These recipes originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of HomeLife Magazine.
Ahh, September! It’s the season to attempt the tedious push to establish non-negotiable bedtimes and make new routines feel semi-familiar. If you’re like me, you’ve filled your calendar to near capacity with activities that are now in full swing, only to realize that what you really want to do is slow down and appreciate the waning days of summer.
I always struggle a little bit with this month. I find it all a bit contradictory. While autumn can’t help but bring with it responsibilities, the weather throughout September suggests otherwise. In fact, the slightly cooling temperatures actually beckon me back outdoors for a few more after-dinner walks, chat sessions with neighbors, and porch-viewing sunsets. Yes, this time of year demands duty and obligation, but the days are still long and the warm weather is fleeting. So listen to that small, inner voice that says get outside, play just a little bit longer, and savor the last sip of summer.
Don’t pack up the grill just yet. I have a real treat to share — Marinated Flank Steak authored by my dear friend, Liz. A real natural in the kitchen, Liz is also a self-described carnivore; so trust me when I say this recipe is a crowd-pleaser. The steak marinates for up to 24 hours, making it ideal for a Labor Day cookout. Add a fresh garden salad and side of asparagus for the perfect punch of color on your plate.
If you’ve read my book, Our Newlywed Kitchen, you’ll know about my ties to sunny Florida and my amazing family of cooks. My Ranch Rice recipe was introduced by my Aunt Toni following a backyard volleyball game that turned into an evening cookout. This recipe has become a side dish staple in our home and whips up quickly in a casserole dish. It bakes in the oven for a full hour, giving everyone time to set the table, cut flowers, or make dessert.
Speaking of desserts, send the season off into the sunset with a refreshing Strawberry Crunch. Don’t worry if fresh strawberries are hard to come by as this recipe calls for frozen.
Gathering family and friends is a snap with this easy make-ahead menu. You’ll feel like you stole a few extra days of summer, and isn’t that what September is all about?
Marinated Flank Steak
Makes 6 servings
2 lbs. Flank steak
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Garlic salt to taste
Place Flank Steak on a cutting board and generously sprinkle with garlic salt on the front and back. Score the steak with a sharp knife, cutting shallow lines diagonally the length of the steak in one-inch parallel increments. Rotate the steak a quarter turn and cut parallel lines perpendicular to original lines to form diamond shapes. To make the marinade, combine the next four ingredients in an airtight container or plastic bag. Add the steak to the marinade. Seal and place the bag in the refrigerator for two to 24 hours, flipping the bag a couple of times during the marinating time to ensure the steak is evenly covered with liquid. Remove the meat from the marinade and place on a very hot grill. Grill for one to two minutes per side, depending on how well you like it cooked. Use a meat thermometer for best results, pulling the steak at the desired temperature: Rare: 120–125 degrees, Medium Rare: 130-140 degrees, Medium: 145 degrees.
When the steak has cooked to your preference, remove from grill, placing on a clean cutting board. Cover with an aluminum foil tent and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the steak across the grain at a very steep angle so the slices are wide and thin. Enjoy!
Makes 6 servings
1 c. uncooked long grain white rice
4 oz. butter (melted)
10.5 oz. can condensed French onion soup
10.5 oz. can beef consommé
4 oz. can mushrooms (sliced)
8 oz. can water chestnuts (sliced)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in a nine-by-thirteen-inch casserole dish and stir gently. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour.
Makes 12 servings
1 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter (softened)
1/2 c. Pecans or Walnuts (chopped)
2 egg whites
1 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
10 oz. frozen strawberries
8 oz. whipped topping
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a bowl, combine first four ingredients and mix with pastry cutter. Press crust into a nine-by-thirteen-inch dish and bake for one hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Break up crust into small crumbs. Layer bottom of dish with 2/3 of the crumbs, reserving the rest for the top layer. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and frozen strawberries till smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread evenly over crumb crust. Top with the rest of the reserved crust. Freeze overnight. Set out at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh strawberries if available. Happy end-of-summer!
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Laura Schupp is the author of Our Newlywed Kitchen: The Art of Cooking, Gathering & Creating Traditions. Learn more about Laura at OurNewlywedKitchen.com.