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My lack of posting the past week has been reflective of how busy the past 7 days have been. With the new academic year beginning and preparing for a conference next week, there hasn’t been much time for cooking, really there hasn’t even been much time for eating. I won’t lament too much about how hectic my past week has been I will just revel in the fact it is over.  Thursday I was definitely hitting a wall, counting the hours till the day was over and T. would be arriving home for 4 days off… That was until noon when T. called to say his friend would be staying the night and I could just BBQ something for dinner (Thanks!). I should clarify that this is also after I had slept in because my alarm did not go off, locked myself out of my house, was late for work, and missed a meeting. T. compounded his mistake by called at 4 p.m. to say there would be another person spending the night at our house and then put the final nail in his coffin with a 4:30 p.m. call to say he didn’t know what the plans for dinner were so not to worry.. Silly T. not sure how he thought that was going to go over well. Exhaustion and stress took over – let’s just pretend I calmly reminded him of how busy my week had been, that I’ve already had the butcher set something aside, so they would be there for dinner and like it.

Arriving home at 7 p.m. from a 12 hour day with groceries in hand, I mentally prepared myself to deal with the one of the most cliché of husband mistakes – unplanned dinner guests.

Somewhere in my delirium I decided serving a dessert would be the nice/appropriate thing to do. If you are going to do something, you might as well do it right.  I’ve written before about my classic housewife like tendencies and standing in my bright yellow fit and flare dress covered by an apron stirring a cake batter all I could do was laugh at myself.

Overall the meal I selected was fairly easy. A. – my butcher’s lovely wife commiserated with me and suggested flank steaks as an easy, but looks nice on a plate, choice. Plus with men you don’t know you can never go wrong with serving beef. Never actually cooking with flank steaks before I was a little leery, but didn’t have the energy to think too much about it.

I also turned to my go to simplyrecipes.com for recipe ideas.  I decided upon:

Grilled flank steak with mushrooms – mainly because it did not require time for marinating and served with grilled asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes.

Hummingbird Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing – I believe I’ve mentioned before I’m not a baker, but what I do do well is banana bread so I thought I could probably manage this cake.

Ideally if you have unannounced guests you should probably stick with tried and tested recipes you are comfortable with, unless you are me and then trying new things always seems like a good idea.

I won’t give all directions since I followed both recipes exactly. I will bring your attention to two points..

First the recipe directs you to dry roast the mushrooms. Normally I would always add oil to the pan before adding the mushrooms, but the dry roasting makes sense when you think about the moisture they release.

IMG_0826When grilling flank steak and you don’t have time to marinade, salt the meat and let stand at room temperature to tenderize. There is a great link explaining the process.

IMG_0828Note the puddles of water.

And the finished product on the table…




Did I need to make a cake? Maybe not. Could I have pushed back and told T. to take his friends to a restaurant for dinner? Yes. BUT it was a great meal, the guys really enjoyed themselves, and I know how much T. appreciates my effort – and isn’t that what marriage is?

End of the day there are still gender roles, even though I may not change my last name and don’t want to be financially dependent on him, I am okay with putting on an apron to bake a cake and preparing a meal for my husband. Just as long as T. takes out the garbage 🙂