Super Easy Spicy Brisket Chili

chili

Brisket. At its best, it’s flaky and juicy, falling apart with the mere mention of a fork. At its worst, it’s tough and rubbery.

I know you’ve been told the old-fashioned way to make a brisket: marinating it overnight, baking it for hours at one temperature then changing to another. Slow cooking IS the key to a great brisket, but I don’t have time to sit around babysitting it. I bet you don’t either.

I found a gigantic brisket on sale just after New Year’s–it was crazy cheap, like $1.50 a pound or some such nonsense. I felt like I was the star of a reality show for a minute when I saw the price. Quickly, I took it to the checkout and paid for it as nonchalantly as I could, hardly sweating at all, as not to give away the AWESOME DEAL I WAS GETTING. Once I made it to the parking lot, I was fistpumping like John Bender in “The Breakfast Club.” It felt good.

But what do I do once I bring it home? It was a 20 pound brisket! That’s a lot of beef. I chopped it into six hunks and promptly froze it. Now I just take out a hunk and use it the same way I’d use roast beef or even ground beef. Last night, I made the best chili ever. It’s not hard at all. The crockpot does all the work!

Here’s what you need to make Spicy Brisket Chili–from scratch!

Spicy Brisket Chili

2 pounds brisket

2 Alarm Chili Mix

1 can Hunt’s diced roasted tomatoes

1 2-pound bag of dried pinto beans

2 teaspoons dried garlic

1 can of Coke

1 package Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Ancho chili seasoning blend

1 tsp. bold chipotle seasoning blend

1 package concentrated beef broth

Directions:

After thawing the brisket, put it in the Crock pot. Pour a Coke over it, then dump the steak seasoning on it. Add some salt, pepper and garlic powder/chopped garlic. Turn it on low, and let it cook for at least 7-8 hours.

It’s gonna smell so good. You won’t even believe it.

When it’s all flaky and such, remove it from the crockpot and put it in a storage bag or bowl. Let it refrigerate while you make the beans. Dump out the coke mixture and prepare the dried beans.

Rinse them and put them in the crockpot. Fill it most of the way with water. Put all the 2 Alarm Chili Mix seasonings in the beans. If you’re feeling brave, add a chopped jalapeno. Add the other pepper mixes, salt and spices. Let the beans cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Here’s how the magic happens.

First, take the brisket and heat it for a minute or so on high in the microwave. Cut it into bite-sized pieces and dump it in the beans. Add the canned tomatoes.

Turn the crockpot on high. Cook the chili for about an hour. Good luck keeping your family out of it before it’s reached perfection.

If you don’t want to make your own beans, you can use canned. You can also cook the beans or the brisket overnight in the Crockpot, saving time. You won’t be sorry. I felt like a real cowgirl cook after pulling this off. Those spices sunk into the beans and made the whole house smell like Texas Heaven. Top the chili with a bit of sharp cheddar and sour cream and you won’t believe how good it is.

If (and this is a huge IF) you happen to have leftovers, I recommend making burritos. Can you even imagine how delicious those would be?

 

 

 

 

Not Your Mama’s Sriracha Chili Meatloaf … and Feminism

Sriracha Chili Meatloaf and Buttery Lemon Asparagus

One of the most powerful things we can do as women is  to unleash our mad cooking skills.

Yes, I’m a feminist. Being a feminist does NOT mean that I can’t work cooking magic; it means I can. It just means it’s my choice to share my talents with the world–or at least the 4 people I love most. It means if I don’t want to, I don’t have to. But I want to, so I do.

I have found that meatloaf goes a long way towards smoothing things over after an argument. Did you know about the magical powers of meatloaf? If you didn’t know, it’s perhaps the fault of the cafeteria-style meatloaf experiences you’ve had in the past. This is NOT that!

I also must admit that since the price of beef has skyrocketed to almost $7 a pound (a pound, people!) I have been mixing beef and ground pork (I don’t like ground turkey.). But this time, I used pure beef. Because luxury.

I experimented with the glaze and it was amazing.

Ingredients:

Meatloaf:

5 pounds ground beef

1 jalapeno, chopped

1 can green chilies

1 package Knorr’s Beef Broth

2 tsp. dried onions

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup milk

Seasoning to taste.

Glaze:

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sriracha chili sauce

Directions: Preheat oven to 375.

In a blender, add the vegetables, milk, bread crumbs, broth, egg and spices. Liquefy.

In a big bowl, put the hamburger in. Pour the blender mixture on top. Mix thoroughly.

Place into a large baking pan. Smooth out so it doesn’t look weird.

In another small bowl, mix the glaze. Pour on top of the meat loaf.

Bake for about an hour or until the middle is clear.

Aunt Sandi’s Best Baked Beans: A Known Cure for Depression

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I’m not gonna lie. It’s possible that just SMELLING these beans can add ten pounds to my butt. It’s so worth it, though. Sizzling bacon, spicy garlic and dark brown sugar blend to make a delicious dish that people would sell their souls for. Ok, maybe not that far, but almost. Aunt Sandi made these for us and we have never loved her more. We’re really loyal people, especially when you cook for us.

Aunt Sandi’s Best Baked Beans

One pound thick cut bacon
2 large cans Busch’s Baked Beans
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350. Slice the bacon into small strips. I use kitchen scissors. In a giant skillet—the biggest one you have–brown the bacon, onion and garlic together.
This smells heavenly.
Don’t tell anyone, but if I need to tell Lee about an unanticipated purchase, for example, a new Coach bag…purely rhetorical, you understand, I make these beans and tell him while the bacon’s cooking.
Bacon. It’s what’s for dinner.
This is important. Do not drain the fat. It’s delicious and good for you. Also, it’s a known fact that here in the South bacon counts as its own food group and has zero calories. Ok not really.
Add the other ingredients, mixing thoroghly. Next, pour into a baking dish and cook for about an hour.
Sit back and receive the praise from your family. Or at least embrace the quiet while everyone scarfs the beans.
Oh. My. Lanta. They are good.

Simple Shortcut Strawberry Shortcake

We having a cookout today and I’m making this super easy dessert. It’s so good and goes surprisingly far, considering how much Mancub loves strawberries. I must admit I’m making this pretty dessert in part because Watergirl is visiting.

Simple Shortcut Strawberry Shortcake
One Sara Lee pound cake
2 packages strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 can Ready Whip

Put the strawberries in a large bowl. Add the sugar and water, tossing lightly.
Take out a cup or so of the strawberries and put the in the blender for a couple of seconds, then pour the mixture back in the bowl.
Stir and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Slice the pound cake and put on an individual plate. Cover with strawberries and a bit of juice. Next, use about half a ton of whipped cream.

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Two Great Recipes: Cheesy Sausage Bread and Indoor S’Mores

sausage breadsmores

Y’all are in for a treat. I’ve got two great recipes here that take NO TIME at all and are super delicious and, let’s face it: impressive. These two items, Cheesy Sausage Bread and Homemade S’Mores never fail to have that “Wow” factor when I take them to parties or church potlucks. And really, they are easy-smeasy. I’ll tell you how.

The Cheesy Sausage Bread recipe came about from an Emeril show I was watching years ago. I love Emeril’s recipes, but sometimes they call for long lists of expensive spices and ingredients and we just don’t do that around here. If it can’t be made in 30 minutes, I’m probably not going to try it. Also, my husband likes spicy food so I make the hot version, but you can always leave out the peppers and cayenne and it’s pretty tame. I also changed up a few of the ingredients to make it even better. Don’t tell Emeril!

Cheesy Sausage Bread

1 loaf french bread

1 package breakfast sausage

1 onion, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 package mushrooms (washed and sliced)

1 can black olives

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 small container sour cream

1 container onion and chive cream cheese

1 block regular cream cheese

2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded

2 cups monterey jack, shredded

salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown the sausage. When it’s almost done, put in the onion, peppers, garlic and mushrooms. The beauty of this recipe is that if you hate any of these veggies, just leave them out. Nobody cares. I promise the Veggie Police will not be pounding at your door. Likewise, you can get fancy by adding other veggies you do like. I bet some chopped asparagus would go nicely in this recipe but nobody at this house would eat it.

After all the veggies are good and cooked, drain off the grease and add turn off the heat. Add the cream cheese, sour cream and 1 cup each of the shredded cheese and mix it really good with a sturdy wooden spoon or some such thing. If you don’t have Monterey jack, and you like pepper jack or provolone, go for it. Any of the cheeses can be substituted here. It’s a thing of beauty. It’s kind of like meatloaf: a lot of license for creativity.

Take the loaf of french bread and slice it down the middle, scooping out the bread to make room. This bread makes perfect homemade bread crumbs or hubby likes to use it to sample the sauce when I’m not looking. Next, pour in the cheese and sausage mixture and spread it out evenly in the bread cavity. Cover with the last of the cheese. You’ll want to cover the whole thing with some foil and bake at 350 until nice and bubbly. If you don’t need it till later, you can make it ahead of time and put it in the fridge. It will keep overnight and you can bake it later. SO. GOOD.

Indoor S’Mores

I got this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and made it for a ladies’ event at church. It was a complete HIT. Here’s my pic I took of the ones I made, and a link to her recipe on her website. You’re welcome. These are really fun to make and if it’s a rainy day, nothing will cheer up your kids more than these!

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/08/chocolate-covered-smores/

If you make these, you must tell me how they turn out! I’d love to post your pictures on a blog post, or let you do a guest post!

 

The Most Delicious Corn Bread Salad Ever. Yes, I said Corn Bread Salad.

Just so you know, Food Network is the devil. They are punishing me with these mouthwatering pics and forcing me to buy a ton of ingredients to try them.

I love this corn bread salad. I’ve had it before and it’s downright sinful. If it was any better I’d marry it. It’s so beautiful in this glass bowl, so you can see each delicious layer. I don’t have a bowl like this but I’m gonna get one.

Food Network has several yummy recipes and I can’t wait to try them. Featured in this article are the following: Corn Bread Salad,  Poppy Seed Potato Salad, and Strawberry Country Cake. I can’t wait to try these!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/packages/memorial-day/memorial-day-picnic-.page-5.html

On Blueberry Muffins, Chocolate Mateys and Murder

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I had a splitting headache this morning so I was a bit slow getting around. However, when I came in the kitchen I saw my hubby, who is diabetic, pouring himself a giant bowl of Chocolate marshmallow Mateys. Our eyes met and he looked away with the guiltiness of a five-year-old caught in the cookie jar.

“What are you doing?” I ask, hands on hips.

“Um, nothing…I was just, um…” he waves nonchalantly in the general location of the Cereal of Sin.

“Are you seriously pouring yourself a bowl of that? Why not just take the sugar canister and dump it in your mouth? It’s about the same.”

“I was hungry,” he says, with just a touch of accusation in his voice, as if to say, “See what happens when I’m left to my own devices? Are you trying to kill me here?” He didn’t really say that…just with his eyes.

“Step away from the Chocolate Mateys. Slowly, with your hands where I can see them.”

“But…”

“I’ll make you something else. Ok?”

My plan: to make scrambled eggs topped with cheddar cheese and some (very little) bacon. What follows is a transcript of what actually happened, as put together by forensic experts and other witnesses.

As I was scrambling the eggs and cooking the bacon, I remembered I had a tube of biscuits in the fridge, so I put those in the oven. While those were baking I remembered I had a pint of fresh blueberries just begging to be made into muffins.

Before you get all judgy on me, you should know that Hubby hates blueberries. Despises them. At night, he dreams about beating them into juice. So there’s no way he would eat one of these delicious muffins even if a gun was held to his head. So it’s ok, got it? If you have anything to say, I dare you to drive down here to Tyler and say it to MY FACE. Ok then.

I couldn’t remember my exact recipe and for once the Pioneer Woman didn’t come through for me. Her recipe was too complicated so I improvised.

This is when the atrocity occurred.

I turn my back for ONE SECOND and hubby is in the kitchen MAKING SALSA DIP FOR CHIPS.

What follows is merely a fog of rage and violence. In my grief and repentance, I can only patch together small bits of conversation but it happened something like this.

Me: “Are YOU KIDDING ME.” Hubby froze. Dear reader: if you ever see me ask a question that ends in a period it’s completely on purpose, to let you know it’s not really a question at all. And you should probably run…as if your life depended on it.

Hubby: “What? I’m just…”

Me: “You’re just WHAT? Making FREAKING CHEESE DIP as I stand here in my spotless kitchen putting together this cornucopia of a feast for you?” Yes, I actually did use the word “cornucopia” cause that’s how I roll.

Hubby: “Relaxxxx.” Dear reader: never, EVER tell a woman on the edge of insanity to relaaaaxxxx (in a tone reserved for rabid dogs and the mentally unwell).This almost always ends badly.

Me: “RELAX? OH I WISH. I WISH I could relax. But see, biscuits in the oven, eggs on the stove, sizzling bacon? BREAKFAST. HERE.” Wide hand gestures which resemble air traffic control motions.

Hubby: “Look, I just wanted dip for my breakfast burritos I’m making. That’s it! Still breakfast.”

I look at him with my eyes narrowed into tiny slits.

Me: “Why don’t you just stab me in the heart? Go ahead. Get the knife and…WAIT.” I turn around. “Stab me in the back, that’s more appropriate.”

Lee: “Um.” He walks away with his Mistress Dip into the sunset. (Ok the sun was up but work with me here.)

Me: “Yeah? Well I’m watching you, Mister, and if I see so much as ONE TORTILLA CHIP MISSING from this bag, I’m coming for you.”

Hubby: (Not concerned at all…even though his very life is at stake.) “Ok.”

Most people agree that the Bausingers SEEMED like a nice family.

As of the writing of this piece, everyone in my family is still alive, and they lived to eat the most delicious blueberry muffins EVER.

Here’s an up close picture of a muffin. Doesn’t it look mouthwatering? I want to lick the screen right now.

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Here’s my recipe:

Blueberry Muffins

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 container fresh blueberries (rinsed)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 c. veg. oil (or melted butter)

1 cup milk

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk till well blended. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Fold into wet ingredients and mix only till moistened. Put the blueberries in last.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, and don’t you dare serve these without  a pat of butter on top. I’m so serious about that. I will hunt you down.