Saturday, January 30, 2010

Asian-Style Pepper Steak: Take Out Fake Out

Joe picked up some London Broil the other day after seeing a really good price in the Acme sale ad.  I was trying to decide what to make using one of the packs of meat and I decided on Pepper Steak.  Instead of using my recipe, I decided to try my friend Lisa's recipe

But true to my usual form, I didn't follow her recipe completely!  Mainly, due to the fact that I didn't have all of the ingredients.  Plus, she makes her recipe in the crock pot.   I didn't have much luck using the crock pot for Pepper Steak in the past, so I used my dutch oven on the stove.  Other than that, I didn't stray from the original recipe TOO MUCH! 

You'll want to check out Lisa's recipe if you plan on using the crock pot to prepare this meal.

Here's my version of Lisa's Asian-Style Pepper Steak: 

Asian-Style Pepper Steak

  • 1-2 lbs. London Broil, diced
  • A-1 Steak Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp.  sesame oil 
  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 4 Tbsp.  Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce*
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1-2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • Marinate diced meat in A-1 Steak Sauce, overnight. 
  • Remove meat from marinade with a slotted spoon and add to hot olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven with the cayenne pepper and salt and pepper, over medium high heat to brown the meat.  
  • Mix the bouillon granules with the boiling water and add to the pot along with the the remaining ingredients. 
  • Bring to boil. 
  • Cover and reduce heat. 
  • Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes to a half hour. 
  • Add peppers and oinons, continue to simmer until veggies are tender.
  • Serve over your favorite white or brown rice. 
*I didn't realize we were out of soy sauce.  After searching for substitutions, I found an easy solution to my problem on  I found out that for a 1/2 cup of soy sauce, you can mix 4 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce with 1 Tbsp. of water.  Since I only needed 1/4 cup, I cut that in half.  I didn't miss the soy sauce at all! 

This dish was excellent!  I may never switch back to my recipe again! 

As it was cooking, I tasted the sauce to see if it was tasting like I thought it should taste.  I was so tempted to call Joe and ask him to pick up egg rolls on his way home from work.  I resisted!  But I'll be buying some frozen egg rolls from Costco or Trader Joe's to keep in the freezer just for this meal! 

I served this over white minute rice with a some steamed broccoli on the side.  I really enjoyed this Asian-inspired meal.  I think I will make this often when I crave take-out but can't fit it in the budget.  It's a very frugal meal if you manage to get a decent sale on the meat.

This post is linked to Taste the World hosted by Alison at Hospitality Haven. 
Click the button below to find more Chinese inspired meals. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rice-A-Roni Fake Out

While taking stock of my pantry, I found 3 bags of fine egg noodles.  I didn't even realize they there!  I don't use them and I didn't buy them!  Sometimes Joe does the food shopping and odd things like this end up in our pantry! 

I made chicken noodle soup the other night and included some of the fine noodles instead of the heartier noodles that I prefer.  I was shocked at the small amount that was needed from the bag!  Still had more than half a bag left and 2 more full bags in the pantry!  I'll never use them up! 

I saw a recipe on the package for Pasta Rice Pilaf.  After checking to see if I had all the ingredients, I planned this for dinner the next night! 

I am known to be product loyal with some things.  For instance, Acme's knock off of Bush's beans are awful!   Other things, I love buying the store brand in order to save some money.  Giant brand of Raisin Brand is just like Kellogg's Raisin Bran.  (Before that  discovery, I could only eat Kellogg's Raisin Bran...see, I'm product loyal.)

I was super-surpised and thrilled with this recipe!  Not only did it taste better than beef-flavored Rice-A-Roni, it was easy, made larger serving sizes and I am sure WAY cheaper!!!!  (I don't have a price break down at the moment.) 

So, here's the recipe: 

Pasta Rice Pilaf


  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice

  • 1/2 cup fine egg noodles

  • 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine

  • 2 3/4 cups water

  • 2 Tbsp. dried minced onion

  • 4 tsp. beef flavor bouillon granules

  • chopped fresh parsley, optional 

  • In large skillet, cook rice and noodles in melted butter or margarine, stirring frequently until rice and noodles are lightly browned.

  • Add water, onion and bouillon granules.

  • Bring to boil.

  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes until rice and noodles are tender.

  • Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

I served this with grilled London Broil and steamed broccoli. 

This recipe makes 4 hearty portions.  Hubby and I have big appetites and usually when a recipe serves 4, we don't have any leftover.  I had plenty of rice to put away! 

I left off the fresh  parsley, since we didn't have it, and I'm not much for garnishes when it's just the two of us for dinner. 

The recipe calls for beef bouillon, but I cannot wait to try it with chicken bouillon next time! 

Also, the recipe calls for the fine egg noodles, but I'm sure this would work great using the broken spaghetti, angel hair or vermicelli bits left at the bottom of the boxes.  Save them up and use them for this recipe!  I also think that orzo pasta would be a great match too!  We always have a 1/2 a box or so left in the pantry! 

This post is linked to Food On Fridays

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

We do a lot of visiting over Christmas and New Years. I planned making some Cranberry Walnut Fudge and baking a few Gooey Butter Cakes to take to the homes we were visiting.

My friend Lisa posted a recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies that I just had to try! I had all of the ingredients so I made a double batch and took a half a batch to each house for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day.

When I first saw her recipe, I immediately wondered how great a chocolate version would be! I found out on New Year's Eve, when I made a batch of each! YUM!!!!!

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies


  • chocolate cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • powdered sugar


  • Add cake mix, egg, cream cheese and butter in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  • Chill over night (or at least 4 hours)
  • Roll into balls to desired size.
  • Roll in powdered sugar.
  • Bake at 350* for 9-12 minutes.

I plan on making these, using Lemon cake mix for Easter.