Instant Pot French Dip Beer Sandwiches

Instant Pot French Dip Beer Sandwiches

I can’t stand a hot kitchen. And in August the whole world just feels like one gigantic hot kitchen! My hubs usually grills on Sundays. I love it, because it doesn’t heat up the kitchen, and he does most of the cooking! And oh, by the way, it’s always delicious. But I recently gave the guy a break from the grill and decided to cook up some yummy French Dip Sandwiches in the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot makes it quick AND easy, and one very special ingredient, beer, makes it amazing! Read on for my Instant Pot French Dip Beer Sandwich recipe. Continue reading “Instant Pot French Dip Beer Sandwiches”

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice

It’s been cold. Like so freaking cold. Like “my dog doesn’t even want to go outside and do her business” cold. And when it’s this cold the only thing I want to eat is soup, chili or beans. Basically warm and cozy comfort food. And since I’m in Louisiana that usually means gumbo or red beans and rice! We like it spicy and warm here y’all! AND it’s almost Mardi Gras! “Laissez Le Bon Temps Roulet” I’ve been practicing on my Instant Pot for a couple of months now, and still consider myself a newbie, but I am getting more and more comfortable with it. It’s fun to use, and the results are just incredibly delicious. Continue reading “Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice”

About our Smokin’ Sunday!

My husband is the KING of what we in Texas call “Aggie Engineering”. In other words, he loves to remake and redo things in order to save money. (Sometimes that’s actually a good thing). His latest project involved remaking an old, unused, little electric smoker that had been sitting out in our shed for probably 10 years or so. He was about to put it out at the curb, so he could purchase a new fancy-schmancy wood fired smoker, when his brain lit up, and that little, cheap lightbulb went off! Ding ding ding!!! He decided to retro fit that little old smoker himself. No fancy- schmancy needed here! No sirree! He found some directions online, (which I have since searched for and can’t find) and was able to make a perfectly fine, perfectly sized, little smoker, just fit for two! I have to say. It’s been AWESOME! No need to heat up my kitchen in this Texas heat! Yay! This Sunday, he smoked a brisket, and I just have to share his rub recipe.

2 T. Sugar

2 T. Kosher Salt

3 tsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. fresh chopped oregano

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

On Saturday night, he sprinkled the rub onto the brisket and rubbed it in realllllly good. He wrapped it up in foil and it stayed in the fridge all night. Gettin’ all spicy and stuff…

Then on Sunday, out to the smoker it went. Daisy supervised. She’s good like that.

He placed it on our little bitty smoker.

Daisy watched. She takes this smokin’ business very seriously. She is hugging that little bit of shade by the fence! Poor baby…so hot right now. Ugh…

He had been soaking some apple wood chips for hours, and that’s what he placed onto the already hot fire, to create the smoke. He just checked on the smoker periodically, placing new chips onto the fire. That smoke is the key to great barbecue!

Can you smell that smoke? That is pure deliciousness. I wish you had smell-o-vision.

Here’s that beautiful brisket, after hanging out in the smoker for about 5 hours.
Oh yeah.

Sliced up and ready to devour. It was so tender and juicy and ridiculously good. I swear. It just made me Texas barbecue proud! Yum-yum!

I served it with a “semi-homemade” pasta salad. I just made a boxed pasta salad mix, and whisked in one generous tablespoon of prepared Basil Pesto to the dressing. I added the last of my fresh Roma tomatoes (sigh) and some mozzarella cheese, black olives, thinly sliced red olives and fresh basil. I let that hang out in the fridge all day, and it was ready to enjoy by supper time.

Enjoy! Take time to smell the brisket…

 

Cinnamon Roll Sunday

If you’ve ever worked in retail, you know how hard it is. Feet hurt. Back hurts. Cranky customers make you want to run from the store screaming. So last weekend I decided to reward my coworkers at Chico’s with some beautiful, homemade cinnamon rolls. I found the recipe at allrecipes.com, (which I highly recommend). Here is the link to the fabulous and easy recipe: Clone of a Cinnabon.
So, here’s my photos, step by step. I started out, as the recipe recommended, by using the dough cycle on my bread machine. Hooray for bread machines! I also use mine at Christmas, when I make dozens of loaves of bread to give away as gifts. It’s a time saver and works great!
After the dough cycle has completed, dump it out onto a floured surface, and roll into a rectangle-ish shape.

Make the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Spread your rectangle with butter. Lots of smooth, creamy butter! Real Butter please! Then sprinkle the rectangle liberally with your cinnamon sugar mixture. I used my flour sifter.

Roll the rectangle into this shape. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. You can cut those ugly ends off, and bake them for your samples. I mean, you have to sample it right? You don’t care if it’s ugly, as long as it tastes good, right?

Here’s my hint for slicing the rolls. Use Dental Floss!! Works like a charm, go under, criss-cross and pull. Makes for smooth clean cuts every time, and is better than sawing away with your knife.

Place your beautiful rolls into a BUTTERED pan. Yep, more butter. At this point, you can rise and bake as the recipe recommends, or cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. That way you can bake them in the morning! Just remove the wrap in the morning, and place into a cool oven, set the temperature to 350, and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Your kitchen will smell like heaven!

Ice the rolls while they are still warm from the oven. The cream cheese icing recipe is fabulous! I’d even use it on cakes. It’s really yummy! Seriously, how gorgeous are these rolls? They tasted even better than they look! After making these, you’ll never want to open a Pillsbury can again!