Good ol’ pasta & steak

Happy Sunday!

I love experimenting and making different and unique dishes. This time, I made pasta with vodka sauce. Yes, vodka! 😏

I was inspired by this recipe: https://shewearsmanyhats.com/pasta-vodka-sauce-recipe/

I, of course, altered the recipe, as I always do, to make it my own.
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound pasta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 8 cloves garlic, grated
  • 32 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish (or Gruyere)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish: fresh chopped parsley, grated Parmesan
  • I added arugula to the dish. I added about three handfuls of the batch.
Instructions:
  1. Begin cooking pasta to al dente stage according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chili flakes and grated garlic, cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and vodka, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stir in cream, Parmesan cheese, plus ¼ cup of pasta water until smooth. If needed, add more pasta water a little at a time until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain pasta, add to pan with sauce and toss until coated.
  6. Serve with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan.

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Mmm! I may have put a wee bit more cheese than anticipated. Still, it was yummy!

I was in the mood for steaks to pair with the pasta. I was dying to use honey and balsamic vinegar again. So I made this: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/balsamic-glazed-sirloin-steak-10900

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound 1/2-inch-thick boneless sirloin steak
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

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Doesn’t this look mouth watering?

Hard core balsamic vinegar!

Boy, oh boy! Balsamic vinegar is where it’s at! It’s potent, but oh-so-good, and healthy for ya. Did you know it’s made from grapes?! I had no idea! Where was I? Haha! Makes me think of wine.

I was inspired by our Easter luncheon to make a dish with balsamic vinegar. I also learned how healthy it is for you. Time to use this ingredient much more often.

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I made a honey-balsamic chicken dish, courtesy of AllRecipes.

It was a very simple dish. I, of course, added onions and garlic to my dish. My must-haves!

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I baked the chicken for an hour and 10 minutes at 375 degrees. It was really good! Best to marinate the night before- not required, though.

I also made a spinach, quinoa, and strawberry salad with homemade oil and vinegar dressing. Oh, to-die-for!

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Ingredients for the dressing. I measured 1/3 c oil and vinegar and 2 tsp. sugar. The garlic powder and pepper are bonuses! Hehe!

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Beautiful salad; beautiful colors. You can cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or on the stove. I cooked it in the rice cooker- one cup of quinoa and measured two cups of water, as instructed, but the quinoa came out a bit mushy. Next time, I’ll put 1.5 cups of water instead. Can’t always trust the instructions. That’s why I always cook by taste, rather than following a recipe to-the-tee. I use recipes as a guide.

Happy Friday and upcoming weekend! Relax and unwind…

 

Orzo bake!!!!

A couple weekends ago, I made a random dish with orzo pasta. I’ve never had orzo before and was curious to make this Greek Chicken Orzo Casserole dish by Betty Crocker. However, I, of course, changed the recipe, a tad bit. Ok, maybe by a lot! It turned out really delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it!!!!

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BAM! Another success!

I altered the recipe:

  • 1 package (16 oz) uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen™ organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 bag (5 oz) baby spinach
  • 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled- I used two 8 oz feta cheese containers
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup Progresso™ reduced sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)- I used Swanson’s reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb chicken tenders, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 11 tenders) I used ground chicken and turkey
  • 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning I used authentic balsamic vinegar from ITALY!!! That was some thick vinegar!
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel- I zested the lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
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I need to find this the next time I am in Italy!

Happy new week!

FS

Once a parent, always a parent =D

Once a parent, always a parent! So true. The other week, my dad was so sweet to make a pan of hamburger-macaroni with Alfredo sauce, topped with three different cheeses (Swiss, American, and Parmesan) to take back to my house. It was so good! I always enjoy my dad’s cooking.

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I prepared a side dish of fresh green beans to go with the mac and cheese. I love my beans. I cooked it with balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic olive oil. Seasoned with pepper and garlic salt. Yum!

Home-cooked meals are the best!! Have a great rest of the week. It’s almost Friday!!! Yay!

FS~ x