My sister came to visit me last week and gave me a housewarming present: a cookbook. It’s called “Dinner Tonight: Done!” published by Real Simple Books, and it has simple dishes that take around 30 minutes to prepare. All the dishes use very minimal ingredients, and everything looks just delectable.
The first thing I did was glance at the cover. Steak fajitas. Yummm! My mouth instantly watered. I didn’t need to look any further. That’s exactly what I wanted. Only problem was, I didn’t have tortilla shells. But I did have steak, red and green peppers, and onions.
I have found two things to be especially helpful when preparing meals for yourself or other people. First, use what you’ve got in your fridge. When there’s a time crunch, it’s hard to head to the grocery store and prepare for a meal you’ve never made before (and for me… that’s just about every meal).
I decided I was going to cook the steak with the peppers and onions and serve it with pasta, which brings me to my second helpful tip: when making something you’ve never made before, make your side with something that is easy and/or familiar.
Since I was on a time crunch, I decided to make Alfredo pasta out of the bag this time. I bought Pasta Sides! by Knorr, which cost less than $2. Knorr has tons of different flavors like stroganoff, parmesan and Alfredo with broccoli, just to name a few. It has the noodles and the sauce ingredients right inside so all you need to add is milk, water and margarine. My plan was to make this the same time as the steak, which actually went very smoothly.
I fried up the steak, peppers and onions on the stove. I added seasoning salt and pepper, and cooked it for about 5 minutes on each side. (Another helpful tip: when cooking steak, don’t flip it very often — once is fine. If you flip it multiple times, the steak will turn dry, and that takes all the juicy goodness out of it).
So I did the flipping correctly and kept an eye on it, but the thing I did screw up was my use of olive oil. After using all the butter for my last meal, the last thing I wanted was all this butter in the pan. Do yourself a favor and use PAM or some kind of nonstick cooking spray. Olive oil pops when it’s hot. And that can cause a complete mess, which is exactly what I had…all over my stove…and all over my microwave above it. Disgusting. It also gave me a small burn when it popped onto my thumb.
Despite my mess of olive oil, everything turned out deliciously! Add a little A1 Sauce with your steak, pour yourself a glass of red wine and you’ve got a quick, easy dinner.
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