Slow Cooker Wonderful Beef Pot Roast

The most important thing about this pot roast is that you don’t have to brown the meat.   I wanted something easy that I could throw together in the morning and leave all day, and this is the perfect recipe for that.  You wouldn’t believe how many crock-pot pot roast recipes tell you to brown the meat in a separate pan first….doesn’t that defeat the purpose if you have to dirty two pans?!  So dear readers, this is for anyone who’s lazy like me, wants to avoid dish-pan hands, or who just wants an absolutely fantastic pot roast.  Mom even said this was the best pot roast she’s ever had!  High praise from a lady who knows how to cook some roasts!  I got all traditional and made this for a Sunday dinner, but I think this would be an absolutely fantastic dish to make for company (assuming they eat meat of course).  Nothing better than having your main dish cooking away all day, leaving you free to clean house, make sides/desserts, or do whatever you want until your guests arrive.

This dish does call for a bit of orange zest.  I was skeptical, but it does add a nice fresh note to the meal, and isn’t overwhelming.  I’d recommend trying it with the zest, but I’m sure this dish would still be fantastic if you leave it out.

Slow Cooker Wonderful Beef Pot RoastSlow Cooker Wonderful Beef Pot Roast (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 8

Adapted from The Chic Site

  • 2.5 lbs of beef chuck roast
  • 4-5 red potatoes, washed (I cut them in half, but they’ll cook all the way through either way)
  • 3 large carrots, cut in 2″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 stalks celery, cut in 2″ pieces (I didn’t have space for these, but I’d try to add it next time)
  • 1 1/4 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 packet Lipton’s onion soup mix (can sub water and this for more beef broth)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 orange, zested

In a large slow cooker, add roast, potatoes, carrots, onion and celery.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cook on low for 5-7 hours.  Roast and veggies will be fork tender (and utterly delicious).

Seekers Luncheon

So last Sunday I cooked the quarterly after church lunch.  There were about 55 people and for the first time ever there were hardly any leftovers!  I think at the end of the meal there was one bowl of chili left and one small serving of salad.  It helps that no one told me how many people they were expecting…I was thinking I was cooking for maybe 40-45.

This was definitely a crowd-pleasing menu!  I’ll be posting the new recipes in coming weeks, so stay-tuned!

Three Bean Chili (vegan) – I used my one-and-only favorite chili recipe, but I left out the fake beef crumbles to cut down on cost/make it gluten-free/because the grocery store didn’t have them.

Corn Casserole

Cabbage and Spinach Salad with Shallot Herb Dressing

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Crisp (vegan and gluten-free) – based on this pear and cranberry crisp, but substitute apples for the pears and cranberries.

Oreo Cheesecake Bars

I’m not really a fan of Oreos, but when picking recipes for Carroll Cafe I like to pick things that I wouldn’t normally make myself.  However, these bars might just turn me into an Oreo fan!  These are rich and decadent treats.  The cheesecake is creamy, the Oreos add a nice crunch (although they soften up by the second day), the cookie crumb crust adds extra chocolate.  They’re pretty incredible, even if you think you don’t like Oreos.

Oreo Cheesecake BarsOreo Cheesecake Bars (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 16-20

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


  • 9oz box chocolate wafers
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  • 24oz (3 pkgs) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 8oz sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 package)

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line a 9×13″ baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside.

To make the crust, process the chocolate wafers in a food processor until crumbs.  Pour in the melted butter and pulse several times until butter is well distributed.  Pour crumbs into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.  Bake for 9 minutes, remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.  Leave the oven on.

For the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth.  Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well mixed.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides and then beat in the sour cream and vanilla.

Gently fold in the chopped Oreos, then pour batter over the prepared crust, smoothing into an even layer.  Bake until set, about 55-60 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 24 hours, before serving.  To serve, pull cheesecake out of pan using the foil or parchment paper, then cut into bars.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Zucchini Cake

So this is one of the desserts I made for Friday night’s Carroll Cafe.  I had made a Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Cake, and as I was slicing it to serve I sampled a piece and was HORRIFIED by how it turned out!  It was gummy and weird and totally not cake-like.  I’m not sure what went wrong, but I had about 2 hours to come up with a different zucchini cake.  So of course, it was trusty Grandma Helland’s recipe that saved the day.  I adapted Grandma’s Apple Cake recipe and it was a crowd pleaser, as always.

This is a tender, moist flavorful cake that’s prefect for fall.  It’s a nice treat but isn’t too sweet, so it’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.  It’s great for a fall treat and is definitely a last minute crowd pleaser.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Zucchini CakeCinnamon Sugar Apple Zucchini Cake (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 12-16

  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 small zucchini, grated (can sub two more apples)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a 9×13″ pan with nonstick foil or grease with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix ingredients in order given.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  At about 30 minutes you may need to cover with foil to keep top from browning too quickly.    When cake is done sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar (a mix of about 1/4 cup sugar with 3/4 tsp cinnamon works well, sprinkle to taste).  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple Crisp Muffins

These were delicious.  The perfect taste of fall flavors.  Dad said they were the best muffins he’s ever had.  My only complaint is that the recipe only made 10!  Next time I’ll definitely be (at least) doubling the recipe!

These are super moist due to the combination of butter, oil and applesauce.  The fresh apple pieces get tender (but not mushy) and the oatmeal crisp topping adds a little extra sweetness and the perfect amount of chewy crunchiness.  You’ll definitely want to make these this fall.  They’re great fresh from the oven or at room temperature.  But if you think they’re going to last more than a couple of days, make sure you refrigerate them in a ziploc bag, since they’re so moist they won’t last long on the counter.

Apple Crisp MuffinsApple Crisp Muffins (A Seat at the Table)

Makes about 20 muffins

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (2 snack pack applesauces)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped apple (about 4)

Crisp topping:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

In a large bowl, mix together butter, oil, applesauce, and sugars until well mixed (the mixture might look curdled).  Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add half the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just combined.  Add half of the remaining flour and mix again until just combined.  Toss the apple pieces with the remaining flour, then carefully fold the apples into the batter.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 2 muffin trays with muffin cup papers or grease muffin tin generously with cooking spray.

Reusing the dry ingredient bowl, mix crisp topping ingredients together until well mixed and crumbly (I find using my hands is easiest).

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, should be about 3/4 full (a 4oz cookie scoop is the perfect size).  Top with about 1 Tbsp of crisp topping, then bake for about 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let muffins cool in tin for about 10 minutes before removing and letting cool completely on a wire rack.

Carroll Cafe

If you happen to be in the DC area this Friday, October 11, and are looking for something to do, come check out Carroll Cafe.  I’ll be there selling some baked goods!

There will be:

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall Harvest Cookies

Caramel Apple Cookies

Cinnamon Sugar Zucchini Cake

Oreo Cheesecake Bars


It’s supposed to be a great Blues concert, so come grab a sweet and enjoy the music!

Favorite Fall Recipes

Sorry for the long hiatus, it’s been a crazy month!  The kitchen is mostly finished (painting is being done this week), but everything is in working order.  But everything’s been moved around so it’s going to take a while to get used to all the changes!  I’m also taking a nutrition class and studying to become a personal trainer, as well as working part time.  So I’m feeling a bit busy trying to find balance!  To that regard I’m going to try reducing the number of posts to try and find some extra time for cooking, studying, and maybe just a bit of a social life.  Hopefully you’ll stick around for more recipes, and if you’re interested, maybe some tips and tricks of the trade as well!

But first a fall recipe roundup!  Ok, this is totally late for the official start of fall, but since it’s October (say, what?!) and doesn’t feel like fall at all (what’s up with the 80s DC?), we’ll just consider this part of the confused season.  So here’s my list of favorite fall recipes that I’ve made over the past year.

What are you cooking this season??

Moist Pumpkin Spice MuffinsFall Recipe Roundup (A Seat at the Table)

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Snickerdoodle Biscotti

Hearty Spiced Oatcakes

Morning Glory Muffins

Chickpea Casserole

Veggie Chili

Black Bean Pumpkin Patties with Raw Kale Salad

Moroccan Chickpea, Squash and Sweet Potato Tagine

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Roasted Vegetable and White Bean Soup

Spicy Vegetable and Bean Soup

Turkey and Dumpling Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Mennonite Borscht

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Asian Cabbage Salad

Rosemary Chicken Salad

Curried Couscous Salad

Sesame Kale

Raw Kale and Tofu Salad with Citrus Dressing

Zucchini and Basil Lasagna

One Pot, Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Maple-Mustard Glazed Salmon

Mini Turkey Meatloaf

Beef Stroganoff

Foil Pork and Apple Packets

Apple Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Caramelized Onions

Thai Turkey Sliders with Cabbage Slaw

Burmese Spiced Yogurt Chicken

Honey Raisin Bread

Butternut Squash and Feta Muffins

Pumpkin Walnut Bread (vegan)

Homemade Applesauce

Banana Muffin Top Cookies

Tres Leches Cake

Chocolate Decadence Cake Bars

Pumpkin Bars

Kate’s Carrot Cake

Chai-Spiced Snickerdoodles

Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars

Rich Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Chocolate Chip Blondies

Apple Crumble (vegan)

Black and White Chocolate Cupcakes