Beef Stroganoff

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The weather in San Diego is much more unpredictable than I thought it would be. I thought that it was 65-70 and sunny every day. But lately it seems like it has been much more up and down. 2 weeks ago we had 3 days almost in the 90’s. Then it went to a steady week of 60 degrees with a cloudy marine layer until about 11 am and then sunny the rest of the day. Then we had 50 degrees and rain. Today it is 68 degrees and super sunny, just the way I thought it would be here. (which is a little funny because my weather app says the high today is 66 and the actual temperature is 68)


See, overcast marine layer and sunny with fluffy cotton ball clouds.

For me, when it was spring time in Ohio and the weather reached 60 degrees it felt like it was practically summer. For some reason 60 degrees here is much different. If you’re in the direct sunlight it can feel warm, but if a cloud rolls in or you’re hanging out in a shady area 60 degrees can seem down right chilly. A few nights ago it was a particularly chilly 60 degree evening and I wanted the kind of food that can warm the soul. I decided to make beef stroganoff which has been on my to-try list for quite some time. It turned out to be just the dinner I was looking for. It was both hearty and creamy without being too terribly heavy.

Beef Stroganoff
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)

5 Tbsp butter, divided
1 pound top sirloin, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup chopped shallots or onions
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup sour cream at *room temperature

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp of butter. Increase the heat to medium-high and, working quickly, add the beef strips to pan. Brown one side of the beef then use tongs to to turn over and brown the other side. Work in batches if needed, so strips are not touching each other in the pan. Remove the beef to a plate (you can cover the plate with paper towels to absorb some of the extra grease)

Reduce the heat to medium and add the rest of the butter to the pan and melt. Increase the heat to medium-high again and add the mushrooms, shallots, nutmeg and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Pour in the dry white wine and use a spatula to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low and add the room temperature sour cream to the mushrooms. Stir to thoroughly combine. Careful not to allow the sauce to come to a simmer or boil (the sour cream will curdle, true story). Stir in beef. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

I recommend serving over egg noodles, but it would also be good over mashed potatoes or rice.

* I did not follow directions very well and my sour cream was cold, the sauce still came together but it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked for it to be. It was a little grainy due to a little bit of a curdling reaction between the cold sour cream and hot pan. So don’t be like me, follow directions. Please and thank you!

A Taco Stand Favorite

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One of my favorite things about living in San Diego is the availability of really delicious authentic Mexican food. There is a taco stand on almost every street corner, no seriously, not an exaggeration. On any given block there will be an Alberto’s, Roberto’s, Rigaberato’s… The girls (that I nanny for) helped introduce me to my favorite place Taco Surf, or as the girls like to call it, Surf Taco. I could eat there 3 or 4 times a week. I love the carnitas and the carne asada is amazing. Occasionally I indulge in the rolled tacos, YUM.

Rolled tacos are one of the most popular taco stand foods. Deep fried little rolls of heaven. All my life I’ve seen them called taquitos and I had only tasted the frozen variety, which are nothing to write home about. But rolled tacos from a taco stand, those are something I can get down with. Of course if I really ate these taco stand delights as often as I would like I’d have to go around in elastic waist pants all the time.


Needless to say, when I saw this recipe I was instantly intrigued. They are a healthier homemade version. I love the fact that these taquitos, or rolled tacos, are not deep fried but still have a nice crispy salty finish. These are not a dead match for taco shop rolled tacos, but I think I actually like them better, let’s face it, it’s nice to know what’s inside and not have to worry about mystery meat. They come together quickly, can be frozen and baked later, and taste wonderful! Try them today!

Creamy Baked Taquitos or Rolled Tacos
(Adapted from Pink Parsley)

3 oz cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
1/3 cup salsa
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I didn’t have any fresh so I used dry but fresh is best)
3 Tbs chopped green onions
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (boiled, roasted, left over, anything works)
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
8-12 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, green onions, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Fold in the chicken and cheeses. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Stack tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap. Cook 30 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and pliable. (Mine took 60 seconds total after coming straight out of the fridge)

Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly. Place seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole.