As Memorial Day weekend approaches, students and families are looking for a way to make it through the next school day and kick off the summer. As the Food Network begins its marathon of recipes and special shows, easy meals are a challenge to find compared to senioritis or vacation-planning. Not much of cooks ourselves, Marnie Bush and I, Jackie Veiling, took the challenge of preparing a great course for this all important cooking holiday not only for us, but also for a visiting family. We found two recipes (one for the main course and one for dessert) that we simple and loved.
Savory Garlic Marinated Steaks (Serves 2): As intimidating as this sounded, grilled meat seems to be an essential to a Memorial Day menu. For those of you who are “outdoor grill-less,” a frying pan or a plug-in grill for your kitchen counter will easily suffice.
Ingredients (they’re easy!):
· 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
· 1/4 cup soy sauce
· 3 tablespoons minced garlic
· 2 tablespoons honey
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
· 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (If you can’t find this, no worries, we skipped it.)
· 1 teaspoon onion powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring (Skipped this too.)
· 1 pinch cayenne pepper
· 2 (1/2 pound) rib-eye steaks
· Keep the steaks aside and mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
· Place the steaks in a shallow dish with the marinade and coat completely (tip: really rub the liquid into the meat).
· Cover the bowl, containing the steak and left over marinade, and refrigerate for at least 1 day but 2 is suggested.
· Preheat grill or pan to medium-high/high heat.
· Don’t forget to oil the grill or pan! Cook steak for 7 minutes per side (suggested).
ALMOST HEAVEN RECIPE (Serves 8): After the grilled steak, complete with your own sides (Memorial Day sides are often easy; try potato salad or corn on the cob), dessert is next. A heavy meal needs to be topped off with a light ending. And quite frankly, what’s dessert without cake? The name—Almost Heaven—caught our attention from the beginning. Believe it or not, this fruit topped yellow cake lived up to its title and was anything but overwhelming.
Ingredients (they’re easy!):
· 1 box yellow cake mix
· 20 ounces can crushed pineapple (make sure it is CRUSHED!)
· 2 cups cold milk (Skim works fine if you are watching your calories)
· 1 (4oz.) box instant vanilla pudding mix
· 8 ounces cream cheese
· Softened 12 ounces Cool Whip (We only found 8 ounces or 16 ounces—go with the 8)
· Fix and bake cake mix according to its package in a 9 x 13 dish.
· Pour pineapple with juice over cake (yes, we know this sounds crazy but we promise it works).
· Mix instant pudding with milk.
· Beat and blend in cream cheese.
· Spread over pineapple.
· Top with Cool Whip.
That’s it! An easy and satisfying meal for all Memorial Day hopefuls, these two recipes work for any experience level (trust us, we don’t cook often). Enjoy your holiday—remember to be safe—and in one day we are all home free!