Sunday, January 31, 2016

Steak al Forno and the most AMAZING Brussels Sprouts

As I promised earlier in the week I had one more meal to tell you about from the Nordstrom: Family Table Cookbook. The cover of the cookbook was one of the main reasons I actually wanted to buy the cookbook.

That Brussels Sprout Casserole looked amazing and Brussels Sprouts are Matt's favorite veggie so I knew instantly that it was a dish that I wanted to try out.

Two weeks ago I had an international work trip to go on and decided to cook a special dinner for Matt the night before I left.
  • Steak al Forno (p.90) 
  • Gratineed Brussels Sprouts (p.182)

First, for the Brussels Sprouts:

  • 4T EVOO
  • 1/2 Package Thick Bacon, cut in 1/4 inch slices (Can also use diced Prosciutto) 
  • 1 1/4 Lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half 
  • 1/4 c Shallots, Chopped 
  • 1/3 c Dry White Wine
  • 2 c Chicken Broth 
  • 1/2 t Kosher Salt 
  • 1/4 t Ground Black Pepper 
  • 2c Gruyere Cheese, Shredded
  • 2 c Heavy Cream 

Heat 2 T of the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl, lined with a paper towel, to drain. 

Add the brussels sprouts to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the shallots and cook until they soften, about 2 minutes.

Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook, Stirring occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are tender and liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes,  

Pre-heat the oven to 375. 

Using a slotted spoon remove the Brussels Sprouts and place into a into a 2-quart baking dish. Continue cooking the liquid that the brussels sprouts were cooked in. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced to about 2T (about 5 minutes) Add cream, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the cream is reduced by about half (10 minutes) Add salt and pepper to taste

Add half of the gruyere cheese to the brussels sprouts

Add cream mixture

Add bacon

Add the rest of the cheese

Bake for 20 minutes

Now for the Delish Steak... So there a a bit of prep but the actual cook time is extremely fast.

  • Sirloin to New York Strip Steaks 
  • 1 1/2 c Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, shredded 
  • 2T minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 1t ground black pepper 

Let steaks sit at room temperature and season with salt and pepper

Mix cheese and parsley in a small bowl and set aside

In a small saucepan cook the butter and garlic on medium-low heat for 1 minute 

Heat Broiler and line a sheet-pan with aluminum foil.

Heat skillet on very high heat and add 2 T EVOO. Once pan is hot add the steaks. Cook for 4 minutes, flip, cook for 4 more minutes.

Transfer the steaks to the prepared sheet-pan. Divide the cheese/parsley mixture over top of the steaks.

Drizzle the butter over

Broil until the cheese is melted and beginning to turn brown.

Let stand for three minutes before serving and ENJOY!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Favorite Things Friday: Valentine Edition

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so I wanted to share a few items that have caught my eye 

I think that conversations hearts make a PERFECT addition to popcorn! This Heart Popcorn will be something that we will have to try out this weekend! I know that Hunter and Gibson would have a blast making it... and sampling!

Valentine themed succulent plants would make a cute gift for a neighbor, co-worker, or teacher!

This TWO ingredient lip gloss seems SUPER easy to make and would be a good gift for Emma to give her friends!

and who doesn't love some EOS Lip Balm if you don't want to make your own...

This Paint Set Valentine will be what Hunter ends up giving to his friends at Pre-school! Love that it is NOT candy.

ummmm Raspberry Cupcakes + Champagne = PERFECTION

This Shirt from Etsy just tells it like it is...

If you want to see the super cute Valentines that Hunter made last year you can see them HERE
2015 Valentine Round up HERE

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cooking Recap: Nordstrom Family Table

Last week I was out of town, for work, and just didn't have an opportunity to Share how amazing cooking from Nordstrom: Family Table Cookbook was!

I mean just look at these great dishes! They are all meals that I plan to make again.
Beef Bourguignon (p. 95) - I made this dish the day before and let the favors really develop. Plus, any recipe that calls for a bottle of Pinot Noir is a winner in my book.

Penne with Bolognese Sauce (p.150) - Everyone in the family loved this dish. I think that it will quickly become a favorite in the Park Household. If you do not like spicy you can always substitute the hot sausage for sweet. I also think that this will be a sauce that I can easily make-ahead and freeze for a meal when I am out of town.

New Orleans Chicken and Andouille Etouffee (p.119) - Matt said this was a perfect dinner.... The only thing that I would add next time would be okra... what can I say I'm a southern girl who loves her okra!

Ahi Tuna Poke (p.27) - This was a little evening snack and my first time making Ahi Poke... I was terrified but happy with the results, I altered the recipe as I omitted the Sesame seeds (didn't have them) and I added an avocado... Next time I would double the amount of avocado. It was also the first time that I fried wontons... easy and yummy.

Grilled Shrimp, corn, and Polenta Salad (p.74) - I altered this recipe a lot... I ran out of arugula, I didn't have polenta, and I added avocado. Still made a refreshing lunch for a Sunday!

Lemon-Scented Risotto with Seared Scallops and Green Beans (p.171) - Made this dish for some friends and had a chance to make the risotto using my new Kitchen Aid Stir Tower. BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER!

The verdict... after cooking from this cookbook for a full week... LOVED it and I cannot wait to make more meals. I think that I will plan to do another week next month!

There is also one more meal that I cooked from the cookbook and I plan to do a FULL post on just that meal later this week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cooking Recap: The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook

This week I cooked from The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook and I have to say that I have loved every single item that I made!

Sunday, 3 January - 
Cod with Apple Puree and Brussel Sprout Salad (p. 108)... The Apple Puree was KEY!

Bread Pudding with Peaches and Caramel Sauce (P. 168)  ... Would use an Egg bread next time

Monday, 4 January 
Shepherd's Pie... used ground turkey in place of ground beef and it was YUMMY!

Tuesday, 5 January 
Hal's Hot Chili (p.134) ... Didn't take a photo but this was delish. I also had made this dish ahead of time on Sunday which was a blessing because I was sick and would have never cooked if it wasn't already done.

Wednesday, 6 January
Matt ordered Pizza for the Family... I was Super Sick

Thursday, 7 January 
Left overs... Still SUPER Sick. Found out on this day that it was Strep and started Meds.

Friday, 8 January
Beets and Greens Salad (p. 95) ... My greens were not looking too hot so I did the recipe without the greens and it was yummy.

Green Pea Soup (p. 61) ... I have a weakness for a good pea soup and this one hit the spot.

Chicken with Pecans & Orange Zest (p. 118)... Also made a great sweet potato puree for the chicken

Saturday, 9 January
We went out for dinner with Friends but I made this Tortilla Soup (p. 70) for lunch and froze half of the recipe for Matt and the kids to eat next week when I am out of town. 

Sunday, 10 January 
Ribollita (p. 60) ... Made this ahead of time and pulled this out of the freezer for some lunch! Didn't take a photo though.

Banh Mi (p. 142)... Everyone LOVED these sandwiches. They are going to make another appearance in the Park Household...

For being SUPER sick for a majority of the week I cannot believe that I ended up cooking TEN recipes!!!!! It was really all due to the fact that I cooked so much ahead of time on the Sunday before I got sick. Meal prep is key people!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Meal Plan Monday: Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook

This week I will be cooking from the Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook!

Here is he plan!


    • Beef Bourguignon (p. 95) 

    • New Orleans Chicken and Andoulle Etouffee (p. 119) 

      • Left overs 

      • Penne with Bolognese Sauce (p.150)
      • Grilled Skirt Steak with Cilantro-lime Vinaigrette (p. 97)
      • Lunch: Lemon-Scented Risotto with Seared Scallops (p. 171)  
      • Ahi Tuna Poke (p. 27)
      •  Grilled Shrimp with Corn and Polenta Salad (p. 74) 

      Check back tomorrow to see how successful I was with my cooking from last week!

      Tuesday, January 5, 2016

      Monday, January 4, 2016

      Favorite Gifts: Kitchen

      Over the last few years I have received a number of cooking items that I LOVE and I want to share a few of them with you. These are all items that I have personally received as a gift or that I gift to my own friends on a regular basis.

      Matt got me these for Christmas and I CANNOT wait to use them! I also love that the set came with a cookbook especially for the small cooking vessels. 

      Salt Block Cooking Cookbook and a Salt block! 
      What a unique cooking experience. I have only done non-heat on my salt block. It is SUPER powerful! 

       I actually just recently bought this for myself and I LOVE IT. Like that the grocery list is attached! so practical and CUTE 

      This is BY FAR my favorite cheese knife brand. 

      Who wouldn't want to get a beautiful walnut cutting-board that is perfect to display your yummy cheese??? If you purchase from this site you are also supporting a Veteran owned business!

      This is a GREAT book with over 100 things that you can make and give as gifts. My plan is to make a few of these items with close friends throughout the year. 
       Love this new cookbook hat I got for Christmas. I like that it is divided into monthly sections so the recipes that you are making are seasonal. I also really like the headings on each recipe which outlines if the dish is Freezer friendly, make-ahead friendly, kid friendly...