armadillas


Cheater cheater pumpkin eater

So Saturday the boys and I had a steak-off! That’s right, I was the only participating female. Kinda makes you realize how often your time is spent in the company of gentlemen. Guess that happens when all your friends start to leave and get married and begin their lives. Sigh…looks like I’m falling behind in that department. I always was the late bloomer.

Anyway, enough of that gloom because I have reason to celebrate. Back to the steak-off! I feel like we’d been planning this steak-off for weeks and something always seemed to get in the way. But not Saturday. The three of us- Bobby, Frank, and I- were determined. And by golly, we made it happen!

Originally, I was going to come up with a new marinade. But the boyfriend told me to use the one here. I obliged. It’s a good marinade. Full of flavor with a hint of heat…which could be a downfall if your judges don’t like heat. To each their own (cough cough bunch of babies- just kidding!)

Now, a certain someone didn’t feel like pulling out the charcoal grill so Bobby and I had to turn to my trusted broiler

 

Bobby went and got fancy on us with a nice Porterhouse. Man, I wish I had gotten one of those! It was so much juicier than my puny little steaks

 

I was aiming for medium, but I think I ended up with medium-well. I think my thermometer is on the off side

 

Then these guys showed up (late) with a grill. If only I had known!

 

That’s okay. His steak might have had that char-grilled taste, but he and Frank are cheaters. Take a look at this:

Store bought marinade! Oh, the shame of it. Actually, I didn’t mind all that much. In my opinion, it gave Bobby and I the advantage. Not too shabby for oven cooked steak

 

And here is the lineup of judges

 

So who won you ask? ME! Yay, I beat out all the guys!

Tijuana: III

Bobby: II

Chris/Frank: I

Frank/Chris: 0

Chris and Frank brought two steaks. I don’t know which belonged to whom. It doesn’t matter. Homemade marinades rule! Next time I think we should all buy the same cut of meat. It really does affect things.


No reservations

If there’s one thing I love in the summer, it’s a good ol’ cookoff- I mean cookout! Grilled chicken, polska kielbasa, coleslaw, corn on the cob…yummm. Let’s not forget the steak and ribs. Last summer the boys had a steak-off. I arrived late so missed out on the fun and haven’t the slightest clue who won the competition, but I’m itching for a rematch! I may not be a grill master (in fact, I myself  have never cooked on a grill), but I’m pretty determined I could show those guys a thing or two about flavor. I’m sure it wouldn’t take much convincing to arrange some ground rules. Hmmm

But it’s been way too hot to spend an excessive amount of time outdoors, and if it’s not scorching out and humid, it’s storming. So tonight we’re just going to bring the cookout-for-two indoors and make use of our oven. The star on our menu? Buffalo chicken. Not just any buffalo chicken either. Baked buffalo chicken. Baked buffalo chicken made with skinless boneless breasts. That’s right. Tonight we’re going healthy. Perhaps lite might be a better word than healthy. Hey, I’ll take what I can get! But honestly, the star tonight might just be the coleslaw, which is what got me thinking about cookouts in the first place. Sometimes you just get those summer cravings and coleslaw is generally at the top of my list, which is funny considering I just became a coleslaw lover two summers ago. Yup, refused to try the stuff as a child.

Now, coleslaw is one of those foods best prepared ahead of time. Yeah, you can eat it right away no problem. But if you cover it and let it chill in the fridge for a spell, some real magic takes place and the flavor will just burst across your taste buds. Trust me you!

Ingredients:

Coleslaw

  • 1 bag prepared coleslaw mix (you can chop up your own cabbage and carrots if you have them on hand)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I hope by now you have all realized that I love my food tangy. You know that tingling sensation that creeps up your jaw  when you bite into something tart? I’m addicted to that sensation. Needless to say, that means my coleslaw is pretty darn tart. If you prefer a creamier coleslaw, add an extra 3/4 cup of mayonnaise.

Get together your dry ingredients and put them in a medium bowl. Use salt and pepper to taste (I did about a teaspoon of each)

I remembered that I had some dry mustard and added a few dashes on a whim. Next whisk in the apple cider vinegar and mayo

Now that your dressing is all ready to go, add the shredded cabbage mix

Easy peasy! If possible, don’t forget to cover and leave in fridge for a couple hours. Oh, and taste a little bit to make sure it’s to your liking. Try not to eat the whole bowl while you’re at it


Now onto the chicken! I didn’t get this recipe from any single source. I Googled baked buffalo chicken and combined a few ideas together. Hopefully, it turns out!

Buffalo Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless and bonelss
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I used Texas Pete)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • Pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste

As usual, clean and trim your chicken. I chose to chunk mine up, but you can serve your breasts whole if you wish. I’m sure they would make bangin’ sandwiches! Go ahead and salt your chicken up a bit while you’re at it

Drizzle olive oil in a skillet and lightly brown your chicken. I’m pretty sure this step can be skipped, but quite a few of the recipes I found called for browning the chicken so I decided to give it a go. But don’t cook it all the way through. We just want a little color

Mix together hot sauce, vinegar, mustard, butter, and pepper

Spray a baking dish with PAM

Once the chicken is browned, coat with buffalo mixture

Pour chicken into baking dish and pop into a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Uncovered. Halfway through, flip for the sake of it

And there you have it, indoor cookout!

Of course, no summer cookout is official without some corn. Fill a pot with water, add 1/4 cup of sugar, and boil your corn 5-8 minutes. Mmm mmm mmm! The chicken was pretty good, too, for my first try. In the future I’ll probably tweak it a bit, but it is definitely a recipe worth saving. Oh yeah, and the spice was pretty mild. For something hotter, just increase the Texas Pete!

Tijuana