Thursday, June 20, 2013

Asian Inspired Flank Steak with Corn & Avocado Salsa

Thanks so much to Comfortably Domestic for posting this delish recipe that she came up with. The flavors in this are incredible all together. I actually spooned lots more salsa on my steak after the first bite. Wowie-zow!!! 
Asian Inspired Flank Steak with Corn & Avocado Salsa
1 (2-lb.) flank steak
For the Marinade:
1 c. soy sauce
½ t. dried ginger
¼ t. ground black pepper
Juice of 1 orange (about ½ c.)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 T.)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 T. honey
½ c. olive oil

Prepare the marinade in a shallow baking dish by whisking together the soy sauce, dried ginger, pepper, orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, honey, and olive oil until combined.

Place the flank steak into the marinade, and turn to coat both sides. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, turning the steak periodically so that it evenly soaks in the marinade.

Remove the steak from the refrigerator and set it on the counter and come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

Grill or broil the flank over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, more or less, until done to your liking. Under done is better than over done, because steak will continue to cook while resting.

Allow the steak to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes to seal in the juices. Slice the steak in very thin strips, against the grain. Serve topped with Corn & Avocado Salsa.

Corn and Avocado Salsa
1½ c. fresh (cooked) corn, or thawed frozen corn
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
2 small tomatoes, diced (about 1 to 1 ½ c.)
½ c. finely diced Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 T.)
2 T. olive oil
2 T. rice wine vinegar or rice vinegar
¼ t. ground cumin
¼ t. cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the corn, diced avocado, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Pour in the fresh lime juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil. Stir. Sprinkle in the cumin and cayenne, and stir well.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. (Do not add avocado to salsa earlier than 30 minutes before serving so they don't turn brown.)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Starbuck's Lemon Loaf

I've never tried Starbuck's Lemon Loaf, but the photo of this looked really good when I saw that Cheryl pinned this recipe on Pinterest from Family Camping Chat so I made it the same day. It is very moist and lemony and sweet. Loved it and will be making it again as soon as I buy more lemon extract.
Starbuck's Lemon Loaf
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 T. butter, softened.
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon extract
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. oil

Lemon Icing:
1 c. + 1 T. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1/2 t. lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Use a mixer to blend together the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice in a medium bowl.
Pour wet ingredient into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Add oil and mix well.
Pour batter into a well greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into center of the cake comes out clean.

Make the lemon icing by combining all the icing ingredients in a small bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. When the loaf is cool, remove it from pan and frost the top with the icing. Let the icing set up before slicing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Caramel Fudge Brownies

Found this recipe at Easy Baked and couldn't wait to try them. I made the first batch as a test batch and they turned out pretty good, but the brownie was a bit dry. I decided to make the second batch for a family birthday party and maybe if I cooked it just a little less, the brownies wouldn't be dry. I think they were about the same though. But the oozey, yummy caramel layer and the fudge glaze made up for that. These are very rich so you can cut the pieces small and that gives you a lot of brownies since the batch makes a jelly roll pan full.

Caramel Fudge Brownies

BROWNIE:
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 t. salt
2 c. flour
1 c. milk
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)

CARAMEL:
32 Kraft caramels (unwrapped)
1/2 c. butter
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk.

FUDGE GLAZE:
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 T. butter


Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt. Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between).Spread evenly in greased jelly roll pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until done in center and just starting to pull away from sides. Cool. 
       
Place unwrapped caramels, butter and sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan and heat until completely melted. Stir this constantly to prevent scorching (about 6-8 minutes). Gently pour over cooled brownies and spread to edges. Put brownies in freezer while you make the glaze (10-15 min) to allow the caramel to harden a little.

Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth. Pour over cooled caramel and gently spread evenly over top. Chill until top layer is hard and cut into bars.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Red Lake Hike

Elisa and I went on an afternoon hike last week. I went online and quickly found a hike that was short enough to complete so that I could get home in time to cook dinner and we were off. The hike I picked was the Red Lake Trail. To get there, you enter Nebo Loop from 600 East in Payson in Utah County. Go in Nebo Loop about 6.5 miles, pass Maple Dell, keep going and look for the sign (in the pic below) on the right, then turn right at the next road.
Go up the road and pass the campground by choosing the road to the right in the photo below.
The one website I looked at before leaving didn't mention that there was a day use fee of $7. Luckily, I had money with me. Stop when you see this and fill out the form, putting the money in the envelope and hanging the hang tag in your car, or you could get a $175 fine.
Just past this, the road splits again. This time choose the left road that has the post for 183 seen below. I'm giving step-by-step directions because so many times I've looked online for directions and then haven't been able to find the trail, so hopefully this helps someone.
Go forward a short distance and there are parking spaces near restrooms and the road ends. There is a trail to the left of the restrooms and another to the right. There is the trailhead marker below at the path on the left, and the website said to go the left of the restrooms, so we went there.
Well, as soon as we walked just a few steps onto this trail, it split again and we weren't sure which way to go.
Since the path going straight looked more used, we chose that one, but weren't sure it was the right one to get to Red Lake. I liked the parts of the trail that were covered by trees. Cool and green. Some of the path is a little narrow and on the edge, so it scared Elisa, especially the parts that went downhill. She went very, very slowly on those parts. They aren't bad really because there are lots of trees that would stop a fall or roll down. The trail has some downhill parts, but most of it is uphill. Not too steep or strenuous.
The trail is 1.75 miles to the lake from the trailhead, but it felt longer to us and we weren't sure if we were ever going to see a lake or if we chose the wrong path at the beginning. The trail goes down to this stream that you cross across this flat log so you don't even get your feet wet.
 
 
 
There is this clearing with several tree stumps. Then we came upon this rusty, crumpled up part of a pickup truck off to the side of the trail. If you see that, you know you're on your way and not too much longer. I forgot to time how long it took us though.
Finally, we saw water. Really, it looks more like a swamp than a lake to me, but we were glad we made it. I'm not sure why it's called Red Lake.
 
 
After walking around the lake for a while and snapping some pics, we headed back. When we were close to the end of the trail, we saw little glimpses of water off to the left. I noticed it on the way up, but thought the trail would loop around to it and it didn't. So we followed a little trail down to see what was hiding there. We found Maple Lake, a clear, pretty, but smallish lake. If you want to go straight to Maple Lake, take the very short trail on the right side of the restrooms. There are several picnic tables and benches around that lake.
 
 
 
 
Whether you want to enjoy an easy picnic at Maple Lake or a bit of a hike to sit Red Lake, it's worth a visit. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Grilled Skirt Steak with Herb Salsa Verde

I found this recipe at Bon App├ętit and followed it except that I added red onion. The salsa verde is like a chimichurri, an Argentine sauce. I used cilantro, mint and tarragon, but you can use a different combination of fresh herbs if you like. I was afraid my kids wouldn't like the "green stuff", but they liked it. It gives fresh flavor to a simple steak, whatever cut you would like to use.
 

Grilled Skirt Steak with Herb Salsa Verde
1/2 c. olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 T. finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 c. coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, savory, and mint
1 c. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 skirt steak (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed, cut into two or three 10-inch pieces
Lemon wedges

Mix 1/4 cup oil, garlic, and lemon zest in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for 20 minutes. Add all herbs to oil mixture; stir until well coated. Let stand until herbs begin to wilt, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup oil. Season herb salsa verde to taste with salt and pepper.
 
Turn grill on. Season skirt steak generously with salt and pepper and grill until charred, 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a serving platter; let rest for 5 minutes, allowing juices to accumulate on platter.
 
Transfer skirt steak to a cutting board and slice against the grain on a diagonal. Season to taste with salt; return to platter with juices. Spoon half of herb salsa verde over. Serve with lemon wedges. Serve remaining herb salsa verde on the side.