“Open Sesame” ~ Ali Baba

I always come across Asian recipes I would love to try but I never do.

You know why?

I never have sesame oil and they all call for sesame oil. I never can remember to pick it up at the store.

Guess what?

I bought some sesame oil today!!

Whoot Whoot!

Guess what?

We are having an Asian Inspired dish tonight.

🙂

Korean Beef Bowl

(adapted from Mel’s Kichten Cafe)

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 4 green onions, chopped, divided
  • Hot, cooked rice

First start your rice or quinoa so that it will be ready about the time you finish up with the beef.

In a large skillet, brown the hambuger meat with 2 of the green onions and garlic. When cooked through, drain excess grease.

In a separate bowl, mix together soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, one green onion, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper flakes.

Stir sauce into beef mixture, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve over warm rice, garnish with remaining green onion.

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“I make it a rule always to believe compliments implicitly for five minutes, and to simmer gently for twenty more.” ~ Alice James

The cold is back.

Luckily, we will not be having the horrible weather expected in the Northeast but nonetheless, you have no idea how ready I am for spring to get here.

But since that is still quite a ways off, I might as well enjoy one of the things that comes with cold weather.

A nice warm stew. One that cooks all day and makes the house smell wonderful!

Today, I have nothing on the calendar so I will luckily stay in my comfy knit pants and sweatshirt, go outside only to get the mail,  do some laundry and start this stew.

My kind of day.

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

  • 1 lb stew meat or beef tips
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cans (15 oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can greens beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen Lima beans
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ frozen diced potatoes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Season beef with salt and pepper, brown on all sides in large pot. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent.

Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, beans, bouillon, broth and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 1-2 hours. After it has simmered for at least an hour, add in potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Best served with cornbread!

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-abp

“There is no such thing as a guilty pleasure.” ~ Douglas Wilson

Since I am now a SAHM – I must admit, there is a decent amount of TV watching going on.

I’ll even go a little farther – I’m back to being hooked on Days of Our Lives – yep, there I said it. Don’t judge.

But I’m not much interested in talk shows except for one – The Chew! It’s fabulous and perfect for a foodie like me – it’s funny, entertaining and has great recipes and food tips.

(Kathie Lee and Hoda are a daily must too!)

I’m giving away all my secrets.

Oh, well.

Anyway, this is the first recipe from The Chew that I have tried and it will not be my last! So good yet totally do-able.

Spaghetti Bolognese

(adapted from The Chew)

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Carrot (chopped)
  • 6 slices Smoked Bacon (chopped)
  • 8 ounces Ground Pork
  • 8 ounces Ground Beef
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (crushed with garlic press or fork)
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 28 ounce can Whole Peeled Tomatoes (crushed by hand)
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds Spaghetti
  • Salt
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Saute onion, carrot and bacon in olive oil until soft. Add pork and beef, season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned. Add crushed garlic, cook until fragrant (30 seconds – 1 minute).

Deglaze with vermouth, then add in wine and chicken broth. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

30 minutes before serving, add in milk and cook for 30 minutes.

Serve with al dente spaghetti noodles, reserving some pasta water to thin if necessary. Top with Parmesan cheese.

This dish plays a trick on your eyes – Spaghetti Bolognese is a very traditional Italian meal just like regular spaghetti. It also looks like traditional spaghetti but it doesn’t taste like traditional spaghetti. If you will notice this does not have the familiar ingredients like basil and oregano but do not let you turn you off – it’s a fabulous Italian dinner!

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-abp

“When not eating, I like shopping; although I’m afraid I’ve become a bit of a cliche.” ~ Arabella Weir

For a girl who really loves to shop – I thought I was going to love registering for baby items.  After all, I had a blast working on my wedding registry.

Wrong.

It was so stressful! Do you have any clue how many choices of baby stuff they have out nowadays???

3 hours and one stress headache later I left Babies “R” Us.

And I still have to do Target.

Now Lily Pads/Baby Bundles – a local baby boutique, will be a different story. That’s for the fun, cute, frilly items. I could do that all day long.

After all that stress I need comfort food. Which usually consists of some kind of pasta. This meal is no exception.

Beef Ragu (adapted from SlenderKitchen.com)

  • 2.5 pounds lean beef chuck, trimmed of fat
  • 1 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano or thyme, chopped
  • Wide noodle pasta
  1. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Season your beef liberally with salt and pepper and add it to the crock pot.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 6-8 hours until beef is fork tender. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Beef Ragu

Hope all is well!

-abp

“Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” ~ Edward Abbey

Even though it is unseasonably warm here for January (right around 70º – which I love by the way) I still have a hankering for a nice warm beef stew.

I know I have made beef stew at some point in my life but I don’t remember how I made it nor do I have a go to recipe for it but after some Pinterest surfing I came across one on the blog Joyously Domestic. It seemed to have all the flavors I liked and it was one that could be cooked in just a couple hours instead of all day. This worked out perfect, since I knew I would not make it to the grocery store until mid-afternoon because of an eye doctor appointment earlier in the day.

BTW – the peepers were in good shape and I have a new pair of very cute glasses on the way. I’ll post a pic when they come in. Maybe now I will not be squinting quite as much!

Ok – on to the stew.

Homemade Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 – 4 cups beef stock/broth (or water with a few beef bouillon cubes)
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 – 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Crazy Jane’s Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves or allspice
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • Handful of frozen peas (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (if needed to thicken “gravy”)

Season meat with salt and pepper then sear meat in hot oil on all sides in a dutch oven.

sear meat

Add 3 cups of beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, crazy jane’s, garlic, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and cloves. Simmer on low for 1.5 hours.

add broth

Check seasoning. Now add in carrots, celery, potatoes and peas. If it seems to need more liquid – add more beef stock.

add veggies

Cook for 30 more minutes or until vegetables are softened. 15 minutes in make a slurry with your cornstarch and a little left over stock and add to stew.

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Make a pan of cornbread and you are all set!!

Homemade Beef Stew

Homemade Beef Stew*note: the celery was still a little too crunchy for me so I would cook them with the meat and onions from the beginning.

Happy Monday Y’all!

abp