Tag Archives: beef

Book Review: Around The Fire

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When I see daffodils I always think it is time to start moving cooking outdoors to the grill. I am not a very adept griller so I decided to try out a new grilling book that will give me some grilling prowess by Labor Day. Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant by Greg Denton, Gabrielle Quinonez Denton and Stacy Adimando is the perfect grilling book for me (aka, the perfect book for me to ease my way into grilling while learning from hubby’s mad skills). I found myself referring to the chef authors as “Greg and Gabi” while I planned our menu and worked on prepping the recipes. The book is written in a very warm and inviting way and it made me feel comfortable tackling a menu I probably wouldn’t usually attempt on a Sunday afternoon.

The book refers to the recipes as “black-belt grilling recipes” and I completely agree. The recipes focus on the grilling traditions of Latin America in an elevated way. This book is perfect for those looking to up their grilling game…and just in time for Father’s Day, to boot!  We will definitely be using this book more. With a big “thank you!!!!!” to Mark and Shasta (hi, guys!), here is our take on the recipes we tried:

Black Gold (page 15) basting oil. This didn’t turn black for us. I’m thinking it was probably because we didn’t use basil since ours had gone bad. Hubby basted this on our short ribs which gave the ribs a nice crust and was my favorite part about the ribs.

Grilled Flanken-Style Beef Short Ribs (page 89). Of all the recipes we tried this was our least favorite. The texture of the ribs ended up being tough and chewy, though this is likely more a result from the way our ribs were butchered rather than the recipe. The flavor of the not chewy bits was great. I think we may try this with a different cut of steak or a more expertly butchered short rib.

Grilled Sweet Onion (page 161).  These were by far the favorite of all the recipes we tried. Each ingredient required a little prep but it was definitely worth it.  Sweet grilled onions topped with blue cheese and buttery roasted beets and crunchy toasted walnuts all with a drizzle of reduced balsamic and some chive.  It just works perfectly.
Grilled New Potato and Onion Skewers (page 166).  I think it is widely accepted that everything is better with bacon and these skewers are no exception.  This was another recipe that required a bit of prep but was well worth it.  The potatoes were skewered with onion and bacon and then there was a bacon cream sauce (I know!!! BACON!) that was drizzled over them.  I die.  It was SO good.

Simple Green Salad (page 177).  This salad was very simple, as promised.  I have a slight addiction to avocado so I could have probably eaten the whole salad myself.  It is so super easy and light.  I will add this to our regular salad rotation.

Vanilla Bean Tres Leches Cake (page 214).  This cake looked unassuming at first with just a smidge of ingredients, but as with other recipes in this book the ingredients are coaxed to perfection so you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a great dish.  I decided before I made the cake that I was just doing the cake and whipped cream and not the ice cream (though it looks and sounds delish and I will probably make that soon).  I loved “playing” with the eggs and the cream in the KitchenAid.  I guess I am more of a food science nerd than I thought!  Everyone liked the cake and some of the kiddos even had seconds!

Roasted Beets (page 249).  This was one of the basic recipes included toward the back of the book and we used the roasted beets on our grilled onions.  The beets turned out great and were really highlighted in the grilled onions.  Yum!

What is your favorite thing to grill?  Thanks for reading!  I hope you come back soon!

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Week In Review: Salad of my dreams

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We try a lot of new recipes around here.  Pretty much every week we are trying something new.  This was a habit I got into when I worked as a clinical dietitian and I had clients that needed recipe recommendations and it has since spiraled into an obsession with trying new recipes.  The crazy thing about it is that usually we are trying new recipes and can say that they taste great…like that other thing we had however long ago.  It is a rare thing when we taste something that really tastes like nothing we have ever had  before.  We had this sort of experience with the kale salad this week.  It was really a Caesar salad with Caesar in quotations.  Caesar salad just doesn’t do this salad justice.  And kale salad, pfff.  You may think kale salad is SO 2015.  It’s not.  This salad is literally the salad of my dreams.  You’re welcome that I linked it below. 🙂

Hello, lovahhhhh!  This kale Caesar has really been starring in my dreams lately.

Hello, lovahhhhh! This kale Caesar has really been starring in my dreams lately.

Sunday: Kale “Caesar” Salad and Pasta with Abruzzi-Style Lamb Sauce. Let me just start by saying that the pasta was good.  The sauce definitely had a slight gamey flavor with the lamb, but if you like lamb {we do} then you will like it.  Now, about the salad.  Oh my goodness!  This may be my new favorite salad of all time.  It was the best Caesar salad I have ever had in my whole life.  It made me fall even more in love with Damaris Phillips than I already am.  We might make the pasta again, but we will definitely make the salad again.  Maybe everyday.  It was that good.

Monday: Korean-Style Chicken WrapsI signed up to bring a meal to a mama with a new baby (cutest baby of all time, next to my kiddos, of course!) who has a deployed hubby.  What a hard gig she has!  I decided to make one of our fave Asian recipes since it has the best homemade Korean barbecue sauce ever.  By some miracle the weather was gorgeous and hubs was able to actually grill the chicken outside. If you are looking for some new, un-run-of-the-mill chicken recipes that are perfect for weeknights check out this cookbook from Food & Wine (just click the image below).  You will be glad you did!

Tuesday: Chicken Cassoulet-Style SoupI couldn’t decide what to have for dinner and wanted something meaty and hearty and bean-y so I looked at my pantry and freezer staples and decided to make this.  It is SO easy to make and we all love it.  We just toss it together then it simmers for a little bit and then dinner is ready.  So quick and so yummy.

This pantry/freezer staple soup is a lifesaver on nights I can't decide what to make for dinner.

This pantry/freezer staple soup is a lifesaver on nights I can’t decide what to make for dinner.

Wednesday: Leftovers.  Easiest day of the week!

Thursday: Citrus and Chile Braised Short Ribs with Cucumber SaladWe really liked this one but it pains me how much inedible portion there is with short ribs.  I’m  not even going to go into how un-dietitian-like short ribs are as a cut of meat.  But how much you pay for the bones that you can’t even eat?! I die.  Sure, bone both is super trendy, but c’mon.  Anyway, we did really like the flavor of this and it was easy to make so we will make this recipe again, but with a different cut.  I was thinking maybe flank steak because it is lean or a pot roast since they are budget friendly and it is easy to pick the healthy meat portion away from the fatty parts.

My sweet Chloe is 11 months already!  Where has the time gone?!

My sweet Chloe is 11 months already! Where has the time gone?!

 

Friday: Thai Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice.  To be fair, maybe the curry that we used wasn’t quite strong enough.  We bought a wimpy, mild one so that the kids would eat it.  The flavor of the coconut milk came through which was great, but it just tasted like gravy and not curry.  It really didn’t hit the mark for us so we won’t make this one again.

Thank goodness for long roasts and slow cookers during baby teething season!

Thank goodness for long roasts and slow cookers during baby teething season!

Saturday: Steamed Kielbasa, Sauerkraut and PierogiesHubby ended up going on a work trip last minute…to Portugal.  Poor him, right?  At least I had heard about it on Friday so I was able to go to the grocery store and get what I needed to make this slow cooker recipe that is my absolute favorite slow cooker recipe.  This recipe is a great alternative to slow cooker stews and super quick to put together.  If you like any of the ingredients in the recipe name I urge you to give it a try.  If you are interested in more recipes like this check out Family Circle magazine.  We have been subscribing for a few years and it is one of my new faves: a little fashion, a little home, a little kids and hubby, and some recipes! I love it!  Click the image below to find out more info and to subscribe!

Thanks so much for reading!  Did you have anything great to eat this week?  I’d love to know in the comments section below!

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Week in Review: Paprika everywhere

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Last week we were coming back from a great weekend in Strasbourg, France and I was really feeling having meals with a European flare.  Enter paprika.  Paprika is one of my favorite spices.  I love it sweet or smoked.  Apparently our big kids love paprika as confetti and clothes dye.  Hubby bubby came home in the midst of them sprinkling it everywhere.  I had just gotten it out of our spice rack.  How could those little ninjas stealthily sneak it away from me so fast?!  Hubby has not mastered the art of capturing moments on camera so I do not have any pics of the kids covered in paprika, but I’m sure you can use your imaginations.  🙂  I hope our weekly meal plan helps give you some dinner inspiration!

A French pastry for the drive home from Strasbourg...heavenly!

A French pastry for the drive home from Strasbourg…heavenly!

Saturday-Sunday: Strasbourg!  It is an awesome city just a few hours from us.  We ate lots of Alsatian food which is essentially German influenced French food.  Yum!

Monday: Spanish Beef StewAfter our drive back from Strasbourg we hit the grocery store and made it home in time to have the first of our paprika-y meals.  This one is served over yellow rice which made it taste like perfection.  This was one we all liked and we will definitely be making it again.

A Euro-style chicken and dumplings.  So good and definitely worth trying...on a day you have extra time for prep.

A Euro-style chicken and dumplings. So good and definitely worth trying…on a day you have extra time for prep.

Tuesday: Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings.  This was the second of our paprika-heavy meals.  When hubby came home he said, “You’re actually making biscuits?!”  Pff, you bet I was!  they are the easiest biscuits to make ever.  All of the ingredients are pulsed in the food processor and then dolloped on top of the chickeny goodness.  So easy.  This one did take more hands-on prep so it is probably better for a weekend or a night when you have extra time.  We all loved it…even after hubby cleaned up the paprika crime scene in the kids kitchen.

Wednesday: Tango Joes and Salad Oranges.  Did I mention I like paprika?  I do.  I love it.  This one called for paprika, too, but we didn’t love this.  I love sloppy Joes and {almost} all riffs on them.  I also am a little obsessed with Chimichurri which is the topping for these.  This chimichurri had too much oil and rosemary, not my idea of a refreshing and light chimichurri.  The chimichurri also didn’t seem to really go with the flavors in the sloppy joe mix.  We ate this one but will not be making it again.  I have included the link in case you want to check it out.  At least I warned you!

Tango Joes with mandarin oranges since the 3 year old froze all of our salad greens.

Tango Joes with mandarin oranges since the 3 year old froze all of our salad greens.

Thursday: Pasta with parmesan sauce and fruit.  We were all a little under the weather and didn’t really feel like having much so hubby winged a parmesany sauce for some pasta and we had it with some fruit.

Friday: Leftovers.  Not an exciting way to kick off the weekend, but we were still not feeling well so having leftovers was perfect.  Except that I ate the Tango Joes.  I took one for the team.

Saturday: Leftovers again.  Still not very exciting, but made for a super easy day.

What did you have for dinner this week?  I’d love to know!  Just leave a comment below!  Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week!

Minestrone soup the kids and I had for lunch.  I added a little turmeric to help us kick our colds...gotta love functional foods!

Minestrone soup the kids and I had for lunch. I added a little turmeric to help us kick our colds…gotta love functional foods!

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Week in review: Thumbs down, thumbs up

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This past week we had some interesting meals.  Interesting.  Not always a good word, right?  When I dyed my hair back to red some people said it was “interesting”…not good, yet maybe not bad?  That was how our week started out.  It got better quickly, luckily!  I guess this is what happens with my obsession with always trying new recipes.  It is times like this when I am reminded it really is necessary to try recipes before making them for guests.  Here is our week in review:

Sunday: Peruvian-Style Pasta Bolognese and salad. This one sounded so good. The spices, the ginger, the tomatoes! Pasta! What could go wrong?! Well, a lot apparently. To be fair, this recipe was not bad, but it was just not what we expected. Kinda like when you order a mocha at the coffee shop and they make you a latte. The latte isn’t bad, just not what you had wrapped your mind around and prepared your palate for. We won’t be making this one again. On a positive note, making a weirdish pasta was a great way to get the kiddos to eat second helpings of salad!

It smelled amazing and looked great but this Peruvian Bolognese just didn't quite work.

It smelled amazing and looked great but this Peruvian Bolognese just didn’t quite work.

Monday: Red Beans and Rice.  This is an oldie and a goody. We love “RBR”!  I am still trying to find the source for the original recipe so I can share it with you. Yum!

Red Beans and Rice never, ever lets me down.

Red Beans and Rice never, ever lets me down.

Tuesday: Authentic Bangladeshi Beef Curry, Asian Cucumber Salad, Basmati rice.  This meal was the antithesis of the Peruvian bolognese. I wanted something different, something out of our ordinary. This was even better than I hoped. We were supposed to save some for leftovers but we ate every last morsel. We left out the cayenne so it would be a little more kid-friendly. The sauce was still a tad spicy, but we tried to just fish the beef out for the kids and hoarded the sauce for ourselves. If you love beef stew and are looking for a more exotic version this is it. This is a must-try. 

This beef curry was my redemption after the Bolognese. This one is a keeper! I have since had dreams of this curry. It is that good.

This beef curry was my redemption after the Bolognese. This one is a keeper! I have since had dreams of this curry. It is that good.

Wednesday: Turkey Sausage-Gnocchi Soup.  We always have the ingredients on-hand to make this. A few freezer and pantry staples, no chopping, dinner in twenty minutes. Perfect option for the end of a long day. 

Thursday: Leftovers.  Easiest day of the week. I had the rest of the Peruvian pasta. It was still perplexing. Hubby bubby had the RBR. That gives me wife bonus points, right?

Friday:  Latin baked chicken, Rice, Roasted Broccoli.  We love this recipe and hadn’t had it in forever. There are five ingredients. Super easy and really flavorful. We set aside some of the sauce to use on the chicken for the kiddos before adding the chipotles. This chicken would be great sliced and served in tacos, too. 

What was the best thing you ate this week?  I’d love to know in the comment section below.  I hope you like the links to the recipes.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you come back soon!

Saturday we headed to Strasbourg, France for some yummy Alsacian food!

Saturday we headed to Strasbourg, France for some yummy Alsatian food!

 

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Farewell, Papa and Gigi!

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Chloe loved snuggling with her Gigi!

Chloe loved snuggling with her Gigi!

I am running about a week behind with our weekly updates…such is life with a newborn, right?  🙂  Papa came to visit and pick up Gigi.  It was so sad to see them go!  The worst is when the big kiddos wake up and realize that Papa and Gigi left already.  Tears abound!  Luckily they will be back in a few weeks for baby Chloe’s baptism.  Here is how things went for us toward the end of last week.

Thursday:  Asian pork wraps and yummy slice and bake cookies for dessert.  The pork was finally thawed!  This made a ton.  I am a huge fan of cabbage and having the Asian flavored slaw made this slow cooker meal feel light and fresh.  Gigi made us the cookies.  I liked them but was hoping for more peanut buttery and Nutella flavors. 

Slow cooker Asian pork wraps with slaw.  Find the recipe on my Pinterest page!

Slow cooker Asian pork wraps with slaw. Find the recipe on my Pinterest page!

Friday:  Jerk rubbed catfish with slaw and rice.  We made half of the fish with the jerk seasoning and the other half just with some salt, pepper and garlic (for Papa and the kiddos).  Hannah wanted to try a bite of the jerk fish and really liked it…and then drank tons of water.  She’ll be able to hang with our level of spice soon, I just know it!

Saturday:  Salsa verde pork with rice and salad.  Beef goulash with blue cheese and romaine salad with parmesan vinaigrette.  Ready for a shock…the pork was still frozen! I know, I know.  This is the story of my life.  I thought hubby bubby cut our gigantic pork loin in half and put both halves in the fridge to thaw but he put one in the fridge and one back in the freezer.  Luckily it was no biggie since he had already done our grocery shopping for next week so we just shifted some menus around a little bit.  This recipe was amazing!  I grew up on goulash since my Mom has a lot of European ancestry.  This recipe is from Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine.  I have a love affair with food magazines and have had a  love/hate relationship with this one.  I am very much in love with it at the moment!  Back to the goulash: adding the blue cheese really took the goulash to the next level.  And did I mention we used Boar’s Head blue cheese?  There are no words to adequately describe just how amazing the Boar’s Head blue cheese crumbles really are.  If you are blue cheese fan I highly recommend it.  It is a more expensive blue cheese, but a little bit goes a long way and the extra cost definitely delivers with the amazing flavor.  It is so creamy and tangy and it really does melt in your mouth.  I can’t believe I really lived without blue cheese for 9 months! 

Beef goulash with blue cheese...yummo as Rachael Ray would say!  Find the recipe on my Pinterest page!

Beef goulash with blue cheese…yummo as Rachael Ray would say! Find the recipe on my Pinterest page!

How did your week go?  What are some foods you just can’t live without ?  Hope you had a great week.  Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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