Thursday, April 26, 2007

bring your good times, and your laughter, too

To celebrate Somebody’s graduation, we hosted a small gathering for his friends. The gorgeous early spring weather held long enough for us to enjoy dinner in the back yard. Thank goodness.

Our practice recipes paid off, our friends seemed to enjoy themselves, no one ate nearly enough food, and good times were had by all.

Yield: 8 Servings

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup half and half
Melted butter to brush shortcakes
Ice cream or whipped cream

Heat oven 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter and shortening. Mix in half-and-half. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown. Cool and eat with berries, ice cream and/or whipped cream.

Sweet and Tangy Loose Beef BBQ
Yield: 28 servings

7 pounds beef chuck roast
1 can beef broth
1 sliced onion
3 tablespoons white vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1- 455 ml (about 15 ounces) jar chili sauce
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced

Place the roast into a slow cooker along with the beef broth and sliced onion. Cover, and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or until beef can be easily shredded with a fork.

Shred the beef, removing fat as you go. Remove 1/2 cup of the broth from the slow cooker, and reserve for later. Combine all remaining ingredients in sauce pat and heat through to combine flavors. Stir into meat so that the meat is well coated.

Cover, and continue to cook beef in slow cooker on LOW for an additional 4 to 6 hours. Add the reserved broth only if necessary to maintain moisture. Serve on toasted French bread.

We cooked the meat and made the sauce the day before, combined them and stored them in the refrigerator overnight, and then just placed them in slow cooker on the day we were planning to serve. The meat can also be reheated in a pan on the stovetop in about 10 minutes if you don’t have time for it to reheat in the slow cooker. Meat reheated in the slow cooker will be slightly more saucy.

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