Grill Master

Are you a grill-aholic when summer comes?  Do you dream of the endless possible combinations of processed meat and  vegetables you can throw on the sucker whenever your heart stomach so desires??  I do! 

Last Thursday, one of the guys at work brought in some T-bones from his cattle ranch.  They were massive.  I mean 16 ounces of meat on each one at the very least kind of massive. 

My hand for refernce…

Guys, I work in a fairly male dominated industry and some how I ended up behind the grill.  I was cool with strutting my superior grilling skills in front of them, though.  I think they were all secretly terrified I was going to ruin the steaks, but if there is one thing I could never do to a big ole hunk of red meat, it’s cook it any more than medium rare.  

And here we go.  An awesome trick to grill a good medium rare steak. 

Curl up your pointer finger to touch the tip of your thumb like you’re giving someone the OK hand signal.  Feel the base of your thumb just below your first knuckle on the edge of your palm.  It should be pretty soft.  This is what a medium rare piece of meat should feel like (for super tender cuts of meat, though, the less this actually works).  Move your pointer finger and put your middle finger in its place, then your ring finger, then your pinky.  Your pinky would respresent a well done steak, ring finger is medium well, and your pinky is well done.  Please don’t ever do this to a perfectly good steak, though. 😛

And the burgers from tonight!  Trick to burgers:  put a thumbprint/indent in the middle fo each burger to keep them from tightening up and shrinking in diameter.

I will share all of my glorious pictures with you from one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while tomorrow night when I have time to do it justice :).

Good night everyone!

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Love Mondays Off!

So, I get every other Monday off with my job and it is amazing.  I swear, getting a three day weekend every other week just makes life so much more relaxed.  When I’m not using my Monday’s for things like weddings, or road trips to Colorado or who knows where else, I can just relax (aka climb ;)) on Saturday/Sunday and then be responsible on Monday.

But on to my eats on this glorious day of “productivity.”  Last night I threw together some of Angela’s Vegan Overnight Oats for my breakfast today.  I didn’t like the usual recipe you see that uses yogurt, so I figured I’d give these a whirl.  Don’t let the vegan label scare you either, because you wouldn’t know otherwise!!  Two huge thumbs up!  For me, the vanilla extract really made it, so don’t leave it out! 

Overnight Oats

Sooo cool and refreshing and creamy!

And to boot, I decided to go all out and make chocolate banana soft serve so that I could put together a breakfast parfait a la Oh She Glows!  I think just added about 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder per frozen banana. 

Are you ready for this one?

Out. Of. Control. Good.

You should really make this if you haven’t tried it yet!  And how about one more photo for good measure :P.

Last night on the way home from the canyon I called my dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day and ended up talking to my stepmom for a second.  She mentioned she was making a caprese salad.  When I was in Europe 2 years ago, I had caprese sandwiches all throughout Italy at service stations on the road and they were phenomenal. 

If you’ve never been to a servo on the highway in Europe, don’t get freaked.  It’s a totally different beast!!  A lot of them are like restaurants where you walk up and order your food.  So anyways, my stepmom totally got me craving a caprese sandwich and voila!

Lunch today was an open faced Caprese Sandwich drizzled with balsamic (open faced, because I was afraid the whole grain bread might over power the other flavors, but it was perfect) and some leftover walleye.

For dinner, I continued on the italian kick and grilled some pizza :D.  If you haven’t grilled pizza you must try it!  I made a normal pizza crust a la Emeril, but made it with whole wheat pastry flour. 

  • 1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Apparently, you aren’t really supposed to use whole wheat flour with breads that rise from yeast because of the lack of gluten in it.  I’ve never had any complaints about the results, though, so I stick with the WW pastry flour.  Also, I use quick rising yeast, so I follow the instructions on those packets for rising the dough. 

I roasted some crimini mushrooms, onion, and yellow bell pepper for my toppings.

Grilling the pizza:

  1. Heat the grill to high.  Right before putting the pizzas on, you’ll put the burners to low.
  2. Make sure all of your toppings and sauce and cheese are ready to go before putting dough onto the grill!
  3. Roll out dough into rounds you’ll be able to handle with your spatula and place what will be the tops side onto the grill just until you are able to flip the dough with out it sticking to the grill.
  4. Top the pizza and close the cover to the grill to melt the cheese and heat the sauce and toppings. 
  5. It should take 5-10 to finish cooking the crust and melting the cheese.

Unfortunately, this storm came rolling in when I went outside to put my crusts on the grill.

Another cool picture of this storm as it was rolling out of town a few hours later…

Soooo, I turned my oven onto broil and got ready to finish off my pizzas indoors!  I grilled both sides of the crust until done and then topped the pizzas in my kitchen.  They went under the broiler for 3-5 minutes and it worked like a charm!

By the way, I just watched Food, Inc. today and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.  Yes, it was obviously biased like most documentaries (I’d always prefer to hear both sides of the story, although apparently most of the corporations declined interviews), but I felt like it put the information out there in a very responsible manner instead of just being a broad stroke attack on farming in the US today.

I’ve been making an effort to buy organic food produced in the US whenever it’s reasonable, but I’d really like to start having the same options with my meat.  Right now, unfortunately, it just isn’t out there in the few stores we have in town. 

I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet!  And read Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food.  A great book on the history of the ever changing western diet and why it’s has changed so drastically from only half of a century ago!  Good stuff!

Have you seen Food, Inc. or read In Defense of Food?  Thoughts?  I’ve loved both and am looking forward to reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, also by Micheal Pollan.