Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recipes: Pomegranate-glazed Skirt Steak with Roasted Green Beans

1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ pounds skirt steak
¼ c honey
½ c pomegranate juice
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 lb green beans, trimmed
2 T olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
¼ c slivered almonds
½ c pomegranate seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, brown sugar and salt. Rub the spice mixture into the skirt steak and set aside 25-35 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the honey, pomegranate juice and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until reduced by half and thickened, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.
  4. Spread green beans in an even layer on a large baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with the almonds and pomegranate seeds.
  5. Heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. Cook steak 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Let rest 5 minutes, then cut against the train into ½ slices. Drizzle with pomegranate glaze and serve alongside green beans.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Recipes: “Better than Sex” Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream frosting

Adapted from Cupcake Project and Chockylit
Ready in: 2+ hours
Yield: 15-16 cupcakes
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1 cup Nutella
1 1/4 C sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C milk
1 t vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until softened and smooth. Add sugar and beat for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until well combined. Mix in Nutella.
3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In a separate small bowl, combine milk and vanilla.
4. Add about 1/3 of dry ingredients to butter and sugar and mix until combined. Add about 1/2 of wet ingredients to mixture and mix until combined. Continue alternating dry and wet, mixing in between (finish with the remaining dry ingredients).
5. Fill cupcake tins about 1/2 full (don’t overfill – you only need 1/2) and bake for around 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. They will come out flat.
Nutella Buttercream
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1 small jar Nutella
1 C powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 T milk
1. Beat butter until smooth.
2. Add Nutella and beat together until thoroughly combined.
3. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until combined.
4. Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Add additional milk or powdered sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.
You can also mix up a few tablespoons of Nutella with an equal amount of cool-whip, cut the center out of the cupcake, fill it with the cool-whip mixture, replace the cupcake plug (after you've eaten the small bit where the filling went) and frost. You'll thank me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book Review: Devil's Mountain

Devil's Mountain (The Devlin Legacy, #1)Devil's Mountain by Bernadette Walsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I was a little put off by the way this story was told. However, to give all the information and to keep the action moving, I can't really see any other way it could have been told. The story begins with a young woman named Caroline at her wedding to Bobby Connelly. The pair met in New York, but both of their families were from a very small area of Ireland and both families had ties back to Devlin's Mountain. Caroline's mother had known Bobby's mother and although neither of them will say why, neither of them approve of the wedding. The story takes you through the history of the Devlin family and their peculiar mythology.

Through the telling of Mary Devlin's story, you learn the history of the "five families" of Devlin's Mountain. Through Caroline's story, you learn the modern threat to their line and see the unfortunate handwriting on the wall. (view spoiler)

This story keeps you guessing and despite having all of the story laid out before you, it still keeps you wondering. By the time I hit the end of the book, I was left with a feeling of longing and the desperate curiosity to know where the story is going based off the epilogue. Without Mary Devlin to teach them the ways of the beast, to teach them how to protect themselves from him, what will happen to little Kathy?

You will hate Him for all that He's taken, but you will love Him. God help you, you will love Him.

View all my reviews

Never really gets easier

Story time since it's on my mind and I wanted to share and ask a little extra patience.  May 20th. Mary and I are at a local garden shop...