Take it Easy for Dinner

And so it begins…

Construction has begun on the site of my neighbor Maggie’s former house, now an empty lot. The trudge of machinery, the beep, beep, beep of trucks backing up, the loud bangs when they hit something has already started, soon to be followed by pounding, crashing and clunking of a new house being built.

Get used to it, because it going to be like this for the next nine months.

said Zeke.

Nine months, like having a baby, but I’m going to be through the agony of building, not the ecstasy of birth. It should be done around next July. Ugh… Thank God for my noise-cancelling headphones!

Speaking of due dates, my new Mini, a four-door Countryman to accommodate all three grandsons, should arrive sometime in December. The first one I ordered (a regular four-door Countryman) wasn’t going to be built until next year- “Maybe March, but we just don’t know, according to Mini, so I just bit the bullet and bought the Mini with the S engine, faster, but more expensive.

Why would you want to buy anything but an S anyway?

said the Mini Salesman, spoken like a true salesman.

The Amazon Holiday Kids Gift Book List came in the mail this week and I put it aside for Wyatt to scour over the toy selections. The first time he saw the catalogue, when he was just three, he called it his favorite “book” and insisted on taking it to Pre-School to “read”. This time when I picked him up from school, I handed him the catalogue and he got to work with a Black Sharpie.

Santa can’t bring you everything, so pick carefully.

I told him.

Despite my advise, he circled (and starred) a lot of items, including ones he already had, simply because they were a different color or version. He wanted a Baby Yoda (even though I already got him one last Christmas), because this one was eating a Macaron. He wants a remote-controlled Tarantula to scare his Mom, a Smart Watch, Gumball Maker and everything on the Hot Wheels and Tonka page. He also wants some classic toys- Operation game, Play Doh and a Spirograph- that his Gigi can get on board with. Most of all, he wants a Nintendo Switch. I don’t even know what that is.

As he was working on the Amazon catalogue, I started working on dinner, a Bobby Flay dish called Winning Chicken Sammie. You marinate chicken thighs in a ginger/garlic/oil mixture and then I made two sauces- a Red pepper Tahini and Mint Yogurt Sauce to go on the Pita Bread Sandwich. There were also pickled shallots involved, luckily I already had some pickled onions in the fridge. By the time it came time to grill the chicken, and I read there was also a rub to make, I gave up and used a rub I already had on hand. It was a good sandwich, but too complicated for my likes!

I took Wyatt around to see some of the Halloween decorations in my neighborhood and then we came home and made Caramel Apples from a kit. They didn’t quite work (I am not good at candy-making!), the Caramel was more like a light coating, but he had fun. He ate his favorite Spaghettios for dinner, while we ate our Pita Bread Sandwiches with oven-roasted sweet potatoes, which we dipped in the Mint Yogurt Sauce from the sandwich.

The next night, I felt like steak and Zeke said he’d just read a recipe for a 4-ingredient Flank Steak Marinade. Few ingredient recipes are all the rage right now. I’ve seen them for 2-ingredient pizza dough, 3-ingredient pumpkin bread and, at the end of this article they mentioned a 2-ingredient marinade for chicken breasts, 3-ingredient marinade for salmon and a 4-ingredient marinade for sheet pan tofu.

I think people who are busy and tired at the end of the day, are sick of complicated recipes. It’s frustrating when you start to cook something and don’t have half the spices you need and, let’s face it, when are you really going to use cardamom again? It will linger in your spice drawer for YEARS. I have two other recipes for Flank Steak Marinades, one with eight ingredients, one with ten, but this 4-ingredient one was so easy and good, I will probably just keep using it (assuming I have Guinness Beer on hand). The orange zest gives it a citrusy zing, the molasses a little sweetness, the chipotle powder a bit of a kick and the beer, a depth of flavor. Life can be difficult; cooking dinner shouldn’t be.

4-Ingredient Flank Steak Marinade

Recipe by MicrosoftCourse: EntreeCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


30 minutes to overnight







Don’t forget to save the leftover orange to make a quick citrus vinaigrette. The finished steak pairs well with a simple salad of avocado, bitter greens (like arugula), pickled red onions and pumpkin seeds.


  • 1 bottle (11.2 ounces) of Guinness Draught Beer

  • Zest of one orange

  • 2 tablespoon of molasses

  • 1 1 pound flank steak, generously salted


  • In a large bowl, combine the Guinness, orange zest, chipolte chili powder and molasses. Mix until combined.
  • Pour the marinade in a bowl with a cover or a large resealable plastic bag, followed by the flank steak. Make sure the steak is completely covered by the marinade, then place it in the refrigerator. Allow the steak to marinate for at least 30 minutes (overnight is preferable).
  • When you’re ready to cook the steak, remove it from the marinade and place in a greased cast-iron skillet. Set your oven broiler to high, then place the skillet in the oven. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, flip the steak and broil for another 4 to 6 minutes. (We grilled our steak, FYI and let it rest 10 minutes before slicing it.)
  • The steak is done when the edges are charred and a little crispy. Cut against the grain and serve immediately.


  • I did make the orange vinaigrette with the juice from the orange I zested. I served the steak with the salad, a baked potato and garlic bread.

We went down to the Keys Saturday, for a quick trip and a ride on the boat. We took it out a bit, anchored and swam. Zeke got delicious sub sandwiches from Avenue Subs for lunch, and it was the perfect Boat Food, but next time I would get the lettuce and tomato on the side, as it made the bottom of the roll soggy. We came home to watch the UM game (sad!) and then Zeke surprised me with Stone Crabs from Key Largo Fisheries for an appetizer before we went out to dinner. They were tender, sweet and delicious, dipped in the mustard sauce. Stone Crab season started October 15th and ends May 1st, so get them while you can!

The Keys are a little quiet right now, many restaurants are closed before “the season” begins. The calm before the storm. It’s a Full Moon Tonight, time to Recoup, Recover and Recharge. Full Moons rule completions and turning points, so be clear about what you want to manifest. For me, I’m manifesting Easy Dinners for the future.

Lighten up while you still can Don’t even try to understand Just find a place to make your stand And take it easy.

The Eagles

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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