Monday, April 10, 2017

Foil Dinners for Camping And Freezer Meal

Episode 3 of Cooking with Chef Tess aired on Saturday in Las Vegas on channel 34.2 and Cox cable channel 97. The Heartland TV Network! Here's the recipe...

We've got summer vacation coming up soon...and that mean camping trips. What mom, dad or granny wouldn't love to be prepared way ahead of time for that big camping trip...or dinner tomorrow? I think this freezer meal will shock and amaze even the pickiest eaters in your house. We call it a Hobo Dinner (or Foil dinner), but it's one of those classic comfort foods that we always had as a kid when we went camping. It's basically a hamburger pot roast cooked over hot coals in the woodland setting. Or, at home it can be baked in the oven (or solar oven) They can be made fresh for dinner, or frozen for later use. However you do it, be prepared to sing a rousing ensemble with your favorite hillbilly harmonica songs. It's campfire good. Down home good. If you precook the veggies and meat, it's even fast and good. we go:

Foil Freezer Dinner's A La Chef Tess

5-6 large russet potatoes, cleaned well and cut into cubes, cooked in microwave or stove top until fork tender OR 4 lb frozen cubed hash browns
1 lb baby carrots, steamed 5 minutes (or frozen)
2 medium red onions, chopped, steamed with the carrots
2-3 T Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning
3 lb cooked hamburger patties, about 12
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
2 Cups dark brown mushroom gravy of your choice (I use homemade Gravy Mix made easy)

12 sheets of heavy-duty foil (use the heavy stuff if you don't want a mess) about one foot long each.

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, onions, potatoes, and seasoning.
Place one cup of vegetable mixture onto a lightly oiled sheet of foil. 
Place the cooked hamburger on  top of the vegetable mixture and wrap tightly.

 I roll the ends and sides very well. Repeat until you have used all your hamburger and vegetable mixture. You can use veggie burgers if you choose instead of meat. Top the meat with a few tablespoons of the prepared gravy. Place 4 meals in a gallon size freezer bag and remove as much air as possible.

 Label with baking directions:
Remove from plastic bag and place in a 400-degree oven for 35-40 minutes until heated through, or place in a solar oven Pot, cover the foil with a dark sheet pan, and close oven. Cook 45 minutes to an hour. In the on hot coals and cook 25 minutes.

Pour contents onto a plate and sprinkle with parsley if desired.
There you go. Quick and easy on the go for camping, oven baking, or solar cooking.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, April 3, 2017

Full Video: 3 Freezer Meals from One Beef Base

For those of you who don't live in Las Vegas, here's the full video of last Saturday's show. It was so much fun! If you want the Recipes click here.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Today's Episode:3 Quick and Easy Freezer Meals from One Beef Base

This Week's Episode of Cooking with Chef Tess on 
Heartland TV  in Las Vegas on
 channels 34.2 and on Cox cable channel 97 at 1:30...

The original post was:

Here's the information from today's show! 

Make-A-Head Ground Beef Base 

3 medium onions, peeled and chopped or minced fine
3 lbs. 90% lean ground beef or 93% lean ground turkey (or chicken breast pieces)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 carrots, peeled and shredded finely
2 stalks of celery, chopped finely

Cooking Directions: Place all ingredients into skillet (12-in or larger). Cook over medium-high heat, breaking into crumbles, 15-18 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Divide beef mixture into three equal portions (according to your recipe choices below). Label clearly with cooking directions. Chill promptly!

Home-Style Chili

In a gallon-sized freezer bag or container, add the following:
⅓ of the meat base
1 (15 oz.) can roasted tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans
2 Tbsp. chili powder or Chef Tess Fajita Seasoning
1 small can diced green chile or jalapeno

Directions: Chill in the fridge up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost and heat for 15 minutes over medium heat. Serve with shredded cheese and cornbread if desired.

Taco Rice Casserole

In an oven-safe non-aluminum 9x13 pan, layer in order:
3 cups cooked rice
⅓ of the meat base
1 cup tomatillo salsa or red salsa
1 packet taco seasoning of your choice (or homemade),
1 cup shredded cheese

Directions: Cover and store up to 5 days in the fridge or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost and heat for 20-25 minutes uncovered at 350 or 10-12 minutes in the microwave on high.

Sloppy Joe Filling

In a quart-sized freezer bag or container:
⅓ of the meat base
¼ cup brown sugar
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
2 small red bell pepper, minced
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions: Chill in the fridge up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost and heat 5-6 minutes in microwave. To serve, divide between 4 toasted burger buns. Serve with coleslaw or side of your choice.

How to Freeze Food Safely and Effectively 101

·         Buy Quality Fresh Ingredients: Freezing will not cover up inferior cooking or ingredients. Check the flavors and seasoning before freezing to be sure it tastes good.

·         Chill First: Make sure food is cold before you freeze it! This allows it to freeze faster and reduces the amount of drip loss (leakage of moisture that occurs during defrosting) the ice crystal will be smaller in chilled food, reducing the amount of water lost. The result is better texture and flavor. It will also reduce the amount of condensation (moisture that collects on the surface of food when frozen) when defrosted, the excess water will make the food soggy and tasteless.

·         Chill Cooked Food Uncovered: If you can’t bag and chill in labeled bags, it is essential that the food is chilled uncovered so the heat isn’t kept in the container (even plastic wrap!) If it’s a large pot of chili or meat, I freeze bottles of water and put them inside the pot to further hasten the drop of internal temperature.

·         Freeze Small: The smaller the item, the quicker it will freeze. Whenever possible, freeze in pint or quart-sized name brand freezer bags. Gallon size is perfect for pizza crusts and larger family sizes. I use quart-sized for my family of four. When you freeze it, do so with the bag laid out flat-- the increased surface area will not only freeze faster, but also be easier to store in stacks. I have a “freezer file” that I use. It’s an ice bin that I put the flat bags in just like files I can flip through!

·         “Open” Freeze Smaller Items: Smaller items like berries and cooked potato wedges can be placed on a parchment lined sheet pan (metal is best because of its temperature conducting qualities). Using this method will keep these smaller items from freezing in a block. I use it for twice baked potatoes and blanched vegetables.

·         Wrap Well: Squeeze out as much air as possible and label food clearly with permanent marker. Include defrosting and cooking instructions so anyone can cook it later (my husband needs it clearly marked to remove the ingredients from the bag before microwaving!) Preventing freezer burn is the key! There is nothing wrong with using two bags. I always use the name brand bags. If the store brand is used it needs to be double bagged anyway, so it is worth the cost of the quality bags. If able to use the specially made vacuum sealers and the freezer bags with them, it is a good investment.

·         Watch Freezer Temperature: On big freezing days, it is essential to check the temperature, as well as checking periodically to be sure the freezer stays cold on other days. Keep a freezer thermometer in the freezer. It should be between 0-30° Fahrenheit. If you are placing a large quantity of food in the freezer at once, turn the thermostat to the coldest setting until food is frozen.

·         Follow Defrosting Recommendations: It is best to defrost in the fridge or microwave. Do not defrost at room temperature because microorganisms like yeast, mold, and bacteria multiply quickly at temperatures above 40 degrees. It may still feel cool to you, but is a breeding ground for food-borne illness--don’t take chances! Cook defrosted food soon and chill leftovers as soon as possible.

There you go!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Pilot Episode! Full Video

In case you missed last week's pilot episode of Cooking With Chef Tess, my producer put it up on Youtube! Please feel free to share it...

You can find the recipes from the show in the links below:

French Onion Orange Chicken

4 Ingredient No Knead Bread Anyone Can Make

I am excited beyond words for this adventure on the Heartland Channels in Las Vegas!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cooking with Chef Tess to Air on the Heartland Network in Las Vegas

I received an epic call from the owner of TgoTV a few nights ago and I'm still having a hard time digesting the gravity of the news.  Since my pilot episode launched in November, there hasn't been another episode of the show added to her network, and I was beginning to think that it was a pretty dream, but that it might not go much further.  Theresa Goss, the network owner and my Producer,let me know that she had been in a meeting with the head of the Heartland TV Network in Las Vegas.  During her meeting, she had been able to show them my pilot episode. She said that they loved it and wanted it on their network on local TV with the possibility of it going national on all their affiliate stations.  After I dropped the phone and stopped giggling with joy, I was able to compose myself enough to just scream! Hooooray!!!!!! 

 Long story short, the papers have been signed and my show will be airing on Heartland TV  in Las Vegas on channels 34.2 and on Cox cable channel 97 every Saturday at 1:30 pm starting March 25th! YES!!!!

There are several Heartland TV Affiliate Stations Nationally and this definitely has the potential to take the show across the country.  I'm trying to maintain some level of calm, but in my house, I've been squealing with absolute joy for days on end!  

That being said, not only has it been a remarkable few days, but I have been filled with so much gratitude.  The journey is still going to be long, but thankfully, there's new opportunities still ahead and I am so excited! 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I have a New Job!

 I have had a remarkable few weeks.  The blessings that have come into my life have left me overwhelmed with gratitude and where there once has been extreme stress and frustration, there has come new levels of peace and happiness. So great have been the blessings, that I have frequently found myself just crying a little...because of the joy. 

Case in point, I was at a breaking point with my job as a traditional pastry chef.  The long hours on my feet and the wonky early morning hours (seriously 2 am was kicking my butt) were just getting to me.  I needed something with a lot more security and to feel like I was making a difference, not just making cakes. 

The good Lord heard my prayers.  Just over three weeks ago after a whirlwind of interviews and a flight to Colorado where I met the president of Panhandle Milling, I was offered a fantastic position as their Culinary Marketing Specialist.  That's just a fancy way of saying that I get to write package labels, food blogs, magazine articles, cookbooks and develop recipes for their company and its clients.  I get to do what I love best and they are taking good care of this girl.  I have never felt more blessed! Seriously. I am still based in Phoenix, but will travel a little more to their mill locations in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. 

That being said, not only has it been a remarkable few weeks, but I have been filled with so much gratitude.  So far, they are living up to their promises as a company in every way.  The journey is still going to be long, but thankfully, there's new opportunities still ahead and I am so excited to be part of what they are doing! 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chef Tess Bakeresse Named one of the top 100 food blogs

I received an amazing email this week from the founder of feedspot. Chef Tess Bakeresse  was selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 100 Chef Blogs  on the web. For more details, the article is  Here. I just had to share this outstanding news! Seriously. Especially after starting this little blog initially so that I could get a little peace at dinner time because my sweet cooking class students would call with cooking questions as they were preparing dinner and I wanted them to have a fast resource.  I am amazed at where this blog has gone and the things it has brought into my life along the way.  Thank you all for being a part of that journey.  I love you so much!

We've come a long way my darlings!  

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, February 20, 2017

Streets Fine Chicken in Dallas TX, Rambling Review

 Y'all know that if I don't like a restaurant, I don't give it a review on my blog.  As a general rule, I just think it is classy to only share what is awesome and not rip another establishment down. That being said, I was in Dallas last week with Evil TARA ...the original giant brain in my Evil Think Tanks ...see the ETT for details on how those kitchen shenanigans ensued.  At any rate, she's the one who originally said, "Steph, you should start a blog." To which I replied, "What's a blog?"  I had so much to learn and she opened the floodgate.  We've had a lot of fun along the way.  Now, back to Dallas.

During a two day visit with my remarkable friend, we were looking for a place to have a quick dinner.  We found this one.  Streets Fine Chicken

I should have known that I'd love it just based on the first few items on the menu...Chickarones, fried chicken skins with chili lime salt, and the chicken lollipops, smoked 'n' fried chicken drumsticks rolled in a Grand Marnier horseradish molasses.
 We ordered the lollies. How could we not?
They were fall-off-the-bone tender smoked  and then deep fried giving it a very unique crisp-tender contrast.  That perfect little drumette was then covered in this sticky-savory molasses that literally made me giddy.  The presentation was spot-on and the flavors were perfect. 

Next we got the Chickarones. In Arizona and across the country people have fried pig skins all the time.  I thought this was a brilliant use of chicken skin, plus when I bake chicken, I really love the crispy skin!  These were so crispy and warm with a mild chili and lime salt.   

 I think I can't admit how many of them I ate.  I was on vacation. Don't judge me. Seriously though, they were crispy heaven! They were everything one would expect in a fried pork skin, but with chicken...and way better than pork. Waaaay better. 
After that, we were on to the main stage.  They had two things that were their specialty.  Fried chicken and something called "Sin Killer Chicken".  Tara had had Peri Peri chicken in France and insisted that I'd love it.  I had to trust that, plus the description sounded absolutely divine!

We ordered it with the creamy baked brie macaroni and cheese.  I wish I had words to describe the flavor explosion. Tangy, sweet, spicy with hints of citrus and herbs then grilled to a tender perfection.  I was in love.  Life changing chicken.  I never say that, but this was awesome.
Sin Killer is flame grilled chicken marinated in olive oil, agave nectar, orange peel, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, onion, Peri Peri peppers, herbs and spices; There was also a light and super fluffy honey biscuit; creamy brie mac n' cheese made with gouda and creamy brie - baked then toasted to perfection. 
By the time we got to their signature fried chicken and roasted brussel sprouts, I could barely take a bite.  The few tastes I did have were really remarkable. It wasn't fried chicken that you could ever put in a bucket.  It was really delightful. 
Needless to say, I really adore this chicken place.  The service was every bit as awesome as the food served with a smile and a Texas accent.  Whenever I'm in Dallas, this will definitely be on my list of places to go!

There you go darlings! Go visit these guys!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tess' Top Secret Loaded Potato Salad (Banquet Sized Recipe)

Once upon a time my favorite friend Heather invited me over for a barbecue. She whipped out a giant vat of potato salad that she had made and it blew my freakishly adorable mind-space. Number one, because she made just enough for me, and maybe a tablespoon or two for the rest of the guests. You know, I love good potato salad. I do. Don't judge me. Secretly you do too. I bet I'm not the only one who has it as a midnight snack instead of cheesecake. Well. Maybe only if there isn't cheesecake in the house. Number two,  It was perfect. It had just the right balance of zing and zang. The best part...
It had bacon in it. Yeah. Bacon.  Then she confessed to me her ultimate secret for the best potato salad ever. The secret ingredient she used, besides the bacon fat in the dressing, was also the use of pickle brine in the dressing. That's when things got crazy! I started to squeal gleefully!  I pulled out ceremonial head-garb and started singing...The Heather and Tess Ya-ya Sisterhood dancing ensued as I confessed that I too had been using pickle juice in my potato salad dressing for years! After we removed our ceremonial head-garb and stopped dancing, we continued comparing recipe similarities, and it always came back to the pickle juice being the secret ingredient. Ya know...and the bacon. Confession...I have used pickle brine in my potato salad since I was in my twenties, So, since last week...give or take a few decades. This is just a brilliant use of an otherwise "useless" liquid that generally gets thrown away in the trash anyway! I couldn't wrap my head around the bacon fat for my clients, but for the family barbecue, it was absolutely spot-on!

Several years later as I was developing a potato salad recipe for catering and personal chef events, this loaded potato salad just kept appearing in my universe.  It was a sign.  It needed to be part of what I just served regularly.  It is a potato salad without eggs (though you could add those if you wanted to do so) and it is a potato salad that has to always use dill pickle juice instead of vinegar in the sauce. Don't ask me why...except that the saltiness of the pickle brine with the potatoes give it a punch of flavor! To give balance to the tangy zip of the pickle juice, I use sweet pickle relish as well.  It seems weird, but it works! Yes! This is a banquet size recipe that will make 60 servings. Obviously it can be cut back if you need to do so...but it will ensure that there is something for your guests to eat after you've had your "taste". 

Tess' Loaded Potato Salad

yield 60 ½ cup servings

5 pounds red potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes, skin on, washed

2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
 ¾ cup dill pickle juice OR white vinegar
1 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme, ground
1/2 tsp Cumin, ground
1/2 tsp curry powder
1T  minced garlic
1/4 lb bacon crumbles
1 cup green onions, sliced thin
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

In a large pot of salted water, add potatoes and cook until just fork tender. Remove from boiling water and cool. Combine remaining ingredients in a large 2 gallon bowl. Mix with potatoes, adjusting seasoning as needed, chill well.

Serve with your favorite stuff...or just eat it at midnight in your jammies and slippers in front of the open fridge door. I'm not going to judge you. Just make sure to wear the ceremonial head-garb. Xoxo!

There you go.

Always My Very Best,

Chef Tess

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cooking With Chef Tess TV Show! Launched Today!

The tease is here, but you can actually view the 11 minute pilot episode for free right now on the : TGoTV Network! I'm so very blessed and excited to be part of this network. My producer Therese Goss has worked tirelessly to make this possible for me and my family!

Please share this with your friends and family and help get the word out far and wide that we're here!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lemon and herb Roasted Turkey with Cheddar and Citrus Cranberry Sauce Grilled Cheese

Our next grilled cheese of glory for grown-up people who don't just want cheese and bread is this freakishly delicious concoction. It is basically a Thanksgiving feast between two slices of sweet potato bread from the Fall Sweet Potato Bread Tutorial. It really is a bread to keep on hand for the next several months.

Let's start with the relish. I think it is probably one of my all-time favorite recipes for Thanksgiving and we love it!
Teapot Cranberry Relish Photo from Taste of Home

The citrus cranberry relish is one that I adapted from a Taste of Home recipe found Here. I use orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar glaze and zest from orange and lemon to give it added flavor contrasts. I also love the addition of a hint of fennel seed. It gives the sauce a remarkable depth. If you make it for Thanksgiving, it is good in the fridge up to a month! Use it on Turkey sammiches yes, but it is also amazing in oatmeal (really?!), as an addition to muffins and cookies or as a relish for pot roasts and chicken.

Tess' Citrus Balsamic Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 package (16 oz) fresh or  frozen cranberries
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar glaze  here
  • 2 cups dried cherries or apricots
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fennel seed, optional
Directions:   In a large saucepan, cook the cranberries, sugar, juice and balsamic glaze over medium heat until the berries pop, about 15-20 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Cool slightly and transfer to quart jar and cover with a lid.  Good in the fridge up to 1 month.  

Let's talk Turkey. Seriously. This has to be right.
Ina Gartner's Herb Roasted Turkey photo from Food
I don't mess with perfection on the turkey and my go-to the last few years has been the tutorial posted by Ina Gartner in 2008. Always perfect. Always flavorful. Would we expect anything less from Ina? She's one of my all-time favorite chefs.  Get her Printable Recipe  and you can also watch the full tutorial here
For the Grown-up grilled cheese...
Place 1-2 slices of warm turkey breast (above) on a slice of sweet potato bread. Top with 2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of the citrus cranberry sauce.  Grill in a skillet  with a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter over medium heat until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.  Server warm.
There you go darlings! A wicked delicious sandwich for fall! Use both the recipes for the components for your Thanksgiving dinner too! 
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Prosciutto-wrapped Cantaloupe in a Firecracker Lime Sauce

It's getting into the season where people have parties! I'm so excited! I love getting together with my favorite people and laughing and talking and cheering each other onward to remarkable and amazing things! In a life where working like crazy is just "part of the deal", the time we get to spend with our "peeeeeps" is what makes it all worthwhile. So here's one of my favorite appetizer recipes from catering and gatherings.

Prosciutto wrapped melon is a classic appetizer. It has been for years in culinary circles. The salty sweet contrast is delightful with a hint of smokiness from the meat.  It is a great make-ahead magic appetizer.  What isn't classic in my version is the addition of a really rockin' sauce. It's not the mint stuff.  Don't ask me why. I just don't like mint with prosciutto.  There. I said it.

On the other hand...This sauce adds a chile and lime firecracker pop that will absolutely take it over the top. It doesn't overpower the flavors of the melon and prosciutto.  Most firecracker sauce recipes are more oriental in flavor and include soy sauce and ginger. This one is completely different from those varieties and highly addictive. The sauce takes just a few ingredients, you probably already have most of them on hand.  The thing I like best about them is that you can make the melon balls wrapped in the prosciutto up to a day ahead of time and wrap the tray in plastic. Then, just before serving them add a drizzle of the sauce. I like appetizers like that, since I want to be in the middle of the festivities with my friends.   So here's the magic... I think you'll love it.

My Favorite Firecracker Lime Sauce

1 cup honey
2 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce
1/4 cup Rice vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
zest of 2 limes
1 Tablespoon Chile flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions: Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Yields 2 cups

To Serve you will need:

1 cantaloupe
24 slices  high quality prosciutto, cut in half
48 frilled or twisted toothpicks

  1. Cut the cantaloupe in half. Remove the seeds. With a melon-baller, scoop out rounds of melon, as you would if you scooped ice cream. 
  2. Wrap each melon ball in 1/2 a slice of prosciutto and secure with a toothpick where the slice meets.
  3. Place on a platter.
  4. At service drizzle the  a few tablespoons of sauce over the melon balls and garnish.

There you go darlings! Have fun at your parties.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Yankee Rosemary Pot Roast and Swiss Grilled cheese on Sweet Potato bread

This is by and far one of the most delicious celebrations of opposites you will ever put in your mouth! The sweet and the savory intermingled into an explosion of flavors that can only be described as "The Ultimate Fall Sammich". Yup. September is upon us and I am finally giving in to the impulse to actually bake again at home! All hail the Sweet Potato Bread! Fall Sweet Potato Bread is one that has been a classic here on the blog for many years!  I served this sandwich variation at the Bistro regularly and it always had people begging for more! The slightly sweet soft spiced bread wraps around a tender herbaceous hunk of pot roast that is drenched in a rosemary gravy of glory!!

 This post will be two posts in one...the Yankee Rosemary Pot Roast Recipe, and the Sweet Potato bread. That way you can decide if you want to just make the roast, or just the bread...but either way, be prepared for bliss! 

This is a variation of the original post of Jan D'Atri's Cola Braised Pot Roast. My variation is designed to bode well for this sandwich. It has more garlic, rosemary, onion and beefy goodness! Here's where to start...

Chef Tess' Rosemary Yankee Pot Roast
4-5 pound boneless chuck roast or rump roast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large sweet yellow onion, diced and sautéed
3 Tablespoons FRESH garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon beef bullion (non-msg)
1 Tablespoon  black pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 cups beef broth
1 (12 oz) can cola (I used Blue Sky All Natural Soda)
2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour

Season the roast on all sides by sprinkling with bullion powder and  pepper over the entire roast. Sautee diced onion in a little oil until golden brown and set aside. Heat a Dutch oven on high heat and add oil. When oil is hot,  place roast in pot and cook until browned on all sides.  Add beef broth, cola, garlic, sautéed onion,  and remaining teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil, stirring to release browned bits.  Add tomato paste and stir.  For crock-pot cooking method, transfer meat and juices to crock-pot and cook on high for about 4-5 hours (or until fork tender) or cook overnight in crock-pot on low heat. For oven method, cover Dutch oven and cook at 325 degrees in the oven for 3 1/2 hours. Liquid should be at least 1/3 of the way up the roast. Add more beef broth if necessary. At the end of cooking, sprinkle with fresh rosemary.
To make gravy: Remove roast from pot and keep warm. Pour beef liquid through a strainer to catch onion bits, mash through and then discard remaining onions. In a bowl, add 1/2-cup hot beef liquid to  2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk to combine eliminating lumps.  Slowly whisk mixture into the remaining liquid on the pot. Whisk frequently until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for another 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Serve roast with hot gravy.

The Sweet Potato Bread is my original recipe made in full in the Fall Sweet Potato Bread Tutorial with the embellishments and leaves.  Here, I'm just giving you the recipe for the plain loaves. 

Chef Tess' Sweet Potato 5 Day Bread Dough
yield: 4 loaves 
2T active dry yeast (over 3000 feet use 1 T only)
4 cups milk, cold is best (cold soy milk is wonderful!)
3/4 cup honey Or Organic Maple SYRUP
1T salt
4 eggs (or 1 cup egg replacement)
3/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes. cooled to body temp again. The consistency of thick oatmeal.
1T baking powder

 2T cinnamon, 
2tsp ground ginger and 
1T vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
12-14 cups all purpose flour (I have used fine ground white wheat and been fine doing all whole grain, use only 12-14 cups total if whole wheat is used )

Directions: Dissolve yeast in milk. Stir in honey. Allow yeast to get all foamy and look like it is having a hay day. Add egg, oil, mashed sweet potato, baking powder, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 cups all purpose flour  spices, vanilla and salt, in that order. Do not let yeast come in contact with salt on it's own or it will kill the yeast. Beat until smooth. Allow dough to rest 10-15 minutes
Add enough of the flour remaining to make a soft dough that is easy to handle but not dry. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 full minutes. about 600 turns. Yea. 600 by hand. 5-6 minutes by machine on medium speed. Form into a ball and place in an ungreased 2 gallon bowl, covered tightly. If you don't have a large enough bowl...use two smaller bowls. Or...just half the recipe if you are worried. Put in the fridge. Punch down after 2 hours (this may be faster if you use warm ingredients or flour. If the dough is over 85 degrees when you put it in the fridge, be sure to punch down sooner. Also...if you have kids who open the fridge a lot, be sure to lower the temperature a bit so that your fridge is really as cold as it should be) Form into a ball again. Cover tightly and chill at least 8 hours.
Be sure to punch down daily (this not only expels gas, but also ensures even temperature in the dough). This dough can be made up to 5 days before Thanksgiving! So, it's nice to have around. It's also amazing to make into rolls instead of bread, should you choose to do something else. This makes four loaves. Four.
I will only make one here, but you'll get the idea.

Take one quarter of the dough and roll it into a tight ball.
I like to expel as much air as possible so it raises rather uniformly.
Gather the dough at the bottom and make a tight ball out of the dough.
Place on a parchment lined baking stone or baking sheet, at least 12 inches by 10 inches. Allow to raise until doubled, uncovered, lightly misted with water. When almost raised, turn on the oven to 425 degrees.  Bake 425 degrees 15 minutes and lower the temperature to 350 for the final 15-20 minutes of baking.  Allow to cool. Slice and wrap tightly. 

To make into the Yankee Rosemary Pot Roast and Swiss Grilled Cheese simply place a slice of the warm pot roast and 2-3 slices of Swiss cheese on a thick slice of the sweet potato bread. Grill on the stove in a medium skillet over medium heat with melted butter until golden and toasted . Garnish with minced fresh rosemary if desired.

There you go darlings! 
A wicked sandwich for Fall!

Always My Very Best,

Your Friend Chef Tess