Mango-Blueberry Freezer Jam

This stuff is magical. Seriously. It has me under a spell. Just look at it. It even sparkles.
Mango Blueberry Freezer Jam
The best part? It was super easy to make. If you hurry, you can probably still grab some mangos at your local grocer, and if you are like me, and picked gallons of blueberries this year, then you should still have a few in your freezer. Get to it girl. You can thank me later.
Mango-Blueberry Freezer Jam
via The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard
(I doubled the following recipe with no problem. It made about 8 1/2 c. of jam)
2 3/4 c super fine sugar
1 c finely chopped mangoes (aprox 2)
3/4 c chopped fresh or frozen blueberries (note: the measurement is after chopping; before chopping it was about 1 1/4 c)
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1. Place sugar in oven proof shallow pan and warm in 250 degree F oven (120C) for 15 minutes. This helps sugar dissolve better.
2. Combine mangoes, blueberries, orange rind and warmed sugar in a large bowl and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add pectin and lemon juice, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
4. Ladle jam into clean jars or plastic containers to within 1/2 in/1 cm of rim. Cover with tight fitting lids. Label jars and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set up.
5. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for longer storage.
Makes 3 1/2 cups.
Fabulous Tips:
  • I suggest removing the skin, cutting the fruit off of the mangos and then pulsing in the food processor. It will save a lot of time and energy not chopping by hand.
  • Make sure sugar is completely dissolved before adding pectin and lemon juice to avoid a grainy consistency.
  • Try this jam on ice cream, in yogurt, on pancakes, or in Easy Cheater Hand Pies. It’s pretty much good on anything.

Fabulous Family Fun Friday! Week 2: Indoor Bounce House

A few weeks ago we took Little R to the indoor bounce house in town. It’s a very large room, with several of those blow up “bounce houses,” only way cooler! (yeah, I said “way cooler”) These things are giant, and they have slides and obstacle courses of varying sizes. The tallest slide was about 12 feet tall, and had a climbing wall that you had to scale to get to the top of before sliding down. At first glance I was concerned that most of the obstacles would be too much for our little one, but after about 15-20 min she warmed right up to the bigger ones. Thankfully, they had blow up areas for kids of all ages, so even if she hadn’t warmed up to the bigger ones, she still would have had fun with the smaller ones. The obstacles challenged her gross motor skills, and boosted her self esteem as she overcame each one. This was very exciting and rewarding for Mr F and I to watch. Call me crazy, but I swear she walked just a little bit taller when we left.  Entry to the bounce house was very affordable; kids cost eight dollars, and adults get in free! Totally worth the eight dollars to see her have so much fun and gain so much self esteem in one day. Plus, we had a lot of fun on the slides too!

Here are a few pics to see what kind of obstacles they had. Sorry the images are not very  clear; the lighting wasn’t real great in there.

The “tire” obstacle.


The Ball Pit. R with her favorite ball; the green ball.


We had so much fun together, we will definitely be going back again. What kind of fun can you find in your town?

Bacon & Jalapeño Backstrap

I threw this together, sort of “off the cuff” last night for my hubby. He had requested Elk Steak for dinner, and I felt my regular recipes were getting tired. I wanted to use the grill, as it’s just too hot to turn the oven on right now. I didn’t want the elk to dry out on the grill, so the obvious solution to me was wrap it in juicy bacon! Of course! As I was looking for motivation online I saw a recipe that included jalapeños, and I knew that would be something my hubby would like. Thus, the Bacon and Jalapeño Backstrap was born. OK, I’m sure I wasn’t the first to wrap bacon and jalapeño around a piece of meat, but it was a new and novel idea for me!
As I stated earlier, I just threw this together, so the measurements are approximate.

Bacon & Jalapeño Backstrap 
1.5-2# Elk or Venison Backstrap, sliced across the grain in 1-2″ thick slices
1# bacon slices
4 jalapeños (or 1 per 2 slices of backstrap)
Tony’s Creole Seasoning
1/2 c cooking oil
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 TBLS red wine vinegar
2-3 TBLS Worcestershire Sauce
1 TBLS minced garlic
2 tsp horseradish
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Whisk together marinade in shallow dish. Rub steaks with Creole seasoning and black pepper. Place in marinade. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, turning to coat half way through.

When ready to cook. Preheat grill. Halve the jalapeños and remove seeds and ribs. Grill jalapeños until they begin to soften. Remove from grill. (Leave grill on.) Place half a jalapeño on a slice of steak, wrap with bacon. Repeat with all the backstrap. Don’t be afraid to use all the bacon if there is extra! Grill over low heat, jalapeño side down until bacon is crisp and jalapeño is fully cooked. Flip, crisp bacon on other side. Remove and enjoy!

If you like gravy, reserve the marinade and make a gravy with it. Bring marinade to a low boil, add a couple tablespoons of flour and whisk, whisk, whisk. I had an extra half of a jalapeño left and some white wine, so added them too. I sliced the the jalapeño thin and added them before bringing it to a boil. Then added about 1/2 cup white wine after the flour was whisked in.

Serve backstrap and gravy with potatoes or rice, and greens or grilled veggies.

Not Always So Fabulous

No Sugar added- Blueberry Banana Muffin Recipe

Hello dear Bloggy Friends! It has been far too long since I have written. I had to do some serious soul searching on whether to continue this blog or not. I have recently had some serious recipe failures and was beginning to lose confidence in my abilities as a cook. Iwas starting to think i should call this site “not-so-fabulously-homemade.

I aspire to craft and bake like Martha Stewart, live like Ree Drumond and have the personality of Rachel Ray. Unfortunately, I often fail at most of these goals. BUT, I have decided that’s ok. We all have to start somewhere; don’t we!? So I will continue to aspire towards being more like Martha, Ree and Rach. In the meantime, I plan to share my successes as well as my failures with you and hope you do the same. Take pride in the learning process, for life is a journey. If you focus too much on the destination, you will miss out on all the fun to be had along the way.

That being said, I will share the success and the failure of my quest for a healthy and delicious breakfast this morning. I was up late last night searching the web for healthy crockpot recipes. I found several for crockpot oatmeal, and thought it sounded delicious and creamy and wonderful. I hopped out of bed, threw some ingredients in the crockpot, and went to sleep confident I would wake to a tasty and hot breakfast early in the morning. Well… my husband got called out to work in the middle of the night, so there wasn’t anyone to wake me in the morning. Yes, I still need someone to drag me out of bed in the morning. A habit acquired in my teens that I ashamedly never outgrew. ANYWAY, I overslept by 2 hours and when I woke the oatmeal was very burnt. So burnt, I am really dreading scrubbing the pot.

Luckily, I was also looking at muffin recipes last night! I had found a great, no sugar added, muffin recipe that I was really looking forward to trying. I washed my hands (literally and figuratively) of that darn oatmeal and started right away with my muffins. Did I have breakfast waiting for me when I woke? No. Did I have a delicious, hot and healthy breakfast a half hour later? YES! I’ll take that as a win.

As I was mixing these muffins up, I thought to myself, “If I were making these, and I am, I would do things a little different.” So I did, and they turned out delightfully fluffy and just sweet enough, and I felt better about my baking skills. Win, win, WIN!

Mrs.F’s Winning Blueberry Banana Muffins-no sugar added 
1 c mashed ripe or over-ripe bananas (aprox. 2.5 large bananas)
1/2 c water
1/2 c oil
2 eggs
1 c wheat flour
1 c all purpose (unbleached preferably) flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
tiny pinch of table salt or 4 grains of course sea salt (Most all purpose wheat flours contain a lot of salt, so use salt very sparingly)
1.5 c fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or line 18-muffin tin.

In mixer, thoroughly beat bananas. Continue beating and add water and oil. Then add eggs, just until incorporated. Do not over-beat. Turn mixer off. In separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Turn mixer back on and add flour mixture slowly, stopping half-way to scrape sides. Mix only until wet and slightly lumpy. Remove bowl, scrape sides again. Fold in blueberries by hand.

Measure 1/2 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 16-18 min. Muffins will be fluffy and bounce back when touched lightly.

Notes: Of course, you can change out the flour for all wheat or all all-purpose; as well as the fresh blueberries for frozen. This is just how I made them. Living in Oregon, and this being Summer, it would be a mortal sin if I used frozen berries. OK, maybe not sinful, but definitely silly! Recipe adapted from No-Sugar-Added Blueberry and Banana Wheat Muffins by Speck on

Cake Truffle Memorials

Memorial day is just a week away! In our house that usually means camping and a 3 day weekend. For others it’s time to hit the beach and work on their tan. Unfortunately, we tend to forget the reason for this three day weekend. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, and even more so, of appreciation for those who have died in our nation’s service.

It has become a tradition in our family to attend a group camping trip and potluck every Memorial Weekend. This year I wanted to bring something patriotic to serve as a subtle reminder to our “fellow funsters” to be thankful for our  nation’s servicemen (and women) who make this weekend (and so many of our other freedoms) possible. Of course my first thought was some naturally red, white and blue foods like berries and whipped cream, but felt that had been overdone, plus there will be plenty of opportunity for that come Independence Day. I racked my brain over what Memorial Day meant to me, and how I could portray that through food. I thought I could decorate cupcakes with our services’ shields, but that wouldn’t travel well when camping. Then I remembered the Iwo Jima Memorial Statue and these cute little flag pics I found at the restaurant supply store a few weeks ago.

I wondered if I could make little cake pops in the general shape of the statue and stick the flag in at an angle. “What a great idea!” I thought. . . I thought wrong.

Sad little memorials. Hope you get a kick out of this pic. I sure did.

They just looked like someone’s horrible, failed attempt at a cake pop with a flag that refuses to stand up. I did however find my little cake truffles made an elegant little pedestal for a proud, high flying American Flag. You can pretty much use any of your favorite cake pop or cookie truffle recipes you have, then simply make the balls much smaller, poke them with a flag pic and dip them in almond bark or chocolate and you are good to go. In case you are in need of a tried and true recipe, I have included a few of my favorites below.

Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend and remember to thank your fellow service men and women!

Grasshopper Cookie Truffles
Originally adapted from Six Sister’s Stuff, this deliciously refreshing mint cookie truffle is so easy to make you are never going to believe it, Ready?

1 pkg Keebler Grasshopper Cookies
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp. Mint extract
1 3.5 oz Dark Chocolate Bar (60+%)
1 pkg Almond Bark – Chocolate flavor
2 TBLS Vegetable oil or shortening

Place cookies in food processor and grind/chop into fine crumbs, add cream cheese and extract and process until well combined and holds together like cookie dough. Pop in freezer to stiffen up a little while preparing workspace, chocolate coating and decorations.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and prepare any decorations you wish to use. Consider using finely chopped nuts, shaved chocolate or colored sprinkles. Chop almond bark and dark chocolate into small pieces, place in microwave safe bowl with oil or shortening. Microwave for 10 – 15 seconds at a time, stirring in-between, until melted and smooth. Remove truffle batter from fridge. Pinch off about 2 teaspoons at a time, rolling into a ball. Poke flag pick halfway into ball, dip in chocolate. Make sure chocolate comes over top of truffle and up the pick about a quarter inch. This will help secure the cake to the pick. Allow excess to drip off on it’s own while holding at a 45 degree angle. Once excess is removed, dip in decorations (if using) then set on parchment paper to cool and set up.

After the coating and decorations have set, you can place these in an airtight container and store in fridge up to 2 days or in freezer up to one week.

Orange Cream Dream Cake Pops
Follow cake and frosting recipes here.
Bake Cake in 13×9 pan, and then follow cake pop tutorial here. Make smaller cake balls and use flag pics in place of lollipop sticks.

Butter Yellow Cake Pops Follow link!


Italian Mellocello

Italian Mellocello-Refreshingly Mellow Lemon and Vanilla Infused Alcohol

So refreshingly "mello"

So refreshingly "mello"

OK readers, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. We like to booze it up a little at my house. Especially during the summer. There’s just nothing like an ice cold fizzy concoction to take the edge off, and cool your head in the hot summer sun.

This amazing lemony yellow treat is bright and summery, not just in color, but in taste as well. Plus it has a lingering “mellow” vanilla finish that will definitely “chill you out” this summer. My husband and I made this for the first time last year and we loved it so much that it ended up becoming the unofficial “Signature Cocktail” for our wedding, or rather wedding party, as it was just too good to share with all of our 250-odd guests. This summer, we doubled the recipe with intent to share a little… We’ll see how that goes.

I’d love to take credit for this amazing liquer recipe, but I can’t. Unfortunately, I can’t give anybody else credit for it either, as my husband printed it (without reference) off the internet last Spring, and I have no idea where he found it. No matter where it came from originally, you are going to thank me for sharing it. I guarantee it. You will notice this is a two part process with a bit of waiting for the alcohol to infuse, but it is totally worth the wait!

Drink up!

Italian Mellocello Recipe

20 Lemons
2 750 ml bottles of Everclear (or Vodka if you prefer)
5 Vanilla Beans
6 c distilled water
4 c sugar

Sanitized 2-3 Liter glass jar with lid (we used a big pickle jar)
cheese cloth
Fine mesh sieve
Bottles or container for bottling final product

Part 1:
1. Wash and dry lemons thoroughly.
2. Pare off spots, blemishes and stem ends.
3. Using a very sharp paring knife or peeler, remove zests (that’s the yellow part of the peel) and place in distilling container, or pickle jar as we like to call it. Be sure you do not get any of the white pith, for it will make your mellocello very bitter. If you do, just use your knife to scrape it off, before dropping the peel in the jar.
4. Add Everclear to jar.
5. Slice vanilla pod down the middle and scrape insides into your mix.
6. Seal tightly and allow to steep in a cool, dark place for 3 months. We sealed our lids with Saran Wrap and duct tape to be sure it was air tight. If your container is not air tight, the alcohol fumes will evaporate and the drink will lose it’s potency.
7. Swirl lemon peels around twice a week to mix oils and alcohol.

Part 2:
1. After 3 months has lapsed and you are ready to bottle your concoction, you will want to sweeten it up a little… or a lot, whichever you prefer.
2. Bring 4 cups of sugar and 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile, strain your lemon infused alcohol, through a cheese cloth lined sieve, removing all the peels and vanilla grounds. Squeeze cheese cloth to be sure you have removed all of the alcohol and oils from the peels.
4. Add sugar-water to lemon-alcohol and stir.
5. Bottle your mellocello! It’s done! . . . or drink it, whatever. I won’t judge you.

The longer you let it set after bottling, the smoother it will become, but it is perfectly drinkable right away. I suggest storing it in the freezer as it is delightful served “up” ice cold. I prefer mine in a rocks glass topped with seltzer water. So refreshingly mellow. I really hope you try this recipe. I know 3 months is a long time to wait for a cocktail, but it is so worth the effort and time put into it, and it will be ready before you know it. If you start yours today, there will be plenty of hot summer days left to enjoy your mellocello.

I am sharing this post on …


Orange Cream Dreams

Remember those amazing popsicles we had as kids, with the sweet vanilla ice cream in the center surrounded by tart orange sherbert on the outside? I believe they were called Dreamsicles. Well those popsicles were the inspiration for these heavenly cupcakes. I have such fond memories of summers growing up in the hot California sun. Popsicles were a must for every kid (both young and old,) and Orange Dreamsicles were mine and my dad’s favorite. Well Fudgesicles too, but don’t worry, I’m working on a cupcake for that too. In the meantime here is a recipe guaranteed to knock your socks off and probably make you want to slip on your Jellies sandals too.

These delightfully fresh cupcakes were so easy to make; I even cheated and used a box of cake mix for the base. Of course if you have a favorite recipe for white cake, by all means use it. I was just looking for a quick and easy fix to fulfill my cravings for this cool summer treat. What really makes these cupcakes so fantastic, is the frosting! I adapted a vanilla cream-cheese frosting recipe by simply adding lots of orange. The result: a perfect blend of smooth vanilla cream at the start and a surprisingly bright tart orange finish that leaves you begging for more. Oh yes my friends. These little devils are addicting! I bet you can’t eat just one.

Cake Recipe:
1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 c butter softened, but not melted
zest of one orange (aprox. 1 TBLS)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Orange extract
Orange food coloring (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325, and lightly grease, baking pans or muffin tin or whatever you are baking the cake in. Set aside, and lets begin.
2. Beat butter on low to medium speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3. Add cake mix and orange juice until well incorporated. Then add eggs and beat until just incorporated. Do not over-beat or your cake will be flat, and nobody wants a flat cake!
4. Then stir in zest, extracts and food coloring by hand, again, just until well incorporated.
5. Poor into pans and bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
13×9: 20-25 min, Mini Muffin Tin: 12-17 min, Standard Muffin Tin: 15-20 min, 9 in cake rounds 18-25 min
I recommend starting with a low time setting and checking your cake often so as not to overcook it.

Frosting Ingredients:
8 oz room temperature cream cheese
4 oz. room temperature butter
3 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp orange extract
fresh squeezed juice of one small orange
food coloring (optional)

1. Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy (aprox 4 min.)
2. Gradually mix in powdered sugar and orange juice.
3. Mix in extracts and food coloring if you choose.

Decorating and Serving Suggestions

  • Divide frosting in half, add orange food coloring to one half. Spoon frosting into piping bag fitted with an open star decorating tip, alternating between white and orange frosting. Pipe a swirl of frosting on each cupcake. The end result will look like orange and vanilla swirled soft serve ice cream.
  • Make these cupcakes a day in advance and allow them to cool in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. The frosting will firm up and will be just like a popsicle! These chilled cupcakes will be great for summer barbeques and other hot outdoor activities this summer. Hope you enjoy!!!

Anatomy of a Smoothie

**UPDATED 5/17/12**

Today’s money saving tip: Use leftover fruit salad to make your morning smoothie.

Hello Beautiful

I’ve been seeing those green smoothies all over the internet lately, and have recently fallen in love with several of the recipes. Unfortunately I have found that I rarely have all of the ingredients in the fridge at once, so I have just sort of been making up my own recipes. For example the one I had this morning was an improvised recipe made with left over fruit salad from last nights barbeque with my folks!

Through experimentation over the last few months, I have managed to break down the smoothie into three elements in order for it to be both fulfilling and delicious. The first element, and my most favorite is the “cream.” A good smoothie has to be creamy. (At least in my opinion, hopefully you will agree.) Next, it should be sweet, because why would you eat it if it didn’t taste good? Finally, you have to sneak in some protein in order for it to be fulfilling. Now how do I achieve all of these elements into one delicious refreshing beverage you ask? Read on my dear friend.

The creaminess in your smoothie can be achieved several ways and meet several dietary needs. For example, if you are allergic to gluten, dairy and/or peanuts you can use a banana to both thicken and sweeten your smoothie. If you are not allergic you can use Greek yogurt or peanut butter, which will also incorporate your protein. There are many protein shake powders on the market, which usually contain malt for thickening, as well as a plant based protein for energy. I also like adding coconut milk for a little extra flavor and creaminess.

As for the taste, I really don’t think you need my help telling you what tastes good. In the event you need help with some flavor combination suggestions, I will offer you some suggestions that I like best towards the end of this post.

Now for the seemingly most difficult element, the protein. There are a lot more options than one might think. Consider peanut butter, almond butter, Greek Yogurt (Vanilla or Plain, low-fat or nonfat) protein powder, protein drink mix, even oatmeal has more protein in it than one might think. I am sure there are plenty of soy products out there for you soy lovers as well. I will not list them here though, just because I am not personally a fan, but I know there are plenty out there. Almond milk is another option. It will add the creaminess and has more protein and calcium than dairy milk. Surprise! So play around with some different combinations, and see what you like.

As promised some of my favorite flavor combinations.

1/2 Banana
2 TBLS almond butter
2 TBLS Greek Yogurt
1/2 c Almond Milk (I use Vanilla flavored)
Drink your greens! Add a handful of baby spinach to give you an extra boost in the morning!

1/3 Banana
1-2 TBLS Diced pineapple
Apple wedge
2 TBLS Greek Yogurt
1/4 c Coconut Milk (NOT low fat)
2 TBLS Vanilla protein powder (optional, but I like Trader Joe’s Hemp Based Protein Powder)
1/4 c dairy or almond milk
sprinkle of sweetened coconut flakes (also optional)

Summer Love
1/3 c fresh ripe strawberries
1 kiwi (peeled, obviously)
handful of ice
6 oz. strawberry yogurt (Being an Oregonian, I prefer Tillamook!)

Today’s smoothie?
Simply half a banana, 1/2 cup fruit salad, 2 TBLS each plain Greek yogurt and vanilla protein powder, and enough almond milk to blend it (about 1/3 cup)

So there you have it friends! Easy as 1-2-3, elements that is, and you have your morning smoothie. Hope you all enjoy!

5/17/12 Update:

Hello again! Yes, I am still chugging smoothies and squeezing in extra lunges whenever possible, in order to trim down for summer. I hope you are sticking to your guns and working hard toward your summer goals as well. This morning I had a summer inspired epiphany while making my smoothie. It was just so delicious I had to share!

I bought 4 pounds of beautifully red ripe California grown strawberries from Costco last night, and when I saw them in my fridge this morning, I knew I had to incorporate them into my breakfast. Since the sun is shining brightly today, I decided it was a great day to enjoy a smoothie outside on my deck. I knew I wanted strawberries and yogurt, but what else? Then I opened the freezer and was reminded of the delicious frozen peaches I bought from my fruit stand. So much better than the ones you buy at the grocery store; locally grown and hand picked at the peak of ripeness. But I digress. What a perfect combination fresh summer strawberry mixed with frozen peaches and creamy yogurt. Yum! After I had mixed it up and had begun drinking it while taking photographs for the Mellocello, Mr F and I just finished bottling, I had an epiphany. I squeezed my prop lemon into my smoothy, stirred and sipped. Mmmmm… now that my friends is perfection. I couldn’t believe what a difference a few drops of lemon juice made. It really just brightened the whole drink up and really excentuated the sweet tartness of the drink. Anyway, I just thought I’d share that little tidbit with you. I hope you will give this summer harvest inspired smoothie a try and let me know what you think!


Strawberry Peach Smoothie

Sweet Summer Perfection Smoothie

3-4 Large fresh ripe strawberries
1/2-2/3 c frozen peaches
6-8 oz yogurt (I used Nancy’s Honey Yogurt, but I’m sure vanilla would taste good too!)
Handful of ice cubes
Squeeze of Lemon.


Place first 4 ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Squeeze lemon wedge over top and gently stir. Poor into cold glass and sip in the summer sun.

Garlic Lovers Dinner

Last night was very busy, but between my husband and I we still managed to get a healthy-ish, hearty and (most importantly) delicious dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.

Garlic Lovers Dinner

If you are a garlic lover like my husband and I, then you would just die for Block 15′s Garlic Parmesan Fries. Block 15 is mine and my husband’s absolute favorite restaurant. Well actually it is a “brewpup,” something I was unfamiliar with until I moved to Oregon. Brewpubs are huge here in Oregon. For those of you not familiar with the brewpub concept, it’s basically a microbrewery with a bar and restaurant attached, or a bar/restaurant where they serve a large selection of micro-brews. Anyway, about these fries. They are just to die for, which is good, because if I ate them all the time, I just might die of a heart attack! They are pretty fattening; beer battered, fried then covered in garlic and Parmesan. Now if you are like me and are trying to drop a few pounds, before you are forced to wear shorts again, or GASP! put on a bathing suit, you will be looking for a healthier alternative to your favorite indulgences. Once I read BudgetSavyDiva’s recipe for Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans, I knew I had my solution. Just add heaps of garlic, and I knew it would be a healthier alternative to my favorite fatty food. (Hooray! {Jumps for joy!})

Well last night I had some steak defrosted and Mr F had just brought home a package of green beans, so with a few minutes and copious amounts of garlic, I knew I could make a delicious dinner that we could enjoy without feeling too guilty (or bloated) afterwards.

So without further ado, here you are, a super easy, fast, tasty and for the most part guilt free dinner for all of you garlic lovers! (like me and Mr F)

Cracked Pepper and Garlic Steak with Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

Step 1: Marinade steaks

                                  Step 2: Preapare Green Beans


Step 3: Roast!

Cracked Pepper and Garlic Steak with Garlic Parmesan Green Bean “fries”:


  • 2 steaks of your choice (we used T-Bone, but use whatever you have lying around. I recommend tenderizing if it is one of the tougher cuts of meat.)
  • ~ 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBLS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (this is my cheater ingredient. It is optional, but I like to use it when broiling our steaks inside to give it that smokey barbequed flavor.)
  • 2 TBLS wine vinegar
  • Lots of chopped garlic
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Parmesan- grated or shredded
  • 12 oz. Green Beans


  • Baking sheet
  • 8×8 Baking dish (or similar)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Fork or something to toss green beans with. Heck! You could even use your hands… Please wash them first though.
  • Spatula
  • Broiler pan (you know that funky looking pan that probably came with your oven when you bought it.)
  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 c olive oil, 1 TBLS Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp liquid smoke, 2 TBLS wine vinegar, 2 heaping TBLS of chopped garlic (we buy ours in a huge jar, because we love it so much.)
  3. Dredge steaks in marinade, place in small, non reactive baking dish (read: 8×8 glass baking dish) Poor excess marinade over steaks. Season liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Cover. Set aside and get to work on green beans!
  4. Place green beans in a medium/large mixing bowl, poor enough olive oil to coat green beans over top, (2 TBLS-1/4 cup) add 2 heaping TBLS chopped garlic. Toss with fork, or whatever is lying around, until well coated with both oil and garlic.
  5. Spread green beans evenly in one layer on a baking sheet. Make sure you get all of that savory garlic out of the bowl and onto those green beans!
  6. Season with a hearty amount of sea salt, then sprinkle shredded Parmesan (or dump by the handful) all over green beans.
  7. Place in oven, cook for about 3 minutes, shake pan to roll green beans around, then cook for about 3 more minutes. Green Beans should still be relatively bright green, and garlic just begging to brown on edges when they are ready. Remove pan. Switch oven to high broiler.
  8. Place steaks on broiler pan and poor about half the marinade over them. Broil in oven for 3.5 minutes. Remove, flip steaks, coat with remaining marinade. Return to broiler for 3.5 more minutes. Now this cooking time is for Medium Rare steak, (the only way steak should be eaten in my personal opinion) but if you are one of those silly people like my mother who enjoys their meat more well done, just add a minute or two to the cook time.
  9. Once broiled to perfection remove from broiler and pan onto serving plate. DO NOT SLICE YET! Sorry, pet peeve. Let the steak set for a minute and it will retain more of its juices. Yum. My mouth is watering. Serve up those green beans using a spatula to scrape up all that cheesy goodness.
  10. Set the table. Poor a glass of red “Two Buck Chuck” (hey it’s a week night, no need to crack open the good stuff.) Take a big whiff of all that garlicky goodness… and dig in my friends. You can thank me later. ;-)



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