Winter is filled with great dishes that can only be appreciated when it’s cold outside. Hardy stews have got to be one of Hubby’s all time winter favorites. After all, he grew up in Wisconsin, where winters really happen. As for me, I’ve only seen snow falling from the sky maybe a dozen times in my life.
When the nights become cold and the air is heavy with smoke from the chimneys, our thoughts turn to hardy meals that bring comfort on a chilly night. Nothing is so comforting as a good beef stew. This stew is made even better with dumplings.
Last weekend in the sleepy little town of Sutter Creek, there was a car show and chili cook-off. Why do car shows and chili go so well together? Or more to the point, why does chili appeal to men as much as hot rods do? I haven’t a clue . . .
How does it go? In 1492, Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue. Five hundred and twenty-seven years later, Federal Banks are closed as Americans rush to the shopping malls for Columbus-Day specials. Hum, not so sure how I feel about that. One thing I can tell you is that you aren’t going to find me in a mall. While there might be things I’d like to have, there is nothing I need so much that I am willing to fight through a crowd of crazed bargain shoppers.
You’ve been out all day – be it at the office or running errands or fulfilling your role as family chauffeur. Now all you want to do is come home, do a little prep work and sit down to a delicious, hot meal. Am I right?
There is something about the fall that brings out all sorts of roasts for dinner. I’m not sure if it’s the cooler evening that sparks a desire for meatier dishes or the nostalgic mood that seems to come with Autumn. All I know is that a roast of some sort is always welcome at the table.
Recently while putting together our menu planner and subsequent shopping list, I asked Hubby what he wanted for dinner. While I had most of the coming week planned out, there were a couple of holes that needed to be filled. On those rare occasions when I can’t make up my mind, I like to get a little input from the menfolk.
Years ago I came across a recipe for Tavern Joes in an old cookbook designed for Crock Pots. The first time I made it, my guys did not go back for seconds. The recipe called for 16 ounces of dark ale. We aren’t beer drinkers, so the flavor did not win favors. It was more like having hot beer with chunks of ground meat. I ask you, does that sound appealing? Didn’t think so.
When you hear Moroccan what do you think of? I think of Casablanca and Rick’s Bar. Play it Again, Sam – As Time Goes By.
Whenever we take “driving vacations” I always try to talk Hubby into letting me bring things from home that I feel are necessary, he does not. Things like my professional knives (hey, they have a carrying bag), or better yet a crock pot. Just think of all the meals that can be made in a crock pot. We can be out all day exploring, come back to the hotel and have a home-cooked meal.
The absolute best thing about summer is that you can eat sandwiches for dinner! And this Tex-Mex Beef sandwich is so packed with flavor, you won’t even notice it’s not really a meal. At lease not one you need to use a knife and a fork for.
Just what the heck is Barbacoa? Is it a dish? Is it a style of cooking? Barbacoa is actually a Spanish word that means – you guessed it – barbecue. It’s actually not Spanish in origins, but rather a type of cooking that originated in the Caribbean with the Taino people. Today in contemporary Mexico, Barbacoa generally refers to meats or a whole sheep that is slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground, then covered with Maguey leaves much like a roasted pork in the tropics of the South Pacific. Barbacoa is often prepared with parts from the heads of cattle, such as cheeks, or from the heads of goats. In central Mexico, the meat of choice is a lamb, and in the Yucatan, it is prepared with a pig. The meat is known for its high fat content, strong flavors; often accompanied by onions and cilantro.
When I first saw this recipe for a slow-cooker Roast Beef Sandwich that was supposed to be “just like Arby’s” I was very skeptical. After all, the real key to Arby’s is that the meat is cut super thin. Unless you have an awesome meat slicing machine in your kitchen, chances are you aren’t going to get the millimeter thin ribbons of beef. That much I was certain, and in the end that much was true. We didn’t have Arby’s style roast beef sandwiches for dinner, but we did have an awesome chopped beef sandwich that rocked our worlds. While this isn’t exactly one of those throw it in the crock pot and forget about it suppers, a little tending isn’t much for a hot sandwich that is this delicious. You know me, once I realized we weren’t going to get that same thin sliced Arby’s sandwich from my slow cooker, I tweaked the final sauce just a bit and bam – it was awesome!
There’s a little town not too far from where we live that has the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi.
If this stew contained Lamb, I would say it is a typical Irish Stew. However; if this stew contained Lamb I would be dining alone – or almost alone. Kiddo doesn’t mind Lamb. At Celtic Fairs, we gravitate to some of the vendors peddling Lamb meat. Lamb kabobs are some of my favorite. Kiddo has to be in the mood. And Hubby – well he would rather starve. There is nothing shy about the flavor of Lamb. Can you tell? It crossed my mind to substitute the cubes of beef for lamb, but I knew I would never get away with it.