Sunday, August 9, 2020

Delightful Repast: Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Pota...

Delightful Repast: Crispy-Skinned Fluffy Baked Potatoes - Jacket Pota...: Baked potatoes (in the UK, jacket potatoes) are simply wonderful when done well and horrid if done wrong. There are all sorts of method...

I'm going to try this! Russet potatoes are cheaper and more plentiful than the waxy yellow potatoes I've been using since I couldn't get the russets to turn out in a way that satisfied me.

Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Superb Slow-Roast Chicken and Stock

Free-use image copyright Goumbik

Hello guests! Ornery Owl, back once again with a simple Sunday Dinner plus a kitchen staple that you'll want to keep on hand. Today I present to you a supremely simple slow-roasted chicken recipe that leaves you plenty of time to do other things while it cooks, and a follow-up slow-cooked stock to keep your other savory recipes simple and tasty.

This post contains affiliate links. If readers make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission and you will receive a useful product.

That being said, let's do this!

I like to roast the chicken in my Dutch oven, but if you don't have a Dutch oven, a roasting pan covered in aluminum foil will work fine.

This five-quart Dutch oven from Lodge is similar to my trusty black cast iron Dutch oven by Amazon Basics, which they no longer carry. I saw some gorgeous enameled Dutch ovens while searching for a good one to feature, but I don't recommend an enameled pot. The enamel has a tendency to chip. Go for the tried and true with simple black cast iron for the best results.

If you would prefer a roasting pan, this nonstick pan from Farberware is highly rated and competitively priced. Personally, since I acquired my Dutch oven, I haven't used my roasting pan once. Don't forget Reynold's Wrap for lining and covering the pan!

Now that we've discussed the necessary cookware, we're on to the beautifully simple recipe.

You will need one small chicken. I highly recommend finding a trustworthy local butcher. I have found that the meat really isn't any more expensive than what I was purchasing from the grocery store, and the quality is worlds better. I go to Friendly Nick's Butcher in Fort Collins ( and if you are in the Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming areas, you should try them too.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 degrees Celsius). In the meantime, place the Dutch oven on a burner set to medium heat. (I set mine at 7, but stoves vary.)

 I used bacon grease in the bottom of my Dutch oven, but if you don't have any bacon grease, it's fine to use cooking oil, shortening, or melted butter. I set the chicken on the bacon grease while cutting the vegetables. This gives the skin a chance to become crispy on the bottom of the chicken.

I love to roast some potatoes along with the chicken but, sadly, I was out of potatoes and I live 50 miles from the nearest city. I peeled four carrots and chopped them into thirds, chopped four celery stalks into thirds, and chopped a big onion into eighths, and placed these in the pot with the chicken.

I sprinkled the chicken liberally with my favorite seasoning mix. I use The Blend from Kinder's Seasonings, but you can use any seasoning blend that you have on hand. If you have a Costco membership, I recommend picking up The Blend there for the best price, but you can pick up two 10 ounce bottles for $19.87 from Amazon through the following link.

I then added my super-secret, highly classified, and very costly ingredient, known only to elite chefs until this moment.

Nah, just fooling. I poured half a bottle of Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette over the chicken. You can pick up 6 bottles for $27.99 (approximately $4.66 per bottle) from Amazon through the following link. This isn't a bad price, but you might be able to get it cheaper at the grocery store.

Once you have added the super-secret ingredient, you can transfer your Dutch oven to the preheated 250-degree oven and wait 4-5 hours while the magic happens. I found that 4 hours was adequate. 

Before serving, let the chicken rest for 15 minutes, leaving the lid on the Dutch oven.

The meat will be savory, fall-off-the-bone good. I almost didn't need my lovely new Jean-Patrique carving knife set!

So far, the only review of this product is mine. I gave it five stars and said this:

I just received mine. It is not only beautiful to look at, it is functional and practical. It is easy to hold a roast chicken in place while carving the meat. This set is an affordably priced conversation starter that you will enjoy having in your collection.

Get yours here. I think that you will like it too.

Now that you have enjoyed your dinner, it's time to remove the remaining meat from the chicken. The bones were already starting to fall apart, so I didn't need any extra cooking time to loosen the meat from the bones. I removed the vegetables and added four new carrots and four stalks of celery, both cut into thirds. I didn't add new onion, but you can if you want to. I added 1/3 cup of Kirkland Minced Garlic. If you have a Costco membership, it's cheaper to buy it from Costco, but you can also get it through the following link at $12.99 for a 27-ounce jar.

I added 8 cups of water to the Dutch oven and placed it in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven for 8 hours. I let the stock rest on the stove and then poured it through a colander into a plastic bowl with a spout. I like to store my stock in the freezer in 1/2 cup size containers. To easily remove the stock from the container, I just run hot water over the outside of the container and the stock pops right out.

Rubbermaid's half-cup storage containers are reasonably priced at $7.99 for six.

I find that a dozen of these babies work well for my purposes. Any overflow goes into a glass jar and is kept in the refrigerator to be used first.

Now you know how to get the most out of a roasting chicken with minimal effort. I'm not sure why Grammarly thinks my text sounds angry. I quite like getting a big bang for the minimal buck, and these recipes provide!

Now that the only tasks remaining from the rotten old mobile home involve paper and red tape, I should be sharing Sunday Dinner recipes more regularly. Keep visiting us at the Grover Hotel to see what's cookin'!

Your Pal in Culinary Creativity,
Ornery Owl

Chef Ornery
Free use image copyright Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay

The Icky Sticky Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)

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Reblogging is acceptable on platforms that allow it. LBRY’s reblog function is called repost, which makes things confusing since reposting is considered a no-no on most platforms. It’s fine to share the post using the repost function on LBRY. It is not okay to copy-paste the material into a new post.

Sharing a link to the post is acceptable.

Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

Cross-Posting to these locations:

Sharing with the Grammy's Grid blog hop and possibly others at a later date. I learned my lesson the hard way about trying to participate in too many blog hops and becoming overwhelmed.

Don't forget to enter the drawing to Win Free Vanilla plus approximately $100 worth of other good stuff from Watkins this month! Please follow the link below the banner. The Grover Hotel Gang thanks you!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Divine Dijon Drumsticks and Dijon Dill Potato Salad

Image copyright Bernhard Post from Pixabay

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If readers order a product from these links, I make a small commission.

The Grover Gang hopes you had a happy Independence Day if you celebrate such. For dinner here at the Grover Hotel, I made Divine Dijon Drumsticks and Dijon Potato Salad. 

This is a simple but tasty dinner that's great any time of the year.

I adapted the Dijon Drumsticks from this recipe.

The recipe above calls for marinating the drumsticks in yogurt, dijon mustard, and garlic overnight. I didn't have any yogurt, so I was going to use sour cream, but I forgot to marinate them. So I used the following recipe instead.

8 chicken drumsticks

In one bowl mix together:
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

In a second bowl mix together:
1/2 cup baking mix (you can use plain flour)
Kinder's The Blend seasoning (you can use any seasoning you like. Kinder's contains salt, pepper, and dehydrated garlic)

Roll the drumsticks in the mayonnaise-mustard mix. Then roll in the seasoned baking mix.

Bake in a 425 degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 45 minutes.

While the drumsticks are cooking, cut 5-6 small to medium-size potatoes into cubes and boil until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and pour into a large bowl. To the potatoes add 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, Kinder's The Blend, and dried dill to taste. Stir in any other vegetables you like. I used carrot, celery, and onion. You could also chop in a couple of hard-boiled eggs.

I adapted my potato salad recipe from the following cauliflower salad recipe. I didn't have any cauliflower, but potato salad is always a winner.

This is a simple meal that doesn't require a lot of time in the kitchen and can easily be doubled.

I buy Kinder's seasoning at Costco and I use it in just about everything. It is very versatile. But if you don't have a Costco membership, you can purchase two 10-ounce bottles for $20.19 through the following link.

I get my dill and many of my other spices from Watkins. I became a Watkins consultant just to get discounts on my products. Through July, the normal $29.95 annual consultant fee has been reduced to $19.95. I save around $225 annually over the retail cost by being a consultant. You can find out more on my Watkins page, or just order products.

You can order two 96-ounce boxes of Bisquick for $20.04 through the following link.

I never buy Bisquick anymore. I found a recipe from, and the cost breaks down to a little over a dollar to make this instead. It works just the same as Bisquick.

I store my baking mix in a cereal storage container. You can get a great set of four storage containers with labels through this link.

In fact, I'm going to take advantage of that deal too. 

I mix my baking mix in a large, flexible plastic bowl, which makes it easy to pour it into the storage container. You can get the very same bowl that I use from Amazon for $7.94

I use a pastry cutter to blend the shortening into the baking mix. You can get a nice pastry cutter and dough scraper set for $9.99 through the following link.

I hope that you enjoy the recipes and the potential savings!

Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie

Ornery Owl
Free use image from Pixabay by Open Clipart Vectors

Get more recipes and other good things at the official Good Stuff from Grover blog.
Or get cookin’ with Ornery at:
Check out Ornery Owl’s Coin Tree

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese if You Please (Or Don't Please)

Content copyright 2020 by Good Stuff from Grover

Reblogging is acceptable on platforms that allow it. LBRY’s reblog function is called repost, which makes things confusing since reposting is considered a no-no on most platforms. It’s fine to share the post using the repost function on LBRY. It is not okay to copy-paste the material into a new post.

Sharing a link to the post is acceptable.

Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Midnight Special Roast

Free Use image copyright Reinhard Thrainer on Pixabay

This post contains affiliate links. I get a small commission for products purchased through these links.

It's been quite some time since I wrote a Sunday Dinner post. My son and I are coming to the end of our struggles with getting my old mobile home ready to be sold, but it's at the point where it's so close and yet so far. Hopefully, once that's done, my posts will be more consistent.

But I didn't come here to talk about that.

I came here to talk about the Midnight Special roast.

I call it the Midnight Special roast because I either start cooking it at midnight or finish cooking it at midnight. Either way, this simple process takes 15 hours to complete. The results are a perfect roast that falls apart and is tender and delicious.

I can't take credit for this recipe. I got it from the 22 Simple Dinners e-cookbook, available free from the folks at Living On A Dime. That's right, I said free. Just follow the link below to go to the Living On A Dime website and download this baby. 

Don't be surprised if you enjoy their simple recipe suggestions so much that you want to buy their 20th-anniversary cookbook, which is available in your choice of an e-book or print version. 

And now, on to the recipe!

You will need a small roast, about five pounds. I got an inexpensive neck roast from my local butcher. If you are in the Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming area, please consider checking out I don't get a commission for telling you about them, but once you try them, you will never want to buy meat from the grocery store again. They get their meat from trusted local farmers who are dedicated to raising their livestock ethically.

My cast-iron Dutch oven is the tried and true way to cook meat. You end up with a nicely browned exterior that you can't get from a slow cooker. Mine is a 5-quart Amazon Basics, but as of this writing, they are out of those and don't know when they'll be back in stock. I found one for you to consider, and it looks even better than the one I have. Jealous of you if you get this beauty before I do! I love the lid that doubles as a skillet.

All right, so you have your Dutch oven (or roasting pan) and you have your five-pound roast. Here is the original recipe from the folks at Living On A Dime.

1 beef roast, 3-5 lbs.
1 onion, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup (omit for GF and sprinkle
with seasoned salt)

Place roast in pan. Pour cream of mushroom soup and onion on top.
Cover tightly. Bake at 250° for 1 hour. Then turn down to 225° and cook for 15 or more hours; 10 hours for roasts smaller than 3 pounds.
Serves 4.

Here are the changes that I made.

I didn't have any cream of mushroom soup, so I just poured a pint of chicken stock into the Dutch oven and sprinkled the roast with The Blend from Kinder's Seasonings. I also added four carrots and four sticks of celery cut into thirds and six small to medium-sized yellow potatoes cut into quarters.

Costco makes a good, inexpensive chicken stock, but if you don't have a Costco membership, here is a link to purchase twelve quarts of Swanson chicken broth for $32.90, which is comparable to what you'd pay in the grocery store.

Watkins also makes stellar soup base concentrates and gravy mixes. Follow the link below for more. You can purchase these through my store, or you can sign up to be a Watkins consultant yourself and get discounts on everything you order. Membership is just $29.95 annually, and it's well worth it!

I purchase my Kinder's spices at Costco which is the cheapest way to buy them, but if you can't get to Costco, here is a link to purchase a standard-sized bottle for a reasonable $6.99.

So, how did the roast turn out?

AMAZING! It was so tender and tasty. But before I could eat mine, I had to take the kitchen trash containing the butcher's twine out to the bin, because my cat kept trying to eat the twine.

We have enough roast left over for one or two more meals. The 22 Simple Dinners cookbook contains several recipes for using up the leftover roast. You're missing out if you don't download this free e-book. I've gotten more use out of it than I have out of many of the hard-copy cookbooks that I've had for years.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel. If you're an omnivore, I think you'll find that this simple and delicious slow-cooked roast might just be worthy of becoming a favorite meal in your house!

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

"I like cooking with wine. I sometimes even put it in the food I'm cooking." --Julia Child

Ornery Owl image is a free to use graphic from Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay

To get more recipes and other Good Stuff from Grover, visit us at:

Ornery’s CoinTree

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)

Content copyright 2020 by Good Stuff from Grover

Reblogging is acceptable on platforms that allow it. LBRY’s reblog function is called repost, which makes things confusing since reposting is considered a no-no on most platforms. It’s fine to share the post using the repost function on LBRY. It is not okay to copy-paste the material into a new post.

Sharing a link to the post is acceptable.

Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Greece - Food & Drinks - Sweets: Rizogalo.

Greece - Food & Drinks - Sweets: Rizogalo.: Rizogalo is a sweet Greek dessert/dish that is created from milk, porridge rice and starch (brought on taste with cinnamon and vanilla). It is mainly served with a glass of water (because it is really sweet). According to a good friend of mine...

In the U.S. we just call this "rice pudding." It's one of my favorite desserts. I am pleased that Bertha is still going strong at 92!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Cupboard: Pantry Essentials

The Cupboard: Pantry Essentials: I love to cook, and I tried to be a chef once. I had the skill, but not the temperament.  Imagine Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey six days a week. I really didn't have a thick skin back then, but I keep cooking as one of my pride and joys to spoil...


Here is my response to Sarah’s post:

Hi Sarah,
Since becoming unable to work a normal job, I've taken over the cooking too. Our household has saved a lot of money. However, there have been some creative disasters. For instance, I had gotten a whole chicken from the butcher and after picking it clean was wanting to use the bones to make my own stock. Unfortunately, terms like "simmer" are kind of subjective, as are cooking times because everyone's stove is different.

Here is the recipe I used:
Recipe Notes
Recipe yields 2 quarts (64 oz.).
1 entire cooked or raw chicken
3-4 carrots carrots
1 large onion
4-5 stalks of celery
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 bulbs crushed garlic
1. Place your chicken in a large pot with vegetables, and enough water to completely cover -at
least 4 quarts.
2. Bring to a boil and skim foam off the top as it cooks, reduce to a simmer. Cook chicken for an
3. If using a whole chicken- Take chicken out pot, remove meat for other recipes.
4. Return bones and skin to pot and simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming the top as needed.
5. Turn off heat, skim off the fat, strain broth through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove small
particles. Allow to cool.
6. Place in an airtight container or freezer bag to store.
7. Chicken stock can be stored in refrigerator for 3 days or freezer for up to 3 months. This recipe makes about 3 quarts.

So when simmering in my little stockpot, I usually have to put the burner setting down to 2. However, I was using my Dutch oven for this product, and I had still waters with a 2. I had to turn the burner up to 6 to see a simmer. Granted, I should have been checking on the recipe more often, but I was doing this at night because I didn't want to heat the house up during the day, and I fell asleep. I woke up at four hours on the dot and hurried to the kitchen. What I found was not stock, but sludge. I had a kitchen nightmare, to be sure.

I'm thinking that I will reduce the simmering time after removing the meat from the bones to two hours rather than four.
You are welcome to use my kitchen nightmare as a future post, should you wish to!

If you enjoy Sarah’s post, consider signing up for a FREE Publish0x account and leaving her a cryptocurrency tip at no cost to yourself. You can get tips for your posts too!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

I Can't Drive 55

I Can't Drive 55: I got done with work a little early today. At about 1:30, I was turning off S Broadway onto I-55 S to leave Saint Louis.  As I was going to make the turn, I heard 'Woop! Woop!'. A cop jumped in front of me on the ramp. Then another. They both pulled...

I'm tired of posting depressing crap. You will like this story. 

An interesting little adventure to spice up the day! Many, many years ago (40 years, to be exact) when I was in high school marching band, one of the flag girls and I were driving to a game. She was exceeding the speed limit, about 65 mph in a 55 mph zone and she saw the flashing lights in the rearview mirror, so she pulled off onto the shoulder. However, the cops didn't care about her. They were after George, our drum major, who had a notorious lead foot. There were four cops on his tail, and he managed to ditch them.
I rode with George once. I'm not sure how I'm here to tell the tale. The guy was a maniac behind the wheel.

Now you should go read the post that inspired me to tell the story and give the author a cryptocurrency tip at no cost to yourself. Then you should start posting your own stories and earning cryptocurrency for yourself.