Tag Archives: yummy

Savory Braised Beef Short Ribs

23 Sep

It’s been an interesting day… we’ll leave it at that. Interesting days require something extra ordinary for dinner, again what I call- cooking therapy. Tonight it’s braising therapy… I’m willing to wait a little longer to eat tonight if it means delicious braised beef short ribs, and I bet you would too!

Savory Braised Beef Short Ribs
Braised short ribs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Kosher salt n ground black pepper
1.5-2 lb short ribs, boneless
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 carrots, peeled cut into large chunks
1 onion cut into large chunks
3 stalks celery cut into large chunks
2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup red wine (I used merlot)
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 cup V8 juice
1 bay leaf
1 pinch crushed red pepper

20130923-193158.jpg
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat large pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. In a medium bowl combine flour with salt and pepper and toss short ribs to coat, shake to dust off excess flour. Transfer ribs to the pan to brown on all sides (about 5 minutes).

20130923-193343.jpg

20130923-193356.jpg

20130923-193415.jpg
Layer vegetable on bottom of a large heavy bottom pot/Dutch oven, arrange browned short ribs. Add remaining ingredients and an extra couple dashes of ground black pepper and salt.

20130923-193510.jpg

20130923-193522.jpg

20130923-193533.jpg

20130923-193556.jpg

20130923-193610.jpg
Cover and transfer to oven, cook for 1 hour and then reduce heat to 365 and cook until fork tender for about another hour and a half to two hours.

20130923-193819.jpg
Once out of the oven remove meat and vegetables from liquid and place on a platter, reduce liquid over medium high heat for approximately 10 minutes (may need to add some gravy flour to help thicken). Serve gravy over meat and vegetables. I served mine with buttered egg noodles.

20130923-210301.jpg

20130923-210320.jpg
I am in love with this recipe, I could seriously drink this sauce, it’s that good! I think it’s going on my list of favorites.

My braising adventure also left me with plenty of time to browse my old holiday magazines.

20130923-210657.jpg

20130923-210717.jpg
And… since it’s been an ‘interesting day’ I finished it off with sharing a happy little chocolate bundt cake from Corner Bakery with my hubby. Corner Bakery is currently participating in No Kid Hungry‘s fundraising campaign too, so double points for them!

20130923-211003.jpg

Advertisements

Super Veggie Soup

21 Jun

Growing up I didn’t like a whole lot of different kinds of soups except my mom used to make a vegetable bacon soup which had a base of V8 juice. And oh man did i love it when I was a kid! Now, if you have read any of my previous posts regarding The Veg Project you will note that I haven’t eaten any pork related products since I was 11 years old, therefore when in my mid-twenties I decided that I wanted that little slice of my childhood I needed to adapt the recipe. It also involved a series of microwaving different items- which I am generally not in favor of doing so it differed greatly, but still provides me the same comfort as it did as a child.
It’s healthy, delicious and above all, nutritious. I honestly don’t think you could pack any more servings of vegetables into one soup! I am also a weirdo who happens to love making homemade soups all summer, I know I’m strange. I don’t know if its because I soup is light and I generally try eat a little lighter in the summertime or if its because my husband keeps my house Arctic cold (and my office at work is as well), but I love soup in the summer.
Here’s my Super Veggie Soup recipe:

20130620-214600.jpg

Super Veggie Soup: 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion chopped
4 Yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced
3 celery sticks chopped
3 carrots chopped
3 cups Original V8 Juice
1.5 cups water
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 zucchinis quartered
1 yellow summer squash quartered
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
*A couple dashes hot sauce optional

20130620-215646.jpg

20130620-215712.jpg

20130620-215726.jpg

20130620-215746.jpg

20130620-215757.jpg

20130620-215818.jpg

20130620-215829.jpg
Heat olive oil over medium high heat and add chopped onion, sauté but do not allow to brown, add carrots, celery, and potatoes, cook for approximately 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Add V8 juice, garlic, and water, stir to combine. Add salt and pepper and a couple dashes hot sauce if desired. Bring mixture just to a low boil and add zucchini and summer squash and reduce to simmer. Simmer approximately 20 minutes until vegetables (specifically potatoes are tender), add frozen peas, allow to summer for another 3-5 minutes until cooked through. Enjoy!
I decided in the middle of making the soup that I would enjoy mine with some freshly baked wheat bread (since I had it on hand) so I made a “no knead” wheat bread mix. I must say that for a 50ish minute box recipe deal, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact it was quite good!

20130620-215955.jpg

20130620-220012.jpg

Happy Hour

5 Jun

Finally got to have happy hour today with my coworkers. We decided on Dish for drinks and got some great deals on wine and apps.

20130604-193204.jpg
I got an order of crispy tender calamari with a very spicy and zesty cocktail dip with a grilled cheese with caramelized onions, sautéed spinach and tomato.

Gallery

Veg Project: Date Night In

2 Apr

IMG_1221

A lot of things change when you become a parent, this is not a surprise. There is more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and less God Father marathons, more juice and less cocktails, more diapers and a lot less sleep! One thing that we have been really good about is making sure that we are still going out for date nights and my in-laws definitely help make that happen with their willingness to babysit.  But even when we can’t get out for the night I like to try and make a special effort when I can to not only make a healthy homemade meal for my husband and I, but also make a fancy dinner date. I was lucky enough to have the day off due to Good Friday so I could go grocery shopping and spend time with my daughter and I also had time to plan out a sexy dinner date for my hubby and myself.

What’s for dinner? Spinach and mushroom quiche, a mixed green salad with heirloom tomatoes and homemade balsamic vinaigrette, ricotta and honey on a sourdough baguette with strawberries and white wine. I was inspired after watching an episode of Kelsey’s Essentials on the Cooking Channel, in which she made a similar menu. I have never actually made a quiche before and only had a couple quiche ‘bites’ appetizers over the years and I wasn’t a big fan. But since I started the Veg Project (see: https://amyblandes.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/the-veg-project/) I have made an effort to try some more things that I normally would not have been interested, plus I love being adventurous in the kitchen. I started the menu for Friday with the quiche planned, but then I thought I wanted something to balance out the creamy quiche, so I thought tangy salad dressing, I wanted it to feel like a picnic so I went with the baguette that Kelsey Nixon used in her episode and although I thought my husband (a man who only really likes cheddar cheese) would not be into the ricotta I got it just to try. It was amazing! The quiche was creamy, fluffy, and so full of delicious flavor. Really, the whole menu, the strawberries balanced the baguette with ricotta and honey drizzle, the salad and dressing balanced the creamy cheesy quiche and the wine complimented it all. It was all light, flavorful, and scrumptious!

IMG_1201

IMG_1209

IMG_1212

IMG_1216

I adapted a recipe from Kelsey Nixon for the following (for her recipe please see: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/ham-leek-and-gruyere-quiche.html)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

1 package baby spinach chopped

10 crimini mushrooms washed & thinly sliced

1 clove crushed garlic

5 eggs

1 cup whole cream

1 tablespoon corn startch (Kelsey Nixon’s tip- it really works!)

¼ tablespoon Kosher salt

½ tablespon ground black pepper

Dash nutmeg

½ cup finely shredded havarti cheese

½ cup finely shredded gruyere

1 frozen pie shell baked according to package instructions

After the pie shell has been baked, preheat oven to 375 degress. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat, once melted add in mushrooms, saute for approximately 2 minutes coating mushrooms in butter.  Add in spinach and garlic until spinach is wilted and cooked through, remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until blended well. Spread vegetable mixture over the bottom of the cooked pie crust, sprinkle cheese evenly over the vegetables, then carefully pour custard mixture over it. Place in the over on a foil lined large sheet tray (in case of messes). Bake until center is set and crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, serve at room temperature.

IMG_1223

For the salad I simply added a mixed greens with halved miniature heirloom tomatoes, sprinkled salt & pepper, and drizzled a homemade vinaigrette over it:

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove crushed garlic

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

I like to put it in a mason jar with a lid and shake well.

IMG_1217

The Veg Project: What’s For Dinner?

27 Mar

Since Stephanie & I began The Veg Project (a three week challenge of becoming Pesco-Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians) we have spent quite a bit of time texting each other about what we are eating for our meals. At first when thinking about becoming a vegetarian people tend to say “so I guess I can only eat vegetables” and then picture themselves sat down in front of a dinner plate with a measly stalk of celery as their taste buds die off one by one- this is not so. Conversely there are those that think their life is going to be one pb&j after another until the bitter end- also not true. There are so many awesome things that can be made vegetarian and this is especially true I find for Pesco-Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians because they can still eat seafood, dairy, and eggs.
Some of the things I have been making or ordering include: vegetable lasagna, egg & cheese quesadilla, black bean veggie burritos, shrimp & fish tacos, seared scallops with sautéed spinach and roasted Brussels sprouts, corn, peppers, & jack cheese stuffed portabello mushroom caps with roasted sweet potatoes, spinach salad, bean & cheese burritos, baked salmon, veggie chili, & of course my ‘everything’ veggie pasta sauce, just to name a few. br />
20130326-210103.jpg

20130326-210120.jpg

‘Everything’ Veggie Pasta Sauce

25 Mar

So I found myself with a ton of veggies in my fridge and nothing specifically planned for dinner. Seeing as me and the mister went out to eat multiple times over the weekend it was time for a home cooked meal on Sunday. I decided it would be tasty to bake some country white bread and make some pasta sauce. I grew up in a house where sauce almost always did not come from a jar. My mom would spend an entire day every now and again making her sauce, which took hours and hours to simmer on the stove, once we got our fill that evening she would freeze portions for future pasta nights. I do it a little different. I try to stay away from the jar as much as possible as well but I tend to make quick sauces and try to keep them to the amount that is needed for that day only. I am really bad about remembering to defrost things so I usually avoid it. I have a couple different variations that I whip up and there are a couple rules when it comes to my sauces I have a couple different variations that I whip up: 1. make it fresh, 2. make it quick, 3. pack it with veggies.

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can just interchange what vegetables you have on hand or what you like. If you have egg plant and want to roast that – go for it! If you love mushrooms, add them in! I would have added some frozen peas about 10 minutes before completion but I was all out.

20130325-161942.jpgI decided that I wanted to add a little dimension to my sauce so I wanted to roast some bell peppers and roma tomatoes, I did this in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. 20130325-162016.jpgOne of the things that makes this a quick sauce is multitasking so I wash and chop my other veggies. 20130325-162031.jpgI heated some olive oil in a large skillet and began to saute the vegetables. 20130325-162044.jpgAdded the roasted pepper and roma tomatoes to the other veggies. 20130325-162056.jpgSmells amazing! 20130325-162112.jpgI love it over pasta20130325-162122.jpg

Ingredients

2-3 Tablespoons Olive oil

2 Roma Tomatoes

1 Red Bell Pepper

1/2 Sweet Yellow Onion chopped

1 Zucchini chopped

2 Carrots peeled & chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper chopped

1 Bunch Spinach

1 Teaspoon Garlic

1 15 oz Can of Tomato Sauce

Salt

Pepper

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut Roma tomatoes in half and remove seeds, cut red bell peppers in half and remove inner seeds and ribs, place on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place tray in a preheated oven and roast for about 30 minutes (should be very tender). Meanwhile, chop onion, zucchini, carrots, and green bell peppers. Heat about a tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add chopped veggies to skillet and saute, add salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook veggies approximately 5 minutes until tender, stirring frequently. Do not brown vegetables. Mix in spinach leaves. Once roasted red pepper and tomato are done, dice and add to the sauce, mix in with other veggies. Add tomato sauce and garlic. Reduce heat to simmer and let flavors develop for about 15 minutes. Serve over cooked pasta, fish, or chicken. Delicious with crusty bread.