Monday, December 21, 2015

Playing Catch-Up: October and November Bucket List

Fall is a bit of a hectic time for our family.  There are horror conventions, Thanksgiving, a plethora of birthdays, Halloween, National Novel Writing Month, and to top it all off I was taking Neuroscience this session.  Neuroscience has sort of been the Boss Villain of my college career.  This is my third time taking it and I am happy to say it will be the last. I turned the big paper in, late, but much improved upon the last two attempts where I got so overwhelmed and frustrated that I just gave up.  Now I have also taken the final and can happily say that the third time WAS the charm and I earned a B this time.  This perfect storm of constant busy left me with many late nights and this post is overdue.  I decided to combine what I checked off in October and November in one post this go around.

I started in on my new food lists in October and November.  It was a lot of fun!

The first thing I did was make a roux in order to make some cheese sauce for pulled pork nachos on my favorite day of the week, Taco Tuesday!  Now I had made a roux before, but never a proper roux, in the past it was more of a winging it to thicken a sauce thing.  This time around I made sure I did it properly with equal amounts of fat and flour.

Photo by Poison Megz

Next up on the list I decided to tackle poached eggs.  I have been trying to make poached eggs for a long time.  It never ended well.  The whites were always a mess and if I did them the cheater's way in the microwave I always overcooked them so the yolk was solid.  I had tried every trick in the book and every combination of them.  My sweet as pie friend Lida sent me some videos of her poaching eggs to encourage me to keep trying and finally after watching them and combining advice from the Black Milk Foodies collective I had success two days in a row! The first I poached in water and ate on toast, the next I poached directly in my ramen!
Photo by Poison Megz

Look at that perfectly runny yolk and the white all held together! It is a thing of beauty.  I am so thrilled that this a skill I have acquired.

The third thing off of the new food lists I checked off in October actually happened a bit accidentally.  I had a large, thin steak for another Taco Tuesday that I marinated in beer and chipotle in adobo and some other taco seasonings.  I seared it off in a pan and it turned out perfectly! So I was able to cross steak off of my 30 before 30 list, but learn to properly grill a steak is still on my summer list since I did not grill this one. 
Photo by Poison Megz

Now, I also made chocolate chip cookies from scratch in October, but we ate them before I could take a photo.  They were espresso chocolate chips and they were so yummy. It happens, sometimes you eat the food without taking a picture.  I know that's shocking to hear from me, the queen of food photos, but it happens. 

In November I discovered the joy of the Indy Winter Farmer's Market which led to me making Fennel Hummus.  It was so good! I had to use an immersion blender so it was a little chunky, but the flavor was outstanding. 
Photo by Poison Megz

Now for the big one! The most intimidating item on the 30 before 30 list, at least in my mind a complete thanksgiving dinner. I was pretty ambitious, but the only thing I wound up scrapping from my list was making my own rolls from scratch.  Other than that I did everything I wanted to!  The turkey was rubbed with an herb citrus butter inside and out and stuffed with oranges.  It was so good I didn't get a picture of the finished bird because the boys ate it too fast! There was also cider thyme gravy, sweet potato casserole, everything bagel stuffing, green bean casserole with fried shallots on top, pumpkin cheesecake, stuffing muffins with pancetta, cranberries, and apple, salted maple pecan pie bars, mashed potatoes, cranberry-orange sauce, and a white cheddar sage cheeseball crusted with pomegranate.  All of this (except the mashed potatoes) are included in the photo collage below.
Photos by Poison Megz

Everything was a hit with at least one family member.  Our teenager ate an entire cheesecake himself in under 24 hours and our 22 yo ate an entire tray of stuffing and almost all the turkey in under 2 days.  I ate the whole cheeseball with very little help from my mini monster.  Now leftovers are my favorite part of Thanksgiving.  I made Thanksgiving poutine with a little bit of all the leftovers and also my leftover fries from Kuma's Corner Indy.  I also made a Thanksgiving sandwich, which is probably the most popular way Thanksgiving leftovers are enjoyed. So good! 
Photos by Poison Megz

And that's it! Now again I am so sorry these posts were so late and I swear next month's will be much more timely even with Hanukkah and Christmas this month! Maybe I'll finally get to check off having a mistletoe kiss year! A girl can dream right?

What's your favorite way to have your Thanksgiving leftovers?

Until next time, remember to Live Life Decadently
Poison Megz

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Food Related Bucket Lists

Anyone that knows me or follows me on Instagram (@PoisonMegz) knows that food is a big part of my life.  That goes for everything from reading about it, to making it, to eating it (especially the eating part).  I love to cook and have a Pinterest full of recipes I want to try.  Pinterest has made my recipe hoarding so much easier.  I spent all of High School checking stacks of cookbooks out from the library and copying recipes in to notebooks to save them.  Technology has made that whole process much easier, especially since I have the worst handwriting in the universe.

There were already some food items on my bucket list,and more in my head that I never really wrote down.  Recently I found two lists online and decided I want to add completing them to my bucket list as well.  The first one is from Delish and it is 30 Foods To Cook Before You Turn 30. Below are the foods that have been added to my list from this list, the ones missing I have already made in the past.

Poached Eggs
Cinnamon Rolls
Pimento Cheese
Tomato Sauce
Pizza Pie Crust
Chicken Pot Pie
Salad Dressing
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Beef Bourguignon
Birthday Cake
Thanksgiving Dinner

This list is much, much easier than the 2nd list.  There is some overlap though.  The next list is 44 Classic French Meals You Need To Try Before You Die from Buzzfeed.

Baked Camembert
Coquilles Saint-Jacques
Moules Marinières
Buckwheat Crêpes
Blanquettr de Veau
Soupe à L'oignon
Sole Meunière
Hachis Parmentier
Boudin Noir Aux Pommes
Cheese Soufflé
Steak Tartare
Magret de Canard
Pan-seared Foie Gras
Confít de Canard
Poulet Basquaise
Lamprey à la Bordelaise
Quenelles of Pike with Lobster Sauce
Soupe de Poisson à la Rouille
Gigot D'Agneau Pleureur
Soupe au Pistou
Roasted Chicken and Garlic
Navarin D'Agneau
Foie de Veau à la Lyonnaise
Fondue Savoyarde
Gratin Dauphinois
Coq au Vin
Choucroute Garnie
Quiche Lorraine
Boeuf Bourguignon
Cod Accras

That list is a bit intimidating, even just to look at.  I also live in a little bit of a food wasteland so it is likely there are many ingredients for this list that I will not be able to find here. I still would really like to cook my way through both of these lists.  I also started a list of foods I want to try.  I do not shy away from so-called "weird foods" and this list contains a bunch of those. My partner is 100% not going to be behind the fact that this list has rattlesnake and turtle soup on it as these are things he would have as pets, but I basically want to eat everything so they are included in that.

Boudin Noir
Branston Pickles
White Pudding
Black Pudding
Century Eggs
Salted Duck Egg
Dim Sum
Guinea Pig
Rocky Mountain Oysters
Pike Place Fish Market
3 Michelin-starred restaurant
Katz's Deli
Turtle soup

That food list will definitely grow as I hear about new restaurants and foods.  I am also about a trillion percent open to suggestions when it comes to Must-Try foods, so please leave a comment! If you have a favorite recipe for any of these foods please also share that.  I'm excited to start t try some of these recipes. I am thinking Souffle and Beef Bourguignon will be the first ones I attempt.  I have always wanted to make a souffle, it's on my original bucket list, and I think the family will definitely eat cheese souffles.  Beef Bourguignon is also one I think will go over well with the boys, who are much pickier than I am.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

September Bucket List: Roller-coaster Day and Ferris Wheel Kisses

I have to say that September was a little bit of a "meh" month on the bucket list front.  It was one I was very excited for because for months I knew I was going to be getting a roller-coaster day! I have loved amusement parks since I was 17 and went on my very first roller-coaster at Six Flags Great America, The Raging Bull.  I fell in love with the adrenaline rush.  I had not been to an amusement park since before I was pregnant with my little lark so I was super psyched to get to spend the day at Kentucky Kingdom with my partner and the older kids.  I was going to ride everything, hopefully more than once.

The day came and it wound up being only myself, Chris, and the 15 year old going.  That's fine, my hopes were still high for a super fun day.  We got there and had to stand and wait for around an hour before we could go in.  The first thing we did was go on the giant Ferris wheel.  It wasn't exactly the romantic moment I imagined since we had the teenager riding with us, but we did have a quick peck at the top.  So, Ferris wheel kiss got checked off the list.  I love Ferris wheels, so I'm sure there will be many more of those Ferris wheel kiss opportunities in the future.

Next up was the first roller-coaster.  I was excited, Chris and I sat right up at the front. My stomach had other plans.  I have never gotten sick before on a ride in my life and seconds in to it I felt pretty much like death.  We got off and I thought I could walk it off, but the damn stomachache stuck with me the whole time we were there.  We left early without getting on any more rides.  Apparently one of those fun changes pregnancy caused in my body is a severe lack of tolerance for roller-coasters.  So I checked roller-coaster day off the list with only one coaster completed and feeling very defeated knowing that I couldn't enjoy something I very much had been looking forward to.

So that was my September for the bucket list.  Not everything can turn out perfectly, so something was bound to go wrong at some point.  October will be better!

Remember to Live Life Decadently every day!
Poison Megz

Friday, September 11, 2015

August Bucket List: 3 Summer-tastic Items and a Waffle It!

I really wanted to focus on getting as many summer items checked off before summer came to an end, so this month I checked off three items on the summer section of my list!  I love watching the number drop on items left to complete.

Now I had "Make Ice Cream" on my bucket list.  I wanted this to be an excuse to buy an ice cream maker.  I hoped to find one at a thrift store, but no such luck.  I had seen a few no churn recipes and decided to give no churn ice cream a shot.  I made strawberry cheesecake no churn.  It was pretty easy, but I think it set up too hard. After a little microwaving it was fine and yummy.  It basically just tasted like frozen cheesecake filling, but who on earth could be sad about that?

Photo by Poison Megz

Another item on my summer bucket list is "Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich". So since I had the ice cream made, it seemed like a logical next step.  I decided to make brownie waffles. I want to waffle all the things so this is my first "Waffle It!" on the blog as well!  I used a Ghiradelli box mix.  Next time I would use one without chocolate chunks because the time it took for the brownie waffle to cook made the chocolate burn, making the outside of the waffle harden.  I still ate it though, and it was still delicious. So the verdict on brownie waffles is yes, but only with a normal brownie batter.  What else should I waffle? Let me know in the comments!

Photo by Poison Megz

The last summer item I checked off in August is probably my favorite.  It was fun, refreshing, and tasty.  "Drink Out of a Coconut" was chosen when I spotted young coconuts in the store.  I figured they would be perfect for this.  My partner drilled a hole in the coconut for me, I poured the water out through a strainer, and then knocked the loose bits from the opening.  I  mixed the coconut water with lime juice, pineapple juice, spiced rum, and a little sugar.  I shook it in a mixer with ice and then poured it back in to the coconut with a funnel.  Stick a straw in it, and bam! Coconut cup! 

Photo by Poison Megz

I didn't measure anything for the drink, but it turned out amazing.  It probably would have been perfect on a beach or next to a pool.  I drank it in the living room chair, because I have neither a beach nor a pool.  It was just as satisfying in the chair knowing it was 100 degrees outside.  Really, knowing it was that hot out and that I was inside with air conditioning probably made it even more satisfying.
Photo by Poison Megz

P.S. How do people take such adorable photos of them drinking things?  Because I made many attempts and have deemed it impossible to turn out anything other than awkward.

So that was August! A whole lot of yummy summer things checked off of the Bucket List.

Remember to Live Life Decadently every day!

xoxo Poison Megz

Friday, August 7, 2015

July Bucket List: Making Pickles + 8 Summer Items!

I am very happy to say that July was a very busy month for the Bucket List mission.  I was able to cross a total of 9 things off of my lists! That has to be a record so far.  I planted a garden for the first time in my entire life this year with the help of my partner, Chris.  We planted late and I didn't expect much.  One of the things we planted were radishes.  They popped up a few at a time, but did not do very well.  So with only a few on hand I decided to make a small batch of pickled radishes.  I looked up a basic refrigerator pickle recipe, picked my spices, and tossed in a handful of banana pepper slices for good measure as well.  They turned out pretty well, and were great on tacos and sandwiches.  Here are the radishes after the brine was poured on:
Photo by Poison Megz

They turned out so pretty! Later in the month I had some blueberries near the end of their life and decided to pickle those with some rosemary.  They are still in the fridge untasted.  I will be using them on a baked brie, once I find some decent brie in this town.  Here they are:
Photo by Poison Megz

I have fairly high hopes for these, and will definitely update y'all once I find the cheese.  Early in the month I was able to cross off 5 things in one day. I was selected for a Redd's Apple Ale Shark Week House Party.  We picked a day that everyone was home, my partner was off work, and that my partner's oldest could stop by as well.  We grilled out and I was able to make several things to make a dent in the summer section of my bucket list.  Here a few photos of the food from that day: 

Photos by Poison Megz

I will start with the top left hand photo and move clockwise.  The first item checked off and the first photo is a "Grilled Cocktail".  My partner grilled lemons and peaches for me so I could make this bourbon sweet tea.  The grilled fruit gave it an awesome smokey flavor.  Though, I would recommend drinking the whole batch in the first few hours, or first day at least.  The next day the smoke was pretty overwhelming.  

Next up we have another item off my list "Host a Party with a DIY Hot Dog Bar".  This also had brats and burgers on it since we were feeding a small army.  I made sure to have a wide range of typical condiments and also some unique ones.  My radish pickles, beer caramelized onions, beer sauce, and pulled pork were all included in the offerings.  It was a big hit and nearly nothing was left by the end of the feast. 

"Prosciutto and Melon" was probably my personal favorite item to check off that day.  The fresh cantaloupe and salty prosciutto worked so well together, I also added mozzarella, because everything is better with cheese.  The next day I also drizzled a balsamic glaze over the few that were left, it was a fancy snack in my pajamas while the screaming toddler ran around.

Last but not least is a combination of "Watermelon on a Stick" and "Grill ALL the Fruit".  This was super easy, seriously. Just cut up whatever fruit you like, skewer, and toss on the grill.  You could also brush a glaze on if you wanted it even more sweet, but I think the caramelized fruit is sweet enough personally.  Just make sure if you are using a skewer other than metal that you soak it before grilling.

The last few things I was able to cross off were: "Freeze Fun Things in Ice Cubes", "Make Cold Brew Coffee", and "Cold Soup on a Hot Day".  
Photos by Poison Megz

I froze blueberries in ice cubes to use in lemonade.  I also want to try freezing mint and some muddles berries.  

The cold brew coffee was well worth the effort.  It didn't mess with my stomach like regular coffee and it was perfect for making iced coffee.  It was especially good with some sweetened condensed milk.  I used my limited edition Dark Blood by Dark Matter out of Chicago for this.  It was quite strong so I was able to use it sparingly, making it last longer as well.

The cold soup I made was a cucumber gazpacho.  It was made with green grapes as well which it gave it a nice hint of sweetness.  I also added a pinch of cayenne, as I am a major spice addict.  It's topped with some nasturtium petals from my garden for a peppery kick.  If you have not tried a chilled soup I definitely recommend giving it a go. It was very refreshing after coming in from the heat.

Thanks for bearing with me while I took you through the NINE items I was able to cross off last month! Phew, it was a lot of yummy food that's for sure.  Have you had any amazing food experiences this summer?  Summer is such a great food season and I would love to hear some of your favorite food moments.

Until next time,

Poison Megz

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Brews: Ginger Beer

Brewing my own beer is on my bucket list, but this post is not a bucket list post.  This is my first "Brews" post.  These will be used to talk about any alcohol related adventures that do not relate to my list.  Although this ginger beer was alcoholic I decided it did not count as brewing my own beer, as it was not the same process.  To start with, I ordered a kit off of Etsy from Sandy Leaf Farm:

Photo by Poison Megz

The kit contained nearly everything needed to brew your own batch of ginger beer, save for the containers, water, sugar, and an optional lemon.  The first step was to grow your ginger plant in a sterilized jar. (So really the first step was to sterilize a jar.) 

Photo by Poison Megz

I just used a jam jar I had.  After it is sterilized and rinsed then you added water, ginger, sugar, and that optional lemon juice.  I actually added a squeeze of fresh orange juice as that was what I had on hand.  The jar gets covered with muslin and a rubber band (or bright pink hair know, whatever you have.)  You feed it with ginger and sugar every day for a week.
Photo by Poison Megz

After those seven days are up you take a much larger container to use for fermentation, sterilize that, add a bunch of water, more sugar, the remaining ginger, and the ginger plant.  That gets covered with the muslin cloth and a rubber band.  In my case a stretchy hair tie, because I do not have giant rubber bands laying around.

Photo by Poison Megz

So that gets to ferment at room temperature for three days.  At the end of those three days you need a funnel and a sterilized 2 liter bottle. (or if you're me and somehow made too much, you need extra bottles.)  Line a funnel with a muslin cloth and pour your ginger beer into the bottle leaving about 2 inches of room.  Squeeze the air out of the bottle so the ginger beer reaches the top and screw the lid on.  Leave out until the bottles become rigid from the buildup of Carbon Dioxide.  At that point you can let the gases escape and refrigerate to drink when cold or you can squeeze the air out again for a dryer result.  I squeezed the air out a few times before refrigerating.
Photo by Poison Megz

And then when it's cold you get to drink it! The instructions say if it's too dry to add some more sugar.  It was a bit bitter so I stirred some sugar in to each glass I had.  I would definitely add a ton more ginger next time because I am a ginger ADDICT and it did not have enough of that ginger bite for me. It was nommy though.
Photo by Poison Megz

I also had a glass of it with some ice and bourbon added in which was delicious. Ginger beer+Bourbon=Soulmates.  All in all it was a slow but delicious adventure.  Plus it was really neat to be drinking something that I made.  The kit was really easy to use, so I recommend it if you want to give this a shot! You can also keep the ginger plant growing repeatedly so you have a new batch every 10 days or so.  I chose not too due to a lack of space, but that certainly makes the kit worth the cost (which is not even that high to begin with.)

Poison Megz

Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Bucket List: Plant A Tree + Summer Items

June was a busy month for my bucket list mission.  I completed several items off of my summer list as well as one off of my main list.  First up I planted a tree, two trees technically but the 2nd was not planted until July 1st.  The first tree that was planted was a dwarf fruit cocktail tree. It will eventually grow 6 total varieties of stone fruit including peach, plum, apricot, and nectarine.  It's just a twig with roots now but I am very excited to watch it grow.  Here is my mini monster with our twig the day we planted it.
Photo by Poison Megz

It does not look like much now but this little tree is very special to me.  It's a long commitment and I am happy to have planted it with my partner and the mini monster.  As of yesterday it already has some new growth on it too!
Photo by Poison Megz

Tiny little green shoots! Huzzah! In less than a week I was already able to watch our tree grow.  The second tree we planted will live inside during the cold months and was planted in a container.  It is a 3-in-1 dwarf citrus tree that will produce lemons, oranges, and tangerines.  This one is a bit more substantial already!
Photo by Poison Megz

Now for what was accomplished off of the summer bucket list!

There has been a lot of gardening this year and in June I was able to start an herb garden.  I chose to put all my herbs in pots on the porch so they were easy to access from the house.  My little herb garden contains basil, thyme, dill, cilantro, rosemary, chervil, oregano, parsley and chives.  I already have a few little sprouts! Meet my baby basil sprouts! 
Photo by Poison Megz

I also made beer can chicken.  I used a local-ish beer.  Tin Man Brewing Company's Rosenweiss.  It was delicious!  So moist and flavorful.  I was really proud of myself for pulling every step of it off myself, from yanking the giblets out, to rubbing the seasoned butter under the skin, to roasting it perfectly.  The only thing I had help with was putting it in the oven and taking it out.  This was purely because of my high levels of klutziness and how sad it would have been to lose the chicken to the floor.  Here is the before shot as it was getting ready to go in the oven.
Photo by Poison Megz

What a beautiful bird! you know when something looks and smells delicious before it starts cooking that it is going to be oh so tasty.  And now for the glorious after photo!
Photo by Poison Megz

Praise be to the mighty chicken G-d!  Look at that crispy skin!  So crispy that it released the oranges from their prison!  It was good. I mean it was really good.  Chicken can be seriously boring and sad.  This chicken was happy and fun.  And moist, so moist.  The pan however has gone through three or four scrub sessions and still will not come clean.  So maybe put some tinfoil down if you are going to do this in the oven like I did.  Go make a beer can chicken right meow.  Bonus tip! A tall can will hold your chicken up better.

Now I did also brew my own ginger beer, and it used brewer's yeast.  I'm not counting that as brewing my own beer for this list BUT I will be posting that experience in the near future as well.  Keep an eye out for further kombucha attempts as well.  

Have you crossed anything off your bucket list lately?  Any ideas for mine? Leave me a comment!  I am always searching for a new experience.

Until next time my dears remember to Live Life Decadently!
Poison Megz

Monday, June 1, 2015

May Bucket List: Publish a Recipe (+List Update)

May was a bit of a hectic month for me with school, so I was unable to check multiple items off of my list.  I did however publish a recipe to this blog for the first time ever!  Check the post before this to see the recipe for Coffee and Pilpelchuma Pot Roast.  I hope to add more recipes in to the blog as I create some new noms.  I also hope to take a couple cooking classes when I get some spare time to hone my skills since culinary school is unrealistic at this time.

List update:

Last summer I also made a "Summer Bucket List" which I barely did anything off of.  I added completing this list to my regular bucket list.  This is the summer list:

  1. Beach picnic
  2. Banana Nutella s'mores
  3. Beer can grilled chicken
  4. Berry picking
  5. Boating
  6. Boozy fresh fruit salad
  7. Camping
  8. Cold soup on a hot day
  9. Collect seashells and sea glass
  10. Drink out of a coconut
  11. Drink out of a pineapple
  12. Drink whiskey around a fire
  13. Fall asleep in a hammock
  14. Ferris wheel
  15. Freeze fun things in ice cubes(berries, gummies, mint)
  16. Fresh blueberry pie
  17. Fresh cherries!
  18. Geocaching
  19. Grill all the fruit
  20. Grilled cocktail
  21. Host a party with DIY hot dog bar
  22. Learn to fish
  23. Learn to make a mint julep
  24. Learn to make a Pimm's cup
  25. Learn to properly grill a steak
  26. Learn to shoot
  27. Line a truck bed w/ pillows/blankets and stargaze
  28. Lobster roll
  29. Make cold brew coffee
  30. Make ice cream
  31. Margarita manicure
  32. Maryland blue crabs
  33. Melon + prosciutto
  34. Mexican street corn
  35. Picnics
  36. Popsicles + prosecco
  37. Put a pie in a cake
  38. Rollercoaster day
  39. Sip an umbrella drink by pool/lake
  40. Skinny dipping
  41. Start an herb garden
  42. Summer corn pesto
  43. Toes in the water
  44. Waffle ice cream sandwich
  45. Watermelon on a stick (grilled?)
Last summer I checked the following items of of the summer list:
-Step Up All In
-Fair Food
-Day Drink with Good Friends
-Tons of BBQ
-4th of July Pig Out
-Mini Roadtrip for Amazing Food
-Read more!

The summer list will probably stay on the regular list for a few summers so when I check something off I will also include that individual summer item in the blog.  Many summer items involve food and drink.  What are your must-try summer foods or activities? What do you do every summer?

The Bucket List

Thanks for following this journey!

Poison Megz

Monday, May 25, 2015

Recipe: Coffee and Pilpelchuma Pot Roast

I love food. My relationship with food has been a bit of a roller coaster, but that's where I am at now, loving food.  I have always loved to cook and not-so-secretly wished I would have gone to culinary school instead of regular college.  Despite my love of food and cooking, I spent several years relying on meals I could make in a microwave simply because I hated to cook a big meal only for myself. I started to cook more once my son was eating solid foods, but more for him than for myself. Since moving in with my partner I've been fortunate to add 3 more hungry mouths to feed to my family.  Now I am able to cook a big meal and very rarely have anything left over.  I often start with a recipe I find online and twist it to my own interpretation or just wing it entirely, but I very rarely write down what I have done so that I am able to recreate it.  As soon as I decided to make this roast I knew it would be the perfect first recipe to call my own and publish here (Hello bucket list item being checked off!).  The roast will fall apart at the end of cooking, so it should not take much slicing, if any to portion out.  We were able to just scoop out what we wanted with slotted spoon and did not need a knife at all.  The spice rub uses coffee and a Pipelchuma spice blend as the primary flavors.  It has a great balance of savory and spice with a hint of sweetness to it.  I wish I had thought ahead to take more photos, but I do have a few.

Here is the roast with the spice rub getting seared:
Photo by Poison Megz

Here is the seared roast in the slow cooker:
Photo by Poison Megz

Here is how I ate my serving, topped with some of the shallots and garlic from the bottom of the slow cooker.  My serving sort of looks like my home state of Indiana, which amused me greatly:
Photo by Poison Megz

Coffee and Pipelchuma Pot Roast

2 to 3 lb Beef Chuck Roast
3/4 cup beef broth
1 to 2 shallots (depending on your taste)
4 cloves garlic (adjust to your taste)
1 TBSP oil of your choice

Spice rub:
2 TBSP Ground Coffee
1.5 TBSP Pilpelchuma Seasoning Blend*
½ Tsp cinnamon
1.5 Tsp Unsweetened cocoa
1 Tsp salt


1.     Allow roast to come to room temp while you do your prep.

2.    If your coffee is not finely ground, then place the 2 TBSP of ground coffee in to a coffee/spice grinder, food processor, blender, whatever you have and grind it until it is close to a powder.  If the coffee is ground coarsely you can still use it, but crunchy bits of coffee may be off-putting to some people while eating the roast.  Use your best judgment here really.

3.     Mix the ingredients for the spice rub together in a small bowl until well-blended.

4.     Pat your roast to remove excess moisture.

5.     Rub the spice blend on all sides of the roast.  Make sure you really press the rub in to the meat so it sticks. Set aside while you finish prep.

6.     Slice the shallot and set in the bottom of your slow-cooker.

7.     Slice the garlic cloves as thinly as you can.

8.     Heat the 1 TBSP of oil in a skillet over medium heat (I used olive oil, but use whatever you prefer.)

9.      Add the garlic to the oil and sauté until golden brown.

10.   Remove the garlic, but leave the garlic infused oil in the skillet.

11.   Place garlic in the bottom of the slow-cooker with the shallot.

12.  Gently place your roast in to the skillet to sear the spices in. This should take about 2-3 minutes per side.  You want a nice sear, but you do not want to burn the spices.

13.   Place seared roast in to the slow-cooker.

14.   Pour beef broth on top of roast. Cover.

15.   Cook on low for 8 hours.

*The Pilpelchuma spice blend I used came from Trader Joes and is a Libyan Jewish spice blend or hot sauce. It can also be spelled Filfel Chuma and contains Chili, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Cumin, and Caraway*

This is the spice tower from Trader Joe's that contained the Pilpelchuma:
Photo by Poison Megz

Let me know if you try this and what you think!  It disappeared pretty quickly here. If you use a different spice blend in place of the Pilpelchuma let me know how that turns out as well please.

Poison Megz