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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Beef and Broccoli

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My father sends the best Valentine’s gift to me every year- 9 pounds of steaks. To say I love a good hunk of beef is an understatement. Normally, I would argue against doing anything to a steak but salt and pepper BUT stir-fry is another favorite of mine. You could use different cuts of meat (i.e. cheaper ones) but why???

This is a basic stir-fry recipe- you could really use any vegetable/meat combination. I used beef broth because that’s what I had on hand but use what you have. Stir-fry is healthy, fast, and easy. A perfect combination for a weeknight dinner at our house. What more do you want?

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Beef & Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 strip steak, cut into strips
  • 2 c. broccoli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 c. broth
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 2 T. corn starch

Combine broth, soy sauce, and corn starch; set aside. Heat oil in skillet; sauté steak. Remove steak. Sauté garlic until fragrant and then add broccoli; cook about 3 minutes. Add steak. Stir in broth/soy mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Serve with rice.

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Fried Rice

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Maybe you do a better job of keeping lunch staples around your home- myself? Not so much. And so while standing in the doorway to my pantry (starving) this fried rice was born. You could definitely use some other vegetables, this is simply what I had on hand. Also, I used brown rice but any rice would work. In other words, this is a base recipe that can be used to make many variations. Remember: baking is a science; cooking is an art. No rules, baby!

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Fried Rice

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. cooked rice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. peas
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

In a large skillet, heat oil; add garlic.  Add cooked rice; cook until heated through.

Stir eggs into rice; cook 30 seconds. Add peas and soy sauce; cook 2 minutes or until eggs are cooked and peas are heated through.

Candied Pecans (Crock-Pot)

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Did you know that the world’s largest pecan is in Brunswick, Missouri??? Until I moved to Missouri I always thought of the South when I pictured pecan groves but it turns out there are quite a few in the Show-Me State. See, we all learned something today!

One of my parishioners gave me a bag of these locally grown treasures for Christmas and I knew just what I was going to do with them.  Not only do candied pecans taste delicious, your house will smell like Santa’s Christmas Village (without the reindeer stable). Did I mention I have a toddler? We have imaginary lands on the brain… And we’re back on topic.

I like a lot of flavor so I’m pretty heavy-handed with the cinnamon and nutmeg. You could live a little and throw any spice in the pot. Also, excessive stirring tore my Crock-Pot liners (side note: Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners are the greatest things EVER) so unless you want to scrub burnt sugar from your Crock-Pot, be gentle.

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Candied Pecans (Crock-Pot)

  • 1 ¼ c. white sugar
  • 1 ¼ c. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups pecans
  • ¼ c. water

Prepare your crock-pot by spraying it with cooking spray or using a crock-pot liner. 

In a bowl, mix together sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the egg white and vanilla until it is frothy. Coat pecans with the mixture. Toss pecans with the sugar mixture until well coated. Cook on low, 3-4 hours. Stir every 20 minutes. During the last hour of cooking add water and stir well.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pecans on the baking sheet to cool.

Swiss Steak

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New Year’s Resolution: start blogging again. Life has been pretty crazy with a new job (that is now 2 years in), new house, and new baby but hopefully I can get back to the blog… fingers crossed, y’all!

So, first recipe back? How about Swiss Steak? This is a regular meal around our house. It’s easy to throw together on a week night and allows me to sneak lots of veggies into the family meal without people noticing. I’ve tried it baked and in the crock pot but stove top is really the best way to make Swiss Steak.

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Swiss Steak

4 cube steaks aka minute steaks

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano 

Heat olive oil in pot (I like my Dutch oven but use what you have). Season meat and sear for 3 minutes a side. Remove steaks from pan. Brown garlic and onions in pan, cook until transparent (about 3 minutes). Add green peppers and celery and cook about 2 minutes. Add meat, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes.