Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Happy Holidays everyone! Again, I've gotten bad at blogging as of late and for that I am very sorry! Hopefully I'll use this week to get caught up.

Since Hanukkah has come and gone, the bf and I are now set to go spend Christmas with my family in Virginia/Tennessee. I'm getting very excited, especially since we don't have the winter wonderland here in Chicago that my mom has at home in VA.

Since I haven't really cooked anything particularly new lately (although did come up with a healthier creamed spinach on Friday) I thought I'd share my Christmas morning/Christmas Day outfits with all of you thanks to Polyvore.

Christmas Morning:

Christmas Day:

What are your plans for the holidays?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jersey Shore on MTV

Comments? All I can say is WOW!, it has everything I could ever want in a reality show, seriously.

I got the cutest Hanukkah gifts for the bf's little cousins today and totally on a budget too, which is great since the bf and I are still seeking full time employment. I forgot how much fun little girls are to shop for, and I am very excited that I purchased a few of their gifts at Dollar Tree, which had great art supplies (hello glitter crayons and glitter construction paper) and dress up clothes (I got the cutest fairy princess costume complete with fairy wings).

On another note, I made a super quick steak house style dinner tonight. I've been buying larger cuts of top sirloin at Costco and cutting them into smaller portions myself at home. This is a great alternative to buying more expensive cuts of steak at the supermarket. I usually will cut the meat into meal size portions and then cook that portion and slice it on a bias and serve the slices. It looks totally fancy and makes the meat more tender.

I marinated the meat and served it with garlicky green beans and roasted Parmesan potatoes.

Coffee Marinated Steak
1 large piece of top sirloin steak
1/4 cup coffee
2 tablespoons each: cooking oil, Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 teaspoon of each: Italian seasoning, cinnamon, Emeril's essence, cumin, chili powder, granulated garlic, pepper

Mix all spices, oil, coffee and Worcestershire sauce in either a shallow baking dish or a gallon size food storage bag. Add the steak. Marinate for at least 2 hours.

Cook on an outdoor grill or a tabletop grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and let rest for an additional 5 minutes. Slice against the grain of the meat into thin pieces. Serve with potatoes and green beans.

Roasted Potatoes
1/2 to 1 lb small red potatoes, larger ones cut in half
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons each: salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Emeril's Essence, granulated garlic, Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Place potatoes on a cookie sheet. Drizzle oil over potatoes. Add the spices and cheese. Mix together with your hands so that the potatoes are well covered with the spices, cheese and oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes to 1 hour until potatoes are crispy on the outside.

Garlicky Green Beans
1/2 lb fresh green beans trimmed
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon + 2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons of each: pepper, granulated garlic, Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

In a medium size skillet add the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Add the green beans. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain and return beans to skillet

Add the oil, garlic, cheese and spices to the green beans. Toss well to coat and saute over med. low heat.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sick of Thanksgiving Leftovers Already?

Well I have just the recipe for you! While I am the first to admit that I love nothing more than eating a leftover turkey sandwich while decorating the tree (pics to follow, too lazy to upload right now), turkey sandwiches (even paninis made on the George Foreman) do get old rather quickly!

When shopping for my Thanksgiving dinner at Costco the smallest turkey they had was 11lbs. I had originally wanted to only make a turkey breast, but didn't feel like going to another supermarket to purchase the turkey. You can see where this is going -- I bought the 11 lb turkey for 3 people. As you can imagine, I've got a ton of leftover turkey, including the not so popular dark meat...

What to do with this dark meat? Make soup. I originally wanted to make chili with the turkey but I noticed that I also had some smoked sausage that needed to be eaten, so then I decided to make a turkey gumbo. Unfortunately, I had no okra, so I combined the two ideas and came up with leftover turkey chilumbo (get it -- chili + gumbo = chilumbo)!

Leftover Turkey Chilumbo:
1 smoked sausage link chopped
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
Meat from 1 turkey leg chopped
1 stalk celery minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 onion minced
1 can red beans (do not drain)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green chilies (or 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies)
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1-2 cups water
1 carrot chopped
1 tablespoon of the following: granulated garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, Emeril's Essence, oregano, sage
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir well. Add 1 tablespoon butter. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.