Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back Again

Well, its be 16 months since I last wrote. In that time I got pregnant, had a baby, moved back to Germany, and saw my husband deployed to Iraq. Its been a pretty busy year, and I've been not so thrilled about cooking. When I was pregnant my favorite things to eat were cakes, cupcakes, cookies, mashed potatoes, and bread. I was sick for a lot of the pregnancy and had a hard time with anything that wasn't easy on my stomach. And then the busyness of a new baby definitely put cooking on the back burner.

I'm settled back in Stuttgart, Germany. T is more or less settled in Bagdad for his year tour. And our new addition, Charlotte, just slept through the night for the first time last night. So I guess you could say she is starting to settle in also. Since I'm cooking for just myself most of the time I don't have a ton to write about. I'll fill in some of the notable dinners from the past year, and as I make one or two I'll write about those too. Cooking just for me will help me with the last 8lbs. of pregnancy weight. Considering I gained 65, I think I'm doing pretty well. But this will still be a good opportunity to try to eat healthier. Plus I need to set a good example for Charlotte when she starts wanting to eat what I'm eating.

My friends and I decided to have Wednesday night cooking nights at their house. We'll alternate cooking. Jim loves to cook, I love to cook, and Migle likes to eat what we cook. So I think it will be a good set up. I did make shredded beef in adobo sauce and a flourless chocolate cake for New Years at their house. It was a Mexican theme, so I slow roasted what I think was a brisket. Trying to translate an American cut of beef through my vegetarian babysitter to the butcher was a challenge. But I got a nice cut that was pretty close to brisket. I slow cooked it for about 8 hours until it fell apart, then served it cold with the adobo sauce. I had to tone it down a little since most of the guests were Lithuanian or German, neither nationality eats things very spicy. The flourless chocolate cake was supposed to have chipotle in it, but I toned that down too so there was almost no spice. But the cake was still excellent.

So, with the New Year I'm resolving to write my blog more. If not for other people, at least for myself to keep a record of what I'm doing, cooking, thinking, and eating.

Slow Cooked Beef Brisket
2-3lbs Beef Brisket
1 Medium Onion
5 Cloves Garlic
2 Chilis, canned, in adobo sauce
2t Adobo Sauce (from canned chilis)
2T Maple Syrup
1T Lime Juice
1T Salt
1 Dark Beer

Preheat oven to 275 (roughly)

Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy skillet. Brown meat on all sides, about 5 min per side. Place beef in baking dish with lid (or can be covered with aluminum foil).

Puree Onion, Garlic, Chilis, Adobo Sauce, Maple Syrup, Lime Juice, Salt. Pour sauce over brisket. Add enough beer for sauce to come halfway up the side of the meat. Cover securely.

Bake for 6-8 hours, turning every hour. Meat will be tender at 6 hours, and will fall apart at 8 hours. When finished, take meat out and slice or pull apart. Pour all sauce into heavy sauce pan and simmer uncovered until reduced by half. Skim fat off the top as needed. Put pulled beef into serving dish and pour sauce over the top. Can be served hot or cold.

Boca Negra - Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chipotle *recipe will be added later, Charlotte just woke up from her nap, so its time to go get her*

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