Monthly Archive for February, 2010

Roast Beast Classic

Let me be honest, the past four weeks have been crazy and while there is nothing I would love more right now than to be cooking and blogging it up- times are a wee bit crazy. So not wanting to allow the sound of silence to prevail I reached into my humor bag and pulled out a recipe my mom sent me (at least I *think* it is a joke).

Gracie Allen’s Classic Recipe for Roast Beef


1 large Roast of beef
1 small Roast of beef


Take the two roasts and put them in the oven.
When the little one burns, the big one is done.

How To Make Valentine’s Day Last A Little Longer

My Valentine’s Day gift to you- an impressive and simple meal to show the one(s) you love that Valentine’s Day is not just a night out at some cozy restaurant where you snagged a reservation, or some over-priced flowers, it is more than just ONE day a year and goes well beyond the Hallmark card or cute text you sent. Serve this dish with some nice crusty bread and pass it off to your special guests as if you have worked in the kitchen like a true Olympian. If you are out to impress, hit the print button and take this list to the Super Marche (as they say in France).

Hearty Steak & Portobello Mushroom Stew


1 pound sirloin steak, fat trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup flour
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil (using one 1 TBS at a time)
1 medium-size Yukon Gold potato, skin removed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
6 cups portobello mushroom caps, (approx 6 medium), gills removed (optional)
2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups frozen cut green beans, thawed
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
2 tsps chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper


Place steak in a medium bowl mix with flour stir to coat. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the steak (reserving excess flour) and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on the outside but slightly pink on the inside (approximately 3 minutes). Transfer to a plate and and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the potato and cook until lightly browned. Then add mushrooms, onions and tomatoes to the same pot and cook, until the vegetables have released their juices, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle the reserved flour over the green beans; stir to coat. Add green beans and stir. Then add broth, wine, thyme, salt and pepper; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring often.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the broth has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the steak and any accumulated juices and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

What do ya love? Keys to a Successful Bowl-en-tine Meal

So much to love in the next few weeks. Do you love the Super Bowl? Do you love the romance Valentine’s Day? Do you love the one your with? Whatever it is that you love, there are some fun days to prepare for and food is key! Yes- you need to make sure that you have your food ready to go. A fun way to ring in either of those days is to go red, get fired up or go home!

I pulled together a few recipes from the blog to get your Bowl-en-tine juices flowing:

Hot Mess Spiced Nuts
(great name, easy to make, just do it!)

Savory Drumettes (a crispy juicy treat –SEE RECIPE BELOW)

Fondue Pasta
(Cuz Cheese is a Crowd Pleaser)

Red Velvet Cup Cakes (for the romantics)

or if you need to connect w/your inner chocoholic and need a serious dose of caffeine to offer your guests…..skip the mini cake and opt for these amazing brownies with a twist.

The Ultimate Cappuccino Brownie (chocolate = Good)

Lemon-aid Blur (get the party started, featured drink for party of 2 or 20)

The key here is that all of these things can be done ahead of time. For a Super Bowl you can serve the mac ‘n cheese in small ramekins for easy individual servings; for the V-day meal serve the mac ‘n cheese along side a nice salad.

Whichever event you do – make it memorable. Incorporate cool serving ideas and make 90% of it ahead of time so that you can kick-back and enjoy the meal ….and the beverage!

Sue’s Sumac Drumettes

The best part about this recipe is that there are only three ingredients besides the chicken: seasoned salt, sumac and pepper. To find other delicious dishes from Sue go to


Savory Sumac Drumettes


2 pounds chicken drumettes
2 ¼ tablespoons sumac (available at any Mediterranean market)
1 ¼ tablespoons seasoned salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Flat leaf parsley for garnish


Preheat oven on broil at 500 degrees.

Rinse chicken drumettes in a colander. Set aside. Line a 12 x 18 baking sheet with aluminum foil, covering the sides. This makes for easy clean up and protects your baking sheet from scraping any stuck-on chicken.

Line up the drumettes on the baking sheet making sure they do not touch.

Using half of your ingredients, sprinkle drumettes evenly first with seasoned salt, then sumac, then pepper. For even coating, it may be easier to use your fingers. With tongs, flip them over and repeat on the other side.

Broil on the second level from the top for fifteen minutes – depending on the heat of your oven. They should look dark brown and crispy. Take out of the oven. If there are any fatty drippings on the baking sheet, drain them off in the sink. Turn the chicken over and broil for ten more minutes until dark golden brown and crispy.

These drumettes do not have the texture of buffalo wings, which are slightly gooey. These are crispy and juicy. They are so flavorful that there is no need for any dipping sauce.

>Personal Gina commentary – These drumettes are great as an appetizer or to accompany another dish, like mac ‘n cheese. Just be sure to have your napkins ready because your digits will be messy. WARNING: once you have ONE drumette, you’ll have FIVE more. Just. That. GOOD! <