Friday, January 28, 2011

Steak and Potatoes

At my friend's insistence that people might appreciate quick and easy recipes that fit a single mom's (or just a busy mom's!) schedule, I decided to share one with you.  This is one of the simplest dinners I make for the girls and myself.  All of us love it and it's super easy to modify it to fit each of our different tastes.

The potatoes are Roasted Baby Bakers from Schwan's.  If you don't have Schwan's delivery, you can buy baby red potatoes in ready-to-steam bags at most grocery stores in the freezer section.  I like these because they already have a butter-seasoned coating and they are so tiny that the girls can just pop them in their mouths.  That makes it fun for them.  In reality, these are THE ONLY non-french-fry or chip potatoes that Goosie will eat.  The directions are on the bag but I just pop them in a casserole dish and microwave them for about 5-6 minutes...less if I'm not making a lot.  They come in a resealable bag so it's easy to make just as many as you need.

These little baby potatoes are already seasoned and SO tasty.
Most kids don't like salad.  Peanut is not most kids.  She LOVES salad.  By loves...I mean she would eat a huge salad in lieu of supper.  I love that about her.  Goosie gets a cup of sliced baby carrots and some ranch dressing for dipping.  Peanut and I get a salad like this... Romain lettuce, spring greens, chopped orange bell pepper (because it's sweeter than green bell peppers so she'll eat them), sliced cherry tomatoes, and a few sliced baby carrots.  It's colorful and tasty.  Cutting everything up into smaller pieces makes it easier for kids to eat without fear of them choking on big leaves of lettuce.
Every steak dinner needs a salad!
On to the steak!!! Really, I will use any steak I can afford.  The particular ones I made this night came from a meat market (insert dirty joke about meat markets here) and, to be honest, I wasn't crazy about the flavor when all was said and done.  Any steak from the grocery store will work...those No Name ones turn out especially well because they are so tender.  I take black pepper, seasoned salt, and onion powder and mix those all together in a bowl and then I roll the steaks in them and squoosh the seasonings in to the meat with my fingers.  Yes..."squoosh" is a technical cooking term so shut up.
Goosie's meat gets less pepper, Peanut's gets less onion powder. Everyone gets what they want!
I broiled the steaks in the oven because my grill is currently buried on my deck in three feet of snow.  I tried to shovel a path to it but it turns out that it is also encased in about 4 inches of ice.  I miss summer.  So anyway, I broiled them on a cookie sheet because I couldn't find my broiler pan.  I checked them and flipped them over every five minutes for about twenty minutes because I dislike ANY pink in my steak.  It would take less time if you do the medium-well thing but I prefer that my beef doesn't "moo" at me on my plate.
Broil....if your grill is stuck in the snow.
We munched on our salads until the steak was done.  Take note of my vintage plates I swiped from my grandmother's house.  She was going to give them to Goodwill but I said, "NO YOU DON'T!! I have to have those at my house!!"  Keep in mind, I live with my mother...and she was slightly less than thrilled to see another set of dishes stockpiled in the cupboard.  I solved this problem by "accidentally" breaking a few of her everyday dishes that I severely disliked and then she was happy we had a "back-up" set. 
Steak and Potatoes....on dishes circa 1972.
Well, I'm not sure how much demand there is for my "easy" recipes.  They don't actually constitute being called "recipes" since I don't really mix or make anything...it's really just pairing things together that are healthy, colorful, and tasty enough that my kids won't cry through the meal.  If this is something you all find interesting...I have a few more complicated but just as quick things I could share.  Swiss steak anyone?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So This Is Me

I've had a couple of people wonder today what I look like.  Normally, I don't end up in pictures because I'm usually TAKING the pictures so I don't have a lot to work with.  Here is one shot of me and my girls from a photo shoot that my step-sister and I went to for group shots as a Christmas gift for our parents.  (I can provide the photographer's information to interested parties...and yes, I have the right to use the photos so don't freak out that I'm a copyright violator or something.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Advice for the Bewildered

At age thirty-three I still do not understand how men think and I’m starting to come to the realization that this is something I may never know.  Remember that man who hugged me in this post?  Well, we are still letting this friendship thing develop slowly but he is a tough character to figure out.  He’s always happy and polite and friendly when I see him but, if I extend any type of offer to get together or hang out, he kind of freezes up.  On the flip side, if I become distant or less communicative, he will all of a sudden be flirtier.

I suppose this could lend cause to the “chase” theory.  Maybe he wants to be the pursuer?  The problem with that is that he never quite pushes forward far enough to make plans with me.  He keeps saying, “We need to go out and do something,” but it never evolves into actual plans.  Then, when I mention that I’m free on a particular night or say, “Hey I don’t have my kids this weekend,” he gets all funny about it. 

I just don’t understand what I should do next.  It seems like the less I do, the more he does…but what he does isn’t going as far as I’m hoping it will go.  The possibility that I’m completely miss-reading this whole thing is absolutely valid.  Maybe he doesn’t go past talking on the phone and casual conversation because he’s afraid it will give me the “wrong idea” about where he wants this to go?  Or maybe, maybe he’s just that shy. Or maybe, he's just content with the way things are right now because of reasons he's already given me and I just need to be more patient...

I’ve never known a guy like him and I don’t want to screw this up.  I’d rather have him as a friend than not at all because he really is that good of a guy…I just can’t figure him out.  And since I value all your opinions like crazy, I have to ask: Any suggestions?  What do I do?