Roast Beef from the Crockpot

This is my favorite way to prepare a beef roast.  The meat is tender.  The carrots have a beefy flavor and the broth makes the best tasting gravy.  It seems like most supermarket meats are just packed with water anymore, so I only use a little water to prevent scorching at the beginning.  Since I’m using condensed soup, I don’t add any salt to the roast.

Whenever using a crockpot, remember vegetables first, meat on top.

Onions on Bottom
1. Onions first on bottom of crockpot.

3 – 4 lb. beef roast
1 lb. baby carrots
¼ cup chopped onions
2 – 3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 can beefy mushroom condensed soup
¼ cup water


Carrots Next
2. Carrots next. Add 1/4 cup water.

½ cup cold water
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet sauce
2 cups beef broth (from crockpot)



Roast on top of carrots
3. Roast on top of carrots. Sprinkle with pepper.
Add garlic on roast.
4. Add garlic on roast.






Pour beefy mushroom soup on roast.
5. Pour beefy mushroom soup on roast.

If so desired, quartered potatoes can be added around the roast.  Turn crockpot on low and let cook for 7 to 10 hours.  If you’re around the house, turn the meat over about half way through the cooking time.

When done, transfer roast and carrots to shallow bowl or plate.  Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you prepare gravy.


Transfer to bowl or plate and cover while preparing gravy.
Transfer to bowl or plate and cover while preparing gravy.


Good Brown Gravy
Good Brown Gravy

Measure 2 cups of broth and put in a 2 qt. sauce pan.  If you don’t have quite enough broth, add water to make 2 cups.  [I don’t strain the broth since the onions and mushroom bits add a lot of flavor to the gravy.]  Bring the broth to a good rolling boil.  While the broth is heating, combine ½ cup water with the cornstarch and flour in a pint sized canning jar.  [Put the water in first, then the cornstarch and flour.]  Shake to mix well until no lumps remain.  [I use a combination of cornstarch and flour when I make this type of gravy.]

Stirring constantly, slowly add the flour mixture to the boiling broth. Continue stirring as the gravy thickens.  Simmer for 5 minutes or so to allow time for the flour to cook.  Stir in Kitchen Bouquet and gravy’s done!

If you have any leftovers, save them for tomorrow’s hot roast beef sandwiches!


©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

Porcupine Meatballs – Microwave

You know, the later in the week it gets, the less I feel like cooking after work.  These meatballs are quick and easy.  We like them with slices of cheddar cheese, crackers and corn-on-the-cob for a quick supper.

1 lb. lean hamburger or ground chuck
1 cup Minute Rice, uncooked (white or brown)
1 can (10 oz.) condensed tomato soup
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ cup water
1 teaspoon onion or garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons catsup or ketchup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Combine ground beef, about ½ can of soup [I spoon it right out of the can.], egg, water, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.  Add rice.  Mix well.  Let mixture set for 5 – 10 minutes.  [This lets the rice absorb the water.  At this point, you can cover and refrigerate several hours until ready to cook.] Shape into small balls (about a tablespoon each).  [I use a small scoop for this.]  Arrange in a circle on a microwave meat platter or a large glass pie pan.  Cover with wax paper.

Meatballs Ready for Topping
Meatballs Ready for Topping

Microwave at full power for 4 minutes; rotate meatballs on platter so what was facing in towards the center is now facing out towards the perimeter.  Cover waxed paper.  [You can re-use the piece you already used.]

Return to microwave for 3 minutes.  Using tongs, move meatballs to a serving platter.  Form the remaining meat into balls, cook as above and transfer to serving platter.  The meatballs brown up as they sit.  The meatballs on the right are the ones that were sitting while the ones on the left just came out of the microwave.

Stir catsup and mustard into the remaining soup mixture, still in the can. Use a soup spoon to pit a dollop of sauce over each meatball.  Return to microwave for 2 minutes.  [No waxed paper this time.]


Spoon sauce on and return to microwave.
Spoon sauce on and return to microwave for a couple minutes.




©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.


Tuna Salad

When I grew up, tuna mixed with mayo was considered tuna salad.  Not long after I joined the workforce, someone had brought in tuna salad sandwiches for an office lunch.  First time I’d ever had tuna salad with something other than tuna and mayo.  It was pretty good, so I started trying adding different things.  I like lots of crunch, so I use equal parts of celery and sweet pickle with a little onion.

I’ve been using the mayonnaise made with olive oil for several years now. It took a little while to get used to – just not as crisp a taste as regular mayo.  I started using a splash of lemon juice to add flavor.

Celery Onion Sweet Pickles
Chopped celery, onion and sweet pickle

2   cans tuna, white albacore in water
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
1   stalk celery, chopped
2  large sweet pickles, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
splash of lemon juice
dash of pepper


Drain liquid from tuna. Put in small bowl and flake with a fork.  Mix onion, celery and sweet pickle with tuna.  Add mayonnaise, splash of lemon juice and a generous sprinkling of pepper.  Mix well.  Store tightly covered in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.

Tuna Salad
Tuna Salad – Done!

This is so good on freshly baked bread!









©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

I was a bit under the weather yesterday, so I turned to an old standby.  Nothing makes you feel better than a piping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup.  True comfort food.  This one starts with a can of chicken broth.  It’s easy to double this recipe and throw in more of what you like.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

1   boneless chicken breast, raw* or cooked, cubed or shredded
1   14.5 oz can chicken broth
1   large carrot, chopped
1   celery stalk, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped onion
1   teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon celery or garlic salt
3   large handfuls(cups,) uncooked noodles
1   cup milk
½ cup flour
1   cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper, to taste

Country Pasta Noodles
Country Pasta Noodles

Combine chicken, broth, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, pepper and celery salt in large pan.  Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer while the noodles cook.  In another saucepan, cook noodles as directed, then drain.  I love these Country Pasta noodles.  They’re the closest thing I’ve found to homemade.  *If using raw chicken, boil in broth until tender, then add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, pepper and celery salt.

Combine milk and flour in jar.  Shake well until no lumps remain.  Whisk into soup.  Return to boil for 5 – 8 minutes, stirring constantly to cook flour and thicken.  Reduce heat to medium low.  I don’t like mushy peas, so I add them now with the drained noodles.  Heat, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until peas are cooked.

Dish up and enjoy!



©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

This is another adding things you like to a can/jar recipe that I learned from my sister.  When comparing the price of tomatoes and tomato sauce vs. the price of a jar of spaghetti sauce, they’re not too far apart.  This is perfect when you’re looking for a quick dinner.  Week nights, I just don’t have the time (or inclination) to make spaghetti sauce from scratch.  I use Angel Hair pasta because it cooks so much quicker.

Browned Hamburger for Sauce
Browned Hamburger for Sauce

1-2 jars/cans of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 lb. lean hamburger, browned
1 teaspoon of minced garlic per jar
¼ cup finely chopped onion per jar


Optional, if you need to make a little larger batch…
1 each 8 oz. can tomato sauce
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning, oregano or basil

Spaghetti Sauce in Pan
Spaghetti Sauce in Pan

Brown hamburger and onion in sauce pan.  Drain off fat and any excess liquid.  Add spaghetti sauce and minced garlic, then mix thoroughly.  Heat on medium until heated clear through.  That’s it.  Quick and easy.

Now if you need a little more sauce, especially since the jars are no longer a full quart, add 1 each 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and ¼ teaspoon seasoning.  This ratio works well for me.  If I add 2 cans, I add ½ teaspoon seasonings.

If your sauce seems too runny, add a few plain instant potatoes and it will thicken right up without affecting the flavor.

Spaghetti with bread
Spaghetti with bread for supper tonight!


















©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

Fresh Pico de Gallo and Salsa

Cooking isn`t an exact science.  It`s all about combining flavors you enjoy. I pick recipes that sound good, then tweak them to my family`s tastes.  I`ll never forget the summer of perfecting the Margarita, but that`s a story for another day.

I`ve tried many different salsa recipes over the years.  This one I created several years ago.  I used to pick up a couple of each pepper at the store and start chopping.  My tastes have changed, so now I skip the Habanero and Serrano chilies.  It`s hard to find flavorful fresh tomatoes locally, so for consistency, I start with a can of petite diced tomatoes.  Be sure to refer to the Washing Vegetables and Fruit page under the Granny Knows section before you start chopping.

The following recipe starts off as Pico de Gallo, then with the addition of more tomatoes and sauce, it ends up as Salsa.

Washed Vegetables
Washed Vegetables

1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes (2 cans for salsa)
2 each Hatch green chilies
2 each Hungarian peppers (4, if small)
1 jalapeño or other hot pepper
2 bunches green onions or ½ cup chopped onions
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil

Hatch Pepper Remove Seeds
Hatch Pepper Remove Seeds
Pepper Remove Seeds
Hungarian Pepper Remove Seeds

Put can of tomatoes in large mixing bowl.  Add garlic, lime juice and olive oil.  After washing peppers, onions and cilantro, let drain.  Chop onions and add to bowl.  Remove stem end of peppers.  I remove the seeds. Some folks leave them in – it’s all a matter of preference. Personally, I don`t like getting pepper seeds stuck in between my teeth.  Slice lengthwise.

Peppers ready to chop
Peppers ready to chop

Next, cut Hatch and Hungarian peppers into narrow strips and chop (or put in your food processor to let it do the work for you.)  Add to mixing bowl.  Finely chop the jalapeño pepper and add a little at a time depending on how hot you like it.  Stir well. Stop here and you have fresh Pico de Gallo.

For Salsa, continue by adding another can of tomatoes and an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce. I use the “no added salt” tomato sauce. Stir well.  Store tightly covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Salsa always tastes better at room temperature, so let it warm up before serving.


Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo
Hot Salsa
Hot Salsa

















©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

Granny’s Pork and Beans

My sister, Velma, was the queen of ‘doctoring up’ canned goods.  Having eight children, she was an expert at preparing quick and hearty meals to feed everyone.  I learned so much from her while hanging out in her kitchen…so many fond memories.  Okay, back to the beans.

I start with a can of plain, old, cheap, pork and beans – any brand works. (There’s never any pork in them anymore anyway.)  I pour off the liquid on top, then dump in a pan.  The measurements are approximate.

Granny's Pork and Beans
Granny’s Pork and Beans

I add the following:

1     teaspoon yellow mustard (or ¼  teaspoon dried mustard)
1     tablespoon catsup or ketchup, depending on where you live
1     tablespoon brown sugar
½   tablespoon dried, minced onions

Mix well, heat and eat. If you feel like beanie wienies, thinly slice a hot dog and toss it in. Be sure to heat long enough to thoroughly cook the hot dog.