Posted in Asian, Beef, Main Dish

What’s for Supper: Korean Beef

Korean Beef Genny

Many times, we opt for the ease of someone else’s kitchen like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, or even our favorite Asian place. But in just a few minutes, you can have something pretty yummy without the drive-thru. This is a very easy recipe my daughter, Genevieve, whipped up after working her eight for the day. It can be on the table in no time, and is very tasty week night treat that is quicker that calling for takeout. Enjoy!

Korean Beef

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef, Genevieve used 93/7
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, Genevieve used Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 16-ounce coleslaw mix
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha, or to taste. Garlic chili paste would be good here, too.
  • 3 green onions-scallions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Cook ground beef over medium heat in pan coated with cooking spray.
  2. When meat is almost finished push to one side, add sesame oil, then garlic and ginger.
  3. Cook only for about a minute, then stir into meat.
  4. Mix together soy sauce and brown sugar. Add to pan with meat mixture.
  5. Add coleslaw mix. Cook until wilted.
  6. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.
  7. Serve with cooked rice. My favorite is Jasmine. Or this is also a good filling for lettuce wraps.

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.
Paul Prudhomme


Genevieve Hays is a corporate trainer for Walmart, who on her off time enjoys recreational cooking. She also has a home business making custom aprons. Her motto: Every girl needs practical and pretty aprons for those every day battles. You can check out her wares on her Facebook page Apron Armor or at her Etsy store Apron Armory.

Note for Weight Watchers:This is a 6 Smart Points recipe. If eating with rice, count accordingly.

Posted in Camp Food, Main Dish

I Love To Go A Wandering: Good Food Wherever You Are

Mountain hike

This past Thanksgiving week, my husband and I have been camping. It was nice to get away and be in the peace and quiet. We stayed at a national forest campground called Laguna in mountains of San Diego county. The weather was perfect, reaching into the low seventies. The area has really nice hiking and biking trails that are mostly flat with a variety of lengths. We enjoyed a couple different trails. The scenery is beautiful, and we even encountered a couple surprises. One morning a bobcat spotted us and scurried away to a safe distance. Then on another hike, we stopped at the side of the path for a drink of water, and found an Indian grinding stone was beneath our feet. Fun to imagine women gathering together to prepare of a day’s meal. Not really a kitchen as we would see it, but a party happened all the same as they sat together to make flour out of acorns and seeds.

I have posted before about how we do camp food. I am all about “if you are what you eat, then I want to eat the good stuff.” Our meals this past week have been great. Roasted Pork Mole, Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, and Chicken Cacciatore have made their way to our stomachs. Yum. Last night, we enjoyed a baked pasta dish that had been lightened up, like in the case of Enlightened Mac and Cheese for my last post, with the addition of cauliflower. Don’t be alarmed. It turned out quite delicious and for an added twist we baked it, like all the other recipes on our menu, in a Dutch oven over coals. (Gotta have the camping experience somehow.) No Dutch oven? Your regular oven works just fine.


Baked Shells and Cauliflower with Meat Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients

• 1 pound lean ground beef, I used 9% fat
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 8-ounce container mushrooms, sliced
• 1 24-ounce pasta sauce
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 ¼ cup medium pasta shells
• 4 cups (approx. ½ head) cauliflower, cut into small florets (about the same size as the pasta.)
• 1 10-ounce frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, placed between paper towels, and liquid squeezed out
• ½ cup ricotta, I used part-skim
• ¾ cup shredded Italian cheese blend, I used reduced fat

Directions

1. In large skillet, cook ground beef with salt over medium heat. When finished, transfer to medium bowl.
2. Return skillet to medium heat, add mushrooms. Sauté, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5-7 minutes.
3. To mushrooms add pasta sauce, red pepper flakes, spinach, and reserved beef. Simmer to mingle flavors, about 10 minutes.
4. Cook shells according to package instructions in a medium pot.
5. Add cauliflower to pasta during last 3 minutes of cooking time.
6. Stir pasta mixture into sauce mixture. Transfer to baking dish.
7. Spoon ricotta by small teaspoons over the pasta.
8. Bake at 375F until bubbly around the edges, about 25 minutes.
9. Sprinkle with cheese blend, and bake until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.

Dutch oven cooking

 

Note: If cooking in 10 inch Dutch oven, line the oven with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Add pasta/sauce mixture, top with ricotta. Cover with lid. You will need 23 hot coals: 16 on top and 7 on the bottom. Cook, rotating oven and lid every 15 minutes. After a half hour, added Italian cheese blend and cook 10 minutes more. This method gives the dish an added smoky flavor. Enjoy.


I get way too much happiness from good food.

Elizabeth Olsen

 

Update: In case you were wondering about how weight loss was going with Weigh Watchers, I have now lost sixteen pounds. All the food I cooked while camping was Weight Watcher friendly AND delicious. You can’t beat eating the good stuff. This recipe is 8 Smart points for 1 1/2 cups when using fat free pasta sauce and reduced fat cheese.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Main Dish

Indian Tacos

thepartysinthekitchen.me
Footloose and fancy free,

my husband and I are on the road. We’ve decided to start a new chapter in our lives that will not include a 9 to 5, but will allow us to be more involved in the things that speak to our hearts. But first, a road trip. We have had our granddaughter with us for the summer and we are now delivering her back to her parents in Oklahoma. We have had a great summer, and these last few days will be no exception. We will be camping (in our tiny home on wheels a.k.a. travel trailer) along the way and enjoying a few of the sights. Tonight, we are sleeping in Gallup, New Mexico. All day along the highway, I kept seeing signs for Indian fry bread which inspired a dinner of Indian Tacos.

I’m not sure what the traditional recipe is. I just know what my mom, who lived in Oklahoma for the last twenty-five years of her life used to make. They included the same fixings as regular tacos– seasoned ground meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Whatever you like really. The only difference is instead of a tortilla, everything is piled on top of a crispy fry bread. Oh man, is it yummy. Since we were on the road, I used canned biscuits that I rolled out, then fried in about ½ inch of hot oil. You can do the same or try the following recipe.


Indian Fry Bread

Ingredients
• 3 cups All-purpose Flour
• 1/2 teaspoon Salt
• 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
• 1 1/3 cup water. Can use part milk if desired.
• Vegetable Shortening or Lard for Frying
Instructions
1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
2. Add the water and mix/knead the dough until soft.
3. Let rest for 20-30 minutes.
4. Separate dough into small balls about the size of a lime. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness.
5. Fry in deep fryer or skillet with 1-2 inches of oil/shortening/lard until golden.
If you’re not having Indian Tacos, a little sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or drizzle of honey makes a very sweet treat.


This much I know. If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff.
Ratatouille

 

Posted in Dumping Dinner, Main Dish, Slow Cooking

Dumping Dinner: Three Packet Pot Roast

thepartysinthekitchen.me

It’s been a while since I posted a Dumping Dinner recipe. Here’s one for the comfort food category. My daughter, Genny, recently posted it on Facebook, and it reminded me of its yumminess. You can cook it up now, or put it in the freezer for later. Hope it makes you week go a little smoother.


Three Packet Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 1 3 pound chuck roast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet Italian dressing mix
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix.

Directions

  1. Mix the three packets and 1 cup water. Pour over roast in the crock pot.
  2. Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  3. Enjoy!

For the freezer:

  1. Mix it all together and freeze it in a gallon size bag.
  2. Remove from bag and put in crock pot straight from the freezer.
  3. Cook on low 8 hours.

“Cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy.”

Julia Child

Posted in Dumping Dinner, Main Dish, Slow Cooking

Dumping Dinner: Butter Chicken


Here’s your Dumping Dinner for this week. Butter chicken or murgh makhani is an Indian dish of chicken in a mildly spiced curry sauce. It actually came to be in the 1950s because of leftovers. See story here. A few more than normal ingredients but only minimal chopping. It is delicious. Enjoy!

Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani

[No butter. Just yumminess.]

  • 4-6 chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Marsala*
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Dump in one-gallon freezer. Seal and freeze.

To cook: 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. When finished, remove meat slice or shread. Serve with sauce.

Meal Maker—Serve with brown rice and your choice of veggies. Garlic naan, Indian flatbread is a must. Yum!

*Garam Marsala is a blend of ground spices common in India, Pakistan, and other South Asia Cuisines. You can find it in the spice section of most grocery store or online. The following is a quick recipe that will do the trick.

Garam Marsala

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you’ve been cooking up in your kitchen. I would love to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Easy Recipes for Busy Days, Main Dish, Slow Cooking

Dinner’s Ready! Slow Cooking for Busy Days

 

One of my struggles is having something ready to eat at the end of the day. Crazy for a food blogger to admit. Even more so, when you realize my commute from my workplace to my kitchen is literally ten feet. It should be easy for me to just pop in the kitchen and whip something up, but it doesn’t always happen.

This topic came up on a recent trip to visit my daughters in Oklahoma. They told me they were dealing with this problem in their life, too. [Their commute is much longer than mine.] Work zapped all their energy, leaving them uninspired when it came time to cook. Fast food was taking its toll on their bank account and on their health. And eating on the fly was not allowing them to sit down, relax, and reconnect with their families.

I mentioned once-a-month cooking, but they needed something that took less prep and could go directly in the slow cooker from the freezer. With a little research, we found what are called dump dinners. They are just what the name implies. Dump all the ingredients into the crock pot, set the timer, and voila’ dinner is ready when you return home. The beauty of these meals is that with a little time and planning, you can have a few packaged up in the freezer, ready to go.

Before our visit was over, the girls had some in their freezer. All they had to do each morning was put them in the slow cooker, set the time and temperature, and go. They have since reported back saying how much they enjoyed them. One added benefit—they loved walking into the house after a long day to the smell of home-cooked food. They felt spoiled, and hoped more dinners would find their way into the freezer the next time I came to visit. Lol!

Now that I am back home, I have been testing some recipes for myself. This week we enjoyed Pesto Ranch Chicken [See recipe below.] It was delish and oh so easy. I shared on social media what I was doing and it seems there is a lot of interest in having meals with little to no prep and can go from freezer to crockpot. Our fast-paced culture has not diminished our desire to come together and eat something good at the end of the day. This method of cooking makes that easy, and adds an aroma of goodness to welcome you home.

The smells of slow cooking spread around the house and impart a unique warmth matched only by the flavour of the food.

Yotam Ottolenghi


crock-pot

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting some of the Dump Dinner recipes I’m trying. Here is the one I put together today. It reminds me of the flavor of Salisbury Steak.

Savory Steak and Gravy

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds cube steak
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup
  • 1 can French onion soup
  • 1 package au jus gravy mix
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Whisk together cream of chicken and mushroom soup, French onion soup, Au jus gravy mix, Worcestershire sauce, and 2/3 water in crock pot.
  2. Add onions, mushrooms, and cube steak.
  3. Cook on low for five hours.
  4. Mix together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Add mixture to sauce in crock pot to thicken.
  5. Serve with potatoes, noodles, or rice.
  6. Enjoy!

To freeze ahead: Dump meat, onions, mushrooms, soups, gravy mix, and Worcestershire into a one gallon freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. When it’s time to cook, dump frozen into crock pot along with 2/3 cup water. Cook on low for 6 hours. Thicken and serve.

steak-and-gravy2

Pesto Ranch Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 ½-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 small jar pesto sauce
  • 1 package or 2 tablespoons dry Ranch dressing mix
  1. Dump all ingredients into crock pot.
  2. Cook on low 5 hours.
  3. Enjoy!

To freeze: Put all ingredients into one gallon freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.


Here are just a few tips I have found helpful before you get started.

  • Label your freezer bags with a permanent marker and allow it to dry before you get started. Along with the name of the recipe, date packaged and cooking time and heat, include any ingredients such as water or broth that must be added at time of cooking.
  • Place the freezer bag into a 64-96 oz. plastic bowl when ready to load. This will give it stability and will free up your hands.
  • Leave meat in whole pieces. It cooks better and can be cut up or shredded when done.
  • Freeze bag in bowl. This is a very important step. I know you’ve seen pictures of freezer meals all flat and stacked neatly on the freezer shelf. It’s a thing of beauty, but the shape simply doesn’t fit into the crock pot. Freezing the bag in bowl will give it the right shape to fit easily into the slow cooker without defrosting. Note: No need to leave in bowl once frozen. Remove and reuse bowl to shape more dinners.

Have fun! Please share your favorites with us. I’d love to hear about your life in the kitchen.