Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Date Night and the Best Salad I've Ever Had

The husband and I had a relaxing night at home last night and sat around the fire pit discussing all of our future Holiday traveling plans. Dinner was very easy, steaks on the grill and crunchy walnut salad with homemade Asian Vinaigrette. The dinner and the company were perfection!
This salad dressing, along with the toasted walnuts and Ramen noodles, rocks! My mom makes a dressing like this for our Holiday get-togethers and I tend to forget about it over the year. I won't forget about this baby again!

For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

For the crunch:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2-1 cup walnuts
1 package oriental Ramen noodles (I must mention these things only cost 22 cents)

In a medium size skillet, melt half the butter and toast the Ramen noodles. Once they turn a darker brown (don't burn them) add the seasoning packet. Once golden in color, rest them on a paper towel. Add the rest of the butter and toast the walnuts for a few minutes or until dark gold in color.


For the salad:
Romaine lettuce
Fresh broccoli
Red bell pepper
Red onion 
Cherry tomatoes
Strawberry slices

Add the lettuce and the veggies, then the walnuts and Ramen noodles. Last but not least, give the dressing a big shake and then pour it on. Give it a good toss and dig in!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Goodness Gracious Great Balls of ...

Its hard to say whether or not I'm happy about my new obsession. I stumbled on a recipe at Bakerella's site for red velvet cake balls. I'm not a big sweet eater, nor do I consider myself a good baker...heck, I don't like to measure and rumor has it, measuring is key in baking. However, when I saw how dang cute these cake poppers were, it was love at first ball.

 The whole process isn't a hard one, but its definitely time consuming. Last night I made 90 of them and it took me about half a day. Ok, let me stop for just a second. I feel it is important to lay it all out on the line. I used a boxed cake mix. There I said it. I'm not sure if baking etiquette allows that, but I don't regret it. I figure baking a cake from a box is a lot like drinking wine from a box. You might do it, you probably enjoy it, you don't however, talk about it. 

Ok, back to the balls. I made the cake just like the box said. Then, I let it completely cool which took about an hour. Then, I crumbled the cake up into a large bowl.

Then comes the icing. Yes, it was store bought. So what :) I forked a tub of cream cheese icing into the bowl and mashed it up, treating it like meat for a meatloaf. I even got my hands messy. Afterward, I plastic wrapped the top, and popped it in the fridge for another hour or two. After it chilled, I used my  hands and rolled quarter size balls. 1 cake made  45 balls. DOH...I forgot to take a picture of the rolled up balls!

I melted chocolate bark, which is quite hard to find, and using a spoon, I rolled the cake balls into the chocolate.


Thank you Joey for being my  hand model.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Perfectly Peppered Steak and a Perfect Night

I was so incredibly excited to meet Patrick, a new customer of mine. He placed an order on Tuesday for Pepper Steak, White Rice, Garlic Brew Bread and Chocolate Oreo Truffles. This order was UBER special because Patrick was going to propose to his girlfriend the next night, over his homemade meal by yours truly!

When I started Meals by Misty, I knew one of my dishes that would rock everyone's world was my pepper steak. I've mentioned before my love for spicy food and it's pretty obvious how fond of meat I am, so this entree is perfect for me.  Oh, I find it important to mention that this is a one pot wonder. Only one dirty dish! Wooohoo!!

I have tried using several different cuts of beef, but have found that my favorite is top sirloin. I season the steak with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and then brown it in about a tablespoon of oil. While the meat is browning, cut up your veggies. (If you are a wine drinker, now is a good time to get your pour on)

Remove the meat from the Dutch oven and toss in the red onion, green bell pepper and red bell pepper. Add garlic (3 gloves) and 2-3 cups of beef broth.  Now, to make pepper steak taste the way I like it, I go a little crazy at this point. I add a splash of Dale's steak sauce, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, a big splash of soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, and a can of tomatoes.

Put the lid on a let it simmer away on med-low heat.  To thicken the mixture, combine 2ish tablespoons of cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons of the broth in a seperate dish. When the lumps dissolve, drop the thickening agent into the pot and give it a good stir. The color will deepen and the sauce really thickens up. Add your meat in the pot and if you like it hot, add a few drips of hot sauce.

A few clients have requested noodles to go with their pepper steak, but I'm a rice kinda girl. I like it best over fluffy rice with plenty of garlic brew bread for dipping.

I received an email from Patrick today saying last night was perfect so I'm assuming she said yes! 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gahlic Brew Bread...if You Bake it, the Bag will Come!

There is something about bread that puts a smile on most peoples face. As a rule, I try and stay away from bread. However, there is an exception to every rule. I, being the non baker that I am, have been perfecting my Gahlic Brew Bread recipe and now have invented (yes, I invented this) the greatest tasting bread of all time.
Ok, here it goes...

Gahlic Brew Bread
3 cups All Purpose Flour, SIFT SIFT SIFT SIFT ( don't forget to sift it)
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Bud Light
1 stick, Melted Butter
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
Optional: 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated, a pinch or 2 Cayenne Pepper

Now what?

Sift the flour and add all of the dry ingredients. Open the fridge and grab one of your husband's Bud Lights. Slowly pour it in...save a sip for your husband and then ask him for a new purse. Works like a charm.

The dough will go from bubbly to sticky.

I usually use my Calphalon bread pan, but when I'm baking multiple loaves (think multiple purses) I use aluminum disposable containers.

Be sure you put your pan/pans on a baking sheet. Once you add the next two ingredients, yes I saved the best for last, things can get messy.

Add the melted butter and the garlic powder to the dough and its ready to get a suntan in the oven           (375 degrees)

One hour later...

Now, go shopping for that bag you've been eyeing.
This one got my vote...

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Where's the beef? RIGHT HERE!!

I have been a busy bee this last week. I've cooked for a lot of people, but they are all wanting the same thing...CHILI. I have made 6 gigantic pots of chili for my clients this week so I haven't had much to post about. My chili is good, but I didn't figure my blog friends would want to see anymore chili pics. So, last night, after a fun filled Halloween weekend, Wes came over for his Meals by Misty fix and I made flank steak sandwiches on garlic toast with Gouda, tomatoes, arugula, avocado and red onion. I served these up with Sweet Corn and Balsamic and Garlic Asparagus. 
I did cook the asparagus a little longer than I like, but the flavor was perfect. I sauteed them with butter, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and sea salt.  I added a splash of lime juice right before I served them and the lime and salt really brought out the flavor of the asparagus.

Meaty Misty decided to grill a flank steak, which is a cut of beef that I don't use enough. It has insane flavor, is inexpensive and if marinated right and grilled medium rare, its super tasty.

I put a little bbq sauce on mine and we all spread on a good amount of avocado on the toast. It was an easy meal, which after my crazy Halloween weekend, was perfect!