Monday, July 1, 2013

July Already?

It’s hard to believe that the year is half over, isn’t it? And it usually seems that there’s hardly any time at all between July 4th and Labor Day. But there is a lot of summer left! Let’s begin with this week….

Thursday is July 4 – Independence Day. How do you celebrate? Do you go all out or do you keep it simple? We tend to stay home and relax with as many of our family as we can get together. This year our daughter and her family are on vacation, so we’ll miss seeing them, and our group will be smaller than usual. I’m still planning a cookout – weather permitting – and am working on a menu. It’s been so rainy here that we haven’t had the opportunity to grill for a while. I’ll post my menu and recipes soon. If you have recipes you’d like to share, please do so!

This was tonight's Sunday Supper menu: Shredded Beef Au Jus on buns, coleslaw, corn on the cob, roasted rosemary potatoes, fresh tomato with basil.

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SHREDDED BEEF AU JUS
1 boneless beef chuck roast, about 3 pounds
2 cups water
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
8 hamburger buns, split

Cut meat in half and place in slow cooker. Combine next 6 ingredients and pour over. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove beef, cool slightly and shred. Return to cooking liquid – skim off any fat if desired. Serve on buns.

(Recipe published in both Taste of Home and Country magazines.)

Note: I used garlic powder, thus eliminating some of the salt. This smells wonderful while cooking, and everyone loves it.

To prepare the potatoes, simply cut them into large chunks, about 1” or so. Place on large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, freshly-ground black pepper and dried rosemary (crushed). Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, turn and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until brown and crisp.

The coleslaw dressing is simple, and I actually don't use a recipe. It's mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar (I use Splenda), salt, pepper and celery seed. Keep adjusting until you get the right mix of tart and sweet. For a thinner dressing add a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil. Stir in a bag of coleslaw mix and chill for several hours. Actually, you'll need less dressing than you might think because the cabbage will release some of its liquid while chilling. Stir before serving.
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I did try using vanilla extract yesterday to remove a stubborn sticker from a candle holder. Just a few drops on a paper towel removed every bit of the paper and glue - and it smelled great, too. Give this a try!
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Please check the "Holidays" page for updated July holidays and observances.
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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