Friday, July 29, 2011

Recipe: Grilled Skirt Steak Gyros

I really wish it wasn't too hot here in Texas because I love grilled food---the smoke, char, color, smell, flavor. Mmmmm! And the best part is, it is such a healthy way of cooking and yet it is still packed full of yummy flavor!

Hubby does 99.7% of the grilling in the house (and he's so awesome at it!) but I didn't feel too guilty asking him to fire up the grill during an always busy work-week because this is so quick and easy---both to prepare and cook. This is definitely a weeknight dinner for busy families. It took us about half a hour from beginning of prep to setting the finished product on the dinner table.

And it taste absolutely delicious! It could probably benefit from longer marinating but it really is good as is. We will definitely be cooking this again and will use the marinade to cook other things such as chicken and eggplant.

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine, July/Aug 2011 

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint (optional but I highly recommend it!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 4 pocketless pitas
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (recipe calls for watercress but I could not find it)


Set the grill to medium-high. In a large bowl, make the marinade by mixing olive oil, garlic, mint, oregano, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer 1 tablespoon of the marinade into a small bowl and add yogurt and 2 tablespoons water. Mix thoroughly then set aside.

Add onion to the bowl with the rest of the marinade and toss. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the steak and liberally coat with the marinade mixture.

Grill the onion* and steak, turning once until lightly charred. The onion should be slightly caramelized, about 4 minutes per side. Cook the steak depending on the thickness of the cut and your choice of level of doneness, about 4-8 minutes per side (we like it in between medium to medium-well). Set meat aside and let rest for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the pitas until warm and marked, about 1 minute per side.
*My husband does not like raw onions so I chose to cook ours stove-top until they are very soft. Even the slightest crunch sends chills down his spin and almost always ruins his appetite.

Slice steak against the grain then fill the pitas with steak, onions, tomato, and cilantro. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce and enjoy!

Linking up to:
Remodelaholic: Recipe Swap Sundays
33 Shades of Green: Tasty Tuesdays
For The Love of Blogs: Tasty Tuesdays

Monday, July 25, 2011

Project 365: Week 29

Week 29: July 16th to July 22nd

197  My sister with her beautiful family (and a baby girl on the way!) during my nephew's second birthday party; Diego cake made by yours truly :)

198  Nathaniel's Bible; He always plays with ours and we constantly have to tell him to be gentle with the super thin pages---this way he can do whatever he wants with his Bible.

199  Spending time with my nephew Daniel who loves trains.

200  After dinner, we saw a duck pond behind the restaurant and Nathaniel chased the ducks.

201  Catching the water at the splash park with church/family friends.

202  Checking out the toys; My mom likes to call this a free playground.

203  My super adorable toddler at the Indianapolis Children's museum. There was a Dora and Diego exhibit/play area and Nathaniel was SO happy!

Linking up to:
Inspire Me Photography: Be Inspired Project
NapTimeMomTog: Project 365
The Mom Creative: Project Life
Communal Global: Tuesdays Around the World 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Washington Township Splash Park

Nathaniel and I went to the splash pad in Washington Township Park yesterday with church/family friends.

It took a lot quicker for him to start playing in the water compared to last time. But unfortunately, we didn't stay very long even though he was having such a great time because it was soooo hot!

This was Katie's first time in the splash park so she was a little hesitant.

She was perfectly content watching other kids play in the water and stayed very close to Grandma Emily.

I'm really going to miss this when we go back to Texas in a couple days. I mean, just look BIG smile!

I might be biased... but isn't he one of the cutest (if not the) toddlers you have ever seen?! :) Such a precious face!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daniel - Two Years Old

My nephew Daniel is two years old today! We had his big party this past Saturday and today was celebrated with closest family and friends with a dinner at his family's favorite Japanese Sushi Steakhouse.

Daniel has such a fun spirit and a happy-go-lucky toddler. He is a huge fan of Thomas the Train and Go Diego, Go! He can now also sing the ABC Song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. And although some words definitely sound made up, he sure got the tune right!

He loves playing with my son and for that I'm very thankful! They only see each other a few times a year but they always have a great time together. Last Monday, I came over to watch him for a few hours and he was so disappointed when he found out Nathaniel wasn't with me! (N was at my in-laws)

This is definitely one of the times I wish we lived closer to our family. How I would love spend more time with this little munchkin! And I'm sure that feeling will just get stronger when his little sister makes her arrival this late November.

Happy second birthday, Little D!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Daniel's 2nd Birthday Party & Go Diego, Go! cake

This handsome little nephew-fella is turning two this Wednesday and so we celebrated his birthday yesterday. Nathaniel and I are very grateful we were able to come here in Indiana to share this happy occasion (thanks, Mom!).

The theme was Go Diego, Go! and he picked this cake design. I was a little nervous making my first "face" cake, fearing that it will either be awesome and somewhat resemble the character or bomb it and look completely nothing like Diego!

10-inch Dark Fudge Chocolate Cake

Daniel thought it was him, which is completely acceptable, too! But once my sister told him who it was supposed to be, he recognized his favorite cartoon character.

My sister with her beautiful family and a little one on the way! I cannot wait to meet my niece Isabel this November :)

One of my favorite part of the party is the dessert! We had Halo-Halo---a Filipino dessert that literally means 'mixed.' It's shaved ice with (regular or coconut) milk and toppings of your choice such as jack fruit, macapuno (sweetened coconut flesh), coconut "jello", purple yam (my favorite!), sweet beans, tapioca, flan, etc. Now do you get why it's called halo-halo? :) It was a perfect way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon.

Nathaniel had a great time and later that evening, he asked to be put to bed 30 minutes before his bedtime.

Daddy and birthday boy sitting on the deflating bouncy house

While cleaning up, the boys wandered off to the park and I felt bad leaving Daniel's Lolo (grandfather) to watch the two hyperactive boys. Then I remembered he raised twins! My brother-in-law is a twin; in fact, by the time they were this age, his parents had a newborn, too!

They also played with the leftover ice and started using one of D's new birthday toys (beach toys).

They discovered it's slippery when they stepped on the ice and didn't mind slipping at all.

We obviously had a great time as evident with my brother-in-laws photos below! :P

For more great captures, go to Hery Sugianto's photography website. I want his camera and all his lenses! Oh, someday.

Linking up to:

Communal Global: Tuesdays Around The World 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Project 365: Week 28

Week 28: July 9th to July 15th

190  Thai Iced Tea. Hubby and I are on a quest to try and make different types of iced tea; we have also made Nectarine, Orange, Cinnamon and Southern Sweet Teas.

191  Mischievous cousin playing in the water.

192  Bribing the kiddo with candy to stay still during a haircut; first head injury now even more visible with shorter hair (he fell the day before and hit his head on concrete pavement).

193  Fun times at the Inlow Splash Park

194  My cat Pepper; he was born in the animal shelter, which I think is one of the reasons why he loves exploring outdoors.

195  Playboy Roll at Naked Tchopstix; my all time favorite sushi roll. Inside: shrimp tempura, asparagus, tempura chips, spicy tuna. Outside: cooked shrimp, sweet and spicy sauce. Served on 120 proof vodka and lit on fire!

196  Go Diego Go cake for my nephew's second birthday party; 10-inch Dark Fudge Chocolate

Linking up to:

NapTimeMomTog: Project 365
The Mom Creative: Project Life

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Inlow Splash Park

I have been taking every opportunity to do water-related activities here in Indiana because there is pretty much nothing in Texas due to the drought. So yesterday, Nathaniel and I went to the Inlow Splash Park with one of my former coworkers and her kiddos.

Carefully exploring the place

It took Nathaniel close to an hour before he completely warmed up to the idea. But he was willing to play in the water as long as I was carrying him.

Cookie face

And this is Little Miss P. She's the youngest of Kristin's two adorable children.

She is six months old and also half-Filipino! (except Daddy is the Filipino, not Mom). Just look at those thick, beautiful lips!

We were at the splash park for about two and a half hours and although I religiously put sunblock on Nathaniel, I forgot to put some on me. Needless to say, my shoulders are burnt.

Nathaniel also spent quite a few time watching the older kids paint. He really enjoys the company of older children and there was one older boy that really looked after him (reminding other children "he is just a baby"). But still, one of the "younger" children yelled 'no' to Nathaniel when he just went closer to say 'hi.'

It took a lot for me to tame my mommy-lioness but the child's mother stepped in and corrected her daughter. Whew!

But in turn, I got the above photo. Nathaniel kept screaming 'no' for the next few minutes, especially since just learned this lovely word recently.

There's another splash park that I'm thinking about going. Maybe his cousin will join, too! Although we probably won't be staying as long since Nathaniel developed a low grade fever.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Nathaniel was in dire need of a haircut and I finally took him yesterday. Strangers were starting to refer to him as a girl on a regular basis!

His Daddy took him to his last haircut a few months ago and Nathaniel sat on his lap. I wasn't there (which honestly made me sad) but Hubby said Nathaniel did well until they had to use the clipper.

This time around, Nathaniel wasn't too happy! He didn't want to use the cover and he really got agitated when the hair stylist started cutting the hair near his ears.

Thankfully, I thought to bring a candy. I suspected he wouldn't handle this very well especially since we went around his naptime.

He sat still and behaved for the rest of the haircut. He actually got so preoccupied with eating the sucker and watching cartoons that he didn't want to leave when it was finished!

I know it's just a silly, little haircut but it always makes me sad seeing him with his new, short hair. Nathaniel always looks older and it's just another reminder that my son is not a baby anymore :(

The above photo also shows his first head injury. He tripped two days ago and hit his head on the concrete pavement. As a former neuro-ICU nurse, I immediately thought of the worse but Nathaniel was over it after a few minutes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cousins Playing in the Water

Nathaniel and I arrived safely in Indiana yesterday afternoon. It has been a year since just the two of us traveled together so I was a lot little nervous. It was also our first time flying with Nathaniel weaned from nursing.

And it was a little rough because the little one cried because he got tired of sitting on my lap and wanted to explore. The lack of 12-hr nighttime sleep due to waking up him up at 0545 to catch a 0730 flight didn't help either. But we're here and I'm going to try not to think/worry about us traveling again until we have to do it, which is in about two weeks.

Nathaniel and his soon to be two-year old cousin Daniel had a great time playing in the water yesterday. It seems that every time we are in town to visit, Mom's central air conditioner unit breaks down!

So while waiting for the guy to fix it, we were outside grilling, eating ice cream, and watching the boys cool down in the water.

The boys sure had a great time and I hope to take them to the splash park at the zoo while we're in town.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Project 365: Week 27

Week 27: July 2nd to July 8th

183  We went to the Abilene Zoo over the Fourth of July weekend.

184  The red and blue part of our red, white, and blue dessert for the 4th of July (white: ice cream). Nathaniel refused to eat the sliced strawberries because they didn't look like "real" strawberries.

185  Fireworks at Lake Nasworthy. This was Nathaniel's first time to see a fireworks show and he loved it. Best part: his little voice going, "Cooool!"

186  Cranky butt!

187  Meticulously "reading" a newspaper

188  My favorite fruit. Nathaniel loves watermelon, too and his diaper shows it.

189  Blowing 'bu-bbas' (bubbles); When Nathaniel gets bored popping the bubbles with his hands, he catches them with his tongue like they are snowflakes.

Linking up to:

NapTimeMomTog: Project 365
The Mom Creative: Project Life

Inspire Happiness Daily - Winners & Weekly Photo Challenge

Welcome to our 365 Project! Each week, Audrey (The Daily Wyatt), Tracey (Inspire Me Photography) and Diana (Find Your Happiness) will be picking our Top 5 Photos to highlight on our blogs. In order to be a winner, you must add your photo(s) from the week (not a collage) to our Flickr! group: 365 Days in Pictures. We are choosing our winners based on entries that week, not where you are in your 365. For more information, go here

Top 5 this week:

Betsy Blue
Could I please borrow some colour?

The color, DOF and clarity are gorgeous! This could easily be a piece of canvas art. Are there blue ladybugs? Amazing :)

Cole Pickup

I'm going to admit I'm pretty biased here... I'm from this neck of the woods (West Coast of Canada) and when I saw this I sighed. I just love how beautiful my home is! I'm sure you'll agree though, the reflection, the color and contrast is just beautiful. Having the perfect location helps :) hehe

Kimberly V Photography
July 6

"Playing around..." This sun flare is gorgeous! I just love sun flare and the angle is perfect.

Misty Dawn Photography
Independence Day

We missed out on the fireworks this year because of a ban across Texas. What gorgeous clarity! Happy 4th!!

Sandrine Camus

{Projet 365} D177 - Haute Couture…
Love this. I kept coming back to it, it just grabbed my attention. The light is beautiful and I'm drawn to everything, the background, the model, the people watching...

Congratulations Top 5!
Feel free to grab the button below.


And now it's your turn!
We hope you had a great week and can't wait to see what happiness you inspired in your daily lives.

Join in at anytime by adding our button to your blog post and linking up.

Inspire Me PhotographyFind Your HappinessThe Daily Wyatt

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