Spring is here, which means Tennessee weather can't make up its mind. Three nights of hard freeze means the buds on our one lilac bush are freezer burned and probably the crabapple trees out front.
It seemed a good idea to cut some of the beautiful spring bulbs before 17 degree lows arrived.
I wish so much that I had our daughter's talent for arranging beautiful vase bouquets but I usually just plonk them in. These went right on the dining table where we can enjoy them at meals and on the bathroom sink in the old Jersey Farms milk bottle that has held my bathroom bouquets for decades.
Now that I've shown some pretties I'll slip in this one of raw New York strip steaks because I have a whole winter of meals I took pictures of and never got around to using. My apologies to my vegetarian friends!
I fix less and less beef these days but twice this winter Publix had their Greenwise strip steaks on sale and this is my simple way of prepping them, whether cooked inside in a black skillet or if RH grills them out. I salt and pepper them, rub with brown sugar and leave them uncovered in fridge on an old enamel pan for 24 hours.
The steaks always have to have mushrooms (Shitake are my favorite) and this time I remembered to get a log of my tarragon butter out of the freezer to top them with.
And yes we both like it medium well now. When we were first married I would order steak rare and love every bloody bite. I don't know what happened. And I always try to have fresh parsley simply because I learned years ago from James Beard that mushrooms need to be topped with acres of fresh parsley.
And I try to remember to drizzle on a little of this balsamic reduction sauce that is wonderful on so many things, just a little sugar stirred into balsamic vinegar and cook till reduced. I don't use my expensive balsamic for this.
My life is becoming all about simple meals now so if we have hot bread with steak we don't have potatoes, and vice versa.
But there always has to be a salad. (I love the taste that a little bit of heavy cream gives when stirred into a vinaigrette.)
That is, unless there's fresh asparagus and Mama is too tired to make a salad. (And if there's no fresh parsley on hand, oh I miss my big summer pots of herbs on my kitchen porch!)
Most of the time RH and I both leave enough steak on our plates to make hash for an easy supper the next night.
With enough potatoes and onions and all the leftover mushrooms and drippings from the steak pan the night before (the tails, Tamar Adler calls these little spoonfuls left in the pan), it doesn't take much meat to make a good meal for two.
But always a salad, even a thrown together one.
By the way, have you ever tried Stonewall Kitchen's Country Ketchup? It is so good and no high fructose corn syrup in it.
Most of our meals though are either chicken or fish/seafood. Pacific Wild caught sockeye salmon is almost always in my freezer, from Costco, and I have a dozen ways of fixing it. This looks like one of my easy ones.
You probably can't see much of it in the picture above but I'm using my Wallace LaReine wedding silver there after hearing on a food podcast that a study showed that when people ate their meals with heavy silver they enjoyed their meal more. So maybe we should use our good stuff for our everyday meals, right? I keep a place setting for two on an easy to grab shelf in my china cabinet now--not that I always remember to get them out.
Here's one of my favorite recipes, Shrimp with Scallions and Orzo.
It may not look very pretty because a food stylist I'm not, but it is delicious. Here's a link to the recipe.
And here's what I add to Bon Appetit's recipe:
a tablespoon of soy sauce
a bottle of clam juice
fresh chopped cilantro
red pepper flakes
a teaspoon of tumeric
a little vegetable broth to make it a little more risotto like
and lemon to squeeze over it
It's so good cold the next day for lunch too!
You can tell how exciting my life is now when I dump a bunch of meal pictures on my blog with no real story to go with them so thank you to anyone who read through this.
Actually, I have a bunch more. About a half dozen of Tieghan's Half Baked Harvest recipes that I've made this winter. Maybe I'll share them at Dewena's Window soon.
Many thanks to blog friend Melanie for leading me to Tieghan on Instagram! Melanie, have you listened to The Skinny Confidential podcast where Tieghan was guest? She was delightful! When I learned that she's a Gilmore Girls fan I knew we had one thing in common. That's a start, right?