Recent Recipes

Vampire Steak with Garlic Herb Oven Fries

Comments (0) | Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'll start out by saying that the reason for the name is that it calls for 4 teaspoons of minced garlic (equal to about 6-8 cloves)... garlic keeps vampires away... hence... Vampire Steak.  This one took me several times reading through it for that thought to finally *click*... sometimes I can be slightly oblivious.  And who knows, maybe you would have gotten it off the bat.  But I thought I'd save you the feeling of idiocy as you wondered who on earth would give a recipe that name and why?  That being said, if you like flank steak, this rub gives it a nice robust flavor that even my kids enjoyed.  Paired with grilled zucchini and Oven Fries (recipe follows) for a nice hearty meal.

Vampire Steak

4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika (you can use regular, it just won't give it a "smoky" flavor)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 (1 1/2 lb) flank steak, trimmed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine first 4 ingredients.  Score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak (about 1/8 inch deep); rub juice mixture evenly over both sides.  Cover; refrigerate one hour.

Preheat grill to high heat.  Sprinkle both sides of meat with salt and pepper.  Place steak on grill rack; grill 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove steak from grill; let stand 5 minutes.  Slice steak across grain into thin slices.

*Courtesy of Cooking Light*

Garlic and Herb Oven Fries

Preheat a roasting pan and oven to 450 degrees.  Cut 2 pounds baking potatoes into 1/4 inch matchsticks; toss with 1 tablespoon canola oil.  Arrange in preheated pan; bake at 450 for 10 minutes.  Turn oven to broil. Broil 10-15 minutes or until browned, turning once.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet.  Add 1 minced garlic clove; saute 30 seconds.  Add fries; cook 1 minute.  Toss with 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper.

*Courtesy of Cooking Light*

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Beer Brined Pork Chops

Comments (0) | Thursday, September 20, 2012

Marinades and brines are some the easiest ways to give amazing flavor to meats and fishes... one of my favorite preparations before grilling.  But beware that pork tends to soak in more salt than most meats that have been brined, resulting in a slightly more salty taste. Salty or not, these chops were amazing.  The strong flavor combination of the stout and molasses left hints with every bite while the brine locked in an incredible amount of juiciness.  Grilled to perfection (I think I'll sing my own praises on this one!)

Beer-Brined Pork Chops

4 pork loin chops, trimmed of fat
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups stout (dark beer)
3 tablespoons course salt
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced

Place chops in resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish.  Combine water, stout, salt and molasses, stirring to dissolve salt.  Pour over chops.  Seal bag; turn to coat.  Marinate in refrigerator for 8-24 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Drain chops, discarding brine.  Pat chops dry with paper towels.  Combine pepper and garlic.  Rub mixture evenly over both sides of each chop.

Preheat grill.  Reduce heat to medium and grill 5-10 minutes per side.

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Double Apple Bran Muffins

Comments (0) | Monday, September 10, 2012

About 6 months ago I developed a plan to solve that "short order cook" problem I had every morning when the kids couldn't agree on what to have for breakfast and I ended up making five different things and often getting in a rut with not much variety.  I created a weekly menu that I presented to the kids, each day with it's own special breakfast and even one day for them to each choose what they want.  To my surprise, when they woke up the first day and I told them what was for breakfast (rather than asking what they wanted) I got no resistance.  I was amazed.  And so... out of this plan has come Wednesday "Smoothie Day" on which I create a simple concoction that is never the same (yogurt, milk, frozen fruit, sometimes spinach, sometimes carrots...) and the kids absolutely love.  And to add in some "filling" to the meal I usually make a nice hearty muffin as a side.  I love finding good sounding recipes packed with "good for you" stuff, making a batch and sticking it in the freezer.  Then I'm set for at least 6 weeks of "Smoothie Day!"

These were a huge hit, freeze really well, good tasting and HEALTHY! :) You could even toss in some raisins and/or nuts!
*Courtesy of Cooking Light*

Double Apple Bran Muffins

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 cup fat free milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups oat bran (or wheat bran)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, peeled, Granny Smith apple
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place 12 paper muffin liners in muffin cups; set aside.  Combine brown sugar and butter in medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes.)  Add egg; beat 1 minute or until well blended.  Beat in egg white until well blended.  Add milk, applesauce, molasses and vanilla; beat on low speed until well blended.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour, bran, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.  Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Gently stir in apples.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar if desired.  Bake at 400 for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.

Per Muffin: Calories: 174, Fat: 5.6, Sat: 2.8, Protein: 5.2, Carb: 32.5, Fiber: 3

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Balsamic Pork Cutlets

Comments (0) | Monday, September 3, 2012

I sadly left out the mushrooms... they would have been good in this dish.  But since there are really only two things (mushrooms and olives) that my dear husband won't eat, I figure I can be kind enough not to force them on him.  He tends to be one of my best critics and has rarely (if ever) disliked my "new creations."  And so, for him, I omit these ingredients because it's the least I can do...

Balsamic Pork Cutlets

4 boneless pork chops pounded to 1/2-inch thickness (I found thin-cut pork chops that worked great)
1/4 cup Wondra flour (regular flour would probably work just fine)
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small red sweet pepper, seeds removed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (14.5 ounce) beef broth
1 can (6.5 ounces) mushrooms, drained
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup orzo, cooked with chicken broth

Coat pork with flour and shake off excess.  Reserve excess flour.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork and cook 2 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate.  Add onion to skillet and cook 1 minute.  Add red pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.  Stir reserved flour into chicken broth and add to skillet; sitr in mushrooms, vinegar, parsley, basil, pepper, and salt.  Bring to a simmer.  Add pork; cover and simmer for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.

Serve pork with cooked orzo and steamed veggies.

CAL: 505. FAT: 15g (sat: 3g), PRO: 41g, CARB: 53g, FIBER: 6g, CHOL: 88mg

*Courtesy of Family Circle magazine*

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