Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recipe 31: Braised Short Ribs

I have been wanting to make these since I saw the episode of "Secrets of A Restaurant Chef" on Food Network but I was waiting for the short ribs to go on sale since they were something I had not made orbought before.

After searching for about a month, I finally realized that this cut of meat doesnt go on sale very often and since I have a small family, I cut the recipe in half and only needed a small pack so I splurged for Sunday dinner and bought them.

This recipe although it has a lot of ingredients is very easy to follow and my husband LOVED this dinner. He said it was one of his favorites.

Braised Short Ribs
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time:
3 hr 30 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 8 servings

6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cups tomato paste
2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves

Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.
Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Recipe 30: Turkey Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are one thing I know that Lil Harrison likes so when I came across a Ground Turkey recipe that was from scratch instead of using the high sodium packet, I had to try it out.

They were really good. My husband said that he prefers the packet ones I made previously but they were very flavorful. One thing he knows though is that I am always going to try to make any recipe healthier for us and he respects that and doesn't complain too much.

Turkey Sloppy Joes
Courtesy of
Submitted By: Sue Ann O'Buck
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 25 Minutes
Servings: 6

1 pound ground turkey breast
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup no-salt-added ketchup
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

In a nonstick skillet, cook the turkey and onion for 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Add the next seven ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.

Recipe 29: Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!

I am not a Chicken Pot Pie fan but my husband loves it so I have been looking for a lower calorie recipe that doesn't make too many servings and thanks to Rachel Ray, I found it!!! He loved it and rated it a 5!
Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!
Courtesy of Rachel Ray
Yields: 4 servings
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
3 small onions, 2 cut in half, 1 chopped, divided
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 pound button mushrooms, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
5 to 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves picked and chopped
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup frozen peas
1 sheet puff pastry or pie dough, defrosted if frozen
1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Place chicken, whole onion half and bay leaves in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place pot over medium-high heat and bring up to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken has cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Reserve about 1 cup (a mugful) of the cooking liquid and then discard the remaining.

While chicken cools, place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add chopped onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery and parsnips to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7-8 minutes. While the veggies are cooking, remove the chicken breast meat from the bones and shred.

When the veggies are tender, scoot them over to the side of the pan and add the butter to the center of the pot. Once butter has melted, add the flour and cook for about a minute. Whisk in white wine, milk, chicken stock and reserved poaching liquid. Bring up to a simmer then add the tarragon, Dijon, peas and shredded chicken. Bring back up to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the sauce has thickened, 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to a casserole dish and cover with the pastry dough, trimming it as needed to cover the entire surface. Make a few slits in the dough to allow steam to escape, then brush the top with the beaten egg.

Bake the pot pie until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve.

Recipes 27 and 28: Apple & Sage Pork Chops and an Apple Vinaigrette Dressing

Another rated 5 dinner by my husband and I. The pork chops were served with a simple spinach salad topped with the dressing recipe below....Enjoy!

I am always looking for new things when I go grocery shopping and love to come upon new things "On Sale". The spice people, "McCormick" recently came out with a new line called "Recipe Inspirations". This new line is a Pre-measured Spice Pack and Recipe Card and its very convenient and cost effective because you don't necessarily have to purchase new spices every time you want to make a new recipe. My spice collection is vastly growing as are my potted herbs. It is really fun to try new flavors and tasts. I would encourage you to try this recipe whether you have all of the spices already and go from the recipe below or if you go to the grocery store and pick up the packet. The packet itself has been on sale at both Lucky's and Safeway the last few weeks.

Apple and Sage Pork Chops
Recipe Courtesy of McCormick & Co., Inc.

1 1/2 tsp. Sage
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Thyme Leaves
1/2 tsp. Ground Allspice
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
4 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick( about 1 1/4lbs.)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinkly sliced
2 red apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tbsp. brown sugar

1. Mix flour, all of spices and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with 1 tbsp of the seasoned flour.

2. Cook pork chops in hot oil in large skillet on medium- high heat until browned on both sides. Remove from skillet. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Add apples; cook and stir 2 minutes.

3. Stir in juice, sugar and remaining seasoned flour until well mixed. Return pork chops to skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until done.

I used bone in pork chops (still around 1 1/4 pounds total) because my husband and I prefer this cut.

provided by Michigan Apples
Makes about 6 2-tablespoon servings
• 1/4 cup apple juice
• 1/4 cup oil
• 3 tablespoons vinegar
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• Paprika, salt, and pepper (optional)

1. Combine apple juice, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and spices (if desired) in a covered jar. Shake to mix well.2. Serve over fresh greens or pasta salad.

Nutrition Information per serving:Calories 95 Calories from Fat 81Total Fat 9.0 gSaturated Fat 1.6 gCholesterol 0 mgSodium 0 mgTotal Carbohydrate 4 gDietary Fiber 0 gSugar 3 gProtein 0 gVitamin A 0 REVitamin C 2 mgCalcium 1 mgIron 0 mg

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Recipe 26: French Dip Sandwiches (Super Easy and Really Yummy!)

This is at the top of my husbands list now. I didn't even know he liked French Dip Sandwiches but I was looking for something once again...easy and tasty to throw together for dinner and Rachel Ray came to the rescue with this one.

I added a slice of Provolone on Harrisons sandwich which he said added to the yumminess. This is a recipe I will definitely be making again.

French Dip Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 jigger dry sherry, optional
2 cans beef consomme, found on broth and soups aisle or beef broth
1 1/2 pounds deli sliced roast beef
Grill seasoning blend for steak, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning Blend, or, coarse salt and pepper
4 torpedo sandwich rolls, split

In a large, shallow skillet over moderate heat, melt butter. Add shallots to butter and saute 2 minutes. Add flour to butter and shallot and cook a minute longer. Whisk in sherry and cook liquid out. Whisk in consomme in a slow stream. Bring sauce to a bubble and allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve sandwiches.
Pile meat loosely across your cutting board or a large work surface. Season meat with grill seasoning or salt and black pepper. Set out 4 ramekins or small soup cups for dipping sauce, 4 dinner plates and 4 split torpedo rolls. To assemble, using a pair of kitchen tongs, dip meat into loose au jus sauce and pile into rolls. Set ramekins or cups with extra dipping sauce along side the sandwiches.

Recipe 25: Easy Chicken Teriyaki

I made this on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 and I was still battling the worse summer cold I have ever had. This was quick, easy, flavorful and I had everything in my kitchecn to make it so I didn't have to make any trips to the store....


2 skinless chicken breasts

Teriyaki sauce

Lemon-Pepper Marinade Seasoning (Lawry's)

Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Place chicken in baking dish and pour 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce over chicken. Coat chicken on both sides. Sprinkle both sides heavy with Lemon-Pepper Marinade Seasoning and bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for about 1 hour until tender and slightly browned.

Recipe 24: Green Beans Almondine

I needed a new side dish for my husbands favorite meal...bone in ribeye steaks with baked potatoes....

I was in the produce department and saw this recipe on the back of a package of prewashed green beans. It was good but I can do amazing things with a can of green beans so it had a lot to live up to. I think my husband preferred my canned versions better :)

Green Beans Almondine
Fresh Green Beans (whole or already trimmed)
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 ounces Almonds, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Saute almonds in butter until lightly browned.
Boil or steam green beans (or saute right in the same pan for a slightly less heathy recipe.)
Drain beans in a colander (if not sauteed.)
Toss the beans with almonds, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Recipes 22 and 23: Crockpot Shredded Beef and Shredded Chicken for Tacos

Saturday, July 24, 2010, we had friends over after the "Soul Intention" show at Santana Row---see footnote at bottom of blog if you are asking "Who is Soul Intention?"

I needed to make something that was easy and could be prepared in advance, so I decided to make a taco bar. This worked out perfectly and the tacos were fresh and tasty. These recipes make quite a bit but you can used the leftovers in enchiladas, salads or as a baked potato topping.

Shredded Beef

Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours
4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast or stew beef
2 packages (1 oz. EACH) taco seasoning
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 teaspoons seasoned salt (Lawry's)
Trim fat from meat; place in slow cooker. Sprinkle both packages of taco seasoning over meat and top with sliced onion. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Remove beef to a large plate or bowl and shred with two forks. Return shredded meat to juices in slow cooker; stir in seasoned salt. Serve shredded meat in tacos, burritos, taquitos, flautas, on rolls or over cooked rice. Serves 10 to 12.

Shredded Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
A chopped onion (optional)
A chopped green pepper (optional)
1 packet taco seasoning
16 ounces salsa (that's 2 cups if you're using a larger bottle).

Put the chicken in a Crockpot. Add the onion and pepper if you want. Mix the seasoning with salsa and pour over chicken. You can add some more water if you think it needs more liquid, but the salsa and the chicken will produce ample liquid as it cooks. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. The chicken is done when it can be shredded easily with a fork.. Lift the chicken out and shred it with a fork.


Soul Intention is a band that my husband is a part of that plays at both private and public events in the Bay Area. They play funk and R&B and their shows are a lot of fun. Check them out at

Behind On My Blog But Still Cooking....

I didn't want anyone to fear I had given up so I wanted to let you know that I am okay.

I have been sick and then because I was sick, I was behind on my work and it was month end and because I was behind on work, I didn't have time to blog so I am now behind on my blog....but guess what, I have been cooking :)

Its amazing how much I missed blogging and how much my love for cooking has really grown. It has changed the way I order when I eat out, the way I grocery shop, even the way I spend my down time. I am now throughly immersed in my joy of cooking.

So keep an eye of right now, I have 7 recipes to blog and I am determined to be caught up within the next 48 hours :)