Monday, December 8, 2008

Quick Dinner Recipes & a lil' something to think about

Good Morning! I found a bunch of less than 30 minute recipes on Better Homes and Gardens and picked a few to share with you this morning. I picked a hearty meal that Ray and most men would probably like and a few that just sounded interesting to me. I hope you find one that you might want to try too.

Potatoe Topped Beef Bowl
1 lb. ground beef
1 16-oz. pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
1 8-oz. pkg. shredded cheddar cheese (2 cups)
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1. Preheat broiler. In extra-large skillet brown beef over medium-high heat; drain off fat. Stir in frozen vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Stir in half the cheese, half the parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
2. Meanwhile, in large bowl combine 2 cups boiling water, potato flakes, and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
3. Divide beef mixture among four 16-ounce broiler-safe dishes. Top with potatoes; sprinkle remaining cheese. Broil 3 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Drizzle with melted butter; sprinkle with remaining parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Flat Iron Steak with BBQ Beans
2 boneless beef shoulder top blade (flat iron) steaks, halved (1 to 1-1/4 lb.)
2 tsp. fajita seasoning
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup bottled barbecue sauce
2 to 3 tomatoes, sliced
Corn bread (optional)
Pickles jalapeño peppers (optional)

1. Preheat grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks with fajita seasoning. On greased grill pan, grill steaks 8 to 12 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees F) or 12 to 15 minutes for medium (160 degrees F).
2. Meanwhile, in medium microwave-safe bowl stir together beans and barbecue sauce. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Microcook on high (100 percent power) for 3 minutes, stirring once.
3. Serve steaks with sliced tomatoes, beans and corn bread. Top with pickled jalapeño slices. Serves 4.

Maple-Glazed Chicken With Sweet Potatoes
1 1-lb. 8-oz. pkg. refrigerated mashed sweet potatoes
1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
2 tsp. steak grilling seasoning blend, such as Montreal
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sliced green onion (about 4)

1. Prepare sweet potatoes in microwave oven according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, lightly coat chicken with steak seasoning. Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until no longer pink (170 degrees F), turning once halfway through cooking. Remove from skillet; cover and keep warm. Stir maple syrup into hot skillet; cook 2 minutes. Stir in green onions.
3. Divide chicken and potatoes among 4 plates. Drizzle with maple syrup mixture. Serves 4.

Balsamic Pork And Dumplings
1 16.9-oz. pkg. frozen potato-and-onion-filled pierogi (potato dumplings)
12 oz. green and/or wax beans, trimmed (3 cups)
1 1 lb. pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (optional)

1. Cook pierogi and beans in boiling water according to package directions. Drain pierogi and beans; divide among serving plates.
2. Meanwhile, slice pork into 1/2-inch thick medallions. Gently flatten pork slices by hand to 1/4-inch thickness; lightly sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add pork. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until no pink remains. Transfer to serving plates with pierogi and beans.
3. Drain fat from skillet. Add balsamic vinegar to hot skillet. Cook, uncovered, 1 minute or until reduced by half. Drizzle over pork, pierogi, and beans. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Serves 4.

I got this mailing today from Daily OM. It sort of fit with a graphic I worked on this weekend so I'm including that picture with it.

December 8, 2008
The Joy Of Being
Celebrating The In-Between Times

While celebrations are intended to honor life’s more momentous occasions, much of real life tends to happen during the in-between times. While moving from one moment in time to the next is seldom considered a significant occurrence, it is during those in-between times that we are most in tune with life’s most profound, albeit simple joys. Between birth and death, triumph and sorrow, beginnings and endings, we enjoy innumerable experiences that often happen unnoticed. These times are just as worthy of celebration.

The in-between times are seldom about landmark moments. How you choose to celebrate them or which moments you choose to celebrate is up to you. You may want to celebrate the simple facts that you are alive and that every day is a chance to spend time with the people you care about or do the work that you love. Then again, when you look at the good that exists in your life, many reasons for celebrating the in-between times may become clear: a cup of your favorite tea, a beautiful sunrise, a good book, and the smell of fresh air can be reasons for celebration.

Celebrating the in-between times can be as easy as paying special attention to them when they do happen, rather than taking them for granted. It’s your focus of attention that can turn an in-between time into a celebration. You can also pay homage to the in-between times by slowing down and allowing yourself time to look around and allow your heart and mind to take in all of your life’s wonders. Far too often, we can let those simple moments of awe pass us by. The in-between times are when life happens to us between the pauses that we take to honor our milestones occasions. Without the in-between times, there would be no big moments to celebrate.
I think back to when my older children were young like Rylie and how much I missed out on by being so wrapped up in "just getting through the day". I was a young stressed out mother just trying to survive with 3 young children and (at that time) a husband who was gone more than anything else. I had someone once tell me that, even though I was married, I was basically living the same sort of life of a single mom. The husband often left the house in the morning and didn't come home until late at night. Of course, I was so naive, I didn't learn till much later that he wasn't always working.
So I remember those special moments, the celebrations. And I remember the sad times too. Repeated visits to the hospital (sometimes 3 times in the winter season) when Samantha's asthma became so bad she just couldn't breath. Losing family members. The highs and lows are pretty much ingrained on your being. It's those little moments, the daily things we take for granted. Things I wish I had taken the time to write down for the future (which is now the present). What quirky, loving or funny things (things that only happen once in a lifetime) did I lose along the way because I was too busy trying to survive and didn't take the time to cherish them in the moment?
I keep saying I need to go back and take tidbits from my online journals, things I've written about what Rylie did or said, and make a journal to print out. Things we can look back on and reminince about. I mean, let's be realistic, Rylie came along later in my life and it is highly possible that I may not be there to tell her children cute stories about their mommy. If I print out the stories I've written about her, about me and Ray, they will have some stories in my own words whether I'm here or not.
Perhaps, that is a new weekly entry I need to start doing. Like on Wednesdays or Fridays, whenever, I could write about some of the stuff Rylie did that week, or something. Then immediately after that print it out and start a little Journal file. I don't know. I know that I have a ton of stories fromt the old AOL journal that I need to track down and copy. That is part of the reason I was so worried about losing my entries, it would be a little like losing my diary.
Well, I guess I've rambled enough for one day.
Have a wonderful Monday!
Jill Marie


Grass-Fed Beef said...

These are the kind of recipes that I like. Meat & potatoes.

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