Guinness-Braised Chuck Steaks with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes from Cooking Light

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, try this comfort food recipe that actually has only 400 calories and  13.1 grams of fat. I worked on a recipe development job a year ago: “Cooking with Beer”, and I was amazed with the beer flavoring. Beer can add such a great flavor to many recipes, especially beef. This recipe is ideal for this time of year while there’s still a chill in the air. Also, the mashed potatoes are delicious with the beef or on their own with a touch of horseradish. Enjoy for a Sunday night dinner or on St. Patrick’s Day.

Also, if you missed my television spot yesterday with my daughter, Leigh, on WBRC Fox 6 News in Birmingham, take a look at the link below:

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Guinness-Braised Steak with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings 



1 1/2  pounds  boneless chuck steak, trimmed

1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

1/2  teaspoon  salt

2  teaspoons  olive oil

1 1/2  cups  finely chopped onion

1/2  cup  chopped carrot

1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided

1  teaspoon  dark brown sugar

1  teaspoon  chopped fresh rosemary

1  (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms

1  garlic clove, minced

2  bay leaves

1  (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout


2  pounds  peeled baking potatoes, quartered

2  tablespoons  butter

1/2  cup  fat-free milk

1/4  cup  finely chopped green onions

1/4  cup  reduced-fat sour cream

2  tablespoons  prepared horseradish

1/2  teaspoon  salt

1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper


 To prepare steak:

1. Sprinkle steak with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove steak from pan; set aside. Add 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped carrot, 2 tablespoons broth, and sugar. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes. Stir in rosemary, mushrooms, and garlic. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Add bay leaves, stout, remaining broth, and steak; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 30 minutes or until steak is tender.

To prepare potatoes:

1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan. Add butter; beat with a mixer at medium speed just until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Keep warm.

2. Remove steak from pan; keep warm. Discard bay leaves. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon stout mixture over steak. Serve with potatoes.



A friend of mine requested more side dish options, so here’s one that’s hard to beat. If you love spinach dip, spinach casserole, or spinach period, you will love this low-fat, simple side dish prepared in muffin cups. The most difficult part of this recipe is draining the spinach, and anyone can do that. And, if you’re trying to eat low-carb or are on Weight Watchers, this recipe is really great for you. Serve these for a breakfast, brunch or with steak, pork, chicken or fish for a comforting side dish that tastes as good as it looks.


Crustless Spinach Tarts

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield:  6 to 8 servings


1 (16-ounce) package frozen spinach

3 egg whites

11/2 cups (12-ounce) 2% cottage cheese

1 cup low-fat finely shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded or freshly grated Parmesan 


1. Cook spinach in microwave; drain well. 

2. In a separate bowl, combine egg whites and next 2 ingredients; stir in spinach. Pour mixture into lightly greased muffin pans. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over tops. Bake at 400F for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Easy Magnificent Muffulettas

February 3, 2009


With Mardi Gras around the corner, I thought a taste of New Orleans was in order. My best friend in Nashville, Lisa, always talks about making Muffulettas because she entertains a lot, and it’s fun, delicious, casual food that tastes great. This version is really simple, quick and really good. I made these for Super Bowl Sunday, and they were an instant hit. Be sure to choose pitted olives to make your life easier. Feel free to add ham, salami, Italian salami, prosciutto or your favorite deli meats or cheeses. 

Easy Muffulettas

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 pint pitted assorted olives (1 cup  finely chopped)

4 hoagie rolls, sliced lengthwise

3/4 pound sliced deli turkey (I used pepper turkey)

4 slices Munster cheese

4 slices Mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Process olives in a food processor until finely chopped. Spread olives evenly on cut sides of half of the bread. Top with turkey and cheeses and brush 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly over  inside of bread.

2. Wrap each sandwich in lightly greased aluminum foil and place all on a baking sheet. Bake, covered at 350F for 20 minutes. Uncover and brush top of sandwich rolls with remaining olive oil. Bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes more or until lightly browned and cheese is melted. Cut into small slices for appetizers-size sandwiches.

Mississippi Hush Puppies from Southern Living

For my last post on traditional New Year’s foods, I wanted to post one more southern superstition. Apparently, eating cornbread on New Years is also supposed to bring wealth. Instead of giving a cornbread recipe, I thought I would share a recipe for Classic Hush Puppies (since they are one of my favorite southern delights). I was at a restaurant in Northwest Florida last night, and they had “Crawfish Hushpuppies” and “Corn Pudding Hush Puppies” on the menu so I will have to try to develop a similar concept one day. As for now, enjoy this simple version which is delicious dipped in cocktail sauce, tartar sauce or even my favorite Lemon Aioli below.

Classic Southern Hush Puppies

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Yield: about 21/2 dozen


Vegetable oil

11/2 cups self-rising cornmeal

1/2 cup self-rising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small onion, chopped 

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg, lightly beaten


1.  Preheat a large skillet to medium-high (about 350F).

2. Combine cornmeal and next 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir in onion.

3. Combine buttermilk and egg in a seperate small bowl. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture, stirring until well combined. Drop the batter one teaspoon at a time into the hot oil. Dip the spoon into a glass of water after each has been placed in oil Fry until golden brown turning once on each side.

Lemon Garlic Aioli

Prep: 10 minutes


2/3 cup light mayonnaise

1 lemon, zested

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


1. Combine all ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Serve with hush puppies, fish, chicken, crab cakes, scallops, pork, etc.


While black-eyed peas are supposed to bring luck for the New Year, another superstition in the south is to serve greens such as cabbage, collards, greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money or prosperity in the New Year. As a Recipe Developer, I have created hundreds of spinach recipes for magazines and food companies, and I wasn’t sure which one to share with you for the New Year. I made this version two nights ago by just using what I had in my pantry and in the refrigerator, and it was an instant hit at our dinner table. It’s only 5 ingredients and is healthy, colorful and has a sweet and salty crunch along with the creaminess of goat cheese. Feel free to use what you have in your home. and I wish everyone much hope for a happy prosperous New Year!


Spinach with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Goat Cheese

Prep and cook: 3 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 teaspoon olive oil

2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach

Kosher salt to taste

2 tablespoons organic fruit and nut trail mix (I used “Good Sense Organic”)

2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese


1. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh spinach to skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with salt, trail mix and goat cheese. Serve spinach with slotted spoon or tongs.

Colonial Corn Pudding from Cooking Light

Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday celebrated primarily in the United States honoring African heritage. It is observed starting today, from December 26 to January 1 every year. As a Recipe Developer, I have worked on many recipes for cookbooks, magazines and food companies for Kwanzaa, and I always love working on those projects. What I love to do with a lot of my recipes is to twist them a bit and to “lighten” them up as I have done here. I have a nutrition background and like to maintain a healthy lifestyle for my family so I replaced some eggs with egg whites, used skim milk instead of half-and-half, used part-skim ricotta instead of regular, and decreased some butter and used cooking spray. I hope you will like this recipe as much as I do. It’s warm and comforting and perfect for Kwanzaa or any cool day. And best of all, it’s low-fat so you can have an extra helping without any guilt.


Corn Pudding

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook:  50 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings 


1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

5 cups fresh yellow corn kernels cut off the cob (6 to 8 ears)

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (optional)

2 egg whites

2 eggs

2 cups skim milk

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves (optional)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup (6 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar, plus extra to sprinkle on top (white cheddar works great too)


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease the inside of an 8 to 10-cup baking dish.

2. Melt the butter in a very large saute pan greased with cooking spray and saute the corn and onion over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Cool slightly.

3. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and then the ricotta. Add the basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked corn mixture and grated cheddar, and then pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with more grated cheddar.

4. Place the dish in a larger pan and fill the pan 1/2 way up the sides of the dish with hot tap water. Bake the pudding for 40 to 45 minutes until the top begins to brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.


My dad, Alvin, has made Potato Latkes every year for as long as I can remember. I truly look forward to the smoke screen coming from my brother-in-law, Eric’s, kitchen every year.  Eric has been helping my father for the last few years. It’s a family tradition at my sister, Natalie’s, house to celebrate Hanukkah with my family and 10 nieces and nephews.  This is a simple classic recipe that we have been using for years. Of course, my dad had this recipe in his head, and it wasn’t written down until I worked as a Food Editor at Southern Living magazine.  They wanted to feature the recipe as my family’s favorites. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we do every year. Even if you don’t celebrate Hanukkah, this recipe goes great with a roast, brisket, steak or salmon.


Potato Latkes

This recipe can be doubled.

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Stand: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


2 large baking potatoes, peeled (about 11/2 pounds)

2 large eggs

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Vegetable oil

Low-Fat Sour cream, applesauce


1. Shred potatoes in a food processor; transfer to a bowl. Add water just to cover and let stand 10 minutes. Drain well; return potato to bowl.

2. Stir together potatoes, eggs and remaining ingredients, blending well.

3. Pour oil to depth of 1/2 inch into a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Drop 1/4 cup potato mixture into hot oil; fry 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden; Drain on paper towels. Serve with sour cream and applesauce, if desired.