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.

Crepes

This is a request from a friend. Her BF loves breakfast food and she was looking for a good crepe recipe. This one is one I got from Alton Brown, (Original Recipe Here), and I’ve used it many times and it’s easy to do.

Ingredients
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan
Directions
In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone.

*Savory Variation Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the egg mixture.

*Sweet Variation Add 21/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur to the egg mixture.

*My own variation: add the insides of 1/2 a vanilla bean and 1/4 teaspoon orange extract to batter. Fill crepes with cream cheese, 1/4 cup, and sour cream, 1/4 cup, and orange zest from one orange blended together.

What to serve?

So for my birthday I made the crock pot BBQ chili, not bad I think. It was a little sweet but if I had used my home made BBQ sauce instead of bottled it would have been more smokey, less sweet.

My son’s birthday is this week and I’m trying to plan a menu (I know, talk about waiting until the last minute) but since it’s only going to be 5 of us, all family, I’m not wanting to go overboard.

I have decided on serving Chinese pork ribs (I’ll post the recipe in a day or two) but I’m having problems deciding what else to serve with it. Maybe a noodle or rice dish and there has to be some veggies but other than that I have no clue. Anyone have any good Asian side dish recipes?

Birthdays

Usually for our birthdays I make something special. This year not so much. For my husband’s birthday we didn’t do anything since he was at a concert with his brother. My sister’s birthday we had a party but it was at a friend’s house and they cooked. Other than icing the cake (and as a cake decorator I’m expected to) I didn’t do anything. Ok, I made a side dish (I will post it, I promise) but it wasn’t much. For my birthday last year I made my Super Salmon and I made it again for our anniversary. This year I have to work so I think I won’t be doing much more than making a crock pot of Slow Cooker BBQ Chili and calling it good.

However next week is my son’s second birthday and while I will be making a cake, at work, my kitchen is almost too small to do it at home, especially with a toddler wanting to “help”, I’m not sure I will make something special for dinner. Maybe, maybe not.

New Slow Cooker Recipes

I’m adding some new slow cooker recipes to my recipe page. I’m going to list them here too if you are short of time.
Slow Cooker Moo Shu Pork
Slow Cooker BBQ Chili
Slow Cooker Mediterranean Pork Roast
Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine
Slow Cooker Easy Chicken Cacciatore
Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Stew
Slow Cooker Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder
Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Orange Chicken

Crock Pot Stock Up

My work has kept me extra busy lately and with Easter this sunday (we are having lamb, cooked on the rotesseri if you are wondering) and me working in a Bakery we are even more busy than normal. And where do I turn to for dinner on a busy work day?

And like so many working mothers juggling work, daycare, house work and all the rest of life’s little to do jobs I love my Crock Pot.

So I thought I should stock up on some recipes to try and at the right time I got an e-mail with a bunch of slow cooker recipes in there. So here is my to try list….please, if you have some good recipes post them, I’m always looking for something to cook in there.

All of these recipes will be posted on my recipe page for you to look at.

Chicken/Turkey
Spicy Turkey Lasagna
Turkey & Curried Vegetables
Sausage and Peppers
Turkey Lasagna
Teriyaki-Orange Chicken
Slow-Cooked Chicken Stroganoff
Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder
Thai Coconut Chicken
Slow-Cooker Chicken with Cashews
Italian Turkey Meatloaf

Lamb
Lemony Lamb Ragu

Beef
Beef with Mushrooms and Red Wine
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Spiced Shredded Beef Brisket
Asian Beef Stew

Pork
Slow-Cooker Cajun Pork Sandwiches
Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Pork Roast
Honey Barbecue Ham with Roasted Potatoes
Pork Ragu with Pasta
Plum-glazed Pork Loin
Pork Roast with Peach Sauce
Sausage & Potatoes

Seafood
Light Jambalaya
Easy Salmon and Bok Choy
Shrimp Stir-fry
Dark Jambalaya

Veggies
Red Beans and Rice
Chilled Red Pepper Soup
Corn Chowder
Indian-Spiced Yellow Split Pea Soup
Fennel Braised with Artichokes

Dessert
Ricotta Vanilla Bread Pudding
Apple Crisp
Sour Cherry Rice Pudding

Something New

So I’m adding some new stuff to my blog including a recipe page including both my own recipes and ones I’ve used or been suggested. If you are interested in adding a recipe to my recipe link list please leave a comment with a link to your recipe post.

Also I’m starting to combine my menu plan and my shopping trip posts into one since I usually do them on the same day anyway. So keep a look out for those.

And I am adding a link area for the food related blogs and websites I frequent so if you would like to add your blog or website on there please leave a comment on any post with your blog or website address on it so I can add it to my list.

I love sharing my recipes and food ideas and hopefully I inspire some people to try some new stuff and I know there are lots of people like that out there in internetland so please send me your links to your blog or website and recipes!