Saturday, October 15, 2016

Crock Pot French Dip and Bonus meal: "French Onion" Soup

I have been utilizing my crock pot very frequently for the last 22 months. Mostly, I use it on Sundays so I don't have to think about dinner.  Whether we have 9 am church or 1 pm church I find that I just can't think about dinner on Sundays.

Crock Pot French Dip is one of our favorites.

I buy a 1-2 lb chuck roast.  There are only 5 of us and we are not heavy eaters.  This gives us enough meat for 6-7 sandwiches and plenty of leftovers.  No one at my house will eat leftovers though so I use the rest of the meat in the "French Onion" Soup

I put the roast in the crock pot remembering to remove the string that holds it together.  Then I add 1 cup of grape juice, 1 box of Pacific French Onion Soup, about a 1/4 cup of dried onions, salt and pepper.  Then I cook it on low for 8 hours or high for 4-ish.

(When I was making this for my sister in Georgia I couldn't find the Pacific brand soup so  I just bought a packet of onion soup and added the water that the packet calls for.  She said that it tasted great.)

When it is all done I add some Johnny's Au Jus sauce to the broth.  (When I was in Georgia I bought a packet of powdered Au Jus sauce and added it into the crock pot at the beginning.)

Then I pull out the meat without the juice.  Hopefully it has fallen apart by now but if not I shred the meat and put it on the table in a bowl.  Then everyone puts the amount of meat that they want on a hoagie or french roll and top with a slice of provolone and them puts their sandwich under the broiler for 1 minute or less until the cheese is melty and bubbly.  Then we serve it with a little ramekin of the broth in the crock pot.

Now I am left with a giant crock pot full of juice and a bunch of shredded beef.  I pour it all into a large bowl or 1/2 gallon mason jar and put it into the fridge.  Once the fat has cooled it forms a hard layer on top of the soup that I can just pull off and throw away.  Then I divide the soup up into individual portions and put them into the freezer for yummy soup lunches another day.

When serving the soup I heat a bowl of soup in an oven safe bowl, add croutons or crusty bread chunks with a slice of provolone on top and put it under the broiler until the cheeses is melty and bubbly.

Two Meals Crock Pot French Dip and Soup

1-2 lb Chuck Roast
1 cup concord grape juice
1 box Pacific French Onion soup (or onion soup packet if not available)
1/4 cup dried Onions
Au Jus Sauce

Hoagie or French Rolls (for French Dip)
Sliced provolone cheese (For French Dip and Soup)
Croutons or Crusty bread chunks (For soup)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Saturday Night Cinema

What is this?  A Post?  Yes.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has brought me out of retirement.  I must let the world know how I feel.  Also, I start mentoring a Classic Film class is couple of weeks and I thought that it might not be bad to post my movie thoughts again.  But this stuff is boring, back to the movie.

The Mister and I were sitting down to a long winter's night of television.  We currently have a show that we both like okay enough to watch together.  We love watching TV together but rarely can agree on a show being as I have taste and he...  So, when we find a show that we both like enough to watch it is date night every night.
I had command of the remote and as I was flipping through Netflix I saw Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  The Mr. likes Jack Ryan,because, Harrison Ford, and I like spies or anything spy adjacent, as you know.  Then I saw who was playing Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Chris Pine, otherwise known as Captain Kirk 90210.
  "Chris Pine," I say with interest, "I'm just gonna put that on my list." *boop*
The Mr. laughs.  He knows how I feel about Captain Kirk, both versions.

About a week or so later The Mr. says he would like to watch Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  We are watching and the movie starts out SLOW, really slow.  There is an attack on a helicopter that our hero Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is riding in, he saves people, he is nearly paralyzed, we don't care because this movie is so slow.
 Then he goes to rehab.
 His PT is none other than Keira Knightly.  You may remember how I feel about her, if you don't see this post. I am ticked.  Here I settle down for a nice spy movie and it is boring already and then Keira Knightly.  I am banging on about how much I can't stand her and I look down at my knitting and The Mr.  laughs.  He laughs hard.
 "Did you see who that was?"
I look up the camera cuts to Kevin Costner.  Are you kidding me?  You may remember how I feel about him, if you don't see this post (same post!)
At this point I really don't know which way things are going to go  I could really hate this movie or it might be OK, but, I have never heard of it so maybe it was bad and went straight to Netflix?  Should I cut my losses now?  I am really into knitting this blanket right now and I don't want to stop to change the show so we keep on.  

This is when we learn that Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is not only a war hero but also a super economics genius.  The CIA wants him to be a financial analyst for them. Undercover.

This is also where Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit asks his physical therapist out to dinner.  Predictable.  She says no, she says goodbye. Does she say goodbye forever? Alas, no, it's Keira Knightly, you know she is in this movie for the long haul.

Fast forward, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit now works for a big fancy bank as a super smart financial something but really he is just reading super hot financial something.  He also collects information for the CIA and gives it to them in manila folders.  This is ostensibly 2005-ish and he is giving them paper files.

Then Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit then goes home to his....girlfriend Keira Knightly, now a super smart doctor. Surprise!  They have an argument that is obviously the one that they keep having over and over,  he wants her to marry him and she thinks he is having an affair, yadda, yadda, yadda.  They are SO meant to be together!

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has to go to Russia to get more information and someone tries to kill him as soon as he arrives.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit then drowns this persons who is 3 times his size in the bathtub.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is no longer a Shadow Recruit  he is now active!

Finally, the movie starts.

Despite the inauspicious beginning I didn't mind this movie.
 Keira Knightly's clavicles were rarely on display (in this photo they even seem to be hiding them!) and Kevin Coster's line were short, blunt and monotone so he fit.  Fairly painless.

While I didn't buy Chris Pine as a super spy I did buy him as a Shadow Recruit, pretty tough but way out of his league and a little scared.

There were three things that I loved about this movie.  They are, in order: Kenneth Branagh, Russian Bad Guys, The Wall.

I was pretty scared when they showed the villan but were slow to reveal his face that it was actually going to be John Malkovich, mercifully it was Kenneth Branagh.

I don't know why but I really like Kenneth Branagh.  I loved Wallander but I was very aware the whole time that I was watching Wallander for Kenneth Branagh. Just as I dislike some actors and actresses I like Kenneth Branagh, and I always wonder why he and Emma Thompson couldn't work things out.  

Kenneth Branagh must agree with me because he was also the director and while there are some good screen shots with Chris Pine in them, all the good ones star Branagh,

and I'm OK with that.

The main part of this film happens in Russia and you know how I feel about Russian Bad Guys, they are second only to East German Bad Guys.

And this set.
 I love this wall.  I want to visit this wall.  I want to be besties with this wall.

Ultimately this movie was OK, not awful, huge plot holes, predictable but enjoyable enough.  Jack Ryan saves America and all is right with the world.   3.5 out of 7 thimbles.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

How Oft Have I Gathered You

Somehow,  quite some time ago, I started calling my children chickens.  I don't remember how it began but it came from the scriptures.  It is repeated 5 times in the Standard Works:  Matt. 23:37 D&C 10:65  D&C 29:2 D&C 43:24  3 Ne. 10:4–6
 Matthew 23:37 reads: " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

The image of a hen gathering her chickens under her wings resonated with me, I felt sometimes as a mother hen gathering up her chickens.  I loved that they were 'chickens' not 'chicks,' and as is the case with most pet names I started thinking of the kids as the "chickens" and myself as the hen and one day I started calling them chickens. Now when I come home I call out "Home Chickens!" or when I need the kids to come I cry "Chickens!" I will tell them that they are "silly chickens."

Before the Christmas sewing madness I had the idea to make an embroidery for the kitchen of a hen gathering her chickens I let it percolate for a while and I began in earnest after Margaret's baptism.  I made swift progress but halfway through I put it down and picked up the knitting needles to make a few necessaries.  I may have gotten back to the embroidery soon (the frame was sitting on the sewing table to remind me) or it could have become another member of the projects to finish someday box.
Embroidery as of Saturday afternoon

And then came General Conference, the 184th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I hope you had a chance to watch it.  If you didn't never, fear, you can watch it here.

 Saturday, right out of the gate Elder Holland came out swinging and he addressed all of my concerns and fears and struggles.  How I love having apostles of the Lord speak directly to my heart! Such comfort and solace and strengthening courage! Then he quoted the scripture about the hen that gathereth her chickens under her wings, my heart skipped a beat and the kids looked up and Eddy exclaimed "That's Mom's favorite scripture!"

Then the scripture was repeated again! The same reaction and I think it even happened a third time.  It doesn't matter because by that time I KNEW that I needed to finish my embroidery right away.  By the afternoon session I was hard at work and it was finished by Sunday night and framed but Monday at lunch. That is a fast turnaround for me.

 3 Nephi 10:4-6
"O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.

  And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.

 O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart."
Hen gathering her chickens Mother's Day 2007

I chose the 3 Nephi reading of the scripture for my embroidery because in this passage it feels to me less like the Lord chastening his people and more of a reminder and invitation to us to remember that the Lord is always waiting for us to run into his arms for shelter against the buffetings of the world, for protection, for sustenance. He loves us, he is waiting for us, he will continue to wait for us again and again.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Samurai Mom's Chicken Enchiladas

Because I keep forgetting how to make these:

 Samurai Mom's Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb-ish cooked and shreeded chicken breast
1 can green chiles
1/2 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese divided (1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cup)
6-8 oz  softened cream cheese
Salt  and Cayenne to taste
Chopped green onions (optional)
1 package flour tortillas
1 jar Salsa Verde

Mix shredded chicken, cream cheese, Cream of Chicken soup, chiles, sour cream. 1/2 cup shredded cheese, green onions, cayenne and salt

spread filling down the middle of the tortillas and roll, place in 9x13 baking dish seam side down.  Pour the salsa verde over the top of the enchiladas and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Bake for 25-30 min in a 375 degree oven.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

January Photo Challenge

My sisters and I have been having a great time doing Instagram photo challenges in November and December.  This month it was my turn to make one.  I also dabbled in digtal washi tape, fun!

Friday, July 05, 2013

Samurai Mom Sewing Round up.

I am entering to be a contestant on the Super Online Sewing Bee and this post is a round up of some of my work.  Not all of it and not necessarily the best but what I could find photos of.

My most recent Dress, " Apple Pie"

A true collaboration my friend suggested the rick-rack placement, another the pleats and my daughter the belt.  I made this up on a whim over the weekend for Independence Day. My own design.
This was a sheet I found at a garage sale for 50 cents.  The moment I saw it I KNEW that it was really a shirtwaist dress with coral trim that no one had made up yet.  This is one of my favorite dresses!  Comfy, casual cool yet elegant. I made this design up as a went along which is a shame because I may never be able to replicate it.
"Matching" Mother-Daughter Easter Dresses

Made out of the same fabrics, vintage pattern and reproduction pattern

with Matching hats!

From a modern pattern.
Clever fabric choice and detail

Loving this fun day dress with pockets.  A girl needs a place to keep her things.
Did I make a dress out of fabric with little men in sombreros and donkeys?  Yes, yes I did.

We call this one the "Potato Salad Dress" because it is the same color as potato salad.

Drafted my own pattern

I CAN sew bags too.
I love hand work, especially embroidery, this was my first attempt at smocking. I loved the dress but wish that I would have fitted the shoulder better.

My cowgirl shirt WAS an XL men's shirt.  I took every piece apart and cut them to my size.

and added lace everywhere I could get away with it!

I saw this dress
Made my own, and in my size for a couple hundred dollars less that it was selling for.

Taffeta flower girl dress, commercial pattern heavily altered.
With ribbon detail
before I knew how to take pictures without a flash!
Made a reading pillow and appliqu├ęd birds on it.
Doll clothes are HARD, such tiny everything!
Saw a picture in a magazine and made one for myself

Tinkerbell costume

I took these two dresses

And made one

Original design
Can I just say how much I love ridiculously large bows?

Reconstruction of a woman's blouse
Into a tiny baby dress

Fell in love with this fabric from Sew Mama Sew

And made some fun details on the blouse

Really Fun!

"Riding to the Hounds," I saw this fabric of a fox hunt and HAD to have it.  I made it into this killer sheath dress
and matching hat
Reversible apron
My own design and pattern
I love embroidery!

Little Red Riding hood
My own patterns and designs skirt, peasant top, dirndl  apron and hood.