Roast Beef

Although spring is right around the corner, we’re still fighting this damn winter weather. So now’s the time to sneak in one last comfy, hearty meal before we finally move on to some fresh produce. This recipe is perfect for those days you have countless errands and no time to think about cooking. Thanks to Mama Z for giving us this recipe!

  • 1 three pound roast beef (will feed roughly four people)

Gravy

  • 1 packet of McCormick onion mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Place the roast beef on a roasting pan or a pan with high sides and stick in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep it closed for another 3 hours. The beef will cook slowly while you’re out doing your thing. When you’re ready to eat, heat the water and onion mix in a medium sauce pan. Stir in the flour to thicken it up. Thinly slice the roast beef and either plate it and pour on the gravy, or make an open faced roast beef sandwich by putting it on a piece of Italian bread. The best part is, you may even have some leftover cold cuts for later in the week.

 

Happy Eating, XO.

Multi-tasker’s Meal

Before you panic at the “long” ingredient list realize it is all things you most likely already have in your pantry & fridge. Its a quick week night meal that you can bake while you change, set the table, throw in some laundry… Or maybe that’s just my game plan for tonight. Anyway, you gotta eat so might as well bake this up and give your taste buds something different than grocery store rotisserie chicken. Although trust me I am not hating, only appreciating how much our age bracket eats that stuff.

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard (so very optional, I just like the tang)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash, any flavor
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like heat, or even a tsp of sriracha would be good)
  • pinch of dried parsley flakes

Here is the picture of just dumping all those ingredients and combining. IMG_6073

Spoon each chicken breast with the mixture. Make a foil tent for each breast. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 min. For the last 5 minutes take out of foil, baste with juices and broil on low. (I did it on high and started charring the tops of the chicken-not a good look)

My friend made a great suggestion of serving the chicken with the pan juices although I thought the chicken was moist enough without making my plate messy with extra sauce. I am also nuts on plate presentation though so I’m probably wrong here on the taste scale.

Happy Eating, XO.

Mouth Party

I had this at a new years eve party and its almost March and I am still thinking about it. I have problems I know. Anyway, I hit my buddy up and asked him how he made it and he turned me to this cool site. They have all sorts of recipe ideas so I went ahead and made these for a dinner party. Came out so yum, but two tips I have is to make sure the artichokes are properly dried (I had water squirt out when I bit into it, not cute and very hot!) My other tip is also in regards to moisture, make sure the chilies are dried from adobo sauce because the seeds have a lot of heat and you don’t want to over power the aioli, just give it a kick. Anyway, here is the party appetizer that will taste like a party in your mouth!

  • 2 (14 ounce) jar/can of whole artichoke hearts
  • 10 slices bacon, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Dipping Sauce aka Chipotle Aioli

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated (I did 2 because I’m crazy and LOVE garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 whole canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced

2014-01-28-artichoke-bites-10-680x324
*photo from Tablespoon, where this recipe idea originated from.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Then set up the bacon strips on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle the bacon with Parmesan. Place the artichoke heart in the center of each bacon strip. Wrap the bacon around the artichoke and, if you are clumsy and cant wrap then feel free to secure the bacon with a toothpick. Sprinkle the bites with a little Parmesan and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Meanwhile combine the mayo, garlic, honey, minced chipotle chiles and a pinch of pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until combined and smooth. Transfer to a dipping bowl and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Happy Eating, XO

Sassy Fish

Hopefully everyone is full of chocolate from V-day and is now ready for eating better. As we know, fish is a staple to eating healthier, but I have a really a good twist on a basic pan seared fish recipe! I love it because its a lil sweet & spicy and I think it resonates with me/my personality. I’m a sassy girl! Overall I am sweet, but I have a lil fiery side to me as well. I also love this fish idea because it totally came out of no where when I was rummaging through my mom’s fridge over the holidays.

  • 2 5-6oz filets of a “meaty” fish (so think salmon, tuna, halibut and not tilapia or cod because they are more flaky)
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves?)
  • 2 tbsp. minced onions (yellow, Spanish, shallots, whatever you want)
  • 1 tsp. sriracha (more if you like it spicier vs. sweeter)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. mango chutney (I use the brand Patak’s Major Grey Mango Chutney, but really any one would work)
  • Pinch of black pepper

In a small sauce saucepan simmer the chutney, soy, sriracha, garlic, and onions. This will not only marry all the flavors, but it will thin out the consistency since the chutney is chunky with pieces of mango in it. Think about 3-5 minutes. While that is happening coat the fish with olive oil and pepper (no salt really needed because of the sodium in the soy). Start to sear in a hot non-stick pan. Reduce the flame on the saute pan and add the sauce to the fish, finish cooking the filets with the sauce in pan. Approximately 10-12 min. of total cook time for fish.

Happy Eating, XO.

Italian Love Cake: Happy Valentine’s Day

Not sure on the history of why this is called love cake, but I will tell you its two major components are items I love dearly: chocolate & cheese!! (It’s ricotta, chill) Anyway, it’s not super laborious, but it’s also not your traditional cake. Set aside a good amount of time to make this and it’s actually best if you make the night before serving. Also! there’s an element of magic involved. That’s right kids, magic.

  • 1 boxed chocolate cake mix AND the ingredients listed on the box (I know I’m a disappointment to Martha but whatever, I love me a solid shortcut)
  • 2 lbs. (32 ounces) ricotta cheese (seemed like an insane amount when I was buying it but is actually the right quantity)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar (my coworkers seemed to think 1 cup would’ve been better as that layer wasn’t quite as sweet, so use your judgment)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (5.1 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold milk (yes that seems like too little, but just trust the recipe please, also I may swap this for Kahlua next time and see if that improves/ruins this “frosting”)
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9×13 inch pan and set aside. In a large bowl, prepare your cake mix batter according to the directions on the box. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a super strong whisking arm like mine), beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and use an off-set spatula to spread evenly in the pan. Next, carefully pour the ricotta mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Gently spread the ricotta mixture so it evenly covers the cake batter. (The layers will switch while baking so the ricotta moves to the bottom and cake to the top – like magic or the scientific reason that ricotta weighs more than cake batter, whatever I am sticking with MAGIC.)

Bake for 60 minutes or until cake is set. Let cake cool completely before “frosting.”

Once the cake is cool, whisk together the pudding mix and milk until combined. Gently fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined. Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight, before serving. You know what -this cake SHOULD be called Love Cake because if I have to wait overnight to dive into this puppy I must really love you/it.

Not a very “pretty” picture but this is all I could sneak in as my coworkers devoured the cake.

IMG_6405

We are sending you all loads of Italian love this valentine’s day: tanti baci!

Happy Eating, XO.