This summer had been very warm and dry for this part of Oregon. I am used to having some rain smattered through the summer months with some “nice” weather. I have not really minded the heat but did find that I did a lot less active cooking. We had a LOT of fast grilled meat with vegetable sticks and the like. This week marked the start of fall and it was like a light switch had been flipped by Mother Nature. The leaves on the tree in my front yard instantly went from crisp green to subtle fall colors as if Nature had changed her gown. and the rain came in a loud heavy deluge kind of way (not nearly as bad as many areas of the Country but still…).
Last night seems to have been one of the kick off yummy hunker in suppers. My 19 year old daughter was on shift to make the meal for the family and she did an outstanding job. We had a beef roast that had a mild kick and smoky undertones, bakes spuds (we do alright with potatoes although I try to limit my own consumption as they raise my sugar levels if I have not done a good hard workout), and then a crazy good salad on the side.
Smoky Chipotle Beef Roast
1 Beef Roast (2# to 5#)
2 onions – diced
Garlic to taste – minced
1 TBSP fat of choice (we used bacon)
1 Can fire roasted tomatoes
1) Rub as much of the chipotle powder as you want on the roast. 2) Melt fat in Dutch oven over medium heat then cook onions till translucent. 3) Add meat and brown on both sides. 4) Add remainder of ingredients and bring to a boil. 5) Cover the pot and turn head down to a simmer. 6) Cook covered for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
The week has been challenging and I had found myself thinking it was a “grrrr” kind of week. I realized that although there was a lot of yuck I had a choice to make. I could let life kick me and have negative emotions with that or I could create my own happiness and smile my way through. I thought about the things that I love about this time of year and decided I would take this coming weekend to really reacquaint myself with my kitchen as well as put some food in the freezers to make my October mornings flow a little easier. I have a household of 6 as well as run an in-home child daycare that start arriving as early as 4:30 am and continue to arrive till as late as 8:30 am. My husband leaves for work normally at 5:30 am and my children are out the door for high school and college classes by 8:30am, so that is a lot of coming and going at the start of the day. I like having my family well fed and armed with healthy nutrition through the day. I am looking at recipes through Friday and doing my planning to make shopping and cooking run smoothly. The biggest thing that I have done to get ready for all the fun and festivities is clean my oven.
Like many people, I detest the need to clean my oven, let alone the actual work of doing so. My oven had gotten so bad that we noticed this last week a mild amount of smoky burn-off when the oven has been in use. Not enough to trigger the smoke alarm that is right there but enough to get our attention. We do not have one of the nicer ovens that allows you to just put it on the “clean” setting and walk away for how ever long while it cooks everything off in a nice convenient way, so last night I broke out the can of oven cleaner spray and let it foam till I got up this morning. I kicked myself out of bed before the first little one arrived on my doorstep and scrubbed and wiped till the first layers were nice but it was not enough. I ended up spraying another coat on and let it sit for the fast 2 hour clean. That helped a LOT but it really is not PERFECT. I have decided I am done cleaning that darn thing for now as I am about to make it really bad again and I will take a long weekend to make it just right. It really is food enough for my needs at this time and it is back to being safe.
Free play is over and it is time for me to get back to work but never fear, I will be back with a post detailing this weekends adventures as soon as I can. Please take a few moments more to comment on how your fall is starting and/or your experience with freezer meal prep…