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Sandra Lee's Fabulous Fall Feast

Sarah Lee proves that delicious dining doesn't have to cost a fortune:

• Beef Pot Roast

Prep 10 minutes

Cook 8 hours (low) or 3 hours (high)

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 bag (12-ounce) frozen onions

1 bag (8-ounce) frozen carrot slices

1 4-pound beef chuck roast, rinsed and patted dry

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, Wesson

1 can (103⁄4-ounce) condensed cream of celery soup, Campbell's

1 packet (1-ounce) onion soup mix, Lipton

1 cup low-sodium beef broth, Swanson

1⁄4 cup steak sauce, A.1

Method:

1. Add frozen onions and carrots to the bottom of a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.

2. Season roast with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chuck roast on all sides, then place into slow cooker on top of onions and carrots.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together cream of celery soup, onion soup mix, beef broth, and steak sauce. Pour over top of roast.

4. Cover slow cooker and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or high heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.

• Chicken with Mole

Prep 25 minutes

Bake 30 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Rice

2 cups instant rice, Uncle Ben's

1 can (14-ounce) reduced-sodium chicken broth, Swanson

1 cup frozen seasoned vegetable blend, Pictsweet

1 teaspoon paprika, McCormick

1 teaspoon Mexican seasoning, McCormick

1 can (10-ounce) diced tomatoes with chiles, drained, Ro-Tel

Chicken

1 can (14-ounce) reduced-sodium chicken broth, Swanson

1⁄2 cup mole sauce, Doña Maria Original

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

11⁄2 pounds fried chicken from deli

Pickled whole hot peppers

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. For rice, in a medium saucepan, combine rice, broth, frozen vegetables, paprika, and Mexican seasoning. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 7 minutes. Stir in drained tomatoes. Transfer to 9×13-inch baking dish. Set aside.

2. For chicken, rinse saucepan. In saucepan, combine broth, mole, and cinnamon. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until simmering, whisking until smooth and thickened.

3. Place chicken on rice; spoon mole mixture over chicken. Cover and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is heated through. Garnish with pickled peppers.

• Chinese Braised Short Ribs

Prep 15 minutes

Cook 9 hours (Low) or 3 hours (High)

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 large onion, sliced

4 pounds beef short ribs

Lemon pepper

Garlic salt

2 tablespoons canola oil, Wesson

2 cups low-sodium beef broth, Swanson

1 packet (1.1-ounce) beefy onion soup mix, Lipton

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion, Hunt's

2 tablespoons five-spice powder

Method:

1. Add sliced onion to the bottom of a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Season short ribs with lemon pepper and garlic salt. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown all sides of short ribs. Place into slow cooker on top of onion.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over the top of short ribs. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 9 to 10 hours or high heat setting for 3 to 4 hours. Note: Five-spice powder is a blend of ground spices used extensively in Chinese cooking. It usually consists of cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns. It can be found in the spice section of the grocery store.

• Herb-Crusted Salmon with Corn

Prep 15 minutes

Bake 22 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh or frozen salmon fillets

Olive oil cooking spray, Mazola Pure

11⁄2 cups frozen organic whole kernel corn, thawed, Cascadian Farm

1 jar (4.5-ounce) sliced mushrooms, drained, Green Giant

3 tablespoons herbes de Provence, McCormick

2 tablespoons chopped pimientos, Dromedary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, Alessi

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed garlic, Christopher Ranch

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, Bertolli

Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

Method:

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 4 serving-size portions. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine corn, mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of the herbes de Provence, pimientos, chopped parsley, vinegar, and garlic; set aside. Sprinkle remaining herbes de Provence on a plate.

3. Brush fish with olive oil. Coat fish with remaining herbs; place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

4. Cover corn mixture; microwave on high for 2 to 2½ minutes. Serve with fish. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

• Sour Cream Cake

Prep 10 minutes

Bake 40 minutes

Makes 9 servings

Ingredients:

Nonstick spray for baking, Pam

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

5 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, McCormick

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 cup sour cream

Vanilla frosting, Betty Crocker (optional)

Cocoa powder (optional)

Fresh raspberries (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with spray for baking and set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes or until thick and lighter in color.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream to egg mixture, stirring until smooth. Do not overmix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Frost with vanilla frosting, sprinkle with cocoa powder, and garnish with fresh raspberries (optional).

• Cherry-Almond Sour Cream Cake: Prepare as directed, except substitute almond extract (McCormick) for the vanilla extract, add 1⁄2 cup chopped dried cherries (Sunsweet), and sprinkle 1⁄4 cup sliced almonds (Planters) over the batter in pan.

• Strawberry-Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake: Prepare as directed, except add 1⁄4 cup poppy seed cake and pastry filling (Solo), 1 teaspoon strawberry extract (McCormick), and 4 drops red food coloring. Top with whipped cream and/or sugared sliced strawberries.

• Maple-Pecan Sour Cream Cake: Prepare as directed, except add 1⁄2 cup chopped candied pecans and 1 teaspoon maple flavoring (McCormick).

• Spice Sour Cream Cake: Prepare as directed, except substitute packed brown sugar for the sugar and add 2 tablespoons mild-flavor molasses (Grandma's), 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (McCormick), and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (McCormick).

• Tropical Sour Cream Cake: Prepare as directed, except substitute banana extract (McCormick) for the vanilla extract and add 1⁄2 cup chopped dried pineapple and 1⁄4 cup sweetened flaked coconut (Baker's).

• Espresso-Hazelnut Sour Cream Cake: Prepare as directed, except add 1⁄4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella), 1⁄4 cup ground hazelnuts (filberts), and 1 tablespoon espresso powder.

Recipes excerpted from "Semi-Homemade: The Complete Cookbook" by Sandra Lee

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