Unraveled Wednesday: Taking it literally
Making & Improving Things

3TT: Three Recipes

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

I think we're all cooking a bit more, whether we want to or not. Here are three recipes that are high on the rotation list and that we really love... maybe you will, too! There's a little bit more involved than just opening cans (oh, that is a really great reward for opening cans!), but not much!

(inspo: videojug)

Special note: Thaw puff pastry according to package directions, usually about 40 minutes
Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Oven temp: Preheat to 400°

1.25-1.5 lbs. steak, diced (I used sirloin)
1 c. flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
6 T. vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled & chopped
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 T. tomato puree (or paste. I didn't have either, so used a squirt of ketchup)
3/4 c. beef stock (or bouillon)
salt & pepper
1 pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Sprinkle the seasoned flour over the meat and mix in well. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the beef and onions. Stir well until meat is browned, about 5 minutes.

When meat is browned, add tomato puree/paste/ketchup and stock. Season with salt & pepper. Stir well, cover, and turn down heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley. Pour into an ovenproof dish and spread evenly. Unroll the pastry and lay it over the dish, pushing down the edges with your fingers. Cut away excess, if necessary. Brush the beaten egg over the pastry.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot!


I had a really good seal, apparently, and it came out of the oven looking a little bit like a roast turkey! Ha! It settled down after a few minutes... and it was delicious!

You can watch this in a video lesson here:

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Roasted Portobello Mushroom Tacos
with Creamy Slaw & Crispy Shallots
(inspo: Plated)

Serves: 2
Prep time: 30-40 minutes
Oven temp: Preheat to 425°

1 lime, halved & juiced
2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
1 clove garlic, minced
4 large portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/4" slices (I recommend using more)
1/8 oz. fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 scallions, trimmed & thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1-1/2 T. olive oil
6 corn tortillas (or flour, if you prefer)
3 T. mayonnaise
3 T. sour cream
Slaw mix: 1-1/2 c. each shredded cabbage & shredded carrots (or whatever comes in the bag)
3 T. canola oil

Toss mushroom slices with coriander, cumin, paprika and olive oil, along with 3/4 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in oven until lightly browned and tender, 15 minutes.

Warm the tortillas. (Wrap in foil and put in oven, or however you prefer).

Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Add the slaw mix and scallions; toss to coat.

Heat the canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots in a single layer and fry without moving until crisp on the bottom, about 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking until crisp all over, about 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to remove shallots to a paper towel-lined plate.

To serve, top the tortillas with the roasted mushrooms, add the slaw, and top with crispy shallots.

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Italian Spinach and Tortellini Soup
(inspo: Weight Watchers)

Special note: A one-bowl meal!
Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 (or more) zucchini, halved lengthwise & sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (if desired)
45 oz. reduced-sodium vegetable broth (or broth of choice)
1 or 2 14-1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes (I like fire-roasted)
1/2 c. water
1 9-oz. pkg. cheese tortellini (or more, if you like!)
4 c. loosely packed baby spinach, chopped if you like (I usually use a lot more)
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese (or similar)

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften (about 3 minutes). Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is crisp-tender (about 3 minutes). Add garlic and seasonings, stirring constantly until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in broth, tomatoes, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the tortellini and cook according to package directions. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted (about 1 minute). Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with the basil and cheese.

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I'd love to hear what you think if you make any of these! Bon appetit!




Delicious! I have some venison steaks thawing for tonight, and thought the steak and onion pie would be perfect. I have no onions, no puff pastry, and no desire to go to the grocery store again this week, but I will definitely be making this in the future. Thanks!


Yum! I'm really having fun cooking . . . inspired . . . meals these days! It's amazing how much I used to run to the store for missing ingredients before. Not any more! Thanks for these really inspired recipes, Vicki! XO

Carolyn Seymour Thomas

Your steak & onion pie is gorgeous! Oh, every time I see puff pastry, I have to laugh... New Years Eve of 2001 we were having a small 'dinner party,' which included old friends and a former boss. I was making individual Guinness pot pies in ramekins, and each pie was covered with puff pastry. I had it on the counter for the requisite thaw, like you mentioned...and our vegetarian Newfoundland (whose favorite 'treat' was a stolen loaf of bread & stick of butter) took the package of pastry off the counter, into his crate, and ate the whole thing! (This was our first married New Years.) So my husband went to the store, replaced the puff pastry...and we were foolish enough to think the dog would 1) be full and 2) couldn't reach the back of the counter. But, of course--he could! And he did! The third time was a charm, though :)

Robby H.

Thanks! When dinner is the highlight of some days... new ideas are welcome. I told some friends the other day we've reached the level where we're basically like military personnel or prisoners, good food helps keep morale up.


Yum, these all sound good (though I suspect a certain small person in the house wouldn't be as game to try them, grr)! Having less picky eaters in the house would be a huge help during a pandemic!


Mmmm. Those all sound great! I laughed when you compared your pie photo to a turkey!


I, too, laughed out loud at your turkey comment (but it does look like one!! LOL). These recipes all look delicious Vicki - thank you for sharing. I have no puff pastry, but will be sure to get some the next visit to the store. And, the portobello mushroom recipe looks really good - crispy shallots FTW!!!!

Jeannie Gray

Yum! They all sound delicious! Well, maybe not the mushroom one but the other two sound fantastic!


After reading all these yummy sounding recipes- now I'm hungry! Tomorrow is a beef day for me-so the steak and onion pie should do just fine-all the ingredients are in the pantry. Thanks for sharing.


whoa. yummm. thank you!

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