Asparagus Parmesan

6 05 2009

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This recipe wins the SUPER FAST, SUPER EASY award hands down.

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You cook in the microwave and it takes less than 10 minutes.

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It was a fabulous side to steak and roasted potato fries (revisited!)

Asparagus Parmesan

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 9 oz. box frozen asparagus cuts
  • 1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parm

Cook

  1. Place asparagus in microwavable bowl.
  2. Microwave on high 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients except Parm.
  4. Microwave 2 to 4 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.
  5. Sprinkle with Parm before serving.

Source [19]

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Italian Minute Steaks

25 04 2009

A few nights ago I made dinner and juggled 3 different (and new) dishes.  It was a proud moment.  Exciting too, since I’m getting to cook a lot of things I’ve been saving from other blogs.  Dinner included recipes from Just the Two of Us (JT2OU), Loves To Eat and Pioneer Woman.

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It was fabulous.

JT2OU offered the main dish for dinner: Italian Minute steaks.  I’ve never cooked with beef cube steaks before, but I loved how quick they cooked up.  The toppings were very flavorful as well.    It’s so easy and was really low-maintenance once you put everything in the skillet so it made my multi-tasking simpler.

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Just season the beef cube steaks and cook, turning once.

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Top with pasta sauce, green peppers, onions, more pasta sauce, and grated parm.

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Cover and simmer.

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Done!

Italian Minute Steaks

Serves 2!

Ingredients:

  • 2 beef cube steaks (4 oz. each)
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 c. tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
  • 1/2 small green pepper, chopped (about 1/4 c.)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated parm

Cook:

  1. Season beef steaks with lemon-pepper seasoning.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  3. Cook steaks about 10 minutes, turning once, until brown.
  4. Pour half the pasta sauce over steaks.
  5. Layer onion and peppers on top.
  6. Pour rest of the pasta sauce over vegetables.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese and reduce heat to low.
  8. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

Source [19]





Savory Beef Stew

17 04 2009

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The other day I found myself needing to kill a little time before meeting with our Realtor (we’re buying a house!!!).  So I decided to stop in at Barnes & Noble since I had 3 gift cards from Christmas.  I picked up a couple books for leisure reading, but also headed over to the Cookbook section.  I spent a lot of time in the cookbook section.  Of the 10+ cookbooks I wanted to buy, which could/should I actually buy? 

There were definitely Barefoot Contessa & Giada selections that really pulled at me, but after flipping through, I had to be realistic about how many of their recipes I would actually make in my everyday life.  Just not that many if I’m being honest. 

I finally settled on two.  One a celebrity chef and the other from good ole’ Betty Crocker.  One thing I am drawn to when it comes to cookbooks is recipes that are written for just 2 or 3 servings.  Well I found a whole book for 2: Just the Two of Us.  I briefly flipped through and identified several recipes I knew I’d make and enjoy.

Funny thing is, when I got home and actually read the introduction (which I occassionally do), I had to laugh.  Let’s take a look at Page 6: “Tea for Two: Let this be the time to reconnect with your spouse…”    The premise of the cookbook is empty-nesters, not newlyweds.  Being a newlywed, I guess I just assumed…  ha.  Um, well I guess there must be a different cookbook for newlyweds called “Just the Two of Us Before Kids” Or something like that…

Anyway, it has fabulous recipes!  Like this EASY beef stew.  This was so simple and quick.  Although the original recipe says it needs to cook for 2 hours, I was able to use a wedding gift to cook it in 1 hour 15 minutes!  It’s the Deep Covered Baker which can cook a whole chicken in the microwave in 25 minutes (if your microwave is big enough to hold the dish — I am hoping the new house microwave will be!)

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Even if you don’t have this awesome Baker, it’s still a quick stew with good flavors.  I forgot to buy an onion and just threw in some onion powder.  Not the same, but close enough.  I also added garlic powder just for fun.  My only real suggestion:  crush up the stewed tomatoes so that you don’t have near whole tomatoes in the stew.  Otherwise, this is a winner.  And not having to half this recipe makes it even better!

Savory Beef Stew

Serves 2!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. beef stew meat
  • 10-12 ready to eat baby-cut carrots
  • 4 small red potatoes (1/2 lb.), cut in half [I quarted them]
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • [garlic powder if you like]

Cook

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In 1 & 1/2 quart casserole, mix beef, carrots, potatoes, onion, tomatoes, pepper and bay leaf [and garlic powder].
  3. In small bowl, mix water and flour.
  4. Stir into beef mixture.
  5. Cover and bake about 2 hours, stirring once.
  6. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  7. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Source: [19]





Deconstructed Lasagna

11 03 2009

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Brace yourselves: it’s another Rachel Ray recipe.  But don’t freak out.  This one actually was fairly simple and I’m pretty sure I made it in 30 minutes!  This is a really good pasta dish and an easy way to include some extra veggies (there are carrots in the meat sauce).

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I was a little skeptical about the ricotta mixture since it’s cold, but the heat from the pasta and meat sauce warm it up right away.  It mixes in really well and the flavor is so close to actual lasagna. Next time I would use less parsley in the ricotta mixture and I would grate/shred the carrots instead of “finely chop” them.  I’d also use more basil in the sauce.

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Definitely a quick and simple recipe!

Deconstructed Lasagna

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. cavatappi pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 small carrot, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. beef broth
  • 14 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • A few basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1/6 c. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. grated parmesan

Cook

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the beef, crumbling into bits, and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add carrot, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until vegetables are softened, 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beef broth then the tomatoes and basil; simmer.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta and parsley.
  8. Toss the pasta with the butter, then stir in the parmesan cheese and meat sauce.
  9. Scoop the ricotta mixture into each of 2 shallow bowls, then top with the meaty pasta.
  10. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.

Source: [11 – Feb. 2009]





Triple Bacon Cheeseburgers

2 03 2009

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It’s snowing in South Carolina!!  They have been calling for snow for weeks now in surrounding areas and claiming that it would reach our area but I always rolled my eyes. It’s SOUTH Carolina.  I never expected actual snow accumulation.  But it’s snowing!  Like a lot.  More than just a dusting, like the entire Upstate might be completely closed down tomorrow.  Haha.  That’s a joke WH and I have about living here.  No one knows how to drive in weather other than sun.  If it’s raining, people drive slow and do really dumb things.  In snow?  I don’t think they drive at all.  I really think everything will be closed.  To WH and me, it’s just funny because we both went to Virginia Tech where we NEVER got a snow day.  I remember one day sophomore year when it was like sleeting and it literally took 10 minutes to walk 20 feet on the sidewalk because they were iced over.  Were classes canceled?  No. Never.

So now that it’s snowing in South Carolina, I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.  Will my office be open?  Will WH’s?  If I have to drive around are people going to be driving half the speed limit?  I’ll keep you posted.

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In the meantime, please try these fabulous burgers.  Healthy?  No.  Delicious?  Heck yes!  How on earth could I pass up anything that has bacon three ways?  WH and I planned to grill outside but it was raining 😦 so we pulled out the old George Foreman.   Worked great!  Best homemade burger I’ve had in a while – yummy!

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Triple Bacon Cheeseburgers

Makes 2 burgers

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 2/3 lb. ground chuck
  • a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 3/4 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 2 rolls, split and toasted
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 slices cheese (I used provolone, WH used cheddar)

Cook

  1. In large skillet, cook bacon.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
  3. Crumble 2 slices bacon and add to beef mixture.
  4. Shape mixture into 2 patties.
  5. Grill patties for 7 to 8 minutes on each side.
  6. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, horseradish, and 1 & 1/2 slices crumbled bacon.
  7. Spread mayo mixture over bottom halves of roll.
  8. Top each with lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, cheese, and remaining bacon slices.

Source: [Sadly, I ripped this out of a magainze that doesn’t have a tag line at the bottom and I threw the magazine away and I don’t know what it was called.  If I figure it out, I will let you know.]





February Tour Stop: Recipe #1

25 02 2009

Here’s the avatar you’ll see on each post for Tour Stops!  Thanks again to Lisa of Lime in the Coconut for designing this!

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I loved this recipe that Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures shared with me as one of her favorites.  For such a great taste it was amazingly easy.  And considering the fact that I don’t totally love Asian food, I really enjoyed eating this.  WH was excited about it too and I will definitely be making this again.  I divided the recipe for the 2 of us and omitted one ingredient, but overall I stayed true to the original recipe.

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Here’s why Joelen chose this recipe as one of her favorites:

“As an avid lover of Asian cuisine, my favorite Chinese dish is Mongolian Beef. The very first time I learned how to make it was as a child watching the television show, Reading Rainbow. My parents made their own version so I learned a version that appealed to me.”

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Mongolian Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch green onion, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb lean beef, sliced thin
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • (1/4 cup oyster sauce — I omitted this)

Cook:

  1. Season sliced beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
  2. Sprinkle cornstarch over beef and toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. In hot pan saute garlic and onion in cooking oil until softened.
  4. Add meat and brown.
  5. Add (oyster sauce and) soy sauce; stir to coat.
  6. Just before serving, add green onions and toss.

Check out Joelen’s original recipe here!





Barefoot Bloggers — Spaghetti & Meatballs

18 02 2009

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Well, this recipe for Real Spaghetti (I used fettuccine) and Meatballs  was interesting for me.  I had a really good time making it.  The recipe was very easy and yet made me feel like I was really accomplishing something great in the kitchen.  That seems to be a recurring theme with many of the Barefoot recipes.

So I really had a good time cooking, but I just wasn’t into the taste.  I don’t why, but I just didn’t enjoy the meatballs.  I liked the sauce okay, but couldn’t eat the meatballs.  I think I like a smaller meatball and I probably have a preconceived idea of what meatballs taste like and this wasn’t it.

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WH seemed to enjoy the recipe although he did say it “tasted like a recipe Barefoot Contessa would make”.  I’m not sure what the means but he makes that comment a lot.  He isn’t the biggest fan of Barefoot Contessa (I swear he’s a good person!)

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Anyway, thanks to Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake for choosing this recipe, which you can find here.  I really did enjoy cooking this meal, just unfortunately didn’t enjoy eating it.  Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.