Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New York Strip Steak

My family is not very good about using up left overs.  In fact, we STINK at it.  I've been working hard to find ways to waste less food although our chihuahuas and Jack Russell/mutt don't mind a few leftover nibbles now and again.

Part of my efforts to waste less include looking for better cuts of meat that cost a bit more per pound, but I purchase meal-size portions for everyone.  I've found that we waste a lot less and we're enjoying meals that much more.

Last night we had some really wonderful New York Strip Steaks that I found in the butcher case at Dierbergs. They really do have the best meat in any of the St. Louis area supermarkets.  They were about 13 - 14 oz each.  I let the steaks sit on a cutting board seasoned on both sides with Lawry's Seasoning Salt and McCormick Smokehouse Pepper while the gas grill preheated.

The steaks were placed on the top rack of a very hot grill.  They were turned once after about 7 minutes and then left to cook for about another 7 minutes.  I removed them from the heat and let them rest for about 20 minutes before serving.

I served these with fresh green beans steamed and topped with butter, cheese garlic bread, and an Italian salad.  There was a big thumbs up from the entire family (Luke included) and almost no leftovers.  Hurray!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

For My Bird Watching Friends

If you're a gardener who grows squash, small pumpkins or gourds, here's an idea to use some of your extra bounty this year.  Turn these into feeders for the birds in your yard.

Cut the squash, pumpkin or gourd in half.  Remove all seeds from the center.  Drill four holes (2 sets directly across from one another) about 1" down from the top.  Push 1/4" dowels about 6" longer than the width of the squash to allow about a 3" perch on either side of the feeder.  Fill the center with the favorite food of your neighborhood birds.  Use wire to hang the feeder from a tree limb, fence, or hook.

What a great way to spoil your backyard feathered friends!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sizzling Salads - A delicious new Kraft product

We tried a new Kraft product for dinner last night, and it was surprisingly good - Sizzling Salads Southwest Chicken Dinner.  The kit comes with a bottle of seasoning sauce in which to marinate and/or cook the chicken and a bottle of salad dressing to compliment the seasoning.  All you add is chicken, lettuce, and any other salad fixings you'd like.

Our Southwest Salad consisted of 1 1/2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" strips.  I cooked the chicken in 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.  I sprinkled sea salt and Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning on both sides of the chicken as it cooked.  Once the chicken was fully cooked, I added 1/2 the bottle of of chicken seasoning sauce and let it cook for about 1 1/2 minutes more.

I combined Iceberg lettuce and spinach in a large serving bowl.  I drained and rinsed a small can of black beans and drained a small can of yellow sweet corn.  These were sprinkled over the top of the greens.  I added thinly sliced red onion and Kraft shredded Mexican Cheese and then tossed the salad well.

The kit contained a bottle of BBQ Ranch salad dressing.  (I thought that sounded kind of gross - but it was actually very good.)  This dinner salad got a big thumbs up from the whole family and we'll definitely be enjoying it again soon.

There were several other flavors too.  I bought the Asian Chicken Dinner Kit and plan to make that with Iceberg, Romaine, and Spinach, Mandarin Oranges, Mozzarella Cheese, red onion and toasted sesame seeds.  The kit comes with Teriyaki Ginger chicken seasoning sauce and Toasted Sesame salad dressing.  I can't wait to try it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beet-Orange Salad

Boil 1 lb of beets in salted water until tender (about 30 - 40 minutes)
Drain, then peel and sliced into wedges.
Toss into a serving bowl with   1/4 cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar, 2 Tbsp chopped chives or scallions, and salt and pepper.  Add 1 bunch of Romaine or Green Leaf Lettuce
Add 2 segmented blood oranges and toss

Buttered Egg Noodles

Cook 12 oz wide egg noodles in salted boiling water until al dente.  Transfer 1/4 cup cooking water to a skillet.  Stir in 4 Tbsp butter.  Add some chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper.  Drain the noodles and toss with the sauce.

This is a simple side dish to serve with just about any meat, veggie, and salad.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grilled Caribbean Chicken Salad

I was fortunate enough to receive a fantastic new charcoal/gas grill for my birthday from my parents and my sister.  We broke it in over the weekend grilling some wonderful steaks and baked potatoes.  I'll post a couple of pictures of the grill soon.  It's a biggie!

Here is another recipe that will put that new grill to work.  Keep the house cool and fix this for dinner when the weather is hot.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup teriyaki marinade
4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
4 cups chopped green leaf lettuce
1 cup chopped red cabbage
5.5 oz pineapple chunks in juice (drained)
tortilla chips

Pico De Gallo
2 medium tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 tsp chopped fresh jalapeno pepper (seeded and deribbed)
2 tsp finely minced fresh cilantro
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and chill.

Honey Lime Dressing
1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
 1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp lime juice

Blend all the ingredients in a small bowl with an electric mixer.  Cover and chill.

Marinate the chicken in the teriyaki for at least two hours.  Use a resealable plastic bag.  Put in fridge.  Preheat grill.  Grill the chicken for 4 - 5 minutes per side or until done.  Toss the lettuces and cabbage together and divide into 2 large serving size salad bowls.  Divide the pico de gallo and pour in equal portions over the two bowls of greens.  Divide the pineapple and sprinkle on salads.  Break tortilla chips into large chunks and sprinkle on salads.  Slice the grilled chicken into thin strips and divide among bowls.  Pour the dressing into two small bowls and serve with the salad.