Sunday, July 26, 2020

Broccoli and Beef






I was watching a morning news channel and they made Broccoli and Beef and oh boy did it look good and so easy to make. I wont lie I also liked that she was Asian because often white cooks make Asian dishes and they are too bland. So I thought what the heck lets give it a try and I've now made it twice and we all just love it. I've add other veggies because I love all sorts of veggies in a stir fry type meal. 

Try it and let me know what you think. 

Ingredients

1/2 pound flank steak
2 Tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce divided plus more as needed
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger 
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine or dry marsala wine (optional)
2 medium cloves garlic crushed
1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstrarch
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil 
2 heaping cups broccoli florets, blanched for about 2 minutes and drained
2-3 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon hoison sauce.
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Recipe

Trim the flank steak and cut into smaller pieces to help with slicing. You will need to slice against the grain into thin pieces, about 1/8 inch. Place in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, the ginger, wine, and garlic and mix well. Add cornstarch and mix well again. 

Preheat wok or pan over high heat until wisps of smoke rise to surface. Add vegetable oil heat until it starts to shimmer. Gently add the beef and using a spatula, spread it into a single layer in the bowl of the wok. Sear it for about 30 seconds and the stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the meat has browned. Add the broccoli, water, remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce and the hoisin and stir fry 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add a dash more soy sauce, if desired. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve with steamed rice. 



Friday, July 24, 2020

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies you will ever put in your Mouth






A co worker made these cookies and I have to say they live up to the title she gave them. Every time she made cookies I ran to the staff table to get one. They are the perfect combination of crunchy/chewy buttery wonderfulness. I had to get the recipe because I knew I may need to have them in my life more often. She was kind enough to share and now I know why they are so special. The ingredients explain just why they are both crunchy and chewy and so tasty. As you can see it has both baking soda and powder. I believe thats what makes them crunchy and the dark brown sugar helps them to be chewy. These instructions are very concise and I have followed to a T and I have changed to fit my needs. 

I am a firm believer there is no such thing as the perfect recipe. always room for improvement because everyone is different in what they love. Try these and let me know what you think. 

Ingredients

3 1/2 Cups all-Purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 Cups unsalted butter
1 1/4 Cups + 2 Tablespoon dark brown sugar (packed)
1 Cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
12 oz chocolate chips

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Using a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars together as they are mixing. 

2. Sift or whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. 

3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 

4 Add vanilla

5. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. 

6. Using and ice cream scoop (approximately 1/4 cup) form dough into egg shapes, place on cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, or until light golden brown but still soft. They will appear "puffy" but will slim down after they have rested 1-2 minutes, then gently remove from tray and place directly on cooling rack. They need to rest for 5 minutes before eating. or storing. 
 *Size does matter. Anything smaller that 1/4 cup produces and inferior cookie, an ice cream scoop is perfect.

When I first made these I didn't have the right scoop size. I made them anyway. They were a little too small. When I made them the second time with the right size they were just a little to big. I now use the big scoop but I don't fill them to the brim. And they are perfect that way. I also ran out of dark brown sugar and they were still very good but not as good. I've yet to freeze them but I still want to try that. 






Sunday, June 7, 2020

Blood Orange Mojito



This time of year blood oranges are easy to find and so delicious. I'm always thinking about how I can make a cocktail better. I decided to add one to my mojito. It made the drink quite tasty and such a gorgeous color. Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

Recipe

1 1/2 ounce of White Rum (1 1/2 shot)
1/2 ounce simple syrup 
1 lime
1 blood orange
8 mint leaves
1 can seltzer water
1/2 lime for muddling

Directions

To a shaker add 1/2 lime and 3 mint leaves and muddle. Then add lime juice, blood orange juice, 3 mint leaves, simple syrup, and white rum. 

Add ice to glass jar with mint leaves. I like to rip them to add mint flavor to the drink. Shake your shaker and pour into glass. fill about 3/4 of the way and then top with soda water. Probably even be better if you added Blood soda water. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pickles

My grandma made cucumbers every year. Me and my family just love them and would eat them up every time she shared with us. She gave me the recipe but I was always afraid to make them because canning just scares me. My sisters and I wanted her to teach us but life always got in the way and she passed away before we got the chance. However we were lucky she taught my cousin and she promised to teach us. Well life kept getting in the way but finally we made it happen. There were some bumps and I was afraid it wasn’t gonna happen but this last August we finally got it all together.  I’m adding this tutorial because I want my family who weren’t there to be able to go to it and feel like they were there and be able to make them every year if they want. I also want it for myself because I’m sure I will need reminders because a year is a long time.

Just to let you know my grandma cans the old school way. She did not boil cans after being sealed so if you are not comfortable with that please boil. I’m totally aware most canning recommends it but I’m posting this exactly the way my grandmother did.



Step 1: wash jars and lids.



Step 2: rinse and scrub cucumbers. We got ours straight off the farm and they were very very dirty so this took quite awhile because we were making pickles for 5 of us.



Step 3: Prepare pan for lids. fill roasting pan with enough water to cover lids and add lids in single layer. This is very important that you add both parts of the lids and only one layer to make sure they are sterile. It also makes sure the heat ensures seal. 





Step 4: Prepare brine in a large canning pot (Recipe Below)


Step 5: Prepare jars with Dill, Garlic, and jalapenos (if you like it spicy)


Step 6: Fill each jar with as many cucumbers that you can fit in


Step 7: Once the brine is ready you fill each jar carefully making sure to leave 1/4 of inch to the top.


Step 8: With your oven glove  and tongs carefully put lid on each jar and close very tightly. These will be super hot so the oven glove is very important so you don't burn your hands. You also want to do this quickly to keep all the heat in.



 Step 9: Continue doing this until they are all filled and sealed.



Now comes the hardest part....waiting. Before moving the jars you have to wait for them to suck the lid in. You will hear it snap. You don't want to press it in. You"ll have to have lots of patience. So what I did is make us cocktails and snacks.










Ingredients (Per Dozen jars) (1 hour prep)

10lbs of cucumbers
2 heads of garlic
1 bunch of dill
1 1/2 jalapeno

Brine  (10 quarts)

1 quart white vinegar
15 cups of water
1 cup of salt

(My grandmother always doubled the brine)

Recipe

Bring the brine to a boil. Place lids in boiling water. after all jars are prepared with ingredients, pour brine into each jar carefully. Leave 1/4 inch of brine from top. Seal with lids immediately and let sit. Can take 1-2 hours to seal properly. They start to change color right away.

Once they all pop you store them for 2 months. To me that was the hardest part. Not all people wait that long but I am following exactly how my grandma does it because hers are the best. Next time I may add more garlic or more dill and maybe even more jalapeno to some jars. I like pickles with kick but if they are too spicy they are ruined. So I wasn't to brave this time around because this is a lot of work for something to turn out bad.

I'm no longer afraid to can vegetables or jam. Next year I may tweak some stuff. I may even try boiling jars after they are sealed to ensure the snapping of the lids because it was very stressful. I hope you all try canning after this because it's a lot easier than I thought.

 These are the two hand printed recipes of my grandmas recipe. I put together the recipe above based off of what a dozen would make. I made 6 jars for myself but we made 33 jars in total this day. So we made two brines. It took a lot longer because we made so many but it was a lot of fun to do it together. I will never forget it and am sure my grandma was there with us that day.




Sunday, September 29, 2019

Chocolate chip caramel cookies



I love chocolate chip cookies but most of the time they turn out pretty bad so when you find a good recipe it’s super special. I found this recipe on Pinterest. The photo and the fact that it had caramel in it sold me. I wasn’t sure I was gonna like the but I was willing to try. Everyone I make these for just absolutely love them and can’t just eat one. It makes a lot of cookies so I scoop them into balls and store in fridge so we can have fresh baked cookies every day until they run out. Check out original recipe here. I adapted very little. 

When I was a kid my sister and I made chocolate chip cookies just so we could eat the dough. Now I eat a few bites because that kid in me still loves it but my stomach says no. It’s funny how you change over time. 



Ingredients 

3 cups of flour
1tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups brown sugar 
1/4 cup white sugar 
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract 
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips 
1 cup caramel bits

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside 

In stand mixer beat sugars and butter until light and creamy. Then add eggs and vanilla. Scrape sides and mix again. 

Mix on low and add flour slowly. Once combined add chips and caramel. 

Scoop with small ice cream scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons. Bake for 11-13 minutes. 

Try them and let me know what you think. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Whipped Ricotta and Bruschetta



My sister and I love to go shopping at the Nordstrom sale and then after a few hours of trying on clothes we need a break for drinks and lunch at the Macaroni Grill. I’ve been doing that tradition for many years. I’ve had some not so good experiences at that restaurant but mostly great. We always have to order the whipped ricotta bruschetta. I love it so much that I needed to recreate it. It’s a very simple recipe with few ingredients so it’s very important to use good quality ingredients. 

Ingredients

4 ounces whole milk ricotta
1 ounce sour cream 
2 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley 
2 tomatoes seeded
1 garlic cloves chopped 
2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette sliced

Directions

Mix together ricotta, sour cream, 1tsp basil, parsley, 1 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. 

Dice seeded tomatoes. Place in a bowl and add garlic, julienned basil 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Slice baguette or any of your favorite bread. Paint olive oil on both sides of bread. Grill until brown and slightly crisp. Smear cheese spread on bread and top with tomatoes. 

Let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it as much as me and my friends. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Spicy Grapefruit Margarita


My sister made one of these for me last summer and I was addicted. I believe the story goes that her neighbor Susie made it for her. It is a great combination of salty, sweet, tart with a hint of spicy. I gulped it down and needed to share it with you. My friend Susie found it on pinterest from a blog called half baked harvest. She sent me the original recipe. I highly recommend you make this delicious margarita made with fresh juice especially because all this citrus fruit is in season right now. 

Ingredients (for one drink)

2 ounces of tequila
1/2 grapefruit juiced
1 lime juiced
1 tablespoon of honey
1 slice of jalapeno

Ingredients (salt mixture)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 tsp sugar

Directions

Pour all ingredients except jalapeno, in a shaker and shake vigourlsy. Rim glass with spicy salt mixture. Fill glass with ice and pour shaken mixture into glass. garnish and serve. 

If you are going to have a group of friends over it is great to make this in a big batch so you don't have to work so hard. I did this recently and it was great and easy. 

Ingredients (Big Batch) makes about 5 drinks depending on how big your glasses are.

1 1/2 cups of tequila
2 cups grapefruit juice
3/4 lime juice
1/4 cup of honey
5 slices of jalapeno

Directions

Pour all ingredients in a pitcher except jalapenos. mix well and hold in refrigerator a few hours before serving. Rim each glass with spicy salt mixture and fill glass with ice. Pour about 5 drinks. Add jalapeno when serving. 


Let me know what you think.