Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hawaiian Rib-Eye Steak with Corn Casserole

One of our favorite steakhouses is Houston's Steakhouse. It's a chain that's a part of the Hillstone Restaurant group and all over the country. I've searched high and low for the Hawaiian Ribeye that's served at the restaurant and low and behold, the restaurant shared their recipe with Bon Appetit! It tastes exactly like what you would get in the restaurant but for a fraction of the price. I served the Hawaiian Rib-Eye steak with Ree Drummond's corn casserole. Amazing meal and definitely will be making again in the future!

Hawaiian Rib-Eye Steak
(Source: Bon Appetit - Hillstone Restaurant Group)

2 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1 (1-inch piece) ginger, peeled, finely chopped
2 (1-inch-thick) bone-in rib-eye steaks (about 3 pounds total)

Butter And Assembly
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt

Whisk pineapple juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add onion and ginger. Set aside 2 Tbsp. marinade for butter. Transfer remaining marinade to a large resealable plastic bag. Add steaks and seal bag, pressing out excess air. Chill at least 1 day. Remove steaks from marinade, pat dry, and let sit until room temperature, about 1 hour.

Butter and Assembly
Whisk butter and oil in a medium bowl to combine. Vigorously whisk in reserved marinade; season with salt. Transfer to the center of a sheet of parchment paper and roll up into a log. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Build a two-zone fire in a charcoal grill for direct (medium-high coals) and indirect (medium-low coals) heat. Alternatively, heat a gas grill to high just before cooking, leaving one burner on low. Season steaks very lightly with salt (omit this step if marinating more than 24 hours). Grill over high heat, turning, until steaks are well browned and beginning to char around edges, about 4 minutes. Transfer to cooler part of grill and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of steaks registers 120° for medium-rare. (Alternatively, cook in a grill pan over medium-high heat, turning steaks every couple of minutes.) Transfer steaks to a wire rack. Slice butter into ¼"-thick rounds and divide between steaks. Let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Fresh Corn Casserole with Red Peppers and Jalapenos
(Source: Ree Drummond)

8 ears corn (still in the husk)
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 fresh jalapenos, diced
1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1/2 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick salted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the corn from the husks. In a large, deep bowl, slice off the kernels of corn with a sharp knife. Turn the knife to the dull side and scrape the cob all the way down to remove all the bits of kernel and creamy milk inside. (I do this inside the bowl because it goes everywhere if you cut it on a board.) Add the red bell peppers, jalapenos, heavy cream, milk, salt to taste, a generous amount of pepper and butter and mix it well. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Bake until thoroughly warmed through, 30 to 45 minutes.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Greek Pasta Salad

I'm always on the lookout for fantastic pasta salad recipes. I just love that it's filling, packed with veggies, and always makes a great side dish. I came across this recipe online and decided to make it since it seems quick/easy. Dr. Sweetpea and I both devoured it with our meals and it's our favorite pasta salad recipe for the time being. Definitely make this!

Greek Pasta Salad
(Source: Plain Chicken)

1 (16-oz) box penne pasta
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp Greek seasoning (I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, cut into halves 
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Whisk together oil, juice, mayonnaise and Greek seasoning in a large bowl. Add cooked pasta, tomatoes, feta cheese and basil. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Roasted Winter Vegetables

One of our favorite ways to eat vegetables (ie: carrots, zucchini, red potatoes, brussel sprouts, green beans, etc) when we notice that they're starting to go bad is roast them in the oven. I found this marvelous recipe on Pinterest a few months ago and made it for us several times already. It's our go-to roasted vegetable recipe. We tried using all kinds of vegetables and it always turns out amazing. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that vegetables like potatoes take a little longer to cook.
Definitely a keeper and a regular for us.

Roasted Vegetables
(Source: I heart Naptime)

5 to 6 cups of vegetables (carrots, red potatoes, broccoli, red, bell peppers, onion wedges, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans etc.)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar 
1 to 2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut vegetables into similar size pieces. Keep root vegetables separate from softer vegetables. Mix together olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and garlic salt. Pour over vegetables. Place root vegetables on cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add in softer vegetables and turn vegetables on sheet making sure they are all coated in liquid mixture. Bake another 15 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Carnitas Taco

So Dr. Sweetpea absolutely loves Carnitas whenever we go to a Texmex restaurant in Houston. I already posted a Carnita recipe over the summer and that was fantastic. However, when I saw the Carnitas recipe in the Tacolicious cookbook, I HAD to try making it at home and I'm so glad I did! These carnitas were delicious, better than the restaurants in Houston delicious, and Dr. Sweetpea kept raving about it as he was eating his dinner. In fact, he even told me to never lose this recipe! 

Carnitas Taco
(Source: Tacolicious Cookbook)

2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2 - 3 inch cubes
1 cup sliced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried mexican oregano
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup lard (I used vegetable oil)
3 tablespoons oil

Put the pork in a nonreactive dutch oven or other large, heavy pot with a lid. Add the onion, garlic, sugar, salt, oregano, bay leaf, orange juice, and lemon juice and toss to coat the meat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. 

Bring the pork to room temperature. Heat the lard in a small pan over medium heat until it melts, then pour it over the pork. Cover the pot, place over medium-low heat, and cook the pork for almost 3 hours, until the pork begins to pull apart easily when tested with a fork. 

Remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl. Discard the cooking liquid and clean the pot. Using a couple of forks, shred the pork a bit but not completely, removing any large chunks of fat. 

Return the pot tot he stove top over high heat and add the oil. At the minute the oil begins to smoke, using tongs or a spoon and working in batches to avoid crowding, carefully add some of the meat to the hot oil and cook, turning as needed for about 4 minutes until crisp on all sides. 

Serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Shot and a Beer Braised Chicken Taco

I love making tacos from scratch at home. Particularly if it's super easy to make. I recently ordered the cookbook from Tacolicious, a restaurant in San Francisco, that is known for amazing tacos. So since I read the Shot and a Beer Braised Chicken Taco is amazing, I decided to make that one first and it was AMAZING!!! Dr. Sweetpea couldn't stop eating the tacos because they were so good. We will be making this recipe at home more regularly.

Shot and a Beer Braised Tacos
(Source: Tacolicious Cookbook)

3 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 habanero chile, stemmed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (12 ounce) can favorite beer (we used Tacate)
1 shot (1 1 /2 ounces) favorite tequila
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup diced canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried mexican oregano

Toast the ancho and chipotle chiles in a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat, turning once, for about 30 seconds on each side, until fragrant but not blackened. Take care that they do not burn. Set aside. 

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or other large, heavy pot with a lid over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, working in batches, add the chicken thighs and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Add an extra drizzle of oil if needed to prevent sticking. As the thighs are ready, transfer them to a plate and set aside. 

Add the onion and habanero to the oil remaining in the pot and saute over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion is caramelized. Add the garlic and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the toasted chiles, beef, tequila, broth, tomatoes, salt, cumin, and oregano, turn down the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until the chiles have completely softened. Remove from the heat and let cook completely. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

While the oven is heating, pour the  chile mixture into a blender and process until almost completely smooth (a little texture is fine). Return the chikden to the pot and pour the pureed sauce evenly over the top. 

Cover the pot, place in the oven, and cook for 2 hours. Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring if necessary to prevent sticking, for 25 - 30 minutes, until the chicken is fork tender. If the sauce starts to reduce too much and the chicken begins to stick, add a little water or broth. Remove from the oven and use tongs or a fork to loosely shred the chicken, leaving it in the sauce. 

Serve with the tortillas and your favorite toppings. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Broiled Salmon with Herbed Mustard Glaze and Cornbread

When I'm in a rush to have dinner ready before Dr. Sweetpea gets home, I usually turn to fish or seafood. I love salmon in particular because it's affordable, tasty, and is a great main dish for a weeknight meal. I saw this recipe from Giada a few weeks ago and decided to give it a whirl and wasn't disappointed. Dr. Sweetpea even said this is one of the best salmon recipes that I've tried.

As for the side dish, I tried a new cornbread recipe which is from the Hillstone Restaurant group. I know this group owns Bandera in Chicago and was excited that this is the recipe for their cornbread. This cornbread was amazing and will be our go to recipe for special occasions.

Broiled Salmon with Herbed Mustard Glaze
(Source: Giada) 

2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
6 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
6 lemon wedges

In food processor, combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, oil, dijon and 1 tablespoon of the whole grain mustard. Grind the musturd sauce until combined. Transfer to small bowl and add remaining 1 tablespoon of the whole grain mustard, stir to combine. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Arrange salmon on sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 2 minutes. Spoon mustard sauce over fillets. Continue broiling until fillets are just cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

Iron-Skillet Cornbread
(Source: Hillstone Restaurant Group) 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup fine-grind cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned creamed corn (from one 15-ounce can)
1 (4.5-ounce) can mild green chiles, drained, chopped
1 1/2 ounces mild white cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 ounces Monterey Jack, grated (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Place rack in middle of oven. Set skillet on a rimmed baking sheet, place on rack, and preheat oven to 400°. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl to combine. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl to blend; whisk in creamed corn, chiles, cheddar, and Monterey Jack. Mix butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon just until butter absorbs sugar but butter is still in small pieces. Add egg mixture and mix until just combined. Mix in dry ingredients until barely incorporated. Remove skillet from oven and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Scrape in batter (it should sizzle on contact and stay slightly mounded in the center). Bake cornbread until top is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed, 35–45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Anytime Blueberry Muffins

Whenever Spring rolls around, we have a huge craving for tons of fresh blueberries. I bought a huge container of blueberries from Costco and I decided to make a big batch of blueberry muffins today since it was cold/dreary out this morning in Houston. I don't have any pictures for the muffins but I'll share the recipe below since they were so good! I'll be making another big batch next weekend and will freeze them for Dr. Sweetpea to take a few with him to work in the mornings. 

Anytime Blueberry Muffins
(Source: America's Test Kitchen)

3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon (separated)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Coat a 12­cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray; set aside. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together at medium­high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to medium­low and beat in half of the flour mixture, followed by one­third of the yogurt. Beat in half of the remaining flour mixture, followed by half of the remaining yogurt; repeat with the remaining flour mixture and yogurt. In a separate bowl, toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour. Gently fold the floured blueberries into the finished batter. Portion the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Adjust an oven rack to the lower­middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let the muffins cool in the pan 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Spiced Pecans

Whenever I buy a huge bag of pecans from Costco, I almost always make Spiced Pecans with half of the bag. They're always tasty, freeze well, and perfect to give away to family/friends. Plus, they're super easy to make and make our home smell absolutely devine! I've been making spiced pecans using the recipe from Cooks Country for a while now, but realized I never shared the recipe on my blog! So I'm sharing the recipe now :o)

Spiced Pecans
(Source: Cooks Country)

2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds unsalted raw pecans, cashews, walnuts, or whole unblanched almonds
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger (omit if you don't like ginger)
2 teaspoons coriander (omit if you don't like coriander)

Adjust oven racks to upper­middle and lower­middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites, water, and salt in large bowl. Add nuts and toss to coat. Drain in colander for 5 minutes. Mix sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and coriander in large bowl. Add drained nuts and toss to coat. Spread nuts evenly on prepared baking sheets and bake until dry and crisp, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating and switching position of baking sheets halfway through baking time. Cool nuts completely. Break nuts apart and serve.

***NOTE: I always stir the pecan mixture every 10 minutes while they're baking to prevent them from burning!!!***

Friday, February 17, 2017

Shish Kebabs

Until this year, I've never grilled anything in my life. I've usually had Dr. Sweetpea grill all our food. However, since he's so busy with Cardiology Fellowship, I've been grilling our food and I absolutely love grilling now! It's super easy to do and I have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes. Plus, I absolutely love the smell of food grilling and looove hearing the sizzling sound as soon as the meat hits the hot grill. Anyway, I decided to try another kebab marinade for our dinner and it was wonderful. This is another keeper recipe for us! 

Shish Kebabs
(Source: All Recipes)

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 pounds lean beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
Mix of vegetables cut into chunks (We use zuchinni, summer squash, and bell peppers)

Whisk the vegetable oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, black pepper, and salt together in a bowl; pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the beef, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.

Add the vegetables into the bag, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and reseal the bag; marinate in the refrigerator another 8 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grate. Remove the beef an vegetables from the marinade, shaking off any excess liquid. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes; set aside for basting.

Thread pieces of vegetables and beef onto metal skewers, repeating until all ingredients are skewered.

Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning frequently and brushing generously with the reserved marinade until nicely browned on all sides and the meat is no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


One of my favorite childhood meals is the Korean Pork Cutlet (TonKatSu). It's super easy to prepare and an easy weeknight meal. Plus, who doesn't love something that's fried? The pork is super tender and who doesn't love a crispy coating?! Dr. Sweetpea took one bite of the port cutlet and told me this needs to be in our regular rotation.

Korean TonKatSu
(My rendition after watching my mom make it for many years)

4 boneless pork chops (slice pork chops in half horizontally if super thick)
Eggs, whisked

If the pork chops are super thick, slice them in half horizontally so they are about 1/2 inch thick. Then use a meat mallet to pound the slices of pork down to about 1/4 inch thickness. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork. Set aside. 

Dredge each slice of pork in cornstarch on both sides. Then dip both sides of the chops in the eggs. Dredge both sides of the pork again in cornstarch. Then dip both sides of the chops again in eggs. Then generously cover both sides of the pork with panko. Set aside. 

Heat about 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Pan fry the panko crusted pork chops in a hot skillet on both sides until they develop a golden brown color. Serve with rice and TanKatSu sauce. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Cincinnati Chili

I'm a huge fan of eating a hot bowl of chili when it's cold outside. Unfortunately, it's warm in Houston for most of the year, so I rarely make chili at home now. However, I've heard so many good things about the Cincinnati Chili that I decided to make this for the Super Bowl. It does have cocoa powder as an ingredient but you barely taste it. This chili turned out amazing and Dr. Sweetpea really liked it too!!

Cincinnati Chili
(Source: America's Test Kitchen)

2 teaspoons table salt or more to taste 
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups) 
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons) 
2 tablespoons chili powder 
2 teaspoons dried oregano 
2 teaspoons cocoa 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
2 cups water 
2 tablespoons cider vinegar 
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar 
2 cups tomato sauce 
Hot pepper sauce 

1 pound spaghetti, cooked, drained, and tossed with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter 
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
1 can red kidney beans (15-ounce), drained, rinsed, and warmed 
1 medium white onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)

FOR THE CHILI: Bring 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the ground chuck, stirring vigorously to separate the meat into individual strands. As soon as the foam from the meat rises to the top (this takes about 30 seconds) and before the water returns to a boil, drain the meat into a strainer and set it aside.

Rinse and dry the empty saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is warm, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and browned around the edges, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, black pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, water, vinegar, sugar, and tomato sauce, scraping the pan bottom to remove any browned bits. 

Add the blanched ground beef and increase the heat to high. As soon as the liquid boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili is deep red and has thickened slightly, about 1 hour. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and hot pepper sauce to taste. (The chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat before serving.) 

TO SERVE: Divide the buttered spaghetti among individual bowls. Spoon the chili over the spaghetti and top with the cheese, beans, and onion. Serve immediately.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Chicken with All Purpose Marinade

I already posted several marinade recipes on my blog since we love to grill. I also love trying out new marinade recipes as much as I can. I think it's a great way add a ton of flavor to meat and it's also a great tenderizer too. I was looking for an all-purpose marinade and saw that the one on Plain Chicken was pinned a ton on Pinterest. So I gave it a whirl, and sure enough, the chicken turned out amazing. This is definitely another marinade that I'll keep around to marinade our meat. Dr. Sweetpea raved about the chicken too!

All Purpose Marinade
(Source: Plain Chicken)

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Whisk together all ingredients. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Marinate meat an hour to overnight.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is a super simple cake that can be made any day of the week for an easy yet delicious dessert. Dr. Sweetpea loves pineapples and loves maraschino cherries, so I decided to make this cake for dessert one evening and he raved about it! Definitely something that I'll be making often!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
(Source: King Arthur Flour)

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple rings in juice, drained
candied red cherries or maraschino cherries
diced pecans or walnuts, optional

3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon coconut flavor, optional
1 1/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan.

To make the topping: Melt the butter, and mix with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.

Space the pineapple rings atop the brown sugar mixture. Place a cherry in the center of each ring. If you're using nuts, scatter them in any empty spaces.

To make the cake: Beat the butter and sugar until fairly smooth.

Beat in the egg, then the salt, baking powder, vanilla, and coconut flavor.

Add the flour alternately with the milk, mixing at medium speed and beginning and ending with the flour. Once the last of the flour is added, mix briefly, just until smooth.

Spoon the thick batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges of the pan. It may not cover the pineapple entirely; that's OK.

Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, wait 3 minutes, then turn the pan over onto a serving plate. 

Wait 30 seconds, then lift the pan off. If anything sticks in the pan, just lift it out and place it back on the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Nutty Orange Biscotti

Whenever Dr. Sweetpea and I go to Starbucks, we always get a biscotti with our coffee. So to save ourselves a few bucks each time we head to Starbucks, I've been making biscotti from scratch at home. I saw Trisha Yearwood make this on her Food Network show a while back, so I decided to try the recipe out myself. 

Not going to lie, the recipe is super easy but the end result is absolutely delicious!!! Dr. Sweetpea had three in one sitting, not with his coffee, but as dessert. Definitely something I'll be making for us more often. I'll just switch up the flavors next time. 

Nutty Orange Biscotti
(Source: Trisha Yearwood)

4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
Grated zest from 1 orange plus 1 teaspoon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup chopped almonds or nuts of your choice
Nonstick cooking spray

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the orange zest and juice, oil, almond extract and vanilla extract, beating until blended. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the egg mixture, beating well. Fold in the almonds by hand. Remove the dough to plastic wrap, wrap and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Divide the dough in half. Spray your hands lightly with nonstick cooking spray and shape each portion into a 5-by-8-inch log on the baking sheet. Bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Cool the logs on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Return the biscotti to the baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake for 15 more minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Steakhouse Beef Kebabs

I've been looking for an excellent beef kebab marinade recipe and I think I found it! The meat is super flavorful and so tender when they're grilled. Dr. Sweetpea loved the kebabs so much that we're adding this to our monthly rotation. 

Steakhouse Beef Kebabs

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin tips, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and halved
1 large red onion, sliced into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 onion layers each)

Whisk together oil, Worcestershire, soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, brown sugar, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place beef cubes and mushrooms in a large resealable plastic bag. Add marinade and seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 1 and up to 5 hours.

Thread beef onto skewers, alternating with mushrooms and onions.

Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill skewers until beef is well seared on all sides and center of beef registers between 125-130°F on an instant read thermometer, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer skewers to platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

**The only thing I did differently is I threaded the meat and vegetables onto the skewers separately since the veggies cook much faster than the meat.**