Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MM's Favorite Sandwich

by Pioneer Woman

1 large onion
2 or 3 lbs. cube steak
Lawry's seasoned salt
Lemon pepper
Black pepper
Worcestershire sauce
4 French or deli rolls
Start by slicing the onion.  Next, melt 1/4 stick butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and light brown, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove the onion from the pan and set aside.

Cut each piece against the grain into 1-inch strips.  Now season the meat with a nice sprinkling of seasoned salt, lemon pepper, and black pepper.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same skillet in which you cooked the onion.  Turn the heat to high.  Let the butter begin to turn brown, about 2 minutes.  You'll want the skillet to be hot.  Now add enough meat to the hot skillet to form a single layer.  Do not stir.  Let it sit for about a minute, or long enough for one side to turn brown.  

Then, using a spatula, flip the meat over.  Cook for another minute, then remove to a plate.  Repeat until all the meat is cooked.

Return all the meat to the skillet and add the cooked onion.  Pour in Worcestershire sauce (in my case since I  didn't have any I ended up using A1 sauce), several dashes of Tabasco sauce (I skipped this because I didn't have any), and an additional 2 tablespoons of butter (I also skipped this step completely - personally I thought it was buttery enough).  Simmer the mixture over low heat for about 5 minutes to thoroughly warm.

Cut each roll in half length-wise.  Spread generously with butter, then brown on a griddle or skillet (I added some Swiss cheese I found in my refrigerator).  Place the rolls face up on a plate, then place the meat mixture on the bottom half.  Spoon  2 or 3 tablespoons of the pan juices over the top.  This will keep the meat moist and seep into the bread.  

Top with the other half of the roll and serve.

My hubby LOOOOOOOOVED this.  He likes cube steak anyways.  This is definitely a meal for my meat and potatoes man.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Perfect Roast Chicken

by The Barefoot Contessa

1 (5 to 6 lb.) roasting chicken
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets.  Rinse the chicken inside and out.  Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.  Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.

Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic.  (I don't want to brag but the thyme is from my very own herb garden :)  )

 Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.  Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan.  Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil.

Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.  Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.  

Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

I've made this recipe plenty of times throughout the past couple of years, so why did it turn out different this time?  My "Perfect" Roast Chicken turned out great but the vegetables weren't "perfect".  A lot of them......some of them came out close to perfect (pictured) and they're the ones that came out caramelized just right, soft, very tender and juicy.  The rest of them well, it's a sad story.....they didn't make it.  There's several reasons and here's why:  I should of added more carrots; I used a bigger bird than what the recipe asked for; I used a new pan I hadn't used before, I left directions with my hubby to pop it in the oven (he did exactly what I told him to do so none of this is his fault), I wasn't home to keep a close eye on it, I really should of waited to cook this on the weekend.  But other than that, the chicken was VERY, VERY tasty and delicious.  If you've never cooked with fennel, don't be afraid to.  The flavors when blended in with the meat juices gives a savory flavor like none other.  I am a fan of fennel from this point on and  my Perfect Roast Chicken & vegies.  ~isavortheweekend

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Slow-Cooked Beef Minestrone

by Wegmans Fall 2009 Menu magazine

1 1½ lbs. Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
Pan Searing Flour
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 16oz Minestrone Soup Vegetables (or any other soup vegetable in the frozen section) (if frozen thaw completely)
Salt and Pepper
1 12oz carton Beef Stock
1 14.5oz can Italian-Style Diced Tomatoes
1 24oz Italian Seasoned Tomato Sauce
½ cup dry Ditalini Soup Pasta
1 15.5oz can Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
1 6oz pkg Baby Spinach

You’ll need:  Slow cooker, large braising pan

Dust beef with pan searing flour; pat off excess.
Heat oil in large braising pan on medium-high until oil faintly smokes.  Add beef; sear 10 minutes until all sides are paper-bag brown.  Transfer beef to slow cooker; don’t discard pan drippings.  Add vegetable to skillet with beef drippings; season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring 3 min; add to slow cooker.  Add stock, tomatoes and sauce to slow cooker.  Cover cook 4½ - 6 hours on HIGH or 8 - 10 hours on LOW.  Add dry pasta and beans 30 mins before end of cooking on HIGH (45  min before end of cooking on LOW).  Add spinach to slow cooker.  Stir to blend well.  Allow spinach to lightly wilt, about 2 min.

I would like to take credit for this but Elise cooked this one.  All I did was make sure we had all the ingredients, I handed her the recipe and she did the rest.

This recipe I found in the Wegmans Menu magazine from Fall 2009.   As some of you may know, my family and I make a trip out to a Wegmans store at least once every season.  If you've never been to a Wegmans, well I really don't know how to describe it other than it''s, an experience.  Anyway, I've made this minestrone several times since last Fall but just before I started my blog last January.  It's a great winter meal but I just got in the mood for it.  I love the savory, tomatoee juices blended in with the beef and broth and vegies.  This meal is also healthy because it has fresh spinach in it :) and it's really, really good.  Hubby loved it although it would've been better had it been 40 degrees outside instead of 85 degrees.  Summer just won't let go, today is Autumn Eve.  It's the talk around town, even in the news, everyone wants it to be Autumn, and Autumn weather, 50's-60 degrees, cold and rainy. *whimper* ~isavortheweekend

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Moist Pumpkin Spice Muffins


  • Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (heaping) Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cups Evaporated Milk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ cups Golden Raisins (optional!)
  • _____
  • Topping
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • _____
  • ¼ cups Softened Butter
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • ½ pounds Powdered Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until it is fully incorporated. 
In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla.

Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins.

Fold gently until mixture is just combined.

Pour into a greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture over the top of each unbaked muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes. 

Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.

Ice with cream cheese frosting.

To make the frosting, mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped (or do like me and just buy the already made frosting).  Spread onto completely cooled muffins, or place into a large pastry bag with a large star tip and go crazy! Store in the fridge, as icing will soften at room temperature.

It's almost the middle of September and here in Virginia you start feeling the chill in the mornings, one can keep their windows open all night as the cool fresh air comes through.  I love absolutely love it!  I also love the aromas Fall brings especially the pumpkin spicy kind that come from the kitchen.  Pioneer Woman tempted me with this recipe and I couldn't wait to get home to make it.  I had to stop by the store to buy the pumpkin puree and much to my dismay, THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY!!  I asked a manager who was in one of the store aisles and she told me they wouldn't have any for another couple of weeks!!  I couldn't believe my ears.  I would of thought that they would have an aisle set up already with all our Fall baking needs.  I got home and dug through my cupboards and sure enough, I found a can of pumpkin puree way in the back, yay!!!  I can fill my house with pumpkin muffins baking in the oven!  ~isavortheweekend

Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Pizza


  • 1 teaspoon Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
  • 1-½ cup Warm Water
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ⅓ cups Olive Oil

Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.
Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.
Note: it’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.
When you are ready to make the pizza, grab HALF the pizza dough (recipe makes 2 crusts) and squeeze the dough toward the bottom to form a nice, tight, pulled ball. You can roll out the pizza with a rolling pin if you’d like, but sometimes it’s just as easy to throw it around and pull and stretch till it feels right. And when the crust is nice and thin, lay it on an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and spread it with your fingers. Very lightly sprinkle some salt on the crust.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Top your crust with your toppings of choice. Then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.


  • 1 whole Pizza Crust
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
  • 1 whole Large Red Onion, Halved And Thinly Sliced
  • ¼ cups Brown Sugar
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • 10 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Thinly Sliced
  • 8 slices Prosciutto (more To Taste)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and brown sugar and toss/stir for several minutes, or until onions are brown and cooked. Set aside.

Roll out pizza dough to a rectangular shape. Drizzle on olive oil, sprinkle on a little salt, followed by a little Parmesan.

Lay slices of mozzarella evenly over the top of the crust. Arrange caramelized onions over the top of the mozzarella. 

Randomly lay slices of prosciutto over the onions.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the lower half of the oven, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into squares. Serve immediately.

Elise and I love pizza.  My plan was to make some from scratch while Dad (my hubby) was away on a trip for a couple of days.  This was the weekend to do it.  I took off early from work on Friday (used up my Labor Day holiday then)  so I went to the grocery store, bought the ingredients for my homemade from scratch pizza.  I've never cooked caramelized red onions nor prosciutto so I was sure how this would come out.  It just looked good, the Pioneer Woman said it would be good and I always believe what she says.  

It didn't end up being our favorite.  Elise said it was too sweet and I have to agree.  It was my first time using fresh mozzarella on pizza and as long as I can afford it, I will be using fresh mozzarella in my cooking for as long as I live.  What a difference it makes!!  

So since the pizza dough was split in half, I used the 2nd half on the following day and drizzled it just the same with olive oil, added some pepperoni slices, some more fresh mozzarella and some leftover marinara sauce I had in the fridge.  THIS pizza, was awesome and has  convinced me that from now on, I will make my pizza from scratch, from now on!  I love the homemade  crust and to think, I almost bought an already made crust and am so glad I changed my mind.  I saved money and my palate was introduced to new delicious flavors! ~isavortheweekend 

Pizza and football go together, no doubt about that.  I love Saturdays during football season, I'm a giant fan of college football, I love the excitement it brings, I love the sound of the drum corp and the marching band.  I love the rivalries I love the battle on the gridiron.  If I could make pizza every weekend as we watch football, I wouldn't mind but I think my family would, especially my hubby since he's not a big fan of pizza like Elise and I are.  He's gone several times more this football season.  If you would like to go ahead and suggest your favorite homemade pizza, by all means, please send me your recipe!! ~isavortheweekend
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