Grilled Chicken Teriyaki

I have a soft spot for teriyaki.  While pregnant with both my daughters it was the thing I craved.  Especially from our favorite teriyaki restaurant piled high with a mound of sauteed cabbage, carrots, and broccoli.  Weirdly, we didn’t have teriyaki once while pregnant with my youngest.  If I had just made this recipe back then we would have had it every week I think!  Better late than never though, right?!
I used boneless skinless chicken thighs but you could use chicken breasts as well.  Just watch you don’t overcook them on the grill.
No grill? No problem, just use a grill pan or heavy skillet indoors.  I usually make extra of the sauce and keep some in the freezer too for a quick dinner.

GRILLED CHICKEN TERIYAKI

For Chicken:
1 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon sesame oil

For Teriyaki Sauce:
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups cold water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

For serving:
Rice
Steamed or stir fried vegetables
Sesame seeds

For Chicken:
Place everything in a ziplock bag and seal, removing as much air as possible.
Massage marinade into chicken making sure all surfaces are covered.  Chill for at least an hour, up to 4 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium high heat until cooked through.
Serve with teriyaki sauce, stir fried vegetables, and rice.

For Sauce:
In a small saucepan whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and 1 cup of the water.
Whisk over medium heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of water with the cornstarch.
Slowly add the simmering sauce while whisking.  Simmer to desired thickness. (It will thicken as it sits as well.)

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki

Ingredients

    For Chicken:
  • 1 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
    For Teriyaki Sauce:
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    For serving:
  • Rice
  • Steamed or stir fried vegetables
  • Sesame seeds

Instructions

For Chicken:
  • Place everything in a ziplock bag and seal, removing as much air as possible.
  • Massage marinade into chicken making sure all surfaces are covered.  Chill for at least an hour, up to 4 hours.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium high heat until cooked through. 
  • Serve with teriyaki sauce, stir fried vegetables, and rice.
  • For Sauce:
  • In a small saucepan whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and 1 cup of the water.
  • Whisk over medium heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of water with the cornstarch.
  • Slowly add the simmering sauce while whisking.  Simmer to desired thickness. (It will thicken as it sits as well.)
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    Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

    If you’ve never had Chinese five spice it isn’t a hot heat, more of a numbing heat from the szechuan peppercorns.  Totally addictive and just my kind of heat.  While we may not be football fans if it’s a reason to make these delicious bites I’m in!  You can buy 5 spice all ready made but I added my recipe to make your own.  If you want some extra spice you can double the 5 spice used in the recipe.  And because these are double fried they are super crunchy and you can even do the first fry a day ahead and just do a quick fry before serving.

    SALT AND PEPPER CHICKEN WINGS

    2/3 cup flour
    2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon five spice powder*
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    2/3 cup water
    3 pounds wings or wing drumettes
    Oil, for frying
    Green onions, sliced
    Kosher salt and black pepper

    Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep pot and heat over medium high heat to 350 degrees.
    Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack upside down on top of the paper towels.  Set aside.
    Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, 5 spice, salt, and water in a medium bowl until smooth.
    Add chicken and toss to coat.
    Work in batches to fry the chicken (don’t overcrowd your pot or the oil temperature drops too much) until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees.
    Drain on prepared rack when done.  When done raise the oil temperature to 375 degrees and re fry all the chicken. (You can do the first fry the day before even and do the second fry before serving.)
    Drain chicken and sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, and green onions while hot.

    DIY Chinese Five Spice Blend:
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 teaspoon fennel seed
    2 star anise pods
    1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns

    Combine all in a spice blender.  Store in an airtight glass jar.

    Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

    Ingredients

    • 2/3 cup flour
    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder* 
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 3 pounds wings or wing drumettes
    • Oil, for frying
    • Green onions, sliced
    • Kosher salt and black pepper

    Instructions

  • Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep pot and heat over medium high heat to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack upside down on top of the paper towels.  Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, 5 spice, salt, and water in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Add chicken and toss to coat.
  • Work in batches to fry the chicken (don't overcrowd your pot or the oil temperature drops too much) until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees.
  • Drain on prepared rack when done.  When done raise the oil temperature to 375 degrees and re fry all the chicken. (You can do the first fry the day before even and do the second fry before serving.)
  • Drain chicken and sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, and green onions while hot.
  • DIY Chinese Five Spice Blend:
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns
  • Combine all in a spice blender.  Store in an airtight glass jar.
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    Spiced Beef Street Tacos

    If we’re going to be friends there is something you should know about me.  I don’t get sports.  Not only do I not get sports, my whole household does. not. get. sports.  That’s not saying I have anything against organized sports.  I just don’t get them.  And have no desire to.  We’re more of the board game and puzzle making glitter throwing kind of family.  Once our family was eating in a restaurant and on a far wall a large tv was playing a football game.  Our then 6 year old loudly exclaimed “What are those silly men DOING?!”  (You have to admit parts of the game do look pretty silly especially if you have no idea what it’s about!)
    So I’m thinking this Sunday instead of missing out on the celebration we’ll have a “Salsa bowl Sunday”! Because that’s really the one bowl my husband can’t live without!

    The other day I panicked when the store was completely out of skirt steak, which is what I usually use for my favorite carna asada tacos.  Now I try to be flexible, but I just really felt like steak tacos. So I adjusted slightly since I did have some round tip and made a spiced beef taco instead.  And they are our new favorites! (Well.. it’s tacos.  So you can’t really have ONE favorite!)  Round tip is very lean so marinating with a little acid really helps tenderizing and cutting the meat thinly as well.  I found them very tender and flavorful.

    SPICED BEEF TACOS

    2 1/2 pounds round tip steak (or roast, sliced in 1/2″ to 3/4″ steaks)
    1/3 cup lime juice
    2 Tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon ancho powder*
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    For serving:
    small corn tortillas (the street taco size is our favorite)
    radishes, thinly sliced
    salsa (my roasted red salsa is great with these)
    cilantro leaves
    lime wedges

    Mix spices together and add to a ziplock bag with the steak, olive oil, and lime juice.  Seal bag and massage into the meat, making sure all sides are coated well.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
    When ready to cook heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat and cook in batches for a few minutes on each side, depending on how large your steaks are and your desired doneness.  Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slices thinly or chopping.
    Serve in heated tortillas with salsa, radishes, cilantro, and lime wedges on the side.

    *If you like spicier tacos, use chipotle powder here (more if you like).  Ancho has a great chili flavor without being hot and even our kids love it.

    Spiced Beef Street Tacos

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 pounds round tip steak (or roast, sliced in 1/2" to 3/4" steaks)
    • 1/3 cup lime juice
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon ancho powder*
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin 
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
      For serving:
    • small corn tortillas (the street taco size is our favorite)
    • radishes, thinly sliced
    • salsa (my roasted red salsa is great with these)
    • cilantro leaves
    • lime wedges

    Instructions

  • Mix spices together and add to a ziplock bag with the steak, olive oil, and lime juice.  Seal bag and massage into the meat, making sure all sides are coated well.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • When ready to cook heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat and cook in batches for a few minutes on each side, depending on how large your steaks are and your desired doneness.  Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slices thinly or chopping.
  • Serve in heated tortillas with salsa, radishes, cilantro, and lime wedges on the side.
  • *If you like spicier tacos, use chipotle powder here (more if you like).  Ancho has a great chili flavor without being hot and even our kids love it.
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    Beef and Cabbage Potstickers

    Potstickers.  Gyoza.  You might as well call them what they really are.. delicious and addictive!  Once you’ve had homemade you won’t be able to eat the frozen ones anymore!  They are much easier than you think.  They can be really fun for kids to help make too.  You can make them with ground pork, turkey, or chicken as well.  Just make sure you use a leaner meat.    And green cabbage would work well too.  But my girls loved the purpley color of the filling!
    If you want some more step by step pictures you can look at my Pork potsticker recipe here.

    Beef and Cabbage Potstickers

    1 pound lean ground beef
    1 medium carrot, finely grated
    1/4 small head red cabbage, finely chopped
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons ginger powder
    4 teaspoons soy sauce
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
    2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    2 packages round wonton wrappers

    For cooking:
    Oil
    Water

    In a large mixing bowl mix everything together until well combined.
    Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper.  Dip your fingers in water and wet the edges of wrapper.
    Press together close to the filling, pleating one side if desired.
    Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.  Place on a cookie sheet covered with a damp paper towel as you work.
    Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. (You just want to barely coat the bottom of the pan, no pooling or excessive oil).
    Lay flat side of potstickers down, in a single layer in skillet. Cook for 2 minutes uncovered.
    Pour 1/3 cup water into skillet, cover, and turn heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes.
    Uncover, and let all the liquid cook off, then repeat with remaining potstickers.

    Beef and Cabbage Potstickers

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound lean ground beef 
    • 1 medium carrot, finely grated
    • 1/4 small head red cabbage, finely chopped
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
    • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    • 2 packages round wonton wrappers
      For cooking:
    • Oil
    • Water 

    Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl mix everything together until well combined.
  • Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper.  Dip your fingers in water and wet the edges of wrapper.
  • Press together close to the filling, pleating one side if desired.
  • Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.  Place on a cookie sheet covered with a damp paper towel as you work.
  • Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. (You just want to barely coat the bottom of the pan, no pooling or excessive oil).
  • Lay flat side of potstickers down, in a single layer in skillet. Cook for 2 minutes uncovered.
  • Pour 1/3 cup water into skillet, cover, and turn heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes.
  • Uncover, and let all the liquid cook off, then repeat with remaining potstickers.
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    Roasted Cabbage Steaks

    My favorite recipes are always the simplest.  This is one of those dishes.  I tend not to like vegetable dishes that try to make them into something else.  Roasting and vegetables are a match made in heaven and cabbage is no exception.    While I usually serve it as a side dish I would be happy with this for a main dish I love it so much!  I usually serve it with Spaetzle or rye pasta.  (I’m still perfecting that rye pasta recipe!) If you dislike caraway by all means leave it off.

    ROASTED CABBAGE STEAKS

    Green cabbage, sliced 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick*
    Olive oil
    salt and pepper, to taste
    Caraway seeds
    Celery seeds

    Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
    Arrange cabbage steaks on baking sheet leaving at least 1 inch space between each one.
    Drizzle with olive oil (approximately 1/2 teaspoon per cabbage steak).
    Sprinkle with salt and pepper and caraway and celery seeds. (just a pinch of each per steak).
    Roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
    *To slice cabbage I like to cut in half (from top of head to core) and cut the core out of each half.  Slice going from top of head to bottom, saving the round ends for another use if desired.

    Roasted Cabbage Steaks

    Ingredients

    • Green cabbage, sliced 1/2" to 3/4" thick*
    • Olive oil
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • Caraway seeds 
    • Celery seeds

    Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • Arrange cabbage steaks on baking sheet leaving at least 1 inch space between each one.
  • Drizzle with olive oil (approximately 1/2 teaspoon per cabbage steak).
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and caraway and celery seeds. (just a pinch of each per steak).
  • Roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • To slice cabbage I like to cut in half (from top of head to core) and cut the core out of each half.  Slice going from top of head to bottom, saving the round ends for another use if desired.
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    Mammograms

    Mammograms.  Not what I usually write about.  But last year I experienced my first after finding a lump.  Thankfully, after some additional testing I was cleared.  However that same week my Mom went for her annual mammogram and was diagnosed with breast cancer.  What a year 2018 became.  It became the focus of our family and I’m so grateful my Mom lives with us and we were able to be of support to her through treatment. (I cannot imagine how someone living alone could manage cancer treatment!)
    Through the year in talking with close friends I found that pretty much all of my friends have yet to have a mammogram.  I am almost 40 and many of my friends are in their mid to late 40s.  I found this totally shocking.   I think of all the things I see women around me doing for their health, going to much expense of time and money.  Expensive probiotics, marathons, eating well, vitamins, I’m sure you can think of many more too.  And yet so many women choose not to get a mammogram.  Cancer could care less how fast you ran your last marathon.  Or the status of your gut health.
    This simple fast and easy test can save your life.  And can save you from needing more extensive treatments by catching cancer early.
    Many doctors are now recommending women wait until they are 50 before starting annual mammograms.  Why?  Because insurance companies research shows not enough women are saved.  I’m not even going to say anything else about that.

    1 in 6
    Breast cancers occur in women aged 40-49

    2 years
    Mammograms show cancer up to 2 years before patients and doctors would detect it.

    40%
    Mammography has helped reduce breast cancer mortality rate in the US by nearly 40% since 1990.

    3/4
    of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease and are not considered high risk.

    30%
    Even for women aged over 50, skipping a mammogram every other year would miss up to 30% of cancers.

    I promise to get back to sharing my favorite recipes soon.  In the meantime, schedule your mammogram!

    Instant Pot Chili


    Winter is here! While I love slow cooked food, especially in the winter, sometimes I break out my instant pot to make things happen fast!
    Chili is a perfect use for the instant pot if you don’t have hours and hours to simmer it.  You can even use uncooked, unsoaked beans!
    A couple of tips:
    1. Never add salt to uncooked beans as it inhibits them from fully softening.  Season after they are cooked.
    2. If you want more flavor than spice, try ancho chili powder.  It adds a deeper flavor without all the heat.  If you want more spice, increase the chipotle powder. Chili is really only as good as the spices you use.  While I used to buy mine only from Penzey’s spices I have converted to Savory Spice Shop.  If you have a local storefront I highly recommend going, it is a feast for the senses! They still store in glass jars which is better for retaining spices flavor and quality.  I don’t get into the city often though so I use their website a lot.
    3. You can use any ground meat.  Half beef and pork is my favorite and has great flavor but turkey or chicken would work as well.

    INSTANT POT CHILI
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 pound ground beef
    1 pound ground pork
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup dried pinto beans (approx 1/2 pound)
    3 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
    2 cups beef broth
    1/2 cup water
    2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
    1/2 tsp chipotle powder (increase for a spicy chili)
    1 tsp ancho powder
    1 Tablespoon cumin
    1 Tablespoon dried oregano

    Dump everything in instant pot.
    Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes, natural pressure release for 15 minutes.
    Break up meat and stir well to combine.
    Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Serving ideas: Shredded cheddar cheese, corn chips, sliced green onions, sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, Serve with baked potatoes or cornbread for bigger appetites. 

    Instant Pot Chili

    Ingredients

    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 pound ground pork
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup dried pinto beans (approx 1/2 pound)
    • 3 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (increase for a spicy chili)
    • 1 tsp ancho powder
    • 1 Tablespoon cumin
    • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano

    Instructions

  • Dump everything in instant pot. 
  • Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes, natural pressure release for 15 minutes.
  • Break up meat and stir well to combine.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serving ideas: Shredded cheddar cheese, corn chips, sliced green onions, sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, Serve with baked potatoes or cornbread for bigger appetites. 
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    Lemon Velvet Pie

    This is my go-to pie recipe.  After a big Thanksgiving dinner I love a citrus dessert.  Plus, it’s easy and my absolute favorite! My family always requests it when I’m making the holiday menu.  I always use my homemade piecrust, but whatever works for you is fine. You can find my recipe here, along with easy directions.  I usually make this a day or 2 ahead with no issues.
    And since we’re in the Thanksgiving week a little reminder to make a cooking schedule! It takes so much of the stress out of holiday cooking.

    LEMON VELVET PIE

    1 prebaked Pie Crust*
    3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
    4 teaspoons water
    4 egg yolks
    1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
    3 Tablespoons heavy cream
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    whipped cream for serving

    Sprinkle the gelatin over the water.  Let soften for 5 minutes.  Microwave for 14 seconds.
    Mix together the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk in a medium bowl.
    Beat on high for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the gelatin, heavy cream, and salt.
    Mix until thoroughly combined.  Add in the lemon juice and beat on low for 30 seconds.
    Pour into prebaked crust and at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes.
    Cool and serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.

    *To blind bake (prebake) a piecrust place piecrust in freezer for 10 min (Or even a few days ahead! Use a metal pan though!), line with parchment paper and pie weights or black beans.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes (depending how thick your crust is) until light golden.  Proceed with filling recipe.

    Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

    Lemon Velvet Pie

    Ingredients

    • 1 prebaked Pie Crust
    • 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
    • 4 teaspoons water
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
    • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice
    • whipped cream for serving

    Instructions

  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the water.  Let soften for 5 minutes.  Microwave for 14 seconds.
  • Mix together the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk in a medium bowl.
  • Beat on high for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the gelatin, heavy cream, and salt.
  • Mix until thoroughly combined.  Add in the lemon juice and beat on low for 30 seconds.
  • Pour into prebaked crust and at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes.
  • Cool and serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.
  • To blind bake (prebake) a piecrust place piecrust in freezer for 10 min (Or even a few days ahead! Use a metal pan though!), line with parchment paper and pie weights or black beans.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes (depending how thick your crust is) until light golden.  Proceed with filling recipe.
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    Beef Roast Stroganoff (or not)

    I am not a big stroganoff fan.  Something about the sour cream.  It just doesn’t appeal to me.
    I am also not a big fan of traditional freezer meals.  I mean, let’s be honest.  Nothing tastes as good after being frozen and reheated.  But what I do like to do is keep components of meals in the freezer.  So when we have a roast for Sunday dinner I make extra and freeze part for another meal.
    Enter this recipe.  I decided to make my own twist on stroganoff but leaving the sour cream on the side so those who want it can add it and those who don’t (ME!) don’t have to.  The results? A hearty fall dish, perfect for the cooler weather coming and one totally worth cooking some extra roast up for!

    Beef Stroga..not? 

    4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 pound mushrooms, sliced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 onion, chopped
    1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    2 Tablespoons tomato paste
    2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
    1/4 cup flour
    4 cups beef stock
    1 1/2 pounds leftover beef roast
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 Tablespoons heavy cream
    1 pound egg noodles, cooked
    1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

    Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic and saute for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
    Add thyme, paprika, tomato paste, parley, and flour.  Stir to combine well and cook for a minute.
    Add beef stock while stirring.  Add beef and Worcestershire and season to taste.
    Add cream just before serving and add egg noodles.
    Serve with sour cream if desired.

    Beef Roast Stroganoff (or not)

    Ingredients

    • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 4 cups beef stock
    • 1 1/2 pounds leftover beef roast
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
    • 1 pound egg noodles, cooked
    • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

    Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic and saute for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
  • Add thyme, paprika, tomato paste, parley, and flour.  Stir to combine well and cook for a minute.
  • Add beef stock while stirring.  Add beef and Worcestershire and season to taste.
  • Add cream just before serving and add egg noodles.
  • Serve with sour cream if desired.
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    Dinner In A Pumpkin

    I love my Mom.  She has done some pretty amazing things in her life.  None more impressive than having 5 kids in 6 1/2 years… I know, my eye is twitching just thinking about it!   This is a dish she made often in the fall… especially that year my Dad had a pumpkin growing experiment in the garden! I’ve tweaked it to be my own but it still tastes reminiscent of hers.  Which is the best kind of food.  The kind that brings a smile or laugh and reminds you of a happy memory.  Love you Mom!

    The sauce is like a thick gravy just coating everything.  If you want a saucier gravy double the butter, flour, chicken stock, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
    You can do a larger batch in a larger pumpkin but keep in mind you will have to bake longer.
    If you have family members who don’t like mushrooms try mincing them up.  They really add a wonderful meaty earthy flavor.

    DINNER IN A PUMPKIN

    1 small to medium pumpkin
    1 lb ground beef
    8 oz mushrooms, sliced
    1 onion, chopped
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/4 cup flour
    2 cups chicken stock
    2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    2 cups cooked rice (I used Bob’s Red Mill brown and wild rice blend)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Cut the top off the pumpkin (depending on the size.. I used one about 12 inches across and cut the top third off.  If you have a bigger pumpkin you could even cut off the top half.)  Set on a large cookie sheet or pizza pan and set aside.
    In a large skillet brown the beef.
    Add the butter, mushrooms, onion, and celery and cook until softened.
    Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring to coat.
    Add chicken broth, brown sugar, and soy sauce and cook for several minutes until well combined.
    Stir in rice.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Pour into hollowed pumpkin and cover with foil.
    Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour,  remove foil and continue baking until pumpkin is completely baked through. Pumpkin will be easy to pierce with a knife or fork when cooked through.
    Serve filling with scoops of pumpkin as well.

    Dinner In A Pumpkin

    Ingredients

    • 1 small to medium pumpkin
    • 1 lb ground beef 
    • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 cups cooked rice (I used Bob's Red Mill brown and wild rice blend)
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Cut the top off the pumpkin (depending on the size.. I used one about 12 inches across and cut the top third off.  If you have a bigger pumpkin you could even cut off the top half.)  Set on a large cookie sheet or pizza pan and set aside.
  • In a large skillet brown the beef.  
  • Add the butter, mushrooms, onion, and celery and cook until softened.
  • Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring to coat.
  • Add chicken broth, brown sugar, and soy sauce and cook for several minutes until well combined.
  • Stir in rice.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Pour into hollowed pumpkin and cover with foil.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour,  remove foil and continue baking until pumpkin is completely baked through. Pumpkin will be easy to pierce with a knife or fork when cooked through.
  • Serve filling with scoops of pumpkin as well.
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