Grilled Steak w/Spicy Blueberry Sauce

I created this after having it at a restaurant one night, never really had a recipe. Told my mom about it and she asked me to give her the recipe, so then I had to make a recipe.  It’s really good stuff.  Mix it with cream cheese, serve on crackers. I’m sure it would amazing on ice cream, but we never seem to have enough leftover to try that.  😊

I actually tried this on NY Strip tonight and it was very good. I used the last of my sirloin working on a Mongolian Beef recipe.

Grilled Sirloin with Spicy Blueberry Sauce

  •  2 cups frozen blueberries (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tbsp
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want it)
  • pinch of chili powder
  • 1lb Sirloin, cut into 4 pieces
  • Fresh ground pepper (opt)

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A Well Stocked Pantry

The key to making dinner preparation easy, even on the most hectic day, is having a well stocked pantry.  And by pantry, I really mean pantry, cupboard, freezer and refrigerator.  From this you can create dinner out of ‘nothing’.

The items I always have on hand are pretty extensive.  In the pantry, I have several types of pasta,  a couple of different types of rice, bread crumbs, whole oats, instant potatoes (I almost always use fresh, but having instant on hand has saved me several times), brown sugar, ground flax,  2 types of honey, a variety of nuts, a variety of dried and canned beans, a variety of canned tomatoes, sauce and paste.  There is also a can of pineapple, a bag of dried fruit, a box of corn bread mix and a huge jar of toasted sesame seeds.  And of course the basics: unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, etc.

The cupboard is filled with as many spices as I can think of, in the smallest containers I can find, so they aren’t years old when I decide to use them.  I have dried chilis and a bulb of fresh garlic – though I always keep dried powder on hand and a jar of fresh in the refrigerator – can’t have too much garlic and each has a use.  I also have a few marinade mixes and shake-on rubs, though I usually make my own, having a few ready-made on hand is helpful.

In the freezer there are always boneless chicken breasts and boneless thighs, a least a pound of hamburger, a variety of frozen vegetables and frozen fruits, including a bag of cranberries.  Cranberries freeze very well and are a great addition to many dishes, without having to resort to the heavily sugared canned versions.   If I make fish, I prefer to use fresh, but tilapia freezes well and is pretty good if marinated and grilled.

The refrigerator door is a great stash of items that can help in a pinch.  There is soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, 2 or 3 marinades, orange sauce (a favorite of mine), barbecue sauce (my favorite these days being Sweet Baby Rays Sweet & Spicy), a couple of mustards (I don’t like Dijon – yuck – but a friend reminded me of spicy brown mustard, so I have that on hand), I have several types of wine vinegars and an organic apple cider vinegar, that tastes more like cider than vinegar, lemon juice, limejuice, chocolate sauce, grated parmesan, pickled jalapenos, and a jar salsa that has no sugar or HFC and tastes pretty close to fresh.

So at anytime, with these ingredients, I can make quick beans and rice, any number of pasta dishes, including angel hair tossed with olive oil and parmesan or bowties tossed with spicy crushed tomatoes, Spanish rice or any number of stir-fried dishes.  And the best part is that most of these items will be good for months before they have to be used.

What’s in your pantry?

Avocado & Tomato Salad

A tasty salad, great with a crusty bread.

 Avocado & Tomato Salad:

  • 2 slices bacon, fried crisp & crumbled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp limejuice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 3 to 5 drops Cajun hot sauce
  • 2 medium avocados, pitted & cubed*
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 6 green onions, chopped

large serving bowl

 Mix oil, limejuice, salt, pepper and Cajun sauce.  Add avocados, tomatoes and onion to serving bowl and toss with dressing.  Add bacon and refrigerate until serving.

From the menus at What’s 4 Dinner Solutions.

Buttered Shrimp & Linguine

A quick and easy main dish for a busy work night from What’s 4 Dinner Solutions menus.

 Buttered Shrimp & Linguine: 

  • 9 oz fresh linguine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 lb shrimp, shelled & de-veined
  • 8 oz snow peas
  • 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan

skillet     saucepan

 In saucepan, cook linguine according to package directions.  Drain well and keep hot.  Heat oil & butter in skillet and sauté onions and garlic, add shrimp, parsley, basil & pepper flakes.  Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes until shrimp turn pink, remove shrimp.  Add snow peas and tomatoes, heat for 2-3 minutes until pods are heated through, return shrimp and heat 1 minute.  Toss with linguine and sprinkle with cheese.

 

 

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

From the menus, something simple to start the week off with, it’s a great recipe to double, sauce freezes well.  Fresh pasta is great (I use linguini, but you can use ravioli, fettuccini) or regular dried spaghetti.

 

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce:

  • 9 oz. fresh pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2-14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • or
  • 2-15 oz can tomato sauce & 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary

2 saucepans

large skillet

 

In sauce pan, combine tomato products with 2 tsp ea.: basil, garlic & oregano. Add rosemary. Simmer on med heat, stirring frequently. Reduce to low and cover.

 

In skillet, heat oil, sauté pepper, onion, garlic.  Add to sauce.  Brown hamburger, adding 1 tsp ea: garlic, basil, and oregano. Drain excess fat and add to sauce. Let simmer for ½ hour. 

 

Cook pasta according to directions, drain and serve with sauce.