Pages

August 30, 2013

Beef and Mushroom Braised Stew

Beef and Mushroom Braised Stew
Beef and Mushroom Braised Stew



I don't drive. To many the idea of not driving would be shocking. I know how to drive, but I have always had horrible motion sickness. Behind the wheel I last about 5 minutes before I feel the need to be sick. As you can imagine this doesn't work well when on the road. I have seen doctors who have attempted to fix my inner ear, treated the anxiety part of my motion sickness (I also get very nervous behind the wheel) and none of it has worked. Honestly, when I was 23 I stopped driving and haven't been behind the wheel since. We live in a one car household, I walk everywhere or my husband drives. I lasted all through undergrad, working and grad school without a car. It was never a big hassle and honestly I'm a big proponent of trying to limit your carbon footprint and would love it if everyone drove less. I know many people reading are thinking but my husband and I work different hours, locations etc. and that it's different for us since I stay home. I didn't always stay home. My husband and I both worked 3 jobs during grad school and for two years after. We managed fine with one car, we stayed thin walking, we carpooled and we saved money on gas. If I go back to work I will still not drive. We are used to being a one car household (and one driver) and it works for us. We are just a little different than most households and that's part of what makes everyone in the world great; each of us have our own unique circumstances and things that set us apart. On to the food! This week the males in my house have been on a meat and potatoes kick. So I combined the two and made a recipe for Beef and Mushroom Braised Stew from the September/October 2013 issue of Taste of Home magazine.
Buskirk Field (Looking NE) Marshall University
Buskirk Field (Looking NE) Marshall University

This recipe has 19 ingredients. It takes 2 hours and 5 minutes, 35 minutes of which is active and makes 6 servings. I made a number of changes to the original recipe. I used homemade dried rosemary and thyme from my garden. Drying herbs is really easy, just wash them, tie them with kitchen twine, place in a brown paper bag with a few holes for air circulation and hang upside down for a week or two. Much cheaper than store bought. For the mashed potatoes I made buttermilk mashed potatoes. Buttermilk mashed potatoes have a great flavor and worked very well with the stew. The final change I made to the original recipe was to caramelize the onions before adding the garlic. The taste of caramelized onions is delicious in beef dishes.
Kentucky Wildflowers
Kentucky Wildflowers

The males in my house were huge fans of this stew. There is something about beef and mushrooms that a lot of men love. My husband ate two huge bowls for dinner and my oldest son went around stealing the beef off the plate of his brother. The finished stew had a great melding of flavor and was nice over the mashed potatoes. It would also be delicious plain with crusty bread.

For the recipe go to Beef and Mushroom Braised Stew.

Beef and Mushroom Braised Stew


Recipe Type: Main
Summary:
A perfect combination of mushrooms and beef roast made into a Beef and Mushroom Braised Stew. Served over mashed potatoes it's delicious!
Preparation Time: 0h, 35m
Cooking Time: 1h, 30m
Total Time: 2h, 5m
Yield: Serves 6

August 29, 2013

#Sponsored: Mighty Handles Review

I received a Mighty Handle in order to facilitate this review. As always all opinions expressed are my own. 
Mighty Handle
Mighty Handle



We live up two flights of stairs. One set on the outside and one on the inside to get to our kitchen. It was fine when my husband and I where younger, but as we have gotten older it has become a little more difficult. Especially in relation to grocery shopping. Having to carry 20 bags of grocery up two flights of stairs can get tiring very quickly. I would love to say that we could buy less food, but with three males in my house we go through a ton of milk, cereal and basic baking supplies for bread etc every week. Recently, I was given the opportunity to try Mighty Handles and give my feedback.

So you're probably asking yourself what exactly is a Mighty Handle? Basically it is a: "patent pending handle and anchor design system (that) distributes weight evenly allowing consumers to carry up to 50lbs of bags in one hand." You are able to put bags on either side of the anchor making for a balanced and much easier way to carry groceries. It can be used for way more than just average groceries also. Think of all the uses: paint cans, dry cleaning, shopping bags, you name it. Plus it has a triangle system which essentially locks the bags in place preventing spills and dropped bags. One of my favorite things is that it's made of 100 percent recycled materials and can easily be washed in the dishwasher. Since I have a horrible time with my kids making everything in my house dirty and/or sticky an easy cleanup is essential in my household. Plus it's made in the USA, which is something that can't be said for a lot of products anymore.

What did I think? My husband was pretty skeptical when I took this to the grocery store. He thought it looked small and didn't see how it would be much help. After using it to carry groceries upstairs he completely changed his mind. Normally he drapes 10 bags over each arm and by the time he gets to our kitchen he has marks all over his lower arm. When he tried the Mighty Handle he was able to carry just as many bags with no strain on his muscles and no marks on his skin. I tried the product on our next grocery trip and I was just as impressed. My youngest child refuses to walk on his own so I am always having to carry groceries in one hand and carry my son on my other hip. As you can imagine this is never the most comfortable way to carry groceries and my back often protests. Using the Mighty Handle was nice since it distributed the weight of the bags evenly, making my neck and back much more comfortable. The only thing that I would change would be to have more colors available. I could see this product being nice to give at college campuses with school colors for welcome day or at other events with the color of the team etc. Having more colors would also be more appealing to a larger group of women since all of us have a color that we gravitate to (I am a big fan of black and pink together-classic and pretty). Blue and green aren't very exciting, so it would be nice to see a larger color range.

Here are a few links to check out:

Mighty Handle Facebook
Mighty Handle Twitter
Mighty Handle Website

August 28, 2013

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Bourbon Maple Bacon Topping

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Bourbon Maple Bacon Topping
Chocolate Bundt Cake with Bourbon Maple Bacon Topping


Maybe it's just me, but it seems that customer service has gone downhill since the economy started having problems. My husband had bought a shirt from a national bookstore chain and found a very noticeable defect. There was a string that when pulled took off part of the screening on the t-shirt. It was obviously not wearable with the defect so he figured it would be easy to return. He came out of the store after attempting to return the shirt very upset. Apparently the female manager was very abrasive and kept repeating that the corporate policy stated that they weren't allowed to do returns without a receipt. Now I am a very nice person until you upset my husband or kids, then I fix the situation. I quickly called the store location where the shirt was bought (the state capital) and talked to a very nice manager. He informed me that it wasn't corporate policy and that the store manager in our city was wrong. Long story short I went back to the store where my husband had a problem and fixed the problem. They tried being rude to me until I informed them that I had already contacted corporate and the other store location. Then they attempted to apologize profusely. At the end of the day I got the situation remedied, but I was still unhappy with the whole experience. It just reminded me of how far down customer service seems to have gone. This week I was in a baking mood so I decided to make a cake. My husband and two boys are huge bacon fans so I decided to try incorporating it into my recipe. After combining a few recipes I ended up with a recipe for Chocolate Bundt Cake with Bourbon Maple Icing and Chocolate Bacon Crumbles.
Stormy Day in Huntington, WV
Stormy Day in Huntington, WV

I combined three different recipes for my final cake. The first recipe was for Double Chocolate Bundt Cake from Food and Wine Magazine. I left off the glaze and used dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet. For the glaze I followed a recipe for Vanilla Bean Bourbon Glaze. Instead of using a vanilla bean I used vanilla extract. Additionally I increased the amount of bourbon to two tablespoons. For the bacon topping I baked my bacon in the oven following a recipe from the Food Network. Then I dipped the chopped bacon in a small amount of dark chocolate. I allowed the cake to cook and then dripped the glaze over the top and added the chocolate covered bacon.
Roof of B'nai Shalom Synagogue
Roof of B'nai Shalom Synagogue (it was rainy and through a window so sorry for the blur :)

Since I did not make this cake gluten free I was not able to try it myself. I did eat a little bit of the bacon and the glaze. They were both really good. The rest of my family ate the cake. According to my kids the glaze and the bacon were the best parts. They aren't big fans of cake, so it's not surprising that they loved the glaze and not the cake as much. Eventually they tried the cake and liked it as well.

For the recipes go to Double Chocolate Bundt Cake, Vanilla Bean Bourbon Glaze and Roast Bacon.

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Bourbon Maple Bacon Topping


Recipe Type: Dessert
Summary:
A recipe for chocolate bundt cake with vanilla bourbon glaze and chocolate covered bacon. A great combination of flavors!
Preparation Time: 0h, 30m
Total Time: 2h, 0m
Yield: Serves 12

August 26, 2013

#Sponsored #TheClueIsInTheBlue New Super Absorbent Leakguard Boxes at Walmart

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Luvs. In exchange for this post I received compensation.

Luvs Super Absorbent Leakguards Diapers

My two sons were vastly different diaper wearers. I thought that things would be easy with my oldest son. Wrong. He weighed 9 pounds at birth and literally breastfed all day long and through the night. What this added up to was a lot of diapers. He never went more than two hours without adding a little bit of both to his diaper. Even at night I had to wake up every two hours to change him. As I remember he was 8 months before he slept for more than 4 hours with a dry diaper. I had so many recommendations for diapers and I tried them all. Literally I think I tried every diaper available on the market, and he still leaked. It was so bad that I had to have extra set of clothes in the car since at least once a week bad things happened at the store. I resorted to placing an extra pad inside my oldest diapers so he stayed dry, thinking the whole time that it would be nice if there was a diaper that held leaks better. Now Luvs is introducing a new option.

Luvs has created a new super absorbent diaper. They have a blue seal on the boxes of Super Absorbent Leakguard diapers that demonstrate that they are a special version available only at Walmart. The new diapers are 15% more absorbent than other Luvs and have a contoured shape with leak barrier leg gathers, for a great fit. Plus the core has an ultra absorbent leakguard that helps to lock wetness away from the skin.

The new diapers are available in sizes NB, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Plus the price is low (0.16 cents a diaper for a 124 count size 3 box) and there is a money back guarantee. It always nice knowing that you can feel safe spending your money on the off chance you aren't impressed with the product.

For more information go to:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luvsdiapers
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Luvs

August 25, 2013

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
Cinnamon Raisin French Toast



We live in a college town. During the summer months our city is pretty dead. You can go into a store and it's pretty uncrowded. Until this weekend. School starts for Marshall University tomorrow and suddenly our city becomes full of students. It's not too bad, except that it takes a period of adjustment. The baggers at the grocery store don't bag correctly, there are a ton of kids driving their parents SUV's (badly), and downtown is full of people walking around. While all of these things can be really annoying for a couple of weeks, without the university our city wouldn't have nearly as much money. The university is what keeps the city running for most of the year. Plus this weekend they were giving away lots of free coupons for restaurants in our area. I now have enough coupons to not have to pay for meals for my kids until at least December. There is nothing like free food to make up for a few weeks of incoming freshman. This weekend I was trying to use up all the leftover food from last week. I tried a new recipe for Cinnamon Raisin French Toast from the Food Network.
Marshall University Huntington, WV
Marshall University Huntington, WV

This recipe has 6 ingredients. It takes 24 minutes of total time, all of which is active and makes 4 servings. For this recipe I loosely followed the original recipe, with a number of modifications. First, I made my own bread. If you have never tried making your own bread, you really should. It's very easy once you try making it a few times. I had leftover cinnamon raisin bread that I had made on Friday. I used it in this recipe. In my fridge only ever has non-fat or 2 percent milk, so instead of using half and half I utilized the 2 percent milk I already had. Finally, instead of cooking the french toast in the oven, I soaked the bread peaces in the milk mixture and then cooked them on my griddle.

Old Marshall College Sign Marshall University
Old Marshall College Sign Marshall University
My two boys were huge fans of this french toast. Since I used regular bread, I ate something else for breakfast. I can tell you though that this French toast smelled great! It didn't last long at all, less than half of a day. It was great with both butter and maple syrup. The recipe would also be great with other types of bread, especially ones with a lot of crust.

For the recipe go to Cinnamon Raisin French Toast.

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Summary:
A simple recipe for French Toast. Works with a variety of breads, including cinnamon raisin.
Preparation Time: 0h, 10m
Cooking Time: 0h, 14m
Total Time: 0h, 24m
Yield: Serves 4

August 22, 2013

#Sponsored The Boys and Girls Club of America Back to School Program

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

We started school very early this year. When my oldest started kindergarten school started on the 18th of August, this year he started on the 8th. So we have already had two and a half weeks of school. Luckily he was ready to go back and loves school. However, not all children in my state have the same advantages. West Virginia comes in 45th with a 82.6 percent high-school graduation rate and dead last for the number of residents holding bachelors degrees. My state is far from alone, each year 1 million student fail to graduate high-school. With this in mind the Boys and Girls Club of America and long time partner Disney have launched an on-line supply drive, here are the details. 

You can help and donate supplies by playing an online game. It is an easy pop quiz style game and by playing you can help your local Boys and Girls Club. For every 5 questions you get correct they will donate supplies. To play the game go to the following link: www.greatfutures.org/backtoschool.

The Boys and Girls Club of America is a great organization that I used for after school care growing up. Anything that can be done to help students graduate high-school and do well in school in general is so important. Every little bit helps. 

Having kids ready for school is very important. I always try to figure out easy ways to help my kids succeed. One of the best things that I have learned is to have a designated homework center where I have a large wall calendar that I use to keep track of everyone's schedule, due dates etc. That way I can just look in one space to find everything school related. Do you have any great tips for back to school and school in general? 

August 21, 2013

Monkey Bites


Monkey Bites
Monkey Bites


Today was school picture day for my oldest. Luckily he is over the cold we have all been fighting this week. He was insistent on wearing a Minecraft shirt. Everything in my house seems to revolve around Minecraft, my two boys are obsessed. I shot down his shirt idea, my mother never really let me live down the New Kids on the Block shirt I wore for picture day. I think I might have also worn a Jem shirt, so that definitely shows my age (looking back it was a pretty horrible cartoon). He ended up wearing a nice button down shirt and I'm hoping he actually remembers to smile. Last year he had a grimace on both of his school photos. Since I am still fighting a cold I have been trying to make easy recipes that don't take a lot of effort or time. Yesterday I tried a new snack recipe for Monkey Bites from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.
Old Main Marshall University Huntington, WV
Old Main Marshall University Huntington, WV

Now normally I don't reprint recipes, but since this only has three ingredients and no actual recipe I will share the information. So monkey bites are just a fancy name for chocolate covered bananas with peanut butter. Here is how to make them. Slice a few bananas into medium sized slices. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for about an hour. take out the slices and spread your favorite peanut butter on half of the slices. Place the other banana slice halves on top. Refreeze for an hour or until frozen. Using your favorite chocolate, I used dark chocolate, melt and place into a bowl. Dip banana peanut butter slices into the chocolate. Refreeze. I kept my monkey bites in the freezer, they are delicious frozen. You could also keep them in the fridge, but I'm not sure what the consistency would be.
Marshall University Huntington, WV
Marshall University Huntington, WV

These are a really nice snack. My two boys liked them without the chocolate for an after school snack. Frozen bananas with peanut butter are a nice protein snack. With the chocolate they are a great dessert, especially with dark chocolate.

August 20, 2013

Slow Cooker Asian Five Spice Meatballs


Slow Cooker Asian Five Spice Meatballs
Slow Cooker Asian Five Spice Meatballs



It's the second week of school and I am already sick. I woke up this morning with a nasty cold, which only got worse as the day went on. My oldest had to miss school today as well. I love how I'm not sick all summer and then as soon as my oldest goes back to school, bam. I also am not a fan of the fact that I always getter sicker than anyone else in the house. My kids are sick for a couple of days, I get pneumonia, strep throat, you name it. Plus it's never a little bit of pneumonia, it's a hospital stay, or weeks of strep throat that doesn't want to go away. I seem not to be able to do anything part way, it's all or nothing. When I'm not feeling my best, I rely on my slow cooker. Slow cooker meals take little prep and are great when I don't have the time or energy to make a big involving meal. Tonight I tried a new recipe for Asian Five Spice Meatballs from Family Circle magazine.

Memorial Fountain Marshall University Huntington, WV
Memorial Fountain Marshall University Huntington, WV

This recipe has 13 ingredients. It takes 6 hours and 20 minutes of total time, 20 minutes of which is active and makes 6 servings. I did make a number of changes to the original recipe. First since I eat gluten free I used gluten free bread crumbs. I did not have low sodium soy sauce on hand, so I just used the regular that I already had. Veal is very hard to find near me, so I substituted ground Angus beef. I used 1/2 pound 93 percent lean beef, 1/2 pound ground Angus and a 1/2 ground pork. In total I ended up with 13 meatballs.

Memorial Fountain Front View Marshall University Huntington, WV
Memorial Fountain Front View Marshall University Huntington, WV

Changing recipes to gluten free can always be hit or miss. This recipe turned out perfectly. The meatballs stayed moist and the flavor was delicious. Since there wasn't enough sauce after the meatballs were done I made my own. I used 3/4 part grape jelly and 1/4 part sriracha. It had a nice spicy sweet flavor and was perfect to drizzle on top of the meatballs. Plus it pays tribute to West Virginia, since grape and hot pepper jelly with meatballs is an appetizer staple.

For the recipe go to Asian Five Spice Meatballs. (registration required)

Slow Cooker Asian Five Spice Meatballs


Recipe Type: Main
Summary:
A flavorful slow cooker recipe for Asian Style Meatballs made with 5 spice powder. Only 20 minutes of active time.
Preparation Time: 0h, 20m
Cooking Time: 6h, 0m
Total Time: 6h, 20m
Yield: Serves 6

August 18, 2013

Cream Scones with Strawberries


Cream Scone with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Cream Scone with Strawberries and Whipped Cream


I miss having tea with my mother. From the time I was 10 we would go to tea at one of the fancy hotels in downtown Seattle. They had a full high tea and it was fabulous. We would dress up, eat cucumber sandwiches and talk. After I had a job I paid for my mother and I to stay at the Empress hotel in Victoria (BC) and we had high tea. If you have never been it is a great and beautiful experience and one of the favorite memories I have of my mother. After my mother passed away my aunt sent me the teacups that had been my grandmothers. I keep them in a special cupboard and a couple of times a year I take them out and have tea. Last year my boys joined me and it felt complete, my mother would be smiling. There are certain foods that I always associate with having tea. Tea and scones go hand in hand to me, I love them. I am constantly experimenting with new scone recipes and this week I tried a new recipe for Cream Scones from Martha Stewart Living.
Downtown Huntington, WV From Marshall University Campus
Downtown Huntington, WV From Marshall University Campus

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 30 minutes of total time, 10 minutes of which is active and makes 8 scones. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. First, I always freeze my butter when making scones. It helps to keep the butter from melting while it is being handled and makes for richer scones. Make sure to minimally blend the dough. Just mix until it comes together and hand pat the dough before cutting out the scones. The less you touch the dough, the better the texture and it keeps the butter from melting. I chose to serve half of these scones with cut up strawberries which I tossed with a bit of sugar and real whipped cream.
Downtown Huntington, WV
Downtown Huntington, WV

My two boys loved this recipe. I think they ate 4 of the scones as soon as they came out of the oven. Obviously I did not eat any of them, gluten free scones are just not as delicious. Before anyone disagrees I promise I have tried a ton of recipes, bakeries etc and they just aren't as good as regular flour. These scones were great though and made nice strawberry shortcake. They were also delicious with jam for breakfast.

For the recipe go to Cream Scones.

Cream Scones with Strawberries


Recipe Type: Breakfast
Summary:
A simple cream scones recipe that also make great strawberry shortcake. Only 30 minutes start to finish.
Preparation Time: 0h, 10m
Cooking Time: 0h, 20m
Total Time: 0h, 30m
Yield: Serves 8

August 17, 2013

Leftover Herb Pesto

Leftover Herb Pesto
Leftover Herb Pesto



It seems to be bug season in my back yard. I made the mistake of going out to trim my tomatoes this evening. Very bad idea. I literally came in and had to take a benadryl since I had so many bites. Cicadas are the other fun visitor my yard now has. They arrived a couple of weeks back. In previous years they have arrived earlier, but this year they didn't arrive until August. Growing up in Seattle I had no idea what a cicada was when I moved here. The first night I tried to fall asleep in my new apartment I was driven crazy by a deafening noise. I had a giant tree outside my window and between the train that went through at 2 am and the cicadas I decided I would never sleep again. Over the years I have gotten used to their deafening noise, but they still aren't my favorite summer sound. Apparently we aren't even supposed to have cicadas this year, wrong. They are in my front yard and they are huge. Plus I don't trust any insect that is part of a horde. It just sounds wrong. So I am avoiding my yard for a couple of days until the bugs leave me alone. Yesterday I had to venture into my yard to cut back my herb garden. It has gone crazy in the last week and I am swimming in basil, so time to make pesto. I tried a new recipe for Leftover-Herb Pesto from Martha Stewart Living.
Virginia Point Park, Kenova, WV
Virginia Point Park, Kenova, WV

This recipe has 7 ingredients. It takes 5 minutes of total time, all of which is active and makes 3/4 cup of pesto. For the pesto I used basil and tarragon from my garden, pine nuts for the nuts and an extra clove of garlic. I prefer my pesto to have a pretty strong garlic taste. I also added part of the cheese to the food processor and then added the other half to the finished pesto. I prefer the texture with this method. Plus the flavor of the cheese come through better.
View From Virginia Point Park, Kenova, WV
View From Virginia Point Park, Kenova, WV

I love making quick and easy recipes. Pesto is a great way to use herbs that you have leftover in your fridge or garden and the taste can be easily adapted based on what ingredients you have on hand. In addition to serving with pasta, this recipe would be great with chicken or fish. I love using pesto with grilled salmon, it's wonderful.

For the recipe go to (video form) Leftover Herb Pesto.

Leftover Herb Pesto


Recipe Type: Main
Summary:
A very simple 7 ingredient pesto recipe. Can be made with any leftover green vegetable in your fridge and a variety of nuts.
Preparation Time: 0h, 5m
Total Time: 0h, 5m
Yield: 3/4 cup

August 16, 2013

#CYHAmelita Sponsored Post: Court Yard Hounds Amelita Album Review

I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.


I listened to a lot of female driven music in the 90's. Since I lived in Seattle I had access to a large number of concerts and went to a lot shows. I even went so far as to follow Tori Amos all over the west coast and into Canada. Luckily I had a great job and was able to go to Lilith Fair and other big shows and loved every minute of it. Some of my best memories are from this time period and I made great friends that I have fond memories of. As I've gotten older my musical tastes have changed, but I am still drawn to strong female voices (and I am still a huge Tori Amos fan). Since I love female driven music I was excited to listen to the new Court Yard Hounds Album Amelita.

As many of you probably already know Emily Robison and sister Martie Maguire were part of the Dixie Chicks. After a few years away from the limelight and the Dixie Chicks, the two sisters were ready to get back into the studio with the creation of Court Yard Hounds. Amelita, out now, marks the Court Yard Hounds' second album. Here is a list of the tracks: 

Amelita Track Listing:
  1. Sunshine
  2. Amelita
  3. The World Smiles
  4. Aimless Upward
  5. Guy Like You
  6. Rock All Night
  7. Phoebe
  8. Divided
  9. Gets You Down
  10. Watch Your Step
  11. The Road You Take
 After listening to the album I was struck by a couple of things. The lyrics are definitely more personal and have obviously been influenced by life changes experienced by the sisters. The songs have a nice range, some songs like track 8 have a slower tempo, while track 2 is more reminiscent of something the Dixie Chicks might have preformed. The tracks that I liked the most and would be something I could see myself listening to were 1,2 and 11. There is definitely a variety of songs on the album. 

For more information go to the following links: 

Media Links:
The album can be purchased at the following sites:

August 15, 2013

Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak

Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak
Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak



The males in my house eat more cereal than I would think humanly possible. While I make most things from scratch cereal is one of the few exceptions. There is only so much granola one household can eat before they go a little crazy and want a box of Lucky Charms. My husband has always been a huge cereal eater. What I wasn't prepared for was that my two sons would follow suit. They can eat an entire dinner and still have room for a bowl of cereal for dessert. Now both of my boys are rail thin. The youngest was under weight until he hit 3 years old. Apparently large amounts of cereal does not correlate into gaining weight because if it did my two boys would be the size of a house. The other food that they are obsessed with is steak. When my youngest was two he started stealing food of my plate, mostly steak and seafood. He refuses to touch the kids menu so when we go out to eat we normally split a steak. That's right my 4 year old eats steak for dinner. I figure it has to be healthier than the fried chicken and macaroni on most restaurant kid's menu (they seem to always be loaded with fat and cheese!). I make a lot of flat iron and skirt steak at home since the cuts are inexpensive and they are so delicious grilled. This week I tried a new recipe for Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak from the August 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.
Where the Big Sandy and Ohio River Meet (Kenova, WV)
Where the Big Sandy and Ohio River Meet (Kenova, WV)

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 1 1/2 hours of total time, 30 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. For the Dijon mustard I used country Dijon. I love the texture and taste, it's great with steak. I honestly I forgot to cut the skirt steak into 4 pieces. The steak still fit at an angle onto my grill so it was fine. If you have never cooked skirt steak before there is a major step the magazine left out. You must take off the silver skin on the steak. I would love to say that it is always gone when you buy from the grocery store, but every time I have bought skirt steak from either the grocery store or big box stores it has to have the silver skin removed. Just make sure to check before you place the steak in the marinade. If you never let your meat sit before serving stop! Pork and beef really need to sit for at least 10 minutes of rest before being sliced. This allows the delicious juices to soak into the meat. If you miss this step all the great flavor will spill out the moment you cut into the meat. Resting after cooking makes all the difference I promise. Also as a side note, while this steak will look raw or underdone to many reading this post, skirt and flat iron steak stay red in the center. This steak is medium, medium rare for my husband and I and straight medium for my kids. Don't freak out if your skirt steak appears red, it will temp spot on. That's another reason why I love having a great thermometer. The thermometer I use is recommended by America's Test Kitchen (it's a little pricey at $100) and a great investment, no more overdone meat! This photo also is a little redder than in person due to lighting etc.
Virginia Point Park - Western Most Point in West Virginia (Kenova, WV)
Virginia Point Park - Western Most Point in West Virginia (Kenova, WV)

This steak turned out very tender and had great flavor. Even my two picky boys loved the recipe and asked for seconds. This recipe would be great with mashed, roasted or baked potatoes on the side. Asparagus would be a great vegetable side, steak and roasted asparagus are great together.

For the recipe go to Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak.

Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak


Recipe Type: Main
Summary:
With a sweet and savory flavor this recipe for Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak is easy to prep and very tender. Would be great for summer entertaining.
Preparation Time: 0h, 30m
Total Time: 1h, 30m
Yield: Serves 4

August 14, 2013

Spiced Salmon Kebabs

Spiced Salmon Kebabs
Spiced Salmon Kebabs



Food blogging can drive me crazy. I started blogging not knowing what my focus was going to be. If you go back to my first 5 posts, I talked about coupons, cleaning, you name it. Then my husband and I were talking about how much I loved to cook. I made the decision to start a food blog. It was a rough start to say the least. My photos for the first year and a half were pretty horrible. Then I bought a new cell phone and for 6 months the photos were a slight bit better. After those 6 months I decided I wanted to take myself a little more seriously. I bought my domain (and changed from the horrible name I started with), bought a new camera and tried to be better about engaging with other bloggers. Then the Internet started to change everything. I had to teach myself how to code rich snippets (wordpress make things so much easier with their pluggins!), fix coding errors, found out that Google never even knew my new domain existed and pretty much decided that I hate html coding. Then last week I read a post on Facebook telling a female blogger that they didn't need to know how to html code on their blog. It ruffled my feathers a little. While I would love to say that food bloggers can just sit back and wait for people to flock, it doesn't work that way. There are millions of food blogs and in order to be noticed you really have to step it up. And I still don't do everything right. I refuse to write key search words in my first two sentences. It would make my blog sound ungenuine and fabricated for hits. According to search engines though it would make me a better food blogger. I think I resign myself to being a blogger that likes food, I don't think that I have the patience to play in the big leagues. Plus I'm not a straight recipe blog, so I fall in Bermuda Triangle of food blogging. Enough food blog rants, on to the recipe. Today I tried a new recipe for Spiced Salmon Kebabs from the June 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.
Rainy Day Railroad Bridge WV
Rainy Day Railroad Bridge WV

This recipe has 8 ingredients. It takes 25 minutes of total time, all of which is active and makes 4 servings. The salmon that I purchased was skin-on. I had to bone and skin the fillets, which added slightly to my prep time. I used my indoor grill to cook the salmon so my total cooking time was approximately doubled. It's normal for an indoor electric grill to take a lot longer. I let my kebabs sit in the fridge with the spice mixture for 45 minutes before they were grilled. This allowed the seasoning to absorb slightly and intensify the flavor.
Rainy Day Railroad Bridge Huntington, WV
Rainy Day Railroad Bridge Huntington, WV

My two boys loved this recipe. I wasn't sure if it would be too spicy with the red pepper flakes, but they ate their whole servings and then tried to steal food off my husband's plate. If you have three males in your house like I do, this recipe will not serve four people. I would suggest at least doubling the amount of salmon (and increasing the other ingredients proportionately). The inside was perfectly cooked, while the outside had a nice browned look and texture.

For the recipe go to Spiced Salmon Kebabs.

Spiced Salmon Kebabs


Recipe Type: Main
Summary:
An easy grilled Spiced Salmon Kebabs recipes. Perfectly cooked on the inside and full of nice flavor.
Preparation Time: 0h, 15m
Total Time: 0h, 25m
Yield: Serves 4

August 13, 2013

Triple Banana-Flax Pancakes

Triple Banana-Flax Pancakes
Triple Banana-Flax Pancakes



I have always hated funerals and graveyards. It has to do a lot with my mother and the child she lost before I was born. He had the same breathing problems that my oldest developed during labor, but didn't have the state of the art NICU that I was fortunate to have 30 years later. When I was a teen my mother decided to try to find his grave. I went with her and quietly held her hand when she found out there was no grave marker. A tiny piece of my heart left me that day to stay with the brother that I was never able to meet. Last week my husband's family experienced a loss. My first reaction was to find a way to get out of it. I was cranky the entire 1 1/2 hour drive to the service. We were late since my youngest son got very sick on the way. I ended up sitting in the back seat rubbing his back the entire time and we arrived 10 minutes before the memorial service ended. After the graveside service the family went back to the church for lunch. As I sat next to my father-in-law with tears in his eyes, it struck me. Just like I sat and held my mother's hand at the cemetery, my husband and his family needed me. When someone passes away those left behind are the ones that need our love and support. It was no longer about me and my comfort, but what I could provide for my family who I love beyond measure.  I hope that I was able to at least bring a little comfort to my husband, kids and the family that even though I am not related by blood I would do anything for. Family is the thing that binds us together in times of grief. Since last week was a long week with a funeral and the first day of school I made sure that everyone ate nutritious breakfasts. I tried a new recipe for Triple Banana-Flax Pancakes from the September 2013 issue of Parents magazine.
Old Building Wayne County, WV
Old Building Wayne County, WV

This recipe has 12 ingredients. It takes 45 minutes of total time, 25 minutes of which is active and makes 12 pancakes. Since I was making these pancakes for my kids I did not make this recipe gluten free. While they will eaten gluten free, they prefer wheat flour and at least once a week I make bake and cook for them with regular flour. If you have never tried making your pancakes on a griddle, I recommend it highly. It is the best way that I have found to have light, golden brown pancakes. I left out the canola oil since on my griddle I never have a problem with things sticking and I like to save a little bit of fat where possible. They still turned out nice and brown without it. Make sure to spread out the pancakes for them to cook evenly. That way there will not be any doughy spots. Additionally, slice the bananas thin so that the bottoms of the pancakes brown nicely without the bananas burning.
Old Building Wayne County, WV
Old Building Wayne County, WV View 2


My two kids were big fans of these pancakes. When my oldest first saw that the pancakes had bananas cooked in he wasn't sure. He was quickly won over by the first bite and ate three. They worked well with either butter or maple syrup. My oldest preferred maple syrup, while my youngest was a fan of melted butter. They would also be delicious with a combination of both. I froze the leftover pancakes and re-heated them in my toaster oven for a quick weekday breakfast. Freezing big batches on the weekend is a great way to save time and is much cheaper than buying pancakes frozen at the store (plus they taste much better!).

For the recipe go to Triple Banana-Flax Pancakes. (registration required)

Triple Banana-Flax Pancakes


Recipe Type: Breakfast
Summary:
A kid friendly recipe for pancakes with flaxseed meal and fresh bananas. Freeze well for big batch cooking.
Preparation Time: 0h, 25m
Total Time: 0h, 45m
Yield: 12 Pancakes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...