Monday, September 16, 2013

Brisket Tacos/Quesadillas

I am really missing my dinner group over here. It has reminded me what a chore it is to come up with what is for dinner Every. Single. Day! Well, one of the best dinners to come from my dinner group was a version of THIS recipe for Brisket Tacos that my friend Emily Hoopes made one week. I loved them and asked for the recipe. She directed me to the link for the recipe.

I decided to make them again last week. But here is the beautiful discovery I made-- This can be a meal made from leftovers of another of my favorite meals! I love it when that happens.

So last week I took dinner to one of Jon's co-workers family. The wife recently had back surgery. I decided to make french dip sandwiches. Normally I make these after a recipe Bari Earl gave me. (Her daughter Emily is one of my best friends and writes and amazing food and crafty type blog ReMarkable Home.)

This recipe is awesome and makes a ton of food.

French Dip Sandwiches
Basically you buy a beef roast. You can get whatever is on sale. I got top round roast this time. I got 2 so about 5 lbs.
Normally you would put the meat in your crockpot, cover with water and put in 2-4 packs of Dry Italian Salad Dressing Seasoning packets and the same amount of Dry Lipton Onion Soup packets.
This time I did 2 of each kind of seasoning packet. (You can use more if you like the meat more flavored or you have more meat)
Then instead of water I poured in a 16 oz bottle of Dr. Pepper. Then I added enough water to cover the meat.
Next I cooked the meat on low in my crock pot for 8 hours.
I then shreded the meat with forks, removing any particularly fatty portions.
I then cooked another 2 hours on low.

I caramelized some onions and got some crusty rolls and sliced cheese.
Add a little spicy mustard and there is you french dip sandwich. Only I don't actually dip it. The juice it is sitting in is enough for me.
This is also great on Costco's pretzel rolls.

After I made this meal, I had lots of my beef left over. I made sandwiches for lunch the next couple of days and then last night I used the beef to make these tacos.
I had the cheese called for and made the Mango barbecue sauce as directed in the recipe except that I didn't have a yellow onion so I used a red one instead. And I accidentally dumped the whole 9 oz bottle of mango chutney in the mix and decided to leave it that way.

The result was OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD! Okay I know I am being a bit dramatic and in all fairness I was fasting for a dear friend of mine yesterday. (Fasting means to go without food or drink for two meals or 24 hours. It is something we Mormons do once a month and donate the money we would have used to eat to the poor. We also do it to increase spiritual awareness, self mastery, and give greater emphasis and power to our prayers. See more HERE about fasting.) And I will grant that every thing tastes better when eaten after fasting.

But when Jon came home from doing a visit he tried one and was amazed too. He had not been fasting so it made me a bit more sure that this really was THAT good. And I just had another one of the leftover tacos for breakfast (is that legal?) and, yes, it is that good.

I would put a photo up but I am not so great with the whole food photography thing and I don't want to steal the photos from Shawda. But you can see what they look like on her blog HERE.

Put it on your menu this week. Two yummy meals out of one crock pot of beef. What could be better?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Back At It 1001

1001 Seems like a fresh start number I think. This morning I woke up feeling like I wanted to go for a long run. I do feel that way sometimes. It started when I started running in college. I ran 15 minutes everyday except Sundays for about a year my sophomore year.

Then in my junior year I had a roommate and dear friend Tonna who was a runner. She asked me to go running with her. I was intimidated because I had only run short distances and I knew she was a cross country kind of girl. But she was so fun that I said I would try. Before I knew it I was running with her for a hour several times a week. We ran a couple of 10ks together. My best time for a 10k was 58 minutes.

So I haven't ever been a super runner but I have enjoyed it in the past. Since then I have run now and then but never consistently like that. And sometimes I get that feeling that I just want to let loose and run all out. But then when I try to do it I realize after about a minute that I am not in shape and my body can't run like my heart wants to.

The last few weeks since school has started I have been running the kids to school. They ride their scooters and I run trying to keep up with them. They are fast. It is a struggle for me to go fast enough to keep them in my sight. So every day I am really pushing myself to go as fast as I can. It is only about a mile to school. On the way home I walk/run.

So this morning when I woke feeling like going running, I took Nike's advice and just did it. The weather was lovely and I picked a nice route with a good variation of uphill and down. When I started to feel tired I hit the button on my iPod to get my time and found I had been running for 20 minutes and had gone over 2 miles.

By the time I got home I had gone 3.2 miles in 32 minutes. I walked a bit at the end to cool down. And I feel great. It is so nice to be able to run. I feel this fresh new start is going to be great.
Me right now with my little Harrison buddy who likes to sit on my lap while I type.

Friday, September 13, 2013

#1000 - Hard But Good

This is officially my 1000th post on my blog. I should announce something big huh? Well most of the big news things that have been happening in my life lately haven't been things I wanted to shout from the rooftops (like our encounter with lice this last week.) Lately, there have been a number of personally very difficult things that have come on either the stage of either my life or the life of someone I love.

But I like to keep my eyes focused on the positive in life whenever I can. And in the midst of the darkest storms there are some amazing moments of brilliant beauty when the  lightening brings a shock of light. These images can stay impressed upon the mind even after they are gone and we are plunged back into the deep darkness of night.

Jon and I went to the wedding of our niece Ella last weekend. She is the first grandchild on either of our sides to get married. All 9 of Jon's siblings and his parents came. It was so fun to have a mini family reunion with them during the wedding festivities. I had the chance to have some really good conversations with a few of Jon's siblings and his parents that really made the trip for me. I love Jon's family... ALL of them, and there are lots of them. It is a great blessing to have wonderful in-laws.

Despite the various trials and challenges each of our family members faces, there is strength in gathering together, praying together, and laughing together. We did lots of all of that last weekend.

And even in our battle with head lice this week, there are positives. Sabrina and Lauren have both been wanting short hair cuts for months. I wouldn't let them because I wanted to see how the Texas humidity would affect their curls first. But in having to check everyone for lice by coming through their hair with a nit comb... well everyone but Annie and I got haircuts.

Lauren and Sabrina will get to go to a salon next week to have a professional clean up the haircut I gave them on Wednesday. Jon has discovered yet another major benefit of being bald. And the little boys are thrilled to get haircuts just like Dad's. :) Sabrina and I will have super clean and soft scalps after all the olive oil and scalp combing treatments we "get" to do. Oh and we both discovered we can totally rock a shower cap! See ... bright side thinking going on here.

Harrison says "hair cut uhhhh like Dado" as he feels his head over and over. I think it makes me look more like Camille which is always a bonus for me.

Okay so Noble doesn't look so "thrilled" here but that is because he is covered in hair. He LOVES his "Dado" cut and says it is "perfect" and he wants to keep it like that forever.

Life can be hard and good at the same time. Perhaps life is best when it is both good and hard. I was thrilled when I asked Sabrina how she was liking being in the top orchestra at her new school. She said the music is hard to play but interesting and she likes it. I thought that was perfect. And sometimes when life is just the right level of hard it too can be interesting and when we keep focused on our blessings it also can be enjoyable.

So a few other new things, I have been running my kids to school in the morning. I don't mean running them in a car. I mean they are on scooters and I am running to try to keep up. It has been great for me...hard but good right?

I started up a new Power of Moms learning circle here. We had our first meeting last night with 10 of our 13 members attending. I am so excited to get going on it. We have a great group of women!

Texas is slowly cooling off and we Waites are slowly integrating ourselves into our new life here. This will end up being a good move for us. It has been hard but good in so many ways.

Well this wasn't an earth shaking post for #1000 but it is what I can share of what my life is like right now-hard but good. I thank the Lord for both.