Overnight Tri-Tip Marinade

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic salt
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 pound tri tips, sliced to 1 inch thickness

Directions:

  1. Create the marinade by combining all ingredients, except for the steak and corn starch.
  2. Pour the marinade over the steak in a bowl and refrigerate over night.
  3. When ready to cook, allow steak to reach room temperature.
  4. Coat steak in corn starch so that it becomes crispy
  5. Cook steak for about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare pieces. Cook more or less time, to desired taste.
  6. Serve!

Simplify Life with a Capsule Wardrobe

So what is a capsule wardrobe?

In short, it’s a collection of clothes comprised of a limited, but versatile, number of items. Susie Faux, a London fashion entrepreneur, popularized the concept in the 1980s. Since then, its popularity has ebbed and flowed. And right now, it’s flowing.

Why so popular?

Well, the claimed effects of the capsule wardrobe are quite coveted. They include:

  • Dressing better
  • Spending less money on clothes
  • Having an easier time assembling outfits
  • Enjoying a more organized and spacious closet

Now that we know what a capsule wardrobe is, and why it’s so great – how exactly do you put one together? What are the hard and fast rules?

Well… there are none. Just ask the creator, Susie Faux.

“The ideal size of your capsule will depend from person to person,” she says in her blog, Confidence Tricks.

We’re all unique individuals. And so what I need in my capsule wardrobe is different from what you need in yours. Most likely, we have different lifestyles. I don’t have to wear a suit to work each day, but maybe you do.

The first step of making a capsule wardrobe is to:

#1 Figure Out What You Need

Assess how many outfits (and what kind) you need, based on your lifestyle. As an example, I’ll share what this looks like for me:

  • Street Clothes – 14 outfits
  • Work Attire – 7 outfits
  • Night Out Get Ups – 6 outfits
  • Running – 6 outfits
  • Yoga – 7 outfits
  • Eveningwear – 4 outfits
  • Sleepwear – 3 outfits

Let me offer a little context.

For me, street clothes are my bread and butter. It’s what I wear around town and usually at work. I’d like to have enough variety so that I can wear a different ensemble for two solid weeks – meaning 14 different get ups.

But then there’s times when I want to look more polished for work (i.e. meetings, site visits, presentations). Having a rotation of 7 outfits works well for me.

There’s also a sprinkling of occasions when I go out and want to wear something chic, fun, and flirty. 4 ensembles now is the right number for me.

And finally, I have a pretty active lifestyle to consider. I run 5-6 days a week, so having 6 outfits means I can do laundry once a week and comfortably have enough to wear. Meanwhile, I do yoga a few times a week. But my fellow yogis always look so sharp and stylish, I feel obliged to at least try keeping up. Having 7 outfits in rotation means I can wear something different for about two weeks.

#2 Inventory What You Have

This took a couple hours. I encourage you write down every item you own. Seeing all my possessions on paper forced me to realize the obscene number of clothing items I own. (Over 250. Yikes.)

After you make your list, write down how you feel about each item right next to it. The categories I suggest are:

  • Love it
  • Like it
  • Meh

(If you do this project in excel, it can come in handy – stay tuned!)

#3 Sort Your Clothes

Sort out all your meh pieces. Remove them from your inventory. If you used excel, you can sort your “meh” pieces into a separate list. Then, you can go through your closet at a rapid fire pace and weed them out.

If you have an excess of clothes (which I imagine you do, since you’re reading this article) there’s no reason to waste your closet real estate on sub-par garments.

Donate them. You’ll get a tax ride off.

#4 Assess Your Clothes Inventory

Once you have pared down the clothing in your closet, assess how well the clothes you have meet your outfit needs. Write down what types of clothes you have an excess of, and which clothes you need more of. This will help hone your shopping pursuits so that you only buy what you need.

 

Soy Glazed Crispy Pork on Sweet Potato Noodles

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pork shoulder
  • 4 slices thick bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place bacon strips on a pan, sprinkling with granulated sugar. Let cook 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Thinly slice red onion.
  4. Using a shredding tool, peel the sweet potato into noodle strips.
  5. Saute the onion and sweet potato in the olive oil until onion becomes translucent.
  6. Add the lemon juice soy sauce to mixture as it becomes dry, adding all of it once onions are translucent.
  7. Dice the pork shoulder into bite size pieces.
  8. Add the cumin, pork shoulder, and brown sugar to the mixture, stirring until pork shoulder is cooked through.
  9. Cut the bacon into chunky pieces and add to the mixture
  10. Serve and enjoy! You may serve as is, over a bowl of rice, or a bed of greens.

Wedge Salad

Wedge Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of thick bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy Cesar or Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Bacon
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    • Place bacon a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
    • Lightly sprinkle with granulated sugar
    • Bake for about 20 minutes, or until bacon is browned (no need to flip the bacon)
    • Remove from oven and allow to cool
    • Once cooled, chop into chunky pieces
  2. Prepare the Dressing
    • Mince the garlic and add to Cesar or Ranch dressing
    • Add blue cheese crumbles
    • Stir
  3. Prepare the Red Onion
    • Thinly slice the red onion
    • Combine with white vinegar and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then drain vinegar
    • The vinegar will slightly cook the onion to detract from its potency
  4. Cut the iceberg lettuce into six wedges
  5. Dice the roma tomato
  6. Assemble the salad
    • Plate the iceberg lettuce wedge
    • Drizzle about 2 Tablespoons of dressing over the wedge
    • Top with tomato pieces, onion slices, and bacon bits
  7. Serve!

Flat Iron Steak with Creamy Greens

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 flat iron steaks
  • 2 pounds spinach
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons bouillon
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Directions for Creamy Greens:

  1. Thinly slice the onion
  2. Add 2 Tablespoons butter to a large skillet
  3. Add the onions, mustard, and the bouillon
  4. Cook on medium heat until onion turns translucent
  5. Add in the milk and sprinkle flour over the mixture and continue stirring until the flour dissolves, and the mixture is thick.
  6. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil
  7. Add in the spinach and allow to blanch until tender
  8. Immediately remove spinach from the boiling water and transfer to a colander
  9. Douse spinach in cold water
  10. Add spinach to the large skillet, and stir until spinach is coated in the sauce
  11. Transfer to a serving bowl

Directions for Flat Iron Steaks:

  1. Let steaks sit out for 30 minutes in order to reach room temperature
  2. Generously season with kosher salt and pepper
  3. After seasoning, coat in light layer of cornstarch
  4. Heat 2 Tablespoons butter and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over high heat
  5. Cook 2 minutes per side for rarer steaks, longer for medium rare or well-done steaks

Plate steaks with creamy greens!

 

 

Cooking Trivia Tid Bits

Bouillon means “broth” in French

Chef means “chief” in French

To get vegetables extra green after they’ve been cooked, douse in cold water. This brings the chlorophyll to the surface and makes their color more vibrant.