Slow Cooked Chuck Roast

First day of school was on Monday. I had to stay there from 7:20am-8:00pm. Yeah, I wasn’t the most happy person by the end of the day. Imagine my smile starting really big in the morning and slowly becoming a frown by the time the sun went down.

Actually having sun and not 60 MPH winds really cheered me up. My friend and I ate lunch on the grass in between classes and I think I even got a little color. 😉 A lot of the blogs I read complain about the heat but I will take all I can get here in this windy city. Send it over to the SF Bay, baby.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last last long because I woke up and my car was misty from the fog. I figured the only way to make the day better was to come home to a nice chuck roast waiting for me at home!

Slow Cooked Chuck Roast

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Cook Time: 6 Hours

Serves: 8

IMG_6255.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 3 Lbs Chuck Roast/Stew Meat (I used a combo of both)
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 1 Habanero
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • 1 Tbs Pepper
  • 1 Tbs Oregano
  • 1 Tbs Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 Cup Water/Stock

IMG_6260.jpg

1. Start by cutting your meat into 2×2″ thick pieces and rub the salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder, thyme and cumin evenly throughout the pieces. Set aside while you prep your veggies.

IMG_6262.jpg

2. Cut (and deseed) the jalapeño and habanero long ways. The Roma tomatoes should also be cut long ways and then in half. Dice the onion and chop the garlic roughly.

Helpful hint: Do not rub your nose after slicing the habanero. Ouch!

IMG_6263.jpg

3. Lay the onion, tomato, habanero and jalapeño down first and then the garlic on top.

IMG_6264.jpg

4. Add the beef on top and place a bay leaf on top. Squeeze half a lime on top of the meat. Pour 1/4 cup of water or broth of your choice and let it cook for 6 hours on high.

I used the cooked roast the next day on top of egg noodles. It was perfect on this cold and foggy day.

IMG_6268.jpg

Somehow all three pounds of meat were consumed by the next day! Sneaky roommates…

IMG_6271.jpg

Something fun I did this week was going to Nightlife at the Academy of Sciences. Yeah, I know I visited the Academy only a few months ago, but this time was different because there. were. no. kids!! Nightlife is open on Thursday nights to adults 21+ years and older, meaning I get to walk around and stand in line as long as I want! 🙂

IMG_6031.jpg

Isn’t this full sized cast skeleton of the T. Rex awesome? Such a great piece to see right when you walk in!

IMG_6032.jpg

The Academy also had an art event going on, where local artists set up their area and painted in front of the guests. I really liked the guy and his work on the right. His portraits really drew my attention and I picked up his business card just incase I needed it in the future. 🙂

IMG_6034.jpg

IMG_6035.jpg

Live penguins! The last time I went with the kids, they had a feeding going on and the penguins were going crazy! This time they were a bit more timid because it was closer to their bedtime.

IMG_6041.jpg

Does your museum have a pendulum? I remember watching this when I was around 5-6 and I was the ONLY one that saw it knock the stick over. Everyone said they didn’t see it but I know I did. Kind of like that episode of The Office when they wanted to screensaver cube to hit the corner.

IMG_6050.jpg

Aren’t these bad ass? I would love one in my house! I just wouldn’t want Mr. T judging me with those crazy eyes every time I walked down the hall.

IMG_6055.jpg

I also got to experience the earthquake event, which always had a long line before. The Academy replicated the 1906 and 1989 earthquake inside a moving stage. It was a cool experience but I was sad after because they said we were due for another one soon and I just couldn’t imagine the city in chaos.

IMG_6060.jpg

One of the coolest couples you will ever meet!

IMG_6070.jpg

Hi.

IMG_6064.jpg

The aquarium had a live DJ and it felt like a club down there. The dancing jellyfish thought so too!

IMG_6079.jpg

I know I’m having a long day week when I come home, open my front door and think the black bag in the corner of the entrance is a small child looking at me. I jumped back and almost slammed the door shut. Then I just felt bad for myself and went upstairs to eat hummus. Woe is me.

Students, how’s your first week of school going? Everyone else, what’s the dumbest reaction you had when you were tired?

Herb Chicken Crockpot

I’m watching the kids for ~10 hours a day this whole week because they’re off until summer school starts next week. To fill in holes between play dates and exploring activities, we spend our time:

Eating at Toma.

IMG_4203.jpg

Cheese quesadillas and Horchata for the kids, Chile Colorado burrito for me.

Picking out cupcakes at Susiecakes

IMG_4206.jpg

My kid’s family and their good friends invited another nanny friend and I to accompany them for dinner. We ate at a nice Pakistani restaurant, Aslam’s Rasoi, on Valencia St. Asif, the son of the owner, was so great with the kids. He brought them to the back to help make Naan (proper noun?)

IMG_4212.jpg

It was actually really cool to see the process of making the bread! They stick them to the sides of the clay ovens.

IMG_4214.jpg

The finished product, courtesy of a four and five year old.

IMG_4216.jpg

The food was amazing. The moms ordered everything for us, family style. I was preoccupied with the kids, so I only managed to take a picture of the tandoori chicken

IMG_4218.jpg

and my plate, which consisted of Saag Paneer (spinach and farmer’s cheese) and Chana Masala (garbanzo beans). My plate might look a little empty, but rest assured, I had seconds and thirds. 🙂

IMG_4219.jpg

Since I’m away from the house for such long periods of time, I knew that I was going to have to bring out the old crockpot to help me make dinner. With that, I’ll leave you with this week’s recipe. Easy, flavorful and most importantly, on my side with time.

Herb Chicken Crockpot

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 6 Hours

Serves: 2-3 (five drumsticks)

IMG_4222.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 5 Chicken Drumsticks
  • Bag of Tri-Colored Potatoes, whole
  • 10 Crimini Mushrooms, whole
  • 4 Carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced thick
  • Seasoning of choice (herbs de provence, oregano, thyme, parsley, cumin)
  • 1/3 Cup White Wine
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Big ziploc bag

1. Pour olive oil in a ziplock bag and a heaping of all the herbs you would like (I used herbs de provence, oregano, thyme, parsley, cumin) with the chicken drumsticks inside. Zip the bag and mix until all the chicken are evenly distributed with herbs. (Forgot to take a picture).

IMG_4223.jpg

2. Wash the potatoes and mushrooms, chop the carrots to around 1 inch and slice the onions roughly. Layer the crockpot with potatoes first, then carrots, mushrooms and onion. The ingredients are pre-vacuum sealed. If you are thinking why to vacuum seal then read these vacuum sealing tips.

IMG_4226.jpg

3. Transfer the chicken into a cooking pan and cook only until all sides are browned for 3-4 minutes. Salt and pepper generously.

IMG_4230.jpg

4. Put the browned chicken on top of the bed of vegetables in the crockpot. Place sliced garlic on top. Pour 1/3 cup of white wine, or water. Put the crockpot on low for six hours.

IMG_4233.jpg

5. Discuss philosophy with a stranger, run errands or go window-shopping. Come back, and enjoy your herb crusted chicken! Serve on a bed of sautéed spinach and garlic if you’re feeling fancy.

***Please remember that the crockpot works off steam, so it really dilute any flavor that’s in there. Kick up the herbs, salt and pepper for a really delicious taste. If things are coming a little bland at the end, a little salt and pepper or extra herbs really help out (especially with the vegetables).

What’s your favorite crock-pot recipe (please link)? Moms, what creative activities do your kids enjoy doing?