Steak and Cheesy Potatoes

Memorial Day weekend means great sales on meat that you can grill.   I was in the grocery and they had NY Strip Steaks on sale, they were ridiculously inexpensive.  Normally I buy filets, because I hate wasting food and NY Strip Steaks are usually wayyyy  to much food for me.  Since it was a weekend and both the hubby and I were home, I knew he would eat my leftover steak with eggs for breakfast so I splurged.

steak and cheesy pots

The entire meal was made on the grill.  The steaks were seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning.  I cut up potatoes, tossed them with some diced onion, salt, pepper, and olive oil and put them in a pan to roast.  When they were almost done, I sprinkled them with some sharp cheddar cheese.  AWESOME – starch and cheese = amazing!

The asparagus was simply seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed with some olive oil.  Super easy meal, that looked beautiful on the plate and tasted even better.  PLUS we got to eat it outside on the deck.  The rain stopped for just long enough for us to get dinner grilled and eaten. I love that the days are getting longer and we are able to eat outside on the deck!

Grilled Chicken

Oh my goodness, the weather has been gorgeous the last few days, whoo hoooo!  Sunshine and warm temperatures.  I am one very happy girl.  To celebrate, I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken in a lemon garlic marinade and we grilled them for dinner.

chx and orzo

I paired the chicken with a roasted carrot and orzo salad.  My husband LOVES this salad.  It is super easy to make, roast carrots and garlic in the oven, make a dressing of lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, the roasted garlic, and olive oil.  Add in a bunch of sliced scallions and a generous handful of minced dill.   John prefers this dish hot, as soon as I add the cooked orzo to the dressing and carrots, he digs in.  I actually like it room temperature and it can be served cold, it really is incredibly versatile. A few years back, I felt like we were in a summer salad rut – coleslaw, macaroni salad, and potato salad – were all I was making.  I put a moratorium on those three salads and started pulling out cookbooks and scouring the internet for other ideas.  We had some great dishes that summer, but this one had endured, year after year.  It makes a great leftover cold lunch – just slice some chicken, put it on a bed of the salad, and take it to the office.

I really wanted broccoli again, but settled for cauliflower instead.  It made for a very vanilla looking dinner, but it tasted good so who cares!

Deconstructed Taco Salad

Since we had a bunch of ground beef leftover from the burgers, I took a few minutes to fry it up with a bunch of spices.  I knew I had a few crazy days coming up at work….I was FINALLY able to hire an assistant director of events, THANK GOODNESS!  But that means long days training a new person in addition to the insanity that is April at the university.

While John grilled the burgers, I cooked off the meat and stored it in the fridge for dinner the next night.  I can’t tell you how nice it is to come home knowing dinner is less than 15 minutes from fridge to table.

deconstructed taco

John wanted soft tacos, I was in the mood for crunch.  I  ended up opening a bag of tortilla chips and making myself a deconstructed taco salad.  Lettuce, salsa, ground beef, cheese and smidge of sour cream.

The hubby went with good ole fashioned soft taco’s – ultimately we were both thrilled with dinner.  I was ecstatic to come home to such an easy dinner.  WIN WIN WIN….what more can you ask for on a weeknight?

Meatloaf

Continuing the trend of using what I have in the freezer, I pulled out half a meatloaf the other day and let it thaw in the fridge.  I was scheduled to work 14 hours that day, it was the 8 day of work, in a row for me, I knew I would be tired.   I decided to keep dinner as simple and easy as possible, all while putting something on the table that I could be proud of.

meatloaf

I did most of the prep the day before – making a batch of coleslaw, peeling and dicing the potatoes.  When I got home, I simply brought the potatoes to a boil, while the hubby started the grill.

He grilled the meatloaf and slathered it with BBQ sauce.  I drained and mashed the potatoes with a bit of cream and butter.  I put all of it on the table with the bowl of coleslaw and we dug in! Perfect use of leftovers after a long and hectic work day! Thankfully the weather has been getting progressively better, I can’t wait for our first dinner outside on the deck.  Spring is finally here!

Corned Beef Hash

The supermarket had an incredible sale on corned beef after St. Patrick’s day so I picked one up, intending on having it for dinner the next night….best laid plans of mice and men…

Anyway, I ended up tossing it in the freezer after yet another change of plans.  Fast forward a few weeks, the hubby would be home for dinner, but I wouldn’t be.  I pulled the beef from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge.

The night before I was to serve it, I made a batch of coleslaw and picked up a loaf of rye bread.  In the morning, I put the corned beef in the crock pot, with some spices and a bit of water.  I let it slow cook all day.  When dinner came around, all the hubby had to do was assemble a reuben sandwich for dinner.  He was thrilled.

Two days later, I still had some corn beef left in the fridge so I decided we would have breakfast for dinner and I threw together a quick corn beef hash.

DSC_0565

I peeled and diced two potatoes and put them in a pot of water to boil.  While they were cooking, I diced up half an onion and a bit of the leftover corned beef.  I started sauteing the onion and beef, then added the potatoes when they were fully cooked.

All I needed to do after that was toast a bit of bread and fry up a couple of eggs.  Easy, tasty, and simple dinner.  It was the perfect way to end a long work week!

Thank goodness for my freezer

I think I have mentioned that I am, once again, a department of one.  I am running 400 events annually, by myself.  To say that I am working a lot is a bit of an understatement.  I love having items pre made, in the freezer, that I can pull out for quick weeknight meals.  I made a batch of Chicken Marsala Meatballs a while back and froze half the batch.  Fast forward to a night when I knew I would need to work late and I just didn’t want take out and I was entirely grateful for those meatballs!

chx marsala meatballs over rice

I just needed to throw together the sauce and cook off some rice.  I paired it with a fresh spinach salad for both color and ease.  The hubby wasn’t thrilled with a mushroom dish AGAIN, but they were big enough slices that he could push them off to the side.   He LOVES the meatballs and the sauce and of course, he can eat more rice than anyone else on the planet, I swear!

Fresh, healthy, homemade, and FAST.  All the elements of a perfect weeknight dinner.

Leftover Pizza Dough

The downside of being a family of two is leftover pizza dough.  The upside of being a family of two is LEFTOVER PIZZA DOUGH, whooo hooo!   I get to make garlic knots.  Those of you not from the East Coast of the US may not understand, but rolling pizza dough into a rope, knotting it in the center, baking it, then slathering it with a garlicky butter sauce, dusting it with parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of parsley is basically how I judge all pizza shops.  You just know that those who get it right, just the perfect amount of garlic versus butter, will also make amazing pizza.

Anyway, I made garlic knots to go alongside dinner of grilled meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Grilled meatloaf has been a staple in this house since I worked as a line cook.  We used to make it in the restaurant as part of our bar menu.  We would cut thick slices, grill them and slather them with homemade BBQ sauce.  We served them with hand cut french fries of house made chips, depending on the day.  It was always a big hit.  I made it for the hubby and now he no longer wants traditional meatloaf.

It does make for an easy weeknight meal. You need to make the meatloaf the day before so it has time to cool down.  Once you come home from work it is a matter of cut, grill, glaze, add sides and BOOM, dinner is on the table!