Making a House a Home

What’s cookin’ good lookin’? June 24, 2011

Filed under: Foodie — gregandlisa @ 11:06 PM

We tried two new recipes tonight and we loved them both!!!

The first one is Dijon Mushroom Beef from my amazing Taste of Home cookbook I received for Christmas from my equally amazing fiance 🙂

We found sirloin steak on sale (look for dates that are about to expire and they give you a discount!) and picked this recipe because we had all the ingredients on hand, which are:

  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (which we actually omitted because we didn’t have any and Greg’s not a big fan)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (also omitted, but on accident)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pound beef top sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 can reduced-fat, reduced sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 3/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

  1. In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms and onion in oil until tender. Remove and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, cook the beef until no longer pink.
  3. Add the soup, milk, mustard, and mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook and stir until thickened.

The recipe called for noodles, but we baked potatoes in the microwave and put it over that instead.

The sauce is delicious, and I think would taste good with chicken or pork too – definitely a sauce I will use again!

The second recipe I found on (where else?) Pinterest. It’s called “The Best Tomato Basil Soup” and is easy and delicious! This is a blog I will look into further!


  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 – 14 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh basil, julienned
  • Parmesan cheese
I didn’t use fresh basil, I used dried and just sprinkled a bunch in there. I also added rosemary and garlic powder. And along with Parmesan cheese I sprinkled Asiago and Romano cheeses in there too. I did have heavy cream on hand from a baking recipe last weekend that I will post later, but I wonder if that could be substituted for something less loaded with saturated fat 🙂
What to do:
  1. In a saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute – being careful not to burn the garlic.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes.  Add the whole tomatoes one at a time, squeezing them into the pan to break them up.  Add the juice from the whole tomatoes, as well.  Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar.  Cook the soup on medium at a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. To finish, reduce the heat to low and stir in heavy cream and basil

This made a decent size pot – it’s a great dinner party idea because it’s something that could be started early and left to simmer for awhile before adding the cream, while you made more time-consuming items. It could also be a fun dinner party idea to make a tomato soup “bar” and have a bunch of add-ins for people to make it there own, like ground turkey, macaroni noodles, green beans, cheeses, croutons, etc.

Yum, I can’t wait for leftover tomato soup tomorrow night for dinner! With gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches…I’m off to dream of delicious food, good night!


Best Brownie Ever June 17, 2011

Filed under: Foodie — gregandlisa @ 6:03 PM

I have discovered a new obsession – trying new recipes. Previously, I would find a few favorites, and eat the same things in a rotating manner. However, I’m discovering a whole new world that includes Pinterest and food blogs, especially this amazingly well-rounded woman (a foodie who used to be a personal trainer – what?!) who has a super cute blog title, How Sweet It Is. She is the amazing creator of the “Triple-Layer-Cookies-and-Cream-Crunch-Bars” that I consider to be the best brownie ever.

Here are the necessary ingredients. I altered her recipe very slightly by using Special Dark cocoa powder, a mix of white and whole wheat flour (1 cup white flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour), and Double Stuf Oreos instead of regular.

You mix most of these together and press Oreos into the batter like this:

Bake it for a bit, then add another layer of wonderful goodness

Chocolate chips! And…

more Oreos!!!! Bake for a few more minutes, while melting chocolate chips with peanut butter…

Then you get to pour this melty wonderfulness over the baked awesomeness

Spread it all over – this is very important, don’t leave open spaces!!!

The worst part is that you need to let it cool for 2 hours before you can eat it!

Look at all those luscious layers… brownie, Oreo, melted chocolate…they are amazing. Greg and I shared them with his mom, and some of our OT classmates and I think the overwhelming opinion was a resounding “YES PLEASE”!

Here’s the amazing recipe (with my alterations – for the real one, click the link above).

Triple Layer Cookies and Cream Crunch Bars

makes 9-12 bars

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark)

2 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

20 Oreo cookies (Double Stuf!)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 x 8 cake pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add remaining teaspoon of vanilla. Add in cocoa powder and mix until combined. Add flour and salt, mixing well until batter is smooth and comes together. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Spread in the 8 x 8 pan. Sink 9 Oreo cookies into the batter and press gently. Bake for 25-30 minutes. While baking, crush the remaining Oreos in a ziplock bag. When brownies are finished baking, remove from the oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips and crush Oreos. Place back in the oven for about 2-3 minutes. During this time, melt remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter together. Remove brownies from oven and pour melted chocolate mixture over top, spreading with a spatula. Make sure chocolate gets down into the Oreo crevices, as it is the “glue” that holds the top to the bottom. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Let brownies sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting. Don’t worry if some of the cookies spill out from the middle or the top cracks – they are still delicious!