Hi ya! I feel like I’ve been gone for a while. Well, I know I’ve been gone for a while, but it’s so hard to get back into the swing of things after a vacation, plus catching up on work and other aspects of life is always exhausting, so I took a little break. But, sadly for you, it’s not easy to get rid of me, so here I am. Kramer and I had a wonderful trip to DC and Virginia Beach. The drive wasn’t so bad (though that’s easy for me to say because I didn’t actually do any driving), and it was fun taking some back roads and avoiding the highway in favor of beautiful scenery. We met up with some friends in DC, then headed down with my brother to Virginia Beach to see Kramer’s family. I will say that it wasn’t quite the same without his Aunt Beth there, but I think she would have been proud of the way we attempted to keep the house in order, even without her far superior organization and all-around fun-having skills. I know she would have approved of all of the cocktails we made, and I tried to make a version of her famous Caesar salad, but I ended up using pita chips as croutons and I know she would have laughed hysterically at that. We still miss her so much, but I know the last thing she would have wanted was a house full of mourners. So we had fun. We did a lot of cooking and grilling, spent a lot of time in the pool (obviously), laid on the beach for hours, and even did a little fishing (photos to come). It was a great vacation and, as all vacations are, much too short. I can’t wait for next year.
Kramer’s dad got us a sous-vide stick last year, but I’ve been intimidated by it ever since. It seems like it’s this fancy piece of technology that is far beyond my cooking capabilities, but guess what? It’s super easy. Like really, really easy. I can’t believe I put off using it for so long. It’s amazing. Cooking steaks without it is out of the question for me, now. Honestly. You just seal your meat in a bag, heat your water to whatever temperature is required for your piece of meat, then let it sit there for a few hours while it cooks. It’s different than a slow-cooker in that there is no direct heat. You’ve actually got to try to overcook or destroy whatever you’re making with a sous-vide, so you can be certain you’re never going to ruin that expensive steak when using this method. I know it seems like a lot, but trust me – you’re never going to go back to just cooking steak in the pan after you try it. After you pull the steaks from the bag, you just need to sear them on all sides for 30 seconds or so, to get a nice crust. I added a healthy slathering of mayonnaise to my steaks to achieve a perfectly dark crust, and you don’t necessarily have to do that, but I highly recommend it. The fat really makes a difference in searing the steaks. Go ahead and do one with and one without mayonnaise and tell me the mayonnaise one isn’t better, I dare you. If you are a serious home cook and you want to up your steak game (among other things), do yourself a favor and just splurge on a sous-vide. Look at that perfectly cooked steak. It’s worth it!