Monday, April 27, 2015

Teriyaki Beef

1 pound beef sirloin steak (tenderized, thinly sliced strips)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 green onions cut into long pieces (optional)
sesame seeds (for serving)
canola oil
jasmine rice (cooked)

Toss strips of meat in corn starch to coat. Mix ingredients from ginger to vinegar in small sauce pan. Bring to low simmer, cover, and keep warm. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat in a large wok or frying pan. Lightly brown the outside of the meat but do not actually cook it. This will only take a minute or two. Pour the sauce over the meat and turn heat to low. Stir frequently until sauce begins to thicken and meat is just cooked. Be careful not to overcook or the meat may become tough. Add green onions and stir. Add green onions and stir. Serve over jasmine rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Adapted from

Monday, April 20, 2015

Jalapeno Cornbread Topped Taco Bake

Recipe can easily be doubled for a 9x13 casserole dish. You can also use a packaged taco seasoning mix in place of what is listed in this recipe.

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
1 can black beans (well drained)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese

Taco Seasoning Mix (use 1 package OR ingredients below)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Cornbread Topper
1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 jalapeno, diced (1 can or green chilis)

Preheat oven to 400. Brown ground beef in deep skillet and drain if necessary. Add rice, black beans, tomato sauce, water, sour cream, and seasoning. Stir until well combined and heated thoroughly. Spread into lightly greased 8x8 casserole dish. Top with cheese. Prepare Cornbread topping by combining mix, egg, milk, and jalapeno. Spread evenly over the cheese. Bake at 400 until cornbread is golden brown (about 20 minutes). Serve with extra sour cream and salsa if desired.

Recipe inspired by Taste of Home Magazine. Taco Seasoning Mix adapted from Homemade Taco Seasoning on The Recipe Critic. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Oven Baked Corn Dogs

Servings 8

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 1 teaspoon paprika)
8 bun length hot dogs (I like BarS Premium All Beef)
1 egg
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add oil, brown sugar, and cornmeal with yeast mixture into a stand mixer with dough hook at speed #2 (Kitchen Aid). Add flour, salt, soda, and cayenne or paprika. Add small amounts of additional flour if necessary until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Dough should be like soft play dough, slightly tacky, not sticky. Knead 5 minutes at speed #2. Cover bowl with cloth and let rise 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece into a 14-16 inch long rope. Wrap each piece around a hot dog and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each one with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 450 for 5-12 minutes until golden brown. The baking time really depends on placement of your oven rack. I find that when my rack is about 3/4 height they are done in about 5 minutes.

Slightly adapted from

Friday, April 10, 2015

Crispy Baked Breaded Eggplant

three parts panko bread crumbs
one part dried parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning (about 1 tablespoon per cup)
olive oil

Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Salt the slices on both sides and lay out on a large cookie sheet. Cover the eggplant slices with another cookie sheet and some heavy books. Let sit for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 475. Mix bread crumbs, parmesan, and Italian seasoning in shallow dish. Prepare baking sheet by greasing with a thin layer of olive oil. Mix egg with one teaspoon cold water in a shallow dish. Give the slices a quick rinse in cold water and pat dry well with towels. Dip eggplant slices in egg, letting any excess drip, and dip in bread crumb mixture, pressing crumbs onto each side. Set on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown, then turn slices over and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until golden brown on the second side. Serve hot with ranch dip.

Adapted from and

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Savory Meatloaf Muffins

I was a meatloaf hater until I discovered this recipe! The muffin shape makes them super easy to serve and the recipe can easily be doubled. Picture shown was served with baked breaded eggplant and green beans.

1 pound ground beef
3 ounces Stove Top Stuffing Mix (half of package)
1 egg
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons barbecue sauce, divided

Mix ingredients in large ziplock bag, using 2 T of barbecue sauce. Scoop into muffin tin. Top each muffin using the remaining 2 T of barbecue sauce. Makes 6 medium muffins in a medium muffin tin or 9 in regular muffin tin. Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees and the glaze is set with a few blackened spots.

Slightly adapted from here.

Pictured with baked breaded eggplant

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Secrets to Great Mashed Potatoes

There are two points at which you can stop if you want to do some preparations in advance of your dinner. You can stop after you peel and cut them and keep the potatoes in a bowl covered with cold water in the fridge until you are ready to cook them (up to 24 hours) or you can stop after you drain the cooked potatoes and keep them in a covered bowl in the fridge until you are ready to return them to a pot to heat them up again and add the butter.

5 pounds potatoes
1 stick butter
sour cream (optional)
salt and pepper

Bring large pot of salted water to full rolling boil. You want the potatoes to have lots of room and water to boil in. While waiting for the water to boil, peel the potatoes. Then cut small potatoes into 4 pieces, medium potatoes into 6 pieces, and large potatoes into 8 pieces. Transfer to colander and rinse with cold water to remove any dirt.

Boil potatoes, in a rolling boil, for approximately 10-20 minutes. Start checking them at 10 minutes and every 2-5 minutes after to prevent overcooking. Potatoes are done when very easily pierced with a fork but not mushy or completely falling apart. Drain water off potatoes.

Return potatoes to dry pot and return to burner on low heat. Add butter (I usually use about 1 stick of butter for 5 pounds of potatoes) and continue stirring to melt butter and to evaporate excess water from the potatoes. You want the moisture to come from the butter and milk, not from the water. When potatoes start falling apart and getting a little dry and powdery you can turn off the heat and start adding milk and continue stirring and mashing. Continue adding small amounts of milk (and or sour cream) while stirring and mashing until desired consistency is reached. Salt and pepper to taste.

Use a hand masher for 80-90% of the mashing. Then transfer potatoes to a large plastic bowl and use a hand mixer (on medium to high) and whip them for about 30 second to fluff them up and remove any big lumps. Overmixing with the electric mixer will result in a glue like texture. Transfer to serving dish and enjoy!