Smoked Chuck Roast or Brisket

It finally warmed up here in Ohio, at least for few days. I usually grill year round, but using my Weber as a smoker is a little more difficult when the weather is cold and windy. My grill is on my deck, which sits 10 feet above the ground and we are on the top of a hill. It can get very windy. I am remodeling my deck this spring and I need to incorporate a wind break, behind my grill, in the design.

With this weekend being Easter and Passover, I decided to post this recipe as a nice alternative to lamb, ham or turkey for your Holiday meal. I am not Jewish, but if making this for Passover you could use a Kosher beef brisket, instead of the chuck roast. If I am not correct in my understanding of the Passover meal I apologize.

This is a unique way to cook a chuck roast that creates a very tender piece of meat, with a nice smokey flavor. Enjoy your Holiday and hope you give this a try. It would be great any time of year.


2-4 lb chuck roast or a 4-6 lb Brisket (side or flat cut)

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Italian Cube Steak

Italian Cube Steak


I love easy cheap meals. I do the majority of the grocery shopping in our house and I am always looking for sales on meat and seafood. When I find good prices I stock the freezer. Then I will figure out what to do with purchases at a later date. A few weeks back cube steak was on sale at Kroger’s. Cube steak is a very inexpensive cut of meat, if cooked correctly it makes a great family meal.

From the About Food website “The term Cube Steak is used to refer to a cut of meat that has been run through a mechanical tenderizer called a meat cuber or swissing machine. Traditionally, cube steak is taken from the beef round primal cut, which is well exercised and quite tough, or from the shoulder center, which comes from the beef chuck. Cube steak can be braised, sautéed or pan-fried. It can even be baked in a casserole.”

But with this cut of meat sometimes I get stuck making the same old dish. Usually chicken fried steak with gravy. I like this dish but I wanted to make something new and lower fat.

You have most of the ingredients, for this dish, in your pantry. Browning the beef and prepping your vegetables is the only work needed.

This dish could also be made in the crock pot. Simply brown meat, toss the rest of the ingredients into the crock pot in the morning and cook on low for 6 hours. That’s it.

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Crockpot BBQ Chicken

If your family is like ours the weekdays are extremely busy. Our kids play soccer, baseball, gymnastics and our oldest referees. Needless to say providing a good healthy meal during the week is a challenge.

Earlier this week I wanted something different to cook in the crock pot. Often Tyson chicken is on sale at the local Kroger and so I will stock the freezer. I decided to use two packs of drumsticks and one package of thighs for this dish. Any combination of chicken pieces will work. The great part of this recipe is you can put the chicken in the crock pot frozen. This is a great tip for any chicken crock pot dish.  You might need to defrost the chicken a few minutes in the microwave. This will allow you to remove the chicken from its packaging and remove the skin.

This is a very inexpensive meal that makes a large quantity of shredded BBQ.

Throw it all in and walk away.

Serve with a green salad and mac n cheese for the kids.


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Pork Chops simmered in a White Wine Mushroom Gravy served with Cheesy Grits

Like most of you, we have a very busy family life. I cook fresh meals 5-6 times a week instead of feeding my family fast food or pizza everyday. This is not to say that we don’t eat fast food or pizza on occasion. I try to make new variations of recipes most nights of the week. I use the crock pot once or twice a week and also make large quantities of dishes to freeze. I try to make the ordinary extraordinary. It is not usually fancy, just good comfort food that I try to keep as healthy as I can.

Tonight I made a version of pork chops in gravy.

This is a simple pork chop recipe with a few variations to make it my own.

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