Pizza in a Pot

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Beef Dishes, February 2015, Main Course, Pasta


My friend Wendy from work shared this recipe with me one day (I MISS YOU WEN!). It very very quickly became one of our favorites. It is extremely adaptable…even for different tastes within the same family.

I haven’t changed much. But of course I just had to fiddle with it a little.

The recipe as it was sent to me:

Saute: 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped green pepper

Add: 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef

Add: 1 box fresh mushrooms, 1 large stick pepperoni (ML stick), garlic powder to taste, 1 1/2 t oregano, 4 cups cooked noodles (flat egg), 1 large can tomatoes (chopped), 1 small can tomato paste, 2 cans tomato soup, 1 bottle chilli sauce

Mix all together and place in casserole dish. Cover with grated mozza. Bake 350F/40-45 min.


Well…..I don’t like pepperoni. Brendan does.

I like all veggies. He doesn’t.

I didn’t have flat noodles. I had Penne. It worked. The next time I used fusili ( I still hadn’t purchased any egg noodles). I found I much preferred the fusili. The little ridges held onto the sauce and ingreds.

I’m also not a huge fan of melted cheese. Odd, I know. I can eat an entire block of cheese…but if you melt it I run for the hills.

There is only the 2 of us and even with the desire of lots of leftovers, I halved the recipe.

So what I did was:


Take a bowl. Mix all the sauce ingredients together (1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato soup, 1 can of tomato paste, 1/2 bottle of chili sauce, garlic powder, parsley, oregano, 1 clove chopped garlic, salt & pepper…and a sprinkle of chili flakes)



Fry up your onions, green pepper and mushrooms.



Add your precooked hamburger. Or other meat. Pepperoni (bleech), salami, bacon, whatever.



Add your precooked noodles.







I add Shakey cheese (Parm). You could top with mozza….if you want. Again, this is a hugely adaptable recipe. Keep the sauce the same…change out the pizza ‘toppings’. You’ll get a different flavor every time. I am just telling you what I like. And i’m almost always right. πŸ˜‰






This dish is even better on day 2 or 3 or 4. I like to make a huge pot of it and then I take it to work as my lunch for a whole week.





A lot of times I make 2 separate batches. One tailored to my tastes and one for Bren. That way he isn’t throwing out all my delicious mushrooms…and i’m not pissed off cause I have to eat pepperoni.




love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

little LITTLE brown chicken

Homemade Donairs

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Beef Dishes, January 2014


First off let me apologize yet again. I feel like i’m in confession. Forgive me friends for I have sinned. It has been months since my last post.

Ever go through stints of productivity and then others where absolutely nothing seems to get done? I have been in a state of nothingness for far too long. This relates to almost every aspect of my life. I vow to change.


I came across this recipe for homemade donair meat and felt inspired. I LOVE donairs. I crave them but along with my lack of motivation lately there is also a lack of money. I’m as broke as a joke. There were very few ingredients and honestly, I was doubtful it would turn out but I thought i’d give it a go anyway.

First there was the sauce. Uber easy. 3 ingredients.

Donair Sauce

1 can of sweetened condensed milk.

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 tsp garlic powder


Pour into a bowl. Whisk. Refrigerate.



So simple and so yummy.

Next for the Donair meat you’ll need:

  • 3 to 3.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 tsp paprika (NOT smoked)
  • 2 tsp onion powder (I only had onion salt so I used that and reduced the actual salt to 1/2 tsp)
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

To make the donair meat put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse it until it forms a ball. You may have to do this in 2 batches (I did) due to the amount of meat in ratio to the size of your processor.





Remove and form into a log. Place on a baking rack and bake at 325 for 2 hours.




Allow to cool completely before slicing. I found it was much easier to slice thin the second day after it had been refrigerated overnight. Regardless it was still delicious.



Sorry if you are offended by the picture. I was informed it is quite ‘phallic’. I swear this was unintentional. It was formed completely uniform before baking. This is what happened in the oven. I promise. πŸ˜‰





Day 1 I made donair pizza. Homemade dough, sauce, donair meat, diced onions and tomatoes. Topped with additional cold onions and tomatoes and dipped in more sauce. πŸ˜‰




Day 2 I made a donair.




*drool* I seriously think if more people make this recipe Greco will be forced to close its doors. I will never buy another Donair kit at the grocery store…A. because they are crap and B. because this recipe seriously makes a shit load of meat and 84% is frozen in individual double donair sized packages in my freezer as we speak. πŸ™‚


I hope you enjoy.

Love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

little LITTLE brown chicken

The best SteakHouse Steak (at home!)

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Beef Dishes, July 2012, Main Course


I have a new addiction. Already addicted to coke (Diet that is), addicted to cleaning (OCD anyone?) and now I am addicted to Pinterest. Damn you Jen and Chantal!

I had decided initially to do a 30 Day Pinterest challenge and had the intentions of doing something found on Pinterest every day for the month of July. Then I remembered I am going to Vegas for a week. There will be lots of things I will be doing in Vegas…but they probably won’t be found on Pinterest and they will never be spoken of aloud to anyone….ever. So the challenge has been rescheduled for August.

However, since I had started my self imposed challenge I had done a few things from the site already….crafted some stuff, made homemade cleaners, created a table top S’More-er and tried some recipes. There are A LOT of great looking recipes on Pinterest. I currently have 166 recipes “pinned”. Since I am the epitome of a carnivore (I guess we humans are actually omnivores since I do eat a few veggies but LOVE my charred mammal flesh) this picture automatically stood out to me.


pinterest steak


This is a recipe that can be found on this blog: (i’m not smart enough to figure out how to add in a link…just copy and paste the address into your address field. If I have to explain copy & paste to you then you have more computer issues then me.)

What a funny and amusing blog! Not to mention this FABULOUS recipe for the best steak ever…with OR without a BBQ. I always said my last meal if I were on death row….or the zombies were coming….or Jesus….or whoever….would be BBQ steak as it was my favorite. Notice I said WAS. This will replace BBQ as my pre-zombie last supper.

There is not much that I changed in this recipe….but you know me….I had to change something.

For the steak you will need:

Um…steak. Now I could not find an 8oz filet mignon. Maybe i’m blind….maybe i’m stoopid…but there was just none to be had at The Great Atlantic SuperStore. I am sure if I had have gone to a real live butcher or to the City Market I could have but dammit I am lazy and just wanted to eat. So I bought the thickest steak I could find. They were aptly named “Beefeater” steaks. Would have confused the hell out of me had they been called “Chickeneater” steaks but then again I did snap THIS picture at the Superstore awhile ago….



So nothing would surprise me anymore.

The only other things you need is a GOOD salt, fresh cracked black pepper and oil. Now on Whits blog she uses olive oil. I used Grapeseed oil and i’ll explain why. Any time I have EVER made anything in the cast iron pan in the oven and used olive oil the entire house gets filled with smoke. Olive oil has a low smoke point (just before FLASH point) so as it heats and goes beyond 325-375 degrees (the normal “frying” temperature for oils) it will smoke and cause your oil to blacken and smoke to billow from your oven. Not to mention assault your ears when your smoke alarm blares. What you want is a SCREAMING hot cast iron pan. You are heating it on high and searing the beef on either side on the stove top (which most oils can handle) but then you are placing in a 500 degree oven (as per Chef Alton Brown) so you need an oil with a smoke point of 400 + degrees.Β  This gives you the choice of Grapeseed oil (no flavor), Canola, Corn, Safflower, Sunflower or Vegetable oil. I had Grapeseed so I USED grapeseed.

Give your steaks a generous rub of salt and pepper.



On the stove top heat your cast iron on high and add the oil (1Tbsp or you can simply brush your steak on both sides with oil and place into dry pan…this will also help to avoid smoke). Sear your meat 30 seconds on each side and place into the oven on the center rack.



Leave the steak in the oven for 4-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your steak and your preference for doneness (is that a word?) I like my steak Medium Rare so I leave a 1″ steak in for 4 minutes… a 2″ steak for 5-6 minutes…a 3″ steak for 6-7 minutes….you get the drift, right?

Be careful taking the cast iron pan out of the oven….that baby is going to be HOT.



This process is quick so have the rest of your meal ready or almost ready before starting the steak.

Let your steak rest for 1-2 minutes after removing from the oven and before slicing into that juicy nugget of goodness. Otherwise you are going to lose all that juice and the cutting board gets all the goodness.



For the compound butter you will need:

Butter NOT margarine…go ahead, splurge, you are worth it. Leave the butter on the counter for a few hours to soften.

Roasted garlic (very simple. Lop off the top of the whole bulb. Peel off the thin skin. Place in the center of a square of tin foil. Rub with olive oil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes. Once cool, squeeze out the roasted cloves.)

Fresh chopped parsley and thyme

Lemon zest



Mix together your preferred ratios (I used 1/2 block of butter, A LOT of garlic…the whole bulb, 1Tbsp Lemon zest, 1 tsp each chopped herb). Place on the center of saran wrap or tin foil and roll into a log. Refrigerate.



Once your steak is plated. top with a thick slice of butter. Oh. Em. Gee. This is the kicker. It is soooooooo amazing. Trust me. My son even said that this was the best steak he has ever had and we both made little mewling noises as we ate. Sad huh?



A few nights later I had BBQ steak (no sauce) and added a coin of this butter (which by the way will keep in the fridge for a very long time!) and it was also delicious….although not as good as the pan fried one.




You try it and let me know your preference!


love, peace and chicken grease,

– A Cooped Up Chick



Asparagus Beef Stir Fry

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Beef Dishes, July 2012, Main Course


Oh my little blog babies…I am so sorry. I have been a neglectful blog Mama and have completely deserted you.

I have had a few wonderful and loyal readers approach me and ask what the hell happened, where did I go. I am embarrassed to say that life got in the way.Β  I went on vacation in May and lost the ooomph to cook and blog. Since the beginning of summer my dear son has decided to do a week at home and a week at his Dads and honestly when its just me I tend to eat a lot of toast. I am not as motivated to cook for just myself. I have to get out of that.


So here is a super duper easy but extra yummy recipe from Kraft. One of the things I like about most Kraft recipes is there are minimal ingredients. You will never see a Kraft recipe with 19 ingredients or asking for strange things that you can’t find at your local grocery store like dried shittake mushrooms. Simple=good (most of the time).

This one is really tasty.

What you will need:

stir fry, beef, asparagus, peppers, Kraft

1/3 cup Kraft Catalina Dressing
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips (I used 2 decent sized steaks)
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths
1 red pepper, cut into strips
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2-2/3 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
peppers, green onion, asparagus
Heat the salad dressing and soy sauce on med-high heat in a large skillet or wok.
Add the beef and stir fry for 3 minutes.
beef, sauce
Add the peppers and asparagus. Stir fry another 5 minutes or until beef is done.
asparagus, peppers
Add the green onions (and I added a dash of chili flakes to incorporate a little heat with the sweet).
asparagus, peppers, sauce, beef, green onion, chili flakes
Serve on hot rice.
Asparagus Beef Stir Fry
SO simple. SO quick.
There is no question I will be making this again. It reminds me a little of a frozen dinner I used to buy a lot. It may or may not have been a version of a Michelena dinner but it has not been for sale around here for a few years and I really REALLY liked it. Its not so pretty once stirred up but I really enjoyed it.
I hope you do too.
love, peace and chicken grease,
– A Cooped Up Chick

Edit: I now make this ALL the time but add a sprinkle of crushed red chili flakes to spice it up a little. It is one of my most favorite things to take to work for lunch/supper.

A Better Bulgogi

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Beef Dishes, Main Course, March 2012


I was just going to add an ‘update’ to my previous post on Jap Chae and Bulgogi but decided instead to just create a whole new post.

The previous times I had made Bulgogi (Korean BBQ) I used a purchased marinade from the Korean market. It wasn’t BAD per se it just wasn’t what I wanted….what I expected. Not super flavorful. Fresh is always better.

I Googled ‘bulgogi’ and found that there are dozens of variations all with the same base of soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil but then had different accompanying ingredients. I searched through them all to find a recipe with ingredients I had on hand. This is the one that fit (since I don’t usually have rice wine vinegar or sake in my pantry). Feel free to add what else you would like.


What you will need:

bulgogi marinade

1/3 cup soy sauce (try to use the best soy sauce you can find since it is THE base of the marinade)

3 Tbsps sugar (I used half white and half brown)

1 Tbsp sesame oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 of a medium sweet onion, sliced thinly in half moon slivers

2 Tbsps toasted sesame seeds

2 pinches black pepper

1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger (I used more like 1 tsp….but I LOVE ginger)

1/4 tsp chili flakes

2 green onions, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces

1/2lb of beef (I use eye of round and have the butcher slice as thin as possible)


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

soy sauce sugar


sesame oil onion


green onion chili flakes


toasted sesame seeds






I cut the beef into strips before adding to the marinade.

eye of round beef


strips of beef


The recipe called for 1-2 hours of marinade time…I marinated the beef for almost 24hrs. This is ok with beef because it has strong connective tissue and there is no acid component in this recipe. If there was lemon juice or if you used a different protein like pork or fish then you would need to stick with the 1 or 2 hours only otherwise the meat will start to cook in the marinade. We certainly do not want that.

marinating beef



Cook in a wok if you have one, if not use a good frying pan. Add a little vegetable oil and fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes. DO not wipe off marinade, simply drop by the spoonful into the wok.

Serve with Jap Chae or hot rice.


I think this marinade would also be awesome in a Beef and Broccoli stir fry….or any stir fry for that matter.

bulgogi on japchae


love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick


Corned Beef and Rice….Trini style!

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Beef Dishes, Main Course, October 2011


I sit at work with a lovely lady named Joy. Joys family (not sure if its on her husbands side or hers) is from Trinidad.

One day we were discussing Caribbean food, where I do quite a bit of Jamaican cooking and she does Trini cooking. One of her quick and easy (and TASTY!) go-to’s is called Corned Beef and Rice. When I asked her what was in it she gave me the typical sideways “Joy” glance and said “Corned beef and Rice.” Smart ass. Then we laughed and she told me what she does.Β  It sounded very simple and she assured me that it would be ready to eat in 10 minutes or less. Depending on how fast your knife skills are!

I love corned beef hash so thought there was absolutely no way I wouldn’t enjoy this dish. Joy swears its better with hot sauce but thats not really my thing so next time I think I will add some more diced hot pepper or maybe even some dried chili flakes. I actually REALLY liked this recipe. I think it will be something I will make again and again. My son had a little trepidation at first. His initial reaction was “Mom, it looks like cat food” but once I convinced him to try it he also enjoyed it. Of course he had to put grated Parmesan cheese on it but that is typical of him. He always adds either “shakey cheese” or ketchup to his food. We are a quirky family.

What you will need:

1 can of corned beef

1 small onion, sliced

2 medium to large tomatoes, chopped

chopped garlic

hot pepper, diced (I used a Fresno pepper)

Minute Rice

butter, margarine or oil for cooking


Saute your onions in butter, margarine or oil.Β  Add some pepper. Salt is not needed because the corned beef is salty enough.

Add your chopped garlic and continue to saute until onions are translucent.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until broken down into a sauce.

Add the diced hot pepper.

Add the corned beef.

Break up the beef and cook until warmed through.

In a separate pot cook your rice. Serve the corned beef mixture on top of the hot rice.


Its true. It is not the prettiest meal. It does kinda look like cat food….with bits of tomato and onion. πŸ™‚

It IS delicious. Trust me!



love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick