Feast for the 4th – Brisket, Crockpot Style

Posted by casey on June 30, 2011 in In The Kitchen, The Main Show

Of the many things that could apply to the saying, “You can’t live in Texas and not love __________” Brisket/BBQ is on the top of the list.  I thought the days leading up to the Fourth of July would be a good time to share one of my favorite brisket recipes.  Perfect for company or just your family, it is sure to please. The best part?  It involves a crock pot which means the bulk of your job is going to the store.  Perfecto.  Eat it by itself, on sandwiches, chop it up in nachos….so many options!

BBQ Brisket – Crockpot Style

* One, 1-3 lb brisket (look for a good slice that has minimal fat throughout, just fat on the edges)
* 1/2 cup water
* 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
* 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
* 1 teaspoon Cumin (I prefer a bit more)
* 2 cups bottled or home-made BBQ sauce (estimated amount)
* sandwich rolls if needed

1. Trim the fat from your brisket. I like to leave a little on around the outside to help keep the meat moist and tender.  You also may need to cut your brisket to fit it in your slow cooker.  Try to keep it in larger pieces though.

2. Stir together the water, vinegar, and worcestershire. 

3. Sprinkle the cumin over the meat inside your crockpot.

4. Pour the liquid over your cumin seasoned meat.

5. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours. ( I have done both and it works well either way.)

** Now, you can either shred the meat and stir the BBQ sauce over all of it returning it to the crock pot to heat when the meat is cooked, or just shred the meat and let each person individually put sauace on it.  Just a couple of options!**

Mmmmmm, my pregnant red-meat craving mouth is watering. Enjoy!



Learning Curve

Posted by casey on June 29, 2011 in Caden, Snapshots

Silverware usage is a messy process.

At least those baby blues make up for the clean up.


When the Words Come

Posted by casey on June 20, 2011 in Family, Grieving My Way

As many of you know or have heard, my mother’s youngest sister Dana passed away this past Friday.  I also know that many of you expected (so to speak) for me to jump right on and write away the train of thoughts that react to such an event as I often do.  However, it has been very quiet around here. Just, quiet.

I have thought to myself and checked in with myself…How are you doing?  How are you feeling?  What can you process?  What are you doing to stay at ease for Baby Kaz II?  What are you expecting to face?  For the most part those answers have been pretty quiet as well.  Simple, short, matter of fact, accepted answers. 

I realized that maybe  I just need to wait. 
With waiting, the words will come.

I did come across a couple of thoughts though.  During this time I came across an issue I remember disliking after my mother’s death.  Past tense.  How is it that someone who is an active part of you and your children’s life, someone you speak too and see often has to be referred to in past tense – just like that.  It bothers me not because they are “gone” but because it makes me feel as if it takes away from their importance.  “Dana always says…” and “Dana used to say…” have very different tones to me.  It doesn’t feel correct to say she “had” something because well, all of those somethings are still there.  She “loved” us….eh, I think she loves us.  With death we often speak of what they have left behind and how their memory is alive with us and we obviously do not forget them.  Yet, we are supposed to go from present tense to past tense when speaking of them without a blink of the eye.  It bothered me four years ago, and yes, I have realized that it still bothers me now.

Something else I am very aware of is that I have been accepting this loss from the day I heard “cancer” and “there is nothing really they can do” come from Dana’s mouth on her porch 11 months ago.  I am a very positive person, and I believe in the power of positive thinking and prayer, however I also am a realist.  The reality of the situation was that our family would be faced with another unimaginable loss and that yet again we would be stripped of a woman who loves us, supports us and glues our family.  In just over four years we have lost my mom’s mother (Fall 2006), my mother at 58 years old (March 2007), her middle sister (July 2008)  at 55 years old and now the youngest sister at 52 years old.  Yes, it is sad.

Sure, death is a part of life. I don’t think it should be a regular part of someone’s life and family.  Something that seems to be a constant and something that adds to the things we are all currently working through.  For now though that is just what we all are doing…working through it, pulling through it and for me, I am processing the quiet.

In the quiet, the words will come.


Best Man

Posted by casey on June 19, 2011 in Family, Snapshots

For the Best Man in our Life
Happy Father’s Day!


A Splash of Joy

Posted by casey on June 18, 2011 in Add the Caption, Caden

Just a Little Splash of Joy for Your Saturday

Tell me it doesn’t make you smile.
Tell me you don’t want to be doing the same thing.
Tell me it doesn’t take you back to your childhood days.

So Much Joy in One Little Body.

What caption would you give this picture?
(Maybe there will be a surprise for the best caption next week.)


The Compilation

Posted by casey on June 16, 2011 in Writing Nook

This week in Mama Kat’s Writer’s workshop, there was a pregnant topic.  I’m trying to not only write about being pregnant again but seeing as how it is a pretty big focus around here in addition to the happenings of toddler Caden I am not succeeding at my goals.  However, I thought that this prompt was a good opportunity to reflect on some of the funnier moments of last pregnancy and this one instead of starting from scratch.

* If you remember, when I was pregnant with Caden, my hubs was spending two weeks of every month offshore.  This left me to my own devices which was quite interesting as I got bigger…and bigger..and bigger.
So I bring you humorous pregnancy memory #1 = Adjusting to Isolation

* As I have already mentioned recently, I tend to ramble even more when pregnant.  Hard to believe right?  I also lose my train of thought…a lot.  Or, I just go with my train of thought even more which is dangerous. Humorous pregnancy memory #2 is a perfect example of both of those things. Waiting on Cankles and Cupcakes

* Then there was that time I got the” swine flu” when I was pregnant.  Naturally when you brought the word swine into my pregnant brain all I could think about was my need for bacon which I was in no state to eat at that point.  Ay yi yi.  The swine flu.  What ever happened to that media driven panic?  Pregnancy memory #3 = The Land of Oz and Swine

* My Top 20 Reasons You Know You’re Knocked Up pretty much speaks for itself….as do the comments on that post.

* You always hear chatter of abnormal cravings hormonal pregnant women have and I was no different.  It wasn’t the excessive need for red meat that threw me off, but this Christmas Craving in particular that was proving difficult.  I still think it is one of the nicest things my husband has ever done for me.  Ever.  Mainly because he took pity on me and in that moment (and right now) I was okay with that.

* The last humorous pregnant memory I will leave you with is the most recent one “Whaddya Know” where I tend to forget that I am pregnant.  Kind of.

Hopefully I walked you through “memory lane” and let you either recall such events yourself or made you never want to be pregnant. The latter is perfect if you are say 15.  Here is to many more hormonal ramblings in pregnancy!


Two of a Kind

Posted by casey on June 15, 2011 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles, Family

We have been so fortunate to be able to spend lots of time at the pool with Lindsay and Dylan so far this summer.  Good for pregnant mamas and good for their boys.  The two are quite hilarious in their sun hats, splashing and most of all following each other around.  I must say “Monkey See, Monkey Do” fifteen times every visit.  We have gotten in quite a routine of them running in the shallow end, time in their floaties, jumping in the big pool, snack break, running back to the water, fountains, waterfall etc.  As you might have noticed in that last sentence there is no “layout and read a book” time scheduled in.  We have quite active visits to the pool, but they love it and they exhaust themselves. Yes!

Caden and Dylan have grown into quite the pair of buddies.  Caden gets very excited to see Dylan (and Lindsay) and in general they are a perfect pair.  Why?  They have an understanding.  Dylan loves to share and give things away, Caden loves to accept (take) them. :) So, both parties are perfectly happy with their arrangement.  It is nice that they like to entertain each other and for the most part don’t get into too much trouble. (yet)

Last weekend I finally remembered to bring my camera to the pool since the husbands were coming and we would have extra hands watching them.  Extra hands watching them means extra hands for me to take pictures.  Wouldn’t you know my battery was dead.  The good news is that Lindsay remembered to bring hers on Monday and I will leave the rest to unfold before your very eyes.

“Are you hungry?” “I’m hungry.” “Let’s be hungry.”

“Aaaaahhhh this is the life.”

“I’m feeling a little lonely…”

“Look Ma, No Hands!”
(Heaven forbid he let go of either snack to get a drink.)

“Your seat looks quite nice.”
(Initiate getting down from his chair and patting “up” on Dylan’s.)

“What are you looking at?” 
“No, what are you looking at?” 
“This is my chair.”   
“Yes, but didn’t you see that I was feeling lonely?”

“Mmmmmmm what’cha got?”
“I knew I wouldn’t be so lonely in this seat.”



Posted by casey on June 14, 2011 in Caden, For Your Funny Bone, Snapshots

My Son the Thief
I’m Pretty Sure That is What Dylan Thinks Too.
Caden Steals What Dylan Willingly Gives Up.  Their Friendship in One Sentence.
Think He Will Learn to Share Before His Brother Arrives?


Picture This

Posted by casey on June 13, 2011 in Everett's Edition, Family

The Kazmann Three is Soon to be The Kazmann Four


But will Caden be getting a baby brother or sister to adore?


Nonna cut the cake and was trying to see…


If pink or blue was going to be!


We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming a BOY in November!

Cars and balls and bugs and dirt and all things boys will be continuing to decorate our home.  Our sweet boy will be getting a baby brother only 20 months younger than him to wrestle with, confide in, fight with and have to support him.  What a sweet addition to our family!


It’s A…

Posted by casey on June 12, 2011 in Everett's Edition, Family

Sweet Baby Face!

Yes, I tricked you.
No I still won’t tell you.  Not until tomorrow.
What is your guess?  A baby brother for Caden or a baby sister?

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