Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Orzo with Feta and Tomatoes

  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • A handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Heat water in large sauce pot to boil and add pasta, cook to al dente.

Melt butter in the pot while still hot and combine with feta. Add cooked pasta to feta butter and toss with parsley and tomatoes, season with a little pepper.

Source: Rachael Ray

Chicken Souvlaki Sticks and Yogurt Dipping Sauce

  • 16 bamboo skewers
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 chicken tenders, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 2 cups Greek style yogurt
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled and grated
Soak skewers in water for about 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Combine the zest and juice of 2 lemons, oregano, red pepper flakes and olive oil in a dish. Paste the garlic by mashing it with coarse salt then add 3/4 of it to the marinade, reserving some for dipping sauce. Add chicken tenders to the marinade and season with salt and pepper, turn in marinade to coat, let stand 10 minutes. Thread tenders on damp skewers and cook 7 to 8 minutes, turning once, until firm and juices run clear.

While skewers cook, combine yogurt with juice of remaining lemon, remaining clove of garlic, grated cucumber, and salt, to taste. Serve skewers with dipping sauce.

Source: Rachael Ray

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Herb Sauce

  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup EVOO, plus more for brushing
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, 3 tsp. finely crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 1/2 lbs.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic

  1. In a food processor, pulse the parsley to chop. Add the garlic, 1/2 cup EVOO, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, the vinegar, red pepper, 1/2 tsp. coarse salt and 1 pinch black pepper; pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl; let sit for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Brush the pork with EVOO and rub with 1 tsp. coarse salt, the crumbled oregano and powdered garlic. Grill, turning often, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145 degrees , about 35 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes. Thinly slice, then drizzle with the sauce.

Source: Rachael Ray Magazine

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Fennel & Avocado

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, outer layer removed
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces shaved fresh parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and pepper

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons; discard the seedy centers. Transfer to a bowl. Using a mandoline, shave the fennel bulb into pieces; discard the core. Toss with the zucchini. Fold in the avocado and parmesan. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the EVOO, vinegar, mustard, 1/8 tsp. coarse salt and 1 pinch pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad; toss gently.

Source: Rachael Ray Magazine

Tomato Basil Bread Pudding

We served this for breakfast with some bacon brushed with maple syrup and fruit, but it would also be a great side dish for dinner.

  • Butter, for greasing the baking dish
  • 1/2 (8 ounces) multi-grain loaf, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Parmesan
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Filling: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Add the bread cubes and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Pour the tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese over the bread cubes and combine well.
Custard: In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together until smooth. Pour the custard over the bread mixture and gently toss to coat. Bake until slightly puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pudding from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

Friday, July 27, 2012

Playroom Decor: Kid's Art Display

Supplies Needed:
2 Bulletin boards
Scrapbook paper for covering bulletin board
Thumb tacks
Clothes Pins
Painted Letters
Scrapbooking stickers (optional)

  1. Staple paper to cover entire bulletin board (corners and overlapping sections). 
  2. Hang wooden letters using thumb tacks.
  3. Hang ribbon between bulletin boards and hang art work with clothes pins.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Salted Carmel Ice Cream

1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp flaky sea salt - such as fleur de sel
Heat sugar in a medium/large size heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden sppon, until it starts to "melt".  Continue stirring until it's a dark amber color. Once you get the color you're looking for, remove from heat quickly to prevent burning and slowly whisk in cream a little at a time until fully disolved then stir in salt.  Pour into a glass bowl and place into a larger bowl filled with ice to stop the cooking process. 
Chill completely.  Once chilled mix with Ben & Jerry's base (below) and add to ice cream maker.

Ben & Jerry's Sweet Cream BaseIngredients
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk

Beat eggs on medium for 90 seconds, until light and fluffy.
Gradually whisk in the sugar until fully blended, about 1 minute more.
Add the milk and cream.
Add to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Honey Dijon Potato Salad

  • 2 to 2 1/2-pounds small red skin potatoes, quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves coarsely chopped
Cover potatoes with cold water, bring to a boil and salt the water. Boil potatoes until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, combine the honey, Dijon, and vinegar in a bowl then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. To the bowl add onions, celery, parsley and hot potatoes. Using a wooden spoon break up the potatoes into large chunks. Toss the potato salad, adjust salt and pepper then serve.

Source: Rachel Ray

Everything Salmon Burgers with Scallion Sour Cream-Cream Cheese Sauce

These were really tasty!

  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup softened cream cheese
  • 3 scallions, whites and greens, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Green leaf lettuce, for topping
  • Sliced beefsteak or vine ripe tomato, for topping
  • Sliced red onion, for topping
  • Crusty kaiser rolls, split and toasted
Preheat outdoor grill if using to medium high. Prepare hot grill with cooking spray. Indoors, use a large skillet rather than a grill pan and preheat with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to medium-high heat.
Place salmon in food processor and pulse to coarse grind meat to form burgers. Transfer fish to a mixing bowl and season with grill seasoning, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and dill. Mix and form 4 patties. Drizzle the burgers with extra-virgin olive oil.
Cook burgers 3 minutes on each side for a pink center, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for fully cooked fish. While burgers cook, combine in a bowl the cream cheese and the scallions and fold in sour cream and lemon juice.
Top the burgers with lettuce, tomato, onion and sauce on crusty, toasted buns.

Source: Rachel Ray

Tuna Salad

1 can solid albacore tuna, drained
3 cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped red onion
2 boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
enough mayo to bring everything together ~ 1 cup
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cheddar and Scallion Bread

  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or coarsely grated
  • 6 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf ciabatta bread (or ciabatta buns), cut in half horizontally
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the cheese and butter. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the scallions and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread the cheese mixture on the cut sides of the bread. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.

Using a serrated knife, cut the bread into 1-inch thick slices and serve.

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

Make Ahead Sunday: White Bean and Turkey Chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pound italian sausage (chicken, turkey or pork)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups grilled corn
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • avocado, chopped
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the meat, 1 teaspoon salt, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, spinach, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, avocado and chopped parsley.

adapted recipe based on Giada's White Bean and Chicken Chili

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fettucine Alfredo

Still indulgent, but slightly healthier than the cream version.

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/3 cup low fat milk
2 Tbsp cream cheese
1 cup parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter over low/medium heat.  Saute garlic 1 minute.  Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in milk until blended.  Let cook 5-7 minutes until thickened.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Bryan

Growing up in Houston, I loved this restaurant long before it was a national chain and this was always my favorite dish.  It was just as good as I remember!

Chicken Bryan
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into 2 pieces each breast 
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
olive oil
8 ounces goat cheese
12 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Season chicken with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Grill until cooked through.  Remove from grill and top  each piece of chicken with 1/8 of the cheese, tomatoes and basil.  Top with sauce.

Lemon Butter Sauce
2 teaspoons onions, finely chopped
teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
kosher salt

Saute onion and garlic in 1 tsp butter over low/medium heat until soft.  Add wine and lemon juice.  Reduce until 1/4 of liquid is remaining.  Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in butter to blend and melt into a creamy sauce.  Season with salt. 

Souce: Carrabba's Italian Grill

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rooting in Water

We've been out of town so no cooking this week (we're eating out of the freezer), but I did manage to root some plants while we were gone.  Just stick some cuttings of new growth in water and in 5-7 days you'll have roots.  For best results keep near a sunny window and don't disturb.  Once the roots are established, plant in soil and water frequently until well established.  This works with many herbs including basil and rosemary.  Happy planting!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cream of Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
  • 2 carrots unpeeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish
  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Croutons, for garnish

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

    Add the cream to the soup and process it with a hand blender until pureed.  Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.

    Source: Ina Garten

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Make Ahead Sunday: Baking Dish

    These covered dishes are great to have around for casseroles!

    Laundry Room Makeover

    This was the last white room in our house.  I've been wanting to paint it for a while, but didn't really know what I wanted to do with it.  When I saw this from Life as a Thrifter, it was just the inspiration I needed!

    The letters were made of paper mache from Hobby Lobby ($2.50 each). 

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    Fudge Pie

    This is one of my mom's recipes.  It's a quick dessert for unexpected guests (or an unexpected sweet tooth) because it's easy to keep all of the ingredients on hand.

    1 refrigerated pie dough crust
    1 square (oz) semi sweet chocolate
    1 stick butter
    1 cup sugar
    1/3 cup flour
    2 eggs beaten
    1 tsp vanilla

    Melt butter and chocolate over low heat.  Turn off heat and add the sugar then the flour then the vanilla.  Mix a little of the chocolate mixture into the eggs to temper then add eggs into the chocolate.  Pour mixture into prepared pie crust (do not prebake).  Bake on 350 for 30 minutes.  Great with ice cream!

    Make Ahead Sunday: Chicken Enchiladas with Corn & Peppers

    before baking
    after baking

    2 cups diced rottiserie chicken
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1/4 cup diced red onion
    1/2 cup diced peppers (I used a combination of bell and banana from our garden, but you could use poblano or some other mild variety)
    1 cup grilled corn (when we grill it, we make enough to store some in the freezer so we usually have it around)
    13 corn tortillas
    1 container crema mexicana agria (usually found in the cheese section, substitute sour cream if you can't find it)
    1 cup salsa verde
    1/2 cup cilantro
    2 cups cheese (cheddar or jack)

    Saute onion and peppers over low/medium heat until tender (about 7 minutes).  Mix with chicken and corn. Season with salt and pepper.

    Combine crema mexicana, salsa and cilantro.  Use hand blender or food processor to puree. 

    Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray then drizzle a small amount of sauce (~1/2 cup).  Microwave tortillas for 1 minute to make them more flexible.  Take a small amount of the filling (about 1/4 cup) and add to middle of each tortilla.  Add to the baking dish forming 1 row of 8 and 2 rows of 2 (longways) - I usually fill the space between the 2 sets of 2 with 1/2 an enchilada. 
    Top with sauce then cheese. Freeze or keep in the refrigerator to make ahead.

    On the night you're ready to serve, heat over to 375 - bake ~30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered (or until cheese is bubbly and the dish is heated through).

    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    Tomato Zucchini Tart

  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 3/4 lb.)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 refrigerated piecrust

  • Fit piecrust into a 9-inch tart pan according to package directions; trim excess. Prick bottom and sides of piecrust using a fork. Bake piecrust at 450° for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.Sauté zucchini in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until tender. Arrange zucchini in bottom of prepared piecrust. Arrange tomatoes on top of zucchini. Stir together basil, cheese, and mayonnaise. Drop by teaspoonfuls evenly on top of tomatoes, and spread gently. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese mixture is slightly melted.

    Source: Southern Living

    Pork Medallions with Mustard Cream Sauce

    Ingredients - serves 8
    • 2 1-pound boneless pork tenderloins, each cut crosswise into 4 equal pieces
    • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
    • 1 cup walnuts, chopped + additional for garnish
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten + 1 Tbsp water
    • 1/3 cup (or more) vegetable oil
    Using meat mallet or rolling pin, pound pork between sheets of plastic to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix breadcrumbs, walnuts, parsley, cinnamon and nutmeg in processor until nuts are finely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place flour and beaten eggs in separate bowls. Dredge 1 pork medallion in flour; shake off excess. Dip into beaten eggs to coat, then into breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with remaining pork medallions, flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumb mixture.
    Heat 1/3 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add pork and sauté until golden, adding more oil to skillet between batches if necessary, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add a few additional walnuts to the last batch to toast and use for garnish.  Transfer to platter.

    Mustard Cream Sauce
    • 1 12-ounce bottle lager beer
    • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
    • 3 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
    • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

    Boil beer and shallots in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 12 minutes. Add stock and boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Add cream and boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Stir in mustard . (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before serving.)

    Adapted from a recipe by the restaurant Gigi in Boca Raton, FL.

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Table Runners

    3/8 yd fabric (~$1.50)
    iron & ironing board

    All you do is iron in a 1/2 inch seam on each of the edges (be sure to add water for steam).  No sewing required!!  These are so easy and versatile.  The best part is they look nicer than cheap table cloths and are so inexpensive that you don't have to feel guilty about throwing them away if they get stained. 

    This whole set cost less than $40!!

    Perfect Pairing: Tomato/Avocado Salad

    1 avocado, cubed in 1 inch pieces
    1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
    sea salt to taste
    A few tablespoon of dressing  (recipe below) to coat

    1/3 cup red wine vinegar
    2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp dried oregano
    sea salt & pepper to taste
    Whisk together all ingredients.  This dressing is also great on sandwiches.

    Thursday, July 5, 2012


    My sister in law once told me that okra was her kid's favorite veggie.  Now I understand why!  I think I've only had it fried or in gumbo (which are both great, don't get me wrong), but she said she just served it sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper.  We've been growing it in the garden and finally had enough for a side dish and oh boy, was it good.  All of the recipes I can remember always called for smothering it  and long cook times to get rid of the "ropiness".  There actually wasn't any "ropiness".  It was crisp and fresh - pure and simple goodness.

    1 cup of sliced okra
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    sea salt and pepper to taste

    Add the oil to a saute pan and season with s&p.  Sautee over medium heat for above 5-7 minutes.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Happy 4th of July!

    Individual Fruit Trifles

    1 prepared angel food cake, cubed
    1 pint fresh strawberries, chopped
    1 pint fresh blueberries, washed
    1 box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 container (12 oz) cool whip, thawed
    1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
    raspberries for garnish

    Whisk together milk and pudding until smooth then add sour cream and cool whip.  Set aside.
    Layer individual containers with cake then fruit then pudding mixture - 2 layers work in a regular size juice glass.  Then top with a few pieces of fruit.  Cover and chill until ready to serve (ideally at least 2 hours, but no more than 8 hours ahead).  The pudding mixture will keep for several days and it's great as a dip for fruit on it's own.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Jerry's Chocolate Ice Cream

    • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot but not boiling water.Gradually whisk in the cocoa and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. The chocolate may seize or clump- the milk will fix this when it's added.Whisk in the milk, a little at a time and heat until completely blended. Allow to cool completely.
    Separately,whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light a fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.
    Add the cream and vanilla, whisk to blend. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and blend. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1 to 3 hours, depending upon your refrigerator.
    Transfer the mixture to you ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    4th of July Breakfast

    When I saw this on Pinterest (couldn't find the original source), I knew it would be a hit with our kids!  I was surprised to find it to be pretty tasty myself.  I might starting adding fruit to toast more often.

    Make Ahead Sunday: Penne with Braised Short Ribs


  • 4 pounds beef short ribs (I used half bone in, half boneless)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or ovenproof stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the ribs to the pan. Add the beef broth, cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is fork-tender and falls easily from the bone.
    Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid. Using a large spoon, remove any excess fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Use a hand blender to process cooking liquid until the mixture is smooth (could use food processor or regular blender, too, but be sure to cool slightly first). Remove the meat from the bones and remove fat - discard. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into small pieces. Stir the shredded meat into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    Store in fridge or freezer if making ahead.

    The night you want to serve:
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Meanwhile, reheat the meat and sauce in a saucepan.  Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Combine with the sauce/meat and some parsley.  Sprinkle servings with Parmesan cheese and additional chopped parsley before serving.

    Adapted based on an original recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.