Grilled Venison Steaks

Grilled Venison SteaksIf you grew up in Minnesota, then ice fishing was a pastime of yours.  You have eaten lutefisk, are at home on a lake, and you more than likely own a piece of clothing that is camouflage, blaze orange, or a mix of both.  You can make a snow igloo in your backyard, you mind your manners, and think nothing of whipping up a batch of creamy, wild rice soup.  In addition, few freezers up in the frozen tundra are without venison in some form or another and without a doubt, steaks are my favorite way to eat it.  Even here, in central IL, the land with an abundance of corn and soybeans but very little in the way of trees, I have my ways of acquiring good deer meat.  I generally like to drizzle venison with a bit of olive oil, season well with salt and pepper, the roast or grill.  That was my plan when I pulled a package of steaks out of the freezer to defrost for the next day.  I was just going to wing it and call it good.

But then I remembered the title of a blog post by a friend of mine over at the food blog Un-Processing My World.  She calls it The Best Venison Marinade.  Well how do you argue with that?!

I didn’t hesitate or pause.  I felt like doing something different from my norm so I just threw it all together, sealed it up, and stuck it in my fridge overnight.  The next day, I had nothing to do but pull out the steaks and throw them on the grill.  Easy peasy.

The result?  Excellent flavor.  Tangy and herb-y and just the thing too wake up my winter tastebuds and get them ready for spring!  Not that I need any encouraging to prepare for warmer weather…
Grilled Venison SteaksGrilled Venison SteaksOne Year Ago: Blueberry Maple Muffins, Sweet Potato Fries W/Pepper Lime Mayo, & Parmesan Tilapia
Two Years Ago: Cherry Frozen Yogurt W/Mini Chocolate Chips
Three Years Ago: Homemade Ketchup, Egg Ribbon Soup, & Good For You Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grilled Venison Steaks
Recipe adapted from Un-Processing My World
The original recipe has an additional 1 c of red wine in the marinade, but I omitted it because I didn’t have any!  Try it both ways!  This would be great with chicken too, but in that case, only marinade for a few hours.

4 venison steaks
1 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c of grape seed or olive oil
1 T dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy duty, ziptop bag.  Press out as much air as you can, place the bag on a plate or in a large bowl, and refrigerate overnight.  This can also be made the morning of!  Turn the bag occasionally if you are around to do it, just to keep the meat marinading evenly.  When ready to cook, take the meat out a half hour or so while you preheat the grill.  This takes ensures that the venison isn’t quite so cold and ultimately cooks it much more evenly.  Grill for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat and turn once.  Grilling time will depend on the thickness of your steaks but you want a bit of pink left in the center of venison.  Don’t over do it!  Remove and let rest before enjoying!

Big Changes

I have been putting off writing this post for a few reasons.

One, I just didn’t have time. It is all I can do right now to just stay afloat and make it to bed before midnight.  Two, I try really hard to keep this blog about food, not the daily personal stuff that occurs in my life.  And three, because it makes me kinda sad.

My family is moving from the midwest to South Carolina in just a few short weeks!  We are crazy excited about this change and very much looking forward to it.  But recently, while getting the house ready to sell, actually selling the house, buying land in a different time zone, and preparing to build in a location that is across the country…oofdah!  It takes its toll.  I have been stressed to the max and working hard and somewhere in the middle of it all, I realized that I actually have to leave the home where all of my babies learned to walk.
MovingThis is what my daughter looked like the day we moved into our house seven years ago.  She was 10 months old and had just taken her first steps.  The three of us made up our little family when we moved from Minnesota to Illinois.  We tore down walls, remodeled, painted, re-carpeted, gutted rooms, replaced appliances, and bought furniture.  And our house went from this…
Old House…to this…
IMG_4549…to this!
IMG_9016And our family went from three…
Christmasexpanded to four…
010 (2)…and then five!
Merry Christmas from Brittany's PantrySo please excuse the intermittent pauses in posting here.  I am cleaning, and moving, and reminiscing and adjusting, while still trying to live, cook, play, and just breathe.

I have a lot of things lined up for all of you here, but understand that due to my occasional lack of a kitchen (read: home), some topics and things may be moved around.  Since this is an enormous change for me and my family, I may get up close and personal more than I usually do.  And, if I start asking all of you for advice on closet space and floor plan suggestions, you will know why!

I am very particularly jazzed to immerse myself in southern culture and food, as well as once again enjoy having access to fresh fish!  We will be a few hours inland, but close enough to practically smell the sea air!!  The lack of winter will be VERY hard for this proud Minnesota gal to get used to!  I am now accepting any and all good ideas, thoughts, prayers, and advice for living on the southeast coast!

Thank you so much for all the sweet encouragement and well wishes I have already received.  It is wonderful to share this amazing adventure with all of you!

Things You Should Be Doing In Your Kitchen: Part II

I am so excited!  Part II of my of cooking tips and tricks series is finally here!  With Parts III and IV soon to follow….

Wether you want to hear it or not, it seems we are constantly being told what to do.  No matter if it is which food is healthiest, what chemical to avoid in your cleaning supplies, or how soon you should start saving for retirement.  Someone else always knows ‘best’.  I try not to be too preachy when I blog, since something what may work for me, may not work for you.  But in general, I believe bloggers have useful things to say.  We don’t write about food all day and dream about it all night because we are hungry.  We don’t created recipes in our heads while folding laundry or frantically record voice notes about that salad dressing we just enjoyed while our date drives away from the restaurant because it is interesting to us.  It is because we love it.  We read cookbooks like novels and our palms get sweaty at potluck dinners, just waiting to see the variety of colors and flavors.  Food is our way of showing love, expressing gratefulness, marking events, and enjoying ourselves.  We can’t help but pick up a few things along the way.  Either from trial and error, all those cookbooks we read, or the next door neighbor that has mastered the art of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  We soak it in like a sponge and filter out the good stuff for you!

Top TenSpeaking of cookbooks, I found this in the 1961 edition of The Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook.  Kitchen Know-How.  Awesome.
IMG_9182A few weeks ago, I posted my top ten pieces of kitchen and cooking advice.  When I asked if others wanted to join in and share about their hard earned knowledge and experience, my fellow food bloggers answered the call.  How great is that?!  You get the down to earth, REAL life, honest to goodness tips from Moms, professionals, and food enthusiasts that have been through it all!  I had so many who wanted to participate, I have decide to break up the posts.  Each entry will include two or three bloggers, thus avoiding a blog post that is seventeen pages long.  Think of it as a progressive sprinkling of wisdom throughout the spring!  I will forward any questions or inquiries back to the bloggers themselves, but please be sure to click on the link to head on over to the contributors blogs and see what they are up to!

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Un-Processing My World-Karla Herzmann

1) Invest in a really good set of knives, and keep them SHARP. I am a minimalist when it comes to kitchen gadgets, which makes sharp knives a must. I chop everything by hand, and having properly sharpened knives makes it more efficient, easier, and safer! Even when I am given a gadget to, say, chop garlic or make french fries, I never use them because they are just something else to wash and something else to take up space in my kitchen. Knives can do everything.

2) Have a garbage bowl, or one of these: http://solutions.blair.com/p/scrap-happy/51750.uts. This can be credited to Rachel Ray, who I’m not exactly the biggest fan of, but having something to throw scraps, pieces of wrapper, seeds, skins, whatever into without aiming for the garbage every time is really convenient.

3) Another of my essential kitchen tools in my food scale. You can find really affordable ones that work just fine, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Ozeri-Digital-Multifunction-Kitchen-Elegant/dp/B004164SRA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1393618321&sr=8-3&keywords=food+scale. Especially now that I am using all sorts of different flours, I think measuring by weight is really important. I also use fresh yeast for bread, and you have to weigh it out. I use it to portion out cake batter between pans, divide up pizza dough, and on and on.

4) Don’t throw away lemon and orange peels without peeling of the skins (peel them before you juice them). If you can’t use the peel to flavor your food, throw it in a glass jar or bottle, add some vodka, and make your own extract. You can make tons of extract for pound cakes, puddings, cupcakes, and whatever dessert you like to have that lemon or orange flavor (lemon blueberry bread….yum). It is so much cheaper and easy! Let it sit for about a month and just keep adding more peels and more vodka. When the peels look like they have lost all color throw them away.

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Back To Her Roots-Cassie Johnston: Author of the cookbook Cooking With Greek Yogurt
  • Avoid unitaskers: It can be tempting to pick up every gadget at the kitchen supply store, but 9 times out of 10, you can use something you already have at home. Trust me, you don’t need a corn shucker or a hard-boiled egg slicer. It’ll just take up space in your kitchen the 360 days out of the year you don’t use it. Instead, focus on pumping that money into really high-quality multitaskers. Get great knives and great utensils!
  • Clean as you go: I’m terrible about this myself, but when I do manage to clean as I’m cooking, clean up afterward goes so much more quickly. Start with an empty dishwasher and rinse dishes and fill it up as you use them. Have a few minutes of baking time? Use it to wash your pots and pans or put away ingredients. The goal is that once dinner is done, all you have to do is rinse your plates, put them in the dishwasher and start it!
  • Freeze it up: It might seem intimidating to try and fill up your freezer with goodies, but it’s a breeze if you just tack it onto your regular cooking. Next time you cook your family’s favorite casserole, just double the recipe and freezer the second one for use at a later time. You can do the same with all kinds of main dishes, sides and even desserts!
  • Skip the plastic: We have a mostly no-plastic kitchen. Using plastic for food prep and storage has taken some flack over the past few years (especially plastics using BPA), so we made the change to glass and stainless steel storage and utensils years back for safety. What we weren’t expecting was how much more enjoyable using glass and steel were than plastic. Glass and steel containers are easy to clean, they last forever, they’re readily available, and they don’t stain or retain smells. Plus, we think they just look so much nicer! Now, when I take a big bowl of salad to a pitch-in, I just pop in a spoon and it’s ready to serve.

Thank you for reading and be sure to check back for future installments from food bloggers around the web!  Hopefully these tips will make you feel like this gal!  She is thrilled to be carrying those plates!
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