We recently moved Savannah home again. She will be doing an internship in January, and it was impossible to find a six-month lease near the college. So, for six-months, she will make the daily drive to college.
I questioned how living together would be after she has been on her own for so long. I’m trying really hard to remember she’s not a child any longer. It is coming with some benefits also. She has become very independent…she doesn’t want me doing her laundry, and she has become an excellent cook!
Fajitas is a specialty of hers, and I am using every excuse I can think of to have her cook them often. Her secret is this awesome seasoning blend that she makes. I even seasoned a roast with it, and it was delicious.
Savannah does not have an exact measurement for the meat and veggies. To feed two people, she typically uses one to two boneless, skinless chicken breast, two green bell peppers, one large onion, and two to three Roma tomatoes.
Savannah seasons her meat with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Then saute’s it in a little oil until done. She then removes the meat from the skillet to saute green bell peppers and onions. Once the veggies are tender, add chopped Roma tomatoes and a heaping tablespoon of the fabulous seasoning, plus the juice of half a lime. Add the meat back to the skillet, stirring to combine and serve.
Try this tasty Mexican seasoning blend on burgers or grilled meats for extra wonderful flavor!
Mexican Seasoning Blend
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. chili powder
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Store in a small jar.
This is an exciting week for those of us living in Georgia, as the Atlanta Falcons prepare for Super Bowl LI! Especially for those of us that have been here through the “not so good” years! This will be the second time in history that the Falcons have made it to the Super Bowl. The last time being 18 years ago. This has been their season to shine and my fingers are crossed that they will bring the Vince Lombardi trophy back to Atlanta this year!
I know that super bowl parties will be going on all over the state this Sunday! Treat your friends and family to this fabulous Smoked Beef Brisket. The trick to a tender beef brisket is to cook it “low and slow”. You certainly need to plan ahead and do NOT rush the process! Greg’s general rule of thumb is to plan on 90 minutes of cooking time per pound of brisket. We cook on a Traeger grill and have terrific results every time! However, if you cook on a ceramic grill, charcoal or even gas follow your grills manufacturer’s directions for adjusting the temperature.
Game Day Smoked Beef Brisket
- 12 lb. beef brisket
- Wide Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil
- 6 tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tbsp. coarse salt
- 4 tsp. black pepper
- 3 tsp. brown sugar
- 3 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 c. distilled white vinegar
- 2 c. beer
- 2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- Plan ahead. You will need to smoke the brisket approximately 90 minutes per pound.
- Trim fat to ¼-inch thick.
- Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix. Rub this mixture onto the brisket on all sides. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours. However, you can cook right away, if desired.
- Combine all ingredients for the mop sauce in a nonreactive bowl and stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved.
- If using a charcoal grill set up grill for indirect grilling. If using gas set grill to low. If using any other grill follow manufacturers directions for preheating your grill to cook over indirect heat, low, or smoke.
- Place brisket directly on grate of preheated grill, fat side up. Smoke for 6 hours, mopping with mop sauce every hour for 8 hours. Raise grill temperature to 250 degrees F.
- When internal temperature of brisket reaches 160 degrees F, remove the brisket from the grill and wrap well in heavy duty foil. Return the foil wrapped brisket back to the grill. Lower the grill temperature to 120 degrees F to 150 degrees F and cook for 4 hours.
- Raise the grill temperature to 225 degrees F and cook until internal temperature of brisket reaches 204 degrees F. (This took approximately 3 hours on our grill.)
- Remove foil wrapped brisket from grill and rest in foil for 1 hour.
- Slice and serve.
I am thrilled that the Atlanta Falcons have made it to the Super Bowl! Most of you already know that I enjoy tailgating and this is a great excuse to have some friends over. I would be willing to bet that I am not alone in saying I will watch for more than the halftime show this year!
As you prepare for your own tailgating party, here is an excellent recipe that is sure to please. These French Dip Sliders are easy to assemble. They are warm and gooey with melted cheese and are perfect served with Au Jus for dipping!
These sliders are very similar to the hot ham and cheese sandwiches, on the little rectangular dinner rolls, that I remember eating as a kid. I always loved them and could never eat just one. These French Dip Sliders have pretty much the same concept. Combine melted butter with some great flavors, pour over the top and bake until warm, and melty.
I doubled this recipe and was able to fit two packages of Hawaiian sweet rolls into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. I suggest medium or even rare deli meat for this dish. As the sliders bake, the meat will also cook slightly.
Easy French Dip Sliders
- 1 pkg. Hawaiian sweet rolls (12 rolls total)
- 1 lb. deli roast beef
- 12 slices provolone cheese, separated
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 envelope Au Jus seasoning mix, separated
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- ¾ tsp. dried minced garlic
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. seasoned salt, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a11 x 7 baking dish.
- Without separating the rolls, slice the package of rolls in half horizontally.
- Place the bottom half of the rolls in the baking dish. (If you are using two packages of rolls in a 9 x 13-inch dish you may have to separate a few of the rolls and adjust to fit the pan.)
- Top the bottom half of rolls with 6 slices of cheese. Add deli meat evenly over the cheese, then top with 6 additional slices of cheese, and the top half of the rolls.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter in a microwave. Mix in 1 tbsp. of the Au Jus seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, sesame seeds, dried minced garlic, onion powder and seasoning salt. Whisk to combine.
- Pour this mixture over the rolls, using a pastry brush to spread the mixture evenly.
- Bake the sliders uncovered until the cheese is gooey and the tops are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. If you notice the tops getting dark, cover with foil and continue to bake until the cheese has melted.
- Remove from the oven and cut the sliders in between the rolls.
- While the sliders bake, combine the remaining au jus seasoning with 2 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened.
- Serve with sliders.
If you are using two packages of rolls in a 9 x 13-inch dish you may have to separate a few of the rolls and adjust to fit the pan.
Judging from the rain we had over the weekend from Hermine, I should have written about the hot, dry weather months ago. Other than a few limbs to pick up now, we faired well here on the farm, as I also hope that you did also.
With Labor Day behind me, I am truly getting into the “autumn” mind frame. As I mentioned last week, I am tired of the hot, the dry, the mowing, and the bugs. I thought I would take us into fall a little early with recipes for these wonderful meatballs with marinara sauce.
These recipes are simple and delicious, and great served on zoodles or pasta. My cousin, Robin, recently shared this scrumptious meatball recipe with me. I doubled the recipe, thinking I would have plenty of leftovers but my crowd ate every last one of them. The marinara sauce is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe from one of her older cookbooks, Everyday Italian, and I’ve been making it for years. It is literally so good I could eat it like soup.
Complete your meal with a tossed salad and garlic bread for a fabulous meal to serve any day of the week.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ lb. ground pork
- ¾ c. bread crumbs
- ½ c. grated Romano cheese
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1½ tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
- 1½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 egg
- In a large bowl, mix ground beef, egg, and bread crumbs. Add cheese, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your taste if desired.
- Roll into balls and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350° F for about 25 minutes or until no longer pink.
- Serve over pasta with marinara sauce.
- ½ c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
- 2 (32-oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 dried bay leaves
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and garlic, and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and ½ tsp. each of salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.
School has started most everywhere, and I attended the first scrimmage of the football season on Saturday night. It’s entirely too hot for football, but I’m so thrilled that cooler weather is near! We even braved the heat to tailgate before the scrimmage game. I love that time before a football game with friends, sharing laughs and tailgating food! Do you have a favorite tailgating recipe that you would like to share? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be sharing tailgating recipes before long and I’d love to share yours too!
Believe it or not, there are Greek burgers buried under those juicy tomatoes, red onion slices, salty feta, and kalamata olives! Only a few simple ingredients will transform regular ground beef into this exceptional burger for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
These burgers may be served on buns, pitas, or lettuce wraps. Try making these burgers with ground lamb, turkey, or chicken instead of beef for a nice change.
Greek Burgers with Sour Cream Tzatziki Sauce
- 3 lb. ground chuck
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 to 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Pinch red chili flakes, optional
- Toppings: Sliced tomato, feta cheese, sliced red onion, kalamata olives, lettuce
- Gently mix ground beef with olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper, and red chili flakes, if desired. Form into 6½-lb. patties. Cook patties as desired to desired doneness.
- Serve burgers on toasted buns, pita bread, or in lettuce wraps. Top with Tzatziki sauce and your favorite toppings.
Sour Cream Tzatziki Sauce
- 1½ c. sour cream
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and grated
- 2 tbsp. dried dill weed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- pinch salt
- Place grated cucumber in a large, clean dish cloth and twist tight, squeezing as much juice from the cucumber as possible.
- In a medium bowl mix the sour cream, squeezed dry cucumber, dill weed, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This is best made a couple of hours before serving.