Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Beef and Broccoli Udon October 23, 2012

Filed under: Asian,Beef,Broccoli,pasta,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 11:47 am

We are finally starting to really get settled into our apartment. The furniture is in it’s place, clothes are put away. I even built a desk this weekend! It’s good to finally feel at home, instead of being so displaced like I have been the past year.

One thing that Richard and I both agree on is the importance of sitting down for a real meal when we both work the early shift (since he works retail, that’s not every night). This is great for me, because it gives me a chance to get back into cooking. Plus, it’s just really nice to sit down and talk about our day and unwind.

We’ve been eating way too many prepackaged meals lately, so we went on a mega food shopping trip this weekend and stocked our pantry. Boy does it feel great to have real food in my fridge! Things with color! What better way to celebrate that than to cook something vibrant and fresh. This dish fits that to a T. Quick and easy, which was perfect on the stereotypical Monday we both had. But also hot and flavorful. And I got to work some of my stress out on the cutting board. What is better at relieving stress than smashing some garlic cloves and stir-frying veggies?

Make this soon. It’s healthy, fulfilling, and it’s a great way to use up any extra veggies you may have in your fridge. I’ll definitely be making this often in some form or another.


Beef and Broccoli Udon
Adapted from Dinners for a Year and Beyond


2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 tsp lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Sriracha to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
1 pound beef tenderloin, thinly sliced

3 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp honey
2-3 drops sriracha

4 teaspoons oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, large dice
10 button mushroom, sliced
2 cups broccoli
2 7oz packages udon noodles
Combine marinade for ingredients. Toss beef in marinade, let sit at room temp while you prep the veggies.
Combine sauce ingredients, set aside.
Heat large pan on high heat. Add 2 tsp oil. Saute beef until just brown on both sides. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Add other 2 tsp oil. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds-1 minute. Add red peppers and mushrooms. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add broccoli, cover and steam for 2-3 minutes, until veggies are tender-crisp. Add sauce, noodles and beef. Cook for 1 minute just to warm everything through. Serve!

Marinated Chuck Roast June 4, 2011

Filed under: Beef,comfort food,Fall/Winter — hmills96 @ 8:17 pm

Its a stormy night here in Indiana. I’ve already spent some of the evening hiding under my stairs as a funnel cloud spun over Yorktown. No confirmed touchdowns, but several reports of damage have already come through. A transformer blew just east of my house, and unfortunately, a fatality was reported in Madison County when a tree landed on a campground in Mounds Park. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of that victim.

However, before all this nasty weather hit, I started an amazing meal. I’ve had a few chuck roasts in my deep freeze for awhile, but did not really know what to do with them. After this recipe, there is no problem in that area anymore!

This meal takes awhile, but it is soooo worth it. This was just amazingly delicious. The marinade and slow, long braising made a normally tough cut melt into my mouth. And the gravy that resulted from the braise was so savory and delicious. I cleaned the pan with dinner rolls.

Marinated Chuck Roast

Adapted from Food for a Hungry Soul

3-4 lb chuck roast
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp country dijon
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Zinfindel
6 cloves garlic, smashed

Mix all ingredients together in a large bag or container. Marinate chuck roast for 3-4 hours.

Remove roast from marinade and let it come to room temp. Preheat oven to 350. Preheat large saute pan/skillet over med-high heat.

Sear both sides of roast–only about a minute on each side.

Pour marinade over meat and roast in oven for 1 hour.

Let the roast rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. While the meat is resting, put pan back on stove and let remaining sauce reduce.

Slice thinly against the grain. Serve with gravy and simple roasted vegetables.


Boeuf Bourgenion January 6, 2011

Filed under: Beef,comfort food,Fall/Winter,Freezer Meals,Mushrooms,soup,wine — hmills96 @ 9:05 am

Yesterday was one of those days where I was REALLY mad, for NO reason at all. It was ridiculous. All day long I was in a sour mood. By the time I got off work, I was exhausted, and planning to just go home and put my feet up, maybe get absorbed into No Reservations. But, all the way home I was thinking about the mushrooms that I had bought that I needed to use. By the time I got there, I was already thinking about Boeuf Bourgenion–more specifically, Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourgenion.

It was not as hard a recipe as I had imagined. It just takes a really long time to cook. But after three hours, I went to take it off the heat to cool overnight. Somehow, in that process, I ended up with a fork in my hand. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Oh man, this is gooooooood. There are some recipes that I think “Ok, that’s decent, but I probably won’t make it again.” Then there are SOME recipes that are just so incredible that you just can’t stop eating. This is one of those recipes.

Make this, and soon. You can eat it the day you make it, but I’m told it gets better if it sits overnight. So I’ll be having it for dinner tonight. I cannot wait!

Boeuf Bourgenion
Adapted from Julia Child

3 lbs stew beef (1 inch cubes)
Olive Oil
3 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Flour
3 cups red wine (something full-bodied, preferably Burgundy)
4 cups beef stock
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 crumbled bay leaf
2 cups baby pearl onions
2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
2 Tbsp Butter

In a dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over med-high heat. Add meat and brown. (It’s best to do this in stages, the meat will brown better if you don’t add it all to the pot at once.) Remove to a large bowl and set aside.

If needed, add more olive oil to the pot. Sweat onions and carrots until onions are translucent.

Add meat back to pot. Season with salt and pepper, then add flour. Toss to coat the meat, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add wine, stock, thyme, garlic and bay leaf. Simmer (NOT BOIL!) for 2 1/2-3 hours until meat is tender.

While meat is stewing, prep pearl onions and mushrooms:

Add pearl onions to a large skillet. Cover with water. Bring to boil for 2-3 minutes. Pour off water and set onions aside to cool.

To the same skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add mushrooms and sautee until caramelized. Set aside to cool.

After the 3 hours, remove meat and veggies from the pot with a slotted spoon. Simmer sauce for 2-3 minutes to reduce.

At this point you have two options:

1. You can add everything back to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes to bring everything to temperature. Then serve over rice or with crusty bread.

2. OR you can add only the meat and carrots back to the pot, and keep the mushrooms and pearl onions separate. Cool in the refrigerator over night, and then when ready to serve, add everything to the pot and put it back on the stove to warm. Again, serve over rice or with crusty bread.

****Had the final product for dinner last night, with a bit of crusty french bread. The sauce was thick and rich, the meat and veggies were tender. Oh man. This stuff is GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.****


Crockpot Beef Stroganoff August 2, 2010

Filed under: Beef,comfort food,crockpot,Fall/Winter,Mushrooms — hmills96 @ 5:56 pm
Tags: , ,

Thank you for being a friieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend….

Can I just say that I LOVE the Golden Girls? Thank goodness for Netflix. I have them dispersed through my queue so that it’s like a lovely surprise. It’s great to just sit and relax and laugh along with the girls. Jordan and I like to make fun of the outfits and repeat the endless one-liners.

There’s nothing better than the Golden Girls and comfort food. I put this meal in the crockpot before I left for work this morning. While messing with onions and raw meat at 6:30 am turned my stomach a little bit, it was sooooooo worth it when I got home.

I did have an oops with this one. I went to add the 1 1/2 cups sour cream at the end, and discovered we didn’t have any! So instead I added a block of cream cheese. It was amazing. I’ll be making it that way again!

Hey look I actually took a halfway decent picture!

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
Adapted from Hillbilly Housewife

1 lb stew meat
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 medium onions, sliced into rings
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 cubes beef bullion
8 oz water
2 oz red wine
1 brick cream cheese
1/4 cup flour
Hot cooked egg noodles

Combine meat with 1/2 flour, salt & pepper in crockpot until it’s coated completely. Stir in onions and mushrooms. Add bullion, water and red wine. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Before serving, stir in cream cheese and 1/4 cup flour.

Serve over egg noodles.


Tornado Chili June 7, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Fall/Winter,Freezer Meals,My Recipes,soup — hmills96 @ 9:07 am
Tags: , ,

There was a few minutes last night when I thought I wouldn’t be around today to write this post. I’m being overdramatic of course, as it wasn’t THAT bad, but it got pretty intense around here for a while last night. More on that in a minute.

I have been craving chili all week. I recently discovered a new food show called Food Mob. Through the powers of the internet, the host, Niall Harbison, teaches us how to cook simple dishes well. Most are things I’ve already cooked, but it’s always good to watch a professional go through the motions, so I can pick up on techniques and ideas. I watched this episode and knew I had to make chili this week. Luckily, last night was a little cooler, so it was a great night for it.

If you know me or follow me on Twitter or FB, you know I’m a weather buff. Especially this time of year when the season is ripe with twisters. I usually have at least one radar up, and last night was no exception. There was nothing in our area though, not one cloud. My favorite chaser was taking the day off, so instead of living vicariously through him, I was watching Fried Green Tomatoes.

Just a little after 7, sirens started blaring. And they didn’t stop. I flipped to the radar, which minutes ago had shown nothing. Now there was a small blob of red a few miles north of me. I ran outside to look at the sky–nothing at first, then in seconds it turned black and started pouring and the winds picked up. I ran in, grabbed my cat, a blanket and headed for the little closet under the stairs. Poor Smokey, she was not at all appreciative of the maternal instincts that kicked in.

Anyway, the sirens stopped, we were fine. It turns out that a funnel had been spotted about two miles SE of our house, then again farther down, not far from a friend’s. It finally touched down about 15 miles away, but they only rated it a F0. Only a few power lines and trees were damaged thankfully. It was just crazy, there was no warning. We weren’t supposed to get any storms last night, and there was nothing on the radar when I checked literally 5 minutes before the alarms!

Back to the chili–this recipe is based loosely around my Nana’s, but I’ve changed it so much that I’m claiming it. It also has a few tricks from Niall’s show thrown in. Even if you aren’t a huge cook, go watch his show. He has all kinds of fun things to show you, like quick cooling beer or how to make rice without drying it out.

I like a LOT of sour cream on my chili.

Tornado Chili

Original Recipe

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped (or 2 small ones)
1 lb ground beef
1 can tomatoes with green chiles
1 can tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans kidney or pinto beans, drained
1 can beef broth or beer (I would prefer the beer, but I was out.)
2 Tbsp chili powder
Hot sauce
Worcestershire Sauce

In large pot or Dutch Oven, heat a Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook 1 minute, until soft.

Add beef. Cook until almost browned. Add chili powder, salt & pepper. Finish browning.

Add rest of ingredients. Simmer at least 30 minutes.

**Note–The longer you simmer, the thicker it will be.



Aaron’s Missouri Burger March 18, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Burgers,Cookout/Potluck,Spring/Summer — hmills96 @ 7:52 pm

I think I’ve mentioned before that Spring is appearing here in Indiana, and that the weather has been beautiful lately. I have Spring Fever BAD. I’m so restless, and all I want to do is get out and play. I can’t wait for it to be warm enough for cookouts and bonfires! We actually have a grill, so I’m looking forward to learning all kinds of new cooking techniques.

One thing I’m really looking forward to is burgers! When done right, I LOVE them. They need to be fat and juicy, full of flavor, cooked no more than medium–I don’t care what you health nazis out there say. I don’t want to eat a hockey puck.

This burger certainly falls into the category of delicious. I used to make these on my George Foreman in college, and I can’t wait to make them on a REAL grill outside! I have no clue who Aaron is, but if he calls and asks me to come for a cookout, I’m SO going. He’s a genius.

Aaron’s Missouri Burger


1 lb ground beef
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 honey mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar

With your hands (it really is the best way, just make sure they are clean!), mix together the beef and spices in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in fridge for 1 hour (This is the only part of the recipe that is different. I think it helps the flavors mix before you make the burgers.).

Heat your grill. Cook the burgers to desired temperature. Top with cheese of your choice! Serve with pickles (I like mine sweet), tomatoes, lettuce, etc etc etc.


Taco Pasta with Boom Boom Sauce February 26, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Casserole,cheese,Freezer Meals,Mexican,pasta — hmills96 @ 10:20 pm

I could not believe how much better I felt today! I always hate taking time off work, but when I have a MFH, sometimes I just have to cut my losses and stay in bed. I made the right decision this time–luckily I have some pretty awesome coworkers who understood and who are perfectly capable of handling things without me (although I’m sure they missed me terribly…right????).

I had been planning on making this recipe a few days ago, but, obviously, it just wasn’t happening. Instead, it made for a perfect Friday night meal for a hungry husband. J. had planned on going to a friend’s apartment for guy’s night but the weather is getting pretty nasty so he decided to stay in. He’s disappointed, but I think he won out with this tasty meal. He kept raving about it–I think I made him happy with this one 🙂

Taco Pasta!

Taco Pasta

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Casseroles

1/2 box Jumbo shell pasta
1 16-oz jar salsa
1 lb ground beef
4 oz cream cheese, cut up
2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped tomato

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Soak in cold water for 1 minute; drain again.

Pour salsa into casserole dish; spread evenly. In skillet, brown beef. Drain fat. Stir in cream cheese and seasonings. Cool slightly.

Spoon meat into pasta shells. Arrange shells on top of salsa.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with tomato.

Serve with Boom Boom Sauce.

Mrs. Top Gun's Boom Boom Sauce

Boom Boom Sauce

Adapted from Mrs. Top Gun

4 Jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
Large handful cilantro
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
Salt to taste

Seed and rib jalapenos (or don’t if you like it REALLY spicy. I didn’t, J. loved it but it was a bit much for me). Quarter, then place in food processor with cilantro and garlic. Pulse until pureed. Add sour cream, cream cheese and cream. Pulse until smooth. Add milk until you get the consistency you want. Salt to taste.

J. says this is his new favorite food!

*Note–This is not the original size of the recipe from the magazine. It called for 2 1/2 lbs of ground beef! I still had enough for 4 people to have at least 4 shells. Fortunately, this is a meal that will freeze well!!