Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thrifty Thursday ::Motivation! Inspiration! & Relation?::

Today I'm trying out a new format for Thrifty Thursday.  Biggest change?  I managed to keep track of a few links this week so I have more than one item on the menu! 

THE FIND: In case a paycheck and possibly a sense of fulfillment aren't the only things you're gaining from work, I found an article with ideas for helping you to lose weight while you're at work.  WHAT I GET OUT OF IT: The suggestion of keeping a resistance band at work to slip in a little workout.  I'd love that to go with my lunchtime walk that will start again when it warms up!

THE FIND:  A long lost brother and sisterWHAT I GET OUT OF IT: Nothing.  They're not even really my relatives (what, you're shocked that I'm not related to Aaron Cook?).  But they do share my own last name and have inspiring stories of weight loss. 

THE FIND: Motivational Tips from the experts.  WHAT I GET OUT OF IT: Tip #5 - Especially the part about getting new shoes!  I just replaced my worn out tennies with a swanky new pair and boy do I feel it during Boday Attack!  Next up?  New bra shopping. 

THE FIND:  I will be travelling this weekend and always struggle with what to eat on the road.  Maybe this research into Taco Bell's "diet food" will help.  WHAT I GET OUT OF IT:  Just a reminder that no fast food restaurant (or any other kind for that matter) will have a magic formula for losing weight.  Sure, these menu options are a healthier choice, but it's all about balance and moderation.  I like to look at nutritional information, online or through other resources, and make informed decisions on what to eat while dining out.  As any Weight Watcher can tell you, nearly any restaurant has some healthier option on the menu.  You juts have to do a little legwork to find it. 

BONUS:  I like this guy's idea of "self" control.  Don't think it will work with my coworkers though.  They'd just eat my treats before I got to them.  Wait - maybe that is a good idea!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Your Blue Heart ::Writer's Workshop::

Here I am
I stand
outside in the cold
I knock
on your heart’s door
I wait
I see you in your grief
You are not alone
Let me come in and share
your cares
Let your stress be my stress
Let your woe be my woe

That my joy may be your joy

Mama's Losin' It
Prompt: “What images inspire you immediately? Open a magazine and create a piece of writing (poem, story, essay) about the first image that captures your imagination.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Foodie Photog & All the Pretty Flowers

I've been slacking in my duties lately and haven't tried a new recipe for awhile.  We had quite the weekend of company and Olympics watching so I stayed with tried and true favorites and crowd pleasers.  The salsa I made got rave reviews though.  I considered using that as my recipe review this week, but let's face it - if you make homemade salsa you've already got a favorite.  Mine's a really easy recipe though!  It also may have been the most Weight Watchers friendly thing I had all weekend. 

Since I have no recipes to review for you all, I thought I would simply review tell you about a couple of blogs I'm loving right now. 

The first shout out is actually kinda self-serving.  Jocelyn is a pastor's wife and proud mother with a life full of cheesecake baking and card making.  In addition to making adorable cards and gorgeous scrapbook pages which she showcases on her blog, she also has a wonderful talent for making fabric flowers and turning them into gorgeous jewelry.  She's just recently opened an Etsy store, The Trendy Owl.  She's giving away a lovely necklace so head over to her blog, check out the store and enter the giveaway.  P.S.  Tell her I sent you :)

Now my second guest is a dear friend.  I've known her for more than 10 years, even though we lost touch during that time.  She's a talented photographer who just happens to make delicious food.  She's also one of the sweetest girls you'd ever meet.  Sadly, I've been following the wrong blog for a few months, somehow thinking it was hers!  Today I finally got the ordeal straightened out and headed over to her real blog, A Full Plate ~ A Happy Life.  To make up for all the comment love she hasn't been getting, I am giving her a the best gift I could think of :)

Tomorrow may bring a Wordless Wednesday or a Writer's Workshop Wednesday.  None of the prompts were speaking to me today, so we'll see if they change their tune.  Otherwise, pictures it will be!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chocolate (Brown) and (Dried) Flowers for Valentine's Day

More than a week later, here it is:  My bedroom's makeover was complete last Saturday and I have enjoyed it so much!  Here's a little before and after for you:

(BEFORE)The Boring Wall
(AFTER)My Own Pretty Art Project

Because we love dancing and have taken ballroom lessons, I chose silhouettes of dancing couples.  They are cut from stiff brown paper and placed over fabric that matches the bedding. 

(BEFORE) The Tired Bed

(AFTER)The Cozy Haven
I "doubled" the window to balance the wall.  I knew I would love it, but Merv wasn't convinced (until it was done!)  And yes, I really do need bigger pillows in those shams... plus MORE OF THEM!

(BEFORE)The Functional (and plain) Corner

(AFTER)Oh! Pretty!

Can you spot the hidden items?
(1)A lazy cat  (2) A teddy bear (3)The glass of water I needed after all that work (4)Airplane (5)iPhone

The last picture is probably my favorite transformation.  I love the way the entire room turned out but this space was a pleasant surprise.  Merv actually chose everything on the small table (aside from the fabric) and found it all on sale!  We got rid of the alarm clock as we never used it because we always set our phones to wake us.  Some day I plan to replace it with an analog wall clock, but I haven't found the one I love yet.  I also hope to replace the old TV (or remove it altogether) but we aren't there yet either.  The entire room came in just under $300.  Maybe it would have been even cheaper if we'd spent more time shopping around, but I loved spending the time together to select & buy the items and then put them in the room.  Great Valentine idea indeed.

Finally, here's a better picture of that lazy cat,(his name is August) and a close up of the bedding design:
This was taken as I collapsed onto the bed following all of the finishing touches.  Someone thought he needed to collapse too, it is hard work supervising afterall.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Snack Time

Yes, I realize it's not Thursday but you know how the garbage man's schedule gets pushed back a day when there's a holiday during the week?  I think my blog was thus pushed back by President's Day.

Today's nugget of wisdom is brought to you by the letter "S" as in

and Self
because Self Magazine threw out a list of 30 Healthy Snacks and since I haven't been able to stop snacking this week, it seemed like a good idea to read it. 

Of the 30, my favorites include:
1/4 cup hummus, 3 carrot sticks (80 calories)
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Chili con Queso, 18 baked tortilla chips (140 calories)
2 tbsp Better 'n Peanut Butter, 4 stalks celery (124 calories)
1/2 banana rolled in 1 tbsp frozen semisweet chocolate chips (123 calories)
Hmmm.  I'm noticing a pattern in combo foods.  Maybe that's reason I also like the following things mixed together:
Chocolate Chips in my cookies
Vodka in my tomato juice
French Onion dip on my SunChips.

Okay, those last three were sadly not on the healthy list, but if I could limit myself to 200 calories of any of them, you know they would be!

What snack (naughty or nice) do you love?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why College Students Don't Make Good Cooks

(Voice over)Previously on BetterJeans:  Marcy reviewed her Valentine's Day with coworkers, which included a home cooked meal. This promted her younger coworkers to lament their lack of talent in the kitchen. 

[SCENE] Interior, bank setting, day

A copy of the Lobster Potpie recipe sits on a desk.

College Student: See, this is exactly why I can't cook.  First of all, I don't even know what Puff Pastry is.  Second, I've never heard of thigh-m (thyme) and I don't own a pastry brush. 

Marcy:  Actually, the Puff Pastry is the easy part because you can by it already made in the freezer aisle.  Also, it's pronounced time (thyme) and the reason you can't cook is that you have to know to improvise.  I couldn't find a pastry brush either but my two foot basting brush from the grill works wonders. 

College Student:  See, my real problem is that I just don't have time to cook. 

Marcy:  Oh, see what you did there?  You don't have thyme, but seriously you can find it pretty easily in the spice aisle.

[cue drum:ba dum dum *chh*]

Mama's Losin' It
(Today's prompt: Relay an entertaining conversation or string of emails you recently had with someone.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Try Before you Buy - Recipe Style

It’s been one busy (almost) week since I last posted. As you may recall, I was planning to spend at least part of the weekend redoing our bedroom. That actually went very well, but you’ll have to take my word for it until I can manage to get the pictures uploaded. I spent my Saturday doing that, my Sunday looking at a potential new house and then celebrating Valentine’s Day with dinner (more on that later) and a movie. Monday I tackled an organizational nightmare (no pictures of that either, it was too ugly) in which I sorted, laundered, folded, dusted… Let’s put this simply, I cleaned the room shared by two teenage boys. Now you understand, eh? That night my sweetie and I celebrated part two of Valentines Day because we were both too tired to finish the movie the first night. Yeah, we’re pretty exciting when we try to be.

Now, as to the parenthetical note above where I reference VDay Dinner, let me just say I got the idea from Cosmo. Yes, Cosmopolitan The Magazine had a recipe in it and I must have been reeled in by the title “A Sexy Meal With Your Man.” Even more likely, I was tantalized by the subtitle “Dim the lights, put on good music, and serve up this decadent, mouth-watering (and so easy, shhh!) meal.” Sounded great to me, so we went for a easy meal that included Lobster Potpie, Dijon Vinaigrette on Green Salad and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries.

Let me begin with the Potpie recipe:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
½ cup frozen corn
½ cup frozen peas
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
½ pound cooked lobster meat (can be bought at the seafood counter)
½ teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (keep refrigerated until ready to use)
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set out two 2-cup individual ovenproof bowls
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add corn and peas. Stir in flour and cook1 more minute. Add milk and chicken broth, stirring constantly. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Then remove from heat, add lobster and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator. Cut the dough in half, and reserve one half for another use. On a lightly floured surface, flatten out the pastry, using a floured rolling pin, to about 1/8-inch thickness. Using one of the bowls as a guide, cut the pastry into two circles. Spoon the filling into the bowls, and place one circle of dough on top of each potpie, pressing the edges to seal the pastry to the bowl. Cut a vent in the center so air and moisture can escape. Using a pastry brush, cover the entire surface of each pie with beaten egg. Bake until the pastry is puffed and becomes a dark golden brown shade, about 35 minutes.

Let me first point out the things I liked about this recipe:
  • Simple ingredients, most of which I had on hand
  • The flaky crust!
  • Easy prep (especially when my sweetie helps me)

Now the things I didn’t find easy, sexy or otherwise appealing


First let’s go over the drama of getting the meat. Don’t believe that little note that says I can find cooked lobster meat at the seafood counter. Every meat counter I went to (with a seafood section) looked at me like I was crazy. Mind you they were stocked full with lobster tails and the kind that are still swimming around in their tanks. That doesn’t really work for me though. You see, I get freaked out whenever I look at, cook or eat anything that looks like it did while it was still alive. When I was younger, I didn’t even like to have the entire turkey on the table at Thanksgiving. I only eat chicken wings if they’ve been broken in half and fish with eyeballs? No way. Just last New Years I convinced myself to cook and eat crab legs and found – to my delight – that I absolutely love them. With that knowledge (and the fact that I knew Merv would help me) I left the store with two small lobster tails.

Things went well from there. Merv cooked the tails, cleaned out the meat and cut it up nicely for use in each potpie. The recipe was, in fact, as easy as it seemed and 40 minutes later we were sitting down to potpies, green salads with Dijon vinaigrette and champagne. I’m the kind of girl who will always eat my salad first, so I set about eating that and Merv started in on the potpie. I find myself drawn to the pastry crust and enjoyed the taste. After finishing my greens I dug into the piping hot middle of my pot pie and took a big bite. It was then that it hit me: I’ve never tasted lobster before. I looked at Merv, bewildered, and asked “Is this what lobster is supposed to taste like?” He assured me it was and I took another bite. This was not at all what I expected. Turns out: I don't like lobster! I guess it would have been a good idea to find that out before putting in the time and effort, but it was still a lesson learned.  Don't plan a meal with a main ingredient you're not absolutely sure you love!  That said, the base of the recipe is actually pretty doggone good, and I think I’ll be trying it again with some other seafood in its place. Maybe I’ll even continue in search of another potpie recipe. Any ideas out there?


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Get Organized!

Thrifty Thursday is the weekly spot where I recycle some wisdom and advice I've gleaned during the week. Normally, there would be something about fitness, weight loss, Weight Watchers or nutrition here but today something else caught my eye. Maybe I have Spring Cleaning on the brain. Maybe I'm gearing up for the master bedroom overhaul that will be going on this weekend. There it is. I said it. That's what we've decided to do for Valentine's Day. Now don't look at me like that, it's actually a great idea! Considering all the half done projects and room in our little country house, finishing our sanctuary has become my priority. Besides, when it's done we can enjoy it all day on Valentine's Day!

Today’s advice comes from Good Housekeeping. They caught my eye with a slideshow highlighting 52 Ways to Get Organized. That, my friends, is just what the doctor ordered. We moved into this old farmhouse over a year ago with the intention of fixing it up, but after getting the necessary things done we’ve hit a slump. Because of that, we haven’t fully settled in – meaning I haven’t gotten completely organized. Okay, I realize that never really happens, but I’m not even close. The real reason that’s a problem is because it effects my ability (not willingness) to do housework. The surest way to get me to keep a clean house is to ensure I have a place for everything (so everything can be in its place). Well I’m taking matters into my own hands. This weekend is going to be the beginning of my Projects Around the House (PATH). I plan to research and complete as many of the household projects as I can in the coming months. Let’s face it, Merv: has started a new job/will be spending a lot of time with cattle as calving season starts soon and there are 4-H animals to be tended to/wants to work on motorcycles and trucks/isn’t going to be finding a lot of spare time anytime soon. Looks like I need to take the lead (with a lot of help in the power tools department) and I'm actually looking forward to it.

A few things from the GH list that I need to focus on (before and/or after the other projects):

Organizing shoes and coats in the entryway.  We have an informal one, as in we have no closet.  We have coat hooks and a shoe rack but it could use some work.  We also have a mud room but it's not heated so using it in the winter is pretty much a no go.  I think I'd like to get a nice piece of furntiture with doors on the front that I can repurpose to hold shoes and boots by the door with a flat top surface.

Mail Station!  Right now there's not a designated place to put mail to be read.  (The mail that's been opened is a different problem!)  I think I'd like to add something to the aforementioned flat surface as a place to catch mail and keys.

As goofy as this probably seems, I don't have a spice rack!  That's a very soon on the to do list item!

Folding space over the washer and dryer.  This will probably  be part of a larger project in which I will be making a lot of changes to our downstairs bathroom/laundry area.

Hand and Power tool storage.  I hate that I can't find anything that I need for these projects.  Maybe some peg board and metal shelves should have been my Valentine to him.  Oh well, anniversary is comin!

For Good Housekeeping's tips on these problems and to see the entire slideshow check it out!

P.S.  None of those pictures should be taken as a literal representation of MY house.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Waking up on the Farm

First shot at Wordless Wednesday!

Talk to you tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is it too much to ask?

You may as well know now, early on in our blogger/bloggee relationship, that I occasionally like to rant. I’m generally a passive aggressive person, so releasing my frustration online is my preferred method.

Today’s rant comes to you from the restroom. No – not the bathroom in my house which I share with three members of the male influence – that’s a story for another time. This time, it’s the small room I share with the women I work with. For over a week now, I’ve noticed the fact that our waste bin is getting full. And by full I mean you have to stand on top of the contents in order to squish them down far enough to add one more paper towel. Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I should just take it out, right? Well I thought of that. Usually, I do that. I’m happy to do so – well, more than willing anyway. This time though I wanted to see how bad it would have to get before someone else took care of the situation. It’s also been a very snowy winter here, but that wouldn’t stop me… just slow me down.

So like I said, it’s been about a week and I’ve been waiting. Then this morning when I took my first potty break I realized there were about 5 paper towels left. Again I thought I’d just see if someone else would fill it. Little did I know that I would come back in after lunch to find that not only was the waste bin full, the paper towels gone, but BOTH rolls of TP were now empty. If I hadn’t had to go so bad I swear I would have boycotted the place for the rest of the day. Really – empty rolls and no courtesy to refill it?
Of course I know everyone else is secretly saying the same thing about me and we all wait for the other to restock the room, so really I have to room to complain. Yet I do it anyway. It’s how I roll

Come on, I had to, it's funny.


Recipe Review: Tuscan Tilapia Fillets

This recipe is so simple yet so satisfying. After last week's post about Quick but Healthy Meals and My Crazy Night I was pleasantly surprised to find such a fast easy fish recipe.

The ingredients of this healthy recipe are so simple:

Chopped Roma tomatoes, basil and cheese (I used Weight Watchers Colby Jack)

Fish fillets (I even used frozen fish)

Delicious and simple, this recipe went very well with steamed veggies.

Tuscan Tilapia Fillets (Serves 3)
12 oz Tilapia Fillets
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Roma tomato; chopped, seeded
1/2 Tbsp fresh basil
1 oz fresh Mozzarella (or other cheese) slices

1.  Preheat oven to 450 F.  Salt and pepper tilapia
2.  Stir together tomato and basil
3.  Place tilapia on a greased baking dish.  Bake 6 minutes, top with cheese slices and tomato mixture.
4.  Return to oven and cook another 4 minutes.

I actually plan on having the last of this over a tossed salad today for lunch.  My tastebuds are already looking forward to it. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Admit It, We All Do It

Run out of time for making the healthy dinner we deserve, that is.

Tonight I have a million things to do. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, of course – I only have to do 5 or 6 of them – the rest can wait for another day. Merv and I are heading out of town for the weekend which is always fun when we get there but a lot of work before we go. I’m the kind of girl who can take all week to pack one suitcase. First – every piece of clothing I own needs to be clean and put away so I have a full arsenal to choose from. Next, I will likely try on every outfit I consider packing because I’ve had too many times (and by that I mean one time) that I’ve gotten to my destination only to find nothing I packed actually works for me. In addition to packing, I have to:

  • Get hair done (grays are showing their ugly faces)
  • Body Attack class
  • Return to consignment store to pick up the super cute jacket I found on Monday but talked myself out of
  • Probably spend more time shopping and find nothing, realizing I have a closet full of clean clothes at home that I don’t have to pay for.
  • Cook dinner
  • Do enough of my normal weekend housework to not feel like a total slob when I return home.
 Today’s find should help with that last one though! I found a consumer review of frozen diet entrees, as well as how to spice them up to make them a “proper” meal. I’ve actually done this before with pasta/vegetable dishes and added meat, but these ideas take it the other way without adding so many calories that you blow your budget. Just may have to add a stop at the store to pick up the goods to have one of these combos. On a pretty plate, he’ll never know. *wink*

Oh, and in case you wondered where we’re jetting off to, we won’t be jetting at all, we’ll be driving the three short hours to Clear Lake, Iowa for '50's in February, the annual tribute held at the legendary Surf Ballroom in honor of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson's last concert and love of music. This will be my third year attending, and I’ve yet to round up a poodle skirt and saddle shoes for dancing the night away. Last year I did improvise with some lovely 50s housewife attire, but next year, I’m going all out!

Dancing shoes on (two nights of swing dancing and 50s music!)
 On the third day we made our way to the memorial at the site of the crash.
The "Buddy Holly Glasses" that mark the memorial.  Note the snow and ice we trekked through to get to the memorial.

You know, seeing last year's pictures has gotten me excited to go again.  Northern Iowa, here we come!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What to Eat When You're Stressed

What is the best food to eat when you’re stressed? If you’re like me you already know the answer to this question and chocolate is probably in your top three. If I’m talking about what I prefer during high-stress situations, the list would include:
  1. Chocolate (of course)
  2. Wine
  3. Cookies
  4. Potato Chips
  5. anything smothered in cheese.

Unfortunately, I've been craving these things like crazy because stress has come to be my house guest, I found the one way ticket stub and the suitcases are starting to gather dust. (Let me just say that I’m still new to this sharing thing and not sure how much of my personal life to publish) It started when Merv decided to change jobs. We both believe it will be a move to better things and I believe he will be successful. The hours are long right now though and his stress level has gone up (understandably). That of course effects many parts of our lives ranging from the amount of time we spend together to who folds the laundry. I signed up for this support team though (I’m thinking of making shirts for me, his kids and his family) so I don’t mind the changes, but I can’t deny the fact that stress comes along with it.

Two nights ago, we had a long overdue discussion that has since added to our stress. The discussion in question was whether or not we would have children. Brief history: 1:We have both been married before, he has kids, I have none. 2: He’s more than 10 years older than me. During the more than two years we’ve been dating, the topic of having children together has come up, but we always talked about it in abstract without being completely solid in our answers. Of course I always heard the things he said with emphasis on anything indicating he wanted more children. I’m sure he heard the things I said through a filter that told him I wanted none. After hitting on this subject for more than a month now, we decided it was time to make the hard decisions and be honest. Bottom line, he doesn’t think he wants any more children. He has his reasons and I respect them. Now I’m left with two heartbreaking decisions: a future with him and no kids, or one without him but the possibility of kids. Let’s face it, there’s no sure thing in life. Okay, that’s a heavy topic, but hey – it’s life. We’re not giving up though; we’re still talking through each other’s fears and motivations. We’re still discovering where we want to go.

In the meantime, between this discussion, the new job, and my increasingly full schedule I need to know what to eat while I’m stressed! I found this article with 9 food that help reduce stress.  That said, I may just have to try these two recipes in the next few days:

Cobb Salad with Flaxseed Oil Dressing

2 Tbsp water
4 tsp flaxseed oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp minced garlic
4 cup(s) mixed baby greens, baby arugula blend suggested
4 oz cooked skinless light meat turkey, thinly sliced
1 cup(s) cucumber(s), diced
1 cup(s) grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium avocado, Hass, ripe, sliced
2 item(s) whole hard-boiled egg(s), diced
1/2 cup(s) scallion(s), sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together water, oil, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and garlic until blended.

Divide greens among 4 shallow bowls. Top each bowl with 1/4 of turkey, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, egg and scallions. Drizzle each with about 1 tablespoon of dressing and serve.

Turkey Bagel-Sandwich with Avocado and Green Apple
2Tbsp Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Whipped Cream Cheese Spread
1 item(s) Weight Watchers Original Bagel, lightly toasted and halved
2 oz turkey breast lunch meat (3 1/2-inch square), reduced-sodium, thinly sliced
1/8 small Granny Smith apple(s), unpeeled (2 thin slices)
1/8 medium avocado, ripe (3 thin slices)

Spread cream cheese evenly over both sides of toasted bagel. Layer turkey, apple and avocado onto bottom half of bagel. Top with remaining bagel half, wrap securely with plastic wrap, and take it with you. Yields 1 serving.

© 2010 Weight Watchers International, Inc. © 2010, Inc. All rights reserved.
WEIGHT WATCHERS and POINTS are the registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. and are used under license by, Inc 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipe Review: Fennel-Crusted Sirloin Tips with Bell Peppers

Being in the beginning stages of getting my act together (on this blog anyway) I neglected to take a picture of this wonderful meal!

Here's the recipe as found at


8 ounce(s) sirloin steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon(s) fennel seed, roughly chopped or coarsely ground in a spice grinder
1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon(s) minced garlic
3/4 cup(s) reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
1/4 cup(s) dry red wine
2 bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
Freshly ground pepper , to taste
1 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour


Rub steak with fennel seed and 1/4 teaspoon salt, turning to coat on all sides. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak in a single layer and cook, turning once, until browned on the outside and still pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup broth and wine, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add bell peppers, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the peppers are tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes.

Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup broth and flour in a small bowl. Add to the pepper mixture, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Return the steak to the pan. Adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook, turning the meat once, about 2 minutes for medium-rare.

The only change I made to this was adding about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms.  This recipe was very simple, provided opportunity for teamwork (thanks for doing the prep, honey!) and was raved about with every bite.  Even on the second day after for leftovers. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...