Friday, May 29, 2009

Camping Prep

Well, the duffel is packed, the air mattress is beside the door.  Yup, it's camping time.  Somehow I feel that we're taking much less than we will actually need.  I thought camping required all kinds of accutrements.  Yet while packing it felt almost, well, ridiculous, to pack an entire bag of different types of shoes.  More shoes than clothes, in fact.  I am just praying that Gillian will sleep and that John sprayed the everloving @#$ out of that shelter with bug spray, as he promised he would.  If she sees one bug it's bye-bye sleep for us.

We are so, so excited to see John, Paula and Autumn and to experience their new life at the Park.  Not so much about the alligators though.

One thing I have not forgotten is the pile of protective devices.  Bug spray, Sunscreen, chapstick, inhalers for the lung-challenged in our family, bug bite cream, assorted antihistimines, and fruit roll-ups (protection for adult ears).  Update to come Monday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Argentinian Flank Steak with Chimichurri

This knocked our socks off, literally.  That is a LOT of garlic.  But, oh, man, people pay big bucks for this kinda thing in a restaurant, and all we had to buy was the steak.  I bet most of the stuff for marinade and chimichurri is already in your pantry/fridge.

Here's a picture of the chimichurri, which should last a few weeks in the fridge.  (The flank steak, alas, has already been polished off.)  We both agreed that the chimichurri was the most important component of the dish.  So if something has to give, make it be in the marinade and don't skip the chimi!  Note that the consistency is a cross between salsa and pesto.  There should be enough oil to spread around a little over the meat and on the plate.  You'll need something to dip that bread into, after all.

  • 1.5 lbs flank steak, pound with a meat tenderizer like you’re pissed off (Marshall's term)
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c soy sauce
  • 2 Tbls red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ c honey
Marinate for three hours

Chimchurri (make 3 hours ahead, refrigerate)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, packed
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ c olive oil (1/4 cup cheap, ¼ cup good stuff)
  • ¼ c red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt

Pulse  parsley and garlic in food processor until small chunks form.
Whisk in rest of ingredients and set aside.

Let steak come to room temperature.  Grill on Xtreme High Heat for 4 mins one side, 2 mins on the other.  Remove and rest for 10 mins.

Slice against grain.  Serves up medium rare, and really delicious.  Don’t skimp on the chimichurri sauce, just dump a couple spoonfuls right on the sliced meat. 

Next 24 hours: Avoid all vampires.  They will perish. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Don't you just love introducing kids to things from your childhood?  Take, for instance, candy.   Taste must be one of the simplest and most enthusiastic methods of transporting backwards in time.  When I think of lollipops, it is always either the Life Savers pops with the hole in the center (backseat of Dad's giant blue car, legs sticking to vinyl) or Tootsie Pops (Halloween.)  Didn't everyone learn to suck for a while, then gingerly test with the molars to see if it was ready to crack?  Sometimes you had to test more than once.  Gillian experienced her first Tootsie Roll center this weekend.   I took this moment very seriously.  It took some convincing, but she learned with her test bite that there was, indeed, a reward hidden in there.  and she was "ESCITED!"  Oh, to have recorded the look on that sweet face when she got that first chocolaty hit.  Here's a shot of her just moments before discovery.

Sometimes being a parent means you let your kids learn for themselves, and enjoy the laugh.  Like Nerds.  No, not the chess club, the candy.  The candy that is so potent sometimes your salivary glands explode a little.   Gabe gave me a good chuckle.  After his cheeks reinflated, he said "What is IN here?"  Then he bravely went back for more.    Atta boy.

Two lessons down, two hundred thousand to go.


Well, talk about a whim.  Everyone else has a blog, why not me?  
We'll seeeeee....