Dreary Day Dinner: Asian Beef Cucumber Bowl

Check out the scene as I drove home from work this evening.

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The pouring rain meant no walk for this little girl:

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It also meant no trip to to PetSmart to get her nails clipped, which I think made her quite happy.

Sadie didn’t seem too thrilled about the idea when I tweeted about it earlier…

 

sadie2

 

Her rebuttal via her own twitter account:

sadie 

Seriously though, what kind of a dog has a twitter account? 😉

Dreary Day Dinner

Since Sadie’s walk and nail clipping appointment were no longer on the agenda, the rainy weather meant slipping into comfy pajamas right when I walked in the door.

I busted out my comfy flannel pj pants for the first time in months. Who cares if it’s in the 80s outside? Dreary weather demands cozy clothes!

After changing, it was time to get a lil’ dirty in the kitchen.

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(Thanks, Rachel for my new super-soft tank top!)

We had some lean ground beef waiting to be cooked into something delicious in the fridge, so I made us beef and cucumber bowls using Asian flavors and spices.

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To make the beef, I first sautéed 3/4 of a large onion in a pan before adding the beef.

I then added soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and chili sauce to the mix and let it simmer for a bit while I chopped up a cucumber.

After topping the cucumber slices with the Asian beef, dinner was ready for eatin’.

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The cold, crispness of the cucumber slices were the perfect compliment to the heat from the beef.

Gotta love flavorful, healthy dinners that take less than 20 minutes to prepare!

I’m off to relax on the couch with a book for the rest of the night.

G’night!

Asian Beef Cucumber Bowl (adapted from Real Simple’s Asian Beef and Mango Salad)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3/4 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chili sauce with garlic
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 extra large cucumber

Directions

  • Sautee onion in a pan sprayed with cooking spray until tender
  • Add beef and brown
  • Add hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce and soy sauce and let simmer for approximately 5 minutes
  • Slice cucumber
  • Top cucumber slices with beef mixture and enjoy!

Real Simple Way to Frost a Cake

Let’s breeze through dinner and get straight to dessert, shall we? 

Ryan had to work late tonight and I was in the mood for a quick and easy dinner. 

I made myself a chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread with roasted red pepper hummus. 

Chicken + Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Sandwich

On the side I had a big bowl of roasted broccoli and cauliflower that I tossed in olive oil and garlic salt before baking at 415 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Broc + Cauli

All Together Now

Roasting is my favorite way to prepare veggies. I think it really brings out the best flavor. 

Frosting a Cake, The Simple Way 

A week or so ago I read one heck of a neat tip in Real Simple magazine. 

The tip was so simple, but so brilliant. 

To frost a cake smoothly, and avoid getting crumbs in the frosting, allow the cake to cool and spread a light layer of frosting over one round cake. Place the other round cake on top and lightly frost. Then, stick the entire cake in the freezer for 15 minutes before adding another layer of frosting. 

The result: 

Smooth

Smooth frosting! 

So Simple

Sliced Cake

Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Naturally I had a small slice for dessert. 

Foodie Friday 

A couple of my coworkers and I are starting a new Foodie Friday tradition around the office. 

Every Friday one person will make a special dish for everyone to enjoy. 

I signed up for the first week and have a couple different ideas and would love for your opinion as to which recipe I should make! 

Option Number One: 

French Toast Casserole

 

Paula Deen’s French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping 

Option Number Two: 

Red Hat Cake

 

Red Hat Cake 

Option Number Three: 

Jessica's Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

 

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles 

Option Number Four: 

Oreo Cheesecake Bars

 

Oreo Cheesecake Bars 

Which one should I make??? 

If you have any other yummy suggestions, feel free to comment and let me know! Links are welcome. 😀

Reader’s Recipe: Rosemary Chicken

Thank you to Kelly for submitting a recipe for rosemary chicken from Real Simple magazine, which I selected as my first Reader’s Recipe!

*Don’t forget to comment on this post with a recipe or key ingredient you think I should try next week!*

I was intrigued by all the yummy veggies in Kelly’s  recipe, but what sealed the deal for me was the ease of the recipe. You guys know I love easy, peasy dinners!

After work, I swung by the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients as well as my weekly essentials.

I arrived home to my sick fiancé and crazy dog. Poor Ryan stayed home from work today because he’s not feeling so hot. This dinner seemed like the perfect dish of comfort food for a sick boy and I figured it was  good night to try out this warm and nutritious meal. Let’s hope it helps him get healthy fast!

Dinner came together quickly, and after a few minutes of slicing and dicing, the chicken and veggies were a-roastin’!

Rosemary Chicken + Roasted Veggies

Rosemary Sprigs

My favorite part of this dish was the roasted zucchini. The combination of the veggie with the olive oil and sweetness of the rosemary made it taste phenomenal.

Chicken

My Plate

Ryan and I both enjoyed second helpings of this dinner. Ryan said we should make thie recipe again if only for the smell. The rosemary made our whole apartment smell fantastic!

I also enjoyed a small bottle of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice with dinner for some added sweetness.

POM Juice

I’m off to unpack from our weekend in St. Pete before climbing in bed early. I’m tiiiired.

Rosemary Chicken with Zucchini

Serves 4, Hands-On Time: 15m Total Time: 1hr 15m

Ingredients

  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small zucchini
  • olive oil
  • whole-grain mustard
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 1-quart resealable plastic freezer bags

Directions

  1.  Heat oven to 400° F. Quarter the potatoes. Peel the carrots. Cut the carrots and zucchini into 2-inch sticks. Mix them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2.  Roast for 25 minutes. Toss the vegetables, turn the chicken, and continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes more. Divide among individual plates.