Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Steak for a Grill

Good Morning Darlings,

I just thought that in my writers block, I might start sharing some of my recipes with you. It is my ultimate dream to one day write cookbooks and host a television show that is a mix of Martha Stewart and Chelsea Handler. So I hope you enjoy my recipes.

I thought fairly apropos for today, a beautiful August day, was a great steak marinade that I use often when cooking a decent, but not overly decadent piece of meat...like a hanger, skirt or flank. Or if my dad was going to use this recipe, he would use a London broil, which is also perfectly fine and much more economical than any of the other above choices. My only plea is that you marinate this steak dependent on the amount of fat on the steak. I am not huge on recipe that are DEFINITE. When I teach cooking classes, I teach technique and then suggest flavors. You know, I like things like literature, fashion and history, things that are easily malleable depending on your own personal ideals. And honestly, serving size? I can't be bothered. I know that you are going to eat more than 4 oz of steak as your meal. So this recipe is based on 3 lbs of steak, which easily feeds four semi hungry people along with a green, a starch, a few bottles of cheap red, and some ice cream to eat out of the carton before saying your goodbyes for the evening.

Summer Steak

3 lbs steak. You decide the variety.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
3 TBSP. red pepper flakes
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp lemongrass powder (or if you have the real thing, even better!!)
3 tsp. chopped garlic (or if you are a member of the Fox family, you can triple this measurement)
1 tsp kosher salt
Juice of one lime (but make it a juicy one, folks)
1 G&T (all of this mixing is making you thirsty after all)

Mix all ingredients (save for the last) in a large bowl. Insert steak and commence salivation. Close your mouth (or better yet, put it around the straw of your sole remaining ingredient) and wrap bowl in plastic. Insert in refrigerator and let sit overnight or longer (seriously the longer the better). Pass out watching bad late night television. Wake up, go to brunch, go buy flowers for your dinner fiesta (I would say Stargazer lilies are perfect for this meal), pick up some fresh baguettes, some vino, and maybe some hand dipped ice cream. Come home, take post brunch nap, whip up a Gin Mary (Bloody with Gin, gin of choice being Bluecoat). Get your charcoal burning, get your corn shucking, get your music blasting. Welcome guests, commence debauchery, and breathe -- you are almost there. Take steak out of refrigerator for 25 minutes before grilling. After those painful 25 have passed, you have earned the right to char the sugar honey iced tea out of those steaks. Cook to your preference. I enjoy mine with extra carbon on the outside and bleeding on the inside, but again personal preference.

And you don't have to follow this recipe exactly -- it is just a suggested routine.



Friday, August 5, 2011

Never Overly Impressed

Good Afternoon Darlings,

Sitting here in my office on a absolutely dreary day filled with every shade of grey on the scale, I have made a realization. I have realized that nothing really impresses me, and sometimes I get annoyed when I am around people who do get impressed easily. You know those people who get excited when they meet a person who spends the weekends in the Hamptons and wants to know about the celebrities, or the person who sees a new singer songwriter perform and think that they are the next Tori Amos, even though they sound like every other twenty something with a guitar. It makes my skin crawl a little bit. I'm not sure if I am missing the gene that makes a person excited and impressed over something that other people do...but I just can't feel it like most people can.

Here's the thing, and you know there is always a thing, it's not that I don't appreciate and enjoy things. I love going to museums, I appreciate art and cooking and music and design...but I am never really impressed. I can never look at something and really say "wow I've never seen something like that before."

For instance, today I was trolling one of my favourite websites and they have a feature on weekend travel and the article is talking about escaping to the Hamptons for a weekend. Now, myself, I have never been to the Hamptons, and really have absolutely no desire to go. I think that just like any other place that has made it's name on people with too much money and not enough brain, it doesn't appeal to me. And it kind of makes me angry that other people like it for JUST THAT REASON. The article describes a newly redone hotel called the Capri and lauds it's design as being exciting and new. You know what, I blame part of this new revelation on my mother. I grew up in a home full of art and excitement and maybe that's why people are excited about things that I in fact, consider fairly civilian.

This is trying to say 70s beach house. I get that. What it really says is Faux Retro Pretentious Chic. You can picture the type of people who would stay in this room. They would take pictures of the room and go home and talk about how faaaabbbuuullooouuuus it was in the Hamptons --- except if it were really fabulous in the Hamptons - you would own a place. TOUCHE. So you really aren't fabulous, your hotel room is really not fabulous, and you should probably take your Gucci bag that you bought on credit and buy a place in Hollywood Beach, Florida. The apartments look like this, but better, because they actually haven't been redone since the 70s!
Anyway, growing up with my mother...we were never short on art or eccentricities. I think that this combination contributes greatly to my distaste of people who like things that people tell them to like. I have almost no time for people who constantly latch on to the taste of others, and have no understanding of why they like what they like. 

I know what you are all saying. You are asking yourselves how I can write a blog about fashion if I'm not impressed by it. Let me explain. I love fashion. I love dressing and sliding my feet into a new pair of shoes. I love lipstick and I love perfume. But I don't let other people's taste dictate my style. My fashion is mine. It's not Pippa Middleton's, and it's certainly not Kim Kardashian's. The media and the general public is always obsessed with someone, but there is never any real reason for the obsession. They all walk alike, talk alike, dress alike and live solely for the fact that they are being watched. One of the problems with our young girls today is that they are under the impression that they have to be like somebody. But really, they need to be like themselves. The age of the overexposed and endless parade of celebrity is just like this gilded facade of "beauty." People want to look like them, live like them, and often times the impersonations are even more lackluster than the celebrities themselves. I'm not saying that this is true for all women around the world, but what I'm trying to explain is how much it really bothers me.

I was sitting with three teenage girls yesterday, playing this silly "questions about yourself" kind of game, and one of the questions was "What ideal would you never give up?" and almost unanimously they answered that they would never compromise themselves for the sake of trying to be like someone else. I wanted to hug each one of them (I think I did) and applaud them for their forward thinking in this age of madness. I think that the only thing that really impresses me anymore is the person who is the leader of their life, not the follower of someone else's life.

Anyway, I applaud my mother for teaching me that in order to really love something, you have to dig for it. You have to find what it is that you really really love about it in order for the love to be real. Whatever it is has to have an energy to give to you, and to really love something, from a person who shares your bed to a purse, you have to work for it.