The Intimidating Holy Grail Recipe; + Awards!

Wednesday, July 15

Listening to "Faster," Rachael Yamagata.

The Flank Steak

When I first saw this recipe over at My Tasty Treasures, I was intimidated.

Very intimidated.

Let me explain. Picture this from the beginning. Here I am, trying to learn how to cook this year... and I figured: I'm going to need to learn three things:

1. What kind of flavors are appropriate with what foods

2. How long to keep stuff in the oven or on the stove top

3. How to make gravy, so I can just pour that over things I burn.

Turns out... you need a little bit more than that to cook. It sounds unbelievable-- was I really that naive about cooking?-- but in all seriousness, I thought that it was kind of a one-process-fits-all deal. But recipes aren't just lists of ingredients... they're instructions. I know that now. Back when I first saw this recipe... it was proof that learning to cook, to really learn, the way I want to, would take a little while. There's a lot to learn!

I've learned a lot so far this year... or I feel like I have... thanks in big part to the Recipe Blogroll challenge (have I mentioned how excited I am to make a new one of those soon!?)... and last week I had sudden motivation to try the holy grail.

The recipe with string. (more commonly known as butcher's twine)

That's how I've been thinking of it! I remember when I saw Donna's pictures, all the steps, and
this process that I really wasn't familiar with... I was intimidated. But thanks to that sudden burst of kitchen confidence, I decided to try it.

and here it is!

The Stuffed Flank Steak Debut.



I did it!!

There was lots of jumping up and down, clapping... I asked Matt about 100 times if he liked it...

but more than anything, it was fun. It was fun to finish a recipe that I thought looked difficult. It was fun to create something that required carefully slicing the meat (and I didn't cut myself!), yummy ingredients and, of course, butcher's twine. And, as always, it was fun to learn one more thing about cooking :)


Blog Awards:

Thanks so much, ACE!
honest scrap

1. Thank the award giver
2. Copy the Logo and place on your blog
3. Link back to the award giver/s
4. Name 10 things about you that people may find interesting
5. Nominate and link 10 other blogs for this award
6. Comment on each blog to tell them about the award!

Phew! ok. So, even though it's out of order, here's 10 blogs:
1. Fidgeting Gidget
2. Vicki
3. Amy
4. Mary
5. Iva
6. Katie
7. Shawna
8. Ali
9. Brilliant Farmgirl
10. Kristina

10 Interesting Things... hmm... hopefully these qualify.
1. I read really fast, sometimes too fast.
2. I like things clean and neat; but sometimes it's physically impossible for me to put away my laundry.
3. I have my bank card number, drivers license number and student ID number easily memorized, but I lose my phone 10 times a day.
4. I dye my hair a lot; I think it's fun.
5. My favorite type of wine is cabernet sauvignon... it can even be a cheap one, I'm not too picky.
6. My high school lacrosse team won the state championship my senior year; for me, the best part was that my little sister was a freshman on the team so we got to do that together.
7. My first car was a p.o.s. named Will, and I loved him.
8. I'm still a little (a lot) afraid of the dark.
9. I absolutely LOVE airports and hotels.
10. I got hit by a car once while I was on my bike! It was just a little hit, I was fine, and the girl paid to fix my bike... but if you're in a college town and on your cell phone, pay attention to bikes! It could be me!


Thanks so much, Ali!
love ya award

This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

1. Suz
2. Ace
3. Sarah
4. Peggy
5. The Gamer's Wife
6. Samantha

Woo-hoo! Congrats everyone. Awards are fun :)


I'll save my Duo Dishes' cake post for Friday or Saturday; I'm trying hard to update more than once a week! (And I'm going to need something to distract me while Matt's taking his test...)

Thanks so much for wishing Matt good luck on his exam. He's starting to get nervous (eek! Me too!)... but still doing a great job of studying. We drove to the testing site today, that way he wouldn't worry about driving directions the day of the exam, and we took a break for lunch at Olive Garden! MY FAVORITE! Now he's studying away again... every couple of hours we take a break and play Mario Kart on the 64 :)


Small P.S.: If you're looking for some jaw-dropping inspiration, just take a quick peek at the insane workout plan my best friend Suz has planned for the next 30 days. She went to Canada in high school but she's still my Suz, and if I know her well enough she'll be a little annoyed and embarrassed that I gave her a shout out like this... but she can just deal because her last couple posts about what she's doing during her 30 days of training are really... insane! She's so motivated! Good luck Suz :) Work out enough for the both of us!


Your breadsticks-lovin,
New Girl Blogger


Amy --- Just A Titch on July 15, 2009 at 6:21 PM said...

Congrats! Congrats on your blog awards AND the flank steak! I'm so impressed!

Iva on July 15, 2009 at 6:40 PM said...

WOW! that looks delish! Congratulations on your awards! {and thank you SO much for passing it on, I really appreciate it!}

shadyninjaknits on July 15, 2009 at 7:46 PM said...

Whoa, that is some damn impressive steak skillz! I have yet to cook any form of steak that has come out edible, never mind near delicious. Jealous!

Ron on July 15, 2009 at 8:42 PM said...

OMG Sarah, that steak looks soooo good! I'm drooling as I read this at the airport. Must find food now! Hope you're well.
In Melbourne.

sarah on July 15, 2009 at 9:33 PM said...

dear sarah

i will be flying to your house in the next few days. please prepare that EXACT MEAL for supper.

thank you

love , the other sarah

P.S. award!!! arigato!

Peggy on July 15, 2009 at 9:43 PM said...

Congratulations on your improving cooking skills! Men always like women who can cook. ;-)

And thanks for the award -- my first! You'll have to tell me if I put it on my blog correctly. (Since I'm completely new to this I have no idea if there's a secret to it or not -- I always just play with the code!) I promise to pass it on as soon as I have time and figure out how to do that. :-)

Kym on July 15, 2009 at 10:48 PM said...

wow sarah! for someone who's learning how to cook, you are pretty darn amazing!!! that dish is making me hungry and i just had dinner!! hehe! oh and i'll actually be flying with sarah.... so we'll have that meal with some cabernet sauvignon please and thanks.

Chow and Chatter on July 15, 2009 at 11:12 PM said...

congrats on the awards you deserve them great job on dinner see you can cook LOL

Suz on July 16, 2009 at 12:28 AM said...

Its still hard for me to picture you actually COOKING a dinner, with vegetables and all. Coming from the girl who could burn mac and cheese and lived off cereal, ramen and spaghetti-os for longer than should be humanly possible, this is a pretty amazing feat! Keep it up kid.

When I figure out how to get that award on my site, I will totally post it. And thanks for the shout-out.. its been quite an adventure, but that was half the point.

Kim on July 16, 2009 at 1:01 AM said...

Even though it's meat, I can't deny that your meal looked pretty impressive! Congratulations!

Susie on July 16, 2009 at 9:07 AM said...

Ok now I'm hungry. Looks delicious!

Sarah on July 16, 2009 at 10:29 AM said...

Congrats on cooking your holy grail of recipes! Mine was lasagna, I had never made it before and was SO nervous about getting it to come out right, and when it did I was SO happy! I know exactly how you feel, high five! :D

Are those scalloped potatoes beside the flank steak? Because that looks really good, too!

stephchows on July 16, 2009 at 4:13 PM said...

Congrats!! You did so good with that recipe!!

Samantha on July 16, 2009 at 6:11 PM said...

The entire flank steak meal looks delicious! I think that once my husband & I get settled in our new home over the next couple of months, you've definitely inspired me to start a recipe blogroll of my own!! I'll be new to cooking, and it definitely seems like a fun way to practice & try new things. :) You're fabulous!! And thank you so much for passing along the award to me!!

Chow and Chatter on July 16, 2009 at 10:30 PM said...

By the way I changed my address to match the blog!

Donna-FFW on July 17, 2009 at 9:06 AM said...

Sarah-- you did it beautifully. I love it!! Thanks for the shout out. I can not wait to see the cake!

Jenn@slim-shoppin on July 17, 2009 at 11:44 AM said...

Great job on that dish Sarah!! Wahoo!

I still, after cooking for so many years, prefer to go by the recipe than just wing it! And, I liked learning a little more about your life, especially the LaCrosse state champs!! That's so exciting!

Mrs. C on July 17, 2009 at 2:07 PM said...

That looks amazingly awesome!!!! You make me want to try it!

floreta on July 17, 2009 at 3:45 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
floreta on July 17, 2009 at 3:46 PM said...

is that your finished result?? looks yummy! and congrats on awards :D

thisnewleaf on July 18, 2009 at 1:17 AM said...

sarah, that looks absolutely scrumptious. the korean diet isn't very versatile--i probably eat galbi or sun gyp sal five times a week. i would love to have a plate of that in front of me right now!

by the way, mudfest got rained out. haha, i did have a great time with some irish people at the norribong (singing room) doing karoake to the cranberries though!

hope all is well!

Marta on July 18, 2009 at 4:30 PM said...

Congratulations on the blog award AND on mastering the stuffed steak dinner! Stuffed things are intimidating to me too :(
I like your list of things to learn, gravy is a magic weapon ;)

foodcreate on July 18, 2009 at 9:42 PM said...

Beautiful Blog ! Looks so Tasty Stuffed steak Yum!

Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

Have a beautiful Day~

LiLu on July 19, 2009 at 11:42 AM said...

Can Suz work out for me, too? I just poured myself a glass of champagne, and I don't think my Sunday morning run is going to happen... ;-)

burpandslurp on July 19, 2009 at 12:38 PM said...

YAAAAY!!! YIPPEEEEE!!! You did it you dit it! That's awesome! now you have a bit more cooking "know-how"! and congrats on the well-deserved awards!

Knitlark on July 20, 2009 at 12:55 AM said...

WOW...Awards and Flank Steak. Love it.
Thanks for the message on my blog.
Hope you like the podcast.

thegamerswife on July 20, 2009 at 9:27 PM said...

Thank you for the blog award Sarah! You are so sweet! Things have been quite hectic for me lately and I have been neglecting the blog world!! It is always nice to see a comment from you when I return! :) I am so amazed at how well you have spread your blog over such a short time. Also, congrats on the meal - it looks awesome!!

Ace on July 21, 2009 at 8:30 AM said...

something for you on my blog!

Kristina Guilbeau on July 22, 2009 at 6:30 PM said...

thank you so much for the award! you are so sweet to think of me :)

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