Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barbacoa Beef

So, I'm not a huge fan of meat.  But, I do like me some shredded beef every now and then.  I especially love Chipotle, yum!  This recipe is pretty yum, too ;)

Adapted from Skinny Taste

  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 c. salsa
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 medium lime, juice
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 t. adobo sauce
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. ground oregano
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 T. brown sugar/honey
  • 3 bay leaves OR 3/4 t. thyme
  1. Trim meat of fat, then cut into 4 inch chunks.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a little oil and sear/brown meat on all sides.  Place meat in crock pot.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender (except bay leaves); blend until smooth.
  4. Pour sauce over meat and add bay leaves.  Turn crock pot on low and cook for 6-8 hours.
  5. Shred beef and allow to simmer in juices, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with pico de gaillo, guacamole, roasted corn, and sauteed onions & green peppers.
Brad likes to eat his barbacoa as a salad.  I like mine in some corn tortillas.  Either way, it's darn tasty!  *B

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Perfectly Preserved Strawberries

This recipe makes enough for two 22oz jars of strawberry preserves: one for the fridge, and one for the freezer.  And yes, it sets up beautifully - as in it's spreadable, and won't be mistaken for strawberry jello...  This jam is indeed pectin free, in that pectin is not an ingredient.  But, pectin is naturally found in the white/greens of strawberries and in the rinds of lemon!  True story.  Strawberries really do make up the bulk of this recipe, not sugar.  These preserves have just the right amount of sweetness AND tartness, just like the strawberries they're made from.  Using just three simple ingredients, it's preserved perfection! 

Adapted from Cincinnati Locavore

  • 1 four pound flat of strawberries (make sure to get some with green/white tips)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 c. white granulated sugar, unbleached
  1. Wash, hull and roughly mash strawberries.
  2. Add sugar and allow to sit for a bit, letting it macerate in its juices.
  3. Pour into non-aluminum stock pot (high sides helps with the splattering) and bring to a rolling boil for five minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and strain the strawberries bits from the liquid, making sure to collect all available syrup.
  5. Return syrup to pot and add lemon juice AND lemon peels.  Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for a few minutes, until syrup thinckens further.  If you have a candy thermometer, temperature should read close to 220 degrees.  Be careful not to burn!
  6. Return strawberries to pot and bring contents to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  7. Remove from heat and discard lemon peels; allow to cool.  Pour into jars suitable for storing in the fridge or freezer.
I love this freezer jam so VERY much!  And every time we have it, I think, "Dang, I have GOT to share this, with the WHOLE world!"  It's taken me forever to post it, and for that I apologize profusely, as strawberries are no longer in season (in most places).  But, I had to write it down before I forgot... And luckily, the hub manages produce at Costco, so we always get the best strawberries at the best price.  Even in the Fall!  I guess AZ has its perks after all.  *B

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meal Plan: 10/17 - 10/23

I know, I know.  Been a while?  Yup.  But, I have a confession and what I believe is a dang good excuse!  I may not have been cooking much in the kitchen, but I've been baking something for the past 15 weeks...  something that has kept eating, or even thinking about, food to a minimum!  But, I've been feeling quite "well" for the past week.  So, fingers crossed that I can return to loving food, and all that it entails ;)

Mexican Monday:  tortilla soup w/ avocado chunks
Oriental Tuesday: veggie stir fry w/ yogurt peanut sauce
Twisted Wednesday: pot roast w/ leftover mashed potatoes
Authentic Thursday: rustic marinara w/ polenta
TGIFriday: hotdogs (as requested by the eldest) w/ carrot sticks, veggie straws & "soda-pop"
Super Saturday: Halloween potluck (?)
Special Sunday: lentil stew w/ rye bread

Upcoming recipes: Barbacoa Beef and that darn blasted jam!  Feeling better now, so it "should" happen this time...  Or at least sometime within the next twenty four weeks!  *B