Monday, December 6, 2010

Gretchen's Flank Steak and Chocolate Doughnuts

I got this recipe from my friend Gretchen years ago and have really wanted to try it ever since she gave it to me. But, to be honest I was pretty intimidated to purchase a flank steak. I know, what's the big deal right? I guess I felt like I wasn't mature enough to pull it off or that it was too expensive to try. However, my dad makes a mean flank steak grilled on the bbq, so I know the awesomeness that is flank steak. Eventually I gave in and purchased some from Costco. In my quest to freeze more meal options, I figured I could get the most bang for my buck, and the best quality meat, but purchasing from Costco and freezing what was left. We spent about $15 for 3 pounds of flank steak. When you get over the initial sticker shock and realize that's really about $5 per meal, it isn't so bad. Another intimidating factor about this recipe is that you cook the meat on the broiler. My broiler intimidates me because it's not normal. However, after some Google searching I found my oven model and the instructions for using the broiler. With the faithful support of the HubLub we charged ahead and cooked this baby up. It was a lot easier than I expected, and I was really happy with the result. The only problem I had was that I chopped the onion too small, so the onion flavor ended up a bit strong. I should have stuck with Gretchen's recipe. It's just that the Ninja Master Prep I was using to cut the onion got a little carried away on me :) Another bonus is we ended up not eating all the meat, so we've got left overs for lunch this week - I'm thinking bbq flank steak sammy . . . I digress, here's Gretchen's amazing recipe:

Gretchen's Flank Steak

1 1/2 cup diced onion (remember, not too small!)
1 cup soy sauce (I would recommend using low sodium, we didn't and wished we had)
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp thyme (I bought fresh but at the last minute ended up using dryed)
1 Tbs oil
1 lb flank steak (at least that's the size we used)

Mix all ingredients in a gallon zip lock bag, then put in the flank steak. Marinate for a few hours or overnight (we were fine with about 3 hours). Remove flank steak from marinade and pat dry. Broil 5-10 minutes or more, depending on how cooked you like your meat. Feel free to rotate it or put foil over the top to keep it from drying out. Let the meat rest before cutting it across the grain.

As if that wasn't enough for Sunday dinner, I tryed out another brand new recipe.  The problem with trying new recipes is that it makes me feel like a failure in the kitchen.  It seems like more often than not what I end up with is not what the recipe says I should end up with.  However, despite a suspect way too soft dough, these ended up tasting pretty good.  However, after all was said and done, I'd rather save myself the time and aggravation and just go buy some chocolate cake doughnuts.  So, I guess I won't be posting the recipe on this one, but at least you can enjoy the photo.  These tasted pretty good, they got their chocolate flavor from unsweetened cocoa powder.  The glaze reminded me of hot chocolate, which was good, but not good enough to make these again :)

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Taco Soup and Cornbread

I'm going to be honest with you. Cooking dinner has been such a grind lately. We had been doing really well for a long time with our meal planning and grocery shopping, but lately it seemed like the HubLub and I were getting home so late we were just too exhausted to think about getting our micro-mini kitchen cleaned and the dirty all over again, so we ended up eating out a few more times than usual, eating mac n cheese, soup, and sammys. So, I got to thinking about freezer meals and how we could prepare and freeze meals that were a cinch to pull out and cook on those really bad days. I researched on the internet and had a tough time finding recipes that met my expectations - no cook prep, single pot/pan cooking out of the freezer. So, I started thinking about our own recipes and how we could work with those. I thought of this Taco Soup recipe. The recipe makes a ton and is easy to pull together. I don't remember trying to freeze it before, but I figured it would be a good candidate. Then, I started thinking about storing it in the freezer and drooled over the Food Saver. There is NO way I can justify that taking up half my counter space, even if I used it daily, and cupboard space is not an option. Then I saw the Handi Vac which I had laughed at when I saw it before. But after reading a not horrible review on Consumer Reports I decided to order one and try it out. After all, for around $13 bucks on Amazon, it can't be any worse that me hand sealing zip lock bags, right? I'll let you know how that goes. But, until then, on to the stuff you care about, the recipe!

This taco soup is stupid easy to make. I know everyone and their mother has a recipe like this, so I've resisted posting this recipe. But, since it really is something we fall back on every once in a while I thought I'd go ahead and let you in on our recipe (which co-incidentally enough is from my mom :)

Taco Soup

Serves 5-6, or barely three meals for the HubLub and myself.

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped/minced/pressed
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can turkey chili with beans
1 can vacuum packed corn
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
4 oz tomato sauce
2 tablespoons or 1/2 packet of taco seasoning

Brown beef, add onions and garlic.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add canned ingredients, undrained.  Simmer on low 1 hour.

Optional: top with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, chopped tomatoes, or guacamole.

I felt like our favorite cornbread was a perfect compliment to the soup. We've usually just had it before with chili, but it really worked well with the soup. It's another stupid silly recipe. In fact, I got distracted and pulled it out of the oven 10 minute late and it still tasted great.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

New pages!

I just wanted to point out the new pages that have been added.  Why and Where.  So, if you wanted to know about why this blog exists or where you can contact me, just click on the links.