Saturday, August 12, 2017

Killer Melted Provolone Sandwiches with Crockpot Garlic Italian Beef

After 10 years as a stay at home mom I went back to the classroom to teach 6th grade math. Along the way I learned how awkward middle school can be and how fast teachers can actually eat lunch.  Every day the middle school staff eats in a quick 20 minutes with laughter about our day, the funny things kids say and mostly hopes for a good week (which means, is it Friday yet?)  We usually eat leftovers....that is where my favorite recipes come from....the other teachers!  My science teacher friend brought the most delicious sandwich to work the other day and I knew it would be perfect for tailgating and a quick dinner!  Here goes....slice, cube, chunk, open a beer and see you in 10 hours.  

This recipe will literally make your mouth water.  The vinegar from the pepperoncinis will make you wonder why you don't eat them more often and the combination of tender meat and melted cheese is perfect to kick off football season.   This is a crazy easy, quick to assemble, most stuff on hand already, you can't just eat one sandwich, kind of recipe.   Game on! 

1 onion, sliced
1 beef roast , cubed into chunks
10-15 cloves garlic, leave whole
1 jar Pepperoncini
1 can/bottle dark beer
3 beef bouillon cubes
1 T dried oregano
1 T fennel seeds
1 T herbs de Provence

Rolls or rye bread 
Deli sliced thin Provolone 
(1-2 slices per sandwich)

Place onion and garlic in bottom in crock pot

Add beef to onion

Pour in jar of pepperoncini with half the juice, 
beer, bouillon cubes and spices  

Cook on low 8-10 hours
To serve:  Slice open your roll, top with a generous portion of beef, onions and a few pepperoncinis.  

Top with 2 slices of provolone and broil open faced until cheese melts.  Top with remaining bun and enjoy.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Best Pasta Salad you have ever tasted

Fresh ingredients, quick vinaigrette and equally pretty and tasty!  
This pasta salad tastes better on day 2 and because there is no mayo it is perfect for a tailgate, picnic or a school lunch box!  It uses fresh ingredients available all year long and comes together in the time it takes your pasta water to boil.  Fill up your big pot with water, grab your favorite knife and let's get cooking!  Like most of my recipes, everything is flexible; orzo can be substituted for penne, red onions can be omitted and if you prefer gorgonzola or goat cheese, go for it!

If you are used to reading my blog, you know you
can follow along with the recipe, or

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pan Fried Chicken Eggrolls

These eggrolls are a family favorite….great for dinner with plenty of leftovers the next day for lunch.  However, if I'm being honest, I tend to eat them cold for breakfast b/c I am always running late.  They are easy to make and kind of fun if you have your kids help you roll them up.  The mix can also be served over rice or just as is if you are avoiding carbs and fried wontons are on the “banned list.”  You will find the wonton wrappers, broccoli slaw mix, shredded carrots, mushrooms and ginger in the produce section at the grocery store. 

This recipe is very forgiving as well….you DO NOT need to measure and if you are don’t have an ingredient, don’t worry.  The mushrooms, ginger and sesame seeds are all optional.
                                         You can add garlic, chopped onions or scallions as well.

I promise you will love these and you will make them at least 2 times a month.  Leave a comment after you raid the fridge in the morning and decide to try these bad boys cold, eating the entire one in a few bites while your coffee is still brewing!

My kids have even help make these....check out Kitchen Kidz

If you are used to reading my blog, you know you
can follow along with the pictures, or


Canola or other light cooking oil
1T sesame oil
1 pound ground chicken
½ Tablespoon ginger from a tube
or 1 inch minced fresh ginger
Half a bottle of hoisen sauce
¼ cup soy sauce (give or take)
1 Bag of broccoli slaw
½ bag shredded carrots
1 pound baby portabellas, cleaned and chopped
1 Tablespoon black and/or white sesame seeds
Black pepper
1 package wonton wrappers

Saute 1-2 T canola oil, 1T sesame oil, ginger and a few cracks of fresh pepper for around 1 minute.
Add chicken and continue to brown and break up chicken.
Add soy sauce to chicken while cooking.
When chicken is cooked ¾ the way through add broccoli slaw and carrots, after 4 minutes, add mushrooms.  Continue to toss, mix and cook veggies down.
When chicken is cooked (no longer pink) and veggies are soft add ½ to ¾ bottle of Hoisen and sesame seeds. Toss to coat completely, remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.

Gather a small bowl of water for dipping your finger in to seal your eggrolls.
Line up 4-6 wrappers at a time and place a small spoon of mixture towards one corner of the wrapper, do this on a diagonal.
Fold corner over mixture, fold sides in and roll eggroll sealing in the mixture.
Dip your finger in water and lightly wet last corner of wrapper.  This will seal your eggroll up so you can cook it.
Heat about ½ inch canola oil in a huge sauté pan until hot
Add eggrolls to oil and begin to cook (my eggrolls are not submerged in oil at all)
Cook on each of the four sides of eggroll until wonton wrapper is crispy.
Drain on paper towels and serve hot, warm or grab in the morning as you are running out the door and enjoy cold!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Red, White and Blue Fruit Pizza

My favorite holiday is Independence Day, I simply love the 4th of July!
I love there are no gifts to purchase.  I love the attire for the day is bathing suits, shorts, tank tops and flip flops.  I love you can show up to a party with only a watermelon and look like a rock star.   I love this holiday because it is stress free.  Everyone is happy, kids can run wild, the food is simple, the drinks are cold and best of all the weather is perfect for "skinny and tan."

Cheers to summer, the 4th of July 
 and making the perfect
Red, White and Blue dessert!

This fruit pizza has a "not too sweet" 
cookie-like crust, 
cream cheese icing 
and lots of fresh fruit. 

If you are used to reading my blog, you know you
can follow along with the pictures, or
Click here for a printable version

First make the crust:
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (pecans work too)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a stand mixer, food processor or by hand,
beat butter and sugar until combined
Add flour, oats and nuts
Mixture will be crumbly at first but will press nicely in a cookie sheet.
Press (with your hands) into a greased (cooking spray is fine) 11 x 17 cookie sheet

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes however start checking around
13 want edges brown but don't want crust to burn

In stand mixer, or with hand beaters cream together 16oz softened cream cheese,
2/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla

Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust and top with fruit.
Think Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries for Red, White and Blue

For any other holidays or occasions get creative with kiwi, peaches and mango.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Groceries delivered to your door.....sign me up!

At book club a few weeks, over some amazing roasted golden beets with orange segments and dill, my friends were discuss grocery stores....mostly b/c none of us read the book and that is what women in the suburbs do.  Turns out, one of my friends gets her groceries delivered to her door, on a day's notice, in the same zip code I live in.  She claimed this magical grocery store has grass fed, organic food as well as prepared dishes and paper towels.  What?!?!?!?!  This time of year is ridiculously busy for us all, safe to say, if someone can deliver dinner to my door,  I had to check it out!  Elephant Grocers is PHENOMENAL!  They have amazing quality, deliver the next day for a small fee, and have an amazing selection of products similar to a Whole Foods or Fresh Market for around the same price.  Did I mention they deliver!!!  You can get your groceries while in your jammies....assuming you do not usually shop in your sweat pants and glasses right after carpool, hoping you don't run into Harry Connick Jr. in the frozen food section.

I took the plunge, ordered a ton of food and was blown away!  The quality is exceptional and so were the prices.  My favorite products were the beets (obsessed), my Beecher Peppercorn White Cheddar from Seattle and lastly a jar of blue cheese olives, can you say, "Bloody Mary Bar!"

My groceries came to my door in 3 boxes;  packed with dry ice and regular ice packs with everything labeled and ready to go.  I had a dinner to prepare, snacks for our kids, perfect produce and kept a box to mail my holiday gifts in.  OH, and they gave me a coupon for 25% off my first order!  Game on!

Check them out...order lots of stuff...try the Grass Fed Beef...tell me what you think!

If you need inspiration, here is a recipe using food from Elephant Grocers.  And stay tuned for my Bloody Mary bar....those olives are insane!

If you are used to reading my blog, you know you
can follow along with the pictures, or

Grass Fed Beef Burgers with Sauteed Portabellas, 
Vidalia Onions and Beecher’s Peppercorn White Cheddar served with a side of Crispy Garlic Wedge Potatoes

1 pound Grass Fed Ground Beef
1/2 Tablespoon Steak Seasoning (or just add kosher salt and pepper)
4 Tablespoons Minced Garlic, divided
2 Russet Potatoes, scrubbed clean but leave skin on, sliced into wedges
1 pound baby portabella Mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 Vidalia onions, cut in half and sliced
Beecher’s Peppercorn White Cheddar sliced very thin
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Hawaiian Rolls or soft slider buns

Pre-heat oven to 450 and place a large sheet pan in oven

Cut potatoes into wedges.
Add wedges to a large bowl and toss with 4 T Olive oil, 
10-12 cloves of chopped garlic (3 T give or take), 
handful of Parmesan Cheese, and a few pinches of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Toss to coat and add to hot sheet pan from oven.
Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and cooked. 

Add 3-4T olive oil to pan on med high. 
Add sliced onions and cook for 5 minutes, toss/stir frequently.
Add sliced mushrooms, cook until mushrooms are tender and onions are soft.

In same bowl you made potatoes in, add grass fed beef, 
1 T steak seasoning (or salt, pepper and some garlic powder),
and 1-2 T minced garlic.
Mix gently and form into small slider side patties. 
Grill to within 2 minutes  of perfection for your preference, top with Beecher cheese, 
close lid and cook an additional 2 minutes. 
Top each burger with sautéed mushrooms and onions.  
Serve with a side salad, and a huge helping of crispy potatoes wedges.