Everyone loves some good BBQ but most don’t have the time to cook it. With the help of a slow cooker you can have shredded BBQ beef brisket for dinner anytime!
Before I get into this delicious recipe for the Secret Recipe Club, let me first say how incredibly exciting yesterday’s soccer/futbol game between the USA and Portugal was to watch. I was beyond elated when the clock was winding down with a 2-1 USA lead, and then crushed with disbelief when Portugal tied it up at the last minute. Ahhh!! At least I had a fantastic meal in my belly to ease the pain – beef BBQ with coleslaw, baked beans and my dad’s potato salad.
For the Secret Recipe Club this month I perused the recipes on Shockingly Delicious by Dorothy. I came so close to cooking her Spicy Smoky Chicken Kale Stew but when I was planning dinner for the USA-Portugal game I wanted to make something more American. When I saw the recipe for slow cooker BBQ brisket it was the clear winner. I may be living in the heart of pork BBQ for the past 7 years but I still have a sweet spot for beef.
Her recipe did not include the pop (or soda depending on where you are from) but in my experience with slow cookers it is beneficial to have some liquid in which to be cooked. There may have been enough juice from the meat and the onions but either way the beef came out perfectly. I have made slow cooker pulled pork in the past but this was the first time an onion was thrown in the mix and it added such great flavor to the meat. My parents enjoyed it so much that they plan on including it in their normal dinner rotation!
As for the final group matches of USA-Germany and Portugal-Ghana (to determine the fate of the USA in the World Cup), unfortunately I will not be able to watch either of the two games live so I will be disconnecting myself from social media as much as possible until I get home in order to watch the DVR. Go Team USA!
Two years ago: Pesto Chicken Burger
Slow cookers are great for the spring and summer too. Add your favorite cut of beef and transform it into tender, shredded beef for tacos.
Over the weekend I took a trip into the Smoky Mountains with some friends in an attempt to see the synchronous lightning bugs (aka lightning bug mating season). Although the cabin in which we stayed had a great view of the mountains and a hot tub, sadly there were no more lightning bugs to be seen than anywhere else in east TN. We may have been too high up or not near a big enough clearing but either way we still had a great time. I hope to return to the supposed best location for the viewing of this display later this week with my parents. I’ll try to snag a good photo or video to share, although I am certain there are plenty already on the internet if you search on Google.
As for these tacos, throw some seasoned beef into your slow cooker and then take a hike. Seriously, go walk around in nature (or at least down around your neighborhood) for a few hours and then come home to some awesome tacos served with your favorite toppings. At least that’s what I did and I certainly enjoyed myself. As an added benefit, cooking in the slow cooker does not heat up your house as much as your oven does therefore reducing your bill for central air.
One year ago: S’mores Jar Cake for One
Start up your grills and get ready for some steak. Paired with sweet bell peppers and red skinned potatoes makes for a great meal to be enjoyed on your patio.
My mini-road trip adventure continues to Ann Arbor, MI to visit my friend Stephanie who since graduating with me from UTHSC has started a post doc here at UM. She’s trying to convince me to get a job here and manged to get her boss involved! Moving to enemy territory may not be the first thing on my list (if you don’t know college football rivalries just ignore me), but what she is working on it really cool and I would not turn down a job if they found one for me. We shall see how serious they truly are.
If you haven’t started up your grill yet this season now is the time. Whip up this steak with peppers and potatoes and enjoy it on your patio because it’s finally nice out for spring/summer. While the steak grills, you saute the bell peppers and onions. Although next time I want to wrap up the onion, peppers, and seasonings in a foul packet to be cooked on the grill. I found myself running in and out of the house to check on the steak because I am not a grill-master and was unsure how long the steak needed to cook. Thankfully the oven and grill are not terribly far apart haha.
One year ago: Oven-Fried Avocado Tacos with Cilantro Lime Creme
Mix up your burgers with these Spicy 50/50 Burgers made with ground beef and chorizo. Don’t forget the cheese, cilantro and a toasted bun.
This month for Pass the Cookbook Club, Julie (White Lights on Wednesday) picked recipes from Chef Michael Symon’s 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners. This cookbook is a collection of recipes that can be made from 5 fresh ingredients (along with a few kitchen & pantry staples) in 5 minutes. The italicized items in each recipe are the “5” fresh ingredients.
The moment I saw the recipe for the burgers I knew I had to make them. Not only are they perfect for Memorial Day, they are also made with half beef and half chorizo. With all the flavors already involved in the combination of those two meats there was no need to add anything else to the mixture except for a little salt and pepper. Topped off with a slice of cheese, fresh cilantro, and a toasted bun there’s not much left to be desired – except maybe some avocado slices which I went ahead and put on there as well. Served with Healthier Elote (Mexican street-style corn) and Baked Sweet Potato Fries seasoned with chili powder and brown sugar.
The only other thing I changed to the recipe was the step that said to flatten the burgers once they were on the hot pan. I refused to follow this step as I prefer thicker burgers. Also, I have to point out that while yes it only takes 5 minutes to cook these burgers, it does take slightly longer than that to prepare from start to finish. But still quick and easy!
Irish meets Mexican in these baked Reuben taquitos with a thousand island dipping sauce. Classic Reuben flavor with a twist.
Corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day is like turkey for Thanksgiving – you just gotta have it! My favorite slow cooker corned beef recipe gets a new twist with rutabaga in place of the potatoes.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Every year I say I am going to make something different, such as an Irish beef stew, shepherd’s pie, or some kind of sausage dish, but always end up resorting to my tried and true slow cooker corned beef. I do change it up with a different glaze or an alternative cabbage preparation but this year had just a small new twist with rutabaga in place of the potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts instead of cabbage.
Stick around tomorrow and Thursday for recipes that use up any leftovers you may have after today’s feast!
One year ago: Hidden Pot o’ Gold Cupcakes
Two years ago: Split-Pea Soup
This month I had the pleasure of browsing through the recipes by the very person who gave us The Secret Recipe Club – April of Angels Homestead! Some recipes of hers that I enjoyed included a festive Shamrock Pizza for St. Patrick’s Day, Creamy Salsa Verde, and even a recipe for 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes using just banana and egg whites. She also just celebrated her 4th blogiversary last week, so head on over and check out her blog (there’s even a giveaway).
I chose to make her recipe for smoked sausage with bell peppers and onion. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and couldn’t be easier, making it a perfect weeknight meal. Caramelize the peppers and onion, then add the sausage until heated through. There is no need for a sauce and just some garlic for seasoning. The sweet bell peppers, onion and smoked sausage bring plenty of flavor and moisture all on their own.
Two years ago: Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto
As of Sunday, all of my belongings are either in a PODS storage unit or at my parents home. It was incredibly disheartening to see the apartment at which I have lived almost 5 years completely barren. My last night there was spent watching a movie with my parents on my computer, sitting on the floor of the living room while eating the last of my ice cream, followed by a luxurious slumber in a sleeping bag.
Since I wasn’t quite prepared to leave Memphis yet, I am still residing here for a few extra days with my friend Maggie. I haven’t decided exactly when I will leave and have a feeling it may need to be a “rip off the band-aid” situation where I leave without warning. I don’t do goodbyes very well especially in times like this where I know I will turn into a sobbing idiot. Just a heads up to my Memphis friends – catch me while you can!
Anyway, yes I still have recipes for you this week because I am a psycho and made all of these before I packed up my apartment. Dedication or insanity? Either way you cannot complain. My godmother made this Mexican version of stuffed shells over the holidays and I immediately asked her for the recipe. For some reason I normally shy away from combining pasta and Mexican food but this was so incredibly good I had to make it again for myself.
One year ago: Brussels Sprouts with Honey Vinaigrette
After sharing my dad’s cookie recipe yesterday, I figured I should go ahead and share another one of his recipes. Over the years, this skillet lasagna was a popular request for when I came home for the holidays (followed by a request for his apple harvest oatmeal or applesauce pancakes in the morning). The entire recipe is cooked in one large skillet and takes under 30 minutes making it an easy decision for a weeknight meal.
In packing news, I’ve already gone through two rolls of packing tape! I knew I should’ve purchased the bulk package. I ran out of the second roll while packing up my root beer collection. Which by the way, taking that down and the shelving, aside from being a pain in the butt, left that wall feeling very barren and sad. Packing is super lame.
Every day that goes by is a day closer to my last day living in Memphis. 6.5 years ago I couldn’t wait for this day but now, nothing could have possibly prepared me for the emotional roller coaster created by this reality. I have even added Tennessee to my job searches, despite my desire to be relieved of the infernal summers here. As far as packing goes, I still only have two boxes packed because I find the idea of living in a packed up apartment depressing. Just seeing those two boxes and the three empty shelves that correspond to their contents makes me sad. I am not sure what would be better: pack and move earlier to rip off the band-aid, or continue slowly to get used to it? I’ll stick to the latter for now.
If you’re still with me and reading this after that whiny rant, then reward yourself with a homemade version of hamburger helper. It will comfort your worries away, if only for dinnertime. And I will try to be less of a Debbie Downer.
One year ago: Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar-Walnut Topping
Two years ago: Berry Detox Smoothie