This is my cookcabulary


Flank Steak

We got a bachelor meal my friends! This is so easy, and delicious, there isn’t much to blog about.

Other than the fact that it was over 70 degrees today, and flank steak sounded amazing.

I think I’ve been craving flank steak for about a week, but it just hasn’t been warm enough, or I wasn’t feeling up to cooking (blaming it on the pregnancy), or Sam and I had different schedules. But today, today was the day. I popped into Marsh after work and spotted the perfect flank – told the butcher/meat guy what I wanted, and he happily handed it over. I swear, good weather makes everyone in an awesome mood. Then, I rushed home while making a quick call to my mom to see how she makes hers (as I so often do). 

It’s so easy, a bachelor could do it.

All you need is

  • Flank Steak
  • Soy Sauce
  • Garlic (optional)

Take the steak and place in dish. Pour soy sauce over meat and into dish.  Pour just enough so that the entire bottom of the dish and steak are sitting in soy sauce, add chopped garlic if you so desire.  Let marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Sorry, the image is a little bright.

Then, get your grill HOT! Like 400 degrees hot! Yeah buddy!

Grill each side about 3-4 minutes.  You want to char the outside, but keep the inside nice and red! It’s weird because this is the only meat I will eat this rare.

Let is rest a good 5 minutes before you cut into it. This is a typical rule for all meat.  You want to let it rest after removing it from the heat. While meat is in the oven, the juices are thrown this way and that due to high temperatures. When meat is removed from heat, it continues to cook out while it cools.  This run-off of heat allows the juices to become evenly distributed so each bite has the same amount of juice and tenderness. If you were to cut it right away, some bites may seem more dry than others. Also, make sure your knife is sharp when you cut – no dull knifes allowed! And, speaking of cutting – you will notice flank steak has lots of linear lines running parallel to each other.  When the meat is ready to be cut, take your sharp knife and cut perpendicular to the ‘grain’, but at a slight angle.  This helps so that your bites, and cuts, wont be so chewy!

I plated our flank-deliciousness with a baked potato and salad.

Bring summer on!


Mac-N-Cheese and Sloppy Joes

As most everyone knows, we’re expecting! I know, random I start the blog out like that – but I think it explains the lack of my posting the last 12 weeks.  I don’t know if you are aware, but pregnancy does some weird things to you, especially when it comes to food.  Luckily, I havent had to “pray to the porcelain God’s” but I have had bouts of nausea.  In order to suppress that nausea, I had to eat – like every two hours.  Just like one saltine or a pack of fruit snacks, but still.  Then, when I got home, I did NOT want to cook. I know! blasphemy! Alexis didn’t want to cook! It’s absurd really.  Nothing sounded good and the thought of having to take pictures and do my blog-process sounded entirely too daunting. Ugh.

But!

I think I have joined the real world again! It is probably to early to speak, but I am nearing my second trimester and my cravings are wide and my appetite is ravenous.  Food is my priority. Ha! Feels good to be back from the dead, as some call it.  But, I am not sure where that puts me in for the future of my cookcabulary.  Will a child be so consuming I wont blog ….

Nah! Hey, I hear you laughing – stop it!

Anyway, so everyone knows, the blogging will probably be entirely sporadic throughout my pregnancy.  I have no idea what I will crave or what will happen with my appetite, but I will be sure to include you all in my journey.

And we begin with tonight.

I made two dishes! Are you kidding me? Two?!  This is odd for me, I usually make one main dish and then 2 simple simple sides – not tonight! I had foodfuel to buuuuuuuurn. And comfort food was calling my name.

We begin with my version of (gluten-free) macaroni and cheese.

Ingredients:

  • Choice of pasta
  • 8-10 oz shredded cheese of choice (I used Colby and cheddar)
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Milk
  • Salt and pepper.

PS – this is an Alexis original, holla! As with all pasta, cook in boiling water until tender.  While the pasta is cooking shred your cheese and set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl combine sour cream, ranch dressing, Parmesan cheese, and salt/pepper.  I eye balled everything, but I am guessing on these amounts. Obviously if you like it really really cheesy, add more cheese.  Although the amount I have listed is quite cheeeesy ifidosaysomyself.

When pasta is cooked, drain and pour into mixing bowl.  Add 3/4 of shredded cheese and mix everything thoroughly.  Spread in small 9×9 baking pan. Pour milk over mixture.  Not too much – about 3/4 cup.  Then spread remaining shredded cheese.

Throw in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and fogetaboutit! You can also add breadcrumbs to the top, but I wanted total creamy factor to the max here. 

Ok, so while this is cooking, I made my other dish – Sloppy Joes!

This recipe I got from Simply Recipes, but I revised it a bit.

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 c. minced carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1 can tomato sauce, about 1 cup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • hamburger buns

The direction are pretty lengthy, so I am going to have you reference the link above.  I think I’ve been rambling enough in this post! :)

Basically you saute the carrots, onions and garlic – set aside. Then brown the meat and add the veggies back in.  Then add everything else and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

With the hamburger buns, I like to spread a little butter on those bad boys, and pop them in the oven on broil – low until they are golden brown.

Serve and enjoy my friends!


Gluten Free Lemon and Almond Meltaways

I had dinner last week with my awesome friend Bess – we caught up over antipasto salad and pizza at Bazbeauxs.  This seems to be our spot, as we always tend to schedule dates sporadically.  We never know where to go, but Broadripple is smack dab in the middle, and that dang antipasto salad is always calling our name.  Needless to say we chatted, laughed, and shared stories of the prior weeks since we had last seen each other.  Have I ever mentioned that Bess and I used to be Pen-Pals? Yea! It started when I was in 3rd grade (and living in Oregon) … our dad’s traveled together for work, but we began writing each other . I would send her my Lisa Frank and Sanrio stationary (I was obsessed) and she would write back all the way from good old Shelbyville. So fun. Anyway, this recipe comes from her.  Because she knows me so well, its contains 3 things I love.  1 – Lemon, 2 – Gluten Free, 3 – a totally cute blog I can now follow.

So thanks Bess.  They turned out wonderful, for gluten-free cookies!

Gluten Free Lemon & Almond Meltaways; courtesy of Cannelle et Vanille.

  • 115 grams butter
  • 95 grams powdered sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 grams sweet rice flour
  • 40 grams cornstarch
  • 35 grams sorghum flour
  • 20 grams amaranth flour
  • 20 grams almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

As you can see, everything is in grams! At first I freaked out. Wondering how I would pull this off! Then, I realized I have a food scale – duh! I was then really excited – these were exact measurements! If you go online and convert grams to ounces – NONE of the above quantities equal exact amounts. I loved it. You might find that weird, but I understand that baking is a science, and this recipe is exact!

And, surprisingly – I had ALL the ingredients except for one.  I might add that after I seriously went to 6 stores to find sweet rice flour (this was a looooong time ago), it was finally suggested to me by an adorable little vegan guy in dreads and stellar ink to check a chinese grocery. And he was right! So, if you can’t find it at your local grocer, try the Chinese locations.  However, it was over a year ago I was looking to purchase this particular flour and Gluten Free flours have come such a long way I bet it’s around and more convenient. 

I had to go out and buy the amaranth flour – this was actually one I had never heard of. But I called Wild Oats after my local health food store didn’t have it, and it was in stock at Wild Oats. So, I had Sam pick some up on the way home.

Anyway, the recipe is super easy!

Cream butter, powdered sugar and lemon zest in mixer.  Add lemon juice.  Combine all the dry ingredients and add them to the mixer slowly.  Cream until well combined.

Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment paper (I used wax) and shape into a log that has about a 2″ diameter.  Use the paper to tighten the log and form a nice cylinder.  Don’t stress if it isn’t perfect.

Place in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Remove from fridge and cut into 1/4″ thick disks. I then used my spiffy new fluted cutters and salvaged the scraps to put back in the fridge and made even more cookies.  Place these on a baking sheet (it says to line with parchment paper, but I just sprayed with Pam) and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

When they have cooled slightly, and are still warm, dredge the cookies in powdered sugar.

Voila!

 Sam loved them, so thanks again Bess.

Oh, and thanks to those of you who have subscribed to my blog – I actually have “followers”!!!!