Thursday, August 12, 2010

Carol's Slow Cooker BBQ

Now I'm no Rachael Ray, but I definitely wouldn't call myself a "slow cooker," so let's assume that Carol here is referring to a crock pot in the title of her recipe for delicious barbecue. I got this recipe from SparkPeople, a website for helping people reach nutrition and fitness goals. So far, it's given me the structure and guidance that I needed to lose 6.5 pounds. I was looking for a recipe that had molasses in it (it's got lots of vitamins, People!) and found this and a recipe for low-carb homemade barbecue sauce. Both are relatively healthy but full of flavor. [If you'd like a more heart-hateful recipe that is sure to please, check out my Barbecued Beef for a Crowd.]

I'll warn you ahead of time that this is not a difficult recipe, though it will taste like you worked on it for hours (which, of course, you will, if you are the crock pot.) If you want to milk this for all it's worth, splash some water on your face, mess your hair up a bit, and smear a little sauce on your shirt. Then grab your favorite book and spend some time reading in the kitchen, but keep a cookbook handy, in case you have quickly switch. (Make sure it's right-side up, of course.)


4lb boneless beef chuck, arm, rump or pot roast (yes, I know I forgot to photograph it. More on that later)
2 large onions, sliced into thin strips
4 stalks celery, sliced
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1.5 cup catsup (or ketchup, if you're a stickler!)
1 cup BBQ sauce (I made this!)
1/4 cup Grandma's Molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or your choice of other kind
2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard your choice of type
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Confession Interjection: As you may have guessed, I was about out of molasses 
and turned it upside down to try and get every drop out.  
I ended up having to go borrow some from my sweet neighbor, Wendy.  
Also, because the barbecue sauce recipe reviews stated that it had a lot of kick,
I only used a sprinkle of the black pepper and chili powder this recipe calls for.

Anywho, all you have to do is whisk the sauce ingredients together til they are a nice, caramelly color... 

I followed this recipe backwards, mixing all of the "gravy" ingredients first, 
because I put off touching the meat until as late as possible; 
Mr.4444 usually cleans/cuts the meat for me, and he wasn't home. 
I don't know what it is about me and touching raw meat, but I find it quite disgusting.

I'm very proud of myself for preparing the meat all by myself; I didn't even gross out once!
(But don't tell Mr.4444, because I think he likes being my meat-prep hero :)

Put the veggies and meat into the crockpot..
The recipe said to put the meat in first, but you know what a rebel I am; 
I put it in second and mixed the stuff up a little.

Pour the sauce all over this culinary promise...
and fire up the crockpot on Low. Leave it alone for 8-10 hours.
Remove the meat from the sauce, and remove any fat you see.

Fork the meat apart, and return it to the sauce.
Refrigerate overnight or serve right away on your favorite rolls,
with some yummy potato salad and veggies, of course! :)

Per Carol: 
This recipe has so much flavor, no one will notice the Worcestershire sauce and the salt were deleted to reduce sodium (Shh! Don't tell Carol there's Worcestershire sauce in the barbecue sauce I made! It'll be our little secret!) Using molasses, instead of brown sugar and Worcestershire, gives a depth of flavor and authenticity, while reducing sugar and sodium.  (Don't worry--Mine didn't take fake at all.)
It is great to take to picnics, buffets, or tailgating. Freezes well. 

P.S. The potato salad was AWESOME and made with the following: red potatoes, pickled green beans, celery, hardboiled egg white, Miracle Whip, and mustard.  And BTW, that is a salad plate and a dinner roll, so don't go thinking I've been eating like a horse. This is just one of many healthy, reasonably-sized meals I've been eating since I turned over a new leaf (and lost six pounds!!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Low-Carb BBQ Sauce

 I've been making healthier decisions lately, when it comes to eating and exercising, and I've found that using SparkPeople helps. I found this recipe there this week and decided to try it. It was great!


1 c tomato sauce
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T cider vinegar
6 packets Splenda
1 T chili powder
2 t Tabasco sauce
2 t garlic powder
1 t pepper
1 t liquid smoke

I happened to have some Splenda packets on hand, but I don't always, so I measured them out for you and found that 6 packets is about a teaspoon and a half.
I only used 1.5 tsps of Tabasco, since one of the reviewers said the recipe was not for the faint of tongue.

Simply mix the ingredients and "cook" them 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning the heat down when it starts to boil.

I made this sauce for Carol's Slow-Cooker Barbecued Beef, and it was wonderful.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Personalized Omelets for a Crowd

Saturday morning, at our family reunion, I'll be helping facilitate the making of breakfast, which is really fun!  I highly recommend it! (stay tuned for pics!)

Eggs (2-3 per person)
Various diced ingredients: onions, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, pre-cooked sausage, ham, turkey, shredded cheese, etc.
1 quart-sized Ziploc bag per person (must be quart)
permanent markers
large container of ice water
large pot(s) of boiling water
salsa (if you like)

This is a fun and easy breakfast that gets everyone involved. Great for company or even for camping! Here's where the fun starts: Give each person a bag and a marker and have them personalize their bags with their names (some will be more creative than others, which is half the fun.) In pairs, help each other crack 2-3 eggs into your bags, and "squish" them to mix up the eggs. Then add whatever ingredients you like, plus a teaspoon of water (unless you added tomatoes, which add enough moisture). Submerge each bag (just to the zipper) in the ice water, to force the air out, closing the top carefully. When everyone is ready, place the bags together in boiling water 10-12 minutes for 2-egg omelets, adding a couple of extra minutes for a 3rd egg. One time that we made these, we did not have the right bags, so we used gallon-sized bags; YIKES! They were so big, they flopped over the edges of the pan and melted to the sides. While it all worked out, we learned our lesson. Use the quart-sized bags, which are smaller than the gallon size and more durable than the sandwich size. Most importantly, have fun! Serve with salsa on the side, if desired.