Roast Beef Sandwiches

Roast Beef Sandwiches

Normally on a Sunday I tend to be a little more traditional with a full cooked meal. This Sunday was a little different. I wanted to go to the farmers market which for me is therapeutic. It relaxes my mind and brings out my creativity.

Well after more than an hour in the market I realized we had passed the hour for brunch and moved into the hour of a late lunch or an early dinner. What shall we have. Sandwiches. What kind? Roast beef chimed my daughter. And now i was on the hunt for the right fresh ingredients to make the ultimate roast beef sandwich.

I started off with the roast beef of course. What type of bread shall hold all this goodness. Well the market makes a french loaf perfectly sliced for sandwiches. Done deal, It took a place in the cart. I know I wanted to make a spread. What goes best with beef than some fresh herbs, oregano and flat leaf parley. I’d incorporate into some cream cheese once we got home. What other things did I want to adorn what was to be the ultimate roast beef sandwich. I wanted heirloom tomatoes but the we out so I went with yellow tomatoes instead. caramelized onions and mushrooms made the list followed by alfalfa sprouts and green leaf lettuce. Home we headed.

I immediately started the onions and mushrooms. Then I created the spread I envisioned. I used 4 oz. of cream cheese that I softened in the microwave for a few seconds then I added 2 tablespoons each of chopped parsley and oregano, a pinch of salt and black pepper. then combined it all. I used it on one side of the sandwich. I added butter with a little oil to a pan then added the bread slice with no spread to the pan . I added cheese on top of that, then roast beef, the mushroom onion mixture, topped by two slices of the yellow tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce and the slice of bread that had the herb spread on it. I toasted the sandwich until golden brown on both sides. Removed and cut in half. Boy did everyone enjoy it..

If you re-create this sandwich let me know. Now go forward and make new memories.

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A Quickie…Apple Butter Bakery

So I have found a new gem in my neighborhood. It’s the Apple Butter Bakery. Some of the best baking I have come across in long time. I can safely say that I love, love, love this place. Within a month’s time I have visited three different times. Unfortunately most of my pictures did not transfer over when I got my new phone….Boooo. Only a couple of pics of all their goodness

The cupcakes are to die for. I am having a hard time deciding which one is my favorite. I like their cookies and cream milkshake cupcake and their red delicious cupcake and their omnomnom cupcake and the tall dark and handsome cupcake oh and their chocolate chip cookies will leave you wanting to buy a dozen.(Run on sentence much??) Did I say I really like this bakery? Because I really do. They even do custom cakes for wedding and birthdays.( I know where I want my birthday cake from this year) You can even make arrangements to rent out the space for private events. Check them out when you get a chance Apple Butter bakery in Stone Mountain, GA . Hey tell them Cassandra sent you :) . Now go forward and make new memories

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Summer Edition….Ladies Lunch

Summer Edition….Ladies Lunch

15_CIP_LadiesLunchAd

So its that time of year again. Mark your calendars. The Chef In Pearls will be hosting her Summer Edition of the Ladies Lunch. Sunday June 7, 2015 from 3-6 pm.  We will be taking a trip to the Greek Isles for this luncheon. You don’t need a passport just a fork. Visit www.TheChefInPearls.eventbrite.com to purchase your tickets.  In addition to a wonderful lunch you’ll also receive a gift bag. As an extra bonus Atlanta Touch Therapy will be in attendance offering a special rate for 1/2 hour massage for attendees. So come along for an afternoon of good eats, good company and a good time. Let’s make new memories together.

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Lunch Menu

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A Quickie….elmyriachi

A Quickie….elmyriachi

With family in town for my parent’s vow renewal I was put on tour guide duty. Today was actually a lovely day to take in the King Center. Well after a walking tour of the center it was time to eat. We ended up lunching in the Kirkwood neighborhood at a Mexican restaurant, elmyriachi. We were excited to try a new place but lets just say the excitement didn’t last long. The customer service was undesirable. Our waiter was far off his game. My street corn was cold,the chips and salsa was pretty basic in taste & appearance, the chimichanga was pretty average( I must say I make a better one even if I’m not Mexican) and I have yet been offered an opportunity to try a drink from their menu. So all in all I would not recommend this placc to anyone I know as restaurant to try. The pricing was too high, the food just okay and the service brings tears to my eyes

.

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Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday

 

I originally wrote this post as a guest on another blog. It was Taco Tuesday. I never shared it with my readers so today you guys get it as Meatless Monday because well it’s Monday. Why not have a meat free day? We all want to be a little more conscience when making food choices so here’s one to add to your repertoire. Actually you can still have Fish Tacos just by making just a few changes in how you prepare it all. It’s a matter of taking each ingredient and figuring out healthier alternatives to them. I’ll even share options for flour tortillas. Let’s start. I’m sharing my take on oven fried fish instead doing deep-fried fish, less oil is always better for you. Little changes can go a long way.

Panko Crusted Tilapia

 

2 Tilapia fillets

¾ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil or melted butter

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray baking sheet. Prep fish by cutting them into similar sizes for even cooking. Do this by first cutting fillet in 2 down the middle, with knife vertical. You will have one side thicker than the other. Take the thicker side and slice with knife horizontal to the fillet to create 2 pieces. Each whole fillet will make 3 pieces. Place fish in a dish and sprinkle with old bay seasoning. Then cover fish with olive oil make sure both sides of fillet are covered in oil. Por bread crumbs into a place. Take fillet pieces and cover with breadcrumbs, making sure to press crumbs into fillet. Place on a baking sheet. When all pieces have been covered with breadcrumbs and are on baking sheet.  Top fillets with remaining crumbs then drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Now to assemble our fish tacos. Oh wait I told you I would have some alternatives for that flour tortilla.  Well guess what? I do.  In it’s place you can use a whole wheat tortilla. Yup you read correctly, whole wheat.  They even make spinach and tomato. Just be sure to check the ingredients and make sure it’s made with a vegetable puree and not just food coloring.  The other alternative would be to use a leaf of Romaine lettuce or even Butter lettuce as your shell. Basically you are looking for a vessel to hold all the healthy goodness you are about to create.

So you have your protein and your taco shell. Now it’s time to build your taco. Keep your toppings simply you don’t want to start healthy and then lose it by adding unnecessary condiments with hidden calories. Here are some topping suggestions:

 

Diced tomatoes

Diced red onions

Shredded lettuce

Corn or black bean salsa

Cabbage or Jicama slaw (non-mayo based)

Cheese (quantity is key…a little goes a long way)

Jalapeno pepper slices

Diced Avocado

 

You don’t have to use all of the above mentioned. Just a few will do. There you have it, a healthier take on Fish Taco. Hey consider grilling or baking your fish the next time you try fish tacos. Now go forward and make memories. Leave me a comment if you decide to try this recipe or have a new spin on it.

 

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A Quickie…..Building a Better Burrito

A Quickie…..Building a Better Burrito

How do you build a better burrito? It’s pretty simple… you have to start with fresh Ingredients. That’s what draws us to places like Chipotle. They promise us fresh ingredients. It’s one of the reasons the McDonald’s corporation purchased the sweet Mexican chain. It wanted to be associated with fresh ingredients. Well if a big conglomerate like McDonald’s knows it’s all about the fresh then you should know it too.

I wish  knew how t make my own flour tortilla because I would have but since I don’t I purchased some from my local supermarket. Everything else was freshly made. I made a pot of lime rice with chopped parsley stirred through. Dried black beans that I soaked over night and then cooked down with chopped onions and spices. Ground beef that I browned with cumin, salt, black pepper, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and fresh garlic. Corn salsa with diced red onions, jalapeno, lime zest, lime juice, kosher salt and black pepper. And of course fresh guacamole made with avocado,diced red onions, lime juice, kosher salt and a dash or two of siracha sauce. I sautéed some bell peppers and onions. We cannot forget the cheese, Sargento’s Mexican blend. And of course a little sour cream makes it extra yummy.

This is just one idea for a burrito but the options are endless. You could go pork or chicken, grilled veggies, multiple kinds of beans, potatoes just whatever your heart desires but remember to keep it fresh. Now get in that kitchen and go make memories.

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St. Patrick’s Day

Yesterday was St. Patrick’ s Day a celebration that some many non-Irish have come to make a part of their lives.  I participate yearly from wearing something green to cooking corned beef and cabbage to occasionally going out for cocktails with friends.  This year I created a menu  that included a Honey Mustard & Brown Sugar Glazed Corned Beef with Colcannon. And for dessert Toasted Almond Scones and Chocolate Chip Scones with freshly made Lemon Curd. It turned out wonderfully and the family enjoyed it.

I am including links to recipes I used. So feel free to try them out and let me know what you think. The corn beef was created by boiling it in water with a bay leaf , thyme, allspice berries and the seasoning packet included with it, 50 – 60 minutes per pound. Then finishing the last hour in the oven. In 30 minutes pull out corned beef and top with honey mustard and brown sugar then return to oven for last 30 minutes. Remember to slice against the grain of the meat. Traditional Irish side Colcannon. The base for the scones can be found here. The lemon curd was made with the ingredients from this recipe but the technique from here.

For the day after I made Sweet Potato Corned Beef Hash for breakfast with the obligatory Fried Egg. That was good eats.

In addition to the wonderful food I was able to have a mini photo shoot with my in-house photographer. I think she did an awesome job. I featured a pair of jeans two different ways for this St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

Tee-Shirt- Old Navy                                                                                                                      Blouse- JCPenney’s

Jeans-Lane Bryant                                                                                                                         Jeans-Lane Bryant

Sneakers- PFFlyers-6pm.com                                                                                                      Heels-Tried & True from my closet                                                                                                                                                                                          (basically I can’t remember where I purchased them from)

Which look would you have gone for? I hope you St. Paddy’s Day ( yea I learned that it’s not Patty but Paddy) was fun. Now go forward and make new memories.

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Miami Life

Miami Life

I just got back from a wonderful week in Miami courtesy of my girlfriend Nykki. There was plenty of food, fun and friends.  I’ve decided that this will be a blog of mostly pics. We all know that  ” a picture is worth a thousand words” and I hope you can see what Miami Life was all about for me.

 Cuban Food….YES!

Celebrating 77 grand years with Bea Hines ( Miami Historical Figure)

 The Night Nykki Learned How to Breathe Fire

Groupies? Us? Nah….

Trying to get in the last of my foodie tour

Random Miami

The icing on the cake for me was my chance to meet my favorite Reggae Artist Beres Hammond. Unfortunately No pics but that was okay because the hug and the brief chat was enough to have made my entire year. Thanks Nykki and Pam for helping me enjoy Miami. Can’t wait to return.

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A Quote….

Uniformity is the plague of sameness

John Coykendall , Farmer-The Mind of a Chef

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A Quickie….Chicken Pot Pie

A Quickie….Chicken Pot Pie

So while perusing a Facebook group dedicated to people who like cooking, I came across someone’s picture of a pot pie they made. It instantly brought me back to my childhood, where my Mom had a freezer with individual boxes of pot pies for us (something for lunch she wouldn’t have to slave over and we liked them). We even had a choice of what kind we could eat, chicken or turkey. I loved them. One it wasn’t Jamaican food ( it was food I could relate to with the other kids in school) and two I had come to love pie crust( little did I know at the time that was an inferior product compared to what I would later learn to make).

(In my Gollum voice) I must have the pot pie. So what I would have a late lunch. It would be well worth it. And so my journey began into making an individual chicken pot pie for myself. First things first, I needed to make the pic crust and get it in the fridge so that the fat and flour could make happy time together while chilling out (if you want a truly flaky dough you must use butter and shortening to achieve it). Then I proceeded to chop vegetables and dice chicken breast for the filling and….. And well 2 1/2 hours later I was enjoying (with a slightly burned tongue) Chicken Pot Pie.

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The Chef In Pearls

Cassandra Mason is a Lifestyle Chef and Gourmet Cooking Instructor who enjoys demystifying the art of cooking for One. You can catch her live demonstrations across major social media as @TheChefInPearls.

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