Easy Stove Top Roast (or in the oven)



Here’s my favorite easy fall and winter recipe.  Its good enough to serve for company, but easy enough that the prep literally only takes minutes.  This week, I burnt out my oven by seasoning too many cast iron pans (crazy, I know!) and had to learn to adapt my time honored fav for the stove top.  I was totally surprised that it turned out great.

Here’s what you’re gonna need:

Chuck roast.  I usually get one that is 3-4 pounds

3-4 carrots, washed, unpeeled, and cut in chunks (I cut in one the bias because its more fun)

3-4 celery stalks (washed, cut in chunks including the tips)

(sometimes I add new potatoes, sometimes not)

1 onion (peeled and quartered or sliced fairly thick)

olive oil




about a tablespoon of molasses (sometimes)

a splash of Worcestershire sauce

4 cups beef broth

  1. Preheat oven safe pot with a bit of oil on medium high. (Also, preheat oven to 300 if you plan to finish it in the oven)
  2. Generously put salt, pepper, and oregano all over the roast.  Salt helps it to brown better.
  3. Brown all the edges of the roast.  It takes about 1 minute per side. The sizzle is a good thing.
  4. Take the roast out of the pan.
  5. Put the onion in the pan and let it brown.  After a minute or so, turn it to brown other sides.  Set it aside with the roast.
  6. Add a little oil to the pot if necessary and put the carrots and the celery (and potatoes if you want them) in to sear.  Let them brown for a few minutes stirring only as necessary. Set them aside as well.
  7. Turn the heat down to low. Add a couple of cups of beef broth to the empty pot.  Using a whisk, fairly gently scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen up all the lovely burnt on pieces.  This important step adds a lot of goodness to the flavor.
  8. Add a spoonful or so of molasses (if you have it) and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the broth and stir it around.
  9. Put the roast and veggies back in the pot.  Add the rest of the beef broth.  You want the roast to nearly be covered with liquid.  If needed, you can add water to accomplish that.
  10.  At this point, if you plan to finish it in the oven, put the lid on, slide it in the oven,and let it cook about 3-4 hours.  It is done when it is ready to fall apart.
  11. If you are finishing on the stove top, put the heat on medium low and bring it to a boil.  Once its boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and let it simmer for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.  I put the lid on half way to keep the water in and check it every once in a while and add water as necessary.

Did you try it? Let me know what you think!  Got any other roast tips? I’d love to hear them!





Finding Fakes

finding fakesThere is nothing like finding a valuable antique treasure like this Griswold cast iron pan. There is a thrill in knowing that you have found and sometimes rescued something special and of value. That thrill is quickly turned to disappointment when you find out, as my kids did, that they bought a fake.

This cast iron toy skillet is marked “Griswold,” which is the crème de la crème of vintage cast iron brands. As such, there are fakes. So, as they held this pan, we talked about how to spot a fake. That conversation turned from spotting fake pans to spotting fake people. The trick in collecting antiques and in living life is the same: learning how to spot a fake.

Matthew 7:15 says, “Watch out for false prophets. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

real griswold

This is a real Griswold. Note the clean lines, crisp lettering, and good cast.

In our lives, there are people that genuinely care about us. They want the best for us. They want to see us succeed. Those people are like finding the genuine, valuable antiques. They bring joy untold. Finding those people is worth the treasure hunt. Like this pan, their markings are true. This real Griswold makes the one that we bought look like a piece of trash. Its markings are clear, its surface like glass. Genuine people have markings that are real and stands through inspection.

However, there are those that are fakes. They may be fake in Christian doctrine and trying to persuade us to join them by using lies about scripture. Maybe they are fake friends and are merely using us for their gain only to discard us later.


This is our counterfeit Griswold. Note the bubbly, sloppy looking lettering,

False prophets, teachers, and friends are all dangerous, because they pretend and seem to be genuine. Our fake pan has the markings of a Griswold. It even has a model number that is valid. However, upon closer inspection, we find that there are things that are off. First, the quality of the iron is just not good. The logo and the writing look “bubbly”. It isn’t crisp like real Griswold skillets. The surface is not smooth and milled, instead its uneven,unrefined.

Our friends, teachers, and leaders all have markings, “brands” if you will. Sometimes they are labeled as “caring”, but when we look closer it is scrawled and of poor quality because it is fake. Do they pretend to care, only to desert when needed or when they don’t get the public credit? We need to be brand inspectors. Do their brands and markings look like the real thing or is it a bit off? Even Satan in the Garden of Evil mixed his lies with a bit of truth. With friends, ask yourself if they are trying to gain by being your friend. Find out their motives. Does the quality of their markings match who they are? Do they say they are their friend, but lead you toward evil? Are you often getting in to trouble because of the reassurance of a “friend”? For teachers and prophets, also do a motive check. Does their words match their works? Are they teaching generosity but greedy in their ministry? Are they using just enough scripture to get you to do what they want? Pray that God will give you discernment.

My prayer for my kids and for you, is that God will teach you to spot a fake. For me, our pan looked pretty good, until I was able to compare it to the real thing. After I saw what the real thing looked like, I recognized our fake as trash. God has given us the real deal to look at in the person of Jesus. The more we know Him and spend time with Him, the better we will be at spotting fakes. Compare your friends, your teachers, your leaders to Christ. Do their markings match up? If not, they are fakes. Treat them as such. Guard your heart.





The Night I Didn’t Have a Dinner Plan, Had No Food in the House, and Didn’t Go Out to Eat. Also. How to make a Frittata.

Ok. So, I will admit, this happens to me fairly often.  The other night, it got to be 6:30, maybe even 7:00 and I was jolted out of whatever project I was working on by my 5 year old son, saying, “Mom, my stomach says that it is past supper time.” It was way past time. Not only did I have no plan, but I had not been to the grocery store for a long time and was down to just a few foods hanging out in the fridge.  Basically, we were down to eggs, a few pieces of bacon, milk, and cheese and a zucchini and tomato from the garden.

Having recently decided our stomachs and our budget could do with a hiatus from eating out, I started searching the pantry for anything else.  Then I remembered our dear friend frittatas.  If you have never tried these, you need to.  I will become your ace in the hole, quick weeknight, one skillet, easy clean up meal.  My veggie-averse kids eat it like crazy and don’t even pick the veggies out.  Its also a great fridge clean out food.  You can  use whatever veggies you have on hand that needs to be used.

Here’s how I make it.

Again, here are my starting ingredients:

9 eggs (10 would have been better, but beggars can’t be choosers)

1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons or so of milk

4 1/2 pieces of bacon (1/2 was stolen by the hungry 5 year old)

1 zucchini

1 tomato

a little cooking oil

  1.  First, I preheated the oven to 400 and preheated my skillet .  I put the skillet on the burner on low and let it heat up.  This helps the food not to stick later. I also cheated because it was late.  I cooked the bacon on paper towels in the microwave.
  2. Next I shredded the zucchini.  I thought it would hide among the eggs better and my veggie-averse kids would have no choice (and be none the wiser) as they ate it.
  3. Increasing the heat to medium, I put a little cooking oil (maybe a tablespoon) onto my preheated pan, let it heat up a bit, then added the shredded zucchini.IMG_1028
  4. While the zucchini did its thing..(small side not about cast iron cooking–these pans are meant for searing.  So, the best thing to do is let it do its job.  Stirring constantly, will only make a mess. So stir, leave it alone for a bit, then come back and stir again.) I cracked the eggs into  a medium sized bowl, added the cheese and milk, and whisked away. I also used this time to crumble my now cooked bacon and slice the tomato into small wedges. IMG_1032
  5. Once the zucchini is cooked, I put it in the bowl with the eggs and whisk again.IMG_1033
  6. If needed, I put a little bit more oil in the skillet. Then just pour the egg mixture in.IMG_1035
  7. I happily sprinkled bacon over the eggs–much to the delight of the hungry kids. Then placed the tomato pieces over all that.IMG_1036
  8. I let the eggs cook until the edges are set and starting to brown.  I use my spatula to lift it up and let some of the egg mixture flow underneath.
  9. Once the edges were set and starting to brown, I stuck it in the oven (ain’t cast iron great!) and let it cook or about 10 minutes until it was puffed up and slightly browned.IMG_1039
  10. Once it was out, I cut into wedges and watched as my happy trio and hubby devoured it.IMG_1040

Cast iron note:  For this meal, I used a BSR Century Series Number 7 skillet.  I love BSR as users because they are super smooth on the inside and hold seasoning well, but are almost indestructible.  A size 8 would have worked wonderfully as well.  If you don’t have a vintage cast iron skillet, you need one! You can find one here.