Beer, steak and cheese dipping sauce…what’s not to love?


1.5 lbs sirloin beef, cut into 1½” chunks
Steak seasoning
1 bottle Guinness
2 T butter
1 T flour
¾ cup milk
1¼ cups smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Pour the Guinness into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce until the liquid measure approximately ⅓ cup.

Thread the beef onto skewers and season with steak seasoning. Heat a flat stop griddle, grill pan or large skillet over high heat. Drizzle the skewers with olive oil

Add the skewers to the pan and brush the top generously with the Guinness reduction using a basting brush. Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes before rotating the skewers ¼ turn, again brushing the reduction on the top side. Repeat until all four sides have been seared and all the reduction has been used. Turn the skewers to coat them in the boiled down Guinness sauce on the pan. Remove to a serving platter.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the milk. Once the milk has thickened to a cream-like thickness, whisk in the gouda, ⅓ a time, waiting to add the next batch until the previous one is fully incorporated. Season with freshly ground pepper and pour into a small bowl. Serve alongside the skewers.

Go Go go Gourmet blog with mouth-watering pictures 

It does feel odd posting a recipe for ramen on a website devoted to teaching someone how to cook better food than ramen, mac and cheese and spaghetti for college meals. But make no mistake, this is far from instant ramen.

This is my go-to meal when I’m cooking for just me or if someone is feeling under the weather. The salty pork chop combined with the chewy noodles and the bog bowl of broth will warm you up and fill you up. I make mine is a large chef’s skillet, but this is a one-pot wonder. I boil the noodles in the broth rather than dirty another pot and wait for the water to come up to temp. Serves 3-4 people or one to 2 with leftovers.

Pork Ramen


1 tablespoon canola oil
2 boneless pork chops (1/2 inch thick; about 1/2 pound total)
kosher salt and black pepper
8 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (preferably homemade)
1 tablespoon white wine or mirin
2 3-ounce packages ramen noodles (discard the seasoning packets)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 large carrot, grated
2 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the oil. Season the pork with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until cooked through, 4 minutes per side. Place on a plate, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

Tun the heat to low and add the scallion whites and ginger to the drippings in the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring, until softened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the broth and wine and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and boil, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Pour any juices from the pork that have collected on the plate into the soup.

Serve the soup in big bowls topped with the pork, carrot, radishes, cilantro, and scallion greens.

Big Girls Small Talk Kitchen Blog

My youngest believes there is a difference between ranch dressing and the ranch dipping sauce they give you in a little cup when you go out to eat. I tell him that the difference is that one is either watered down or made from a packet while the other comes straight out of a pump bottle in the back.

He’s sticking to his guns. Maybe we can give these recipes a try and see if there really is a difference. i also like these recipes because I can pronounce all of the ingredients. No additives or weird stuff.

Give the Chef in Training blog a read as well. Some great recipes and many great how-to photos to make it easier to figure out how to put it all together. Link at the bottom.

Grandma’s Seasonings Ranch Dressing Mix
6 teaspoons dried minced onion
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoons dried parsley
Buttermilk Powder Ranch Dressing Mix
½ cup dried Buttermilk Powder
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried minced onion flakes
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Grandma’s Seasonings Ranch Dressing Mix
In a small mixing bowl, mix dry minced onion, salt, garlic powder and parsley together.
Directions for Ranch Dressing: Mix ⅛ cup of mix with 1 cup mayonnaise, and 1 cup buttermilk. Mix well and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Makes three dressing mixes.
Buttermilk Powder Ranch Dressing Mix
Combine all Buttermilk Powder Ranch Dressing Mix ingredients into food processor or blender. Pulse and blend until powder and fine.
For salad dressing, combine 1 Tablespoon mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup milk.
For any recipe calling for an envelope of ranch dressing mix, use 1 Tablespoon of mix.

Chef in Training Blog 

Look right below this recipe for the Homemade Char Siu Pork recipe. You’ll want to make that a day or two before so you can hopefully have some leftovers to use for the pork in this fried rice. I used peel and eat shrimp cut in half and the pre-cooked chicken breasts from the deli section for this recipe. This recipe is a great way to use up some leftovers. You might just want to consider using frozen peas and carrots if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to spend time chopping veggies. I also put my oil in a squirt bottle to help make sure that I used just the right amount. The end result is a light, fluffy and savory fried rice that doesn’t sit like a rock in your stomach. It tastes great re-heated in the microwave as well.

Fried Rice


3 eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil for frying

400g (uncooked weight) long grain white rice: cooked, cooled and refrigerated overnight.
2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium-sized carrot (approximately 80g), diced into small cubes
100g frozen peas
1/2 tbsp ginger, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
100g char siu pork, diced into small cubes [see homemade char siu recipe below]
100g cooked and peeled small prawns
100g cooked chicken, diced into small cubes
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp light soy
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp pepper
5 tbsp cold water
2 sprigs spring onion, sliced into rounds


1. Eggs: Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and ¼ tsp of oil. Whisk with a fork or a pair of chopsticks for one minute, until frothy. Put your wok on medium heat and add the ½ Tbsp of oil, followed by the eggs. Let the eggs set on the bottom for 10 seconds before moving them around gently with a spatula. Cook for a further 20 seconds until the eggs are partially set, then remove them from the wok and set aside.

2. Veg: Give your wok a quick wipe with a paper towel then put it onto high heat. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add ½ Tbsp of oil followed by the diced carrots. Stir fry for one minute before adding 1 Tbsp of the cold water. Cover and steam for one minute. Take off the lid and add in the peas, stir frying for a further minute before removing the veg from the wok.

4. Meat: With the wok on medium heat, add 1 Tbsp of oil followed by the diced ginger and garlic. Slightly brown the ginger and garlic for 15 seconds before adding the char siu, chicken, and prawns. Stir fry for one minute until the meat starts to blister around the edges.

5. Rice: Add the rice to the meat, using your spatula to loosen the grains and to get rid of any lumps. Add 1 Tbsp of oil, salt, light soy, sugar and pepper. Grab an extra spatula to help you flip the rice and to evenly distribute the seasonings and meat throughout – it helps to use a folding action as you would with a cake batter. Keep folding and tossing for a further two minutes to heat the rice right through.

6. Bringing it all together: Break up the cooked eggs with your spatula then add them to the rice along with the cooked veg. Continue folding and tossing for another two minutes to combine all of the ingredients. Add the remaining water and toss for another minute. Finally, add the spring onions and fold to combine.

Serve up your piping hot Special Fried Rice in rice bowls or on a big platter for sharing.

Dumpling Sisters Link with a video to show you how to put it together.

Homemade Char Siu Pork

I found this recipe after watching The Dumpling Sisters on You Tube. My pork didn’t look quite like their’s did and it didn’t seem to be as crispy on the outside. I think my oven wasn’t hot enough or the meat wasn’t close enough to the broiler at the broiler step. The chunks sit pretty high on my broiler pan so I had to drop them down a level in the over.  Still had amazing flavor. The leftovers also worked great in the Sister’s Special Fried Rice recipe.


1.7 to 2 pounds of pork shoulder, neck, or belly

½ tbsp honey
½ tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
½ tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp white pepper
⅛ tsp five spice powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic


1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Slice the pork into long strips about 5cm in width and add to the marinade. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the pork, cover, and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

2. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with tin foil and set a wire rack on top. Arrange the marinated pork strips on the rack, leaving at least 2cm between each strip if you can. Keep the leftover marinade nearby.

3. Roast the pork in the centre rack of the oven. After 15 minutes, brush the pork with the leftover marinade, turn, and brush the other side.  Roast for another 15 minutes until the pork is cooked through and the marinade has dried out. The pork slices will shrink considerably during this period and the outside will turn a deep red colour.

4. Make the glaze by mixing the honey or maltose with the water. Switch the oven to the grill setting at the highest temperature. Remove the tray from the oven and brush the glaze all over the surface of the pork strips. Return the tray to the oven and grill the pork with the door slightly ajar for 3-4 minutes until the edges blacken slightly, and you can see tiny beads of glaze foaming on the surface. Turn the pork and repeat for the other side.

5. Remove the pork from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Slice the pork into 3mm slices to show off the crimson ring around the outer edge, fanning out the slices to emphasis the effect if you wish. Serve at room temperature.

Basil Mango Bruschetta

A fun and simple recipe that I picked up at my knife skills class. This came with the section where we learned how to cut a mango. Take a little off the top and bottom so that it will sit level on the cutting board top to bottom. Then take your knife at the top of the mango and peel the skin down off the mango. It shouldn’t take much effort and the blade should do most of the work with a gentle sawing motion. Do the same to get the edible flesh off the mango. Start at the top and go in a little and shave it down top to bottom. There is a woody core in the middle of the mango and it is quite large. I keep shaving off the mango fruit until it starts to get tough. Lay the fruit flat and slice and dice and then begin.


1/2 loaf French bread cut into half-inch slices

1/2 a mango (I wind up using the whole mango)

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced

1/2 up shredded Romano Cheese

1. Preheat the broiler

2. Arrange the French bread slice in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Cook them on the top-level of the oven on the broiler setting for one to two minutes per side, until toasted. Remove from heat.

3. In medium bowl mix mango and basil

4. Top each slice with a spoonful of the mango and basil mix. Top with a sprinkle or two of the Romano.

5. Return the topped bread to broiler for 2-3 minutes. They are done when cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

A creative way to enjoy eggs, hash browns and bacon…and cheese. There has to be some cheese. 


3 Cups shredded hash browns, thawed and drained

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

3 Large eggs, beaten

1/2 Cup half and half

1/2 Cup milk (I used whole milk)

1/2 Cup of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used about 4 big strips and fried them extra crispy)

1/4 to 1/2 Cup diced green onion

1 Cup cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a bowl, mix together the hash browns and melted butter. Put mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan to form an even crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and the edges are starting to get crispy.

While the crust is baking, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. When the hash brown crust is finished, pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the Quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

From: Life Tastes Like Food