Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Steak Fajitas Rice

I've heard from way too many college students that the only nice thing they know how to make is steak. Which is odd. I don't know how to make steak very well. I like it rare, but I'm always afraid it's under cooked. Maybe other people's parents teach them how to grill steak in the summer. Or they watch it pan fried often enough that they're able to make it. I don't know how, but quite a few people know how to make it.
If you know how to make steak, then you can make steak fajitas rice. Heck, even if you don't personally know how to make steak, but have access to leftover steak or precooked steak or if you know somebody in your dorm that knows how to make steak. It's super easy. Just look.

2 cups water
Knorr brand Rice Sides (Menu flavors, steak fajitas flavor). This is a rice and pasta blend with steak flavor, bell peppers, and fajita seasoning.
Steak (cubed and warm)
(Optional) Diced tomatoes, red kidney beans, chopped onion, diced bell peppers, salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

First, in a medium sized sauce pan, bring two cups of water AND the rice package to a boil. Be sure to add the rice package into the sauce pan and water BEFORE you turn on the stove. AND, be sure that it's actually 2 cups of water, no more, no less.
Next, stir the rice, cover the pot and allow the rice to simmer for 7 minutes, or until the rice is tender. While you do this, heat up the steak and cut it into cubes. If you're adding kidney beans, heat these during this time as well.
After 7 minutes, stir in steak and anything else you desire to add in. Really, the possibilities are endless. Then, allow the rice to sit, removed from heat and uncovered for 2 minutes.
Finally, top with salsa, sour cream, cheese, or whatever other toppings you'd enjoy.

Confession time. I hate bell peppers. And rice. And just about everything else in this recipe (except of course the steak). So, I didn't eat this one. But my parents did. And they seemed to enjoy it a lot.
According to my mother, who's opinion I hold very highly, this would taste great in a warm tortilla. You could also probably use ground beef or ground turkey to make this more of a fajita chili con carne-type recipe. Just use a bit less water and add the meat in before bringing it to a simmer.
So, while I cannot personally recommend this recipe because you'll probably never catch me dead eating something like this, my parents highly recommend it. And, once you have the steak part figured out, it's really not too hard.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

If you make things like food simple, it allows you to focus on more important things, like an upcoming geology test or that psychology project that you have only two hours left to finish. While this recipe may not be quick or easy enough for finals week, it is a good recipe for your regular learning-about-the-solar-system-and-trying-not-to-fall-asleep-while-your-professor-talks-about-someone-that-died-two-hundred-years-ago week. But, hey, you need your brain for that, too.
Anyway, mac and cheese is a really good comfort-brain-food. And this one is so easy that it will leave your brain with enough energy to actually READ that ten page article.
The original recipe comes from Clever Crafty Cookin Mama. It's supposed to taste like boxed macaroni and cheese, but without as many nasty chemicals.I did make a few tweaks on this.

1 box of noodles (I used medium shell noodles)
4 Tablespoons butter
1 can cheddar cheese soup
6 oz (half a can) of fat-free evaporated milk
About 3/4 cup of medium cheddar cheese, shredded (add more, only if deemed necessary)
Salt, Pepper, and/or Johnny's Seasoning as desired (I probably used about 3 or 4 Tablespoons, in the end)
(Optional) Hot dogs (or, in my case, kielbasa and summer sausage)
(Optional) Mustard (Dejon, honey, or onion) to taste

First, boil water in a large pot. Once water is boiled, add the box of noodles to the water. Stir constantly and add a splash of oil in order to keep the noodles from sticking together. Then, strain the noodles.
Put the noodles back in the original pot. Add 4 Tablespoons of butter and allow to melt. This will go faster if you cut the butter into small cubes. Then, place it on the stove top on a medium or medium-low heat.
Next, add half a can of fat-free evaporated milk. Stir in the can of cheddar cheese soup.
Then, add in 3/4 cup of shredded medium cheddar cheese. If necessary, add more cheese or more milk to taste. Stir constantly to encorperate, and heat until melted.
Next, season with salt, pepper, and/or Johnny's Seasoning, to taste. Use a lot.

If desired, add sliced hot dogs, kielbasa, and/or summer sausage for extra protein. If you do this, be sure to add before you season, as sausage will add lots of flavor, including salt. Lots of salt.
To add an extra kick of flavor to this recipe, add mustard.I used an onion mustard that I picked up at a fruit stand in Thorpe, WA. You can either add a small spoonful to each serving as desired by the individual, or several Tablespoons as desired to the entire pot. I would not recommend using a regular yellow mustard, however, as the taste that regular yellow mustard provides just isn't as good.

This recipe is the type that you do once, then tweak and do it again, and again, and again, and again. I'm in love with this mac and cheese. It actually does taste like the stuff from the box. But just be sure not to add too much cheese. Because for the first time in my life, I have learned that there is such a thing as too much cheese (crazy, I know).

Dorm Food

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