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The other half and my nephew don’t like bleu cheese.  They think it’s stinky and tastes funny.  They also dislike horseradish.  These are two of my favorite things especially slathered on a steak and accompanied by a drizzling of steak sauce.  The marriage of pungent, spicy and smoky-sweet make my taste buds tingle.

When I saw this Grilled Rib Eye with Onion Bleu Cheese Sauce  recipe my mouth started to water and I knew instantly that I wanted to try it.  However, there were two obstacles in my path.  The first being that the other people in the house don’t like bleu cheese.  The second being that I am not on a rib eye budget at the moment.

Still, I can afford sirloin.  So, I figured if I tweaked the recipe a little bit and made it more friendly to the the bleu cheese loathers in my way I could, essentially, have my steak and eat it too.

Everyone in the house loves mushrooms.  In the past I have used a mushroom-based sauce for a contemporary Salisbury steak that everyone enjoyed.  So, the idea was to take something familiar and tang it up with a little bit of bleu cheese.  Kind of trick the family into trying something new by putting it into something they have already tested and approved.

Here is my adaption of the recipe.  And by the way, everyone loved it and said they would eat it again.  Even my brother ate it.  He asked what the tang was in the sauce and guessed it was lemon. When I told him it was bleu cheese he looked at me funny because he apparently dislikes the stuff, too.  That didn’t stop him from licking the plate, though.

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Grilled Steak with a Mushroom, Onion and Bleu Cheese Sauce

4-6 small sirloin steaks (about 5 ounces each.) Or you can use whatever you have on hand.  If they are bigger steaks just cut them in half.

1 can Progresso Creamy Portabella Mushroom Recipe Starter

1 cup milk

1 package mushrooms, sliced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup bleu cheese

1 stick butter (4 Tbsp)

2 Tbsp bacon bits or real crumbled bacon

McCormick garlic pepper seasoning grinder (or any garlic pepper seasoning to taste)

McCormick steak house seasoning  grinder (or any steak house seasoning to taste)

pinch of red pepper (about 1/4 tsp)

 

In a pan on medium heat, add the butter and let melt down, then add the mushrooms and onions.  Saute the mushrooms and onions until they are soft.

While the onions and mushrooms are cooking in the pan.  Grill your steaks.  I used our Foreman grill but you can easily use a grill pan or a cast iron pan.  Season your meat to taste.  Let rest for five minutes.

While the steak is resting, add the milk to the sauce and stir everything together.  Lower the heat.  Add bacon bits.  Add garlic pepper and steak house seasonings to taste.  Then stir in the bleu cheese until it melts into the sauce.  Next, add the can of mushroom sauce and pinch of red pepper.  Stir the sauce letting everything meld together.  Add more seasoning if needed.

Put the steak on a plate and spoon liberal amounts of sauce over the top. Enjoy!

 

 

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I go on Pinterest a lot for inspiration to see what other people are concocting.  There are always recipes that look interesting in theory but not really sure how they are going to work out in practical application.  Then, I read this blog from Recipe Girl about her experiments with the 2-ingredient pancakes on Pinterest and decided to try out a recipe.

It seems egg roll wrappers are the go-to ingredient on Pinterest.  You can turn them into mozzarella sticks, buffalo chicken rolls, bakes southwest rolls and many more.  Usually, whatever the household is in the mood for is what I end up cooking. So, I threw out some egg roll wrapper recipes and the bf was very excited about the apple pie one.  He said that it would probably taste like the ones he got at McDonald’s. I looked at him funny and decided not to get mad him for comparing my cooking to fast food.  He has an affinity for that particular fast food restaurant, for some childhood-based reason,  so I knew it was some kind of lop-sided compliment.

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I checked out a few of the egg roll apple pie recipes and all of them called for a can of apple pie filling, egg roll wrappers and oil.  Basically, you spoon the apple pie filling on the egg roll wrapper, wrap it up, and fry it until it’s golden brown and bam! Apple pies.  Only one problem.  I really don’t like store bought apple pie filling. It’s really thick and too sweet without enough cinnamon.  Luckily, I found one green apple and two red ones in the fridge. So, I decided to be ambitious and make my own filling.  It was really easy to make and I could put as much cinnamon and pumpkin spice I wanted. Plus, I was able to control the sweetness.

IMG_20130128_145011Here’s how I did it. I chopped up the apples into small pieces, put them in a pan and placed them on the stove on low heat.  Then, I added the water, the sugar, the cinnamon and the pumpkin spice.  It stayed on the stove until it started to bubble and the apples got really soft. Then, I added some corn starch to thicken it up, turned off the heat and put it in a bowl to cool.  The rest is the same. I dolloped my home-made pie filling into the wrappers, rolled them up and fried them.

Now, the one tip that I have for you is to keep the oil on a low heat.  Those wrappers are really delicate and burn quickly.  Unfortunately, the first couple came out almost burned until I figured out that the oil was too hot.  They were still edible but they weren’t as pretty.  The last step was that I whipped up some whipping cream and then dusted the whole concoction with a cinnamon sugar grinder I got from the store. Needless to say, the bf loved them. I don’t think he is going to be getting apple pie from the clown place anymore.

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EGG ROLL WRAPPER APPLE PIE with WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients:

Egg Roll Wrappers

3-4 cored and chopped apples (any kind – I used 1 green one,and 2 red ones)

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar (more to taste if you like sweet)

1 tsp to 1 TBSP of cinnamon (depending on your taste)

1/4 tsp pumpkin spice (optional)

1 tsp corn starch (or less if you add more sugar)

oil for frying (I used vegetable oil.)

1 cup whipping cream

1 tsp sugar (for the whipped cream)

Throw the diced apples, water, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice (if you are going to use it) into a pan and cook at low heat.  Let the apples bubble in the pan, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the liquid thickens a little.  Add the corn starch a little at a time (so you don’t get clumps) stirring it into the apple mixture until it is a nice consistency.  It shouldn’t be too thick because it will thicken more when it cools down.  If you realize it’s too thick when it cools add a little bit of water until it is the right consistency.  I waited for about fifteen minutes for the filling to cool down to make sure the pie filling was the way I liked it.

After the filling has cooled, spoon the filling on to an egg roll wrapper.  Brush the edges of the wrapper with water (you can use a brush or your fingers) and wrap it up like a burrito.  Repeat until you have used up all of the filling.  Or make as many as you want and Tupperware the rest of the filling for another day.  I yielded 10 apple pies but you can make more if you make them smaller or less if you make them bigger.

Heat up the oil in a pan on low to med heat.  Do a fry test with a piece of left over wrapper to make sure the wrapper will brown nicely and not burn.  Once you get the oil heat where you want it,  place two to three apple pies in the oil (depending on their size) and fry for about a minute, then turn it over and fry for another minute.  Place on a plate with a paper towel to soak up any grease.  Let cool. 20130128_154050

Put the whipping cream and sugar in a bowl.  Whip up until you have nice peaks – either with a whisk or with a mixer. (I used a hand mixer)  I like mine thick so I whip it longer on a lower speed.  However, you can make it go quick by whipping it on a higher speed.  Place your yummy warm apple pie on a new plate dollop with whipped cream and enjoy!

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Chunky Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from this recipe)

Yummy, gooey peanut butter cookies with bits of crunchy peanuts and chunks of chocolate.

1/2 cup (1 stick butter), room temperature

1/2 cup brown suger

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup CRUNCHY peanut butter

1 egg

3/4  tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp  baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups flour

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat over to 375.

Add butter, brown sugar and white sugar into a bowl and beat until mixture is creamy (about 2-3 minutes). Mix in peanut butter, egg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat until all ingredients are well mixed (another 2-3 minutes).  Mix in the flour a little at a time as the dough will be very sticky and thick. When all of the flour is integrated, stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon small round dough balls on to a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. With a fork slightly flatten the cookie with a criss cross pattern. Cook for about 15 minutes (or until cookies are a light golden brown.) Yields 24-30 cookies depending on how big you make your balls. (I yielded 30.)

IMG_20130115_170245I used to hate brussel sprouts.  My mom is Sicilian and she made them the way she made most vegetables: steam them and then dowse them with olive oil and chopped garlic.  Although this concoction sounds good in theory, the little green bulbs always had a bitter after-taste put me off.  So much so that I vowed never to eat them again in my adult life.

Well, that stuck for awhile, then one night the boyfriend and I watched a “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” episode where a dive featured brussel sprouts on its menu.  The recipe had bacon, lemon and sage which are some of my favorite things.  So, I tried the recipe. It was a super delicious hit at my house.  Even my boyfriend who hates vegetables said that he would eat more brussel sprouts if I made them yummy like that all the time. This sealed my love for the little green bulbs.

1290132235MbT5TTThe other day, at the store, I found an organic stock of brussel sprouts which I though looked really cool. When I brought it home the boy friend questioned my sanity.  However, I assured him that it would turn into something yummy.  Tonight, I got a chance to pull it out of the fridge, pluck the little bulbs, clean off the ugly leaves, and then cut off the bottoms.  I found a bag of pre-chopped sweet potatoes at the store, as well, and thought, perhaps, the two flavors would go well together.  Looking through recipes online I found this one from Martha Stewart.  It had the whole sweet/savory flavor palette to it.  So, I figured something close to that would work.  Here is recipe I came up with. It was hit!  The mixture of sweet, salty and savory was scrumptious. The boyfriend officially loves vegetables.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sweet Potato and Turkey Bacon

1 stalk or 1 bag of brussel sprouts, stems cut and halved

1 bag or 1 sweet potato, chopped and cubed

4-6 pieces of turkey back (I used 6 because they were really thin.)

*1 TBSP olive oil

*1 tsp sea salt

*1 tsp vegetable seasoning or 1 tsp poultry seasoning

*1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

*1/4 tsp paprika

*Oil and seasoning measurements are approximate. I am an intuitive cook. So, use more or less to your taste buds.

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Lay pieces of bacon across a baking pan.  Bake the bacon for 10-12 minutes. It should look crispy around the edges and leave a little bit of grease at the bottom of the pan. Pull the bacon out and chop it. Throw the brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes in the baking pan, then the chopped bacon. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and bacon, then toss.  Add your seasonings to taste and toss the veggies one more time making sure that all pieces are seasoned.  Put the pan in the oven for 40-45 minutes.  Stir the vegetables every 15 minutes to get a nice, even browning.  The brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes are done when they become fork tender.