Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Supper Series #7 - Beef Broccoli in the Slow Cooker

Happy last Sunday in February, everyone! Sorry this edition of the Sunday Supper Series is going up late. I had assumed I had my post scheduled since I made the recipe a week ago, but in the last days of studying for the bar exam, I apparently forgot to post it. Before you ask, the bar exam was fine. I better not have failed given the low score required and high passing rate, but there's no sense in being confident about something that is beyond my control. I'll receive the results in a few months.

Anyway, on to the recipe. I found this recipe on the blog Finding Joy in My Kitchen. The only change I made was to add a whole onion, rather than using a 1 Tbs of dried as she suggested. My husband really liked it as did I, although I wanted a little more heat (this was definitely a sweet dish). For next time, I will stir a bit of crushed red pepper flakes into the meat mixture when I add in the broccoli. One note about the beef--I used chuck roast because I had some in the freezer. It was super tasty, but fell apart completely after 8 hours. That was fine with me, but if you prefer chunks of meat in your beef broccoli, cut the meat into larger than 1" cubes or use a more tender cut of meat and shorten the cooking time to 6-8 hours instead of 8-10. On the whole, I will definitely be making this again.

Printable Version

1 lb beef, cut into 1" cubes (I used chuck)
1/2 c beef broth
1/4 c soy sauce
1 med onion, diced (about 3/4 c)
1 Tbs brown sugar
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp crush red pepper
4 c broccoli (frozen works, but I used fresh)
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs corn starch


Whisk beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic together. Pour over beef and onions. Give everything a stir. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.


In the last hour, mix together corn starch and water. Add the crushed red pepper and the corn starch paste into beef mixture. Add broccoli on top (I'd added as much as my crock pot allowed because we love broccoli) and continue cooking for the last hour or until broccoli is tender.

Serve with (brown) rice.

About 4 servings

Printable Version

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Supper Series # 6 - Sweet and Savory Short Ribs with Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Happy Sunday everyone. If you're in the U.S., there's a good chance that you have a three-day weekend for President's Day. I have half the week "off", but am unfortunately taking the Hawaii bar exam on Tuesday and Wednesday, so those days will not be fun.

For this week's recipe, while at the market Saturday afternoon I saw some gorgeous short ribs and decided that was what I wanted to make for dinner. However, all of my short ribs recipes are for the slow cooker. What to do with only a few hours before dinner? Convert a slow cooker recipe for the oven, of course. I used this recipe from last year and in a little over 2 hours, we had yummy, tender short-ribs.

On a whim, having seen this trick on a number of blogs, I decided to do a little something different with my mashed potatoes...add a little cream cheese instead of milk. My husband loved the results! That recipe appears below the ribs.


2 lb short ribs
1/4 c Dijon mustard
2 Tbs beef broth
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs cider vinegar
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp (or less) cayenne pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Salt and pepper ribs and brown them in olive oil.

In the bottom of a dutch oven or large pot, scatter chopped onions and garlic. Place ribs on top. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, beef broth, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Pour over ribs and give everything a good stir.

Cook, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, than reduce heat to 325 degrees. Continue cooking for another hour or two until ribs are fork-tender, checking after the first hour and then every 20-30 minutes.. So long as the heat is low, you're not likely to burn this dish. If you're nervous, turn heat all the way down till 300 degrees, but obviously it will take longer.


Creamy Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs potatoes (I used a mix of red and Idaho)
1 tsp kosher salt
4 oz cream cheese
2-3 tbs butter
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes, as desired. Bring to a boil in salted water and cook on low until tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain potatoes. Melt butter in hot pan and add potatoes. Toss in creamed cheese (softened) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Smash everything together and adjust seasoning to taste.

Serves 2-4

Friday, February 18, 2011

Honey Whole Wheat Bread - this is the one!

I think I've finally set upon the whole wheat bread recipe for me. I've now made it twice and it's came out gorgeous both times. The second loaf is cooling as I post, but it looks just as lovely as the first that I am optimistic it will taste the same. The first loaf lasted us all of three days but it was scrumptious. I'm not extremely good at flavor nuances, but you definitely taste the honey. Now this bread is not 100% whole wheat as you use half whole wheat flour and half bread flour, but I think that negative is out-weighed by the taste and versatility of this bread. I've nibbled on a slice right out of the machine, made toast, sandwiches, and french toast. All perfect! Anyway, I found this recipe at and the only change I made was to increase the salt.

Here's the bread fresh from my Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme bread machine.


Here's it sliced.


And here's the turkey grilled cheese sandwiches I made for lunch.



1 1/8 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Directions (for my bread machine)

Add ingredients in the order above (liquids first). Make a little well in the center of the flour and place the yeast (be careful not to allow it to come into contact with any wet ingredients).

Bake on whole wheat setting.

About 12 slices

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yesterday in My Kitchen

I'm off work for the next week or so studying to take the Hawaii bar exam. It's hard to believe that I devoted a whole summer to prepping for the bar after law school in 2004, whereas this time I'll have worked while doing Barbri at night and then attempted to process it all (i.e. crammed) in a week, hopefully with the same result. Oh, did I mention that my husband is underfoot this time? Anyway, yesterday was my first "day off" to study for the 2-day exam. I was on my work email for most of the day because remotely interesting things were happening without me, but I did make it through the rest of the substantive Barbri lectures, ran an errand, and even made it to the gym. Plus, I squeezed in a fair amount of cooking--banana muffins, bread, and a nice dinner--thanks to these guys:


Closest to the right is my lovely Zojirushi bread machine. After 4 or 5 tries, I think I finally got the right whole wheat sandwich bread recipe down. (I'll post the recipe as soon as I make sure the bread "holds up", meaning that it tastes good a couple days from now, rather than just right out of the machine.)

Next to the black coffee maker is my brand new Crockpot! I have been whining for some time that the cute little one I've been borrowing from my auntie just wasn't cutting it only because it's a 3 qt at best, so I broke down and purchased a larger one from the NEX last week. At the time I bought it, I felt guilty because I have a perfectly snazzy one in storage in Chicago. However, upon removing it from the box, I realized that it's smaller then the one I have at 5 qts. (I'm guess the one I have is 6 qts or maybe 8?) Thus, once my entire kitchen is eventually reunited (hopefully within the next 6 months), this crockpot will not be a redundant device and likely get to stay for those smaller jobs.

Here's what cooked away in those devices while I was studying:

Beef Broccoli (stay tuned for the recipe in Sunday Supper #7)

Honey Whole Wheat Bread (recipe to come once I'm certain this bread is the one) - Isn't it a cute little loaf?

Sorry there are no pictures of the banana muffins. I used my usual recipe found here, but reduced the sugar 1/4 c. Don't do that unless you have extremely ripe bananas, which I didn't. After having a couple for breakfast, I sent the rest off to work with my husband.

Anyway, back to work. I'm doing essay prep today--ugh the Barbri lady is a complete ditz. I have a few more things going on in the kitchen that I just might post tomorrow. . .

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello Kitty Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day! This is my first Valentine card of the year. Hopefully it won't be the only one, but as I schedule this post at 9pm, Sunday night, I fear it may be. I'm studying for the Hawaii bar exam, which is in 8 days so there hasn't been a whole lot of crafting time. However, fortunately or unfortunately, shopping doesn't take much time, so I've acquired a whole bunch of new goodies, especially cartridges (including Hello Kitty Greetings), paper, and card stock that I will definitely be having a blast with post bar exam.

On Saturday, I was able to stop by the Rubber Stamp and Scrapbook Expo at Blaisedell on Saturday and purchased some gorgeous Valentine's/love-themed paper. The so-called "expo" was tiny, perhaps 12 vendors. I spent a whopping hour, including parking time and locating the "Hawaii Suites," which are not even attached to the main arena. Anyway, this is the card I made for my auntie. The Hello Kitty Greeting cartridge is surprisingly more difficult than it looks because everything has a mandatory black line (read space) around it. There is no way, at least not one that I could discern, to make a contiguous bow. I'll have to mess around with my Gypsy, to see if I can work around the outline that way, but for now I'll have to deal with the line. There are some super-cute images on the cart, however, and I'm not even a Hello Kitty fan.

Enough chatter for now. Here's my card. I hope you have a chocolate-filled day!




Materials Used
Papertray Ink cardstock and ribbon (5x7 card)
Little Yellow Bicycle - Sweet Love collection
My Pink Stamper - Happiest Moments
Swiss dots Cuttlebug folder
Hello Kitty Greetings (cut at 5")
ATG, foam tape, Zig 2-way glue

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Moo-chas Gracias Cow Thank You Card

Happy Sunday, all. Yes, this is a Christmas gift thank you card, which went out in the mail last week. No, I didn't wait all this time, only a few days. Apparently, the gift giver mailed it to my Chicago address so it took some time to reach us (and was finally hand-delivered). This is actually the first time I think I've cut the cow from the Create a Critter cartridge. I LOVE him! I know it was pointed out broadly on the web that the booklet is incorrect and layer 1 and 2 are reversed, but if you have a Gypsy, as I do, the correction has been made. Thus, I didn't have any trouble cutting it out.




Materials Used:
Create a Critter (cow cut at 4 inches)
Papertray Ink cardstock (A2 card base) and ribbon
My Pink Stamper - Even More Punnylicious
K & Co paper (Que Sera Sera stack, I think) cut at 4 x 5.25"
foam tape,Scotch Quick Dry, ATG

Sunday Supper Series # 5 - Turkey Bolognese

Wow, can you believe it's already mid-February! This is the fifth recipe in my Sunday Supper Series. Yes, it's another ground turkey pasta dish, but it's not too unhealthy and provides just the right about of warm comfort food for the winter. I recently discovered that I loved cooking with tomato paste, so this one uses a whole 8 oz can!



12 oz ground turkey
1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 medium carrots, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
28 oz fire-roasted tomatoes
8 oz tomato paste
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp dried oregano
chicken stock for thinning the sauce, if desired
salt, pepper, olive oil


1. Saute carrots and onions in olive oil until until tender and beginning to caramelize.

2. Add green pepper and turkey, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs, and cook until browned.

3. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste.

4. Simmer for at least 20 minutes or as long as you can. Adjust seasoning.

Makes at least 8 cups of meat sauce

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Buttermilk Pancakes with Wheat Germ

I love making pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast items on the weekend. I'm always looking for a way to make such decadent treats a bit more healthful. I saw this recipe cross-posted in a number of places on the web, but think it originated from CookingLight.


1.25 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 c buttermilk
2 egg whites

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add eggs. Beat the eggs slightly.
Gradually pour milk into the flour mixture until you achieve desired consistency. You may want a little more or less milk.

Pour in 1/4 c portions onto a preheated griddle or skillet. Flip when little bubbles form.

Serves 4-6

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl XLV - Good Luck Steelers

I'm late for a superbowl party, but I wanted to throw this card up before the game was over. I made it using Everyday Paper Dolls (football stuff), Straight from the Nest (grass), and Gypsy Font. The cardstock and twine is Papertrey Ink. I also got to use my new Peachy Keen Stamps Wide Eyed Kids Faces. Inside I used MS Arch Lattice punch. Go Steelers!



Sunday Supper Series #4 - Chili with Beef

It's Superbowl Sunday! Go Steelers!

Sorry for the lateness of my Sunday Supper Series post. Although I had it scheduled to post at 5am, I had neglected to hit "post" so it was still in "draft" status. When I realized what had happened, I decided to swap the post I had scheduled for this one on account of the Superbowl. This is actually my first beef chili recipe since I almost always make turkey or chicken chili using this recipe. Anyway, I started out pretty similarly, to my usual recipe but then decided that the beef needed a little more flavor and started experimenting as you will see. Enjoy!

Printable Version

1.25 ground beef (I used 93% lean)
1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
14 oz fire-roasted tomatoes
28 oz diced tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
14 oz or about 1.5 c red beans
1/4 c ketchup
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 heaping tbs chili powder
1 heaping tbs cumin
1 c corn
1 green bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
2 tsp sugar, depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes and ketchup
Salt, pepper, olive oil

1. Sprinkle ground beef with salt and pepper and brown in a little olive oil. Drain and set aside.

2. Saute onions until tender. Add garlic and cook for one minute.

3. Add beef to the onions and stir in chili powder and cumin. Cook for another minute.

4. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, ketchup, worcestershire sauce and bring to a near boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Increase heat to medium high and stir in green pepper and corn. Cook for another 7-10 minutes until heated through. Adjust seasoning as desired by adding salt, pepper, and sugar.

Serves 6 - 8 depending upon whether it's a side dish or entree


Printable Version

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kung Hee Fat Choi - Roasted and Steamed Duck

Kung Hee Fat Choi or Happy Chinese New Year! Since the date this year falls on a Thursday, most of the festivities were over the weekend. We went to Chinatown last Friday and Saturday and saw various lions, dragons, and other events. On Saturday, after the big parade, we went over to my auntie's for a ton of food. Most was ordered but I did make my duck recipe shown here. Unfortunately, I failed to take pictures until we'd almost devoured it completely. Oh well, maybe next time. I've used this recipe for years and unfortunately no longer remember where I found it online.


1 whole (4 to 5 pound) duck
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 big slices fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch green onions
1 orange peel cut in big strips
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce

Trim excess fat from the neck and body. Rinse the duck, inside and out, and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Combine the Chinese five-spice, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the duck, inside and out.

Stuff the duck cavity with the ginger, garlic, green onions, and peel. Fold the wing tips back under the duck and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Poke the duck breast a few times, piercing the skin. Place a roasting pan on the stovetop over 2 burners and fill with 2-inches of water, turn the heat to medium. Set a V-rack insert inside the pan and lay the duck on the rack, breast-side up. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Steam the duck for 45 minutes, checking the water level periodically.

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, honey, and soy sauce over low heat. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until thick.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Take the foil off the duck, remove the rack with the duck, and pour out the water and all the fat that has rendered out (this is great to use in other dishes like fried rice.) Put the rack with the duck back inside the roasting pan. Baste the duck with the vinegar mixture, until all the skin is completely coated in the glaze.

Roast the duck for 1 hour, basting periodically with any remaining glaze to set in a deep mahogany color. Tent the breast with some foil if it gets too dark. The legs will wiggle easily when it's done. Carve and serve with hoisin sauce and steamed buns or wraps, if desired.

Serves 2-4

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars

Happy Tuesday! I might start posting a "Tuesday Treat" although that title is already used by a Youtuber I follow, so I'd have to come up with another name. This recipe is adapted from Lynn's Easy Homemade Granola Bars. It's crazy how many granola bars that my husband eats in a week--at least a box (of 8, I think) from the store. Since I often forget to restock I decided to look for a recipe where I could make my own without all the preservatives, salt, etc. To Lynn's recipe, I added raisins and cinnamon, because oatmeal raisin are his favorite type of cookies. I didn't have corn syrup, so I doubled the honey, which is why mine aren't quite sticking together as they should. Nonetheless, they're extremely yummy. Note: In addition to my add-ins, I'm also extending the suggested baking time to 25-30 minutes from the 22 she suggests.

(Update: I tried the recipe again with corn syrup and they came out perfect!)


1/2 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tbs honey
2 tbs corn syrup
2 1/3 c quick oatmeal
1/2 c raisins (or other dried fruit)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a medium saucepan, melt butter, sugar, corn syrup. Remove from heat.

3) Stir in oatmeal, cinnamon, salt, and raisins. Pour into a 8" square baking pan that has been spritzed.

4) Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

5) Cool in pan for 5-10, then cut into bars. Cool completely on a wire rack.

8 bars