Monthly Archives: April 2014

Getting Peachy – Upside Down Peach Bourbon Cake

I had a slow work day a few days ago and took the opportunity to try out a bunch of recipes all in one day. I made a great entrée and some good side dishes too that day that I will be sharing soon, but I think the star of that day was actually the dessert. I had seen this recipe from Kitchen Daily in my e-mail a few days before I wanted to try it  and the way it looked and sounded I knew it was going to be good. It is for an upside down peach bourbon cake. I love pineapple upside down cake, so I just had a feeling this was going to be a winner. While it is not the season for good fresh peaches around here by a long shot, I did have some nice looking jarred peaches that I was trying to figure out what to do with and this worked out perfectly for those.

Upside Down Peach Bourbon Cake

To Make the Topping:

3 medium peaches, cut into medium slices, or two jars of peaches, drained
1 stick butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar

To Make the Batter:

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup bourbon

Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9-inch cake pan.
To make the topping, lay the peach slices over the bottom of the baking pan. Melt the one stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and simmer the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the sugar is melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the mixture over the peaches in the cake pan.
To make the batter, Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is soft, then add the granulated sugar and mix the two together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and the bourbon and mix well for 1 minute. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix on low-speed just until the mixture is blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix again on low-speed just until everything is blended.. The batter may appear to be slightly curdled, but that is how it should look. Spoon the batter over the peach slices and spread the batter evenly in the pan.
Bake the cake on a middle rack in the oven until the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cake stand for 5 minutes in the pan after taking it out of the oven. Invert a clean plate over the top of the pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Slice and serve.

I think this cake turned out great and would be even better with fresh peaches, but if you have some good jarred peaches it will certainly work well for you. The taste of the peaches in the sugar is wonderful as it glazes and crusts on the cake and you can get a hint of the bourbon flavor through the cake as well. If you did not want to use bourbon, Kitchen Daily notes that they have used milk in the recipe instead and achieved good results too. I’ll have to keep this one in mind as it would be great for the early summer in peach season to bring to someone’s home or to a party.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Cakes, Cooking, Dessert


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A Tasty One Pot Meal – Smoky Chicken Brunswick Stew

I am always on the lookout for one pot meal ideas. Whether they are made in the slow cooker or on the stove, one pot meals can make life so much easier, particularly during the week when you may not have a  lot of time to throw together and entrée and a couple of side dishes and then have to deal with all of the clean up after the fact. When I came across this recipe from Guy Fieri of Food Network for a smoky Brunswick stew, it seemed to fit the bill perfectly and made use of all the ingredients that I already had in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer to make it even easier. While it may seem like a lot of ingredients, the whole meal comes together pretty easily for you and with some great flavor.

Smoky Chicken Brunswick Stew

1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 pinches cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1-pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut 3/4-inch dice
One 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
One 15 1/2-ounce can pinto beans, drained
One 15 1/4-ounce can lima beans, drained
Hot sauce, to finish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the chicken marinade by combining the granulated garlic, brown sugar, paprika, dry mustard, cayenne and some salt and pepper together. Mix well then place the chicken thighs into a resealable plastic bag and pour the dry seasoning over the chicken. Seal the bag and shake it around so the chicken is seasoned evenly.

Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan. Pour over the chicken 2 tablespoons of the chicken stock, the wine, Worcestershire sauce and the liquid smoke. Cover the pan tightly with foil then place it in the oven and roast the chicken for 30 minutes.

Uncover the foil from the pan and continue to roast the chicken for another 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on the stovetop. Remove the chicken to a plate and turn the burners on to medium heat.

 Add the bacon and vegetable or canola oil and cook until the bacon is brown and the fat has rendered slightly, about 7 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set it aside. Add the garlic, celery, onions, peppers and potatoes to the pan and cook in the bacon fat until the vegetables are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, add the reserved chicken back to the pan. Cook the chicken to add a little color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Return the bacon to the Dutch oven, add the tomatoes and their juices and pour in the remaining chicken stock. Stir well, and then simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the barbecue sauce, corn, pinto beans and lima beans to the stew. Stir everything well and simmer the mixture until the chicken is very tender, the vegetables are soft and the beans are heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

When the stew is done, stir ir well and taste. Season with salt, pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired, to taste.

This dish had great flavor and the combination of the spices, vegetables and barbecue sauce really made it a hit. If you don’t have fire-roasted tomatoes around, you could easily substitute a can of whole tomatoes or diced tomatoes. The same goes with the beans added. I did not have lima beans on hand and put in some kidney beans instead and they were fine. The best thing about this dish, besides it being made all in one pot, is that it tastes even better after a day or two. We enjoyed it for lunches for a few days and the flavors just seemed to get richer and better each time. I’ll be making this one again as it was so easy to do and tasted awesome.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Poultry, Soups & Stews


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It’s National Pretzel Day! Make These Alton Brown Soft Pretzels!

Since there seems to be a day for just about everything you can make or cook these days, I shouldn’t be surprised that it is National Pretzel Day today. There is nothing like a soft pretzel when you want a tasty snack. One of my favorite memories of all-time is getting a hot pretzel on the streets of New York City or just outside of Shea Stadium when we would go to see a ballgame. Guys would heat them right in a shopping cart and while it may not have been the most sanitary thing in the world, the taste and the smell were fantastic. I have made soft pretzels before, but when I saw this recipe from Alton Brown it sounded easier than what I had done in the past and they looked great, so I had to give them a try today.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow the yeast to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment of your mixer, mix on low-speed until the dough is well combined. Change the mixer to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush the pans with the vegetable oil. Set the pans aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place the pretzels onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return the pretzels to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle each pretzel with the salt. Bake the pretzels until they are dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the pretzels to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Wow, those were really easy to make and they taste fantastic! You can throw these together in under two hours and have a great snack anytime you want them for a party, watching the game or just because you feel like having them. Michelle, Sean and I loved them and we still have a few left over to enjoy tomorrow, if they last that long. I will definitely be using this recipe from now on when I make pretzels.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Cooking, Snacks


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Try a Classic Pizza Recipe – Roberta’s Pizza Dough and Pizza Margherita

Pizza is always a great option for dinner and to me it tastes even better when you can make your own at home. I have tried a lot of pizza recipes and started making my own dough about a year ago. Once I saw how easy it actually was and how much money I could save by making my own pizzas instead of ordering out from one of the local pizza places, I decided to do it almost all the time. Sure, like anyone else there are times when you are too tired to cook or just feel like having a slice of pizza from your favorite pizzeria, but if you are planning ahead, you can make some great pies on your own. Recently the New York Times posted recipes for pizza dough and pizza Margherita from Roberta’s, a well-known pizzeria located in Brooklyn. The pizza looked very good so I thought I would give it a try and see how it came out.

Roberta’s Pizza Dough

153 grams 00 Italian pizza flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
153 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons)
8 grams fine salt (1 teaspoon)
2 grams active dry yeast (3/4 teaspoon)
4 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon)

In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours and  the salt. In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200 grams (about 1 cup) lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil, then pour it into the flour mixture. Knead the dough with your hands until it is well combined, approximately 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
Knead the rested dough for 3 minutes. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place the dough on a heavily floured surface, cover the dough balls with a dampened cloth, and let them rest and rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin to shape it for pizza.)
To make pizza, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface and use your fingers to stretch it, then your hands to shape it into rounds or squares. Top and bake as you like.
Just as a note, the measurements for the dry ingredients are given by weight for greater accuracy. If you have a scale that you use for baking you will get the most accuracy. The equivalent measurements that are provided are by volume and are approximate. The dough was very easy to make and to work with and had some great flavor, making it perfect for the Margherita pizza recipe also from Roberta’s that was supplied by the New York Times.
Margherita Pizza
1 12-inch round of pizza dough, stretched (see recipe)
3 tablespoons tomato sauce 
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 3/4 ounces fresh mozzarella
4 to 5 basil leaves, roughly torn
Place a pizza stone or tiles on the middle rack of your oven and turn the heat to its highest setting. Let the oven heat for at least an hour.
Put the tomato sauce in the center of the stretched dough and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly across the surface, stopping approximately a 1/2 inch from the edges.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the pie. Break the cheese into large pieces and place these gently on the sauce. Scatter basil leaves over the top.
Using a pizza peel, pick up the pie and slide it onto the heated stone or tiles in the oven. Bake the pizza until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, approximately 4 to 8 minutes.

If you want to make a quick homemade tomato sauce that is perfect for the pizza, in a food processor, whiz together whole, drained canned tomatoes, a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and you are good to go. I actually put a couple of slices of tomato on mine as well just to round it out and I used a little more cheese than the recipe called for. The pizza has a nice thin crust and great flavor with just the simple ingredients so you can make this easily at any time.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Pizza


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Use Up Those Easter Eggs in a Classic Cobb Salad

If you are like our home you ended up with at least a dozen brightly colored hard-boiled eggs after Sunday and needed to try to find a way to use them all this week. Sure, you can make the standard egg salad for lunches or even just enjoy a hard-boiled egg for breakfast or as a snack during the day, but you can also make good use of them in an easy meal. Cobb salad has always been one of my favorite and I have ordered it out a number of times for a meal when I want something a little different. It is the perfect combination of vegetables, protein and some nice additions like avocado, egg and blue cheese. First made at the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles by the owner, Robert Cobb, I got this recipe from Saveur magazine. While this recipe has the traditional dressing recipe along with it, I actually made my own dressing, which I will share following the recipe for the salad.

Classic Cobb Salad


¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¾ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


½ head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
½ head romaine lettuce, chopped
½ bunch watercress, some of the stems trimmed, chopped
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
6 strips cooked bacon, roughly chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½ inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons minced chives

To make the dressing: Combine the vegetable or canola oil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and garlic in a blender. Purée the ingredients to make a smooth dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the dressing aside (or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week).

To make the salad: On a large platter, combine the iceberg and romaine lettuces along with the watercress. Arrange the blue cheese, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, chicken, and avocado on top of the greens in neat rows. To serve, drizzle the salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper, and top with the chives. Alternatively, toss everything together in a bowl.

It is very quick and easy and tastes great. I actually added some black olives to the one I made along with some sliced English cucumber and red onion to help round things out. I also used mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese instead of the blue cheese since we did not have any on hand and Michelle and Sean are not big fans. Instead of using the traditional dressing, I opted to make my own buttermilk ranch dressing using another recipe I got from Saveur magazine. It is a simple way to make your own dressing, tastes better than most of the things you can get in a bottle and costs less for you to make.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon onion salt
1⁄4 teaspoon dried chives
1⁄4 teaspoon dried parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pinch ground dried oregano
1 cup buttermilk

Put the mayonnaise, onion salt, chives, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Beat the mayonnaise mixture with an electric mixer on low-speed for about 5 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is smooth, about 20 seconds. Scrape the dressing down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the buttermilk, beating constantly until all the buttermilk is incorporated and the dressing is very smooth, about 2 minutes more.

Cover the dressing and refrigerate the dressing for at least 12 hours. Stir the dressing well before serving. The dressing will keep, refrigerated in a cover container, for up to 2 weeks.

It has great flavor thanks to the spices and I thickened it up a little bit by adding some plain yogurt to it as well. You could easily use this as a dip as well if you wanted to or as a flavoring for other meals, like a topping for burgers.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Dressings, Leftovers, Lunch, Salad


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A Spicy Side Dish – Tex-Mex Rice and Beans

When I made the surf and turf burritos last week, I wanted a simple side dish to go along with them and instead of making a standard rice and beans to go along with the meal,I decided to spice things up a bit and found a few different recipes for Tex-Mex rice, but I decided I wanted some beans in the dish too and made a minor adjustment to this recipe that I found from Cook’s Country. It is a very simple side dish that can go well with a bunch of different entrees and you can have it all done in about 30 minutes.

Tex-Mex Rice and Beans

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 poblano chile, seeded and chopped fine
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped fine 
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Process the tomatoes in a food processor until they are smooth; set aside. Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Rinse the rice under running water until the water runs clear, about 1 minute. Drain the rice well.

 Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion, poblano, and jalapeños and cook until they are softened, about 5 minutes; reserve ¼ cup of the pepper mixture. Stir in the rice, black beans, cumin, and oregano into the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is a deep golden, about 5 to 6 minutes.
 Add the chicken broth, the processed tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the reserved pepper mixture. Cover and let the rice stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and season with salt. Serve.
Just a couple of quick notes about this recipe. if you cannot find any poblanos or don’t want to use poblanos, you have lots of other choices as far as peppers. you can make this as hot or as mild as you want it to be. You could simply use some Anaheim peppers or just jalapenos or even just some bell pepper if you like. Also, rinsing the rice does make a big difference since it washes off a lot of the starch so you do not end up with gummy rice and get some nice fluffy rice instead. I liked the mix of the heat of the dish to go along with the burritos and adding the beans into the dish made it even heartier and they took on some of the flavor of the sauce and the peppers. This would work great for any Mexican or Southwestern dish you want to make, or even with pork, shrimp, a steak or some chicken. You get a lot of options with this dish and the recipe makes a lot of rice, so you will have leftovers to eat as well.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Side Dishes


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Keeping Up with the Classics – America’s Test Kitchen Classic Pot Roast

Making a pot roast dinner is always a family favorite for us. I can remember the days of having a pot roast when I was a child and just the smell of it cooking was enough to make you feel good and you could not wait for dinnertime. Pot roast takes a long time, but with this recipe most of the work is done before the cooking and then you have four hours or so to do other things, relax and wait for the wonderful meal to come. This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a really simple one and is a little bit different from the pot roast recipe I have posted in the past. With this recipe you let the meat cook for several hours without having to turn it every 30 minutes like I have in the past.

Classic Pot Roast

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled into two pieces at natural seam and trimmed of large knobs of fat
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
1 celery rib, chopped medium (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 cup beef broth, plus 1 to 2 cups for sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine, plus 1/4 cup for sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig plus 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Sprinkle the pieces of meat with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (1½ teaspoons if using table salt), place the meat on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, and let the meat stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the carrot and celery; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 cup of beef broth, ½ cup of red wine, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme sprig; bring the mixture to simmer.
 Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season it generously with pepper. Using 3 pieces of kitchen twine, tie each piece of meat into a loaf shape for even cooking.
 Nestle the meat on top of the vegetables. Cover the pot tightly with a large piece of aluminum foil and cover the pot with a lid; transfer the pot to the oven. Cook the beef until it is fully tender and a sharp knife easily slips in and out of the meat, about 3½ to 4 hours, turning the meat halfway through the cooking process.
Transfer the roasts to a cutting board and tent the meat loosely with foil. Strain the liquid through a mesh strainer into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Discard the bay leaf and the thyme sprig. Transfer the vegetables to a blender jar. Allow the liquid to settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat off the surface. Add more beef broth as necessary to bring the liquid amount to 3 cups. Place the liquid in the blender with the vegetables and blend everything until it is smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
 While the sauce heats, remove the twine from the roast and slice it against the grain into ½-inch-thick slices. Transfer the meat to a large serving platter. Stir the chopped thyme, the remaining ¼ cup of red wine, and the balsamic vinegar into the sauce and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon half of the sauce over the meat; pass the remaining sauce separately.
This meal is wonderful and the sauce just tops everything off. Splitting the roast into 2 smaller roasts makes a big difference in the cooking time and really helps to soften and break down the meat, making it just melt and fall apart when you go to slice it. This recipe also only puts half of the broth in up front so instead of the meat braising in all of the liquid through the cooking time, it sits above a lot of the liquid, letting the roasts brown while cooking so you can skip searing the meat beforehand. The sauce tastes wonderful as well and makes great gravy for the meat, the vegetables and of course the mashed potatoes that you need to serve with any pot roast. I’ll certainly be using this recipe again when I make pot roast.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all that have been following along and visited the blog last week to help make it the busiest week I have ever had on the blog. Thanks for all of your interest in the recipes and I plan to keep on sharing all kinds of good things. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Sauce


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Easter Entertaining Guide

Easter Entertaining Guide.

If you are still looking for some great ideas for menus and entertaining for your Easter meal tomorrow, Saveur Magazine has all kinds of great ideas to cover everything that you might be interested in, including menus from all around the world so you can try different flavors and ideas. Check it out!

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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Holidays


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Easter Brunch Recipes – Bon Appétit

Easter Brunch Recipes – Bon Appétit.

Having a brunch on Easter is always a great idea for a special family meal that you can do early in the day, giving everyone time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Bon Appetit has 21 great Easter brunch recipes here for you to try that can help to round out your meal with a little bit of everything. Check it out!


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Step Up the Burrito a Notch with These Surf and Turf Burritos

Burritos are one of those things that are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner because you can really put anything you want inside one to make it work for you. They are easy to make and take no time at all and you can even make them ahead of time and reheat them if you need a quick meal. I decided to jazz up our burritos meal last night by making some surf and turf burritos, not using lobster meat and filet mignon of course, but opting for shrimp and some skirt steak that I had placed in some carne asada marinade. The simple marinade makes a big difference with the skirt steak as it adds great flavor to the meat and helps to break it down some to make it easier to slice and eat. If you are going to use a skirt steak or flank steak for this, you want to make sure you use a marinade along the way.

Carne Asada Marinade

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon finely chopped canned chipotle pepper

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon black pepper

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 pounds skirt or flank steak

Combine the orange juice, lemon juice and lime juice in a large bowl along with the garlic, soy sauce, chipotle pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, black pepper and the cilantro. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until all of the marinade is well combined.

Place the steak between two sheets of plastic wrap on a solid, level surface and firmly pound the steak with the smooth side of a meat mallet so that is a thickness of about 1/4-inch. After pounding the meat, poke the steak all over with a fork. Add the meat to the marinade in the large bowl, cover the bowl and allow the steak to marinade in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat and lightly oil the surface with vegetable oil or olive oil.

Remove the steak from the marinade and cook until your desired doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Discard the used marinade. When the meat is cooked to your liking, remove the steak from the grill pan or skillet and let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.

You could simply serve the meat this way with a couple of nice side dishes and you would have a great meal, but I decided to incorporate the steak into our surf and turf burritos for an extra special treat for dinner.

Surf and Turf Burritos

6 large, 10-inch flour tortillas

1 cup sour cream

1 cup guacamole or 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced thinly

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

2 pounds Carne Asada, sliced thinly (see above recipe)

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked, chopped

1 cup salsa or pico de gallo

On a flour tortilla, spread a layer of sour cream, then a layer of guacamole or sliced avocado and then layer liberal amounts of cheese, carne asada, shrimp and salsa or pico de gallo. With wet fingertips, fold over the sides of the tortilla and roll it up. Repeat the process until you have filled 6 tortillas.

Place the rolled burritos in a hot skillet or on a medium-hot grill. Cook the burritos until they are golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total.

These were really good and very filling. The great flavors of everything combined were awesome and you can make a fancy sounding and great tasting meal in just minutes with this recipe. Of course, you could probably use filet mignon and lobster if you really wanted to, but for burritos this is ideal and tastes great. I also made some Tex-Mex rice and beans to go along with the meal and I will post the recipe for them tomorrow. This recipe is definitely one we will be having again since we all loved it.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Sandwiches, Sauce, Seafood


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