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
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 already...it's open through July 17. Click here to go to the giveaway post.