This was probably the least productive weekend I’ve had in a long time.  Most weekends I have a mental laundry list of all the things I want to do, make, cook, bake.  But I woke up with a cough both Saturday and Sunday.  While Tony slept Saturday morning, I drank hot tea with lemon and quietly chopped up veggies to make a roasted butternut squash soup (recipe coming up later this week!).  Last week I also saw on my TimeHop that I had made a rosemary sea salt bread a few years ago – I posted the TimeHop on Instagram, and Tony said “damn, I forgot how good that bread is!”  Back when I was cooking lunches for my SIL, I usually made anywhere from 2-4 loaves of bread every weekend.  Now that the temps have dipped a bit, I also made the dough and baked bread so that Tony could have some delicious toast when he woke up.

I actually like quiet mornings like that.  I never even put my fitbit on all weekend, because I knew I would try to get more steps in, when my body was telling me to just slow the f down.  So that’s what I did.  The first loaf is just an herb salt blend – my Mom gave me these grinders for a Christmas gift.  I had to wait and go to the grocery store to get fresh rosemary to make the second loaf.   I’ve talked about how easy this bread in 5 minute recipe is.   6.5 cups flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon yeast and 3 cups warm tap water.  That’s it.  I mix the flour, salt and yeast together, pour in the water and actually use my hand to mix it up, that way I can make sure that all the flour is incorporated.

Let the bread rest 2 hours.  Get two pieces of parchment paper on your counter.  I make 2 loaves out of this recipe, but you can easily make 4 smaller ones.  The dough will be sticky – that’s okay.  I just use a bit of flour on my counter and hands and shape each loaf on the parchment paper.  Next I wet my hands and rub my wet hands all over the top of the dough – this helps the seasoning stick.  One was the McCormick grinder topping:

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The second loaf probably rested a good three hours longer than the first one.  I think I need fresher yeast, because my bread is usually a lot bigger, but these were still very tasty.  The second loaf was fresh chopped rosemary and sea salt.

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While I envy having a LeCreuset dutch oven one day (but not at $320!) I bought two Members Mark dutch ovens at Sam’s Club several years ago.  One is dedicated just to baking bread (because it’s baked at 450 degrees it got really seasoned) and one is just for cooking.   I think I spent $30 for them back then, today they are $38.  Super heavy, great for braising, etc.  That’s the secret to this bread – it bakes at 450 for the first 30 minutes with the lid on, basically steam cooking.  The last 15 minutes is with the lid off and that’s where the gorgeous crunchy crust comes from.

To go with the bread because it was so nice outside, I decided to get a beef roast to grill.  Holy price tag!  The Hungry Housewife and I were talking about the price of meat on Instagram.  I wanted to buy a sirloin tip roast, but at $9 a pound, I couldn’t fathom paying $27 bucks on a 3 pound roast.  So I went with a very economical cut – a bottom round roast.  They are called all different things depending on where you live, but it looks kind of like a pot roast – pretty lean with some fat layered in here and there.  Now if you read sites about how to cook different cuts of meat, you’ll see that the bottom round roast almost always calls for low and slow cooking.  Tony taught me differently.  For that cut you can do it rare, or medium rare or do it low and slow.

I marinated our 2.5 roast in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary and two cloves are garlic that have been minced.  We didn’t have a whole lot of charcoal left, so we added some wood chips and this turned out to be a super tender, smoky cut of beef.  This cooked for about an hour and fifteen minutes over medium heat.

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We hung outside and listened to music while we grilled.  It was a perfect 70 degrees.  I was wearing a tank top, thin jammie pants and no shoes.  Tony?  Sweat pants, hoodie, socks and shoes!  Before he got too chilly, I started taking pictures of him.  He’s like “you have way too many pictures of me in the same spot!”  So then he started making faces – so I give you . . . the Many Faces of Tony!  Can you tell he’s feeling better?!

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So yesterday was the first full day of football.  Tony is happier than a kid on Christmas morning on the first day of football.  I was trying to think of what I could make for his first football food, and stumbled upon this picture on Pinterest.  I had just made my version of corn fritters last week, so I took his idea and chopped up two all beef hot dogs into my fritter recipe.  I didn’t have yellow mustard in the house (wtf?!) so I mixed ranch dressing with a bit of Dijon mustard for Tony’s dipping sauce.  A little Dijon mustard goes a long way for Tony.


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A couple years ago I made Tony corn dogs for a football treat.  While he like the idea, I bought sub-par hot dogs (think .99 cents a package).  This time I bought Dietz & Watson’s all beef hot dogs.

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Holy balls were these delicious.  Super crunchy on the outside, yet light and tender on the inside.  We both loved the added salt from the hot dogs.  I of course dipped mine into a bit of ranch dressing mixed with Frank’s hot sauce.  Kind of like buffalo corn dog fritters.  So good.  It didn’t hurt that I deep cleaned our fryer and had fresh oil in it.  Do I love my husband or what?!

So with the leftover beef from the grill on Saturday night, I ended up making my favorite beef stew, only halving the recipe since I only had just over a pound of beef.   I wish this was a better picture, but you can see how rare the roast was – still so tender and delicious.

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I mixed together the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, paprika, salt, pepper, brown sugar) and seared the cuts of beef.  Then added the rest of the ingredients into the pool and cooked with a lid on for two hours over low heat on the stove.  The meat was still so tender.  I always add crushed red pepper and if Tony could handle the heat, I would totally add in some chipotles to kick it up a notch.  Tony loves peas so I added a cup of frozen peas in the last 15 minutes.  Pure comfort food for a Sunday night, with crusty bread for dipping up all that amazing gravy.

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Thanks to everyone who left a comment on My Bizzy Kitchen’s Six Birthday post!   I was offering up FOUR jars of my baja fresh salsa.  The winner of the salsa is . . .

True Random Number Generator  Min: 1   Max:   59    Result:  33

Susan:   Congrats on your sixth year blogaversary!  I love reading your blog.  I get it daily in my email.  I found your blog in 2010 my how time flys when your having fun.

Congrats Susan!  Send me your mailing address to and I’ll get them out to you.

Hope you all had a great weekend – I can’t believe a week from today I’ll be going to New York! Eeek!  Make it a great day!