Today I had plans for a brisket – all day in the crockpot, or smoking – plans for a slow cook. Alas, planning isn’t any good without the follow through. So here I had the brisket – small about a 1 1/2 lb brisket – targeted for dinner, but i was too late to go the slow way. Brisket cooked fast is chewy and tough, it needs time, unless you have a pressure cooker. I put that brisket under pressure, went for a walk with the dog and when we came back, it was ready to eat (the stove was attended, so no worries). The meat pulled apart easily, and the sauce ingredients had all melded together quite nicely for a good swish at the end with the pulled meat.
I’ve used the pressure cooker many times as a way to fix a meal quickly without losing the flavor or moistness. Since there is less evaporation due to the seal, you need a little less liquid but it’s still pretty juicy. The most difficult part for me is always when I have to wait for the little button to go …Buff
This is one of my favorite meals and I get to cook it only once or twice a year – once on St. Patrick’s Day [March 17th for those not in the know] and again when either the mood strikes me or I have special guests. Well, the other day we had special guests in and not only did I make this special dinner, we actually sat at the Dining Room table!
My husband picked up a Dry Aged Beef Tenderloin from Bluescreek Farm Meats this week and I knew it was the beef we could use for a special dinner. I was looking forward to trying out the tenderloin – which I’ve never cooked before. I love an opportunity to try out something new, but it can be a little scary trying out something new when you know if you mess up. That’s it, we’re eating it anyway because we spent the money already. This one though, this was a big winner.
I researched the best cooking methods, and there was a consensus that high heat quickly was the way to go. I couldn’t use salt, because my husband is on a low sodium diet and meat carries its own sodium, so I wanted a way to keep it moist and flavorful but without added sodium. I decided to try out my dehydrated mushroom powder on the tenderloin. Last year I took mushrooms, dehydrated them, and then pulverized them to make it into a powder. I think mushrooms in gravy compliment steak. I …Diana
Flowers from my husband – he knows I enjoy the beautiful colors in the winter. It just brightens up the day. Plus a few handmade chocolates because I like them too.
Dinner Beef Tenderloin over Creamed Kale – oh my goodness it was good.
Penne is one of my favorite tubular pastas – the sauce seems to cling in and around the pasta better than some of the others while keeping the tube shape. I love to cover it in a meat sauce and layer it with ricotta. Since I was reviewing TJ Gallivan’s Pasta Sauces, I used La Matrice to make my Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta.
TJ Gallivan’s Sauces are great when you don’t have the time to make the sauce yourself. They are full of tomato flavor – that’s something my kids and I noticed right away, how the tomato stood out. The other big plus was how thick the sauce is and how well it clings to the pasta. I love a sauce that sticks.
The Tradizionale – is a sauce full of tomato, garlic, basil and oregano and is the mildest of the three sauces. My daughter liked this because she thought it was customizable. She could take the sauce plain, or …Diana
Borscht, a winter stew, has a long tradition in Russia and Ukraine. This recipe is from Cook Wild: Year-Round Cooking on an Open Fire by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi. I made this dish for dinner, and it was very delicious. It is vegetable dense, with lots of red beets turning everything a bright red, and very pretty. This stew has a lot of steps to it, so you will be close to the fire cooking for a good amount of time to prepare, but it’s worth the time you put into it. Though it serves 6 – 8, there are only 3 of us, so we had it for two meals, Yay for leftovers!
Borscht – Winter Stew Print Prep time 1 hour Cook time 2 hours 30 mins …
Last Christmas, my sister in law Pam, gave me a copy of a church recipe book – Seasoned With Love that her church had created for a fundraiser. It’s a fun family recipe book, the recipes were donated by the congregation. When I was out east taking care of mom, my mother in law stayed with my son. He’s 19 and old enough to live alone, but we knew that boys with girlfriends who live nearby probably should be supervised. That, and he doesn’t always eat enough to sustain himself. So we asked mom to come.
Mom made my college son this soup (contributed by Kellie Loudin) and since there were enough leftovers, my husband and I had a bowl when we arrived home. The soup was delicious but the best part was my son. He told us his grandmother made this soup that was easy – just cook up the ground beef, dump it and the vegetables into a pot and let it cook.Diana
As you know, I am a big fan of keeping it simple. You can ruin a dinner by fussing too much. My dad was a perfectionist and though his meals were technically perfect, sometimes there were other factors. Ask my mom how her friends loved dinner with my dad when his perfect meal didn’t show up until 9:00. Ask how much we loved running out to the store at the last minute to pick up the perfect ingredient, that he couldn’t do without because the recipe called for it, and he didn’t do substitutions. Some of my favorite meals take just a few ingredients and a little bit of time. Spending a couple of hours preparing an appetizer that disappears within a couple of seconds can be such a let down and who wants to come home to start a really in-depth dinner, when you just want to relax? This stew is super easy, fast and delicious. I start meals like this before I go to work. The first one home adds the carrots and …Diana
The kids are gone, so bring out the good meat. Does that sound bad? When you have kids sometimes you want a bit of something more, but spending the money with teens around could be a waste since they consume every thing in two minutes and then run. It’s difficult to want to cook dinner some nights with just two of you, but if you can change it up a little and make it interesting, it’s worth it. I thought veal chops was just the thing to change it up a little. I grilled the meat and then made a red wine sauce to go over it. Simple fast and easy – even for a busy work or date night.
- 2 veal chops
- olive oil
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 shallot
- sage leaves
- 1 cup red wine (like cabernet sauvinon)
Brush veal with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill on a hot grill pan (or on the grill). In the second pan, melt butter. Slice shallots and throw into hot butter along with the sage leaves. When the onions are soft and carmelized, add the red wine. Simmer until …Diana
I found a bag of roasted corn in the grocery store that inspired this stew/soup. Salsas always make me think of summertime, sitting on the deck reading a book and snacking on salsa and chips. Well, the deck is being used to stain wood right now, and my husband’s hands got really cold while he worked, so a warm meal was in order. I had some chuck roast that I diced and sautéed with onions and peppers, before cooking the rest of the way in a beef broth and adding the rest of the ingredients. This is a quick soup to make, and was on the table in about an hour. If you double the ingredients, you can freeze a batch for another meal. I dolloped sour cream on top to mix in, which my son thought was great – and oh by the way dear daughter, we do not have any avocados in the fridge like you promised – those are limes! I would have chopped up some avocados to place on top with the sour cream if I had some – I was assured that I did. Even without the avocados this was a fantastic stew(p). Summer and …