Black Pepper Beef Filet with Horseradish Cream

We’ve been eating dinner outdoors nearly every evening – now that the spring rains have let up – making the most of June weather, with its light breezes and warm temperatures.

The intense heat and humidity is starting, but I’ve still been able to turn on the oven to bake a rhubarb galette or roast a slab of beef and not cook us completely out of house and home.

Today’s recipe is a fantastic do-ahead main dish for a weekend picnic, backyard gathering or a Father’s Day spread this coming Sunday. Just pair it with a salad or tray of roasted asparagus and call it lunch.

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Veal Pot Roast with Root Vegetables (slow cooker)

Mid-winter is my preferred season to haul out the slow cooker. The weather is frigid, requiring heartier dinner fare to make up for all the energy we spend trying to stay warm.

Yesterday’s Sunday dinner was a slow cooked veal roast, seasoned with orange zest and surrounded by an assortment of root vegetables. To say it ‘hit the spot’ after a mainly meatless week of meals would be an understatement.

It spurred us on to bundle up in toques and scarves and spend an afternoon ice skating. The city maintains a winding skating area along the river’s edge around this time of the year and it winds and bends with views of the snowy island directly opposite. It was the perfect opportunity to let go of the stress of the week and gather fortitude for another seven days. [Read more…]

Sunday Dinner: Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves

TOMATO-GLAZED MINI MEATLOAVES ON simplebites.net

Before you scoff at the concept of individual meatloaves, consider the facts:

  • The cooking time is about forty minutes shorter than roasting a traditional loaf, making these an ideal main dish for a quick weeknight dinner.
  • Or a Sunday dinner, when you’re up to your ears doing life, but still want to sit down together, civilized-like, at least once on the weekend.
  • More surface area for the tennis ball-sized meatloaves means more delicious crust to enjoy and more room for the glaze to drip down and caramelize on the pan.
  • There’s also no awkward sawing of a loaf made from meat; the single serving meatloaves spoon up easily in tidy portions.

Sunday Dinner: mini tomato-glazed meatloaf

I served these Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves yesterday for a very simple Sunday dinner, with a smattering of roasted mushrooms to accompany them. A humble baked potato made up our super simple side dish, and a bowl of Stir-fried Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Bacon & Parmesan rounded out the meal. There were no complaints. Did I mention there was Dark Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake for dessert?

They would have also been brilliant with fluffy buttermilk mashed potatoes, or browned butter whipped sweet potatoes; I have a feeling we’re going to be trying out one of those combinations before too long.

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Favorite fall recipe: Slow-cooker {lazy} cabbage rolls with brown rice & herbs

Scarcely two weeks ago I wrote of clutching tightly to summer, but over the past few days, I’ve relinquished my grip, and admitted to spotting yellow-tinged leaves among the trees lining our lane.

At the markets, I can feel my excitement growing over the pallets laden with magnificent new squash of all varieties, and may have been caught snapping iPhone photos of a particularly attractive stalk of brussels sprouts. Obviously, fall is getting into my head.

I’ve trading shorts for leggings, wrapped an orange scarf around my neck, and donned my favorite mid-season gray jacket. Thus bundled yesterday, I joined the family for a Sunday walk along the river where the boys dashed here and there among the tall oaks, stuffing their pockets with fallen acorns and collecting brilliant yellow poplar leaves. The cool sting of the wind on my temples was revitalizing; a much needed stimulant for my groggy mind.

The combination of a week of rainy weather and an dramatic political sequence of events, not to mention kissing both my boys off to school, has left me tired and melancholy, looking to comfort food for a lift. The daily table d’hôte of summer salads and berrylicious desserts has been swiftly replaced with roasted root vegetables and bowls of steaming, creamy polenta.

To help pick me up further last week, I pulverized cinnamon and cardamom seed together to add to brown rice and coconut milk for a rich, spiced rice pudding that we ate by the bowlfuls, topped with the last peaches of the season. Then pale green heads of cabbage, firm to the touch and frugal to the pocketbook, caught my eye at the market. One handsome noggin made its way into my kitchen, and, not long after, into my slow-cooker for a simple, and utterly satisfying dinner.

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Grilling a Steak for Dad and 3 Steak Seasonings

Written by Shaina of Food for My Family.

In our home the grill is generally dominated by my husband. He cleans it, maintains it, claims it as his own. When I want something done out there, I usually just set it on the table and he’ll head outside to light the grill without a word passing between us. This is definitely his territory.

Still, there are times when he works late, when business trips interfere with my meal planning prowess, and when I am the one in charge of the outdoor cooking as well. (Truthfully, there are also times when we simply disagree on the method and final desired product, too. Such is the life of two people with strong opinions about the food they prepare and eat.) It’s those times that it’s important for me to know my way around the outdoor kitchen just as I know my way around the indoor one.

Of course, I may just want to surprise my husband or my dad or my father-in-law with a perfectly grilled steak for Father’s Day, too.
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