Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beef Stir Fry with Mushroom and Snow Peas

I do love a good stir fry. They are always flavorful, and they are always quick. Both of those things are a must in a weeknight dinner around this house.

This was a wonderful stir fry. I don’t often use beef this way but it was really great!  The savory mushrooms really paired well with the beef and the crisp snow peas really gave it a great texture.

What you need,

¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup tamari sauce
4 tbsp. brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. grated ginger; you can use more if you like it!
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 8oz steak, thinly sliced
2 cups snow peas
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cornstarch + 2 tbsp. water
¼ cup green onion, chopped
Rice for serving

In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, tamari, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and rice vinegar.

Heat one teaspoon of oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick skillet
Cook the mushrooms for 4-5 minutes until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the rest of the oil and cook the steak slices in a single layer for just a minute per side. Add the mushrooms back to the pan and also the snow peas. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add the sauce to the pan and cook 1 minute until bubbly.  Stir in the cornstarch and water mixture and let it thicken for 1-2 minutes.

Sprinkle the stir-fry with the green onion before serving over some rice.

There you have it a great simple dinner all in less than 30 minutes!
Gotta love that!

I have a quick tip for you, if you want to slice your beef really thin put it in the freezer for 20ish minutes before slicing it. Just so it is firm, not frozen. It sure makes thin slices WAY easier‼



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chewy Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

I enjoyed these granola bars I made a few weeks ago so much I decided to try my hand at making them again. I made a few changes this time; I added some peanut butter and a few scoops of rice cereal for texture. 

I think I like these bars even better than the last ones. They really hold up well in or out of the fridge. They make a perfect on the go breakfast.  My in house taste tester took one to work the other day and I got a text a few hours later that said “Holy Shit that breakfast bar is really good!” I knew I had struck granola bar gold!

What you need,

¼ cup butter
¼ smooth peanut butter
½ cup honey
2/3 cup brown sugar
3½ cups oats, I used quick cook because it is what I had
2 cups rice cereal
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup dried cranberries or raisins
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini chips would work even better than the regular sized ones I had but they were fine

Like a 9X13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, spray lightly with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl stir together the oats, rice cereal and dried cranberries.

In a small saucepan combine the butter, peanut butter, honey and brown sugar. Heat over medium until the mixture comes to boil, stirring occasionally. 
Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour over the oat mixture and stir to combine well.  Press the mixture evenly into the pan and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Press the chips lightly to make them stick.

Cool in the fridge for an hour or 2 before cutting into bars.  I got 12 bars.  I wrapped them each in saran wrap then put them all into a large zip top bag. I kept them in the fridge until I was ready to toss them into my lunch bag. 

These bars are fabulous! I think you could change up the nut butter and dried fruit to anything you like. How about almond butter with dried apricots and pistachios? Or cashew butter with dried cherries and cashews?  Even Nutella with about almonds and chocolate chips would be fabulous! The possibilities are endless.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake

I always love a good lemon dessert. As a kid I used to love those boxed pudding cakes and so when I saw this recipe on Two Peas & Their Pod for a homemade version I knew I had to give it a try.

Meyer lemons are a little sweeter than regular lemons so they are perfect for this wonderful pudding cake. 

It was wonderful, perfectly lemony with a spongy cake and a layer of gooey pudding on the bottom. Such a wonderful dessert, and so pretty!

What you need,

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. Meyer lemon zest
3 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 1-quart soufflé dish.

In a large bowl use an electric hand mixer to beat the butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until combined. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half the lemon juice, half the flour and half the sour cream and beat until smooth; repeat with remaining lemon juice, flour and sour cream.

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high, add the salt, and beat to stiff peaks.
Add one-quarter of the whites to the lemon mixture and gently fold in. Continue to fold in whites one-quarter at a time.

Transfer the batter to the prepared soufflé dish or dishes. Place the dish in a larger pan and carefully pour boiling water around it to a depth of 1 inch.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until slightly golden brown and the center is just set. The cake should spring back when gently touched. Do not open the oven door while the cake is baking. Remove from the water bath immediately and cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes.

Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
Serve warm.

The cake can be kept covered in the fridge for about 3 days. I just reheated it in small dishes in the microwave and it was wonderful!

What an amazing dessert! Light and flavorful just perfect.
If you were having a dinner party and wanted to be a little fancy you could divide the batter between smaller ramekins and serve this beautiful cake individually.



Recipe from the awesome Two Peas & Their Pod

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meatloaf Sandwiches

I made my in house taste tester his favourite meal for Valentine’s Day, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy and steamed broccoli.
It was delicious as always.

We had a little meatloaf left over so I decided to whip up some meatloaf sandwiches. I have never had one before but I had a pretty clear vision in my head of what I wanted my sandwich to be.

Man oh man was this sandwich was awesome! It turned out exactly as I had envisioned. So much flavor and texture. My in house taste tester gave it 2 thumbs up, a 10 out a 10 and asked when we could have them again! So for me that is a win!

What you need,

4 slices bread, I used a marbled sourdough, it was awesome!
4 ½ inch slices of left-over meatloaf, this is my recipe
2 tsp. spicy mayo (I used the sriracha mayo I always make)
1 tsp. yellow mustard
2 tbsp. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup fresh arugula leaves
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. butter

In a large frying pan heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat.
Fry the meatloaf slices for 2-3 minutes per side until they are golden brown and crisp.

Spread the mayo in a thin layer on all 4 slices of bread. Then spread the mustard on 2 of the slices.
Lay the crispy meatloaf on top of one slice of the bread. Sprinkle the cheese on the hot meat loaf. Top with the arugula and lay the bread topper on top of the whole pile.

Slice and half and stuff in your face!

This sandwich was truly one of the best I have ever had! I would eat one of these any day.

I loved the hot crispy meatloaf with just a touch of heat from the spicy mayo,  the peppery crisp arugula was the perfect green for this sandwich.



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Banana Oatmeal Cookies (some have chocolate chips!)

Always with the overripe bananas. Sorry…
But these cookies let me tell you, they are really something!

They have great banana flavor, but they aren’t too cakey. They are chewy in the center and crisp on the edges just like a perfect cookie should be!

Now, my in house taste tester isn’t a huge fan of chocolate chips in his banana bread so I thought I better make half these cookies plain, and then I added some chocolate to second half! Honestly they are great either way!

What you need,

¾ cup butter, as usual I used salted
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mashed banana
1½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. corn starch
3 cups oats
1 cup of chocolate chips, I used milk chocolate but semi sweet would be great too

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

In the bowl if a stand mixer add the butter and both sugars. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated.
Stir in the vanilla.

Add the mashed banana and blend to combine.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and cornstarch.  Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer a little at a time until totally incorporated.

Add the oats 1 cup at a time until totally mixed in.

Drop the dough by the heaping tablespoon onto the prepared pan and bake 10—12 minutes until brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

I used about half the dough, then I stirred in the chocolate chips and baked the second half of the dough.

Let the cookies cool completely, store in an airtight container for a week or in the freezer for 3 months.

I feel like these are cookies you can eat for breakfast. I think anything that has a banana in it should be breakfast!



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Moose Stew with Mushrooms

Ok so I realize that most of you don’t have a freezer full of moose meat, so you go right ahead and use some nice beef. This stew will be just as delicious, I promise.

This easy stew is so great. The meat is tender and the mushrooms are meaty. The gravy is savory and perfect.  I served mine with some creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes and some buttered carrots.

It made a perfectly wonderful Sunday night dinner.

What you need,

1 lb. stewing beef or moose, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 large shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, halved
½ cup red wine
1 can beef consume
1 can water
Salt and Pepper to taste (use lots of pepper, It will make the stew amazing)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp. all purpose flour mixed with 3 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

Heat the butter and oil over medium high heat in a large heavy bottomed pot.
Add the meat in a single layer and brown well on all sides, this will take about 5-6 minutes. If all the meat won’t fit in a single layer, do it in 2 batches. Remove the browned meat to plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and then add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant. Toss in the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, just until they get a little color and start to soften.  Pour in the wine, consume and water into the pot. Scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan that is where all the good flavor is! Add about 1 teaspoon of salt and at least ½ a teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper at this point. Now add the meat back to the pot, be sure to add any juices off the plate too.

Reduce the heat to low and add the thyme sprigs. Put a lid on the pot and let the stew simmer for at 90 minutes, up to 2 hours until the meat is tender.

Add the flour/water mixture to the pot and stir well. Let it simmer again for another 30 minutes, the gravy will thicken up. Adjust the seasonings to your taste, more salt, pepper.

Turn off the heat and let the stew stand for 20 minutes before serving.
Just before you serve the stew, toss in 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley.

This stew… Sooooo freaking good. It is just a big old pot of comfort.
Make some soon; you will be very happy you did!



Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman