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 ūüėČ

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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.
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Easy Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is a type of food that I cannot pass up. Whenever I’m at an Italian restaurant or pizza joint with garlic bread on the menu, it’s¬† usually one of the things I order. Something about having crunchy bread topped with a garlic-y butter spread and fresh chopped herbs makes my mouth water on site.

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The other night I was craving pasta. I knew I was going to make a simple red sauce with mushrooms and roasted tomatoes, but I wanted something on the side. Not a salad, but something with more substance. That’ when it struck me. Make garlic bread to go with it! I felt like I was living the¬† “When You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and instead of a glass of milk to go with a cookie, I was having garlic bread to go with my pasta. The combination always seems to go hand in hand.

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So I went out and bought some Italian bread from a local grocery store, (I didn’t hand make it, that is definitely something worth trying in the future though), and came home to create an easy, yet yummy, garlic bread to go with me dinner. And it was just what the doctor ordered! I advise you to not go easy with the butter or the garlic, it’s worth the splurge ūüėČ

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Easy Garlic Bread                                                                                               Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 large loaf of Italian bread, around a 1lb
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Take the loaf of Italian bread and slice it in half in the middle of the loaf. Then take each separate half of the bread and slice bread diagonally¬† (as if you’re cutting bread to make a sandwich). You should have made 16 slices (maybe less, depends on the size of your bread).
  3. Then place the bread on the foil. Brush the bread with the butter until evenly coated.
  4. With a spoon evenly disperse minced garlic on top of the butter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Drizzle olive oil on last.
  5. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
  6. Serve with salad, pasta, pizza, or just eat as is!

 

 

Oven Baked Salmon with Roasted Red Potatoes

I’m all for easy and quick dinner meals. I work during the day and by the time I get home to make dinner, I’m so wiped out! But it’s meals like these that I can whip up in no time and still have a delicious meal to look forward to.

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Like I said, it’s a real simple meal composed of fish and potatoes. If you prefer to roast some greens like broccoli or green beans with the fish instead, by all means go ahead! I’ve made this dish quite a few times and I like to alternate between potatoes and asparagus to mix things up ūüôā

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Look at those potatoes though! You gotta try this!

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Oven Baked Salmon and Roasted Red Potatoes                                                     Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon fillets, bones removed
  • 4-6 red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp creole seasoning, divided
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized glass bowl  add 1/2 tbsp olive oil, red potatoes, and 1 tsp of creole seasoning. Using a spatula or a spoon, stir in the seasonings with the red potatoes until evenly covered.
  3. Spread the potatoes in one layer over a foil covered baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Place potatoes in oven for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
  4. As the potatoes roast, prepare the salmon. In the same glass bowl add the fillets, cayenne pepper, and remaining olive oil and creole seasoning. Coat evenly, add more seasoning if you prefer.
  5. Once the potatoes are done roasting for 20 minutes, remove from the oven. Make room on the foil for the salmon. Nestle the salmon between potatoes. Add sliced lemon on top of the salmon for a lovely fresh finish.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until salmon is flaky. Once the fish is cooked then plate up and dig in!

Easy Flatbread Pizza

So this weekend I attempted to make a recipe I have never made before. It turned out to be a disaster! Probably because I didn’t have all the necessary equipment and also because I rushed myself a bit. But we learn from mistakes right? Next week I promise to post something extra yummy!

For now, I thought I’d share this lovely and easy dinner meal for you all. All it takes is a few of your favorite pizza ingredients and in less than 10 minutes, you’ll have a tasty dinner prepared!

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Easy Flatbread Pizza                                                          Yields Six Flatbread Pizzas

*Ingredients:

1 package of Flat Out Bread, flatbreads (or any other flatbread brand)

4 tomatoes, sliced

8oz Mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2-4oz of cooked chicken, chopped

1/4 cup of basil, shredded

1 tbsp of olive oil, divided

A splash of balsamic vinegar

*These ingredients are a personal preference, feel free to add whatever you’d like to your flatbread!

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small skillet, heat up olive oil 1/2 tbsp of olive oil on the stovetop. Once olive oil is hot, then add sliced mushrooms. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have shrunk and browned.
  3. As the mushrooms are browning, prepare the flatbreads. Place two flatbreads on a greased baking sheet (that’s all I could fit on mine at a time). With the remaining olive oil, brush the oil on the flatbreads.
  4. Once mushrooms are done, turn off the stovetop. Layer your chosen ingredients on your oiled flatbreads. Start with sliced tomatoes, followed by a handful of mushrooms over each flatbread. Then add chicken, minced garlic and shredded basil.
  5. Place flatbreads in the oven for 6-7 minutes, depending on desired crispiness of the flatbread. 6 minutes is recommended.
  6. Take out of oven and immediately on a plate. Splash some balsamic vinegar on top if desired. Feel free to add crushed red peppers, oregano, or any other seasoning you’d like!

Chicken with Mushrooms

Okay so this recipe has Arianna’s three C’s of cooking (that I made up, these rules don’t actually exist). All recipes should be:

  • Clear
  • Creative
  • Completely delicious

If you come across a recipe with the three C’s, then you’re in for a delicious ride. Before I go into this recipe you might ask, why the heck are clear and creative listed as rules for a great recipe?

Well, it’s simple. Recipes should be clear; not literally transparent, but clear in regards to how they’re laid out. An ineffective recipe will not have easy instructions to follow and the end will end up being a DISASTER.

Anyways, back to the food…

This dish is a one pot meal and super easy to make; the moist juicy chicken really compliments the tender mushrooms. It’s one of my go to weekday meals. Try it for yourself!

Below is a step by step process of how to make Chicken with Mushrooms:

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Step One: Gather ingredients

For this recipe bone-in chicken thighs are the best choice. They have a great meaty taste that holds up well with the mushrooms.

Once all the ingredients are gathered, it’s time to start cooking! Set your oven at 400 degrees F and heat a skillet over medium-high heat with oil. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add them to your heated skillet.

 

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Step Two:Season and Brown that Poultry!

Let the chicken brown for 5 minutes on each side, skin side down first. Add sliced mushrooms once the chicken is flipped.

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Step Three: Put the Chicken into the Oven

Once the chicken has been browned on each side for 5 minutes, add the skillet to the preheated oven for 19-21 minutes, until the chicken has reached 165 degrees internal temperature.

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Step Four: Chicken is Ready!

Once the chicken is cooked through, transfer to an aluminum “tent” to keep the chicken warm while the mushroom sauce is being prepared.

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Chicken “Tent”

Step Five: Add minced garlic, water, and a splash of balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms to make a sauce to add on top of your chicken.

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Step Six: Create the Mushroom Sauce

Let the sauce simmer for about 3-5 minutes, until thickened. Add butter during the 30 seconds and stir constantly.  Add juices from your chicken tent for extra flavor in your sauce.

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Step Seven: Enjoy!

Chicken with Mushrooms                                                                                  Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2-2.5lbs of bone-in chicken thighs
  • 8 oz of white mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized skillet, place on stove top and heat up oil at a medium high heat.While the skillet is heating up, season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Once skillet is ready, place seasoned chicken skin side down for five minutes to brown. Then flip chicken over, adding sliced mushrooms, to brown for an additional five minutes.
  4. Remove from the stove top and transfer to preheated oven.
  5. Cook for 19-21 minutes until juices run clear and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  6. Remove from oven and place the skillet back on the stove top. (Be careful not to burn your hands! Remember the skillet was in the oven!)
  7. Remove chicken from the skillet and place in an aluminum foil tent to keep warm.
  8. Add minced garlic, water, and balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly. Add butter and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  9. Turn off stove top.
  10. Take the aluminum foil tent and pour the chicken juices, which have accumulated in the tent, into the sauce.
  11. Stir until the juices and butter have combined.
  12. The sauce is ready to go atop your chicken! Enjoy!