We started with a dish I've made before, the Sesame Beef and Scallion Kebabs. Something interesting: the original recipe calls for 'boneless shell steak'. Hhhhm....never heard of it before. Took that idea to my favorite butcher and he'd never heard of it either. He asked around the meat counter and one other butcher (a transplant from New York) said, "Oh yeah! A boneless shell steak is the same thing as a boneless New York Strip!"
Well, while my butcher friend was asking around, I had my eye on the boneless sirloin steaks in front of me that were 7.99/lb. I thought that sounded pretty darned reasonable! When butcher guy came back with the New York Strip idea, those suckers were 12.99/lb., and I had to draw the line. I knew I was going to marinade the meat for at least three hours, so I figured, 'how bad can it be?!'
Glad I went with my instinct and sided with my pocketbook. The boneless sirloin was outstanding; I even over cooked it a little bit past my favorite medium-rare stage, and the skewers still came out great. Three hours in the marinade bought me a little forgiveness I guess. Here's the link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/12725
Next I made a favorite of mine - Orzo and Rice Pilaf with Vegetables. I know you guys are thinking, 'another rice dish?! Does this girl make other sides?!' I promise, this will be the last rice dish I blog on for another little while. Just want to share this one because I've made this many, many times and it never fails. It goes well with nearly anything on the grill, it's simple and yummy, but upscale enough to serve to guests (and believe me, I have!).
Another side: simple roasted asparagus. Not complicated, not groundbreaking, you've all done it before so I'm not going to attempt to wax poetic on my basic roasted asparagus. But, my kids ate it up and it looked gorgeous on the plate!
Lastly, the cookies. Oh lordy, the cookies! You all know by now that I am no baker. These cookies are probably the least daring thing a baker could possibly attempt! I'm not even that big of sweets fan, but I just loved these; so did my kids, and seven or eight neighbor kids as well! I'm only going to give you the link, because I followed the recipe to the letter, with the exception of adding 1 1/2 cups of M&Ms instead of 12 oz of chocolate chips.
All of the recipes can be found on Epicurious. They are titled as follows: Sesame Been and Scallion Skewers, Orzo and Rice Pilaf with Vegetables, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Have a look!