Mongolian Beef

I love chinese food, it got me through many a meal in college, my picky husband doesn’t care for it. I’ve gotten him to go to a chinese buffet with me where he can pick and choose. Gone are the days of me sitting on the couch with a half-pint of something tasty so when I can find recipes that are tasty and my husband may like I always try them! We’ve had this a few times since I found it a month ago.

Mongolian Beef

  • 1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (measured, not packed)
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 large green onion, sliced thinly
    *I also added a green bell pepper to add a veggie to the meal

mmmm…meat…

Pat steak slices dry and add to a bowl with corn starch. Toss to ensure all pieces are just coated. Shake off excess corn starch using a strainer.

Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a large wok or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.

Turn the heat to high and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides. Pour the sauce back into the wok and cook until the sauce reaches desired consistency. (I added a bit of a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce a bit. A tbsp of cornstarch and a little bit of very cold water, mix well and add to any sauce or gravy to thicken) Add the green onions (a pinch reserved for garnish), stir, and remove from heat. Plate, top with remaining onions, and serve.

Source: Pink Bites

 

Cruising through TasteSpotting one morning I found these wonderful cupcakes. I needed something to make for my father-in-law’s birthday and I figured how could one go wrong with brownies, strawberry ice cream and chocolate ganache? They were a hit! My usually reserved father-in-law told me twice on separate days how good they were and asked when I would be making more! This has definitely gone to the top of the list for deserts!

Strawberry Ice Cream Brownie Cupcakes

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Ingredients:
For the brownies:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/8 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the ice cream:
1 batch strawberry ice cream, slightly softened

For the ganache:
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
(Note: I ended up needing more ganache, and made an extra half batch)

To garnish:
Fresh strawberry slices

Directions:
To make the brownie bottoms, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with foil liners. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; stir together and set aside. In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water combine the butter and chocolate. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk to blend. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture, and then the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into cupcake liner. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 6-8 minutes. Leaving the brownies in the cupcake pans, cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Top with strawberry ice cream until the cupcake liner is full. (If the ice cream is freshly made, it is just the right consistency for filling the cupcake liners.) Return the cupcake pans to the freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

To make the ganache, place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the cream evenly over the chocolate, let stand for 1 minute. Stir until smooth with a rubber spatula. If the ganache is too thin, allow it to stand at room temperature to cool and become more easily spreadable. Once the ganache is at the correct temperature, scoop it by the teaspoonful on top of the ice cream cupcakes and spread over the tops. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices, if desired.

Remove cupcakes from the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Source: Annie’s Eats

Tweaking a classic

The day after I made these cupcakes I wasn’t very pleased with how they turned out. I started to think of what could make these taste better, Grand Marnier! Booze always makes things taste better! I took the leftover buttercream I still had in the fridge and tossed it back into the mixer, poured about a teaspoon of the Grand Marnier in and whipped it up. Took the leftover cupcakes and scrapped off the icing and spread over the improved icing! At this point, it was all about taste and I didn’t bother with the pastry bag! It was a cold, rainy day but we had some festive cupcakes to snack on.

Starting with a classic


I’m finally starting a food blog! I’ve been taking pictures and cooking up a storm the past 6 months and have kept saying to myself “I’ll start one this week.” So, I’ll have some older recipes from previous months, there will be some “not so good” photos, but I’m starting it!

I decided my first food entry should be a simple, classic… the vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting. Nothing fancy, just a simple, delicious, light desert.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon (optional)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

¼ cup milk

1-1 ½ recipes easy vanilla buttercream frosting

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set pan aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Easy Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients:
20 tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream

Directions:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Source: Cupcakes adapted from Joy the Baker, frosting from Annie’s Eats originally from Cook’s Illustrated, April 2007

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