Mechanically Declined

I have to preface this story by saying I’m not mechanically inclined. I’ve often told Hubby Bryan that (besides the obvious reason that I love him ) I married him to take care of such things as automotive issues and household repairs.

I assembled a gas grill. By myself. It had hundreds of pieces.

The most amazing thing? It works!

The grill is a housewarming gift for our good friend, Kris “Tooje” Tutje, who recently took the plunge and bought a house after living most of her life in apartments. A group of us went together on the gift, and I volunteered to collect the monies and buy the present, which also included an assortment of grill accessories and some lawn furniture.

With the date of her closing approaching and Bryan busy with other tasks, I set out to put the grill together on a recent Sunday afternoon. Initially, I intended to just get the assembly process started, but soon it became a mission that I was determined to com-plete.

It took me four hours, I was covered in dust from sitting on the garage floor, and I was more than a little stiff and sore from getting up and down from the concrete, but I did it. I proved that I could follow directions, wield a wrench and a screwdriver and put to-gether something that wasn’t going to fall over in a brisk wind — and worked.

Now we need to teach Tooje how to grill. I think I will leave that part up to Bryan. He is the master of the grill. One night this week he made Sonoran hotdogs — something he learned about watching “Food Wars” on TV’s Travel Channel. This southwest specialty involves wrapping a slice of thick-cut bacon around a hotdog, grilling it, then serving it up on bread or bun with an assortment of condiments. The result was pretty tasty, although Bryan still needs to work on the method — the bacon got a bit charred on one side.

Another recent experiment with southwest flavors took place in the slow cooker, not the grill. This recipe caught my eye because Bryan is a fan of anything with chipotle peppers in it.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef

Using a 7-ounce can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, puree two or three of the chiles and a bit of the sauce in the blender until smooth. Spoon chile mixture into the slow cooker and add one 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 small on-ion, chopped, and 3 cloves garlic, minced. Stir to combine.

Season one two-pound chuck roast with salt and pepper and add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high about 6 hours.

Remove roast from cooker, let set for 10 minutes, then shred meat using two forks. Place in serving bowl (or back in slow cooker) with the sauce. Serve on warmed flour or corn tortillas with shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream and sliced avocado.

About a month ago, the Daily Globe’s Relay for Life team had a fundraising luncheon, and co-worker Kari Lucin brought a blue-berry-blackberry yogurt cake. She received multiple requests for the recipe and printed it on her own online blog, but I thought it deserved a reprint, especially with berry season starting. Kari credits the recipe to her mom, Kim Lucin of Jackson.

Yummy Yogurt Cake

Mix up a white cake mix according to package directions; fold in 1½ containers of yogurt (flavor of choice). Add food coloring ap-propriate to flavoring. (Kari used blue for the blueberry/blackberry combo). Put batter in a 9- by 13-inch pan and bake as directed on the box.

For topping, mix one container Cool whip with another 1½ containers yogurt; again add appropriate food coloring and spread on top of cake when cooled. Garnish with fresh berries. Store in refrigerator.



1 Response

  1. Annie

    Your chipotle beef recipe would be much improved if you would brown the meat first and then carmeize the onions in the same pan before adding to the slow cooker.

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