Friday, September 29, 2006

Roast Beef Sandwiches

Roast Beef Sandwiches

There is nothing like perfectly cooked roast beef. My favorite kind is the roast beef that is medium rare, yet it's not dripping any pink juices. This type of roast beef is very difficult to come by. But the other day while we were at Henry's Marketplace, I saw the most perfect roast beef in the deli counter. Immediately we bought a half pound and Matthew made these absolutely delicious sandwiches.

INGREDIENTS (makes 2 sandwiches)

  • 1-10 to 12" sourdough roll
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced roast beef (the pinker, the better, me thinks)
  • 4 slices medium cheddar
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Dijon mustard
  • Mayo

First, toast the sourdough bread in the oven or toaster oven until golden brown on all sides (Matthew burnt ours a little bit, but it was still good). Then cut the bread in half, and slice each half lengthwise. Be careful because bread will be hot.

Workings quickly, spread mayo on the bottom two slices of bread, then place a slice of cheese, sliced tomato and lettuce. Divide roast beef between the slices; slather with as much, or as little, Dijon mustard (believe me, you want mustard on this baby). Finally, add last slice of cheese, then add the top bread slice.

Serve with a side of kosher dill pickles or cornishons. Delicioso!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pasta Fra Diavolo, Diva Style

fasta pasta fra diavolo

I know I've been slacking with my recipes lately. You see, Mateus and I are getting ready to travel to Europe in 9 days...yes, nueve dias. So, I haven't been cooking a lot since our fridge is kind of empty now--plus we haven't shopped for groceries in over a week. But, I know that my readers (all two of you!) probably check for new recipes once in a while. Below is this pasta I created from thin spaghetti I had in the cupboard, tuna and frozen mussels, and a half empty jar of Prego sauce. Authentic fra diavolo has shrimp and all sorts of seafood in it and you can definitely add it to this tasty pasta, however if you're in a hurry, you'll totally like this spicy version. Oh, and yes, Lindsey, I had ALL of these ingredients in my kitchen. Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS (about 4 servings)

  • 1/2 pound (or half the box) of thin Spaghetti or Fettuccini
  • 1 package of frozen mussels in garlic and butter (you can find it at Vons or Trader Joe's) cooked to package directions. Remove the meat from each mussel and set aside--DO NOT discard the garlic/butter liquid it will give off, but do discard the shells.
  • 1 package StarKist® Tuna Fillets, Teriyaki flavor
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 whole dried red chili peppers
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup Prego® Traditional pasta sauce
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Kraft®Parmesan cheese (yes, the blue stuff)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

In a large pot of boiling water that is well salted, add your spaghetti or fettuccini and cook to package directions.

In a large sauté skillet on medium-high add the olive oil and butter. Add two whole, dried red chili peppers and sauté for 1 minute. Then add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the diced tomato and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tuna fillets and break apart with your spatula; also add the mussels, 1/2 cup of the mussel liquid, 2/3 cup of the pasta sauce, two tablespoons of parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, and one teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Let the sauce come to a boil, then lower heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes more.

Drain your pasta well and add it into the skillet with the seafood sauce, or fra diavolo. Toss to combine. Then add the finely chopped parsley and serve while still hot. You can top it off with additional parmesan cheese.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Key Lime Pie Martini

yummy keylime pie martini
Sometimes after dinner I'd rather have a digestif than a heavy dessert. Usually Matt and I like to drink a fine port or his favorite tequila liquor, but for those of you who want the taste of a dessert but not the heaviness, you'll love this cocktail. It tastes just like a wedge of Key Lime Pie, but it's in a martini form. How fabulous is that?

INGREDIENTS (makes 1 martini)

  • 3 tablespoons Licor 43 vanilla liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon lemon-flavored vodka
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice or fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 lime wedge for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely crushed cinnamon graham cracker crumbs, for the rim

Chill the martini glass.In a shaker filled with ice combine Liquor 43, vodka, key-lime juice& heavy cream. Shake till shaker is icy cold to hold. Rub rim of chilled martini glass with lime wedge then dip into graham; strain drink into martini glass and enjoy, my friend.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Matthew's ChocoFlan

This cake pretty much has it all. I mean, how can you go wrong with a layer of flan and then a layer of chocolate cake smothered in caramel? Heck no! ChocoFlan is a very popular cake for birthday parties in Mexico, so definitely make this for a special occasion. TIP: Even though the flan is poured on top of the cake batter, it will sink to the bottom of the pan as it cooks. Once you take the cake out of the pan, the flan will be on top. Scrumptious!

INGREDIENTS (yields about 12 slices)

  • 1 box of your favorite Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can caramel spread
  • Pecans

CAKE: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cake batter according to instructions on package. Do not bake, set aside.

FLAN: In a blender, mix eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Grease the Bundt pan very well; pour the chocolate cake batter and on top carefully spoon the flan batter. Don't worry if the surface of the chocolate mix gets disturbed a little bit. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in a water bath for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 min at 375 F. Check the cake with a knife or bamboo skewer until it comes clean to make sure is cooked.

Remove cake and cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then flip it onto your serving dish. Refrigerate the cake overnight so that the flan sets.

TOPPING: Pour caramel spread on top and garnish with desired amounts of pecans and whipped cream. ChocoFlan

Apple and Pecan Cheesecake

apple pecan cheesecake

My husband, Mateus, is in a cheesecake kick this week. After my mom tasted his Oreo Cheesecake he made last weekend, she was so impressed by it that she nominated him to make her birthday cake for next weekend. Below is the recipe he'll be trying out. If you don't have a 9" springform pan, you can also make this cheesecake on a 13"x9" rectangular pan.


  • 1 cup HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped PLANTERS Pecans, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups thin peeled apple slices

PREHEAT oven to 325°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300°F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix crumbs, 1/2 cup of the pecans, 3 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon and butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes.

BEAT cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in large bowl. Add apples; toss to coat. Spoon over cream cheese layer; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans.

BAKE 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Most Evil Cheesecake Ever

I truly love cheesecake. It's probably one of the worst things anyone could eat, but how can you say no to cream cheese? I especially love this OREO® Cheesecake. I think the macadamia nut cheesecake is probably the second evilest (is that even a word?). Anyhoo, I was tempted to buy the Oreo Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory but it was $23.95 for a 7" cake!!! So, after some calculation (and I was lazy to go buy it) I figured out that it's actually cheaper to buy the stuff and bake the darn cheesecake yourself.

INGREDIENTS (about 16 slices)

  • 1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs

PREHEAT oven to 350°F if using a 9-inch silver springform pan (or to 325°F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Finely crush 30 of the cookies. Mix crushed cookies with butter. Press firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up side of pan; set aside.

Coarsely chop remaining 15 cookies; set aside.

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Gently stir in chopped cookies. Spread into prepared crust.

BAKE 55 minutes to 1 hour or until set. (If necessary to prevent top from overbrowning, tent with foil during last 15 to 20 minutes of baking time.) Cool completely on wire rack.

REFRIGERATE at least 4 hours or overnight. Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake; remove side of pan before serving. Decorate with additional Oreo cookies or whipped cream. Incredibly yummy!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Minnesota State Fair On A Stick

YUMMY! Who doesn't love food-on-a-stick?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers

cheddar-stuffed burger

Can you believe summertime is almost gone? It has been so hot and humid here in San Diego lately that it seemed like summer would last forever, but last night the winds changed it's definitely getting cooler now (yes, that's like 70 degrees for us!!!). As a last hurrah, make these cheddar-stuffed burgers to remind you of summer and get you ready for the fall.

Grilling Method: Direct/Medium

INGREDIENTS (makes 6 burgers)

  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Coleman's dry mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Coarse black pepper, freshly ground (about ¼ cup)
  • 6 - 2 inch cubes of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 6 crisp lettuce leaves (optional)
  • 6 slices ripe tomato (optional)
  • Ketchup (optional)
  • Mustard (optional)
  • Mayonnaise (optional)

Being careful not to over-work the meat, mix the sirloin and chuck, add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard and salt until just combined. Portion the meat into 6 equal pieces and shape each patty around one cube of cheese and set aside.

Meanwhile, put peppers on a shallow plate and roll the rim of each burger in the pepper until it is coated in a "stripe" of pepper. (The burgers can be made up to this point one day earlier and kept refrigerated.)

When ready to grill, place burgers on the cooking grate and grill until the meat is no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Meanwhile grill the buns over Direct heat until lightly toasted, if desired.

Serve immediately on the buttered rolls with a lettuce leaf and tomato if desired. Serve with traditional condiments on the side.

Recipe from

Friday, September 01, 2006

Gorgeous Foods

Kobe Beef Sushi Roll

From the mind of Executive Chef, Jeff Thruston, comes this delectable sushi roll. It's a roll with asparagus and braised hijiki and topped with seared Kobe beef. You can only find this at The Prado Restaurant in San Diego, CA.Kobe Beef Sushi Roll

T-Bone Steak Dinner & Panna Cotta

We had this fabulous dinner at the Wine Vault and Bistro in San Diego, CA.

T-bone steak

panna cotta