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  1. Wednesday, February 26

    Simple and Delicious Homemade Beef Stroganoff

    As a kid my favorite dinner was beef stroganoff. My mom didn’t make it often and she only liked to make it when she could get the meat from a particular butcher in town, so when we did have stroganoff it was such a treat. I suppose I’ve been a sucker for sour cream and mushrooms since the early days!

    simple and delicious homemade beef stroganoff from @janemaynard

    I also rarely make beef stroganoff and, until now, always just used those dried sauce packets from the grocery store. I must admit that I liked how it tasted and it didn’t require any thought. But what I like more is cooking food from scratch whenever I can, so I decided it was time to try completely homemade beef stroganoff. And, in all honesty, it wasn’t any harder than using one of those sauce packets!

    This recipe is simple but delicious. I researched tons of different recipes as I thought about how I wanted to put the dish together and this is what I came up with. The sauce was creamy and tasty, the meat was tender and I totally had seconds (just like the old days). I also love meals that use meat sparingly. This recipe makes a ton of food with just 1 pound of steak – I love that!

    simple and delicious homemade beef stroganoff from @janemaynard

    In the interest of full disclosure, Anna did not like it, but I think she just doesn’t like stroganoff to begin with. (She also doesn’t like chicken pot pie, so can we trust her? I think not.) Owen only ate two bites, but that was more a function of Anna giving him a giant granola bar 5 minutes before dinner without telling me. Soooo helpful. Cate said it was really good and worthy of sharing on the blog and Nate agreed. At least I have some supporters in the family!

    (>> Find out more…)

  2. Friday, July 16

    Tri Tip Roast

    Since it’s too darn hot to cook in the kitchen, how about we hit the grill? Nate bought a tri tip roast a few weeks ago, a food item we had never cooked before. I browsed a bunch of tri tip recipes and we went for it…with great success! Our tri tip roast came out tender and flavorful…mmmmmmm. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a great photo of it…I won’t go into details, but this is the best shot I got. The meat was actually a little more red than what it looks like here. It was perfectly cooked and perfectly tender.

    ANYWAY…here’s the “recipe” for my marinade. As for cooking the meat, we did exactly what my blogging friend Elise outlines over on her blog Simply Recipes. By the way…Nate is now the president of the Charbroil Chimney Charcoal Starter Club. I think that deserves a post, actually. I’ll have to remember to grab my camera next time he’s grilling!

    Tri Tip Roast
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Beef
    • Gallon Ziploc bag
    • Soy Sauce
    • Red wine vinegar
    • olive oil
    • fresh garlic cloves, sliced (2-5, depending on how much you like garlic)
    • salt & pepper
    • honey
    1. Pour in equal parts soy sauce, vinegar and olive oil into the Ziploc bag”¦enough that it will cover your roast when the bag is sealed. Add garlic, salt & pepper and about 1 tablespoon or so of honey. Add the tri tip roast to the bag, zip it up and let marinate overnight.


  3. Thursday, January 7

    Swedish Meatballs

    Another Swedish food that my grandmother ALWAYS made was Swedish meatballs. Just like bulle, the smell alone takes me back in time. The last two years I’ve made meatballs 2 days before Christmas, ready to pop in the oven on Christmas Day. Making the meatballs is a little labor intensive, but doing them ahead makes for a super easy and delicious Christmas dinner.

    swedish meatballs finished product2 web

    Christmas or not, these are some good meatballs. They are best served with boiled red potatoes and lingonberry jam.

    Swedish Meatballs
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Beef
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • ¼ pound ground veal
    • ¼ pound ground pork
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 2 teaspoon paprika
    • 2 cups bread crumbs
    • ½ cup milk
    • 1 onion (medium) (I do only about ⅓ of an onion)
    • 2 tablespoon butter
    • 2½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
    • 3 beaten eggs
    • Fat left in skillet
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic
    • 5 tablespoon butter
    • 2 teaspoon tomato paste
    • 1 teaspoon beef concentrate (or bouillon cube)
    • 2 cups bouillon or beef stock
    • Optional: 1 teaspoon aromatic bitters (I’ve never used these)
    • ¼ cup butter
    • 1 cup sour cream
    1. Have meat ground together twice or mix really well. Soak bread crumbs in milk. Add meat – mix well. Mix in pepper, nutmeg, paprika, and beaten eggs.
    2. In a large frying pan, saute onions in 2 T butter until soft. Add salt and dry mustard and stir. Add onion mixture to meat mixture and mix well. Form 48 small balls. Brown meatballs in ¼ C butter. Remove balls – set aside in a 9×13 baking pan.
    3. Add garlic and 1 T butter to fat left in skillet. Blend in 4 more Tbsp. butter, tomato paste, beef concentrate, and beef stock. Stir mixture over low heat until it thickens slightly. Stir in 1 cup sour cream and a few more tablespoons of butter (yes, more butter!). Pour sauce over meatballs. Heat in moderate oven (I think baked them at 350 degrees) until hot.
    This recipe improves if made one day ahead.

    swedish meatballs three meats webswedish meatballs cooking webswedish meatballs sauce webswedish meatballs in pan webswedish meatballs finished product1 web

  4. Tuesday, March 17

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day…have some corned beef!

    Happy St Patrick’s Day!  I had visions of turning all of our food green today, but Cate wouldn’t have it.  When I offered green pancakes or oatmeal this morning she replied, “I had green eggs and ham at school and it wasn’t good.  No thanks!” So much for being a fun mom.

    I promised corned beef recipes, so here we go!

    Straight-Up Corned Beef
    Delicious corned-beef hoagies with melted cheese!
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Beef
    • 3 – 3½ lb corned beef
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 12 black peppercorns
    • juniper berries
    • seasoning packet
    • mustard
    • brown sugar
    1. Rinse meat under cold water. Place in large pot – cover with 6 in cold water. Cover pot – bring water to boil. Pour off water. Put 6 in cold water back in pot. Bring to boil covered. Repeat if want less salty taste.
    2. Skim off scum. Add spices (p.s. I always forget to buy juniper berries, but the little spice packet that comes with the meat seems to be enough) . Lower heat, cover and simmer til very tender but still holds together, ~1 hour per pound.

    Corned Beef and Glaze
    From my mom-in-law Pat”¦who is a McCarthy, so I would trust her with an Irish recipe. She says this is a yummy way to get corned beef down the throats of the non-Irish.
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Beef
    • 1 or 2 point cut briskets
    • large can peaches(mashed up)
    • dark brown sugar
    • butter
    • OJ
    • marmalade
    • maple syrup
    1. Cover the briskets with water and boil, then simmer for 3 or 4 hours. Take outta the water and save water to cook your cabbage, carrots and potatoes in. Heat oven to 425 or 450. Put brisket on a broiler pan. Mix above ingredients so they hold together as a glaze. (Add OJ last to see if too watery – and sorry there are no measurements!) Put glaze on top and baste again every 20 minutes or so. Then reduce oven to 325. Glaze some more, every 25 minutes or so, till the fat drains through the broiler pan. Total bake time is about 1-1/2 to 2 hours – a big commitment – but yummy.


  5. Monday, July 9

    Featured Recipe: RIBS & Great BBQ Sauce

    First off, my apologies to all the vegetarians out there…this is a very MEATY post. 🙂 The first time I had ribs, my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Mark made them for the 4th of July and I was SOLD. And, as I mentioned recently, all I want to eat lately is ribs from Phil’s BBQ (here in San Diego).

    Nate and I took a hand at grilling our first ribs this weekend (pictured). They were yummy yummy and cost about half as if we’d gone out. So, here’s how Barbara and Mark taught us how to do it – it’s easy, although cleaning the roasting pan – not so fun.

    Featured Recipe: RIBS & Great BBQ Sauce
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Beef
    1. Cook ribs in big roasting pan at 250 degrees for about 5 hours. Place ribs on a rack in the pan and keep some water in the bottom of the pan while cooking. You can roast the day before and refrigerate until you’re ready to grill.
    2. Cook ribs on grill, low heat setting, for about 30 minutes or until they’re hot. While they’re cooking, keep slathering with BBQ sauce and turning every few minutes.
    3. “What BBQ sauce should I use?” you may be wondering. Barb’s favorite by far is Head Country BBQ sauce, and we have to agree. It is seriously yummy, and you can order it online easy as pie!


  6. Saturday, April 7

    Featured Recipe: Beef Stew

    It’s been cloudy and gloomy here in San Diego the last few days, so I think we’re due for some comfort food. Last time I made Beef Stew, Cate GOBBLED it up! Hopefully other toddlers out there will follow suit…always nice to find something they’ll eat!

    This recipe is from my mom, who is notorious for giving non-recipe-recipes, where you have to guess amounts, etc. Despite the lack of direction, it IS easy to make. Let me know if you have questions! Note: I put the carrots and celery in before the potatoes so the potatoes don’t get too mushy, but some people don’t mind it and like how the potatoes thicken the stew.

    Featured Recipe: Beef Stew
    Hearty beef stew! Yum!
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Meat
    • beef stew meat / round steak (appx amount: 1½ lb)
    • butter/olive oil
    • onion (I chop ½ of an onion)
    • beef broth (appx 4 Cups; mom uses beef concentrate and water, I have bouillon)
    • celery
    • carrots
    • potatoes
    • flour/water thickening
    • salt & pepper to taste
    1. Brown the meat and onions. Add broth to cover meat and simmer for a few hours. Add vegetables. When they’re not quite done, add thickening. Season.