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I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend! We decided to hit the road and spend the extra few days with the Georgia Jordans and just got back in last night. The kids really enjoyed playing with cousins and grandparents and the hubs and I enjoyed sitting around visiting. Okay, so I might have gotten a wee little bit of shopping in, too, but the North Georgia Premium Outlets just say my name so sweetly that whenever I am near it is hard to refuse.
We left out on Friday around lunch and decided to take backroads in order to avoid the perpetual traffic jam just outside of Chattanooga. Note: We love everything about Chattanooga. It is one of THE most family friendly places on earth and we dearly love to visit there every chance we get. But seriously, there is almost always a traffic jam just outside of it. So you can either hang on to your bladders and hope you get through in an hour or so, or you can go through Mentone :).
We had gone through Mentone a few months ago and discovered the cutest little place called the Wildflower Cafe. We actually passed it the first go around but turned around to go back and have lunch there. It was so good that we stopped again on this trip. If you are ever in Mentone and have any room at all for some good food in your stomach, go to the Wildflower. Order anything at all on the menu and you’ll be happy, but you simply must try the tomato pie. It is to die for. While we were sitting there I told hubs that if I ever had a restaurant, I’d want it to be just like this one, but with a little less descriptive naming on the menu. Don’t get me wrong, the menu is divine and very well written. I think I’d just got a bit more common sense and down to earth because that is more my style. If I had a restaurant (which I definitely do not have time for) my menu would read something like this:
- Filet Mignon- The way we cook this steak makes the cow’s death a more noble cause than anyone could have ever thought possible.
- Rolls – Just like grandma made and served hot enough that the butter will be half melted just by sitting on the same tray on the way to the table.
- Tea – Iced. Sweet. Good. Required with every meal.
As we headed out of Mentone on the little winding mountain road, our road trip bliss was interrupted with a very sudden WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP. You got it folks, we have us a flat.
Thank goodness there was no one behind us as we pulled over to the side of the road. It was far too busy a road to be able to change the tire on but we were able to move into a nearby driveway and safely get started. I went up to the house in hopes of apologizing and explaining what had happened, and also to assure the owner that we’d be gone as soon as we possibly could. As I knocked I heard some noise inside but no one answered so I went back to the car to help change it. We both immediately got on our phones to look up where the jack was, how to get the tire down from under the car, etc. By the time he had the tire released I knew exactly where to safely insert the jack to raise up the car and we were off to the races. Isn’t internet a wonderful thing? (Our car didn’t come with an owner’s manual, but we have google)
About that time two teenage boys appeared from inside the house and stood staring at us from a distance so I smiled and approached them to explain what had happened. They leaned on their father’s tow truck (which I had previously viewed as a sign Ricky might have more help than me with the tire) and said “Yeah, thats what our dad said probably happened.” I apologized for us being in their driveway and they said “Well, good luck with the tire” and turned to disappear back into the house.
Looks like Ricky had me as his trusty assistant after all. That lucky dog…
It took us about 45 minutes to get the tire off and the spare on before we were on our way again but I couldn’t help but be grateful that Ricky’s head was just where mine was when I said “There is no telling what us having that flat tire just protected us from” he replied “Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing.”
Sure, it could have just been a flat tire. But it could have been the one thing keeping us off the road when an eighteen wheeler veered a little too far to the left..or when a deer ran across our path, or when someone who was dozing off turned onto the road without checking traffic beforehand.
True, it could have just been a flat tire but it could have just as easily been a small event orchestrated to protect us from a devastating event. Nothing wrong with being grateful..just in case 🙂
Oh, wanna see what it was we ran over? Here ya go…
Whooooweeee Dawgie! See what I mean about not halfway doing it?
Most folks would be content to run over a nail or screw or something. We had this entire thing embedded in the tire except for the last inch or so. Call us overachievers 🙂
Now let’s make some Italian Beef Sandwiches. These are SUPER easy and I took them to our tailgate last week. They stayed nice and warm in the slow cooker until everyone was ready to eat and we really enjoyed them. But they’d also make a great weeknight supper or game day meal at the house and leftovers heat up like a dream
You hungry yet? Lets get on in that kitchen and cook us up some grub!
I get bored taking ingredient photos in the same places all the time so today I took my ingredients into the living room. This is what my mantle looks like now. Okay, so I don’t really have a *real* fireplace but I’ve always wanted one so a few years back I saved up and we got an electric fireplace. It still puts out heat and has a beautiful fire look to it, but it’s not real. I’m cool with that though, I have a good imagination and someplace to hang the kid’s stockings on Christmas Eve :).
I had it all decorated at one time and it was actually pretty, too, but time and kids tend to redecorate your house and that isn’t always a bad thing. Ours is much more colorful now :). So here is my beef roast and can of beef gravy posing on my makeshift mantle with some painted picture frames, crayons, and a hello kitty hair barrette.
Woo, I’m feeling chatty today! Okay, I’ll try to actually get through this post now.
You’ll need: Beef Roast, can of beef gravy….AND
1-2 bottles of Zesty Italian Dressing.
You’re also going to need 1-2 Bell Peppers and 1 Onion.
Pretend you see those here. You’ll see them in a few pictures but they were kinda camera shy so I couldn’t really get a photo of them until I had cut them up and removed their will 🙂
I say “1-2” bottles of dressing and “1-2 bell peppers” because it really depends on how much you like them and how much flavor you want from them. Me? I could drink a bottle of Italian dressing and eat every bell pepper you put in front of me. I only used one bottle in this but I sometimes add another half bottle or so just to up the zingy flavor.
Place your beef roast in a slow cooker (my favorite kitchen appliance!) and cover with can of beef gravy.
Put lid on and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
* Note that you are not using your Italian Dressing now.
After it has cooked all day, remove the roast, drain off and discard all juices, shred the meat and return to the slow cooker.
Add in entire bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing and give it a good stir.
Chop up your onion and bell pepper and place in a skillet over medium high heat to brown slightly, until your onions are caramelized and your bell pepper is tender.
I don’t add anything to this but if your skillets tend to stick, you might want to add a tablespoon or so of cooking oil before adding in your veggies.
Now like I said, cook until that gets tender or do like me
and cook it until you get tired of fooling with them and want to get on with things.
Add them in with your beef and give it a good stir.
Place slow cooker on warm setting until ready to serve.
Serve on buns, topped with mozzarella cheese.
Special thanks to my friend, Tammy, for modeling the sandwich for me!
- Beef Roast Pot roast, chuck roast, sirloin roast, top roast, etc. Whatever kind you have, just not eye of round
- 1 can beef gravy
- 1 bottle Zesty Italian Dressing
- 1 Onion chopped
- 1-2 bell peppers chopped
- Place roast in slow cooker and pour can of beef gravy over. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
- Remove roast from slow cooker and discard juices. Shred meat and return to slow cooker. Pour bottle of dressing over meat and stir.
- In large skillet, place onion and bell pepper. Sauté over medium high heat until tender. Stir into beef mixture.
- Cover and place on warm until ready to serve. Serve on buns and top with mozzarella cheese.
I like to start each day with a positive or uplifting message on our Facebook page each morning – and I sure do hope you’ll join us over there if you haven’t already! Today’s message bears repeating so I’m adding it here, too!
”When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.”
~Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief