« July 2010 | Main | September 2010 »

August 2010

BBQ London Broil Recipe

London broil is one of my favorite ways to prepare flank steak. This affordable cut of meat is often tough and requires a great-tasting marinade to tenderize. I was getting weary of the same ole' Worchestershire marinade I've used for years. After scouring the Internet for different ways to prepare London broil, I grabbed a few recipes, altered and changed ingredients, and came up with the following BBQ London Broil recipe. This recipe includes a dry rub and a marinade sauce, but is super simple to make.

It's best to marinate the BBQ London Broil flank steak overnight if possible. If you're short on time or can't wait an entire day to enjoy the deliciousness of this tasty cut of beef, allow at least one hour of marinating time. This steak is perfect for grilling, but can also be broiled; which is how I prepared it. I served the BBQ London Broil with macaroni and cheese and a side of green beans. Simple, tasty, and cheap!

London Broil should be served medium-rare, so keep a watchful eye when grilling or broiling. The meat is sliced and requires less cooking time than usual.


Print Friendly and PDF

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinate Time: 24 hours or 1 hour minimum
Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes
Meat Resting Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4


1-1/2 pounds Flank Steak

Dry Rub

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Blackening Seasoning


1/3 cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Tamari Sauce (or Soy Sauce)
2 Tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
3 cloves Garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 Tablespoon Onions, pressed through garlic press or finely minced


1. Score meat diagonally, a little less than half-way through meat thickness. Turn meat 45 degrees and score diagonally again to create a criss-cross pattern.

2. Rub meat with one teaspoon of dry rub per side. Be certain to get seasoning into scored areas.

3. Place marinade ingredients into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Massage bag to incorporate ingredients. Place steak into the bag and gently massage marinade into the meat.way


4. Refrigerate overnight or for at least one hour.

5. Place meat on broiler pan and turn oven to broil.

6. Broil 6-8 minutes per side, depending on meat thickness.

7. Remove from broiler and let rest for 10 minutes.


8. Slice thinly against the grain and serve immediately.


If you have leftover meat use it for fajitas, quesadilla, or homestyle beef Manhattan sandwiches.

Carrabba's Italian Grill in Orlando, Florida FoodBuzz Tastemaker Event

Carrabba's Italian Grill has been at the top of restaurants I have wanted to visit for quite some time. As a Featured Published for FoodBuzz.com, I received an invitation to attend a special Tastemaker event at the Carrabba's restaurant at 5701 Vineland Road in Orlando, Florida.

Carrabba's Italian Grill hosted a private party for FoodBuzz Featured Publishers on Saturday, August 14th and we were treated to a food cooking demo and dining experience of a lifetime. The managing partner, Angela Gutierrez, along with Norris Wagner who is the event coordinator for special events, and staff members, Marissa and Joel, were incredibly welcoming and treated us like royalty. My sincere gratitude goes out to the Carrabba's team and the Community Team at FoodBuzz.com.

The Carrabba's / FoodBuzz Tastemaker event began with an overview of Carrabba's, which was founded in 1996 by Johnny Carrabba and his uncle, Damian Mandola. At present, Carrabba's has over 200 restaurants in 33 states. Obviously, they excel in the food service industry to have acquired this many restaurants in less than 15 years.

Everything at Carrabba's is made with the freshest ingredients. Angela Gutierrez and the chefs performed an outstanding cooking demo to show how each dish was prepared from start to finish. The following photos provide insider-insight to the kitchen facilities, food preparation, and the final dishes. You might want to grab a napkin to wipe the dribble from the corners of your mouth, as these entrées were not only pleasing to the eye, but delightful to the palette. Bon Appétit!

Carrabba's Italian Grill has a large selection of wines, Italian and American beers, sparkling water, soft drinks and iced tea. I opted for a glass of Blackberry Sangria to accommodate my authentic Italian meal.


We were then treated to Carrabba's breaded Calamari served with a side of spicy Italian pepper and lemon butter sauce and a lemon wedge. I've never been a big fan of calamari, but Carrabba's has changed that! Their calamari was perfectly prepared and so tender it melted in your mouth.


Next, Angela Gutierrez prepared Tag Pic Pag; a vegetarian signature pasta dish consisting of long, paper-thin noodles known as Tagliarini pasta. The delicate pasta is served with Carrabba's Picchi Pacchiu sauce consisting of olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, and crushed tomatoes. It is a light dish with a distinctly sweet flavor. 




Next, Carrabba's chefs prepared Linguine Pescatore consisting of shrimp, sea scallops, mussels and freshly prepared linguine tossed with spicy marinara sauce. I had only eaten scallops twice and both times they were rubbery and somewhat gritty. Carrabba's knows how to properly prepare scallops and I am eager to try my hand at cooking these delightful treasures from the sea.


Angela Gutierrez at Orlando's Carrabba's Italian Grill prepares fresh mussels for Linguine Pescatore served to FoodBuzz food bloggers attending Tastemaster Event on Saturday, August 14, 2010.


Our next delightful Italian dish was Penne Franco. Angela provided us with a special treat by adding grilled chicken to our dish. She explained about the quality of the chicken and how it is shipped fresh, never frozen. Carrabba's also uses special secret spices which make the flavor of this chicken explode in your mouth. It was by far, the most tender and tasty piece of chicken I have ever eaten. 


In addition to the yummy grilled chicken, Penne Franco is combined with fresh mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and black olives, and served with ricotta salata; a dense sheep milk cheese which can be grated and melts into a slightly salty, milky-flavored delicacy.

Penne franco-freshly-grated-ricotta-salata

Penne franco-entree-carrabbas

The grand finale of the Carrabba's Italian Grill / FoodBuzz Tastemaker Event consisted of three beautiful mini-desserts presented in square shot glasses. We were treated to Chocolate Pecan Mousse, Deconstructed Cannoli, and Dessert Rosa.


Our server, Joel, explained the ingredients in each. Below he is discussing Dessert Rosa which consists of a bottom layer of butter cake topped with a layer of strawberries and bananas, a layer of vanilla pudding, and topped with fresh whipped cream and decorated with a strawberry slice. Delightful!


As you can see in the photo below, the FoodBuzz Featured Publisher food bloggers had a great time and huge smiles on our faces from the exquisite Italian food and impeccable service!


But, wait! That's not all! Carrabba's Italian Grill also provided each guest with a take-home bag consisting of an entrée of Penne with Fennel Sausage Pomodoro, a wooden bread serving board, bread dipping oil dish, Carrabba's private label olive oil, and containers of fresh herbs and grated cheese.


Penne with Fennel Sausage Pomodoro with Carrabba's secret sausage recipe, caramelized onions and fennel, topped with fresh ricotta cheese.


Wooden bread serving board, fresh dipping oil and Carrabba's freshly baked bread.

In closing, if you are a food blogger and would like to participate in Featured Publisher Tastemaker events or take advantage of the numerous opportunities to earn recognition, visit www.FoodBuzz.com to become a member.

If you aren't a food blogger, but love good food and are always on the lookout for unique and interesting recipes, FoodBuzz is the answer to all your food dilemmas. With over 4,000 food bloggers you are practically guaranteed to find something to satisfy your taste buds, sharpen your cooking skills, and impress your friends and family!

Would you like to meet the FoodBuzz bloggers who attended the Carrabba's Italian Grill and FoodBuzz Tastemaker event? Click on the links below to learn more about what each has to offer.

Peter and Christey Krause at http://FotoCuisine.com
Laura at Finding a Healthy Balance - http://FindingAHealthyBalance.wordpress.com
Miranda at My Food and Life Encounters - http://ForTheLoveOfKidsAndFood.blogspot.com
April at Mama Loves Food - www.MamaLovesFood.com
Elaine at Saturday Night Suppers - www.SaturdayNightSuppers.com
Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers – http://PBFingers.com
Katie at Katie's Cucina - http://KatiesCucina.blogspot.com

Disclosure Notice: Foodbuzz, nor Carrabba's Italian Grill required me to write a review. This was a marketing event hosted by Carrabba's for Foodbuzz Featured Publishers. While we did receive free food, drinks, a take-home meal, bread serving board and dipping oil dish, I did not receive monetary compensation or a request to review the restaurant.

Nutritional Foods: Getting the Most Out of the Foods You Eat

In order to survive, we need to eat. In our fast-paced world and marketing-influenced society many of us have become conditioned to eating fast food, junk food, and cheap processed foods. This has resulted in an escalating rate of obesity, which leads to horrible diseases such as heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue and the dreaded C-word, cancer.

Over the years, I have written several articles regarding nutritional foods. I used to be a health food junkie, but when my mom passed away in June 2008, I fell off my nutritional bandwagon and stuffed my face with comfort foods and desserts. The end result was a weight gain of nearly 30 pounds. I'm now on a mission to eliminate those extra pounds and focus on consuming foods that nourish, heal, and energize my body.

If you're confused over which foods to eat or which foods offer the highest level of nutrients, I hope the following articles will help you select foods which can help you feel better or maintain vibrant health. Click on any of the links below and the article will open in a new browser window.

Vitamin A: Top Ten Foods to Boost Immunity and Protect Vision

Understanding Your Metabolism

Cooking With Rice 101

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet

Can Psoriasis Be Controlled Through Diet?

Are You Constantly Tired? You May Be Suffering from Adrenal Fatigue

Twenty of the World's Healthiest Foods

Healing Properties of Sesame Seed

The Connection Between Magnesium and Fibromyalgia

Coupons.com: Tips for Stretching Your Household Budget

Coupons.com has become one of my favorite sources for stretching our household budget. In today's economy it has become a necessity to find ways to save a buck whenever possible. Even those who have plenty of money have made it chic to be frugal.

There is no fee to join Coupons.com, but you will need to install the print software which allows you to print coupons from the comfort of home. What I like about this website is you can chose as many coupons as you want. If you don't need them right away, save them for a later date. Just be certain to check the expiration date so you don't miss out on savings.

Another great feature of Coupons.com is you can choose from manufacturer coupons, local coupons, and obtain coupon codes. In the Coupon Codes section you'll find special deals from a variety of stores such as Walmart, JC Penney, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Ace Hardware, 24 Hour Fitness, Adidas Store and much more.

Coupons.com can help you save a bundle of money on school supplies, backpacks, shoes and clothing. You can also save money on healthy snacks and foods for brown bag lunches. Last week I shaved $20 off my grocery bill by spending less than 15 minutes printing coupons at Coupons.com.

New coupons are added daily, so take a moment to subscribe to the weekly SuperSaver mailing list and be the first to receive notification of new coupons and sale offers. Click on the banner below to start saving money on school supplies, pet supplies, groceries, clothing, restaurants, movies and more! Happy Saving!

Free Coupons

Chevilotta Cheese Stuffed Sausage and Bowtie Pasta with Tomato Sauce

I recently discovered Chevilotta cheese stuffed sausage through my local butcher, Gaff's Quality Meat and Specialty Food in Port Orange, FL. This tasty carnivorous treat consists of sweet Italian sausage, herbs, spices, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. It is wrapped in a coil and held together by two wooden skewers. 

Unfortunately, there aren't many Chevilotta cheese stuffed sausage recipes available online. It seemed logical to create a pasta dish, although I think this sausage would be fantastic with pancakes or waffles.

My first cooking adventure with Chevilotta involved pan frying the sausage in olive oil, but I imagine it would be great on the grill, broiled, or baked. I added sautéed green and red peppers, onion, and garlic, along with penne pasta. I tossed the mixture in olive oil, added fresh basil and parsley, and topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It was quite delicious and very filling!

Last night, I prepared a similar dish, but this time used bow tie pasta and added chunky tomato pasta sauce. The tomatoes really brought out the distinct flavor notes of the cheeses and sweet sausage. This sausage-pasta dish is super easy to prepare and can be ready in less than 30 minutes. It's great for those nights when you don't feel like cooking or have a hectic schedule and little time to cook.

Chevilotta sausage can sometimes be hard to locate by that name. If there's a local butcher in your area ask if they sell cheese stuffed sausages. Some specialty shops carry it as well. If you're feeling adventurous make your own Chevilotta sausage using the recipe provided at Epicurious.com


Print Friendly and PDF

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

1 pound Chevilotta cheese stuffed sausage
6 ounces Bow Tie pasta, cooked
1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 medium green Bell Pepper, seeds removed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1/3 medium white or yellow Onion, chopped into bite-size pieces
3 to 4 medium Garlic cloves
1-1/2 to 2 cups Pasta Sauce
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper to taste, optional


1. Fill 2-quart saucepan two-third full of water. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Bring water to boil over high heat. Add pasta, stir and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until al dente (soft to the tooth). Drain and set aside.

NOTE: If you can multi-task, prepare sausage and veggies while pasta is cooking.

2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to 12-inch skillet and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When oil begins to smoke, carefully place sausage coil in skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip sausage and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook sausage for 2 minutes.


3. Transfer sausage to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess grease.

4. Add vegetables to remaining oil and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. If necessary, add one teaspoon of oil. Salt and pepper veggies, if desired. Vegetables should still have a bit of crunch. If overcooked they will become mushy.

5. Remove wooden skewers from Chevilotta sausage and slice into bite-size pieces. Return to vegetable mixture and gently stir to combine ingredients.


6. Add pasta and pasta sauce to sausage ingredients. Gently stir to incorporate ingredients.

7. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to serving dish. Top with grated Parmigano-Reggiano cheese and serve immediately.


Bon Appétit!