Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sugarland Concert

I just have to say that I really enjoy Girls Nights out! It is fun to get to spend time with just the girls. Well for this Girls Night out we went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday's and then to see Sugarland in concert. They put on an AWESOME show! It was TONS of fun!

Danny Gokey and Julianne Hough opened up the show. They were both okay, but not great... Julianne Hough's portion of the show was all about dancing on the stage half dressed. She kept dancing with poles... I was worried she was going to start taking off what little she had on...

The Sugarland portion of the show was great! The stage was awesome, the light show was awesome, the music was awesome! Everything about the show was AWESOME! Plus I got to spend time with two great friends! One thing that really impressed me about Sugarland is they gave a autographed guitar away to a young girl in the audience. I thought that was awesome. That girl is forever going to remember that!

Anyhow here some picture :)

Megan, Me and Betsy
It got really bright where we were sitting so Betsy put her sunglasses on :)
The awesome stage
Jennifer Nettles
Kristian Bush
Kristian delivering the guitar

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pot roast practice

Sunday we made yet another pot roast. Each time we make our pot roasts they get a little better. We have done chuck roasts and cross rib roasts. Sunday's roast was a cross rib roast. I wanted to document the recipe (sized for a 5.5qt slow cooker).

Our Ingredients:
  • 1 30oz roast
  • 1/2 onion
  • 8 celery sticks
  • 8 red potatoes (could have been more, but it is all we had)
  • 1lb carrots
  • 3/4 cup water + 3/4tsp beef bullion
  • 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5-2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
Instructions:

We start by salting the roast and preparing the vegetables. Sprinkle kosher salt over all sides of the roast. Cut all the celery, potatoes and carrots and put them in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Start warming water and bullion mixture on medium heat. Once mixture is warm add worcestershire sauce and keep warm until you are done with the next step.

French cut the onion and start heating a 12 inch sauté pan over medium-high heat (Do not use non-stick for this as you will be deglasing later). Put oil in the pan as it heats. Once pan is hot add onions and cook until onions are soft, but stop before they start to caramelize.

Once the onions are done pull them out of the pan. Immediately give the pan another shot of oil and put the roast in the pan. Sear for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. You want a nice deep brown color on the roast. Once you are done searing the roast remove the pan from the heat. Remove the roast from the pan and place it on top of your vegetables in your slow cooker.

Remove any extra vegetable oil from your sauté pan. Deglase the pan by pouring the water/bullion mixture into the pan. The pan should still be hot enough to instantly boil some of the liquid. Use a whisk or spoon to break up any bits of meat residue stuck to the bottom of the pan. Leave on medium heat until you are ready to use it.

Put the onions on the roast. The french cut and sauté helps with this as the onions are less likely to fall off of the roast. If the onions fall off and into the vegetables and liquid they don't caramelize as well during the cooking process. Once the onions are on the roast pour the deglasing liquid from your sauté pan over the roast.

(At this point we sprinkle a Lipton onion soup dry mix over the roast. I am inclined to try a roast without it next time to see how it works.)

Cook on low for 6 hours.

Notes: This cooking method with the cross rib roast resulted in a piece of meat that was firm, but not chewy. The same method with a chuck roast results in pieces that tend to fall apart a little more. Adding too much cooking liquid is the quickest way to get overly soft vegetables. In the past I have also tried using a dry rub mix instead of just salt on the roast; It definitely adds some nice flavors.