Life, Uncategorized

M.I.A.

Happy Saturday!  I wanted to do a quick check in! I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A.  I’ve been so busy and I haven’t had a chance to update my blog.  I’ve done very little cooking the last week.  My big brother closed on a new house this past Wednesday.  I went there Thursday afternoon and spent the last few days helping him get things situated.  It was so exciting to see his new home and get things set up.  I can’t wait to do some cooking in his kitchen!  🙂

Things will be a little bit back to normal this week.  Stay tuned for my blog to be back to normal! See below for some awesome deer right outside my brothers house, just feet away from his driveway!

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Some deer feet from my brothers driveway.  (I know they look fake, but they are real)

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

Top Round Roast Complete Meal

I love making beef roasts.  You let it roast in the oven to perfection and then add some sides and your done.  It’s perfect for a lazy Sunday.  My favorite beef roast is of course prime rib which we make for holidays and at random times when I have a craving for it. 🙂

Over the weekend I made a top round roast.  I was at the grocery store and picked one up because it was on sale.  I figured I’d give it a try.  From what I’ve hear the top round roast is known  as the “Poor mans prime rib.”  That was the first I had really heard of that.

Top round roast is used a lot of the time for the roast beef you get in the deli.  It’s a rather inexpensive cut of beef.  It’s leaner than prime rib but still has good flavor.  When I decided to make this roast, I wasn’t sure it was going to come out the way I was imagining.  It can be tough and you really need to try and cook it at a lower tempature so it doesn’t dry out.

Much to my surprise, the roast came out delicious.  So, if you ever catch it at the grocery store or in your weekly grocery ads give it a try.  I paired it with roasted golden potatoes and breaded string beans.

Top Round Roast with Roasted Potatoes & Breaded String Beans

Ingredients:

Roast:
3 T Butter, melted
1 T oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or graded
2 t thyme, (dried or fresh)
2 t rosemary (dried or fresh)
3 t garlic powder
3 t onion powder
2 t salt
1 t pepper

Potatoes:
10-12 mini Yukon gold/ golden potatoes, quartered
Salt & Pepper to taste

Breaded String Beans
2 cans French style green beans, no salt and drained
3/4- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 T butter or margarine
Salt & Pepper to taste

Basic Horseradish Sauce
1 cup sour cream
3-4 T horseradish

Directions:  Let roast sit out for 30-40 minutes before cooking.  Preheat oven to 425°.  Mix together the sour cream and horseradish and cover and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a medium roasting pan add in the roast.  Pat the roast dry with a paper towel.  Season the roast with salt and pepper.  In a bowl mix together the butter, oil, fresh garlic, thyme, rosemary, garlic and onion powder. Brush the butter mixture all over the roast.

Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes is up, lower oven to 325° add potatoes around the roast and season with salt and pepper and roast for 55-65 minutes or until the temperature reaches 135-140 for medium.  Check the roast about 20 minutes before the time is up and make sure the temperature is still on track. (Mine cooked faster than I anticipated.)

Once meat is done, remove from the oven and place on a cutting board or plate and lightly tent with foil.  Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.  Cut thinly against the grain. (Note:Do not slice until your ready to eat)

Turn the oven up to 400 and put the potatoes back in and roast for another 15 minutes while the meat is resting.

In a medium sauté pan, add the butter for the green beans and let it start to melt.  Add the beans to the pan and mix well with the butter.  Slowly add in the breadcrumbs while mixing.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  If the beans look dry, add some more butter.  The beans shouldn’t be dry at all.  Season with salt and pepper. (These may seem weird, but honestly you should try them.  They are simple and delicious. We’ve been making them for years.)

Remove the potatoes from the oven and season with extra salt and pepper if desired then create your plate.  Add sliced beef with drizzled pan juices, potatoes and green beans and a little horseradish sauce and serve.

Note:  Some areas of the meat may be slightly more cooked, however it’s still taste good.  I’d undercook it needed.  You will probably have leftovers so just heat left overs at a reduced heat. The meat will also be great for a sandwich.

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Finish Product Meat
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Before it’s cooked
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Meat and Potatoes
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Carved
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Breaded String Beans
Breakfast, Brunch, Uncategorized

Bagel with Lox, Cream Cheese & Red Onion

I have a major love of bagels.  I always have.  My Mom use to always go out to pick up bagels for breakfast on the weekends. My Dad, another lover of bagels use to always buy lox for his bagels.  I’m never really cared for lox because I really don’t like salmon at all.  Lox is a brined or smoked salmon fillet, usually served on a bagel with cream cheese and red onion or tomato and maybe capers.   My Dad enjoyed this and would buy it often.  It’s not an inexpensive item.  It’s usually about $8-$10 for a small package.

My Dad always wanted my brothers and I to try a food before deciding if we didn’t like it or not.  He’d say “How do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it?” We’d roll our eyes whenever he’d say that but we’d try it.  I’m actually glad he did this, because we aren’t picky eaters now after all these years.

That’s how I started to enjoy lox.  We were in Atlantic City, NJ and my Dad had a VIP membership to this high rollers club inside a hotel.  You could go in there any time of day to get free food and drinks.  That is the first time I decided to try lox on my bagel.  I remember my Dad making it up for me.  He added cream cheese to half of a bagel, topped with the lox and finished it off with red onion.  I made a face and took a bite.  Much to my amazement I liked it!! Actually really liked it.  I think it was probably the salty lox on top of this delicious east coast bagel with cream cheese.

For the rest of the trip, every morning or afternoon I’d have a bagel with lox.  So, I’m glad my Dad made me try it that day.   Now, 13 years later I still enjoy it.  From time to time I’ll buy it for my bagel.  Today I did just that.  I went shopping with my Mom this morning and decided to pick up a package.

This isn’t really a recipe just what I did for my Lox and Bagel. Give it a try especially if  you enjoy salmon but even if you don’t.

Bagel with Lox

Ingredients:
1 package premium lox/smoked salmon
6 T cream Cheese
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
2 bagels, (good quality from bagel shop)

To assemble:  Spread cream cheese over the bagel and top with lox and red onion.

Notes: Use as much cream cheese and onion you like. It depends on preference.  You can also top with tomato, cucumber and capers.

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Salad, Uncategorized

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Growing up I really didn’t care for brussels sprouts.  They smelled horrible and tasted just as bad, even if it had bacon mixed in.  As I got older I learned to like them prepared in certain ways.  I started experimenting with different recipes.

Earlier this year I had a brussels sprout salad at a Chicago restaurant and it was absolutely delicious.  It was something I never thought I’d enjoy, especially with raw brussels sprouts.

This is my take on a brussels sprouts salad.  Take a look and next time your in the store look for shaved brussels sprouts.  You can shave them or chop them yourself, but why put yourself through that if you can buy them shaved.  This is a great alternative to a lettuce salad.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Ingredients:
3 cups shaved brussels sprouts
3 T blue cheese
3 T honey roasted pecans (or any nut)
2 T dried cranberries
3 T crumbled bacon
1 chopped avocado, optional

Dressing:
4 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 t red wine vinegar
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 small onion, grated
1/2 T Dijon mustard

Directions: In a bowl whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.  Let sit 15 minutes so the flavors can marry.  Then mix shaved brussels sprouts, toppings and dressing and toss together.  Serve immediately.

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Uncategorized

Eggplant Parmesan Sliders (Meatless Monday)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Monday!  I’m meeting a friend for dinner tonight but wanted to share with you one of my meatless dishes for this Meatless Monday.  The first time I made this dish I was so surprised how delicious it was I had to make again.  It may be a little more time consuming but you will not regret it one bit.

I’m a complete meat eater.  Unfortunately, I’m not any where a vegetarian or do I claim to be.  I do like to however incorporate some meatless dishes into my week of food planning.  If you are vegetarian and want a fun take on a “slider”  give it a try or even if your a carnivore like me and want a meatless dish take a peek.  It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser and a recipe you’ll be coming back to in the future.

Eggplant Parmesan Sliders

For the Eggplant:
1-Medium Size Eggplants, sliced ½ inch thick, peeled
2- Large Eggs
1 ½ C- Italian breadcrumbs
½ C- Parmesan or Romano Cheese, finely grated
½ T- Italian Seasoning
½ T- Garlic Powder
½ T- Onion Powder
Sprinkle: Salt (Extra to draw out moisture of eggplant)
Sprinkle: Pepper

Slider:
10-12-Slider Buns
1C- Marinara Sauce (Homemade or store bought)
10-12 slices of fresh mozzarella (I buy the one pre-sliced)

Directions: Remove moisture from eggplant by adding sliced eggplant to a strainer. Generously sprinkle salt over the eggplant. Leave for 30-60 minutes. After, rinse the eggplant with cold water and lay out on a paper towel to dry. In a bowl mix together bread crumbs, cheese, and spices. In a separate bowl add eggs and whisk with a splash of water. Preheat Oven to 375° Degrees.  Spray baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Set up a breading station. First dip eggplant in the egg wash, then in the breadcrumbs to coat, place on the baking sheet.  Repeat for remaining eggplant. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until bottom is slightly golden brown, flip over for another 10-12 minutes until the other side is golden brown in color.  The eggplant should still be slightly firm and not mushy.

Assembling Sliders: Add marinara sauce to bottom bun, place an eggplant slice on bottom bun and top with a slice of fresh mozzarella and finish with a dollop of marinara sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant.

Notes: You may need a less or more breadcrumbs.  It all depends.  I always seems to need a little more.  It varies depending on the eggplant slices.wp-image-2099971444

Bacon, Breakfast, Eggs, Uncategorized

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Happy Sunday! What do you planned for your Sunday?  This morning I felt like making a breakfast sandwich.  I only have my healthier bread on hand which isn’t ideal for breakfast sandwiches but it served it’s purpose.  I personally don’t like my bread toasted but if you do feel free to toast your bread.  It’s almost easier to eat toasted as the sandwich won’t fall apart.  There’s what I did.

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:
2 slices bread (toasted or not toasted) or english muffin or bagel
1/2 T butter
3 slices of bacon, cooked (I made a woven square)
2 eggs, cooked anyway (I made fried eggs)
1 slice, cheese (I used cheddar)

Directions: To assemble the sandwich: butter the bread/toast add slice of cheese and top with egg and bacon.  Eat and enjoy.

Note: You can use any bread you’d like. I’m doing Weight Watchers so I used bread that is healthier.  You can make this any which way you’d like. I just wanted to share with you how I made mine.

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Bacon & Egg Sandwich

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Uncategorized

Beef Stroganoff

It’s a chilly, rainy and windy Saturday here in Chicago.  I personally don’t mind this weather.  It’s great weather to relax and catch up on my DVR or to clean up and get things done in the house.

Since starting Weight Watchers weekends can be difficult.  I always feel hungry on the weekends and want to over eat.  This is one of the reasons why I thought Weight Watchers would be good for me.  I could make anything I want and eat anything as long as it’s not over my points for the day.  With that being said I have to plan out my meals for weekends because otherwise I won’t stay on track and I’ll want to reach for a takeout menu. So, during the week I plan on what I’ll make for dinner on the weekend and I stick to it.

So on the menu today was Beef Stroganoff.  It’s a  nice comfort meal for a chilly evening. I actually personally haven’t ever made it.  My mom use to make it every so often so I decided to give it a try this weekend.  It’s a dish with a rich beefy sauce, with mushrooms and onions and tender pieces of beef served over noodles.  It’s not too difficult of a dish to make so give it a try! I’ll definitely be making this again.

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:
1 lb sirloin steak, sliced or cubed
16 oz mushrooms
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion, diced
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 C + 1/4 cups beef stock (no salt added)
3/4 C light sour cream
3 T flour
2 T butter
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t parsley
Sprinkle: salt and pepper
1 bag noodles ( I used wide egg noodles)

Directions: Heat a large sauté pan on high heat.  Add in 1 T of butter and cook the beef . Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Let the meat get a good sear.  Once meat is seared, remove meat from the pan and set aside.

Add in 1 T of butter and sauté the garlic and onion 2-3 minutes.  Then add in the mushrooms and cook till soften.  Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of beef stock, scrapping the bottom of the pan.  Start boiling water for noodles and cook according to package.

Add 2 cups of beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and flour to a bowl and whisk well.  Add mixture to pan and mix well and let simmer on low-medium 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then stir in the sour cream and mix well and add in the beef and cook 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over cooked egg noodles.  Garnish with parsley if you’d like and serve immediately.

Notes: You can add more beef stock to make more sauce.  I sometimes do that because I like extra juice.

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