Grilled Bulgogi Sandwiches (Grilled Korean Beef Sandwiches)

Grilled Bulgogi Sandwiches (Grilled Korean Beef Sandwiches)

Lately I’ve been exploring “fusion” cuisine. Fusion cuisine is exactly what the name suggests, the fusion of cuisines, cooking styles, ingredients, and tastes.

One of the most popular fusion cuisines is called Pacific Rim, it’s the blending of dishes, ingredients, and styles from areas all around the Pacific Ocean. Perfect examples would be Alaskan Salmon with Miso Glaze (Alaska meets Japanese cuisine), Kinilaw Poke (Filipino/Hawaiian ceviche), and Korean Beef Tacos (Korea meets Mexico).

Of course it’s not limited to Pacific Rim, the combinations are endless. Have you tried Mongolian Beef Or Adobo Pizza? Sounds weird I know but trust me they’re really good!

Lately Grilled Sandwich shops are popping up everywhere. They take a humble grilled cheese sandwich, everyone’s favorite comfort food, and have turned it into a variety of amazing sandwiches. Think Lobster Melt, Patty Melt, and Reubens! Or how about a Grilled Caprese Piandina or a Roast Beef and Gruyère Panini?

They all are yummy! What’s not to like? Who can resist a crunchy sandwich filled with gooey stringy cheese?

That’s why I decided to try a my hand at a Korean style grilled sandwich.  The sweet spicy beef blends well with the savory saltiness of the melted cheese. Place all this between 2 slices crunchy bread and you’ve got a delicious sandwich!

This sandwich requires a bit more prepping that and average grilled cheese sandwich. The meat filling must be marinated and cooked before building the sandwich. But it is so worth the time. It’s become a family fave. I’m sure it will become a favorite in your family too!

 

Grilled Bulgogi Sandwiches (Grilled Korean Beef Sandwiches)

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Korean

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ribeye or filet mignon steaks - very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine or mirin
  • 3 garlic cloves - peeled and minced
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 grated Asian apple peel on (use a delicious apple if you can’t find the Asian apple)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 used the bag of varied color peppers from Costco), remove seeds and slice thinly
  • 1 jalapeño remove seeds and thinly sliced
  • 8 thick slices of bread from a large
  • loaf I use either the Japanese style or the farmhouse loaf
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • ¼ tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 red onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise, optional
  • 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce , optional

Instructions
 

  • Place steak strips in a bowl and add the soy sauce, gochujang, ginger,sugar, rice wine, 2 of the minced garlic cloves, black pepper, grated apple and sesame oil.
  • Mix together, cover and allow to marinate for 30minutes (place in the fridge if marinating for longer than that).
  • Once the steak has finishedmarinating, heat the vegetable oilon a high heat in a large frying pan.
  • Remove the steak from the bowl and add steak in to heated oil. (Discard marinade)
  • Fry for 4-5 minutes turning occasionally until and just starting to caramelize (if there’s a lot of liquid in the pan drain and continue to fry the steak). Fry steak until the edges start to get a bit crisp.
  • Remove the steak from the pan and let rest on a plate.
  • Add the sliced peppers to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Remove from the pan. Mix with the steak and set aside.
  • Build the Sandwich
  • Preheat the sandwich press or large frying pan on a high heat.
  • Take the slices of bread and spread the softened butter onto one side of each piece.
  • Place 4 of the pieces of bread, butter-side-down onto a plate.
  • Divide the cooked steak mixture, sesame seedsand grated cheese between each piece of bread.
  • Sprinkle on the red onion, jalapenos and springonions.
  • Spread softened butted on one side of each remaining bread slices.
  • Place bread slices on top of steak filling. Make sure the buttered side is facing out.
  • If using a press place the sandwiches on the sandwich press and pull the lid down. (You may have to make sandwiches one or two at a time depending on size of press)
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes, checking occasionally, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  • If using a frying pan place sandwiches on heated pan and cook about 3 minutes, press sandwiches down with a spatula or cast iron press.
  • Once the first side is golden brown flip sandwiches over and cook second side until golden brown and cheese has melted.
  • While sandwiches are grilling mix together the mayonnaise and remaining minced garlic.
  • Once sandwiches are grilled remove from pan and open the tops of the grilled sandwiches and drizzle on the garlic mayo and the sweet chili sauce. This step is optional. The sandwiches are great without the toppings.
  • Slice sandwiches in half and serve.
  • If you don’t use all the steak mixture or don’t need 4 sandwiches you can store the cooked steak in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • To use heat the steak mixture before building the sandwiches. Then grill as above.
  • Enjoy!
Round Up of Star Wars Inspired Recipes for Your Event

Round Up of Star Wars Inspired Recipes for Your Event

star wars inspired recipesHear we go again!  Another Star Wars movies was recently released.  Yes Disney’s Han Solo movie is a Star Wars story, meaning it’s not part of any of the Star Wars trilogies.  Instead it’s a stand alone movie designed to enhance or explain the major characters or story lines.  In this case Han Solo’s beginings.  We all wondered about his early years before he joined up with the Rebel Alliance, didn’t we? Regardless if you had the burning desire to learn more about Han or not one thing is certain the new movie has renewed interest on all that is Star Wars.  This means more Star Wars themed parties and events which need of course Star Wars inspired recipes!

So I’ve rounded up some Star Wars inspired recipes for you to try at your next Star Wars movie night or Marathon.  (At our house we have Star Wars Marathons on rainy weekends. )

These Star Wars inspired recipes are super cute and mostly fairly easy to make.  It might just make you the super cool parent of the year when you roll them out at your kid’s Star Wars themed birthday party!

star wars inspired recipesCarbonite Jello

Ok I couldn’t resist so I posted this jello picture I found on Pinterest twice.  After  it is the Han Solo movie and the most memorable thing that ever happened to Mr. Solo, at least in my book, was when he was entombed in carbonite by none other than Darth Vader at the end of episode V The Empire Strikes Back.

I’m sure exactly which site has the recipe for this jello, but do you really need one?  All you need is a box or two of jello and a Han Solo action figure.  Place him at the bottom of the pan and follow the directions on the jello package.  Pour the jello over the man and let it gel!

Personally I’d use green jello simply because I like lime jello.  But we all know carbonite is gray and I don’t think there’s gray jello, maybe you can use blue.  Or if you’re really inspired use Knox unflavored jello, add fruit juice and a few drops of black food coloring, you could possibly end up with gray colored gelatin.  It might work.  But me I’d stick with green lime jello.

star wars inspired recipes

Star Wars Pizza

Another Star Wars inspired recipe that doesn’t really need a recipe.  The picture says it all.  Arrange toppings on a homemade or frozen pizza to make BB8, use a half a pizza crust topped with tomato slices and olives for his head.

Use your imagination and turn pizzas into the Death Star or planets!

If you want to get creative shape the dough into your favorite Star Wars character, Yoda, R2D2, C3pO, Darth Vader, Chewbaca, or whoever.  Remember shape the dough, spread with sauce, sprinkle with cheese, add toppings, and bake.

You can even use refrigerated or frozen pizza dough!

 

 

star wars inspired recipesBB8 Quesadilla

Prefer quesadillas to pizza?  Never fear here’s a recipe from Totally the Bomb for this BB8 Quesadilla using cheese and colored cream cheese.

Click here for the recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

star wars inspired recipesStar Wars Rice Krispy Treats

I think everyone loves rice krispy treats.  They’re a great snack and they’re pretty easy to make.

Here’s the recipe from Mom Endeavors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

star wars inspired recipesstar wars inspired recipesStormtrooper Cupcakes

Here’s the recipe and directions from Yummy Mummy Club! They use food writer pens to make the faces on marshmallows.

If you don’t want to make the cupcakes then just make the marshmallow pops!  It’s made the same way as the cupcake toppers using the food writer pens, just stick them on lollipop sticks instead!

 

 

 

star wars inspired recipesPrincess Leia Oreo Truffles

Seriously yummy!

Make these Leia Truffles by The Cookie RookieClick here for the recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

Princess Leia Cupcakes

Paintbrushes and Popsicles has an awesome recipe for Leia Cupcakes!

Click here for recipe and directions!

 

 

 

 

 

star wars inspired recipesStar Wars Macaroons

This one’s probably the hardest to make if you’re going to make macaroons at home.  I’m not that patient!  But you can use store bought macaroons.  (I get a box of frozen ones from Sam’s Club or Costco, they’re pretty inexpensive).

If you use store bought macaroons then all you need is a steady hand.  Just pipe the colored icings on the macaroons to make R2Dc, the Death Star, or Chewbacca.

 

star wars inspired recipesDeath Star Watermelon

Ok this one takes skill, carving skills that is!

Find yourself a round watermelon and get out the carving knives!

This would make an awesome centerpiece for your dessert table!

 

 

 

 

star wars inspired recipesStar Wars Popcorn

Two Sisters Crafting makes this yummy popcorn.  Awesome snack for that Star Wars Movie Marathon!

Click here for the recipe!

 

 

star wars inspired recipesLighsaber Pretzel Rods

No Star Wars themed party or movie night would be complete without lightsabers.

How about these Lightsaber Pretzel rods from Two Sisters Crafting?

Hey they’d make awesome party favors if wrapped in clear treat bags!

Click here for recipe!

Need some Star Wars inspired party stationary and decor?  Contact Savvy Nana Crafts, they’ll design the perfect invitations, favor tags, banners, and signs for your Star Wars themed event!

 

Halloween Treats for ADULTS

Halloween Treats for ADULTS

 

Who says Halloween is just for kids?  After the kids have returned from Trick-or-Treating and they’ve wound down for the night put them to bed it’s time for some adult fun.

Whip up some adult treats ahead of time, hide them from the kids, and take them out for a bit of spooky fun with your friends, or snuggle up with your significant other for drinks and nibbles as you watch a scary movie.

Here are a few recipes for Halloween treats and drinks for adults.

Black CocktailThe Blackbeard cocktail from Honestly YUM is made with chocolate stout.  It looks lethally YUMMY!

Recipe click here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

Pumpkin cheese ballWhip up this Nacho Pumpkin Cheese Ball from Cincy Shopper, it’s creamy, crunchy, with a bit of spicy!

Recipe click here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

Spiderweb DipDip the nigh away with this zesty south-of-the-border dip from Mr. Food.com

Recipe click here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

Mummy BrieAdd a bit of sophistication to your Halloween with this Mummy Baked Brie found on Babble.com.

Recipe click here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

Smoking MartiniHere’s a lovey Smoking Martini created by Thomas Johnson from Cocktailatlas.com

Perfect for Halloween!
Recipe click here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

CocktailThe Grave Digger Cocktail is a concoction of hard cider, whiskey, and ginger ale designed by Boulder Locavore.

Recipe click here!  [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

Outdoor Entertaining – Free Corn on the Cob Recipe!

Outdoor Entertaining – Free Corn on the Cob Recipe!

Summer is almost here!  And in our family that means outdoor entertaining!  It’s always a good idea to take advantage of good weather and dine alfresco every chance you get!

I know that outdoor entertaining means backyard barbecues complete with grilled meats, corn on the cob, and other mouth watering goodies we can make outside.  Don’t forget the S’mores!  But really outdoor entertaining isn’t limited to cooking stuff on your grill, there are so many ways you can enjoy dining on your patio or backyard.  It could be an intimate breakfast for two, a rambunctious kids’ birthday party, or a more serene adult dinner party for friends and family.

To get your creative juices flowing I’ve got 7 ideas you can build on to take your summer time entertaining outdoors!  By the way outdoor entertaining doesn’t mean you have to invite the whole neighborhood; you can enjoy a nice quite meal outdoors with just your immediate household!

How about an intimate breakfast for 2?

They’ve always said breakfast is the most important meal of the day; how better to start your day than with breakfast outdoors with your spouse or partner?

You don’t have to go all out.  A nice cup of coffee and a croissant will do; or if you’re feeling inclined a plate of bacon and egg and some warm biscuits will hit the spot.  Whatever the menu all you’ll really need is a simple table and chairs on the patio or in the backyard.  (And maybe keep the kids indoors so you can have some quiet time!)

If you’re not a morning person then make it lunch or dinner for two.  Remember the idea is to relax and enjoy some couples time!

Vintage Garden Tea Party

Tea is my favorite method of entertaining  and a Vintage Garden Party is a great to entertain outdoors.  I love tea parties, they’re simple and easy to prepare, they make you and your guests feel pampered, and they are so pretty!

Have everyone dress up in pretty summer frocks to make it an extra special event.  You don’t have to limit tea parties to adult parties, children, particularly little girls will adore a princess tea party for her birthday!  Our you can have a Teddy Bear Tea Party for boys and girls; each child is invited to bring along their favorite plush animal for the garden party.  Kids love it!

Kids’ Birthday Party

In my opinion kids’ parties should always be held outdoors, weather permitting of course.

There are so many options and themes for outdoor birthday parties.  The kids love it because they have room to run around and parents love it because it keeps the mess out of the house and makes clean up easier.

If your patio or yard isn’t big enough to let the kids run around then take your party to your neighborhood park!  Just be sure to clean up and place your trash in the trash containers.

Boho Adult Dinner Party

Adult Outdoor parties don’t always have to include grilled meats or barbecued anything for that matter!

A Boho themed or any themed outdoor party works for any occasion and it’s great if you don’t have enough outdoor tables and chairs.  Just stock up on large floor pillows or even picnic blankets.  Use low tables or a piece of plywood resting on cement tiles for your “dining table”.  Just be sure you cover it with a pretty tablecloth!

As for food serve anything your heart desires!

Baby or Bridal Showers

Who says indoor sofas and shelves can’t go outside?  Bring the indoors out and host your bridal or baby shower in the backyard.

It’s amazing what a bit of “redecorating” can do!

This works great if you have a small indoor living area and have lots of friends and family to invite!

 

Outdoor Weddings

I just love outdoor weddings!  They can be as low key or as fancy as the bride wants.

Lots of brides have learned to think outside of the box and hired some wonderful wedding venues.  You can check out vineyards, parks, beaches, and even zoos!

Depending on the venue outdoor weddings might take a bit more planning so it’s important to have a great wedding planner on your team!

Outdoor Barbecue

I can’t talk about outdoor entertaining without including the outdoor barbecue.  Take advantage of summer and take dinner (or lunch) outside.

You’ll definitely have lots of opportunities to host an outdoor barbecue between Memorial and Labor Days you’ve got Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, possibly a birthday or two.  Not to mention you don’t need a special occasion to barbecue, you can have one for the family just because!

Now one of my favorite things at an outdoor barbecue is the corn on the cob!  A barbecue isn’t complete without it.  I’m sure you’ve heard of Elotes, Mexican Street Corn, it’s super yummy!  Well it has mayo on it and my son will not touch anything with mayo.  So I had to find a way to make something similar to Elotes without the mayo and I came up with my Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob.  Here’s my recipe!

Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

Corn

(For the corn – I used frozen mini cobs or niblets and boiled on the stove – you can use frozen or fresh and boil it, bake it, or grill it.  This recipe is to boil frozen corn.)

16 Niblets – Frozen

1 Pot water

1 Cup Milk

Topping:

1/2 Cup butter softened

1 Tbs. Chipotle Pepper Powder

1 Tsp. Cumin

1 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tsp. Honey

Queso Fresco – crumbled

Cilantro – chopped

1 Lime – cut into wedges

Directions:

Make the topping by mixing butter, honey, and powdered seasonings together.  Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Boil corn in water/milk mixture for about 20 minutes or until done.  Drain corn and transfer to a baking pan.

Place spoonfuls of butter topping on each cob.  Butter topping will melt.  Roll cobs in melted butter until all sides are covered.

Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro.

Serve with lime wedges for each person to squeeze over cob if they want to.

You can keep this warm in the oven until ready to serve.

You can store any extra butter topping in the fridge and use for other things.  I like to use it to saute chicken or even veggies.  Pretty much anything you want to add a bit of spice to!

 

DIY Infused Olive Oil

DIY Infused Olive Oil

infused olive oilI just love infused olive oil!  But have you seen the price of infused olive oil at those specialty stores?  Yup, they can cost a pretty penny!

You might be wondering what’s the big deal with infused olive oil and what is it used for.  Infused olive oil adds flavor to just about anything!  You can use it in marinades and dressings; drizzle it on anything you want to add flavor to, even scrambled eggs; you can add it to your cooking oil to give fried food some extra zing; and it makes a quick appetizer, just pour some into a small plate and dip bread in the oil, it’s delicious!

I used to buy infused olive oil from those specialty shops.  With all it’s uses I figured it was worth the splurge.  But I recently discovered just how easy it is to make infused olive oil.  So I’ve been making my own.  I make infused vinegar too!

I love making my own infused olive oil because I can infuse it with anything I want.  In reality you can infuse olive oil with just about anything, but be careful when using fresh ingredients.

Fresh ingredients, such as garlic cloves and herbs, have a high water content.  The water when combined with the oil is a perfect medium for growing botulism toxin and you don’t want to do that!

To keep my infused olive oil botulism free I use only dried ingredients.  You can of course use fresh ingredients (I know a fresh sprig of rosemary floating in oil is so pretty).  When using fresh ingredients be sure you store your oil in the refrigerator and discard after 3 months.

Having said that here’s how I make infused olive oil!

Materials:

Jars or bottles with sealable lids or caps  – I used glass Woosey hot sauce bottles with shrink capsules I got from Amazon.  But you can use Mason jars or whatever you have handy

Funnel

Ladle

Large pots

Measuring spoons

Tongs

Kitchen Thermometer

Ingredients:

1 large bottle of extra virgin olive oil

Dried Minced Garlic

Dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary

Crushed Red Pepper

Directions:

infused olive oilPlace jars or bottles in a large pot and fill with water.  Be sure all the containers are covered with water.

Boil on the stove for about 10 minutes.[spacer height=”-20px”]

infused olive oilCarefully remove hot containers from pot using tongs and place them on a clean towel to dry.

Make sure the inside of the containers are dry before filling the bottles.

Using a funnel put 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of each dry ingredient into your container.

Set herb filled bottles aside while you heat your oil.

Pour olive oil in large pot and place it on the stove over medium heat.

Heat oil until it reaches 180° – do not boil

Remove from heat

infused olive oilUsing a ladle fill your containers with the hot oil.  Fill to about 1″ from the top.

Screw on caps or lids.

Store in a cool dry place for about 4 weeks before using.  Once  you open it store oil in the fridge for up to 3 months.

This recipe will make 24 – 5oz. bottles.

If you want to be fancy print labels you can stick on the bottles, that’s what I did!

I recently made a batch to include in the pasta salad kits I gave out on Christmas.  Infused Olive Oil make great gifts and favors.  I used some of the oil as favors for my husband’s Godfather themed birthday party, but that’s another article!

 

Infused Vinegar
 

DIY Infused Olive Oil

DIY Infused Vinegar

infused vinegarInfused Vinegar has become a very popular gourmet staple.  You’ll find them in grocery stores and specialty shops.  They can cost a pretty penny!

You might be wondering why you need infused vinegar and what you’d use it for.  Infused vinegar can be used for so many different things depending on what type of vinegar is infused.

Infused vinegar can be made with Balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar.

You can infuse vinegar with fruits, herbs, or spices.  Fruit infused balsamic vinegar can be reduced and used as a topping on ice cream and other desserts.  Vinegars infused with herbs and spices make great salad dressings, marinades, and dipping sauces.  In short you can use them on almost anything!

You can splurge on a pricey bottle of infused vinegar or you can make your own at home.  It’s fairly easy and very inexpensive.  Now a word of caution, vinegar infused with fresh herbs and fruit can grow toxins and cause botulism poisoning.  That’s because fresh ingredients contain lots of water which when released into the vinegar makes the perfect medium for growing the toxin.

If you choose to infuse vinegar with fresh fruits or herbs you MUST store it in the refrigerator for no longer than 3 months.  Check it before each use for mold and discard if you see it.

To avoid this issue and to make infused vinegar that can sit at room temperature I use only dried ingredients.  Dried herbs and spices have little or no water content therefore are less likely to grow toxins.  This time I will show you how to make infused white vinegar, but the technique is the same for any other type of vinegar.

Materials:

Jars or bottles with sealable lids or caps  – I used glass Woosey hot sauce bottles with shrink capsules I got from Amazon.  But you can use Mason jars or whatever you have handy

Funnel

Ladle

Large pots

Measuring spoons

Tongs

Kitchen Thermometer

Ingredients:

infused vinegar1 Gallon White Vinegar

Dried Minced Garlic

Dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary

Crushed Red Pepper

[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

Directions:

infused vinegarPlace jars or bottles in a large pot and fill with water.  Be sure all the containers are covered with water.

Boil on the stove for about 10 minutes.

Carefully remove hot containers from pot using tongs and place them on a clean towel to dry.

Make sure the inside of the containers are dry before filling the bottles.

 

Using a funnel put 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of each dry ingredient into your container.

infused vinegar

infused vinegar

Set herb filled bottles aside while you heat your vinegar.

Pour vinegar in large pot and place it on the stove over medium heat.

Heat vinegar until it reaches 180° – do not boil

Remove from heat

Using a ladle fill your containers with the hot vinegar.  Fill to about 1″ from the top.

Screw on caps or lids.

Store in a cool dry place for about 4 weeks before using.  Once  you open it store vinegar in the fridge for up to 3 months.

If you want to be fancy print labels you can stick on the bottles.

infused vinegar

This recipe will fill 24 – 5oz. bottles.

Once you’ve made your first batch you’ll be a pro!  Experiment with different ingredients and use them for different things.  I find strawberry infused balsamic vinegar delicious over ice cream!

Infused vinegars make wonderful gifts.  I made a batch last Christmas to include in the Pasta Kits I gave out!