Beef Stroganoff

I have a crush on Beef Stroganoff. Always have. Maybe it’s the Cream of Mushroom soup element to it…maybe it’s the pasta. I love it. I even love the quick Hamburger Helper version (which there is a whole grain version now…just fyi).

I had bought this piece of meat when I bought another cut of meat for something else so I decided to make Beef Stroganoff. I’ve made it before from scratch but was looking for something new. So…I went to the master…Martha Stewart.

Nothing tricky here just followed her recipe. Easy Breezy. I hope you try it. It was so yummy. I used baby portabella mushrooms instead of white mushrooms and rather than open up a giant thing of beef broth I had and wasting most of it…I disolved a cube instead. Oh and she doesn’t say to put it over pasta…but isn’t that the rule? 🙂  

http://www.marthastewart.com/341384/beef-stroganoff

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BullS**t guys tacos…

So if you have seen the NASCAR Google video about self driving race cars today…you know who the BS guys are…and if you don’t please view it here before proceeding:

http://www.nascar.com/video/none/none/120331/cup-mar-google/

So the BS guys are some great guys in the parking lot outside the TV Compound at Auto Club Speedway. They are always near sign 11C. They are awesome. After we shot their bit, they insisted we eat some tacos…said if we didn’t we would offend them. So we did and they were AWESOME. So I asked them what they marindaded the Tri-Tip in. Soy sauce and garlic. Tri-Tip is a West Coast thing so you may have a hard time finding it at your store.  Here is the wikipedia description.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-tip

At Trader Joe’s this week they had some Tri Tip steaks …so I thought why not. I  took them and put them in a plastic bag, about 3 or 4 cloves of smashed garlic. Perfection.

Here is a photo of their setup and my new friends Fernando and Mike and my finished Tri-Tip tonight. They were delicious tacos. Enjoy!

 

A trip to Vegas…

I traveled to Vegas for the NASCAR event in early March and here are some tales from that trip.

As a native Californian…I am a loyal In N Out burger fan. Growing up I was always a really picky eater, which is so weird now becasue I love food. Anyway, I was the kid that always had to wait extra time for my burger at McDonald’s becasue I used to order them plain. No mustard. No ketchup. No onions. Definitely no picke. Ick. So when I was introduced to In N Out by my father, who grew up near the first location in Southern California, I was instantly in love. Granted, I did order it at first w/ out the sauce, but now it’s a Double Double w/ Grilled Onions, fries and a Diet Coke.  In college and well post college too, my friends and I used to justify our burger intake by saying it was a well balanced meal. The five major food groups were represented. Meat, check. Dairy, check. Vegetables, check. Bread, check. Fruit (yes a tomato counts), check.

So instantly upon my arrival it was a Double Double w/ Grilled Onions, fries and a Diet Coke. Boom!

Later that night…it was legendary Rao’s at Caesar’s Palace. I knew of Rao’s from my favorite TV Chef Giada DeLaurentis. She had featured Rao’s in her show, Giada’s Weekend Getaways. It’s old school Italian and modeled after their restaurant in NYC, which another friend tells me is impossible to get into. My colleague and I were told to definitely order a meatball…we did. We also split the Penne Vodka, a Veal Parmesean (that looked like a pizza) and Chicken Scarpariello. WOW. Everything was awesome but we totally overordered. It happens. Here is a photo of our feast.

The next night…it was one of my favorite restaurants of all time. Estiatorio Milos. If you like fish…this place is for you. Full disclosure…it’s very pricey. However, it’s the freshest, most delicious fish I’ve ever had. I’ve been to both their NYC and Vegas locations. YUM. Vegas is a people watching adventure as it’s in the new Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino. My colleagues and I sat outside on the patio and had a very enjoyable evening. I can’t even really tell you the kind of fish we ate because everything is fresh and fish you’ve never heard of. They prepare it for the table, family style. Most of the fish is prepared in olive oil, lemon and and capers. That’s it. Also a must is the tomato salad. Typical greek tomato salad and SO yummy. Here is a link to Milos.

http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/taste/restaurant-collection/estiatorio-milos.aspx

We also went back to another seafood favorite, RM Seafood by Rick Moonen. He was a contestant on Top Chef Masters and is the Master of sustainable seafood. It’s just off the casino floor at Mandalay Bay and I highly recommend it as well.

Stay tuned for more blogs!

My apologies…I’ve been busy

When I started this blog I said to myself…you must keep going. Well, I failed.

I’ve been busy with work, see NASCAR and Google’s April Fool’s joke, and have traveled much more than anticipated in 2012. There is good news and bad news about when I travel. The good…I am a culinary traveler making an effort to try new places I’ve read about or visit old ones I love. The bad…is that I get tired and cranky and fail to blog.

So here is the first of many blog posts to come this week, catching up and culminating in my first time hosting Easter brunch for my friends and family!

First up…Super Taco Tuesday.

My boyfriend Franklin and I love politics. We also love Taco Tuesdays. So March 6th, aka Super Tuesday, we had Super Taco Tuesday. I cooked some pork shoulder in the crock pot all day while at work and it was delicious. Can I remember what recipe I used? No and that frustrates me trememdously. But if you use the Google machine, there are a ton of good carnitas recipes out there using the slow cooker. Add in my salsa and guacamole recipe and tadah! Super Taco Tuesday.

Tonight…it’s Sunday and we are having tacos again…but this time it is Tri-Tip tacos with the tri-tip marindade from the fans at Auto Club Speedway in the Google video. Stay tuned for that later!

Think Eggs Benedict is hard? So wrong. Easy Breezy.

This week (and it looks like Sunday mornings are my favorite time to post) it’s a very very easy Eggs Benedict.

Here is what you need…

Eggs

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Smoked Deli Turkey

Butter

Lemon Juice

That’s it! I started making this with Smoked Turkey instead of Ham years ago…and never has an eater at my table complained. I actually like the smokiness vs a salty piece of ham.

Here’s how it’s done:

1) Take two eggs and separate them. Place the yolks in a blender.

2) Take 2 more eggs per person and either put them in a poaching pan or poach them in a boiling pot of water with some vinegar in it. The vinegar helps them stay together when you poach them in the water. Just a splash is fine.If using a poaching pan, remember to add just a bit of water in the pan. You are steaming the eggs, not boiling them.

I use this poaching pan from Williams Sonoma.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/poached-eggs.html

While your eggs are getting happy in the pan, complete these steps

3) Melt 1/3 cup (or 5 and 1/3 tablespoons) of butter in a pan. Add this along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the blender. Blend on a whip setting.

4) toast your english muffins.

5) Warm your deli turkey ( I use 2 slices per english muffin side) on a plate in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Just to get it warm.

Once your eggs are poached…assemble. Muffin, Turkey, Egg, Sauce.

Where is the photo? #epicfail. I had one on my phone so I didn’t take one this morning…and now I can’t find the one on my phone! DOH!

Oh well…I’m still learning on this blog thing. 🙂

What are you making for the Super Bowl? Try this!

Ok kids…it’s time for Super Bowl Salsa and Guacamole!

I make this all the time. I know it seems intimidating to make your own salsa but it really could not be easier.

In a food processor combine the following:

2-3 medium size tomatoes (chop them into quarters before dropping in the food processor)

1 medium onion (help this along as well by quartering)

1/2 of a jalapeno pepper (take the seeds out they are HOT)

1 bunch of cilantro

1/4 cup of lemon juice (fresh squeezed or bottled)

salt to taste

Turn on the food processor. And…you are done!

 

taste it…add a little salt if needed.

then…transfer it into a bowl but leave a bit in there. about 1/3 of a cup.

throw 2-3 avocadoes in the food processor with the salsa…

BOOM! Guacamole!

I seriously don’t know why people ever buy this pre-made. SO EASY! and delicious! and you know what is going into your body. No chemicals. Ok well maybe a few if you are using the lemon juice in the bottle.

I’ll be making this today along with some turkey chili. Happy Eating everyone!

 

 

A recent trip to NYC…

Hi everyone! So sorry it has been so long since my last post. Work and a cold kept me busy and well exhausted.

As promised this blog will be about a recent trip to NYC but I have also been cooking so stay tuned for some new recipes coming your way shortly.

On the second weekend of the new year…a few friends and I went to NYC for a girls weekend. NYC is one of my favorite cities to eat in and on this trip I was able to visit one of my old favorites, cross a big one off my list, and eat some fabulous brunches. I heart brunch.

First the old favorite…Serafina. You can never go wrong with a trip to Serafina in the city. They have five locations in the city and they are always, consistently delicious. The other day I was trying to recall my first trip there…and I am fairly sure it was none other than Five Time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson who first took me there. I know for certain we have been there mulitple times together. Pizzas, pastas, and yummy salads are always good comfort food on a media tour. Trust me.

The big one…ABC Kitchen by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It’s a cozy yet fancy farm to table restaurant on 18th street near Union Square. As a foodie, I kept seeing articles about how good it was and it certainly lived up to it. My favorite dish of the night was a roasted carrot salad with avocado. Sounds so strange, especially considering I am lukewarm about cooked carrots (ask my mom, I used to spit them out) but this dish was amazing. The seasoning on the carrots, with the creamy avocados…YUM. If you are traveling to the city, make a reservation. I will certainly be back. Where are the photos you ask? Well…I was too busy eating.

However, I did take some brunch photos for you guys so let’s talk about that!

The first place we went for brunch, I had been to before, and when you are searching for a place with friends, you want to go where you know the food is good. Eatery on 53rd and 9th is SOLID.

We started, as I had done with my friend Kate the first time, with the macaronni and cheese with BACON. YUM! And it takes the edge off of everyone at the table who has any resemblance of a hangover.

This trip I ordered Green Eggs and Ham to go along with my delicious guava mimosa.

Eggs with pesto, goat cheese and ham on a crossaint and a side of greens. Yes please!

However, the star of the table was the fantastic stuffed chocolate and banana french toast with ice cream. Ordered by my friend Ramsey’s five year old daughter Miss Ava, we all pitched in to “help” her finish it. OMG. It was phenomenal and it was our duty to help her out right?

The following morning it was a trip to the Uppper East Side to catch up with our friends The Shiftans as well as my friend Kate who made the treck up from the financial district. Big ups to Kate for making the hike. We went to Sarabeth’s on Madison and 93rd. I suck because this was the only photo I took.

I have an unusual love for Huevos Rancheros so I have a habit that when I see it on a menu…I must order it. The Upper East Side however might not have been the best place for that dish. It was just eh. I have a great recipe for Huevos you can make at home that I will post in the near future.

I am also a dork and when a place is famous for something…I order that too. Sarabeth’s famous velvety cream of tomato soup…did not disappoint. The soup was so creamy and yummy but had big chunks of tomato in it too. I googled it and found a recipe for it from Good Housekeeping so you know I will try that and let you all know how it turns out.

So all in all I was well fed in NYC. Love that city.

Here is what you can expect in upcoming posts…

My smoked turkey eggs benedict

A slow cooker carnitas pork shoulder (which i ate some leftovers of last night…so good)

My famous homeade salsa and guacamole

and the aforementioned Huevos Rancheros which utilized the extra salsa and guacamole.

Also, I have been itching to make a Pot Pie since having a delicious one at Fran’s Filling Station. Maybe this weekend!