What’s for Dinner: Grilled London Broil with Mustard-Worcestshire Marinade


Ask anyone who knows us, and they’ll tell you that no matter what season it is, if the weather allows, we’d rather slap our dinner down on the grill than heat up the kitchen. Now that the hot weather is starting, that goes double for us. We especially love to get a nice London broil and grill it to perfection.

Usually we do our London broil in a marinade and then let an herby compound butter add the finishing touch but our day got away from us this time, so we resorted to a marvelous trick that a former pastor of ours passed on. He was a missionary in South Africa for 10 years, which is where he first picked it up.

Start by getting your grill screamingly hot. I have a gas grill with a temperature gauge, and I let it get up to 500 ° Fahrenheit. Get your ingredients together. We usually pick up a 2 to 2 1/2 pound at one of our local stores. You’ll also need a bottle of yellow mustard and a bottle of Worcestershire sauce. That’s it.












You’ll pour out a generous amount of the mustard onto the meat, then slather it around.












Make sure you do both sides of the meat. Our pastor likes to use his hands to really massage the mustard in, but I’ve found a spatula works just as well. Plus, I hate trying to wash the yellow stain off my hands!












Next pour on the Worcestershire, probably about a tablespoon per side. Don’t worry if some runs off the side of the meat. Let this sit for a short time, so the mustard and the Worcestershire have a chance to tenderize the meat. This doesn’t take long at all — I’ve waited as little as 10 minutes (long enough to heat up my gas grill) and gotten tender, tasty results.











Now you’re ready to actually grill. Place the meat on the hottest part of the grill and let it sit for 7-8 minutes, then flip and let it sit for another 6-7 minutes. Depending on the thickness of the meat and how well-done you like it, you may have to let it cook longer. The process of grilling is going to cook off all that mustard. NOTE: the photo below shows up WAY more yellow than the meat looks to the naked eye.










Once you take the meat off the grill, tent it with aluminum foil and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Slice it thin and enjoy! Since the heat of grilling cooks off all the mustard,  there’s no overpowering mustard taste imparted to the meat, but it will be juicy and flavorful. The Worcestershire in the marinade is salty enough that you won’t need to add any additional salt to the steak. We devoured ours with some oven-roasted potatoes and a simple green salad.



Do It Anyway


These are some beautiful and inspiring words attributed to Mother Teresa. May they encourage you as much as they have us.


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.

Coffee Chicken

Coffee Chicken

I know … you’re looking at the two words and you’re thinking, “Coffee? Chicken? What the heck is wrong with this dude?” I can understand the skepticism, but trust me when I say that it is worth trying before you run away screaming in disgust. This one comes from my dad, who has a legendarily vast library of recipes. He made this one a lot when I was a kid, I think because we were poor and chicken was cheap.



  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup strong black coffee
  • 1/3 cup ketchup 
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire
  • 4 tbls butter
  • 4 tbls molasses 
  • 1 tbls lime juice 
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cayenne or shot of hot sauce

You’ll want to start by combining all the ingredients except for the chicken into a saucepan on medium high heat. You’ll want to choose a dark roast or the like for the coffee. I used Newman’s Own Extra Bold, which thanks to the wonders of the Keurig K-Cup System took about 2 minutes. I’d recommend using ketchup with no high-fructose corn syrup in it, since it will have less tendency to burn — something which could result in your chicken being completely encased in carbonite. Just like Han Solo (Yep, I went there).

Bring the sauce just to a boil, stirring frequently so none of it burns on the sides of the pan. Once it begins to boil, reduce to low and commence to simmering. You’ll want to continue stirring frequently, taking special care to scrape the bottom of the saucepan. The sauce will thicken as it is simmering, and you want to keep it going for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool. This will make about a cup and a half of sauce.

I can assure you that the sauce in this pan is, in fact, boiling. Unfortunately, the camera on my almost-smartphone really doesn't seem to deal well with poor lighting situations.

While the sauce is simmering, it’s time to prep the chicken. You’ll want to pound the breasts until they are about 1/4 inch thick. I prefer to use the flat side of a meat hammer, but you could also use a heavy pan. Cover them with a piece of wax paper while you’re pounding them, to prevent the meat from tearing, which the picture belows makes clear I was not careful to do.

I need to find smaller chicken breasts. I swear once this was pounded out, it could have covered my whole face.

Place a sheet of wax paper on a plate or platter and place the pounded breasts on it. Using a basting brush, liberally coat one side of the breasts, then flip over and coat the other side. Once you’ve done this, place another sheet of wax paper on top of the breasts. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Reserve the remaining sauce.

This can get very messy -- hence the wax paper!

When you’re ready to grill, get a high heat going. I use a gas grill, which means I crank it on high, close the lid, and come back 10 minutes later. Don’t know what to tell you if you’re using charcoal, except to quote Hank Hill: “Taste the meat, not the heat.” In any event, once you put the chicken down, you will cook for between 15 and 20 minutes (depending on how hot you have the grill). After you put it on, DO NOT FLIP FOR 5-7 MINUTES. This will allow for a good char. Once you’ve flipped the chicken, immediately baste the side that’s already cooked, otherwise you’re going to end up with some graphite chicken (see my comment above re: being completely encased in carbonite). Flip it once more before you take it off the grill and baste again. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. The finished product should have a beautiful, mahogany color and has a dark, sweet, smokey taste and is oh so juicy!

Roasted Eggplant and Potatoes

Roasted Eggplant and Potatoes

I am a big lover of the purple-y sheen and rich goodness that is eggplant, but I don’t often get to eat it these days. The only store that is close by that even stocks it never has a single eggplant that I would want to take home with me. It always feels soft and soggy to the touch, in that way that lets me know that I should cook with it only at the risk of my own stomach. Today I scored, though — I caught them right as they were first putting it out and managed to find one lonely little purple guy that was firm enough to the touch for me to put him in the cart. Once I had him home, that led to the question: what should I do with him?

Roasting always seems to me to amp up the flavor of any vegetable, so I decided I would roast Mister Eggplant. Looking about the kitchen, I realized I had some redskin potatoes that needed to get used, so roasted eggplant and potatoes it was!

First I peeled the potatoes,

then I cut them into fairly good sized pieces, added kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and about two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. These went onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Next, I sliced Mister Eggplant lengthwise.

The two pieces went onto another baking sheet lined with parchment paper, where they got brushed with some more extra-virgin olive oil and got hit with the kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper. The two halves went face down on the parchment paper.

Both baking sheets went into the oven at 400 degrees for about half an hour. The potatoes came out looking scrumptious, and I could barely resist just grabbing a fork and making dinner out of them alone!

I let the eggplant cool for just a few minutes, because I am not a fan of burnt fingers, then I peeled the skin off and cut the eggplant into pieces approximately the same size as the potatoes.

In a cast iron skillet, I heated a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil, then sauteed half of a medium onion. As the onion started to carmelize, I added 6 cloves of minced garlic, sauteed for a minute, then added 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and 1 teaspoon of toasted fennel seed. After another minute I added in the eggplant and potatoes, mixed everything together in the skillet and let it sit for 2 minutes while it generated amazing odors. Just before serving, I hit it with a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.

The taste of it was amazing. The potatoes got a good sear during that last couple of minutes, so there was some nice crusty crispiness in the texture against the rich, velvety smoothness of the eggplant. There was a bit of heat from the red pepper, and a bright note from the lemon juice, but the awesome deliciousness of the dish came from the toasted fennel seeds. I was expecting a licorice taste — that is what they smell like after all — but something about either the toasting or the sauteeing made them exude a quite different taste that I have difficulty describing, other than it managed to be  warm yet not spicy. All in all, I’d say it was a win!

Roasted Eggplant and Potatoes

  • 1 small eggplant (about 1 lb)
  • 2 large potatoes (redskin or russet is fine — I used a bunch of small redskins)
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon roasted fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh-ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil, as well generous amount of kosher salt and pepper. Place potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise, brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil as well as a generous amount of kosher salt and pepper. Place slices face down onto a separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place both baking sheets into oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Remove baking sheets and allow eggplant to cool for a few minutes, then peel off skin. Cut eggplant into pieces approximately the same size as the potato chunks.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a cast iron skillet, and add 1/2 medium onion. As onion begins to carmelize, add minced garlic cloves and sautee for one minute. Add crushed red pepper and fennel seeds and sautee for another minute. Add in eggplant and potatoes, mix together well, and let sit for 2 minutes. Just before serving, add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!

Cupcake Experiment


Tonight we experimented with a recipe that Kat found for Self-Frosting Nutella Cupcakes. Now, I am a huge fan of Nutella. I believe that chocolate + hazelnuts = extreme deliciousness. Kat shares my feelings for Nutella, and is known to like a cupcake. So this seemed like a no-brainer, right?

Doesn’t this look great? The part that actually has the Nutella in it is fantastic. After it’s been baked, it develops an almost crunchy sort of crust. Underneath this the Nutella has a soft, velvety texture. The part of the cupcake this is swirled into is very moist and delicious. Sadly, the rest of the cupcake was much too dry.

I want to tinker with this and find a way to make sure the whole cupcake is moist. Kat has suggested I actually put two layers of Nutella into the cupcake, so that it would go batter/Nutella/batter/Nutella, and then swirl. What do you think? Any suggestions?

Plateful of Goodness


Is there anything that hits the spot better on a chilly winter night than some delectable, fresh-baked treat? I think not! A good friend of ours passed along one of her best recipes: Tollhouse Muffins. These are delicately sweet, good as a dessert or for a special breakfast treat. They go well with a hot cup of coffee or a frosty cold glass of chocolate milk (Kat’s preference).

Miss Judy’s Tollhouse Muffins

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp shortening
¾ cup chocolate chips
1 egg
¾ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together all the dry ingredients, including the chocolate chips. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients, and combine well. Drop in greased muffin tin and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Hanukkah Celebrations


As a multi-cultural couple, Kat and I have from the first tried our best to acknowledge both sides of our family heritages. It never fails around December that someone will ask me how I feel about giving up Hanukkah. I usually chuckle at this, and point out that no one in their right mind is going to give up the pleasures of latkes (fried potato pancakes) and gelt (chocolate coins). This year, I used Yukon Gold potatoes for an exceptionally good latke.

My favorite thing about Hanukkah has always been that it is about family. The food, the singing of songs, the dreidel game, and most especially the lighting of the candles over eight nights is meant to be a communal celebration. It was a blessing to light the candles the first night with Kat’s parents present — they have gone out of their way since our marriage to make certain that my Jewish heritage is acknowledged and embraced right alongside the Christian heritage of their family.