Quick Skewers – Quick Dinner

It’s that time of year, isn’t it? The days are longer and we somehow seem to have even more to do. If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend all the daylight inside cooking. I try to sneak at least a half an hour each evening to getting things done outside. Winter is SO LONG!


The other night I wanted something quick on the grill. I bought a teriyaki seasoned steak from Wegman’s.

I cut it up into bite sized pieces and used a new set of skewers my cousin gave me for Christmas. Good cousin! I seasoned pieces of orange bell pepper and tomatoes that were about 2 inches in diameter with olive oil, salt and pepper. I think next time I will not use the tomatoes and instead use onions chopped into large cubes. Alternating, I added the tomato, beef and pepper trying to put the skewer into the middle of each piece.

We grilled them until the beef was caramelized on the outside (teriyaki marinade has a little sugar in it) and medium rare on the inside, about 8 minutes total.


I served them with boiled tiny red potatoes with butter and sea salt

sprout bowl

Wegman’s makes roasted Brussels sprouts that we eat like candy. Imagine a vegetable, especially this one, eaten like candy. We just love them. But, they did not have them this past week. What to do?

Make them myself!

Remove the stem and peel off outer leaves of the Brussels Sprouts.

Remove the stem and peel off outer leaves of the Brussels Sprouts.


Dice a few pieces of Pancetta that you can get at the deli counter. Ask them to cut it thick, about 1/4". Dice it into small 1/4" cubes. Do this easily by stacking them on top of each other and cutting them all at once.

Dice a few pieces of Pancetta that you can get at the deli counter. Ask them to cut it thick, about 1/4″. Dice it into small 1/4″ cubes. Do this easily by stacking them on top of each other and cutting them all at once.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

1 Pound Brussels Sprouts

3 ¼” pieces of Pancetta

Olive oil

Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

Roast them for about 30 minutes, until the outside is caramelized (the vinegar does the trick this time) and they are tender.

Join me on Facebook and let me know if you try this recipe. How would you tweak it?

Have a yummy day!


Corned Beef and Cabbage Bowl

First this…

20130320-114242.jpgCorn Beef and Cabbage from Bandana’s Bar and Grill

It was the very best corned beef and cabbage I have ever had. All they would tell me is that it was beer, sugar and pickling spices. There was a decided clove/cinnamon/nutmeg flavor…so delicious! Made me forget it was Monday and I didn’t order their famous mac and cheese.

Then this…

20130320-114346.jpgChopped up all the leftover corned beef, cabbage, carrots and red skinned potatoes. Added some of the spicy mustard and mayonnaise.

And ended up with…

20130320-114545.jpgCorned Beef and Cabbage Salad Bowl.


Have a yummy day!!!

Ground Beef Skillet: It’s Chili / Mac & Cheese!

This post originally appeared May 3, 2012. Since then it has gotten more hits than any other cooking post I have put up.

The beauty of this recipe/non-recipe is that when you make it you realize you can change it any way you like. Cook with me and you will learn how to rely less on the written recipe and more on your taste and the taste of the folks who share your food.


Please let me know if you make this and how it came out. Feel free to post pictures on my Facebook page.

May 3, 2012

Unnamed but good. Silly name, but that’s what it’s called in our house. The original recipe was on a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. By the way, its macaroni and cheese not pasta and cheese, right? So why do we call it pasta? I dunno!


I cannot find the original recipe cut from the box but if I recall, you brown ground beef, add onion and canned tomatoes. Meanwhile you cook the macaroni. Add the cheese packet and cooked macaroni, canned corn and voila, dinner! My husband “named” it and the “unnamed” stuck.

Well, I haven’t purchased macaroni and cheese boxes since my son was in 9th grade and decided to dedicate himself to swimming and fitness. It paid off for him but denied me some good quick junk food. Ah…the perils of parenthood!

I avoid as much food with ingredients not in their natural state as possible (dried cheese powder?) so I decided to make my own version of this ground beef skillet.

Sauté a chopped onion with a little olive oil in a large skillet and add a few cloves of garlic (I use more than a few but that’s just me) coarsely chopped and stir.

Add 1-2 pounds of ground anything. I like beef but you can use any ground meat. If you do not want to use meat, sauté mixed mushrooms and add more beans. Yum!

While this is browning, put a large pot of water on to boil. Cook 8 ounces of any kind of macaroni being sure to add the longest cooking first. I like to use leftover macaroni and really like the look of the different sizes in the pot.

Once the meat is cooked through add a jar of salsa (we like medium heat), a can of corn, a can of beans (any kind you like) and a small can of tomato paste. Cook through until it has a smooth almost creamy texture. If it is too thick ladle a scoop of the water from the macaroni to get the consistency you like.

Add a bag of cheese to the mixture. I like the cheddar three cheese blend with cream cheese.

Drain macaroni and stir into the meat mixture. Enjoy!

Have a yummy week!

** Ingredient List

1 – Onion, chopped

2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced

1-2 Lbs Ground Anything (Beef, Turkey, Lamb etc) or a mixed variety of mushrooms.

8 oz (1/2 Lb) macaroni

1 – Jar Salsa, small

1 – Canned Corn

1 – Can beans

1 – Tomato Paste, small

2 – Cups Shredded Cheese Blend (preferably with Cream Cheese)

Love affair with a juicy steak

20120613-065139.jpgThe Foodie:

Years ago when my sister was dating my brother-in-law we enjoyed a wonderful prime rib dinner prepared by my mother, the Foodie’s role model and teacher.

It was likely a big roast, at least four to five ribs and, as was our custom, we would all beg for the bones. He went home and told his mother he thought he was marrying into the Flintstone family.

We were at a lovely restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard and our friend’s five year old ordered a juicy steak. The server smiled and asked him if he knew what that was. He said, “yes, but my mom still has to cut it because she won’t let me use a knife.” No chicken fingers for him, just a slab of beef, cooked expertly over an open fire.

Any cut of meat with the word “loin” is leaner than chuck or rib eye but give me a cut of beef with a bone and I’m in my own carnivorous heaven. The porterhouse is extra special because it has a strip loin on one side, tenderloin (no less than 1 ¼ inches) on the other kept together by the ultimate T-bone (if you are lucky there is a tiny piece of marrow at the top of the “T”). A T-bone is a porterhouse with smaller tenderloin (no less than a half inch). The ultimate for me may be a bone-in rib eye, perfect marbling and tenderness.

Less is more with a good cut of beef. You have no idea how happy I am that Melloni’s Market is less than a mile away. Every steak is perfect and they are all the same width which aids in consistent cooking.

First, take the steaks out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to cook them. My father learned how to season steaks from a chef at John’s Flaming Hearth. On one side put onion powder and Lowry’s Seasoned Salt and on the other put garlic powder and ground pepper. That’s it.

We always use charcoal (I’m a real grill snob, not going to lie). My husband is the direct heat grill master in our house. He grills it a few minutes on one side until there are nice grill marks and flips it, being sure the flame does not burn the meat.

We like it medium rare and he removes the steaks just before they are completely cooked and covers them tightly with aluminum foil for about ten minutes so the juices can go back into the steak.

Tonight, we paired our steak with Black Willow Winery’s (located in Burt) Cabernet Franc. This was the perfect complement to our steak and I enjoyed the smoky black cherry taste. The label says it has a candy apple flavor but I did not pick that out. I will definitely keep this wine on hand and look forward to pairing it with other red meat dishes.

You have no idea how much self restraint I have to exhibit when eating out at a steak house. There is no waste worse, to me, than good meat left on the bone. I could walk around the dining room, never order anything, and just ask strangers “you going to eat that bone?”