Honey balls :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

To finish off our Greek themed feast I made a quick Greek dressing

1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar 
1/2 cup olive oil
Garlic salt
Onion powder

I also made honey balls - this delightful donut  hole-like dessert is amaze-balls.

Here is the recipe I used - note I added 4 tablespoons of sugar not one. .. And I forgot to take a photo :/

Weekend Cooking

Friday, May 15, 2015

Super excited to head home tonight and make Grilled Fish Tacos -

Then later this weekend we are having our lovely dinner crew over for Grilled Chicken Souvlaki (think NYC food cart deliciousness with tzatziki sauce.

I'll try to take photos - but for now follow these links :)

Chinese Braised Beef & Mother's Day

Monday, May 11, 2015

Yesterday I spent some time cooking after a whirlwind grocery trip with Wes & Jordan. I roasted a chicken and tossed the carcass in a crock pot to make a beautiful stock for my matzo ball soup this week. The meat was carved way and will be made into sandwiches and chicken salad.

Then, during Wes's nap time I prepped the Chinese Braised Beef and chucked it into my grandmother's cast iron dutch oven.

My mom visited, some friends stopped by to pick up a lens (and some Simpson's mini-figs) and then it was time for Jordan's families Mother's day shin-dig. The Braised Beef wasn't quite done - so I wrapped it in a towel and brought it with us.

It was a huge hit! Perhaps it was the sugar high from my Mother-in-laws delicious banana pudding, but the family was uber enthusiastic about the awesome beef dish.

I probably should have added more salt (As always) but I thought it turned out really well.

Chinese Braised Beef
Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2014
Serves 6
1-1/2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
2-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. molasses
3 scallions, white and green parts separated, green parts sliced thin on bias
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise, and crushed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1-1/2 tsp. five-spice powder (2 TBS: 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground, 1 teaspoon ground star anise, 1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, toasted)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 4-inch lengths
1 tsp. corn starch
Sprinkle gelatin over 2-1/2 cups water in Dutch oven and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat softened gelatin over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sherry, soy sauce, hoisin, molasses, scallion whites, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, and pepper flakes. Stir in beef and bring to a simmer. Remove pot from heat. Cover tightly with sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, then lid. Transfer to oven and cook until beef is tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring halfway through cooking.
Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to a cutting board. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator. Wipe out pot with paper towels. Let liquid settle for 5 minutes, then return defatted liquid to now-empty pot. Cook liquid over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 25 minutes.
While sauce reduces, using 2 forks, break beef into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Whisk cornstarch and remaining 1 Tbsp. water together in small bowl.
Reduce heat to medium-low, whisk cornstarch mixture into reduced sauce, and cook sauce is until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to sauce and stir to coat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle scallion greens over top. Serve.



Monday, May 4, 2015

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Kansas City. I did NOT cook tonight.

I did however, clean out the fridge last night and make two dishes -- the first a slow cooker veggie stew (with some meat) which my husband froze (after stealing a few bites of meat) btw he told me it needed salt. It was pretty straight forward.

1. Every veggie we had in the fridge (Yellow squash, zucchini, leeks, onion, carrots)
2. Cubed roast of some kind
3. Mystery Hungarian seasoning that had been sitting in my spice drawer for WAY to long

Set on low for 10 hours = veggie something soup.

I also made the most amazing chip dip ever -- half guacamole half 7 layer taco tip.

1/2 pan was guac
1. Sliced avocado
2. Sliced tomatoes
3. Minced jalapeno
4. WAY too much red onion diced

the other 1/2 was taco dip

1. Taco seasoning & sour cream
2. Med Salsa
3. Queso
4. Browned beef (with more taco seasoning)
5. Cheese

Next time photos -- and hopefully not after a few years ;)

Dinner with friends

I like to prep ahead when I can. Tomorrow after teaching another class in Muncie we are having a couple over for dinner. To be sure we have food to serve them I whipped this easy veggie and chicken dish and wrapped it up to be cooked tomorrow.


We will also be having the raspberry vinaigrette spinach salad from Wednesdays class :)

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