Call me crazy!

I went to cash and carry and found a deal. A deal too good to pass up. Especially with St. Patrick’s day coming up.

Yes, that is corned beef.
16.25 pounds of it.

Wow.

We are HUGE fans of this particular cut of meat, we eat it as much as I can, especially this time of year when it goes on sale. This was roughly $1.70 a pound. Super cheap.

So.
What am I going to do with it? Split it first of all. Probably into 4 pieces. One will go to mom. One will be cooked Sunday night. The other two I’m hoping to be able to cram into my over-stuffed freezer so we can have another on the 17th and another some time after that.

Cooking the beast.
Before cooking I usually soak it in water over night. That way some of the salt will come out since corning the beef makes it really salty and even a few hours soaking in water will reduce the salt content. Then after a nice long soak it will go into the crock pot with some fresh water and spices*. Note: if you put the spices into a tea ball they won’t be all over the meat when it’s done cooking. I set the crock pot on high for 8-10 hours. When it’s down to 2 hours to go I’ll add carrots, potatoes and onions. When it’s down to 30 minutes I’ll add, if there is room, a head of cabbage** cleaned and quartered. If there isn’t room I’ll put the cabbage in a sauce pot with a lid and ladle a couple cups of the cooking liquid from the corned beef and veggies onto the cabbage. Then replace the lid and steam the cabbage for about 10 minutes. Before serving I’ll let the beef rest on a platter for 10 minutes so it will be easier to slice. I always serve it with a honey mustard sauce that I make myself. It’s easy to make and it stores in the fridge for a long time. 2 parts honey, 2 parts grainy mustard, 1 part apple cider vinegar. That’s it. Mix it together and put in a squeeze bottle or jar.

*Spices: a mixture usually comes with your corned beef but sometimes you like to mix your own. A good mix is black pepper corns, mustard seed, cinnamon sticks, celery seed and bay leaf. Or whatever you like, it’s up to you.

**Cabbage: instead of regular cabbage I like to use savoy cabbage. It’s got better flavor and it doesn’t make your belly upset if you aren’t used to eating a lot of cabbage.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients
8 whole cloves
1 medium yellow onion, halved
1 lean center-cut corned beef brisket (about 2 pounds)
3 large carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise and cut into
1/2 pound new potatoes, halved
1/2 pound boiling onions, peeled
1 small head cabbage, outer leaves removed, cut into 6 wedges
Directions
1. Stick cloves in onion. Place onion and beef in slow cooker and add enough water to cover ingredients plus 3 more inches. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.
2. Add carrots, potatoes, onions and cabbage to slow cooker and cook an additional 3 hours.
3. Remove corned beef from slow cooker and slice. Place on large platter with vegetables. Drizzle with the broth to moisten and serve.

Original Link

A Different Spinach Dip

I goofed. I was making spinach dip in the food processor and I wasn’t paying attention and I thought I ruined it. But it turned out great. Better than normal spinach dip I think. And the best part is that it won’t get stuck in your teeth like the old stuff does. (At least it always gets stuck in my teeth.)

A Different Spinach Dip

2 pounds fresh spinach well washed
1 packet onion soup mix
1 8oz block of cream cheese at room temp
8-10 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot put about 1 cup of water and all of the spinach. Cover with lid. Steam for about 3 minutes or until the spinach is mostly limp but not cooked to mush. Let cool so you can wring it out and get as much water/juice out of it as possible. In the food processor combine lemon juice and soup mix and cooled dry spinach. Pulse a few times. Add cream cheese and sour cream and pulse a couple more times or until the mixture is all green and there are no large lumps. Add pepper to taste and pulse a couple more times to mix everything together good. Put into a container and refrigerate overnight. Serve with veggies, crackers, chips, apple slices, or anything else you can think of. Enjoy!

Christmas Dinner

I changed the pic on my blog head to something most people wouldn’t think was normal but there is a reason behind it. I’m not usually a holiday person….well, I’m not going to get into why but let’s just say I could do without Christmas for the most part. Except for Christmas dinner.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, beautiful area, and I live right on the coast, I can hear the ocean in my house and see it from my bedroom window. Living so close to the ocean has it’s advantages, like fresh live dungeness crab for Christmas eve. Served with about a pound of butter and a green salad (eaten before so there isn’t any shell pieces in it) and lots of fresh french bread. There is truly nothing better. And although we usually end up eating crab quite a few times during the winter, that’s crab season around here, Christmas eve is ALWAYS the first of the season for us. I can’t wait. So until I can furnish my own picture of our own crab dinner that one will be on my blog. I’m hoping it will inspire someone to try some fresh crab if they never have had it before…. 🙂

Peanut Butter and Mint Bonbons

This is a recipe taught to me by MIL, she used to do it every year since Hubby was little (and probably before he was born) and it’s always a hit.

Peanut Butter Bonbons
1 cup peanut butter
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 pound package powdered sugar
1 pound chocolate for dipping (you can use chips or just chocolate bars cut up or dipping chocolate)

With a mixer beat peanut butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add a little powdered sugar at a time until it gets thick, you probably won’t need the whole package. Chill in fridge for 2 hours. Take out of fridge and ball up into the size of a cherry. Set onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment and put into freezer while you melt the chocolate in a double boiler. When chocolate is melted and smooth use a toothpick and pick up the peanut butter balls and dip into the chocolate. Place back onto baking sheet and put in fridge until hard. Serve at room temp. These store really good but I doubt you will have many left over…. 🙂

Mint Bonbons
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 pound package of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
1/4 teaspoon green food coloring
1 pound chocolate for melting

With a mixer beat cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Add mint extract and green food coloring and mix, then add a little powdered sugar at a time until it gets thick, you will probably need the whole package and maybe what is left over from the other package as well. Chill in fridge for 2 hours. Take out of fridge and ball up into the size of a cherry. Set onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment and put into freezer while you melt the chocolate in a double boiler. When chocolate is melted and smooth use a toothpick and pick up the mint balls and dip into the chocolate. Place back onto baking sheet and put in fridge until hard. Serve at room temp.

Update: Cranberry Relish Recipe

Yesterday I got the actual recipe from my mother. I was pretty close but not quite when trying to recall the recipe. So I updated the post. And I made it last night. I have yet to taste it but I know it’s going to be good.

HERE is the Cranberry Relish Recipe. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Menu

Ok, so here is what our Thanksgiving menu is looking like:

smoked turkey ^
smoked oyster dressing *
apple cranberry dressing *
mushroom dressing *
cranberry relish *
mashed potatoes and gravy ^
brussel sprouts ^
green bean casserole (from scratch) *
carrot and raisin salad *
2 pumpkin pies ^

^ – Mom is making
* – I am making

Today I am going to make the cranberry relish since it needs to sit a couple days. I am also going to prep all the veggies for the dressings and have them in bags ready to cook so I will have less prep to do before dinner. Plus, I work from midnight to 9 am that day and the less I have to do the better….