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Monday, October 20, 2014

Guinness Beef Stew


How fantastic does that look?! This recipe is such an awesome fall/winter dish. You get such a warming, homey feeling while eating it. Below is the recipe we got from America’s Test Kitchen and it’s definitely a keeper. My husband was awesome enough to write down the recipe for our recipe book. We used our Dutch oven to cook this, and it worked out great. We changed two things slightly - we used ground thyme instead of fresh (ShopRite was out of fresh thyme), and we didn’t add the parsley. This meal is awesome for lazy days – like a Sunday – when you have a few hours to let it cook. It takes a bit of work up front – cutting the meat, pealing and cutting potatoes, measuring things out, etc but the oven does the rest of the work. And hey, who doesn't love food with a little bit of Guinness in it?!

Greg and I have been trying to make new recipes each week, so expect to see more new posts soon! Hope you guys enjoyed, have a great week!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Simple Butter Cookies

Hi dolls! I finally got around to using my cookie press for the first time this weekend. I used this recipe from Oprah.com, but made a few slight changes. See below!

Ingredients
•24 Tbsp. (3 sticks) salted butter, softened
•1¾ cups granulated sugar
•2 egg yolks
•2 tsp. vanilla extract
•3½ cups all-purpose flour
•Red, pink, orange, or multicolored decorating sugar

(This makes 5-6 batches, I cut everything above in half).

Directions
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Preheat oven to 350°. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add yolks and vanilla, beat again to combine, and then beat in flour.

From here, the original recipe from Oprah.com says to roll out the dough into 1 inch rounds. I used my Pampered Chef Cookie Press instead! Since Halloween is quickly approaching, I decided to use the pumpkin insert. I pressed the cookies onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let rest on baking sheets 2 minutes, then gently transfer to baking racks to cool.

And there you have it! These cookies are so tasty on their own, so I didn't want to overdo them. I sprinkled some colored sugar on top for some simple decoration. I'll definitely use this recipe around Christmas time, they are so versatile and easy to make. The cookie press, on the other hand, is a little tough for me to use. I might just need some more practice!! Hope you guys enjoyed =)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Orange Chicken with Egg Noodles

Hi dolls! My husband and I have been pretty good with our weekly recipe planning lately - we'll go food shopping on the weekend and plan out our meals for during the work week. We have a few favorites in our rotation, but are always on the look out for something new, easy and delicious.

Enter: this orange chicken recipe. It was so delicious and something DIFFERENT. We had most of the ingredients on hand which was good. Orange chicken is usually served over rice, but we didn't have any HA. We used egg noodles instead which worked out great - the sticky, sweet sauce and the plain noodles were a great combo. See recipe below and enjoy!






Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Time I Caught An Awesome Sea Bass - And Ate Him.

I am NOT a seafood person. Like at all. The closest I've gotten to eating any type of seafood is fried calamari that's been fried within an inch of its life. My husband is allergic to most seafood, so that's another reason I've always steered clear of it. So imagine my surprise when I actually ate sea bass and fluke last weekend!

My husband and I took Friday off from work, grabbed my father in law, and set sail on a 7am fishing charter boat for 5 hours. Being up at 4:45am? Not my fave. Spending the entire day outside fishing? One of my faves (I've been fishing since I was a kid). So I bit the bullet, grabbed some coffee and off we went.

Below is my "keeper" as they say - for all the non fisherman out there, that means the fish was of regulation length to take home! My father in law caught a few sea bass too, as well as a nice sized fluke! The mates on the boat take your keepers to the back of the boat to clean and cut, which is awesome. See photos and recipes for both below!


 Me and my sea bass!
 


 The beautiful 50 person charter boat in Long Island. Such beautiful weather and great company!
 
 
My husband rocks. The top is the fluke my father in law caught, and the bottom is my sea bass. I'm so glad that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Plus - everything Greg cooks is great so I knew he wouldn't steer me wrong!
 
 
To cook Sea Bass:
Season with paprika, garlic, salt, thyme and black pepper. Cook on grill.
 
To cook Fluke:
Marinate fluke in lemon, lime and orange juice, and rosemary for 15 minutes. Cut thin rounds of lemon, lime and orange, and cook fluke on grill directly on top of rounds.
 
Enjoy!
 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Heart Shaped Donuts and Party Sprinkles!

Hi dolls! Wanted to share the super cute heart-shaped donuts I made this weekend! I went to a bbq yesterday, and wanted to bring something fun for dessert. I made chocolate donuts in my heart-shaped Wilton pan, and topped them off with an easy vanilla glaze and sprinkles. Check out the photo and recipes below, and my comments on how I think the recipe tasted. Enjoy!


Baked Chocolate Doughnuts
From the Wilton Heart Doughnut Pan package

Makes 24 doughnuts

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray (I used Pam for Baking).

In large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla; mix gently until just combined. Fill each doughnut cup approximately 1/2 full (2 tablespoons batter).

Bake 4-5 minutes or until the tops of the doughnuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing. Repeat with remaining batter. Finish doughnuts with desired toppings. Doughnuts are best served fresh.


Taste of Home
Quick Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir until
smooth. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken if desired. Spoon over
bread. Yield: 1/2 cup.


So here's my conclusion: the donuts LOOKED great, but the taste wasn't all that wonderful. I didn't have buttermilk on hand, so I looked up the sub - milk and vinegar. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, after the donuts had baked and I tasted one, they seemed to have a slight bitter after taste. So i'm assuming it was the vinegar. If I had time, I would have run to the store and picked up some buttermilk. Oh well, lesson learned I guess.

The vanilla glaze was great and very simple to make - I put some pink Wilton food gel in it to give it some color. I had some pink edible hearts and rainbow sprinkles to top them off with. They looked so cute, I just wish the taste was better. I definitely want to try more donut recipes using this pan. The prep didn't take too long, and the donuts bake quickly - 4-5min. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

DIY Burger and Hotdog Station

Hi friends! This weekend was really special, and it's not over yet! My cousin Rebecca came to visit us from Florida and we were all so excited! We wanted to do something special, obv. My husband found a few photos online of DIY burger stations and I was obsessed with recreating the idea with my own spin on it. See below!


 
So awesome, right?! I liked this display for a few reasons - of course it looked adorable, but it was also functional. My husband grilled all the burgers and hotdogs, and set them next to this station. Instead of preparing 11 people's plates, everyone helped themselves and were happy with all the options!

The clear glass servers in the front are actually mini dessert servers. The white servers behind that are small saucers. The four bigger bowls on each side are fun party bowls that I usually put nuts or snacks in. The beautiful plate that they're sitting on is from Tiffany's - a gift from my sister in law for our engagement! And lastly, the marker board I made myself. It was super easy! I bought a cheap picture frame from Michael's, put in some polka dot scrapbook paper, and used erasable markers to write down the menu. We change it every week, even if it's just the two of us home!



My beautiful cousin and I! So special that we got to spend time together <3 enjoyed="" for="" guys="" hope="" p="" reading="" thanks="" xo="" you="">

Friday, August 8, 2014

Delicious Skirt Steak and Buffalo Rice






I don't know how I got so lucky, but my husband really kicks ass. We've been making a conscious effort to go food shopping on weekends, and plan out our dinner menu for the week. We both work in the city, and get home around 7pm. Knowing that you already have the ingridients to prepare dinner is a great feeling! We are always looking for quick and tasty recipes that we can add to our dinner rotation. Above is a delicious skirt steak and buffalo rice that my husband prepared for us! It was so juicy, tender and flavorful! I asked him if we could have it once a week, it was seriously that good. Here's how he prepped the skirt steak:


Salt and petter both sides, then put a little olive oil (about 3 TBSP in a small dish). Add some paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of coriander, a pinch of cinnamon and mix until it's almost like a paste (the oil helps everything stick and mix together).


Slather your mixture on both sides of the steak, and throw in a VERY HOT pan for about 2.5 minutes on each side. Cut on a bias across the grain into thin slices. We served it over rice - Knorr Rice Sides, Buffalo Chicken Flavor. The rice is quick and easy, and has a little kick to it. It married great with the steak.

So there it is, folks! I will try to share some of our daily recipes as we make them. I made a little dry-erase menu board, and update it with our weekly menu. It reminds us of what we need to buy at the store, and gets us excited to cook together.

Hope you guys enjoyed! xoxo, Dana and Greg