Bejing Beef

First off, I can't explain what happened to this picture--but if you're looking for professional food photograpy...keep looking. You will not find that here. But if you want good food...you can definitely find that here.

Secondly, for some reason I feel it necessary to tell you that currently I am watching "The BestThing I Ever Ate" that has been pre-recorded and adding restaurants to my Excell spreadsheet of Restaurants I MUST go to in my lifetime. While I blog--this is what I do. Because I mean, I wouldn't want to digest my dinner before I start planning my next 20 lbs out.

Ok back to business...I found this recipe on another food blog that I stumbled upon and I really like her recipes. This looked good, so I tried it. This is very good at-home Asian food. We will be having this a lot! I followed her recipe pretty closely, but I had to make extra sauce because, well, I like things saucy and I also did not deep fry the meat because I don't deep fry things as a rule. I eat deep fried food...I just dont do it myself, somehow that makes me feel better. This is not a difficult recipe, but it does take a bit more time so prepare. I wouldn't recommend doing this while your one year-old screams and hangs onto your ankles, but you do what you have to do. And, it was worth it.

Bejing Beef

1 c. water
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. ketchup
1/4 c. plus 1 tsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp sriracha sauce
2 Tb plus 1 tsp cornstarch

Mix the sauce all together and set aside.

1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced very thinly against the grain
1 egg, beaten
3 Tb water
2 Tb cornstarch
Stir together egg, water, cornstarch and pour over flank steak in a gallon size ziploc bag. Marinate 10 minutes. Chop your veggies while this is marinating.

1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, diced

Once your sauce is mixed, the veggies are chopped, and your meat has marinated get out a large saute pan and heat 2 Tb vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the steak with 5-6 Tb more cornstarch and fry the meat in a few batches 2 minutes or so on each side, adding more oil as needed. Set aside the meat. Saute the veggies for a few minutes until crisp-tender and add in the sauce, bring to a boil and toss in the meat, stir and toss to coat cook a couple more minutes until the sauce is thickening a bit. Serve over rice. Yum

post signature


Bacon Cheddar Dip

So this is a strange story, but my in-laws made LOADS of bacon for Christmas morning and my father in-law was going to throw the pan of leftover bacon away....well, of course being the frugal person I am that would actually cause me physical pain so I took home the two full gallon-sized ziploc bags of cooked bacon and froze them in smaller baggies. All that to say, I had some bacon in the freezer I needed to use up so I invented this dip for Super Bowl using ingredients I already had on hand. Turned out really yummy and I think it would be DElish stirred into some mashed potatoes!

Bacon Cheddar Dip

1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or more if you're feeling daring)
1/2 cup mayo
6 slices bacon crisply cooked and crumbled
3 green onions, chopped

Mix everything together and either bake at 400 until hot and bubbly OR toss everything into a little dipper crockpot and turn to high until all melted and hot and then turn to keep warm for up to three hours. Serve with bread (or on top of a baked potato). Yum.

post signature


Ham & Broccoli Mac-n-Cheese

My husband is not hard to please. He will eat anything. (Well, almost anything. He does NOT eat couscous and he prefers to pick off olives, but that's it.) But he LOOOVES cheesey mac-n-cheese and requests it all the time so I try to revamp my mac to make it interesting. This one is by far is favorite and he insisted I take his picture eating it so everyone would know how much he loved it. (My son did too).

I'm still using up the rest of that ham from Christmas so I pulled out a ziploc bag of sliced ham from the deep freeze and whipped this up.

Ham & Broccoli Mac-n-Cheese

1 large bunch broccoli (about 2 c. florettes)
2 c. diced ham
3/4 lb macaroni or other short-cut pasta
3 T butter
1/2 an onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 c. milk (I used 1%)
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/4 c. parmesan
8 oz cream cheese
1 c. swiss cheese
2 c. colby jack cheese
1/3 c. extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 1'' slice velveeta cheese, cubed
salt & pepper
drizzle of truffle oil
1/2 c. panko
1/2 c. parmesan
Boil your pasta, when the pasta is a couple minutes from being al dente (don't overdo the pasta!) drop in your broccoli. Drain the pasta and broccoli all together and dump it, along with the ham into a 9x13'' pan. In the meantime, melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onion and garlic until soft, sprinkle in the flour and cook a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the milk and combine well cooking until bubbly and getting thick. Add in the dried mustard, 1 1/4 c. parmesan, and other cheeses. Melt and stir constantly adn season with salt & pepper to taste. Drizzle in the truffle oil (optional, I guess.) Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, ham and broccoli and mix well. The mixture will be thick. Sprinkle the panko and parmesan over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

post signature


Money Saving Monday--Hanes

I recently saw a Rachael Ray episode where a fashion expert was discussing the woes of finding the perfect white v-neck t-shirt. And she disclosed a little-known secret---men's white undershirts. I was instantly intrigued...I'm always wearing the same v-neck T over and over, and then washing it over and over again. Could it be true? YES. It is true. I went down to Wal Mart and bought a 5 pack of Hanes Comfort Soft v-neck tees for $10!!!! That's right, $2/t-shirt. I have worn them everywhere, under a cardigan, to the gym, or with my PJ pants. You too can have a big fat pack of white v-neck t-shirts. Just remember that you want to buy at least one size smaller than your usual size. I'm usually a L/XL and I got a M in men's. Good luck!

post signature


P-Dub's Lasagna

It's really rare that the Pioneer Woman steers me wrong. (Actually I can't think of any time she has.) So when I wanted to make a simple lasagna for a party, I looked to her. Once again, she did not steer me wrong. I was a bit leery of this recipe because it was soooo simple. But I tried it...and it is the best! Seriously. This lasagna melts in your mouth.

I made very few changes to the original recipe. The only things I changed: 1-extra garlic. Why not? 2-Instead of boiling the noodles I soaked them in water for a few minutes and then baked them like that. Turned out great. 3-I added a cup of water to the sauce while it was simmering so it was a little more...saucy. 4- I used shredded mozzarella, because I'm cheap.
Super Delicous Lasagna. Simple. Easy. Quick. Few ingredients. Try it!

P-Dub's Lasagna
1-½ pound Ground Beef
1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
6 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
1 c. water
1 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
2 whole Beaten Eggs
½ cups Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
1 teaspoon Salt
1 pound sliced or shredded Mozzarella Cheese
8 Lasagna Noodles

Put the noodles in a pot of water, set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain the fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt, and water. Simmer for thirty minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside. Drain the noodles off and set aside.

Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9x13 pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat mixture over the top.
Repeat, ending with meat mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.
Either freeze, refrigerate for up to two days, or bake immediately: 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.

post signature


Turkey Hummus Wrap

This is a great lunch idea. I'm always looking for something for lunch that isn't going to kill my calorie count for the day but that is yummy and filling and not a peanut butter sandwich. This is one of my favorite go-to lunches that is great to make for a friend coming over too.

For the veggies on the inside, use whatever you have on hand. A lot of times if I make roasted or grilled veggies the night before I'll pile in the leftovers on my wrap and it's so yummy.

I always use the Flat-Out Wraps. They're low in calories and carbs and high in fiber. But obviously use whichever kind of wraps you like. I love the spinach wraps too. Someday if I ever wake up with a metabolism, I'll use those. This is the "recipe" for one wrap, but just a guideline.

Turkey Hummus Wrap
1 wrap or large tortilla
4 oz turkey or other deli meat
1-2 Tb hummus
veggies of your choosing, I used lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumbers, and bean sprouts
Siracha for dipping. (This is not really optional, it is so yummy to dip your wrap in some spicy, garlicky Siracha sauce. You can find Siracha in the asian aisle at the grocery store.)

If your wrap is on the dry side, warm it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Spread the hummus evenly over the wrap. On one side of the wrap lay out your turkey, then pile the veggies on top and roll the wrap up. Easy peasy.

post signature


Thai Peanut Noodles

Yumm. I'm kind-of salivating looking at the picture of the noodles. Seriously my family of four ate this entire recipe. There was some sauce and a couple veggies and a stray piece of chicken left in the pan at the end of dinner. We ALL ate seconds, which is really saying something because my one year-old has begun eating like a bird. (Except Cheetos Puffcorn, she could eat an entire bag of that.)

My friend had given me a bottle of Pampered Chef's Thai Peanut sauce in a gift bag of goodies for my birthday and I hadn't used it yet. SO I used it in this recipe and I'm so glad there's some left because it's delish and I have enough left to make another batch of these noodles. Although, I compared ingredients with other bottles of peanut sauce in the asian aisle at the grocery store and I'm confident you can sub any bottled peanut stir-fry style sauce in this recipe. Or, get on Kristin's website and order some of this addictive peanut sauce from her.

This recipe includes siracha sauce. If you've never tried it--you're missing out. We LOVE this sauce, it's a hot sauce, but thicker andmade of chiles and garilc--super flavorful. You can find it at any grocer in the asian food aisle. I dip lots of stuff in it, my favorite thing is a hummus wrap dipped in Siracha. it keeps for a loooonnng time in the fridge.

Also, to help me with my sauce recipe I parused the Pioneer Woman's site and found a great sesame noodles recipe, and since she hasn't steered me wrong yet I used it as a starter for the sauce for this recipe.

Thai Peanut NoodlesPasta:
3/4 lb linguini, or long noodles of your choice cooked al dente
2 c. cooked chicken, cubed* (about 2 chicken breast halves)
2 tsp veg oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in strips
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger powder)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 c chopped cilantro

1 c. bottled peanut sauce
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T sugar
2 T rice vinegar
3 T sesame oil
1 tsp siracha sauce (this stuff is delish, put it on everything!)
4 T vegetable oil
2 T water

Start with the sauce, mix all ingredients except the peanut sauce in a mixing bowl and whisk together well. Add in the peanut sauce and stir again. Set aside. Then, while the noodles are boiling heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet and saute the red pepper and carrots a few minutes until the begin to stoften, you don't want them mushy. Toss in the ginger and garlic and saute another minute. Add in the chicken and green onions and saute until warm through. Add in the cilantro. Toss the chicken/veggie mixture in with the drained noodles and toss with the sauce. Serve immediately. Yumm.

*I had cooked chicken on the grill the night before so I made a couple extra chicken breasts for this meal, which cut the time way down.

post signature


Tuna Melts

This is a super quick, super cheap dinner. But I will say that Rob "mmmm'd" over this a lot. I think it could've had something to do with the mini french loaf that it was baked on too. This is the same recipe I use for basic tuna salad.

And you are so lucky to see the messy kitchen counter in the background. I served this up with some oven fries. And a salad, but this photo is of Rob's plate and he chose not to partake.

Tuna Melts

3 cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
2 Tb finely diced red onion
2 Tb chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1 Tb sweet pickle relish
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 cup mayo
salt & pepper
sliced cheddar or American cheese
kaiser rolls, french bread, or wheat sandwich bread

Mix everything together except cheese and bread. Taste for seasoning and add extra mayo if you like. Preheat the oven to 425. Put your open rolls or bread on foil and top with tuna salad and cheese. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until the sandwich is warm and the cheese is melted.

post signature


Spinach Dip

Yum. I love spinach dip. When I was pregnant with my first I craved pumpkin...and spinach dip. I ate lots of it, not even the really good stuff...the pre-made stuff at the grocery store. My friend Cindy would buy it for me every week at our small group bible study and I would eat half a baguette and half a bowl of dip.

Anyway, I digress. I have a long history with spinach dip. This recipe is super simple and based off of the recipe on the back of the vegetable soup mix. My neighbors and we inhaled this entire bowl-full at a football party a few weeks ago when the Cardinals died a slow and painful death.

Spinach Dip
1 c mayo (I used light)
2 c sour cream (light again)
1 package Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3-4 garlic cloves, grated
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Mix everything together in a medium mixing bowl. Refrigerate at least few hours. Serve with veggies and/or bread.

post signature


Monday Saving Monday: Get the Door, It's Dominoes!

Yet another super classy post. But I thought you'd like to know that we have tried Dominoes' new recipe and mmmm it's good. They brush the crust with butter and garlic and seasoning. And the sauce is a little more zippy. And I'm happy to report that the Surprise Dominos has a carry-out special of a large one-topping pizza for $4.99! Or two, two-topping mediums for $5.99 each.

We ordered two large pizzas last week and I conveniently picked it up directly after working out at the gym (turns out Dominos is right across Bell Rd from Mountainside Fitness!) How wonderful to work off 300 calories to immediately consume 1/3 of a large pepperoni pizza! I ordered my usual thin-crust pizza with sausage because it's quite a few less calories than the thicker crust. And then I got the and tossed pepperoni for Rob. BUT when I opened the box I immediately saw the hand tossed brushed with teh butter and seasoning and I had to try a piece. I ended up eating three slices of the hand tossed pepperoni, Rob ate four slices and Robbie finished off the large pizza by eating one slice. Elise didn't know what she was missing out on as she noshed on the thin crust. Don't get me wrong, the thin crust is really good too...but the new recipe hand tossed is...really really good.

So, all this to say that if you're ordering pizza this week you could really save a few bucks by ordering Dominos and giving their new recipe a try!

post signature


Truffled Parmesan Popcorn

I thought I'd do a quick post of possible game food. Even though it's the last minute, you will probably have all of these ingredients on hand (if you obeyed me and bought the truffle oil, that is). I made this the other day because for some strange reason I was craving popcorn and my four year-old and I ate this for lunch. He scarfed just as much as I did! (I also gave him some diet orange soda to accompany the popcorn and that was a hit as well.)

Truffled Parmesan Popcorn
2 Tb canola oil (or any light-colored oil)
1/4 cup popcorn seeds
2-3 Tb butter
1-2 tsp truffle oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Pour the oil in a stock pot over medium heat and drop one popcorn seed in there. Put the lid on and wait for the single seed to pop. Toss in the other popcorn in the pot (it should be just enough to cover the bottom of the pot.) Cover the pot and shake it continuously as the popcorn starts popping. When you aren't hearing any pops anymore dump the popcorn into a bowl. Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave, add in the truffle oil and drizzle over the popcorn. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Yum.

post signature


Oven Fried Onion Rings

I saw a similar recipe on the Rachael Ray show where some guy did a segment on lowering fat/calories and these onion rings looked so good and I can NOT find the recipe on the website anywhere so I made up my own and I have to say they turned out really well. So try them, maybe even for Super Bowl tomorrow. Simple, low fat, easy. I served them with BBQ Ranch which is just what it sounds like--half bbq sauce, half ranch dressing equals delicious dipping sauce.

Oven Fried Onion Rings
1 large sweet yellow onion
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs*
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
2 egg whites
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour

Slice the onion into 1/2'' slices and separate into rings. In a shallow dish pour the buttermilk and soak the onions while you're preparing everything else. Preheat the oven to 425. In a separate shallow dish or on a plate combine panko, cayenne pepper, salt, garlic and stir. In a shallow bowl beat eggs together. Put the flour on a plate. Dredge the milk-soaked onions in flour, then egg mixture, then panko mixture. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Spray the tops of the onions with cooking spray. Bake at 425 10 minutes, remove from oven turn each onion over carefully and bake another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

* Panko is japanese breadcrumbs in the same aisle as regular breadcrumbs.

post signature


Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

This recipe would be a great Superbowl item. Just toss everything in the crockpot and you're set. SUPER simple. I usually would make my own meatballs, not because I'm gourmet, but because I'm cheap. But, this time I had some leftover from something else so I did this for dinner and everyone scarfed it down. Elise is one year-old and she probably ate 6-8 meatballs.

This is another one of those recipes that's kind-of embarrassing because it's so easy it's not even a real recipe. More of an idea.

Cranberry BBQ Meatballs
1 14 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup bbq sauce
1 tsp Tabasco (or more if you like it spicy)
2-3 tsp soy sauce
meatballs, precooked (enough to fill an 8x8 pan--so however many you need)

Mix the first four ingredients together in a bowl. Place meatballs in the pan and pour the sauce over. Bake at 350 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are hot and the sauce has thickened. This also works in the crockpot!

post signature

Ice Cream Pie with homemade Caramel Sauce

I confess I've been a slacking blogger. Please forgive my delay in postings. I can't really explain what happens. I've been cooking, but we've just been really busy and then at night I sit in front of the TV (on the nights we're home) and gaze off in a trance-like state. So, to make up for my lazyness I will post two recipes for your enjoyment tonight. Might I add that they are both delicious and you should defintiely go to the store to get the ingredients and make them immediately.

Mmmm homemade caramel sauce. Enough said. Feel free to drizzle this amazing stuff over just about anything including frozen waffles or even white bread. Or in your morning coffee. Or dip a spoon in it and eat it straight up as an afternoon snack.

The caramel syrup I found on Pioneer Woman's blog. Her ice cream pie looked good but it had a meringue crust, and I'm not a huge fan of meringue so switched it up (and took a shortcut). I was inspired by the Snickers pie they had at Ritters and we loved it, and then they went out of business. So here's my nod to Ritters and their Snickers Custard Pie that was to die for.

Ice Cream Pie with Caramel Sauce

4 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
½ cups Half-and-half
Pinch Of Salt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, half & half, and salt in a saucepan over medium low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thicker. Add vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off heat and pour sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. (I doubled this recipe because I LOVE caramel sauce and I didn't want to run out before my pants got too tight.)

1 store bought chocolate pie crust (You can absolutely toss a row of Oreos in a food processor and melt a stick of butter and mix it up and press it into a pie pan. But I'm lazy.)
2 pints ice cream (I used 1 pint butter pecan and 1 pint homemade vanilla--whatever you like)
2 Snickers bars

Set the ice cream out on the counter until spreadable. In the meantime use your food chopper or a knife to finely chop the Snickers bars, set aside. Spread your ice cream in the pie crust and sprinkle the Snickers on top. Put the pie back into the freezer at least one hour until it is firm. Drizzle each slice with caramel sauce. MMMM.

post signature


Money Saving Monday...on Tuesday: Groceries

Sorry for the delay. Turns out Mondays are ALWAYS really busy, so--better late than never (which is what happened last week!)

I have had a few people question my grocery budget/spending. So I thought this week I would show you what I got. I didn't need a lot of meat because of my constant stockpiling when things are on sale. The only meat I bought was a couple packages of Turkey Store turkey burgers because they were marked way down. I do have to give a small disclaimer though: I have been spending more on groceries since starting this blog. I mean, I can't be posting classless recipes now can I? Although some of you may be questioning the "class" of the baked sloppy joes or the double queso dips, but hey--we like it.

I wold also like to point out that I have only 2 small children that love to eat but do not eat like adults. And also that do not really care for milk. So that cuts out some expenses right there. (AND if you're questioning the amount of produce on my table, I had made a trip to Sprouts last Wed and stocked up so I didn't need a lot of fruit/veggies)
Anyway, all that to say--for the naysayers you CAN spend less on groceries by using coupons and cooking with ingredients that are in your stockpile or are on sale that week.

Yesterday I went to Fry's and used my coupons and menu-plan and spent $63.00 on all of these groceries including:
5 boxes granola bars
1 box fruit snacks
whole wheat english muffins
corn tortillas
tortilla chips
crackers (saltines & wheat thins)
5 packages cheese (name brand)
turkey burgers
frozen meatballs (suuuper classy)
apple juice
toilet paper
honey mustard
cream cheese
sour cream
ice cream (lots of creams here people)
whole wheat frozen waffles
4 pkgs spices
1 lb dried red beans
canned tomatoes
2 sticks deoderant
and a partridge in a pear tree.