The BEST slow cooker meal we’ve ever made – Dee-lish Mongolian Beef! 

Let me just tell you – I struggle with the slow cooker. Almost everything comes out like mush. Who wants mush? (Besides my lovable dog?) 

All I can say about this recipe is – fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce – oh my! 

Here’s the recipe.

My suggestions would be to stick with flank steak. Don’t cheap out on the meat. I find flank steak to be so tender! Plus, we learned the trick of unwrapping the meat and putting it in the freezer for 30-45 mins to make it easy to slice.  

We added brown rice & some steamed broccoli – a great combo. I could see adding the raw broccoli to the slow cooker when you add the carrots. 

We also have a friend, Bobby, who hates most foods. If a gun was put to his head to eat mushrooms, raw onions or gaucamole – he would pull the trigger first.  I’m gonna say, this dish has a potential Bobby rating of a 10 (out of 10) – as long as you leave the broccoli out. 🙂

Enjoy! 

Julie 

I Love This Dish So Much, I Want to Marry-nade it!

Fresh Ginger & Pear, oh my! We made this delicious Bulgogi recipe:

bulgogi-time-1

Who doesn’t love a good marinade. And we found it with this Bon Appétit Basic Bulgogi recipe <—click here.

We used a beef for stir fry that was already cut in strips, but the idea here is to get very thin strips to allow the meat to absorb the hot-sweet-salty marinade in minutes, not hours.
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Bulgogi Recipe: (Printable version here – basic-bulgogi)

INGREDIENTS:
4 SERVINGS
¼ pear, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (<– we used this)
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed hanger steak, boneless short rib, or skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Kosher salt
Sliced scallions (for serving)
PREP:
Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru, ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours.
Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt.
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We served this over brown rice (cooked with coconut milk instead of water), topped with scallions…along with our tasty sautéed shishitos as a side.

More fun marinade recipes here!

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production.

julie

If Pizza On Fridays Is Wrong – I Don’t Want To be Right!

Looking for a low-budget fun Friday night date? Making pizza at home does the trick. Every. Time.

friday-pizza

When I was a kid, my Dad did a lot of the cooking. And every once in a while around 10pm, suddenly, out of nowhere, the most beautiful scent would be in the air: a sweet tomato sauce & a fresh baking crust. Dad was making pizza – yippee! My Dad totally had a leg up on the fourth meal concept. And what kid doesn’t absolutely love pizza.

Now, it’s time for another confession. He would make the pizza from this:

chef-boyardee

Not kidding. And sure, it wasn’t great, but it was pizza for heaven’s sake. (We rarely got the take out pizza treat – take out pizza was for fancy nights!) Oddly enough, did you know you can STILL buy this Chef Boyardee mix? Hilarious. And yes, my old coworker, Josh, bought me one. Jason & I made it. And yes. It’s terrible. 🙂

So, no, I’m not suggesting you buy the box. I went rogue a couple years ago and went so far as growing my own yeast (a How-To guide is here). It’s quite tedious – you literally have to care for it weekly. We did end up getting one or two great pizza crusts from it, but it was definitely hit or miss. I couldn’t rely on it working out. But when it did. Wow.

This time we went super easy. We bought Fleishmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast:

fleishmann

We also bought a can of pizza sauce & our favorite toppings (mushrooms, mozzarella cheese & basil). The nice thing about this crust is there’s no waiting time for the dough to rise. You mix it up, knead it for four minutes, roll it out, add sauce & toppings & voila you’ve got a pizza ready for the oven.

There’s something so fun about making pizza with someone. And pizza just always brings me back to the joy of being a kid.

I’d like to work on making the bottom of the crust more crisp, but this really was delicious. Give it a try.

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production.

julie

Get a Kick Out of This Light Crock-Pot Chili!

Like a little kick in your step? Try this Light Crock-Pot Chili With Jalapeño!

light-crock-pot-chili-with-a-kick-1

light-crock-pot-chili-with-a-kick-2

What I love about this recipe is you don’t have to brown the ground chicken & ground beef before you throw it into the crock-pot – and doesn’t that make sense? That’s the whole point of a crock-pot – the idea that you just throw a bunch of stuff in it and come back 6-8 hours later to enjoy it.

The toppings really make the chili & we had this with just sour cream (which was great) but if you like goat cheese, a little on top is divine. I got the recipe from Skinny Taste (love that site) & you can download it here–> light-slow-cooker-chili-with-jalapeno

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production!

Julie

Turn Up The Red Peppa – It’s Cold In Here!

I know it’s not really “winter” here in LA, but why is it I am so in winter mode and want all of this comfort food? Oh right, because it’s in the 50s and rainy and our early 1900’s apartment walls are made out of paper. So, turn up the red peppa – it’s cold in here!

red-pepper-taco-2

red-pepper-taco

I saw an infamous Tasty video for Taco-Stuffed Peppers on facebook & had to give it a shot. Here’s the recipe. There’s only two of us, so I bought just 6 peppers & had some leftover meat mixture which was OK by me.

Plus, with this dish – you can get creative with the leftovers. For lunch the next day, we made nachos. Why on earth is broiled melted cheese on taco chips so divine?!

nachos

And for dinner another night we made tacos with gas stove-top crisp tortillas.

red-pepper-taco-taco

The red pepper adds a nice little sweetness to the taco mix. This is even great chopped up over lettuce for a barely-any-carb salad.

**WARNING WARNING** This dish totally made me want margaritas —->

jason-goldies-golden-girl

I highly recommend Goldie’s on W. 3rd. They have a Happy Hour Monday through Saturday 3-6p and Sunday 3p – close! This Golden Girl cocktail (spiced tequila, passion fruit, agave, lime, egg white meringue) was $6.50. Score! It even had a little kick, which we both love.

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz!

Julie

It Can Only Get Bettah With More Pancetta…& Crème Brûlée!

We’ve been a couple of slackers as far as SweetJamz goes. We went to Chicago & Detroit for Christmas. We ate at my brother’s restaurant in Evanston, IL, called Oceanique <— to die for. (I need to do an entire post on just that experience.) For the family gathering, I made my infamous truffle mac & cheese, which never disappoints. Before that, we made three attempts at fudge (that, mind you, I've made every year) and they were all disasters. We also made a pumpkin lasagna that was pretty bland. And then with everything else going on in the world, we kind of decided to just let 2016 hang itself. (Too brutal?) 🙂

But alas, it's 2017! A new year, a new you, right?! Let's get back to cooking!

pasta-pancetta-asparagus-peas
Fettucine with Peas, Asparagus & Pancetta – served on my Mother’s china!

creme-brulee
Crème Brûlée with blueberries.

We had our friends Laurie & Bobby over and decided to delve into this delicious bon appetit recipe for Fettucine with Peas, Asparagus & Pancetta (<– click for recipe). Although you might still be seeing snow where you live, this pasta pushes you forward to Spring – it’s so light & fresh with just a dash of cream. My only suggestion is I might double the amount of Pancetta. It can only get bettah with more Pancetta! (We won’t mention how Bobby wouldn’t eat any of the asparagus, either.) 😉 I would definitely make this many times over.

Jason & I have had a long love affair with Crème brûlée. For some reason when I made the trek from NYC to LA ten years ago, my kitchen torch got the toss. Fortunately, I did hold on to my cute lil’ heart-shaped ramekin dishes. This year, thanks to Santa, I’m back in the kitchen torch game. I used Ina Garten’s simple Crème brûlée recipe (<—click for recipe). I'm telling you – this recipe is so much easier than it looks. It's a super IMPRESS ‘EM dish & oh so delicious. And who doesn’t LOVE playing with a kitchen torch (Jason is aggressively nodding in agreement!). I recommend always adding your favorite berry on top. It's the icing on the Crème brûlée cake.

I should also mention that at the end of last year, I passed the WSET Level 2 wine certification program. It basically means I tasted 41 wines in two days & lived to talk about it. And I can now drink wine like a pro, so watch out!

Thanks for stopping by!

julie