Wednesday, August 20, 2014

#EverythingIsAwesome Breakfast Burrito


I made this for the first time a few weeks ago and I haven't stopped thinking about it since! In my household this steak and egg burrito is affectionately known as the "#EverythingIsAwesome Breakfast Burrito." The tender, juicy steak is paired with sweet onions, and then combined with scrambled eggs and creamy, nutty gruyere cheese. It is simply wonderful. There is nothing ground breaking about this dish, but the combination of flavors just work! Excuse me while I make an emergency trip to the grocery store so I can make this now...

To make 2 dinner servings (4 wraps) you will need:
  • 1 Tbs BUTTER
  • 1 small ONION, sliced thin
  • 8 oz. STRIP STEAK
  • 3 EGGS
  • 4 medium sized TORTILLAS (we used the "fajita" sized)
  • 1/2 cup GRUYERE CHEESE
  • SALT & PEPPER, to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet and then saute the onions in the butter for about 15 minutes or until they are caramelized. 


While the onion is caramelizing, heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and season the steak with salt and pepper.



Once the cast-iron pan is hot, cook the steak for a few minutes on each side.

Note: The cook time will depend on how thick your steaks are. Our steaks were extremely thin so they cooked up after 2 minutes on each side. If your steaks are fairly thick you may need to cook them for up to 5-6 minutes on each side.

When the steaks are cooked, take them off of the heat and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes. While the steak is resting, whisk up the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and then scramble them until sightly firm.


After the steak has had time to rest, slice it thinly against the grain.


To assemble the wrap, spoon some of the scrambled eggs onto the tortilla, lay a few pieces of steak on top, add some grilled onions, and lastly top with the gruyere cheese.


How beautiful does that look?!? I would eat this every week if I could!


Ok, I'm going to have to make this again soon... writing up this recipe has made me hungry!






Steak & Egg Burrito

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbs BUTTER
  • 1 small ONION, sliced thin
  • 8 oz. STRIP STEAK
  • EGGS
  • 4 medium sized TORTILLAS (we used the "fajita" sized)
  • 1/2 cup GRUYERE CHEESE
  • SALT PEPPER, to taste
      Directions:
      1. Melt the butter in a skillet and then saute the onions in the butter for about 15 minutes or until they are caramelized. 
      2. While the onion is caramelizing, heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and season the steak with salt and pepper.
      3. Once the cast-iron pan is hot, cook the steak for a few minutes on each side.
        • Note: The cook time will depend on how thick your steaks are. Our steaks were extremely thin so they cooked up after 2 minutes on each side. If your steaks are fairly thick you may need to cook them for up to 5-6 minutes on each side.
      4. When the steaks are cooked, take them off of the heat and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes.
      5. While the steak is resting, whisk up the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and then scramble them until sightly firm. 
      6. After the steak has had time to rest, slice it thinly against the grain.
      7. To assemble the wrap, spoon some of the scrambled eggs onto the tortilla, lay a few pieces of steak on top, add some grilled onions, and lastly top with the gruyere cheese. 



            I adapted this recipe from one that I saw on the Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jeff-mauro/steak-and-egg-burrito.html

            Saturday, August 16, 2014

            Ina's "Perfect" Pie Crust


            I have been on a quest to find a good pie crust for awhile now and this is the best one I have found so far! The crust is tender, flakey, and delicious! Thank you Ina Garten! 

            To make one 9 inch pie crust or two smaller 6 inch pie crusts (like the pictures shown in this post) you will need:
            • 6 Tbs UNSALTED BUTTER
            • 1 & 1/2 cup FLOUR
            • 1 & 1/2 tsp SUGAR
            • 1/2 tsp SALT
            • 3 Tbs VEGETABLE SHORTENING
            • 1/4 cup ICE WATER

            Before you start, make sure that your butter is very cold! I usually cut the butter into cubes and then pop it in into the freezer for a few hours (or overnight)!


            Use a food processor and pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt. 


            Add the cold butter and vegetable shortening to the food processor. Pulse another 6-8 times or until the contents start to look like course meal with pea sized butter chunks.


            Start adding the ice water a little bit at a time, pulsing in between. (If you have a food processor you can slowly drizzle the water into the feed tube while pulsing.) When the mixture begins to clump together you have added enough water. Pinch the dough in between your fingers to see if it holds together. The 1/4 cup water specified in the recipe should do the trick, but if it is still crumbly and falls apart in your fingers add a little bit more. Be careful not to add too much water though or else the crust will be tough! 


            Once the dough starts to clump together, dump the dough onto a clean and dry surface. Take the heel of your palm and press it down into the dough in order to 'shmoosh' the butter and flatten it into layers. Then carefully shape the dough into a disk. 

            Look at all of the butter clumps! This will create an extra flaky crust!


            Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (up to 2 days).


            Once the dough is chilled, unwrap the dough, and place it on a lightly floured surface. Then, roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick


            Next, place the dough into a 9 inch pie plate. Carefully press the dough into the corners of the pan so that the dough lines the bottom and sides of the pan. (The picture below is a 6 inch pie plate.)


            Then tuck the overhanging dough on the edges under itself and pinch with your fingers. Pour in your pie filling and bake at 400 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes!


            I made a strawberry pie, but you could use any filling you want!






            Pie Crust
            Ingredients:
            • 6 Tbs UNSALTED BUTTER
            • 1 & 1/2 cup FLOUR
            • 1 & 1/2 tsp SUGAR
            • 1/2 tsp SALT
            • 3 Tbs VEGETABLE SHORTENING
            • 1/4 cup ICE WATER
            Directions:
            1. Before you start, make sure that your butter is very cold! I usually cut the butter into cubes and then pop it in into the freezer for a few hours (or overnight)!
            2. Use a food processor and pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt. 
            3. Add the cold butter and vegetable shortening to the food processor. Pulse another 6-8 times or until the contents start to look like course meal with pea sized butter chunks.
            4. Start adding the ice water a little bit at a time, pulsing in between. (If you have a food processor you can slowly drizzle the water into the feed tube while pulsing.) When the mixture begins to clump together you have added enough water. 
              • Pinch the dough in between your fingers to see if it holds together. The 1/4 cup water specified in the recipe should do the trick, but if it is still crumbly and falls apart in your fingers add a little bit more. Be careful not to add too much water though or else the crust will be tough! 
            5. Once the dough starts to clump together, dump the dough onto a clean and dry surface.
            6. Take the heel of your palm and press it down into the dough in order to 'shmoosh' the butter and flatten it into layers. This will create an extra flaky crust! Then carefully shape the dough into a disk.
            7. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (up to 2 days).
            8. Once the dough is chilled, unwrap the dough, and place it on a lightly floured surface. Then, roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick
            9. Next, place the dough into a 9 inch pie plate. Carefully press the dough into the corners of the pan so that the dough lines the bottom and sides of the pan. Then tuck the overhanging dough on the edges under itself and pinch with your fingers. 
            10. Pour in your pie filling and bake at 400 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes!



              Wednesday, August 13, 2014

              Grilled Cauliflower


              I know grilled cauliflower doesn't sound that exciting, but it is! I was pleasantly surprised how much the flavor changed after being grilled. It went from being kind of flavorless and spongy to having a softer texture with a smoky almost nutty flavor! This has become one of my new favorite things to grill!

              All you need is:
              • 1 head of CAULIFLOWER
              • OLIVE OIL
              • SALT
              • PEPPER

              Preheat your grill or oven and cut up the cauliflower. (If you use an oven preheat it to 450 degrees F.) We cut the cauliflower into "steaks" but you could also just cut it into little florets. 


              Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the grill or oven is hot, put the cauliflower on to cook for about 20 minutes or until it is tender. 


              Look at the color on that cauliflower! That's where the flavor comes from!


              Next time you grill, definitely give cauliflower a shot!






              Grilled Cauliflower
              Ingredients:
              • 1 head of CAULIFLOWER
              • OLIVE OIL
              • SALT
              • PEPPER
              Directions:
              1. Preheat your grill or oven and cut up the cauliflower. (If you use an oven preheat it to 450 degrees F.) We cut the cauliflower into "steaks" but you could also just cut it into little florets. 
              2. Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
              3. Once the grill or oven is hot, put the cauliflower on to cook for about 20 minutes or until it is tender. 




                Sunday, August 10, 2014

                Beef Stew


                This stew was one of the first recipes that I ever made by myself (other than scrambled eggs and boxed cakes). I based it on a recipe I found online and then adapted it for what I had in my pantry. I have now made this stew many times and it is one of my favorite winter meals. The stew is warm, hearty, and rich in flavor! 

                To make 2-3 serving of this beef stew you will need:
                • 2 Tbs VEGETABLE OIL
                • 1 lb. BEEF STEW MEAT (could also use chuck roast and cut it into 1 inch cubes)
                • 1 ONION, chopped 
                • 3 GARLIC cloves, minced
                • 1 Tbs TOMATO PASTE
                • 3 cups BEEF STOCK
                • 2 BAY LEAVES
                • 1/2 tsp SUGAR
                • 1/4 tsp PEPPER
                • 1/4 tsp ALLSPICE
                • 1/4 tsp PAPRIKA
                • 1 Tbs WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
                • 3-4 CARROTS, chopped
                • 1 lb. POTATOES, peeled and cubed 
                • 1-2 cups WATER

                Pour the vegetable oil into a large pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the beef in the oil. 


                When the beef is browned, but not necessarily cooked through (it will continue to cook throughout the rest of the preparation) stir in the onion, garlic, and tomato paste.


                Next, stir in the beef stock, bay leaves, sugar, pepper, allspice, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and allow the stew to simmer for about 1 & 1/2 hours.


                Add the carrots and potatoes. If the liquid does not mostly cover the meat and vegetables, add 1-2 cups of water. Then simmer for another 30 minutes.



                Once the carrots and potatoes are tender, taste the broth and season as needed. Remove the bay leaves and serve! 


                The beef tastes tender and juicy while to potatoes are soft and flavorful! This is a great comfort dish!



                I am already looking forward to making this again!





                Beef Stew
                Ingredients:
                • 2 Tbs VEGETABLE OIL
                • 1 lb. BEEF STEW MEAT (could also use chuck roast and cut it into 1 inch cubes)
                • ONION, chopped 
                • GARLIC cloves, minced
                • 1 Tbs TOMATO PASTE
                • 3 cups BEEF STOCK
                • BAY LEAVES
                • 1/2 tsp SUGAR
                • 1/4 tsp PEPPER
                • 1/4 tsp ALLSPICE
                • 1/4 tsp PAPRIKA
                • 1 Tbs WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
                • 3-4 CARROTS, chopped
                • 1 lb. POTATOES, peeled and cubed 
                • 1-2 cups WATER
                Directions:
                1. Pour the vegetable oil into a large pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the beef in the oil. 
                2. When the beef is browned, but not necessarily cooked through (it will continue to cook throughout the rest of the preparation) stir in the onion, garlic, and tomato paste.
                3. Next, stir in the beef stock, bay leaves, sugar, pepper, allspice, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and allow the stew to simmer for about 1 & 1/2 hours.
                4. Add the carrots and potatoes. If the liquid does not mostly cover the meat and vegetables, add 1-2 cups of water. Then simmer for another 30 minutes.
                5. Once the carrots and potatoes are tender, taste the broth and season as needed. Remove the bay leaves and serve! 


                  The recipe I based this one on was Paula's: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/old-time-beef-stew-recipe/index.html

                  Sunday, July 27, 2014

                  Orange Chicken


                  Ok guys, I'm really excited about this one. This is probably one of the best dishes that I've ever made! Yeah, it's that good. This orange chicken reminds me of the orange chicken at Panda Express, except it's better because it's fresh and you know where all of the ingredients came from!

                  To make roughly 2 servings of this orange chicken you will need:

                  • 2 Tbs & 1 tsp CORNSTARCH
                  • EGG WHITES
                  • CHICKEN BREAST (roughly 10-12 oz.), cut into small chunks
                  • 1/2 cup ORANGE JUICE
                  • 1 Tbs SOY SAUCE
                  • 1 Tbs BROWN SUGAR, packed
                  • 1 Tbs RICE VINEGAR
                  • 1/4 tsp SESAME OIL
                  • Pinch of RED PEPPER FLAKES (you can always add more if you like spicy food!)
                  • 1 clove of GARLIC, minced
                  • About 1/2 inch of freshly grated GINGER
                  • VEGETABLE or PEANUT OIL, for frying
                  • Optional: 2 GREEN ONIONS, to top


                  Start off by whisking up the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch using a fork in a medium sized bowl until it begins to get frothy. 



                  Add the chicken pieces and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes


                  While you are waiting on the chicken start heating about 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees F in a pot


                  Then mix the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, salt, crushed red pepper, garlic, and ginger in a nonstick skillet.


                  Heat the sauce on the stove for about 5 minutes over medium heat until it starts to thicken. While the sauce is thickening up, whisk together 1/4 cup of cool water with the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch. After the sauce has been heating for 5 minutes, turn off the stove and mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch slurry. Stir for about 1 minute to further thicken the sauce. Then set aside.


                  Once the oil reaches 350 degrees F, use a pair of tongs to gently place each piece of chicken into the oil individually. If you try to add more than one piece of chicken at a time the chunks will stick together and you will have clumps of chicken pieces rather than individual pieces. Cook the chicken in the oil for 3-4 minutes.


                  Once cooked, take the chicken out of the oil and place it onto a paper towel to drain and cool for a few minutes.


                  Then, drop the chicken back into the oil for another minute to get it extra crispy! 


                  Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a new paper towel.


                  Lastly, toss the chicken in the sauce and give it a taste! (You're welcome!)


                  Serve the chicken over some noodles or rice and top with green onions! 


                  Writing up this post makes me want to go make it again! It was so good! I hope you enjoy!






                  Orange Chicken
                  Ingredients:
                  • 2 Tbs & 1 tsp CORNSTARCH
                  • EGG WHITES
                  • CHICKEN BREAST (roughly 10-12 oz.), cut into small chunks
                  • 1/2 cup ORANGE JUICE
                  • 1 Tbs SOY SAUCE
                  • 1 Tbs BROWN SUGAR, packed
                  • 1 Tbs RICE VINEGAR
                  • 1/4 tsp SESAME OIL
                  • Pinch of RED PEPPER FLAKES (you can always add more if you like spicy food!)
                  • 1 clove of GARLIC, minced
                  • About 1/2 inch of freshly grated GINGER
                  • VEGETABLE or PEANUT OIL, for frying
                  • Optional: 2 GREEN ONIONS, to top
                  Directions:
                  1. Whisk up the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch using a fork in a medium sized bowl until it begins to get frothy. 
                  2. Add the chicken pieces and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes
                  3. While you are waiting on the chicken, start heating about 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees F in a pot
                  4. Mix the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, salt, crushed red pepper, garlic, and ginger in a nonstick skillet
                  5. Heat the sauce on the stove for about 5 minutes over medium heat until it starts to thicken. While the sauce is thickening up, whisk together 1/4 cup of cool water with the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch. After the sauce has been heating for 5 minutes, turn off the stove and mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch slurry. Stir for about 1 minute to further thicken the sauce. Then set aside.
                  6. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees F, use a pair of tongs to gently place each piece of chicken into the oil individually. If you try to add more than one piece of chicken at a time the chunks will stick together and you will have clumps of chicken pieces rather than individual pieces. Cook the chicken in the oil for 3-4 minutes
                  7. Once cooked, take the chicken out of the oil and place it onto a paper towel to drain and cool for a few minutes
                  8. Then, drop the chicken back into the oil for another minute to get it extra crispy! Then, remove the chicken from the oil and allow to drain on a new paper towel. 
                  9. Lastly, toss the chicken in the sauce and give it a taste!
                  10. Serve the chicken over some noodles or rice and top with green onions! 


                    I got this recipe from the following website: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/orange-chicken.html

                    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

                    Spaghetti Squash Primavera


                    Last month my husband and I were watching an episode of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and we found this recipe. Imagine a bunch of sauteed vegetables covered in a delicious marinara sauce, and then topped with melted mozzarella cheese. It doesn't have any meat in it, but trust me, you won't miss it!

                    This makes enough food to fill both halves of the spaghetti squash (which is enough for me to eat for about 4 meals, so it's probably 3-4 servings depending on how hungry you are):
                    • SPAGHETTI SQUASH
                    • RED BELL PEPPER, diced
                    • 1/2 RED ONION, diced
                    • 3 cloves of GARLIC, minced
                    • 2 stalks of CELERY, sliced
                    • CARROTS, sliced
                    • ZUCCHINI, diced
                    • 1 small head of BROCCOLI
                    • 1 Tbs OLIVE OIL
                    • 2 cups MARINARA SAUCE (I used the sauce that I make for spaghetti & meatballs, but a store bought jar would also work!)
                    • SALT, to taste
                    • PEPPER, to taste
                    • 1 ball of fresh MOZZARELLA CHEESE (shredded mozzarella would also work)

                    Start off by cutting the spaghetti squash in half long-wise. Be careful because the skin of the squash is really tough. Put the squash halves into a pot of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.

                    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.


                    While the squash is cooking, dice up the bell pepper, red onion, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini, and broccoli. 



                    Next, start sauteing the vegetables in a large skillet. Heat the olive oil in the skillet and then add the bell pepper. Once that starts to heat up, add the onion and  garlic. When that is also warmed up add the celery and carrots. Adding the vegetables a little bit at a time will keep the pan hot and the cooking consistent. 


                    Once all of the vegetables are turning translucent and getting tender, add the broccoli and zucchini. You want to add them last because they cook faster than the other veggies and you don't want them to get mushy. 


                    By now the spaghetti squash should be done cooking. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Then take a fork and scrape the stringy, spaghetti-like squash out. Set aside in a small bowl


                    Once all of the vegetables are tender but not mushy, stir in about 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups of your marinara sauce


                    Once the sauce has gotten hot, add the spaghetti squash.


                    At this point you might want to add a little more sauce, but make sure that you still have about 1/2 cup left to put on top. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. (You may want to add more depending on how much salt is already in your marinara sauce.)


                    Once you are happy with your vegetable and sauce mixture, scoop it into the 2 halves of the spaghetti squash shell. 


                    Vualá!


                    Next, place the filled halves of the squash on a cookie sheet and and lay 2 slices of the fresh mozzarella on each squash half. 


                    Put the cookie sheet with the squash in the oven and bake for 10 minutes to get the mozzarella nice and melted.


                    When the squash comes out of the oven, top the halves with the remaining marinara sauce and serve!


                    Look out gooey and wonderful the cheese was after baking in the oven!


                    We will definitely be making this again soon!





                    Spaghetti Squash Primavera

                    Ingredients:
                    • SPAGHETTI SQUASH
                    • RED BELL PEPPER, diced
                    • 1/2 RED ONION, diced
                    • 3 cloves of GARLIC, minced
                    • 2 stalks of CELERY, sliced
                    • CARROTS, sliced
                    • ZUCCHINI, diced
                    • 1 small head of BROCCOLI
                    • 1 Tbs OLIVE OIL
                    • 2 cups MARINARA SAUCE (I used the sauce that I make for spaghetti & meatballs, but a store bought jar would also work!)
                    • SALT, to taste
                    • PEPPER, to taste
                    • 1 ball of fresh MOZZARELLA CHEESE (shredded mozzarella would also work)
                        Directions:
                        1. Start off by cutting the spaghetti squash in half long-wise. Be careful because the skin of the squash is really tough. Put the squash halves into a pot of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.
                        2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
                        3. While the squash is cooking, dice up the bell pepper, red onion, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini, and broccoli. 
                        4. Next, start sauteing the vegetables in a large skillet. Heat the olive oil in the skillet and then add the bell pepper. Once that starts to heat up, add the onion and  garlic. When that is also warmed up add the celery and carrots. Adding the vegetables a little bit at a time will keep the pan hot and the cooking consistent. 
                        5. Once all of the vegetables are turning translucent and getting tender, add the broccoli and zucchini. You want to add them last because they cook faster than the other veggies and you don't want them to get mushy. 
                        6. By now the spaghetti squash should be done cooking. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Then take a fork and scrape the stringy, spaghetti-like squash out. Set aside in a small bowl
                        7. Once all of the vegetables are tender but not mushy, stir in about 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups of your marinara sauce. 
                        8. When the sauce has gotten hot, add the spaghetti squash.
                        9. At this point you might want to add a little more sauce, but make sure that you still have about 1/2 cup left to put on top. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. (You may want to add more depending on how much salt is already in your marinara sauce.)
                        10. Once you are happy with your vegetable and sauce mixture, scoop it into the 2 halves of the spaghetti squash shell. 
                        11. Next, place the filled halves of the squash on a cookie sheet and and lay 2 slices of the fresh mozzarella on each squash half. 
                        12. Put the cookie sheet with the squash in the oven and bake for 10 minutes to get the mozzarella nice and melted.
                        13. When the squash comes out of the oven, top the halves with the remaining marinara sauce and serve!




                              http://media.wix.com/ugd/60b189_879cce613030aede7fa7a8e1e75cd9bb.pdf?dn=spaghetti_squash_pitstop.pdf