Today is a special day in my house being it Andie’s 17th birthday. Happy birthday Ng! I love you!

 I am happy to be home celebrating with her and being able to make her some special eats, too. For dinner, she requested my flank steak recipe. I believe this steak marinate gives the steak the most flavor over any steak and marinade I have ever had. The best part is, it is so easy! Included in the recipe is chimichurri but not necessary. The chimichurri adds more flavor on top of the steak after it is cooked but has plenty with just the marinade. I love this steak in the summer because of the feel and taste of a barbeque it gives and today, being the weather is beautiful and a birthday celebration, was a perfect day to enjoy it! For dessert, I decided to surprise her with my creation of a cookie dough brownie. She loves chocolate and cookie dough so why not mix both together? Don’t worry there is not any egg in the dough but it still tastes just as yummy! The recipes follow!

Steak Chimichurri 
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
(2 pound of flank steak)

1 cup cilantro, minced
1 cup flat leaf parsley, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a baking dish, whisk lime juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Add the steaks and coat generously on each side of the steaks. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight.
*The longest I have ever marinated my steaks have been for two hours and they come out with immense flavor. The longer marinated the more flavor there will be!

For the chimichurri, whisk the cilantro, parsley, garlic cloves, and vinegar. After those are combined, slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

To cook the steaks I prefer to use a grill and heat it to medium high heat. For a medium rare steak, cook five minutes on each side. For a medium steak seven minutes on each side. This is also on my grill so time can vary depending on cooking style and internal temperature.

Let the steak rest for 10 minutes* and slice on a diagonal.
*Letting the steak rest allows the juices of the steak to flavor it more by resting after fully cooked making it even tastier.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup hot coffee*
  *Coffee enhances chocolate but if don’t have or don’t want to use water is just fine. 
2 cups granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
   *I like to double my vanilla for the extra floral flavor but not necessary. 
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash cinnamon (large or small depending on liking)*
*Cinnamon adds a kick of flavor and can “spice up” chocolate. 
      Feeling adventurous? Add orange zest for an even more bold chocolate flavor. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. For easy removal, put parchment paper in the pan with a little extra paper on the ends for lifting. If using parchment paper, make sure to grease that as well.

In a large bowl, stir together cocoa and baking soda. Add the first 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and hot coffee. Mix well until it is blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3 cup of oil. Last, add the flour, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until the flour is absorbed and spread evening on the pan.

Bake for 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool before putting the layer or chocolate cookie dough on top.

Brownie fun fact: Cutting with a plastic knife leaves the lines smooth and without the remnants of the brownies collecting on the knife. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
   *I like to double my vanilla for the extra floral flavor but not necessary. 
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Mix in milk and vanilla. Mix in flour in three portions and mix thoroughly until the flour in combined. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips gently.

Spread the chocolate chip cookie dough over the brownies and put them in the refrigerator to firm. The more firm they are the easier they will slice.

Enjoy & happy birthday to my lovely sister!



March 14, 2012

Happy 17th Birthday Andie!

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