Beef Stroganoff

I have a couple of qualifications for what I consider “good food.”

1. Generally healthy and wholesome

2. Exceptionally tasty.

In the ideal world, everything I consumed would satisfy both qualifications. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this world contains ice cream and molasses cookies. Both of which are exceptionally tasty, but lacking in the healthy and wholesome department. For such treats, I make my sacrifices. I’m a bit disappointed, however, when I make a new thing, and it satisfies neither of the above qualifications.

Stroganoff fell into that category for me.  It was good. Don’t get me wrong. It just wasn’t mmmmmmmm…..GOOD! There were no fireworks in my mouth. And since it contains almost a full stick of butter and a good bit of sour cream, all sitting in a bed of pasta, it’s not exactly what we would call health food.

IMG_2313All that said, I give it points for being a quick, weeknight dinner. From fridge/cupboard to table in less than 30 minutes.

If you’re interested in the recipe I used, check it out on Simply Recipes.

I wanna know: Ever made a recipe you weren’t crazy about? How do YOU feel about stroganoff?

Cornbread

There is a recipe on allrecipes.com that is my all-time favorite. It’s called Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread. If there were a scorecard for recipe awesomeness strictly based on the recipe’s name, this one would be a winner. First, the word “Grandmother.” Any recipe that comes from any grandmother’s kitchen is sure to be tried and true and yummy. Can I get an “amen”? Second, the word “butter.” Enough said. And third, “bread.” Nothing says comfort food like bread, warm our of the oven. Especially when it’s coming out of grandma’s oven. And there’s butter involved.

I’ve made this recipe a few times. Usually with chili. This time, I thought I’d change it up. You see, on Saturday morning, I ended up at Meijer, and found their not-quite-dead-yet veggies rack. If you get there at the perfect time, you can buy almost-expired, fresh produce at steep discounts.

Sixty-eight cents for almost 2 lbs of peppers? Yes, please!

So, I invited a few friends over to join me+family, and we made fajitas with all the fixings. The plan was to make mild fajitas; family isn’t a huge fan of spicy food. Despite my best efforts to cook family friendly food, the peppers I got to supplement the bag of peppers you see above were the wrong kind. They looked like bell peppers and were labeled bell peppers, but were so spicy. Not bell peppers. Family wasn’t thrilled. The result: I got to take home all the leftovers.

Instead of just buying more tortilla shells for the leftovers (boring), I figured cornbread would be the ticket.

I was right. Magical. Cornbread, topped with spicy peppers and onions and fajita sauce, and then a dollop of sour cream. A big dollop.

Yum yum! A note about the cornbread: I substituted buttermilk for 1 cup whole milk+1 Tbs. lemon juice. Instead of lemon juice, you could use vinegar. Weird, but it works just fine!

Not feeling fajitas or chili for your cornbread? Make tacos or barbeque chicken! If you’re in more of a dessert mood, cornbread tastes great slathered in honey or jam, topped with fruit and whipped cream, or eaten plain.

I wanna know: What do you do with cornbread?

Port Cheese Dip

Looking for a unique cheese dip for Christmas this year? Well here you go! Darcy and I tried this wonderful recipe when we went to St. Julian for a wine festival this summer and got to see Laura Kruella do a cooking demonstration.

Process (or use your blender):

  • 1/3 cup port wine
  • 2 Tbs butter

Add:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 oz. shredded cheese
  • Cayenne pepper to taste

Process until smooth. The dip needs to be refrigerated for 3 or 4 days before it will be edible. Just a warning: if you taste test immediately after you make it, you will be sure that you messed something up. You didn’t. Just let the flavors sit together for a while, and they will be tasty! Serve with your favorite cracker.