Tag: cooking

An Amazing Steak Dinner

The boy has been asking for steak for a while now. Kelly and the girls don’t eat steak, so I make it infrequently, and when I do, I usually grill it. But I told the boy I’d make steak on Friday and on Friday, I made steak. I bought a nice thick rib-eye to split between us, and rather than grilling it, I opted to pan-sear it, and made a red wine pan sauce to go along with it. I also made fries and fry sauce.

rib-eye before cooking
Bringing the steak to room temperature before putting it in the pan.

Now (to paraphrase Dr. Seuss), I don’t like to brag, and I don’t like to boast, but this steak turned out perfect. Of all the things I’ve made over the years, I rank this steak the best. We both like our steaks medium rare, and I seared this steak until the center was 120°F. After that, I let it rest while I made the pan sauce. I’ve eaten in good steak joints in my life, but in recent memory, I can’t remember having a steak as good as this one. This is unusual for me because when I cook, I am usually my harshest critic. Over the last few months, I made rosemary chicken three times, and it was only on the third try (after making numerous notes from the first two attempts) that I felt it came out reasonably well. But this, this steak and the accompanying sauce was perfect.

steak with warm red center

One measure of success was the boy’s first bite, after which he said, “Wow! This is really good!” Another measure of success was that he asked for seconds, something he rarely does. But perhaps the best measure of success was the smile on his face while we ate.

The boy likes his steak.

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The Little Man Cooks Dinner

Yesterday, Zach, the Little Man, decided he wanted to cook dinner for everyone. He decided he wanted to make salmon, french fries, and asparagus. And you know what? He did, and it came out fantastic.

He did the entire affair himself with two exception which I stepped in to help. He walked to our local Target by himself yesterday afternoon and bought the things he needed that we didn’t already have. He prepared the meal himself, doing everything except slicing up the potatoes for the fries (I helped with that) and moving things into and out of the over (which I also helped with).

We all sat down to eat and the food was delicious. He topped the salmon was a mixture of seasonings and spices that smelled good while it was cooking. The fries were just about perfect. (He’d made fries once before and this time, they came out even better–which means he is learning from his past experiences.) This would have been an impressive meal if I had made it. It was all the more so because Zach made it, and he’s just twelve.

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Do you like food?

I mean, really, who doesn’t right?  What about cooking?  And funny?  Do you like funny?  Well then, forget Julie and Julia and take short link hop over to the Mouse House Kitchen where gives you food and funny all in one heaping helping.  Think of it as George Carlin meets Rachel Ray:  you know, like the seven words you can’t say while spreading your EVOO once around the pan.  But don’t blame me if you come away hungry.  Or with soap in your mouth…


Another lazy day.  Kelly was up around 7 or 7:30 and I got up a little later and ate some breakfast, but then I went back to bed for a while, still needing to rest and be lazy.  I spent most of the day watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD and finished up the last movie late in the evening.

Mid-afternoon we headed out to do shopping.  Kelly headed off to Target and I went to the grocery store.  I’d planned out the menus for the week and got what we needed.

For dinner this evening, I made up a pasta dish.  Essentially, it was fettuccine with a "Marsala" sauce.  I prepared mushrooms the same way I prepare them when making chicken Marsala but when the pasta was done cooking, I through it in the pan with the mushrooms and sauce and tossed it.  It came out good.  I also made caesar salads, and instead of garlic bread, I got some pita chips and hummus, spread the hummus on the chips and put a slice of cucumber on top.

I did manage to get a little reading done today.

It started snowing late this afternoon.  I said to Kelly, "Let me see how much snow we’re supposed to get," since I hadn’t heard of any snow (or been paying attention to the weather for the last week).  I went online to look, figuring it would be the usual "less than an inch".  A minute later I said, "You’ve got to be [expletive removed]-ing kidding me!"

"What?" Kelly said.

"Am I reading this right?  It says we’re supposed to get 5-8 inches of snow!"

For some reason, I had trouble sleeping.  I tossed and turned for a while and then got up again and went downstairs to read.  I finally went to bed around midnight.


We slept in late this morning.  Actually, we got up for a while and then went back to bed.  I’d been working hard all week and I had to work more today but I needed some rest.  We finally got up and showered sometime around 11 AM.

Around noon I started to work.  Kelly headed off to the movies with Leanna and some other friends.  I worked for about 3-1/2 hours before calling it a day.  I decided to be lazy for the rest of the day and started watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD.

Kelly was home around 6 PM and I started dinner.   Tonight I made cheese quesadillas with Spanish rice, and I was particularly pleased with how well the rice came out.

No gym today once again.

Thursday writing

I finished the second draft of "Depression Baby".  It took me 90 minutes to rewrite the last 660 words or so.  The story now stands at 6,200 words, longer than I was intending, but I think it works.  I’ve got some cleanup to do, but I think I might be able to get it out in the mail next week.  And that means I can get started on the March story.

Half day at work today because we had a doctor appointment this afternoon.  I was cramming on PowerPoint slides for the training sessions I’ll be running mid-March.

For dinner tonight, I made chunky broccoli soup with a side of cornbread.  And I made the cornbread from scratch–that is, without buying a cornbread "mix".  Both came out good.

I’ve been tired most of the day, but at this point, I still plan on getting up by 4 AM to go to the gym tomorrow.  Going to read now and then it’s off to bed.

Time dilation

My 9 hour workday seemed to pass by in 15 minutes or so.  I continued my work on the PowerPoint slide deck for the training session I’m leading in mid-March.  I started as soon as I got into the office, worked on it nonstop until lunchtime.  I paused at lunch to eat, read more of Steal Across the Sky, and nap.  Then it was back to work on the slide desk and suddenly my phone was ringing and it was 4 PM and time to head home!

For dinner tonight, I made strausmouse ‘s recipes for Thai Salad and Roasted, Spiced, Sweet Potatoes.  Both came out really well and we enjoyed the meal. 

Got the 400th issue (April/May 2009) of ASIMOV’S in the mail.  Also the latest issue of NEW SCIENTIST.

No gym this morning

I made chicken marsala and rice pilaf for dinner and both came out good.  I may have slightly overcooked the rice, but it was the first time in my life that I ever made rice and I thought it tasted really good.  There were some leftovers which Kelly is taking for her lunch today.  No writing last night.  We watched Big Love and then I got through about the first 30 pages of Steal Across the Sky.

I lost the battle of wills this morning and did not get up.  It wasn’t that I was overly tired.  I wasn’t.  Zach was moving a lot last night and I felt him again and again.  I was warm and cozy in bed this morning (and cold outside) and although I’m making dinner this evening, it’s a fairly easy-to-make dinner and so I can go to the gym afterward.

Lunch is made.  I’ve got to finish my OJ and then hit the shower.  I’ve got another busyday of developing training materials. 

Good meals

I’m sequestering myself in the office this week in order to complete some training material for a 3-day train-the-trainer session I’ll be leading in mid-March.  I started the work morning off by putting together my annual self-appraisal.  With the exception of one meeting, I spent the rest of the day working on the training stuff, and I’m pretty happy with my progress.

After work, Kelly headed to the gym and I prepared dinner.  Tonight I made strausmouse ‘s recipe for tofu lettuce wraps.  They turned out pretty good.  Kelly liked it and wished that I had made more.  As I side dish, I made a kind of cucumber dill salad that also came from strausmouse .  Kelly really liked that one.

Spoke with he11o_sunshine  earlier today.  I returned a library book, and picked one up that I had on hold.  That one is for Kelly’s book club.  I received the books I ordered from Amazon today:  Ray Bradbury’s We’ll Always Have Paris, and Nancy Kress’ Steal Across the Sky.  The Kress book is next after I finish up The Way the Future Was, which will likely be tonight.

Chest and back strength workout tomorrow morning.

Offline Sunday

I’ve been trying to spend my Sunday’s offline–disconnected from Internets, phones, TV, etc.  I did pretty good today, with one or two small exceptions.  I had another busy day planned and I did pretty good:

  • Did the grocery shopping for the week
  • Completed all of the paperwork I need to submit to our accountant for tax season
  • Prepared all the paperwork I need to submit to our financial advisor
  • Got through the two most recent NEW SCIENTIST magazines (I still have the latest SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN)
  • Vacuumed upstairs
  • Cooked dinner.  Tonight we had shrimp scampi with a side of zucchini and walnuts.  Stay-tuned for the dinner we’re having tomorrow.  Yum!

I started reading Adam-Troy Castro’s novelette, "Among the Tchi" in the May 2009 ANALOG on the recommendation of mabfan .  So far it’s hilarious!

I plan on getting a little more reading done this evening, this time in The Way the Future Was.  And then at 8, I’m planning on an hour’s worth of work on "Depression Baby".  I had some good thoughts and a few notes on another story that I plan on working on in June.

I  cast my Hugo award ballot this weekend.  It turns out that I  didn’t read a single new s.f. novel in 2008.  My most significant votes were for the novelette, "Empty Spaces" and the short story "I  Remember the Future"both by Michael A.  Burstein (mabfan ).  And for Best Editor, Short Form, I voted for Stanley Schmidt, editor of ANALOG.

Up at 4 AM tomorrow and then I’m locking myself in my office to make progress on some training materials for a training session I’ll be leading in mid-March.

And a quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout-out to cdjensen !

Presidents Day

We headed back home today.  We had such a great time visiting with strausmouse  and rmstraus –too short, really.  We left their house around 10:30 AM and we were in our door three hours later, which is just how it should be.  I’m so glad we decided to fly and not drive.  We would have lost another 12-14 hours.  The convenience of Reagan/National cannot be overlooked!

After we got home, Kelly napped for a while and a little later in the afternoon, we headed to the grocery store to do our shopping for the week.  (It felt like a Sunday all day long.)  Kelly headed to the gym and when she got home, I started cooking dinner.   I made shrimp primavera, which marks the first time I’ve ever cooked shrimp.  I had to cut out some of the ingredients for Kelly (onion and garlic) but I added some mushrooms and it turned out pretty good.  Actually, I probably didn’t make enough, but we made due with what I made, plus some dessert.

A couple of bills in the mail, including the cable bill which appeared to be wrong.  I called and in fact, the bill was wrong (it didn’t reflect the recent payment).  I tried to get access to my account on-line, but needed PIN and was directed to call Comcast to get it.  So I called back.  I was told that the PIN would be sent to my Comcast email address–which I never use and which probably requires the PIN to access it.  I tried to point this out to the fellow, but he was boxed in by his script.  About the best he could do was mail it to me through the Postal Service.  Ah well, I don’t need it anymore…

Late in the evening, we caught up on Battlestar Galactica and Big Love.  Kelly headed off to bed and I read more of Adrift before heading to bed myself.  Heading to the gym first thing in the morning.