Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hot Beef Sandwiches Au Jus

We had these for dinner tonight. Oh my goodness...they were so yummy! 
I had to put the meat in the fridge because after two sandwiches, Matt was still eating the meat! 
Tiana and Josh stopped by on their way home and were able to join us with sweet baby Ava! I didn't get any pictures because I was having too much fun catching up. The second they left I realized I didn't get So here is my half-eaten sandwich :) 
This is from Rival Crock Pot's Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes. I saw it in my sister's room at Christmas and asked her if I could borrow it...she said I could have it! Score. I love cookbooks. She got me an awesome Trader Joe's one for Christmas too! There are so many recipes I want to try in it.
Makes 8-10 servings
4 lbs. beef rump roast
2 envelopes (1 oz each) dried onion soup mix
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. minced garlic 
2 cans (10 1/2 oz each) beef broth
1 bottle (12 oz) beer (I substituted 1 1/2 cups white grape juice)
Crusty rolls, sliced in half

1. Trim excess fat from beef and discard. Place beef in Crock Pot.
2. Combine soup mix, sugar, oregano, garlic, broth and beer (juice) in large mixing bowl. Pour mixture over beef. Cover, cook on high 6-8 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
3. Remove beef from Crock Pot, shred beef with two forks. Return beef to cooking liquid; mix well. Serve on crusty rolls with extra cooking liquid "jus" on side for dipping.

I sliced the rolls, buttered them, and toasted them under the broiler.
This one's a keeper!   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ada's Birthday Cake

This cake was soooooooo delicious! Rich, decadent, moist, and perfect for Ada's one year birthday celebration.
I knew I wanted to make it for a while, and was searching my cookbooks for where I had seen it. Turns out it was on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens Annual Recipes 2002.
Ada agrees that it was wonderful! 

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake
Prep: 30 min.
Bake: 30 min.
Cool: 1 hour (I let mine cool, then frosted the cake the next day. Wrapped the layers in saran wrap and put them in the fridge)

3/4 c. butter, softened
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. milk

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 min. Meanwhile, lightly grease bottoms of two 8x8x2 in. round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper. Grease and lightly flour bottoms and sides of pans.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds on high speed. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 c. at a time until combined. Scrape down sides and continue beating for 2 min. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

4. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pans.

5. Bake round cake pans for 30-35 min. Cake is done when a wooden toothpick entered in center comes out clean.

6. Cool cake layers in pans for 10 min. Remove from pans. Peel of waxed paper and cool on wire racks.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla
5 3/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted

In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 c. of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 3 3/4 c. sugar until it reaches spreading consistency. Frost cake, lick bowl, and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shooting With Bubs!

Over Christmas break, my grandpa took us out to Vandenberg Air Force Base to shoot some of his guns. 
The range is right on the ocean, it is just beautiful! 
Make sure you turn the volume down to watch these videos, between the wind, gunshots, and our voices while we had earplugs in -- they're LOUD.
Matty & Seanie looking soooo cool in their protective eyewear!
They call him eagle eye.
Here's Bobba, the original cowboy, with his six-shooter! He bought it in Arizona in the 1950s. So cool :)
I loved shooting the biggun...he has an awesome rest you set it in. Makes it so much easier to steady the gun!
Channeling Sarah was COLD! 
 Thanks for such a fun time Bobba! Love you :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cafe Rio Recipes

A while back this pregnant lady was seriously craving herself some Cafe Rio! And, since Santa Cruz doesn't have one, I pulled out these recipes I found a few years back. Sorry to whoever posted them, I don't remember whose blog I found them on.
Oh how I LOVE this dressing! Matt and I were gobbling it up with chips while we were waiting for the pork to finish up. Mmm :)
Café Rio Dressing
1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)

2 tomatillos (tomato like vegetable with a husk around them)

½ bunch of cilantro

1 clove garlic

Juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeño (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green Tabasco for the jalapeno.)

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.

 The pork barbacoa is my favorite! Makes sense since a can of Dr. Pepper is in it :)
Sweet Pork
3lb. Pork Roast

16-oz. Chunky Salsa

1 Can Dr. Pepper

2 Cups Brown Sugar

Put pork in crock pot and fill half way with water.
Cook 4 hours on high. Drain water, cut the pork in thirds. Mix together sauce (blend in blender) and pour on top of pork. Cook 4 more hours on low. Shred pork.

Cafe Rio Chicken
1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing

1 T chili powder

1 T cumin

3 cloves garlic—minced

5 lbs chicken breast

Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.

Café Rio Rice
4 c water

4 t chicken bouillon

4 t garlic –minced

½ bunch cilantro

1 can green chilies—or equivalent fresh

¾ t salt

1 T butter

½ onion

2 c regular white rice

Blend cilantro, green chiles and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.

Black Beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/3 cup tomato juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

You need warm flour tortillas and shredded cheddar cheese (I popped the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds with the tortilla in it and the cheese in the bottom).
Then add the rice, beans, meat, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo (or just tomatoes in our case), guacamole, cheese, cilantro, tortilla strips (or chips) and dressing.
EAT and ENJOY! You're welcome :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Christmas 2010

It was especially wonderful to be home for Christmas this year since we live away from our family now.
Sean loved my gift to him, a Snuggie! 
Last Christmas, Ada was just a 3-week-old bundle of sleepy joy! It was so fun to see her in action this Christmas.
She loves her instruments & has some great rhythm! 
I wish I could post the video of my mom and Bobba opening our gift, their reactions are priceless! But it was before everyone was ready for the day, so I'll keep it privvy. I framed a picture of Ada in her big sister shirt and when my mom opened it she said, "You're kidding! Oh my gosh!!! Another adorable baby!" Then proceeded to hug the baby doll Ada brought up to her :) She made Bobba come read it and he said, "Ohhhh," then realized it meant I was pregnant, and looked at me with big eyes and said, "OH!!!!" haha!
We put her in the shirt and brought her to my grandma's house and to Matt's parents house to be surprised!
My cousin Rach hugged me the day before and made a comment about me needing to eat when she found out I was pregnant, I was able to explain that nothing sounded good and I had been throwing up! 
(More recently I've been needing to eat all the time to avoid feeling the waistline has been expanding)  
Ada had so much fun with all of her aunties & uncles. 
At the end there Ada is making a run for Nana's fudge! I turned my head for two seconds and she had a square...little stinker! She let out the most pitiful whine as I wrestled it out of her chubby grip. What a mess!
We had a wonderful, relaxing time eating yummy food and playing games. Love and miss you all!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I just love this little girl! Sometimes she gets so happy and giddy that she can't hold in the laughter.
Here is a picture of her infamous fangs! They came in just in time for Halloween so she was a little vampire. They've completely come in and now her two front teeth are coming in more. She got her Christmas wish...two front teeth :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ada Has An Announcement!

 She's as excited as we are! 
 Here's the little gummy bear today at 10 weeks. He or she was wiggling and bouncing so much that the ultrasound tech had a hard time getting a good heart rate reading! It was so fun to see it rolling and dancing around in there. Makes all of the sickness worth it. Baby #2 looks perfectly healthy and the growth is right on track. He or she will be here in August! My due date is the 4th, but if my first pregnancy is any indicator - we'll just say the 13th instead. 
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