Pesto Fries

Want an out of this world french fry recipe for when you’re craving something salty and crunchy?  Pesto Fries are drizzled with a buttery pesto sauce then sprinkled with cheese.  The perfect snack or side to any main dish.

Pesto Fries on a plate ready to eat!

Who doesn’t love a big pile of hot, crispy french fries?  They are like a really great little black dress, they go with everything and can be dressed up with a few accessories.  The ‘accessories’ for these fries happen to be a delicious pesto sauce that is drizzled on then baked in.  Sprinkle with some cheese and you’ve got a great dish for this Mitten Movie Night.

This recipe is inspired by a hot dog food truck that we had dinner from at our local energy cooperative customer appreciation day.  I was sad that I didn’t get the name of it because if I had, I probably would be following it like a Grateful Dead groupie.

While waiting in line to order the smell coming out of the food truck was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Once I was up to the window I ordered a bacon-wrapped hot dog and for the side, pesto fries.  They came out piping hot and loaded with pesto, cheese and tasted even better than I expected.

I locked the flavors away in my mind and knew that like most wonderful things I eat, I had to come home and recreate this Pesto Fries recipe and pair it with some great craft beer.

What movie or TV show pairs well with fries and beer?

I’m sure you have probably heard of a little show that is sweeping the horror scene called, The Haunting of Hill House.  While Halloween is over this show will keep you in the creeps for a long time.  My recommendation when you start watching is to plan for a binge session because you will NOT be able to turn away.

What beer pairs well with Pesto Fries?

The beer: Sunspot Hefeweizen Ale from Greenbush Brewing Company. 

This beer was in a mixed 6 pack of Michigan beers that my husband picked up at one of his favorite beer store in Southwest Michigan.

Pesto Fries on a pan ready to eat!

What makes a Hefeweizen a great beer to pair food with?

This German beer is a drinkable beer that pairs well with nearly everything.  It’s light and drinkable and you can enjoy it while you fill up on delicious food, not the beer.

Better yet, Hefeweizen has a fruity, lemony appeal so it may lend as a little breath refresher for all the garlic on these Pesto Fries.

How to make Pesto Fries:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or to the temperature that is on the package of fries.

On a sheet place parchment paper.  Spread the whole bag of frozen french fries to the pan in a single layer.

Cook according to package directions, mine took about 30 minutes flipping halfway through.

Frozen fries ready to cook.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking, make the pesto sauce to go on top.

In a heatproof cup or glass measuring cup melt the butter.

To the melted butter add the minced garlic.

Ingredients and steps to make pesto sauce for pesto fries.

Add the prepared pesto sauce.

Finally, pour in the olive oil.  Stir to combine completely.

Take the french fries out the of the oven and pour the pesto sauce over the fries.  Put back into the oven for 5 minutes.

Take out and serve individually with parmesan-romano cheese sprinkled on it.

Looking for a dish to serve with Pesto Fries?

And here you are……

Pesto Fries on a plate ready to eat!

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Pesto Fries
Crispy fries smothered in a buttery pesto sauce, sprinkled with parmesan-romano cheese. Pesto Fries make a great snack or side for burgers and sandwiches.
Pesto Fries | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Pesto Fries | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or to the temperature that is on the package of fries.
  2. On a sheet place parchment paper. Spread the whole bag of frozen french fries to the pan in a single layer.
  3. Cook according to package directions, mine took about 30 minutes flipping halfway through.
  4. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, make the pesto sauce to go on top.
  5. In a heatproof cup or glass measuring cup melt the butter.
  6. To the melted butter add the minced garlic.
  7. Add the prepared pesto sauce.
  8. Finally, pour in the olive oil. Stir to combine completely.
  9. Take the french fries out the of the oven and pour the pesto sauce over the fries. Put back into the oven for 5 minutes.
  10. Take out and serve individually with parmesan-romano cheese sprinkled on it. Enjoy!

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd

This is the time of year for tailgates and holiday parties, so having a Quick Recipe that will feed lots of people is a must! This Mac and Cheese for a Crowd has only a few ingredients and comes together easily.  Set it and forget it in the slow cooker so you can enjoy the party and not be stuck in the kitchen.

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten

I’ve been making this mac and cheese recipe for years.  It’s always my go-to when people are coming over.  The pasteurized cheese spread melts perfectly with the pasta to create this deliciously cheesy dish that goes with literally any main dish that you are servings – hot dogs, hamburgers or smoked meats.

Did you just say ‘pasteurized cheese spread’?

Yes, yes I did.  It still exists and it’s truly THE BEST way to make this mac and cheese. While I do not keep it in my fridge on a regular basis this recipe is one reason why you might want to keep it on hand.

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten

This recipe calls for only half the amount of pasteurized cheese spread.  I made this twice in a month for my son’s birthday and then a pool party so all I was out was 2 boxes of pasta and two cans of evaporated milk.  Total cost for this macaroni and cheese for 2 parties: Less than $11.00.  Double bonus: This mac and cheese for a crowd is very economical.

How to make Mac and Cheese for a Crowd: {VIDEO BELOW}

Cook the elbow pasta according to package directions and drain.

Add the drained pasta to a greased slow cooker.

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Cube 1/2 the package of pasteurized cheese spread.  Place on top of the pasta in the slow cooker.

Shake the evaporated milk then open and pour over the pasta and cheese.

In a small bowl add the garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and parsley flakes.  Stir to combine then pour over the pasta and cheese.

Stir to completely combine all the ingredients together.

Cover and set the slow cooker as follows:

Since the pasta will continue to cook in the slow cooker *do not* leave on high heat for very long.

  • Serving immediately – set the slow cooker to high for up to 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Eating within 30 minutes – set the slow cooker to low, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Waiting longer than an hour – set the slow cooker to keep warm, stirring every 20 minutes. 

And here you are……

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Mac and Cheese for a Crowd
This recipe for Mac and Cheese for a Crowd is a cheesy dish that's ready to party! Easy comfort food that has just a few ingredients but is so satisfying.
Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Cook the elbow pasta according to package directions and drain.
  2. Add the drained pasta to a greased slow cooker.
  3. Cube 1/2 the package of pasteurized cheese spread. Place on top of the pasta in the slow cooker.
  4. Shake the evaporated milk then open and pour over the pasta and cheese.
  5. In a small bowl add the garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and parsley flakes. Stir to combine then pour over the pasta and cheese.
  6. Stir to completely combine all the ingredients together.
  7. Cover and set according to timing below. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Cover and set the slow cooker as follows:

Since the pasta will continue to cook int he slow cooker *do not* leave on high heat for very long.

  • Serving immediately - set the slow cooker to high for up to 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Eating within 30 minutes - set the slow cooker to low, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Waiting longer than an hour - set the slow cooker to warm, storring every 20 minutes. 

Beef Ragu

Slow cooking this Beef Ragu on low makes it so the beef falls apart at forks touch.  While it cooks a rich tomato gravy comes together so you have barely any work to do once it comes out of the oven.

Beef Ragu and tomato gravy over mashed potatoes with rolls on the side ready to eat.

Tonight is our local Christmas parade.  It’s the one thing that I refuse to miss so this Mitten Movie Night will be played out on the streets of our little town.

The holiday parade in our little town reminds me of every small town in almost every Christmas movie I’ve ever seen.  The town crier comes out to start and ends with the most authentic Santa and in between the floats filled with people you do business with or have grown up with pretty much your whole life.  It always makes me feel like I live in one of the most special places around.

So tonight we will fill out bellies up with this delicious dinner then head off to see over 100 floats–let’s just say it doesn’t go quickly.  Then once we get home it will be time for some Holiday ‘Cheer’.

What beer pairs well with a Christmas Parade?

The beer: Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery.

We picked up mini kegs of this Christmas Ale at Costco last week.  Perfect for sharing with guests who are visiting after the parade.

Beef Ragu and tomato gravy over mashed potatoes with rolls on the side ready to eat.

How to make Beef Ragu:

To start remove any extra fat on the eye of round roast.  When I first started making this I didn’t remove the fat and it would make the sauce very oily.  The roast still stays very tender.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and make sure your racks are placed so you can add the large pot or dutch oven since you will cook this all in one pot.

In a large pot or dutch oven heat 2 Tbs oil.  Salt and pepper each side then add to the pot.  Sear each side to trap in the juices for 2-3 minutes.

Remove the beef and put on a plate.

There will still be some oil in the pan to that add the onion and garlic.  Sautee for 2-3 minutes.  To the onions now add the wine, beef stock, and tomato paste.  Stir to combine all the liquids together and cook down the tomato sauce so there are no more clumps.  Add the beef back into the pan.  Finally, add the carrots.

Eye of round roast in a pot with carrots and a tomato gravy.

Place a top over the pot and into the oven this goes for 3 hours.  Check the roast at 2 to 2-1/2 hours to make sure that there is still liquid in the pot.

When this comes out of the oven you should have a sauce that while thick, it will still have a little ‘give’ to it.  Take the roast out of the sauce and shred or slice it as you like. Add the meat back into the sauce and combine.

This beef is very versatile so boil some noodles or whip up some mashed potatoes.  I made some yellow-skinned mashed potatoes because they are a major food group in my life.

Ladle the sauce and beef over the top.

Tips & Variations for Beef Ragu:

  • If you prefer to leave the fat on the roast, skim the sauce of fat once it is done the cooking.
  • Depending on the varying temperatures of oven you may have to add a little more beef stock so it does not dry out.  Try adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed.

Bake up some fluffy rolls and here you are….

Beef Ragu and tomato gravy over mashed potatoes with rolls on the side ready to eat.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Beef Ragu | Bottom Left of the Mitten #beef #roastbeefrecipe #foodandbeerpairing
Print Recipe
Beef Ragu
Slow cooked in the oven for 3 hours leaves this Beef Ragu so tender it falls apart. Wine and tomato paste help make a rich sauce. A delicious and hearty Winter meal.
Beef Ragu | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Beef Ragu | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and make sure your racks are placed so you can add the large pot or dutch oven since you will cook this all in one pot.
  2. Remove any extra fat on the eye of round roast.
  3. In a large pot or dutch oven heat 2 Tbs oil. Salt and pepper each side then add to the pot. Sear each side to trap in the juices for 2-3 minutes. Remove the beef and put on a plate.
  4. In the same pot add the onion and garlic. Sautee for 2-3 minutes. To the onions now add the wine, beef stock and tomato paste. Stir to combine all the liquids together and cook down the tomato sauce so there are no more clumps.
  5. Add the beef back into the pan. Finally add the carrots.
  6. Place a top over the pot and into the oven this goes for 3 hours. Check the roast at 2 to 2-1/2 hours to make sure that there is still liquid in the pot. Adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed.
  7. Take the roast out of the sauce and shred or slice it as you like. Add the meat back into the sauce and combine. Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Tips & Variations for Beef Ragu:

  • If you prefer to leave the fat on the roast, skim the sauce of fat once it is done the cooking.
  • Depending on the varying temperatures of oven you may have to add a little more beef stock so it does not dry out.  Try adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed.

Hot Chocolate and Toast

Is there anything better than a big mug of hot cocoa when it’s cold out?  You might as well add a little snack on the side too.  Try this Hot Chocolate and Toast.  It may sound like an odd combination, but there really is nothing like buttery toast dipped in homemade hot chocolate brimming with marshmallows to warm you right up.

Buttered toast with a mug of hot chocolate and marhsmallows on the side.

Well now that Thanksgiving is over let’s get cozy and ready for Christmastime.  That also means here in the Bottom Left of the Mitten at any moment we can be visited with the dreaded 4 letter word: S-N-O-W.  Now don’t get me wrong I love snowy days until about January then I’m done with it.  However Michigan does not listen to me and the last few years it can snow March-March I say!  So why not cozy up with a warm bowl of soup.  Or go out and play it then come home to a piping hot cup of homemade hot chocolate.

As a kid Winter was racing down the biggest hill in our area, Kincheloe Hill, on a bobsled that had *gasp* real metal skis on it.  My brother and I would build igloos brick by brick and then sit in it for hours.  No matter what the wintertime activity was when we were finally forced to come in and peel off the wet layers full of ice balls we would then sit down with one of my favorite treats.  The best way to warm up was a big mug of hot chocolate brimming with gooey marshmallows and buttery toast on the side to dip in it.

Buttered toast on a plate then toast being dipped into a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows.

This hot chocolate could not be simpler.  Forget ever buying a packet again all you will want to make sure to keep on hand is some sugar, milk and really good cocoa powder.

How to make Hot Chocolate and Toast:

In a medium saucepan add the milk and turn it on to medium heat.  Now to the milk whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla.

Keep whisking and cook the cocoa for 5 minutes.

Turn off heat.

Now it’s time to toast the bread.  Slather on LOTS of butter.  Split the milk between 2 cups.  Top with marshmallows.

And here you are…..

Buttered toast with a mug of hot chocolate and marhsmallows on the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Instagram | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

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Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Miten #hotchocolate #toast #cocoa
Print Recipe
Hot Chocolate and Toast
It doesn't get better than buttery toast dipped in warm cocoa and sweet marshmallows. Hot Chocolate and Toast is the ultimate winter drink and snack combo.
Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan add the milk and turn it on to medium heat. Now to the milk whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Keep whisking and cook the cocoa for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
  2. Now it's time to toast the bread. Slather on LOTS of butter. Split the milk between 2 cups. Top with marshmallows. Enjoy!

Beef Tips and Gravy

We are getting ready to settle in for the long Winter.  That means it’s time for some classic comfort food, Beef Tips and Gravy.  Low and slow is the name of the game so these beef tips come out tender. The gravy doesn’t get too thick which is perfect to use to soak into the noodles and dip bread into it.

Beef Tips and Gravy in a bowl with bread off to the side ready to eat.

We had our first dusting of snow last night.  So for this Mitten Movie Night I am ready for the colder weather, snuggling up in front of the fireplace and a big blanket.

What movie pairs well with a hearty beef and noodle recipe and beer?

This is our first holiday in the new house.  While I’m excited to start decorating the new house, I am feeling almost a little ‘homesick’.  We lived in our old house for 15 years.  That’s 15 Thanksgivings, Christmases and New Years.  Two babies came home to have their first visits with Santa there.  So many wonderful memories but now it’s time to focus on the new memories here.

However, I can still stick with tradition and enjoy a few things that we do every year and one of them is watching Scrooged.  Hands down one of my favorite holiday movies.

What beer pairs well with Beef Tips and Gravy?

The beer: The Double Magician from Short’s Brewing.

The malty, caramel flavors in Red Ales pair well with the noodles and the savory beef gravy.

Beef Tips and Gravy in a bowl with bread and a craft beer off to the side ready to eat.

This recipe is one that I’ve been making since before Pinterest was invented.  I did find it online and then printed it out but I’ve been making it so long that I threw it out.  Luckily I think that I found it on Taste of Home and pretty sure this is it!

First off, know that this recipe is time intensive.  If your hanging out at home on a Sunday this is the perfect meal for you.  I have tried cutting down on the time this simmers and it never comes out nearly as good as when I let it go the whole 1-1/2 hours.  So be warned.

How to make Beef Tips and Gravy:

Start by browning the beef tips into a medium saucepan in some oil.  This is just to brown it no need to cook all the way through.

In a measuring cup put 1 cup water, soy sauce and Worcestershire Sauce.  Stir it then add to the beef tips.  Turn the heat to low then cover.

Let cook for 1-1/2 hours making sure to check every 30 minutes.

Beef tips browning in a pan on the stove.

During the last 20 minutes in a separate pot cook the noodles according to package directions.

Cook for 12-14 minutes then empty into a strainer. Turn the low simmering beef tips up to high.

In a bowl add the other cup of water and the package of brown gravy.  Stir to combine and add to the beef tips.  Let cook and thicken up just a little while you do the next part.

In the pot that the noodles cooked add 1 Tbs butter and start melting it.

Then add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are cooked down.  It should take about 8 minutes.

Finally to this pot add the beef tips and gravy then the noodles.

Stir everything to combine.

Tips for making Beef Tips and Gravy:

  • For the noodles: bring the water to a boil before adding to the pot it cooks the noodles better and they don’t stick together. 
  • Make sure to check on the beef tips every 30 minutes as they cook.  If you have the heat too high it will cook off the liquid then you might burn your tips–oh no!

Add a side of bread and a vegetable and here you are….

Beef Tips and Gravy in a bowl and on a plate with bread and a craft beer off to the side ready to eat.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Beef Tips and Gravy | Bottom Left of the Mitten #beeftips #gravy #comfortfood
Print Recipe
Beef Tips and Gravy
These beef tips and gravy cook low and slow so they come out tender. Serve over noodles for a stick to the ribs dinner, perfect for the colder weather.
Beef Tips and Gravy | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Beef Tips and Gravy | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Brown the beef tips into a medium saucepan in some oil. This is just to brown it no need to cook all the way through.
  2. In a measuring cup put 1 cup water, soy sauce and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir it then add to the beef tips.
  3. Turn the heat to low then cover. Let cook for 1-1/2 hours making sure to check every 30 minutes.
  4. During the last 20 minutes in a separate pot cook the noodles according to package directions. Bring the water to a boil before adding to the pot it cooks the noodles better and they stick together. Cook for 12-14 minutes then empty into a strainer.
  5. Turn the low simmering beef tips up to high. In a bowl add the other cup of water and the package of brown gravy. Stir to combine and add to the beef tips. Let cook and thicken up while you do the next part.
  6. In the pot that the noodles cooked add 1 Tbs butter and start melting it. Then add the mushrooms, onions and garlic and sautee until the mushrooms are cooked down. It should take about 8 minutes.
  7. Finally to this pot add the beef tips and gravy then the noodles.
  8. Add a side of bread and a vegetable. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Tips for making Beef Tips and Gravy:

  • For the noodles: bring the water to a boil before adding to the pot it cooks the noodles better and they don't stick together. 
  • Make sure to check on the beef tips every 30 minutes as they cook.  If you have the heat too high it will cook off the liquid then you might burn your tips--oh no!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

This Pudding Recipe that will transport you back to childhood.  A bowl of warm, chocolatey pudding with the extra special layer on top of it.  Homemade Chocolate Pudding is easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding in bowls ready to eat!

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I received Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa complimentary but all opinions stated in this post are my own.

This week for Choctoberfest I thought I would make a rich, chocolate dessert that takes me back to my childhood.  Sunday’s were spent at my Grandma & Grandpa’s house and dessert was usually a big bowl of homemade chocolate pudding.  Rodelle’s Dutch-processed cocoa gives this chocolate pudding a rich flavor and easy enough to make to make your sweet tooth happy.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding with a spook in it and other bowls of pudding surrounding it.

I was very excited to partner with Rodelle in making this recipe for Choctoberfest.  Not only is their baking cocoa versatile for recipes it is also full of good things for you and your family: antioxidants, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamins.  It’s also naturally cholesterol free Kosher, gluten-free and non-GMO.  So now on to the recipe!

How do you make Homemade Chocolate Pudding?

In a medium sized pan add the dry ingredients: sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt whisk together the ingredients so they are all combined.

Move the pot to the stove top.  Measure out 2 cups of milk and whisk it into the dry ingredients.  Turn on the stove to medium heat.  Add the additional 2 cups milk, butter, and vanilla.

Recipe steps of how to make Homemade Chocolate Pudding.

With the heat going constantly keep the whisk going.  The lumps at the top will eventually disappear so be patient.  Keep stirring until the pudding starts to thicken–this takes about 5-8 minutes so be patient as you need to stay and whisk the pudding the whole time so the bottom doesn’t burn.

When you can dip a spoon into the pudding and it coats the back of it you can take it off the heat and put into serving bowls.  Give the pudding at least 10 minutes to cool down and firm up a little if eating warm.

Serve warm or chilled.  With or without whipped cream.

Tips & Variations for Homemade Chocolate Pudding:

  • Don’t like pudding skin? Cut wax paper to fit or plastic wrap pressed down on the top to prevent the skin from forming.  If you want cold put it into the fridge for about half an hour.
  • Feel free to substitute dark cocoa powder for a dark chocolate homemade pudding.

And here you are…..

Homemade Chocolate Pudding in bowls ready to eat!

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Homemade Chocolate Pudding
Only a few minutes and a few ingredients to make the perfect comfort homemade chocolate pudding. Get ready to be transported to your childhood.
Homemade Chocolate Pudding | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Homemade Chocolate Pudding | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized pan add the dry ingredients: sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together the ingredients so they are all combined. Move the pot to the stove top.
  2. Measure out 2 cups of milk and whisk it into the dry ingredients. Turn on the stove to medium heat. Add the additional 2 cups milk, butter and vanilla.
  3. With the heat going constantly keep the whisk going. The lumps at the top will eventually disappear so be patient. Keep stirring until the pudding starts to thicken--this takes about 5-8 minutes so be patient as you need to stay and whisk the pudding the whole time so the bottom doesn't burn.
  4. When you can dip a spoon into the pudding and it coats the back of it you can take it off the heat and put into serving bowls.
  5. If eating warm give the pudding at least 10 minutes to cool down and firm up a little.
  6. For no skin: cut wax paper to fit or plastic wrap pressed down on the top to prevent the skin from forming.
  7. If you want cold: put it into the fridge for about half an hour.
  8. Serve warm or chilled. With or without whipped cream. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes
  • Don't like pudding skin? Cut wax paper to fit or plastic wrap pressed down on the top to prevent the skin from forming.  If you want cold put it into the fridge for about half an hour.

Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast

Looking for a cozy meal that takes very little time to make?  Set the crock pot and add a simple sauce to pork then let it do its work.  Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast is a slow cooker favorite the whole family will love.

Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast shredded on a pan ready to eat!

This is one of my favorite meals to make for my boys. For me, one of my true joys is making them a meal that has them leaving the dinner table full & happy.

Now I’m going, to be honest and give what is possibly an unpopular opinion-I really don’t use my crock pot often.  Even in the cooler months.  Not sure if it’s just that I forget that I even have one or maybe I’m not a big fan of the way some meat turns out after cooking but there is one meat that I almost always pull out the underused crock pot for and that is porkThis crock pot ranch pork roast only takes a few ingredients to get this tender roast that practically makes its own gravy. 

Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast shredded on a pan with gravy on the side ready to eat!

How to make Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast:

In a bowl mix together the dry ranch, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, and water.

Mix all ingredients together then pour on top of pork. Easy! Once that is all in just cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Pork roast in a crock pot getting ready to cook.

Remove the roast from the crockpot and put on a plate or sheet pan.  Pull meat apart and dispose of any fat that is left on the roast.

Time to make the gravy:  Ladle 1 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and add to a pot.  In a small bowl whisk 1 Tbs flour with 3 Tbs milk.  Bring liquid to a boil then add the flour/milk mixture.  Whisk constantly until it thickens, usually takes 2-4 minutes.  This can easily be doubled depending on how much gravy you’re looking for.

So rich & creamy. Perfect to top off this crockpot ranch pork roast.  Roast up some asparagus and mash some potatoes to complete this meal.

Variations for Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast:

  • Want an Italian twist to this dish? Swap out the dry ranch dressing for dry Italian dressing.
  • Add some whole peppercini’s to the crockpot for some extra flavor.
  • This pork roast is also great on sandwich buns with melted cheese.

And here you are…..

Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast shredded on a pan with ranch gavy on the side ready to eat!

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Originally published April 2016. Updated photos & recipe.

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Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten #crockpot #slowcooker #porkroast
Print Recipe
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast
Fix dinner and forget it with this crockpot ranch pork roast. Cooking all day leaves this savory roast so tender it falls apart at forks touch.
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast
Gravy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast
Gravy
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Pour on top of pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Remove the roast from the crock-pot and put on a plate or sheet pan. Pull meat apart and dispose of any fat that is left on the roast.
Gravy
  1. Ladle 1 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and add to a pot.
  2. In a small bowl whisk 1 Tbs flour with 3 Tbs milk.
  3. Bring liquid to a boil then add the flour/milk mixture. Whisk constantly until it thickens, usually takes 2-4 minutes.
  4. Serve pork with gravy and any other side you wish. Enjoy!

Tuna Casserole

Time for a cozy Tuna Casserole recipe that is easy any night of the week.  Try out my Tuna Noodle Casserole full of vegetables and cheese and topped with a buttery cracker crust.

Tuna casserole in a dish ready to eat.

School is in full swing.  Fall is here. No better time to have a really cozy, comforting casserole recipe in your back pocket for busy nights.  Or the weekend.  Or to make sure there are leftovers in the fridge for busy nights.  Whatever the case, this tuna casserole is for you!

What sets this Tuna Casserole apart from the crowd?

  • Cheese! Don’t let the plain name fool you. This is a cheesy tuna noodle casserole. The creamy cheese sauce in this casserole takes this recipe to the next level.
  • The buttery cracker crust really makes this casserole true comfort food.

The weather is finally cooling down after quite a heat spell here in Southwestern Michigan, and I think most of the Midwest.  It’s taken a few weeks to get into the groove of the school year.  With the move to the new house, our 11 yr old started a new school which isn’t nearly as close as the old one.  He is going on the bus which is a new experience for him and even our 3-year-old started preschool.  Little A can be a bit of handful but it’s actually been going well!  Okay, enough about that now on to the tuna casserole recipe.

Creamy tuna casserole on a plate ready to eat.

How do you make Tuna Casserole?

Cook the egg noodles according to package directions.  When I add the noodles to the boiling water I also add the peas and carrots so they can cook at the same time.  Once they have cooked (around 12 minutes) remove from the pot and drain then add to a separate bowl.  In the same pot that the noodles were cooked, we’re going to make a roux.

Making a roux for this tuna casserole is so simple and once you learn how to do it you will never use a box with cheese sauce already in it again.  To the pot on medium heat add 1 Tbs of butter.  Once it’s melted add the flour and stir until combined. Now add the milk.  Stir to combine the butter and flour mixture then add the can of cream of chicken.  Finally, add 1/2 a cup of the cheese.

How to make tuna casserole step-by-step.

To the noodle mixture add the two cans of drained tuna.  Mix all together then add into the pot of cheese sauce.  Stir to combine so all the cheese gets into all the crevices.  In a greased 9×13 dish add the noodle casserole.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a bowl melt the remaining 1 Tbs of butter.  Crush the sleeve of crackers into fine pieces then add to the melted butter.  Sprinkle over the top of the casserole then top with the final 1/4 cup of cheese on top.  Bake for 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

Tips & Variations for Tuna Casserole:

  • No tuna lovers in your house? Swap out cooked chicken.
  • Triple cheddar is what I used but feel free to use any cheese you like!

And here you are….

Tuna casserole served on a plate and in a casserole dish in the background.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.


Tuna Casserole | Bottom Left of the Mitten #tuna #casserole #comfortfood
Print Recipe
Tuna Casserole
Egg noodles coated in rich creamy and cheesy sauce then packed full of vegetables. This tuna casserole is perfect for the whole family.
Tuna Casserole | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Tuna Casserole | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. When I add the noodles to the boiling water I also add the peas and carrots so they can cook at the same time. Once they have cooked (around 12 minutes) remove from the pot and drain then add to a separate bowl.
  2. In the same pot that the noodles were cooked we're going to make a roux. To the pot on medium heat add 1 Tbs of butter. Once it's melted add the flour and stir until combed. Now add the milk. Stir to combine the butter and flour mixture then add the can of cream of chicken. Finally add 1/2 a cup of the cheese.
  3. To the noodle mixture add the two cans of drained tuna. Mix all together then add into the pot of cheese sauce. Stir to combine so all the cheese gets into all the crevices.
  4. In a greased 9x13 dish add the noodle casserole. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. In a bowl melt the remaining 1 Tbs of butter. Crush the sleeve of crackers into fine pieces then add to the melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole then top with the final 1/4 cup of cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes to melt then cheese. Enjoy!

Out of a Can Chili #SundaySupper

This quick chili recipe comes together in a flash! Out of a Can Chili goes from stove to table in 15 minutes so it’s perfect for busy nights.

Out of a Can Chili in a bowl with cheese to the side ready to eat!

Happy Father’s Day! When I asked my husband what he would like me to make him he said I like nachos, maybe something on the smoker or chili.  No matter what time of year chili is always a hit at our house so chili won out, even on Father’s Day.  My Out of a Can Chili is so easy if you couldn’t already tell that, the name gives it all away.

I have tried dozens of chili recipes over the years.  Even one with pumpkin that did not go over well at all with my 10 year old.  Some were great but my boys love this original recipe that I’ve made forever.  Like my My Dad’s Chicken and Rice recipe, this one I learned from a parent, my mom.

Out of a Can Chili in a bowl with cheese to the side ready to eat!

The base of my chili always stayed the same and has been forever.  It’s the recipe my mom showed me and I haven’t veered from it.  One can chili with beans, one can chili without beans and finally one can of chili beans.

Ingredients and directions for how to make Out of a Can Chili.

For the rest of the chili I have perfected it over the years and added one can tomato soup, one can diced tomatoes and one can drained northern beans.  Do you see now why this is called ‘Out of a Can Chili’?

How to make Out of a Can Chili:

Start by cooking the hamburger and onion.  Cook in a large pot on medium/high heat for around 5 minutes.  Drain if you use the higher fat beef.  I like to use 80/20 or even ground turkey.

Return the meat to the same pot.  No need to dirty another one!

Ground beef and onions in a pot being cooked down to make Out of a Can Chili.

Open all the cans to the pot then add them to the pot.  Make sure to drain and wash the northern beans then add those.

Put a lid on on the pot and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with sharp cheddar cheese and crackers.

Variations for Out of a Can Chili:

  • Not a beef eater?  Swap out the beef for ground turkey or chicken.
  • Need chili for a crowd?  This is a great dish that can be doubled or tripled and kept warm in a slow cooker.

And here you are…..

Out of a Can Chili in a bowl with cheese to the side ready to eat!

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

As always thank you to our Sunday Supper host! Check out these other recipes the Father in your life will be sure to love.

Sunday Supper Father’s Day Menu Ideas

Sides Dad Will Love

Mains for the Main Man

Dad’s Favorite Desserts

The Best Recipes You Need Now for Father’s Day by Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Out of a Can Chili | Bottom Left of the Mitten #chili #fathersday #quickrecipe
Print Recipe
Out of a Can Chili
Less than 15 minutes will have your family enjoying this hearty chili. Top off with cheese and crackers for the perfect comfort food any time of year.
Out of a Can Chili | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chili, Comfort Food, Soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chili, Comfort Food, Soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Out of a Can Chili | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the hamburger and onion. Cook in a large pot on medium/high heat for around 5 minutes. Drain if you use the higher fat beef.
  2. One can chili with beans, one can chili without beans and finally one can of chili beans. Add one can tomato soup, then one can water (using tomato soup can), one can diced tomatoes and one can drained northern beans.
  3. Return the meat to the same pot.
  4. Put a lid on it and let simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with sharp cheddar cheese and crackers. Enjoy!

Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup

Bean soup is filling, easy to make and economical.  This recipe for Thirteen Bean and Bacon Soup is full of vegetables, beans, and bacon. Top with green onions and you’ve got a great meal to get you through the colder weather.

Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup in a bowl ready to eat!

Well, we missed the snow!  Last Saturday we hightailed it out of here when it just started sleeting and missed the light dusting that came soon after.  Where did we head to you might ask?  Oh, a little place called ‘Disney’!  While Michigan had it’s first cold spell we were basking in the sun, swimming & riding roller coasters.

It was a great trip but now it’s time to settle into the reality that Winter is coming.  I’m okay with that–because I get to celebrate Mitten Movie Night snuggled up while the wind howls drinking some craft beer and enjoying a warm bowl of soup.

What movie pairs well with bean and bacon soup and beer?

For the movie, we’re watching Elf.  Will Ferrell is my favorite actor.  As I mentioned before I really think he’s one of Hollywood’s hottest.  I also need to watch a holiday movie because after spending Thanksgiving week in Florida I’ll be honest, I kind of forgot that it even IS the holidays.  When we got to the hotel in Disney they were playing Christmas songs and it was decorated but something just felt ‘off’ about it.

Don’t get me wrong, Disney World does a fantastic job, but they do not have the two things that make the season for a Michigander and that’s bone-chilling cold and the possibility of a White Christmas.  It may seem like I’m a State snob but I’m not Michigan has ‘Winter Wonderland’ in spades and we do it better than most.  Time to reset my mind now that we’re home.

What beer pairs well with Thirteen Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup?

The beer: Accumulation from New Belgium.

A White IPA perfectly pairs with the beefy bacon and tang of the tomato base in this bean and bacon soup.

The tomato comes from a favorite of mine, condensed soup.  This time of year I can get such a great deal on them so I stock up.  Adding it to recipes like my Cream of Chicken Bake or just for heating up to dip grilled cheese in.

Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup in a bowl ready to eat!

This Thirteen Bean mix came from Fresh Thyme Market in Mishawaka, IN.  We’ve been to this store a few times but just decided to peruse the loose bins section.  The convenience of filling the bags with just the amount I needed and the ‘required’ gummy worms that Little A was unable to leave the store without was great.

How to make Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup:

Starting off soak your beans for 6-8 hours in cold water.

Drain the water and rinse them when it’s time to cook the soup.

Add 5 cups of chicken stock to a large stockpot with the beans then set to medium heat.

Now dice the bacon and cook to the preferred doneness.

Ingredients and direction for how to make Thirteen Bean & Bacon soup.

While the bacon is cooking chop the onions, garlic, and carrots.

When bacon has cooked remove and put on a plate with a paper towel. Reserve 1 Tbs of the bacon grease.

Add onions, garlic, and carrots to the pan with the bacon grease and saute for 5 minutes. Let the veggies slightly softened.  To the vegetables stir in 1 Tbs flour which will eventually add a little thickness to the soup.

Into the pot of beans and chicken stock add the cooked bacon, all the vegetables then finally the can of condensed tomato soup.  Set to low/medium heat then cover and let it do its thing for around 1-1/2 hours.

Chop up some green onion for the top.

Tips & Variations for Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup:

  • If you can’t find a bean combination great northern bean would work as well.
  • For an even fuller meal, add some cooked ground beef.

And here you are…….

Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup in a bowl ready to eat!

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Get double the sweets in your first Treatsie box!

 

Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup from Bottom Left of the Mitten
Print Recipe
Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup
Who knew that making a delicious soup could be so simple and taste as good as the canned original? Thirteen Bean and Bacon Soup makes a cozy winter meal.
Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Comfort Food, Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Comfort Food, Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Thirteen Bean & Bacon Soup | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Soak beans for 6-8 hours in cold water. Drain the water and rinse them.
  2. Add 5 cups of chicken stock to a covered pot with the beans then set to medium heat.
  3. Dice and cook bacon to desired doneness.
  4. Chop the onions, garlic, and carrots. When bacon has cooked remove the bacon and put on a plate with a paper towel reserving 1 Tbs of the bacon grease. Add onions, garlic, and carrots to the pan with the bacon grease and saute for 5 minutes until the veggies have slightly softened. To the vegetables stir in 1 Tbs flour which will eventually add a little thickness to the soup.
  5. To the pot of beans and chicken stock add the cooked bacon, all the vegetables then finally the can of condensed tomato soup.
  6. Set to low/medium heat and let it do its thing for around 1-1/2 hours.
  7. Place in a serving bowl and add chopped green onions if desired. Enjoy!

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