Lessons in Cooking - Handmade in the Heartland

Lessons in Cooking

I was so proud of myself on Wednesday night when i made dinner for the first time since Max was born. This week has been SO much better, a world of difference from last week, i actually feel like a human. Mostly because our little guy switched from waking up twice a night to only once. It is crazy what a difference that makes! I have my friend Jenny to thank for my new restful nights, she took me out to get yogurt on Monday night and told me to swaddle him super super tight, i had been swaddling -but obviously not tight enough, because that night i did it like she said and it was the first night that he didn't wake up till 2:30 and then slept till 7am! Seriously a tight swaddle and the use of those gas drops are my miracle fixes.

Anyhow i'll write more about how great this week has been on Max's blog this weekend, but i thought i would share a great recipe and then a not so great cooking moment of mine...
I checked out another cookbook at the library, High Flavor Low Labor, and tried my first recipe out of it. The picture above is the Chili Balsamic Marinated Sirloin with Fettuccine and Sun-Dried Tomatoes- its the cover recipe of the book as well. It was really good. I actually think the marinade for the steak is one of my favorites ever and i will be using it in the future for steaks with or without the rest of the dish. And just like the title of the book claims, this recipe is super easy-low labor with lots of flavor! Here is the recipe:

Chili Balsamic Marinated Sirloin with Fettuccine and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon siracha chili sauce (i have been seeing so many recipes in magazines lately using siracha)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns (or a blend), roughly crushed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 pound sirloin steak, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips
3 cloves garlic
12- ounce jar roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips
half of a 7ounce jar julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes
16 ounces fettuccine pasta
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a medium bowl whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Add the steak, mix to coat well. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

In a second medium bowl, combine the garlic, red peppers & sun-dried tomatoes. Mix well & Set aside

When the pasta is nearly finished, in a large saute pan over medium-high, heat the canola oil. When the oil is hot, remove the steak from the marinade (discard the marinade) and, working in batches if necessary, cook the strips for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Transfer the steak to a plate and cover it with foil. Return the pan to the heat and add the red pepper mixture. Toss until heated through.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the pepper mixture. Toss well, then add the grade cheese and toss until melted. Serve topped with steak strips and additional parm.

On another note I was making cupcakes for a St.Patricks day party we went to last night and as i got to the last ingredient i realized i was out of flour! i went down to our food storage closet hoping there might be some and i was out of luck, although i did spot a yellow cake mix. I thought oh what the heck i'll just add that- it has flour in it. as my friend Libby says- it was a recipe FAIL. As you can see in the picture below...

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