Friday, September 26, 2014

Slow Cooker Italian Dip Beef

Heat: Low
Time: Over night (12 - 20 Hours)
Trim the fat off of the roast and place the roast into your lined slow cooker. (I use Reynolds Wrap Slow Cooker Liners. Make sure the size fits your cooker) Sprinkle the Italian Salad Dressing Mix over the roast and then pour the entire jar of peperoncini over the roast, juice and all. (Don't worry it does not make it super spicy. My mom was really worried about that!) Put the lid on your slow cooker and turn the dial to Low heat.

About an hour before you want to eat dinner take a spoon and scoop out all of the peppers and throw them away. (I save the jar and put them back in and toss the jar) Grab a bowl and scoop out the chunk or chunks of beef. Shred the beef in the bowl a little at a time so that you can pull any excess fat out. When all beef is shredded drop it all back into the cooker. Add the package of Au Jus Mix and combine well with the shredded beef. Let the beef cook for another 30 min to an hour on Low. 

In a pan heated on medium high heat melt a tab of butter or a little olive oil. Open each hoagie and lay them flat on the pan. I can usually get two in the pan at a time. Let them sit in the pan open face down for 1-2 min or until they are golden brown. If you do a second batch add a little more butter or olive oil. Use a fork or tongs to dress each hoagie roll with a serving of beef. Add cheese or other toppings if you would like but it is amazing on it's own! Use a ladle to scoop out a serving of Au Jus for each person for dipping. (Clear plastic party cups work well for this or if you have the cute little personal dipping bowls that will work too!) 

Cook on low heat over night and all day the next day. I put it in the cooker right before we go to bed and then forget about it until the next afternoon. It is fine to slow cook for 12 - 20 hours. Putting it in, in the morning and having it for dinner that night is just not gonna happen. I have tried it and it doesn't work. (Even with High Heat) You want the beef to be super tender so you hardly touch it and it shreds. Don't lift the lid until you are ready to shred the beef. You want all of the heat to stay inside the cooker all night and day.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Ben and I bought a time-share a few years ago on our anniversary trip to Florida. I know... I know... we are idiots suckers!!

Anyway, in two years we have yet to use our three week vacation. So, this year we decided to get a little cold weather fix during the holiday season. We got what we asked for!!
That is snow on my left eye. It was snowing!! 6-8 inches of beautiful white snow! Though, I was just as happy to drive out of it as I was to wake up to it. This girl loves her warm weather; Not gonna lie!

Leaving this on Tuesday...

To wake up to this on Wednesday...
and this...

Was traumatic.... but, we took our lemons snow and made lemonade ice cream!

We decided, last minute, to shorten our trip to Colorado and surprise everyone from home. We stayed at our time-share in Steamboat Springs for two days, packed the car back up, and headed for Saint Louis!!
Jenny-Bug taking a potty break in the Colorado mountains before the snow storm
First on our list of victims family to surprise were Grandpa and Grandma Mac! They were shocked and extremely surprised to see us at 1:00 am (woops!) We hugged and went strait to bed but woke up nice a early to get in some good visiting. After hanging with them all day we decided to go to our favorite Lake of The Ozarks restaurant, JB Hook's.

Okay so thats a bit of an exaggeration. It's not necessarily our favorite but it is the place that Ben took me to impress me with his fat wallet I mean, spoil me on the night he proposed. It is, hands down, the yummies place to eat at the lake however, it is not light on the pocket book which we half laughed/half cried about when we got the bill. It was worth it though, this was after all suppose to be our anniversary vacation!

After dinner we went back to the lake house and played some Skipbo with the grandparents and headed back to bed to rest up for our next drive. We woke up, packed up yet again and headed for Saint Louis.

Three short hours later we were crossing the good old Lewis & Clark bridges to our little river town.

Next on our list were my parents. We picked up the nephews on our way over and had it all planned out that Owen and Turner would show up at the front door holding the girls and say that they just found these puppies wondering around the front yard and then we would pop out and surprise whoever answered the door. Unfortunately, Mom saw my freakishly tall husband running across the yard and yelled, "BEN'S OUTSIDE!!" before we could hide.

Nonetheless, Mom and Dad were both super excited to see us. Though, Mom scolded us for not giving her proper time to plan a Tuesday Thanksgiving dinner since we would have to leave, to drive the 32 hours back to San Diego, on Thursday morning.

After my parents we took off to surprise Ben's family. The only problem was that we could not find Ben's family!! We finally found his brother, Brad at the family business who told us that Bev was at her best friend's house cuddling her best friend's new grandson and Bob was at the Rams/Bears game with their friend Steve.

We wondered aimlessly through Wood River and East Alton for awhile and then decided to go see Ben's friend Tommy and his new baby girl but they were packing up to leave for their Thanksgiving festivities. So, we headed over to Ben's Grandma Melba's where we ran in to his Uncle Brian and Aunt Karen who we have not seen since we moved to California.

We had a good chat with them and then headed to Maryville to surprise Bev at Steve and Nancy's house. Surprise her, we did! She was shocked and elated to see us at the front door. We waited for Bob and Steve to get home, stayed at visited for an hour or so and then headed out to meet a small hoard of our friends and family that had gathered at one of our favorite pizza joints, Roma's Pizza, for dinner.

The following night a bunch of our friends were gathering at Fast Eddie's to visit with our friend John who moved to Alaska last year. So, we took that opportunity to surprise them as well!! It worked out perfectly!

Now that the surprising was over Ben was on to his next goal. Eat at as many of our favorite places as possible!! We did pretty well I have to say.

Not bad at all!!

On Wednesday night we joined in on what I have now been told by Brad's girlfriend is called, "Skansgiving" to catch up with some old high school friends and of course hang out with the bestie! We made our rounds at BossanovaMac's, and Chez Marilyn followed up by a 2am drive through hit at Jack in the Box. Perfect Night!
After all of our belly stuffing we headed on out and started the 32 hours drive back to San Diego.

To give ourselves a break from driving we stopped at the Grand Canyon for a little site seeing. It was just like everyone says, simply breathtaking. Photographs just don't do it justice. The puppies really enjoyed the short hike and crashed out on the rest of the way home so that was a plus!
Our munchkins cuddling in their new bed they got from Grandma & Grandpa Mac

All in all it was a great little Thanksgiving trip but, I have to say I am happy to be home in my slightly less frigid warmer weather!

Happy Holidays! We will be packing and moving to our new little beach cottage during our holidays!! So excited to get away from the college dorm/frat house/apartment life that we have been living in!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Almost Halloween From Mini Miley

Suggested Listening: Wrecking Ball, By: Miley Cyrus

My bestie is quite possibly the coolest person ever....

Standing at 5 feet and 1 inch tall, I give you Mini-Miley!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The One Without A Title

Suggested Listening: In The Garden, By: Royal Wood

Today was the day that I was suppose to hold you. The day that our lives would forever change. The day that our first little girl was born. October 20, 2013. I remember thinking about the cosy little halloween costume I would put you in for your very first Halloween. I knew that we would just sit at home in our fabulous costumes but that would be okay because we had you.

Today, my little girl, I miss you so very much. Brendon was blasting his rap and R&B today while we readied the store to open. Biggie's, "Big Papa" started to play over the loud speakers and I had to laugh as tears came to my eyes. I knew in that very moment that you are still here with me and you just wanted me to know it. Your daddy was so cute trying to rap that day when we saw your little heart flickering so bright and your little body just a wiggling there on the screen.

In my heart I know that it was just not our time. That we were not ready for you. Still, my heart aches for the little girl that almost was. No little boy or girl will ever replace you in my heart, my Cora, my first baby girl.

Love, Mommy
Image credit: mayboro / 123RF Stock Photo

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Taco Tuesday: Ground Beef and Cheese Double Layer Quesadilla

Ground Beef and Cheese Double Layer Quesadilla
Heat: 350 degrees
Time: 17 minutes
Calories: 1,012 for entire Quesadilla (2 Servings) 506 in half (1 serving) 

Mix a small amount of taco seasoning with ranch dressing and set aside. I mix 3 tablespoons with an entire bottle of ranch using the ranch bottle as a container.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Lay your first tortilla on the aluminum foiled cookie sheet and then lightly spray the tortilla with oil spray.

Spred 1 tbs of taco ranch on your tortilla. Add 1/4 cup cheese and 3 oz of ground beef.

Place second tortilla on top of first tortilla and toppings. Spread 1 tbs of taco ranch on top of second tortilla and add 1/4 cup cheese and 3 oz ground beef. Place third tortilla on top of second tortilla covered in toppings. Spray top of tortilla with vegetable oil spray.

Bake quesadilla at 350 degree for 10 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven flip quesadilla over using a spatula and return to 350 degree oven for 7 more minutes. 

Remove cookie sheet from oven and place quesadilla on a cutting board. Cut quesadilla into eight pieces using a pizza cutter. Spread 1 tbs of taco ranch to top of quesadilla.

Move quesadilla to a serving platter. Top with 1/2 cup shredded spinach and a drizzle of sour cream. Serve and enjoy!

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