Monday, July 11, 2011

Lazy Days

The Fourth of July holiday has come and gone, so this post is a bit belated. But I’ve been quite unplugged for several weeks and let me tell you…I can’t say I hated it. I was on a bit of a blog overload coming into July, and with the exception of a couple posts I needed to do, I’ve mostly stayed away. It’s amazing what not being attached to your computer and smart-phone can do for your state of mind.

So without further ado, our holiday weekend recap:

We were determined to do nothing on our four-day Fourth of July weekend, save for a barbecue or two and lots of lazing around. Turns out, we’re even better at being lazy than I thought. We should go pro…I’m sure ESPN2 must showcase some “sport” of that nature.

By the time five o’clock rolled around on the Thursday prior to the long weekend, we were in vacation mode. As soon as we walked through the door, we headed out to the patio to map out the days ahead. Our map was decidedly small. Definites included a trip to the farmer’s market and a barbecue. Maybes were a trip to the grocery store and Costco, although these were quickly moved to the definite column once we realized the refrigerator was empty. After all, we would need something to eat to give us all the energy we would need to do nothing.

Giddy doesn’t even describe how we felt. The way we were acting, it was as if we were taking a three-week vacation to a tropical island. And don’t quote me here, because I might deny ever having said it when faced with a chance to go to said tropical island, but what we got our on stay-at-home four-day weekend may have been even better.

Each morning started with coffee and breakfast on the patio. The air was so pleasant, the breeze so slight, and the sun streamed through the trees in just the right spot. Something about the way if felt reminded us both of Hawaii. (A much less expensive Hawaii where there are no maids, you cook for yourself, and a miniature dachshund is constantly at your feet.) Next, if we chose to, we’d run our essential errands then sprint back home to sit some more. Patio, eat, nap, patio, eat, sleep, repeat. This was a schedule we could (and did) get very used to.

When I think back on our weekend, I can come up with absolutely nothing extraordinary. Except that it was. Come our last night, I had that same feeling I get on the last day of a trip when we’re on our way to the airport. That knot-in-your-stomach, on-the-verge-of-tears, I-DON’T-WANT-TO-GO feeling. But if I didn’t feel this way, I’d be worried. Because it means that we can turn our own home into an oasis that we never want to leave. It means there is so much love and adoration. It means I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else, except here, with him.

This is a barbecue recipe we made about a month ago. We barbecued most every meal during our long weekend, but taking photos of our food was definitely not on the to-do list. 

Flanken-Style Beef Short Ribs in Asian Marinade

Serves 4

1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (chili paste)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 pounds flanken-style beef short ribs, boneless

Whisk first 9 ingredients together. Pour into a zip-top bag and add beef. Marinate at least 5 hours, or overnight.

Grill the beef over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Note: This marinade would work well for any cut of beef.

During the summer, at the peak of grilling season, we have to push ourselves to eat things other than barbecued beef because let’s face it, not much compares to a perfectly grilled steak seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper (unless you’re a vegetarian, of course). So even this easy marinade makes us feel like we’ve gone WAY out of the box, although it is still a box of beef. The flavors of the marinade come alive once seared into the beef. A sweetness comes from the brown sugar caramelizing on the grill, there is just the right amount of saltiness, and a little kick of spice to finish it off. Needless to say, we were quite happy with this dish.

Maybe I shouldn’t have written this on a Monday morning. Remembering that glorious weekend has me counting the minutes until the next one. It’s going to be a long week…

And don't forget to enter my Safeway gift card giveaway if you haven't's open through July 17. Click here to go to the giveaway post.


  1. Yum! This is my kinda marinade. That steak looks like juicy perfection. Now Im seriously craving meat for lunch!

  2. Nothing beats a staycation and great food.

  3. Great photos!

  4. I think it is great to take a break from blogging now and again...and this beautiful steak is definitely worth taking a break for!

  5. I just unplugged for a week too...we went to Chicago over the long July 4th weekend to see U2 in concert. It felt strange, but it was a much-needed break from real life :)! This steak looks the marinade!

  6. Wow!...It's a nice recipe! I loved it...So, I'm a new follower.
    I ivite you to know my blog and to know a little bit of the brazilian cook.



  7. Hope you liked the holiday! Your recipes were well missed :) Welcome back

  8. That looks delicious - one of my favorite marinades!

  9. Oh wow, this looks like the perfect meal. So, would you kill me if I said I wanted to add ketchup to that rice? Cause I do that... the marinade!

  10. Great grilled beef. Just perfectly cooked! Love the grill marks

  11. Nice meal idea, sure looks good, love the sounds of that marinade. Thanks for sharing.

  12. looks tasty!! I'll try with your recipe, thanks for share it! ;-)

  13. This looks so delicious, love this recipe!! :)

  14. "Nothing extraordinary. Except that it was." That is my kind of weekend, weekday, life. I feel you all the way on just vegging out and enjoying the food, the sun and some great beverages. Hope you get to do it again real soon.

  15. WOW!!!! Perfectly grilled steak! It's my kind of flavor too... :-)

  16. oooo yummy, this looks tasty :O

  17. Saving this marinade recipe for when i get home; looks wonderful.

  18. looks wonderful and adore how you choose to relax over the holiday weekend :-)

  19. Looks great. My first time visiting your blog. I loved your Julia Child quote. I could not agree more! Haha Thanks for the friendship invite. Do I automatically appear as your friend in your profile as well? New to this. Sorry.

  20. This looks amazing! The marinade sounds perfect! The the meat is absolutely perfectly cooked!

  21. I do not eat red meat, but this marinade looked so good that I tried it on salmon and it was wonderful. I will have it again. Very yummy.

  22. Perfectly cooked and that marinade is right up my alley. Looks amazing! Hooray for getting to be lazy!

  23. Oh man, your stay-at-home weekend sounds so lovely. I can't quite turn my house into that oasis anymore, with three kids. I could use some of THAT sort of time! And that steak looks so perfectly done, I am hungry just looking at it.

  24. Wow, gorgeous looking! That meat is cooked perfectly! Can't wait to give that marinade a try!

  25. I want to eat this! O.k... I'll make it, then eat it!

  26. the rice i like it and also boiled