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A New-to-Me Salad Dressing

Ok, so this isn’t a recipe, but I felt that I HAD to share a discovery I made! While shopping in the grocery store this past weekend, I happened upon a brand-new-to-me salad dressing. It’s called MAKOTO Ginger Dressing.

This is GOOD stuff!

Oh. My. GOODNESS!! I have finally found my favorite salad dressing!! If you have ever been to a Japanese steakhouse and had their little salad that comes with the hibachi meal, then you will know the savory, delicious flavor of this dressing. I am addicted. I like eating the Fresh Express 50/50 Mix with sliced cucumbers and carrot ribbons piled high on top. Top that with a tablespoonful or so of dressing and I am good to go for lunch time!! (Or any time, for that matter.) The dressing must be kept refrigerated, so I suggest looking for it with the produce in the refrigerated section. It has 80 calories and 1 gram of sugar per 2 tablespoonful serving. It does contain soy and wheat. The label says the dressing can be used as a sauce or a marinade, as well. You’ll find the link to the product website here. There are a bunch of yummy looking recipes right there that are just begging me to try. I wanted to share this wonderful discovery with y’all. Enjoy!! :-)


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Addictive Roast Beef au Jus Sandwiches

This is a REALLY good Crock Pot recipe for roast beef au jus sandwiches. I used Bud Light for the beer for this recipe. I have not tried any other kind, but I am sure that any favorite light beer will be ok. The recipe yields about 8 servings, depending on how much roast beef you pile on one sandwich. I would also highly recommend using crusty French bread rolls or loaves so that the beef juice doesn’t over-soggify the bread. My husband loves to dip the whole sandwich into the Crock Pot to thoroughly drench his sandwich; I prefer to have the au jus in a little bowl on the side for dipping. My family usually eats this with plain potato chips or potato salad. We have also taken this recipe to a New Year’s Eve party and it was gone before we rang in the new year!! I find this recipe highly addictive because of its simplicity and minimal ingredients, not to mention the fact that it is delicious. Enjoy!!!



Roast Beef au Jus Sandwich with chips

Here’s what you need:

1 beef rump roast, about 3 to 4 pounds
2 envelopes Lipton onion soup mix
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (we are garlic lovers!)
2 cans (10.5 fl oz each) beef broth, or reconstitute 3 cups beef broth
1 bottle (12 fl oz) light beer
French bread rolls or loaves, cut to serving size

Here’s what you do:

  1. Trim and discard fat from beef. Place trimmed beef in Crock Pot.
  2. Combine all other ingredients, except for bread, in medium mixing bowl. Pour over beef. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 2 hours. You can also cook it on low for 8 hours.
  3. Remove beef from Crock Pot, slice/shred on a cutting board, and return beef to cooking juice in Crock Pot.
  4. Serve roast beef on rolls with au jus liquid in a little bowl on the side.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

 
This is a really delicious recipe that my husband found in The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook (2010) and we made our own. My family and I love it!! The recipe serves about 6, and it doubles nicely, too. The soup can be made as mild or as spicy as you want. Since we have little ones and I am a spice-wimp, we tend to only use a half of a chipotle chile. Serve this soup with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, chunky bits of avocado, a few chopped cilantro leaves, a squeeze from a wedge of lime, and a dollop of sour cream. It’s a fun-to-assemble meal all by itself!!

Here’s what you need:

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled
8 to 10 fresh cilantro sprigs
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
½ to 2 canned chipotle chile(s) in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup frozen corn kernels

For garnish:

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Tortilla chips, broken
1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, chopped
Sour cream
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Lime wedges

Here’s what you do:

Bring the broth, chicken breasts, 2 of the onion quarters, 2 of the garlic cloves, cilantro sprigs, and oregano to a simmer in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the chicken registers 160-165 degrees on an instant meat thermometer. If the pieces are small, it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.

Remove chicken from the broth and pulse in food processor until it’s VERY roughly chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender. (We have found that shredding the chicken with two forks takes FOREVER. This method takes literally 5 seconds!) Strain the broth, discarding the solid pieces. Set broth aside.

Process the remaining 2 onion quarters, remaining 2 garlic cloves, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers until smooth. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat, until oil starts to smoke. Add the pureed onion-tomato mixture and cook until tomato juice is mostly evaporated and the mixture has slightly darkened in color, at least 10 minutes. Stir often. You’ll also know when it’s about ready for the next step when the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the Dutch oven You’ll want that caramelization for the subtle smoky flavor.

Stir in the broth and corn kernels, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken and simmer another 5 minutes, until it is heated through.

Ladle soup into bowls, add desired garnishes, and ENJOY!!


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Peach and Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin

I have never had pork taste so good and be so tender!! This recipe wasn’t done in a Crockpot, but it was really easy to slice and tastes phenomenal even as leftovers—either cold or hot. The sweetness of the peach preserves is balanced by the tang of the white wine in the Dijon mustard. With only 6 ingredients, this recipe is at the top of my list for ease of preparation and flavor. I used a glass dish for cooking the pork and it worked wonderfully. I recommend slightly crushing the dried thyme leaves in the palm of your hand right before incorporating into the marinade to get the fragrance and flavor working. I also recommend using a food thermometer so you won’t under- or overcook this dish. (Or any other meat dishes, for that matter. Just remember to wash the probe with soap and water after each temp-taking!!) Pictured left: Peach and Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin, carrot medallions, and Really Good Roasted Rosemary-Onion Potatoes

 
Get the
QR Code for smartphones. HERE The entire recipe is on it.

 

Here’s what you need:

½ cup peach preserves

2 Tablespoonfuls Dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon)

2 teaspoonfuls vegetable oil

¼ teaspoonful dried thyme leaves, slightly crushed

¼ teaspoonful salt

1 package pork tenderloin (there will most probably be 2 in the pack)

 

Here’s what you do:

  1. Mix all ingredients except pork in a small mixing bowl. Place pork and marinade into resealable plastic bag, seal, and place on plate (in case of leaks). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but no more than 8 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Remove pork from plastic bag, place in baking dish, and pour marinade on top. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until meat thermometer reads 145 degrees. It is important to let meat rest for 3 minutes to allow final cooking. Stir and reserve marinade.
  4. Slice pork, plate, and drizzle cooked marinade on top. Enjoy!!

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Hard-Boiled Eggs

If you are looking for a tried-and-true method for hard-boiling eggs, then look no further. You’ll get pretty hard boiled eggs without the green ring around the cooked yolk. Why should that matter? Well, if you are cooking eggs for presentation, (i.e. deviled eggs, sliced eggs on a salad, etc.) then you want just the egg white and the bright yellow yolk showing. This procedure for boiling eggs is the one that I can always remember and is pretty easy. Once the eggs are boiled, you can store them in the refrigerator and use them within one week. Yummy!

  1. Place eggs into pot.
  2. Fill pot with enough water to cover eggs.
  3. Bring eggs to boil on stove.
  4. Remove from heat, cover with lid, and let stand for 18 minutes.
  5. Empty water from pot. CAUTION: Water will be HOT!!!
  6. Run cold water over eggs -OR- fill pot with cold water, wait a minute or two, empty and refill until you can handle them safely.

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Kitchen Tip #1: Cutting Board Sliding Around?

Does your cutting board slide all over the counter when you are trying to chop your food? Not only is it annoying, but it is dangerous to you and anyone that should happen to wander within stabbing/smacking distance. I learned this really simple tip to stop a traveling cutting board while taking my Quantity Foods class at East Carolina University from Chef Shelly Owens

Step 1: Wet Paper towel
Step 2:Spread out damp paper towel onto work surface.
Step 3:
Place cutting board on top of damp paper towel.
(I let it stick out to illustrate this step).

If, after a while, the cutting board starts to slide, repeat steps 1 through 3. Easy peasy!! :-D


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