Beef Stroganoff

This recipe is a take on one of my grandmother’s recipes.
She made this growing up and the smell of it simmering on the stove brings back such wonderful memories.
Nanny’s Beef Stroganoff
The Cast of Characters:
1 pound of hamburger meat
1 small onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. package of sour cream
1 cup milk
6 oz package of egg noodles
 Boil a pot of water and add the egg noodles. Cook al-dente until the noodles are done.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the hamburger meat with the onion and bell pepper.  Drain.
Stir in the soup, sour cream and milk.
Add the noodles.
Cook on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

Barbecue Beef Brisket

**This photo was featured on foodgawker here.** 

My newest obsession: Beef Brisket.

I just love the process involved in cooking a brisket — the slow roasting that fills your home with juicy, tempting smells.
And this recipe is great. You make the brisket a couple of days before serving it, then re-heat it using a crock pot. It’s totally worth the extra effort because the flavors really have time to sink into the meat.
Barbecue Beef Brisket
6 – 8 pound beef brisket, with a layer of fat
Fajita seasoning or Brisket rub
Barbecue seasoning
Apple Juice
1 Package of McCormick’s dry fajita seasoning
The first thing you’ve got to do is dry rub the meat with the first kind of fajita seasoning or brisket rub.
Work it into the meat on both sides with your fingers (it gets kind of messy.
Then, transfer the brisket to a Ziploc bag (I used a 2 gallon bag)and store it in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, put the brisket in a throw-away aluminum pan, fat-side up to cook.
Sprinkle it with barbecue seasoning on both sides.
Preheat your over to 225 degrees and insert a digital meat thermometer into the middle of the brisket, about half-way through.
Cook the brisket uncovered until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.
It took about three hours for the 6-pound brisket I made to do so.
Then, pull it out of the oven and sprinkle the McCormick’s fajita seasoning on the top. Pour about 1/4 cup of apple juice on top of the brisket.
Cover with foil and return to the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees.
Turn the oven off and let it rest for 2 hours.
When you finally pull the foil off the top, it will look juicy and golden like this.
Remove the brisket from the juices and slice, against the grain.
That’s my Dad wielding the butcher knife there. Thanks for being a great model, Dad!
Put the slices in a crock pot with a removable ceramic crock. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator until the day of serving.
Collect the juices in a separate jar or measuring cup and do the same.
When you’re ready to serve, remove the fat from the top of the juices and pour over the brisket in the crock. Re-heat on Low for 3 to 4 hours.

Irish Carbomb Cupcakes

These cupcakes are yummy. Dreamy. Steamy. De-lish.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
The Bailey’s buttercream frosting is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. 
Reminds me of the Girl Scout Cookie shots we did at the Dry Bean Saloon back in the day. And Four Horsemen shots. And Dragon Wars. Ah, college. How I miss those carefree days.
But I digress.
Irish Carbomb Cupcakes
A couple of things: Annie’s recipe yields 24 cupcakes. Yikes. That’s a lotta fat for my hips. I cut her cupcake recipe in half to make it an even dozen cupcakes. So, the “half recipe” is what’s listed below.
She also adds a Bailey’s Ganache Filling to her cupcakes. That was a little too much Bailey’s for my taste, so I left it out. You can head over there to get the instructions for adding it to yours.
I didn’t change anything in the recipe for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting. I made the whole amount in Annie’s recipe and just had a little left over after I frosted my cupcakes. I guess I just use a bit more frosting than she does…
Cast of Characters (for the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes):
1/2 cup Guinness
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup sour cream
Directions (for the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes):
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
Mix the Guinness and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the butter is melted. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the egg and sour cream. Add the Guinness mixture and beat just to combine. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until just incorporated.
It should look like this when you’re through:
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them 1/2 full. Resist the temptation to fill it to the top. Trust me, you don’t want to do that. It will rise as it bakes, so just leave it at 1/2 full, k?
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Mine took about 15 minutes and they were done.
Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, start on the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting.
Cast of Characters (for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting):
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream
Directions (for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting):
Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
Slowly add the powdered sugar to the bowl until it is fully incorporated.
Add the Bailey’s Irish cream to the mixture until it is smooth. Add more Bailey’s as needed for the icing to reach piping consistency.
Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it onto the top of the cupcakes.

Magic-al Cookies

In honor of the Rise of the Eldrazi launch today, I made a little something special.
Remember our conversation about Magic: The Gathering and the five colors of mana?
Each color has its own set of values associated with it:
White (Plains): Order, Protection, Light
Blue (Island): Knowledge, Manipulation, Illusion
Black (Swamp): Darkness, Ambition, Death
Red (Mountain): Freedom, Emotion, Impulse

Green (Forest): Growth, Instinct, Nature
Now, you may be wondering to yourself…Are those cookies with Magic symbols on them?
Yes, indeedy, they are!
I made them using this cookie recipe, Glace icing and candy melts!
Here’s the whole set:
I really love the Forest cookies and the Mountain cookies.
Now we can rock the RoE launch party this weekend in style!
Happy Friday!

Meat Loaf

According to James, there is nothing better than meat in loaf form.
I’m not sure I agree with him, but this recipe is delicious.
The best part: It’s an easy weeknight meal that I’ve added to our rotation!
Old-fashioned Meat Loaf
Source: Paula Deen
1 lb ground beef
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces canned diced tomatoes (without juice)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix beef, salt, pepper, onion, bell pepper, egg, tomatoes and oats in a bowl.
Shape into a loaf and put in a pan.
Mix ketchup, sugar and mustard until combined.
Spread on top of the loaf.
Bake for one hour.
Cut into slices and serve.
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