SRC: Steak and Guinness Pie

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There's a fifth Monday this month! So what does that mean? Another themed event for the Secret Recipe Club! Since we're just a few weeks away from St. Patrick's Day and Easter, the theme of this reveal is Leprechauns and Bunnies.

I opted to go on the Leprechaun side of things and make a steak and Guinness pie from my assigned blog, Dessert Before Dinner. Dessert Before Dinner is written by Stephanie. Stephanie and I have a lot in common, like living on the east coast, having cat(s) that are cute assholes, liking cheese and making Asian foods, and hating cold weather.

There are a ton of recipes that didn't fall into the Leprechauns and Bunnies theme that I wanted to make, but alas, I'll save those for another day. I finally managed to narrow it down to Steak and Guinness Pie and Orange Creamsicle Panna Cotta. The pie very obviously falls under the Leprechaun aspect of the theme and Stephanie even has a Holiday recipe section on her blog. The panna cotta doesn't cream bunnies or even Easter, but citrus reminds me of spring and I'm desperate for warmer weather. But despite my overwhelming desire to make panna cotta, I decided to save it for another day (coming soon!) and embrace the leprechaun and make Steak and Guinness Pie.



Steak and Guinness Pie
Source: Dessert Before Dinner
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
    • 2 lb. chuck roast
    • 1/4 cup flour 
    • 1 tsp. salt 
    • 1 tsp. pepper 
    • 4-6 tbsp. butter
    • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
    • 2 celery stalks, diced
    • 2 parsnips, diced
    • 1 white onion, diced
    • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 bottle Guinness beer
    • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1 box puff pastry, thawed
    • 1 cups sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 egg
Directions:
1. Cut the chuck roast into bite sized cubes.
2. Heat a Dutch Oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan with lid over medium-high heat and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
3. In a shallow dish, stir together the flour, salt and pepper.
4. Dredge the beef cubes through the flour, shaking off any excess and place into the hot pan. Work in batches to not crowd the pan. Brown on all sides, then transfer to a plate.
5. Repeat with remaining batches of beef, adding more butter as needed.
6. Add another pat of butter to the pan, along with the carrots, celery, parsnips and onions. Stir frequently, cooking until softened, then add in the mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook for 3 more minutes.
7. De-glaze the pan by pouring in the beef broth and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour in the Guinness and return the beef to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, or until the beef is fork tender.
8. Add more beef stock if the mixture is too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted.
9. Once the beef is tender, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
10. Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is long enough to cover a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or pie plate with some overhang. Cut a slit into the puff pastry and bake for 8 minutes.
11. Transfer the beef stew into the skillet or pie plate. Top with the other sheet of puff pastry, crimping around the edges as needed.
12. Beat the egg with 2 tbsp. water and brush over the top of the puff pastry. Bake for 40 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.



My Irish ancestors would frown at me but I'm not a huge fan of dark beers, like Guinness. However, the beer flavor isn't prevalent in this dish; just serving to make it more savory and delicious. While you'd have to change the name, you could easily use a lighter beer or skip the beer all together and only use beef stock if that was your preference.


Sweet Tea Brined Chicken with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

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Last week was the Improv Challenge for February and I had grand plans of getting this recipe made and blogged in time to participate. Like January, I fell short. So far my plan for participating in blogging events this year is really not going as I had intended.

Better luck next month!

I've seen quite a few recipes where people have brined chicken in sweet tea but I was always hesitant to do it because Tom doesn't like tea and I was worried the flavors of the tea would be too strong in the chicken.



Sweet Tea Brined Chicken with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 2
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Ingredients:
    • 2 cups sweet tea
    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
    • 1 tsp. olive oil 
    • 2 slices orange or lemon
    • 2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves
    • salt and pepper 
    • honey mustard sauce (like Tessemae's)
Directions:
1. Pour the tea into a sealable bag and place the chicken inside. Place in a bowl in case of leaks and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 400. Discard the chicken from the tea marinade.
3. Heat the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place in the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, just until there is a light sear on both sides.
4. Add the orange or lemon slices and the basil to the skillet and transfer to the oven, baking for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
5. Slice and serve with a honey mustard sauce.



I know most tea brines actually use tea bags vs. prepared sweet tea but I had already purchased the tea and figured I might as well try it out. The flavor wasn't discernible at all, but the chicken was really juicy. 

Whiskey Meatballs

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I have this annoying little habit of going completely overboard on holidays and for parties that I host. It's not enough for me to create a simple menu with a few ingredients. Nope. I need to go all out, finding recipes that end up taking twice as long as I thought they would and end up leaving me in the kitchen hours (or sometimes minutes) before people arrive and I'm not even ready yet.

This has happened on more than one occasion and one of these days I'm really going to create a menu that doesn't require as much prep work. (I actually did pretty well last Thanksgiving, but then managed to exhaust and stress myself out for Christmas, the holiday party I held for friends and then another party after that.)

I'm obviously an overachiever when it comes to recipe making. It's because I love feeding people. Seriously, nothing makes me happier than a room full of people eating my food.

But because I recognize this about myself, I'm not above finding recipes with little prep time or pre-made ingredients. Of course I'd rather make it all from scratch but I also like to sit and relax sometimes, so pre-made ingredients win out on occasion.



Whiskey Meatballs
Source: My Homemade Life
Servings: 6-8 as appetizers
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Ingredients:
    • 1 lb. frozen meatballs 
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup whiskey
    • 1 tsp. lemon juice
    • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Directions:
1. Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, whiskey, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl.
2. Dump the bag of frozen meatballs into a 4 quart crock pot and pour the sauce on top, stir to make sure all of the meatballs are coated.
3. Cook on high for an hour, then reduce to low or keep warm until ready to serve.

For the party where I served these, I also had a chicken meatball that I had made entirely from scratch. These whiskey meatballs were gobbled up just as quickly as the chicken ones, proving to me that it really is okay to use shortcuts here and there.

Now, if I can just remember that come Easter...

Broiled Mussels

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Mussels are one of the seafood varieties that I have mixed feelings about. I like them, but I don't really have the confidence in preparing them to serve them at home very often. I know it's not all that difficult, but something about those closed shells makes me a little wary.

Of course, in this area, they're one of the cheapest seafood options around. I can buy a two-pound bag for around $6. Six dollars in other seafood might yield me three shrimp, a chunk of crabmeat the size of your thumb and two scallops. Not exactly enough to make a meal for two.

Getting tired of eating the same thing over and over again, I decided to bite the bullet and pick up one of those bags of mussels on ice that always called to me from the seafood area of Wegman's.



Broiled Mussels
Source: Smitten Kitchen
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
    • 2 lbs. mussels
    • 1 cup white wine
    • 4 tbsp. butter, softened
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1/4 tsp. salt 
Directions:
1. Fill a large bowl with very cold water and place the mussels inside. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to scoop them out onto a large baking sheet.
2. Discard any mussels with cracked or chipped shells.  If the beard of the mussel still remains, pull it off, pulling toward the hinge of the mussel.
3. Fill a large saucepan (I used my Dutch Oven) with the wine and bring it to a boil. Use the slotted spoon to transfer all of the mussels into the saucepan then cover.
4. Shake the pan to stir around the mussels every minute or two. Start checking for opened shells after 3 minutes, but it can take up to 6 minutes before they open. After 6 minutes, remove them from the heat and allow them to cool.
5. Meanwhile, mash together the butter, parsley, garlic, smoked paprika and salt together in a bowl until combined.
6. Pull apart the mussel shells, placing the shell with the mussel on a large baking sheet. Discard the other half of the shell. Also discard any mussels that did not open. Repeat with all remaining mussels.
7. Place a dollop of the butter mixture on top of each mussel and then refrigerate until the butter hardens. (If making in advance, complete up to this step and then you can refrigerate overnight)
8. To serve, preheat the oven to 500 or broil. Cook (or broil) for 2-4 minutes until the butter is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  • If you can't purchase mussels the same day you plan to cook them, put them in a bowl of ice in the fridge for up to 3 days, changing the ice daily. 
  • Soaking the mussels in cold water gets them to expel their sand. Scooping out of the water wit a slotted spoon allows the sand any other sediment to fall to the bottom of the bowl, not get stuck to the mussel again. 
  • Any mussels with cracked or chipped shells need to be discarded immediately. Same goes for any that have already opened before the steaming process. 
  • Pulling the beard off the mussel in the opposite direction of the hinge can kill the mussel. Always pull toward the hinge. It does require a good yank! 


These were so good! The most common way to serve mussels is in a wine sauce with bread, so if you saved the wine that your steamed them in, you could easily warm it back up and serve these along with slices of crusty bread.


What's Baking: Brown Butter and Bourbon Maple-Glazed Doughnuts

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The theme for What's Baking this month is doughnuts. Back when baking doughnuts was all of the baking rage, I went out and bought myself a doughnut pan...and then it mainly collected dust because I rarely made them. Oops?

I started looking at doughnut recipes right away, wanting my come-back doughnut recipe to be different and delicious. I had a few contenders but then I happened to watch an episode of Brunch with Bobby and all the other options flew right out the window.

Brown Butter and Bourbon Maple-Glazed Doughnuts. First, you can never, ever go wrong with the light nutty flavor that comes from browned butter. Maple is a pretty classic glaze on doughnuts. But then you add in some bourbon? And top it with chopped pecans? How exactly does one say no to this doughnut?

I dough-nut understand. 



...Sorry. That was lame. 



Browned Butter and Bourbon Maple-Glazed Doughnuts
Source: Bobby Flay
Servings: 12

Ingredients:
for the doughnuts:
    • 1 stick unsalted butter
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup buttermilk
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
for the glaze:
    • 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp. bourbon
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a doughnut pan. 
2. Put the stick of butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, swirling occasionally until melted and golden brown. Transfer to a measuring cup and set aside. 
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the glour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. 
4. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth, then whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add in 1/4 cup of the melted butter. 
5. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag and carefully fill each hole of the doughnut pan 3/4 of the way full or spoon in carefully. Tap the doughnut pan on the counter a few times to get the batter to settle evenly. 
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and finish cooling on the rack. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have 12 doughnuts. 
7. Prepare the glaze by returning the remaining browned butter to a small saucepan and adding the maple syrup. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the bourbon and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. 
8. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place the wire rack of cooled doughnuts on top. Drizzle the glaze over the doughnuts and immediately sprinkle with the chopped, toasted pecans. Serve immediately. 



Umm, yeah. You're going to need to make these right away. I managed to only eat one before packaging them up and taking them into my coworkers. They were devoured in less than hour. 
Sweet, nutty and bourbon-y. Really a great trio of flavors! 

The host for What's Baking this month is Kate of Kate's Recipe Box. Check out her blog next week for a round-up of all the doughnuts and the rest of her great recipes. Thanks for hosting, Kate! 




#FoodBloggerLove: Cake Batter Coconut Ice Cream

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Today I'm participating in a blogging event called #FoodBloggerLove. It was created by Allison, Jess and Sharon, the awesome ladies behind the PinterTest Kitchen. Around twenty bloggers are participating and everyone was assigned a different blog. The purpose behind #FoodBloggerLove is to show some love to the blogger you received, all while keeping it secret until today.



The event is also raising money for No Kid Hungry, a mission to end childhood hunger. Currently, food bloggers and readers are encouraged to hold bake sales to raise money and awareness. Please donate if you can.

The blogger I was assigned to for this event is Farrah of Fairyburger.  Farrah is in her last year of med school and has probably done more in those four years than most people do in a decade. Seriously, the girl has some incredible motivation and energy. She's incapable of dropping a hobby when picking up a new one and keeps her schedule so busy with school, hobbies and everything else that I'm beginning to wonder if she's not actually a secret scientist who has created clones of herself. Which, if that's true....we need to talk. I could totally keep a second me at home to get stuff done while the other me is at work. ;)

Anyway, I've learned that Farrah and I share the ability to consume large quantities of sushi in one sitting, can entirely lose track of how many Reeses Pieces have been popped into our mouths and also have a thing for cake batter flavor. Which is what lead me to this recipe today.

Farrah maintains a pretty healthy diet, while on an extremely limited budget (seriously, if she ever gets any free time she should start offering food budgeting lessons) but does like to splurge on treats here and there. Our shared love of cake batter is what led me to create this recipe.


If you've ever had cake batter flavored ice cream from Coldstone, you know how delicious it is. But you also likely know that eating more than a few of them tends to lead to things like wrapping a hair tie around the button of your jeans to keep them up because they no longer can button on their own. Using coconut milk solids as the base for the ice cream instead of heavy cream, eggs and sugar, sugar sugar sure cuts down on a the calories but still lets you feel like you're indulging.



Cake Batter Coconut Ice Cream
Adapted from: Nerdy Momma
Servings: 3 cups
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Ingredients:
4 cans full-fat coconut milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup boxed yellow cake mix powder
1/8 cup sprinkles

Directions:
1. Scoop out the solids from each can of coconut milk, trying to leave as much of the liquid separated as possible. (Save the liquid for another use, like adding to smoothies)
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the coconut milk solids, powdered sugar and cake mix powder, mixing until combined and smooth. Add the sprinkles and stir until fully incorporated.
3. Transfer to a container with a lid and freeze for at least 2 hours. Scoop out and serve!




If you think you're not a fan of coconut milk ice cream, I'm fairly certain that this will be the flavor to change your mind. And I hope that you'll check out Farrah's blog to see all her great recipes for yourself. You can find her on social media here:


What's a blogging event without a giveaway? #FoodBloggerLove is giving away a Kindle Fire. Want to win? Enter below! 

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SRC: Chinese Pork BBQ {Cha Shao}

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February already? When did that happen? I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by!

For the Secret Recipe Club this month I was assigned to Morsels of Life which is written by CJ. There are a ton of recipes on the blog that I wanted to try, but I was eventually able to narrow it down to something that had been on my to-make list forever; Chinese Pork BBQ also known as Cha Shao or Char Siu. In my world, you can absolutely never go wrong with marinated pork.

I've found that once I go through someones recipes and read a little about their blog, its very helpful to go stalk to their Pinterest page.Which is where I found that CJ and I love the same colors, enjoy functional storage and like enormous bookcases. She also has some of the most gorgeous destinations posted, ones you'd likely find on a postcard somewhere and wonder if it was a painting because no way could some place on earth be that stunning.



Chinese Pork BBQ
Source: Morsels of Life
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup honey 
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tbsp. ginger, grated
    • 2 tsp. sesame oil
    • 1 tsp. Chinese five spice
    • 2 lbs. pork loin, sliced 
    • red food coloring, optional 
Directions:
1. In a medium bowl whisk together the hoisin, soy, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, Chinese five spice and red food coloring (if using).
2. Pour into a sealable bag and place the pork inside. Toss to coat and refrigerate, allowing to marinate overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x11 baking dish with non-stick spray. Add the pork with the sauce and roast for 35-45 minutes.
4. Toss the pieces of pork and roast for another 30 minutes or until the ends are slightly burnt. Serve immediately.

Like CJ, I was so excited to make this that I forgot to add in the red food coloring. Chinese Pork BBQ is known for its red coloring which either comes from food coloring or from a red pepper paste. Next time I make this I'll be sure to get it that signature red color.



I intended to serve this with rice and broccoli but we were both so hungry we ended up just eat slice after slice of pork from the roasting dish until it was all gone. I'm sure that says more than enough about this recipe! 

#FreshTastyValentines: Strawberry Basil Mojito and Valentine's Poached Pear Salad

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This is my final #FreshTastyValentines recipe. I'm sad to say that the event ends tomorrow! If you haven't entered yet, you're really running out of time to enter the giveaway. (You can enter at the bottom of this post) I had a great time participating in this event, creating recipes and using all of the amazing products that were provided by our sponsors.


Strawberries are a pretty common item on Valentine's Day and I was thrilled to find good looking ones at the grocery store so I could use the strawberry tool KitchenIQ provided. I knew right away I wanted to make a drink recipe and thought that basil, which I have a plentiful plant of, could make a great substitution for mint in a mojito recipe! 


Strawberry Basil Mojito
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 2
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Ingredients:
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves + 3 additional leaves
    • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
    • 1/3 cup white rum
    • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
    • club soda
    • crushed ice
    • additional strawberries and basil leaves for garnish
Directions:
1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved, then reduce the heat to low and add in 1/3 cup basil leaves. Allow to steep for 3 minutes before discarding basil. Allow simple syrup to cool.
2. In a small bowl, muddle the strawberries with the simple syrup and remaining 3 basil leaves. Add in the lime juice and rum and stir.
3. Divide between two glasses filled with crushed ice and top with club soda. Add additional strawberries and basil leaves for garnish.



I may have not told Tom that I made these mojitos and enjoyed both of them myself. Oops?

-\-

Typically (at least in my world) Valentine's day meals come with multiple courses, one usually being a salad. When I received Dining at the Ravens, I couldn't pass up sharing a salad recipe with you, especially since it had "Valentine" in the title!






Valentine's Poached Pear Salad
Adapted from: Dining at the Ravens, BenBella Books
Servings: 2
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Ingredients:
for the pears:
    • 2 Bosc pears, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2-3 whole cloves
    • 1 1/2 cups red wine, such as Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Pinor Noir
    • 1/4 cup agave syrup
    • zest and juice of 1 lemon
for the dressing:
    • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
    • pinch of salt and pepper
    • 2 cups baby arugula 
    • 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced
Directions:
1. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the seeds of the pears.
2. Place the pears, cinnamon stick, cloves, wine, syrup, zest and lemon juice into a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until boiling.
3. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 25 minutes or until the pears are fork tender, basting occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper until fully combined. Right before you're ready to serve, toss the arugula and strawberries into the dressing.
5. Divide the arugula mixture between two plates. Place 2 halves of each pear on a plate and drizzle with the remaining basting liquid. Serve immediately.



Poached pears are one of my new favorite things. I love the flavor that you can infuse into them and they make a perfect sweet addition to any salad or served alone as dessert! 

This recipe is shared with you as part of #FreshTastyValentines, a group of 22 amazing food bloggers, led by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, who are posting recipes that we hope will inspire you to make some healthy valentine treats for your loved ones.

These recipes feature products from KitchenIQ, Casabella, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and BenBella Books.



KitchenIQ is the new houseware branch of Smith’s Consumer Products, Inc. and embraces their long-standing reputation for innovation and quality, reflecting their commitment to producing smarter products for the kitchen. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: KitchenIQ's Strawberry Tool and Better Zester.







Casabella grew out of the idea that housewares and cleaning products could be great looking, fun and functional simultaneously. And, to that end, they strive to deliver products that are attractive, intuitive and functional. Additionally, all of their products are designed and assembled in America. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: Casabella's Clip n StripShears and a Garlic Roaster.






Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi began over thirty years ago, when Robert Mondavi had a goal of getting great California wine on every table in America. In 1979 he established the Woodbridge Winery near his childhood home of Lodi, California to make fruit-focused wines for everyday drinking. They are providing a prize package for the raffle. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive two bottles of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wine - one bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and one bottle of Pinot Noir. Cheers!




BenBella Vegan is a division of BenBella Books, a boutique book publisher located in Texas. BenBella Vegan has published over twenty plant-based books and cookbooks in the past decade.
They are providing a prize package that includes five different cookbooks from their 2015 publishing releases! One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive a print copy of the following cookbooks: The Plant-Based Journey, Dining at The Ravens, Plant-Powered Families, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, and The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a strawberry huller and better zester from KitchenIQ, Clip 'N Strip Shears from Casabella, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines from Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and the Dining at the Ravens cookbook from Benbella Books as part of participating in #FreshTastyValentines in exchange for sharing a recipe. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. 

#freshTastyValentines: Filet Mignon with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

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Steak and Valentine's Day are two words that go hand in hand. I couldn't pass up making a steak recipe for you to share as part of #FreshTastyValentines. Since the purpose is healthier choices, I decided to go with a Paleo version of the cream sauce for this recipe.

A traditional cream sauce would include around a cup of heavy whipping cream which is really high in fat and calories. That can easily be replaced with coconut milk solids to cut down the calories significantly. 


Roasted garlic is one of the best smells and tastes in the world. At least, in my opinion. But it takes a while to do, so if you're already planning on splurging for your valentine, what's a little more time to create some amazing flavor? This recipe is really best with filet mignon because its the tenderest of steaks. 


Casabella grew out of the idea that housewares and cleaning products could be great looking, fun and functional simultaneously. And, to that end, they strive to deliver products that are attractive, intuitive and functional. Additionally, all of their products are designed and assembled in America. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: Casabella's Clip n StripShears and a Garlic Roaster.





Filet Mignon with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce 
Inspired by: Primal Palate
Servings: 2
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Ingredients:
    for the cream sauce:
    • 1 head garlic
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 1 cup chicken stock 
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk solids
    • 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder (cornstarch if not paleo)
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    for the steak:
    • 2 filet mignons, about 1 1/2 inches thick
    • 2 tbsp. black peppercorns, crushed
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions:
for the cream sauce:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Peel off the outer layers of a head of garlic and slice off the bottom to expose the garlic cloves.
3. Place inside of your garlic roaster. (Or on a sheet of foil) and drizzle with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet.
4. Roast for 45 minutes in the oven, then remove and allow to cool until you're able to handle it.
5. Remove from the foil or garlic roaster and squeeze the cloves out from their skin.
6. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the chicken stock and coconut milk solids (open a can of coconut milk and separate the solids from the liquid) until smooth.
7. Add in the roasted garlic and arrowroot flour and whisk until thickened. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Transfer the mixture to a blender covered with a towel (to allow the steam to escape) and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
for the steaks:
1. Place the steaks on a plate and allow to come up to room temperature for 20 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
2. Season both sides of the filet with salt and pepper.
3. Add the olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. Place the steaks in the skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side. Don't move the steaks until you are ready to flip them or they will not get an even sear.
4. Add the butter and thyme to the skillet and spoon the butter over the steak.
5. Transfer to the oven and cook for 5-6 minutes for medium rare (6-7 minutes for medium) then transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
6. Once the steaks have rested, plate and serve with garlic cream sauce on top or on the side.


This recipe is shared with you as part of #FreshTastyValentines, a group of 22 amazing food bloggers, led by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, who are posting recipes that we hope will inspire you to make some healthy valentine treats for your loved ones.



Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Find Casabella:
on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here

Disclaimer: I received a Garlic Roaster and Clip 'N Strip Shears from Casabella  as part of participating in #FreshTastyValentines in exchange for sharing a recipe. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

#FreshTastyValentine: Scallops with White Wine Sauce

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Wine, seafood, steak and strawberries are the first foods that come to mind when I think about popular Valentine's Day ingredients. Steak and seafood are pricier ingredients and strawberries aren't in season so restaurants can easily mark up these items on a holiday known for romance and splurging. If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you know how high they can mark up alcohol, sometimes as much as 80%! 

To be honest, I'd rather splurge on ingredients and make a great dinner at home. Okay, maybe that's not entirely true. I'd rather have someone else cook it for me, but since Tom is not a fan of cooking, it's definitely more preferable for me to make us dinner than to go out. 

But you don't need to splurge on every ingredient. A fancy looking meal can almost always be made with fairly affordable ingredients. In the case of this recipe I was very lucky that I was able to use scallops we had gotten for a great price.



One of the first wines I ever tried (and actually liked) was made by Robert Mondavi. In the past year or so, my wine tastes have finally evolved enough to prefer a less sweet wine like a Sauvignon Blanc, so I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was to find out that we were going to be receiving a bottle as part of #FreshTastyValentines and it surely doesn't hurt that the Woodbridge wines are very affordable. In my area they go for $10-15 a bottle. 




Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi began over thirty years ago, when Robert Mondavi had a goal of getting great California wine on every table in America. In 1979 he established the Woodbridge Winery near his childhood home of Lodi, California to make fruit-focused wines for everyday drinking. They are providing a prize package for the raffle. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive two bottles of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wine - one bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and one bottle of Pinot Noir. Cheers!



Scallops with White Wine Sauce
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 2
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Ingredients:
    • 10 sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
    • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
    • 1 large garlic clove
    • 1/4 cup Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
    • salt and pepper
Directions:
1. Melt 1 1/2 tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper and place into the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden.
2. Transfer the scallops to a plate and keep warm.
3. Add the remaining butter, the garlic, wine, parsley and lemon juice to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until slightly thickened. Return the scallops to the pan for 1 minute or until heated through. Serve immediately.

I served the scallops with linguine pasta and sauteed green beans.



This recipe is shared with you as part of #FreshTastyValentines, a group of 22 amazing food bloggers, led by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, who are posting recipes that we hope will inspire you to make some healthy valentine treats for your loved ones.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines from Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi as part of participating in #FreshTastyValentines in exchange for sharing a recipe. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. 

Find Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi on Facebook: here



#FreshTastyValentines: Heart Shaped Apple Hand Pies

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Valentine's Day is only ten days away! How did that happen!? When one thinks of Valentine's day there are certain foods that always pop into mind, particularly like those heart shaped chalky candies or simply chocolate. But there are so many more options than that, especially healthier ones. Like apples, made into hand pies to help out with portion control! 


Is it just me or have the apples in the grocery stores looked pitiful lately? Even at my local farmers market and Wegman's, the two places I can always expect to find good produce, I have been less than impressed. Maybe it's just a bad late season for apples? I dunno.



But then I received these flawless (I'm not even joking, they are flawless) apples from Envy Apples as part of the #freshTastyValentines. They are so pretty I had a hard time convincing myself to eat them!

Envy Apples were born in New Zealand using natural plant-breeding methods by cross-pollinating Braeburn apples with Royal Gala apples. They have since planted trees in Washington state and Chile.




Envy apples has the right motto - "When you're this good, they call you envy." With that in mind, I got over thinking they were too pretty to eat and came up with a recipe that only used one apple so I could take the other two for lunch.




Heart Shaped Apple Hand Pies
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 10-12
Printer Friendly

Ingredients:
    • 1 box (2 rolls) refrigerated pie dough, thawed
    • 1 medium Gala or Braeburn apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (Envy apples, if you can find them)
    • 3 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • egg wash
    • sanding sugar/sugar in the raw/turbinado sugar
    • * heart shaped cookie cutter
Directions:
1. Roll out the pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and use the heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out an even amount of hearts. (The quantity of hearts will depend on the size of the cookie cutter.)
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.v
3. Combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a medium bowl and toss to coat.
4. Place 1/2 tablespoon of apple filling onto the center of each dough heart. Brush a little bit of egg wash around the edges of the bottom dough heart.
5. Place the other dough heart on top and crimp edges with a fork. Poke the top with a fork 2-3 times to allow steam to escape. Repeat with remaining dough hearts.
6. Brush the egg wash on top of each heart shaped hand pie and then sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

You can't tell me these aren't adorable!



This recipe is shared with you as part of #FreshTastyValentines, a group of 22 amazing food bloggers, led by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, who are posting recipes that we hope will inspire you to make some healthy valentine treats for your loved ones.


Don't forget about the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received Envy Apples as part of participating in #FreshTastyValentines in exchange for sharing a recipe. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. 


Find Envy Apples Here:


#FreshTastyValentine: Pot Roast with Garlic Parsley Mashed Potatoes

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Crock pot recipes are so convenient, wouldn't you agree? I absolutely love that I can throw some ingredients into the pot, turn it on low and come home to dinner. It really doesn't get much easier than that. Even though my work schedule is no longer as hectic as it used to be, I still love those days when I have a crock pot meal scheduled and dinner requires very little (if any!) preparation on my part when I get home.


Speaking of convenience, have you seen the tubes of herbs in your grocery store? They're located right next to the fresh herbs at my store. In case you hadn't noticed, these are made by Gourmet Garden and are a total lifesaver at times.



I don't know about you, but I frequently buy fresh herbs (and even grow them) and I never end up using all of them before they go bad. Gourmet Garden has totally fixed this. If you're just planning on throwing those herbs into a dish and continuing to cook it, there is no reason why you can't use the herbs in tubes. If you're looking for something fresher, they also now offer these cute little cups of lightly dried herbs that last for up to 4 weeks once open. Tell me the last bunch of parsley you bought that didn't turn limp and brown within 10 days. ...Exactly.



Pot Roast with Garlic Parsley Mashed Potatoes
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 8-10
Printer Friendly

Ingredients:
for the roast: 
for the mashed potatoes:
Directions:
1. Pour the beef broth into a 6 quart slow cooker. Arrange the onions, carrots and celery on the bottom.
2. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and parsley over the roast. Rub the garlic in. Place the roast into the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred with 2 forks.
3. If making sauce, remove 1 cup of the broth from the slow cooker and add to a small saucepan. Whisk in the cornstarch over until combine. Heat over medium low heat, stirring frequently until the mixture has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Prepare the potatoes by microwaving according to package directions. Slice bag open and pour potatoes into a bowl. Add milk, butter and garlic and mashed until smooth.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle parsley on top.
6. Plate potatoes, followed by pot roast and vegetables and top with gravy, if using.

Pot roast is one of my favorite winter recipes since it's hearty and warm and one of the best comfort foods.

Since receiving the products from Gourmet Garden, I am completely out of the stir in garlic and chunky garlic paste and have made a huge dent in most of the other flavors received. My local grocery store just expanded their collection (they used to just carry parsley, garlic and dill) so I love that I can easily replace these once my current ones are gone.


Gourmet Garden loves herbs and spices and strives to make everyday cooking easier and more enjoyable. Their herbs and spices are washed, chopped and prepped within 18 hours of harvesting through patented processes that seal in the natural essential oils to maximize the fresh flavor and aroma of the herbs. They are providing one #FreshTastyValentines winner with each of their stir-in pastes (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, dill, Italian herbs, garlic, chunky garlic, ginger, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, and Thai seasonings), each of their lightly dried herbs (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, ginger, and parsley), and two Gourmet Garden logo coolers.






This recipe is shared with you as part of #FreshTastyValentines, a group of 22 amazing food bloggers, led by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, who are posting recipes that we hope will inspire you to make some healthy valentine treats for your loved ones.

Don't forget about the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received Gourmet Gardens Stir in Paste and Lightly Dried herbs as part of participating in #FreshTastyValentines in exchange for sharing a recipe. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. 

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