Friday, July 29, 2011

gd likes

roma's trattorias...sigh.  when can i go back?

my favorite-of-all-time nail polish.

my red vintage apron

hawaiian kona coffee....going back, post-deployment!

soooo...what do you like?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

grilled flank steak with tomatillo sauce

As a good wife (in the 1950's?) should, I make sure that when my husband is coming out of the field from a month long (or longer) exercise, I have a steak ready for him.

Unfortunately, for him, he has to grill it.
(Just kidding....he actually loves to grill!)
I mean, there are just some things that men should do.
Handle raw chicken. 
(I have a thing with raw chicken.)
And, yes, I can do all these things.  
And since he is gone a lot, I do these things by myself quite often.
But, I digress.
Aaaand now I can't remember where I was going with this.
This is the best flank steak recipe that I have ever made!
And that's all you need to know, really....

Grilled Flank Steak
The GD Kitchen
Serves 4.
3 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 chipolte chiles, in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper, to taste
2 1/4 pounds skirt or flank steak

Combine the first nine ingredients in a large ziplock bag.  Seal and squish around to combine.  

Add steak and massage to really get the ingredients into the meat.  Let sit in the fridge for 2-4 hours to marinate.  

Preheat your grill to high. 
Drain the marinade from the beef. Lightly oil the grill or grill pan. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes on each side and then transfer to a cutting board and let rest.

Warm the tomatillo salsa verde, while the steak is resting.
Slice the steak into very thin slices, across the grain.  

Pile some meat on your plate and spoon the sauce on top.


Sunday, July 24, 2011


So, pralines are a Southern thing.
The actually originated in France and then ended up in New Orleans and spread throughout Louisiana with the Cajuns.
...then throughout the whole South.

Now, I grew up eating pralines at every Tex Mex restaurant in Texas.
They weren't/aren't offered on the menu; they are offered at the counter, when you go to checkout.
Right next to the toothpicks and the chiclets.

I have no idea how the Tex Mex industry got ahold of pralines but that's where I grew up eating them.

My mother first made this recipe in the 9th grade, for a home-ec potluck.

She still has the original recipe, written out in her 9th-grade hand.
It's been torn in half and re-taped back together and is yellowed from age.

This is one of the few recipes (along with chocolate chip cookies and cornbread and a few others) that I know by heart.

Please enjoy, c/o my mother :)

Makes about 25-35, depending on size.
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup pecans

Combine the sugars, salt and half and half in a large spaghetti pot.

Add a candy thermometer and stir to combine.

Over medium-low heat, stirring all the while, bring the candy up to 228*F.
It will bubble and boil so make sure and keep stirring!

Meanwhile, chop the pecans.
But, keep stirring!!

When the temperature reaches 228*, add the butter and the chopped pecans.

Keep stirring and bring the temperature up to 236*F, or a soft ball stage.
The temp will drop when you add the butter and pecans but don't worry!

When it reaches 236*F, turn the heat off and remove the pot.
Let sit for exactly five minutes.

Then stir stir stir!
Stir it for a couple minutes until just barely starting to get thick.

Then, drop the candy by the tablespoon onto foil or parchment paper.
Work quickly!  These little babies like to harden super fast!

Voila!  You've just made homemade pralines!  Congratulations! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

hobo stew

Okay, what is hobo stew, you ask?
Well, as far as I know, my dad created it to go on camp-outs.
It's easy and filling and you can cook it in a campfire.

And I've recently noticed that these East Coasters tend to need something that can be prepared on a grill.
For a little thing called hurricane season.
Because even if there's a hurricane in the vicinity of your town, your power will go out.

And you will need to cook something on your grill.
Because your microwave and your oven and your stove and your toaster don't work.

So, I decided to give this hobo stew a try on the grill and it worked perfectly!

Never fear, East Coasters!  I have the perfect meal during hurricane season!!

Hobo Stew
Serves....however many you want!
No need for a recipe here!

Grab a couple sheets of foil and lay them out on the counter.
And I would double layer them so they don't accidentally leak!

Mix up some ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, a little dijon, chili powder, and whatever else you've got on hand.
Whatever you would put in your burgers goes in here.
But the chili powder is really good.
Try it.

Put a pat of butter on each piece of foil.

Form the beef into patties (regular hamburger-sized ones) and lay on the butter.

Dice up some veggies.
Anything you like!
Carrots, onions, potatoes, and a purple sweet potato, if you find one.
I've never seen one until now.
And look how gorgeous.

Now, pour some salsa on the patties.
Green jalapeno on the first one...regular on the far one, if you squint.
Salsa not your thing?
How bout some steak sauce?

Pile the diced veggies on top.
Add some frozen green peas and corn.

Now, wrap them up really tight.
Seam side up.
Don't want those yummy juices coming out!
And label.
Otherwise, someone will steal your perfectly crafted personalized hobo stew.

Put on grill (medium-medium-high) for 20-30 minutes.
Until the meat is done through when you open one.
Let cool, for heavens' sakes.
And enjoy!

*Of course, you can stick these in a campfire too!*

Sunday, July 17, 2011

oatmeal muffins

I just love muffins.
Simple, heathful, and fast.
Easy to freeze and throw in a lunchbox or backpack or briefcase as you are rushing out the door.
Packed with oatmeal, dried fruit, and nuts for extra nutrition and long-lasting energy.
What's more to love?

Oatmeal Muffins
Makes about 12.
1 cup dry oatmeal
1 cup sour milk or yogurt or buttermilk (I like buttermilk, personally...)
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of cinnamon
Walnuts or pecans, chopped
Raisins, currants, cranberries, apples, or bananas
Honey, for serving

In a small bowl, combine the oatmeal and buttermilk. Let it stand for a few minutes, for the oatmeal to absorb some of the buttermilk.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, add the egg, brown sugar, and oil and whisk.

Add the oats and buttermilk, then the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Mix again, until everything is moistened. Don't over beat.

Add the chopped nuts and dried fruit and fold.

Don't forget the cinnamon, like I almost did!

Spoon the batter into a dozen well oiled muffin cups. Bake at 400* for about 20 minutes.

Serve warm with honey and enjoy!

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