Friday, May 28, 2010

pepper barbecue brisket...

This is it folks. This is the brisket you all need in your life.
One bite and you'll agree...
It's gratifying. It's spicy. It's satisfying. It's savory.
And the best part is, it's so easy it's ridiculous.
It's made in the crockpot!

So, if you're hanging out with friends at the lake or campground...
make this and your friends will love you forever. They will
also call and beg for the recipe.
Or, if you're getting together with family for a reunion...
make this and your family will love your forever. They too
will call and beg for the recipe.
Or, if you're just hanging around your casa doing some yard work
or cleaning out your closet...
then you need to make this, call your friends up and invite them over.
Yard work and closet cleaning is overrated man!

It's a holiday weekend... Eat, drink and have fun!

Ok, lets make this thing.

You're gonna need...

*About 2 to 3 pounds of beef... brisket or chuck roast work beautifully.
*1 medium onion, sliced... if you're not a fan of onions, just leave 'em out.
*1 can crushed tomatoes
*1 jar Peperoncini's
*1 can beef consomme
*1 jar of Stubbs Bar-B-Q Sauce...
you can use whatever barbecue sauce
you like. Stubbs just happens to be our favorite.

Okay, first things first... Searing the meat.
You can totally skip this first part if
you don't have time. I've made it both ways and really can't
tell the difference either way.

Start by heating up some olive oil and butter in your skillet.

Place your brisket or roast in...

And season the heck out of it with salt, pepper, garlic powder,
whatever floats your boat.

Cook on both sides for about five minutes or so, until brown.

Meanwhile, slice up your onion and toss it in your crockpot.

Add the can of crushed tomatoes.

The jar of peperoncini's... Oh. Yum.
One of the little known joys of life right here.
So many uses for these babies and I've only just begun.

Next, add the can of beef consomme.

And finally, about 3/4 of the jar of the good stuff.

Oh, I almost forgot... If you're like me (lover of wine), go ahead
and give a good dousing of red wine. It's ok, I won't tell.

Stir it real good... real good. *In my best Southern accent*

Place the brisket or roast in the crockpot bath of heaven.
"Heaven" to the meat... not me. Well, I wouldn't want to sit in
a bath like that. I just want to eat it.

Now comes the super easy part... Put the lid on and walk away.

Oh, don't forget to turn the crockpot ON... set it on high for about
5 hours... then, down to low until you're ready to experience
the best Pepper Barbecue Brisket you've every tasted.

Serve it with skillet potatoes, fresh tomatoes and corn muffins.

I promise, you will likey.

Next week I'll show you what you can use the left over
brisket or roast for...
or, you could make it especially for this.

Happy Memorial Day... Remember.


Monday, May 24, 2010

hangin' out...

Hangin' out in the back yard the other evening,
I noticed the light was great and my baby was wearing
a super fun and colorful shirt for shooting...
So, I went for my camera and pointed it in his direction.
And this is what he immediately did.
*Sigh*... really baby? "Come on", "Give your momma a smile".

I tried to put a little distance between us... didn't work.

So, I shot the dog instead.
Hee hee hee... that sounded funny.

Then I figured I'd just follow him around...
Annoying him by putting the camera in his face.
Eventually, he'd have to give me something... right?!

Oh, look what he found in his little car... the dog's toy.

Oh, and look who just noticed.

Oh, and did you notice he just shut the door on his car?
He's so smart.

"Baby!", "Baby!", "Look here Baby!"...

If he were the dog I'd say "treat"!

Geez... blurry even.

Oh, have I told you that my baby boy has had two hair cuts already?
He still has plenty of curls.
I was just afraid people would start calling him "Judy".

Ahhhhh... success!
Guess my little plan worked!
Good thing I had my camera pointed his way...

Because that was all he gave me.

Then it was back to "boy" stuff

And I went back to shooting random stuff...
I thought this was neat.
Hey, what can I say.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

amy's chicken caesar pitas...

This is one of my best friends, Amy.
Now granted, today, she's all grown up... well, sort of.
I mean, she's a grown woman now. Not a little stinker,
hanging upside down on the monkey bars.
Although, I'm pretty positive that the "hanging-
upside-down-little-stinker" is still around in spirit on a daily basis.
I've witnessed it.

We've been friends since 1991... that's 19 years man! Oh wow!
It just doesn't seem possible that that much time has gone by.

Amy and I talk on a daily basis... sometimes, on any given day,
we've been known to have multiple phone conversations. For real.
We talk about everything.
Food, kids, husbands, food, photography, world events, food,
trendy clothes, what's on sale, food, home decorating,
food, exercise, food, and good ol' food... oh, and just life in general.
But food... now that's usually on the top of the list for me.

I love trying new recipes, and my gal, Amy, is the
queen of just making one up. I envy that about her.
I, on the other hand, must have a recipe to follow...
although, I will say, I'm getting better at making up my own.
It makes me nervous, but I've had some success lately.
But now, Amy, she'll make one up, serve it to her family
and it's a huge hit... she's fabulous like that.

Here's one of her very own that she's been serving to her family
for a while now. I finally got around to trying it out on my homies...
and guess what? It was a huge hit!

So, with Summer fast approaching, I just had to share it with y'all.

*Amy's Chicken Caesar Pita's*

Here's what you'll need...

1 grocery bought rotisserie chicken, shredded
Hearts of
Romaine, chopped
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
Italian Cheeses, shredded
Caesar Dressing...
fat free is ok.
Pita Bread, halved and toasted

Toss everything together, except the pita bread, in a bowl.
Stuff each pita and top with more cheese, dressing
and/or croutons if you'd like.

Serve to your family on a lazy weekend
for lunch, or on a busy weeknight for dinner,
with chips fruit and tea or lemonade.


Thanks Amy!
Love ya forever!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

14 and her favorite pasta...

My baby girl turned 14 the other day.
Oh boy.
Oh boy, does time fly.

I can still see her twirling around in her tutu,
on stage at the Majestic, pointing to the other little
preschoolers to where they should be standing.
She was so bossy.
Still is.

Yep, that's my baby girl.

I still see her as my baby girl...
with her ear buds tucked in her ears,
applying mascara and straightening her hair,
with a social calendar fuller than the President's...
no joke!

Yep, she'll always be my baby girl.

And I hope all her wishes come true.

At the birthday girls request, I made a yummy dinner
and surprised her with her favorite pasta.
It's really simple and there is no recipe to follow.
Just throw some of this stuff in a bowl and chill it... then enjoy.

Here's what I used...

1 box bow tie pasta, cooked, drained and cooled.
Several Roma tomatoes, chopped
Fresh Basil, chopped
Mozzarella Cheese, cubed
Asiago Cheese, shredded
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh Spinach

And here's what I did...

~Cook, drain and cool the pasta.
~Toss in a bowl.
~Throw in the tomatoes, basil and cheeses.
~Mix in the olive oil and red wine vinegar.
~Sprinkle in the garlic and onion powder.
~Add the salt and pepper.
~Give it a nice stir... or two, or three.
~Toss in the spinach.
~Stir again.
~Make adjustments.
~Taste again.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

photoshop love...

I love photography.
Some of you know that about me.
I love taking photos of my family,
my friends, little ones and pets...
Oh, and of course food!

But... what I love just as much as taking
the photo, is editing the photo.
It's like art class to me... SO fun!

I got a new lens the other day. Yippie!
This was the first photo I took with it.
It's of my baby girl... She turns fourteen in a few days!
She has not requested a strawberry cake this year... whew!

This photo is SOOTC (straight out of the camera).
My camera tends to shoot a little on the dark side.

There, that's better... I lightened it a little in Photoshop.

I thought it needed a little something more,
so I gave the color a little boost.
That's even better.

And here's something I almost always do to my photos...
run a black and white "action" on them.
Ahhh, even better!
I've always been a fan of black and whites...

And of "Bobby YaYa"!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

happy mother's day...

It's Mother's Day.
I was up sipping coffee this morning while my family slept in.
Yep! They slept in! Ha!
But it was ok... it gave me a little time to do one of my
favorite things... blog.

I came across several poems that I thought I'd share.
Some remind me of my own life, and some I can
see some of my closest friends in.

Here's one for ALL of us mommas...

Super Mom
Mom, you're a wonderful mother,
so gentle, yet so strong.
The many ways you show you care
Always make me feel I belong.

You're patient when I'm foolish;
You give guidance when I ask;
It seems you can do most
You're the master of every task.

You're a dependable source of comfort;
You're my cushion when I fall.
You help in times of trouble;
You support me whenever I call.

I love you more than you know;
You have my total respect.
If I had my choice of mothers,
You'd be the one I'd select!

Here's one for those of us who have daughters that have become mothers...

Daughter of My Heart
You turned out even better
Than I often dreamed you'd be;
You're more than I had hoped for;
You're a sweet reward to me.

You grew up to be a mother
Full of wisdom, warmth and love,

A good and fine role model,
A blessing from above.

I couldn't be any prouder

Than I am of you today;
You're my daughter and my friend,
And a wonderful person too.

You have my love forever;

I adored you from the start;
It's a privilege to be your mother,
Dear daughter of my heart.

For those of us who have sons...

Best Mom Award
For all the things I didn't say,
About how I felt along the way--
For the love you gave and the work you've done,
Here's appreciation from your admiring son.

You cared for me as a little tot,
When all I did was cry a lot,
And as I grew your work did too--
I ran and fell and got black and blue.

I grew some more and it didn't stop;
Now you had to become a cop,
To worry about mistakes I'd make;
You kept me in line for my own sake.

I got older, and the story repeated;
You were always there whenever I needed.
You guided me and wished me the best,
I became wiser and knew I was blessed.

So, for all the times I didn't say,
The love I felt for you each day,
Mom, read this so you can always see

Just how much you mean to me.

Mom, Thanks for everything!

This one is dedicated to the grandmothers that raised us...

Wonderful Grandmother
Grandma, you're so wonderful,
On Mother's Day I think of you--
The unconditional love you give
The sweet and generous things you do.

You've made a difference in my life;
I love you more than I can say.
That's why I give this poem to you,
To wish you "Happy Mother's Day!"

And we couldn't possibly forget the stepmothers we love...

Stepmother Poem
I'm so blessed that you're my stepmom;
Let me tell you how I feel:
The deep affection I have for you
Is honest, true and real.

On Mother's Day, I'm really glad
I'm able to convey
How glad I am you're in my life;
Happy Mother's Day!

Here's one for how I feel some days...

I want to be locked up
I want to be locked up
Away from everything

Free from all the craziness
A mother's day can bring.

No planning, shopping, cooking
Three healthy meals a day,
Served up with love to finicky kids
Who throw most of it away.

No constant interruptions,
Dirty laundry on the floor,
Driving everyone every place,
Sibling rivalry (It's war!)

No asking me to do things
Getting mad if I forget,
Me giving up my very self-
I'm the family marionette.

Prison sometimes looks appealing
(Or maybe the loony bin),
I get free time and three square meals;
With nothing to do, I win!

I want to be locked up
For freedom, time and such,
There's just one obstacle for me:
I love my kids too much!

And finally, one for all my dear friends...

Mother's Day Poem For A Friend
I'm proud to have you as my friend,
A wonderful friend for me;
You're also a great mother, too;
I watch you admiringly.

Observing you, I often think
How blessed the world is now
To have you in it, friend and mom,
Happy Mother's Day; take a bow!

Yes indeed! If you're a mother, take a bow!
And enjoy the day.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

spinach & tomato blue cheese pasta...

THIS is some good stuff... let me tell you. Oh. MY.
If you're a blue cheese lover, a tomato lover, and
a spinach lover, then THIS is the dish for you.

It's really simple to make, however, I didn't take photos
of each step. I was too hungry man, and had to concentrate
on getting it done.

The only thing I will do different the next time I make
it, is add about 1/2 cup of white wine.
But, if you're not a wine drinker, you can totally leave it out.

You'll need...
~1-1/2 pound Pasta... angel hair is best.
~2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
~3 cloves Garlic, minced...
I used 4. I'm a garlic lover too.
~1 28 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, drained
~Dash of Sugar
~Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
~Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
~3/4 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
~3/4 cup Heavy Cream
~4 cups Baby Spinach

~1/2 cup White Wine... optional

Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.
When hot, add minced garlic.
Pour in drained tomatoes.
Add sugar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.
and cook for a minute.
Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low and stir in crumbled blue cheese.
*This is where I would add the white wine.*
Add cream, stir and cook for about a minute or two,
tasting and adding more seasonings (more pepper) as needed.
At the very, very, very last minute, toss in the spinach and turn off the heat.
Immediately toss in the cooked and drained pasta.
Serve and devour!

And if you want some meat to go with your delicious pasta dish...
It goes nicely with some Oven Roasted Chicken Breasts.

Oh. MY!

In Blue Cheese Heaven,