Thursday, November 7, 2013

Weeknight Dinner: Mongolian Beef

It's really easy for me to fall into the take-out dinner routine. I work LONG hours and on top of that I have a substantial commute so when I get home from work all I want to do is pass out in front of the TV and binge watch some of my favorite shows. The remedy to this problem? Simple, affordable, FAST & EASY meals to make that I can get excited about.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs - Damned Delicious and it will be making multiple appearances on my dinner table, for sure! This can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes and tastes way better and lighter than it's cheap, chinese-food-takeout counterpart.

Bonus: It makes GREAT leftovers!


1 pound Flank Steak, thinly sliced across the grain
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced

For the Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons vegetable oil


For the sauce, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and 1/2 cup water. Heat mixture in a medium saucepan until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes; set aside.

While your sauce is cooking. Combine flank steak and cornstarch in a large bowl. Toss to coat.

Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add beef and fry until browned and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up excess oil.

Add beef to soy sauce mixture and over medium heat cook until sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in green onions. Serve immediately. Garnish with sesame seeds and finely sliced green onion, if desired!

I served this over white rice with a side of steamed broccoli - and it was a very classic, perfect combination of flavors! Aaron and I agreed that while this dish was absolutely delicious it would be fun to add some spice in there and really kick things up a bit - I'll keep you posted on any spicy developments! 

Honey Grilled Pear, Brie & Rosemary Crostini

I'm always looking for quick and easy party appetizer recipes to share with friends and this one sure did hit the mark! I made these for a friend's recent birthday celebration and yes... they're as good as they sound!

A short ingredient list and easy prep make these the perfect party time appetizer while at the same time being simple, elegant and super tasty!


1 French baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Brie cheese, thinly sliced, rind removed
2 pears, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
Fresh rosemary


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grill to medium-high heat. This is one of those recipes where it's key to have all your ingredients prepped before you start. While everything is pre-heating this is the perfect time to slice your pear and remove the rind/slice your brie. 

Brush pear slices liberally with honey. Grill until soft and marked nicely with the grill grates - just a few minutes per side.

Place bread slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet, top with sliced brie, bake in oven for about 5 minutes or until the brie is melted.

Pull bread from oven, top each slice with grilled pear, arrange on serving dish and sprinkle with fresh rosemary... now, didn't I tell you that was easy? Best served while hot! 

Sweet Potato Sliders with Greek Yogurt Sauce & Avocado

I served these yummy sliders at +Aaron's birthday party a few weeks ago and they were a hit with the vegetarians and carnivores, alike! I have been toying with the idea of making sweet potato burgers for a while now, but never had the time to really research and develop a solid recipe. I planned on serving burgers & brats for the party and found it to be the perfect opportunity to add a little vegetarian flare to the menu!

These little burgers are smoky, sweet, and delicious!

Roasted Garlic & Maple Greek Yogurt Sauce

2 bulbs roasted garlic
2/3 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Maple Syrup
Salt & Pepper to taste

To roast garlic: cut off the top of the bulb to reveal the garlic cloves. Rub/peel off excess skin (papery stuff) of the clove. Top each clove with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and let soak for 10 minutes. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Press roasted garlic cloves into food processor, add remaining ingredients, pulse until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sweet Potato Sliders

Makes approx. 10 sliders (or 4 normal sized burgers)

2 Large Sweet Potatoes
1 can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
4 Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed
1/3 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/3 cup Flour
1 Large Egg
1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Cumin
Olive Oil/Cooking Spray for pan frying/searing
Roasted Garlic & Maple Greek Yogurt Sauce
1 avocado, sliced
Slider Buns

Microwave sweet potatoes for 5 minutes, flip and microwave for additional 5 minutes or until soft. Slice in half and allow to cool. Scoop potato from skin into a large mixing bowl. 

Combine potatoes, beans, garlic, bread crumbs, flour, egg & spices into large bowl and mix until combined (I used my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer on low-medium for about 5 minutes.) For best results, refrigerate before forming patties. 

Form into small (slider sized) patties. They will be sticky to work with, so plan on getting your hands messy.

Cook the patties for about 5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned. For the party, I used a large electric griddle and some cooking spray to cook the sliders and they turned out quite tasty, however I recommend pan frying them with a little olive oil - they turn out much crispier that way!

Top sliders with the Roasted Garlic and Maple sauce and sliced avocado.