Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Sometimes a craving for take-out just hits you and you have no choice but to succumb to it. But then you have to go out or order delivery and that can get pricey if you enjoy Chinese on a regular basis (like me). What better way to feed your craving then with an easy stir-fry recipe that you can make from the comfort of your own home? That’s what is so great about this recipe. It creates a delicious meal in no time and it’s a super easy dinner to throw together.

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Noodles and Company really inspired this dish. They have a killer  Japanese Pan Noodle option that I love. I used black sesame seeds in this recipe because that’s one of my favorite parts of the Noodles’ dish.

Take a walk on the adventurous side and make some yummy Chinese stir-fry at home! You can even make this in your pajamas; don’t worry there’s no judgement here 😉

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Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry                                                                                        Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless stir-fry steak, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil (olive oil is fine too)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 4 oz of mushrooms, sliced (I used white mushrooms)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Cooked noodles or rice for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Toss the beef with 1 tbsp each cornstarch and vinegar and 2 tsp soy sauce in a medium bowl. In another bowl stir the brown sugar, the 2 remaining tsps of cornstarch and vinegar, the remaining 1 tsp soy sauce, and 1/3 cup water until dissolved.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of sesame or olive oil in as large skillet over high heat. Add the beef and cook until just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes each side. Transfer from skillet and wipe the skillet clean.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in the skillet over high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry about a minute. Add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt, and pepper to taste, and stir-fry until tender (4 minutes). Add cooked noodles (if using) and the brown sugar mixture to the vegetables. Add in the beef and sesame seeds, stirring until thick. Add lemon juice and more salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. If not using noodles, then serve over rice.

Nutella Stuffed Oatmeal Bars

My husband and I have been married a little over three years now. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I found out that he liked Nutella. Nutella is amazing. Imagine living almost three years without it because your husband told you that he hated it. That was until he tried these Nutella Oatmeal Bars. Then our world changed forever.

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I baked a whole bunch of these for a church activity after I bought a huge jar of Nutella on sale at the grocery store (score!), and when I went to taste test the goodies my husband volunteered to try one. He fell in love instantly. His exact words were “I had no idea Nutella tasted like this. Can we buy more so you can make these again?” I almost sobbed with happiness. Unfortunately the goodies were gobbled up at the church event and I did not get to indulge any longer.

So I guarantee that you will love these bars. They’re delectable and super rich. The oatmeal adds a delicious texture to the creaminess of the Nutella. I am definitely planning on making these again in the near future!

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Nutella Stuffed Oatmeal Bars                                                    Yields 16 Bars

Adapted from http://celebratingsweets.com/nutella-stuffed-oatmeal-cookie-bars/

Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chocolate chips or callets

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 8×8 square pan  with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Place a little more than half of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the mixture into the plan until its one even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the Nutella and place in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 15-20 seconds or until slightly melted and soft (this will make it easier to spread).
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately add the  softened Nutella. Since the dough/crust will be soft, you don’t want to spread too vigorously. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, spread the softened Nutella into an even layer. Sprinkle the Nutella layer with chocolate chips or callets. Crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top of the Nutella/chocolate layer.
  7. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the top is set and golden brown. Take the pan out and let cool. Do not cut them while they are hot, as the chocolate will ooze out. Serve them while still slightly warm and they’ll be perfect!
  8. Enjoy with a nice tall glass of milk.

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American Dessert Bark

Okay so I know I haven’t published anything for quite a while, I’ve been busy with work and church activities for the past month or so. Plus my husband and I went on our first cruise and took other small trips to visit family during these past weeks. So now I’m back in baking mode!

I wanted to share this Labor Day recipe with you all (I apologize for the tardiness but you can always make it next year) because it’s so fun to make and super easy as well. Basically all you do is melt chocolate and add whatever mix-ins you want! Ba-bamm, you’ve got dessert!

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I made this treat with my sisters and they went a little crazy…we put everything sweet we could find into this recipe.

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I promise you that you will scarf these down without any hesitation. Go big or go home I always say 🙂

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American Dessert Bark

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of white chocolate chips (or do 6 oz of milk chocolate with 6 oz of white…that’s what we did. All white would look prettier)
  • 1 package of mini oreos
  • 1 large bag of Patriotic M&Ms (or regular M&Ms if they aren’t in season)
  • Red, White, and Blue sprinkles-for extra pizazz
  • Any other mix-ins you want!

Directions:

  1. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the chocolate into a glass bowl and place in microwave. Microwave in 30 second intervals until almost all chocolate is melted. Stir the the mixture vigorously to ensure all is melted.
  3. Spread the melted chocolate on the parchment paper. Use a spatula to ensure that the chocolate is smooth and even.
  4. Sprinkle the mix-ins on top of the chocolate.
  5. Once all the mix-ins have been added, place the finished product in the fridge until firm (30-45 minutes). You can keep in the fridge for longer if you want it more set, maybe 1-2 hours for the maximum needed “firm-up” time.
  6. Take the set chocolate out of the fridge and break it into pieces. Now you’re ready to get your bark on! Enjoy!