Saturday, February 12, 2011

Barbacoa Beef Day!

I am officially giving my Menu for Week One a 'dry run' to ensure that somehow I haven't left an ingredient off the grocery list, and to make sure I can truly recommend that you give the recipes a try.  I did put some new-to-me recipes on the list, as well as some tried and true ones...but rest assured, I don't try new recipes unless they have some pretty impressive reviews - after all, what's the point of trying an 'unknown' if there are so many highly rated recipes out there that I haven't tried.  I love how doing this has added so much variety to our meals at our house.  Let me catch you up on a couple of things first...

I owe you a couple of photos from the past couple of days.  Remember I told you that I am clearing out the fridge to make room for new groceries for this week's menu.  I had the Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad from McDonald's on Wednesday, but forgot to take a photo for I repeated that lunch on Thursday, and this time I grabbed a photo of it...11 points plus of yummy goodness, although you can't really see the corn and black its not as colorful as it usually is. Very satisfying salad, for sure - full of flavor.
And then on Friday, I was still trying to empty my fridge, so I grabbed the salsa, guacamole and chips...and this was my lunch for Friday:
14 Tostito Baked Scoops for 3pp; salsa for 0pp, 2Tbsp guacamole for 3pp, all of these grapes for 0pp, and 2 wedges of Weight Watchers Garden Herb cheese for 1pp of 8pp for a filling and fun lunch.  I like having finger foods sometimes for lunch, don't you?  There was sufficient fiber in the veggies, fruit and chips; my veggies and fruit requirements met, the two cheeses added my I was in great shape!

SO, back to my story about the menu - I did my shopping off my grocery list last night.  Between the fact that some ingredients are 'new to me' AND the fact that our local grocery stores have chosen to change things up and move things around, it was a little bit of a challenge to find a couple of items, but with help, I managed to get everything at one store!  Also, yesterday I purchased our 3rd crock pot...yup, I'm the new queen of slow cookers!  I have a large 6Qt one that was great before two of our sons grew up and got married.  Its too big for the three of us remaining, but I still use it for entertaining and to take food to a party.  I have a small one that probably holds 1Qt - great for overnight oatmeal or for keeping gravy hot or serving a hot cheese dip.  It just doesn't cut it for dinners, though.  Yesterday, by chance, I spotted a 3Qt Rival crock pot on sale -stainless and black like my big one - and after all the discounts, I paid less than $ it made my decision what to cook first very easy.  Barbacoa Beef!  How simple!  Just cut your roast into 4 or 5 large pieces, season them with salt and pepper, brown them in oil and into the slow cooker they go.  Almost everything else goes into the mini-chopper and poured over the meat...turn on the cooker and forget it for a few hours.  When the meat is done, you shred it with two forks so it looks like the photo below...then add some of the juice back into the meat to keep it moist.  I ran out to help a friend for a couple of hours while it was cooking, and when I got home, the house smelled incredible.  I couldn't wait for dinner...and since I cooked it on really was ready in time for lunch.  I quickly made the Cilantro Lime Rice to go with it, which turned out great - and voila!  Lunch was served:
Words cannot describe how great this was.  Although my camera didn't pick up on the flecks of green cilantro in the rice, believe me, its in there!  I had 4oz of beef for 4pp (spicy!), 3/4 cup rice for 5pp (wonderful flavor), and 2pp for the corn...11pp total for a great lunch.  BUT, here is the best part: after the three of us ate, there was so much beef leftover ~ we have leftovers for lunch another day!  We'll buy some fresh rolls, put the beef inside, make some coleslaw to put on top of that for one awesome, filling lunch...can't wait to show you the pictures!  For those of you who are making this week's menu - let me know what you think of the Barbacoa Beef - it's definitely a 'keeper recipe' for my family. Ditto for the Cilantro Lime Rice!

For those of you who knew how difficult it was for me to make a decision whether to buy a food processor - buy a big one, a small one or none at all - well, thanks for all your input!  I absolutely love my mini-processor...its one powerful work horse in my kitchen!

What is your favorite kitchen appliance?  Microwave, dishwasher, coffee maker...I'm curious!

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