Hey Guys! I had a recipe contest a few months back…life got crazy, I took off the summer, and I’m just now posting the results!!  I have been cooking more this summer, and I’ve really enjoyed it.  There is something therapeutic about chopping veggies
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First off, I want to thank all of you who took the time to send me your favorite recipes   I don’t think I was expecting to get so many!  You made deciding REALLY HARD!!  I’m picked 3 that I’m going to feature here on the blog, but I actually printed off about 10 that I’m going to use this summer.  Thank you all so much, I really do love you guys.  I hope you’re having a fabulous summer….mine has been amazing.

Ok so now for the winners!!!

#1: Lauren Koos: Crockpot Brisket Taco Recipe

Ingredients

3-4  lb brisket (depends on the size of your Crockpot)1-2 pkg of your favorite taco seasoning (use regular, not low sodium if you can.  it really makes a different in the flavor!)
1-2 poblano peppers (sliced or chopped, whichever you prefer)
1-2 yellow onions (sliced or chopped, whichever you prefer)
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1-2 cups water
corn or flour tortillas (I’ve tried the flavored flour tortillas such as Jalapeno cheddar & it was GREAT with these)
Garnish with: sour cream, cheese, guacamole, pico, cilantro

Directions

*  Trim as much fat off brisket as possible
*  Cover bottom of Crockpot with 1/2 of onions, peppers & cilantro
*  Place brisket in crock pot
*  Empty 1 pkg of taco seasoning over crock pot & then pour 1 c. water over it.
* Sprinkle more cilantro over brisket (the amount of cilantro you use is really up to you.  I LOVE cilantro so I’ll usually use the whole bunch but, obviously, to each his (or her) own )
*  Put the roast of the onions & peppers around the brisket
*  Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours
*  Take brisket out & shred it on cutting board or plate with two forks & then place back in the crock pot.  (You can shred it in the crock pot if you’d like but I find it’s a lot less messy if you take it out a little at a time & shred it)
* Taste the brisket.  If it needs more flavor, add more taco seasoning.  You may be tempted to add more water but be careful because it can make them REALLY watery & messy.  Add 1/4 c at a time, you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.
* Cook on HIGH for one more hour.
* Now it’s time to build your taco!  Place small portion of brisket on tortilla & top with your favorite garnish!

#2: Laura Clark: Strawberry Pie

This is perfect for summer!  It’s very fresh and tastes great when made with the juicy strawberries you can get this time of the year.   You could buy the whipped cream for the top but there is nothing like fresh whipped cream.

1 (9 inch deep dish) pie crust, baked and cooled
1 quart fresh strawberries
1 c white sugar
3 T cornstarch
3/4 c water
1/2 c heavy cream
1 t vanilla
2-3 T confectioner’s sugar

Cut strawberries into fourths (or half depending on the size).  Arrange half in the baked pie shell.  Mash the remaining berries with the sugar in a medium saucepan.  (I use a potato masher for this.)  Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil stirring frequently.  In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water.  Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture.  Reduce heat and simmer until thickened.  This should take 4-7 minutes.  Pour into the pie shell over the other strawberries.  Chill for several hours.  When you are ready to serve, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar (amount of this depends on how sweet you like whipped cream).  Spread on top of the cooled pie and serve!

#3: Sara DeWitt: Spinach Tortellini with Ham

Spinach Tortellini w/ Ham  –
1 family size package of Buitoni 3 cheese family size Tortellini Pasta (20 oz)
half a bag of fresh baby spinach1 Ham steak (cubed)1/2 stick of butter1 Red Pepper Crushed Black Pepper
Shredded Parmesan Cheese (not Grated)

Put the butter in a big Pan, melt it and saute the cubed ham and chopped up red pepper.  While that’s cooking up and browning, you’ll want to cook your Tortellini according to the package.  Put your fresh Spinach in the strainer, Strain and drain your Pasta over that.  Pour the Spinach and Pasta into the big Pan where your ham and pepper is cooking.  Mix that all together and cook for a couple of minutes on the stove.  Sprinkle your crushed black pepper to your liking.  Sprinkle some of the Parmesan cheese over it while stirring it.  Serve hot with add’l cheese on top along with your favorite crusty bread.  Enjoy!