Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry Salsa

About a week ago, the Mr. and I headed to the Texas Hill Country for a little get away.

It was a perfect weekend!

We went with some friend;

we shopped,

we ate,

we laughed,

and we listened to great music each night!

One of the places that we ate, served cranberry salsa and chips.

It was phenomenal!

I knew I wanted to make it for the holiday season . . . .

and with 8 bags of cranberries in my freezer, I knew I had enough ingredients!

The minute I see cranberries in the store, I start buying!

There are several great recipes that I like to make during this time of year, and this is one to add to the list!

The Mr. had the recipe on his phone,

but when I started to make the salsa, I didn't have the recipe.

But I remember reading it -- so I just started making it!
I mean, how hard can it possibly be?

While I didn't make it exactly like the recipe, it was pretty close,

and we all devoured it!

Here's the real recipe!  What I love about this is that you can adjust it according to your preference!

Cranberry Salsa

8 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3 oranges, with the zest cut off (I only used 1 orange)
2 jalapenos, seeded (I only used one)
2 cups sugar (I only used . . .one!)
cilantro, to taste

**If using frozen cranberries, allow to thaw a bit before chopping, it just makes it a wee bit easier!

In a food processor, add about 2 cups of cranberries and 1/2 cup of sugar and rough chop.

Place in a bowl.

To the food processor, add 2 cups of cranberries, the oranges, without the zest, 1/2 cup sugar and the jalapeno.  Rough chop.  Do not puree; you are wanting texture to your salsa.

Add this to the chopped cranberries in the bowl.  Stir and taste for the sugar content.

Add the remaining cranberries, the cilantro, and any additional sugar, if using, in the food processor and rough chop.

Add to the bowl of already chopped cranberries.

Stir well.

Taste for flavor balance, make any necessary changes that you'd prefer.

Chill for 30 minutes or longer.

Serve with homemade tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, or corn chips.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

BBQ Green Beans

Today, we cleaned out the freezer.

The big freezer.

The one in the garage.

It needed to be defrosted, which took a good amount of time since it is in the 30's today!

Ice doesn't melt too fast when it's cold enough to freeze!

Along with the defrosting came the Mr. being all productive!

Like making me create a list of all the things in the freezer.

So, I willingly agreed!

As a result, we're having for dinner tonight something from . . .

the freezer!

I surely wasn't planning on having brisket tonight . . .

or tomorrow night,

or the night after that!

I just went to the grocery store yesterday and I clearly didn't buy anything that would be a great side to brisket!

However, I remember Auntie Ronda making a BBQ green bean bundle.

But we're just eating -- not being fancy tonight,

so I took a spin off of her idea and put these ingredients together for our side to go along with our brisket!

BBQ Green Beans

2 cans green beans, drained
1/2 onion, sautéed
oil (amount depends on how big your "half" of the onion is!)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion until fragrant, but not exactly translucent.

Add the drained green beans and the remaining ingredients.

Heat until the brown sugar is dissolved and continue to stir until the ingredients are well mixed and the green beans are coated.

Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the sauce is reduced by half or until your liking.

Serve hot.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pumpkin Soda Pancakes

Saturday mornings used to be sorta lazy.

Meaning, there was time to get up, have some coffee, and the Mr. would make a "traditional" breakfast, as the cherubs like to tease him about.

But now, we have baseball and ballet and other what-nots that start earlier than I'd prefer

and our lazy Saturday breakfasts have sorta gotten . . . lazy.

But this morning, I decided to make pancakes before everybody scurried off to their activities.

Since both of my cherubs like pumpkin, I decided to do a quick pumpkin pancake.

I've posted before a quick pumpkin waffle and a pancake, but this is even easier!

That's great for a Saturday breakfast!

Pumpkin Soda Pancakes

2 cups buttermilk pancake mix
1 bottle pumpkin pie soda

Heat a pan or griddle with a bit of oil or Pam.

In a bowl, stir together the pancake mix and enough soda to make the batter the consistency it should be.  I used nearly the entire bottle . . .there may have been 2 or 3 drinks left in the bottle.  Stir well.

Drop by 1/4 cupful onto the hot pan or griddle.  Cook until bubbly and "dry" around the edges.  Flip over and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Serve the pancakes warm with maple syrup; but I actually liked it plain!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Easy French Dip Sandwiches

I think I have said it before,

but it's worth saying again.

I really like my crock pot!

My cherubs aren't too fond of it!

They say they get tired of crock pot food!
I say you aren't old enough to appreciate a crock pot!

Since there is a small battle that surrounds the crock pot at our house,

I try to make our crock pot meals "worthy."

This recipe has made it's rounds 'round town, but I've never made it until now.

I'm so sad that I've missed out all these years!

Easy French Dip Sandwiches

3-5 pound boneless beef  roast
1-2 envelopes Lipton onion soup mix
2 cans beef broth
1 tsp black pepper
Ciabatta rolls  ("hard" bread absorbs the au jus!)
provolone cheese

Combine the dry soup mix, broth and pepper, pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with two forks on a cutting board.

Place the meat back in the crock pot with the liquid.

Cut the rolls in half.  Top each half with provolone cheese and broil in the oven until the cheese begins to melt.  Top with desired amount of meat and serve immediately.