Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rosemary Mushroom Steak

Nothing like some steak for a grown-up treat on Halloween night.

1 tbsp butter
1 carton of cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 rosemary sprigs
1 tbsp Bourbon, like Makers Mark
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Garlic powder and onion powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of tri-tip or sirloin steak

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, and rosemary sprigs and cook and saute in the butter for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove and dispose rosemary sprigs.
2. Next add the Bourbon, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to the skillet. Combine ingredients well and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove mushroom mixture from pan and set aside.
3. Season steak with salt and pepper by rubbing into the meat. Use the same skillet so as to have some of the juices leftover from the mushrooms to use on the steak. Cook the steak until desired doneness, about 4 minutes on each side for medium rare, based on thickness.
4. Cut steak in half to check doneness. Serve steak with mushroom mix on top. Serve with potatoes and veggies and enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Graveyard Cake

I was in charge of coming up with this years Halloween Contest at my work and so I came up with a Halloween Cake Decorating contest. The picture I included here is of my graveyard cake. I used chocolate pudding cake with mint flavoring with black licorice pieces for the border on the walkway, crushed oreo's and orange sprinkles for my dirt walkway, black licorice vines for my trees, Milano chocolate cookies for tombstones and hard candy bones and gummy pumpkins, ghosts and worms for the rest. I thought my cake turned out okay but my competition was fierce and I did not win, but no worries I had a blast decorating my cake and extra cupcakes with my gals.

Brittany's Tray of Cupcakes

Thanks for the help ladies

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roast Beef and Hash

So I decided to create a breakfast dish with some of the roast beef I had leftover from my beef stew I made the other night. Nothing like some roast beef and hash to start your day off right.

4 potatoes, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
garlic salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to taste

1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped

1-2 eggs per person
1/2 cup of leftover roast beef and/or stew meat

1. To speed up the cooking process of potatoes I tend to microwave them to get them more than halfway cooked. To speed up the process, put the chopped potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes until a fork can go through the potato pretty easily. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat, add red onions, habanero pepper, and the cilantro and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the potatoes and the seasonings to the skillet and stir so that every ingredient is evenly coated. Cook for another 10 minutes, making sure to let potatoes and onions brown a little. Once potatoes are fully cooked, turn off heat.
3. Heat up roast beef by adding it to the potato mixture so it can soak up the flavors and get browned a little or heat it up separately like we did.
4. In a small skillet, prepare eggs to your liking. We made fried eggs to accompany our roast beef and hash. Serve roast beef and hash with your eggs and Enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Roast Beef Stew/Soup

I love slow cooker meals, there is nothing better than a meal being prepared for you while you are working. I decided to prepare this stew the other night. It turned out pretty good but we had way too much leftover, so we basically ate roast beef the rest of the week but in different ways. We started with the beef stew, then I made roast beef and hash for breakfast one morning, and we ended with a roast beef soup for a group of friends. The stew and soup recipes are below.

For Stew:
3-4 pounds sirloin roast
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps Bourbon, like Maker's Mark
salt and pepper to taste
Garlic salt to taste
3 carrots, peeled and the chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 potatoes, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped

For soup:
1 tbsp butter
1/3rd head of cabbage, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups beef stock
2 cups egg noodles, cooked

For stew:
1. Season the roast with garlic salt and pepper to taste. In a large skillet, brown roast on all sides over high heat.
2. Next place the soup mix, bourbon, Worcestershire sauce, and water to slow cooker. Mix ingredients well so that seasonings are well spread out in liquid. Next add roast, carrots, onions, potatoes and celery to the slow cooker. Combine well.
3. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.
4. Once cooked, use two forks to shred roast in the slow cooker, being careful to not scratch the slow cooker. Spoon stew into a bowl and serve with warm bread. Enjoy!

For Soup:
1. Prepare the stew above. Keep stew on Warm in the slow cooker.
2. In a large skillet, saute cabbage, onions, garlic, and green onions in butter until nice and tender.
3. Add cabbage mixture, beef stock, and egg noodles to slow cooker. Let it warm up for an hour and then serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos

Ahi Tuna steaks were on sale at my favorite grocery store, Sprouts, and so I decided to buy some for dinner the other night. Instead of making a typical Seared ahi tuna dish, I decided to make some fancy fish tacos. I created the coleslaw and sauce and got some guidance for seasoning the tuna steaks. They turned out absolutely delicious and the cole slaw I created really made the tacos. Very good.

Cole Slaw:
1/3 of a head of cabbage, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped (leaves only)
1/2 Habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 firm roma tomato, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp sour cream
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp jalapeno hot sauce
sprinkle of lemon juice

1 lb. of Ahi Tuna steaks
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp peppercorns, grinded

Corn tortillas, cooked
Mexican blend cheeses, grated
lemons, sliced

1. Prepare the cole slaw mix first by combining all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl: cabbage, red onion, cilantro, Habanero pepper, tomato, and lemon juice. Mix ingredients well so that ingredients are evenly spread out. Set Aside.
2. Next prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl: sour cream, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, jalapeno hot sauce, lemon juice. Blend well so flavors are evenly spread out. Set aside in the refrigerator.
3. Now to prepare the fish; Season the ahi tuna steaks with the salt and cayenne pepper, rub ingredients into the fish. Next, melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the peppercorns in the butter for about 3 minutes. Gently place the seasoned tuna into the skillet and cook to desired doneness, 2 minutes per side for seared. Once cooked to your desired likeness, remove from heat immediately and set aside. Slice the tuna into 1 inch pieces.
4. Now take your cooked corn tortillas and top with tuna, cole slaw, sauce, cheese, and lemon juice. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from

Monday, October 18, 2010


My beloved Grandmother passed away recently.
She was seriously my most favorite person on this Earth and I am so sad that she is no longer here but I am so pleased to know that she is now at peace in Heaven with Christ our Savior. She taught me how to cook many traditional Czech dishes, including pierogies, cabbage and noodles, Kolacky, and more. She was the most adorable person with such a bubbly personality. I will miss her smile, her hugs, and her many many stories.
We Love You and Miss You Babbi

Her 90th Birthday Party in 2008

My Babbi and Papa at my wedding

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mushroom Risotto

My coworker, Randy, learned of my new acceptance of eating sauteed mushrooms and so he shared with me a tbsp of truffle oil that he picked up awhile ago. I decided to make this risotto just so that I would have something to drizzle the oil over. I never made a risotto before and it turned out it was a lot easier to make than I thought it was going to be.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups uncooked arborio rice
1 cup of dry white wine
1 tbsp butter
1 bunch of asparagus
2 medium zucchini, sliced
Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper
garlic salt
drizzle of truffle oil

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, and bell pepper to the oil and saute until tender.
2. While onion mixture is sauteing, bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and maintain at a simmer. Also, heat up butter in a different large skillet, saute the asparagus and zucchini and season with the garlic salt. Once cooked, set aside.
3. Once onion mixture is tender, add rice and stir to coat well; cook for about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until absorbed.
4. Stir 1 cup simmering broth to onion rice mixture. Cook until broth is almost completely absorbed, stirring frequently, then add another cup of simmering broth. Repeat until only about 1/4 cup of broth remains (discard remaining broth); the process should take about 20 minutes. Rice should be slightly firm in center and look creamy, remove from heat and serve immediately.
5. Serve two giant spoonfuls worth of risotto to a dish and top with a spoon of asparagus and zucchini. Sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and drizzle truffle oil over the top. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spinach Ravioli Casserole

I learned this recipe from my friend Erin Minor. It was delicious. I made a few adjustments like usual, but it is a quick and easy meal for anytime.

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups spinach leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Jar of your most favorite tomato basil marinara (32 oz)
4 cups frozen ravioli (I used 2 cups of four cheese ravioli and 2 cups spinach ravioli)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar jack Mexican blend cheese, grated
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
2 romano tomatoes, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Heat the oil to low heat in a frying pan. Saute the spinach, garlic, and basil in the oil until cooked and leaves are shriveled.
3. Add the marinara sauce to the spinach mixture, combine well so that the spinach is evenly spread throughout the sauce.
4. Grab a 9 by 13 pan, pour one large spoonful of the marinara spinach mixture to the bottom of the pan, next layer the frozen ravioli in the pan so as to cover the bottom of the pan completely.
4. Pour remaining marinara over ravioli, making sure to cover each individual ravioli with sauce.
5. Top of with the grated cheeses. Make sure to evenly layer everything. Top with tomatoes.
6. Place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until ravioli are fully cooked. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chicken Nachos

I used all the leftover ingredients from our Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
to make some delicious nachos; chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, Pepper Jack cheese, black beans, and sweet corn. You basically layer all the ingredients on top of your favorite tortilla chips, stick it in the oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted, then pair with your favorite salsa and enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

We had our neighbors over for dinner the other night and so we decided to make them one of our faves, tacos. I decided to experiment with how I seasoned the chicken and it turned out good and so here we are.

2-3 breasts of chicken, sliced into long and skinny pieces
2 limes, juiced
1 bunch of cilantro (leaves only), chopped fine
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic salt

Optional topping choices:
tortillas, cooked
tomatoes, chopped
onions, chopped
Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
lettuce, chopped
salsa of your liking
black beans
sweet corn

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Make sure seasoning are evenly spread over chicken.
2. Heat up a large skillet with 1 tsp oil. Add Chicken mixture to the pan and cook until chicken is fully cooked, about 5 minutes on each side.
3. Fill tortillas with desired toppings and chicken, top with salsa and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Seasoned Bacon Burgers

I had a craving for a nice homemade burger and I stumbled upon another one of Joelen's recipes. These burgers turned out yummy.


4 Burger patties:
1.4 lbs ground beef
8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled and chopped fine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
4 slices of cheddar cheese

4 onion buns
tomato, sliced
red onion, sliced
spinach leaves
1 avocado, sliced
condiments of your choice


1. In a large bowl, crumble the beef and add the cooked bacon, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Using your hands, lightly knead the mixture until combined.
2. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions, then form each into a loose ball and gently flatten into a 1 inch thick patty. Cover and refrigerate the patties until the grill is ready.
3. Place the burgers on the grill and cook, without pressing on them, until well seared on both sides and cooked through, roughly 8-12 minutes. Flip the burgers halfway through. Add cheese during the last 4 minutes. Transfer the burgers to a platter to serve with veggies. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

My friend, Sara Rosenbaum is an amazing gourmet chef who takes everything she makes to the next level. She recently started a catering business and so I had her cater cookies for my work the other day. Of course she turned the average cookie into gourmet style cookies and they were absolutely wonderful. Her cookies included; "classic" chocolate chip, cranberry walnut dark chocolate chip, crunchy peanut butter, orange pecan dark chocolate chip, and chocolate white chocolate chip. They were all delicious and her classic chocolate chip was one of the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted. I couldn't wait to get her recipe so I could make them whenever I wanted. Thanks Sara for sharing.

1 cup butter, at room temp
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar

2 large eggs, one at a time
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp strong liquid coffee (optional)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup oatmeal, ground up in the blender***
1-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
chopped walnuts optional
***For fluffier cake-like cookies use 2 cups of the blended oats rather than 1

1. Cream together the sugars and butter for a couple minutes.
2. Add vanilla, then one egg at a time.
3. In separate bowl, mix flour, salt, soda and powder. Add this to wet ingredients and mix until blended. If you want, add coffee to this.
4. Add ground oatmeal, chocolate and walnuts by hand.
5. Refrigerate for a couple hours or over night (you can skip this step but results are better if chilled).
6. Use a cookie scoop, make one inch balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
7. Bake at 365 degrees F for 9-11 minutes until edges start to brown - dont overbake! If they are puffing up too much, then lower the cooking temp so they have more time in the oven to spread out. It depends on how hot your oven gets. If they are too spread out, increase the temp.
8. Let them sit on the sheet for a few minutes to finish baking - that way they stay soft in the middle. Enjoy!

If any of you out there are interested in catering, I highly recommend Sara. You can contact her by email,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Basil Cheddar Paninis

This is a delicious comfort food that is a regular in our household. I try to always have these ingredients on hand because it is a quick fix for any meal.

Ingredients per one panini:
2 slices of sourdough bread
1 tsp room temperature butter
garlic salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of cheddar cheese
6 basil leaves***
2 slices of tomato
***if you don't have basil leaves, basil pesto is a great substitute

1. Turn on panini maker
2. While panini maker is warming up, spread butter on one side of each piece of bread and then sprinkle the buttered sides with with garlic salt and pepper.
3. In between the un-buttered sides of bread; place the cheese, tomato with a sprinkle of pepper, and basil leaves.
4. Place sandwich on panini maker until cheese is melted and bread is toasty brown.
5. Remove from panini maker, cut in half and enjoy!