Full Belly Sisters: May 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Korean Short Ribs from Ally's Kitchen Cookbook

So many of us want to travel the world, taking in the sights and sounds, experiencing adventures in far-flung places, right? But travel is expensive, the kids are in school and there's no time to get away...it's hard to actually go anywhere. So if you're looking for a taste—and I mean this both literally and figuratively—of exotic locales, you just need to get this new cookbook.

I'm talking about
Ally's Kitchen: A Passport for Adventurous Palates by Alice Phillips. Some of you may already know her from her fabulous blog; if you don't, you should! Ally's food writing offers a wonderful mix of creativity, information, color, and fun. She approaches food as a bohemian, bringing eclecticism and boldness to her dishes:

"I wanted this cookbook to be a ‘passport’ for most every homecook to travel the world without leaving their own kitchen~~whether this person was in a large metropolitan area or a rural town, I wanted to be able to land in their kitchen on my magic carpet and share the glorious world of food!" ~Ally Phillips

And Ally herself is full of so much joie de vivre. Her voice is strong throughout the pages of her book; joyfulness and passion practically leap from each page. On a personal note, she has been both a role model and mentor to many food bloggers, including me. I am incredibly greatful for her generosity of spirit.

There are so many gorgeous recipes in this book; I chose to make her Korean Short Ribs. It's a dish I've loved in restaurants but have never before made on my own. I'm happy to report it was not only a delicious dish but a very simple recipe to follow.

My short ribs, marinated and ready to bake!
Galbi ~ Korean Short Ribs
from Ally's Kitchen: A Passport for Adventurous Palates

serves 6
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup puréed apples (or first-stage baby food)
  • ¼ cup puréed pears (or first-stage baby food)
  • ¼ cup minced white onion
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TB rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp chili pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 2 lbs. Korean or flank beef short ribs
  • 2 green onions, sliced (for garnish)
  • 1 TB sesame seeds (for garnish)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large zipper bag, mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, apple purée, pear purée, onions, water, garlic, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes, ginger powder, and sesame oil. Add the short ribs and marinate for at least an hour. For even more intense flavor, let them steep in the marinade in the refrigerator overnight. 

Remove ribs from marinade and place them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour marinade over the ribs. Bake 20 minutes. (Everything can be done up to three days ahead at this point; simply cool and refrigerate the baked ribs until ready to grill.) When ready for dinner, heat up your grill to high. Grill the ribs 3-5 minutes per side and and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Serve with hot, cooked rice.


I served my short ribs with some brown rice, seared snow peas, and raw chunks of pineapple. It was a lovely balance of flavors, temperatures, and textures and was a perfect summer dinner! 

It started pouring so I had to rush everything indoors and just snapped a quick pic of my plate with the snow peas! Not great lighting, but you get the idea, right?

I just want to end with a little funny story. When I made these short ribs, I posted a photo of them on my personal Facebook page. There were lots of comments about how delicious they looked. One comment was from my friend/neighbor, whose grilled pizza dinner had just been ruined by the thunderstorm. I told her to swing by and pick up our leftovers! It seemed a great way to honor the boho spirit of food, fun, and friendship that is the core of Ally's cookbook.

Where would you most like to travel, if money and time weren't a concern?

This post contains affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running. Don't fret, I only recommend products I personally use and approve.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saucy Mama Giveaway & Banh Mi Inspired Crockpot Steak Sandwiches

As you have probably seen on social media, Saucy Mama invited me again this year to participate in their annual recipe contest. They sent me an array of delicious condiments and sauces to help me make delicious magic in the kitchen!

I even get to offer a #SaucyMama prize pack to a lucky reader (in the U.S. only)! Just enter the Rafflecopter contest below, and I'll announce a winner on June 3, 2015. Just tell me: what three products would you choose from this list (anything except olives is fair game)? Simply comment with your three choices at the bottom of this post. Enter before June 2 in order to qualify for the giveaway. Good luck!

Now, I know you're wondering what I made for the contest. Well, you may have a clue since there's a big ol' photo of it at the top of this post. And now you want to know how I made it, right? Of course you do! Because it looks delicious and you love delicious things.

This sandwich is inspired by a Banh Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich of grilled meat and pickled veggies on a crusty baguette. My version slow-roasts an inexpensive cut of steak in a rich mustard sauce until it is falling-apart tender, then tops it with crisp and cool vegetables, as well as a creamy horseradish spread. It's an amazing balance of flavors, textures, and temperatures. And the fact that it's mostly made in a #Crockpot means it is super, crazy easy.

serves 4
  • about 2 lbs top round steak, cut into four to six pieces
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons Saucy Mama Smoky Garlic Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 carrots, julienned 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 4 Portugese rolls
  • about 1/3 of an English cucumber, thinly-sliced
  • chopped scallions
  • Saucy Mama Creamy Horseradish

Grease your slow cooker. Toss onion slices in the bottom of the Crockpot and place the pieces of steak on top. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, horseradish, Worcestershire, and red wine vinegar. Pour over the steak, flipping each piece to make sure the sauce coats both sides of the meat. Set your slow cooker to high and set the timer for four to six hours.

Now, to make the quick-pickled carrots: in a bowl, stir the sugar and salt into the vinegar until dissolved. Toss the carrots in the vinegar mixture and cover tightly. Let the carrots sit on the counter to marinate at room temperature while your steak is slow-cooking.

When your steak is fork-tender, slice open your rolls and toast until golden and crispy. Slather them in Saucy Mama's Creamy Horseradish (this stuff is cool, spicy, and addictive! But if you like a less spicy sandwich, just mix the creamy horseradish with a bit of mayo before adding to the bread). Top with some of the roasted steak and onions, then cucumber slices, a few forkfuls of the pickled carrots, and a sprinkle of chopped scallions.

You'll find that the rich mustard-braised beef is perfectly complemented by the cool cucumber slices; the sweet and tangy carrots; the spicy, creamy horseradish; and the crisp and airy bread.  Thanks so much to Saucy Mama for the inspiration and the delicious condiments!

Remember, if you want to win a prize pack of Saucy Mama products, post a comment below and let us know which three products you would love to try!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Raspberry Cannoli Cream Crepe Cake

This cake is for all of you who hate to bake but like to cook. This cake is for all of you who live in warm locales and do not want to turn on your ovens. This cake is for all of you who want a #raspberrydessert that is as simple as it is stunning. This cake is for all of you looking for a dessert that's full of protein and fiber but not loaded with sugar. 

This cake is for all of you who love delicious, creamy, fruity, fresh treats.

This cake is for YOU.

All of my regular readers know that I'm fairly obsessed with both cannoli cream and crepes. And of course, I have a gazillion recipes featuring berries. So when I was invited through The Daily Meal's Culinary Content Network to participate in Driscoll's® "Raspberries for Dessert" recipe contest, I knew just what I'd make.

 A crepe cake! It's made up of layer upon layer of delicate crepes, each spread with a decadent raspberry cannoli cream, then topped with loads of fresh raspberries. Now you understand why I insist that THIS CAKE IS FOR YOU.

  • 10-15 crepes
  • 6-ounce package of Driscoll's raspberries, 1/3 cup of the berries separated
  • 2 cups good quality ricotta (try my easy, creamy homemade ricotta!)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • additional powdered sugar, for garnish

Put the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt into a food processor. Process for about three minutes, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the 1/3 cup of fresh @driscollsberry raspberries and process again until the berries are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

NOTE: If you're making homemade crepes (here's the recipe I used) make sure they've cooled before assembling your cake—otherwise the warm crepes may make the cream filling run.

Assembly takes some time but is incredibly easy. Place a crepe on your cake plate. Top with a thin layer of the raspberry cannoli cream, spreading to the crepe's edges; use about three tablespoons of filling per layer for a 15-layer cake or about 1/4 cup per layer for a 10-layer cake.

Continue the layering of crepes followed by cream until you have used all the cream and crepes.

On your final crepe layer—which will be the top of your cake—spread a small, very thin layer of cream (just using the scrapings from the bowl of your food processor should do it). This will act as the glue on which to place the rest of your raspberries.  

The gorgeous raspberries not only dress up this rustic dessert, they also add an essential layer of flavor and freshness. Top the berries with some powdered sugar to garnish and voila! Gorgeous, darling!

Place the cake in your refrigerator for at least an hour or two before serving. This will allow the cake to set and ensures that it will slice easily; if you try to cut it before this time, the layers may slide.

This cake is incredibly cool and light—perfect for brunch or dessert on a summer evening. I'm also thinking this would be an amazing surprise for a birthday breakfast for my son...it's festive and fun and truly wholesome enough to serve first thing on a special morning!

When would you serve this amazing cake?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hummus and Tabbouleh Flatbread Pizza

Sometimes a great meal is just about piling yummy ingredients on top of each other. I know that doesn't sound super exciting but, depending on what those ingredients are, it actually can be exciting. And delicious. Pretty, too!

This is one of those meals. Start with a prepared flatbread. I chose Stonefire's garlic naan, but pita or lavash will also work great. I like to toast the flatbread, so it's warm and has a bit of crunch. Then just spread the hummus over the bread, and generously spoon tabbouleh over the top. I used my Lemony Quinoa Tabbouleh—simple and so delicious.

That's it. Isn't that easy? I served it for dinner with a large salad on the side. Incredibly filling and satisfying.

Did I mention it's also incredibly nutritious—packed with plant-based proteins, fresh veggies, and complex carbs? And it's super easy. You heard that part, right?

And if this idea seems familiar, perhaps you're remembering one of my favorite meals: my Pita Pizza with Hummus and Chopped Salad. Hey, no need to re-invent the wheel, am I right, folks?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mustard Turkey Burgers w. Asparagus & Bacon, Rosemary Roasted Smashed Potatoes

I recently received some beautiful Mother's Day gifts, courtesy of UncommonGoods. Among those gifts was a pack of Foodie Dice. These babies are so fun—perfect for when you feel like you've simply run out of ideas for what to cook for dinner!

It's sort of like being on a episode of "Chopped." A roll of these dice and you get a mission: a protein, cooking method, grain/carb selections, herb choices, and bonus ingredients. Accept the mission and start cooking!

Here was my roll:

I decided to make Mustard Turkey Burgers topped with Asparagus and Bacon, and a side of crispy Rosemary Roasted Smashed Potatoes.

serves 4 

for the burgers:
  • 1 pound ground turkey (I used 85/15)
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 3 or 4 Tablespoons minced red onion
  • a couple of pinches of coarse sea salt
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 to 6 strips of bacon (I like Applegate Natural Sunday Bacon)

In a bowl, combine turkey, mustard, onions, and salt. Loosely pack and shape into patties. Chill in the refrigerator.

Lay your strips of bacon in a large frying pan and set it to low. When it starts to release some of its fat and curl, use tongs to flip the strips to cook on the other side. Keep flipping the strips so that they brown evenly. When the bacon is cooked to your liking (I prefer it very well done), remove it to a plate covered in paper towel to drain and cool. It will crisp more as it cools.

Turn the pan up to medium-high and add the asparagus and a pinch of salt to the bacon grease. Saute it, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is tender-crisp, about three to four minutes. Remove to a plate.

Using the same frying pan, lower the heat to medium and add a little drizzle of olive oil or some ghee. Cook the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned and crispy; the interior should no longer be pink.

Serve the burgers hot, topped with the asparagus and crumbled bacon.

 for the potatoes:
  • about 2 pounds baby red potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • olive oil
  • dried rosemary, chopped finely
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper 
Using a steamer insert in a pot (or a steamer pot), fill the pot with water to about a 1/2 inch below the bottom of the steamer. Place the potatoes in the steamer. Bring the water to a boil and cover the pot. Turn down the heat so that the water remains at a low boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender—about 15-20 minutes for these small new potatoes. The potatoes are ready when you can easily pierce them with a fork.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle a generous amount of oil on a baking sheet. Place the steamed taters on the baking sheet.

Using a measuring cup, press down and flatten each potato. You don't want to totally obliterate them—each potato should still be whole. Just flat.

Brush additional oil on the potatoes. Again, don't skimp. Sprinkle the tops with a generous amount of salt and pepper, as well as the chopped rosemary. (I took this picture before I seasoned them and forgot to take one after. Don't hate.)

Cook them in the top rack of your oven for about 22-25 minutes. They should be crispy and sizzling hot. 

Serve hot, next to the turkey burgers. You can even sprinkle some of the crumbled bacon over the tops of the taters, too. 

This was such a good, easy meal. Thanks to Foodie Dice for the inspiration!

And, hey, if you're feeling stuck about what to make for dinner, just comment below—I'll roll the dice for you and tell you just what to make!

This post contains affiliate links, so if you purchase through my links I make a small commission—which helps to keep this blog running.

Uncommon Goods for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is almost upon us and with that will come gifts like flowers and chocolates. Those things are lovely, of course. They're also fleeting: the flowers will die, the chocolates will be eaten.

I enjoy receiving gifts that last, that I can use again and again.
So, when UncommonGoods gave me the opportunity to shop for my own Mother's Day gifts for a review, I was ecstatic. 

I checked out their Mother's Day online catalog and—listen, you guys—there is just so much quality stuff to choose from. UncommonGoods is Brooklyn-based (howdy, neighbors!) with a mission to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. Half of what they sell is made by hand and most of the products are made in the USA. 

It was difficult to choose but I ended up selecting a handmade garlic grater and oil dipping dish combo; Foodie Dice; and a red slate cheeseboard. It was a wonderful haul and it arrived beautifully packaged. 

Let me tell you more about how much I love each item. This dish has a rough center; you grate the hard cheese and garlic right in the bowl! Add some salt, herbs, spices, then pour in some extra virgin olive oil...and you have a wonderful dipping oil. So simple and so chic!

Beautiful, isn't it?

You can also pour the seasoned oil over pasta, or drizzle it on roasted potatoes or crostini. I brushed some on a hot, soft pretzel and then grated extra Pecorino cheese over the top. Nom nom nom.

I also ordered Foodie Dice. Hey, we all get in a cooking rut sometimes, don't we? A roll of these dice and you get a mission: a protein, cooking method, grain/carb selections, herb choices, and bonus ingredients. Accept the mission and start cooking!

Here was my roll:

And here's what I made: Mustard Turkey Burgers with Asparagus & Bacon, with a side of Rosemary Roasted Smashed Potatoes. Holy yum. Very easy and a hit with the family!

The last item I ordered was this beautiful red slate cheeseboard with soapstone chalk. If you're following me on Instagram, you've already seen me use this as a striking backdrop to a rustic breakfast.

But it can certainly also be used for its intended purpose: cheese!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there! Be loving, diligent, creative, fun, interesting, and uncommon. I hope you feel special this day and every day.

*Products were provided for review by UncommonGoods at no cost to me; however, I received no payment in exchange for this post.

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