Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot & Spicy Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

I know most of my mid-west bloggie friends just wanna keep cool...but this Hot & Spicy recipe can either be broiled OR grilled, so a nice, chilly marinate in the fridge and then get some burly guy to toss it on the grill - no hot kitchen to deal with! I usually use flank steak for this recipe, but it's great for other cuts as well and you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days. We can never wait more than a few hours though ;-)

Hot & Spicy Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons dry Sherry
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (I use the less sodium kind)
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 Teaspoons seasoned salt (Lowry's, Johnny's Dock, etc.)
2 Teaspoons dried red pepper flakes (or to your taste)
1 Teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 Teaspoon paprika
1 Teaspoon chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder with parsley
Steaks - flank steak, ribeyes, New Yorks, etc. (I've used all of these at some time)

In a one gallon zip-loc bag, combine all ingredients except steaks. Moosh & slosh around (kitchen technical terms) to mix well. Add steak and seal bag, squeezing out excess air. I usually use a flank steak pack from Costco which has two fairly large steaks, or three smaller ones. If you have a LOT of meat, you may need to increase the amount of marinade, but as long as all the meat gets "wet," you can make the marinade go a long ways. Flop the bag around to ensure the marinade completely covers all sides of the meat. Refrigerate several hours, or up to three days. Remove meat from bag and discard marinade. Grill or broil to desired doneness. If using flank steak, cut crosswise into thin strips. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Let Wander...Or Is It?

Warning: Slightly X-Rated Post

Do we know really know what happens when we let our minds out to wander? Where do they go? And more importantly, why do they come back full of such weird stuff?
It happened to me yesterday. I mentally nodded off for just a split second and my mind grabbed the opportunity and rocketed out the doggie door for parts unknown. About 20 minutes later, it swaggered back, smug and sassy and barking orders: "Go ask the kids for condoms!" Yep...I said CONDOMS. Unable to muster the wit and wherewithal to ask why, I crept down the hall and knocked on their door. This would be my son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Autumn, who moved in with us about five months ago.

Ben and Autumn at The Farmer's Market

I try to be a considerate parental unit and always knock if their door is shut. Well, and quite frankly I don't want to see what might be going on behind that closed door. When no one shrieked "Aaaack! We're naked!!!" I opened the door and without preamble or pretext I blurted out "Do you have any condoms?"

They had that deer-in-the-headlights look goin' on. Quickly, I added "Uh...I'll give them back..." Now they were MOOSE-in-the-headlights. "I'm not going to USE them." I don't know what's bigger than a moose...let's switch species and go with wooly-mammoth-in-the-headlights. Clearly, they were having trouble processing so to add to the confusion I said "And do you have that tea wallet I made you handy?" I think they were numb at this point. Autumn reached into the night stand and threw a handful of condoms in my general direction and mumbled something about a basket on the dresser, where I found the tea wallet. I think they just wanted me OUT of the room so they could discuss assisted living options for me.

Safely back in the "sewing area" (which is most of the rest of the house), I slipped the tea out of the tea wallet pockets and replaced them with condoms. Ta Da!
With Tea Paraphenalia
Well, almost Ta Da...condom packets are a teensy bit smaller than tea packets, so I mentally calculated about a half-inch difference in the final measurements I would need.  

Tea Packets vs. er...uh...CONDOMS!

I always use this tea wallet tutorial with a few of my own modifications. For my new creation, I shortened the four 5" x 7" pieces to 5" x 6 1/2". I chose a few pieces of fabric, started cutting, and barely 30 minutes later, I had two "Condom Wallets" for two friends who had July birthdays. I was going to see them both later in the day, and since they are very fun-loving ladies, I knew they would appreciate my slightly off-color gifts.

By this time, the kids had somewhat recovered from their mom/condom shock and were heading into town for some grocery shopping. I tempted fate and asked if they would mind picking me up a box or so of condoms. Oh, and PRETTY condoms would be a real bonus, please and thank you! I showed them my empty but finished wallets and handed over twenty bucks as I shooed them out the door. While they were gone, I fancied the wallets up a bit with some charms and beads.

Those kids really got into the sprit of the task and came back with three boxes of assorted colors AND flavors! Banana, Cherry, and Lime, Oh My!

Plus a couple of "surprises" listed on the box below...we won't discuss those in polite company but they fit nicely in the wallets as well.

I loaded up the wallets and admired my handiwork. Later that evening, my fun-loving lady friends were absolutely thrilled with their quite useful gifties. I guess next time my mind wants to wander, I should send it off with my blessings and a no-limit mental credit card and wait to see what it brings back.