Taco Salad



I’m part of the website swap-bot. I participate in a lot of recipe swaps. Recently one of the swaps I participated in was called Send Me Some New Recipes. The swap required that you mail an envelope with at least 25 recipes in it, taken from anywhere. I sent recipes to my partners cut from magazines, handwritten from my personal collection, and printed from blogs online. One of the envelopes I received was a ton (25) recipes written on neon index cards. I added these to my recipe box collection, which has become significantly fuller since I started swap-bot.

This recipe was written on a neon green index card. This was a super easy recipe and was very delicious.

Taco Salad

1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp Penzey’s Bold Taco spice
3/4 cup water
10 cups romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup salad dressing of choice
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream, optional (also, guacamole could work!)


1. In a large skillet cook the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the taco spice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Stir in the ground beef. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the crushed chips. Serve with option sour cream or guacamole (or both!) on top.

* serves 5
* shared with Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, & #Foodie Friday

Braised Short Ribs In Tomatillo Sauce



The next country in my around-the-world adventure was Mexico. Though I make Mexican food frequently, I decided to search online for authentic Mexican recipes. My searching led me to Receta de Costillas de Res en Salsa Verde, or.. Braised Short Ribs In Tomatillo Sauce. Actually though, the literal translation is Beef Ribs Recipe for Green Salsa.

Anyway – I made the ribs and served it over tortilla chips. I don’t use tomatillos nearly as often as I should and every time I do, I’m always excited at how neat they are. If you’ve never had the opportunity to cook with tomatillos before, you should make yourself the opportunity now! And cook these ribs!

Braised Short Ribs in Tomatillo Sauce

2 lbs beef short ribs
1 1/2 lbs tomatillos, peeled
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste


1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs to the pot and brown on each side.  Add 1/2 cup of water and cover the pot with a lid. Cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours.

2. While the meat is cooking place a griddle over medium-high heat. Roast the tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeno until charred.

3 . Once the meat is cooked, add the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and some salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Remove 1/2 cup of the meat juice from the cooked ribs and add the juice to the food processor. Process everything in the food processor, until well combined and a sauce is formed.

4. Remove the ribs from the pot. Add the tomatillo salsa to the pan and cook for three minutes.

5. With two forks, remove the beef from the ribs, shredding it into pieces. Add the meat back into the pot with the salsa and cook for 3 more minutes.

* serves 6
* Shared with Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, & Catch A Glimpse Party

Spicy Asian Hamburger


Final number one is out of the way. I have three finals and a paper until I’ll no longer be a law student, but will start studying for the bar exam instead. I guess that’s still sort of a law student though, isn’t it? I probably should be studying for my exam for tomorrow, but I feel sort of brain dead after the one I had today.

On Sunday of this week I made this delicious hamburger. Infused with Asian flavors, this made such a great meal. And instead of serving it just with french fries, I roasted some asparagus as well and tossed the french fries and the asparagus in Argyle Street Asian Blend, which I had received from a Foodie Pen Pals some months back. And instead of ketchup for the fries, I mixed up some sriacha, mayonnaise,  and ketchup which also was the spread on the burger. Both the fries and the asparagus tasted good with the dip.

All in all, this was a very satisfying meal!

Spicy Asian Hamburger

1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
all-purpose flour (for dusting)
4 hamburger buns
2 green onions, roughly chopped
1 tomato, sliced
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp sriacha


1. In a large bowl combine the ground beef, garlic, ginger, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, and egg. Mix together with your hands. Shape the mixture into four patties and dust with flour.

2. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil. Once hot add the patties. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side.

3. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and sriacha.

4. Toast the buns. Spread each bun with some of the sriacha spread. Place a burger on each bun and top with tomato. Cover with other half of the bun.

* serves 4
* Shared with Kahakai Kitchen’s Souper Sundays, Wednesday Whatsits, Cast Party Wednesday, & The Busy Bees

Shepherd’s Pie



I love mashed potatoes and I love meat. Shepherd’s Pie is the best mix of both of them. And it even makes a way to get the veggies in. After I made this dish I read about someone using cauliflower mash in place of the potatoes. I’d love to make it like that in the future. Or with sweet potato mash. Or what other kind of mashes could I use in place of the potatoes?

Make your best suggestions!

Shepherd’s Pie

8 oz ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 lb white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
splash of milk
4 tbsp Brummel&Brown
1/4 cup beef broth
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes. Once they’re done, drain and mash together with some salt, milk, and 2 tbsp Brummel&Brown.

2. In a skillet melt the remaining Brummel&Brown. Saute the onions and frozen vegetables for 10 minutes.

3. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add the beef broth  and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Place the beef in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.

5. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

* serves 2
* shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Freedom Fridays, & Foodie Friday

Bacon Cheeseburger

IMG_8695This month the movie at Food ‘n Flix was How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, hosted by Squirrel Head Manor. I saw this movie a really long time ago (like 10 years ago or something.) I was skeptical when I saw it was the movie for Food ‘n Flix this month, because I definitely have never considered it a foodie flick.

While How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is definitely not a movie I would go running to see, I did find some food inspiration in it. And I did laugh at some of the chick flick humor that occupied me on a Saturday morning.

tumblr_m5gkc1jWxI1qmkv3kAndie Anderson writes an article for a magazine called “How To.” Benjamin Barry is an ad executive. Andie is tasked with writing a column, “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.” Benjamin is given the challenge to make a girl fall in love with them. The two find each other; Andie tries to lose him, Benjamin tries to make Andie love him. The whole thing is ridiculous.

But alas, I did make it through the movie. At one point, Andie in an attempt to scare Benjamin away is to pretend she’s a vegetarian after he makes her this fancy lamb dinner. And to add to it, she starts singing through her tears, “Mary had a little lamb.”

Earlier in the day though Andie devoured a bacon cheeseburger at work. My dish for Food ‘n Flix this month is inspired by Andie’s true carnivore, shown very well in the gif above.

Is this a movie I enjoyed?
No. Not really.
But it did let me a eat a hamburger and sometimes that’s all that matters.

But I don’t even know if I need to leave you with a recipe, because seriously, it’s a bacon cheeseburger. Here’s my simple directions:

1. Take ground beef and mix it with flavors for your burger (I used dried minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, egg, and garlic salt.) Make patties. Cook over a grill, in a skillet, in the broiler, or however you love your burgers. Melt cheese on top.

2. Make bacon.

3. Toast bun.

4. Place patty on bun. Top with bacon. Add whatever other toppings you like on your hamburger.

5. Stick it into your mouth and enjoy Andie style.

* Besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is also being linked to Tasteful Tuesday, Recipe Box, Tasty Tuesdays, & Tempt My Tummy Tuesday



COPIED: In-N-Out Burgers


Wow. I’m usually better about updating around these parts, but I just hadn’t been cooking anything recently that I deemed blog worthy. But last night landed me upon a keeper. I picked this recipe to participate in Chris’s Bloggers Around The World. Each month Chris picks a country that his readers are encouraged to cook a recipe from. Last month we went to Mexico. This month was the US.

The US is such a huge country. What is local cuisine here (California) is very different than the local cuisine of say, Georgia. Because of this I had a wide range of dishes I could have cooked from. Fried chicken? Barbecue? I have a ton of options.

I decided to reign it in though and go more locally. In-N-Out is a local hamburger chain. In-N-Out is only available in five states. And it has a tiny menu with a somewhat larger secret menu. The main/public menu has three options: hamburger, cheeseburger, and double-double (double meat, double cheese.) When I was little (and by little, I mean up to about age 18) I wouldn’t eat hamburgers. I hated them; I thought they were vile. But In-N-Out changed all of this and ever since I’ve loved hamburgers of all varieties.

Anyway, I thought this burger was the best way to represent the US for this month’s country.

The sauce isn’t quite right, but I think I did it justice. My burger was a lot bigger than the patties they use at In-N-Out. And Matt announced, “This is the best burger I’ve EVER had!”

Next time I make these I need to make fries… ANIMAL STYLE!

COPIED: In-N-Out Burgers

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp relish
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 lb ground beef
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 slices Velveta cheese
2 hamburger buns


1. Toast your hamburger buns and set aside.

2. In a bowl stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, and relish. Set aside.

3. In a cast iron skillet, grill the onion slices.

3. In a large bowl use your hands to combine the ground beef, egg yolk, and bread crumbs together. Spray a cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Form two patties with the ground beef mixture and cook in the skillet for 5 minutes per side.

4. After you’ve cooked the patties on both sides, top with a slice of cheese. Lower the heat and cover with a lid. Allow the cheese to melt.

5. Slather the sauce onto the buns. Place the bun in the burger. Garnish with the grilled onion. Add any lettuce and tomato as desired.

* serves 2
* besides Blogger’s Around The World, this recipe is shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Foodie FridayWeekend Potluck,  & Foodie Friday

Curry Chili over Noodles with Cheese

Chili + Noodles


This chili was actually supposed to be a homemade version of Cincinnati chili. However, as I was making the chili I realized I was all out of ground cumin! I use cumin a lot, so I just assumed I had some. I also didn’t have an onion. How does this happen? However, I was committed to having chili for dinner so I made some substitutes that changed this Cincinnati chili into some other delicious style chili. Maybe I’ll call it Elizabeth Chili. That’s easy enough. 🙂

I’m hoping that I eventually get paired up with a foodie pen pal in Cincinnati. Before I went to law school my dad and I drove cross-country to Ohio to help my cousin move into college. While we were there we packed the car with our favorite foods: goetta, bratwurst, barbecue sauce, Big Boy sauce, and a flat of cans of Skyline Chili. The chili almost made it through my 3 years of law school. But now that I’m out.. I need more. And it costs way too much to have it shipped from Skyline. If you’re reading this and you’re a foodie pen pal of mine, please send me Skyline Chili.

If you’re reading this and you’re going to be a foodie pen pal of mine and you don’t live in Cincinnati, you can also send me chili that’s local to you if there’s some special kind. The one thing is I can’t eat beans. I mean, I love beans. But I can’t eat them.

Now, if a future foodie pen pal of mine reads this or not, I’ll never know.
I just need to remember to tell March’s Foodie Pen Pal to send me chili.
I’m super excited for my next box though for February. I’m expecting it to be great.

In the mean time, I should keep experimenting with chilis. And hopefully I can eventually make this version with the correct ingredients. Though.. I clearly liked my version enough to share with you. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Curry Chili over Noodles with Cheese
(the base recipe)

1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
pinch cumin seeds
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz uncooked spaghetti noodles
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Brown the ground beef and garlic together in a deep pot. Drain the grease and add the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, chili powder, tomato sauce, curry powder, cumin seeds, allspice, cocoa powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for about a half hour, though the longer you simmer the better.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, drained.

4. Serve the chili on top of the noodles. Cover with cheese.

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Slow Cooker Machaca


Every Tuesday this semester it’s looking like I’m going to have to rely on my slow cooker. I work from 9 – 5 and then have class from 6:15-8:15. Wednesdays and Thursdays also have night classes, but I’ve been able to cook dinner at lunch time and just heat it up when I get home. This week’s slow cooker dinner was great and is going to make some lunches and breakfasts also.

This is absolutely not a traditional machaca preparation. Machaca typically is dried pork or beef which has been reconstituted. It can be used in a variety of dishes: tacos, flautas, burritos, con juevos, and more. I decided to serve this slow cooker version of the popular Mexican dish over a very Americanized Spanish rice.

My only issue was that I didn’t chop the chipotle peppers up enough. Whoops.

It also is nice that this month Cooking Around The World is cooking Mexican food. This dish is definitely getting shared!

Bloggers Around the World Logo

Slow Cooker Machaca

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 – 4 lbs chuck roast, cut into large pieces
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and minced
1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
4 cups beef broth
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin


1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Place the pieces of beef into the skillet, browning the outsides. Place the meat into the slow cooker.

2. In the same skillet, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. Add to the slow cooker.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

* serves about 12
* Besides Cooking round The World, this dish is being shared with Wednesday Whatsits & Cast Party Wednesday

Orange Peel Beef


I probably should have served this beef recipe with rice, but in the moment I didn’t consider it. I paired it with an Asian Asparagus and Orange Salad, which was good but not something I would add to my recipe cards. The beef on the other hand was absolutely something I would make over and over again. It was a simple recipe with very tasty results.

Orange Peel Beef

3/4 lb thinly sliced beef, cut into pieces
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, mined
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tbsp orange zest
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


1. In a large bowl combine the beef, 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp of sesame oil, and baking soda. Cover and refrigerate for about 3 hours.

2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet.  Stir in the garlic, ginger, orange zest, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic begins to brown, about 20 seconds. Add the beef, cooking until the beef begins to crisp and is no longer pink.

3. Whisk together the remaining soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, rice vinegar, the rest of the sesame oil, brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir into the beef and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 30 seconds.

* serves 2
* 303 calories per serving
* Shared with Mealtime Monday & Mix it up Monday

Slow Cooked Curried Beef

One thing I’m trying to do with my slow cooker meals is make two meals out of one. I don’t mean by that to eat the same meal two days in a row – I mean to make something different with the slow cooked recipe the second night. The last slow cooker meal I made didn’t make it to my blog because I forgot to take a picture – but it was lentil chili. The first night I ate it just as is. The second night I ate it as chili fries. I don’t like eating the same meal multiple nights in the row. It’s one of my quirks. But this a way where I can make use of a big meal over two days.

This is how my Mondays work:

– I wake up at 6 and sit on the couch for a little bit.
– I eat some breakfast.
– I prepare dinner in the crockpot.
– Around 10 a.m. I turn on the crockpot and I go to my Public International Law class until noon.
– I eat lunch in the Student Center.
– I go to back-to-back classes from 1:30-8:15.
– I come home and eat the slow cooked meal.

Tuesdays aren’t quite as crazy:

– I wake up at 6 and get ready for work.
– I work til noon.
– I eat lunch at the Student Center.
– I go to class from 1:30-3:30 and then 6:15-8:15.
– I reconfigure my crockpot meal.

From there my week is downhill and I can cook stuff not in the slow cooker.

Now, back to my curried beef meal. I should have taken a picture of it both nights, but I kind of was hungry when I got home from class tonight so I just chowed it down.

Day 1: Curried Beef over Rice
Day 2: Curried Beef Tacos

Slow Cooked Curried Beef

2 tsp canola oil
2 lbs beef short ribs, trimmed
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup green onions
3 tbsp garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp red curry paste
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce

1 cup cooked rice

4 flour tortillas
1/2 tomato, diced
2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp sour cream


1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Add half the ribs to the pan, cooking 2 minutes on each side. Place the ribs in a slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining ribs.

2. Add the green onions, garlic, and ginger to the pan, sauteing 2 minutes. Stir in the water and curry paste, cooking for 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce. Add this mixture to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

3. Remove the ribs from the slow cooker. Shred rib meat with 2 forks. Discard bones.

4. DAY 1 INSTRUCTIONS: Serve beef over 1/2 cup of rice.
DAY 2 INSTRUCTIONS: Reheat curried beef in oven set at 350 for about 20 minutes. Take two small tortillas. Spread with sour cream. Place beef on top of the sour cream. Top with diced tomatoes and feta.

* makes 6 servings of the beef, (DAY 1 & DAY 2 both make 2 serving portions)
DAY 1 CALORIES: 382 calories
DAY 2 CALORIES: 480 calories
* Shared with Tuesdays at the Table, Tasteful Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Recipe Box, & Delicious Dishes