Sometimes, when you want cupcakes this cute…
Do you ever have a recipe come together and you think ‘huh, I really don’t exactly know how I created that.’
That’s what happened last week with our barbacoa beef.
Like with any new recipe, I read it over and over before I made it and I also skimmed over most of the reviews. The recipe looked and sounded amazing, but I felt it was a bit confusing and all of the mixed reviews about the cooking time backed up that feeling.
After spending close to $30 on our piece of brisket I wasn’t about to ruin it. I prepped everything the night before and the next morning my day of babysitting the brisket begin. Here’s a quick run down on my high maintenance hunk of meat: (and I’m not talking about M)
6:51: B is whining for his morning bottle. While I warm it up, I get the crock pot going on high. About an hour in, it smells amazing.
8:45: B begins his morning melt down for his nap. Hmm, recipe says to keep it on high for 4 hours, but that is with a 5 lbs piece of meat. Mine was 3 lbs, so, I turned it down to warm. (Mistake).
11:30: M and L are due home from MT any minute! Hey wait a minute, the house doesn’t smell as good anymore. Let’s crank that baby up to high. I take great pride on hearing M say “wow it smells good in here” when he walks through the door.
12:00: Boys are home and getting settled. M did not comment on the smell…grrr…back down to warm it goes. Whatever, I’ll get him with my cowboy cake.
2:41: M and B are peacefully napping upstairs, L is watching the Flinstones and I am writing. I should probably check on the brisket. Ok, it won’t even remotely shred, I’m cranking it back up to high.
3:30: Still not pulling. Huh. Getting nervous.
4:55: About to leave for ninja class, let’s check this bad boy out one more time. Yippee! It’s slowly pulling. Judgement call here…I turned it to LOW (not warm!). There is a fine balance between tough brisket and brisket that won’t pull at all.
6:00: Return from class with another stripe on L’s belt. He rocks. Ok, fingers crossed we are good to go here….and yes! The brisket pulls wonderfully. I flipped the switch to warm until dinner time which was around 7:00.
7:00: Yum. So worth the high maintenance of it all. Think Chipotle at home.
The moral of all this? If I had to do it again, I would leave it on high for another hour or so in the morning and then switch to low, not warm. It’s harder to overcook a brisket than it is to undercook it. Another challenging part of this is everyone’s crock pot is a bit different but I think it would be safe to go with the above plan and to keep an eye on it. Not as much as I had to, don’t worry. That’s why I am here…to figure those things out.
- 4 chipotle peppers (from a can) plus all the sauce they sit in
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 head garlic, peeled, and cloves smashed
- 2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 TBS kosher salt
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- juice of 4 limes
- 5 lbs beef brisket (this would feed an army, use less if you don't have any army to feed)
- 4ish cups chicken stock
- 3 bay leaves
- Stir together all the ingredients up until the brisket in the bottom of a slow cooker. Lay the brisket on top. Add stock to just cover the meat and place the bay leaves on top.
- Switch on high for 3ish hours, then low for another 5-6. Check on it twice or so - if it ever pulls too easily it's done. Flip it to warm at that point and make sure there is enough liquid to keep it moist.
- When you are ready to eat, remove brisket and shred with two forks. Discard most of the cooking liquid, leaving just enough to keep a nice sauce for the meat to sit in. (I discarded roughly 80%). Serve on warm tortillas with homemade pico de gallo ( http://a-life-from-scratch.com/two-for-one).
Ok, ok. I’ve admitted it before – one of my guilty pleasures is the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Every year Kyle hosts a ‘white’ party. It’s an extremely elegant affair where everything is crisp, beautiful, white, and let’s not forget – dramatic.
Well, this is the St. Mark’s housewives version of that. Welcome to our white powder (as in snow) sledding party! It was a crisp day, the girls and their moms brought the beauty, lovely white wine was enjoyed and get a basement full of 3 to 6 year olds together? There is always drama. One may argue more than between the housewives. No one stormed out threatening to sue though so hey, I consider that a success.
The men (minus Daddie – you were missed!) handled the kids on the hills while the moms stayed back and monitored the little play date between B and K. LOVE.
All the kids arrived back in one piece (yippee!), were fed immediately…
Sorry K, your date passed out early. I hope we didn’t bore you too much! You were much too precious to stick in the (scary) basement.
Dinner was homemade chili (M thinks it was beef, but it was so ground turkey) with all the fixings and Ina Garten’s corn muffins. Perfect meal for a (healthy) ‘chilly’ evening!
All in all it was a great way to break up the dreary feeling that is so February. With March less than a week away I’m dreaming of our next get together…on the patio.
- few glugs of olive oil
- 3 stalks of celery, small dice
- 3 carrots, small dice
- 1 green pepper, small dice
- 1 large onion, small dice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 lbs ground turkey, I did a mix of white and dark
- 3 TBS chili powder
- 2 TBS cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 cans 28 ounce diced tomatoes
- 2 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Heat your olive oil in a large pot on the stove over medium heat.
- Saute celery, carrots, green pepper and onion until soft - roughly 8 minutes or so. Add in your garlic and mix around for another minute.
- Add in the meat and saute until browned, another 5 minutes or so.
- Add in all your spices and and saute until they get mixed in nicely and you can start to smell them, a few minutes. Add a generous amount of salt & pepper.
- Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Stir in your black beans.
- Simmer on the stove until your snow bunnies are hungry. Serve with all the fixings! We did shredded cheddar, crushed up crackers, cilantro, and sour cream.
P.S. ‘L, my dad says we are NOT allowed to kiss anymore.’ Good girl.
How fun is this?
Christina, who you met here, has offered to sponsor A Life From Scratch’s first giveaway! And the prize? A beautiful 14″ black (I know, in the picture it is blue) Longaberger pizza stone valued at $80.00. Wow! Look how pretty.
So, how do you enter? Simple. Follow the instructions below. You’re going to head on over to Christina’s Longaberger site, find an item you think is pretty neat, and come back here and leave me a comment to tell me all about it. That’s it – you’ve entered! After that other fun options will come up – to ‘like’ us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, etc. We have some exciting things coming up around here like more giveaways, L’s picks, a seasonal newsletter chock-full of fun ideas, AND a fun surprise that you just must have so be sure to keep in touch.
Oh! And get this – you can enter every day this week. So get the odds in you favor and come back often. The giveaway closes this upcoming Sunday, March 3rd, at 11:59PM ET. Winner will be picked at random and announced on Monday, March 4th. Be sure to come back and visit to see if it’s YOU! I hope it is.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll be whipping up the above pictured wingless buffalo chicken pizza on your very own pizza stone next week. Wouldn’t it just look tastier on a pizza stone? I think so.
Good luck my friends and Eat up!
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Another week – let’s do this:
M has a man cold. You don’t know what that is? Oh, it’s when a man walks around the house pretty much acting like he is dying. It’s not ‘achoo’ it’s ‘achooooooooouuuugggggghhhhhhh.’ So, to help cure his ailments, this Sunday I will be making homemade chicken noodle soup. It’s a wonderful recipe straight from my mom.
T-ball tacos will be featured on Monday, although I suppose I should update the name as our little (ok big) guy is playing rookie this year! My goodness am I excited for his season.
Tuesday will be another night of the chicken noodle soup, you know, just in case the man cold hasn’t left us.
Wednesday will be a new pasta I found from my sister in law, Carolyn’s, pinterest boards. It’s pesto pasta with brussel sprouts and chicken sausage.
I’ve been meaning to try out a turkey burger recipe my other sister in law, Becky, sent me so we will enjoy that on Thursday night. She has given it rave reviews and I totally trust her judgement! Sweet potato fries on the side.
Friday, I’m hoping we can have a date night in and enjoy steakhouse filets – seared in a skillet and baked to perfection in the oven. I feel with M’s travel schedule it’s rare that I’ve had a conversation that doesn’t begin with ‘what time is your flight’ so this is much needed. Fluffy baked potatoes and green beans on the side.
By Saturday, I will have done 12 homemade dinners in a row. Night off, please. A new top is on the way to help celebrate. (Thank you, Mea!)
And for my friend who must eat dessert after every single meal (you know who you are) these will be baked for you.
So, that’s our week in my kitchen. What’s cooking in yours?