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Fantastic Salad- Recipe From A Friend And A Beef Contest

My friend Abbie, who lives in Texas created this amazing salad for a Beef Contest and her recipe, Cali Avoado Steak Salad was chosen as one of the potential finalists, but in order to secure that coveted finalist spot she needs votes, because she is my friend and I want to help her I am posting her recipe and asking you all to help also, if you are so inclined. Thanks so much and here is the link to the site so you can vote. It sounds absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to make it!

Cali Avocado Steak Salad

Cali Avocado Steak Salad

http://www.beefcookoff.org/recipevoting.aspx

  • 1 beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick (about ½ pound)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 large California avocado
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 2 loaves Nan bread
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1. Rub both sides of steak with 1 teaspoon olive oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
    2. Cut avocado in half; do not remove skin. Cut top and bottom off orange; squeeze juice from each end over avocado. Brush cut side of avocado with 1 teaspoon olive oil: sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.
    3. Brush both sides of nan bread with 2 teaspoons oil.
    4. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 11 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered 13 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. During last 2 to 3 minutes of grilling, place avocado, cut side down, along with nan bread, on grid over medium coals, turning bread once.
    5. Meanwhile, toss salad greens with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove skin from orange; cut into segments. Add to greens. Remove skin from grilled avocado; cut into slices. Carve steak into thin slices place on top of salad. Cut your nan bread into wedges and arrange around salad

 

Happy Memorial Day- Grilled Short Rib Taco’s And A Heavenly Light Dessert

American Flag

American Flag

I want to acknowledge our heroes who have fought and died so that we can enjoy freedom. Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and a day when we gather to enjoy food, family and friends but it’s important that on this day we don’t forget those that served and are serving our great country in the armed forces. Lest we forget!

Memorial Day and our thoughts turn to grilling, its an American tradition. I decided to make something a little different than burgers and hot dogs, a little south of the border flavor peppered with a NYC flair. I love taco’s, they are easy to make and eat and you can add whatever fixings you like, tailoring to your taste. For these taco’s I made some beef short ribs slathered with the most delicious BBQ sauce made by my friend Bevi, I tested her recipe for A Cup Of Coffee BBQ Sauced Steak for Food52 and believe me this sauce is amazing, Now I usually braise short ribs in the oven or on the cooktop until they are fall off the bone tender, but because I wanted to uphold the american tradition of grilling on Memorial Day I did both. First I marinated the short ribs in the BBQ sauce for 2 hours, then I braised  them covered in the sauce and some water in the oven for 2 hours at 325 degrees, they should be fork tender but not falling off the bone, slathered more BBQ sauce on and finished them off on the grill. It may sound like a lot of work but it really wasn’t, the time in the oven was great because they could be left unattended and the grilling only took about 3 minutes to get a nice char. I then shredded the meat, grilled a flour tortilla and there it is, a short rib taco made with a wonderful spicy BBQ sauce.

I wanted something a little different to top the taco’s so I made a sweet corn salad using raw sweet corn, avocado,red onion and  cilantro or parsley and dressed simply with a buttermilk lime vinaigrette. The fresh crunchy salad on top of the rich tender shredded short ribs was really good! Add whatever fixings you want, queso fresco crumbled on top would be delicious, or eat the corn salad separately and top the meat with whatever you like.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

taco

taco

A Cup Of Coffee BBQ Sauced Steak

Makes enough sauce for 2 big steaks

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 dried ancho chile, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (use a regular lemon if Meyers aren’t available)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Two 1 1/2-inch thick steaks, prime sirloin
  1. Place the ancho chile in the hot coffee and allow to steep for about 20 minutes. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until the ancho chile is pulverized and the sauce is a nice, thick texture.
  3. Return the sauce to the stovetop, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Place the steaks in a large ziploc bag, and add about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Squish the steaks around so they are well covered by the sauce. Place in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, or longer if possible. Bring steaks to room temperature before grilling.
  5. Slather more sauce on both sides of the steaks. Place steaks on a hot grill, and grill to your liking. We turn the steaks over after about 4 to 5 minutes, first slathering sauce on the steak, to grill for a total of 10 minutes.
  6. NOTE: I used lime instead of the meyer lemon and a strong dark roast coffee

Corn Salad With Tangy Buttermilk Dressing

2 ears sweet corn cut off the cob

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 ripe avocado chopped

2 tbs chopped cilantro or parsley

1/4 cup buttermilk

juice of 1 1/2 limes

zest of one lime

1/2 tsp dried mint

pinch of salt

generous grinding of black pepper

Mix the buttermilk, lime juice, zest, mint, salt and pepper in the bowl you will be using to serve the salad, stir to combine. Add the corn, onion, avocado, chopped cilantro or parley and toss so that it’s throughly mixed with the dressing. Refrigerate covered until ready to use.

Parfait

Parfait

I can’t forget about dessert, I have been on a diet so no cake or pie for me. I found this recipe also from Bevi on Food52, Coconut Crusted Mango Slices With Pineapple Sauce And Whipped Coconut Cream it’s light and delicious, to see the recipe click on the link. I made one little addition that wasn’t on the recipe, I added lime zest to the coconut cream, I think coconut and lime are so good together and also with mango, it was delicious!

VOTE For My(Healthy Flavor) Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Bars Please!!

Reblogging this please spread the word and vote for Brandi, her delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Bars are vegan and totally delicious!! Click on the link, scroll down to desserts and vote for Healthy Flavor, thank you so much. Her recipes are AMAZING she totally deserves to win!!

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

I made this ice cream to go with the chiffon cake and roasted strawberries and rhubarb. There is nothing like home made ice cream, I love making it and love eating it even more. I wanted to try using some of the rhubarb simple syrup in an ice cream base, I was a little afraid it might turn out icy but it didn’t this was so creamy and wonderful. I adapted David Lebovitz base recipe for vanilla ice cream making some additions and subtractions. His ice cream recipes are genius and I have not been disappointed with any that I have made. I also added some of the roasted strawberries and rhubarb after the ice cream finished churning. It went perfectly with the chiffon cake. I just have to say we had a fantastic Mothers Day lunch, my lovely daughter made all the food, I brought the dessert and we had a wonderful time. I plan on posting her recipe for fried chicken, it’s the best I have had.

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

  • 1 cup whole milk or half and half
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup rhubarb syrup
  • 1 cup roasted strawberry rhubarb  drained and chopped into small pieces

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks,  gradually pour some of the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

4.Whisk the hot custard into the cream cheese, continue whisking until there are no lumps. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

5. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning add the rhubarb syrup through the hole on top of the ice cream maker. Place ice cream in freezer container, fold in the strawberries and rhubarb and place in freezer until it’s scoopable.

My Mom

My Mom and Me

My Mom and Me

I love this photo of me and my Mom, I was about 15 months old. My Mother was wearing a bathrobe and high heels. You’ve got to love that, her hair neatly coiffed and this was first thing in the morning. She was only 20 years old in this photo. I just called her to wish her a Happy Mothers Day, I love hearing her voice and am so glad she is still here with us. You see, it’s a miracle she is still here and healthy. Almost 8 years ago she was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, stage 4, they thought she might live 6 months to a year, that was devastating news, I couldn’t imagine life without her. With quick medical intervention which included aggressive chemotherapy, mastectomy and radiation she is now cancer free and has been for all this time. She lives far away from me and I don’t get to see her very often, she doesn’t like to travel, but we talk all the time and see each other as often as possible. She was the rock in our family, the practical one, she got us through lean times so well, we were barely aware of it. She is an amazing cook, always putting a delicious homemade meal on the table and so often she did it on a shoe string budget.

Mom is French and Scots- Irish and my Dad was Italian, she was accepted into a very Italian family, first generation in the US. My Grandfather didn’t speak English or only a few words and she was taught to cook amazing Italian food from my Aunts.

Birthday Party for my cousin

Birthday Party for my cousin

Mom won’t see this because she doesn’t have a computer and  only just recently got a cell phone. On Mothers Day I like to look back and think about all the wonderful things my Mother did, how hard she worked taking care of all of us and I really love and appreciate her and I wanted to share a little bit about her with you. Here are some photo’s of some of her recipes that I have shared on this site.

Meatballs

Meatballs

Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli

Homemade pasta

Homemade pasta

Italian Cheesecake

Italian Cheesecake

Happy Mothers Day, I hope all of you had a wonderful day!

Happy Mothers Day-Chiffon Cake With Roasted Strawberries And Rhubarb

Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake

I make this cake all the time, it’s light and has a velvety texture, it is similar to angel food cake, baked in an ungreased tube pan and laden with whipped egg whites, the difference here is that this cake contains oil (yes oil not butter) and egg yolks. Chiffon cake was big in the 1950’s and makes a very elegant dessert served with your choice of fruit or berries and some whipped cream it is absolutely delicious. The cake is lightly scented with lemon, rises high above the pan and is light as a feather. I have tried many recipes, but when I came upon this one from the great James McNair I found a keeper. It’s the only recipe I use and it turns out perfectly every time. Wrap what you don’t use well and keep in a cool dry place, the cake stays fresh for several days. You can also wrap well and freeze, it defrosts beautifully. Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom’s!!

Chiffon Cake

From James McNair’s Cakes

2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup egg yolks (from 6-7 large eggs) at room temperature and lightly beaten

3/4 cup water

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tbs pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup egg whites (from approximately 10 eggs) at room temperature

1 tsp cream of tartar

Make sure your rack is in the middle of oven and pre heat to 325 degrees. Have a 10 inch angel food cake pan with removable bottom ready. You do not need to grease or flour the pan.

Place the flour, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, baking powder and salt in strainer or sifter and sift into a large metal bowl. Add the water, egg yolks, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until very smooth approximately 1 minute. Set aside.

In the metal bowl of a stand mixer with a wire whip  beat the egg whites on low speed until frothy, add the cream of tartar and increase speed to medium and beat until very soft billowy mounds form, with mixer running slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar a tbs at a time and beat until very stiff but not dry (about 6 minutes) It’s important that the egg whites be beaten until stiff.

Transfer about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter and stir gently to incorporate and lighten the batter. Add the remaining egg whites and using a large balloon whisk or rubber spatula gently fold into the batter until incorporated.

Gently scrape the batter into the cake pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your fingertip in the thickest part of the cake and a wooden skewer comes out clean. Baking time is about 1 hour. NOTE: You don’t want to open the oven door until the prescribed baking time is just about up, the cake could fall if you do this, so leave it for at least 55 minutes before you test the cake for doneness.

Remove pan from the oven and let it cool upside down you can use a bottle for this, the cake should be elevated. The cake rises quite high so it’s important not to let the upside down cake rest on the surface of the counter. Let cool completely at least  1 1/2 hours.

To remove cake from pan, place pan upright on work surface and using a thin blade knife carefully insert on the side of the pan careful not to cut the cake and holding the pan in place work your way around the cake, then do the same in the center around the tube. Carefully lift the bottom of the pan and with the cake sideways tap the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake, if necessary run the thin blade of the knife around the bottom to loosen. Invert onto cooling rack and transfer to serving plate.

Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb

2 stalks rhubarb cleaned and chopped

2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut in half

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbs cointreau or your favorite fruity liquor

pinch of salt

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees, line sheet pan with parchment. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar,salt and cointreau  to a bowl, toss to combine and turn out onto sheet pan.Lay berries and their juices in a single layer and bake until berries and rhubarb are soft about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Set aside

Serve cake with the strawberries and rhubarb and a generous dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Delicious!

Chiffon cake, strawberries and rhubarb

Chiffon cake, strawberries and rhubarb

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

This is almost too simple to post but I just had to, it’s so good. I know there are a million recipes out there for flavored syrups but I wanted to share this. I love making syrups, all different flavors I use them all summer for drinks, sorbet, ice creams and in desserts. Have I mentioned how much I love making syrups. I have the blood orange syrup, now rhubarb and I think I will make grapefruit. They are so simple to make, last forever refrigerated and have so many uses. The color is gorgeous too! How about a snow cone on a hot summers day, shaved ice and fruit syrup, Delicious!!! Note: For more intense rhubarb flavor increase rhubarb to 2 stalks, increase sugar to 1 1/2 cups and water to 1 1/2 cups.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Makes 12 oz

1 large stalks rhubarb

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

juice of half a lemon (approximately 2 tbs)

Add everything to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to med/high and cook at a low boil for 5-7 minutes or until rhubarb is very soft. Turn off heat and let sit in the pot for 10 minutes. Strain into sterilized jar pressing on the rhubarb to get every bit of juice. Cover and refrigerate.

I Am A Finalist In Whole Foods Contest!!!!!

I am so excited my recipe for Brown Rice Risotto is a finalist in the Whole Foods contest for whole grain breakfast. If you would not mind voting for my recipe it would be greatly appreciated, if you don’t want to vote thats ok too!! I am so thrilled that they chose my recipe. You can click here to vote if you don’t mind, and today is my birthday, what a great gift!!!

Brown Rice Risotto

Brown Rice Risotto

Thank You Everyone For All The Awards!!

Awards

Awards

I am writing a quick post because I have to acknowledge the wonderful, kind and sweet ladies that nominated me for a whole slew of bloggers awards. I will do a more formal post after this weekend but right now I am so so busy between work (it’s insane), getting ready for the bake sale this weekend and taking care of my ailing pugs I don’t even have a minute to breathe. Thank you so so much, it honestly means so much to me to be recognized by my piers. I mean that sincerely.  So thank you to:

Carla @eatsweet by Carla Sue

Melissa @bklynlocavore

laura @laurasmess

We all know how much goes into keeping our blogs current, writing, cooking photographing etc… and when we are recognized by someone who works as hard as we do it’s validation and we feel loved (or liked) and appreciated. So thank you to everyone, once things calm down here I will do the proper post. Hope you all understand! Thank you so much!! Please visit the beautiful blogs just click on them. each one is beautifully done with fantastic recipes and great photography.

Sisterhood or brotherhood

Sisterhood or brotherhood