Ridiculously Easy Thai Steak Salad

Thai Steak Salad

THIS SALAD. I’m still thinking about it.

Last night was warm enough, so I decided to whip up a steak salad. But, not just any old steak salad — one infused with explosive Thai flavors: a little lime, a splash of fish sauce, a spoonful (or two) of chili garlic paste. Heaven.

If you’ve ever tried the Tiger Cries (aka Crying Tiger, Tiger’s Tear, etc.) salad at a Thai restaurant, only to return home and want it again and again for the rest of your life, this steak salad recipe will sate your craving. It’s not too spicy, either, so if you’re sensitive to heat, this won’t kill you. That being said, it’s super easy to pump up the fire with additional chili garlic paste or a fresh pepper. Continue reading

My, What Large Meatballs You Have There

collage

The Man is running late and it’s miserable outside. The weather in the Bay Area is super gross in the winter. It rains, it’s cold. Sometimes it’s not cold, then it’s just muggy. Ugh. Who’s a grumpy kitty? *Raises hand* Clearly, I’m in need of some comfort. Big, fat Italian meatballs dripping in a homemade tomato sauce ought to perk me right up. Yowza!

Who doesn’t love a couple of giant meatballs smothered in some fantastic variation of tomato sauce goodness? Now, who feels guilty scarfing those puppies down without stopping to breathe? *Raises hand* Alright, let’s kill this guilt by substituting some lean, mean ground turkey thigh for the traditional beef/pork mix. Also, we’re going to bake these suckers … in a muffin pan! Bampf! Ok, I’m done with sound effects.

I’ve made a ton of meatballs in my time. All different sizes, flavors, sauces, textures, methods of cooking – you name it, I’ve probably tried it. And, if I haven’t, I still want you to name it so that I can. Today’s recipe is inspired by two very different meatball recipes I stumbled upon today. I love both these blogs — for different reasons — and I’m excited to share my hybrid meatball recipe with ya’ll, now.

meatMighty Healthy Meatballs

Inspired by Blogilates’ Super Healthy, Utra Clean Meatball Recipe and Simply Recipe’s Italian Meatballs Recipe

  • 1 1/2 lb ground turkey thigh meat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 t oregano
  • 2 t salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°.
  2. Gently mix all ingredients together in a big bowl. (I used my clean hands).
  3. Lightly oil your muffin pan to prevent the meatballs from sticking.
  4. Form meatballs with your hands and put them in your muffin pan. (Mine were about 2 1/2 inches in diameter – MONSTERS – and I made 11 meatballs).
  5. Bake your meatballs (in the muffin pan) for about 35 minutes. Check on them – if they’re not done, keep cooking for another 10 minutes or so. Mine took a little less than an hour, but they were enormous!

I served three meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti and a homemade (super simple, super easy) tomato sauce.

Pecan Bars. Mine. All Mine.

I made candy cane brownies earlier this week for The Man to take to work and he ate them all. To be fair, I should have just saved a few, but in my fantasy world he would’ve left one for me. Maybe on a decorative plate next to a glass of almond milk. With a little love note. Alas, The Man did none of that. It’s alright, though, because I would soon taste sweet, sweet unwarranted revenge.

Since Thanksgiving, The Man has been begging for pecan treats. I don’t make a lot of sweets, but I’ve been feeling festive since it’s our first Christmas together as a newly engaged couple (hence the brownies). I offered him a homemade pecan dessert if he would just abandon the pecan pies at the local overpriced grocery store; I promised twice the flavor, half the cost, and million times the love. Quite the boast, right? After a day or two of pretending to forget my end of the bargain, I decided to make these bars. They were SO GOOD, and SUPER SIMPLE! Today, a week later, he got on me for eating half the pan myself. I didn’t even try to deny it — he’s right! He was just jealous, though, that I got to enjoy them, alone. Muahahah – payback’s a witch!

Pecan Bars

Pecan treats - good for your soul; not so much your pants. But, hey! It's the holidays!

Pecan treats – good for your soul; not so much your pants. But, hey! It’s the holidays!

(Adapted from Real Simple Pecan Bars)

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • canola oil to grease pan
  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup  cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/3  cup sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • 1/2  cup  brown sugar
  • 4  tablespoons  unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4  cup  honey
  • 1/4  cup  sugar
  • 4 tablespoons  heavy cream
  • 2  cups pecans
  • 1  teaspoon  pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Crust:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly oil an 8 x 8″ baking pan. Then, criss-cross two strips of parchment paper over each other, fully covering the bottom and most of the sides of the baking pan. You will be lifting the dessert out of the pan later using these sheets. Also, makes cleanup that much easier!
  3. Combine the flour, cold butter, sugar and salt in a food processor (love this!). Pulse until it forms loose crumbs.
  4. Press the flour mixture into the parchment-paper-lined pan. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until it is golden in color.

Filling:

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine butter, honey, sugar, heavy cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  2. Add pecans and vanilla to filling mixture. Stir together.
  3. Pour filling onto the crust and spread evenly.
  4. Cool dessert for an hour; lift from pan and cut.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you – these are amazing pecan bars!