Archive for Beef

Philly Cheese Steak

Week 41

This week I had a near disaster at dinner time.  I had my week’s meals all planned out and Thursday night had I had decided would be chicken enchilada night.  That was going to be my new recipe of the week and I was pretty excited about it.  Around noon I took my chicken out of the freezer to thaw out and didn’t come back to it until about 5:00.  That is when panic struck.  As I read through my recipe, I quickly realized I had a MAJOR problem on my hands.  The enchilada recipe was a crock pot recipe and my chicken was supposed to have been cooking for the last 8 hours.  Aaauuuuggghhh!  How the heck did I miss that somewhat significant detail?!?!?

A wave of panic swept over me.  Now what?!?!  Since it was the end of October, I had already spent all of my grocery money (except for $2… I had two lonely dollar bills left in my wallet.  That will hardly buy you a pack of gum these days…)  I couldn’t just run to the store for something else.  I had to come up with a new plan… stat!  I ran through all my options in my head.  The only one that seemed even remotely viable was a Philly Cheese Steak.  I still had some unused beef left over from the fajitas that I made for Week 39 in the freezer and had planned to try a Philly with that.  Plus I luckily had some hoagie rolls frozen as well.  It could just work… hopefully.  I still had to find the right recipe.  I raced to Google and after only about 5 minutes, found the following recipe.  It was PERFECT because it calls for the meat to be frozen (which is exactly what I had).  A quick trip to the grocery to pick up $1.45 worth of mushrooms and I was on my way.

The website I found for this week gives a neat little history on the Philly Cheese Steak.  If you’re a food history buff, this is right up your alley.  The site is called whatscookingamerica.net which I thought was fun.  You can see the original recipe as well as the history info by clicking HERE.  Hope you enjoy this week’s Philly Cheese Steak!

  • 2 medium onions, sliced as thin as possible and rings separated
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 oz chipped steak (thin sliced eye of round, rib eye, or sirloin tip roast)**
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • Cheese Whiz or Provolone cheese slices
  • 4 Italian, French or hoagie rolls
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dill pickle spears

** Freeze steak before slicing.  Slice it paper thin.

  1. In a large frying pan over high heat, add oil and heat so that a drop of water will sizzle when you drop it in the oil; lower heat to medium.  Add onions and mushrooms, stir and cook until mushrooms darken and onions start to look transparent.
  2. Add steak slices and cook for 3 minutes or until meat lightly browns.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heap cooked meat mixture in a long pile across pan.  Lay cheese slices over meat until melted.  If using Cheese Whiz, melt in a double broiler or in the microwave.
  4. Slice bread lengthwise.  Using a spatula, scoop meat mixture and cheese and lay on bread with cheese on top.  If using Cheese Whiz, ladle it on top.  Serve with a dill pickle.

Tips I Learned Along The Way

I have lots of tips this week so bare with me! 

  1. First off, regarding the meat.  Since I only had flank steak that’s what I used.  And it was tasty.  I’m sure there is some difference between steak cuts but I’m not aware of what they are.  You’d probably need a boy to tell you about that.
  2. Since I conveniently had frozen meat fresh from the freezer I started right off trying to slice it.  I didn’t get very far.  It was too frozen.  Perhaps if I had an electric knife I would have had better luck, but I just had good old fashioned elbow grease and a sharp knife.  So I decided to defrost the meat in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes.  This worked beautifully.  The meat was still frozen but not rock hard.  I was able to get some pretty thin slices which I later realized was VERY important.  You have to have super thin slices (paper thin as the recipe says) or your meat will be chewy.
  3. The meat package I had was 18 oz.  I got 4 really good sized sandwiches out of this.  The original recipe says you’ll only get two if you follow the directions as is.  I would use at least 1lb.
  4. After cooking everything and adding the meat, I tasted it to see if it needed more seasoning.  I decided to add one cube of beef bullion to the mixture for a little more flavor.  That was just the ticket!  Yummm!!
  5. I read this trick on another recipe that I had looked at before finding this one.  I pre-heated the oven to 350.  Instead of adding the cheese (I used Provolone) to the meat mixture in the pan, I loaded up the hoagies and placed the cheese on top.  I wrapped the sandwiches in tin foil and put them in the oven for 10 minutes.  This was such a fantastic idea!  The cheese melted so wonderfully and I had two neat little sandwiches all ready for the refrigerator.
  6. Don’t scrimp on your mushrooms and onions.  When I was chopping everything up it looked like a lot, but everything cooks down quite a bit.  I probably added more than the recipe called for.

Recipe High Points

  1. This was a super easy recipe!  Considering the chaos at the begin, it didn’t take very long to pull this all together at all!
  2. The sandwiches were delicious!  So good.  Jeff thought they were restaurant quality.  That’s what I’m going for people.

Recipe Low Points

  1. This meal can be a little heavy.  Good, but heavy
  2. I don’t usually have steak sitting around in the freezer.

We loved these Philly Cheese Steaks.  And since the seasoning is just salt and pepper (and a beef bullion cube), they are a simple easy meal to pull together.  We’ll be having this again!

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Flank Steak Fajitas

Week 39

This week my aunt and uncle came to visit from Texas.  Having house guests always ups the ante when it comes to meal planning.  You can’t just serve box pizza every night… not that we eat box pizza every night anyway… but still, I always want to make something extra special for guests.  So I went to my exciting new cookbook and flipped to the slow cooker section (we’ll probably be getting lots of recipes from my new cookbook in the future). Since we were going to be doing lots of site seeing while my aunt and uncle were here, I figured a crock pot meal was in order.  Plus, being from Texas, I also figured they wouldn’t mind a bit of a Mexican flare… it’s been a while since I’ve tried a new Mexican dish and I was going through some withdraws.  PLUS, since everyone knows I blog about new recipes, I didn’t feel bad about trying one out on guests.  Really, it’s part of the fun.  So I found the perfect fit!!  Flank Steak Fajitas!  Check out the recipe below (or visit the Taste of Home website for the online recipe by clicking HERE:

  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds beef flank steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
  • 1 medium green pepper, julienned
  • 8 to 10 flour tortillas (7 to 8 inches)
  • Sour cream, salsa and shredded cheddar cheese, optional
  1. Place beef in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, chili powder, cumin and salt; pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  2. Stir in red and green peppers. Cook 1 hour longer or until meat and peppers are tender. Thicken juices if desired.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, place about 1/2 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla; fold sides over filling. Serve with sour cream, salsa and cheese if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Tips I Learned Along The Way

  1. When the recipe says to cut into thin strips, cut into thin strips!  I thought I was cutting mine thin, but I think they could have been even thinner than what I cut.  I think it helps the meat not be so chewy.
  2. I added both peppers and onions to the crock pot after everything had cooked for about 6 hours.  I didn’t stir everything in because I knew we would not be eating within one hour and I didn’t want the peppers to get too mushy.  So I left everything sitting on top of the meat.  I don’t know if this made a difference or not, but I didn’t have super mushy peppers at the end.
  3. I used 2lbs of meat and tried to adjust the seasonings accordingly.  I think I will add more cumin and jalapeno next time.  I also had to use two cans of tomatoes.

Recipe High Points

  1. LOVE crock pot recipes.  I love that everything is done and ready for me when it’s time for dinner.
  2. These turned out really good.  Jeff even said they were delicious!
  3. I got to experiment with a different kind of beef other than ground!  Yay!

Recipe Low Points

  1. Next time I will add more seasoning.  Other than that, they were delish!

This was a great recipe that will probably become more of a regular in the future.  I bet you could even substitute chicken for the beef.  The possibilities are endless!

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Crock Pot Lasagna

Week 36

I am always on the look out for a good crock pot meal… for obvious reasons.  Minimal prep, minimal hassle, a meal waiting and ready for you at the end of the day.  Love. It.  I will say I am a little picky about crock pot recipes.  I don’t really like the kind that require some sort of cream-of-whatever soup.  I don’t know why, I’m not opposed to cream-of-whatever soups.  Maybe they just don’t sound super healthy.  That’s probably it.  And I usually weed out the ones that require some sort of whole chicken; mainly because I never think to buy a whole chicken or any sort of chicken with bones.  Maybe one day, when I finally have my own chickens, I’ll get brave enough to butcher one and use it in a whole chicken crock pot recipe.  Hmmm, on second thought, that is highly unlikely.  Even though I’m a ranch girl, I know how life works and where my food comes from, I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough to actually butcher and pluck a chicken.  Sorry.

It is for these reasons that this weeks recipe is so wonderful!  Lasagna!  In the crock pot!  Wonderful!  I really like lasagna but it does take a bit of time to usually make it, so when I found this recipe I knew I had to try it out.  If you love a good crock pot meal, be sure to give this week’s Crock Pot Lasagna a shot!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 ounces cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese or 1/2 cup asiago cheese
  • 12 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in frypan.
  2. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and oregano.  Cook long enough to get it warm.
  3. Mix together cottage cheese and grated parmesan cheese or asiago cheese.
  4. Spoon a layer of meat sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker.
  5. Add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break to fit) and top with cheese mixture and mozzarella.
  6. Repeat with sauce, noodles and cheeses until all are used up.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Tips I Learned Along The Way

  1. I changed up the sauce a little bit:  I used ground turkey instead of beef (can’t even tell the difference).  Instead of using 28oz can of tomato sauce, I used a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes.  This doesn’t make the sauce as thick and I like the chuncky tomatoes.  My personal preference!  You could also do one can of sauce and one can of diced tomatoes.  I didn’t use the paste at all.
  2. I also added basil and Italian seasoning to my ground meat.
  3. If you like your lasagna a little more veggie friendly, try adding mushrooms and spinach.  I like to use the frozen spinach.  I let the meat mixture cook a little longer because of that, but you probably don’t have to.
  4. I was skeptical about using uncooked noodles, but it works!
  5. Several reviews that I read for this recipe said to pour 1/2 to 1 cup of water around the edge once  you have everything assembled to prevent the lasagna from burning to the sides.  I was VERY nervous to do this!  I didn’t want soggy lasagna.  But it worked out great!  I carefully poured about a 1/2 cup of water around the outside of the lasagna and let it cook away.  No burned edges for me!

Recipe High Points

  1. Easy, easy, easy!
  2. It turned out delicious!  And we had lots of left overs.

Recipe Low Points

  1. The crock part of the crock pot takes of a lot of room in the fridge for leftovers.
  2. The first slices kind of fall apart.  After cooling in the refrigerator for a day, the remaining left overs held together like a dream.

This recipe may replace my standard lasagna just because of the convenience.  I really think you can take any lasagna recipe and convert it to the crock pot!

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Spaghetti Italian

Week 34

This past week I read Eat Pray Love.  Since the movie just came out, I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  I won’t give you a full book report, but I will say the premise of the book is fascinating… in a narcissistic way.  Who wouldn’t want to take a year off of life and “find yourself” in exotic places throughout the world?  Author Elizabeth Gilbert decided to spend four months each in Italy, India, and Indonesia.  Having been to a few places around the world myself, I’m fairly certain I would NOT have chosen India…. perhaps Indonesia… and probably Italy.

Her time in Italy was interesting because it comprised the Eat section of her book.  She literally ate the entire time she was there.  We all know the Italians make some good food.  Imagine spending four months immersed in Italy with your main focus being to learn Italian and to eat your way around Rome.  I think I could handle that.

I decided to theme my week’s recipe off of Eat Pray Love and go for an Italian dish.  And what could be more Italian than spaghetti?  I’ve never been to Italy before nor have I ever had authentic Italian food, made by a real life Italian, so this week may be a stretch.  You can see the original recipe by clicking HERE.  Below is my humble attempt at Spaghetti Italian

  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 4 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti
  1. In a large skillet, brown sausage over medium heat; drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and Italian sausage; mix well.
  3. Simmer over medium-low heat for at least one hour; it is best if simmered all day.
  4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  5. Mix sauce with hot pasta; serve.

Tips I Learned Along The Way

  1. I made this dish without first visiting the grocery store so I didn’t have any Italian sausage.  I used ground beef and mixed in the seasonings for an Italian Sausage recipe I have used before:
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Technically you are supposed to let the seasonings and meat sit for 24 hours, but I didn’t think that far ahead so they just got mixed in before I browned the meat.  The reviews that I read said that the Italian sausage is the secret ingredient for the sauce so perhaps it would be better to actually use real Italian sausage or make homemade ahead of time properly.
  1. The recipe says that it’s best when the sauce can simmer all day.  Mine simmered for about 2 hours.  This was easy enough to do as it’s really just throwing everything in a pot.  I bet you could even do this in a crock pot and let cook all day.
  2. I didn’t actually have the tomato sauce.  I did have a 28oz  and 14oz can of chopped tomatoes.  I used the entire 28oz can and then drained and pureed the 14oz can in the food processor.  Worked great!
  3. I found I had to add some spices after tasting the sauce after it had been simmering for a while.  I  also added 1/2 onion, chopped, and 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
  4. I did have to add a little water to mine as it cooked down.  I also kept the pot covered.

Recipe High Points

  1. I liked the sauce.  It definitely was tastier than the stuff out of a jar.
  2. Add some garlic bread to this and it was DELICIOUS!

Recipe Low Points

  1. Some pre-planning is required for the sauce to simmer for an appropriate amount of time.

I don’t know how authentically Italian my spaghetti turned out, but for this midwestern American, I think it’s about as close as I’m going to get!!

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Stuffed Peppers

Week 26

Several weeks ago, I went outside to water my pepper plant and noticed it seemed to be a bit thinner on top than I remembered.  I didn’t think much of it.  The next day, I again went to water my plant, which had been producing peppers beautifully, and found the entire top of my plant GONE.  The horror!  All the leaves, and worse, all my up and coming buds had been munched off.  Last week I found the culprit… a huge, fat caterpillar.  He quickly ment his fate and, shall we say, is no more.  But the damage had been done.  It’s taken at least a month for the leaves to come back.  Just a few days ago, I noticed I again have a plethora of buds soon to be making me more peppers.

I find that my pepper plant has become almost a second child to me.  I know exactly how many flowers it has and notice right away when another bud blooms.  I follow closely the progress of each pepper’s development and find it all very fascinating.  It’s amazing when something  you’ve tended to actually grows and you can eat the true fruits of your labor.

Had I had a bounty of fresh peppers from my own little plant, this week’s recipe (seen HERE) would have been really exciting because this week I made Stuffed Peppers

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white or brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 green bell peppers
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the beef until evenly browned.
  3. Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers. Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)
  4. In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.
  5. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, basting with sauce every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

Tips I Learned Along The Way

  1. I had read a few of the reviews before I started the recipe this week.  One of the suggestions was to steam your peppers before you fill them.  This would cut down on cooking time.  Since I had been steaming some vegetables for Ava earlier and had the steaming stuff out, I decided I would try this trick.  I placed my de-seeded peppers in the steamer and steamed for only about 3-4 minutes.  After filling all my steamed peppers with filling, I just happened to have enough filling for one extra pepper (which didn’t get steamed).  I will say steaming is the way to go.  Instead of having to cook them for 1 hour, I only cooked mine for 40 minutes.  I could tell the difference between the steamed peppers and the one that had not been steamed.  So be sure to steam first!
  2. If you put aluminum foil over the peppers, you don’t have to baste every 15 minutes
  3. I substituted ground turkey for ground beef.  Very good!  And less fatty too.
  4. I had to add more seasonings to my meat mixture.  I suggest tasting it before you stuff your peppers because it would have turned out a bit bland had I not done this first.
  5. I didn’t care for the Italian seasoning in the tomato sauce.  I didn’t think it went with anything of the other flavors in the dish.  Next time I’m leaving it out.
  6. I cut up a couple Roma tomatoes and added that to my meat mixture.   And I took a cue from the picture and added cheese to the top.  YUMMY!

Recipe High Points

  1. For some reason, I have NEVER had stuffed peppers.  I always thought they would be complicated and fancy.  Not so.  This was an extremely simple meal.  Nothing fancy other than the fact that you stuff a pepper.
  2. They were very tasty.

Recipe Low Points

  1. I ended up buying peppers at Sams Club.  If you’ve ever shopped at Sams you know all of their product is large, so I had large peppers.  Even so, Jeff and I both came away not quite satisfied.   So the stuffed peppers should be accompanied by something else, other than a salad or vegetable…. unless you don’t require much food.  Then you should be fine.
  2. I would need about 12 peppers off my plant for this recipe!  Because my plant makes little peppers.

All in all, I thought these were really good.  Jeff liked them, I liked them, Ava could eat them, so really they were a winner for all.

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Pasta Bake

Week 19

Sunday turned out to be a rainy, dreary day around our house.  Rainy, dreary and lazy.  Just the way I like it.  Growing up, my mom would always make a big Sunday dinner (AKA, lunch) and then supper would be popcorn or a fend for yourself type deal.  I can’t say I’ve adopted the big Sunday dinner tradition, but I like to think of Sunday as the fend-for-yourself day.  I don’t think Jeff has grown to appreciate fend-for-yourself Sundays like I have.  Unfortunately, this Sunday found no left overs in the refrigerator and I learned about the second week of marriage that a bowl of cereal doesn’t count as a meal.  This ment I had to cook something for the fam.  Rainy and dreary are not good motivators for cooking genius so I needed to find something quick and easy.  The following recipe is just that!  It would have been quicker if I would have had all the ingredients (ie spaghetti sauce… I did have to make that from scratch).

If you like simple, quick, easy and a kid favorite, this is the recipe for you!  You can see the original recipe by clicking HERE for Pasta Bake.

  • 8 ounces mostaccioli pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted boil water to a boil. Cook mostaccioli pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, cook ground beef and chopped onions in a skillet over medium heat until browned.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pasta, and browned ground beef and onion mixture. Transfer to a greased, 9×13 inch casserole dish.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until very hot.

Tips I Learned Along The Way

  1. First off, I used ground turkey instead of beef.  If you’ve never substituted ground turkey for beef, this is a great recipe to try it out!  I love ground turkey… less fat, less expensive… better all around!
  2. I didn’t have mostaccioli pasta.  I did have whole wheat egg noodles which I thought were delicious.
  3. As I mentioned above, I didn’t have a jar of spaghetti sauce and I didn’t feel like running to the store.  Plus I had already spent all my grocery money.  Fortunately, I had all the ingredients for a sauce already at home.  Here’s what I did:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  1. In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion, green onion and garlic. When onions are clear, stir in tomatoes, basil, oregano and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

I found the sugar really important to add.  I didn’t at first and it was too bitter or something.  It just didn’t taste right.  Also i found that next time I’d only add 2-3 tbs of oregano.  It dominated the flavor.  I didn’t have any green onions so I had to leave those out.

Recipe High Points

  1. Had I not had to make the spaghetti sauce, this would have been the fastest meal ever.  I will say that the spaghetti sauce was worth the toil.  It really did taste good.  Plus I always like knowing for sure what ingredients are put into something… this is usually only accomplished if I make it myself from scratch.
  2. Ava loved this dish.  She could eat it on her own which is always a plus.
  3. It made for a nice warm comforting meal on a rainy dreary day!

Recipe Low Points

  1. I honestly can’t think of any.  If you like spaghetti type food, this is the recipe for you!

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this again.  Jeff liked it, Ava liked it, I liked it… it was a winner all around.  If you have kids, I bet they will like it too!  Happy cooking!

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Rebecca’s Spring Rolls

Week 10

So I’m still working on getting rid of my St. Patty’s cabbages.  I saw on Facebook one of my other friends had caught 29 cabbages… 29!!  I’m having a hard time using up 5!  I guess that’s when you start knocking on neighbors doors, farming out your cabbage catches to the masses.  My friend Beka had mentioned that she would always make spring rolls with her St. Patrick’s Day cabbage.  The light dawned in my head as I thought what better way to use up my cabbage than to have Beka and her family come over for dinner and have Beka bring her recipe along.  As an added bonus, Rebecca gets to be a featured guest cook on my blog.  Now really, who would turn that down??!!

This week’s recipe comes from Rebecca Rumsey.  Beka is a great cook and as such, she just throws things together and the end product tastes great.  Beka didn’t have a written recipe so as she was adding sauces and spice, she would say “I think that was about 2 tsp”  or “I just add until it smells good.”  Brilliant cooking, hard to replicate!  As a disclaimer, most of the measurements are guesstimates, but are probably close to actuality.  So without further adieu, I give you Rebecca’s Spring Rolls:

  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 pkg green onions, thinly sliced – tops included
  • 6 carrots – grated
  • 1/2 cabbage – finely chopped
  • 3 garlic – minced
  • 3 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1/4 c sesame oil
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c oyster flavored sauce
  • 2 pkg spring roll pastry wraps or egg roll wrappers
  1. In a very large pan or wok, brown the meats.  Drain off fat.  Add in the garlic, ginger, liquid sauces and oils.  Mix together well.  Adjust flavorings as needed.
  2. Take meat mixture off burner.  Stir in green onions, cabbage, and carrots.  Mix well.  Allow mixture to cool enough to be able to handle.
  3. Place approx 1 tbs of filling in wrapper.  Roll per instructions on the package.
  4. Deep fry rolls in fryer until golden brown.

** Beka had brought along two packages of wrappers, a large size and a small size.  We used the entire small package which contained 50 wraps and 10 of the large (that package contained 25).  We both agreed that the larger wraps worked better, however you only get 25 per package so the smaller wraps are more economical.

Tips I Learned Along the Way

  1. Did you know there is a proper way to cut a cabbage?  I didn’t until I went to start chopping mine up and stood there at my cutting board, knife in hand, not sure what to do.  I ended up looking it up online (what did we ever do before the internet??).  The proper way to chop a cabbage is to cut the core off, slice in half from top to bottom and then quarter each half.  Once quartered, you are to cut off the inner heart that is now exposed and then chop as desired.  You can have long stringy pieces like for salads or chopped up like for this recipe.  Who knew?
  2. Beka goes to the local Chinese grocery store to buy her wrappers.  These wraps are way better than the ones I buy at the grocery store.   They were called Spring Home – TYJ Spring Roll Pastry.  They’re kind of a mix between an egg roll wrap and the rice paper spring roll wraps.  You have to wet a cloth to keep them moist while you make your rolls.
  3. Remember last week when I said I didn’t have sesame oil so I just used olive oil?  I learned this week that sesame oil really does make it better.

Recipe High Points

  1. Definitely the biggest high point for me this week was making the wraps with Beka!  Making these alone would have taken a really long time… it was much more fun sharing the task with someone and talking while you work.
  2. Daddies were on hand to watch the babies.  Huge high point.  However, they tended to slack a bit 🙂
  3. They were de.lic.ious !!  We had a total of 6 adults and two babies for dinner that night and out of 60 rolls, I think we only had about 18 left.  So good, I salivate just thinking about them now.

Recipe Low Points

  1. Between Beka and I, we had almost everything we needed for this recipe.  Beka provided the deep fryer.  Since I don’t have a deep fryer, to make these delicious little bits again, I’d have to purchase one or borrow.
  2. They do take a lot of time, but as noted above, this is made easier when you’re making them with someone else… like a party!

All in all, I thought this recipe was great.  Everybody raved at how good the spring rolls were.  I would definitely love to make them again.   A deep fryer may need to be on my wish list in the future!

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