Weekend . . .

Nothing much exciting for the weekend. I got the laundry done this evening (Friday), except for sorting and folding. Meals were random: pulled beef and mashed potatoes for breakfast, lettuce salad with tomato, tuna fish and poppy seed dressing for lunch, and Thai Kitchen’s ginger soup for supper with the rest of the roasted chicken breast cubed and added.

And I got my hair cut again. I found a stylist that I like, at a price I don’t mind paying, and if this works out I will go back to getting a haircut every six weeks instead of twice as long in between.

Weather’s been warm, still. I did find a couple frost pictures to share from years past, though. The weather promised is to be much colder. But snow is not yet in the forecast. I keep thinking that eventually it must, but I guess that is not so.

Frost Patterns

Frost Ferns

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Pulled Beef

The butcher shop’s sales run from Wednesday through Tuesday. The bottom arm roast (also called silverside or rump roast) was still on sale when we ate the last of the roast we got last week, and so I sent Al to the shop (I’ve been under the weather again this week) to pick up another, larger roast. Not the same name on the label as last week, but the right price, and it looked pretty much like the same cut. I slow-cooked last week’s three-pound roast in the oven, which worked for cubing it and adding it to other dishes, but was too tough for sandwiches, even sliced as thin as I could get the slices with the electric knife. This time Al came back with a four-pounder, and about seven-thirty last night (Tuesday) I decided to toss it into the Crock Pot.

My favorite tenderizer for lean beef cooked in a slow cooker is Pacific Organic’s “Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup”. At least two of the grocery chains carry it, here in town, in the Organic & Gluten-Free section. It comes out tasting, to me, at least, a lot like barbecue; Al doesn’t agree about the barbecue taste, but he really likes to eat the beef.

Ingredients (all seasoning is ‘to taste’)

  • Lean cut roast, 3.5 – 4.5 lbs
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • white pepper
  • paprika
  • ground mustard (not too much)
  • ground cumin
  • kosher salt (a couple pinches)
  • crushed red pepper (stingy) and
  • Cardiac Cajun: Bayou flavor without the salt, from Wayzata Bay Spice Company, Rogers, Minn. USA*

Cook on low setting for at least 10 hours.

It’s nice to take off the thick layer of fat before cooking the roast. I haven’t got the knack (or a sharp enough knife) to peel the fat off, so I leave it. So, the first step is to put the roast into the bottom of the Crock Pot. Next I add the seasonings and rub them in, following up with two cups of the Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato soup. Last night, I set the pot on low heat (there’s a choice between low and high) to shut off after ten hours. I set my alarm for five-thirty in the morning, at which time I turned the roast over on its side and spooned the soup on top of the roast. Turned the heat on again and went back to bed for another couple of hours, at which time the beef was ready to transfer to a porcelain baking dish with a lid.

Nice thing about the seasoning for the roast is that it tastes better each time it’s reheated. Has time to sink in and blend. Sort of like next-day baked beans with ham, bacon and molasses.

*What extra seasonings are in the Cajun Cardiac blend? Oregano, thyme, basil, pepper, chili pepper, and citric acid.

No Frost on my Windows

The forecast high temperatures in Fargo, N.D. USA for the next few days are in the 40s to 50s F. This is not good for the water table or agriculture, the high temperatures and the lack of snow. It’s also not good for frost on the windows. I have gone back to last year’s photos for the day and picked a couple to post today.

Window Frost 2014-01-25

Window Frost 2014-01-25

Window Frost 2014-01-25

Domain Changes

After canceling web hosting for my former work domains in December, I started transferring my (mostly previously published) poetry back to quiltedpoetry.com (one of my two original domains, the other being patchworkprose.com). Sorting through my MP3s from the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Online Halloween Poetry Readings at the moment and thinking I also will add my related photo art.

I had been using the site for writing poetry, but I decided to move that process to WordPress.com, which I’ve come to enjoy over the years. It’s easier to keep track of than scattered notes on my various computers, and they’ve got a “private blog” option. The sites, all .net, that have gone away are lizbennefeld (not renewed), thewrittenword, quiltedpoetry and postcard art. (I’ve switched my sfpoetry email to the quiltedpoetry domain.)

There is one other domain, but it is basically for me and pretty boring. ::smile::

This week’s favorites, butcher shop

Meals that I especially enjoyed, this week. Salads always. On this one, I had lite mustard dressing. The cheese & paprika omelette was quite good. When we went grocery shopping, I picked up fajita veggies, again, at the grocery. I sautéed them in olive oil before adding  three well-beaten eggs.

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Wednesday, the week’s specials are posted for the butcher shop. This week, round rump roast was $4.49 a pound, and skinless chicken breast was only a dollar less expensive. We bought three pounds of beef and about three quarters of a pound of chicken, and after making a stop to take care of the banking, we went home, so I could cook the week’s meat and refrigerate it before evening. I added no seasoning to the beef roast, but put olive oil in the bottom of the baking pan and cooked it at 350°F until the temperature reached 140°F. The chicken breast I also cooked in the oven to 180°F. I dusted the chicken breast with powdered cumin and powdered ginger, after lightly coating the meat in olive oil. I am looking forward to having roast beef for lunch. The chicken breast gets chopped up to add to salads and soups.

 

Breakfast for lunch, Last-minute supper

It’s been a day for improvisation. Breakfast: cup of milk, cup of orange juice and a three-egg omelet with two chopped and sautéed bunching onions, topped with jam.

For supper, I started out to have chili, and then rethought it. I made up four cups of (cooked) rice in the microwave. To that, I added a cup of Red Pepper & Tomato Soup, a third of a cup of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corn, and carrots), and a can of gluten-free chili. I put the lid on the casserole dish and cooked it at the microwave’s casserole reheat setting. It was awfully hot! Before serving, I added a layer of extra sharp Cheddar Cheese.

Smelled good enough that after Al finished off his cinnamon bread sticks (his idea of a good supper), left over from Friday night’s pizza, he decided that he needed chili casserole too.

No pictures . . . too concentrated on eating. 🙂

I’m still down a meal. I think I’ll have a green salad, millet-chia toast, and a yellow bell pepper. I’m torn between the honey mustard and the poppy seed dressing.

 

Again, Soup

Winter calls for hot soup, which I missed during the first two meals: slices of chicken breast for breakfast and a bowl of yogurt for lunch.

Again I used the Thai Kitchen ginger soup packet, heating the organic, free-range chicken broth (instead of water), and then putting the egg noodles to soften while I prepared the rest of the ingredients. I melted butter in the bottom of a small frying pan and sautéed “fajita” vegetables (onions, bell peppers, etc.), two bunching onions with greens, and the oil and spice packets from the Thai soup packet, and then put that in the bowl of chicken broth and noodles. After, I sautéed about six ounces of roasted chicken breast meat and added it to the soup bowl, but reserving several pieces for Samantha (cocker spaniel). I reheated the soup in the microwave for a minute and a half. The smell of the veggies and spices and chicken sautéing is enough to curl one’s toes with the pleasure of the anticipating.

The soup was quite flavorful. It didn’t really need the pepper that I added when I reheated the soup. (I was reading a book and didn’t eat fast enough that the warm lasted through to the end of the soup.)