Friday, April 30, 2010

Stir-Fried Beef and Asaparagus

This dish has so much flavor for how short the ingredients list is.

1 cup brown rice (I use the boil-in-a-bag variety)
2 t. olive oil1 pound steak, trimmed and cut into thin strips
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 T. fresh ginger, minced, peeled
1 lb asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 c. sugar snap peas
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
3/4 c. chicken broth
1 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce

Heat a large, deep non-stick skillet or wok over high heat until a drop of water sizzles in the pan. Add the oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the beef and stir-fry until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate.

Add the garlic and ginger to the skillet and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the asparagus, peas and bell pepper and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes longer. Return the beef to the skillet and add the remaining ingredients. Stir-fry until the liquid is reduced, and 3 minutes longer. Serve with cooked rice.

Side note: while I was typing this out, Mr. B. snuck up behind me and read over my shoulder. He tapped the screen and said, "That stuff's good." while he walked out of the room. This, from a man that views "food as fuel" and has no grasp on the term foodie or why I have such an obsession with wonderful meals. Glory.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mayonnaise Alternative

I'm on a quest to lose this baby weight. Which leads to a quest for decent tasting, healthy foods.
Putting together my turkey sandwich (on whole wheat, with spinach) yesterday, I just couldn't bring myself to slather the toasted bread with a dallop of white saturated fat goop (aka. mayo).
I spotted my bowl of avocados. Lightbulb!

I sliced that puppy up and mashed it with a fork. Threw a little salt and pepper on it and put it on my sandwich. It added taste and the mayo texture without all the hydrogenated oils.
Simple (and maybe something you have all done, in which case I'll feel lame for posting this like it's new info) and yummy.

Mrs. B.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Salad Dressing

This is a salad dressing worth finding and trying. It's delicious. I discovered it at Whole Foods a year ago, and it's been my most favorite dressing ever since. You can check the label below for the nitty gritty on the nutritional info. It's not too bad! No fat, 8 carbs, and a little more sodium then any of us would like, but it's really good! This dressing covers really well, so you don't need a lot of it. I put it on a mix of baby greens, grape tomatoes, and a small amount of fresh crumbled bleu cheese. Perfection!

Rachel Ray rated Cindy's Kitchen Buttermilk Ranch as the best ranch dressing. The lady next to me in the store was buying the ranch and said it was fantastic. I have had the Cindy's Kitchen Roasted Garlic Caesar and it's pure deliciousness, but for obvious reasons, I don't make caesar very often. So far, the only place I have found that sells it, is Whole Foods. And sadly, there is no have a web site to search for where it's sold. But if you can find it, or any one of the other 10 flavors, definitely give it a try!

Bon Appétit


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Salsa Verde Carnitas & El Torito Dressing

Salsa Verde Carnitas
(from Simply Recipes)


  • 3 1/2 pounds pork butt (pork shoulder)
  • 2 cups salsa verde, bottled, canned, or homemade
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano (or 1 teas dried)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt
  • 12 to 16 corn tortillas, heated and softened
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija Mexican farmer's cheese, or some grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Crema fresca, crema Mexican, or sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


1 Trim the excess fat from the roast. Put the meat in a large casserole or Dutch oven with salsa verde, onion, stock, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, about 3 hours.

2 Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove meat from liquid in pot and put the meat into a roasting pan. With 2 forks, tear meat into large shreds. Roast meat for 15 to 20 minutes until parts are brown and crispy.

3. While the meat is roasting, skim and discard fat from liquid in the casserole pan. Boil juices, stirring, until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 8 to 10 minutes.

4 Return the meat to the Dutch oven. Stir in chopped cilantro. Season with salt.

Serves 6.

This salad is from one of my favorite Mexican Restaurants in CA called El Torito. They actually sell the dressing in grocery stores in CA, but I like this version much better!

El Torito Salad Dressing
  • 1 Tbsp Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix (Dry Mix)
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 c. Low-Fat Buttermilk
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup Fresh Cilantro (long stems cut off)
  • 2 Tbsp Roasted & Salted Pepitas
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 c. Vegetable Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
In blender combine all ingredients except oil. Whip or process until well bended or mixture is green. Slowly add oil through top cover of blender jar while motor is running. Process until dressing is smooth. Add Salt & Pepper to taste. If needed, refrigerate until well chilled. Serve as desired over chilled greens sprinkled with extra Pepitas.

El Torito Salad
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Pepitas
  • Queso Fresco
  • Tortilla Strips


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The lazy man's guacamole

There are TONS of amazing ways to make guacamole. I am sure other ladies on this blog will post recipes that will make you drool and challenge your culinary skills all at the same time...but not me! I am posting a recipe that the laziest of lazy lizards could do.

It's simple.

Cut up two Avacado's and smash them with a fork.
Poor in a dollop of salsa and mix it all together.
Salt it a little, add some pepper and EAT!

I love the cheap store brand chips. They work as good as the fancy expensive ones for this delightful dish.

This is what I just had for dinner. Yup, it's so good it's all I eat when I make it. I took a pic with my cell phone...I am dedicated to this blog or I wouldn't have even paused for that long before devouring! :)



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Traditional Italian Meat Sauce

This is by far, my most favorite meat sauce recipe in existence. I won't even order spaghetti in restaurants because nothing compares to how good this sauce is. I have no clue where the recipe came from, it's been handed down from my great-grandmother, who was a full blooded Italian immigrant. So it has to be good, right? HA! This is also the same sauce I use to make a delicious lasagna. Next time I make lasagna, I will post that recipe.


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 mild italian sausages (remove casing)
3/4 cup white onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 small cans of tomato paste
8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups of water

1lb. pasta of your choice (I prefer mostaccioli, it's easier to eat, especially for little ones).


1. Ground beef with oil and sausage (remove the casing, I pull it out of the casing by hand in small gobs about the size of a grape). When almost brown, add onions.

2. When everything is brown, drain grease. Return to stove, add parsley, garlic, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, tomato paste, tomato sauce and 2 cups of water. Stir well. Simmer on low for 90 minutes.

3. Cook noodles according to package and desired tenderness. Drain well. Pour sauce over noodles. Serve hot!

Bon Appétit

Coffee Cake

This is a family favorite!

Coffee Cake
1st Mixture:
2 1/2 c. Flour
1 c. Brown Sugar
3/4 c. White Sugar
1 tbsp. Nutmeg
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
3/4 c. Oil
Mix together. Then remove 3/4 c. and set aside for the topping.

2nd Mixture:
1 Egg
1 c. Milk
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 c. Vinegar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
Add to the 1st Mixture and stir until blended.

Grease 9x13 pan. Pour mixture into pan. Then sprinkle topping across the top.
Bake @ 350* for 30 - 35 minutes.

Great for Breakfast or even Dessert!!!


Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup

This soup is SUPER EASY and very tasty. I can't claim the recipe as my own though, it came from with a few tweaks.

Soup ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Crushed Tortilla Chips
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream


-Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend.
-Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5+ hours.
-Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Shred chicken by hand. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 1-2 hours.
- Add desired toppings

Enjoy :),


Note: This tastes even better the next day!!

Simple and Tasty Oven Roast

You will need:

Roast...whatever size you want to use is fine, as long as it fits :) I usually do about a 2 lb roast for 3 people and some left overs. I've also done a 5 lb roast and it was the same cooking for the type of roast...I've done several types and they all turn out great, so pick whatever type you enjoy.

1 box beef broth (or a couple cans of the beef consume)
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 onions cut into chunks
10-12 potatoes cut into thirds
10 carrots cut into fourths (you can do more carrots, they are SO good! as many as you have room for...)

Put it all in a roasting pan with a cover (probably don't have to keep it covered but that's how I did mine).

Cook for 4 hrs at 350 degrees. I think the low heat, the long cooking time and added moisture are what make it so good :) A couple people told me I should have added a box of onion soup mix...I'll try that next time. I figure the actual onion was enough onion for my own taste...but I'm sure the mix makes a great flavor if you want that.

oh yes, I added salt and pepper on top while cooking, lots of pepper cause I like spice...although it really wasn't spicy in the end.

Happy cooking!

Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup

One of the best soups I have ever made at home. It seems like a lot of garlic, but once you roast it in the oven, it becomes this yummy gooey sweet stuff and loses all of the harsh garlic taste.

You will need:

6 Idaho Potatoes
1 whole head of garlic
1 large onion
1 tsp Celery Seed
Crushed Red peppers - to taste I like it SPICY
Olive Oil - just enough to cover the bottom of the pot
3 cups of low sodium chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Smother garlic in oil, and Roast garlic in oven on 350F for 50 minutes.

Dice potatoes and onion, simmer onion in oil and dash of celery seed and crushed red pepper.

Add potatoes and stock when onions are soft. Boil for 35 minutes or until potatoes are done. Grab the garlic out of the oven and carefully scoop the gooey stuff out. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher and add salt and pepper to taste.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Lasagna Roll-Ups

One of my most favorite dishes to make.

12 Lasagna Noodles
2 Cups Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 (28 ounce) Jar Marinara Sauce

8 Ounces Italian Sausages

Preheat Oven 375.
Cook noodles to package. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Mix together ricotta, egg, parsley and 1 cup mozzarella.
Spread 1/2 cup sauce in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture on each noodle. (If you are adding sausage, you would want to add the sausage in the roll at this point). Roll up noodle. Arrange noodles with the seam side down in baking dish.
Top rolled up noodles with remaining sauce and mozzarella.
Bake loosely covered with foil for 15 minutes. Remove cover, bake for an additional 10 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Happy Eating!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nutmeg Gnocchi with Spinach

Pasta. The word alone makes you want to climb into an overstuffed chair and...well...over stuff yourself. It's the epitome of comfort food.

I have this fantastic pasta recipe adapted from this handy little cookbook that I made for the first time last night. The kids loved it, the man loved it and I especially loved it. Simple, nutritious and tasty. The trifecta, right?

The pasta we're using is gnocchi. So delicious! It's these plump, little potato (or cheese) dumplings that cook up just like pasta. If you've never cooked with these, you should try them. You might be in love...

Nutmeg Gnocchi with Spinach
(this recipe is made with all Trader Joe's ingredients
but I'm sure you can find them at a regular grocery store.)
1 (17.6 oz) pkg dried potato gnocchi
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 t. crushed garlic or 1 cube frozen Crushed Garlic
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup whole milk
(I actually used Almond Milk to cut down on the dairy so my little man doesn't get an upset tummy.
It tasted great!)
1 (6 oz) bag fresh spinach (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shaved, shredded, or grated)
Bring water to a boil and prep the gnocchi according to package directions.
In a deep skillet or saucepan, saute onions in 1 T. olive oil until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic, nutmeg, salt and walnuts, sauteing over low heat until onions begin to caramelize.
Add drained gnocchi to mixture and stir gently to combine and coat. Drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil over gnocchi and add milk. Heat for an additional minute.
Place spinach on top and place a lid over the pan. It will seem like a lot of spinach, but it will all wilt down. Stir the spinach into the mixture to help it wilt down.
Add Parmesan once the spinach is wilted and stir to combine.
Prep and cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
I love a good cream sauce with nutmeg. The beautiful thing about this pasta dish is that it's not too heavy like an Alfredo sauce (although...a good, creamy Alfredo sauce has it's virtues...) but you still get the feel of decadence. yummy.