Spicy Beef Empanadas

Spicy Beef Empanadas 2

You don’t have to grow up eating the food of a particular culture to be good at cooking that food.  Bobby Flay is a White Irish man from New York, but no one is doubting his Southwestern flavor skills.  My Korean Mom made the best spaghetti sauce I’ve ever tasted, so… yeah, weird.  So, this half Korean/half Redneck girl is going to take you with her on an Empanada Adventure.

I don’t have some really cool empanada food memory to share.  Something about standing on a stool in my Abuela’s kitchen while she made empanadas for a family meal.  That scenario is pretty much genetically impossible for me.  I have, however, seen empanadas made on Food Network and The Cooking Channel quite often, and thought they looked amazing.  What’s not to love?  A crispy and flaky crust filled with well seasoned meat and vegetables.  Uh, yum!  I also used to pass an empanada food truck every day on my way to work at the Book Behemoth and stopped to try one once.  It was deep fried, kinda greasy, and very light on the filling.  That’s not what I saw on TV.  So I did what I do.  I researched, I planned, and I experimented until I created a pretty darn good empanada!  I don’t know if your Abuela would find it authentic, but there weren’t any left after everyone took their fill, so it must be good! (Read more…)

Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes 2

I love a mini food.  Mini tacos, mini pies, mini cupcakes, they’re all great.  And now I know that I love mini pineapple upside-down cakes.  Look at these tiny babies.  They were actually a special order from my son-in-law.  I sent out a group text to the family for what should go on my empty cake stand and he sent me a pineapple GIF in response.   Since actually creating a pineapple is a bit beyond my amazing culinary powers, I assumed he meant pineapple upside-down cake.  Message received.  I could have made a full cake and sent him a slice or two, but to miss the opportunity to make a mini version of something?  I don’t think so. (Read more…)

Maple Mustard Glazed Bratwurst

maple mustard bratwurst

It’s finally Fall!  Or Autumn.  Depending on where you are in the English speaking world.  That means the official return of Sheet Pan Supper season!  When I worked at the Book Behemoth my hours were crazy.  I might open one day, close the next, work a mid-shift, or worst of all be subjected to the dreaded CLOPEN!  That’s when you close the store and get home around midnight and have to turn around and open the store at eight the next morning 😴.  Besides never seeing my family,  I worried over what they would eat.  Yeah, The Boy is a grown up, but Daughter #3 was still in college and not around to enforce human eating patterns.  Left to his own devices, The Boy would just eat cold pizza or leftovers over the sink like some kind of beast.  So, enter the sheet pan supper!  I prepare it the day before and leave a sticky note with baking instructions on top.

My maple mustard bratwurst with Fall vegetables is a favorite.  It can be made ahead, everything cooks at the same time, and there’s no need to add anything else.  Just bake and eat.  How easy is that? (Read more..)

Beef Barley Soup

Beef Barley Soup with Milk Bread Roll

I’m so glad cooler weather has finally arrived!  I mean, I don’t really pay attention to seasonal rules regarding when to cook something, but I suppose Fall is the socially accepted time to present soup to a wider audience.  Soup is a universally loved meal.  It warms hearts and bellies and, don’t tell anyone, but, it’s really, really, easy to make.  My beef barley soup is a great example.  Made with leftover beef from my Italian Pot Roast, it’s ready in less than an hour and will satisfy even the hungriest person you know  (Read more…)

Italian Pot Roast with Polenta

Italian Pot Roast with Polenta

One of the first meals I remember The Boy’s mother cooking for me was Braciole.  And yes, I capitalized the word Braciole on purpose.  He speaks of the dish with an almost religious reverance, so it seems fitting.   It’s essentially thin slices of beef, rolled around herbs and cheese,  tied up with string or skewered with a toothpick,  quickly seared, and then slowly simmered in “gravy” (Jersey Italian for red sauce).  My now Mother-In-Law hasn’t made that dish in years, but even so, I don’t think I’ll ever try to make it for The Boy.  A girl just doesn’t put her food up for comparison with the one dish he most remembers his mother making.  But this Italian pot roast is as close as I’ll ever come to the Legend of the Braciole. (Read more…)

Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich (Chick-fil-A My Way )

This is just a food blog.  I love to cook food, eat food and share food.  I always have and I always will.  For instance,  I love a good crispy chicken sandwich.  In particular, I have always loved the crispy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A.  It’s a little sweet, delightfully crunchy, and just plain delicious.  But there are things going on that make it difficult for some people to buy a Chick-fil-A sandwich.  Maybe it’s really far away.  Maybe your only day off is Sunday and they’re closed on Sundays.  Maybe you and Chick-fil-A have a huge difference of opinion on who does and who does not deserve to eat chicken sandwiches.  Among other things.  Hmm.  Again, this is just food blog.  I believe I want a good crispy chicken sandwich and I believe I’ll make it myself.  Because that’s what I believe in.  A darn good chicken sandwich, any day of the week, with anyone I darn well want to eat it with.  You wanna have one too? (Read more…)

Hawaiian Pizza

hawaiian pizza 2

I’ve entered the controversy of whether pineapple and ham belong on a pizza and come down firmly on the right side of the argument.  Hawaiian Pizza is a legitimate pizza!  If The Pioneer Woman can make dessert pizza (which sounds amazing, by the way) and get away with it, then we can make a pineapple and ham pizza with all the confidence in the world! (Read more…)

Soft and Fluffy Milk Bread Rolls

milk bread rolls

Allow me to apologize for presenting you with a picture of my milk bread rolls with a conspicuously missing piece.  It was just that delicious.  We literally couldn’t wait the 10 seconds it would take to set up a photo without tearing into a hot roll.  So hot that we had to dog-pant eat it.

I was at HMart (a Korean Supermarket) a few weeks ago and saw something called “milk bread”, also known as Hokkaido in Japan.  It’s apparently a super trendy bread, but all I know is it looked so soft and fluffy and I wanted to eat all of it.  So, I decided to make some of my own.  Because duh.  (Read more…)

Smoked Salmon “Everything Bagel” Frittata

smoked salmon frittata

For an Italian guy from the Jersey Shore, The Boy sure loves bagels with lox.  An everything bagel, schmeared with cream cheese,  tomato, sliced red onion, and topped with thin slices of lox and briny capers makes him giddy (he doesn’t really do giddy, but picturing it makes me giggle).   I decided to capture this odd love affair in…  A frittata!  (Read more…)

Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

cream filled chocolate cupcakes top view

Were you one of those kids who loved Hostess Cupcakes?  You know the ones, the dark chocolate cupcakes with that yummy white cream filling and the adorable white squiggle on top?  Maybe your mom even put one in your lunchbox from time to time.  Maybe you didn’t have a Korean mom who put things (dried things with tentacles) in your lunchbox that no one in their right mind would ever trade for a delicious cream filled chocolate cupcake.   Okay, that spiraled quickly.  That’s a therapy moment.  Anyway!  Who likes chocolate cream-filled cupcakes? Raise your hand!  I can’t see you, this is the Interweb.  Put your hand down, weirdo.  Let’s go make some cupcakes!! (Read more…)