Coffee and Brown Sugar Grilled Skirt Steak

It’s summertime and the grill is open for business!

Since moving into our house 4 years ago, we have slowly built up our grill repertoire to be expanded beyond the standard hamburger and hot dogs. Adulting can be a slog sometimes but when you end the week with a cool evening breeze and the grill fired up, it feels pretty sweet!  Since the start of the warmer temps, we have already made this recipe a handful of times. I just love this rub because it is super easy and flavorful. Henry GOBBLES up a massive portion of it every time and we never seem to have leftovers. So it seemed appropriate to finally add it to the blog and recipe list since I think this will be a family classic now.

We serve it up with some grilled okra and asparagus!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. finely ground espresso coffee (not instant)
  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. five-spice powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 lb. skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Heat grill to high.

Combine coffee, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, white pepper, five-spice powder, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

Remove steak from refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Rub steak with oil, and sprinkle with rub. Massage rub into meat.

Grill until charred and medium-rare, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing at an angle. Serve immediately.


Butternut Squash, Sausage, Spinach Pasta

These days it is all about fast!

Before I know it, it is 5PM and time to race everyone to the commuter rail to pick up David. Poor guy ALWAYS gets in the car with everyone screaming (Yes, me included!). And the race home to get all the screaming out of the car can be frantic. My goal each and every day  is to make this pick-up and transition as smooth as possible  which means to try  and have some kind of dinner ready to be eaten immediately upon arrival so all hangry parties can settle. Last night’s concoction was quite delicious and sated the beasts.

Ingredients:

1lb Italian Sweet Sausage

Onion

Butternut Squash

Baby Spinach

Lemon

Chicken Broth

Champagne Vinegar

Whole Wheat Pasta

Saute 1lb of Italian sweet sausage in olive oil, add one diced onion and cook until translucent, add 2 cups of chopped butternut squash and stir and cook. Let the butternut squash brown a little bit. Add in 2 cup of chicken broth, juice from 1/2 of a lemon and 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar, simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add a bag of baby spinach and stir in until wilted. In a separate pot, bring 1 cup of whole wheat pasta to boil, cook to al dente, and then mix into the sausage pot and enjoy!

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Burrito bowl

When you have a newborn, cooking becomes even more challenging. Just when you would sit down to cook your meal, the newborn begins cluster feeding. What is cluster feeding you ask? It is a non-stop, open bar nursing session that can last for hours! Owen would start at 3 and want to stop at 7. So there I am stranded on the couch, a prisoner to my new baby and the boppy. Why can’t David cook you ask? Oh he can! He is better at it than me, but there is the two year old who needs some entertaining and while he is interested in cooking he easily becomes a hazard in the kitchen. 

So what do we do? Starve.

No, we have really amazing friends who bring us amazing food those first few weeks while we get our feet under us. And then those amazing meals become a part of our repertoire when our amazing friends share the recipe! 

We have probably made this one three times since Owen was born and since Lyndsay brought it over to our house the night we came home from the hospital. Gratitude is not enough for the meal drop off those first days and weeks.

Recipe: http://www.iheartnaptime.net/burrito-bowls/

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

Parent-Teacher Conferences leave me zapped. It is not that they are horrible experiences, in fact, I quite enjoy them. In some ways, I even look forward to them each trimester. But what is so challenging about them is the pace and duration. From 8AM-6PM in 15 minute increments, parents come in to talk about their student. Each meeting is great and it is fun getting to meet the family of the child you see so often in your classroom. By the end of the day though, you cannot help but be tired and a little achy from all that sitting and talking. As result, all I want to do is stuff my face with snacks and lay down on the couch all night with the TV. And preferably fall asleep by 8PM. This term though I got ahead of myself in a good way.

The night before conferences, I decided to cook Friday’s dinner so that when I came home bleary-eyed and famished my dinner was ready for me! These quinoa and black bean burgers were delicious and I was so thankful to my previous self for cooking them up for myself!

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2 cups or 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1. In a small sauce pan, toast the quinoa in olive oil for a few minutes. Add a cup of water and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

2. Put the black beans, cooked quinoa, panko bread crumbs, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and tomato paste into a mixing bowl. Mix everything together with your hands until it’s evenly mixed.

3. Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Divide the burger mixture into four equal pieces. Pat into burger patties.

4. Pour olive oil into the pan. Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side, until they are a deep brown.

5. Serve with your favorite toppings: Honey mustard, arugula, avocado slice, cheese, go for it and be creative

Cheddar, Broccoli, Potato Frittata

A lot of mommies will tell you to eat what you crave, it’s a way of your body “telling” you want it wants while growing that little human. I like this idea although I am not entirely sure it is true. Those times when I was craving Sour Patch Kids did my body really want sugar to compensate for a deficiency, or was I just being a hungry mom-to-be in that moment? Gray area, perhaps?

Truthfully though most of my cravings have not been for “junk” food which has been helpful. And right now, I cannot seem to get enough eggs. So on this rainy Boston day, while Henry naps, I cooked up a delicious cheddar, broccoli, potato frittata by Sarah Waldman. It hit the spot and I am not sure if I can care it with anyone else!

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White Bean Balls & Kale Soup

Oh My Goodness! This was SO delicious.


I am currently obsessed with Sarah Waldman’s culinary blog. Her recipes are super easy, incredibly flavorful, and very nutritious. It makes cooking a breeze and I know I am filling my family with nothing but the best stuff. This recipe really hit the mark and was so filling.

Here is the challenge: Make this recipe sometime this week or next and let me know what you think!

Recipe: White Bean Balls and Kale Soup

Chorizo Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have gotten into a groove. It is a weird pattern though but it seems to work for us right now. Henry likes to eat dinner around 5/5:20PM. An early bird to the dinner table causing the rest of us to join the little man earlier than we might like for our family dinner. The turn around time then from when I get home from work and when Henry wants to eat dinner is too narrow for me to cook a hot meal. So how do I solve this problem?  I cook dinner the night before!  Yup, so on Sunday night at 6:30PM, I cook dinner for Monday night. Then on Monday when we get home, we just warm it up and enjoy a family dinner.  This helps me from buying take-out and eating junky foods, and lets us all get in a nutritious meal in our narrow window. Then Henry goes to sleep and I can take my time cooking dinner for Tuesday, etc. etc. And of course snack on it to make sure it is good.

What have we been noshing on? Some super simple and delicious Stuffed Acorn Squash.

acorn squashes (about 1 1/2 pounds each), halved and seeded

1/2 cup bulgur

ounces manchego or Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)

ounces cured chorizo, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 450. Place the squash halves cut-side down in a baking dish, add ¼ inch water, and bake until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Prepare the bulgur as instructions. In a medium bowl, combine the bulgur, manchego, chorizo, parsley, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. When the squash is done stuff with the bowl mixture. Place back in the over for 5-8 minutes to melt cheese and warm it all up. ENJOY!

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