Our Best Bites

best bites Our Best Bites by Sara Wells & Kate Jones is the first cookbook by this popular blogging duo.  Meeting my number one requirement for cookbooks, this one features great photos of every dish.  Recipes are clearly written and offer brief descriptions.  Chapters include: Appetizers and Drinks; Breads; Condiments, Spreads, and Garnishes; Breakfast and Brunch; Salads; Soups and Chilis; Meats; Pizza and Pasta; Side Dishes; and Desserts.  A nice feature of the book is its index of rollover ingredients, which will help keep you from wasting some of those less common ingredients such as blue cheese, buttermilk, and sour cream.  I’ve tried several recipes from this cookbook, but particularly enjoyed my dinner of Chili-Lime Steak and Stuffed Blue Cheese Potatoes.  Our Best Bites fans should check out Sara and Kate’s recently released sophomore effort, Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites.

Chili-Lime Steak

  • 1-2 pounds boneless steak (The authors suggest flak steak; I used fillets.)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the rub, combine spices in a small bowl.  Add lime juice and olive oil and stir to combine.  Place the steak in a shallow dish.  Pour the spice mixture over the steak and then rub it in with your hands.  Allow the steak to stand for 15 minutes.  While the meat is standing, preheat your grill.  Place the steak on the grill over medium-high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until desired doneness is reached.  Remove from grill and allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Stuffed Blue Cheese Potatoes

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup real butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 pieces bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat over to 400F.  Wash and dry potatoes.  Rub them lightly with a bit of shortening or vegetable oil and place directly on oven rack.  Bake for one hour.  Remove potatoes and allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes.  Cut each potato in half to make 8 servings.  Scoop out the insides and place in a bowl.  Mash, and add butter, sour cream, blue cheese, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Beat with a hand mixer until fluffy.  Carefully spoon mixture back into potato shells.  Place in a baking dish.  Return the potatoes to the hot oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove, sprinkle bacon and cheddar cheese over each potato, and bake an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

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