A Little More Traditional

Today was a day where I wanted to spend it in the kitchen, cooking or reading cookbooks, cooking blogs or cooking stories. Some people take pleasure in cleaning or planting flowers or doing a home project. I take pleasure in cooking, so today, in between laundry and catching up on reading for my class (yes, I’m insane enough to take an online class while working) I cooked.

I wanted to go a little more traditional today. It’s been a while since I’ve made a meat, vegetable and starch plate, but I was in the mood. We picked up a nice flank steak the other day, so I marinaded that in some soy sauce, canola oil, chili garlic paste and shallot overnight. While the steak was coming to room temperature today I coated some green beans in oil, salt and pepper.

20131013-190216.jpg Those went on the grill while I boiled some potatoes

20131013-190248.jpg for mashed potatoes. When the beans were almost done, I put the steak on the grill. A few minutes for each side then pulled off to rest while I finished the potatoes. I added roasted garlic and a little butter, salt and cream to the potatoes before mashing. The result …

20131013-190418.jpg A really nice little lunch. Bob was super happy with the steak and I have to say, it was pretty near perfect. Silky texture and tons of flavor. The green beans and potatoes were super flavorful and it was a homey meal. Perfect for a fall day.

I also decided to make another squash soup. I had both butternut and sweet dumpling squashes in the fridge, so I roasted them with some garlic, apple, onion and shallot. I didn’t bother chopping them up this time

20131013-190706.jpg but in retrospect, I should have; there is just a lot more flavor when they are roasted in pieces. But … everything into the food processor with some vegetable stock, purée well then add the roasted garlic and some spices (curry powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg). It was good, but not as good as the pure butternut squash soup from a few weeks ago.

20131013-190937.jpg I did pair it with a nice Zinfandel and the Georgia Gold cheese from yesterday’s basket and it was a fantastic little dinner.

And I have to bake, or do dessert. I just have to. Diets be darned, dessert is too important to pass up. I wanted something peanut today. So I scoured recipes and found one for peanut butter cupcakes. Ok …. I can do that and Bob was all on board for these. So … I had everything except the brown sugar. But I did have white sugar and molasses, so … I made my own brown sugar.

20131013-191232.jpg I may never buy brown sugar again, this was so easy. One cup sugar, one tablespoon molasses and mix. That’s it. Add more or less molasses to change it to light or dark brown sugar, but there you have it.

20131013-191352.jpg Home made brown sugar.

But … Cupcakes. They need something to top them, but I am horrible at icing. Ever since trying to make Grandmom’s chiffon cake icing I have failed at every turn. But I try again. First I made caramel – this I can do.

20131013-191558.jpg A stick of butter, some home made brown sugar and a little salt. Let it almost boil, add cream and let low boil/simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and add vanilla extract. I let that cool while the cupcakes cooled

20131013-191719.jpg then beat the caramel with a mixer and slowly added in confectioner sugar. Sure enough, I had icing!

20131013-191816.jpg I was actually able to make cupcakes with icing and oh boy were they good. Sweet and salty with a touch of savory thrown in. … Actually, I think I want another. Hope everyone has a good week!


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