Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Beef Bourguignon

 
 
 

 
 
 
Admittedly, I have no idea how to pronounce "bourguignon" or do I even know what it means for that matter.  My guess is that it means something like: divine, beautiful, or simply heavenly.  Sometimes I find a recipe that looks interesting and I hang onto it for months before I finally end up cooking it.  But there are other times, like this time, that I find a recipe and I MUST prepare it immediately.  Trust me, if you happened to see the photo that was printed alongside this recipe (which was featured in the October issue of the Rachel Ray magazine) you wouldn't have hesitated either.  A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case, it was worth a thousand teeny tiny bursts of the salivary glands.

Another true fact is that the husband and I are not big fans of the traditional beef stew and this recipe is pretty similar to beef stew, but there is just something about this recipe that attracted me.  My guess is that it has something to do with the lack of potatoes called for in the recipe.  Or it may have been the addition of bacon and red wine.  Oh YUM! Those glands are kicking into gear again as I type! I prepared this dish exactly as directed in the original recipe, no alterations needed.  I'm going to do you a favor and stop babbling about it now so that you can head straight into your kitchen to cook it right up!


INGREDIENTS:

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 lb. beef chuck stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes
2 C white mushrooms, quartered
3/4 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 in. pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP flour
1 C beef stock
3/4 C dry red wine
2 TBSP fresh thyme
salt & pepper
1 small baguette, cut into slices


DIRECTIONS:


In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over med-high heat until crisp, 4 minutes or so.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer into a bowl. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add it to the pot in a single layer.  Cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the cooked meat, carrots, onion, tomato paste and butter.  Season and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  Stir in the stock, wine and 1 tbsp. thyme; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to med-low, cover and simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce thickens, about 1 1/2 hours.  Stir in the cooked bacon; season.  Divide among bowls, garnish with the remaining thyme and serve with the sliced baguette.  Enjoy! :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Super Simple Cheddar Mac & Cheese



Where has the time gone?

 It was brought to my attention last weekend (shout out to Tami!) that it has been over four months since my last post. Which also means that it has been over four months since my last blogspot log in.  I must admit that upon todays log in, I was tickled to see that I have had over 13,000 blog views.  :)  Now, I am completely aware that there are thousands of bloggers out there who by far surpass me in numbers and probably have quadruple that amount in followers and probably get that number of page views on the daily.  Good for them, but that is not what I'm about.  I like to share at my leisure and not feel as if I must produce.  So that is exactly what I will continue to do.  With that said, thank you to those that continue to check in and to Tami for giving me a little nudge. 

I was also thrilled to see that my most viewed post is this, a recipe that I created myself.  The second most viewed is my recipe is for this, which is also delicious (A sad but true fact: I had to sing "Fergalicious" in my head to get that spelled right). 

Please excuse me while I go refill my glass with a little more two "and a half" buck Chuck....

K I'm back, refilled, and good to go!  Where were we? Oh yes, the Two Buck Chuck!  Who else thinks they should change it's nickname already? It would totally still rhyme and make a lot more sense. Let me just say that I am comfortable enough with my own frugalness (or smartness as I like to call it) to not be ashamed to admit that I, on occasion, drink the two buck Chuck.  I must also admit though, that I am no wine connoisseur and if you are, then maybe you are gagging on your cork right now, who knows?! 

So lets get to this recipe already, shall we?

Last week I made this CRAZY good mac n cheese. I am talking RICH, CREAMY, CHEESY, SUPER SIMPLE, "ARE YOU GOING TO FINISH THAT?" kind of mac & cheese!  It was so palate pleasing that I actually made it two nights in a row!! And in our house that is absurd! If I make a dish today, it better not appear in the rotation for at least a month or someone will say "didn't we just have this?!" My cousin twin, (cousins that look a ton alike, and sound a lot alike and that were born only a month apart) said that she is really loving mac & cheese at the moment, so I just had to post this recipe for her! :) Cheers to you Kell Bell!

This recipe does not make a ton.  It worked well for us as two adult sized side servings with enough left over to send with the husband the next day for lunch with a grilled chicken breast. 

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 C uncooked small shaped pasta (obviously macaroni is a great choice.  I acutally used orecchiette the first time and penne the second)
1/4 C butter
1/4 C all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
4 pinches of pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 C half & half
1 C milk
1 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 dashes hot sauce (such as Tapatio)
Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare an 8X8 glass dish with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  fill a small sauce pan with salted water.  Bring to a boil. Stir in the uncooked pasta.  Cook according to package directions.  Drain well and set aside.  Using the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, half and half and milk.  Whisk until smooth and cook until thickened.  (This will take just a few minutes.)  Turn the heat to low, whisk in 1 1/2 of cheddar cheese, ground mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.  Stir in the cooked pasta.  Spoon the cheesy pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with desired amount of bread crumbs.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C cheddar cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 4 min. or until the cheese is melted.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Pot Pasta



Since the husband isn't a huge fan of pasta, I try not to cook dishes with pasta too often, but when I do, I try to make sure that it is something wonderful!  This dish definitely falls under the wonderful category.

This recipe was originally called "One Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles". That is a nice name and all, but after I prepared this dish, I decided that it tasted exactly like a cheesy chicken pot pie made with pasta noodles instead of the pie crust.  So since I altered the original recipe, I took it upon myself to also alter the name.  Therefore, I will now call it "Cheesy Chicken Pot Pasta".  This recipe will easily feed a family of four with a major possibility of leftovers.


INGREDIENTS:

2 TBSP olive oil
2 C total of chopped onions, celery and carrots (I used a half of a large onion, three celery stalks and two handfuls of baby carrots
1 TBSP garlic, minced
salt & pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
2.5 C milk, divided
2 TBSP cornstarch
1.5 TBSP butter
3 heaping TBSP chicken bouillon granules, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
2 C water
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 lb. dried linguini, broken in half
1.5C cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium/high heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic.  sauté in the olive oil just until the vegetables start to become tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the cubed chicken to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  sauté the chicken with the vegetables until it is no longer pink (there is not a need to cook it through as it will finish cooking as it simmers in the sauce).  As you sauté the chicken with the vegetables you'll need to prepare the cream sauce in a small sauce pan by whisking 1 cup of the milk with the cornstarch.  Place the sauce pan over medium/high heat and add the 1.5 TBSP of butter, 1 heaping tsp. of chicken bouillon granules, 1/2 tsp. of salt along with a dash of pepper.  Whisk together and continue to whisk until the mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat and add it into the large pot as soon as the chicken cubes are no longer pink.  Also mix in the remaining 1.5 C of milk, 2C of water, the remaining 2 heaping tsp. of chicken bouillon granules, the dried parsley, dried thyme, garlic powder, and dried linguini.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to low.  Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes until the pasta is tender.  Stir every five minutes or so to prevent the noodles from sticking to one another.  Once the pasta if finished, removed the pot from the heat and stir in 1 C of shredded cheddar cheese.  Top with the remaining .5 C and allow to sit and rest for five minutes or so until the cheese becomes melted and the sauce has thickened.  ENJOY!

Adapted from yellowblissroad.com's recipe for "creamy chicken and noodles"

Monday, February 3, 2014

STEAK N' CHEDDAR MEATBALLS


Hi friends! It has been a few weeks, (or rather several!).  I wanted to pop in to share a recipe with you that I made yesterday for the super bowl.  This recipe was adapted from a recipe featured in People magazine way back in 2011.  The article states that the recipe took home a blue ribbon at the NYC Wine & Food Festival that year.  One bite and you'll understand why.  Carson (now 2 1/2) was a big fan of these and ate several, Dominic (9) was not at all interested.  So are they kid friendly? Let your kids decide.  :)

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
4 oz. raw bacon, diced
1 lb. ground beef
3oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 C bread crumbs (mine were Italian seasoned)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spray the bottom of a 8X8 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and bacon and sauté until golden.  Transfer the onions and bacon to a small plate lined with a paper towel.  Allow to cool.  Then in a large bowl, combine the bacon, onions and the rest of the ingredients and mix well until thoroughly combined.  Roll the mixture into 25 meatballs.  Be sure to pack the meat firmly. Place them into the prepared 8X8 (five rows of five fit really well) and roast until cooked through, about 18 minutes.  Allow the meatballs to cool for five minutes before transferring to a serving dish.  Place one toothpick into each meatball and serve.  ENJOY!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers



I made this recipe for "Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers" for the first time a little over a year ago.  (I also took this lovely picture way back when as well.  Talk about procrastination!)  It wasn't until a friend just asked me for the recipe that I decided that I should go ahead and add it to my online recipe box.  You know, since I did just type the whole thing out and all.  :)  I plan to make these for dinner really soon, they are really really yummy and the husband enjoyed them a lot. 

INGREDIENTS:
 
olive oil
1/2 lb ground turkey (you can probably use lean ground turkey as well)
1 C chopped onions
1 heaping TBSP of taco seasoning (I used the homemade version)
2 C of cooked rice (I used some Spanish rice I had leftover)
3-4 bell peppers, halved and seeds removed
1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 C of frozen corn
1 (15 -16 ounce) jar of salsa (or homemade if you have it!)
shredded Cheddar Cheese
 
Toppings:
fresh cilantro
sour cream
sliced avocado
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
 Start the rice.
Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the prepped peppers with the olive oil and roast them in a baking dish for 20-25 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool long enough so they can be handled.
Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey with the chopped onion and any seasonings of your choice. (I usually like to use a little salt, pepper, and garlic...fresh or powdered.) Drain any excess fat if necessary.
 
When the meat is finished, add in the taco seasoning.  Mix well to combine.  Next, add in the black beans, corn, rice and the salsa.  Mix well.
 
Now, spoon in the turkey mixture into each of the bell pepper halves.  Carefully place them back into the baking dish.  Cook the peppers for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are cooked thru.  Just before removing the dish, sprinkle the top of each pepper with some shredded cheddar cheese.  Place the dish back into the oven long enough for the cheese to melt. 
 
Remove from the oven and top with an additional desired toppings (ex. cilantro, sour cream, avocado...)
 
ENJOY!
 
 
recipe adapted from: simplylovefood.blog.com


Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Vegetable Torta



(Isn't it pretty!?)

I loved, loved, LOVED this Summer Vegetable Torta. A LOT!  It turned out so pretty and so very tasty! It looked quite impressive in my opinion and it was super easy to toss together!  I ate it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.  No, I'm not kidding.  I'm anxiously awaiting for a brunch or potluck that I can prepare this for.  I think it'll be a hit!

INGREDIENTS:

3 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
8oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 red peppers, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
8oz. cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
1/4 C heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
3  TBSP fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 C shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS

Prepare a 9-inch spring form pan by spraying the bottom and sides with cooking spray.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, and spray with additional cooking spray. Then wrap the outside with aluminum foil.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, zucchini, and fresh peppers and saute until vegetables just start to become tender (10 minutes or so). 

Then, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Next beat in the eggs until combined.  Now beat in the cream. Stir in the garlic, basil, salt and pepper.

Now, using a slotted spoon, drain off liquid from the vegetables and add them to the egg mixture.  Add shredded cheddar cheese and stir with a rubber spatula to combine.

Spread mixture into the prepared pan and set the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours, until top is golden brown and the center is firm when shaken. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan, then run a sharp knife around edges to loosen. Gently remove the pan sides. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. ENJOY!

recipe adapted from: alldayidreamaboutfood.com

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Broccoli & Beef

 


I can't take too too much credit for this one since I only altered a few things in this recipe.  Well, who knows, those little changes could have been what made this dish SO FREAKING FANTASTIC!!! So I guess I'll go ahead and toot my own horn for a sec.  "toot toot!"  Ok, done now. 

 I am a huge broccoli  & beef fan.  I've tried making it at home before, only to realize that the Chinese restaurants can make it much better.  The hubster requested broccoli & beef for dinner last night so I decided to go ahead and try out a new recipe that I had pinned a while back.  It turned out SO SO YUMMY!! I will definitely  be make this again and again.  It tasted just as good as a Chinese restaurant without all the MSG.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP water
2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
1.5lbs. flank steak, sliced thin
1/2 C low sodium soy sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBSP flour
1 TBSP sherry
3 TBSP toasted sesame oil
2 heads of broccoli crowns

DIRECTIONS:

Preparing the beef:

Allow the beef to come to room temperature.  (Mine sat out for about an hour and a half)  Then, using a sharp knife, slice the beef into thin strips making sure to slice against the grain.  If the slices become too long, feel free to cut them in half or even in thirds. 

Preparing the marinade:

In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients. Then add the beef strips and thoroughly coat them in the marinade.  Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, set aside and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.  (Now would be a good time to get your rice started)

In the meantime:

Trim your broccoli and set aside.  In a small bowl whisk together the 1/2 C low sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, flour and sherry. Set aside until the meat is finished marinating.

When the meat is ready:

 Heat 2 TBSP of the sesame oil in a wok or  large sauté pan over high heat.  Next, add the broccoli and sauté in the oil for 4-5 minutes.  (I prefer my broccoli a little on the crunchy side, feel free to cook longer if you like it softer.)  Transfer the broccoli to a dish and set aside. 

Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the remaining 1 TBSP of sesame oil to the pan.  Add the meat to the pan and then pour in half of the soy sauce/brown sugar mixture on top.  Saute until the meat is no longer pink, this takes just a few minutes.  When the meat is finished, add the broccoli to the wok with the remainder of the soy sauce/brown sugar mixture.  Saute for another minute. 

Serve over steamed white rice. ENJOY!!


Recipe adapted from: Rainydaygal.com