Birthday Gelato: Vanilla and Hazelnuts

I decided a few days ago that gelato would be a fun birthday treat. I decided on vanilla with hazelnut chocolate spread and chopped hazelnuts.

I have made Hazelnut Gelato before (recipe here) and it’s yummy. But I wanted guests to have the option of plain gelato, a variety of chopped nuts, chocolate sauce and the hazelnut spread.

The key to a great vanilla ice cream or gelato is using the best vanilla extract you can find, or really splurge and use vanilla beans. Continue reading

Grilled Steak w/Spicy Blueberry Sauce

I created this after having it at a restaurant one night, never really had a recipe. Told my mom about it and she asked me to give her the recipe, so then I had to make a recipe.  It’s really good stuff.  Mix it with cream cheese, serve on crackers. I’m sure it would amazing on ice cream, but we never seem to have enough leftover to try that.  😊

I actually tried this on NY Strip tonight and it was very good. I used the last of my sirloin working on a Mongolian Beef recipe.

Grilled Sirloin with Spicy Blueberry Sauce

  •  2 cups frozen blueberries (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tbsp
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want it)
  • pinch of chili powder
  • 1lb Sirloin, cut into 4 pieces
  • Fresh ground pepper (opt)

Continue reading

Dinner Menu: Grilled Steak with Coffee Rub and Blueberry Coffeecake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

More of my most requested grilling recipes.

From August 2013

A friend of mine spent a few months one summer experimenting with coffee rubs. This was one of my favorites. If you need something fun to do with your next grilled steak, this is a recipe to try. And with my love of blueberries, can’t go wrong with a blueberry coffeecake.  Yum.

On the board tonight:

  1. Steak with Coffee Rub
  2. Green Beans w/Bacon & Onion
  3. Baked Potatoes
  4. Blueberry CoffeeCake

Steak with Coffee Rub

  • 3 tbsp chili powder (pure ancho or a blend)
  • 3 tbsp finely ground coffee (espresso works best)
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika (use a good one)
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb of steak (rib-eye, sirloin, NY strip, etc) in 4 thick pieces

Continue reading

Grilling Menu: Stuffed Jalapeno-Cheddar Burgers and Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

Stuffed Burger Uncut Snap

I make these all the time because they really are easy and a great way to have a cheeseburger without losing half the cheese to the grill. And the sweet potato cajun fries are the perfect sweet, spicy combo.  Grill some peaches, pears or plums and dinner is done. Enjoy.

On the board tonight:

  1. Jalapeno-Cheddar Stuffed Burgers
  2. Kaiser Rolls
  3. Cajun Sweet Potato Fries
  4. Grilled Sweet Corn  (pull husks back, clean off silk, wash, pull husks up & grill-yum!)
  5. Plums

Continue reading

Modified Sonoma Chicken Salad

Here’s the original recipe

I was craving this salad enough to go out and get pecans today. I also grabbed a bottle of poppyseed dressing to take a shortcut in preparation.

Modified Sonoma Chicken Salad

  • 1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup poppyseed dressing
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce*

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, poppyseed dressing, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. When ready to serve, toss dressing with chicken, pecans, cranberry sauce.

Serve on crusty rolls or I really like them on romaine lettuce leaves.

*I have cranberries in the freezer as a staple, so I made my own whole cranberry sauce.

Also, I never post photos of this because I always use fresh cranberries and unlike dried cranberries, it turns the entire salad pinkish.

Instant Pot: Egg Cups

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet. I make them all the time.  You do need silicone molds, that you can also use for brownie bites, mini-muffins or mini-pancake bites, or a recipe I’ll be trying and will post, mini-cheesecakes.  The molds come with a rack to raise and lower them from the pressure cooker, which is important because they are unstable when filled.

You can mix up just about anything you like with your eggs – diced tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, shredded potato, ham, bacon…you see the list is endless. Continue reading

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Revisited

I really like these cookies, they’re simple to make and gluten-free. But one thing about them is they a terribly sweet. So I decided to see what would happen if I cut the sugar down considerably.

They turned out super – not too sweet and super peanut butter flavor.  Changes are in blue.

Peanut Butter Cookies (Revisited)

(makes 12-18)

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg

baking sheet

Cream ingredients together and drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet. Dip a fork in sugar and press down the dough. Bake at 300 degree F for 10-13 minutes.

This usually gets a good, soft cookie, but I was wanted to try for a crispier outside. But they are prone to burning. So at the 13-minute mark, I turned off the oven and let them sit for 5 more minutes. They turned out perfectly – crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Going to make them again soon.

Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters

The day after Memorial Day, I braved going out into the world. I scored 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters for $4. (That’s $4, not $4 a lb). So I froze most and kept a few out to grill. I use a spicy dry rub and grill them until they are about 160 degrees F, then I coat them in a sweeter sauce (I love me some Sweet Baby Ray’s) and let them finish cooking, about 10 more minutes. That way the sauce doesn’t burn.

Other times, I’ll flip the process and use a sweet rub and coat with Sweet Baby Ray’s Spicy sauce. Either way, I get a nice sweet and spicy mix when it’s done.

And yes, those potatoes are sliced in half, coated in oil and salt and then grilled. Gives them a nice crust and they cook in half the time.