Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quick and Easy Breakfast Casserole

Oh I just love easy!  The easier the better some days, don't you agree?  This breakfast casserole can be thrown together in a matter of minutes, baked, cooled, covered and stored in the refrigerator until the next morning - then just a quick warm up in the oven and you're done.  Or mix, cover and bake in the morning.  Either way, it's super-quick and very easy!

1/2 lb. sausage, cooked and crumbled (could also use diced ham or cooked and crumbled bacon)
1/2 bag -16 oz. frozen Southern hash browns (cubed potatoes)
8 eggs, beaten
1-2 tbls hot sauce
1-2 tsp. Season Salt
2 tsp course-ground black pepper
1/ 2 bag (about 4 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend

Cook sausage, drain and spread on bottom of baking dish (8x12) sprayed with cooking spray (I use Pam).  Top with potatoes, sprinkled with season salt and pepper.  Whisk eggs with hot sauce and pour over sausage, potatoe mixture.  Top with shredded Mexican cheese and bake in a 350 oven 35-45 minutes  or until eggs are set and cheese is golden brown.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

While I did not use just sasage (I added pepperoni because I love it) this Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza is a favorite of mine and the grandsons!  I hope you enjoy it.  Original recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.


  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or salad oil
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced (I used shredded mozzarella cheese)
  • 1 pound Italian sweet or hot sausage, cooked and sliced; or about 3 cups of the sautéed vegetables of your choice (I added sliced Pepperoni)
  • 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, lightly crushed; or 28-ounce can diced or chopped tomatoes
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced, optional
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning or mixed dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary), to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, to drizzle on top

To make the crust: Mix the dough ingredients, and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth crust. This will take about 7 minutes at medium-low speed in a stand mixer.
2) Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl or 8-cup measure (which makes it easy to track its rise), cover, and let rise till very puffy, about 60 minutes.
3) While the dough is rising, ready your deep-dish pizza pan (I used a Spring Form Pan with the removable side). Grease it with non-stick vegetable oil spray, then pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, tilting it to cover the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides.
4) Stretch the dough to make as large a circle as you can. You can do this on a lightly oiled baking mat, if you choose; or simply stretch the dough in your hands.
5) Lay the dough in the pan, and stretch it towards the edges till it starts to shrink back. Cover, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Start preheating the oven to 425°F while the dough rests.
6) Stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan, then gently push it up the sides of the pan. The olive oil may ooze over the edge of the crust; that's OK. Let the crust rest for 15 minutes or so, as your oven comes up to 425°F.
8) Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it's set and barely beginning to brown. While it's baking, prepare the filling.
9) Drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Combine them with the Pizza Seasoning or herbs, and the garlic and sugar (if you're using them). Add salt to taste; you probably won't need any additional salt if you've used the Pizza Seasoning.
10) Cover the bottom of the crust with the sliced mozzarella, fanning it into the crust. Add the sausage (or sautéed vegetables), then the tomato mixture.
11) Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, and drizzle with the olive oil.
12) Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and carefully lift it out of the pan onto a rack (since I used a Spring-Form pan, all I had to do was release the sides). Allow the pizza to cool for about 15 minutes (or longer, for less oozing) before cutting and serving.
Yield: about 12 servings

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Homemade Lasagna


Almost everyone has a favorite "go to" recipe for lasagna and I've been making this recipe for more than 30 years.  The original recipe is from a high school friend's mom, who was from the Island of Malta.  She used Ricotta cheese in hers, but for years, it was too expensive for us, so I substituted whole milk cottage cheese.

My kids grew up with it this way, and we all loved it. Today I can afford ricotta cheese, but when I make it with all ricotta, we find it too stiff ... I guess we were just used to a more ooey-gooey cheesy mess.  LOL!

Nowadays, I mix half cottage cheese and half ricotta and it holds together very well, not too stiff and not too loose. I also add shredded 5-cheese Italian blend cheese to ours (or 6-cheese Italian blend).  The extra cheeses make it more cheesy and gooey!


1-16 oz. box lasagna noodles
2-14.5 oz. cans good quality tomato sauce
1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1.5 lbs. ground beef (I used not less than 93% lean)
2 tsp. garlic (powdered or minced)
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. oregano
1 small onion, diced (optional)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
8 oz. Ricotta cheese
8 oz. Cottage cheese
2 eggs
3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded 5 or 6 cheese Italian blend (if you don't use this, increase mozzarella to 4 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef with chopped onion in large pan, drain grease.

Return cooked ground beef and onion to pan;  add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine and seasonings (garlic, Italian seasoning and oregano).

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat, cover partially with lid, allowing some steam to escape, and cook over low heat an hour or more (if you have time), or until sauce has reduced some, and seasonings are well blended.  Adjust seasonings as needed, to taste.

In a large stock pot, fill with water and bring to a boil; add lasagna noodles and cook until just al dente, approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain noodles and toss with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil to keep from sticking.  Otherwise, you can remove the pan from the heat and using tongs, just pull the noodles out and layer in the pan.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan and 1 cup shredded 5 or 6 cheese Italian blend, stirring until well blended.

Spread 1 cup pasta sauce (approx) in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray (I use Pam). Layer with lasagna, ricotta cheese mixture, pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering, ending with sauce and mozzarella cheese on top of sauce. I usually end up with 4 layers so I can use all the noodles.  The last layer sometimes has a few extra noodles for that very reason.

Bake in 350 oven uncovered 40-45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.  Cut into serving pieces with a large knife or spatula and serve

I serve this with Italian bread (sometimes garlic bread) and a tossed garden salad.


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Friday, January 25, 2013

Crunchy Granola


I love Granola ... all kinds of granola! Today I made a very simple crunchy granola using ingredients you probably already have on your pantry shelf.  Eat it as a snack all by itself, serve on top of yogurt, or mix some with milk for a delicious, crunchy breakfast cereal. So delicious!

You can mix and match the nuts and dried fruit to be what you like. Even add a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg; the choice is yours.

You can use Maple Syrup or Honey. Maple Syrup will not have the granola clump up and honey will, so that's up to you depending on your preference (I like either or).

3 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup Dried Cranberries, Blueberries, Raisins, Cherries, Apricots (mix it up how you like)
1/2 cup Nuts or Seeds of your choice (mix it up how you like)
1/2 cup Coconut, shredded
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup or Raw Honey
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Oil (such as Canola)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon or nutmeg, optional

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir to combine rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, and coconut flakes (add spices now if using). In a separate bowl, stir to combine maple syrup (or honey), brown sugar, oil, and salt. Pour wet ingredients over the oats, and mix well.

Pour the granola onto a rimmed sheet pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Place sheet pan on a rack in the middle of the oven (not on the lowest rack). Bake for approx. 35-45 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking process.

Let the granola cool completely, break into pieces if you used honey, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cheesy Chili Mac or Goulash


Whatever you call this, and everyone has a name for it, this is all-time good comfort food!  I can remember making this for our kids, and now it's been "kicked up" a bit for a more "adult" taste.

1 lb. hamburger
1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
2-4 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp course-ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 cup medium salsa
1/2-1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups pasta, cooked according to package instructions (elbow macaroni or sea shells work best)

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown ground beef in pan; drain.  Add all remaining ingredients, except pasta and shredded cheddar cheese; stir to blend.

Add cooked pasta and stir until blended. 

Pour into prepared 13 x 9-inch pan (sprayed with cooking spray).  Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake approx. 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.  Serve immediately.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Prime Rib of Beef Stew

We had a Roasted Prime Rib of Beef the other night with friends ... it was delicious, and we were lucky to have some leftover from it.  I made the Beef Stock using the Prime Rib of Beef bones from the roast (4 ribs with meat on them).  To the stock I added celery (2 stalks cut in half), 1 onion, quartered, garlic salt, course-ground black pepper, 2 whole bay leaves and some beef bouillon cubes (about 3), all to taste. The stock turned out amazing.  I strained the stock, discarding the vegetables and bones. It then chilled in the refrigerator overnight, I skimmed the fat layer off the next morning and made stew with the stock and remaining beef, cut into chunks, and added cut potatoes and carrots.

4-6 cups Beef Stock made with bones from prime rib of beef
Flour to thicken (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup, approx. depending on desired thickness)
5 small to medium Red or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 -3 cups beef from prime rib of beef, cut into chunks
May add any other root vegetables desired; rutabega, parsnips, etc.

Add Beef Stock to large stock pot, whisk in flour to thicken (add more flour if necessary to make it as thick as you like it).  Bring to a boil, over med-high heat and continue to whisk until well blended.  Reduce heat to simmer and all to cook 10-15 minutes.  Add potatoes and carrots, return to a boil over med-high heat.  Once boiling, return to a simmer, cover loosely and simmer 30 minutes.  Add beef and cook an additional 10 minutes.  Serve immediately.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fried Lemon Pies


Saw this recipe the other day over on Joan's Chocolate, Chocolate and more Chocolate's page and just had to try it out!  I love fried pies, and the lemon just looked so good.  Only thing I wanted to do was make my great-grandmother's lemon pie filling (a family favorite), so I set out to do that today!  So glad I did ...  These would also be GREAT with Flour me with Love's  Easy Homemade Puff Pasty from Scratch ... I plan to make them that way the next time.
Lemon Pie Filling

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tbls. corn starch (if canning you must use Clear Jel)
Juice of 2 lemons
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4 egg yolks (lightly beaten)
1 tbls butter

Mix water, sugar, salt, cornstarch (or clear jel), lemon juice, grated lemon rind and egg yolks in large sauce pan, whisking to combine.  Cook over med-high heat, stirring often to prevent sticking.  Bring to a boil and cook one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in butter, stirring until melted.  Pour into bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool on counter top while you make your crust.

Pie Crust
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
3-4 tbls cold water

Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, cut shortening in with pastry blender or fork.  Add water and stir until dough almost cleans sides of bowl.  Turn out onto flour board and roll out with flour-dusted rolling pin into a large rectangle.  Cut dough in half width-wise with a sharp knife, then cut each 1/2 into 3-4 sections. 

Fried Pies
Place small amount of lemon pie filling on one end of dough, fold top over and seal all around with a fork dusted in flour.  Fry pies in 350 oil in a large skillet for one minute, turn and continue frying 30-45 more seconds.  Remove from oil and drain on large cooling rack with paper towel underneath.  Dust with granulated or powdered sugar.

Hand Pies - See here how to make these as Hand Pies!


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Italian Bread Bowls


Have you ever done this? Eat your soup, cheese fondue or warm bacon-cheese spread spread  out of a bread bowl.  They are wonderful and you can eat the bread bowl too, something my grandsons find very funny and fun to do!

2 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbls vegetable oil
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbls cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tbls water

Stir together 2 1/2 cups water and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Stir in salt and oil.  Add flour gradually, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (4-6 minutes).

Place in a lightly greased bowl (I spray with cooking spray or coat lightly with olive oil), turning to grease top.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 35-60 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal portions.  Shape each into a 4-inch round loaf.  Places loaves on lightly greased baking sheets, sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 35-45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Stir together egg white and 1 tbls water; brush over loaves.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Brush tops with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10-15 more minutes longer or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

Cut a 1/2-inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving a 3/4-inch shell; reserve centers for dunking in soup.

Ladle hot soup into bread bowl and serve.

Baked loaves freeze up to one month if desired.  Recipe can be divided in half.


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Italian Chicken Soup


Finally managed to get this done!  We have a new puppy, so he has been taking up a lot of my time!  He's too cute, but I so forgot what having a young puppy around means ... eat, pee, poop, play, sleep and that is his day!  LOL!  Plus work has me very busy and not a lot of time right now for posting any recipes ... but as they say, this too shall pass.  I really wanted to make a "twist" on a traditional chicken soup, so came up with this idea the other day.  I'm sure it's not new, but it's new to me.  I hope you like it as much as we do.


3 quarts homemade chicken stock cooked with Italian seasonings listed below
2-3 tsp garlic salt (can use garlic powder, or minced garlic if desired)
2-3 tsp course-ground black pepper
2-3 tsp Italian seasoning
2-3 tsp dried oregeno
Prepared chicken stock
1- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (drained)
1- 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3-4 cups reserved chicken meat, chopped from stock (or more diced, cooked chicken)

Cook chicken stock with listed seasonings above.  Chill stock, then skim fat from stock.  Add stock, diced onion, diced celery, diced tomatoes (drained) and tomato sauce to a large stock pot; bring to a boil over med-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Fill canning jars with equal amounts of cooked, diced chicken, and ladle hot soup over top.  Seal jars and process jars 90 minutes in pressure canner at 10 lbs. pressure.  Serve soup over your choice of cooked pasta or cheese tortelliniAdd garlic toast, Italian bread or crusty bread for a complete meal.

Can it:  quart jars, 10 lbs. pressure for 90 minutes for quart jars


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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Double Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake


I love this rich, chocolatey cake!  The combination of the natural cocoa and unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate combines with sour cream, brown sugar and more to make this delicious cake!  For a real "chocolate high," serve the cake with hot fudge sauce and real whipped cream ... and there are no calories, LOL!  Ooooo laaaa laaaaa!

Prepare Pan
Spray a bundt pan with baking spray (I use Baker's Joy) and dust with natural cocoa to coat.

3/4 cup natural cocoa (not Dutch-processed, 2 1/4 ounces)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
3/4 cup water (boiling)
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
2 cups packed light brown sugar (14 ounces)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder (if using) in medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature; then whisk in sour cream.

Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in second bowl to combine In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after first 2 additions.

Reduce to medium-low speed (batter may appear separated); add about one third of flour mixture and half of chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 20 seconds. Scrape bowl and repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining chocolate mixture; add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape bowl and mix on medium-low until batter is thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, being careful not to pour batter on sides of pan.

Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. Dust with confectioners' sugar, transfer to serving platter, and cut into wedges. 

For an additional chocolate delight, serve with hot fudge sauce and fresh whipped cream.

Yield:  approx. 16 slices


Pancake Muffins with Crumbled Bacon

A farm friend, Russell, from Sunny Cedars Farm, posted these pancake muffins his wife, Lesa, had made, so I tried my hand at them today!  Oh my goodness ... so good!  You must try them!  Great for a quick breakast right out of the oven, or wrap and freeze for a nice work day/school day breakfast.  Yummmm!!!

1 cup any pancake mix
1 Tbls vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 Tbls. maple syrup
3/4 cup milk (or slightly less)
Several pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon

Mix all ingredients together, except bacon, in a mixing bowl.  Pour into prepared muffin pan (greased or sprayed with baking spray), top each with crumbled bacon. Bake in a 350 oven for approx. 20 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove from pan and cool on wire cooling rack.  Serve while

Slather with butter and more maple syrup if desired.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Barbecue Meatloaf


Oh, yes, this is so good!  A meatloaf made with homemade barbecue sauce!  Tender, juicy, full of flavor. The sauce is sweet and tangy with a just a little bite.  Soooooo good!

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1-2 tsp garlic salt
1-2 tsp. dried minced onion (or dice some fresh onion)
2 tsps. parsley leaves
1-2 tsp. course ground black pepper
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (we used the hubs homemade barbecue sauce)

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape into loaf and place in prepared baking dish (sprayed with cooking spray).

Brush additional barbecue sauce on top of meatloaf.  Bake 1 hour.  Let sit 10 minutes before cutting.

Serve with additional barbecue sauce if desired.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Breaded Pork Parmesan


I love almost all pork dishes, but this one is especially wonderful!  A complete twist on the traditional veal or chicken Parmesan, this recipe uses thinly sliced pork scallopini (available at most grocery stores) and they are super-versatile.  Quick to cook, nice and tender, very low-fat, they are my #1 choice when cooking this dish.

What is a Scallopini?  Scaloppine (plural and diminutive of scaloppa - a small scallop, i.e., a thinly sliced cut of meat) (in English usage scaloppini; sometimes scallopini) is a type of Italian dish that comes in many forms. It consists of thinly sliced meat most often veal, pork, or chicken that is dredged in wheat flour, sautéed, then heated and served with a tomato-, wine redux-sauce; or piccata, which denotes a caper and lemon sauce. (source: wikipedia)

1 package pork scallopini (4-6)
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 cups plain bread crumbs or Panko crumbs for more crunch (you'll need enough to completely coat the pork scallopines)
1 - 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce (or make your own)
1 - 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained (or use fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced)
1 small can tomato paste
1-2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder (or fresh, minced garlic)
1/2 cup red cooking wine (may omit if desired)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or shredded 5-cheese Italian blend
1/4-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Oil for lightly frying (use the oil of your choice)
Pasta (your choice)

Mix bread crumbs or panko crumbs with Parmesan cheese.  Beat eggs in small bowl.  Dip pork scallopini in egg, then in bread crumb/Parmesan mixture to coat completely.

Place breaded scallopini on a cooling rack (with a paper towel underneath the rack) and let sit up to 1 hour at room temperature (this will help the coating stick better to the pork). 

Meanwhile, make the sauce (see note below).  In a medium sauce pan, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic and red wine; cook over medium heat until slightly boiling; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until sauce is slightly thickened and reduces some.

Start pasta water in a large, covered pan and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat until oil is hot (375 degrees).  Add pork and fry a few minutes, turning once (it will cook through very quickly); remove from pan and drain on a clean cooling rack (with a paper towel underneath); cover loosely with some aluminum foil to keep warm. 

Working quickly, finish cooking the pasta, drain and serve to each plate. Top pasta with a pork scallopini, ladle sauce over each and top with some shredded mozzarella or 5-cheese Italian blend.  Serve immediately.

Reserve any leftover sauce for use another time (I freeze mine). Serve with a garden salad and garlic bread.

**Note** - make the sauce ahead of time if desired, then simply reheat when ready to serve. (I almost always make the sauce ahead as it can simmer much longer than this recipe calls for).

Yield:  2-4 servings


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Monday, January 7, 2013

Marinated Beef Strips with Broccoli


Oh yes, this is yummy!  Quick weeknight meal using thin strips of steak and fresh broccoli. The marinade is simple, and the recipe equally easy to do.  I hope you enjoy it.


2 tsp minced garlic (or garlic powder)
1 tsp minced ginger (I used ground ginger)
1 cup beef stock (I use homemade)
1 lb. any steak, sliced into thin strips (I have used flank or skirt steak, but any cut will work)
1/3 cup red wine
1 tsp course-ground black pepper (or more to taste)
2 tbls soy sauce
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup broccoli florets (I use fresh)
1 cup rice, uncooked

In the morning, marinate beef strips in wine, pepper, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, course-ground black pepper and beef stock; cover and set aside in the refrigerator until evening (you can also do this a day ahead if preferred).

When ready to prepare, steam, or cook rice until done; cover and keep warm.

In large skillet over medium heat (sprayed with cooking spray) saute' onion. Reserving marinade, remove beef and stir fry in skillet with onion approximately 3-4 minutes.

Add marinade and bring to a boil, stirring and allowing to reduce some. Add broccoli florets and cook just until al dente.

Serve immediately over hot cooked rice.


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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cheesy Salsa Corn Muffins

Love these tender, spicy little muffins!  So easy to make and tastes great with just about anything!

1/2 cup bottled chunky salsa (any brand you like, I use homemade)
1 egg
¼  cup vegetable oil
¾ cup butter milk
(make your own:  add 2-3 tsp. lemon or lime juice to milk) ¼ cup sugar
1 ½  cups flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
½  teaspoon baking soda

1/3 teaspoon salt
½ cup frozen or fresh whole kernel corn
¼  cup chopped red bell peppers

1 small jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together egg, salsa, vegetable oil and buttermilk. Set Aside. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture. Do not over-mix. Add corn, bell peppers, jalapeno, and cheese. Stir until just combined, but no more. Bake in greased muffin tins, about 20 minutes.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cheesy Pasta with Cauliflower or Broccoli

Don't you just love Cauliflower and/or Broccoli and their endless versatality?  They are so yummy in so many dishes, but tonight I used cauliflower in a pasta dish with a simple cheese sauce!  Yummm!  Hearty enough for a meatless meal, but light enough for a side dish!

1 1/2 cups wide egg noodles (or pasta of your choice)
1 1/2 cups fresh cauliflower or broccoli florets
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. course-ground black pepper (or to taste)
3/4-1 cup Velvetta cheese slices (or any soft cheese)
2-3 Tbls. butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In large pan, bring water to a boil; add noodles and cook a few minutes, then add cauliflower or broccoli and cook until al dente; drain water.  Toss in butter and cheese, place pan over hot burner you used to cook the noodles (heat turned off); cover and let cheeses and butter melt; stir well.  Remove from burner and add garlic salt and parsley flakes; stir to combine.  Serve immediately.