Saturday, June 16, 2007

Little ditty, 'bought Jack and Diane

Except Mark doesn't know I call him Jack. We had Mark and Diane over for dinner tonight. It's always nice to have them over because Diane loves everything I make. Even more than Jon. Its a super ego boost. Sometimes I wish Diane ate with us every night. I spend so much time in the library that its a wonder I'm able to hold a conversation at all, so these dinners are both necessary and potentially awkward.

Reasons I love Diane:
Diane is the perfect accomplice. You want to do something? She's in.
Diane jumps with both feet into everything she does. She decides she wants to run, she signs herself up for a marathon. She wants to start boxing? She buys herself a boxing ring.
Diane is the best workout buddy ever. Ever.
Diane lends me books even though she hates lending people books.
When Jon goes out of town, Diane takes it upon herself to make sure I never go lonely.

Reasons I hate Diane:
Diane and I made a pact in January which involved working out and losing weight. Diane lost at least 30 lbs. Me? Not so much.
Diane lives in a beautiful home.
Diane has one of the world's cutest puppies (its true, even Jon thinks so)

Since Diane is eating so healthy now and Mark has always eaten healthy I wanted to make something that would appeal to both of them. So I turned to my Cooking Light Cookbook (have I mentioned how much I love that book?) and made Thai Salad with Beef. This has got to be one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. Seriously - marinade 10 minutes, broil 12 minutes? This could easily become a fall back dinner. Ah Cooking Light, how I adore thee. I believe there are not chefs in the Cooking Light kitchens, but magicians. Possibly graduates from Hogwarts. If Harry doesn't pass his final exams, he should apply for a position.

The recipe was (surprise, surprise) a success. Diane loved it (surprise surprise) and aside from a few snide comments from the peanut gallery about how I should sacrifice beauty for substance, the peanut gallery was also happy. Happy enough to make it a regular meal? Only time will tell. Oh yeah, life goes on.

Cooking Light's Thai Salad with Beef
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lb flank steak
1 1/4 cup red onion vertically sliced
3 plum tomatoes, each cut in 6ths
8 cups romaine lettuce, torn
1 1/4 cup sliced cucumber
2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves

1) Preheat broiler.
2) Combine first 6 ingredients in bowl. Place half of this mixture aside, and the other half in a ziploc bag with the steak. Place in fridge for 10 minutes, turning over once.
3) Spray broiling pan with cooking spray and place steak on pan. Broil for 6 minutes each side.Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.
4) Heat nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking spray. Cook onions for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
5) In large bowl combine onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, and mint. Toss throughly.
6) Put salad on plates. Top with steak. Drizzle with remaining half of the lime/chili mixture.


  1. Ooh! Good for tummy and good for yummy! I wish I lived closer to you guys!

  2. Dimmer was SO GOOD!!! I'm still thimkimg about it actually. Mr. amd Mrs. 10years ALWAYS have a good time amd great food at Kate's place. Amd the marathom amd boximg rimg commemts - those are omly half true. I <3 Kate. Always amd forever.