Monday, February 23, 2009

Brisket Party!

Leftover brisket - part two! Brisket makes a great hearty dinner for company - especially on a freezing winter night. We had some dinner guests over to enjoy the last of the 5 lb. brisket. Mix in a few side dishes, salad, bread, and dessert for a full meal! Wines were expertly selected by the wine expert at

First course:
Baby greens salad with carrots, cucumber, red peppers, and black olives. Served with either a lemon tarragon vinaigrette or balsamic dressing.

Wine pairing: Chardonnay from Spring Lake Estates in the Niagara area (NY)

Main course:
Barbecue Brisket: Cooked brisket heated up in smoky BBQ sauce. Heated at 250 degrees for about 30-45 minutes until nice and tender and falling apart.

Pumpkin Cornbread: Followed the corn muffin mix recipe, adding in about 1/2 cup canned pumpkin and a tbsp. of sugar. Baked according to directions on the box. This was really moist and a very pretty golden color.

Smoky Baked Beans: Delicious! These were so good - we ate every last bit of them (well, there were no leftovers from anything else either....). I used a little help with a recipe I found online: I swapped out a few ingredients - turkey bacon for the bacon and red peppers for the green. For the cooking method, I cooked them on the stove top for the 10-15 minutes, then let them cool and put them in the refrigerator. Before dinner I heated them up in the oven alongside the brisket.

Wine: Pinot Noir from Warm Lakes in the Niagara (NY) area.

Individual cherry cobbler pies. These were easy and fun to make and very tasty! I bought pre-made miniature pie crusts from the grocery store. Brushed them with egg whites and baked for 5 minutes. Then I filled them with canned cherry pie filling. For the top, I made a mixture of flour, oats, brown sugar and butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes and instant dessert!

There were NO leftovers at all. This is definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Leftover Brisket - Take 1!

With the 5 lb. brisket I made this week, there were plenty of leftovers to be creative with. The first was a beef and biscuit pie. Instead of a traditional shepherd's pie with mashed potatoes, I made my own version with a biscuit topping. Throw in the leftover brisket, some carrots and onions, a little gravy and voila! A delicious and pretty healthy one dish meal (+1 skillet)!

Beef and Biscuit Pie
Biscuit dough (made from Jiffy baking mix)
Chopped leftover brisket
2-3 chopped carrots
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 cup beef broth
Splash of milk (less than 1/4 cup)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and take out a casserole dish with a lid
Heat small amount of olive oil over medium heat.
Add chopped carrots and onions, cooking until just soft
Remove carrots from the skillet and put into casserole dish
Add chopped brisket to the casserole dish

Put skillet back on the stove and add the beef broth and milk, heating until warm
Pour over brisket and veggies
Spoon the biscuit dough over the mixture, completely covering the dish
Bake 30 minutes, or until biscuits are browned.

Serve with salad and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Tonight's brisket was delicious. It's a pretty reasonably priced cut of meat, so we picked up a nice 5 lb. brisket on Sunday. With a few hours in the oven on Sunday afternoon, and a quick warm up tonight - dinner was ready!

I used a recipe from Kosher by Design - a great cookbook - for BBQ brisket. Instead of a sweet and sour sauce, this used beer and chili sauce. Using what was leftover in the fridge, I used a Budweiser American Ale. The recipe calls for celery and onions as the veggies. Flavorings include garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, and parsley. It cooks for 3 hours the first time, then gets refrigerated overnight. On the day you want to eat it, reheat it with sauce for about 20 minutes and serve! If you want the recipe - email me and I can get it to you. Or check out the photo gallery on the right for a picture of the ingredient list.

On the side, I made a quick mashed parsnips (instead of potatoes). They are made the same way - boil for about 12 minutes, drain, then mash with milk and seasonings.

I'm looking forward to this week's leftovers!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coming tomorrow....BBQ Brisket

Stay tuned...tomorrow night (and few more meals) it's time for BBQ brisket! It is done cooking and smells delicious - but needs to rest and reheat tomorrow with the sauce.

Thursday is Turkey Day!

Cooking in every night means a little extra effort - and can get boring without some variety. I picked up some ground white meat turkey at the store and decided to make some hearty chili with some extras from the pantry. This cooks in about 20-25 minutes and is easy to freeze for future lunches. Serve with cornbread, biscuits, or any bread you like. You can also add in extra veggies if you have them on hand.

Turkey Chili
1 lb. ground white meat turkey
1 can white beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tbsp. tomato paste
Cumin, chili powder, cilantro, salt, pepper
Shredded cheese to top it off

In a large skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium heat.
Add turkey, break up into smaller pieces, and cook until brown - about 5-8 minutes

At the same time...
In a soup pot, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium heat
Add minced garlic and heat for 2-3 minutes
Add both cans of beans and can of tomatoes
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low
Stir in cooked turkey, tomato paste, and spices.
Simmer until it's time to eat - top with shredded cheese and enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
1 skillet, 1 soup pot, can opener, serving dishes and utensils.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tasty Tuesday Dinner

I had the day off on Tuesday, so I spent some quality time at the regular grocery store and Whole Foods looking for interesting ingredients. In the fish case they had a delicious looking Orange Honey Pecan cod. I picked that up (for a good price) and took it home to cook with some fresh veggies. Enjoy!

Orange Honey Pecan Cod
Thanks to Whole Foods - no prep needed.

Heat oven to broil.
Broil fish approximately 3 minutes on each side

Crispy Stir-Fried Veggies
1 red pepper, chopped
1 broccoli crown, chopped
1 small can of water chestnuts, rinsed
1/2 cup snap peas
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Splash of soy sauce

Heat small amount of oil over medium heat.
Add veggies and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently

Serve with cous cous and enjoy!

Prep Time - 10 minutes
Cook Time - 10-15 minutes
1 cookie sheet (for fish), 1 skillet, cutting board and knife, and serving dishes.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Matzo Ball Soup

Sunday afternoons are usually filled with fun and exciting things like laundry, cleaning, and getting ready for the week. Since we had the afternoon at home, I decided to make some matzo ball soup and chicken salad to have for dinner and leftovers. I used a combination of soup recipes and the standard matzo ball recipe. For the chicken salad (sorry, no pictures), I used grapes and celery to add some crunch.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Something new - Bison Burgers!

Enough with the chicken and beef - this week was time for something new! We picked up some ground bison at Whole Foods this week and decided to make some burgers. These were easy, healthy, and very good! One of my favorite ingredients was in stock this week, tomatillos, so I used those for a delicious accompaniment. For the side dish, I just used a basmati rice mix from Trader Joe's - just cook and serve. Not too much effort - perfect when you get home at 7:30 and still have dinner to make. I used 1 lb. of meat and made 4 burgers - enough for leftovers the next night. Here's the recipe, enjoy!

For more photos - click on the album on the right.

Homemade Bison Burgers with Tomatillo Guacamole
1 lb. ground buffalo (bison)
1 tbsp. grill seasoning
1 egg
Handful of diced onions (adds moisture)
Splash of milk
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat grill pan on stove with olive oil (or grill outside)
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl
Score into four even sections and form patties
Grill a few minutes on each side, until medium

Tomatillo Guacamole
2 medium sized tomatillos, rinsed and quartered
1/4 cup onion, cut into large pieces
Lime juice (1/2 of a lime)
1 avocado
1 tsp. cilantro
Salt, pepper

Place all ingredients, except salt and pepper, into a food processor
Pulse until smooth
Pour into serving bowl, mix with salt and pepper to taste

Serve burgers on warm buns with guacamole. Serve with rice on the side. Enjoy!

Prep Time - 5-10 minutes
Cook Time - 10-15 minutes
1 grill pan, cutting board and knives, spoons, 2 bowls, and serving dishes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Chicken and Asparagus Casserole

My friend's mom always used to make chicken and broccoli casserole, but I didn't love cooked broccoli. This is a variation on it with a different vegetable - and still delicious. It's a quick weeknight classic and can be customized however you like it. Serve with biscuits, rolls, or whatever starch you like! The protein and veggies are all in the casserole. The casserole smelled so good, we started eating before thinking about taking the photo!

Chicken Casserole with Asparagus

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used soy milk)
  • 1 package frozen asparagus pieces (not thawed)
  • Appx. 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Appx. 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a casserole dish, mix the soup, milk, and seasoning.
Stir in chicken, covering with the soup mixture.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, covering the whole dish.
Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.

Prep time - about 5 minutes
Cook time - 30 minutes
1 casserole dish and a serving spoon


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