Roast Beef with Homemade Gravy



                      Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes with Homemade gravy, homegrown corn,                             and green beans sauteed with almonds in olive oil and sea salt.  

There’s  nothing like coming home from church on Sunday noon and having the aroma of slow-juicy-oven-roasted beef fill your senses when you walk in the door. It says comfort, and it says home!

There is really no magic formula for doing an oven-roast, but there are a few things I do that I think help make it tender all the way through. Depending on the size of the roast, you’ll want to bake it longer. Just tweak this for the size of your roast.


        A liberal sprinkling of pepper and not so much sea salt.

You choose your seasonings and fix it the way you like it. I use onion, sea salt, and pepper. Add anything else you’d like to satisfy your taste buds.

For starters, I put the roast into a roaster or stoneware, add my seasonings and water (the more water you add, the more broth you will have).  I added about a cup of water to this 2.5-pound roast and should have added a little more.


                        One whole onion sliced and put on the top.

Put the roast into the oven at 400 and let it heat through for at least 15 minutes.  For a larger roast, you might want to let it at that temperature for 20-25 minutes. Sometimes I put it into the oven when I turn the oven on, and allow it to get to 400 slowly. The reason I do this is because I like the idea of getting the center of that roast hot before I turn it down to a slow-roast for several hours.

Turn your oven down to 250-275 for three to four hours. I turned mine down at 9 AM and when we got home at 12:30 PM, the place smelled heavenly.

If you check your roast and it’s not gone done fast enough, you can always turn the oven up a little or leave it in longer while you’re fixing the rest of the meal.


                                                                                        Those are onions, not pieces of fat!

You can follow this same idea in a slow cooker. I would still put it in on high for an hour so it gets heated through the center before putting it down to low.

Remove your liquid/broth and use it to make gravy.

Cut your roast the way you prefer, and it’s ready to go.


                                                                           Finished product minus the broth.

To make gravy, put your broth into a kettle and bring it to a boil. While you’re waiting on the broth to boil, put 1-2 Tablespoons flour into a bowl and mix in enough milk to make a thin paste. When the broth is boiling, add the flour/milk mixture slowly, stirring constantly.  To thicken more, allow the gravy to simmer longer.  OR you can add more milk/flour. Be sure to give it some time first so your gravy tastes like roast and not like flour.



Your roast can be done at a lower temperature for a longer period of time if you’d like.  Set your temperature by the amount of time you need to get it done. The secret to a tender roast is to get it hot all the way through and then roast it slowly in a not-too-hot oven.


Roast Beef with Homemade Gravy
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2-3 pound beef roast
  • 1 whole onion, sliced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups water
  1. Put roast into roaster or stoneware
  2. Season with Salt and Pepper
  3. Place sliced onion on top
  4. Pour water over all
  5. Cover with lid
  6. Put into 400-degree pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes
  7. Turn oven down to 250-275 and continue to bake for 3-4 more hours until roast is tender

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Baked Oatmeal with Instant, Quick, or Regular Oats

There are several reasons why I love this baked oatmeal recipe.

It’s easy to make, it keeps well, and it’s just plain good. You can use regular, quick, or even instant oatmeal. Add some milk, eggs, sugar, spices, and fruit, you’re set to go. This baked oatmeal keeps for days in the refrigerator and also freezes well.

baked oatmeal

I got this recipe from my husband’s aunt Edna. Uncle Bill and Aunt Edna hosted our family when we went to Ohio in 2010 to bury Dave’s father. She had a pan of oatmeal that we served ourselves for breakfast. So when I make this recipe, I think of Aunt Edna and how her sweet hospitality helped us bear our grief.

Although the recipe calls for regular (not quick or instant) oatmeal, I have used all three kinds (not in the same recipe, of course.)  If you use the instant packs (brown sugar/cinnamon or apple/cinnamon) you don’t need to add cinnamon or apples. You can also decrease the sugar quite a bit or not add any at all. You will need to add a little more liquid (milk, eggs, or veg. oil). I usually add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more milk.

I decided to try the instant oatmeal when the WIC checks for our foster children only allowed plain instant oatmeal instead of flavored or plain bulk oatmeal. [Don’t even get me started on government policies!]  I decided I wasn’t going to lose or waste this WIC check, so I bought the specified packets of instant oatmeal and used it instead of the regular oatmeal. It took longer to open up each individual pack, but it was worth the time, especially when my gang couldn’t tell the difference. When you’ve made it a few times, you’ll know how wet/dry it should be before it is baked. I just dump some extra liquid in until it looks right.

This will last for days if you keep it covered and in the fridge. Heat a serving size in the microwave.  You can add other fruit on top after it’s heated – try bananas, blackberries or blueberries.

I’ve frozen some in Tupperware containers and that works well also. It used to be that this dish didn’t hang around my kitchen very long; but now that our nest is more often empty than full, I’ve found that freezing is a great way to keep it from spoiling.

Baked Oatmeal
Recipe type: Breakfast Oatmeal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 Tbsp. margarine or butter
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 cups oatmeal (regular, quick, or instant)
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla.
  1. Melt margarine in 9 x 13-inch pan while the oven is preheating to 400.
  2. Mix oil, sugar, and eggs together until glassy
  3. Put oatmeal into a bowl.
  4. Add baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to the measured oatmeal.
  5. Measure milk and add vanilla.
  6. Mix milk and oatmeal together.
  7. Combine oil/egg mixture with oatmeal mixture
  8. Add fruit of your choice: apples, blueberries, raisins, etc.
  9. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan
  10. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes



Poppyseed Bread

poppyseed bread

This poppyseed bread recipe is a tried and true tradition in our house.

It is so easy to make, and it’s also very moist. I used to make a dozen of these at Christmas to share with our children’s school teachers. The pans I used were the mini-loaf pans. The bread is easy to freeze and nice to have for the time you need an easy pull-out-of-the-freezer snack when you need a quick addition for an “everybody’s coming over to hang out” event.

Fix this for teacher appreciation week or for other times when you want a special homemade gift for a friend. I can guarantee that it will be a hit.

To mix this recipe, you just put everything into the mixer bowl and beat it for two minutes. When that is done, you pour the batter into your bread pans. Be sure to grease and flour the pans first. To do that, just dab some vegetable oil inside the pan – on all sides and the bottom. Then put about a tablespoon of flour into the pan and move it around from side to side until the entire inside of the pan is coated with flour. This helps keep the batter from sticking to the sides of the pan.

How hard is that?!

Oh, and one other thing. Don’t forget that eating poppy seeds prior to a drug test can give you a false positive. Just to be safe, stay away from this bread if you’re due to have bloodwork done. 🙂  Other than that, go ahead and enjoy!

Poppyseed Bread


Poppyseed Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 loaves
I always make extra of this recipe and put some in the freezer. It's a great one to serve after Christmas caroling, for gifts, or just for a Sunday evening snack.
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. almond flavoring
  • 1 ½ tsp. butter flavoring
  • 1 ½ tsp. b. powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. poppyseed
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  1. Beat all 11 ingredients for two minutes.
  2. Pour into greased and floured bread pans.
  3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
  4. Cool 10 min. before removing from pans. Makes 2 loaves.

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Homemade French Bread

French BreadHomemade French Bread

What better bread to serve with spaghetti, lasagna or fettuccine than some homemade French bread?!  Always a family favorite, this recipe was usually the request of our oldest when he chose his menu for his birthday supper.  I’ve used this bread to make garlic bread.

I’ve made it so often that I don’t need the recipe, and I’m  happy to share it with you.  You’ll just need the normal bread ingredients, including yeast, sugar, water, salt, flour, and Crisco or vegetable oil.

This bread can be rolled out using a rolling pin, or you can just pat it out into a rectangle. Roll the bread up, beginning at the wide end, and place the seam side down on the tray. Using a serrated knife, put diagonal slices part-way in the bread.

The recipe calls for an egg and milk glaze; I just use milk.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

For garlic bread, slice the bread lengthwise (after it is baked) and butter, then sprinkle garlic powder over the top. Broil in oven until lightly browned.  OR you can slice it into regular slices and butter one side, then wrap in tin foil and heat through in an oven.

Now that we are part-time empty-nesters, I am able to freeze one of the loaves when I make this recipe. Sometimes I fix the second one for garlic bread and put it in the freezer so it is ready for the next time.

French Bread
Recipe type: French bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 loaves
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. veg. oil (or Crisco, melted)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 Tbsp. yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 7 cups bread flour
  1. Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water with ½ tsp. sugar
  2. Combine Veg. oil, sugar, and salt with hot water
  3. Combine the two mixtures
  4. Add 7 cups flour
  5. Knead on floured board until the dough is elastic, or use your dough hook on the mixer to knead the dough.
  6. Put into greased bowl, turning so the dough is coated. Let rise until double.
  7. Punch down and let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Roll out into a rectangular shape, then roll up jelly-roll style.
  9. Put on greased cookie tray. Cut diagonal slices on top of the bread.
  10. Brush with milk, OR use 1 beaten egg mixed with 2 Tbsp. milk.
  11. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top
  12. Let rise until double
  13. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. This recipe makes 2 loaves.


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