I’ve always been a seize-the-day kind of gal. I don’t let grass grow under my feet, don’t put off until tomorrow what I can do today, leave no stones unturned, travel like I’ll never be back to that spot, taking advantage of every experience I see possible. Therefore it may seem surprising that I have had, out of necessity, the need to create a personal bucket list. It’s not for all the places I want to see in my life because that list is endless. It’s really more for doing things, learning things and experiencing things I cannot cram into a given day.
Time is a funny thing. It seems endless when you are younger. We all can recall lazy summer days as a child we thought would never end. That changes however as you age, and time seems to speed up. Right now it is far outpacing my ability to keep up! I was just cleaning out a cabinet underneath our laundry room sink where we’ve kept art projects and painting supplies. In a box I found several craft kits and books I distinctly recall buying when my kids were too young to do them. I came upon a copy of ‘The Muppets Big Book of Crafts’, a thick book chock full of 100 fantastic crafts to do with kids. I remember distinctly when I bought it, sure we’d spend hours creating fantastic mosaics, faux stained glass windows, holiday ornaments and more. We actually had not ever quite made the time to get there. I somberly put the book in a large box of donations ready for another family to enjoy.
Don’t get me wrong, our lives have been full of plenty of other outings and projects, but somehow there was something sobering about this particular book for me. My children are now 12 and 16. My 16 year old daughter is finishing up her sophomore year in high school, meaning two more years at home before college. There really isn’t a day that passes that I do not overtly appreciate the time with my husband and children. I soak them in and know things will not always be like they are now. And while I’ve been focused on my kids’ needs and watched them age, I often forget I too am aging and time is escaping me.
For me, finding that Muppets craft book and what it represents has served to stoke the fire of my Carpe Diem spirit to get on with that Bucket List! I never want to regret time passing without having milked it for all things possible. I feel very fortunate that a long time Boulder Locavore partner, Silk, maker of delicious plant-based milks, has challenged me to pick a project and share updates on that for the rest of this year. It felt like a confluence of elements all encouraging attacking the list. Why wait?!
My first post may seem underwhelming however it has been a goal since I was living on my own as an adult: How to Grill a Perfect Steak. When I was first married I had told my husband I really wanted to master grilling. It had always felt like a man’s world and not that I begrudged that but I didn’t like feeling I didn’t understand it and couldn’t ever host a barbeque. He sweetly bought me a number of BBQ accoutrement for my birthday that year (which I did not appreciate at the time feeling it wasn’t very personal; little did I realize there is nothing MORE personal than someone really listening to your dreams and supporting them, even if they involve charcoal briquettes) but it didn’t go farther.
I’ve taken the time to really study and master a good burger. Kabobs, I think I get a good passing grade. Vegetables, I’m good. But steak…it’s expensive, can get ruined easily and I don’t like the feeling I’m guessing and crossing my fingers for a great end result.
So today my friends is the day! I have two fantastic grilling recipes to share for carnivores and vegetarians: How to Grill the Perfect New York Strip and Portobello Mushroom Steaks. I have always loved a well-grilled New York Strip steak. It’s thick, boneless, not too fatty and has perfect texture and flavor when cooked properly. Portobello mushrooms actually have the consistency of steak and a robust meaty, non-mushroomy flavor. They are a great grill option not just for vegetarians. The marinade I’ve used produces an irresistible end result all ages will love.
Key Tips for Grilling All Steaks:
- Always preheat, clean and oil the grill before beginning. There are special wire brushes available for easy grill cleaning and a simple quarter-fold paper towel moistened with cooking oil (rubbed on the grill using a grill tool) work great. I just read a tip on Pinterest that halving and onion and rubbing the cut side on the grill makes it non-stick. I have not tried that but it sounds interesting!
- Always start with room temperature steaks. This allows the steak to cook evenly and more quickly.
- Never puncture the steak when turning it or to check for doneness. This allows the moisture to be retained in the steak, especially those which are seared at high heat. The best test for doneness is a feel test. Open one hand and with the index finger of the opposite hand, press on the muscular area at the base of the thumb before the palm of the hand. This is how raw steak feels when you touch it. For determining doneness of steak, form a circle with the thumb and index finger; the feel of the same area at the base of that thumb area when doing this is a rare steak. The thumb second finger is medium rare. Thumb and ring finger is medium done. Thumb and pinky finger is how a well done steak feels to the touch.
- Allow the steaks to rest a 3-5 minutes before serving. This results in less juices lost and a more flavorful, moister steak!
For a complete detailed instructions read this Grilling Steaks guide.
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.