Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Beef & Rice Bowl

I think we’ve all got one of those go-to recipes – the kind where you always have all the ingredients on hand, doesn’t take long to cook and doesn’t take a lot of effort to put together. Not counting boxed dinners (hellooooo tacos!), this is mine. I literally don’t have a recipe for it, and it doesn’t really need one…but I wrote one up anyway! Next time you’ve got some odds and ends kicking around in the vegetable drawer, grab some rice and some ground beef – you’ve got dinner!

the lineup

the lineup

Here’s what you need – change it up however you like! Grab your favourite veggies and spices, anything goes in this recipe.

chop it up

chop it up

Chop the veggies in a pretty small dice. I just got a new knife, I’m getting better…haha.

start your rice

start your rice

Depending on how far you want to stretch your dinner, make 1 to 2 cups of rice. I think 1 cup works the best, and it should give you about 4 servings.

fry time

fry time

Once the rice is on, start frying up your beef. Don’t be like me and forget to add your spices…yeah. I generally like to add them after the meat just starts to brown up a bit, but do what you like. This time I forgot them until the very end, which kind of sucked. :|

throw the veggies in

throw the veggies in

After the meat is about halfway browned, add your veggies. You might want to add the onion and garlic first to soften it up, and add the rest later to keep them crisp. Personally, I like everything to be about the same consistency on this one, so I just add everything at once. See? I said this recipe was super flexible!

almost there

almost there

Once your rice is done, take it off the heat and let it stand for a few minutes, while the beef cooks the rest of the way. I don’t screw around with ground beef – cook it well, every time! Oh – and hopefully you manage your rice better than I do…mine boiled over more than once, haha. Once everything’s ready, throw the beef mixture into the pot with the rice, and mix well!

yeah, you probably don't want to serve this when company's coming over

yeah, you probably don't want to serve this when company's coming over

That’s it! If you’ve got some parsley, chop it up and throw it on to try and make this look a little fancier. So it doesn’t look all that exciting, but trust me – it tastes good, it’s pretty healthy, and it reheats perfectly when you take it to work for lunch. Not bad! By the way – a little soy sauce is great on it too!

Want the recipe?


1 tbsp olive oil
1lb lean ground beef
1-2 cups chopped veggies, such as onion, peppers, broccoli, carrots, etc.
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup rice (uncooked)
Italian seasoning (1-2 tsp or to taste)
seasoning salt (1 tsp or to taste)
crushed red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp or to taste)
fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Cook rice according to package directions.
2. While rice is cooking, heat olive oil in frying pan, and cook ground beef for about 3 minutes.
3. Add chopped vegetables, garlic, and spices to beef. Stir often and continue cooking until beef is fully browned and cooked through.
4. When rice is cooked, remove from heat and add beef and vegetable mixture to the pot and mix thoroughly.
5. Sprinkle with parsley and soy sauce to serve.

Well, these were a hit! They’re on the make-again list. They’ve been disappearing from the cookie box (haha so much for a jar, I keep my cookies in a tupperware tub…oh dear), I ate them for breakfast one weekend (they have oatmeal in them, it counts), and luckily my friend dropped by for a tea after work the day I made them, and she gives them a thumbs up too!

looks like cookies

looks like cookies

On the list today…I don’t like walnuts in cookies (I know, I know), so I used pecans! They were great in this one.

yum

yum

My favourite part of a cookie…you could almost catch me with this bowl and a spoon in front of the TV. Oh wait, that’s sad. Where was I? Oh yeah, get a mixer and beat this together until smooth. You know the drill.

the glorious mess of baking...not

the glorious mess of baking...not

Once that’s done, whisk together your dry ingridents in a sepearate bowl. Incidentally, I was going to shoot this shot as a closeup to avoid showing the explosion of baking supplies across my counter. Then I thought, who am I kidding? Who is perfect and doesn’t spill a thing while baking? If you’re not making a mess, you’re not doing it right.

time for oatmeal

time for oatmeal

Once your dry/wet has been combined, add your oatmeal. This recipe called for THREE cups of oatmeal. I decided after two cups that I was done mixing – my arm hurt. Plus, I didn’t want the cookies to get too heavy.

now that's cookie batter

now that's cookie batter

Another reason to go with two cups oatmeal! Here’s what happened after I got the chocolate chips and pecans in…

i like my cookies big

i like my cookies big

Yes, slightly bigger than your average “drop by teaspoon”, and I also took a minute to shape these just a little so they came out with nice edges.

done and done!

done and done!

Hey, they turned out perfectly and didn’t even touch! Not bad, not bad. No pretty picture of these stacked up all nice…remember the tupperware? Yeah, not so picturesque. Plus they just got eaten right away anyways.

Recipe from allrecipes.com, with a couple slight changes included.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl and stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, pecans, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake for 15 minutes (about 12 if your cookies are smaller than mine) in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

What’s On This Week

First up, Parmesan Chicken. Not quite the Chicken Parm that I originally went Googling for (you know, the one with pasta sauce and mozzarella), but this one looks realllllly good. I haven’t decided what side will go with this one though. Maybe some kind of noodles? Salad?

And even though I haven’t found a lot of casserole dishes that I really like (anyone got a favourite?), I’m going to give this Hamburger-Macaroni-Cheese one a try. Seems simple enough!

I’ve often thought about doing Sweet & Sour Pork, but I’m never in the mood for something that sweet. This week though, I’ll do it! Will probably just do rice on the side.

And since last week’s cookies are almost gone, I’m going to try these – Toasted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies. If I had any flour in the house, I’d be making these right now instead of writing this post!

I think potatoes are my favourite side. I could eat them with almost any dinner! I especially love roasted potatoes…and while these were good, and I might make them again – I am still on the hunt for the perfect recipe. I also need to work on my execution of course, but these just didn’t turn out crispy and fluffy for me. Too much oil? In the oven too long? Just not sure – but at least the flavour was great, so I’ll share the recipe with you! The chicken turned out pretty well too!

Let’s start with the potatoes.

starring tonight...

starring tonight...

Not much going on here, but potatoes don’t need much help! I used really rich, yellow-flesh potatoes, and I’m wondering if that might be why they didn’t turn out nice and fluffy. Regular baking potatoes usually work pretty well, but I do like the flavour of these baby ones. (Plus they were starting to go bad and I had to use them up, haha…)

chop them up

chop them up

Give the potatoes a quick chop – I did halves or quarters on these little ones. Keep the pieces roughly the same size, and they’ll all bake up nicely at the same time.

ready to go

ready to go

Toss them with the oil in a baking dish, then add the other ingredients and do a second toss. I like to make sure I get everything evenly distributed. Then get the dish in the oven, and start on the chicken!

getting ready

getting ready

Pretty simple stuff with the chicken too. I don’t generally drink wine, so I don’t often have it on hand – but I do like to cook with it!

start browning

start browning

First, you’ll want to brown your chicken. I was rushing it, so I haven’t done a very good job here – you definitely want more colour on it than that!

measure up

measure up

I probably didn’t need a full cup, but the trouble with not drinking wine is that I hate to waste so much of a bottle just for one meal – and it doesn’t keep well either! So I tend to go overboard when I do use it, haha.

bubbles!!

bubbles!!

You’re using the wine here pretty much just to deglaze the pan – but personally, I use non-stick pans with a touch of oil or butter, so I don’t often have much left stuck to the pan when I’m done! Oh well. Go for it anyway!

everybody's in

Now we sit and wait…the hardest part at 7pm when you just want to eat already, haha. Make sure you give the poatoes several good stirs, especially if you’ve got them in a dish like this, not on a baking sheet. The more air that each side is exposed to, the crispier they get!

mmm potatoes

mmm potatoes

And they’re done! Now for the chicken…

chicken's ready

chicken's ready

Keep in mind, I flipped these twice. Each time I did so, I added a little more salt and pepper. I think that worked pretty well, but I would like to find a way to thicken up the wine and turn it into a nice glaze or sauce. It was very flavourful and tasted great – but you couldn’t spoon it over the chicken because it just ran all over the plate! I hate that, haha. So next time I do this, I’ll experiment on thickening the sauce and let you know if I have any success.

dinner is served

dinner is served

Have I reminded you lately that presentation is not my thing? It’s not. Besides, if I started fussing with the way the food LOOKED on the plate, I would never hear the end of it. The RT prefers to eat, not admire. Oh, and I’ll give you three guesses as to what’s on our wedding registry…yes, yes. Wine glasses. Lol!

And the recipes! Both came from cooks.com, and include my changes. I made temperature and time adjustments on each, so that I could bake them in the oven at the same time. If you do these seperately, you can do the chicken at 400 degrees, and the potatoes at 450!

Lemon Baked Chicken

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp thyme
4 tbsp lemon juice
(I like my lemon! Let’s be honest, I probably used more than 4 tbsp!)

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a frying pan, heat the butter and oil over moderately high heat and let it foam. Add the chicken when the foam subsides, and saute it, turning repeatedly until golden. Transfer to baking dish.

2. Add the wine and thyme to the pan and bring to boil. Scrape up any brown bits and pour over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon juice. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

3/4 lb. red and yellow potatoes
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
6 garlic cloves, or to taste
1 tsp rosemary

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut potatoes into halves or quarters, keeping the cuts about the same size.
2. Toss potatoes, garlic, oil and rosemary in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until potatoes are tender and crusty, stirring often, for about 45 minutes.

Vent

What a hassle. First, I got a new camera awhile ago – a Canon Rebel XSi. I love it more than any other camera I’ve ever used, and that’s saying something! It’s just that good. But – apparently, Photoshop CS3 doesn’t support it’s RAW files? WHAT?! Maybe there’s a workaround but I haven’t been able to find it. So, instead of editing photos and writing posts this week, I’ve been trying to get Photoshop to work with the files – then I tried to get Canon’s supplied software to work with them – then I had to update all those programs (which was a hassle, Canon seriously needs an automatic updater) and THEN finally I got to a point where I could view and export the RAW files as JPEGs. And of course, the export was a pretty slow process.

Normally I would just work in iPhoto, which is why I haven’t had a problem with RAW files yet – but I like how quickly I can get multiple photos done in Photoshop, which is good for the blog…but I didn’t see this coming! Oh well. I think I’ve got it all sorted out now.

What’s For Dinner?

Here’s something new I’m planning for the blog…each weekend I’m going to post “the menu”. I’ll be listing all the dinners and baking I plan to do during the week, and if the recipes are online (most of them are), I’ll link to them. So if you’re stuck for something to make, you can check my list for ideas! And if you make it, post a comment :) You can also expect to see most of these recipes as upcoming blog posts. Unless I make Hamburger Helper…and I might do that this week, haha (it was on sale, okay?!).

Up this week:

Lemon Baked Chicken Breasts with Oven Roasted Garlic Potatoes

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Fresh Tomato, Spinach, & Feta Pasta (From Company’s Coming Perfect Pasta and Sauce)

And as previously seen here at The Oven, Minestrone Soup For Dinner. I have the day off tomorrow, so while that stew is in the slow cooker, I can get the soup done (it’s a marathon job!).

…and some baking

Bacon and Cheddar Scones

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (these will make up for the epic fail-cookies I baked last week…)

Ugh

I broke my cast iron skillet (think it’s not possible? Oh, it is. I found a way). This new oven hates me a lot. I haven’t been cooking as much. I just baked some cookies last night which were a total failure. Even the Royal Taster won’t eat them.

I have been so uninspired lately. I have ground beef defrosting for tonight. I have no idea what to do with it. The most versatile ingredient ever…and I’m just going to throw it in a pot with some rice and sauteed onion & peppers. Then I’m going to put soy sauce on it and call it dinner.

Time to really get back to cooking. Time to seriously quit crashing on the couch after work and eating takeout. I was there last year, and I hated it, so I started this blog and really enjoyed cooking. Well, I just had to renew my domain…I paid for another year. Time to start using it for food posts, not just random posts sent out like a beacon…”I’m still here!”. No, now it’s time to go back to what I enjoy doing and start showing off the new kitchen, even if the oven does hate me.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.