Monday, March 19, 2018

Sliced Beef Po' Boys

SoBA questions a lot of the food that comes to the Launchpad table.  We can still get away with getting him to eat if we tell him "it's steak."  You think we can get him on board with the "it's a cheesesteak?"  From the NYT Cooking website.

Mahogany Beef Po' Boys

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 pounds beef chuck roll, sliced into 2-inch-thick portions
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, or as needed
  • 6 to 7 stalks celery, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 jumbo carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1 cup peeled garlic cloves, each clove halved lengthwise
  • 7 cups dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 5 loaves French or Italian bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • shredded lettuce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced pickles to dress sandwiches

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place flour in a large, wide bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add beef, dust well on all sides and shake off excess. 
  2. Place a large, heavy Dutch oven or roasting pan with a lid over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom and heat until shimmering. Working in batches, add beef and sear well on all sides. Transfer beef to a platter and set aside.
  3. Add celery, onions, peppers, carrots and garlic to pan; if necessary, add more oil. Sauté until vegetables are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add wine and 3 cups water. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and parsley. Stir well, add beef, and stir again to mix well.
  4. Cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until beef is very tender, about three hours. Transfer beef to a deep platter and keep warm. Remove and discard bay leaf. Using a hand-held immersion blender or stand blender, purée vegetables and any remaining bits of meat in pan juices to make sauce. Cut beef into slices. Slice each bread loaf in half lengthwise and crosswise, spread one side with mayonnaise, thickly layer in meat, wet with gravy, and top with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Oven Baked Fried Chicken

Sadly, both LBA and SoBA may be growing out of the "chicken nugget" easy meal solution of their lives.  But that is not to say that this recipe may work for them.  From Savory Nothings via BuzzFeed (a lot of these recipes featured thighs or drumsticks, but we are more of a white meat kind of family).

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 410°F. Place a dark-colored roasting pan (a baking tray works as well) in the oven to heat up.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, breadcrumbs, baking powder and seasoning together.
  4. Dip the chicken pieces in the flour, coating evenly and shaking off any extra flour.
  5. Next, coat the chicken pieces in the egg mixtures. Then, dip them into the flour again, this time coating very well.
  6. Take the baking tray out of the oven and melt the butter on it. Place the coated chicken pieces on the tray.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, carefully flip and bake for another 5-10 minutes (depending on how thick your chicken pieces are). Finish by broiling the chicken until it turns golden brown and crispy.

Monday, March 5, 2018

More Lunch Ideas

Last week I discussed SoBA and LBA's lunches - packed by me, when they are not buying lunch from school.  There is the problem when they would like something that we have had the night before (really, what child voluntarily asks for leftovers in their lunch?) but there is no way of keeping (or making) it warm for lunch.  They might be able to palate this however, and they would be infinitely better for them than their store-bought namesakes.  Via BuzzFeed.

Serves 1

  • 5 crackers
  • ¼ cup marinara sauce
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 5 slices of pepperoni
  • Cupcake liners (to separate the ingredients)
  • Grapes (optional)
  • Crackers (optional)


Place marinara in small container (we reused an old baby food jar) and place in lunchbox. Place crackers, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni in cupcake liners next to it. Serve with grapes and crackers.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Lunch Ideas

SoBA and LBA are permitted to order hot lunch at school once a week.  The rest of the time it's on me to make their lunches in the morning.  If I'm particularly motivated, I will "get ready to get ready" by packing those items not requiring refrigeration the night before and have their lunch bags ready to finish in the morning.

LBA is a fan of the "sandwich" pepperoni and mozzarella on a sandwich (he's recently turned to pita bread) as opposed to the slider and SoBA likes that as well but usually opts for the ham wrap (sliced ham on a small tortilla.  Maybe I can get SoBA interested in these (though those tomatoes may be a non-starter). Via BuzzFeed.

Ham and Cheese Kebabs
Serves 1

  • 2 cherry tomatoes, cut in half on a diagonal
  • 2 slices of ham
  • 2 cubes of cheddar cheese
  • 2 pieces of diced sandwich bread
  • 1 orange (optional)
  • Crackers (optional)
  • Carrots sticks (optional)
Place one cherry tomato (cut-sides facing each other), a slice of ham, a cube of cheddar cheese, and a piece of bread on each skewer. Serve with an orange and carrot sticks.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Patty Melts

Patty Melts are one of those things that if they are on the menu, I'm going to order them (same for escargot).  So why wouldn't I make this at home?  The better question is "why aren't I" now that the Pioneer Woman has told me how?

Patty Melts
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Halved and Sliced
  • 1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 5 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 8 slices Swiss Cheese 8 slices Rye Bread
In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Throw in the sliced onions and cook slowly for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and soft.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, salt & pepper, and Worcestershire. Form into 4 patties.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a separate skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties on both sides until totally done in the middle.

Assemble patty melts this way: Slice of bread, slice of cheese, hamburger patty, 1/4 of the cooked onions, another slice of cheese, and another slice of bread. On a clean griddle or in a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter and grill the sandwiches over medium heat until golden brown. Remove the sandwiches and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Turn the sandwiches to the skillet, flipping them to the other side. Cook until golden brown and crisp, and until cheese is melted.

Slice in half and serve immediately!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Rosemary Garlic Fried Potatoes

We worship the Pioneer Woman at the Launchpad.  She is our "go-to gal" for many recipes.  We have started making hash browns at the Launchpad on weekends to go with the egg sandwiches that we often have.  And her Onion Straws are a staple for us.  SoBA is not a huge fan of the roasted potato, but I bet I could sell him on these.

Rosemary Garlic Fried Potatoes
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 8

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean And Cut Into Chunks
  • Vegetable Oil, For Frying 
  • 6 whole Rosemary Sprigs
  • 12 cloves Garlic, Sliced
  • Kosher Salt, for sprinkling
  • Smoked Paprika (optional), for sprinkling 

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully lower the potato chunks into the water and cook them until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then pour onto a sheet pan and allow them to dry completely and cool slightly.

Bring a pot of vegetable oil to a temperature of 350 degrees. (NOTE: Put pot on the back burner of the stove if you have children in the house.) Using a slotted spatula and working in batches, carefully lower cooked potatoes into the oil and allow them to fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and slightly crisp. Add a few garlic slices and rosemary to the pot, and continue frying for another minute or so, until potatoes or deep golden and crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate, making sure to get all the garlic and rosemary out. Sprinkle generously with salt and repeat in batches with the rest of the potatoes, rosemary, and garlic.

Serve with steak, chicken, or fish (or salad!)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Beef Stroganoff

I've previously posted about my like of Beef Stroganoff, here, here, and here.  Evidently, according to Google, it was the top trending recipe of 2017.  Maybe I will actually get around to making it in 2018.  Recipes from BuzzFeed - here's my favorite of this list (it doesn't have mushrooms - Mrs. BA and SoBA will be happy) via the Spirited Violet.

5 Ingredient Beef Stroganoff
Serves 4
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 20 min
Total Time 30 min

  • 1 (8 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can fat free condensed cream of mushroom soup (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare the egg noodles according to the package.
  2. In a separate large skillet over medium heat, saute the ground beef over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned. Drain the fat and add the soup and garlic powder. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and combine the meat mixture with the egg noodles. Add the sour cream, stirring well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes  (from the Spirited Violet)
  • We have used ground turkey for this recipe to save money. We have also used half the amount of meat in the recipe before as well and it tastes just fine!
  • I have been given a lot of feedback about the amount of garlic powder being too much. Yes, I used a whole tablespoon and this wasn't a typo; I enjoyed it and that is how it read from the original recipe as well. Use your cooking intuition if you feel that is too much for you and halve it, if necessary.
  • If you feel the noodle mixture is dry, pour milk into the empty mushroom soup can and pour in the finished mixture to make it easier to stir.