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sriracha steak saladSriracha Steak with Citrus Vinaigrette and Cheesy Croutons

Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to give a short presentation on organic foods and to do a cooking demo at MRIGlobal.  I had a great time and I hope everyone who came did, too.

Anyway, this is the full recipe for the salad I prepared.

This is an easy salad to make and it’s a leftover magnet. Throw together any veggies you have laying around the fridge, sauté some meat, bake the croutons, dress, and serve!

The recipe for this salad has been broken into its component pieces: the croutons, the steak, the dressing, and the salad itself.

Sriracha Steak

Making sriracha steak is so very easy, but tastes so very good. Just a little sauce adds a tremendous flavor to the steak, but be careful not to stand too close to the skillet while it’s cooking. Sriracha sauce is hot and odoriferous.

Ingredients

  • 1 ribeye or sirloin steak (1/2 inch thick)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha

Directions
Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper as they are warming.

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and let it get very hot. Gently lay the steak in the skillet and spread the sriracha over the meat. Cook 3 minutes, then flip and cook the meat another 3 minutes. Finish in the oven for 6 minutes.

Cut into slices and serve.

Cheesy Croutons

The croutons take a little while to make, but it’s mostly just baking time. All you have to do is slice the bread and, basically, the oven does the rest.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 loaf of French bread, preferably day old
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350.
Cut the loaf of French bread into roughly 1 inch squares. Place them in a plastic bag with olive oil and garlic powder. Shake to coat.

Lay the sliced bread flat on a cookie sheet 1 layer thick. Bake the French bread for 20 minutes, then cover with both types of cheese, and cook until the cheese is melted.

Citrus Vinaigrette

This simple dressing is just a template. Start with the basics: vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and lemon juice and then feel free to explore with whatever flavors you love.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil

Directions
Mix the sugar, rice wine vinegar, and lemon juice in a bowl.

Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it has reached your preferred consistency. Shake again before serving.

Salad

Romaine hearts are the engine that makes this salad go. They are slightly sweet and hold the citrus dressing very well. Add the Romaine to a mix of carrots, pepperdew (aka sweet) peppers, and red onion.

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, sliced then
  • 2 pepperdews, sliced
  • 1 Romaine heart, sliced
  • 1 Red onion, sliced

Directions
Toss the ingredients of the salad with the dressing. Rest the croutons and meat on top. Serve and enjoy!

Yogi Peach DeTox: Good for the Bodypeachtea

Part of my resolution since about 2009 has been to live more healthy.  It’s a resolution that I have struggled with for a number of reasons, but I am slowly starting to make small changes.  One of the places this has lead me is studying the medicinal values of herbs and other ingredients.

Now I know how that sounds… and yes, I still go the doctor.  I’m not attending sweat lodges or trying leeches (which I hear some doctors are actually trying again…)  It’s just modern science is finding that there is soemthing behind some of the ancient world’s medicinal remedies.  Peppermint does help with a tummy ache (as does turmeric.)  Willow bark soup was used by Native American tribes for pain…turns out when heated, chemicals in willow bark have the some composition as aspirin.

So, it’s not all hocus pocus.  One of my big areas of concern has been taking care of the parts of my body that take care of me, such as my immune system, my liver and my kidneys.  So, when I saw

Yogi Peach DeTox, I figured I had to try it.

Yogi Peach DeTox’s Ingredients

I said it last week, I’ll say it again.  Yogi…thank you for making tea out of things I feel good about drinking.  Yogi’s teas are made from ingredients that have been certified organic and the only thing in them is tea and flavorings.  Nothing weird.

For Yogi Peach DeTox, Yogi blended a trio of DeToxing ingredients: trikatu (a blend of ginger, black pepper, and long pepper), Organic dandelion leaf, and fo-ti, a Chinese herb.  And some peach, for it’s fruity flavor.

Yogi Peach DeTox’s Aroma

Of all the Yogi teas, this one has the most pleasing aroma.  The scent is very mild, but it is definitely has its soft, creamy peach notes.  I rather enjoy it, even though I wish it was much stronger.  (Maybe I’ll try Yogi Rooibos Sweet Peach.)

Yogi Peach DeTox’s Taste

Well, it’s good for me.  Can I start there?

Yogi Peach DeTox starts off with a nice bouqet of peach.  Really pleasant, sweet without needing sweetner, just a nice peach flavor.  Then you start to swallow and all of the sudden it’s like… “There it is…Okay,  now I know I’m drinking something good form me…”

It’s almost a tale of two teas and I wish it was a tale of one.  I wish I could have all that peach taste and none of the medicinal aftertaste.  But alas, I cannot.

Still, it’s not like the medicinal taste is horribly unpleasant.  It’s just very noticeable on the first drink.

Yogi Peach DeTox’s Effects

It’s hard to say.  Maybe I could have taken a test of some sort to gauge whether my liver and kidneys were working better or not.  (Maybe they need to add asparagus extract to the tea.  That would be a sure sign something was up.)  If anyone knows a test you can take to see whether a detox is working short of getting blood drawn, let me know.

Yogi Peach DeTox’s Overall

All in all, I drink Peach DeTox for the little bit of peach and the hope I am doing my body good.  In fact, I try to drink it every time I’ve over indulged the night before.

Still, overall, I give this tea 2 cups out of five.  As a detox agent, I’d like to think it’s working.  As a taste experience, I’d rather try a different tea.

Thanks to xcxsxvx.

3490127306_e8375e0e98_mYogi Green Tea Energy: Tastes Great, Energy Filling

In a lot of ways, Yogi Green Tea Energy is to blame for Tea-sty Tuesdays.  While I had been a crack tea drinker for years (and enjoyed the way it made me awesome), I really wasn’t having a lot of luck with other teas.  (In the sake of fairness, I have omitted those teas’ names from this post.  Some of them will be reviewed on the blog, especially those I have grown to enjoy as my tastes have matured and others won’t…because this isn’t a rant blog.)

Anyway, in my continuing quest to give up soda, I decided that what I really needed was something that could duplicate soda’s energy boost without all the high fructose corn syrup.  And I needed something that wouldn’t require me having to beg Mrs. WellDone to pay the expense of crack tea every few weeks.

Boom…Energy Tea!  How does it rate?

Yogi Green Tea Energy’s Ingredients

Ah Yogi…thank you for making tea out of things I feel good about putting in my body.  All of Yogi Green Tea Enegy’s ingredients (and in fact all of their tea ingredients) are certified organic and there’s nothing odd in them like soy lecithin (which I still can’t figure out why it gets added to some teas.)

In particular, Yogi Green Tea Energy’s blend includes ginseng and ginseng extract, lemon grass, spearmint, kombucha and other herbs.  It does have 28 miligrams of caffeine, but I think that’s from the natural herbs and not an additive.  I may be wrong about that.

Yogi Green Tea Energy’s Aroma

So I like Yogi teas.  I do.  However, their aromas never scream drink me.  They just don’t.

(Sorry Yogi…)

(Quick note: since writing that paragraph, I have tried some of Yogi’s non-medicinal teas and they do scream drink me.)

Yogi Green Tea Energy’s Taste

Score one for organic, healthy, and still tasting good.

I will admit to being a little nervious about this blend.  It proudly features one of my LEAST favorite flavors: ginseng and another flavor I find distasteful if it gets out of control: lemongrass.  However, the ginseng is nicely masked under some of the other flavors and lemongrass adds a nice citrusy/floral note instead of BURNING.

Plus, the spearmint really is a nice touch.  It’s strong enough to bind all the other flavors together without this tasting like mint tea.

Yogi Green Tea Energy’s Effects

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Or in other words, it says Green Tea Energy and it provides energy.  Seriously, if you are trying to stop drinking soda or coffee (or in some cases, taking meth), check this stuff out.  It’s fantastic.

Yogi Green Tea Energy’s Overall

I’m really happy with Yogi Green Tea Energy, both how it tastes and how it makes me feel.  There are times when I still yearn for the quick pick me up of coffee or soda, but Yogi Green Tea Energy is always there for me.  And it doesn’t make me jittery like coffee does.

Still, it’s going to get 4.5 cups out of five.  No offense to it, but 5 cups out of five is reserved for a few special teas.  Still, Yogi Green Tea Energy is in my regular rotation.  It’s not just something I drink when I have nothing else.  And now, I hope it will be in your rotation, too.

Thanks to Pink Sherbet Photography for the picture.

Enjoy!

2121909490_bde285a6b9_mMissouri DrinkLocalWine.com

In just four short days, I will be packing up my game and heading out East to the Missouri Drink Local Wine Conference, April 2-3 in St. Louis, MO and I couldn’t be more excited.  I am about to spend 2 days doing nothing but thinking and drinking Missouri wine.  Though, I have to admit the more of one of those two things I do, the less capable I’ll be of doing the other.

Anyway…

I bring this up not to brag (which is certainly not beneath me), but to let you know about the conference and spread the good word that tickets are still available (and they start at  $35!!) 

So what does one do at Missouri Drink Local wine conference?  The complete schedule can be found on the DrinkLocalWine.com website, but the highlights include:

  •  A seminar on Missouri wines (anyone want to bet they’ll talk about the Norton grape?)
  • Seminars on how local wines can create buzz (bloggers can help!)
  • Eat lunch (yay!)
  • A panel on locavores and local wine
  • A Twitter taste-off (Expect drunk tweets…For realz)
  • Cabot cheese buffet dinner (double yay!)
  • St. James winery tour on Sunday (triple yay!)

And of course, I’ll be live tweeting on @BlogWellDone using the hashtag #DLWMO (which will turn into DLWOM then DLWM and eventually DWL as the tastings go on…)

Anyway, if you are in the St. Louis area or you can get there, go to the Drink Local Wine 2011 conference, even if it is just for Saturday.  There will be lots of interesting people there like Doug Frost, Jenny Vergara, and Jeff Siegel, the godfather of regional wine.

So get there…and enjoy!

(FTC Disclosure: I am going as a member of the press.  My room, board, and admission to the conference has been furnished by the conference organizers.)

Thanks to hlkljgk for the image.

Hey, please do me a favor.  It has been my experience that there the is a significant difference between the number of men and women who like mushrooms.

So

The First Official BlogWellDone.com Survey!!

If you don’t mind, would you consider leaving a comment on this post either or Facebook and tell me gender and whether you, generally, like mushrooms.  As in, you don’t remove them from 90% of the dishes in which they are served.

For taking the time, I’ll do a random drawing and send a prize to 5 random recipients.  (Note: if you followed the Tweet saying you get a prize for a comment, that was a typo.  You are ENTERED for a prize.  All commenters after 1:55 PM Central will play by these rules. 😉)

Everyone who enters gets a prize AND I will do the drawing for the 5 prizes.  Make sure I have your email (which I won’t share.)

Thanks!

Masala Tea: Spicy, Strong, and Smooth

…I was considering calling it Spicy, Icy, and Nicy, but that seemed a little corny.  And I tend to drink Masala tea hot anyway.

As I think about Tetley Tea’s Masala tea, I guess it’s safe to call it a chai blend.  Most of the time when you hear masala, you think chai, but masala tea is like no other chai tea experience I’ve ever had.  The chais that I have had (and granted, there have not been a huge number) have all been relatively sweet with the spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger) remaining in the background.

Tetley’s Masala tea is totally different.  It might be because I drink it straight (no milk) and with only a touch of sugar, but the spices in the tea stand out in a way that is striking, without being over powering.  In fact, my first impression of drinking Masala tea was that I was drinking curry.  Ok, that sounds totally awful…and I get that, but the analogy seemed to fit: lots of powerful flavors all playing well together, each still distinct.

Still, what seems to be missing from this slightly scattered review is that I loved Masala tea (I skipped my Gingko Clarity tea this morning…oops).  Loved it.  I practically tea-mugged my friends who gave me my first bag of it (and might have if they hadn’t filled a big baggy of it.   Um…Ashley ignore this part.)  In fact, next to crack tea, Masala tea is my favorite tea.

So, let’s see how it stacked up.

Tetley Tea Masala Tea’s Ingredients

Tetley Tea’s Masala Tea is not listed on the Tetley Tea website (at least not for us Americans.)  So, I’m going to take a pass on this one and assume it uses only organic, freshly grown ingredients harvested in a sustainable farm committed to bioethical growing practices.  *cough*

Tetley Tea Masala Tea’s Aroma

The flavor of Masala tea is the best part about it, but wow is the aroma a close second.  It smells of nutmeg and clove and caradamom and cinnamon.  For some reason, it reminds me of what a Thanksgiving pumpkin would smell like if served in New Delhi.  (Yes, I thought long and hard about what to say and yes, that’s the best I could come up with.)

Seriously, I don’t mind waiting for Masala tea to steep.  I just breath in the steam.

Tetley Tea Masala Tea’s Taste

Bold, yet refined.  Flavorful, but not overpowering.  It’s good stuff.

Seriously, it’s hard for me to figure out exactly what all the flavors are.  Every time I get a taste, it’s a little different: sometimes it’s very nutmeg-ish, sometimes it tastes strongly of cinnamon, and sometimes all those flavors just blend together.

Tetley Tea Masala Tea’s Effects

You know, unlike some of the other medicinal teas I drink, Masala tea doesn’t claim any special benefit.  However, when it does have a pleasant warming effect when I drink it.

Tetley Tea Masala Tea’s Overall

As I write this, I want to go brew a cup.  It’s good.  5 cups out five!

Tea-sty Tuesday  #2: Yogi Ginkgo Clarity

… On Wednesday for one time  only!!

… Well hopefully one time only…

Hi again, welcome to another edition of Tea-sty Tuesday!  Today we’ll be discussing the first of several Yogi teas, starting with Yogi Ginkgo Clarity, which was chosen for the simple reason of it being the first tea I grabbed this morning!  (You were expecting a scientific reason because…?)

All of Yogi’s teas are, for a lack of a better term, medicinal.  They claim to bestow beneficial side effects to their drinkers (sadly they don’t sell invisibility, mind reading, or jumping-over-a-tall-building-in-a-single-bound teas. However, Yogi, if you need testers for those teas, let me know!)  In this case, the side effects is that the tea “enhances mental performance and memory.”

Does it?  Let’s see how Yogi Gingko Clarity stacked up.

Yogi Gingko Clarity Tea’s Ingredients

I always feel good about drinking Yogi tea because of what its in it.  It’s full of good stuff like organic ginkgo leaf, organic pepermint leaf, organic licorice root, organic lemongrass, organic lemon flavor, organic gotu kola, organic ginger root, among many other organic ingredients.  It’s not like a few of the teas I’ve bought at the Asian market whose ingredients are either writen in Chinese or just read “green tea” and taste like “dish water.”  (But that’s another review.)

So, + 1 to Yogi Gingko Clarity right off the bat.

Yogi Gingko Clarity Tea’s Aroma

As in coffee or wine, how a tea smells is very important.  There’s no way to avoid getting a whiff of your tea as it approaches your lips, so you want the tea to smell warm and inviting (or spicy and inviting or [whatever] and inviting.)  I’ve drank teas that smell like wet dog and, surprise surprise, they end up tasting like wet dog.

In this case, Yogi Gingko Clarity starts off with a floral/citrus scent that almost immediatly turns into a strong bouqet of licorice and lemongrass.  I think the tea smells a little harsh, but it’s not wet dog.

Yogi Gingko Clarity Tea’s Taste

When it comes to Yogi Gingko Clarity, I have to be careful how I describe it’s flavor.  Not because this is a paid endorsement, but because I want to be fair.

I would like to describe Yogi Gingko Clarity in one word: “Eh.”

However, in all fairness, I’m not much of a fan of the flavoring agents in Yogi Ginkgo Clarity.  I like ginger, but only when its a background player.  I like lemongrass, but only in small doses.  I like cardamom, but not as a main flavoring and so on.  In the end, the tea tastes a little like a giant black jelly bean with a lemongrass finish.

Not for me, but then again, not so bad I threw the box out.  Especially when I added some Stevia.

Yogi Gingko Clarity Tea’s Effects

So does Yogi Gingko Clarity deliver on the promise of enhanced memory and mental performance?  You know, I don’t remember it really giving me a brain boost…  (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Obviously, I didn’t do much of a scientific study, but I didn’t turn into Matt Damon’s character from Good Will Hunting (or Bourne Identity or even Rounders for that matter…)  On the other hand, I do remember feeling like I could multi-task better when I was drinking it.  So that’s not a bad thing.

Yogi Gingko Clarity Tea Overall

I can’t say that I am going to rush back out and buy another box of Yogi Gingko Clarity.  It’s certainly not the worst tea I’ve ever had, but amongst Yogi teas I much prefer their Energy tea and Peach Detox, both of which I will be reviewing shortly.

So to finish up, I give it 3 cups out of five, though I suspect many out there would rate it much higher.  Either way, enjoy!

Announcing Event Foodie

www_eventfoodie_com

Hi everyone, you may have noticed I’ve been a little quieter than usual on Blog Well Done.  Well, I can finally reveal what I’ve been working on for so long: Event Foodie.  EventFoodie.com will soon be the place to find out about food events across the country (maybe around the world?)  It’s simple, it’s fast, and it’s free to use!

All you have to do is head over to the site and search for events in your area.   If you are in Kansas City or the surrounding area, I can pretty much gaurantee you are going to find something to do that involves food.

Right now we’re still in the very early beta phase.  There is a whole bunch of things that we want the site to do that we are working on, but if you get a chance, stop by, sign up, and maybe post an event.  Also, please leave us feedback either here or on the site.

Thanks and enjoy!