Monthly Archives: September 2015

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak 2-Ways, Part 2

Last week I shared part 1 of this steak extravaganza. Today I bring you part 2: skirt steak sandwiches!

Skirt Steak Sandwiches - Mrs. Dessert Monster

These sandwiches were amazing!

My photography skills didn’t quite capture that, but trust me! How are you even supposed to take pictures of sandwiches that capture all of the goodness?

With just a little bit of prep, I turned leftovers into haute cuisine. You know, the paper plate kind.

The secret ingredient in this recipe is Arby’s Horsey Sauce – which is a horseradish mayo. It was such a great contrast to the sweet balsamic steak.

Add some cheese & sauteed onions to buttery Italian bread & you’ve got a gourmet sandwich!

Skirt Steak Sandwiches - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Skirt Steak Sandwiches

For 2 sandwiches:

  • leftover Grilled balsamic skirt steak; about 1/2 lb
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 4 slices Italian bread
  • 2 packets Arby’s Horsey Sauce, or 2 tbsp horseradish mayo
  • 2 slices swiss cheese
  • butter
  • olive oil
  1. Thinly slice the onion & sautee with a little olive oil.
  2. Thinly slice the skirt steak. When onions are almost done, add skirt steak to pan to thoroughly reheat.
  3. Toast the sliced Italian bread & add butter.
  4. Spread Arby’s Horsey Sauce on one of the slices of bread. Use 1 packet per sandwich.
  5. Assemble the sandwich: steak, onions, swiss cheese.
  6. Enjoy!
In The New House Designs

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak 2-Ways, Part 1

My husband loves to grill.

We hadn’t even moved into our house yet when he was already planning all these barbecues & football parties he wanted to throw.

I’m totally on board.

My dad was sweet enough to surprise us with a grill as a house warming present. We came home from church one day & there was a grill in our backyard! Since then, we have used it for many family dinners.

Sometimes we use the grill for just the two of us. It’s usually to make steak. I’m so glad I married a man who loves steak beef as much as I do. I literally majored in it!

We bought some skirt steak on special a little while ago. It took me back to me my internship days, when the butchers in the meat department taught me how to clean skirt steak. Ahh, to be a college student again. Not really…

Even though I am familiar with skirt steak that way, I had never actually prepared it myself. I was looking through recipes & came across a good one on

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The balsamic vinegar & Worcestershire sauce combo caught my eye immediately. I tweaked the recipe a little bit – like I usually do!

While the steak was marinating, I cut up a fresh pineapple to be grilled alongside it. I had some cinnamon sugar left from the monkey bread muffins I made, so I sprinkled it on the pineapple. Mmm, steak & grilled pineapple – it was like going out to a fancy steak house!

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Actually, it was better than going to a fancy steak house!

I love teamwork dinners like this. My husband & I get to hang out in the kitchen & enjoy something delicious together in the end. He’s the best partner.

Since this was just for the 2 of us & the skirt steak was cut into 4 pieces, this was just ONE of the awesome dinners we had with it. The next day I made delicious skirt steak sandwiches!

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound skirt steak, trimmed & cut into 4 pieces
  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add steak & marinate at room temperature for at least  25 minutes, turning once. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade.
  2. Fire up the grill & cook steak 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Let steak rest for 5 minutes before cutting diagonally across the grain into thin slices.
In The New House Designs

Ricotta Honey Sesame Ice Cream

Last year my husband (then fiance) & I went to Italy with his dad. It was an amazing trip! I had never been to Europe before. We stayed with family in Genoa for most of the trip. They were so warm & welcoming! I’m so glad God worked it out for me to have this new multicultural family on my husband’s side. Towards the end of our trip, we took sidetrip to Venice just the two of us.

Every day, whether in Genoa or Venice, we drank cappuccinos & ate gelato. Every day! It was glorious.

It was in Venice that I had the best gelato ever.

It’s a given that I have a major sweet tooth, but I’m also a chocoholic. I usually gravitate towards treats that have some chocolatey element. This gelato was a different story.

This gelato was ricotta honey sesame.

I think what drew me to this particular flavor was the fact that a couple of days earlier in Genoa, my husband’s aunt served us the most delicious ricotta I’ve ever had. It was so amazingly fresh and creamy. My mouth is watering just typing this. I need to go back to Italy.

So this gelato, ricotta honey sesame, caught my eye.

I am so glad it did! It was my favorite gelato of the entire trip, by far!

I have been dreaming of this flavor ever since.

As soon as we got our ice cream maker, which we bought with a gift card from an Italian friend of the family, I knew I had to attempt an American recreation of the sorely missed gelato.

I googled ricotta honey sesame ice cream to see what I could find, & I wasn’t disappointed by what I found! This Pure Wow recipe for ricotta honey ice cream looked promising. I adapted it for the ice cream maker & added the sesame element.

Ricotta Honey Sesame Ice Cream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I mixed honey, ricotta, vanilla, cinnamon, & half of the heavy cream with my KitchenAid mixer until it was smooth.

Ricotta Honey Sesame Ice Cream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

While that was all mixing, I crushed up some sesame seed candies (tada!). I grew up eating these; my family calls them ajonjoli (which is the Spanish word for sesame). It seems to be an ‘ethnic’ thing – you can find these in the ethnic food aisle. My husband had never had these before, but my Jamaican coworker had. Island people are all very similar. These candies are really simple – honey & sesame. Perfect for this ice cream!

Once the ricotta honey mixture was smooth, I put it in the ice cream maker with the remaining heavy cream & let it church for about 20 minutes. I was expecting the ice cream to be kind of soft & need to set in the freezer, but I was wrong! I think the ricotta gave it that firm but creamy texture. With the ice cream maker still on, I poured in the crushed up sesame candies to mix them all in.

Ricotta Honey Sesame Ice Cream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The results were spectacular.

Ricotta Honey Sesame Ice Cream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Ricotta Honey Sesame Ice Cream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It’s not quite the exquisite gelato I had in Venice, but it will do until I can go back to Italy for more!

Ricotta Honey Sesame Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 6-8 sesame seed candies, crushed.
  1. Using an electric mixer, mix the ricotta, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, & 1 cup of heavy cream until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour mixture into ice cream maker & add remaining heavy cream. Churn for 20-25 minutes. Add crushed sesame seed candies before turning off ice cream maker.
  3. Serve & enjoy! If ice cream is too soft, place in freezer to set before serving.
In The New House Designs

Guest Bathroom Remodel – In Yellow!

My husband & I bought our first home a little over 3 months ago.

We were very fortunate to find a house in good condition. The house did not need any major work – it just needed to be updated/customized to our liking.

It’s a pretty typical house for our area – 1970’s construction – that came complete with 70’s style bathrooms.

If you don’t know what I mean, let me just show you the before picture of the guest bathroom…

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Yep. It’s blurry, but your eyes are not deceiving you.

Here are some close ups.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert MonsterGuest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

You can see why we had to remodel this bathroom immediately.

Apparently in the 70’s in South Florida, bathrooms came in funky patterns & 3 colors: mustard yellow, light blue, & pink. Our master bathroom is light blue – we can live with that for now.

There was just one issue my husband & I had when deciding what to do about this bathroom: money. We had a couple of other projects going on & didn’t want to spend a whole lot on this bathroom. Plus, the previous owner had replaced the toilets in both bathrooms before selling the house.

Yes, that’s right, the toilet in the pictures is brand new. The previous owner special ordered a new mustard yellow toilet. Bless his heart.

I was not about to get rid of a brand new toilet. I knew there was some way I could work around this.

I also knew I couldn’t be the only one with this problem, seeing as how this really was a popular bathroom color back in the day. I started searching online for inspiration. In my searching, I came across this post from Remodelaholic. They did a GREAT job on that bathroom! I loved the idea of embracing the yellow & using it as an accent color with some molding across the wall.

Our bathroom didn’t need quite as much work as they put in to theirs. We just had to demo ours a little bit first. That was the fun part!

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Our friend lent us some demolition tools that made it really fun!

We removed the tile floor, sink & vanity, mirror, light fixture, towel bars, & toilet paper holder. We also removed the sliding glass doors from the tub. One thing we did not mean to remove was the shower tiles – but when we were removing the doors they all started coming down from both sides.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster


Luckily, we were able to salvage them & reattach.

Once everything was removed, the bathroom looked pretty rough.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Before we did anything else, we laid new tile. My husband & I fell in love with the tile that looks like wood. The bathroom isn’t very big, so a couple of boxes of tile from Home Depot did the trick. My husband became well acquainted with the tile saw we rented. Instead of removing the toilet we tiled around it, which meant he had to cut some interesting pieces. He handled it like a pro!

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Before the grout.

I love how it turned out! My mother in law helped us out by grouting the floor & shower tiles. I repaid her in shrimp & grits. 🙂

As you can see in the demo pics, there were some holes in the walls after we took everything down. The walls in this house are plastered – another 70s trend apparently. It actually helped us out, though. After using a couple of drywall patches & spackle, the walls look good as new (in a DIY home improvement sort of way)!

Once the spackle was dry & sanded, we painted. Using the top of the shower tiles as a reference to where we wanted the molding to go, we drew a line with pencil & painted the top of the wall a bright yellow. I had found a shower curtain at Target with an ombre floral pattern – so I wasn’t too concerned with the different shades of yellow, knowing that the shower curtain was going to tie everything together. We painted the rest of the wall white, & once everything was dry we put up the molding with some adhesive.

Then came my husband’s time to shine. He installed the vanity & sink, the medicine cabinet, & the light fixture. I am so blessed to have married such a handy guy!

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

We decided on oil-rubbed bronze fixtures. When I first saw that you could replace your toilet handle, I thought it was a bit silly. But after we had installed everything & put up the new towel hooks, the silver colored handle stood out like a sore thumb…

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It cost $14 – money well spent!

I didn’t bother with the shower fixtures, though. They are behind the curtain!

The only thing left for me to do was decorate.

We had these two canvases up at our last place that ended up matching perfectly in this bathroom!

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The other wall originally had these two old-timey borderline-creepy pictures. Like the kind of pictures that, if this was a horror movie, would move when you weren’t looking. So I discarded the pictures, kept the frames, & made my own bible verse prints.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Voila! The bathroom is complete.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Gotta love the panoramic mode on my camera!

All in all, we completed this bathroom in about 3-4 days with about $400. I think it’s the room I’m most proud of when you consider the before & after.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It was a good bit of work, but now I know that my hubby & I can handle home improvement projects together. I love the yellow & oil-rubbed bronze combo!

Someday we might replace the tub & toilet, but for now I’m very pleased with how we were able to work around it!

In The New House Designs