Monday, January 17, 2011

Beef Bourguignon Soup

4 bone-in short ribs
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. mushrooms, cut into 1/8's
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4 carrots, finely chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 strips bacon, thinly sliced diagonally
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup dry red wine
8 cups beef stock
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

Season ribs with freshly ground salt and pepper.

Coat ribs in cornstarch.

Heat olive oil in heavy pot (I use enameled cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add ribs to preheated pot.

Brown ribs on all sides until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add chopped mushrooms to pot.

Cook mushrooms until brown. Transfer to a bowl.

Add onions, celery, carrots and sliced bacon to pot and cook until caramelized; about 7-8 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste.

Place the ribs back into the pot.  Add minced garlic, bay leaf and thyme.

Raise the heat to high.  Add red wine; stirring constantly and scraping up brown bits on bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.  Continue cooking until slightly reduced; about a minute or so.

Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for approximately 2 1/2 hours, or until beef is tender.

Remove ribs from pot and allow to cool. Separate the meat from the bones and discard bones.  Shred meat into bite size pieces and return to pot.

Return mushrooms to pot and bring to a simmer.  Add 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar (optional) and stir. 

Season with salt.

Serve in a bowl over cooked egg noodles or jasmine rice for a really hearty soup.  

Note: Can also thicken slightly with cornstarch if desired.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Green Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

As a wife and mother who works outside the home, I am always looking for ideas for dishes that are simple to prepare, but yet look and taste like a lot of preparation went into them.  This is one of those type side dishes!  

I LOVE pine anytime I can come up with a way to introduce them into a recipe, I am all for it! They are very costly so I use them sparingly, but they are certainly a nice addition to this dish. 

Another plus to this dish is that it is a nice replacement for the traditional Green Bean Casserole that my son can't have due to his Gluten intolerance. 

1 - 1 1/2 pounds of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped 
1/3 cup pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and spread in a single layer on an 18" x 12" baking pan.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until desired doneness, stirring twice.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Southern SWEET Tea

This post is in response to a request from one of my sweet, blogging friends, Denise, from Colorado, who asked me a LONG time ago to post on my blog how us Southerners brew our sweet tea.

Having grown up in South Georgia, where some would say our sweet tea bordered on being a SYRUP, I forget that not everyone drinks their iced tea the way we do here in the South.  Believe it or not, my husband is actually from a family that drinks their tea UN-SWEET!  I think that MUST surely be against some Southern Law... right! Don't worry...I converted him over YEARS ago! ( :

4 Family Size Tea Bags
1 - 1 1/3 cups of sugar (or 3/4 cup Splenda, if desired)
1 gallon size container
Lemon, if desired

Bring small pan of 3-4 cups of filtered water ALMOST to a boil.

Just when the water is about to boil, remove pan from heat and add tea bags.

Allow tea bags to steep in pan of hot water for 7-8 minutes.

When timer goes off, remove tea bags from pot, squeezing them GENTLY over pan. (Discard tea bags.)

Immediately add sugar to the pan while steeped tea is still that sugar will dissolve.

Stir thoroughly until sugar is completely dissolved.

Pour the steeped tea into a gallon size container that has already been filled about half way with cold filtered water. Add enough water to fill to the top.

Chill in the fridge until ice cold and serve over ice.

Note:  In the South, you MUST have a very fancy gallon container like the one pictured above!  No Southern dinner table is complete without a "JUG of Sweet Tea"! 

It is really only good for about 2 days...after that it's time to make a new batch!

Oh...and if  you TRULY wanna be Southern, it's really wonderful with a squeeze of fresh lemon (or lime)!  YUM!

** HINT :   Our family always keeps this little luxury on hand so you can have 100% pure lemon juice anytime you want it....with just a squeeze!  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

MiMi Got A Makeover!

MiMi's Making Meals got a makeover yesterday from my very-talented daughter, Faith at A Design of Faith Blog Designs I have known since I recently started back blogging that I wanted to update AT LEAST my photographs, since they were several years old, but  after someone that was new to this blog last week said, ..."Now..the pictures at the top of your blog are not YOU, are they?"... I KNEW it was time!

My blog designer, Faith, is just so busy... designing other blogs, working full-time outside the home and working with the youth of our church...I hated to ask her to change it. I was originally hoping that all she would have to do was to update my photos, but since my old blog design was on an old computer of hers that she did not have access to anymore, she had to completely redesign it.

She asked me several times what kind of design, colors, etc. that I wanted and I told her that I totally trusted whatever she picked out for me because she is SO talented in this area --- she has such an eye for design! She said that it needed to be wider anyway and after seeing her new design I TOTALLY agree!   I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

Thank you so much, Faith, for not only giving MiMi's Making Meals a complete makeover, but also for the recent redesign of MiMi's Making Memories! You've helped to motivate me to jump back into blogging...that I have missed SO much!

Thanks SO much for stopping by and if you have a minute... I would LOVE to know what you think!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cranberry Goat Cheese Log

This is SO easy, but SO yummy!  I love any recipe that only has 2 ingredients and this one has 2 of my favorite things at that!

I LOVE goat cheese AND I love anything cranberry!

1 (6 oz.) bag of dried cranberries *
1 (11 oz.) goat cheese log, plain or any flavor desired, softened

* I found Pomegranate-infused cranberries, but plain dried cranberries are also fine.

Simply press dried cranberries into the goat cheese log, covering all sides of the log completely.

(It may seem like you have too many cranberries, but just continue pressing berries firmly into log and rotating until all surfaces of goat cheese are completely covered. Moisten fingertips, if necessary.)

Once you have the entire goat cheese log covered with all of the dried cranberries, wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.

Prior to serving, set out at room temperature for a few minutes to soften goat cheese slightly and make it easier to slice.

Serve with crackers of your choice.