Monthly Archives: January 2015

Hot & Spicy Ground Beef Jerky

Last week I made PB & J Thumbprint Cookies as part of a Valentine’s Day special. I don’t typically care for this holiday as I believe that we should do special things for our partner every day but  I do admit it’s a great theme to work with. As I mentioned on my previous V-day themed post, the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach so the next on my list of recipes for him is beef jerky!

Sirloin Roast Beef Jerky

Sirloin Roast Beef Jerky

I’ve been experimenting with beef jerky for a little while now. I first used a really nice and expensive sirloin roast beef, cut into small fillets and marinated overnight before spending time in the dehydrator. It made the best jerky in my opinion but I wanted an inexpensive meat option as well as great tasting so I bought a meat gun and some extra lean ground beef. Most lean meats will give you 1 pound of jerky for 3 pounds of fresh meat.

Hot & Spicy Heart-Shaped Ground Beef Jerky

Hot & Spicy Heart-Shaped Ground Beef Jerky

Jerky can be made from a wide variety of meats from game, fish and poultry. When purchasing meat, choose extra lean as fat can go rancid during the dehydrating process. If you are using fillets of meat, you will need to prepare a marinade and leave the meat in it for at least 4 hours but results are best when left overnight. Pre-made jerky spices can be purchased or you can make your own.

For the Hot & Spicy Beef Jerky, I used a Hot & Spicy seasoning mix  but added a fair amount of Sriracha hot sauce as well as red pepper flakes. It’s hot & spicy alright! With V-day in mind, I also decided to shape some of the jerky into hearts. It was fun but time consuming! Took between 6-8 hours for all the meat to be dehydrated depending on the sizes and shapes of the meat.

Jerky keeps well for weeks in the fridge but only about 3 weeks left at room temperature. I find the meat to taste better the day after it’s been dehydrated and stored in the fridge but that might just be a taste preference. I feel like the jerky had time to set better but I’m not sure how much of that is true VS in my head. Whatever your preference, jerky is awesome to have as a snack on the go. I ended up using the heart-shaped jerky in my breakfast sammies as well. Jerky is versatile that way, you can use it with a lot of recipes such as soups, broths, sammies, etc. which is pretty awesome. I bring some everywhere I go, often with a few pieces of cheese because you can never go wrong with cured meat and cheese!

Nothing says “I Love You” quite like a piece of tasty heart-shaped jerky!

Hot & Spicy Beef Jerky

Hot & Spicy Ground Beef Jerk

Choose your meat.

Choose your spices/cure or marinade sauce.

Mix ground meat with your spices/cure or marinate slices of meat for a minimum of 4 hours. The longer the better.

Using a meat gun for ground meat, pipe the meat onto the dehydrator trays. If using slices of meat, place the  slices onto the dehydrator tray.

 Turn on and pat the excess grease of each piece every hour or so. The less fatty the meat, the less you have to do this step.

Dehydration can take from 5-12 hours depending on the type of meat and the thickness.

Place in an airtight container layered with paper towel to absorb any extra fat and store in the fridge.

Hot & Spicy Ground Beef Jerky

Hot & Spicy Ground Beef Jerky

Categories: Food, Food Dehydrator, Jerky, My Photography, Recipes, Red Meat, Valentine's Day | Leave a comment

PB & J Thumbprint Cookies

Spilled Jam

Spilled Jam

When it comes to gifts I’m the type of person who prefers to make something. I feel like it’s more personal. Valentine’s Day is coming  and although I don’t typically celebrate it, this year, I decided otherwise. Creepy martyrdom origin aside, I like to call Valentine’s Day: V Day or Vagina Day because let’s face it, this now commercialized holiday is targeting mostly women and their Disney-like mind about relationships and milestones. Well I guess they are targeting the significant others and their wallets but the fact that some women get mad at their SO for not buying something on that day is ridiculous. This got me thinking about men and the usual gifts people I know buy. I even Googled Valentine’s Day for Him which ended up in a variety of boring stuff like cologne, chocolates, clothing, accessories…. You know, the standard stuff that get you him all the time for every single holiday…V Day is apparently about love and my mother always told me that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach so with that in mind, I chose some recipes and Valentine’s Day’d the shit out of them.

PB & J Thumbprint Cookies

PB & J Thumbprint cookie with Heart-Shaped Centre

PB & J Thumbprint cookie with Heart-Shaped Centre

Bring him back to a time where life was simple and straight-forward. A time when girls had cooties and the club was in a tree with a “No Girls Allowed” sign. PB & J sandwiches, a staple of almost every childhood memories. The delicious buttery peanuts combined with the sweetness of the perfect jam his mother made, sandwiched between the delicious freshly baked bread…

Alright, my memory of eating PB & J sandwiches is a bit more somber than the above description. Most of us ended up with PB & J sandwiches in our lunches and by the time we got around to eating it, the jam was soaked into the Wonder bread making the peanut butter harder to swallow but it was the most delicious thing in the world. We drank our milks so fast and made loud satisfied noises to indicate that we were done our feast, those were the years!

I was inspired by the theme and decided to make thumbprint cookies out of the 2 flavours. Feeling festive, I tried to make the jam look like little hearts but only a few retained the shape. This recipe is adapted from a 3 in 1 book. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Allergy-Free recipes. I don’t need to worry about any of the 3 but I like to have different options for recipes, especially when it comes to cooking for friends.


  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1/2 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (Original recipe: Gluten-free all-purpose flour blend)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups of chopped unsalted peanuts (Original recipe: walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup of raspberry jam
  1. Pre-heat your oven at 375°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy
  3. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat at low speed until well blended. Scrape the sides as needed
  4. Beat in the flour and salt until combined
  5. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and dip the balls into the egg whites then roll them into the peanuts
  6. Make a small indentation in the middle of each ball and fill with jam
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and filling is set – rotate cookie sheet halfway through the baking time
  8. Cool on cookie sheet


PB & J Thumbprint cookies

PB & J Thumbprint cookies

Categories: All-Purpose Flour, Baking, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cookies, Food, Peanut Butter, Recipes, Valentine's Day | Leave a comment

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