22 January 2012

BBQ Beef Sandwiches.

I have finally gotten a slow cooker to add to my kitchen and have had some mixed results. But tonight was a home run!

I made BBQ beef sandwiches from the Americas Test Kitchen slow cooker magazine. The recipe was great. You just cook off some onion, add some spices, mix in some ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar, and cook until thick. Put a bit in the bottom of the slow cooker, top with the meat, and cook for hours until tender. It was good and something I haven't had in ages. (So of course I overindulged!!)

Yum! Since G cannot eat cabbage, we made a carrot slaw that was really nice, though a bit too cuminy. I put mine on top of my sandwich, and it was fantastic.

It's been a great year so far and I am following WW and exercising regularly. I even have started meditating! It's important to me to find some peace this year. It's a big birthday year and I am feeling some pressure, I am not going to lie. So it's all in my hands!

And the pressure cooker is pretty cool. I got a cheapie small one that doesn't have an auto turn off. It's a little bit of a downer not to have the auto turnoff, but at the same time, it's a great little cooker and most everything we have made in it has been good.

And as an aside, we bought some duck confit at Sausage Partners this weekend and are going to make a pasta with it this week! Yummy! I love love love duck confit so can't wait! (How many points are in confit?!)

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15 January 2012

Ahhhh... My roots are showing!

When you miss your family and you can't hop a flight home, cooking a family favourite is the best way to reconnect with your peeps...

So it was with a twinge of homesickness but an ocean of happiness that I embarked on my all-time most favourite meal, chicken fried steak with french fries and gravy.  Oh yeah, it's not healthy, but not everything needs to be.  It is delicious, and I have to say that it was probably the best I've ever made!  

Chicken fried steak may be a bit better known now (I mean, it made it's way into a joke on the Big Bang Theory), but it's not something that I make very often.  I would say in my entire life, I've probably only made it half a dozen times.  You take tenderized meat (if you can buy it tenderized, all the better) and you flour, milk/egg, flour and then cook it in a little bit of oil.  The coating gets flaky and delicious.  You take the remaining oil and make gravy.  You then add some french fries and a little bit of yummy corn, and then there you go.

It was really fantastic.  I took my time with it, which made a big difference, and I made oven fries which cut down a little bit on the overall messiness.  But as I stood in front of my stove in my new kitchen/dining room stirring the gravy to make it thick, I really felt a connection to my roots.  I thought of my mom and grandma, both of whom I can see in my minds eye standing in front of the stove, stirring the gravy, feeding their family and it made me really happy to be making this for my family.  

15 days into 2012 and I have no complaints... it's been a really different year, but it's quite fun and I look forward to seeing what else rolls this way!

05 January 2012

Feel good food

I realized tonight that making a good meal, or at least one that I enjoy eating, makes me feel good about myself. So tonight's dinner was feel good food. I wll say that there's nothing bad about a meal that starts with this:

That is a bowl of delicious spices and chopped parsley that got turned into some beautiful beef kebabs that we had with a bit of rice, some Bick's pickles and some pickled beets that I whipped together just before Christmas. Here's the recipe. The flavours really hit the spot with me.

Ground beef kebabs
  • 1 pound of ground beef (or lamb if you're feeling so inclined)
  • 2/3 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
Get 6 to 8 skewers. If you're using bamboo ones, soak them in water. Basically put all the ingredients together in bowl and mix them up making sure the parsley and onion is all evenly distributed.  Then make 6 to 8 evenly sized balls. Go fire up the bbq. Take each ball roll it into a bit of a cylinder then put a skewer through it. Mold the meat onto the skewer by squeezing it a bit. Pop them on a med-heat bbq and cook for about 12 minutes turning them occasionally.

Take 'em off and serve right away with rice, pickles, and even some yogurt dip if you like.


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