Friday, April 30, 2010

Korean BBQ Beef Wraps

Korean BBQ beef lettuce wraps.  Yummy

When we bought our house a little over 5 years ago my husband insisted on using a realtor. I wasn't a fan of the decision. In fact, I'm still not today. The only thing I enjoy(ed) out of the situation is that every month when she sends us a postcard in the mail, it has a recipe on it. A few months ago the recipe was for these wraps. They are divine in a "I love meat" sort of way.

Because I don't have the recipe card in front of me, I'm going to do a little guestimation on the actual ingredients. Give it a try though - your tummy will thank me for it later.

Korean BBQ Lettuce wraps:
romaine lettuce
1 flank steak
1 kiwi

Cut up and smash the kiwi. Smear the kiwi all over the flank steak and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

While the steak is steeping, make the marinade.

1/3 c. soy sauce
3 tbsp red wine
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp corn syrup (Karo syrup, etc.)
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 c. brown sugar

Mix the marinade. Place the steak and marinade in a zip lock bag. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. I prefer all day long.

Once everything is ready - cook the steak (grill, frying pan, etc. It's all good) and slice it up as thinly as you can.

While the steak is cooking, boil the remaining marinade (get rid of the kiwis) to make the sauce for the wraps. Also, cook some white rice and get some romaine lettuce leaves ready for wrapping.

Serve the wraps with green onions, thin carrot strips and toasted sesame seeds.

Note: A medium to large flank steak should serve about 8 people. It doesn't go that far however in our house of large carnivores. Don't plan on any leftovers and if you are having guest over for dinner - maybe double everything.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to doctor a cake mix

I love to bake.  It's cathartic for me.

Many times I've baked a cake from scratch - and made a huge mess in the process.

I'm learning though that doctoring a store bought cake mix is faster, easier, and often just as tasty.

A few things you can do to make a cake from a box taste more like a cake from scratch.

1 - add a small package of instant pudding in a flavor that compliments the cake mix
2 - add one cup sour cream
3 - use buttermilk or milk instead of water

Not only is the batter absolutely fluffy, rich, and quite heavenly, but it bakes up well, too (but it does take a bit longer than the instructions on the box tell you so watch carefully.).

My first attempt at a doctored mix turned out fabulous.  I had a regular yellow cake mix, did all of the above and for my pudding added a white chocolate instant pudding.  I never actually got to eat one of the finished products but the batter was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth for the day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekly Menu

Monday - Chicken Parmesan (we didnt' actually eat this last week.  We went out for pizza instead. ) with Caesar salad and crusty garlic bread

Tuesday: Garlic, lime and soy pork tenderloin with crispy garlic potatoes

Wednesday: Korean BBQ beef wraps with romaine and rice

Thursday: Lemon grilled chicken and something else on the grill

Friday: Baked penne pasta with chicken, bacon, and sun dried tomatoes

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

I found this recipie on a blog ( and printed it out immediately, just waiting for the right even to try out such a seemingly decadent treat.

My sister's baby shower two weekends ago was the perfect time for such absolute heaven wrapped in chocolate.

Here is the recipie:
Chocolate chip cookie dough truffles
makes 3-4 dozen, depending on size. (I got 50 truffles out of the batch I made)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, or small chocolate chunks.

14 oz dark chocolate candy coating, (i didnt have any so i used chocolate chips)


Beat butter and sugars and in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add soymilk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

When dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate candy coating in a double boiler or in microwave according to package directions. Using forks or a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Tap fork on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Or freeze for frozen treats.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Leek, Bacon and Pea Risotto - a new family favorite

image courtesy of Everyday Food
We discovered this recipe from an old copy of Everyday Food about a month ago and have fixed it several times since.  I'm not a big fan of cheese in general so I let everyone add there own Parmesan depending on personal preference.  We've also tried it with and without peas and the peas really make a difference so I highly recommend that you throw them in at the end.  Though I may not be a cheese fan, I do love me some thick, smoked bacon so I add an extra slice to the recipe - for the flavor.

Oh yeah, and I don't do the wine, not something I keep handy in the house.  I just use an extra cup of chicken stock.

I haven't fixed the whole recipe yet - cutting it in half is just perfect for our little family.  Only the grown-ups eat it anyway.

Serves 4
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only
  • 12 cups (96 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into strips
  • 2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Halve leeks lengthwise; rinse thoroughly. Pat dry; thinly slice. In a saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over medium. Meanwhile, in a large, straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium, stirring, until lightly browned but not crisp, 5 minutes. Add leeks; cook, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring, until translucent around edges, 1 minute.
  2. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until broth is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Repeat process, gradually adding broth, until rice is al dente and risotto is creamy (you may not need all the broth), about 35 minutes. Stir in peas (if using) after the final addition of broth.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in Parmesan. Cover and let stand 2 minutes. Season risotto with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Reserve half the risotto (about 4 cups) in refrigerator for risotto cakes. Serve remaining risotto with Parmesan.

Weekly Menu 4/19 - 4/24

Monday: Chicken tenders Parmesan
Tuesday: Hamburgers on the grill (chips and dip and grilled pineapple on the side)
Wednesday: Leek, bacon and pea risotto
Thursday:  Taco night with Spanish rice
Friday: Breaded pork chops with lemon and green beans