Monday, May 19, 2008

Texas Brisket

Good morning, everyone. I'm sorry for the lapse in blogging. I have no excuse except being busy and having a terrible allergy season. One thing is for sure ~ if you want to know how many people read your blog, just stop posting and you will surely hear about it from everyone you meet! At least it seems that way. But that's okay...I enjoy having folks read my blog.

It seems we hit the floor running ever since we got back from Texas. My children had piano guild and memorized 10 pieces each. This past week we had a lovely Open House by our Homeschool Co-op. Sarah's choir sang beautifully and my ukulele class played better than ever before. It was wonderful seeing all the projects made by the children during this past year.When we were in Texas, I watched a cooking show where Paula Deen smoked a Texas brisket. I had never had brisket before, but Paula made it look so good. So I made my first brisket while we were still in Texas. I've made it several times since. It is delicious and so easy.
This is the before picture. Actually, I cut the second brisket in half so there would be no overlapping. This meat really cooks down. I bought one brisket from Walmart for $1.65/lb but it was fatty. I bought the second brisket from BJs for $2.89/lb and it was very nice. It was worth it to pay more for the better brisket.

Here's the recipe for Texas Brisket. I didn't have a smoker, so I placed the meat in the oven for 8-10 hours, uncovered, at 280 degrees. This is the perfect meat for your Sunday after-church dinner. Just put the meat in the oven the night before (around 11pm). The next morning, turn the oven down to warm. It will be just perfect when you walk in after church. (Be sure to take the meat out to sit for ten minutes before slicing.)

One warning: If you really want to check on the meat in the morning, make sure you do it when no one is around. With the whole house smelling like a BBQ, suddenly there are 8 forks stabbing the meat for a taste! As I am writing this, I have another brisket warming in the oven. This is my 5th brisket so far. I am trying to bake enough for leftovers, but it is hard!

I served this brisket with sourdough dinner rolls, green beans and roasted potatoes, to the music ensemble from Pensacola Christian College. I was surprised that two of the guys asked for the recipe! Today I am serving it with cole slaw and potatoes, but I would like to try it with Paula Dean's Slow Cooked Pinto Beans.
I did cook a brisket so I could make this chili. I found this recipe for Smoked Brisket Chili from It is probably the best chili I have ever made. It is a typical Texas chili, meaning there are no beans. It has a more chili pepper taste rather than a tomato taste.

Be forewarned: This recipe calls for 2 cans of beer. I didn't have any, of course, so I got one from my neighbor (I made half a recipe). It was Coors brand. I can tell that it was a key ingredient, so don't skip it!

My dear Aunt Joan passed away this weekend, so the girls are practicing two songs for her funeral service. I am unable to sing this spring and I miss it. It was a real mistake getting a full dose of allergy shots after missing for 7 weeks. I am looking forward to seeing my cousins, even though Aunt Joan's death was a shock.

Have an enjoyable Sunday. I have my camera in my purse, so I am back in the swing of things. Thanks for reading. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

These are my beautiful Mother's Day Cards. Ruthie made this one. She punched out the flowers and painted them individually. Aren't they lovely? Oh, how I enjoy homemade gifts!

This card is from Anna. The scanner sure doesn't do it justice. Anna punched out the flowers and slipped my favorite fabrics behind the openings. They are so colorful in real life.

And this card is from Maggie. She couldn't do the actual crafting of it, so she directed Anna how to make it. It is so much fun having artistic daughters!

My friend Charmaine gave me a book recently that was written by Dale Evans (wife of Roy Rogers) called, "In the Hands of the Potter." I have been reading it for a few days. Dale sure knows her Scripture. I have read several of her books, and this one is just as good. I looked online, and you can get many of her books for under $2. Dale had to learn the hard way how to "let go and let God." If you want to be encouraged to lead a godly life, read her books. If you want to borrow any of her books, feel free to email me.

Today was our last day of Homeschool Co-op. The year has surely gone quickly. We will have a Homeschool Open House on the 30th which should be fun.

Tomorrow brings more rain. We sure learn to be thankful for rain after last year's drought! Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


If I had to describe this week with one word, it would be overwhelmed. If you've ever had jet lag before, then you know how I felt. And it lasted a whole week! I wasn't prepared for the culture shock of leaving Padre Island. Seeing all the green grass and green trees of Maryland really floored me. All I could see were mowing chores and weeds. I wasn't even sure what my prayer should be other than, Help me Lord. But it passed and now I am back to my usual self. Thank you, Lord.

The twins celebrated their twelfth birthday on Friday. Fortunately, Grandma and Grandpa were in town for a short visit, so we had a nice crowd for dinner and birthday cake. Here's Grandma doing what she does best...playing games with the grandkiddies.
As always, Maggie made the cake. The twins requested this ice cream cake. The white parts are ice cream (tofutti vanilla) and the black parts are chocolate cake. Yummy!
Allen shaped the chess pieces on top. I think it turned out nicely. Sure tasted good. The white milk glass cake dish is Maggie's that she inherited from her Great Grandma. It used to be Aunt Marguerite's, whom Maggie is named after.
I enjoyed watching Grandma and Grandpa dishing ice cream into their coffees. They were like two little children sneaking into the cookie jar. Grandpa is finally slowing down at 80, but Grandma hasn't even begun to think about slowing down!Maggie was able to give Grandma this cute wood whale she made. Isn't it cute?

Last night Grandpa treated us to a seafood dinner at Sea Breeze restaurant. This picture doesn't show it, but it is right on the water. It was a windy, rainy day, and the waves were pretty violent. This restaurant is one of the first to go underwater during storms. We normally go to the Sandgates Restaurant, but they are closed on Monday evenings.
This past Sunday was baby dedication day. It was sooo much fun seeing all the babies. It was not fun seeing how much they grew while we were in Texas! I had to laugh to myself while watching the twin babies (on the left). One was asleep while the other one squirmed. Yep, that's how I remember it!

I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. That was the first day that I didn't wake up feeling overwhelmed, so it was very nice for me. Tomorrow I will share all my homemade cards.

Enjoy the sun these two days between unstable weather patterns. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We're home!

We finally made it home this weekend. On Wednesday evening we went to church, then headed to the airport to pick up Mike. The airport was a breeze to find. Parking was cheap, so we parked and met Mike as he came off the plane. Then we had to go back to church to pick up Allen, who had challenged the Pastor to a game of chess. Allen won.
It was nice for Mike to be able to meet the Pastor. We had a fun time introducing everyone.
Ruthie fell in love with Deb, the Pastor's wife. She had a hard time saying goodbye to her. The church has a new website, so it will be nice for us to keep in touch with them.
Then we all drove to Cancun, Dad's favorite Mexican restaurant in Flour Bluff. Mike got to try the stuffed shrimp avocado. He said it was delicious. We are going to try making that here without the cheese and egg. When we left Corpus Christi, avocados were on sale 2/88 cents! He also got a fish taco, but it wasn't as good as the ones we used to get in San Diego. My children and I got taco salads that were delicious.
We said goodbye to the beautiful sunflower growing in the backyard thanks to the neighbor's birdies.
Dad cooked a prime rib dinner for us on Thursday evening. It was fun trying to squeeze everyone around the small kitchen table.
On Friday morning we took Mike to meet Dr. Krugman, our miracle worker. We were given the before and after x-rays, then said our goodbyes. We will be forever grateful for Dr. Krugman and his willingness to help us.

We left Padre Island around 9 am Saturday morning, and drove straight through to Maryland, arriving Sunday at 3 pm. Oh the wonders of caffeine!
One of the things I bought in Texas was this huge wok. It is 22" across and comes with a DVD and a special scoop stirrer thing.
So tonight we tried it out. It is perfect! We stirfried 12 cups of chopped veggies, then added 8 cups of cold rice. We ate half tonight for dinner out on the porch. It was great weather. I'm still trying to get used to all the green trees and green grass (and green weeds!).
Since Texans pride themselves on doing everything big, I thought I'd include this fun picture. I'm supposed to say, "Even the squirrels are big," but these are just pretend G.I. Joe dolls posing with a dead squirrel. Looks like someone has too much free time on their hands!

So we are trying to adjust back to our normal lifestyle. It's back to no dryer, no microwave, no satellite tv, no cooking shows, no beach and no fancy eating. Just lots of schoolwork and piano practice. But we enjoy this, too.

Thank you for all your prayers for our safe trip. Many blessings ~ Kathie