Just in case you don't think there is any rhyme or reason to this dinner blog, here it is: It's a rotating week. Monday Beat the Blues Comfort Food; Tempting Tuesday; Casserole Wednesday; Tasty Thursday; Featured Friday (where I feature a special person and their recipe); Saturday Side Dish; Sunday Soups/Scoops/Specials. Each week I'll be blogging on a different day, so there's something new about every eight days.

NOTE: This blog will be changing. Stay tuned for a new look and routine of when I will post.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Taking a Break

It's been a busy October and it's going to be an even busier November, so I am taking a break from posting any new recipes. I'll check back in at the end of the month. But don't forget to check out my regular blog: Present Letters.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beef & Barley Soup

The other day when I was making Pepper Steak, I had used extra meat from a nice beef tenderloin. I buy whole tenderloins and cut it into filet mignon’s as it’s so much cheaper that way. You have to do a little bit of extra work, but… hey why not? I can’t throw the scraps away—I say scraps because they aren’t filets, just hunks of meat. I save them for stew or soups. A few of the bigger nicer hunks I used in the Pepper Steak.

For the soup, I took the smaller pieces with a little fat, threw them in a pot with some butter until the meat browned.

I added some water to fill the pot, 1 cup of barley and simmered it. Seems like it needed something else, so I chopped up a big onion

(and saved half of it for Beef Stroganoff that I plan on making later). I added half the onion, sprinkled in some garlic powder and poured a little Kitchen Bouquet in for some added color and flavor. It still needed something, so I added a package of Grilled Portabella and Onion soup mix. I was going to have it for lunch, but it was so beefy, I dumped it into the Beef & Barley.


Rating & Type: E/B

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spinach Salad

Spinach salad may not be something you think about eating in October, but why not? Spinach salad is something you can create to your taste. I did another spinach salad in the spring with strawberries and nuts. But there’s something about the warm bacon dressing that makes it a real spinach salad, to me anyway.

I usually buy bottled bacon dressing that you can heat up and pour over your salad. This time I didn’t have any on hand and after having gone to two stores earlier, I didn’t want to go out again, so I decided to make some. I looked up some recipes—none which seemed right. There was only one that you warmed up, but I didn’t like the rest of it, so I combined what I liked and made my own.

Lynn’s Warm Bacon Dressing

6 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ c bacon crumbles
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped onion

I combined all the ingredients and cooked it on low until the ingredients blended nicely and I was ready to pour it over the salad.

I put the baby spinach leaves in a large bowl,

added portabella mushrooms, 2 hard boiled eggs,

roasted pecans (I sautéed them in a little butter),

and some more bacon crumbles. I added the dressing and mixed well. This was one of the most tastiest spinach salads I’ve had and my husband agreed.

Another thing I decided to do next time I make this is to use real bacon replacing the bacon grease with the olive oil. I think Trader Joe’s apple smoked bacon would make a nice addition to this recipe.

Spinach leaves

Rating & Type: EE/V or P