Monday, May 24, 2021

Apple, Pecan and Craisin Coleslaw

It's almost summer! This coming weekend marks the delineation between spring and summer, even though the equinox is not until June 21... and along with summer comes picnics, potlucks, food on boats, eating outdoors, grilling, and lots of memory making involving food.

This salad is sure to create some of those good memories. Although our family's favorite summer salad of all time is Oriental Coleslaw, this new version of cabbage salad got high reviews. It's a nice change of pace from the vinaigrette based salad. 

An easy homemade dressing added to bagged coleslaw (or shred your own like I did here) is fancied up with apples, pecans and craisins. I even toasted the pecans! Get ready for the rave reviews when you bring this salad to the next summer get together. 

Apple, Pecan and Craisin Coleslaw

1 large apple, chopped (Honeycrisp or Gala work well)
1 cup craisins
1 cup chopped pecans
2 - 11 oz. bags prepared coleslaw (or shredded cabbage and carrot equivalent)
4 green onions, sliced
3/4 cup mayo
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, toss together the coleslaw, craisins, pecans, green onion and apple. 

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, vinegar, honey and salt. Pour just over half the dressing over the combined veggies and toss to coat. Add more dressing as needed. 

Refrigerate if not serving immediately. You may need to add more dressing before serving if the coleslaw has been sitting awhile.  Serves 10-12.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Banana muffins are a mainstay at our house, sometimes filled with chocolate chips, mixed berries, strawberries or just "plain." But this new to us variety will become a regular part of the rotation.

Not only do these muffins have chocolate, they have coffee, too! And a nice combination of butter, buttermilk and yogurt, so they are super moist and extra delicious. I gave some of these to my brother's family and I heard that my niece hoarded hers. (So of course I made her more!)

These muffins go equally well with coffee or a tall glass of milk. They're great for breakfast on the go, or for a quiet morning at home. Or for an afternoon snack! Just try them - I know you'll love them.

Chocolate Banana Muffins
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 bananas, very ripe and mashed
1 - 6 oz. container banana or vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup coffee
1 Tbsp. vanilla 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, cinnamon and salt.

Place the butter in another bowl, and microwave at 50%  power til melted. Let cool slightly, then add the sugar and mix well. Add in the yogurt, eggs, bananas, buttermilk, vanilla and coffee and stir until combined. 

Gradually add in the flour mixture, whisking well until all the flour is incorporated.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes 18 muffins.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Balsamic Red Wine Beef Ribs {Instant Pot}

I love using the Instant Pot for cuts of beef that take a long time to braise. It's still not a freaky fast dinner, even in the IP, but a lot faster than the oven. And beef short ribs turn out so tender! I love the combination of red wine and balsamic vinegar, and it turns out to be a winner when used with these ribs.

First, the ribs get a good sear in your IP, then you saute some onions and garlic in the delicious leftover beef left behinds in the pot. (Beef left behinds is a technical cooking term.) Add in some red wine (pour yourself a glass first!) and deglaze that pot (which means getting all the beef left behinds stirred up) then cook the beef in the winey goodness. At the end add the balsamic to create a delicious sauce. 

If only I had TWO IPs so I could also make the mashed potatoes!  That would be a little much, even for this appliance loving cook. So I made them on the stove. Saute or roast some green veggies, and you'll have a super delicious dinner on your hands. And in your mouth. 

Balsamic Red Wine Beef Ribs 

2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup red wine
1 tsp. rosemary leaves, crushed
1 tsp. parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat the Instant Pot on Saute. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Place them in one layer in the pot and let them sear. Leave on this side for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove to a plate, and repeat if you have remaining ribs. 

Add onion and garlic to the pot and saute for 5 minutes. Add in the red wine and deglaze the pot, (stirring up all those brown bits that have caramelized at the bottom).

Put the short ribs back in and add the rosemary and  parsley.

Seal the Instant pot insuring that the venting switch is set to "sealing."  Press the Soup/Stew option and set the time to 35 minutes. 

When cooking is completed, let the pot release naturally for 15 minutes. Then, carefully, release all the steam and remove the lid of the pot.

Remove the meat, then skim the sauce off with a spoon to remove the fat.  Add in the  balsamic vinegar, and turn the pot to saute.  Allow to boil until it has reached a glossy and glaze consistency. Serve ribs over mashed potatoes, and covered with glaze
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