Saturday, February 21, 2015

6 Meals to Cook in LeCreuset Dutch Oven

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know.


We are in LOVE!

Since getting my BEAUTIFUL dutch oven, I have cooked the following:

Pioneer Woman’s Braised Short Ribs.  I cooked these for Justin for Valentine’s Day and I’m pretty sure I sealed the deal for another 20 years!

The only short ribs you ever need to eat or cook in your life!


Lemon, Garlic Chicken. I used THIS recipe for inspiration but then used what I had on hand after making the short ribs.  So I started with the pancetta, onions, carrots, garlic and then added lemon, thyme, rosemary.  I also didn’t have chicken stock, so I used beef stock. I didn’t use butter and I didn’t stuff the chicken with lemon. So, it’s really nothing like the recipe except that I used lemon and garlic and chicken.

The only braised chicken you ever need to eat or cook again in your life!


Braised cabbage


I use my Grandma’s recipe (loosely) along with a couple recipes I read to get the cabbage I wanted.  She uses carrots in her recipe and I didn’t have any (I had used them all in the short ribs and chicken!).  I used onions and red wine vinegar.


You know I would not lie to you, this is the only braised cabbage you every need to eat or cook in your life!

Jambalaya!  I had never made jambalaya but I had eaten it before so I knew what I liked and I knew what I wanted.


I read several recipes (here, here and here)  to get the idea and went to work.  The result was AH-MAZING!

And you know,

The only jambalaya you ever need to eat or cook in your life! (the next day it was even thicker and better!)


Finally, yesterday, I cooked Pioneer Woman’s Hot and Spicy Italian Drip Beef


You need to stop what you are doing, put your bra on and get to the store. You still have time to make this for lunch!

It was super easy to prepare.  I tucked it into the oven for 4 hours so it would be done for lunch and then bundled up the girls and headed outside.


They have been so bored with this cold weather, so we headed out for some playing in the snow.


For about 5 minutes.  Then they were staring at the back door. Probably hoping Justin would save them from their crazy Mom who was standing in the back yard, by herself, trying to get them to play so she could take action shots.


Okie dokie.

Four (4) hours later…..


Whoa.  Basically, the only slow-cooked chuck roast you ever need to eat or cook IN YOUR LIFE!

We ate it alongside the braised cabbage and it was DELICIOUS!  The sweetness of the cabbage with the spicy of the beef!  I mean. I can’t wait to eat it again today.

I have been keeping it pretty low carb since Wednesday because…..


I have eaten about 425 girl scout cookies (give or take).

I had forgotten the downward spiral that comes with Girl Scout cookie season:


when you know that they are about to arrive.


as you open box after box needing to try each variety because, after all, it’s been a whole year!


as the sugar cloud sets in, that you may have ordered too many.


about your life, as you drift off into a sugar nap of sadness.


as you awake still feeling sick and thirsty yet there are those damn cookies again and you want to eat them.


when you do.


your kind, philanthropic heart and the whole Girl Scout community for these cookies being in your house.


for all cookies and vowing to never eat another cookie and forgoing all sugar once these cookies are gone.


as you remember that this is only the first round because you ordered from TWO girl scouts!


All the sugar in the air is really causing the cat to be hostile. Here Brutus is bullying Sara out of her spot.

And here he is winding up to hit Piper on the head.


Take it easy, Brutus, I am working as hard as I can to get these cookies out of the house!


(Don’t worry, I save the dogs after I take a picture)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Time to Relax

We hopped on a plane earrrrrrly Wednesday morning.


Later that day, arriving in Cancun, Mexico at the Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort


It is a beautiful resort.  Actually three (3) resorts in one.  There is Sunrise, Nizuc and Grand.  It’s huge and allowed for a lot of walking.  There was no reason to go off the resort as there were plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from every night.

The days were spent laying by the pool or beach reading and napping. 


It was glorious.

It was just what I needed.


We met Justin’s Dad and Stepmom down there for Doug’s 70th Birthday.


The guys golfed one day and Jane and I had a girl’s day on the beach.


For more reading and napping.

And Peña Coladas.

Our nights were spent trying out all the restaurants around the resort.


It was wonderful to get away, feel the sun on our face and spend time with Doug and Jane.


We had a long day of travel yesterday but it felt so good to sleep in our own bed last night.

I feel refreshed and ready to get back to normal life!