Tag Archives: beef

Beef Empanadas made from Taco Night Leftovers and Biscuits

1 Nov

Taco night is a favorite around here. Most of the time there aren’t any leftovers but this time there were and so I decided to turn them into something a little different.

These little guys took 15 minutes to make and were perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. They reminded me of a Mexican flavored calzone. Originally, empanadas are made with a flaky dough that roughly resembles pie crust. For this recipe, I used canned biscuits. I bought them to make a super quick version of chicken and dumplings… stay tuned for the recipe!… and had one can left over.

We ended up topping them with a little sour cream and we wished we had made more! Enjoy!

Beef Empanadas

Time: 15 minutes, if you are using leftover taco meat and veggies
Level: Easy
Servings: 3

1 c. leftover taco meat and veggies (mine was a mix of cooked ground beef, black beans, corn, rotel tomatoes, and taco seasoning)
1 can buttermilk biscuits (I used Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits and there were 6 biscuits inside)

Preheat oven to temperature indicated on the biscuit can. Lay biscuit rounds down on a cutting board and roll them out as thin as you can. Put 1/3 c. taco meat and veggies in the middle of a flattened biscuit.

Top with another flattened biscuit. Crimp edges together so it is sealed shut all the way around. Repeat until all biscuits have been used. With a fork, poke 3 holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake for 10 minutes.


– Add cheese.
– Use chicken, pork, or any other meat.
– Leftover fajita mix would also be good.
– Top with sour cream.
– Dunk in salsa.


Chili Cheese Turkey Dogs

20 Jun

These are some serious knife and fork dogs. The spicy chili and grilled hot dog combo is a classic that simply can’t be beat.

I NEVER order these when I’m out because chili can be unpredictable and VERY VERY fatty. You never know what the consistency is going to be like and you can never tell what cut of meat has been used. I like my chili chunky. I want to be able to see the meat, beans, and tomatoes and taste them all individually if I wanted to. I know, I know… I’m such a weirdo.

This chili is not just good on hot dogs. It is also delicious when served alone, on top of Fritos or tortilla chips, topped with sour cream and cheese, or any combination of the three. An added bonus?! This chili recipe is quick and easy and only takes 15 minutes to make!

Speedy Spicy Chili

Servings: 4
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
1 can chili ready tomatoes
1 can chili beans
1/4 c. jalapeños
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

In a deep sauté  pan over medium-high heat, cook onions and garlic in a little oil until they become fragrant. Add meat and cook until no longer pink. Add remaining ingredients and continue to cook, stirring often, until chili reduces and becomes thick. Yum!

Grill hot dogs, place in warmed hot dog buns, and top with chili and shredded cheese. Yum!

– My dad likes to add mustard to the top of his chili dogs.
– Jason likes to add sour cream.
– You can use regular hot dogs instead of turkey dogs.
– You can also leave the meat out of the chili and use vegetarian hot dogs.

Steak and Veggie Kabobs

16 Jun

This marinade isn’t true to the original recipe because I couldn’t remember it exactly but comes from a great friend and amazing lasagna maker, Web. He made it for us a few weeks back and they were amazing!

Summertime screams “Turn on the Grill!” so that is just what we did. What better way to beat the 100° weather than to spend time outside over a fiery grill? Kidding… it always takes some convincing in this hot humidity to get the grill going in our house but tonight, it was well worth it.

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Steak and Veggie Kabobs

Time: 24 hours… but seriously about 10-15 minutes to prepare
Servings: 4-6
Level: Easy

1 c. Zesty Italian dressing
1/2 c. Worcestershire
1/2 c. Dale’s Low Sodium Steak Seasoning (picture in slideshow)
2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 lbs. chuck roast, or your favorite cut of beef… almost anything will do, cut into big bite sized pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into big bite sized pieces
1 green bell pepper, chopped into big bite sized pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped into big bite sized pieces
1 onion, chopped into big bite sized pieces
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 package white button mushrooms, cut in half, length wise

In a long dish, whisk marinade ingredients together. Add meat and veggies.

Toss to coat. Cover dish in plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the fridge, stirring once or twice throughout the day.

When ready to grill, thread meat and veggies on skewers.

Grill over medium heat for 10 minutes, turning often to ensure even grilling.


– Serve with a side of brown rice.
– Skewer pineapple and grill for a sweet addition.
– Use leftovers to make steak fajitas.

In Honor of Cinco de Mayo…

3 May

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Cinco de Mayo… Ahh, what a delicious holiday. Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a holiday that celebrates  Mexico’s victory over the French on May 5, 1862.  But, dang, celebrating  their victory with a delicious dinner is just fine by me. Our neighbors to the south know what their doing when it comes to their amazing cuisine and I’m not ashamed of how much I love it!

If your going to be staying in this Cinco de Mayo or if you are planning on having a blow out fiesta with friends, check out these recipes below. I took a look back at my recipe collection and my love is clearly evident… I can’t say that ANY of these recipes are even slightly  authentic but they are definitely inspired by south of the border flavors.

Grab yourself a basket of chips and a bowl of salsa, maybe a margarita or two, and celebrate!

Enchilada Pie 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas (vegetarian and vegan)

Steak Fajitas

Mexican Cornbread

Quinoa Salsa Side Dish

Gringa Tostada

Fiesta Fritata

Baja Shrimp Tacos with a Corn and Radish Salad

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas – Vegetarian, Gluten Free, and DELICIOUS!

23 Mar

My husband, as I’ve told you before, is a die-hard carnivore. DIE-HARD. Whenever I try to make a meatless or vegetarian meal, no matter how large and filling, he always starts the meal out with an attitude of  “This is rabbit food, not human food and I will starve to death if I eat like this…” He doesn’t actual say that but he does claim to be hungry after every vegetarian meal, even though he rarely ever is…it’s all mental. But, nonetheless, I’ll cook meat. Meat, meat, meat.

Until tonight. I have decided to reclaim my love of meatless meals.  I say meatless, not vegetarian, because I never really buy vegetable stock and crowders and black eyes are best boiled with a little ham or bacon. I can’t help it… But, regardless, I stuck to my guns and started cooking.

No meat? No problem! I am so out of everything in my pantry and fridge anyway that braving the “I’m gonna be hungry later” comments made me get creative. I needed a meatless meal with tons of fiber and protien to satisfy us. I mean, what was he gonna snack on after? There is nothing there. Gah, I gotta go to the store. Maybe tomorrow.

Tonight’s meal was not only vegetarian and gluten-free but it actually TRICKED my husband into thinking it was chock full of beef. Go figure! While I was cooking, I decided not to tell him it was vegetarian to see what he would say. At the end of the meal, I asked him to guess the ingredients. He guessed refried beans and ground beef. Ehhhnnnk, both wrong.

He wasn’t “hungry” afterwards either. Success!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 (but can easily be doubled)
Level: Easy-Medium

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1/4 c. onions, chopped (optional)
2 small sweet potatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
4 small corn tortillas
1/3 c. shredded cheese
1/2 c. salsa
sour cream to top, if desired

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and cube sweet potatoes.

In a pot of water, boil sweet potatoes until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook garlic and onions until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, black beans, and spices. Cook until heated throughout, mashing the potatoes and beans a little as they cook along. Pour 1/2 of the salsa into a small casserole dish. Divide the potato and bean mixture into fourths. Fill each tortilla with a portion of the mixture, top with a little cheese, and roll. Place on top of salsa in casserole dish,  seam side down. Top with remaining salsa and cheese. Bake, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Top with sour cream if desired. Yum!

– This was my first attempt using sweet potatoes and black beans together. I think you could use salsa verde for a different flavor and it would work nicely.
– As my friend Katie pointed out, I LOVE cumin. If you don’t… then leave it out.  No biggie!

Black and Bleu Sliders

18 Mar

Hawaiian rolls, Bleu cheese, and ground beef… all I can say is yum. These are not only delicious, they are easy to make ahead, and super fun to eat! I don’t know why but miniature versions of familiar foods always makes them taste better. I love adding a little whimsy to a weeknight dinner, especially when it doesn’t take any extra time or effort.

Black and Bleu Sliders

Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy
Servings: 4-6

2 tbsp. ketchup
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 egg
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/4 c. bleu cheese
1 lb. ground beef
Hawaiian rolls, as many as you need

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients together then add beef. Handle the beef as little as possible to keep it from becoming tough. Roll beef mixture into golf ball sized balls and bake until no longer pink inside.

Pinch out a little piece of the bottom of each roll, just enough to nestle the meatball.


– Serve with desired condiments. Mayo, ketchup, and mustard are good choices but thousand island or ranch dressing is also good!
– Don’t like bleu cheese? No big deal! You can use any cheese you like.
– These also make a great appetizer.

– Make the meatballs ahead and freeze them to bake at a later date.

St. Patrick’s Day Reuben Quesadillas

17 Mar

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Are you wearing green? Today we HAD to have corned beef and cabbage in honor of dear old St. Pat.  So we opted to make reubens. For a little twist we used tortillas and turned them into reuben quesadillas. Not only did it make it more interesting, but it made it much easier and super quick. Oh, they were good. Jason doesn’t like sauerkraut and he couldn’t stop eating!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Pour some green beer to go with it. Cheers!

Reuben Quesadillas

Time: 10 minutes
Level: Easy
Servings: 4-6

3-4 large tortillas
6-8 slices Swiss cheese
corned beef, sliced
1/2 c. sauerkraut
a few tbsp. thousand island salad dressing

Place 1 tortilla at a time in a skillet over medium heat. Top half of the tortilla with cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, and a good drizzle of dressing.

Fold over tortilla and heat until cheese is melted and tortilla is slighty toasted, flipping once.

Cut into triangles and serve. Yum!

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go. – Irish Blessing

Steak Fajitas

16 Mar

Well, after a WONDERFUL dinner of Signature Steaks we had a ton of leftovers. Our rib eyes were bigger than our stomachs, I guess. Anyway, we decided to make steak fajitas and they turned out delish! Ya gotta love a Mexican fiesta on a weekday night.

Steak Fajitas

Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Level: Easy
Servings: 4

1 large rib eye (or honestly, just enough cooked steak to feed 4 people, whatever the cut)
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 fresh jalapeño, finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion

Slice steak, bell peppers, and onion thin.

Mix lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, and jalapeño together and pour over sliced steak.

Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Wipe off garlic and jalapeños before cooking if desired. Cook steak, peppers, and onions in a skillet over medium-high heat until peppers and onions are tender but still crisp. Yum!

– You can use chicken instead, or mix both!
– Serve in warm tortillas with cheese, sour cream, salsa, and other traditional fajita toppings.
– Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice over the top of the finished product for a fresh twist.

H.B.’s Lasagna – A TRUE family favorite

6 Mar

My mom has a great friend named Helen and Mrs. Helen makes the BEST lasagna in the world. No joke! She also makes the best face wiper in the world… but that’s another story for another blog.

For the amount of ingredients, time, and effort that you must put forth to make this recipe, this dish is a true winner. It’s easy and quick and it uses ingredients you already have on hand. Plus, it will happily feed your ENTIRE family.

Since it was just Jason and I, I used a small baking dish and  made 1/3 of the original recipe. I reduced the cook time to 40 minutes and it worked out perfectly. I only had two layers of noodles and it still fed us twice. The first night, I paired it with Brussels sprouts (my new favorite veg.) and a small green salad. The next night, we had green beans and bread.

H.B.’s Lasagna

Time: 1 hour
Level: Easy
Servings: 6-8

1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
1 jar (32oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 c. water
2 c. cottage cheese
3 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 eggs
1/2 c. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Lasagna noodles, at least 9, and uncooked

Mix cooked ground beef with spaghetti sauce and water.

Simmer, uncovered, for  a few minutes. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.

Pour 1 cup of sauce in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Place 3 strips of the dry lasagna noodles on top.

Layer the following in order:

1 1/2 cups of sauce
1/2 of the cheese mixture
3 more dry noodles
1 1/2 cups of sauce
The rest of the cheese mixture
3 more dry noodles
The rest of the sauce

Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand, uncovered, for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Yum!

– If you run out of sauce before you can add the last layer, don’t worry! I ended my 1/3 of the recipe version with the cheese mixture and it turned out great!
– This recipe freezes well, with before or after you bake. If you have a ton of leftovers… freeze them in individual portions. It will make a quick and easy dinner later on.

Chicagoed Cabbage – Inspired by Friends and Cabbage Rolls

5 Mar

A few nights ago I wanted to make traditional cabbage rolls. You know, cabbage stuffed with rice and ground beef and simmered in tomato soup… I had never made them before and after hearing a coworker talking about them at lunch, I though I should try them. After all, I had a head of cabbage in the fridge that needed to be used ASAP!

BUT, earlier that day, I got a phone call. What I heard on the other end was nothing at all what I was expecting. Two of my most AMAZING friends from Chicago heard some upsetting news earlier in the day and ever since I spoke with them, I could NOT get the two of them off my mind.

When I got home and opened the freezer to grab some ground beef, I noticed a zip-loc bag of leftover cooked roast in the back. I saved it because I hate throwing things away but I hadn’t used it yet because it wasn’t enough to make a meal.

This got me thinking. With my friends very much still on my mind, I decided to forgo the traditional cabbage roll and make something Chicago inspired. I grabbed the small chunk of roast and one beef hot link. I defrosted both. Roast and beef hot links…very reminiscent of Mr. Beef’s Italian Beef, wouldn’t you say?

What began to unfold looked like it was going to turn out a complete disaster. I stuck with the cabbage roll theme and added cabbage and a can of Rotel instead of tomato soup. I also added one of my FAVORITE ingredients of all time. Giardiniera.

Giardiniera is from the Italian word giardiniere, meaning gardener. It’s pretty hot, so of course, we love it! Giardiniera is a mix of sport peppers, carrots, celery, red bell peppers, olives and banana peppers. It is soaked in a brine and packed in pure olive oil. How can you go wrong? Delish!

My nervousness continued as I cooked. Although the dish was beginning to smell delicious, I had never played around with Italian beef flavors and cabbage.

What ended up on our plates was ridiculously good. We were full all night, Jason loved it, and I think I’ll be making it again one day soon.

I love and adore my friends. I know God will take care of them, no matter what. This recipe is dedicated to them both.

Chicagoed Cabbage

Time: 20 minutes
Level: Medium
Servings: 4

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 c. roast, cooked and chopped or shredded
1 beef hot link, sliced
1/3 c. giardiniera
1 can Rotel
1/2 c. rice, cooked

Mix all ingredients, except rice,  together in a deep skillet. Cover and simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until cabbage is wilted and tender. Stir the mixture a few times during simmer. Serve over a small bed of rice. Yum!

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