Tired of the Weeknight Dinner Rotation?

It’s warming up. There are thunderstorms and new puppies and kids counting down days until summer break.  It’s the “I’m tired”, unmotivated, “are we there yet?” time of year.

I’ve been in that sleepy, tired, this again tread for a while. It’s so hard to be conscientious when being lazy is soooo much easier. It’s so hard to eat wholesome when processed is so much more convenient. Then I will find some new stuff to try, and it pulls me from the rut. Here’s a few recipes to mix up the monotony and bring a life back to the weekly dinner rotation.

Grilled Hamburgers with Faux Fried Okra

Not feeling the grill, but longing for summer BBQs?
Oven Baked BBQ Chicken with Squash Casserole
Oven bake some chicken at 375 until done, but before it’s done, slather on your favorite BBQ sauce. Add yummy squash casserole, and dinner bakes while you play! I butterflied chicken breasts so everything cooked at the same temperature for the same amount of time.

Sick of the piles of dishes? No one will ever guess this meal comes from dirtying just one pot.
Pasta Wonderpot – This recipe from Martha Stewart Living is a shoe-in for a permanent spot in my recipe box. Sooooo simple, such good flavor. I added subbed out some of the water for 1/4 cup of white wine and 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth. I recommend using half of the onion. A whole one was a bit much.

I sautéed chicken cutlets to serve over the pasta, but I could see dropping in some Italian sausage or mushrooms to cook right in the pot with everything else.

Try these super easy lettuce wraps from The Complete Savorist.  They are quick, yummy, and I added some sautéed coleslaw mix and shredded carrot for an extra healthy punch. When you must get out of the kitchen, meet some friends for some Asian diner food. Take the kids and embrace the chaos. Everyone needs a break sometimes (& some other adults to talk with)!

Worn plum out?
About thirteen years ago, I was a consultant for Pampered Chef. Every once in a while when I’m dead on my feet, I wake up in front of the prepared crescent dough and find myself serving Chicken and Broccoli Braid or Taco Ring for dinner.

Looking at an overstuffed schedule? Cook one night, and have leftovers to eat on the rest of the week!
Tex-Mex
Teriyaki
Mediterranean

Try taking time over the weekend and prep ahead some crock pot meals. Start them in the morning when you are READY-to-GO! and they will be smelling great and ready to serve by the time mom runs out of gas. I’m currently obsessed with trying all the ideas over at New Leaf Wellness.

Still feeling blue?
Meet some friends for to meet you for some Asian diner food or Sunday brunch. Everyone needs a break sometimes!

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So I’m in to salad lately…

I’ve been training for a half marathon. It’s been in the high seventies in Texas. It feels like spring, so I’ve been into salads. Lovely colorful salads. And running in the sunshine….aaaaaahhhh. I do love Texas.

 Pecan Crusted Chicken Berry Salad

Sally’s Baking Addiction’s pecan crusted chicken. (Totally worth the effort to make a big batch) layered on organic mixed baby greens, honey goat cheese, atrawberries, blackberries, avocados. Balsamic drizzle. 

Oh my, craveable.

Steak & Quinoa Salad

Butter lettuce
pecans, dried cranberries, chopped apples, avocado, red quinoa, grilled steak. 

Yummy, simple, and kid approved!

Could Not Be Easier Chicken Salad

Shredded chicken breast, juice of one lime, small handful cilantro, one ripe avocado, few dashes of Pickapeppa sauce on a bed of sweet kale greens.

Delicious and guilt-free!

Holiday Checklist, Dinner – Done!

The hustle bustle is tuning up, and soon moms across the world will have to-do lists longer than their arms.  Please let me give your bustle a little less hustle with planned out meals for the holiday season.

Daily Dinner Plan – with Crockpot options

November 30
Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Thyme, Quick Roasted Asparagus

December 1
Diner Comfort Food – Cheesesteak Style or Patty Melt Sandwiches

December 2
One Pot Chicken and Rice – you’ll have leftovers, so you won’t have to worry about hubby’s lunch tomorrow or the rice for next week’s soup

December 3
Minestrone Soup

December 4
Baked Chicken Parmesan or this yummy looking Milanese (less cheese, more calories for cookies) An even easier version is this chicken parmesan casserole you could assemble ahead.

December 5
Paula Deen’s Pulled Pork Stuffed into Baked Potatoes (make a double batch of the pork, and you’re ready for next week)

December 6
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Steamed or Roasted Veggies and a Green Salad

December 7
Baked white fish sliders with not-your-normal cole slaw and oven fries

December 8
Shredded Beef Tacos or mix it up with these Korean Style Lettuce Wraps (both of these yield awesome leftovers)

December 9
Chicken and Rice Soup

December 10
Stuffed Pasta Shells (add in sautéed dark greens instead of meat and make this dish for Meatless Monday) A great reason to make a big pot of marinara and freeze for another busy night.

December 11
Texas Chili Bar – no beans here! (brown the meat , onion and garlic, then pop in the crockpot with all the other ingredients so it’s ready when you are)

Tonight is family game night, and make your own bowls of chili couldn’t be easier! Save the extra cornbread for next week’s stuffed peppers.

December 12
Mediterranean Style One Dish Herb Chicken Bake

December 13
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches (this is actually leftover pork from the baked potato night that I froze for a super quick meal)

December 14
Veggie Lo Mein

December 15
Tis this season for family and friends, so why not make Taco Tuesday an event? Grab a holiday flick or make an impromptu craft or gift wrapping party.  Try these Seven Layer Tostadas

December 16
Pioneer Woman’s Pork Chops with Pineapple fried rice

December 17
Chicken and Cornbread Stuffed Peppers OR My Stuffed Bell Peppers

December 18
My Potato Soup – a nod to my family heritage — so easy and yummy

December 19
Broiled Salmon and roasted veggies

December 20
Whisky BBQ Meatballs ( I use my BBQ sauce recipe, then  add mashed potatoes (or steamed veggies, or herbed noodles – the side options are endless)

December 21
Kid’s Night – Bake cookies, make treats, watch your favorite holiday movie, let them invite friends over for a sleepless slumber party – the kids hang out, then everyone goes home and goes to their own beds for sleeping

Dinner cooked in muffin tins makes everything easy to divide and easy to eat – Mary Beth’s Knock Your Socks off Meatloaf and Mac and Cheese Cups

December 22
Soupeasy dinner so you can get to those last minute items on your list

December 23
In Texas, Christmas brings Tamales – order some, or try these cheats

December 24 & 25
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day are not included since everyone has their own traditions

December 26
With new toys to try and games to play, try one of these breakfast casseroles to start, or end , your day

December 27
Supreme Pizza Pasta (toss in the slow cooker or even freeze ahead)

December 28
Grilled Venison Backstrap with Gingered Carrots

December 29
Pioneer Woman’s Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

December 30
Baked chimichangas

December 31
Stay in Date Nite – going out when you have young children is rare; I don’t want to spend it with crowds

Chicken Marsala with Garlic Whipped Potatoes & Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

Forget the bubbly, this year I’m making these bourbon Blizzards.

Keep in the Freezer for One of Those Really Long Days – seriously, you don’t even need a side!

Make a Bunch and Save for Lunch

Pioneer Woman’s Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork – In the oven or slow cooker, this make it and leave it dish is great on slider rolls with sliced gouda or piled in tortillas with cilantro, queso fresco, sliced avocado, and a lime wedge for quick pork tacos – Plus there are usually plenty of leftovers to freeze and use again*

Pecan Crusted Chicken – these take some prep up front, but they are easy to make and freeze great

Browned & seasoned ground beef, bison, or turkey (use in tacos, quesadillas, as pizza toppings)

Chicken Fajita meat – try this marinade to elevate them beyond normal week night.

Bring a Little Holiday Spirit into Your Kitchen

Christmas Scones

Gingerbread Waffles – I haven’t made these yet, but they are on my must try list

Fresh Cranberry Scones

Hosting Guests? These touches are sure to impress

For their room:

  • Recently I stayed at my brothers’ and one of the most welcome treats was their selection of pillows. Doesn’t sound like much, but with everyone having their own preference, being able to choose was a luxury. Of course, I picked them all!
  • Have an extra throw blanket in the room, especially for those who travel across the country, the climate change can be shocking

In the Morning:

  • Create a coffee and tea station next to a bowl of fruit so early risers can serve themselves and relax.
  • Your guests will be convinced they’re at a B&B with these breakfasts-Homemade donuts – these puppies are all baked so you can indulge without standing over the frypan or having guilt-Blueberry Baked Oatmeal or Bobby’s Oatmeal Stuffed Apples
  • Baked egg boats would be restaurant worthy
  • Set a loaf of bread to make overnight, so you wake to Fresh Bread machine with make ahead berry butter spread
  • Save some time with this gourmet casserole

Stock Ahead for Comfy Touches:

  • make sure the bar is stocked, grab an extra bottle of wine to mull (awesome on the day guests are arriving), have some bottled sparkling water or ginger ale on hand
  • early in the month, check dry goods in your pantry so you are prepared for last minute at home meals that come with an unexpected winter storm front
  • make cookie dough and freeze, so fresh baked cookies are quick to whip up

Fix-Aead Dinners that Feed a Crowd:

a fresh school year and a fresh perspective

Ten years ago this school year, I left the house in my new suit and heels for my first day of school on the other side of the desks.  I was young, a new graduate, and I needed to support my husband and I while he went to school for his dream career.  I loved school so much, I figured teaching would be a good fit.  I must have been right because eight years later, I was still in the classroom, but longing to be home with my babies.

This morning, I began my ninth year of teaching.  I wore flip flops and shorts, and no one cared.  I started class a few minutes late so I could squeeze in a morning workout, and there were no reprimands.  There were no bells, no jammed lockers, and no buses to flag down at the end of the day.

We talked about God, read the Bible, and no one objected.  The students asked questions and we paused for discussion until intrigue was satisfied.  I listened to my kids play, read, and run around in the backyard.  I had time to prepare for tomorrow and still make dinner fresh from the lease.

I think I could get used to this…

 Dove en Brochette, from Texas Monthly Bacon Wrapped Dove (adapted since Man doesn’t do cream cheese y’all), game advice from Those doves you bagged are tasty, if you cook them right.

 

Prepping for fall: the back to school dinner debacle

I love the idea of having a pantry stocked and ready freezer full, and not ordering pizza, grabbing fast food, or eating way late on busy nights. as with most things in mothering, a little advance preparation goes a long way. Below are some options to help you find a dinner plan that fits your family.

I love this spin on meal planning from Beauty Through Imperfection! Such a simple and easy solution. 

Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler (my new favorite blog for all things home) has monthly meal plan calendars all set and ready to download. Just another way she makes life a little easier for us regular folk! 

For those of us who have the room and are willing to do a little more advance prep, freezer cooking is so nice. 

I actually tried my first round of freezer cooking right before baby girl was born. It went okay.  Back to school and sports has driven me to try, try again. For this round, I am a little more seasoned. I stuck with recipes I know score well. SO, I thought I would share my plan with you. 

I like to follow the cook & freeze extra for most of my freezer stock. It’s just easier for me versus two days of three to four hours of shopping & prep. Plus, I feel like I’m not breaking the bank with one monster shopping trip. I’m also a sucker for the assemble, freeze, and dump in the crockpot later plan. 

I will plan my menus for the month of Septwmber off of the following list, making sure I fix every dish at least once. This way I can still plan according to my store’s weekly deals. Each of these recipes will be doubled and the excess frozen. This is especially helpful on time consuming recipes. Once you are committed time wise and the mess is made, it not much of a pain to work a bit longer for that extra day of cooking freedom. For the mixes and kits I will buy the ingredients for a couple recipes each shopping trip.

Breakfast
Blueberry muffins
Banana bread
Waffle sticks
Pancake mix
Breakfast burritos
Granola
Cinnamon rolls
French toast
Scones
Mini frittata

Meals
Beef enchiladas
Chicken enchiladas (sans sauce, to be made serving day)
Chicken chile relleno casserole
Sloppy joe filling
Dirty rice kit
Lasagna
Italian Sausage & peppers
Taco meat
Meat sauce
Turkey toquitos
Chicken chile toquitos
Shredded beef tacos
BBQ pork
Shredded spicy DP pork
Garlic lime chicken
Meatloaf cups
Pork chops
Marinated pork tenderloin
King ranch chicken casserole
Chicken pot pie

Soup de jour
Minestrone
Cheeseburger soup
Tortilla soup
Tomato soup base
Chicken noodle soup base
Wedding soup base

Freezer stockpile
Smoothie packs
Marinara
Meatballs
Tex, teriyaki, and Mediterranean spiced chicken
Organic veggies
Chicken nuggets – if you have a good baked version- I’m all ears, please send it in!
Chili meat (browned and seasoned)
Pizza dough
Pie crust
Pizza sauce
Pesto
Apple crumble
Cookie dough
Pound cake
Popsicles

Pantry
Rice
Pasta
Oats
Jarred salsa
Chipotle peppers
Green chiles
Chipotle peppers in adobo
Vegetarian refried beans
Canelini & black beans
Chocolate chips
Maple syrup

Mixes
Taco seasoning
Ranch seasoning
Cinnamon sugar 
Tex-Mex Seasoning

Checkmate. Ready for fall.

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Need a little more inspiration? Check out my Dinner Advent Calendar from the holidays last year.

An Old Fashioned 4th of July:  Summertime Classics Remodeled

Happy America Day! I must admit, I love seeing all the red, white, and blue, watching fireworks, and spending a long summer day with my family. Over our brief history, The USA has undergone many changes, and this week has left me a bit nastaglic about the pride, honor, and dedication of so many Americans in that history. We are so thankful for our military and their families, and so blessed to live in a country that offers so many freedoms and liberties. Let us never lose sight of that.

Speaking of patriotism, try this amazing cute & informative book out with the kids.

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Now…on to food. Cause we all know that’s most important. Wink, wink. Sometimes even the classics need a little tune up.

Blueberry Thyme Lemonade
My basic lemonade recipe with bouncing berries floating along side thyme sprigs.

Watermelon Cooler
Gather:
3 cups watermelon, puréed in blender and ran through seive
Bunch of clean mint, leaves torn from stems & stems discarded
2 large scoops of ice
optional: splash of ginger ale, sparkling water, your fave vodka or rum.
Blend, pour into glass & sip lazily.

Roasted Potato Salad With Crispy Garlic and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
20140510-213334.jpgI fiddled with this version from The Cozy Apron and oh, goodness it’s good. In family of Germans, warm potato salad with a vinegary kick is nothing new, but the crispy garlic and lack of sometimes overpowering mustard make this version stellar.
Gather:
6 red skinned potatoes, medium dice
6 strips uncured bacon, ribboned, fried until crisp & 3T drippings reserved
1 medium red onion, quartered & thinly sliced
4 substantial cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 heaping Tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

20140525-005815.jpgRoasted Broccoli Salad

A healthy spin on a BBQ favorite.  Roasting the ingredients offers a super punch of taste in this simple recipe.
Gather:
1 bunch of seedless red grapes, removed from stem
1 large crown of broccoli, cleaned and trimmed into florets
4-6 slices of bacon
1/4 red onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
To Make:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two sheet pans with foil.  On one, line up four to six slices of bacon.  On the other, mound broccoli and grapes, drizzle olive oil, salt & pepper. For extra flavor, toss on some garlic and chopped red onion to roast with broccoli.  Roast for about 20 min, turning bacon about halfway through cooking.  Remove bacon, drain, and crumble. Cool other components briefly on pan, toss all together, and add shards of sharp white cheddar or parmesan cheese.  Dress with additional oil and s&p if desired. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.20140525-005854.jpg

Macaroni Salad
A hold over from my younger days, this macaroni salad is made without mayonnaise — making it pleasing to almost everyone.
Gather:
1 # uncooked small elbow macaroni
3/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt and pepper grill seasoning
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn (if you have time, roast or grill for added flavor)
1 cup diced sharp cheddar cheese
3 whole green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chiffonade
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
small bunch fresh chives, thinly sliced
plash spicy pickle juice
To Make:
Prepare macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse briefly.
Puree the cottage cheese until smooth. Add in the vinegar, yogurt, oil, herbs (except basil), salt and pepper, and pickle juice and mix thoroughly.
In a large bowl, combine macaroni with dressing. Allow to refrigerate a couple of hours. Add in corn, tomatoes, green onion, basil, and cubed cheese before serving.

Round out the meal with a summer classic, the cherry pie. We made mini ones so everyone could grab & go.

  

Baby it’s Cold Outside

baby girl snow 15Winter has finally made it here. The yo-yo continues with a tease of spring right before the next northern slaps you in the face.  I’m only good for one polar vortex, thank you very much.

Today was ACTUAL snow. Fluffy, flaky, snow. So pretty. So cold.

I’m cold.

I will be cold until April.
I am mourning my flip flops.
I’ve been wearing Man’s house shoes the past two days.
(If you don’t live in Texas and think I’m being a big baby.  Well…let me tell you something.  Cold is a different kind of beast down here.  And re-frozen slush is a whole new kind of inclement weather.  Just like in July, Texas HOT is just not the same kind of heat as everywhere else.  I digress…)

MUST FIND WARMTH.

You too?

Well, these dishes promise to add a little warmth and perk to your dinner table.

Spiced Tea
This was originally an iced tea recipe, but it works well served hot on those days when frigid wind pierces right through ya
Gather:
2c water
1/4 c honey (sweeten to taste)
1 bag black tea
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1/3 cup orange juice
To Make:
Heat water with anise, lemon slices, and cinnamon stick to boiling. Steep tea bag. Add in orange juice. Sweeten to taste.

Share with a friend.
Y’all know what goes good with spiced tea?
Spiced rum.
Just saying.
In case your friend is cute.

Hot Chocolate
It has taken me years to figure out I like hot chocolate. Hot cocoa, not so much. It’s something about the dried milk.  Immediately takes me back to college intern days.
IMG_3478To make:
Heat 4 cups of milk to steaming over low to medium-low heat.  20140102-091024.jpg
Want a little spice and warmth?
Add 1 cinnamon stick to the milk.
Stir in 1 cup milk chocolate chips.
Feeling indulgent?
Toss in another 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate.
Warm to melt.  Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Feel it starting to work?

Now just one question…whipped cream or marshmallows?

For more drink recipe ideas check out my Something to Sip board.

Need some cold weather comfort food?
Being stuck inside has had me cooking up a storm.
I’ve tried some pretty yummy recipes lately.
Here are a few.

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup
Gather:
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup water
1 good size chicken breast
1 – 1 1/2 cup egg noodles
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 bouquet garni (thyme, rosemary, parsley, fennel ferns…whatever you have on hand)
salt and pepper, to taste
To Make:
Sweat onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in olive oil until they begin to soften.  Add stock, water, chicken, bay leaf, and bouquet garni.  Bring to boil.  Reduce to simmer for 20-40 minutes; until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken, shred or dice and return to pot.  Serve.

Super Yum & Super Simple One Pot Chicken and Rice – I found this beauty on Big Red Kitchen; it got fabulous reviews, made wonderful leftovers, and was gloriously easy with only one dirty pan to worry about.

Blueberry-Banana Streusel Muffins
IMG_6984A modified version of my Betty Crocker Bridal Cookbook recipe. Big fluffy bakery style yummy…without even having to leave the house.
Gather:
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 very ripe bananas, smashed to a puree
For Streusel:
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
To Make:
Mix streusel ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a muffin tin with baking papers or grease pan.
In small mixing bowl, beat milk, oil, egg, and banana.
In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk flours, baking powder and salt together.
Using a wooden spoon, make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until just moistened.
Fold in the blueberries.
Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Top with the streusel topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin.
Serve warm. Will keep at room temperature several days in an airtight container, but streusel will lose its crunch.

IMG_6995

Romanesco

IMG_3481Dutch Oven Herbed Chicken and Veggies
Another one-pot wonderful dish.  Full of flavor, hands off, and a great way to use up vegetables in our co-op basket this  week.   I served it with roasted romanesco IMG_3480(olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes & finished with pecorino cheese) and fennel and orange salad (thinly sliced fennel bulb, two segmented oranges, tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, salt, pepper and drizzle of olive oil).  It proved to be a fulfilling and light dinner. 
Gather:
2 large chicken breasts, halved crosswise and butterflied (this alone was about 2# of meat)
1/2 # trimmed green beans
1/2 bundle trimmed and cut asparagus
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 thinly sliced red potato
drizzle of olive oil
salt, pepper, dried herbs de Provence (or rosemary), red pepper flakes, splash of white wine
To Make:
In a Dutch oven, sear the chicken in olive oil over medium high heat.  Add in the vegetables, drizzling with some additional oil, a generous sprinkling of dried herbs, salt and peppers.  Pour 1/2 cup or so of white wine over the entire mixture and cover.  Place Dutch oven in 400 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the lid and continue cooking until chicken is done and potatoes are tender.  In all about 30 minutes. Remove chicken and vegetables to a platter, ladle over some of the wine sauce from the bottom of the pan and serve.

Swiss Style Venison Steaks
My rendition of the classic beef dish found in Joy of Cooking. I used the backstrap, but I’m sure tenderloins would work well too.
Gather:
approximately 2# of meat (usually blade steaks or rump is called for when using beef)
1 can 15 oz, sweet Italian peeled tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup beef stock (or water if you are like me and didn’t get out in sludge to get stock)
1/2 a beer
1 small bundle of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons brown sugar
salt and pepper
To Make:
Mix paprika, salt, and pepper with flour. Dredge the meat in the flour, shaking off excess. Heat oil in Dutch oven, and brown the meat.
Place to the side on a platter and in the same pan, soften the onions, carrots, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Add beer and stock to deglaze the pan.
Return steaks to Dutch Oven. Top with tomatoes and herbs. Pour beer over top and sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove to a clean platter and top with sauce.
I served it with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus.

Slow Cooker French Dip Style Sandwiches
Gather:
1 cup beef broth
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 onion, thinly sliced
2# beef chuck or bottom round roast
chili coffee rub (I found this premix spice in HEB Central Market’s bulk section – LOVE it!)
1 cup beer (I use Shiner Bock for cooking)
1 small bunch fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
To Make:
Sear the meat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic to the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the meat on top, and add the other ingredients.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is easily shredded.
Ladle some of the cooking juice into small bowls to serve with the sandwiches. Buy me a fat separator if you want the fat separated.
Serve on hoagie rolls with sharp cheese and au jus.
Enjoy the simplicity.

Kelsey Nixon also has a turkey version we recently tried. Just delightful!

Ice Day Tip:  I always save cookie in a jar gifts that we receive over the holidays for inclement weather days.  They store great, are quick and easy, and they are one less sweet to eat over the holidays.  I am happy to report that my ICE Day BIN has worked wonderfully this week.

Find more recipes like these on my Slow Cooker Pinterest board!