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Pressure Cooker Italian Beef

It’s just like crockpot Italian beef, only faster.  I’m liking my Instapot cooker more and more.  It’s the only way I make stock these days – just pile in the bones and odds and ends of celery and carrots and what-not with water and give it an hour on the timer and you’re golden.

Anyway back to the beef – sear a good chunk of that on sale chuck or what have you, cover it with some of your stock, add a couple of coarsely chopped onions, a handful of garlic, Italian seasonings (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley), and a jar of pickled pepperoncini.  The peppers are not as important as the juice.  You can add some red pepper flake to spice it up.  I set the timer for 75 minutes – it was easily shreddable when done,I baked some rolls to go with the beef.  I’ve been using the reliable KA bun recipe for several years now.  My hamburger buns usually turn out better looking than these hoagie type rolls but I’m working on that.Bonus Bea pic!



20160904_122601(1600x1200)We had enough chicken and sauce left over from those sour cream enchiladas for another go.  The side dish is a black bean and corn salad with onions, peppers, and diced celery in a cumin vinaigrette.IMG_20160830_122526604(1600x1200)Here’s that chihuahua mix before she got after the chicken in that bag before her.  Cute as a button!20160901_164720(1600x1200)Roast/BBQ chicken quarter with rosemary garlic potato wedges and an ear of grilled corn.  The local Kroger has been offering seasoned leg quarters off and on for a while now and pricing them decently.  I generally buy some to cook right away and extra to freeze for later.DSC03743 (1600x1200)This is Spots, we’ve put up her picture here before – she’s about 2 years old and is a sweetheart.  Mrs J reminds me that St Francis has lowered their adoption fees during “Happy Cat Month” to $25 and that includes vaccinations, chipping, and spaying/neutering.  They also test for FeLV/FIV.20160905_080654(1600x1200)That new toaster oven has slo-cook settings that work pretty much like on a dedicated crock-pot style cooker.  I have it set on low, it is showing the default time setting of 6 hours.  I had a brisket in the smoker overnight and I’m finishing it here.  It’s wrapped in foil inside the pan.IMG_20160814_132009849(1600x1200)Moar Gabe!  Here he is, studiously ignoring Bea Kitteh.  We’ve since ripped out everything in the garden except for the figs.  Still waiting for them to ripen.IMG_20160827_125640142(1600x1200) Here’s Bea again, luxuriating in catnip that Mrs J was cleaning up in the front from under the little dogwood tree.20160901_121953(1600x1200)I’ll wind this up with this sammich.  It has deli sliced ham, roast chicken, and cheddar under all that salad.  That green salad in the back is one of Kroger’s frequent forays into artisinal salads, this one is predominately kale and was pretty bad.  Baby spinach maybe would work but the kale really needed cooking.


DSC_9577 [1600x1060]Mmm… posole with a few garnishes with quesadillas.  The dish is similar in spirit to the classic tomato soup/grilled cheese combo.  I made a huge batch of posole a few months ago and pressure canned several quarts of it to put back for quick dinners.  I think there are six quarts left.  The quesadillas are beef, cheese, and bean.DSC01284 [1600x1060]Mrs J spotted Miss Bea  down in the yard trying to decide if the deer was a threat.  She decided the answer was no and proceeded to ignore it.  She treats me the exact same way.DSC_9564 [1600x1060]We had chili one day this week,  I used some ground beef and threw in some chorizo meatloaf that didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped and had frozen.  Worked better as chili than as a meatloaf.DSC_9567 (1600x1060)There was enough chili left over to make a few chili dogs.  These are garnished with chopped pickled jalapeno, fresh onions, and shredded cheese.  The dogs are actually smoked sausages that claim to incorporate Vidalia onions in the recipe.  I didn’t notice any particular onion-y taste but the natural casings did have a nice snap to them.DSC01348 [1600x1060]This little pup took a few seconds off from the towel fight to pose for a picture.  All the new arrivals get a flea bath whether they like it or not.DSC_9556 (1600x1060)Hard to beat a nice steak.  I boiled the potatoes first and then squashed them a bit before frying them in duck fat and olive oil.  Tasty little things with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper!  The veggies were stir fried in a little stock with a dab of soy, and a spoon of chili garlic paste.DSC01310 [1600x1060]One more puppeh!  I think he likes her!DSC_9560 (1600x1060)I’ll wind this up with an enchilada platter.  These are beef, bean, and cheese rolled in corn tortillas and are baked with a roasted red pepper sauce.  The corn salad with black beans was pretty good, it has chopped celery, onions, red and green peppers, garlic, and is dressed with a seasoned rice vinegar/garlic oil vinaigrette.

Cat on a Hot Pepper Bush

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Catnip Patch

Mrs J took this vid of Bea wallowing in the catnip coming up in last year’s bed.  Seems to be acceptable.

Burritos, Tacos, Kitty

DSC_6419 [1600x1200]I grilled several ears of corn and decided to try the elote recipe “off the cob”.  The mayo, crema, and cotija are all there along with lime juice and just a taste of Cholula hot sauce.  I mixed in halved cherry tomatoes and chopped peppers.  The burritos are made with flour tortillas, thin sliced flat iron steak, shredded cabbage, Monterey jack cheese, and chopped Anaheim peppers.  DSC_6407 [1600x1200]These tacos are pork, cheddar cheese, and cabbage with my first ripe jalapeno of the season.  The veggies are made into a slaw with crema and lime juice.  Everything is in corn tortillas.20130711_074619 [1600x1200]Here’s Kitty!  My camera phone makes a fair “stealth camera”, I took this by poking it around the chair back and watching the big display to center it and to check the auto focus was working before I told it to capture the shot.  Bea doesn’t like being in the center of my attention when I’m looking at her through the view finder of my DSLRs.  I actually had to call her name to get her to look up for this one.

Dreary Morning

DSC_3425 [1600x1200]The kittehs shot out the door early, before it was properly light.  They were eager to return to the warmth and light and ran back inside as soon as I opened the door.DSC_3421 [1600x1200]

Kittehs want back in. Naow, please.

DSC_3369 [1600x1200]It didn’t take the kitty krew long to look at the ice all over everything this morning.  Seems to be melting today and getting slushy.  Much improved over the “slicker than snot” conditions yesterday evening.

Pea Soup


No recipes today.  I do have a kitty:Miss Bea sends her regards.


Here are some hummers early one morning last week.  The light from the sun just rising over the eastern horizon tinges the water and the wings with a golden hue.  Here’s another one for TaMara’s mom:We had some decent rain last evening from the remnants of Isaac.  The gauge is showing an inch and a quarter this morning.  We are hoping to get some more today as the center of circulation moves off to the northeast and the outer bands of rain on the back side move closer.Bea enjoys lazing about atop the patio benches.  So long as she confines herself to the bench and stays out of the containers all will be well in the garden.Toby is always more comfortable close to cover.  He is paranoid and suspicious of anything new, and he’s keeping a close eye on me lest I suddenly run over there and try to rub his belly.I spotted this hummer last week and scrambled to get a pic before he flitted away.  This was shot through the window glass with the telephoto lens I had on the D90.  Some of the birds are molting and this is one of them, albeit the most extreme example I’ve seen this year.  It looks like a camouflage suit.