Toamto and Asparagus Pasta with Flat Iron Steak

Asparagus, coarsely chopped
3/4 pint grape tomatoes
olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
angel hair pasta
Flat Iron steak
Montreal steak seasoning

I took the Asparagus and tomatoes and sauteed them up in the oil with salt and pepper until warmed, and still firm with a nice bit of brown starting to occur.  Meanwhile I cooked the angel hair.  I tossed the veggies with the pasta and dished it up.

For the flat iron steak I started with some seasoning on the steak and seared the steak on the stovetop in my stainless.  While the veggies were cooking i moved the steak into the oven and finished cooking it. I finished up the meal by slicing and adding to the pasta. 

This is my version of a simple, easy,  Sarah friendly dinner (which made for amazing lunch leftovers).   I really owe Lulu for introducing me to the flat iron steak.  I do love it!!!!  This dinner/lunch made me happy.  I guess it fits the KISS principle -- it was simple and I enjoyed every flavor :)

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

I needed a semi healthy yummy veggie....  here it is.

1 head cauliflower, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
coarse ground sea salt and pepper to taste

I tossed it all together and roasted for until i was happy with the crisp :) 

I enjoyed it... and so did David's dad.  i think we're good :)  Its sort of like Kate's DC broccoli, but cauliflower.  oddly enough, I had never eaten cauliflower before last year, and now its a standard for me. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie!!!

For Valentines Day I brought out one more dessert.  I swear, I'm really not a dessert girl, and with the onset of March the desserts go away and the fun of non-dessert, attempting to be healthy comes back for good.  I found this recipe on Our Best Bites, although I'm pretty sure it comes straight from Nestle.

1 pie crust [you know I used Grandma Goerss' crust :)]
2 large eggs

1/2 cups flour
1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cups real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Make the Pie Crust :)   I think i'm getting Grandma Goerss' crust down pat now :)

Preheat the Oven to 325F and then beat the eggs until foamy.  Add the flour, white sugar, and brown sugar followed by butter and finally the chocolate chips.  pour into the pie crust and bake for 55 to 60 min until the knife test midway between the edge and center comes back clean.

Amazing.  Beyond Easy.  i used 1.5 cups chocolate chips since i didn't have any nuts in my pie.  I think it was too much chocolate.  But still -- beyond amazing and easy.  It was ooey and gooey and yummy.  The ooey/gooey was due to the low flour level, not undercooked eggs... so is totally edible and amazing.


Cider Braised Pork

2 lb pork loin roast
1 small butternut squash, chopped
2 apples, chopped coarsely
1/2 cabbage, sliced
apple cider
salt an pepper to taste

Simple stuff-- layer the squash, apples, cabbage, and pork in the crock pot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle a small amount of apple cider in and cook on low all day. 

This was a crockpot-ification of a pork tenderloin recipe from the December issue of Rachel Ray.  I had been thinking about it since seeing the recipe and knew it was a good way to use up the leftover cabbage from the eggrolls.  This was a total win.  The pork was moist, the cabbage didn't overpower the remaining veggies and it was good!!!! It pretty much tasted the way it smelled and I hoped it would - which is always good.  I served everything with the cider sauce on top and loved every bite!  David didn't feel like the apple cider overpowered the pork and happily ate his portion too, noting it was still moist without pouring juices over it.

Peanut Butter Squares

... or hearts

I made the magical cranberry bars a couple of weeks ago, however, they had lots of taboo in them -- so i wanted to make a more simple, shareable dessert.  I had seen this recipe for no bake peanut butter bars at Our Best Bites and it seemed to call to me.  Especially since I already had the requisite ingredients :)

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs (about 1 package)

1 lb powdered sugar
1 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 C (2 sticks) real butter, melted
1 12oz bag chocolate chips
a smidge of extra peabut butter

Crush the graham crackers -- I just crushed them in the bowl.  The food processor might have been better.  The smaller the crumbs the better.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar.  Add in the PB and butter.  Take the mixture and press into a 9x13 pan that has been lined with parchment paper. 

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate, adding a couple of tbl of peanut butter.  Spread the chocolate mixture onto the bars, place them in the fridge, and let them cool.  Cut them before they get too hard (the chocolate needs to set without getting too hard).

Win.  It was a definite win.  Rather than cutting these into squares I actually used my heart shape cookie cutter to make them into reese's hearts.  They reall did taste like reese's.  And they were cute.  Everyone who had one had more than one :) 

BLT dip

We enjoyed some super bowl sadness last week with friends.  There was so much awesome food there!  I know my southern friends think I was going to be walking to 'northern we don't cook here' territory, but they are certainly giving you a run for the money here.  David brought wings and I decided to bring my A game with some BLT dip.  You know bacon makes everything yum-tastic.

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 lb bacon
3/4 pint grape tomatoes chopped
2-5 green onions

Combine the sour cream and mayonnaise and mixed well.  While the  bacon cooks,  chop the tomatoes an green onions up into small pieces.  Take the cooked bacon and crumble into the dip.  Mix and chill.  The longer you let it sit the better it tastes!!!

Verdict --
Bacon makes everything taste awesome.


Cranberry Magic Bars

I saw this recipe the other day on Our Best Bites and absolutely had to give it a try!  I made these cookies and brought the into work for our Steelers Superbowl Party.  Seemed like a hit...  I know I enjoyed them.

1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
14 oz. can can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
cinnamon as desired
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped cranberries

Spread the melted butter in the bottom of a 9 by 13 pan.  Top with graham cracker crumbs and press down to make a nice crust.  Spread the sweetened condensed milk on top of the crust an top with coconut.  spread the white chocolate chips an top with cinnamon as desired.  top with the milk chocolate chips, pecans, an cranberries.  Press own an bake at 350 for about30 min.  Cut into bars and try not to eat the entire pan!!!

Let's Go Steelers!!!

Irish Eggrolls

A few weeks ago we went to the Irish Pub, Claddah, with the Illini Club to watch the basketball game.  One of the guys in the club introduced us to Corned Beef and Cabbage Eggrolls.  They were beyond absolutely amazing.  I decided I had to re-create these, so this is my take. 

1/4 lb deli corned beef, cut thick.
1/2 cabbage, chopped
4 slices swiss cheese, chopped
Salt and pepper.
Eggroll wrappers

I chopped up the corned beef into chunks.  I heated them up in my nonstick pan with a little bit of oil.  I added the chopped cabbage an salt and pepper to my taste.  I cooked up this mixture until the cabbage was softened.  At that point I mixed in the cheese.  I took a spoonful or two of the corned beef an cabbage mixture an placed it in the middle of the eggroll wrapper an wrapped up the eggroll, placing it seam side down on a greased cookie sheet.  I  repeated this until running out of corned beef an cabbage.  I sprayed the tops with oil and baked until crispy on the outside.

Amazing!  It was definitely good stuff!!!  You could extend this with more cabbage (I probably would next time... it was actually a little heavy on the corned beef).  You could also use it as a delivery method for leftover corned beef with St. Patty's coming up soon.  These were a total win!!!!  I would eat them with a coarse ground mustard or a thousand island dressing dipping sauce.  Definitely enjoy the concept of doing non-traditional eggrolls!


Zucchini Fries

I saw this recipe for baked zucchini fries on Our Best Bites a couple of weeks ago and mentally bookmarked it as worth trying.  It was a particular go since I heard a rumor that certain people liked baked/fried zucchini loaded with breadcrumbs.
1 zucchini
1/2 cup italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs

Cut the zucchini into strips- I used my handy dandy veggie cutter
I whipped up the two eggs in a bowl and mixed the panko bread crumbs and parmesan in another bowl.  I took the zucchini, dipped it in the egg and dipped it into the panko mix and laid them out on a baking sheet (I forgot to spray the pan with non-stick spray, I recommend not doing that).  I baked them for 12 minutes at 425, flipped them, and baked for another 12 minutes.

Verdict -- Success.  The fries were yummy.  I would definitely re-create these during summer when the zucchini is plentiful and dip them in some ranch!  I think 'someone' might eat them again next time!