Friday, April 29, 2011

*Slow Cooker Scrumptiousness* Easter Corned Beef

I don't love ham.  And I don't really do St. Patrick's Day (especially when it's mid week).  So when we do Easter at my house, I want corned beef.

And, obviously, I want it in the crock pot.

Unfortunately, in the pre-dinner Easter rush, I had an epic fail and totally forgot to take pictures of the finished product.  So you're just going to have to deal with this one instead.



*Slow Cooker Scrumptiousness* Corned Beef
courtesy of the Food Network

Ingredients
2 stalks celery, halved
2 carrots, cubed
1/2 of a medium onion, cubed
2 to 4 red potatoes, quartered
1 2-pound corned beef brisket and corned beef spices
6-ounce bottle stout or dark ale


I chopped my veggies the day before, but the first step would obviously be to prep and chop them.  Then, toss the celery, carrots, onions and potatoes in the bottom of your slow cooker.


Rinse the corned beef and place over vegetables.


Add the beer, corned beef spices and enough water to just cover the meat.


If your pot is too small and your beef is too big (I'm an idiot)
It's cool to pull some of the veggies out of the bottom
And use them to push the beef down.


Cover it up and turn to low
Go make the rest of your Easter dinner
Come back in 8 - 9 hours
(If it takes you less time than that to make your Easter dinner,
I'm jealous)
 Slice the beef across the grain (or make your Hubby do it)

Ugh...photo fail...hopefully you get the picture... 
Sorry guys.

Serve with the deliciously slow cooked veggies. 
And enjoy the fact that, even though you got the biggest roast at the market,
there are delightfully fewer leftovers than you expected.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Game Time {Camera Phone}

It's been a while since I played the camera phone game
This one's going to be a little spazzy
But so am I
So let's just jump in and do this thang.

Hubby and I consider this a balanced meal.
Water
Juice
Wine
and Girl Scout cookies


Sometimes, when Hubby leaves for work trips, he leaves little gifts
Flowers and chocolate for me
And a beautifully arranged bouquet of treats for Boogerdog


Booger had to go in to get spayed
She came out looking all tired and pathetic
But totally rocking her pink armband
(from the IV)


Sometimes you think you look really cool
With your fabulous brown boots
Until you have to take them off in the security line at the airport
And your socks don't match.


Remember when I went to the Bay?
We were pampered and go to play dress up
And I took quick self portrait to show the Hubs what he was missing
G-L-A-M
O-R-OU-S
As my girl Fergie would say
(but not really in my tunic and leggings in the daylight
the fake eyelashes looked a little more *hooker* than fab) 


I saw this cheese mini van parked in front of the market
I want one.


Ok, I need everyone's help
With a current cultural mystery
Are Toms cute or ugly?!?!
(they're clearly not cute with maxi dress,
which I happened to be wearing...)


That's my story, morning glory. 
Hope it wasn't too weird for you.
Don't forget to check out the lovely Jessica of The Lowe Family News for the inspiration behind the camera phone game.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My First Trifle {Recipe}

There are some awesome bakers in my office who could whip up some lemon curd in their sleep
They bring in some scones that they *just decided to make this weekend*
And think that their lucious peanut butter cupcakes are *only ok*
I am not one of these people.
But these people did inspire me to try my hand on a less than easy {no bake} dessert for Easter.
A trifle.

And it wasn't that hard!



Lemon Curd Trifle with Fresh Berries
Recipe courtesy of Food Network
Ingredients
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in chunks
1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh blackberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
(master chefs -
am I actually supposed to use the canned whipped cream for this?
it tasted great, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong!)
1 prepared lemon pound cake, sliced
(i'm sure you could whip up your own, but I just bought one at Ralphs)
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
(bought these and totally forgot to use them...)


First thing's first
You have to make the lemon curd.
Ahhh I'm scared already.

Here's what you do.  First you've got to zest and squeeze your lemons.  This part's fun.  And it makes your whole kitchen smell good.


Next, you bring the water in the bottom of your double broiler to simmer over medium-low heat.  While you're waiting combine the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a bowl and whisk until smooth.


Pour the mixture into the top of your double broiler (make sure the water isn't touching the top portion at all), and continue to wisk (you can also do this with a normal pot and heat resistant bowl)
Wisk for about 10 minutes, and don't let it boil
My arm was dying by the end.
Liiitttle out of shape.
Don't judge.


The curd will double in volume and become very thick and yellow.  After your 10 minutes is up (and your arm has fallen off), remove the pot or bowl from heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of chunks at a time, until melted.


Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until it's cold and firm.
Phew.
Hard part's done.


Now onto the fun part.  Building the trifle.  Clean the berries and toss them together so they're evenly distributed.



Fold the whipped cream into the chilled lemon curd to lighten it up into a mousse. 
Don't stick your finger in and taste.
Ok, well do.
You need to make sure it tastes good, right?


Cut up the pound cake and get ready to roll.


Line a glass bowl with pieces of pound cake to fit (I didn't have a trifle bowl so I made it work with another pretty glass bowl)


Spoon a layer of the lemon curd over the cake


Spoon a layer of mixed berries over the lemon curd.


Rinse and repeat
Food Network reminded me that the last layer looks best if it's the berries
Which is good because I probably would have ended up with ugly cake on top otherwise.


Chill before serving
Garnish with fresh mint
(whoops, I forgot this part)




Enjoy every bite of the trifle
And savor every compliment you get from your guests
Deelicious.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Recap {in photos}

How was everyone's Easter? 

I don't know about you, but I had a weekend full of
cleaning
baking
cooking
stressing
and fun

This is my Easter
in photos

The table...
(Shout out to Hubby's grandma for all of the fun little vases
that made my $8 Ralphs bouquet go a loooong way)

 



The food...
(recipes coming soon)

 




And the fam...
(first picture of three of us since we brough Booger home!)


Booger loved her Easter *basket*

Even though it was cramped
and warm
and the potato salad was too bland
and I forgot to serve the peas
It was wonderful to have our family over for the holiday.

Maybe next time, we can do it all in a home that's actually meant to hold more than two people.

 
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