Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beef & Broccoli

In my quest to take advantage of the skirt steak that we stocked up on when Publix had it on sale Mr. T found a recipe for Beef & Broccoli online.  This was really easy and super delicious and I will definitely be making it again!

Beef and Broccoli:

3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1/2 cup water, plus
2 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb boneless round steak or 1 lb charcoal chuck steak, cut into thin 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
hot cooked rice


In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder until smooth.  Add beef and toss.

In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm.  Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes.  Return beef to pan.

Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, red pepper flakes, remaining cornstarch, and water until smooth; add to the pan.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chicken Soft Tacos

I love chicken tacos.  I love playing with the seasonings, using different salsas, adding toppings, the whole thing.  Taco night is my favorite night.

Chicken Soft Tacos:

1 package of boneless, skinless, chicken breast
2 tablespoons of Mexican Seasoning
juice of 1 lime (or lemon if you don't have the lime)
1 tablespoon olive juice
lettuce, shredded
diced tomatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
sour cream
shredded cheese
black olives (optional)
warmed black and/or pinto beans
soft taco shells

Take the chicken and either cut it into bite size cubes or into strips.  Whichever you like.  Put the chicken in a bag with the Mexican seasoning olive oil, and the lime juice. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.  When the chicken is finished marinating, cook in a skillet over medium/medium-high heat until cooked through and no longer pink.  Depending on the size that the chicken has been cut into it could take 5-10 minutes.

The rest is just about laying.  I tend to buy smaller taco shells, the ones labeled for fajitas.  I know I'm going to eat 2 of them anyway, I might as well make 2 smaller ones.

Here's how I make a taco:

- layer of sour cream
- chicken pieces
- beans
- cheese
- onions
- lettuce
- salsa
- Cilantro Yogurt Sauce (when I'm feeling crazy)

Tacos are all about what you want to put on them.  Add more, take away some, whatever.  Go nuts.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

4th of July Picnic Ideas

4th of July is this weekend (Holy crap, how did it sneak up on me?!) and this is a perfect weekend for picnics.  Here are some ideas for your weekend picnic.


Salads & Sides:



What are your favorite 4th of July picnic dishes?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bok Choy

We got a seriously good deal on baby bok choy at Wards, a local family owned supermarket in town.  We came home with 7 pieces and spent $1.02.  A total win to me.

Baby Bok Choy with Bacon:

2 pieces of bacon, cut into small pieces
baby bok choy (6-10 pieces, depending on the size)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Wash the bok choy and separate the leaves.  The supermarket we got these from gets them directly from a local farm and they are not washed.  Just make sure they're free from dirt and sand.

Heat up a skillet and add the bacon.  When it gets crispy add the boy choy and the spices.  Stir everything together and cook until the bok choy is bright green but still crisp. 1-2 minutes ~ish.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Parmesan Oven Fries

Guess who got some more produce from Mr. T's office?!  This time it was a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes.  Thank you UF College of Agriculture!

Parmesan Oven Fries:
3 potatoes, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Add everything to a bag and toss until the olive oil, cheese, and spices cover the potatoes.

Place the potato wedges in a pan and bake in the oven at 425, turning halfway through.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Watermelon Granita

It's officially summertime! Mr. T and I have been snacking on a watermelon for a couple of days.  I love it.  With it being summer in the south we are seeing temperatures that are pushing 100* on a regular basis.  It's the perfect excuse to eat something cold.

I like granitas.  They are easy to make and don't require an ice cream maker.  This one can even be made with a sugar substitute for those watching their sugar intake.

Watermelon Granita:
(Food Network)

4 cups seedless watermelon chunks
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Pour into a shallow, wide pan and freeze for 1 hour. Rake mixture with fork and freeze for another hour.

Rake and freeze for one more hour. Rake and serve in cups.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ranch Style Chicken

I've been wanting to make this dish for a while.  I love chicken and tend to get in a rut, like most of us I guess, when it comes to making it.  I thought that this was pretty easy to make, and would have been even easier if I had taken the chicken out of the freezer with enough time to properly defrost.  Oh well.


Ranch Style Chicken:
(Pioneer Woman)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Thick cut bacon
Bacon grease
½ cup Honey
½ cup Dijon or Country/Grainy Mustard
Juice from ½ a lemon
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Canola oil

Mix together 1/2 cup Dijon or country/grainy mustard with 1/2 cup honey. Add juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like things a little spicy.  Whisk it together until smooth.

Place one chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper.  Place one chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper.  With a mallet or a rolling pin lightly pound the chicken breast so that the thickness is uniform. It should be around 1/2 to 3/4″ thick.  Add all the chicken to the bowl with the marinade. You’ll want to cover this with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.

Fry up some bacon while the chicken is marinating.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon grease, and go ahead and clean out the skillet. Otherwise, it’ll get too smoky.

When you’re ready to prepare the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour off excess marinade into the sink. Heat half of the reserved bacon grease with an equal quantity of Canola Oil in the clean skillet over medium-high to high heat.  When the grease is sufficiently heated, add a batch of chicken to the skillet. Don’t overcrowd the skillet, just 3 pieces is usually enough.

Watch the chicken, and when it starts to get brown/black on one side flip it to the other side. Cook just until brown/blackish areas appear. Each side should cook for a maximum of 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Repeat with all the chicken breasts, then set them on a large baking sheet. Go ahead and throw the pan of chicken into the hot oven for about ten minutes to continue cooking. Then remove the pan from the oven and place a couple of pieces of bacon on each piece of chicken.

Next, grab some grated sharp cheddar and sprinkle it over the top as generously as you’d like.  Return the pan to the oven for an additional five minutes, or until cheese is melted and bacon is sizzling.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Green Beans with Onions

I love green beans.  They are my favorite vegetable.  This is an easy way to prepare them that doesn't take too much time.

Green Beans with Onions:

1 bag of fresh green beans, snapped
1 sweet onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Ina large pan, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic and let cook until onions are tender.  Add green beans and salt and pepper.  Add 2 tablespoons of water, stir everything up, and put a lid on it and let the beans steam for 5-10 minutes.  I like my beans still pretty crunchy so I pull them off of the stove closer to the 5 minutes mark.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my sister Sara!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Beef Ribs

It's Summertime which means it's time for lovely things like ribs.  Most people eat pork ribs, they're easily available and are on sale quite a bit (at least in the summer).  Mr. T found some beef ribs on sale at Publix and I cooked them up for a wonderful weekend dinner.

BBQ Beef Ribs:

6 beef ribs (or however much you want to eat)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
favorite BBQ sauce

Beef ribs have a thick skin like membrane located on the bone side of the ribs.  The butcher had already removed it from our ribs but all you have to do it stick a knife under it and peel it away.  Not a necessity but it makes a difference, depending on who you ask.

Preheat oven to 250.  Mix all of the spices together and rub all over the ribs.  Make sure to cover both sides of the ribs.  Cover in foil and bake in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove the ribs, uncover and baste with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Continue doing this every 30-45 minutes for another 2 hours.  When the ribs are done cover with more sauce and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Skirt Steak Fajitas

We tried something new tonight.  Publix had skirt steak on sale, and since neither one of us had ever had it we decided to try it out.  My good friend Google led me to a search result for "Skirt Steak Fajitas"... so we made that.  (We're easy to please)

This would be a perfect week night meal.  The steak can be put in the marinade the night before and the vegetables can be cut up so that when dinner time rolls around all that needs to be done is cooking the meat and veggies.

Skirt Steak Fajitas:
(got the idea from

1 package of skirt steak
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Chipotle Sauce
1 large bell pepper
1 large, sweet onion
1 package of mushrooms

In a bowl add the lemon juice, pepper, salt, garlic, worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and chipotle sauce.  Mix everything together.  Take the flank steak and put it in the bowl, making sure it's covered on both sides with the marinade.  Put in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least an hour.

Slice the bell pepper and onion into strips.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and heat on medium high heat.  Add the pepper, onion, and mushrooms.  Heat until everything until hot, but still crisp.

When the skirt steak is finished marinating add a tablespoon of oil to another skillet and heat on medium high heat.  Add the skirt steak to the hot pan.


Cook for four minutes on each side.  Then take the steak off the heat, cover with foil, and let rest for about 4 more minutes.

Slice the steak against the grain.

Serve in a tortilla shell with the vegetables and some sour cream.

I know that cheese isn't a traditional fajita topping, but I don't care.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Mommy!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Buffalo Ranch Hummus

I love hummus.  I can be a purist and tend to stick with the traditional flavor of hummus but this was a nice change.

Buffalo Ranch Hummus:
(adapted from Devon, who found it at

2 cans chickpeas, drained but keep the liquid
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tbsp hot sauce
1 packet of powdered ranch seasoning

Throw it in the food processor and add the chickpea liquid until it reaches your desired consistency.  If you'd like more heat or buffalo flavor, add more buffalo sauce.