Browsing articles from "March, 2011"
Mar 30, 2011

Recipe for: Carne Asada Tacos

From the kitchen of: Tyler Florence from Food Network

Carne Asada Tacos

I love me some Tyler Florence. One of my favorite chefs, Tyler is not your average Food Network cook. He’s more contemporary with his bold flavors and is very knowledgeable on several cuisines such as American, Italian and Tex-Mex. Looking through my arsenal of cooking websites and blogs, I found a recipe for Tacos Carne Asada from Tyler. There are three main pieces to this recipe, but you can certainly assemble the mojo and pico de gallo ahead of time. The only thing really left to do when you’re ready to cook is grill the steak! How easy is that? Believe me, it’s not a complicated recipe. The prep work pretty much involves a lot of chopping and mixing. The ingredients are so fresh and citrusy. This recipe is a keeper.

flat iron steak (or flank or steak)
mojo, recipe follows
pico de dallo, recipe follows
olive oil for grilling
salt + pepper
1 package of corn tortillas (if corn isn’t your favorite, use flour)
shredded romaine lettuce
shredded Jack cheese
2 limes, cut into wedges

1. Make the mojo.
The mojo is the marinade for the flat iron steak. Using a mortar and pestle (or improvise like I did with a regular bowl and the back end of a ice cream scooper), mash together garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper into a paste. Transfer paste in a plastic container and add lime juice, orange juice, vinegar and oil. Shake well to combine.

Ingredients for the mojo:
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 large handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon of salt + pepper
2 limes, juiced
1 orange, juiced
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

2. Marinate the flat iron steak. The recipe calls for flank or skirt steak, but none were available at Kroger, so I got the flat iron steak, which ended up being really juicy and delicious! Place the steak in a rimmed dish and pouring almost all of the marinade on the flat steak. Save about 1/4 cup for serving. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, more if impossible, but no more than 8 hours because it breaks up the fibers. I only marinated the steak for an hour, but I wish it was longer.

3. Make pico de gallo. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Mix thoroughly. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour for flavors to marry. This makes a lot, about 2 cups.

Ingredients for pico de gallo:
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt (taste to see if it would need more)

 4. Grill the steak. It’s still a little cold outside, so grilling the steak indoors is perfectly fine. I had a grill pan, which was perfect. Pre-heat the pan over medium-high. Add some olive oil to prevent sticking, about 2 tablespoons. Pull out steak from marinade and season with more salt and pepper. Once pan is nice and hot, place steak on the grill. Depending on thickness of steak, mine was fairly thick, it took about 10-12 minutes per side, turning once, to get the steak medium. If you use flank or skirt, it’s best when eaten medium-rare so it’ll take less time, about 7-9 minutes per side. Remove steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes for juices to settle. Thinly slice steak across the grain on a diagonal.

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Mar 29, 2011

Recipe for: 5-ingredient Pasta Alfredo

From the kitchen of: Isabel Canfield

5-ingredient Alfredo Pasta

I ran the Ukrop’s Monument Ave. 10k when I first moved to Richmond, back in 2006. I don’t know why I ran it, because I hate running. Jared loved running at the time, so maybe I just wanted to impress him. The night before the race, we filled our bellies with a hearty pasta dish at Robin Inn. Loading up on carbs the night before is what you’re supposed to do to have fuel for a race, so pasta is obviously a popular choice. I ran the race fairly well—not well-enough to tell you how long it took me to run—but it was an accomplishment. Since then, I don’t think I’ve put on my running shoes. Haha.

So, for all you runners out there running the 10k this Saturday, I’ve designed a super-easy pasta recipe for you to cook in less than 20 minutes. This beats the time you’d have to wait at a restaurant, since everyone and their mom will be out. With only five main ingredients, you’ll have a delicious, homemade pasta Alfredo. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 cups of heavy cream
2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 boxes of linguine pasta
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
salt+pepper to taste

1. Grate the Parmesan cheese. I bought a medium-size wedge of Parmesan at Kroger and used more than half of it to get two cups of grated Parmesan cheese. Grate a little more for the end to top off the pasta. Set aside.

5-ingredient Alfredo Pasta5-ingredient Alfredo Pasta

2. Boil the pasta. Fill a large pot about half full of water and add a tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta. The linguine takes about 9 to 11 minutes to cook al dente.

5-ingredient Alfredo Pasta

3. Start the cream mixture. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet at medium-low temp. Add the butter until it melts. Slowly add the cream, whisking constantly. Bring the cream mixture to a low simmer, never letting it boil. Add the nutmeg and continue whisking. Nutmeg makes the dish; do not leave this out. You can switch over to a rubber spatula and stir until the pasta is cooked.

5-ingredient Alfredo Pasta

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Mar 28, 2011

Shabby chic vintage bridal shower

I have something beautiful to share with you all especially for those who are planning a bridal shower this year. Jodi Miller, of Jodi Miller Photography, had one of the most creative and thoughtful bridal showers I’ve ever seen. It was like a wedding! No joke. Her bridal shower, planned by her sister and mom, was set outdoors on a warm summer afternoon in Southwest, Virginia. The shower was a team effort, but the decor was styled from her sister-in-law, Lynn of Sunshowers and Rainshine. Jodi incorporated a lot of her wedding details into the shower. She used the china they collected and the napkins, furniture, burlap and chalk boards they made for their wedding. I hope you enjoy the details in this bridal shower and use them for some inspiration.

How simple are those paper hearts? They were purchased from Paper Source and strung from trees that hung over the tables and guests. The tables were very simply decorated with touches of her style. Burlap was laid over a white tablecloth. White chairs were used. The table setting incorporated the shabby chic china, silverware, floral napkins and mason jars for glassware.

shabby chic vintage bridal shower

The flowers were all fresh from Jodi’s mom’s garden. I love the subtle colors in the arrangements with pops of purple and magenta. They also used turquoise mason jars and shabby chic tea kettle as vases. How creative!

shabby chic vintage bridal shower

A growing trend in DIY weddings is using furniture you would have your house. Jodi used a dresser drawer as the gift table. She made a “LOVE” banner tying in the blues and floral look.

shabby chic vintage bridal shower

shabby chic vintage bridal shower

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Mar 25, 2011

Burlap+Blue’s winner is…

Thank you ALL so much for participating in our second Pretty Tasty Things giveaway! A random number was selected from the number of eligible entries. #4 is the lucky number so congratulations to Amy for winning a $20 credit to Burlap+Blue’s Etsy Shop! I know you liked the French Scene Clock, so I hope you use the credit to purchase it and find a happy place for it in your home. Congratulations, Amy! I’ll be sending you an email very soon.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to doing absolutely nothing this weekend (except blogging). The only thing I’m hoping for is warmer weather. It’s suppose to be cold this weekend, blah. So stay warm! Hopefully, this won’t last long. Oh, and don’t forget to catch VCU basketball tonight! Even though I am a diehard JMU fan, I’m rooting for VCU! Good luck boys!

Mar 24, 2011

Sweet as Honey Housewarming Party

“Bee” prepared to be amazed by this “Sweet as Honey” housewarming party designed by Kori Clark of Paper & Pigtails. I’m overly excited to show you all these beautiful details of her party, plus all the beautiful photos. From the handmade invitations that included a wooden honey dipper down to the Honey Lager beer,  Lori executed this party oh-so-perfectly. Pretty Tasty Things is thrilled to start showcasing photo inspiration for your own party. Enjoy all the photos and I hope they inspire you to “bee” a little creative.

Lori had a honey tasting station on the food table. She had variations of honey, from Blueberry Honey to Wildflower Honey, in individual glass “honey pots” with honey wheat pretzels and breadsticks to taste them with. How creative is that?

Everything on the dessert bar was focused on honey. She also incorporated treats for the sweet tooth. I loved the colors and composition of it all.

Even the knives for the cheese and honey had silver bees on them!

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