Monday, July 29, 2013

Korean Beef Bowl

I used to go to the gym Friday evenings to catch up on the past week with my girlfriends.  And of course we burned as many calories as possible so we could promptly justify the ensuing late night dinner and glass (or glasses) of vino.  However, in the past several months, I changed gyms and also got down with some foot surgeries.  Needless to say, I didn't get to see my girls as often as I used to.

A few weeks ago, we coordinated our schedules so we could once again relive our Friday night glory.  We decided on Korean food and ended up at one of our favorite spots in K-town (Koreatown) in NYC.  I never know what to order when faced with pages of foreign food, so once I spotted a ground beef dish called bulgogi, I figured I'd just roll with that.  Little did I know that this bulgogi would be so tasty.  This was the beginning of something beautiful.

Approximately two days later, I discovered a new-to-me blog, Damn Delicious.  This blog is amazing!  The first recipe that popped up was for a Korean Beef Bowl.  Essentially this was a stripped down (aka easy) version of the Korean bulgogi dish.  Clearly this finding was fate and I should just listen to the universe and make this happen.  So I did.  And it was fabulous, as it was meant to be.  This Korean rice bowl was a seriously close substitute for the Korean bulgogi, just without all the time and energy required to make the authentic dish.  Sometimes a girl just has to eat quickly.

But...if you're not into this Korean ground beef situation, then perhaps you would like to partake in some of this Deconstructed Wonton Soup.  Find your own lane and speed on down it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Livin' The Life 7/22/2013

Here's what's going on in my life lately:

My friend trains sea lions at the Queens Zoo.  My sister, nephew and I went to check out the scene.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Farro Salad

I never thought I'd be one of those grain-loving hippies.  But here we are.  Eating farro salad on the real.  I should also tell you that I never envisioned myself eating a cold salad (as in a salad that was once warm and is now cold).  But let me tell you that this salad is excellent either cold, room temperature, or warm.  It's amazing how versatile this dish is.

In case you've never heard of farro, here's the quick low-down.  Farro is a grain that has quite a nutty flavor.  If you want to make things really simple, one could say that farro is very similar to brown rice.  Before this recipe, I had never tried farro before, although I saw numerous favorable reviews of it on the food blogs that I follow.

When Shutterbean originally made this salad, I was finally sure I needed to recreate it myself.  I think I was "wooed" by Tracy's description of Giardiniera-like ingredients and the addition of feta cheese.  I have a newfound obsession* with Giardiniera and we all know how I feel about cheese.  Yes, I would be making this dish.  Just watch me!

* I am quite aware that I have a new obsession every other week.  Let's not be judgmental in these parts.  Thanks.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Deconstructed Wonton Soup

You know that annoying thing I do where I change around a recipe so that it suits me better?  (NEVER because I'm being lazy.  Never.)  Well, I up and did it again.  This time I messed around with a wonton soup recipe.

This month, for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Lea Ann's blog Cooking On The Ranch.  There were so many recipes I really wanted to make, such as the Lamb Sliders with Tomato Chutney, Halibut with Cilantro Topping, and Crock Pot Roast Beef.  If only I had more than one month in which to squeeze it all in!  I finally settled on the Classic Wonton Soup since I had many of the ingredients at home and I've wanted to make wonton soup for a while in any case.

But wait, what is this?  I need to make the wontons ... myself?  Normally I wouldn't have any issues with this but the day that I was making this soup I ended up also being swamped with things to do and I found myself pretty short on time.  (Though I somehow forgot to buy soy sauce during my grocery store trip, requiring me to run out again and pick some up right before I started cooking.)

I took a quick look at all my ingredients and settled on what I needed to do.  Here's what I came up with...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Seared Salmon with Tzatziki Sauce

I almost never do this, but I bought some fish the other day.  Something that I've actually never done before is purchase and fry up some salmon.  It's just not something that I "do".  But I recently decided to change that.

See, I need to start eating healthier.  Though this is a constant wish of mine, I actually do need to do it for various reasons.  The biggest reason being that it's summertime and everyone (aka me) wants to be out of the kitchen and also eat lighter meals.  So there ya go.   But i confess that I also really wanted to make my own tzatziki sauce.  Is that so wrong?  Of course not.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Slow Cooker Turkey Cabbage Rolls

It's amazing how many things you realize you don't have once you move into your own place.  Something that I sorely missed right away was a slow cooker.  My roommate was the owner of the slow cooker that I used to use.  But once I moved across town,  I was on my own.  One of the first things I did was order up a new one with a sweet Amazon giftcard my mom gave me as a housewarming gift.  Oh  How I love thee.

Well, after I got my new appliance, it only took me...ahem, another 6 weeks to use it.  Hmmm...funny how I was pining for this thing but once I got it I just let it chill out for a while.  It's not like I don't love the ease of making food in it.  I do.  I just got caught up with other things and didn't get around to using it.  I finally forced myself to make something in it.  After all, I needed to at least confirm it arrived to me in working condition.

I love cabbage rolls.  I feel as if they are an underdog of sorts when it comes to meals.  I feel as if they never sound quite appetizing.  However, a few years ago I became a convert.  I used to work closely with a Turkish coworker.  One of the things we discussed one day was a Turkish version of cabbage rolls.  It got me pretty interested in making them and I whipped them up one night to try them out.

They were delicious!  I was instantly hooked.  Don't let my words fool you though.  I made the old school version of this dish and it took me hours to separate cabbage leaves, make the filling, blanch the cabbage leaves, roll the filling up in the leaves, then finally bake them in the oven for the specified time.  Seriously, this whole process took for-e-ver.  This would be the sole reason I have not made cabbage rolls since 2008.

But wait!  Stefanie over at Sarcastic Cooking has saved the day.  She basically posted a recipe for cabbage rolls that could be made in a slow cooker.  Whaaa?  Let me at this!  This was definitely the first thing that would be made in my new kitchen toy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Malted Milk Ball Guinness Floats

It's time to get your float on.  Cause it's summer and you can justify drinking these as "beverages" and/or dessert.  Go get you some.

Can we all agree that there's nothing better than ice cream/gelato/fro yo?  I'm not picky, really.  All of these frozen custards call to me and I will immediately cave.  I fell victim to a pint of Malted Milk Ball gelato last week.  There may also have been a Key Lime Graham gelato flavor picked up at the same time.  What can I say?  I'm weak.

I started thinking about what to do with these newly acquired desserts.  Of course I could just eat them.  Nothing wrong with that, clearly.  However, I could also try to be creative and make something else out of them.

Enter the Guinness.  Have I mentioned before how I'm in a Guinness phase?  Probably.  To continue this trend, I decided a Guinness float was in order.  One can never have enough Guinness floats.