Wednesday’s Ramblings ~ Books, Recipes, Tree I.D.

It’s a rambling post today…I’ve got books to share, recipes to pass along, and I’m in need of help with a tree identification!


First off…the tree. I can’t figure out what it is, but I want one for the front yard. I want to put it in the corner of the lot where we took out a kabillon junipers. With rock and Lavender and Russian Sage around it.

Anyone know what it is? Mountian Hemlock? A fir of some sort? Larch?



New books in the mail! YEAH! I got these for 50% off with free shipping in the book club I’m in.

Back to Basics ~ A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills edited by Abigail R. Gehring.

Was flipping through it this morning, can’t wait to take it home tonight and give it a good go through.

Next book is Sugar Sack Quilts by Glenna Hailey.

There is a great little history on feed sacks and lots of pictures of the different prints and labels. A few quilt patterns and a pattern for a cute sewing buddy.


Next are recipes that I tried last night…also from the All You magazine that I got the Cola Chocolate Cake recipe from.

Cola-Marinated Flank Steak ~

2 lb. beef flank steak (I used 1 pound)
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup coke cola
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped (I used 2)
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 TBSP hot sauce (I used Garlic Tabasco)
salt and pepper

Lightly score both sides of flank steak with a crisscross pattern. Place in a large ziplock bag.

In a medium bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, cola, onion, garlic, vinegar, oil and hot sauce, whisking well to combine. Reserve 1/2 cup and pour remaining marinade over steak. Seal bag and refrigerate for 2 hours. (NOTE: at this point I put the bag into the freezer as we had other plans for dinner the next two nights…just took it out that morning and put it into the frig to defrost)

Preheat broiler and place a rack 3 inches from heat source. Let steak and marinade sit at room temp for 15 minutes. Remove steak from bag, discard marinade. Season steak with salt and pepper on both sides and place on a broiler pan. Broil for 6 minutes, turn and brush with 1/2 cup of reserved marinade, broil for 6 minutes longer.

Let sit covered with foil for 10 minutes before slicing.

NOTES: Marinade is pretty good for the flank steak. But I would never try it again with the broiler. This is definitely a BBQ recipe, me thinks.


I made Orzo with Spinach and Red Peppers to go along with the steak.

Salt and pepper
1 lb. orzo
2 TBSP olive oil (I used 1 TBSP)
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow)
1 clove garlic, chopped (silly…of course I used 3 cloves!)
1 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I used 3 cheese blend…Asiago, Parmesan, Romano)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add orzo and bring back to boil, turn down heat and cook for about 7-10 minutes.

In large skillet put 1 TBSP olive oil over med-high heat and add onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender. Stir in garlic and cook about a minute longer. (I added spinach here)

Drain orzo and return to pot. Add remaining 1 TBSP olive oil (I passed this step…didn’t think it needed it) to orzo and stir. Stir in onion/pepper mixture and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Stir over medium-low heat until warmed through…sprinkle with cheese and serve.

This is a very good salad! But next time I make it I’m going to bypass the frozen spinach and use fresh…put it into a bit of olive oil and saute it with some garlic.