Monday, October 13, 2014

I Have a Zit

I have a zit on my forehead. I haven't had a real breakout in several years, but here I am trying all the acne remedies and hoping that
A) the zit disappears by Saturday; 
B) the zit doesn't multiply by Saturday; 
and C) my forehead isn't a scaly, flaky mess from over-treating with acne remedies by Saturday.

What's so important about Saturday?

I am going to do my first public food demonstration.


Double yikes.

Double zit-producing yikes.

The South Dakota Cattlemen's Auxiliary in conjunction with The South Dakota Beef Industry Council has asked me (ME!?!) to present a beef recipe as part of a seminar at the Etc. Expo for Her in Sioux Falls this weekend. The expo, sponsored by etc. for her, is 2 days of shopping, fun, entertainment, and pampering designed for women of all ages. This ninth annual event will host exhibits that cover health, food, wine, fashion, home decor, cosmetics, fitness, entertainment, finance, career, art and more.

I will be the first to admit that while I am very confident in my own kitchen, public speaking is stepping way out of my comfort zone. A few years ago, it seemed that all the cool kids in the blogging world were vlogging, or video blogging. I was asked when I would take the plunge, and I quickly informed everyone that not only are my knife skills really poor, I also lick my fingers when I cook. Nobody wants to see that.

Well, here I am, with a zit, a date for a public presentation (waaaay worse than vlogging -- there are no do-overs or edits in public), and a hope that I don't lick my fingers.

My demonstration at the expo will focus on an easy meatball recipe with a twist. It works as a weeknight meal, a hearty game day or party appetizer, and even for entertaining. I will show your how the ever-versatile meatball can solve all your menu dilemmas, and discuss how to effortlessly adjust flavor combinations and even incorporate veggies to create this delectable, make-ahead beef staple.

 It really is an honor to share my everyday kitchen experiences in support of the beef industry and agriculture. "Agriculture is the largest contributor to the South Dakota economy and the beef industry is one of the major driving forces behind our economy." (from South Dakota Beef Council website) While my husband and I actually raise sheep, we live in the middle of cattle country and are surrounded by excellent cattle ranches. Beef is what's for dinner very often in our house. 

Just this past week, we enjoyed another simple and quick beef meal. Mongolian Beef is a slightly spicy dish that comes together almost instantly. It actually will take longer to make a pot of rice or rice noodles to serve with it than it will to cook the thinly sliced beef. The garlic and ginger sauce is boosted by savory soy sauce and green onions offer a slight crunch. 

Putting Mongolian Beef On My Plate is so quick and easy that I have lots of time before Saturday to worry about public speaking and the zit on my forehead. 

(adapted from Cooking Light

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
3 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chile paste with garlic (more, if you like the heat)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
16 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

Whisk together soy sauce, honey, cornstarch, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and chile paste.
Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add beef and saute until beef starts to brown.
Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook until beef is cooked through, just a couple of minutes.
Add green onions and saute for 30 seconds.
Stir in the soy sauce mixture and cook 1 more minute until thickened, stirring constantly.
Serve over rice or rice noodles. (Serves 4)

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