Garlic Butter Basted Ribeyes

Garlic Butter Basted Ribeyes 1
Did you live it up yesterday for Fat Tuesday? I’ve decided to go vegetarian this year for Lent so I totally did. I ate way too much buffalo chicken for lunch then I cooked these babies for dinner. They were glorious and I may have had to pull out the fat pants. I can’t believe I didn’t fit bacon into the day because now I’m going to be dreaming about it until Easter. Damn me for not thinking the day through. Big mistake.

And I have to admit something to you. Those carrots on the plate, they are only there for a pop of color. As soon as I was done with photos I put them back in the fridge. There was no way I was wasting room on them. Not this time.
Garlic Butter Basted Ribeyes 2
We normally grill steaks but the cold weather has struck again and there was no way that was going to happen. I recently saw Michael Symon prepare a steak in this manner on an episode of The Chew and knew I had to try his restaurant technique at home. Well, I’ve been brought to the fancy dark side. It was so butter, juicy, melt in your mouth delicious with just a hint of garlic flavor. So perfect for my last carnivorous meal for a while.
Garlic Butter Basted Ribeyes 3
Feel free to add any fresh herbs when you add the garlic and butter for even more flavor. I was planning to do this but Hannah and I both had fevers and weren’t feeling well so a run to the grocery store for some fresh herbs just wasn’t going to happen. I definitely see fresh thyme and rosemary in my future.

Garlic Butter Basted Ribeyes

2 (8 oz.) ribeyes
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. butter
4 garlic cloves, peeled

1. Remove steaks from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Rub 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over each steak then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add steaks and sear for 2 minutes (do not move them). Flip the steak and add the butter and garlic to the pan. Baste steak constantly for 3 minutes. Depending on thickness, cook for a few minutes longer. Remove from skillet to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

Steak and Eggs with Guacamole {aka my new fav dinner}

Steak, Eggs and Guacamole 8
I’ve been MIA this week because my baby girl turned 1 on Tuesday! I know it’s clique but it’s unbelievable how fast this past year has gone by. We celebrated with family and friends on Saturday with a circus themed party. We ate lots of circus food (kettle corn, soft pretzels, funnel cakes and more), took funny pictures in the DIY photo booth and watched sweet Hannah absolutely demolish her cake. It was all over her, the floor, walls and door behind her. When she was done, she threw it on the floor. Man that girly has a lot of personality!
Hannah's Party
Hannah's Party
With all the cooking and commotion this weekend, I wanted to keep dinner simple last night so I turned to one of our new favorite meals. I’ve had this ridiculously easy and delicious recipe in my back pocket for months and am just now sharing it. Lame. Especially since it involves grilling which won’t be happening for too long around here. But it would still be great cooked in a skillet or under the broiler.
Steak, Eggs and Guacamole 6
My aunt texted me a picture of a dinner she made a few months ago. Yep, we roll like that. Anyway, it was a grilled steak topped with an egg and chopped avocado. I was out shopping for some new clothes but made sure to stop by the grocery store on the way home so that I could whip this up for dinner the next night. That’s how excited I was about it.
Steak, Eggs and Guacamole 5
Joel and I aren’t huge fans of plain ‘ole avocado so I mixed it up a bit and whipped up some quick guacamole to top it with instead. And I have to tell you, the hot sauce makes all the difference. Steak and eggs are a no brainer together but then add the creamy, citrusy guacamole and some zip from the hot sauce and you have a match made in heaven.
Steak, Eggs and Guacamole 7
Steak and Eggs with Guacamole

2 ribeye steaks
2 egg
1/2 recipe guacamole
hot sauce, optional

1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. When grill is ready, place steaks on grill and season with salt and pepper. Remove steaks from grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

2. While steaks are resting, preheat a skillet over medium heat and cook eggs to your liking (I made ours with the yolks just a bit runny).

3. Slice steak and place on a plate. Top with egg and a dollop of guacamole. Top with a few shakes of hot sauce if you would like.


Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs 4
Noah had his first day of preschool a couple weeks ago and we did lots to celebrate the big day. It mostly revolved around food because that’s how we roll around here. Big, fancy breakfast, out to his choice of restaurant for lunch (HuHot of course) and his request of spaghetti and meatballs with bell peppers for dinner.
Spaghetti and Meatballs 1
I have a meatball recipe I usually go to for spaghetti but I thought I would switch it up and try something different. I’ve always wanted to try the combination of beef and pork for meatballs so I went on the search and decided on an Ina Garten recipe since you can’t really go wrong with anything she makes. I did adapt the recipe to make them clean by switching white bread for whole grain and using only olive oil to cook them in. Still super delicious and I couldn’t tell the difference. I also opted to make my favorite spaghetti sauce rather than the recipe she included.
Spaghetti and Meatballs 5
This recipe makes a lot so you can cook them through step 2 then cool and freeze them. Or just wait until next week for a delicious way to use the leftovers.

Ina Garten’s Meatballs
recipe adapted from Ina Garten

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 cup fresh whole grain bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
1/4 cup seasoned dry whole grain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Olive oil
Sicilian Spaghetti Sauce (prepared without the ground meat)*
Hot cooked whole wheat noodles

1. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs. You will have30 to 32 meatballs.

2. Pour  olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.

3. Place meatballs in spaghetti sauce and simmer for 30 minutes, or until co0ked through.

*I subbed 3 tablespoons organic cane juice for the 1/4 cup sugar in the sauce to keep it clean.

Cuban Burgers

Cuban Burgers 1
I made these forever ago and for some reason, the photos have been sitting on my computer just waiting to be featured. Why it took me so long, I don’t know but now that the weather is soo nice it’s about time that you guys are enlightened.
Cuban Burgers 3
Seriously, a Cuban sandwich is pretty much my favorite ever (and Joel’s too) so when I saw this recipe for a Cuban style burger it was kind of a no-brainer.

Salty ham, melty cheese, tart pickles, creamy garlic mayo and mustard atop a rich, beefy burger. If this doesn’t scream summer, I don’t know what does.

Cuban Burger
recipe from Bobby Flay

1 pound ground chuck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 cloves roasted garlic, pureed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
4 soft, classic hamburger buns
8 slices thinly sliced Swiss cheese
4 slices thinly sliced smoked ham
Thinly sliced dill pickles

1. Preheat the grill to high. Form the meat into 4 (1/4-inch thick) burgers. Season patties with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides for medium doneness. When the burgers are done, remove from the heat and reduce heat to medium-low.

2. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise and roasted garlic in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread both sides of each bun with mayonnaise and mustard. Place a slice of cheese on the bottom portion of each bun, place the burger on top of the cheese, then top the cheese with a slice of ham and another slice of cheese, and finally, the pickle slices. Place the tops of the bun over the pickles, wrap the burgers in aluminum foil and place them on the grill. Using a heavy pan or a brick wrapped in foil, press down on the burgers for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lower the lid on the grill and continue grilling for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bun has become pressed and firm. Another option is to assemble the burgers and place them in a Panini press (this is what I did). Cut in half and enjoy!
Cuban Burgers 4

Chipotle Chili

Chipotle Chili
My sweet baby girl is being dedicated this weekend along with her cousin. We are so excited that Joel’s sister will be performing the ceremony and that all of our family will be there to celebrate.

After church, we will be heading to Joel’s parents house for a luncheon to celebrate these two beautiful babes.
Hannah and Christian

Since it will be right after church I wanted to go with something that would be easy and could be prepared ahead of time. In comes this delicious chili. It’s smoky, rich, filling and even better the second day.
Chipotle Chili
I decided to add lots of chipotle in adobo to make a unique but not too spicy chili that hopefully will be a crowd pleaser. I have been on the hunt for the perfect chili for quite awhile now but search no more.

In my typical fashion, I’m not able to just keep things simple so also on the menu is Chicken Enchilada Soup, Cinnamon Rolls, Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing (I’ll be sharing that recipe soon) and a delicious tiered cake that will be made by Joel’s sister and her husband.

To most of you the cinnamon rolls probably seem like a weird thing to throw in there but the combination of chili and cinnamon rolls is a Nebraska thing. Supposedly it started decades ago with school lunches on cold winter days. Who’s going to argue with tradition when cinnamon rolls are involved? Just a disclaimer, we don’t eat them in the same bite…us Midwesterners aren’t that crazy.

Chipotle Chili
recipe adapted from Eclectic Cook

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbsp. chili powder (chipotle if you can find it)
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chipotle chilies in adobo, finely minced
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
1 (16 ounce) can black beans
1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat then add olive oil. Once heated, add onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Stir in chili powder, chipotles, oregano and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add tomato paste and cook a few minutes more.

2. Add brown sugar, crushed tomatoes, beef stock, pinto beans and black beans. Bring to a simmer and cover partly with a lid. Simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until thickened.

Shredded Beef {For Tacos, Burritos and Such}

Shredded Beef
Growing up, I always thought my mom made the best tacos ever…and guess what? I still do. They are one of my favorite things she makes. This is THE shredded beef that makes those tacos so glorious. I never order tacos at a Mexican restaurant because they just never compare to hers and I am always left disappointed (same goes for lasagna, hers is bomb). Whenever she goes home to visit, this is the number one meal request for her to make.
Shredded Beef
And this shredded beef is so so easy to make. Basically sweat down some onions and garlic, sear a chuck roast, throw it all in a crock pot and cook it all day. Doesn’t get much simpler than that. I love this recipe for busy days and I make them often on gymnastics night. That way, we can come home and dinner is waiting for us.
Shredded Beef
Don’t think that this is just for tacos either. Whip up some burritos or enchiladas with it or go traditional with beef and noodles. All delicious. Trust me.

When I make this for my family, it always bring me back. I love that food can do that.

Shredded Beef for Tacos {Crock Pot}

3 lb. boneless chuck roast
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1. Heat a saute pan that is large enough to hold the roast over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Once hot, add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened and carmalization begins. Dump mixture into a crock pot.

2. Bump up heat of pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil to pan. Sear chuck roast on each side until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Place roast on top of onions and garlic in the crock pot. Add 1/3 cup hot water to the saute pan and scrape it to get all the browned bits off the bottom. Add water and browned goodness to the crock pot.

3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Remove fat and shred.

Cheesesteak Rolls

Cheesesteak Rolls
I have been sharing a lot of sweets recently with Christmas coming up so I thought you all might appreciate a quick and easy dinner recipe instead. A recipe that only require 6 ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Cheesesteak Rolls
Cut them into strips and they  would be perfect to snack on while watching a football game. Joel devoured these and may just request them on New Years for the Gator Bowl.
Cheesesteak Rolls
I love anything that involves puff pastry…add meat and cheese and I’m a happy girl. Delicious, simple and quick for the win.
Cheesesteak Rolls
Cheesesteak Rolls
recipe from Pepperidge Farm

All-purpose flour
 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1/4 of a 24-ounce package frozen sandwich steak (4 portions)
4 slices provolone cheese
1 egg, beaten
1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
2. Sprinkle the flour on the work surface.  Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface.  Roll the pastry sheet into a 10-inch square.  Cut into 4(5-inch) squares.
3. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove the onion from the skillet.
4. Increase the heat to medium-high.  Add the sandwich steaks to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, breaking into pieces, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
5. Spoon one-fourth of the onion and one-fourth of the sandwich steaks on the bottom third of each pastry square.  Top each with 1 slice cheese.  Fold 2 opposite sides over the filling.  Roll up like a jelly roll.  Brush the pastries with the egg.  Place the pastries onto a baking sheet
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Cut the pastries in half diagonally to serve.