Thursday, September 11, 2014

Philly Cheesesteak Dip

Ever have leftover steak?  Random cheeses?  You know.... STUFF hanging around the fridge that just doesn't seem to have a place?  I know.  For some of you, the answer may be a resounding - NOPE!  But we have a large and diverse household populated by teenagers and "friends" who seem to materialize out of thin air around dinnertime.  So sometimes we aren't quite sure how many people we are making dinner for.  Some come via skateboard down the road, some by car or truck, and some just pull up to the boathouse on a jet ski and descend on the house from the lake... it's like being in our very own James Bond movie sometimes!  So often my husband will throw a few extra steaks or burgers on the grill "just in case," as we would rather know that everyone has enough.  

To get back to my point, this recipe is a great use for those leftover steaks!  And in case you were in that "nope" category, I'm including the quick and easy "grab some roast beef from the deli" version.  You can't get any easier than that!  Now all you need to do is pull out that little mini crock pot so you can use it to keep the dip all warm and melty.... because this dip will be SO PERFECT for watching all the football games that are starting now!  YEP!  You're welcome!!!

Print this Recipe!

Ingredients: 
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg reduced fat softened cream cheese 
    • feel free to use full fat
  • 1 (8 oz) container reduced fat sour cream
    • feel free to use full fat
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup diced mixed bell peppers, red and yellow
  • 1 lg clove of garlic (~ 1 Tbsp, finely minced)
  • 6 oz (~  1 1/4 cup) deli roast beef, chopped
    • feel free to use leftover cooked sirloin, thinly sliced seasoned flank/skirt steak cut across the grain, or other leftover steaks you may have!
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg provolone cheese, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 green onions, chopped.  2 for dip, 1 for garnish.
Step-by-Step:
Get your oven preheating to 375 degrees F so we can be ready to pop it in there.  If you are going to use a crock pot, well I suppose you can get that ready as well.  Then get everything chopped up.
6 oz (~  1 1/4 cup) deli roast beef, chopped
If you have leftover steak, you that here.  This alternate method is to chop up some deli roast beef.  How finely you chop it is completely up to you.  You don't want it to completely disappear in the dip.
Our cast of players!
The slow step in this recipe will be to caramelize the onions.  Add the thinly sliced onions to the butter in a heavy skillet over medium - low heat and cook low and slow until the onions are sweet and brown.  We will add the teaspoon of sugar to help them along.  I usually go from medium at the beginning, and then turn my heat down to low.  Expect this to take at least 15 minutes for the starches in the onions to turn to sugar.  If you try to do this too quickly, the onions will burn, not caramelize.  Remove from heat and then either leave "as is" or chop as finely as you would like once they have cooled.
1 small onion (about 1 cup)
1 tsp granulated sugar

After you remove the onions from the butter, add the peppers to the same butter.  There should be enough left from the onions.  After they have softened a few minutes on about medium heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and soft, but careful not to burn.  Remove from heat.
1/2 cup diced mixed bell peppers, red and yellow
1 lg clove of garlic (~ 1 Tbsp, finely minced)

In a bowl, combine everything except for about a 1/2 cup or so of cheese and one of the green onions, as we will use these for garnish at the end.
1 (8 oz) pkg softened cream cheese
Cooled, sauteed onions, peppers and garlic (remember to chop your onions if you wish before adding)
6 oz (~  1 1/4 cup) deli roast beef, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg provolone cheese, finely chopped or grated
1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp table salt (or to taste*)  Amount may depend on seasoning of meat.
Stir to combine.
Add the mixture to a greased oven proof baking vessel.  Top with the reserved cheese and bake 20 - 25 minutes at 375 degrees F.  Alternatively, add to your crock pot and heat until all melty and gooey! The advantage of using the crock pot is that it would keep the dip melted.  So... there's that to consider.  :)
I saved a bit of each of the cheeses to add to the top.  Just because I think all things "melted cheese" are wonderful!  

Serve with bread chunks, crackers, grilled French bread, celery sticks, etc.  Garnish with chopped green onions over the top.  I'm thinking this would be a great base layer for a grilled pizza!
I hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe!
There are hundreds more in my Recipe Index, just waiting to be chosen and cooked!  You can also visit my Film strips for pinning page, to see whole recipes at a glance, and to click-and-go right to the recipe.

The Menu Musings cookbook is sure to be a hit at your house, and will make great gifts!  For more information, here is a link!
Order your copy of the Menu Musings Cookbook! 
Connect with me.    
If you are new to MenuMusings, click here to subscribe so you won't miss a thing!  I'll send you notifications of new posts to help you avoid that proverbial cooking rut.  You can also follow me on Pinterest and on the MenuMusings facebook page.

Also, Please be sure to visit my YouTube Channel for short video tutorials on selected videos.  Watch me explain the steps of the recipes in just a few minutes!  Just one more way that I'm giving you the tools to get in that kitchen!!! Aren't you curious?  Click and see how many there are!  :)

Here's just one example - Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage.  YUM!!

Here are some bonus recipes for you!
Maple Mustard Glazed Chicken

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto Penne

Cornbread Cowboy Chili

Parmesan Zucchini Gratin

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Written Method:
Get your oven preheating to 375 degrees F so we can be ready to pop it in there.  If you are going to use a crock pot, well I suppose you can get that ready as well.  Then get everything chopped up.

The slow step in this recipe will be to caramelize the onions.  Add the thinly sliced onions to the butter in a heavy skillet over medium - low heat and cook low and slow until the onions are sweet and brown.  We will add the teaspoon of sugar to help them along.  I usually go from medium at the beginning, and then turn my heat down to low.  Expect this to take at least 15 minutes for the starches in the onions to turn to sugar.  If you try to do this too quickly, the onions will burn, not caramelize.  Remove from heat and then either leave "as is" or chop as finely as you would like once they have cooled.

After you remove the onions from the butter, add the peppers to the same butter.  There should be enough left from the onions.  After they have softened a few minutes on about medium heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and soft, but careful not to burn.  Remove from heat.

In a bowl, combine everything except for about a 1/2 cup or so of cheese and one of the green onions, as we will use these for garnish at the end.

Add the mixture to a greased oven proof baking vessel.  Top with the reserved cheese and bake 20 - 25 minutes or until golden.  Serve with bread chunks, crackers, grilled French bread, etc.  Alternatively, add to your crock pot and heat until all melty and gooey!   Garnish with chopped green onions over the top.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Recipe STAR!! I'm sharing the news!!

I am so honored to be featured in Taste of Home's upcoming Oct/Nov 2014 issue of Simple & Delicious! 


Simple & Delicious (Taste of Home's magazine for busy moms) is available in print by subscription, and on lots of digital platforms, too (iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc.), so I'm certain you won't have any trouble finding this great magazine!  That subscription link is a limited offer for a 1-year subscription for only $7, which is an awesome deal, by the way.  I promised the editor I would pass along that information to you in exchange for her providing me with these digital photos from the magazine.  :)
So the part of the issue where you can find my recipe is called, Ding! Dinner's Done.  
This would be the page that has my recipe on it.  You probably can't see it all that well, but it corresponds with the post for Meatballs Stroganoff.  Click the link for the regular, step-by-step post and photo directions.  You can probably spot it over there on the right in the week's top 10 most popular list, as it rarely leaves the top 10.  :)

I just want to say how appreciative I am of this opportunity.  Humbled.  It's not every day you get to find yourself in a magazine!  Right?!  

Okay, hopefully more recipes for you soon, peeps!
There are hundreds of recipes in my Recipe Index, just waiting to be chosen and cooked!  You can also visit my Film strips for pinning page, to see whole recipes at a glance, and to click-and-go right to the recipe.

The Menu Musings cookbook is sure to be a hit at your house, and will make great gifts!  For more information, here is a link!
Order a copy of the Menu Musings Cookbook! 
Connect with me.    
If you are new to MenuMusings, click here to subscribe so you won't miss a thing!  I'll send you notifications of new posts to help you avoid that proverbial cooking rut.  You can also follow me on Pinterest and on the MenuMusings facebook page.

Also, Please be sure to visit my YouTube Channel for short video tutorials on selected videos.  Watch me explain the steps of the recipes in just a few minutes!  Just one more way that I'm giving you the tools to get in that kitchen!!! Aren't you curious?  Click and see how many there are!  :)

Here's just one example - Coconut Lime Chicken.  YUM!


Here are some actual recipes for you!
Chicken Tamale Casserole 

One Pot Skillet Lasagna 

Stuffed Pork Chops 

Spicy Garlic Shrimp 

Hoisin Beef with Rice Noodles 

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs (with lemon scented whipped cream)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tangleberry Avocado Smoothie

Let me just set the stage for you you here.  I recently received a case of avocados straight to my door.  They were part of a prize.  I should back up.  Several weeks ago, I entered this Great American Recipe Contest put on by the California Avocado Commission.  My recipe for Fire Roasted Corn Guacamole ended up winning the Grand Championship in the guacamole and salsa division of the contest, and now for three months straight, I will be receiving a case of avocados.  I also won a little charcoal Weber grill.  Pretty sweet, huh?  Well anyway, I have been pawning off these gorgeous avocados on my friends and neighbors left and right, because there are only so many one family can eat, right?  And gosh, they are expensive! 

I'm sure you already know that avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats and potassium.  So let me offer you something other than guacamole to make out of them.  Keep an open mind, okay?  I'm definitely not against guacamole (don't even think that)... but along with guacamole, let's face it - you gotta have the chips and stuff!  I'm just trying to lean a bit healthier here as we start off a new school year.  Let's do this thing right!  You have faith in me, right?!  Avocados have been called "nature's butter for a reason.  They are are very mild and creamy, and will give our smoothies a ton of richness.  And NO - the smoothies will not taste like avocados, if you are scared of that.  And NO - they won't be green, if you are scared of that.


Print this Page!

Ingredients:
(I doubled this recipe for a total yield of 4 cups because I had several for breakfast this day.)
  • 1 cup frozen berries of your choice
    • I used raspberries
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe (slightly speckled) banana, peeled and frozen into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 individual container of fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2 - 1 cup of milk product of your choice
    • I used Very Vanilla Silk soy milk
  • Sweetener of your choice
    • I used 1 tsp agave syrup.  It has a very low glycemic index.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Step-by-Step:
Night before prep -  The night before, peel and slice the bananas and put them into a zip top bag.  Pop them into the freezer.  The frozen bananas will allow you have a thicker smoothie with less ice.  Make sure you use bananas that are ripe, with some brown speckles.  This will mean they have less starch and more sugar - meaning you will have a sweeter smoothie and need less extra sweetener.  As a bonus, many grocery stores deeply discount the ripe bananas.  As the produce manager!  :)
1 large banana, cut into 1" pieces
And ready for a night in the freezer!
Just before, prep -  The only other thing to do is to get your avocado out of it's jacket.  Other than that, everything else just gets dumped in. 
1/2 avocado regular recipe (around 2 servings).
For the other half, consider rubbing it with lime juice to prevent oxidation.  Then check out my Fire Roasted Guacamole recipe!
*Tip - You could also consider freezing the other half of your avocado in cubes if you will be making more of these.  That way you will be ready for round 2 with even less prep time.
 
Now let's get it started!
I will give you amounts listed in the ingredient list even though I doubled them for what I made.

 1 cup frozen berries  +  1 large frozen banana in 1/2" pieces

1/2 ripe avocado  +  1 container nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

1 tsp agave syrup  +  1/2 tsp vanilla.
The amount of sweetener you use will depend on the type of sweetener you choose as well as how sweet your bananas are.  Agave is a lot sweeter than sugar, so you can use a lot less.  Agave is lower on the glycemic index which means it is less likely to spike your blood sugar.

We aren't done yet, but I wanted to just give it a little whirl to get it going.

1/2 cup - 1 cup of milk product of your choice  + 1/2 cup ice.
I am using Very Vanilla Silk Soy Milk.  It comes in these great individual containers that are shelf stable.  They are lactose free and have 50% more calcium than dairy milk.   (And it tastes GREAT!)


Here's another tip. 
I had enough for 4 smoothies, but only needed 3, so I froze the rest into a silicone ice cube tray.  That gave me frozen "smoothie cubes" that were ready to throw into the Vitamix!
 

I hope you enjoyed this healthy, simple and delicious recipe!
There are hundreds more in my Recipe Index, just waiting to be chosen and cooked!  You can also visit my Film strips for pinning page, to see whole recipes at a glance, and to click-and-go right to the recipe.

The Menu Musings cookbook is sure to be a hit at your house, and will make great gifts!  For more information, here is a link!
Order your copy of the Menu Musings Cookbook! 
Connect with me.    
If you are new to MenuMusings, click here to subscribe so you won't miss a thing!  I'll send you notifications of new posts to help you avoid that proverbial cooking rut.  You can also follow me on Pinterest and on the MenuMusings facebook page.

Also, Please be sure to visit my YouTube Channel for short video tutorials on selected videos.  Watch me explain the steps of the recipes in just a few minutes!  Just one more way that I'm giving you the tools to get in that kitchen!!! Aren't you curious?  Click and see how many there are!  :)

Here's just one exampleSkinny Mexican Pizza.   Yum!!!

Here are some bonus recipes for you!
Korean BBQ Shish-K-Bobs 

Greek Tortellini Chicken Salad 

Thai Chicken Salad Cones 

Tiramisu 

Easy Meatball Sub Casserole 

Vietnamese Style Lettuce Cups 
Grilled Zucchini Rolls
Written Instructions:
Night before prep -  The night before, peel and slice the bananas and put them into a zip top bag.  Pop them into the freezer.  The frozen bananas will allow you have a thicker smoothie with less ice.  Make sure you use bananas that are ripe, with some brown speckles.  This will mean they have less starch and more sugar - meaning you will have a sweeter smoothie and need less extra sweetener.  As a bonus, many grocery stores deeply discount the ripe bananas.  As the produce manager!  :)

Just before, prep -  The only other thing to do is to get your avocado out of it's jacket.  Other than that, everything else just gets dumped in.  The amount of sweetener you use will depend on the type of sweetener you choose as well as how sweet your bananas are.  Agave is a lot sweeter than sugar, so you can use a lot less.  Agave is lower on the glycemic index which means it is less likely to spike your blood sugar.

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