Monday, October 17, 2011

Cooking with Coca-Cola

Trader Joe's had tri-tip on special this week, so I decided to give it a try.  I thought that tri-tip in the slow cooker might be the way to go but had no idea how to cook it.  Here's my made-up recipe that ended up being fabulous!

Take a 2.5 lb. tri-tip roast and rub it with some meat rub seasoning.  I found this all natural rub in our local grocery store and it ended up being really tasty.  Be careful not to rub too much on the meat, as the seasoning can overpower everything.  Put the meat fat-side-up in the crock pot and add 12 oz. of chilled Coca-Cola Classic.  Pour most of the Coke around the meat, but do pour a little over the top.  Cook on low for 8 hours.
After the 8 hours is up, remove the meat from the slow cooker.  It should look something like this and fall apart really easily.  :9 
To make the BBQ sauce, remove drippings from the slow cooker and put into a fat separator.  Let the fat rise to the top.  While that process is going on, pour 6-8 oz. of chilled Coca-Cola Classic into a sauce pan.  Add 4-5 good squirts of ketchup (I used Simply Heinz).  Add 1/4 tsp. of ground mustard.  Then pour in 1/4 cup of the drippings.  I also added a few shakes of cracked black pepper to balance the sweetness of the sauce.  (We love pepper around here.)  Bring the mixture to a boil and boil uncovered for 8 minutes or until the mixture thickens into a sauce.
When you're done, the sauce should look something like this. (Please excuse the skillet with leftover egg bits from breakfast.  What?  I have a small child and dishes don't always get done.)  ;)  Shred the meat and place meat onto a bun.  Add sauce to your heart's content.
For a side dish, I made tiny potatoes.  Preheat oven to 375.  Take 1 lb. of tiny potatoes (from Trader Joe's - fingerling potatoes would work, too), place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. of ground pepper on the potatoes.  Toss well to coat.  (I added a little smoked paprika to the potatoes.)  Bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
And, of course, to continue the Coca-Cola theme, pour yourself a nice glass of Coke to go with your awesome BBQ sandwich and potatoes! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

11 months!

Oh my goodness.  One more month and Vivian will be the big O-N-E!  I'd like to report that taking the monthly photos has gotten easier, that she sits well and does not wiggle, and is generally cooperative so that mommy can get a million cute pics one nice picture.  Alas, that is not the case.  I'm going to throw in a few pics we took earlier in the week so you can see how much she's changed.  She really is turning into a big girl!  She can walk behind her hippo, say "dada," "daddy," "doggie," "key (Qui)," "da (Dack)," "Hiiiiiii," and "HEY" like a champ.  I'm still waiting for "mama."  It's clear who is most loved in our house - Daddy and the doggies.  (No hard feelings there, Missy.)  She loves her little elf with a rattle in his hat, as well as her stuffed dogs.  And she gets the biggest smiles when we see doggies at the Farmer's Market.  She loooooves getting kisses, whether on her face or hands.  She is now giving us kisses and hugs, which is awesome.  (Except when she bites Daniel in the midst of a kiss.  Oops.)  We also play constant games of "Where's Vivian?" or "Where's Mama?"  And we have a little dancing queen on our hands - she loves to groove to her LeapFrog table, phone ringtones or whatever is playing on the radio.  She's changed so much in eleven months!  I can't wait to see what the future holds for our Miss Missy.
All dressed up for Emerson's birthday party
 Hair bow from Grammy
 Cheeks for weeks
 Playing with my frog, pre-party
 I love to crawl with my elf in my mouth (and try to touch mommy's camera lens)
 Checking out her toy bin with the elf in her mouth
 Mmmmm...elf hats taste like m&m's...
 You can see some of the teeth she cut in the past few weeks
 1-1?  What does that mean?
 Smiling at dada, as usual.  ;)
 Still chewing on the elf
 Hi Mama!  I love putting my little fingers all over your lens!
 Falling over laughing.  And waving "hi."
 Granddad says I'm #1.  I agree heartily!
 I see you!
 Love her smiles
 Lots of giggles when Dada is around
 Oh, hey mama!  I just noticed you there!  :)


So, we had about a month of actual pool weather here.  Not that I am complaining.  No siree.  But we had to introduce Vivian to the baby pool pretty quickly.  I decided to dump somewhat warm water from the faucet into the fun, inflatable whale pool from Aunt Jenni (note to self:  use a hose and wait for the dang water to warm up), wait a bit, and then see if Vivian liked the wading pool as much as the big pool.  As you can see from the evidence below, I think we'll be sticking with the floaty and the big pool...

 She looks pretty happy at the start...
 Actually, guys, I don't think I like this
 OK.  It's not as warm as my bath water.  I REALLY don't like this.
 No Grammy!  I don't want to go in there!
 Made it out.  Now where can I go to escape?
 If I go out the back of the pool, maybe they can't catch me.
 Funny escape artist
 Mad balancing skills (and awesome face) so she doesn't have to go back in
 Mom, I am not happy you made me go in that thing.
 All that escaping is tiring!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

10 months!

We've had another attack of the teething monster in our house, along with a MOPS retreat and a Grammy departure (temporarily), so that is why I have been slacking.  Oh, and the fact that if I don't watch my child like a HAWK, she will be climbing the stairs, opening the fireplace doors and trying to smash her fingers or play in the ashes, trying to scale the gate keeping her and the dogs separated (Qui does not like this mobile baby-thing), toppling our floor lamps, sticking fingers into the Wii, trying to open doors by reaching for doorknobs and generally getting into anything she can.  Is it a wonder I'm exhausted by the end of the day?  But she's still a good baby.  And her awesome baby laughs and smiles make my heart melt.  I do have to mention that recent accomplishments include saying "ight" and pointing at the light on the ceiling fan and figuring out how to feed Cheerios to the dogs (you would think Qui would want to be her BFF for that alone!).  Here's our big girl this month:
The best 10-month b-day present EVER.  A big container of Cheerios!
 Self-p (hence the "not quite on my game" face) - she'll understand the self-p someday.
 See?  Floor lamps don't stand a chance around here.
 Still puzzled by the sticker on the blanket.  What IS that?!
 Dada doing the Mr. Miyagi move to make her laugh.
 Dada is clearly hilarious.
 She is a little daredevil.  Seriously?  One hand holding on while on a chair?
 Smiling at Dada again.
 She is a happy baby.
 About to jump off the chair into Dada's arms!
 The point.  It's so cute it kills me.
 Happiest baby on the block.  I will have to capture her laugh on video.

Friday, July 15, 2011

She stands!

It's been an exciting week in our house.  Little Miss Busy has decided she's going to pull up on EVERYTHING.  And the child has no fear.  We went to my Grandma's house and Vivian decided to pull up on one of her barstools.  Then she decided to rock it a little and hold on tight as it toppled sideways.  I freaked out and thought she would be screaming crying.  Nope!  She had the biggest smile on her face as if to say, "That was fun!  Let's do it again!"  She has, obviously, taken some spills as she's learning to get up and down and has a tiny bruise on her right cheek from one of the falls.  It doesn't phase her in the least, though.  I managed to capture a few in-the-process-of-standing moments for the blog.

I like to pull up on my Leapfrog table, even though it's toppled once with me on it.  Oops!
 Taking a standing break to chew on the raspberry paci.  Did I mention she's getting 4 teeth right now?
 One leg up
 The other leg up
 And she's up!
 Ooh!  I think I'll pull up on the coffee table!
 OK, it's a little taller than my Leapfrog table... (and messier - sorry!)
 I'll still go for it.
 Wait a minute!  I see the boogie sucker!  I'm staying down on the floor.