Wednesday, September 09, 2009

So Simple A Monkey Could Do It

Ok, ok, I know it's supposed to be the Hump Day Holla, but I am going off course today (whoa, me!) because I had another idea for a post. So indulge me. After all, it is BGR. And I am Bunny.

First, I have to remark that it is 09.09.09. I don't know why, but these kinds of days always sort of freak me out in an intriguing kind of way. And it has been a great day. Seriously. But more about that tomorrow.

For now, I want to talk about dinner. Now, I will say that the hubs and I like to eat out as much as anyone. However, since the onset of my unemployment, we have gotten slightly more...frugal with our dinner plans. But here's the cannot really go out to dinner for two at a sit-down restaurant without spending at least $25-30 bucks....and that's with NO booze. At a "nicer" place, you are looking at $50-60 easy-peasy. What really sucks is when you go out to dinner and then it is a disappointment. You can't take a bad steak back, know what I mean?

Anyhoodle, I am sure you know the Bun loves to cook, even though there are some nights I really would rather go out to dinner with Ann Coulter than have to whip up a meal. But, you know, there are just TONS of things you can fix in 30 minutes or less. Yes, I know. I am NOT Rachel Ray (in fact, I find her annoying...well, her voice anyway), but it's true. A homemade dinner is not really all that complicated. I can usually, well, pretty much pull something out of my ass. Figuratively speaking, of course. Here are three examples from the past three nights at Casa Bunny.

MONDAY: Smothered Hamburger Steaks, Potatoes au Gratin, Brussel Sprouts
Here's how this one went down: Prepare the taters (recipe here) and pop them in the oven. Halve the brussel sprouts and toss them in a Ziploc steamer bag (can I tell you how much I LURVES fresh brussel sprouts??? So good. So different from frozen. Like the difference between canned and fresh asparagus. Get me?) and pop them in the microwave. Pat out the burgers and put them in the grill pan. Slice up some onion and 'shrooms. Toss them in the pan with the burgers. Place cooked sprouts in a bowl and drizzle with a little EVOO, then sprinkle with $10 salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cooked bacon and toss. Flip burgers, drizzle A-1 and heavy cream over onions and 'shrooms. Serve up with sauce on steaks, sides on the side.

TUESDAY: Grilled Parmesan Chicken with Cheese Risotto and Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes
So, here's how this one went down. Put on boxed risotto from Target (Archer Farms Four Cheese...have I told you recently how much Target risotto rocks?). Butterfly chicken breasts, season with lemon pepper and place on grill pan. Quarter Roma tomatoes, prepare asparagus. Toss both with EVOO, $10 salt, pepper, herbs d'Provence and place on cookie sheet to broil in oven. Flip chicken. Grate Parm-Reggiano over chicken. Serve with chicken on risotto, veggies on the side.

WEDNESDAY: Warm Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
This one went like this. Slice onions and 'shrooms, and throw in grill pan with a little EVOO. Chop romaine and place on plates. Throw sliced steak in pan. Halve cherry tomatoes. Mix ranch dressing, white balsamic vinegar and blue cheese for dressing. Top romaine with steak, onion and 'shroom mixture, then tomatoes and dressing. Add nice cheese & chive roll from DFM.

Serve the steak salad with this fine wine from Spain:

Note that the wine is described as "rich complex Mediterranean aromas with exuberant notes of spices and blackberries. Velvety tannins are noted on the palate with elegant flavours of liquorice and small dark forest fruits." Oh, yeah, and it has a screw top and a toy:

A little plastic bull dangling from the label. Only reason I purchased. Seriously. That and the below $10 price tag. Which is what you would pay for one glass in a restaurant. Word.

See? Three tasty meals. All quick and easy. All with no "funky" ingredients. NO recipes (well, ok, the taters....BUT that's the ONLY one!). And what's even better? It really is not only cheaper, but more enjoyable than a meal out. And the alcohol markup is TONS less. Love, B.


Elisabeth said...

You really do inspire me to cook more... and I loves me some brussel sprouts to. Totally one of the more underrated veggies out there. So did you like the bull wine?

bunny said...

Thanks, E. Even though I groan sometimes while starting dinner, cooking at home IS cheaper, faster and, usually, better. The wine? I was aw'ight. Wouldn't run out to buy another bottle. I think it would have been better with something heartier--a beef stew, maybe.

Sonya said...

Almost inspired to try the brussel sprouts...

bunny said...

S., I will invite you over so you can try them--you will NOT be disappointed!

ctflack said...

A couple of comments...

1. You totally inspire me to cook too. I wish I could just "whip" stuff up

2. I have an AWESOME recipe for brussel sprouts. I will have to share. You add so much yumminess to them, their value as an actual vegetable is questionable

3. There are many nights I hate, hate, hate cooking, but I don't think that I would ever, ever trade cooking for a dinner with Ann Coulter.

bunny said...

CTF, on #3, oh, I would. At the very least, so I could throw a fruity drink on her.