of olive oil with a tablespoon of Za’atar, rubbed the mixture over the pork loin and marinated the pork loin in the Za’atar mixture for a few hours.

This pork loin turned out so moist and flavorful thanks to the Za’atar. The teens wolfed down the pork loin and I almost lost a finger while they were getting seconds.

Za’atar Pork Loin

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork loin roast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Za’atar

Instructions

  1. Mix the Za’atar and olive oil and rub the Za’atar mixture all over the pork loin. Allow to marinade for an hour or longer. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking

  2. Preheat oven to 375º

  3. Place pork loin into a roasting pan and cook for about 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145º.

  4. Wrap the cooked pork loin in aluminum foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes

This pork loin goes great with a side of roasted sweet potatoes. I even sprinkled more Za’atar on the potatoes before roasting them and they turned out amazing. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

Here are a couple items that I recommend to make this recipe.

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Instant Pot Buffalo Mac-n-cheese

Lately I have been working on recipes using the new Instant Pot that we picked up a few months ago. I have tried a few different things with the Instant Pot and I must say that this recipe for Buffalo Mac and cheese is amazing. The Instant Pot also makes it a breeze to make. Clean up is also so easy that the teens fought over who would do dishes that night.

You can easily customize this recipe to your tastes. Add more buffalo sauce or add less. I also used mozzarella, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses but you can use what you have laying around.

With pre-cooked chicken this Mac and cheese can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Just what you need after a long day at work and then chauffeuring the kids all over town.

Instant Pot Buffalo Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 16 oz dry elbow or shell macaroni
  • 1/2 cup milk you may need to use up to a cup of milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozarella
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • additional salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce to shredded chicken and set aside.

  2. Add noodles, broth and 1 tsp salt to Instant Pot. Set manual timer for 5 minutes.

  3. Once completed release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s directions.

  4. Add the cheeses, ground mustard, onion powder, garlic powder and 1/2 cup of milk. Stir to combine. Once cheese has melted add the buffalo chicken and fold to combine.

This is a great way to up the flavor of Mac and Cheese and really takes no time at all to make. Thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, laugh, love & learn.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe came to be because I put a whole chicken in a crockpot, left to go hiking and came home hours later without going to the grocery store. Yes I forgot a few needed ingredients to finish making chicken noodle soup and there was no way I was heading to the store.

Digging through the refrigerator I found some corn tortillas, sour cream, chipotles in adobo sauce and cilantro. When I picked up the cilantro I knew what must be done. Chicken Tortilla Soup. It must have been years since I last had this amazing and flavorful soup.

You can make this soup as simple or complex as you wish. You can use rotisserie chicken and just shred it at home, or you can roast a chicken at home and use the leftover chicken for chicken quesadillas the next night.

I recommend cooking this soup in a dutch oven. If you don’t have one, you need to buy one right away. You can use either an enameled cast iron or a traditional cast iron. Either one will do the job. The links below are a couple that I recommend.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained
  • 1 tbsp diced chipotles in Adobo sauce
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 15 oz can corn
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers roughly chopped
  • tortilla chips
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a dutch oven and add the onions. Cook for about 4-5 minutes  add the  garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes

  2. Add all the remains ingredients except for the shredded chicken and tortilla chips. Mix and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

  3. Add the shredded chicken and stir to mix and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

  4. Add any additional toppings of your choice

To make this soup even better add toppings you like. Such as cheese, avocado, sour cream or cilantro. The sky is the limit. Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls rank right up there with chocolate as one of the greatest treats ever. The husband will say bacon but as always he’s wrong. There is nothing better than starting your day with a hot cup of coffee (or a London Fog) and a warm gooey cinnamon roll.

This cinnamon roll recipe has been a family favorite during the cold weather months and the teens always ask for it once the leaves start to turn color. This year I thought I would share the recipe and even have the husband help. After taking about twice as long, drinking half a bottle of wine and telling him repeatedly that bacon does not go in cinnamon rolls we were finally finished and blessed with amazing cinnamon rolls. Quick reminder to myself… do not under any circumstances bake with the husband. I feel like I shaved two years of my life.

This KitchenAid made mixing the dough for this recipe so much easier than mixing by hand. It saved so much time and so much complaining from there husband. It really is a lifesaver.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 Rolls
Author Katie Smith

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 Cups Hot Water 105-115˚
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter Melted
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 Cup Powdered Milk
  • 1 Cup Mashed Potato Flakes
  • 1 Tbs Instant Dry Yeast
  • 8-9 Cups Flour This amount may vary

Instructions

  1. This is much easier to make in a KitchenAid. You will get a good arm workout if you make it by hand. You will want to make sure you are using the kneading hook on the KitchenAid when you start to add the flour.

  2. Make sure your water is between 105-115˚. If not, your yeast may not activate correctly. 

  3. Mix all ingredients together without the flour until moist. 

  4. Add 3 cups of flour

  5. Slowly start to add more flour to your dough. Continue to add more flour until the dough pulls off of the sides. It should start to ball up in the mixer.

  6. Flour your counter and continue to hand knead your dough for about 5 more minutes. Continue to add more flower if the dough is still sticky. You should have a nice ball of dough at this point. 

  7. Let your dough rest for 15 minutes on either an oiled counter space or a greased bowl. 

  8. After the dough has rested, punch down and roll out a rectangle of about 18’X15″.

  9. Spread softened butter across the entire rectangle. 

  10. Cover dough with brown sugar and cinnamon. We also added fresh grated nutmeg. You can add raisins and nuts if you prefer at this point as well. 

  11. Roll up the dough. 

  12. Slice the roll evenly across. You should get about 15-18 rolls.

  13. Place evenly on a large greased pan. (Glass not preferred) Rolls will fill in as they rise. If you want to bake the rolls the next day for breakfast, this is the point where you could cover them and refrigerate until the morning. 

  14. Let Rolls rise for 30-45 minutes. 

  15. Bake at 325˚ for 20 minutes (you don’t want them to be too brown). 

    Let cool for about 10 minutes before frosting. 

Top the cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Try this recipes to make your own frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe (click here)

These quarter sheet pans work great to bake these cinnamon rolls. Click the image below to order.

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Hope your family enjoys these cinnamon rolls as much as mine and stay tuned… I think the husband is going to make bacon cinnamon rolls soon. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

Cream Cheese Frosting

This cream cheese frosting recipe is so easy. All you have to do is combine all the ingredients and beat together until creamy. This frosting is perfect on cinnamon rolls or cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Author Katie Smith

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Butter Softened
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 4 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until well blended. 

  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy. 

So easy to make in a KitchenAid. This is a must have for your kitchen. Click the picture below to order your KitchenAid asap!

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Hot Toddy

Winter is a great time for trying new recipes that warm you from head to toe and they don’t have to be just soups or stews. A hot toddy is the perfect adult beverage for a cold winter night.  There are plenty of rumors out there that a hot toddy will even cure what’s ailing you. I will not make any claims that a hot toddy can cure a cold but many times through the years I have sat down and sipped on a hot toddy while I had a cold and I sure felt better after.

The biggest point to remember with this recipe is adjust to your own tastes. If you want it sweeter add more honey. If you want it with a bit more tang add some more lemon juice. Play around with it until you have it just right for your tastes.

Hot Toddy

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 tbsp whiskey or bourbon

Instructions

  1. Heat water using a kettle or on the stove top

  2. Add heated water to your mug and add the whiskey, honey and lemon juice. Stir to dissolve the honey.

  3. Add cinnamon stick and star anise and enjoy

Thanks for stopping by Life44.com…Live, laugh, love & learn.

Below are two of the kitchen tools I used for making this hot toddy. Check them out.

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London Fog

 Winter is upon us and there is nothing better than a warm cup of tea. It has been many many years since I last had a London Fog,  not the coat but the amazing Earl Grey tea and milk. There are many variations of this drink but for ours we will just be adding vanilla extract and sugar. Yeah that is all, just five ingredients.

Start by boiling some water.  I love the Hamilton Beach electric kettle to boil the water. This kettle will bring the water to a boil in no time. If you do not have a kettle you can use a pot on your stovetop. Pour the hot water into a mug and add an Earl Grey tea bag. Allow to steep for five minutes.

While the tea is steeping begin heating your milk, vanilla extract and sugar over medium heat. Do not allow the milk to come to a boil. Did I say not to bring the milk to a boil? Don’t do it. I love using this hand frother for the  milk and it works like a wonder. It just takes a little bit of elbow grease.

Remove the tea bag then add the milk mixture and there you go. You just made a London Fog tea and saved 7 dollars if you would have went to a high priced coffee shop.

Remember that you can always adjust the sweetness of this drink. More or less…it’s up to you. Heck, if you have had a really hard day you could even add a bit of bourbon. I’m not going to judge.

London Fog

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Earl Gray tea bag
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag after steeping

  2. While the tea is steeping heat the milk over medium low heat. Do not bring milk to a boil. Add sugar and vanilla extract

  3. Using your frother mix the milk, sugar and vanilla and froth until the milk is very foamy

  4. Add milk to tea and top with the milk foam.

 Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

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