Last weekend was my birthday weekend - that's right, weekend.  Our trip to Seaside was my real birthday gift (along with a new fancy camera lens), so my only request for my actual birthday weekend was to spend a cozy weekend in lounging around and feast on comfort food.

Photo Note : So, even though I got a new fancy lens for my birthday, I forgot to have it with me most of the weekend - sorry!!  I think after vacation I was sooo photoed out.  But, I am sharing my phone photos that I posted on instagram mixed with some of my 'real' photos from my birthday dinner.

On Saturday (my actual birthday), Mike and I got to sleep in (a real gift these days!), made biscuits and gravy (talk about a comfort food weekend...) and I lounged on the couch and drank coffee with the fire roaring.  What a glamorous life I lead!  Isn't it funny how you good it feels to indulge in the simplest things sometimes?

When Emma got home from her sleepover we took her sledding - my birthday seems to always be either sun or snow.  Did I mention that we have a 1ft+ of snow?  It greeted us when we got home from vacation last week.  She was so-so about sledding and the snow in general, but loved to be pulled in the little tot sled we borrowed from our neighbors. 

(instagram photo)

Mike and I enjoyed a late night dinner at home after Emma went to bed - seared filets with a reduced wine and mushroom sauce and truffle mashed potatoes.  Mike said, "I love that you can go in the kitchen and just whip this up in 20 minutes without even going to the store."  Exactly.

(instagram photo)
We finished the weekend with a good ole Sunday night family supper at our house - Braised Pot Roast, Chive and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, Orange Braised Carrots and Parsnips, and "homemade" bread (my favorite - frozen rhodes bread dough).  Everyone repeatedly asked me if I'd rather go out for my birthday dinner, but there is nothing I like better than to cook for everyone at my house. 

Braised Pot Roast

3-4 pound Chuck Roast
2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of black pepper
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons of liquid smoke
2 tablespoons of worcestershire
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of garlic powder

Coat the roast with salt and pepper on both sides.  In a large dutch oven, sear the roast on both sides for about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove the meat from the pot and sear the onions for 3-4 minutes.  Add beef broth and stir the pan with a wooden spoon, releasing all of the brown bits.  Whisk in the liquid smoke, worcestershire, onion powder and garlic powder.  Add the roast back in to the pot.  Cover and cook in the oven at 200 degrees for 8 hours (or more).  

Remove the meat from the pot and place it a shallow serving platter (or baking dish) covering it with foil.  Put the pot on the stove-top and boil the sauce for 15 minutes until it reduces and thickens slightly.  Pour over the roast and serve. 

The onions searing... love my Staub!

After the roast had cooked for 8 hours, I turned the oven off and let it sit in the oven with the bread that was rising.  The warm oven was the perfect spot for the bread.

Here is my "homemade" bread... made from store-bought frozen bread dough.

 Chive and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes served in a pie dish, one of my favorite ways to serve things - I think they are sooo under utilized as serving pieces.

 Orange Braised Carrots and Parsnips - a favorite from my Month with The Barefoot Contessa (featured at the dinner party).

After receiving a texted photo (left) of Emma enjoying her first Oreos dipped in milk last week, my mom decided to make a "dirt cake" for dessert (above).  Huge hit with Emma.

I'm hoping this is the last of our cozy snow weekends... I've been potting daffodils and hyacinth all around the house to encourage the weather!


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