Archives- Day 7- Two Burnt Fingers and the Black Hole Pantry

Original post- March 4, 2011

Oh wow!

Was that a little tinge of happiness I just felt? Seriously?! I disliked cooking with an intense passion before this journey. Tonight though, I said to Russ,” I am really enjoying this!” and I truly meant it. With that being said, the night wasn’t without it’s flaws. And so we begin:

I pulled out my trusty recipe cards and got ready. It was time to make Kansas City Steak Strips. I’ve never been to Kansas City, other than in passing it on the interstate, so I’m wondering if it either is some sort of something they have there or after 1200 recipes the company was running out of names for cooked meat. Either way, it was interesting and fairly easy to make. However, the recipe really allows you to waste some ingredients and the cheapo in me got irritated, but I forged on.

Last week I thought I was the smartest person on Earth when I thought to cut up the flank steak and measure out the amount I needed before freezing it. I love that I did that. Tonight I thanked myself from last week. It was so nice to pull something out of the fridge and have it ready to throw into the pan with out any chopping or measuring involved! I got the ingredients out and was measuring them out before I started preparing dinner and… whoops…I was missing the beef broth.

I am absolutely not a fan of my soup stash anymore. In fact, I’m quite angry with it. I believe my pantry has a black hole that sucks in the labels it sees the most. Cream of Chicken..gone. Beef Broth…gone. Why isn’t it taking the tomato and the chicken noodle?!? I just don’t understand how a non-cooking woman is running out of stuff that she hasn’t used! Anyhow, I walked into the living room and had this conversation with my husband who was relaxing after a crazy day at school and then coming home and calming down a screaming infant:

Me: Russ…I love you.
Russ: (looks at me with a concerned grin) I love you too. What do you want?
Me: Um, I don’t have any beef broth. Can you run to the store for me?
Russ: (Makes a pouty sound like someone just took a toy away) Do I have to? Why didn’t you check first?
Me: I did. Well, no not really. I needed a total of one cup this week for recipes so I only bought one can not thinking. I guess I should have saved half of the can I used the other night.
Russ: Uh yeah…but fine.

He huffs and puffs around the house for a few minutes grumbling and whatnot. Then I realize I’m a little low on egg noodles. I ask if he can pick some of those up too. He looks at me like I just told him I was having quadruplets and leaves. Seriously, I’ve gotta get better at this recipe stuff.

So, after the beef broth fiasco was averted, Andrea and I got started cooking. She snapped the green beans while I chopped up the onion. Once again, I went through my entire “blind from onions” routine and Andrea thought I was crying. She patted me on the arm and said, “Aww mommy. It’s okay. You’re a good cook.” This makes me wonder if she thinks I was crying because I’m horrible at this? I sure hope not. She keeps telling me I “cook good” whenever she sees me in the kitchen. I’m starting to think Russ is paying her to say this so after the 30 days is over, I will keep cooking. Nonetheless, it’s nice to know that she is paying attention. This is a good place to add that I found out today that I’m not that different from other women. While in ballet class, two other moms said they ate out a lot. I honestly thought all these other women were out there, cooking nightly for their family and I was, in some way, failing. I’m normal! Well, not normal, (that’s quite a leap) but I am like other moms in terms of cooking. I have to give major props to my mother though, she cooked every night growing up. She cooked most mornings as well. She was (and is still) awesome.

Around the time I started the recipe, I decided I want to have an unusual side dish. Nothing crazy… just something a little different. Publix had a sale on carrots when I was shopping so I had picked up a few extra bags and just figured I would find a recipe with carrots and use them. I pulled down my favorite cookbook, and found Brown Sugar- Glazed carrots. I had two recipes going at once. YES TWO! And guess what? I didn’t get them mixed up! YAY!

Meanwhile, Andrea had taken on the job of crescent roll preparation so she was away from the stove and the possibility of getting burned. Once she was done, she tried to put them into the oven, but I ended up having to push them in because she is still a little too short to reach in without the door burning her. She kept going to the oven door and looking at the rolls. I hate that I’ve missed so much time in the kitchen with her. She helps measure everything out, laughs at my screw ups, and then always gets excited when she sees the finished product of the meal. At dinner we ate the most interestingly shaped crescent rolls and she was so proud of herself.

I’m rambling so I’ll wrap this up. I ended up burning my hand when I was draining the noodles and the pot slid out of my hand. My thumb has been on fire all night. Andrea was so excited about the crescent rolls she reached up to touch the pan before I could stop her. She burned one of her fingers as well. I have texture issues, so I wasn’t crazy about the barely cooked green beans. They were just too crunchy for me. Andrea liked the noodles the best, but Russ and I agreed we would use different noodles next time. The egg noodles have this odd taste… The carrots were amazing. They were sweet, but not too sweet. I’ll post both recipes below. This one isn’t quite “Family Approved”, but we aren’t ruling it out just yet. That’s the beauty of trying these. We get to tweak them, and try again. 🙂

Kansas City Steak Strips- Healthy Meals Made Easy
Serves 4
1 T. Veggie Oil
12 oz. beef top round stk, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1 large yellow onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 can (8 oz) low-sodium tomato sauce
1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 T. chili sauce
1/4 t. black pepper
8 oz egg noodles
8 oz fresh green beans, cooked or 1 package (10 oz) frozen cut green beans, thawed (SERIOUSLY? I HONESTLY JUST SAW WHERE IT SAID COOKED. NO WONDER THE GREEN BEANS WEREN’T THAT GOOD….UGH. I’M ILLITERATE.)

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over mdm-high heat. Add stk; cook, stirring frequently, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer steak to a plate.
2. Add onion to juices in skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, chili sauce and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes.
3. While onion is cooking, cook noodles according to package directions, but do not add salt.
4. Return beef to skillet. Add green beans; cook until hot and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Drain noodles in a colander; place on serving plates. Top with beef mixture and serve.
**My finished product on Andrea’s plate.**


Per Serving:
Calories- 421 (19% from fat)
Carbs- 55 g
Protein– 30 g
Sodium– 209 mg
Fat– 9 g
Cholesterol– 102 mg

Brown Sugar- Glazed Carrots- By: Better Homes and Garden’s Cookbook
Serves 4
1 lb. peeled baby carrots (or mdm carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-in pieces)
1 T. butter or margarine
1 T. packed brown sugar
dash salt
black pepper

1. In a mdm saucepan cook carrots, covered, in a mall amount of boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; remove carrots from pan.
2. In the same sauce pan, combing butter, brown sugar, and salt. Cook and stir over mdm heat until combined. Add carrots. Cook and stir about 2 minutes or until glazed. Season to taste with pepper.

Nutritional info reflects a 3/4 cup serving:
83 cal., 3 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 111 mg sodium, 14 g. carbs., 2 g fiber, 1 g protein