Monday, June 22, 2009

Need. Red. Meat.

I have been craving red meat a lot lately.. don't know why, but trying to fight it just makes me cranky (not pretty). So over the weekend I got a family pack of very inexpensive, thin-sliced, round steaks to stick in the freezer and use for things like lo mein, burritos, steak quesidillas, etc... nothing I had planned to use just as a big hunk of meat. However that was what I wanted - a big hunk of steak - so I went with what I had.

I marinaded the steaks in balsamic vinegar for 2 hours after piercing all over with a fork:
Then I spread a little crumbled blue cheese on top of each piece and rolled the meat up around the cheese, like this:

(pardon the chips in the background - we are getting ready to have house guests so I am stocking up on easy snacks for them)
I secured the rolls with some toothpicks I had soaked in water while the meat marinaded, and grilled the steak rolls (about 12 minutes TOTAL for medium on my grill) and served it with a veggie medley.
YUM!! (and The Hub LOVED it!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My "best" cut of beef Asian Steak salad

Last week (the already-pretty-darn-economical cut) Chuck Eye Roast was on sale at Super Target, and I had a coupon for $1.00 off of any of the beef they sell, so I got just under 2lbs of roast for $0.98.. I didn't really want to do a "traditional roast beef" kind-of-dinner with it, so I cut 2 slabs about 1 inch thick off of the roast and froze the rest for later use.
I pierced the meat all over both sides and marinated it in 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon curry paste for about 24 hours.
Then I fired up the grill and cooked it to about medium, let it rest while I tossed a quick salad with some Newman's Own Sesame Ginger dressing (yum) and sliced the meat thinly to top the salad. The one shown above is mine, so I had pre-cut my sliced meat into smaller pieces and added tomatoes and scallions (which are both a big "no" for The Hub.)

The Hub's comment regarding dinner :"This is a better cut of meat then we have been getting huh? Was the good stuff on sale or something?"
I didn't have the heart to tell him it was quite the opposite, so I just said "I am glad you like it!"
Score one for the power of marinade!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tea time Baby Shower

This past weekend we celebrated one of my favorite mommies-to-be (and I actually am pretty much surrounded by them lately, it seems) with a Tea/Shower at our girlfriend's lovely loft in the ballpark neighboorhood. It was wonderful, and my co-hosts came up with all kinds of yummy munchies.

Here were my tiny tea sammies, on dark rye, filled with garden veggie cream cheese and finely diced ham:
and here is the whole spread, complete with diaper cake from the amazing Becca (it was her first one, isn't it beautiful?) She also made the artichoke balls, in front on the left, which I will try to get the recipe for (very tasty)
Behind the balls (HA, stop it!) on the riser-style serving dish are Amy's amazing Crostini with garlicky white bean spread, which was insanely good, imo... it is actually a Skinny B!tch recipe, from Skinny B!tch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin -

Garlicky White Bean Spread on Crostini
Makes 40 bite-sized appetizers
10 slices whole-wheat bread
1–2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
2–4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley and/or bail
Additional chopped fresh Italian parsley and/or bail, or diced roasted red peppers for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim off crusts of bread if desired and cut each slice into quarters. Brush bread with coconut oil and arrange pieces in a single layer on 1 or 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 8–15 minutes until dry and slightly browned.
While crostini is cooling, combine beans, 2 cloves garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in food processor. Puree, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed. Taste and add more garlic or salt as desired. Stir in the 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley and/or basil.
Top each crostini with about 2 teaspoons of bean spread. Top with a sprinkle of chpped hers or a couple of pieces of diced peppers, if desired. Arrange crostini on a platter and serve.

Becca also wrapped brie in pizza dough (or Kristen did, really, with some momentarily hillarious results due to improper dough-to-cheese ratios) instead of the usual puff-pastry, and I liked it better, I think.. it held up to all the cutting and digging that goes along with trying to actually SERVE yourself some of the brie...
Anyhoo - I have been lazy about this blog lately, but there are big posts coming - I have been doing testing for my first "truly simple, truly healthy, truly delicious" recipe, and let's just say that The Hub has endured some less-than-stellar versions of Mac and Cheese as I try to perfect my own recipe that actually fits that description.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Back from Indy with a huge salad hankering!!

This was my dinner last night... mmmm.. I arrived home from visiting my Sis and BIL (with The Hub AND my parents as well!) in Indy and I was craving a big salad.. It probably has to do with the amount of "mid western delicacies" I like to consume while visiting them.. Steak n' Shake, for instance, is one that I MUST have every single time I go out there.. (hello beloved pump cheese, you make everything better, you orange dream, you...) but I digress...

I wanted a really good, really hearty salad so I mixed Kale, Romaine, & Radicchio and tossed in a drizzle of balsamic and some salt and pepper; then added an ounce of Gorgonzola cheese, some grilled onion, and perfectly ripe (and huge) whole tomato, and 3 oz of grilled chicken seasoned with herbs de Provence. OH YEAH - it hit the spot - perfect balance of peppery greens, balsamic, cool tomatoes and warm chicken melting the blue cheese just a touch... mmmmm.. so. good. (Thank you Sunflower Market for your always fabulous prices on salad fixins!)

The Hub, however, wasn't into it... I made him a beef fajita quesadilla using some roasted green pepper, thin strips of grilled round steak seasoned with Chili Powder, and cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Proof that the grill makes everything better? Behold the crunchy, grilled goodness:

Simple and easy all the way around...