Oxtail Congee (Porridge)

Oxtail Congee (Porridge)

Oxtail soup has always been a favorite of mine.  I didn’t grow up on it but I eat it often enough, as if I did.  My sister made this dish for me years ago and ever since I always make it a point to cook it whenever Chris or I are sick with a cold/flu or when it’s cold out.  It’s not a heavy or chunky soup, it’s a brothy soup with a ton of flavors.  I always make a big pot of it but having it day after day can get boring and tedious.

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Beef Stew with Caramelized Onions and Amber Lager

Beef Stew with Caramelized Onions and Amber Lager

I hate thieves! Last week, I discovered someone had stolen one of my popular posts and used it as their own content on their website, while generating ad revenues with pop-up ads.  And that’s not the worst part.  The owner of the site pulled in my content using a hidden iframe so people think they’re visiting unihomemaker.com when they’re not.  I mean, how often do people actually pay attention to the URL address they click over? I think this all originated from Pinterest.  I had to file a DMCA complaint with Pinterest and the thief’s web hosting company out in Germany.  Luckily, both parties took action and shut this guy down quickly! Has this happened to anyone before? Care to share your story with me?

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Beef Empanadas with Olives and Raisins

Beef Empanadas with Olives and Raisins

This past weekend was a nice and lazy weekend (there’s no other kind for us. :)).  Chris and I didn’t do a whole lot except eat, drink and relax.  We have some organizing we needed to do but never got around to it (we’re procrastinators).  We munched on some empanadas and crab dip (recipe to come this week) while sipping on wine and beer.  It was pure delight!

These empanadas were tasty for my first try.  I based the filling off of my picadillo recipe.  I am not a dough making person (yeast and kneading terrifies me!) so I used store bought pie crust instead.  These would be fabulous for entertaining.  And you can make these ahead of time too (you gotta love that!).  Have a stellar week!

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Ranchero Beef Stew

Ranchero Beef Stew

It has been chilly here lately so last night I decided to make a big pot of stew.  Chris picked up some Angus Beef (stew meat) from Harris Ranch at the market.  The first thing I thought was how expensive this stew meat was.  But it was totally worth it.  It made the best beef stew ever! I didn’t think you can tell the difference but with this meat, you can.

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Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

This was my first stuffed pasta recipe I learned 5-6 years ago, and it has been a staple in my household whenever we wanted something hearty in the form of pasta.  I have to admit, this dish does take some time to make but it’s totally worth it! Plus, it can feed a lot of people if you are casually entertaining.  The trick to stuffing these tube pastas quickly and maximize the stuffing in each tube is with a demi spoon.  You can cram a lot in there and in a flash.  Add a simple salad and you have yourself a meal!

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Roasted Tomatoes and Leek Beef Stew

Roasted Tomatoes and Leek Beef Stew

I made this dish for Nelson and Kimi a couple of weeks ago when they came over for dinner.  Nelson is on a diet with minimum carbs or no carbs.  Since I have to have a little carb, I made this dish to please everyone’s dietary needs.  At the end of the night, there was absolutely no leftover —it’s that tasty.  So tasty that I made it again last night.  It’s best served with warm crusty bread.  I love it when the sauce gets absorbed by the bread and gives it all that flavor.  Instead of using canned diced tomatoes in this stew, I thought roasted mini heirloom tomatoes would give it a bit more elegance and flavor.  Enjoy!

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Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

It’s been cold and miserable here lately with the rain.  And there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with a bowl of stew (or soup) during those times.  I love butternut squash and sun-dried tomatoes in this stew.  Not only does it make it look pretty but it’s also delicious.  I served it with rice but it’s equally tasty with some warm crusty bread!

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Oxtail Soup

It has been quite chilly here the past few days.  So chilly that a pot of soup was in order.  I love this soup.  I remember having it at a friend’s house for dinner when I was 10 years old.  And in my early 20’s, I learned this recipe from Kimi.  I remember one time I made this soup and E added a dried bay leaf to it —it threw this entire soup off and not in a good way.  Suffice it to say it went into the trash.  If you want to alter this soup in any way —please do not add a bay leaf in here.  The flavor of this soup comes from the oxtail and the veggies.  There’s no need for any herbs or spices.  Bottoms up!

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Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog with Kimchi Relish

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog with Kimchi Relish

Earlier this year, Chris and I visited Ann Arbor and we stopped by a Korean diner in Kerrytown for lunch.  Chris ordered a bacon wrapped hot dog deep fried with kimchi on it.  It was pretty interesting! It inspired me to make my own at-home version so here it is —slightly healthier.  I don’t normally eat hot dogs but when you get the organic kind with no nitrates or additives you feel better about eating it.

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