Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Books, Mustard, Transferring Videos.

Painted CavesOops, I didn’t go to bed til gone 2 a.m. last night reading The Land of the Painted Caves, yup its that good, only trouble is I am tired this morning, serves me right. This is the best book Jean M. Auel has written in a while, not a patch on the first book, The Clan of the Cave Bear, but still very good. She still is a bit repetitive about some things, but generally I have enjoyed it very much. If you have been following the series, you will not be disappointed in this one. I still haven’t finished it, but not much further to go. Of course I will then be disappointed I have finished it.

I have sent a “giggle” present to friends in NC withColman's Mustard whom we spent a lot of time. Several years ago, when we lived there still, they came to our Christmas morning ham and champagne sessions and the husband absolutely loved our ham and Colman’s Powdered Mustard. Having discovered Google.com sell it, I sent him a can of the mustard. He can provide his own ham. Actually, we are out of this mustard ourselves and there is only one store around town that sells it, as far as I know that is, and that is Vincenzo’s which is a fantastic place, I have talked about it before. We have to go get some before Wednesday when I will be making some ham sandwiches, amongst others, to take to the polling station the next day. We have to take both lunch and supper plus anything we want to drink. Yesterday I phoned the local area office as they had mis-spelled Matt’s name with only one T. If we had been working where we vote, I could have done the change myself. By the way, if you are wondering about Colman’s, it is, in my opinion, the only hot mustard. Nothing to do with Dijon, although you can make a good substitute mixing Colman’s and wine vinegar.

easycap-vid-circleDunno whether I am daft or not, but I have ordered a little gadget which plugs into one’s VCR and into the computer and can be used to transfer videos to the computer in order to either save them or put them on DVDs. I certainly have some stuff I would definitely like to save. The gadget is called an EasyCAP USB 2.0 Video Capture Box w/Audio. We’ll see how it works.

Just had to add this from How-to-Geek

Its been pretty chilly round here this week which makes me start thinking of warm winter dishes although in fact I understand it is going to warm up this weekend.

Slow-Cooked Brisket in Onion Gravy

Source: © EatingWell Magazine

Brisket with Onion Gravy14 servings

Click here to find out more!This brisket is cooked with beef broth and loads of onions that melt down into a luscious gravy. Serve the brisket and gravy over a mound of steaming mashed potatoes with a side of green beans or sliced carrots for a perfect Sunday dinner.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare onion mixture (Step 2) using 2 tablespoons oil (instead of 1) to cook the onions. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To finish, complete Step 1, bring the onion mixture to a simmer and finish with Steps 3-5. The cooked brisket and gravy can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

5 pounds flat-cut beef brisket (see Note), trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 large onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

: Cook the brisket for the shorter amount of time suggested if you prefer firmer, sliceable meat. If you like it to be falling apart, for shredding rather than slicing, set your timer for the longer time. Note: Brisket cuts are notoriously fatty, but the flat “first-cut” is much leaner than the fattier “point cut.” It may be worth calling ahead to make sure your supermarket or butcher has one on hand.

Cut brisket into two or three pieces small enough to fit into a Dutch oven; pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and brown the brisket one piece at a time, about 2 minutes per side, adding an extra tablespoon of oil if necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer the brisket to a 5-quart (or larger) slow cooker.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Add beef broth and salt; bring to a boil.
Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the brisket reaches desired tenderness (see Timing Tip, above), 4 to 5 hours on High or 8 to 10 hours on Low.
Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and slice or shred. Place in a serving dish; cover to keep warm. Transfer the gravy to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil rapidly for 5 minutes to reduce slightly.

Meanwhile, mix butter and flour in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Once the gravy has reduced, lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Whisk half the butter mixture into the gravy and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until it thickens slightly, 1 to 3 minutes. If the gravy does not thicken enough (it should have the consistency of a cream soup), add the rest of the butter mixture and repeat. Do not overcook. Serve the brisket with the gravy.

Variation: Use 3 cups leftover brisket and 2 cups gravy to make Brisket Sloppy Joes. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 seeded and diced green bell pepper and 1 seeded and minced jalapeño pepper (optional) and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 drained 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 3 cups chopped Slow-Cooked Brisket, 2 cups Onion Gravy, 2 tablespoons molasses and 2 tablespoons brown sugar; stir well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes to meld flavors. Serve on warm whole-wheat or onion buns.

Per serving: 461 calories; 15 g fat (4 g sat, 8 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrate; 34 g added sugars; 34 g protein; 6 g fiber; 855 mg sodium; 864 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Zinc (73% daily value), Vitamin C (63% dv), Magnesium (25% dv), Potassium (22% dv), Vitamin A (20% dv). 2 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 carbohydrate (other), 4 lean meat, 1 fat

Have a great day


  1. I've just bought Honestech VHS to DVD which I hope to use to convert all my old video tapes of family holidays etc into DVDs via the computer. Its my project for the coming winter! We'll have to compare geeky notes!

  2. You are very much more "up" on this stuff than I am Lorna. I have only a small amount of family stuff to transfer, but I have some videos I taped off TV which I would like to keep. I still have cine film which I ought to get converted.