During quiet time one morning after a run (yes, these are my green running shoes), I was passionately inspired. Even though I love coffee table books, and this particular book happened to be sitting right in front of me (above photo), on this occasion my inspiration did not come from this party-planning book (although I love the beautiful cover!).

My inspiration came from my daily reading, the tiny window of nice weather we’ve recently had, and the fact that my family was going to be together for dinner that night.

Early morning is when I often think about what I will serve my family for dinner. Spring has sprung – alfresco dining has been an aspect of our evening meals in the last couple of weeks, and this night would be our first BBQ of the year!

I had purchased a package of tri tip beef from Costco, and found I didn’t have time to marinate it like I usually do. I quickly remembered a secret that my Auntie Ellen had taught me years ago. It’s a winner of a recipe that you may want to try yourself, when you don’t have the time to marinate your meat!

Tenderize meat, both sides
To one side add EVOO, rubbing into the meat
Sprinkle sugar on top (1/8 cup at most). I used Stevia, but a smaller amount!
Sprinkle heavily with your favorite seasoning (Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, or I used Kirkland’s (Costco) Steak Rub, which is a combination of sea salt, garlic, paprika and savory spices).
Flip your meat over and repeat all steps
The meat is READY TO BBQ! (of course the secret to juicy meat is to not overcook it!)

The aroma that we inhaled from the BBQ made us all giddy and happy. We were excited not only about the yummy steak dinner that we were about to consume, along with salad (from our garden) and BBQ’d veggies (herbs from our yard), but there was also just something special about the smell of the first BBQ of the season.

Having dinner with just our immediate family is becoming a priceless experience as of late, as Paul and I realize our years together as a young family unit are dwindling down. Recapping the weekend, sitting and listening to one another, watching facial expressions and passions rise about certain subjects – it’s what happens when we take the time to interact with and focus on each other.

We are firm believers that “children need to be heard and seen,” (see post, here) and these seem to be very important years. Much nurturing takes place around our dinner table, and Paul and I hope that through our living examples that our kids are witnessing faith in action.

I’d love to hear about your first BBQ of the year? Was it with your immediate family, or did you include guests?

(I love vibrant green colors! Photos: Fun entertaining book that I picked up on clearance at Ross Dress For Less; the tastiest salad greens you’ll find in our town – smack dab in the Coughlin garden; tri tip marinated Auntie Ellen Style (read about Aunt Ellen, here); Paul mixing up the veggies – with yummy herbs)

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