12.20.2007

Steak & Potatoes

I love potatoes. I love steak. I don't exactly stick to recipes every single time I make them, but I do always use similar ingredients and the same exact cooking method.

Steak:

I marinade for about 15 - 20 minutes (if I don't go to the butcher) in citrus juice & olive oil. Last night it happened to be tangerine, olive oil, pepper, salt and some Emeril's seasoning.

Let is sit out to room temp about 5 - 10 minutes before you put it in your pan. I always use a grill pan, I'm not sure why but I think I like the look of grill marks more than anything else.

Preheat your grill pan to a very high temp.

Sear on each side for exactly 3 minutes for thinner steak, 4 for thicker steak and 5 for a very thick steak. I still like my steak a little pink in the middle.

Let rest, uncovered for about 7 minutes - do not cover with foil otherwise there will be more carryover cooking and your steak will be overcooked. Ick, tough and chewy. Also, the citric acid helps to break the tough muscle tissue if you don't purchase your steak from the butcher (I happen to be cheap once a month).

Potatoes:

I used about 5 - 6 any brand medium size potatoes. I like leftovers, so this is enough for lunch the next day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roughly cut potatoes into the same size wedges.

Put into a bowl and coat with olive oil, emeril's seasoning, garlic POWDER, salt & pepper. I think I also used Greek seasoning last night. I use garlic powder instead of garlic salt so they don't get too salty - you can always add salt after they've crisped up in the oven.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. I like my potatoes crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, none of those uncooked potatoes for me. I also do not touch them when they are in the oven, I don't stir them, I just don't touch them. Screw the mixing up - that's too much effort and I like to watch reruns of the Young & the Restless while I'm making dinner and that's an extra step.

Sadly, there's no leftovers for me to put a picture with. I'll have to make them again.

PSH

12.17.2007

Weirdo Monday

Eh. Life, right? Yeppers, it's been one of those weirdo Mondays.

Work has been a little odd lately (I mean like, you walk in and you know that something's up but no one's saying anything), so recently I've been loving going home to a glass of wine and a homemade chicken pot pie. So that's what's for dinner tonight.

Plus I have this weird knot in the back of my neck. It's on the right side, so it doesn't hurt if I turn my head to the left. Right now my body is facing right and my head is looking left at my computer. I think I'm going to start laughing my ass off if anyone looks at me funny.

Yeah, weirdo Monday it is...

PSH

12.16.2007

Finnish Pancakes

Growing up in a Finnish family was always interesting.

The food though, the food was what I loved and still love today. Finnish pancakes are an absolute staple in almost every Northern Minnesotan home (along with knowing how to batter fry fish correctly, yum!). Plus they're easy, cheap and pretty fun to make. Plus they look funny too! It makes for good morning conversation!

2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon margarin (I use Country Crock with calcium)

1. Set oven to 400 degrees.

2. Put 1 tablespoon margarine in a pie plate. Melt in the oven.

3. While melting margarine, beat eggs and milk together, add salt, sugar and flour.

4. Remove pan with melted margarine, pour mix into pan. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until puffs up and edges are golden brown.

A good topping besides syrup is always apples & cinnamon. Actually, you can even sprinkle the pancake with cinnamon before you put it in the oven. The possibilities are endless!!!

PSH

12.13.2007

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I hate oatmeal raisin cookies. I loathe them with a passion. I'm not sure if it's because you get oats and raisins stuck in your teeth or if it's that my elementary school used to serve the worst. They were still runny with dough and the raisins were definitely not the Sunmaid raisins. Blech.

But for Secret Santa this year, my person loves them. I broke down last night and I made them. Since I've never made them because I absolutely hate them, I used this recipe and I actually liked them. I mean, I hate oatmeal raisin cookies and I ate a full cookie.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
America’s Test KitchenIngredients:
1 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1/2 tsp salt
16 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 c. raisins

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 baking sheets.
-Whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt together in medium bowl and set aside.
-Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy.
-Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 mins.
-Beat the eggs in one at a time.
-Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon.
-Stir in the oats and raisins.
-Working with generous 2 Tbsp of dough each time, roll dough into 2-inch balls.
-Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.(NOTE: Flattening the balls somewhat, into a disk shape, I found makes for more even cooking here)
-Bake until the cookie edged turn golden brown, 20 to 25 mins. (NOTE: Keep an eye on them here. You do not want to overbake. Take them out right before you think they are "done" and they will finish cooking on the cookie sheets)
-Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 mins.-Transfer the cookies with a wide spatula to a wire rack.
-Let cool at least 30 minutes.

I used a mix of white raisins, regular raisins and craisins instead of using all regular raisins. Also, I rolled the dough like I would a hamburger patty - kinda round, but more disk shaped. I heard on some FoodNetwork show the other day that this made cookies bake more evenly.

Well, I hope they're a hit! Because again, I say, I hate oatmeal raisin cookies.

PSH

12.09.2007

I'm So Lazy. I Think...

Eh, that's life. Right?

Yeah, I've been kinda lazy since September. I don't know why I'm not as motivated anymore. I guess work has been crazy and I really like to have either a glass of wine or a bottle of beer when I get home from work. I used to to do Pilates 3 - 4 times per week. How many times a week do I exercise now???

Zero.

Yep, the epitome of laziness. I mean, I play Guitar Hero - that's exercise, right? I park at the back of the parking lot at work and I walk up and down the stairs during the day. Plus every time I leave or come back to the apartment I HAVE to take three flights of stairs. That's not too bad.

I had a salad and a sandwich yesterday. Today I made tomato soup instead of cracking open the Campbell's. I cleaned the bathroom. I cleaned the kitchen. I walked to the gas station earlier today.

Oh yeah, and I hate the New Year's resolution of losing weight. Seriously, I mean you can make that resolution every and any day of the year. I would much rather make a resolution to go to Paris or to save money in a 401k than to lose weight. That task of losing weight is just so daunting. If I've gained 10 pounds since May, I think that I can probably lose that weight again just by doing what I was doing when I was motivated.

So motivation, here I come!

Oh yeah, and here's my tomato soup recipe:

2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 small onions, diced
4 garlic cloves
1 brick of cream cheese (1/3 fat or whatever it is)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp rosemary (I had fresh on hand)
1 can of chicken broth

Sweat the onions and garlic together for 5 - 6 minutes. Add all other ingredients except cream cheese.

Then in batches, puree the soup in a blender and return to the hot pan. Add the cream cheese. Simmer for 20 minutes or until you can tell the onions have been fully cooked and are tender and the cream cheese is melted and creamy.

Honestly, you don't have to add cream cheese, I just had it on hand. It's still good without the cream cheese too!!!

PSH