What a quick weekend this was!!! After my amazingly fun evening with fabulous foodies on Friday, yesterday was packed with lots of activity. A breakdown, in my favorite bulleted list form:
- A successful –.6 lb. at Weight Watchers weigh in
- A delicious brunch of a turkey Reuben, egg lemon soup, and exactly 9 French fries
- A fun trip to the Japanese supermarket, where we purchased 3 of my favorite Japanese snacks:
Pocky, potato starch crackers, and Marukawa bubble gum!
- An impromptu barbecue at Adam’s friend’s house, and I made a tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese salad. It was quite a hit!
We got home quite late, and then this morning was almost as busy! I made my bi-weekly trip to my favorite nail place to get my nails done, and ended up with a hot pink pedicure! I’ll spare you the picture of my toes, but my fingers are adorable:
Yet again, the color didn’t photograph well, it’s this very vivid purple called Bermuda Shorts by Essie. I hope I don’t get sick of it before 2 weeks from now! Kelsey, do you approve?
Ok, enough rambling about non-food things. After my mani/pedi, I went to my second-favorite produce market with the mission of finding something fun for dinner. After wandering around a bit, I had a vision of a dinner after seeing a freshly baked loaf of Italian bread: Grilled bread. I then did loops 3 and 4 of the store to pick up everything I wanted to use to cook tonight’s meal. I’m calling this one:
1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 c. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. Valentino hot sauce (or your favorite, to taste)
1/4 c. panko bread crumbs
1 avocado, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices rustic bread
2 tsp. olive oil
Mix together thoroughly the meat, hot sauce, Adobo, and egg. Then, stir in the shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Allow to sit at least 15 minutes before forming into 4 patties. While you’re waiting, light the grill, and then brush the olive oil on both sides of your sliced bread. Grill the burgers until they reach your desired doneness, then toast the bread on the hot grill. Assemble your burgers with tomato and avocado, and enjoy!
I couldn’t believe that these burgers came out exactly how I’d pictured them in my head, and tasted even better! A friend of mine suggested that I mix the cheese right into the burger, and it was such a nice change from the norm. I’ll be utilizing that method during this grill season for sure! While I was eating my burger, I said “Wow, I think this is like, restaurant caliber stuff here!” When Adam ate his, he enthusiastically agreed!
I got an email earlier in the week with a fantastic Guest for Dinner post! Teri from Make a Whisk sent along this great recipe that she wanted to share with all of you! Her site is fantastic, and you must check it out, but first, Teri, pull up a chair, have a seat at my table, and tell us about your meal!
This is how my family makes Beef Stroganoff. I’ve known people to be "scared" to try this, because they think of stroganoff as a complicated dish, but it couldn’t be easier. I even use the crockpot!
Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
- 1.5 to 2 pounds lean stew beef or trimmed round steak, cut into 1.5 inch pieces.
- 1 15 oz. can Beef Gravy (I use Campbell’s–two smaller cans are fine if you can’t find the larger one)
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 preparation sauteed mushrooms, recipe to follow
- 1 package of egg noodles (I used whole wheat noodles, but use whatever you like)
- 1 cup of sour cream
1. Preheat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef, garlic, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the beef shows some carmelization. Stir in the can of beef gravy and red wine.
2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a slow cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
3. When the beef sauce is finished, prepare egg noodles according to directions on package. Right before serving, stir in sour cream. Sauce should be relatively thick; if it seems too thin, feel free to thicken with 2 tablespoons of flour whisked into a small amount of cold water. Serve over egg noodles. Garnish with extra sour cream, if desired.
Note: Mushrooms and Stroganoff belong together. If you’re cooking for mushroom eaters, you can take the easy way out, and add a large can (or two small cans) to the beef mixture as it goes into the crockpot. Or, you can take the more delicious way out, and toss in my sauteed mushrooms, outlined below. If, like me, you live with people who will not tolerate the fungi, just saute the mushrooms for yourself and add them to your portion. These fresh sauteed mushrooms have enough rich flavor on their own–they don’t need to stew with the beef all day to be tasty like the canned version does.
My own creation
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (I used plain white button mushrooms, but feel free to be creative)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of sour cream
1. Add extra virgin olive oil to a skillet and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (the surface will shimmer) add the mushrooms in one layer. Cook just until the edges begin to brown.
2. Once the mushrooms start to brown, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add Parmesan cheese, cook for 1 more minute, and then sprinkle with flour.
3. Once the flour is golden brown, add the cream and sour cream and stir together. Remove from heat. The mushrooms should have a buttery aroma and a thick texture.
4. Enjoy! These will melt right into your Stroganoff sauce, but they’re also very tasty on their own.
The mushrooms should be bound together with the flour and cream mixture–it tastes like cream of mushroom, but much, much thicker. Also, the parmesan cheese forms a delicious crunchy crust at the edges of each bite–yum!
Thanks so much Teri! This looks like a great comfort food meal! I haven’t had stroganoff in a really long time!
Would you like to be a Guest for Dinner? I’d love to have you “over”! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your meal, a recipe, and some photos, and I’ll post it!
PHEW! This has been quite the long post… so since it’s past my bedtime, I’m signing off!