Bacon Wrapped Steak Salad and They Really Should Teach Body Mechanics in PE

I was able to touch my toes today.  So what you say?  Well, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to do that!  I had to bend my knees a little but I got there.  Part of what helped was reading an article from NPR about the proper way to bend to pick up things.  Seems so basic but it really changed things for me.

I was speaking with my massage therapist today and casually mentioned I was discussing with my husband how they should teach body mechanics in Physical Education.  Perhaps if they did less of us wouldn’t find us feeling old as we hit our 30’s and 40’s.  She completely agreed as she definitely sees all sorts of body issues.  Just add it to the long list of things that kids should learn before heading out into the world!

Bacon Steak Salad 1 2018

Only five more shifts of tax season, not that I’m counting!  But the last few weeks mean I need to come up with simple dishes to cook on the days I’m home in the evening because my brain is fried!  I came across a dish with steak wrapped in streaky bacon with the usual Worcestershire sauce, which is tasty but I wanted to mix it up a bit with a fresh salad and Italian flavours.

Bacon Steak Salad 2 2018

At least an hour ahead of cooking marinate the steak.  In a bowl add two parts olive oil and one part balsamic vinegar.  Finely chop 3-5 cloves of garlic, depending on size, and finely chop a small handful of fresh oregano and thyme.  Add a bit of sea salt and pepper.  Mix well.

Cube the steak.  I used steak tips as the co-op has a great local source, so good! Add the steak to the marinade.

Bacon Steak Salad 4 2018

When it’s time to cook, wrap each cube in half a rasher of streaky bacon and place on a skewer.

Bacon Steak Salad 5 2018

If you remembered to get propane for the grill, use the grill but as I hadn’t done that I used the griddle on the cooktop.  Get it to medium high.  You don’t want it too hot because you don’t want to burn the bacon before the steak get’s cooked.

Bacon Steak Salad 6 2018

Use the marinade to baste the bacon and turn frequently so, again, the bacon doesn’t burn.  While this is cooking put together a fresh salad with mozzarella cheese and fresh made balsamic vinaigrette.  Use 2 parts olive oil and 1 part balsamic vinegar.

Bacon Steak Salad 7 2018

I’m definitely ready for salad season.  Love the lightness and all the flavours.

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup to Keep Us Cosy

We’re in the first peak of tax season so quick meals are key.  And given how cold and snowy it’s been, comfort food is a definite must.  We’re lucky it’s not as bad as the winter in the midwest last winter but you get to a point that cold is cold.

I’ve seen several pins and references to loaded baked potato soups.  The idea really sang to me so I thought I’d come up with my own recipe for this soup.

I cubed up a couple of red skin potatoes and covered them with homemade chicken stock.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the potatoes are tender and cooked.

Loaded potato soup 1 2015

In a separate skillet cook up some streaky bacon, scallions, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme.  To hold up in the soup the bacon needs to be on the crispy side.

Loaded potato soup 2 2015

Once the potatoes are cooked through use an immersion blender to blend the potatoes until they are smooth.  Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of red pepper flakes into the soup.

Loaded potato soup 3 2015

Add a cup of cream and the bacon mixture and warm through again.  Season with salt and pepper.

Loaded potato soup 4 2015

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and some chives.

Loaded potato soup 5 2015

A good stick to your ribs soup!  It was even better the next day with the flavour of the red pepper flakes really coming through.  And it did the trick for pushing back winter.

 

Chicken Avocado Salad and a Frost Advisory

Correct me if I’m wrong but it’s still summer, right?  So it was completely insane to me to find us under a frost advisory.  Sunday afternoon we grabbed as many tomatoes as we could as the plants were too tall for us to cover.  The only other veg we really had to worry about were the peppers.  So we got those covered.  Turns out the temperature stayed just high enough but we have two more evenings this week that may get close to frost.  I had to dig out my winter hat to walk the dogs!

For Saturday I wanted to do a light healthy meal with chicken and avocado.  I was put in the mood for this last week when we had some gorgeous weather.  Saturday rolls round and it’s raw and cold.  I would not be dissuaded!  I put on more layers and got on with it.  🙂

This is super simple with layered flavours and it’s quick to put together.  The longest bit was the side of roasted potatoes.

Cook up 5-6 rashers of streaky bacon.

Chicken avocado 1 2014

Set aside the cooked bacon on paper towels and pour out most of the bacon fat and save for other dishes.  You only need a tablespoon or two.  Thinly slice a chicken breast and start browning it in the bacon fat.  Add a couple of chopped garlic cloves and a couple of mushrooms.

Chicken avocado 4 2014

As the chicken cooked I made the dressing.  This was a bit of an experiment as I had an idea of what flavour I wanted as well as consistency.  But wasn’t sure how to get there.  I started with a base of mayo.

Chicken avocado 2 2014

In hindsight I should have started with half the mayo I actually used.  I added sriracha sauce, lime juice and cilantro.  The important thing is not to have the aftertaste of mayo.

Chicken avocado 3 2014

To serve I layered lettuce leaves with the chicken, mushrooms, and chopped bacon.

Chicken avocado 5 2014

Add sliced avocado and fresh tomatoes. Drizzle the dressing over and serve.

Chicken avocado 6 2014

Now the idea was to make these as wraps but I served it this way because there was a lot of food.  Kudos for my family for being game and making them into wraps.  The thing I loved about this dish was it was filling but not heavy.  I hate feeling stuffed but also dislike being hungry a short time after so this was perfect. And we had just enough room for popcorn and watching “Young Frankenstein” with the kids.

A Proper Fry Up – Not Just for Breakfast!

Once or twice a year my husband and I drag ourselves out to do some real shopping.  Neither of us like shopping and I drag more than he does but it has to be done otherwise we’d wear through our clothes and start getting funny looks.  It went as well as it could and we were exhausted by the time we got home yesterday after two days of trying on clothes.  Seriously, they really need to make it a better shopping experience.  I love Brooks Brothers clothes (from the outlets of course :)) but the sales woman explained to me that they run really small so I should be looking at 4 sizes up.  Excuse me?  How is that a good marketing plan?  She was very nice but I went two doors down to Talbots and found my size that fit.  🙂  It’s times like this where I will freely admit my husband has the patience of a saint because I get really cranky.  This is the only time I will admit it though!

So to give us some strength for the weekend I thought it would be fun to have a fry up for dinner.  For those that don’t know it’s a full English Breakfast.  The only thing I didn’t do was the fried bread.  I’m trying to be good.  Ahem.

We have a source for the Irish Bangers, the HP brown sauce, and the Heinz beans.  The only thing we don’t have is the English bacon.  Which I like but not as much as streaky bacon so we were in great shape.  This does have to be staged somewhat so it can all be served hot.  I start the bacon first as you need the fat for the other components.

Fry up 1 2013

The beans go in a small pot to heat up.  It’s important to keep stirring as you go so it doesn’t catch on the bottom.

Fry up 2 2013

The bangers come fully cooked but they need to be warmed up.  These are very thick so I pierce them with a knife and microwave for a minute or so then put them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil to brown them nicely.

Fry up 3 2013

Once the bacon is done I place it on a warmed plate with paper towels to blot and keep them in a warmed toaster oven.  As things finish cooking they join the bacon to keep warm.  I sliced up some button mushrooms and tomatoes.  The mushrooms need to cook about halfway before adding the tomatoes.

Fry up 4 2013 Fry up 5 2013 Fry up 6 2013

After the mushrooms and the tomatoes are removed from the skillet it is time to fry the eggs.  Normally I fry my eggs in fat free cooking spray but not when I do a fry up!  I love the flavour of fried eggs in bacon fat.  Just can’t do it very often.

Fry up 7 2013

Serve everything together and it goes down a treat.

Fry up 8 2013

When the kids came home last night they found out we still have bacon and bangers so they requested this for dinner tonight.  I mean we wouldn’t want the ingredients to go to waste now would we?  😉