Sunday, April 24, 2016

Miss B’s Spring Green Sauce

Start with:
1 ripe avocado
2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
2 lemons, add the zest of one, the juice of 2
Salt and pepper

Add Green Stuff:
Pick 3-4 fresh green stuff and throw in one handful of each. You pick the direction you want to go – Greek, Mexican, Italian, American, fusion.

Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel Fronds, Parsley
Arugula, Spinach, Watercress, Romaine, Kale
Green Onion, Jalapeno, Poblano, Green Pepper
Thawed green peas, blanched broccoli

Add Tasty Stuff:
Depending on what green stuff you’ve added, choose ½-ish cup from this list.

Shredded parmesan, feta cheese, blue cheese, cotija cheese
basil pesto, tahini, green curry paste
Or  just stick with all vegetables and fresh herbs!

Mix It Up:
Throw all of it into a food processor and pulse/mix, then continue while drizzling in olive oil to desired consistency. Taste and adjust flavors as needed.

  • Add to pasta and chill, add fresh tomatoes and veggies for pasta salad.
  • Top grilled chicken, fish or grilled/roasted vegetables with it.
  • Mix it with mayo or greek yogurt and toss it with cooked potatoes for potato salad.
  • Thin it out with a little red wine vinegar and more olive oil for a fresh avocado dressing. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Oktoberfest Brat & Potato Soup

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 package bratwurst (see note)
1 onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 beef bouillon cubes

1 cup lager beer (1/2 bottle)
1 box chicken stock
2 cups water

3 russet potatoes,
peeled and cubed to bite-size pieces
1 can sauerkraut, rinsed
OR 1/2 head cabbage, chopped and
1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • In a soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté bratwurst until brown. Add and sauté onion and carrots, until softened, 3-4 mins. Next, add garlic, sauté 1 min. 
  • Add all the spices and bouillon and sauté, for 2-3 mins until the bottom of the pan gets caramelized brown bits. Don't rush this step! Then, add beer to deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits off the bottom. Let simmer for 2-3 mins, then add stock and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 4-5 mins.
  • Add potatoes and cook until fork tender, approx. 15 mins. Use a potato masher to break up the potato in the soup (more smash than mash). This thickens the soup. Add kraut, or cabbage. Simmer for 10 mins, then season to taste. If you are using cabbage in place of kraut, add vinegar at the end, off the heat.
  • Serve in large bowls with horseradish (optional) and some hearty, rye bread or rustic rolls.
Note: I used precooked brats, sliced into rounds. If using fresh, just remove casing and brown the crumbled meat. You could also use smoked sausage, kielbasa or any sausage.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fireball Pumpkin Pudding Shots


Sm Pumpkin Spice Instant Pudding
¾ c Cold, Whole Milk
¾ c Fireball Whisky
8oz Cool Whip


  • Whisk Whole Milk & Instant Pudding together until as thick as it will get (1-2 minutes). 
  • Once it has thickened, add Fireball and whisk until all lumps and clumps are gone. Once the mixture is nice and smooth again, fold in Cool Whip.
  • Fill almost ¾ of a 1oz plastic shot cup with the mixture then cover and place in the freezer.
  • It does take several hours to set. For BEST results, set overnight. 
  • Top with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a single graham cracker.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Martha's Hamburger Gravy

2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, diced
6 Tbs flour
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cups milk

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, onion, salt and pepper, over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked. Add the bouillon cubes half-way thru browning. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. 

Sprinkle with flour and stir until beef is coated and starts to brown on bottom of pan. Stir in milk and use a spatula to scrape the browned bits off the bottom. Cook and stir 4 to 6 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens, stirring frequently.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lentil Soup with Ground Beef & Brown Rice

A different healthy spin on already healthy lentil soup.  The earthy flavor of the ground beef makes this recipe, it wouldn't be the same with ground turkey. I used the 90/10 lean beef. 

1 lb. lean ground beef 
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
OR just use 1 bag of mirepoix mix!

1 Tbs minced garlic 
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper

4c low sodium beef broth
2c low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water, more as needed
3/4 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup brown rice (I used instant)
salt/pepper to taste


  1. Heat 1 Tbs. canola oil (or a few sprays) in a soup pot. 
  2. On medium high heat, add ground beef and cook until meat is well browned. 
  3. Add onions, celery and carrots, sauté 5-6 minutes, until vegetables start to soften. 
  4. Add tomato paste, garlic, dried thyme, ground cumin, salt/pepper and dried parsley and sauté 1-2 minutes more - you want the tomato paste to start to brown but not burn, watch it!
  5. Add 2c water and stir brown bits off the bottom.
  6. Add beef stock, chicken stock, and lentils to pot and cook at a low simmer about 40-50 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Taste soup and decide whether to add extra water if it's too strong, or to ensure there is enough liquid for making the rice. 
  7. Add brown rice and continue to simmer soup based on the rice directions (instant is 5 mins, traditional is 35 mins). 
  8. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Drizzle with balsamic before serving, if desired. I didn't think it needed it!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Loin

If it doesn't taste good, I don't care how "good for me" it is. This is a healthy marinade that make amazingly tender, juicy, flavorful pork that can be served solo or as a loose meat sandwich - think French Dip sandwiches, with roasted pork.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Loin

3lb-ish pork tenderloin or roast
Salt and pepper or Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 cup chicken broth 
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey (or brown sugar)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced

  1. Place pork tenderloin into the slow cooker, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, or steak seasoning.  
  2. In a bowl, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over pork and set the timer for your slow cooker. (Loin = 4 hours High, 6 hours Low. Roast = 6-8 hours Low).
  3. Once pork is cooked, use two forks to break it apart lightly into hunks and let sit in broth until you serve.
I made mashed cauliflower and sautéed mushrooms to serve with mine. You could pair with mashed potatoes and another vegetable. Or, it would be great served like a French Dip on crusty, butter toasted rolls or as sliders for a party! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Big Mac's Black Bean Quinoa Burger

My brother Mike was so proud of creating this recipe from scratch - and for being chosen as the fIrst place winner for the Giant Eagle Market District, Veggie Burger Contest 2012. I love the idea of putting the mashed black beans and quinoa together. A win well deserved, Mikey.

2 cans black beans, drained
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
1 poblano pepper, seeded/minced
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, small diced
2 large eggs
Oats for binding

MY Spin: I would add 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin.

Dill Havarti or Smoked Cheddar cheese
Arugula or spinach greens, washed and dried
Spicy or whole grain mustard 
Bakery onion buns

  1. Mash or purée black beans with Worcestershire, salt and pepper. 
  2. In large bowl, add all other ingredients (except oats), then add the pureed beans. Mix together until just combined. Add oats until mixture is thick enough to form a patty. Chill mixture for one hour.
  3. Make desired amount of patties (approximately 4" diameter, 1/2" thick). Sauté in canola oil, over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes each side. 
  4. Add cheese, cook until melted and patty is heated through.
  5. Serve with your choice of toppings! Great with Hawaiian Onion Kettle Chips.
>>2012 Best Burger Contest, Market District Kingsdale, Winner - Michael Belt