French Onion Soup and Steak

I LOVE slow cooked caramelized onions, add it beef stock and a whole lotta cheese and you have one fine bowl of soup!

french-onion-soup

I tend to skip the bread because I can’t STAND soggy bread.  There is nothing and I mean NOTHING in this world more disgusting to eat than soggy bread. *Shutter*, heck I can’t even type that without a full body shutter….ugggghhhh!

Anywho….I made the soup and we had that as our first course.  We followed it up with a lovely steak, baked potato, and salad for dinner.  Not a bad winter meal, if you ask me.  All the comfort foods in one place – cheese, potatoes, steak…..YUM!

steak-dinner

 

Grilled Chicken with Bok Choi

The weather last week was a total anomaly.  Seriously, it was in the 70’s all week.  Most days the sun was shining.  It felt more like spring than winter.  I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, I just know mother nature is going to drop a blizzard on us when we least expect it.   Anyway….I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and took the opportunity to grill out doors, we even ATE outside one night last week, whoo hoo!

chx-with-bok-choy

I marinated boneless skinless chicken in a sesame ginger marinade, then grilled it.  While that was cooking I made a batch of white rice and quickly sauteed up some bok choi in a little of the same marinade.  It was delicious.  Quick, healthy, and so so satisfying!

I know global warming is a bad thing for the planet, but I have to tell you, I really enjoyed our weather the last few days.

Monochromatic Dinner

Some days my plates look amazingly colorful and dazzle me with their visual appeal….other days….well….lets just say I could use a little work.

Thankfully, the food tasted amazing, it just looked really, really boring on the plate!

monochromatic-dinner

I had marinated the chicken in a lemon garlic marinade and baked it off.  I was absolutely craving mashed potatoes and I had a head of cauliflower that was begging to be steamed.  Again, not a stellar plate presentation, but each component was exactly what I needed it to be – the chicken was tangy and tender, the potatoes were creamy and luscious, and the cauliflower was perfectly al dente, exactly the way I like it.

Some days it is all about getting the food you need on the plate, today was one of those days!

Potato Soup

I love, love, love, potatoes…..add cream and bacon and well…..let’s just say, it can totally make everything right with the world.

potato-soup

I am so very lucky that the hubby is content with soup for dinner.  Of course, he has to have a sandwich…AND chips on the side, but at least he considers it a meal!  I started by sauteing bacon in my stock pot.  Once it was done, I removed it from the pan, and sauteed the onions, carrots, and celery in the bacon fat.  I added in chicken stock and the potatoes.  Once the veggies were tender, I added in some heavy cream, a bit of frozen corn, and heated everything through.  When it was ready to serve, I topped it with a bit of the bacon and dug IN!  Soup is truly the only good thing about winter……

Beef Tenderloin

I picked up a very small beef tenderloin from the grocery store on my way home.  I have been craving beef and we needed a meal that didn’t make many leftovers since the hubby was not going to be home for a few days.

tenderloin

The hubby grilled the meat outside while I took care of boiling the potatoes and the vegetables.   It was a rather simple meal, and a bit boring looking on the plate, but it tasted SOOOOOO GOOD!  Nothing can soothe the soul quite as much a lovely, tender, juicy piece of beef.  Add it some mashed potatoes and all is right with the world.

Chicken and Barley Soup

Ever since the weather has turned colder, I have been craving soup.  I really wanted Chicken Noodle, but the hubby isn’t a fan.  I settled for Chicken with Mushrooms and Barley instead.

prep

I find it absolutely soothing to spend the day in the kitchen, chopping, prepping, and cooking.  It is my version of therapy!

I cleaned and diced carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms and parsley.  I diced two chicken breasts into bite size pieces.   Once all of the prep was done, I started on the soup.

First, I browned the chicken, in batches.  Once that was done, I removed the chicken from the pan and added the mushrooms.  I let them get nice and brown, then removed them, lowered the heat, and added the rest of the vegetables, along with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.  The veggies sweated for about ten minutes, I deglazed the pan with a bit of vermouth and white wine.   I added a cup of uncooked barley, the chicken and mushrooms along with  8 cups of chicken stock.  I turned it to a boil, reduced it to a simmer, and partially covered the pan.   It took about an hour for the veggies to be completely tender and the barley to be fully cooked.

soup-and-sammie

The hubby wanted a grilled cheese with his soup.  I toasted up two slices of rye bread for me and we were both very, very happy campers!  I am so grateful that the hubby is totally fine with soup for dinner.

Beef Taco’s

While cooking dinner on Friday night, I also went ahead and prepped our dinner for Saturday.   We had our second Admissions Open House on Saturday and were expecting over 500 people to attend.  We had also changed the format of the day so I wanted to get to work early to be sure all of the set ups were done and the spaces clean and unlocked.

I knew I would be tired when I got home, thank goodness for taco’s!  I braised beef cubes in water, garlic, and a ton of spices for about three hours on Friday night.   I let the entire thing cool, then put it in the fridge until the next day.  All I needed to do was shred the meat, heat it in a little of the cooking liquid, and make a batch of rice.

taco

I admit, I cheated with most of the toppings – a bag of pre shredded lettuce, pre shredded cheese, and store made pico de gallo.  Dinner was on the table in less than 20 minutes, definitely gave me time to decompress after dealing with a ton of folks at work today.  Nothing like being an introvert and having to deal with horde of prospective students and their parents.  I find it fun, but oh so utterly draining by the end of the day.  I think I would have handled it better if we hadn’t had reunion @ fall fest last weekend.  I am just done in with the thought of entertaining the masses this week!  Thank goodness for easy, quick, and delicious dinners to satisfy me after a long day!