Pepper Steak and Orzo

I made this pepper steak and orzo dish the other night using leftover ingredients that were running out of shelf-life. I had about 1/3 pound of sirloin steak, 1/2 of a yellow onion, 1/2 of a green pepper, a handful of cherry tomatoes, some garlic and Gorgonzola cheese.  I had a variety of pasta choices, but opted for orzo because I wanted something more along the lines of pepper steak & rice. 

This is one of those dishes that you can easily swap out ingredients for whatever is lurking in your fridge & pantry. Zucchini & summer squash would make a nice addition, as would baby spinach or artichoke hearts. You can also change the meat to chicken, turkey, different cuts of beef, or shrimp. Same holds true for the cheese, as long as it's a soft, crumbly cheese that melts quickly. 

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PEPPER STEAK AND ORZO
Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
1/2 Green Pepper, chopped
1/2 pound Sirloin Steaks, thin strips, about 2-inches long
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (or Tamari Sauce)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
6-8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 cup Orzo, cooked
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook orzo according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add onions and green pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes, until onion becomes semi-soft. 
  3. Add beef strips and stir to incorporate ingredients. Cook 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic and tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper, if desired. Stir to incorporate ingredients. 
  5. Drain orzo and add to vegetable mixture. Stir well.
  6. Top with Gorgonzola cheese crumbles. 
  7. Transfer to dinner plates and serve immediately.

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Introducing The Original Craft Beer Club

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I love monthly club deals. I've enjoyed beer of the month, wine of the month, bacon of the month, flowers, chocolates, coffee and even tee shirts. They are a great way to try things you most likely wouldn't even know about.

Reputable clubs spend a great deal of time sourcing ingredients, craft breweries and vineyards, coffee plantations, etc. For instance, Craft Beer Club partners with pioneers in the craft such as Rahr & Sons Brewing of Fort Worth Texas, with over 160 years of brewing history, and D.L. Geary Brewing Co. in Portland, who celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2016.

Right now, craft beers are soaring in popularity. While many towns and cities have local breweries to partake in craft-batch brews, there's something quite thrilling about receiving a box of world-class beers delivered straight to your door. 

BENEFITS OF CRAFT BEER CLUB

There are several things I like about the Original Craft Beer Club.

  • You can customize the style of beers you receive, if desired.
  • You can choose if you strictly want to receive only bottles or cans.
  • You always receive free shipping.
  • You'll receive a free 1-year subscription to Beer Connoisseur with any purchase.
  • New club members receive up to 3 more Bonus Gifts in their first shipment.
  • Each shipment includes 12 (12-ounce) beers in 4 different styles (3 beers each). 

Currently, a monthly subscription to Craft Beer Club is $42, which breaks down to $3.50 per beer. It's hard to find domestic beers at that price being served in  local pubs or restaurants. Now is the perfect time to treat yourself, your family and friends to hard-to-find, outstanding brews from some of the best Brewmasters in the country. Click here to learn more or place your order

 

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Super Cheesy Cheeseburger Soup

I'll admit it. I'm a cheeseaholic. I'm also a cheese snob and if I'm going to eat cheese, I want premium quality. On the flip side, I'm also a sucker for Ragu Cheese Sauce (I know it's a contradiction!) because it lends a creaminess that I enjoy.

With that said, this Super Cheesy Cheeseburger Soup offers a bounty of flavor and is ideal for those nights when you want a filling meal, but don't have much time to cook. It pairs well with a fresh garden salad and dinner rolls. You could also add some bacon crumbles and grated cheese to the soup upon serving. 

SUPER CHEESY CHEESEBURGER SOUP
Servings: 4 bowls or 8 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound Grassfed Hamburger
1/2 White or Yellow Onion, chopped
2 medium Jalapenos, seeds removed and finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup Carrots, finely grated
6 cups Chicken Broth
2 cups Large Elbow macaroni, uncooked
1/2 jar Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce
1 cup Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (One of my favorites is Tillamook
1 cup Fontina Cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large stockpot, cook hamburger over medium heat until browned. Chop with spatula to crumble into small pieces.
  2. Add onion and jalapenos. Cook 3-4 minutes, until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add garlic and carrots and combine with meat mixture. 
  4. Add chicken broth and macaroni. Cook for 9-11 minutes, until macaroni is al dente (soft to the tooth).
  5. Add Cheddar Cheese Sauce and shredded cheeses and stir until well-combined. Cook for 5 minutes
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately.

 

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Whenever I visit my daughter, we indulge in lunch at P.F. Chang's. While we have many favorites, their Chicken Lettuce Wraps are at the top of my list. Since there is no P.F. Chang's restaurant near my hometown and since I crave these things more than four times a year, it was crucial for me to find a copycat recipe so I can make these leaves of goodness at home. 

I tried a few recipes, but none truly mimicked the flavor. After much experimenting and tweaking, I think I finally found the secret to their addictive chicken lettuce wraps and I'm excited to share with you today!

These are super easy to make and are perfect for those nights when you don't want to spend much time in the kitchen. 

CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound Chicken Breasts, diced
1/2 medium Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Ginger, freshly grated
1 Tablespoon Smokey Chipotle Sauce or Sriracha
1 (8-oz) can Water Chestnuts, drained and diced
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
Pink Himalayan Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 head Butter Lettuce, washed, dried and divided into leaves (this lettuce is very fragile, so use caution when separating leaves to prevent tearing)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned; about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add onion and saute until translucent; about 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, ginger, and hot sauce. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add water chestnuts and green onion and stir to incorporate. Cook 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of mixture into center of one lettuce leaf. Fold bottom leaf up toward the center and pull sides together, similar to the shape of a taco.

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Clubs of America is Ideal for Holiday Gifts

If you're looking for a holiday gift that keeps on giving, check out Clubs of America. They offer a variety of Gift of the Month Clubs including: Beer, Wine, Flower, Fruit, Cigar, Coffee, Chocolate, Pizza, and Mix Your Clubs. 

I first discovered Clubs of America back in 2008, when I ordered the Beer of the Month Club subscription for my husband's 40th birthday. They really take great care in packaging to ensure the unique microbrews arrive intact. They also include an informative newsletter, "Beer Expeditions" that explain the origins of the brews you receive. 

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The monthly Wine Club is great too. This subscription includes unique wines from small wineries around the world. You can select from all red, all white, or mixed. Currently, you can save $25 when you purchase a 12-month subscription. You can also select what month you want the subscription to start and whether you would like monthly, every other month, or every third month shipping.  Last, but not least, you can pay monthly or in full, which is ideal for those who are on a budget.

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This year, I'm adding the Cigar Club to my gift-giving list. I have a few cigar aficionados who I know would appreciate receiving the world's best handmade cigars every month. This is a great way for businesses to keep their name in front of high-profile clients.

Every time they light up one of the five cigars they receive each month, they will think of your brand. It's an affordable investment and a unique way to retain loyal clients. 

 

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Clubs of America has something for everyone on your holiday list. There's no need to fight the mall crowds or even find time to go shopping. Rather, you can order gifts online from the comfort of your home. Click here or via the graphic below to get started.

Wishing you a happy holiday season!

 

The Coffee Taster's Club

 

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