Tag Archives: Dinner Ideas

Beef Stroganoff Picture Tutorial

13 Aug

It is so like me to wait until I’m in the grocery store parking lot {waiting out the late afternoon typhoon pouring down from the heavens to pass} to pull up a recipe for Beef Stroganoff on my phone, write down the ingredients and have the bright idea that this would be a good meal for dinner … tonight … at 8:30pm. Who does that? Anyhow, I got home a little bit later and got to work chopping mushrooms, {which I hate but thought I would give a try again for the sake of a good dinner} shallots and beef. I honestly think I’m the only person who decides to tackle a “real dinner” after 8pm. Regardless, the dinner came out quite delicious and I wanted to share it with you all…. Enjoy!

You will need: 6TBSP of butter {yes}, 1 pound of top sirloin or tenderloin cut into thin strips about an inch long, 1/3 cup of chopped shallots {this seemed like a lot, I didn’t use that much and just kinda eyeballed it}, 1/2 pound of cremini mushrooms sliced {yuck, yuck but I did it anyways. I couldn’t stand to measure them so I just chopped up half a container and called it a day}, 1/8 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of dry tarragon and 1 cup of sour cream at room temperature. {By the way … I LOVE SOUR CREAM!}

 

Beef Stroganoff Ingredients

 

It’s actually quite simple.  You’re going to want to do all your chopping first … get your water boiling for the egg noodles. {Oh, did I mention those already? Well, you’ll want to serve this with egg noodles, potatoes or rice.} Next heat up a pan with three tbsp of butter.  The idea is to brown the meat on both sides quickly as to not dry out the middle. Make sure to salt and pepper it well while it’s doing its thing … Once you’ve browned the pieces on each side for a few minutes, put the meat in a bowl and set aside. 

Beff Stroganoff

 

Looks yummy doesn’t it?!  After you set aside the meat, add the extra 3 tbsp’s of butter and bring the heat down a bit.  Saute the shallots for a few minutes until tender and then take them off the heat and add them to the meat.  Do the same thing with the mushrooms.  I’m assuming that they wanted me to do these two steps separate like I just described to you … but I got a little over zealous when I was chopping and added the shallots and mushrooms to the same bowl and there was no way that I was going to sit there and pick them out … so everything got sautéed together and it turned out just fine. 

No mushrooms

 

Notice something missing in the picture above? …. Mushrooms perhaps?  Yes, I spent “a few” minutes chopping mushrooms that I hate because I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt, until the foodie bf came along and threw half of them down the garbage disposal. Yeah, he doesn’t care for them either.  So, the moral of the story is that Beef Stroganoff can be made with little to no mushrooms and still taste wonderful!  Next comes the good part, the sour cream.  You’re going to want to add a cup of sour cream to the mushrooms {or the mushrooms AND shallots if you combine them like me} being careful not to bring it to a boil … apparently sour cream can curdle.  {Add salt and pepper at this point if you’d like}

Beef Stroganoff Picture

 

Lastly, you’re going to return the meat to the pan and cook for just a bit longer to bring the meat back up to temperature from sitting patiently in that bowl.  A little note: When I browned the beef I got a lot of moisture that came out of the mean and so I had a good bit of liquid in my meat bowl. In hindsight, I added a bit to much of it to the sour cream and made it a little bit too runny for my liking.  Next time I will drain the meat, saving a bit of the liquid in case the sauce is too thick and I can add a bit in at a time.  But, that’s cooking for you … a learning process.

 

So there you have it my friends.  The dinner that was born from waiting on the rain to pass in the parking lot of the grocery store at 8:30pm on a Friday night.  I’m sure there are other people out there like me… it may just take me a while to find them!! {ha} Enjoy Y’all …

Scattered – Smothered – Covered, Amen!

30 Mar

This was my dinner last night… Just thought I’d share!

Dijon Mustard Pork Chops

12 Mar

Yes, I’ve been missing in action. And, I was terribly depressed this evening when I logged onto my blog stats and saw how low my numbers had fallen. Don’t run away yet … I’m just adjusting to a new blogging schedule where I have to find time for my personal blog and the blog I’m writing for my new job which hopefully will translate into $$!

Needless to say, I thought of you all when I cooked tonight. {Yes, I actually cooked!} Pork Chops were on sale at the grocery store … and being the thrifty person I am {ha} I decided tonight would be a great night for Dijon Mustard Chops! They are so simple, that you just may laugh at me!

You will need: Boneless Pork Chops {I prefer thick cut}, a jar of Dijon Mustard, and a package of plain Shake-n-Bake or something similar. All you are going to do is coat the pork chops in the mustard, roll them around in the crumbs, and bake at 450 for approx 20-25 minutes depending on thickness. Piece of Cake. May I repeat: Piece.of.Cake! I served mine with steamed asparagus and some mashed potatoes. And, it all worked out nicely. No, I didn’t take a picture .. because I just plain forgot… But, I’m sure you will forgive me. Not much to see .. just a tasty pork chop!

Hope you all are doing well. Spring is in the air. I can not wait for some warmer weather. I took a little walk on the beach the other day with the dog and let him run around and play in the water. It was so nice to be outside enjoying the afternoon without freezing my toosh off! …. I have a recipe for Seafood Gumbo that I really want to try this weekend. There are some ingredients that I’m not too sure of, and some that I haven’t cooked with before… so it should prove to be very interesting. I WILL take picture! Until then… Night, Ya’ll!

Broken Down Chicken Casserole

1 Mar

 

Oh, honey … I’m cooking!

 

Call me plain-Jane, I made Chicken Casserole again. Although, I did experiment with some new flavors tonight {just not by choice}… So, I made a pit-stop at the grocery store on the way home from work tonight and grabbed some frozen broccoli, fresh chicken, and a can of chicken broth. What’s better than a casserole when you have no idea what to make but need to cook something filling that piles all the meat and veggies into one big heap?? Casserole it is. Needless to say, when I got home, I had run out of pepper and cheddar cheese. Great. Just my lucky day. So the improv began. No pepper? Ahh… how about some Montreal Chicken Seasoning. No cheddar cheese? Ahh… how about some shredded swiss? And while we’re at it, lets add a bit more rice this time too… And what does this give you? One really really bland casserole. I swear it was like eating plain chicken and rice. Thankfully, I made a salad and heated up some frozen French dinner rolls to supplement said casserole. Ehhh… I can’t win when I try new things without a recipe. I NEED RECIPES. And, I need to follow them! Otherwise we end up with concoctions like Bland Chicken Casserole a-la Domestic Goddess. Blah!

 

Tomorrow is an uber busy day. I’ve got a list of to-do’s that stretches across this room … but you know I love that. Hope you all had a great day & a better dinner than me! In closing … my list:

  • Buy more cheddar cheese
  • Go to Petsmart – Dog needs wet food. {My dog eats half wet/half dry. And, it has to be mixed REALLY well or he will pick out the dry pieces and lay them on the floor. Spoiled}
  • After a week of sitting in the dryer, the dry clothes are probably ready to be folded and put away
  • Clean this computer screen
  • Random Fact: My first car died on the side of the interstate. My mom always told me if it ever died, to take out anything that had my name on it and leave it there. {It was old, old, old} So, thats exactly what I did and the next day I called a tow-truck and he paid ME $100 to keep it. Match made in heaven.

Carne Asada {Picture Tutorial}

21 Feb

 

It was almost warm today! And, nothing makes me happier than a sunny day! Last year, I really got into a Carne Asada kick… we were living near the beach, and almost every weekend during the summer we would marinade some beautiful meat, head to the beach for a few hours, and come home and cook some delicious Carne Asada & Cheese Dip, and drink a few Coronas! It really was the perfect plan for a summer weekend! We hadn’t cooked this meal in what seems like forever so, when I saw the sun out this morning … I knew it was the perfect time! {And, I hadn’t blogged about it yet… oh, ya the pictures!}

 

According to Wikipedia, Carne Asada literally means “roasted meat” … My definition? … Heaven! Let me show you why…

 

You will need:

{Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.com}

  • 2 pounds of Skirt Steak
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (I’m a garlic lover, I used approx 7-8 cloves)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large handful of cilantro, finely chopped {There is great flavor in the stems – don’t be afraid to chop them too}
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

And, here’s what you do!

Lay the skirt steak out on a flat surface and season generously with salt and pepper. Rub it in with your hands. Let the meat sit while you make the marinade. To make the marinade, combine all the above ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

{are the striations on this skirt steak not the most beautiful things you have ever seen?}

 

Once you have completed the marinade, pour over the meat in a bowl or dish which you can cover.

 

 

Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. {Trust me, it’s worth it!} Meanwhile…. let’s talk about Cheese Dip {yes, please}

 

If I had known how easy cheese dip was to make, I would have made it years ago … {and, I’d be a heck of a lot larger than I am now!} This dip an amazing appetizer to this Carne Asada … and will hold you down until the meat is ready. Just grab a few Coronas and you’ll be alright! To make the cheese dip you will need:

 

  • Cajun Chef – Nacho Slices Jalapenos, minced {2-3 large spoonfuls}
  • 1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • Approx 1/2 pound of White American Cheese
  • Milk

The process is crazy simple – Set yourself up with a double boiler. If you don’t have one, get two pots {one smaller than the other} fill the bigger one half full with water, and float the other one inside it. You just don’t want to burn the cheese – and puting it directly on the burner will do that! … Cube the cheese, mince the jalapenos, and brown the ground beef.

Add the cheese and jalapenos. Add milk until the cheese cubes are about halfway covered.

Let cheese cook slowly until fully melted – then add meat. Cook a little bit longer on low, string occasionally. Serve with corn chips.

 

 

Now, back to the meat!!! After you let the meat marinade for 3-4 hours, prepare your grill {or if cooking inside, a large fry pan}. Remove the meat from the marinade and try to get excess off so it  does not burn. Grill meat for a few minutes on each side. Depending on thickness. This should only take a few minutes total. When done, remove from heat and let sit for approx 5 minutes.

 

 

To Serve: Warm some corn tortillas in a fry pan over medium/high heat for approx 20-30 seconds each side. Serve with chopped cilantro and onion. {Yes, in America you’d be piling on the sour cream and cheese, but think outside the box. This is how it is served at roadside stands, and it’s good – I promise}

 

 

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do! There is something about this meat that is so delicious. And, combined with the cheese dip and some good ‘ol Corona .. it is the perfect meal for a sunny day or summer afternoon! Keep your fingers crossed – warmer weather coming our way! Night ya’ll!

Pub-Grub: American Style

18 Feb

 

There is something to be said about great bar-food. And, different countries have different ideas as to what constitutes bar-food. I remember traveling to Ireland and before leaving the United States hearing many of my friends and family tell me that I couldn’t miss the “pub-grub.” Now, pub-grub is completely different that the bar-food we have in the states. In Ireland, Shepard’s Pie, Fish and Chips, and Corned Beef Sandwiches fall into the pub-grub category. Tell me where in the States you can go and get Shepard’s Pie in a bar at 2am? I mean really, where? The bars there have so much more character and life to them. I loved stopping in  random, hole-in-the-wall type bars and enjoying the music, camaraderie, and FOOD!

 

In the States, every greasy concoction and fried nugget of golden greatness is considered bar-food. Think about it: wings, cheese sticks, onion rings, cheesy dips … fat, fat, fat, grease, grease, grease! Not that pub-grub in Ireland is any healthier … but you feel like your eating a yummy meal. {and you know it all goes great with Guinness!}

 

I have to admit, the reason I’m even ON this topic is because that is exactly what I made for dinner tonight. American bar-food. {gasp} We had some really great wings {the frozen kind because I’m really lazy} and some ah’mazing homemade Yukon Gold french fries. This domestic goddess even remembered she had celery left in the fridge from the stew I made a week ago, and cut it up into slivers to serve with the wings! {what a great domestic feat, not} All in all though, it was a pretty darn good meal. Quick, cheap, filling, and now I won’t have to go out to a bar for at least another six months… {ha ha}

 

 

Hope you all are looking forward to Friday as much as I am. And, I hope you’re all warming up … it’s been too cold for too long & I’m ready for the Spring/Summer! I’m sure you all can agree! … Until next time, Night Ya’ll

Beef Stew A-La-Package {Picture Tutorial}

2 Feb

 

Ok, foodie friends… I have a question: Would you consider it cheating to use a pre-packaged seasoning packet? {for say, chili or stew} I’ve always thought of those packages as all your spices rolled up into one so you don’t have to spend $30 buying all the full size spice bottles that you may only use once in a blue moon. {mmm, blue moon. I need a beer. It’s been a long day} Anyhow… if you consider it cheating, I cheated. I however, think I’m a smart domestic maven who just saved herself a boat-load of money! {although the spice cabinet will continue to lack at this rate}

 

First of all, I don’t have a slow cooker or crock pot, so this whole “bag” idea is perfect for me! {just perfect} Wait until you see how this whole meal comes together in a bag!! It’s pretty impressive for whomever invented it!

 

Beef Stew a-la-package. Your cast of characters …

 

{Not pictured is the second package of meat I used & the flour which the package calls for}

 

My Irish ancestors are rolling in the graves … stew, from a package?!

 

This whole meal is pretty straight forward. Cut up some potatoes, celery, onion, and baby carrots. {I’m in a house with carrot-haters, so I added some peas for their liking} Season meat with salt/pepper. Mix the seasoning package with some flour and water. Throw all the ingredients in the really cool plastic bag. Pour the seasoning mix over the ingredients. Tie the bag, cut some slits, and bake for an hour and a half.

 

 

 

Are you not just utterly amazed at the coolness of this plastic bag… and the fact that it isn’t going to melt away into my potatoes? Love it. Without further delay .. I give you my From a Plastic Bag, Make your Ancestors Roll in their Grave, Save you $30 in spices, Beef Stew a-la-package!  Enjoy!!!

 

Braised Short Ribs {Picture Tutorial}

16 Jan

 

After a dinner at McDonald’s on Thursday, and a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store on Friday… I was beginning to think my domestic side had flown the coop. Thankfully, I’m baaaaaack! I drew inspiration from my new Le Creuset dutch oven {which I’ve found out are considered ‘vintage’} and a blog post from the Pioneer Woman. The result: Braised Short Ribs and Garlic Whipped Potaotes! {dessert will follow in the next post, and was also amazing!}

 

Thanks to the Pioneer Woman for this recipe idea. I fully intended on following the recipe exactly as it was written, but the grocery store didn’t have Pancetta {I used regular, thick cut bacon} … and although I took a picture of flour as one of my ingredients, I must have been spacing out at the time and didn’t even use it. Everything turned out wonderful though and there were lots of fully and happy tummies in my house tonight! So, here ya go!

 

You will need:

6-8 Whole Beef Short Ribs

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour (I did not use this, and will explain later)

6 pieces of Pancetta (I used regular, thick-cut bacon – diced)

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion – Diced

3-4 Whole Carrots – Diced

2 Whole Shallots – Minced

2 Cups Red Wine

2 Cups Beef Broth

2 Sprigs of Thyme

2 Sprigs of Rosemary

 

And, here’s what you do:

1. Salt and Pepper generously (This is where it is recommended that you roll the ribs around in flour – I forgot, and it worked out just fine.)

2. In a large dutch oven {Hooray}, cook the Pancetta (our in our case, bacon) over medium heat until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove bacon and set aside. Don’t discard grease.

3. Add olive oil to pan with grease, and raise temperature to high heat. Brown ribs on all sides {no more than 45 seconds on each side} Remove and set aside.

{Note: I thought I was going to burn down the house. The pan really needs to be HOT in order to braise the edges … and it smokes and pops, etc. But it does the trick!} This is also where I started to run around the house screaming “Come see, Come see! Look! Look what I’m cooking! ….

4. Next, turn temperature back to medium. Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan for 2 minutes. Then, pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the good stuff off the bottom. Bring to a boil for approx 2 minutes.

5. Add broth, 1 teaspoon of salt, and plenty of pepper. Taste and add more if needed. Add ribs {they should be almost completely covered} and the full sprigs of Thyme and Rosemary

6. Put lid on and cook for 2 hours at 350 degrees. Reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. When done, remove pot from oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Fat will rise to the top – skim it off before serving. Serve 2 ribs on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes (see previous blog for Julia Child recipe – de’lish) … spoon gravy/juice over ribs and potatoes!

 

Full tummies all around. This dish was ah’mazing and was actually pretty easy to make. Once the prep work is done… it does its magic all alone in the pot! Just make sure you have enough self control to wait nearly 3 hours to open the present! Hope you enjoy & as always, if you make it – I’d love to hear how it goes! Enjoy!

Duck, Duck, Dinner

10 Jan

 

Time management may not be my best skill.  While visiting my family, I thought one of the best ‘presents’ I could give them would be to make a few meals while I’m here. The premise: I enjoy it and they will love {hopefully} eating it. However, undertaking a meal of Holiday proportion and timing everything exactly right may take a little more practice on my part. I started this morning around 11 am and made a tray of my Bacon, Egg and Toast Pods. They turned out really well, and got rave reviews. I’ve said it once before… but I’ll say it again… ah’mazing, easy, and a big hit!

 

After a quick shower and trip to Target, it was back to cooking. Washing and boiling spinach, cleaning a duck, mixing a sweet potato souffle, and chilling a cream cheese chocolate ball. …{backtrack, I said cleaning a duck! Just picture that for a second}… I did pretty well getting everything prepared and got about an hour break before it was time to get the duck in the oven. Two hours of gracefully dancing around the kitchen, followed by an hour-long mad dash at the end… we have dinner:

Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sweet Potato Souffle. Click the names if you’d like to read my blogs about these dishes. I’ll be adding the sweet potato and cheese ball in the next few days!

 

The meal turned out fantastic. And, my family {who had not previously tired duck, or had it in the last few years} gobbled up a whole 6 pound duck. Go me! I’d say it was well worth a day of cooking and preparing. Drop in tomorrow for a picture tutorial on the Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Ball! De’lish …. Night Ya’ll!

Easy Broccoli and Cheese Quiche

2 Jan

 

Last night, I watched nearly four hours of Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home. Everything from salads to beef bourguignon. Not only did it make me very hungry, but it sparked my little domestic bug. My emerging domesticity jolted me out of bed this morning {psh!} with an idea to bake a Quiche. Now, something about the word ‘quiche’ screams DIFFICULT to me. But, when I sat down and read over a few different recipes, I found there really isn’t that much to it. {to my delight} Armed with my camera and Julia and Jacques speaking to me like little voices over my shoulder, I set out to document the whole thing. So here we go:

 

Easy Broccoli and Cheese Quiche

{Adapted from: Allrecipes.com}

{Yields approx 6 servings}

 

You will need:

2 TBSP Butter

1 Onion – Minced {I’ll talk about this more later, but I really think 1/4-1/2 an onion is plenty}

1 TSP Minced Garlic

2 Cups Fresh Broccoli – Chopped Fine

1 Pie Crust – 9 inch

1 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella

4 Eggs

1 1/2 Cup Milk

1 TSP Salt

1/2 TSP Pepper

1 TBSP Melted Butter

 

Here’s we go:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Over medium to low heat, melt butter {2 TBSP}, add onions, garlic, and broccoli. Cook slowly until veggies are soft.

3. Spoon into pie crust and add cheese

4. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and melted butter. Whisk well. Pour over the veggies and cheese.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Until center is set. {or, if you’re like me.. attempt to wait patiently, peeking through the stove window every five minutes to ensure aliens haven’t taken you Quiche}

And, here she is:

 

Now, we need to talk about these onions. My Quiche looks beautiful… but tasted like an onion Quiche not a broccoli Quiche. I would strongly suggest using less onion. Perhaps a half an onion, or even a fourth an onion would be more appropriate. Needless to say, I could only eat one piece before the taste was too overpowering to continue. I will make this again, but next time with a smaller dose of onions!

 

She was beautiful though, and I really enjoyed making it. I think I’ll use the other pie crust {buy on get one free} and make a ham and cheese one for dinner?! I hope you enjoy. And, as always, if you make it – I’d love to hear how it goes!