OK, so I've been home with the kids for two weeks now. When you are a sports parent, much less a multiple sports parent, you literally have nothing else to fill your weekend with. Normally we would be at hockey (for sure), and probably soccer, or floor hockey, or baseball. Now we are nowhere. We are home. This week was tough. Having both boys brought on a fresh hell I was ill prepared for. So this weekend was about recovery for me. Cam went back to his Dad's, and DH took him, so I was able to go to the grocery store by myself. I was pleasantly surprised by how stocked Meijer was on Saturday! I mean, we are still struggling with pasta and frozen veg, but was able to get most all of what I needed for the week! Craig's birthday is Thursday and I feel terrible that we can literally do nothing for him, so yesterday we ate. I made a delish lunch, a fancy charcuterie plate as a snack, and a Short Rib Ragout for his dinner. That short rib braised for like 4 hours. It was amazing. No pics though. Sorry all!
Today I decided to make kolaches. Where are all my polish people at?!? My Grandma Skibinski made these while I was growing up and I felt like I was ready to connect to my people. They turned out really good. Which is surprising because while I am a great cook, I am not a great baker! Take a look at these!!!
Just like Gramma Ski used to make. They were so delicious! The cookie was super flaky and the preserves added just the right sweetness!
Gramma Ski's Kolackes (pronounced ko-lach-keys)
6 oz Cream Cheese
2 Sticks Butter
2 1/2 cups AP Flour
Preserves (flavor of your choice)
1 Tablespoon Confectioners Sugar
Cream together the cream cheese and butter at room temperature until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour 1/4 cup at a time, until combined. Roll into a ball and wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 350. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a thin layer. Cut into rounds (I use a glass). Put 1 teaspoon preserves into the middle of the circle. Cook for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and dust with confectioners sugar.
Cooper ate half the cookies already. Sigh.
But ok, so now what for dinner tonight? I am from the Chicagoland area, so there is nothing more that I love than Portillos. If you haven't been, it's an amazing hot dog joint with tons of locations. There is nothing better than their Italian Beef, Maxwell Street Polish, and their cheese fries. Oooooh, those cheese fries. My mom knew I was struggling this week so she lovingly sent me some Portillos. And that was our dinner tonight. I heated up their sausage and beef combo and we had an amazing dinner. The premise is Italian beef, sweet peppers, gardiniera, gravy, and mozzarella cheese. It's to die for. You can order some too at portillos.com. Note - I am not compensated, this sh*t is just that good!!!!
My sandwich, a dipped straight up beef and cheese.
The hubs does the full business, all the fixings, including Italian sausage!
I highly recommend you order, they even send you full directions!
Today was yet another day of quarantine, just a fun one!! Let's see what tomorrow holds in store for us!
The struggle is real. I am currently trying to be a full time mom, full time home school teacher, VP of a large multi-million dollar department, and a full time wife. From home. I don't get to leave the house. These are trying times! So today, I may have lost my sh*t on my boys, yelled at them that I was taking away their electronics, and told them to sit on the couch together until they remembered how to love each other...sigh. Not my finest moment. I am currently drinking wine out of a holiday wine glass that never got packed up. This is my life. But, these boys gotta eat. One of the things my boys love is flank steak. I cook a lot with it: fajitas, tacos, and as a main. It used to be a cheap cut...not anymore. The trick about flank steak is the marinade, the cook and cutting it against the grain. That leads to more tender meat. I have a knock out marinade for steak fajitas, but that's for another time. Today I made a Spiced Flank Steak served with my Chimichurri I made the other day, charred carrots, and grilled pouch potatoes. Today was 60 and sunny. The grill was a necessity. First I covered the flank in a rub of coriander, cumin, paprika, and salt. I let it come up to room temperature.
That was a big ol' flank steak!! While that was coming up to room temp, I cut up some russet potatoes and thinly sliced red onion. I took some heavy duty aluminum foil, sprayed it with cooking spray, and mixed those with EVOO, cumin and salt. I wrapped those up and threw them on the grill at medium temperature. Those stayed on direct heat for about 35 minutes. I put the steak on the grill and cooked it for about 8-9 minutes on each side.
Do you see those line heading vertically? That's the grain. So we are going to slice against that in thin slices, horizontally. Those juices though....make sure you rest the steak!!!
So here's the finished product! Cooper had two helpings of steak. Cam ate a ton of steak! After all of that, I only had a few pieces to put in the fridge for tomorrow to warm up and put on a salad with my homemade Italian Vinaigrette! When the boys were little, I would have leftovers for days! Now, not so much! Dinner was delicious and here's hoping for a better tomorrow!
Spice-Crusted Flank Steak
2 pounds of Flank Steak
1 teaspoon Coriander
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 tablespoon Salt
Mix together the spices. Rub over both sides of Flank. Cook for 8-9 minutes per side over medium heat on grill. Can also cook in broiler on high for the same amount of time. Let rest for at least 6-7 minutes under a tin foil tent.
2 Russet Potatoes
1/2 Red Onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon EVOO
Lay out large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. Dice potatoes into small chunks and thinly slice the onion. Lay potatoes and onion on foil. Drizzle EVOO over potatoes, and mix with cumin and salt with your hands. Close up the pouch and grill over direct heat on medium for at least 30-40 minutes.
1 pound Baby Carrots
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
Bring carrots, water, orange juice and honey to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 8 minutes. Take lid off, bring back up to medium-high heat. Once liquid is evaporated, remove from heat. Add butter, parsley and salt, stirring to coat carrots.
Remember the Freshman 15? Well we're all grown up now and it is the Covid 19 that we are looking at gaining. I need to practice social distancing from my fridge, that's for sure! Today was warm enough for the kids to go out and play for part of the day. That makes me dream of grilling and warmer weather soon. Which makes me think of this Grilled Steak with Baby Arugula and Parmesan Salad that I made. It was winter, so I broiled it, but now that we are warming up it's time to break out the grill!! This was a delicious salad with so much freshness that the whole family loved. The peppery arugula matched with the buttery steak was a perfect dinner that didn't feel healthy at all. Served with a baked sweet potato, the whole meal clocked in at less than 500 calories and was a great way to end the day.
Grilled Steak with Baby Arugula and Parmesan Salad
Chopped fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon
Kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon
Black pepper, divided, 1/2 teaspoon
4 oz. Sirloin steaks, 4
Lemons, halved, 2
EVOO, 1 Tablespoon
Fresh lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon
Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon
Baby Arugula, 4 cups
Shaved fresh Parm-Reggiano cheese, 1/4 cup
Heat your grill over medium high heat. Rub thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper over steaks. Add steaks to grill, cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from grill, rest. Add lemon halves, cut sides down, to grill; cook 3 minutes. Cut steaks across the grain into thin slices.
Combine remaining pepper, EVOO, lemon juice, and dijon in a mason jar. Shake to combine dressing. Drizzle over arugula, toss to coat. Arrange 1 steak, 1 cup arugula, and 1 lemon half on each of 4 plates. Top each salad with 1 tablespoon of cheese.
Salad is 255 calories. Serve with baked potato with small pat of butter and cinnamon sugar.
Melissa Tip: Fresh dressing is always better than bottled, and it is SO EASY to whip up! Don't be intimidated!
Adapted from Cooking Light
So I have been working hard back in the industry that I grew up in and always loved. But I feel like I am letting so many of you down! I'm posting pictures on my Facebook page and my Instagram of food I am making and getting so many comments and requests asking for recipes. In the crazy times we are living in now where you can't even go out for a relaxing meal with your family, I feel it is my duty to bring those recipes and memories to you! So this page is going to be re-purposed as a blog! I will be posting recipes, ideas, and more to help you and your family through this interesting time! Check back often and follow me on Facebook as well to get your updates!