Archive for May, 2013


Beer Braised Short Ribs

May 28, 2013

This is a perfect Sunday dinner dish and go really well with mashed potatoes and fresh veggies. It’s a little different than a more traditional roast, and it is a great way to use up a straggler beer from your fridge. Even better, you get to toss everything in a slow cooker and come back after an outdoor adventure!

20130505 Braised Short Ribs

You will need:

  • 4-5 lbs short ribs
  • 2 T steak seasoning
  • 3 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz (1 bottle) chili sauce
  • 12 oz (1 bottle) favorite beer — but not a dark one
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 package dried onion soup mix
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper

Then you will…

  1. Season the short ribs with the steak seasoning. Brown on all sides over high heat in a nonstick skillet.
  2. Place the short ribs in the slow cooker.
  3. Top with onion and celery.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the garlic, chili sauce, beer, water, onion soup mix, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour over the contents of the slow cooker.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
  7. Remove the short ribs from the cooker. Get rid of the bones and shred the meat.
  8. Return the rib meat to the cooker and discard the bones.
  9. Allow to cook on low for another hour or two.
  10. Skim off excess fat from the sauce before serving.

Chicken Burgers

May 22, 2013

I adapted this recipe from Self Magazine. I’d seen it in a recent edition and thought they looked intriguing. They will be a bit funny looking because of the pureed edamame and portobellos, but they add lots of extra flavor and protein!

You will need:

  • 1 portobello cap
  • 1 c shelled edamame
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 12 oz chicken breast
  • 2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T olive oil

Then you will…

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, puree the portobello, edamame, garlic and onion until finely chopped.
  3. Add the chicken, soy sauce, cayenne and Dijon. Pulse until the chicken is chopped and ingredients are well combined.
  4. Form mixture into four patties.
  5. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat (I used a cast iron).
  6. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until both sides are browned. This will take roughly 2-3 minutes per side.
  7. Place skillet in the preheated oven. Bake until the patties are cooked through, another 12-14 minutes.
  8. Serve hot!

20130503 Chicken Burger 01


Sour Cream Brownies

May 16, 2013

Mmmm brownies. So warm and chocolatey. I made this one Sunday afternoon while D and I were lazing about home. They have sour cream and balsamic vinegar in the batter to give them a bit of a different taste. They would also be good with some toasted nuts in the batter.

20130505 Sour Cream Brownies

You will need:

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c applesauce
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 inch square baking dish with tinfoil and lightly spay with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter with the sugars.
  3. Stir in the sour cream, applesauce, vanilla, the egg and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Mix in baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour and cocoa powder.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread into the prepared baking dish.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set in the center.

Lemon Ginger Simple Syrup

May 11, 2013

I love having this on hand – it’s a great way to flavor fizzy water or a drink. It comes together pretty quickly and will last in the fridge for about two weeks (if it lasts that long!).

You will need:

  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 c water
  • 3 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/4 c fresh lemon juice (about 7-9 lemons)

Then you will…

  1. Bring the sugar, water and fresh ginger to a boil over medium low heat.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to reduce by half, or until you have a syrupy consistency.
  3. Remove the fresh ginger slices.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and mix well.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

20130505 Lemon Ginger Syrup


Carrot Mac-n-Cheese

May 6, 2013

I wanted to make a variation on mac-n-cheese that was sneaky: it has oodles of carrot and Greek yogurt hidden inside to eek up the “it’s kind of healthy” factor. Check it out!

You will need:

  • 1 lb of whole wheat pasta
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2/3 c water
  • 3/4 c Greek yogurt, divided
  • 1/2 t ground mustard
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 3/4 t chili powder
  • 1/4 t cayenne powder
  • 4 T butter
  • 4 T flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/3 c sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 3 T fresh chopped chives

20130418 Carrot Mac

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the box’s directions minus 2 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until softened and translucent.
  4. Simmer the carrots in the 2/3 cup of water until softened, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Combine the onions with the carrots and any remaining water in a blender. Puree until smooth.
  6. Add 1/2 c of the Greek yogurt along with the mustard, salt, pepper, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Puree until well combined.
  7. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until smooth. Allow to warm up until starting to thicken.
  9. Stir in the pureed carrot mixture plus the remaining Greek yogurt.
  10. Ensure it is hot through the whole sauce.
  11. Stir in the shredded cheese and allow to melt.
  12. Mix in the chives. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  13. Toss the pasta with the sauce and pour into the prepared pan. (If feeling adventurous, feel free to top with a little extra cheese).
  14. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly, and the top is beginning to brown. Allow to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Balsamic Steak Rolls

May 1, 2013

I made this at D’s on a recent visit, because we wanted to make something a little special. This recipe requires a bunch of prep work, so it is a bit more time consuming than some of my other recipes. It was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. Hopefully you will like it too!

20130420 Glazed Steak Roll 02

You will need:

  • 2 lb flank steak, trimmed and cut into 8 strips width-wise
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 t hot sauce
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 red pepper, rinsed and seeded
  • 1 small bunch scallions, roots cut off
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 c beef stock
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar (we used a truffle vinegar)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 4 T Chicago-style steak seasoning

Then you will…

  1. Season the steak strips liberally with salt and pepper. Place in a large ziplock bag and toss with the Worcestershire and hot sauce. Allow to marinade for an hour to three hours.
  2. Julienne the carrot, red pepper and scallions into strips a little longer than the width of your steak strips.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  4. Add the shallot and cook for about 4 minutes, until the onions have sweated a bit and are starting to caramelize.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the stock and wine. Pour enough out so you are left with 1/3 of a cup of the mixed liquid.
  6. Stir the vinegar and brown sugar into the liquids. Add to the sauce pan.
  7. Allow the sauce to come to a boil and reduce by half. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. In a nonstick skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and allow to season the oil.
  9. Add the vegetables, oregano, basil and garlic powder. Saute for about 3 minutes, until the veggies become crisp-tender.
  10. Remove them and place them on a paper towel to cool.
  11. Lay the marinated steak out on a cutting board with the short ends toward you.
  12. Place some of the veggies horizontally across the middle of one of the steak strips.
  13. Roll up the steak around the veggies and secure with a toothpick or wooden skewer.
  14. Repeat with the other steak strips.
  15. Season with the Chicago steak seasoning.
  16. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the nonstick skillet.
  17. Add the steak rolls with the seam down and cook for 5 minutes on one side.
  18. Turn the roll to cook on the other side for another few minutes (cooking time will depend on how well done you enjoy your steak).
  19. Add the balsamic sauce to the pan. Turn the steak rolls to coat, ensuring it is cooked through on all sides.
  20. Remove the skewers and serve hot.
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