Carne Asada

One of the places Jeremiah and I eat out at a lot is Chipotle. On more than one occasion, we have tried to make our own at home. I also was telling Jeremiah about these amazing black beans and rice I had eaten at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I was convinced they used chicken broth and I could try to replicate the flavor at home.

This was our attempt last week and trying to replicate both these tasty dishes. Although we thought the Carne Asada had really good flavor, making it along with rice, beans, guacamole, and Pico from scratch made quite a mess to clean-up. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go out and stand in line.

FullSizeRender (6)Carne Asade by Show Me the Yummy
2 lb. flank steak
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. white vinegar

In a small bowl, mix spices. Then, stir in oil. Rub half of mixture on each side of the steak. Mix together remaining ingredients. Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray. Pour in half of juice mixture. Place in steak and pour over with remaining juice. Cook on low for six hours.

Black Beans by Amber Bourek
8 oz. dry black beans
1 c. low sodium chicken stock
water
½ diced yellow onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Rise black beans. For beans in sprayed Crockpot. Cover with 1 cup of chicken stock and enough water to cover by two inches. Add in onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook on high for six – seven hours.

Note:

I put together a few recipes to make this dish. I cooked them for 4 hours. They were still a little hard so I kept cooking them. My husband thinks we should have soaked the beans for 24 hours and then they would have cooked in 3 ½ to 4 hours.

Guacamole

Five weeks ago, I married the love of my life in a small but beautiful ceremony. Although our original plan was to go to St. Kitts. Then, the Zika virus happened. We decided we want to either stay in the states or head up north to Canada. We settled upon San Antonio, Texas. Why? We had never been and read lots of things that said it was a must visit destination.

Jeremiah and I are planners. Unfortunately, wedding planning and out of town travel for work left us heading to San Antonio without a plan. When we arrived, our first stop was a great little restaurant called Magnolia Pancake Haus. OMG – that side order of pancakes was the best pancakes I’ve ever had. It was so good, we went back one more time and even purchased a bottle of their homemade syrup to take home.

All the food we ate on our honeymoon was amazing. We loved the Hearthstone Bakery Café, Tycoon Flats, Franks, Gruene River Mill, and Guenther House. But Boudros Texas Bistro on the Riverwalk makes the most amazing table side guacamole I’ve ever had. And Jeremiah and I thought we love Chipotle’s guac until we tasted this dish. Lucky for us, we were able to find this recipe online. My husband made it two weeks ago for dinner and I’m roasting the ingredients right now so we can have it for dinner with Skinny Chipotle Cilantro Rice and Carne Asada (cooking in the crockpot as I type this post). Note – the secret ingredient here is fruit squeezed orange juice.

IMG_0971Boudro’s Famous Guacamole
1 orange
2 limes
4-6 avocados
1 roma tomato, roasted and diced
2 serrano pepper, roasted, seeded, and diced
4 T. red onion, diced
½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 garlic clove, chopped

Squeeze orange and lime juice into a bowl. Scoop out avocados and add to the bowl. Add tomato, peppers, onion, garlic, and cilantro. Fold into avocado. Add salt to taste.

Notes:

  • Results should be more or cut together than mashed. Our server just used the two knifes she cut everything open with.
  • This makes 6-8 serving. Since guacamole gets brown so quickly, we half this recipe.

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Need a last minute Christmas gift but don’t want to fight the crowds? Here’s a little recipe I’m making for friends. It’s a copycat for the Tastefully Simple Beer Bread.

Creative Commons photo by @joefoodie

Creative Commons photo by @joefoodie

Homemade Beer Bread from Pinterest
3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (12 oz.) can or bottle of beer
3 T. butter, melted

Mix dry ingredients and package pretty. Recipient will need added beer and stir. Then, pour into greased bread pan. Top with melted butter and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Note: Another good gift idea is my homemade hot chocolate recipe.

Fall Changes

I know it’s been a few weeks since I wrote a blog post. Although the temperatures may be hovering around three digit heat, everything is changing as we approach fall. I dog sat for the first time in my life and just started a new job. After a quick afternoon nap, I’m back in the kitchen cooking up new recipes to share with you.

Today’s post is inspired by Starbucks. Last week, the fall specialty drinks reappeared on the menu. My personal favorite is Salted Caramel Mocha but I also love Pumpkin Spice Latte. For those of you who love the winter holiday drinks, today’s copy cat recipe is for you. Although this isn’t one of my usuals, it is one of my sister’s favorites. I think it taste pretty close to the Starbucks drink.

Caramel Brulee LatteCaramel Brulee Latte from Pinterest
2 T. caramel sauce
1-2 oz. vanilla syrup
4 oz. espresso
8-10 oz. steamed milk
whipped cream
toffee bits and caramel sauce

Place caramel sauce in cup. Add vanilla syrup. Top with coffee and milk. Garnish with whipped cream and toffee bits.

Notes:

  • I used half a shot glass of sugar free French vanilla syrup (1 oz.)
  • I don’t have an espresso maker so I made the Starbuck Blonde K-cup with 6 oz. of water.
  • I used 10 oz. of steamed skim milk.
  • I make froth from skim milk and skipped the whipped cream, toffee bits, and extra caramel sauce.

Orange Julius

My mother loves Orange Julius. You know, the orange fruit smoothie available in food courts everywhere as well as your local Dairy Queen.

One of my family’s favorite things to do is go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. For years, we have gotten up very early in the morning to catch the Black Friday sales and complete most of our holiday. As you know, many stores are now starting to open at Midnight to catch people before they go to bed.

This past year, we decided to swing by the mall in Norfolk on our way back to Columbus from dropping of my grandparents off at their home in Wayne. (For those of you not from northeast Nebraska, these towns are all about 30-45 minutes apart.)

Our first stop was at Target. Who doesn’t love a Target deal? And in our family, it also means our purchases are helping pay the salaries of two family members employed by the company. (I always encourage people to shop place that support your employer or others you know.) I love Target because their Black Friday deals last for two days. This usually means the store isn’t super crazy if you show up an hour or two after it opens. Our run through Target was quick and then it was time to split up.

Somehow, my mother and sister got stuck in a line at Herbergers (it’s like Dillards or Macy’s if you aren’t from a smaller community) for well over an hour. My nephew Brock and I had shopped the whole mall and were starving. What else would be open but the wonderful food court. We called my mother and she wanted a drink. My sister Stephanie wanted a soft pretzel. Brock and split up – one of taking Orange Julius and the other tackling The PretzelMaker. I hadn’t consumed an Orange Julius in years but it was quite refreshing. It gave us just the energy we needed to drive the last 45 minutes back to my sister and nephew’s home.

I ran across the copycat recipe in Pinterest fairly recently. I met it with a little skepticism since the recipe lacks fruit and contains sugar. However, I have to say this recipe taste just like an original Orange Julius. I think milk is the secret froth maker in this treat.

Orange Julius Copy Cat Orange Julius by Pinterest
1 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
1 c. milk
1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
10-12 ice cubes

Blend ingredients together and serve. It makes approximately four – 10-12 oz. drinks.

Notes:

  • I used pulp free frozen orange juice concentrate and skim milk.
  • I halved the recipe crushing five ice cubes.
  • Since OJ is very high in sugar, I made one using a sugar substitute (Splenda) to decrease sugar in recipe. It tasted pretty similar.

Makeover Cheddar Biscuits

In the August/September 2012  issue of Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking, I saw a recipe for a healthier version of Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits. According to the magazine, 1.1 million biscuits are served every day at Red Lobster. Although I have only eaten at this restaurant once, I got excited thinking about the biscuits they serve at The Bristol (one of my favorite restaurants which serves seafood). They don’t taste exactly like the biscuits I was thinking of but I hope you enjoy this lower calorie/lower fat version of a classic recipe.

Makeover Cheddar Biscuits

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 T. cold butter, divided
1/3 c. finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and baking soda. Add 3 T. butter to mix and crumble with a fork. Stir in cheese. Then, add buttermilk. Drop spoonfuls on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Melt remaining butter with garlic powder and parsley. Brush over warm biscuits.

Nutrition Facts: (Recipe make 15 biscuits) 1 biscuit equals – 106 calories, 4 grams of fat (3 saturated fat), 11 mg. cholesterol, 233 mg. sodium, 14 g. carbs, trace of fiber, and 3 g. protein.

Bang Bang Shrimp

One of my board member’s, Laurie, posted this copycat recipe for Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp on her Facebook page. I had loved eating it from the restaurant so I thought I would give the recipe a try. It was very good.

The first time I ever tried Bang Bang Shrimp was last summer with my ex-boyfriend M. We loved the food at Bonefish and immediately wanted to go back for dinner.

My friend Michele also loves Bonefish Grill. She and her husband Jason had them cater their wedding last fall. They even had Bang Bang Shrimp as part of their meal.

I hope you enjoy this recipe with a little bit of a kick.

I served the shrimp with my recipe for Basil Orzo Pasta with Feta.

Bang Bang Shrimp by Teri

1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined smaller shrimp works best
1/2 c. mayo
1/4 c. Thai sweet chili sauce
3-5 drops of hot chili sauce
1/2 to 1/3 c. cornstarch

Bread the shrimp in cornstarch. Fry it until lightly brown. Drain on paper towel. Mix sauces with mayo. Add shrimp to bowl to coat. Suggested serving on lettuce topped with chopped scallions.

Nutrition Facts for original recipe: (Recipe serves four) 297 calories, 12 g. fat, 2 g. saturated fat, 150 mg cholesterol, 6 g. sugar, 30 carbs, 2 g. fiber, 17 g. protein.

Recipe modifications:

  • Per Laurie’s suggestion, I added a little garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper.
  • If you want it a little less spicy, Laurie suggested using Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce.
  • Laurie also suggested subsisting a box of fish and chips mix from the grocery store for the cornstarch. I used cornstarch.
  • I used fat free mayo to reduce the number of calories. I thought it tasted just fine.
  • I also made sure I used Louisiana’s Pure Crystal Hot Sauce. I used to date a guy from New Orleans and he was picky about using this sauce. I have to say, he is totally right. I don’t think it is as hot as Tabasco sauce and taste way better. You can find it at Price Chopper and Super Wal-Mart. I think Hy-Vee might even be carrying it now.
  • I also used the bite-size pre-cooked shrimp when I made this recipe. I cooked it in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and it went super fast.