Thursday, January 26, 2017

No-Peek Beef Tips

It astonishes me that it took me this long to finally post this here. It's easy, it's delicious, and I always have to scroll wayyyyy down to the bottom of my recipes Pinterest board because I Pinned it so long ago. I got this from Mommy's Kitchen and I love it.

No-Peek Beef Tips
from here

2 lb. beef stew meat
a 10.5-oz can of cream of mushroom soup
packet of brown gravy mix
packet of Lipton onion soup mix
1 cup water
4 oz mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 300F. Put the meat in a 9x13 pan. Mix the rest in a bowl, pour over the meat, and stir to coat. Cover tightly with foil and bake 2 1/2 hours.

Yeah, it's really that easy. I like to serve it over doctored-up packet mashed potatoes. (Get the regular kind, add a bunch of Parmesan and garlic powder once you've mixed in the potato powder. Yum!)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

All the Frozen Burritos

I saw one of those gif-recipes (where they show you all the steps with text over top of it to show you amounts and ingredients) for making your own burritos to freeze, and how to reheat them. So I decided we needed a freezer full of burritos.

This took TIME. I should have been patient and waited until the weekend, but I wanted burritos for dinner last night so I did it all together. And Birk helped.

Obviously, the ingredients are interchangeable, but this is what I did. (And we had lots of other great ideas, but we'll try more things next batch.)

two onions
two green bell peppers
two avocados
twenty tortillas (medium size?)
shredded cheese
mushrooms (a large box of them)
four eggs (should have made more)
two potatoes
leftover white beans

The order doesn't really matter, but I cooked everything separately. I made the bacon in the oven (400F; 20 minutes) first, while I cleaned up the kitchen and prepped the potatoes. Then I tossed the potatoes in a little bit of oil and I put them in the oven. (Small dice; 375F; about 35 minutes.)

I made the onions, peppers, and mushrooms all the same way, but separately (same pan, but one at a time): dice, saute in a little bit of butter, salt and pepper.

I reheated the beans in the microwave, and sliced the avocados.

Once all the veggies were done being sauteed, I used the same pan to scramble a few eggs.

After we made/ate burritos from all that for dinner, we put together a bunch of different combinations. Eggs, potato, or beans were the base for all of them (except the last one, which used up the last of the avocado, onion, and bacon, since we ran out of everything else already).

The gif-recipe said to roll them in parchment paper and label them, then put a bunch in a big Ziploc bag and put them in the freezer. Well, one oversight on my part: we don't have big Ziploc bags, only sandwich-size. So I used cling-wrap instead, and crossed my fingers that it worked just as well. (This remains to be seen.)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Beans & Rice Saga: Korean-ish

Here's attempt number two at beans and rice. I figured, the most appealing thing of my favorite meal (bulgogi/bibimbap) is the sauce... I could basically put that on anything and make it delicious. So it needed to go into our beans and rice.

For the first attempt, I cooked a pound of white beans so we had quite a few beans in the freezer, so this was also the first attempt at using the beans after they were frozen.

The beans: frozen white northern beans
The rice: white medium grain enriched rice
The add-ins: mushrooms sauteed in garlic, green onions
The seasonings: bulgogi sauce; topped with sesame seeds
The process: I thawed the beans for a few hours on the counter. While the rice was cooking, I made the sauce* and sauteed mushrooms in butter and garlic, then added green onions. I nuked the beans for about a minute before stirring them into the rice, then adding the mushroom/onion mix, then the sauce, mixed thoroughly, and let it cook for a couple minutes while I got bowls and forks and cleaned up a bit.

*I made semi-half of the sauce recipe. Here's what I mean... Normally, when I'm making bulgogi/bibimbap, I make the sauce like this: 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp ground ginger. For this, I used about half the soy sauce and half the brown sugar, half the sesame oil, and the same amount of red pepper flakes and ginger.

The verdict: We both give it about a 6/10. We're going to try it at some point with the full sauce recipe, because it could use a little more oomph. (Although the red pepper flake shines through pretty well.) But it's pretty good.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Beans and Rice Saga: Italian

We've decided, in an attempt to spend less money while still remaining nutritionally sound, to start experimenting with beans and rice recipes. The savings are real, people: I got 2 lb. white beans, 1 lb. small red beans, 1 lb. black beans, 1 lb. brown rice, and 3 lb. white medium rice for about $13. The add-ins don't have to be fancy or expensive either (but even when they are, you'll be using less of them than usual, because they'll be mixed in with the filling beans and rice).

Our first attempt was as follows:

The beans: white northern beans
The rice: white medium grain enriched rice
The add-ins: mushrooms, peas, green onions, Parmesan
The seasonings: Italian pasta sprinkle (Penzey's)
The process: We overnight-soaked the beans and cooked them in the crockpot the next day. I made the rice when I got home, while I sauteed mushrooms in a little butter, then added green onions and frozen peas at the end. I mixed some beans and the veggie mixture into the rice, then added Parmesan and pasta sprinkle to taste.
The verdict: Not terrible. We both give it about a 3/10. It was a little dry, a little bland (more Parmesan and some garlic powder helped that a little), and I wasn't feeling particularly well so that may have swayed my opinion a little.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Fake-It Vegetable Soup/Stew

I call this "fake-it" because I just threw things together in a slow-cooker and turned it on and hoped for the best.

So let's see, what did I do?

2 russet potatoes
1 sweet potato
a handful of baby carrots
a handful of green beans
frozen peas
frozen corn
half an onion
a full box of beef stock
Pasta Sprinkle from Penzey's (salt-free Italian seasoning blend)

Peel what you're supposed to peel, cube what you should cube, etc... then just throw everything in the Crockpot, turn it on high, and wait four hours.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bibimbap / Bulgogi

This is my new favorite food. (No offense, popcorn.) I could write many long paragraphs about how amazing this food is, but I'm going to skip that so you can get to making it - and therefore, eating it - much sooner. Only one disclaimer: It's cheater bulgogi. I've been trying to find a word that's the equivalent of "gringo" to Korean, because that's what it feels like.

(Cheater) Bulgogi
Recipe adapted from here

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t ground ginger
3 cloves minced garlic
1 pound ground beef (less fat, the better)
2 green onions, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Heat the oil in a skillet, add garlic and cook for a minute (stirring). Add ground beef and brown it, then drain the fat. Add the sauce mixture and the green onions, and mix well, heating through.

(Cheater) Kimchi
Recipe adapted from here

1 can sauerkraut
sesame oil
sesame seeds
chili powder
minced garlic
lemon juice

Drain the sauerkraut in a colander, and rinse it really well in running cold water. Let it drain for a while; pat it with a paper towel if it's still really wet. Lightly coat in sesame oil (while still in colander). Transfer to a bowl and add a handful of sesame seeds; mix. In a small bowl, combine a handful of chili powder, nearly the same amount of minced garlic, and about a teaspoon of lemon juice (less if you used liquid from the minced garlic). Mix it into a paste and add to the sauerkraut, mixing to thoroughly coat. Let it sit for a while (in the refrigerator is best) to combine flavors.

(Cheater) Bibimbap

white rice
bulgogi recipe above
kimchi recipe above
cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms (whatever vegetables of your choice)

This is the order I make everything in to get the timing as close to perfect as possible:
- Make rice and set aside. (Keep covered to keep warm.) While the rice is cooking, I chop up vegetables (cucumbers and, if not pre-shredded, carrots).
- Make the kimchi and put it in the fridge to combine flavors.
- I like toasting my mushrooms in butter, so at this point I melt butter in a pan while chopping up mushrooms very small, and cooking them in the butter until they're darker. (It smells AWESOME.)
- While the mushrooms are cooking, I mix up the sauce for the bulgogi.
- I keep the mushroom pan hot while I start another pan for the beef. Once the beef is drained, I add the sauce to it and I start frying eggs in the mushroom pan. It's okay for the beef/sauce to stay warm a few extra minutes while I finish up eggs.
- Now you can assemble everything! Rice on the bottom, veggies and kimchi around the side in little piles, beef in the middle, fried egg on top! And don't forget, you're supposed to mix it all up to eat it! (Personally, I like to compose individual bites to create more variety, but you do you.)

- This makes EXCELLENT leftovers. I never thought something with rice could make good leftovers. I usually only have rice, beef, and cucumbers leftover, but I can fry a new egg if I'm eating the leftovers at home, and I could start making way more mushrooms so there can be some leftover.
- This is crazy customizable. You can put more/less of whatever ingredient(s) you (dis)like.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

New Place, First Meal

Yes, we've moved since I last posted here. And last night, I got the kitchen unpacked, so tonight, I cooked dinner!

I've recently started using Ibotta and Cartwheel to save some money. (I mean very recently... so far I've saved a little over $5 with Cartwheel and before the receipt for this meal I had $2.50 on Ibotta.)

So today when I went grocery shopping on my lunch break, I tried to buy exclusively things that were on one app or both. Out of the whole receipt, the only things not on either app were potatoes, which I thought I would use in tonight's dinner but decided to go with pasta instead.

Which means this meal was made exclusively from items purchased cheaper or with rebates using those two apps. And I totally winged the whole meal. And it was pretty delicious.

To ease myself back into the food blogging thing, I'm not going to do formatted recipes, just a narrative of what I did.

Boneless Pork Chops, Onions, and Italian-Parmesan Pasta
First, I started the water boiling for the pasta, to give myself some time to figure out what else I wanted to do. Once it started boiling, I put in the pasta and cooked it about 7 minutes (I didn't use much). While that was boiling, I put Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and shallot-pepper seasoning in a bowl and mixed it up, and whisked an egg in another bowl. I also chopped up about half an onion. Once the pasta was done, I drained it in a colander and rinsed it with cold water. Then I put a skillet on the hot burner and melted about 1 Tbsp butter in it. I dredged the boneless center cut pork chops in the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture, coating them evenly, and put them in the skillet. I didn't time them, but a few minutes on each side? Part of the time it was covered, and part of the time it wasn't. Like I said, I winged it all. Once I cut into one and they were done, I moved them to a plate and put the pan lid over them to keep them warm. Then I put another 1/2 Tbsp or so of butter in the pan and put in the onions and maybe 1 tsp of minced garlic. I stirred them up to get the bits up from the pork in the pan mixed in with the onions, and I salted them a little. While they cooked, I put some zesty Italian dressing in the pasta and mixed it thoroughly, then did the same with some Parmesan.