Marinated Beef Steak with an Avocado and Tomato Salad

Want something savory? This is it! Marinated goodness in tangy lemon and soy sauce topped with sweet onions and a refreshing avocado & tomato salad. That’s basically it in a nutshell. Here’s how it’s made.

Gather an onion, lemon, tomato, garlic, avocado, soy sauce and black pepper. You might be wondering where the salt is. Well, with the sodium content in the soy sauce, no salt is needed in this dish.

When it comes to what cut of beef to use, tenderloin is my choice. Thinly slice it and marinating with it is a breeze.

From here, juice 1 lemon and about a cup of soy sauce with minced garlic and pepper. My choice of marinating items are in bags. I just feel that the liquid permeates the meat better than in a dish. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours to up to a day.

Next you’ll want to cut a whole onion or 2 into slices. Take the liquid out of the bag and use it to cook your onions.

Set your onions aside and start cooking the meat. The best way to cook this is in vegetable oil in a sizzling hot pan. As the liquid from the meat cooks off, replenish with water. Add the onions at the end.

To start your avocado and tomato salad, dice up some tomatoes, avocados and some green onions. You may use a bit of salt and pepper for seasoning but not much.

To plate this dish a trick is to use a measuring cup. In this case, 1 cup. Pack your rice in the cup and turn it upside down onto the plate.

If you would like to have a gravy with this, it’s totally optional. Here’s how that’s done. With the bits of cooked meat now off the saute pan, deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of red wine and about 2 tablespoons of flour and a tablespoon of butter. Whisk this around with about 3/4 cup of chicken or beef stock and you have your pan gravy. Make the plate pretty and stack your components up. Enjoy!

Marinated Beef Steak with an Avocado and Tomato Salad
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  • 1lb tenderloin
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 c soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Green onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1-2 large onions
  • Pepper

Pan gravy (optional)

  • ½ c red wine
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 c beef or chicken stock


Slice tenderloin thin and prepare your marinade. In a storage bag, add 1 cup of soy sauce, juice of 1 lemon, 2 minced garlic cloves and a teaspoon of pepper. Marinate your beef for a minimum of 4 hours to up to a day in advance. Slice onions into rings and use the juices of the marinade to saute the onions until tender. Set aside.

Cook the beef in a sizzling hot pan with vegetable oil. As the liquid disappears, add water as needed then reduce heat to medium. Add the onions at the end to finish.

With your drippings, deglaze the pan with red wine. Add butter and flour to create your roux and finish with beef or chicken stock. The pan gravy is totally optional.

With the avocado & tomato salad, basically dice tomatoes, avocado and green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Also optional.


Red Velvet Pancakes – A Valentine Delight

For about 2 weeks I was trying to come up with ways to treat my wife to a Valentine delight. Being a stay at home dad gives me options to work around the house. Cooking of course is one thing so I work with what I do best. I was in San Diego a few weeks ago and a segment on pancakes for your loved ones came on a news special. I thought, what a great idea! I’ve never seen red velvet pancakes before and before manipulating a few recipes to come up with my own I decided to give this one a whirl.

It’s not bisquick but here goes. The easiest way to do this is to have 2 separate bowls. One to mix dry ingredients and the other to mix wet ingredients. I used a sifter to add all the dry ingredients in. Once that’s in, shake, shake, shake just like you’re hitting a tambourine.

Next are your wet ingredients. Don’t worry about it being too thick. That’s because the buttermilk is doing its magic.

Go ahead and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. I do it in this order because adding dry ingredients to wet causes lumps. Use a wire whisk to bring your ingredients together.

This is how it will look like once incorporated.

I borrowed some heart shaped cookie cutters from my mother in law. Usually you make circular pancakes but these go extra special! It’ll take you some time but it’s worth it for your loved one

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Red Velvet Pancakes
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  • 1 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 T sugar
  • ¼ c powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon


  • 1 ½ c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 1 T red food coloring
  • ½ stick or 4 T of melted butter

Cream cheese frosting (optional)

  • 1 8oz. package of softened cream cheese
  • ½ t lemon juice
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ¼ c water


Grab 2 mixing bowls. One bowl for dry ingredients and the other for wet ingredients. Start by preparing dry ingredients first. Use a sifter to add all the dry ingredients in and shake until sifted into bowl. Whisk dry ingredients around to make sure everything is incorporated.

Next, mix all your wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk. The best way to mix the 2 types of ingredients would be to add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix in both and make sure everything is fully incorporated.

For Valentine’s day, you make use heart shaped cookie cutters and be sure to lube the inside of the cookie cutters with butter so that the pancake can escape them without sticking. You also want to traditionally add butter to your pan while making your pancakes and keep the flame at a medium to medium low heat. Remove the cookie cutters once the batter starts to bubble and then flip your pancakes. Enjoy with a loved one!

San Diego Food of Love

So every other month (or at least I try) I head down to San Diego to visit my family & friends. For anyone that’s ever been down there, the sights are amazing. Weather is perfect and the food is on point! Instead of a recipe from me during the week of January 24 – February 1, 2012, I decided I’d go on a food adventure. Because let’s face it, when you’re on vacation, you just want to eat! I did happen to cook one dish and those were my baby back ribs. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to share that recipe with you all but for now, here’s what I ate while down in sunny San Diego!

My first stop straight off the plane was of course Mexican food. Who can go wrong when it’s OooOOoOOOOH so right! Try carne asada fries. Tender and crispy golden brown french fries topped with carne asada, cheese, sour cream & guacamole. Forget Happy Meals, THIS is a HAPPY MEAL!

Next up took me to Eastlake, CA where on Wednesday nights there are food truck meets and most of the popular food trucks make their way out and gather for a mobile food extravaganza.

I decided to take a stab at some BBQ and Super Q was the truck. I had their sliders. One was beef brisket and the other pulled pork. Both exceptionally delicious!

If anyone remembers Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, season 2 featured a truck from San Diego called Devilicious.

Check out Devilicious’ video promo from Food Network here.

I had their Philly Cheese Steak and that thing was heaven!

White & Black cookie. I never had the chance to taste it. Left it in San Diego.

Here is the Double Stout Beer Brat from Curiocity

That ended the food truck escapade. Afterward I still got a burrito. Below is a hefty bean & cheese burrito from Cotixan on Mira Mesa Blvd. One of the late night stop shops whenever you need a midnight snack!

The next day, the family and I took my oldest daughter to Disney on Ice: Toy Story 3 at the San Diego Sports Arena which is now called Valley View Casino Center. Afterwards we ate near Point Loma at this seafood spot called Mitch’s.

Thinking my daughter would eat, I ordered a grilled chicken & cheese burger with fries. She ate some chicken and some fries. The rest was either eaten by me or taken home.

But I wanted to try their fish tacos. We ordered the beer battered rock cod & the other grilled. Pretty tasty. I’d go back.

Mom ordered crab cakes & fries with a side of cole slaw. Here are more fish tacos we ordered.

And finally their jam packed clam chowder. Delicious!

The next day we decide to bum around and find ourselves near La Jolla, CA. Beach town, upscale, ritzy all in one. Below you’ll find yourself a Jamaican jerk chicken pizza.

So Saturday morning, my buddy and I decide to hit up The Trails Eatery after a long morning playing some disc golf at Morley Field near Balboa Park. Pretty fun if you’ve never tried it. The Trails Eatery was also featured on Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible by Chef Robert Irvine, one of my favorite celebrity chefs.

I was feeling lunch so I went with a BBQ bacon burger & fries.

Ahh so over the weekend I decided to cook! Here are my famous BBQ baby back ribs!

So another spot featured on Food Network. See a trend yet? This one from the show Heat Seekers featuring two chefs, Aaron Sanchez & Roger Mooking, who travel the nation finding the hottest and spiciest food and challenge each other to the duel.

Got a free quesadilla appetizer coupon so used that. Below are the salsas. I forgot the names but clockwise went from mild to hot starting from top left.

My chile colorado. No taste. Tortillas were ok made by a “tortilla lady” who freshly makes tortillas to order outside the restaurant as part of a show bit as well.

Sunday just after noon I met up with a friend for one of the greatest burger spots in San Diego. This place is pretty much the only place in California where you can order Juicy Lucy style burgers done right. Those type of burgers consist of a burger patty stuffed with cheese. Although the adventure didn’t start there. We went a different direction. Seafood! The place is originally called the B Spot but now it’s called Bao’s Awesome Burgers & Sandwiches (BABS) located on Convoy. If anyone remembers I was one of the originals to test out the #11 (not on the menu). It’s the hottest burger they have but they have significantly redesigned it to be even hotter! I didn’t take my chance though. Picture and video of the challenge below:

The shrimp po boy above and the langostine lobster po boy below.

Deep fried Canton chicken wings. Amazing!

Another random outing for Mexican food is from Rigoberto’s off Miramar Road. These are 5 rolled tacos with guacamole & cheese.

Before heading back home I made sure to bring back a care package for my in laws. Pollo asado burritos carefully packaged.

Lastly, can’t forget the ever refreshing fresh watermelon slush with boba from Bobalicious in Mira Mesa & a Cali ATC from Submarina.

The end…