Saturday, August 18, 2012

Real food, recipes + a birthday gift

Yep... still cooking and still eating.  :) My tummy issue is frustrating sometimes because even just a few bites of anything processed makes it *hurt* like a mofo and it's hard to eat foods that anyone else makes.  As an example, we had a small potluck at work in our department last week with a BBQ theme so I brought 2 things: pulled chicken with my homemade BBQ sauce and loaded baked potato salad (recipe to follow).  I've made those both more than once before so knew those would okay for me to eat.  One of my coworkers brought homemade macaroni & cheese so I also had a few bites of that, thinking it'd be "safe".  Within a half hour of eating, my stomach was killing me.  I asked her how she made it and it turned out that at least two of the ingredients were processed/refined.


But, on the other side of the coin, I am still loving the heck out of cooking delicious real food for Hubbyman and I, even if it is a bit more work.  I'm still not counting fat or calories and eating until my stomach tells me I am full.  It's just amazing to me that it's actually WHAT I am eating that is making the difference.  All those diet foods and fretting over fat, calories, carbs, etc. were having the opposite effect of what I was striving for.  Yet I am eating real butter and bread and bacon.... and am a little smaller as a result.  (I am down 31 lbs since June 5 as of last Tuesday.)

So my tummy issue has a redeeming quality, even if it is frustrating. :P

Here are just a few things from this past week. :)
Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches on homemade hoagie rolls - I ate half of it before I remembered to take a picture of it.  (*giggles*)  It was AMAZING!
Philly Cheese Steak (adapted from Martha Stewart)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 - 1.5 top round beef steak
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz sliced provolone (about 8 slices)
  • 4 hoagie rolls, split
  1. Liberally pepper the top of the steak.  Tightly roll the steak and wrap in plastic.  Put it in the freezer for 45-60 minutes so it's firm but not frozen through.  Remove from the freezer and with an electric knife (preferably) shave at an angle.  Work quickly and don't worry about the slices being perfect.  Put in a covered bowl in the fridge until ready to cook.
  2. Heat the olive in a large skillet and add garlic and onion.  Cooking, stirring often until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the the steak to the pan and cook until no longer pink, stirring often.
  4. Turn the heat off.  Add the provolone and stir constantly until the cheese is melted.
  5. Divide among the four rolls and serve.
I also had these for lunch the next two days.  For the hoagie rolls, I followed this recipe using my bread machine and made 4 big rolls instead of 8 smaller one.  I also used King Arthur's Bread Flour instead of all-purpose.

This was one of those "I'm hungry but too lazy to cook" snacks.  It's just wedged tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and topped with garlic powder, freshly grated Parmesan, and plain bread breadcrumbs then popped in the microwave for about a minute.  It was surprisingly good and satisfying!
Hubbyman is in Minnesota visiting his friends until Tuesday.  While I miss him like crazy, this annual trip gives me a chance to make food he doesn't like.  So I had a Hawaiian turkey burger for lunch. :)  I also made a mixed green salad with mini seedless cucumbers and tomatoes with a dressing experiment that was okay at best (1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper).  :)  My eyes were also bigger than my stomach so I didn't even half the salad on my plate.   I had made this recipe last week as well which had an amazing balsamic mayo that did not translate into a dressing with yogurt as well.  LOL.

 Sashi's Hawaiian Turkey Burgers
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. can pineapple in juice, either chunks or tidbits
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp honey, plus more for drizzling
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the turkey, onion, pineapple with juice, bread crumbs, garlic powder, pepper to taste, and 3 Tbsp honey until well mixed.  The mixture will be soft but should stick together well.
  3. Form into 4 patties and place onto the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle the top of each one with a little honey.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Drizzle with a touch more honey before serving.

I know this might sound like a lot of honey but you can only just taste it.  I've browned the onions before mixing them in before but I actually like the light crunch the burgers still have by leaving them raw.

Oh, I almost forgot the recipe I mentioned in the first paragraph!

Sashi's Loaded Baked Potato Salad
  • 6 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/2 lb bacon (6-8 slices)
  • 1/2 c. real mayo
  • 1/2 c. nonfat Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried chive
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz or 2 cups shredded Cheddar (grate your own, if you can)
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place potatoes on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a knife.  Take out of the oven and let cool.  When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into at least 8 cubes, more if the potato is large.  Let the potatoes cool completely to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the bacon.  In a skillet, fry until cooked through.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towel and let cool to room temperature. 
  4. In a jar or other lidded container that holds at least 2 cups, add the yogurt, mayo, milk, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, chive, and pepper.  Put the lid on tightly and shake until the dressing is well mixed. (You just made ranch dressing! :) )  Put in the fridge until everything else is cooled and ready to mix.
  5. Once the potatoes and bacon are cooled, put both in a large bowl with the cheese.  Pour in about 3/4 of the dressing and mix.  Add more dressing until it is the consistency you prefer.  Let chill about an hour or 2 before serving.  
  6. If you are going to refrigerate this overnight before eating, add the last 1/4 just before serving as it will dry out slightly.

I also made something a couple weeks ago for my best friend's birthday but I had to wait to post it until after I gave it to him. :)

It's a Foodie's Survival Kit based on this idea I saw over at Uncommon Goods.

I started with a gift card tin (which is a bit larger than an Altoids tin) and, using a gel medium, decoupaged ripped bits of some decorative tape I found at Michaels that did not stick well, at all.  I even tested it on paper, thinking it was the metal, but no. It was the "tape."

After 3 more coats of the gel medium to protect the "tape," I glued on these findings I also found at Michaels.  The triangular bits are actually photo corners.  I didn't mean for this to have a steam punk feel to it but I'm pleased with how it turned out and he liked it, too, which is even more important. :)
Inside the tin, I put several small bags of various spices and seasonings.

I just went through my own collection of spices and picked things I thought he'd like, including ancho chile powder, ground mustard, ground clove, cinnamon, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried dill and a few others I can't remember off the top of my head.
While Hubbyman is gone this weekend, I do have a few projects I want to work on but am having a really hard time getting motivated.  I did assemble a standalone pantry yesterday, though, to replace the bakers rack in the kitchen.  Now I just need to rearrange everything in there.  I am not looking forward to it. :P  I also have about 37 loads of laundry to do.  So not fun. 

How do you motivate yourself to do the tasks/chores you don't want to do?

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