Friday, December 26, 2014

Slow Braised Red Chile Beef

4 to 5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
12 dried California or New Mexico chilies*, stemmed, seeded, and rinsed
1 large onion, cut into chunks
4 large garlic cloves
1 TBS ground cumin
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1 boned, tied beef chuck roast (3 ½ to 4 lbs.) rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt
2 TBS olive oil

Bring 3 cups beef broth to a boil. Put chilies in a blender and pour boiling broth over them.  Let stand, mixing occasionally, until chilies are limp, about 10 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and oregano and whirl until very smooth.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325F. Sprinkle beef all over with salt and pepper. Pour oil into a large heavy pot (not extremely wide) over medium-high heat. When hot, add roast and cook, turning as needed to brown all over, about 10 minutes total. Pour chile mixture over meat and add enough beef broth to come a third to half of the way up roast. Bring to a boil, cover pot, and transfer to oven.
Bake until beef is very tender when pierced, about 3 ½ hours, turning once. Transfer roast to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, remove string and pull meat into bite-size chunks, or shred as desired. Discard excess fat.
Meanwhile, skim fat from chile sauce in pot. Boil sauce over high heat, stirring often, until reduced to about 4 cups. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return beef to sauce and simmer until heated through. Serve in tortillas as burros or tacos, or in a bowl topped with cotija cheese and diced avocado. Serves 6. Takes about 5 hours from start to finish.

*I buy these in a bag at Food City. They are usually located with the other bagged spices, not in the spice aisle, closer to the produce section.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Energy Bars

I'm so thrilled you gals like the Incredible Granola!! We love it ourselves.

Garret and I started making these Energy Bars a few months ago. Garret would take Clif Bars to work with him in case he couldn't get a normal lunch - which often happens. He can eat a couple and be fine until dinner. But, he was getting a bit tired of the cardboard-y taste. Clif Bars are great once in a while, but if you have to eat them day-after-day, it can get a bit old.

So I tried this recipe for Energy Bars, which also comes from the Make-A-Mix cookbook. MUCH tastier! I'm certain they have more sugar than the purchased kind, but we don't really feel like sugar is a 4-letter word at our house. We're pretty much "moderation-in-all-things" kind of people.

Oh, and, for those who aren't fond of peanut butter, these are not over-powered by the peanut butter flavor. Give it a try and see what you think.

Energy Bars

1/2 C. dark brown sugar

1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/2 C. peanut butter
3-1/2 C. Cori's Incredible Granola
1/2 C. peanuts

Grease a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter until smooth. Stir in Granola and peanuts until coated. Press into prepared pan. Cool to room temperature. Cut into bars.

Note: Original recipe suggests cutting these into 1" x 3" bars to make 27 servings. We like to cut them bigger so they can fill in for a meal, if necessary. We get 12 bars per batch.

We've added chopped, dried fruit and mini chocolate chips to these with great success. If adding chocolate, it helps to let the bars cool a bit and then press chocolate chips into the top so the chocolate doesn't just melt away.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cori's Incredible Granola

This is my adaptation from the Granola recipe in the Make-A-Mix cookbook. One of my favorite things about this is how easy it is to adapt it to suit your own tastes. It also lends itself well to halving the recipe for smaller families.

Cori's Incredible Granola

10 C. old-fashioned oats (we now use the 5 Grain Cereal Mix from Winco's bulk - yum!)
1 C. sunflower seeds
1 C. pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 C. sesame seeds
1/2 C. wheat germ
1/2 C. flax seed meal
1/2 lb. shredded coconut
3 C. walnuts, pecans, almonds, or combo (I use 1 C. sliced almonds and 2 C. walnut pieces)
1 1/2 C. brown sugar

1 C. water
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. molasses
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon (sometimes I use other spices like Homemade Apple Pie Spice)
3 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300ยบ. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Heat on medium low until sugar is dissolved, but do not boil. Meanwhile, in a very large bowl, combine oats, 
seeds, wheat germ, flax seed meal, coconut, and nuts. Blend well. Pour prepared syrup over dry ingredients and stir until well-coated. Spread onto at least two jelly roll pans lined with parchment paper. Bake 30 minutes, stirring after fifteen minutes (this creates a soft-textured granola; if you like it crunchier, bake an additional 15 minutes). Keeps up to 6 months in an airtight container.

Cori Gillespie (adapted from Make-A-Mix)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Amalie's Amazing Orzo Salad

Okay, so I was going to wait patiently for Amalie to post this lunch bunch favorite but when I went to print it from my email I realized my printer is out of ink (ugh!) so I am going to post it here so that I can view it nice and easily from my iPad while I make it! (so much easier!) So please Amalie, make any edits as needed! :)

1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup* 
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces**
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts***
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.

Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.

*(I actually omitted this 1/4 cup and it was still really good).
**You can find this in the organic produce section of your grocery store or next to the bagged salads / spinach. 
***I used way less than 1/4 cup since pine nuts are expensive. I used approx. 1 TBSP. To roast the pine nuts, put them in a pan on the oven (without oil) on low-medium heat for a few minutes, string frequently. Watch them closely so they don't burn. 
*If you only use 2 tsp. olive oil, this recipe is 6 WW points+ per cup. I can't really tell a difference by cutting the olive oil - it's still really good.

Recipe compliments of Giada De Laurentiis.

Amalie - your turn!

ummm.... why is Amalie's Amazing Orzo Salad not on this website! We are going to have it today at girls lunch (because it has been at least 2 months since we've had it!) and now I have to search my email inbox. lame.


Friday, February 21, 2014

5 minute salted caramel apple dip

5 Minute Salted Caramel Apple Dip 

4-6 Tbs unsalted butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 package of softened cream cheese. {8 oz}
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

what to do:

melt  the butter and sugar in the microwave together for 2 min covered, stirring half-way.
mix in cream cheese until its all melted and combined, may even need an electric mixer to be sure it's completely smooth.  add vanilla and salt (or omit the salt if you use salted butter).
done and done. best with green apples, but any will do.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Double Chocolate Baby Lava Cakes

3/4 C. Butter
1 C. Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1 recipe praline sauce (recipe follows)
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. flour
3 T. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/3 C. pecan halves - chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease and flour six 1 - 1 1/4 Cup souffles dishes or 6 - 10 oz custard cups. Place dishes in a shallow baking pan an set pan aside. In a heavy small saucepan melt butter and semisweet chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. Meanwhile, prepare praline sauce; cover and keep warm until needed. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until thick and lemon colored. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture on medium speed. Sift flour and cocoa over chocolate mixture; beat on low until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared dishes. Bake 10 minutes. Pull cakes from oven. Using a table knife, puncture the top of each cake and gently enlarge to make a dime sized hole. Slowly spoon about 1 Tablespoon of praline sauce into each cake. Return to oven. Bake 5 minutes more or until the cake edges feel firm. Cool in dished on a wire rack for 3 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife and slip out onto dessert plates. Stir the pecans into the praline sauce and spoon sauce onto cakes. Serve immediately.

Praline Sauce:

1/2 C. Sugar
1/3 C. Packed Brown Sugar
2 T. Dark Corn Syrup
1/2 C. Whipping Cream

In a heavy medium-sized sauce pan combine the sugars and corn syrup. Stir in the whipping cream. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture boils - stirring constantly. Reduce the heat, cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thick. Stir occasionally.