Monday, May 7, 2012

Cooking Without a Recipe: Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinners are the best. And sometimes the worst if you're Adam and you have to do the dishes. Most of the time Sunday is a time for me to try out a recipe that requires more time and energy than I have to give on the weekdays. But life has been so busy lately, particularly the weekends, that all I wanted to do on Sunday was NOTHING. Literally nothing. I wanted to watch episodes of Friday Night Lights with breakfast if I felt like it, take a nap if I felt like it, sit on the couch doing nothing cuddling the dog if I felt like, and most of all not leave the house, unless I felt like it. Well, that didn't happen. Adam made me run errands, which, to his credit, probably needed to be done desperately. Wonderfully fun things like, wash the dog, go to Staples, go to the grocery store, stop at Rite-Aid to pick up things that we forgot to get at the grocery store, go to the bank, and drive to the movie theater TWICE to try to see The Avengers only to find that the first time we couldn't find parking and we were already late and the second time they were sold out. (We've really got to get hip with buying our tickets online and planning ahead.) And there went my whole morning and afternoon. I had a lot of food prep to do for the upcoming week on, so dinner had to be a quick affair in order for me to get in my precious sitting on the couch cuddling with the dog watching Friday Night Lights time. Which means Adam broke out the BBQ and got to grilling. We've found that a nice good cut of Top Sirloin from the butcher seasoned with a healthy sprinkle of Santa Maria style seasoning makes a mean steak. And by "mean" I mean fan-freaking-tastic. Adam picked up 2 steaks weighing in at 1.64 pounds for the TWO of us! I wish I could say I finished mine, but I had to save some for lunch today. I know, I'm disappointed with myself also. But it was a big piece of steak.

{sigh, I've really got to get better at taking pictures in a hurry}

This dinner was super easy and was better than going out to a steak house! This is the second time in two weeks we've made this dinner. For a veggie side, I cut up some some onions, bell peppers, and zucchini, and seasoned them with olive oil, season salt, and garlic. Adam threw those on the vegetable grill grate starting with the peppers and onions and adding the zucchini a little later since they cook faster. To make quick mashed sweet potatoes I microwaved two medium sweet potatoes for 10 minutes then wrapped them in foil and finished them in a 350ish  degree oven for 10 more minutes. Once soft, I scooped out the flesh and added roughly 1/4 cup greek yogurt (2%), a drizzle of honey, salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Mashed sweet potatoes are one of my favorite and easiest side dishes, in fact I just love sweet potatoes all together. And Adam has grown to love them too! He used to think sweet potatoes were too sweet for something passing as a potato, but since I refused to stop serving them he got to use to it and now really likes them!

There is one thing didn't make it into the photo, but happens to be my favorite part about steak night - Garlic Mushrooms!

The reason why these mushrooms look so sparse in that big pan - I have to make a single serving, because no matter how hard I try Adam will not get on the mushroom madness train. Because of that I pretty much gave up mushrooms for a year and then realized I can make them just for little ol' me! Also, my small cast iron pan rusted! Any tips on how to fix it?

These are super simple. I just heat up some olive oil and butter in a hot cast iron skillet. Throw the mushrooms in, brown them up a little bit, then throw some chopped garlic in and pop them into a hot oven somewhere between 350 and 400 for 10 - 15 minutes. These are great for a steak topper or even to fancy up some grilled chicken! If you want a more gussied up version of these, check out Bev Cook's Tapas Style Mushrooms. I'm holding out on those until I have someone to share them with. 

Perfect Sunday night dinner. And I got to watch THREE episodes of Friday Night Lights! Sigh, happiness. Back to wedding planning next weekend!

Quick Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 2 (in my house)

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup greek yogurt (or you could use regular milk or coconut milk)
teaspoon of honey (less or more to taste)
salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste 

Preheat oven to 350 - 400 (depending on if you are cooking anything else in the oven). Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork. Microwave two medium sweet potatoes for 10 minutes. 

Wrap them in foil and finished them in the oven for 10 more minutes or until soft. 

Once soft, scoop out the flesh and add roughly 1/4 cup greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Mix / Smash. If using milk or coconut milk start with 1 tablespoon at a time and add more to reach consistency and taste you desire. 

Peace, Love, Sunday dinners, and Happiness!

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