Monthly Archives: May 2012

Always Be Prepared

I am nothing if not perpetually unprepared.

Well. Wait. That’s not completely true. I always come prepared for things like big speeches and final exams. I bring the materials and the points I’m responsible for to meetings at work. I’m usually prepared to answer work-related question when presented with one. I am a responsible adult, after all. Or I do a pretty darn good job pretending to be. Whatever.

But I never have an umbrella handy when it’s raining. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had an umbrella handy once in my entire life. I don’t think I even *own* umbrella. If I do, I have no idea where it is. In fact, if it’s pouring rain, not only will I not have an umbrella, I’ll have no jacket, no hood and I’ll being wearing wildly impractical footwear (silk ballet flats, perhaps?) and super long, draggy pants.

Need to put gas in the car when it’s five below? Sure wish I had a hat. Freight train stopped dead on the one set of tracks I absolutely must cross or there’s no possible way I can reach my office short of donning a Superman cape and leaping over tall buildings in a single bound? Should have left 10 minutes earlier. Also, should have peed first.

I have no extra batteries. No emergency needle and thread handy to fix a wayward button that fell off a shirt. We’ve run out of toilet paper before. Like totally and completely out, not a square in the house out. I know. I know.

I don’t have my important papers stacked together neatly in a file ready to grab at a moment’s notice. No stash of bottled water and canned goods. I’m not exactly sure where the flashlight is and we don’t have a weather radio. Oh, a first aid kid? I think there’s some loose band-aids under Eric’s sink in the bathroom and maybe some ointment in the laundry room. If someone’s bleeding profusely, I’m likely zero help anyway, so it’s not like a first aid kit is going to do any of us much good.

Don’t cut yourself at my house, please and thank you.

I’m also unprepared when it comes to having my blogging ducks in a row for foodie-type holidays bloggers go nuts over. Like Cinco de Mayo. This shredded beef for tacos would have been much more appropriate if presented last week. Posting it on May 7th makes me quite lame. But it doesn’t make the beef any less delicious.

This is one of my favorite things to come from the crock pot to date. To be honest, I don’t use my slow cooker that often because I find most of the meals to come out of it to be meh. I like my meat tender like anyone else, but there’s a difference between tender and mushy. The slow cooker crosses that line too often for me. This beef stands up well to extra long cooking time, and the flavor is so fresh and yummy. It’s perfectly seasoned and spiced. We stuffed it in tacos the first night, then I made Mexican-inspired stuff shells and some pressed sandwiches with pepper jack and hot sauce with the leftovers over the course of the week. Easy, versatile, and tasty. Even when you’re unprepared. 😉

SHREDDED BEEF FOR TACOS (Recipe source: As seen at Elly Says Opa!)


  • 1 (2-3 lb.) boneless beef roast (rump, chuck, whatever you have)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil. Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper.  Once the oil is hot, add the roast to the pan and brown on all sides until a nice crust forms, about 2 minutes per side.  Place in the slow cooker.
  2. To the pan with the beef drippings, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the beef broth and spices, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the seasoned broth and onions over the top of the roast.
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until fork tender.  Shred meat with a fork and moisten with a bit of the cooking liquid. (To soak up any extra liquid, you can turn the crockpot to high for a little bit after shredding the beef.)




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