Homemade Guacamole

DSC_0143-1-710This is a great dip to make before you go off to a summer concert or to see one of the Summer Theatre productions which, Katie from The Parsley Thief  has shared with us. This is a chunky guacamole packed with just the right amount of veggies and spices – the perfect complement to Xochitl gluten free tortilla chips or smeared on your burgers. This recipe makes a hearty snack for 2 and can easily be doubled, or tripled. If you are in full vacation mode, Stewart’s Own Guacamole is freshly prepared daily and ready to go too! Enjoy!
The Parsley Thief’s Guacamole
1 ripe avocado, diced
juice from 1/2 a lime
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place the diced avocado in a bowl. Add the lime juice to the bowl & toss to coat the avocado. Add the tomato, red onion, cilantro & red pepper flakes. Using the tines of a fork, mash up the mixture until it’s about half mashed & half chunky. Taste for seasoning, add some kosher salt & freshly ground pepper & stir again. If possible, let the guacamole sit for a few hours, to let the flavors develop. Serve with tortilla chips, or add to your favorite salads, sandwiches, or Mexican food. Click here for the printable recipe.

Parsley Thief Grilled Flank Steak

Katie, The Parsley Thief, admits she was not a big fan of Flank Steak. But her mind was quickly changed with the discovery of this delicious, simple marinade (adapted from Gourmet Magazine). This balsamic, soy marinade is a surefire hit with Certified Angus Flank Steaks from Walter Stewart’s – grilled of course!
“I have to say, that typically no amount of teriyaki, garlic, ginger, soy, lime, or fresh herbs, can change the fact that I am not a big fan of flank steak.This marinade, however, has changed all that. It is fantastic! I mean, really fantastic. It’s a quick, easy, cheap meal, that is certain to be a real crowd pleaser. It will absolutely stay in our backyard dinner rotation this summer.”

Grilled Flank Steak

From Gourmet Magazine, June 1998
Serves 8
1 flank steak {any size will do}
4 large shallots, finely chopped
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
Cut the steak into 4 equal pieces. This helps the steak cook more quickly & creates more surface area for the marinate to make contact with the steak…yum! Season with a generous sprinkling of kosher salt & freshly ground pepper & place them in a large resealable plastic bag. Combine the shallots, vinegar, sugar & soy sauce in a mixing bowl. Pour the marinade into the bag & toss everything around a bit, to coat the steaks evenly.
Transfer to the refrigerator & marinate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Preheat the grill & lightly oil the grates. Remove the steak from the bag & discard the marinade. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side for medium-rare {depending on the thickness}. Transfer to a cutting board & let them rest for 10 minutes. Slice on a 45 degree angle, across the grain, into thin slices & serve.
Click here for the printable recipe.

Classic Corned Beef & Cabbage

corned1-710This traditional recipe cooks for four hours but what a great addition to your St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Katie, the Parsley Thief  shares this simple yet delicious recipe. It serves eight people. This meal is particularly great when served with some mustard & horseradish cream as condiments.
Classic Corned Beef & Cabbage
2- 3 pound corned beef briskets
6 large carrots, peeled & cut into large chunks
3 large onions, peeled & quartered
2 teaspoon dry mustard
a few sprigs each of fresh parsley & fresh thyme, tied together
4 small heads of cabbage
Put the corned beef brisket into a large stock pot. Add the carrots, onion, mustard & herb bundle. Cover with cold water & bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot & cook for 2 hours. Trim the outer leaves of the cabbage off. Cut into quarters & add to the pot. Cook for an additional 2 hours.
Remove the corned beef from the pot & transfer to a cutting board. Remove any visible fat from the brisket & cut into thin slices against the grain. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cabbage & carrots. Transfer the corned beef & vegetables to a serving platter & serve.
Click here for the printable recipe.

Pot Roast

With winter in full swing, we all need a good Roast recipe. This recipe is from Katie, the Parsley Thief and packs a lot of flavor. As this roast cooks, all the flavors from the vegetables infuse to create a complex sauce. You’ll have more that you need so don’t forget the mashed potatoes. Serves 8
1 {4-5 pound} boneless chuck roast, tied
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil {divided}
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
5 smashed garlic cloves
2 cups chopped leeks {light green & white parts}
2 cups dry red wine
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 {28 ounce} can whole plum tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2-3 branches each of fresh rosemary & fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Pat the roast dry with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coat all sides of the roast well with flour and tap off the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Place the roast in the pot and sear for 4-5 minutes, or until well browned. Flip the roast and continue searing for 4-5 minutes per side until all surfaces are nicely browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.
2. Heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pot, over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and leeks. Season with a teaspoon of kosher salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and just beginning to brown. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a simmer. Tie the herbs together with kitchen twine and add to the pot, along with the tomatoes and chicken stock. Return the roast to the pot and bring back to a boil. Cover the pot, place in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and roast for an additional 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
3. ransfer the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb stems from the pot and skim as much visible fat from the surface as possible. Transfer about half of the liquid and vegetables to a blender, or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the puree back to the pot and stir to combine with the remaining chunky vegetables. Leave the sauce as is, or simmer for several minutes to reduce to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, and add some kosher salt and black pepper to taste, if desired. Remove the ties from the roast and slice. Arrange the slices on a serving platter and cover with sauce. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
Click here for the printable recipe.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

 chickensatayIt’s the holiday entertaining season so this week we’re sharing a crowd pleasing adaptation of a Martha Stewart recipe by our friend Katie, The Parsley Thief. I’ve made the marinade in this recipe countless times. I use it for making these Chicken Satay skewers, but also as a marinade for grilled chicken breast, or flank steak. The Bozos love it & especially love eating off skewers. They call it “Chicken on a stick”. It’s a great party appetizer too! If you double the recipe, as I almost always do, it makes enough for a crowd…about 40-50 pieces. I like to make a big batch & freeze the cooked skewers for another time. They can easily be reheated in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Makes 20-25 appetizer size skewers

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips, about 3 inches long & put them in a container, or resealable bag.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender & puree until smooth. Thin with a bit of water, if necessary. Pour the marinade over the chicken & chill for at least one hour, or overnight.
Preheat a grill. Thread the chicken onto skewers. If using bamboo skewers, soak them ahead of time in water, to prevent burning.
Grill for 3-4 minutes per side.
If desired, serve with Peanut Sauce.
Click here for the printable recipe.

Peanut Sauce

Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine
Makes about 1 cup

2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
1/2 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes
Water to thin
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, or food processor & blend until smooth.
Add water as necessary to thin to desired consistency.
This is a great dipping sauce for Chicken Satay.
Click here for the printable recipe.

Cranberry Hazelnut Bread by the Parsley Thief

cranberryhazelnutbreadWith Thanksgiving fast approaching this festive Cranberry Hazelnut Bread recipe from our friend Katie, The Parsley Thief, seemed a perfect one to showcase. And of course with Cranberries on special this week in (12 oz bags, 2/$4) the timing is even better! “I’ve waited an entire year to make this recipe. It wasn’t by choice either, or because I just never got around to it, or because I think cranberries should only be enjoyed in November. Cranberries are great all Winter long. And this Cranberry Hazelnut Bread is great all Winter long. I sampled this particular version at a family dinner about a year ago, and was surprised by how much I liked it. I couldn’t place what it was I liked so much about it, until it occurred to me that it was the hazelnuts! While pecans, or walnuts seem to be the more popular choice in most cranberry bread recipes, hazelnuts are by far the winner in my book. Even with pesky hazelnut skins to deal with, this recipe is simple. It’s two bowls, no mixer, and tastes great even days later. Believe it or not, both my kids loved this bread too! I love it warm from the oven with a smear of cream cheese. My boys loved it toasted with butter.
Cranberry Hazelnut Bread

Yields: 1 loaf
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine, November 2011
If you decide to make this bread at any time of year besides November, you might have a hard time finding fresh cranberries. In that case, you can substitute frozen. My favorite way to eat this bread is smeared with cream cheese, but it’s also delicious sliced and toasted with butter!
1 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons unsalted buttermelted
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk
large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
you’ll also need:
a standard loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2)
extra butter, or non-stick cooking spray to grease the pan
Preheat oven to 350˚. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. After roasting, pour them onto a clean dish towel and rub vigorously until most of the skins are removed (some stubborn skins will remain, but that’s okay). Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.
Grease the loaf pan. Add the flour, sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla. Add the mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chopped hazelnuts and cranberries.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top browns too quickly you can tent the pan with foil. Let the bread cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with butter, cream cheese, or just as is!
To Store: Let the bread cool completely before wrapping. Store at room temperature for a day, or two. For longer storage, you can refrigerate the bread for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month.

Fennel & Orange Salad

salad9-710Katie, The Parsley Thief, just loves salads like this. Super simple, no washing, or spinning lettuce & it looks so gourmet. It is sure to really impress your family, or dinner guests. She especially loves the flavors used in this dish, such as the fennel. Her grandmother frequently served it and it always brings back fond memories. If you’ve never tried it, it has a subtle licorice flavor and a texture similar to celery. Enjoy!

Fennel & Orange Salad 

Serves 4 


1/2 small red onion

2 large navel oranges, or blood oranges

1 large fennel bulb

6 dry-cured black olives, pitted & coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon minced fresh mint


Cut the red onion into very thin slices. Place in a bowl of cold water & chill for 15 minutes. This helps mellow the flavor. Cut the ends off of the oranges. Sit the orange on one end & using a sharp knife, cut along the contour of the orange, removing the peel & pith. Working over a bowl, to collect the juice, cut the segments out of the oranges, removing any seeds. Place the segments in the bowl with the juice & squeeze any remaining juice from the cores. Next, cut the fennel bulb in quarters lengthwise. Trim most of the core away from each section, leaving a bit in place, to help hold the slices together. Thinly slice the fennel sections lengthwise. Drain the red onion. To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice & kosher salt in a mixing bowl until emulsified. Transfer the fennel & red onion to a serving platter. Arrange the orange slices on top & pour the orange juice over the salad. Scatter the olives & mint on top & drizzle the whole salad with the dressing. This salad can be made ahead of time. Add the dressing & mint just before serving. Click here for the printable recipe.


Gluten Free Savory Roasted Tomato & Manchego Clafoutis

This recipe is gluten free, but if you’d prefer you can substitute all-purpose flour for the cornstarch. Our friend Katie, the Parsley Thief, used two, individual sized skillets for this recipe versus a larger baking dish, and changed the quantities to serve two {as a main course}. You could also make four smaller servings and spread the tomatoes and egg mixture among four ramekins as well. To make this as one larger casserole, which will serve 6-8 people, Katie recommends following the original recipe for ingredient quantities.
Savory Roasted Tomato & Manchego Clafoutis
Yields: 2-4 servings
7 ounces cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1 ounce grated Manchego cheese
3 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1/2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 400˚.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, and thyme. Place the tomatoes on a sheet pan, and toss with the oil mixture to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and roast for 30 minutes, or until beginning to brown lightly. Transfer the tomatoes, along with any juices they released, to a baking dish. Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚. Add the eggs, cornstarch, coconut milk, cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil, and parsley to a mixing bowl, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, over the tomatoes. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges are puffed and beginning to brown. Serve warm.
Roasted Tomatoes

Egg Mixture

Click here for a printable recipe.
Adapted from a recipe by Aran Goyoaga via Whole Living, October 2012

Simple Beef & Kidney Bean Chili

chili8-3-710This week we are featuring a seasonally-apropos Beef Chili recipe by The Parsley Thief. Seek comfort from the cold with this simple and delicious take on beef chili and with the NFL playoffs in full gear and the Super Bowl right around the corner this recipe doubles as a great big game crowd pleaser!
Simple Beef & Kidney Bean Chili
I have been searching for a really simple & delicious crockpot chili recipe for a long time now. Not something exotic, or gourmet. Just super basic.
This is the recipe I was looking for. And, with Super Bowl Sunday around the corner, I figured now would be a good time to post it. You can play with the spices as much as you’d like. I kept them pretty low key, as I was serving this to the whole family & I wanted everyone to enjoy it.
If you don’t have a slow-cooker, you can cook the chili in a stockpot over low heat for 2 hours. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days {it tastes even better after sitting a day, or more}. It can also be frozen for up to a month.


Begin by finely chopping 2 medium onions, cutting 1 red bell pepper into 1/2″ chunks & mincing 6 cloves of garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large stockpot, over medium heat & add in the chopped veggies, along with a whole bunch of spice. You’ll need a 1/4 cup chili powder, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano & 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. You can adjust the heat of the chili by omitting, or reducing the red pepper flakes & cayenne…or, adding more, if desired. Saute the veggies & spices until they are beginning to soften & brown {about 10 minutes}.










Add 2 pounds of ground beef, raise the heat to medium high & cook, until no longer pink {about 5 minutes}. Transfer to slow cooker.



Add in 2 {15 ounce} cans of red kidney beans {drained & rinsed},


1 {28 ounce} can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and 1 {28 ounce} can of pureed tomatoes. Give the mixture a stir & cook for 4 hours on high.


Serve with lots of yummy condiments. Such as, fresh diced tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro & shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.

Simple Beef & Kidney Bean Chili

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated magazine; March 2003
Serves 8-10
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2″ chunks
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds ground beef
2 {15 ounce} cans red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 {28 ounce} can fire roasted tomatoes
1 {28 ounce} can pureed tomatoes
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, oregano & cayenne pepper. Saute until the vegetables begin to soften & brown {about 10 minutes}. Add in the ground beef & cook until it is no longer pink, breaking it up as it cooks {about 5 minutes}. Transfer the beef mixture to a slow cooker. Add in the kidney beans, diced tomatoes & pureed tomatoes. Stir & cook for 4 hours on high. Season with kosher salt & pepper, if needed & serve with optional condiments…Such as, diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, sour cream, Monterey jack, or cheddar cheese. The chili is best made a day ahead & can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month.
Click here for the printable recipe.

Guinness Beef Stew by the Parsley Thief

beef9-710From our friend Katie, The Parsley Thief, a hearty winter-time comfort food recipe. It’s the time of the year when I dust off the old crockpot {nowadays, called a slow cooker} & get to cooking up some stews, chili, or pot roasts. On Saturday, it just felt like a good beef stew day. No plans. Just a family day, with a few hours of hockey thrown in there. I dug around in my bulging recipe file {a manila folder stuffed with torn out magazine pages} & came up with this recipe from Cooks Country magazine. This recipe makes for a great weeknight meal, even if you’re gone all day at work, because the prep can be done the night before & it takes all day to cook {on it’s own}. I love the addition of Guinness & bittersweet chocolate. It makes an amazingly rich, dark sauce. I know it will be a hit with whoever you make it for.

Guinness Beef Stew

Adapted from Cooks Country magazine, February 2007
Serves 6-8
3-4 pounds boneless beef chuck stew meat
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 small onions, chopped
4 cups low-sodium, or homemade chicken stock
1 3/4 cups Guinness Draught, divided
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 bay leaves
5 carrots, peeled & cut into 1″ chunks
1 pound parsnips, peeled & cut into 1″ chunks
1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, scrubbed & halved
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Season with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the beef in batches, until browned on all sides {about 8 minutes total}. Transfer to a slow cooker. Continue until all the beef is browned & add more oil to the skillet, if necessary.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same skillet & add in the onions. Cook until softened & beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups Guinness, light brown sugar, thyme, chocolate & bay leaves. Bring to a boil & using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the carrots, parsnips & potatoes to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 9-10 hours {or on high for 6-7 hours}.
At the end of the cooking time, turn the slow cooker up to high. Whisk the flour & remaining 1/4 cup of Guinness until smooth. Then stir the mixture into the stew. Cover & cook an additional 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the parsley, discard the bay leaves & season with salt & pepper.
You can brown the beef & prepare the onion mixture the night before & add to the slow cooker in the morning, if desired.

Click here for the printable recipe.