Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recipe Review Trisha Yearwood's Beef Stir-Fry from Food Network Magazine

Happy Day it is Recipe Review Time!

I had just received my new Food Network Magazine and I couldn't wait to try a new recipe.
I selected my recipe and gathered my ingredients.
I decided to go with.....

Trisha Yearwood's Beef Stir-Fry 
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4-inch-long pieces, then cut against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 pound snow peas or green beans
1 12 -ounce can baby corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)


Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, chile pepper, sugar and lime juice until the sugar is dissolved. Add the beef, toss to coat and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the beef from the skillet and set aside. Allow the liquid in the pan to reduce until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and scallions and cook 1 minute more. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the snow peas, baby corn and bell pepper and continue cooking until all the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Return the beef to the skillet and toss to combine.

This, my friends,  is a serrano chile pepper.
I had no idea what it was.  I had to google it at the grocery store to find out what it looked like:-)  
It is there on top of the lime and the green onions.

 Now, what do I do with it???  I found a video on Youtube that helped.
I did not do a perfect job but I got the job done:-)
Prepped all my ingredients.
I like to get that complete before the cooking begins.

Cooked the beef and then slowly added the rest of the ingredients as the recipe directed.
 Erica came over to try it out.  We served it over rice with a glass of red wine.

This was really good.  I would give it an 8.5/10 on my cooking scale.  Yes, I would make it again.
The rice adds a nice touch.
If you try it let me know what you think.
Happy Eating!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Coffee and OJ on Cereal??? Oh My!

I was reading Food Network this week and came across a blurb about cereal.  This little tidbit was on what some folks put in their cereal.  For me, it has always been milk, plain and simple.  Nice cold milk poured over your favorite cereal.  But, not everyone thinks alike.

According to the magazine 13% pour coffee over their cereal and 12% enjoy orange juice.  I don't fit in either of those categories.
That got me thinking if there are any other cereal oddities out there.  Let's consult Google.
Ice cubes in the cereal to make it colder is very common.
Almond milk rather then cows milk
Apple juice
Red Wine
Egg Nog
Diet coke
I am not tempted to try any of them.  I will stick with my 2% milk.  I do like to soak my toast in my cereal.  Soggy and delicious.  Some would call that an oddity:-)
Now I am in the mood for some cereal. Oh no I am out of milk...
I could put some wine in my cereal or water.  No.  I will wait.  I am going to the grocery store today and will have milk on my list.
What do you put on your cereal?
Happy Eating!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Restaurant Review...Dinner at the Durham Hotel with Erica

Got a text from Erica, she wanted to go to the Durham Hotel in downtown Durham for dinner. 

Great, I thought, let's go!  Let me get my camera....

I had wine
 Erica had Ginger Ale...It was great.

We looked over the menu and placed our order.  We decided to share the Cured Meat and Cheese Board.
4-year Chapel Hill country ham, pickled wild shrimp, Sam’s beef tongue, 
chicken liver pâté, pickled okra, Tin’s mustard, red onion,smoked king mackerel, everything crackers 
As I was studying the menu I realized what we thought were green beans were actually okra. 
  Not sure which was beef tongue but I believe it may be the meat in the foreground. 
Loved the pickled shrimp.

BOXCARR Cottonseed 
VIEILLE Ossau Iraty 

Looking at the names of the cheeses above I can't tell you which ones we had.  I will break our board down into layman's terms, from left to right.  Blue cheese, a type of goat cheese combo, 
apples, brie and bread:-)

"The Roof at The Durham is a year-round gathering spot for guests and locals alike, offering one-of-a-kind panoramic views of the city. Here you will find original, handcrafted cocktails, extensive wine and beer offerings and a seasonal raw bar and small kitchen menu."

We ate in the dining room on the lower level.  Erica has been to the rooftop and said the views are amazing.  We took the elevator up to take a look....

We had a very nice time at the Durham.  The food was unique and for me a new culinary experience.  
The staff was very friendly.  We felt well cared for and welcomed.
 I can't wait to try the rooftop lounge.  
Happy Travels and Adventures everyone.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup from Damn Delicious

I found a recipe on Pinterest that I could not wait to try.  Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup from a site called Damn Delicious and it was:-)

I gathered my ingredients...

Below is her recipe.  In red are my comments...
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 servings

So cozy, so comforting and just so creamy. Best of all, this is made in 30 min from start to finish - so quick and easy! (She must be a very fast cook.  It took me far longer for the prep time..)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup half and half, or more, as needed*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  • Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken thighs, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and rosemary, if desired.

"Did you know that most of the table mushrooms we eat are all of the same variety? Its name is Agaricus bisporus, according to Wikipedia, and it includes portobello, cremini, and white button mushrooms.The Kitchn
The cremini mushroom, then, is just in between these two varieties. It's a moderately mature version of the white button mushroom, which is why it has a similar flavor. It's younger than the portobello, but still related, which is why these are sometimes sold as "baby bella" or "baby portobello" mushrooms."The Kitchn

It was a yummy soup.  I would give it a 9.5/10 on my cooking scale.  Rich and savory.  The thing that took the most time was the prep.  All the chopping and preliminary cooking to bring it all together, but it was worth it.
Happy cooking everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Restaurant Review...Primal Food and Spirits plus a Wine Dinner Adventure

I have heard good things about this restaurant for some time.  When Melissa if I had been there I said "not yet", so we decided to meet there one night after work.

"At Primal we take gluten sensitivities seriously, and representing the needs of the gluten-free community is very important to us. Simply put, it is part of our identity, and it is exactly what makes us different from everyone else. Our kitchen is 100% gluten-free, 
meaning there is no possibility of cross-contamination."
(quote from their site)
 I loved the variety of glasses.  I remember Melissa had a Moscato and I believe I had the Chardonnay.
The restaurant has a rustic warm feel.  Very nice.

Melissa ordered this.  I had a taste.  I would call it comfort food.
I ordered...
My photo did not turn out, but it was good:-)
We shared the
BAKED APPLE GRANOLA CRUMBLE almond & honey granola / coconut ice cream 
I loved the ice cream.
 While we were there we noticed an upcoming event.  It was a wine dinner hosted at Primal.  I had never been to one and Melissa said she had not been either.  So what the heck, we decided to go.
Primal Fall Harvest Wine Dinner
The event was held in a room near the back of the restaurant.
Nicely decorated.
The people slowly arrived...

 The Menu
Several of the items were new to me. Such as Chestnut Soup and 
Cippolini onions.  The wines were not the typical ones that I am accustom to buying
which made me realize I have a lot to learn about wine.

This, for me,  this was the highlight of the evening the Chestnut soup.  If I saw this on the menu I would not have thought to order it but now I will.  Amazingly delicious!!!!
I find Quail difficult to eat.  This is the second time in my life I have had it and it is nearly all bones.  The flavor was nice, but I am just not a quail person.  I am sure there is fine art to eating this delicacy but as of yet I have not developed the needed skill set:-)
The beef short ribs were lovely.
I enjoyed the dessert.  Especially the tapioca pudding.   
Anything custard or pudding like is my weakness, along with other things:-)
Thanks for a wonderful evening Melissa.  We must do it again soon!
Adding to my wine vocabulary with the help of Wikipedia...
Old vine (Frenchvieilles vignesGermanalte Reben), a common description on wine labels, indicates that a wine is the product of grape vines that are notably old. There is a general belief that older vines, when properly handled, will give a better wine.
Beaujolais (French pronunciation:  [bo.ʒɔ.lɛ]) is a French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins

Interesting.  I must admit the French pronunciation did not help me at all.  
I will have to ask my daughter how to say it she took French.

Get out and try a new Restaurant.  If you are in south Durham I suggest you give Primal Food and Spirits a try.  You won't be disappointed.
Happy travels and adventures!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Recipe Review, Bell Peppers and Broccoli from Readers Digest....."Fettuccine Primavera"

I enjoy Readers Digest because of the short stories and tidbits of information.  I was reading their food category and came across an article on Superfoods and your appearance.  This is what they said about Bell Peppers and Broccoli....

Bell Peppers and Broccoli
Vitamin C increases production of collagen, the skin's building block.  
In other words, fewer fine lines around your eyes and mouth.  
(Hmm, I wonder if it will take away the fine lines if I start eating it now?:-)

I decided I should find a recipe with both bell peppers and broccoli.  I consulted Google.  It did not take long to find one. Here is the recipe.....

Fettuccine Primavera from BUITONI

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In
Recipe By:BUITONI(R)


  • 1 (9 ounces) package BUITONI(R) Refrigerated Fettuccine, cooked according to package directions, kept hot
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup NESTLE(R) CARNATION(R) Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup BUITONI(R) Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat water in medium saucepan to boiling. Add broccoli, carrots and bell pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 to 7 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in the same saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour. Gradually add evaporated milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Stir in Parmesan cheese, provolone cheese, cayenne and black pepper until cheese is melted. Toss with pasta. Add vegetables; stir to coat. Serve immediately.
Which wine should I choose?  I decided to go with the Chardonnay.

I enjoyed this recipe.  It was cheesy and yummy.  I wold give it  8/10 on my cooking scale.  It needed a bit more flavor.  I would also add more veggies.  I have leftover fresh broccoli and red bell peppers.  I think I will cook them up and serve them with my remaining Fettuccine Primavera.

The article did suggest that you eat 1 cup of fresh or 1/2 cup of cooked bell peppers and/or broccoli per day.  Not sure if I can do that but I can increase the amount that I do consume.  

As always good advice from Readers Digest.
Happy reading, cooking and eating everyone!