Monday, August 21, 2017

Arugula Skirt Steak Salad with Caramelized Pears, Pecans, and Gorgonzola

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I love a flavorful salad and this one hits all the right notes. It’s combining the grilling season of summer with a touch of Fall that I long for!

The only change I made was grilling the steak rather than cooking in a pan.

Arugula Skirt Steak Salad with Caramelized Pears, Pecans, and Gorgonzola

(Adapted from Baker by Nature)


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For the Arugula Skirt Steak Salad with Caramelized Pears, Pecans, and Gorgonzola:

1 lb. skirt steak, excess fat trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper, for seasoning (about 1 teaspoon per side of steak)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large pears, cored and cut into medium-sized chunks

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3/4 cup chopped pecans

4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese

4 cups baby arugula, washed and patted dry


Heat a large skillet over a  medium-high flame; add olive oil to skillet. When oil begins to simmer (you can test this by carefully placing a drop of water in the pan; if it sizzles ferociously, it’s ready), place steak in skillet and let it cook for 5 minutes. Turn it and cook for another 4 minutes (5-6 if you want more medium than medium-rare). Transfer meat to a large cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Prepare the rest of your ingredients while it’s resting.

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Heat butter in a large skillet over mediu

m flame.

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Once melted add brown sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.

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Add pear chunks, stir, and then cook – stirring occasionally – for about 5 minutes, or just until the pears have released their juices and really softened up. With a slotted spoon (leaving behind as much sauce as possible) transfer pears to a clean plate.

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Add pecans to the same skillet the pears were cooked in (keeping the pear juices and caramel in the pan!), and toss them in the caramel, cooking over medium heat for just 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and working quickly transfer pecans to a plate covered in wax or parchment paper.

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Once steak has rested for 10 minutes, slice meat against the grain into 1” strips.

Scatter arugula onto a large serving dish or platter. Arrange steak strips across the top, then add pears, pecans, and gorgonzola evenly around the platter. Lightly dress with vinaigrette, and serve at once.

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For the Mustard Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Whisk all of the ingredients together. Season well with salt and pepper and adjust ingredients to taste.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Man Dip Appetizers

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I recently came across these dips in Walmart and decided it would make a quick short cut appetizer. Besides who doesn’t love a name like “man dip” when you’re serving it to a bunch of guys? Here’s the thing, the recipe works with any pre-made dip, however the man dip was extremely spicy! Hubby and I love spice, but man this gave some major heart burn. 

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I choose this one:

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“Man Dip” Fillo Cups

(Created by Finding Inspiration in Food)

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3 packages Mini Fillo Shells

1 container Man Dip Jalapeno Popper dip

Sweet chili sauce, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the mini fillo shells in a mini muffin tin or line onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Place a tablespoon of dip into each fillo shell.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes until the filling is warmed through. Serve with sweet chili sauce if desired.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Warm Salted Caramel Banana Pudding

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I love simple desserts that finish a meal without being too heavy. I also hate when making it on the spot I mess up! While trying to caramelize the sugar this happened:

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I started again and then got impatient and didn’t let it caramelize because I had wasted so much time on it. It still tasted really good, but I know if I wasn’t so tired and impatient it would have been even better. Here’s how it should look:

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If you don’t want to fuss with it I highly recommend making the pudding part. It’s amazing, plus it don’t make a ton!

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Warm Salted Caramel Banana Pudding

(Adapted from The Chopped Cookbook by Food Network)


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3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 1/4 cups milk

3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2 medium banana, sliced crosswise about 1/4 inch thick

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Make the pudding: Whisk 1/4 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch in a medium saucepan.

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Whisk in 1/4 cup of the milk and the egg yolks until smooth.

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Whisk in the remaining 2 cups milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring and scraping the bottom and corners of the pan often with a heatproof rubber spatula.

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Boil, stirring constantly, until thick, about 2 minutes.

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Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the butter.

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Divide the pudding among 4 glasses or dessert cups.

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Caramelize the bananas: Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons water in a medium skillet; stir to moisten all the sugar.

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Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the skillet so the sugar cooks evenly, until dark golden brown, 5-7 minutes.

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Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, the bananas, and salt and cook, stirring, until the bananas are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

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Serve: Spoon the bananas on top of the pudding and serve warm.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

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A friend of mine has made this for us before and we fell in love with it. It doesn’t get any easier than this, but I warn you go light on the salt, because it can get a little salty.

Here’s what I used, I think ours was little salty due to the chipotle sauce being a finer salt I should have used way less than the 1/2 tablespoon that I did with the tablespoon of sea salt.

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Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

(Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo)


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3 slices of bacon

5 pound Boston butt roast bone-in or out—it doesn’t matter)

1½ tablespoons of Alaea Red Hawaiian Coarse Sea Salt (or ~1 tablespoon of Alaea Red Hawaiian Fine Sea Salt)

5 peeled garlic cloves (optional)


Lined the slow cooker with 3 slices of bacon.

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Weigh the pork so I could estimate how much salt to use. I followed Judy Rodger’s rule of thumb: use ¾ teaspoon of medium-coarse salt for every 1 pound of meat. (Using fine salt? Use about half that amount.)

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Then, cut some slits into the meat and tucked in the garlic cloves and salted the pork all over.

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Place the roast on top of the bacon in the slow cooker , skin-side up.


Roast on low for about 16 hours. (Note: newer slow cookers are hotter and may only require 9-12 hours on the low setting.) Don’t add any liquid!


When the pork was finished cooking, remove the meat from the liquid and shredded it with two forks. Don’t just shred the meat in the cooking liquid—it’ll be too salty!

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