Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Taco Seasoning

You know, Ive never considered myself a "Do It Yourself" er. 

I guess my idea of a DIY'er  were these picture perfect, Donna Reed, Artsy Fartsy, Super Moms. Well sometime between 2009 & today I discovered my inner culinary & beauty DIY'er side which brings me to this recipe. 
Last night was Taco Night! I love me some tacos man! 
So the hubby & I prepped everything & started the meat & as it would taco seasoning left in the cupboard. So i did a pinterest search & found some basic recipes for 1 lb of ground beef. I however needed a 2lb recipe & something that used less cumin because I just dont like cumin much. So in true form I used a more unique but equally as flavorful recipe for 2lbs of meat. The beauty of making your own seasoning is that you can make it to suit your own or your family's likes & dislikes. Try it! Youll like it! Literally takes about a minute to do which is so cool to me.

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 tsp. paprika
  • 3 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
Mix well in a small bowl or add ingredients to a ziplock bag & shake vigorously 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Banana's Foster

Banana foster over lemon custard ice cream (taste approved by Harmony & Matt lol).

I've been meaning to make this recipe for months, so I'm very happy to be sharing it with everyone now.
I was inspired to make this by watching an episode of one of my favorite foodie shows which featured Brennans in New Orleans the birth place of this recipe. They explained all about the history behind the recipe. I love hearing about a recipes origin and history. It brings back memories of my grandmother and great grandmother who loved to cook almost as much as they loved to eat. I can still see them in the kitchen with their aprons (yes they actually wore aprons) surrounded by burnt orange and yellow flowers that were such a hit in the 60s & 70s on the wall and chair and table, and olive green on the walls. The smells that came from that kitchen were amazing! Ok back to 2013, Here is my version of Bananas Foster (less alcohol, but all the taste in tact!).
I hope you all enjoy! If you ever use a recipe you find on my blog please don't hesitate to share your results.


1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 stick sweet cream butter
1/4 cup of Banana Extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
4 whole ripe bananas cut down the middle and then in half.
1/4 cup of rum (i used a light rum that was only 40% alc vol
1/8 cup cooking sherry

Mix butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a skillet or pan of your choice (make sure its big enough to accommodate all the bananas) and put on low heat. Cook and stir until most of the sugar dissolves . 

 Add banana extract & sherry and stir a little more . Place Bananas in pan and cook until softened.

 Now this is the part that becomes a flambe' dish but I myself did not light it fire. The discretion is up to you but if you side on caution then here is how I got the alcohol cooked out & the dish still fully cooked with a firmer texture. Add the rum into the pan carefully and not in haste. Raise temp to med/low and continue cooking until bananas have a nice brown cooking mark on each side being careful not to overcook the sauce. Take the bananas out the pan and place on top of ice cream or cake and drizzle sauce over the top. Serve immediately and enjoy this wonderful dessert!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Almond Meringue Cookies

Hi everyone!
I'm going to share a holiday staple from my house, to yours today.
I've been baking these for a few years now and my family definitely expects these to be around the house come Autumn. They are super easy to make, Delicious, Light & Airy, & you can use so many different flavor combinations, It's great! This recipe usually makes 2 batches depending on size.

4 egg whites
1 Tsp Almond Emulsion
1 Tsp Cream of Tartar
3/4 cup sugar ( I tend to use less because I like mine less sweet)

Preheat oven to 225
Whip egg whites on low until frothy, then add  Cream of Tartar slowly.

Continue to whip on low until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar & Almond emulsion & turn to medium speed & continue to whip until stiff peaks form & will stand up on their own. Spoon mix onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper & bake for 2 - 3 hours. Let cool for 1 hour before eating.

Enjoy these yummy cookies & feel free to share your experience with me on my blog!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Crockpot Ball-Tip Roast & A Mishap

This may amuse some of you (as it did my household last night) so I thought I'd share and give you the recipe as well. 

 There is a place down in the bay area here in California that sells a yummy marinated ball-tip called Kinders. I decided to try and make a recipe as close to theirs as I could. Their recipe is top secret so this wasn't an easy task and I spent a good month or more researching recipes and taste-testing to see if I could recreate it. (I have a pretty decent palate)

 I finally just decided to combine some of the ingredients I knew were in the recipe, with a few that I had guessed myself, along with some of go-to ingredients used in a typical beef rub. Here's where the mishap comes in. 

I have numerous recipes on my laptop and I keep them in a few places. Namely a pfd file where I write them out myself. So I go to the crock-pot and start measuring everything and dumping it in. My husband is kind of a picky eater so I always make a side of whatever sauce, dip, marinade etc for him to taste. So I let him taste this one and he HATED it. He got a very sour disgusted look on his face and I had no idea why and I said "Well its too late now because after I spooned your taste out I put the roast in." I figured he was just being picky and he doesn't like too many spices so that's what I chalked it up to. Well a few hours go by and I go to check the temp on the roast and let me tell you I did NOT like the smell coming from the crock-pot. So I took it out cut a piece off and hoped I wouldn't be disappointed. Let me tell you, It took one taste to realize what my problem was and why my husband didn't like it. It was lemon overkill! The marinade itself was  great flavor but I put in wayyyyy too much lemon,which made me scratch my head as I'm usually very careful about balancing my acids. Yet here I was standing there tasting a very lemony roast. So I walked over to the recipe I wrote out on my pfd file and everything seemed fine, until I realized that I had opened a recipe right next to it that called for 3X the lemon. Yep. I did that. LOL! I turned my laptop around and showed my husband who preceded to laugh his lemon hating butt off. So to counteract the acidity from the lemon I made a gravy to cover it and it actually turned out really good! Hubby was delighted with it and we dined happily. 

The recipe you see below is the right version of  my try at a copycat recipe for kinders ball-tip marinade. Its not as close as I'd like but practice makes progress! If you'd like the gravy recipe make sure you go to my blog HERE and get it after you read this. 

I used a 4 lb roast with this so you may need to adjust ingredients depending on how small or big the roast is you're using. Also, if you like to marinate your meat prior to cooking I would recommend 24 to 48 hours as balltip can be tough in certain areas depending on the cut and quality. 

1/2 cup of Sesame Oil
2 tsp of parsley 
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp coarse black pepper
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire
1/4 cup honey
2 cups Beef Broth

Combine all wet ingredients into crock-pot and stir. Take dry ingredients and use processor or blender to mince. (I use this method to not only mince the garlic but to also infuse the flavors of the herbs and spices with the garlic) You can also add a little white wine to the processor just to make sure they marry well. 

Empty dry ingredient mix into crock-pot and stir well. Add roast to crock-pot and cook on low for 4-5 hours. 

The finished product with veggies and my homemade gravy