Two Foolproof Roasts and Gift Giver’s Hot Chocolate

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

I was driving home on my old country road when I had to brake softly to share the right-of-way. For a flock of very slender, wild, turkeys robed in shiny black feathers. Talk about escaping the Thanksgiving dinner table…check out the photo on my site.

Now we’re well into the holiday season with celebratory dinners and gifts from the kitchen to prepare.

Here’s 2 recipes for sirloin tip roast. The foolproof beef is a requested, updated version shared before.  

The other, simpler one, is from dearest friend, Carol Spry Vanover. “I served it with noodles and the gravy was delicious,” she told me. Both are yummy.

And as promised, gift givers hot chocolate mix. 

Foolproof sirloin tip roast


3 pounds sirloin tip roast, tied

Herb “crust”

1-1/2 teaspoons each: salt and black pepper 

2 teaspoons each: dried oregano and dried basil or 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Bit of parsley, minced (optional)

To pour around roast

Beef broth or red wine


Take roast from refrigerator 1-1/2 hours before roasting, but leave it wrapped, then remove wrap.

Mix ingredients for herb “crust”.

Preheat oven to 250. (Yes, 250.) 

Film bottom of oven proof pan with oil. Heat on medium high until oil begins to smoke. Put roast in pan and sear all sides.

Rub evenly with herb “crust”.

Pour a good cup broth or wine around it. 

Roast 1-1/2 hours or until it reaches 130 degrees. 

Turn off oven and leave roast inside and don’t open door

After 30-40 minutes, check temperature. It should read 140-145 for medium. Remove from oven and let rest, tented, 10-15 minutes. 

Remove ties before slicing. Drizzle with accumulated juices.

Quick and easy sirloin tip roast with mushroom gravy


3 pounds sirloin tip roast

1-1/4 cups cool water, divided

8 oz. can mushroom stems and pieces, drained

1 envelope onion soup mix

2 tablespoons cornstarch


Preheat oven to 350.

Place large piece heavy duty foil in roasting pan.
Place roast on top and pour 1 cup water and mushrooms over roast.
Sprinkle with soup mix and wrap tightly in foil.

Bake 2-3 hours, until meat reaches desired doneness.

(Medium 135; medium 140-145, well done 160.)

Remove roast and keep warm. 

Pour drippings and mushrooms into saucepan.

Whisk cornstarch and remaining water until smooth. Stir into drippings and cook until thickened.

Slice thin and serve with gravy.

From Taste of home.

Gift givers hot chocolate mix

Dairy free ingredients can be subbed. I like to package in a cellophane cone topped with chocolate morsels, marshmallows and a big red gumdrop.


1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch 

3-4 oz. semi or bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped

1/2 cup cocoa powder 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Couple dashes salt


Whirl everything in food processor until powdery.

Or grate chocolate, then stir with rest of ingredients.

Store in airtight container in pantry up to 2 months.

Yield: About 2 cups

To make hot chocolate

Heat one cup milk.
Add heaping 3 tablespoons mix and whisk until dissolved.

Adapted slightly from Smitten kitchen.

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