Flank Steak with Chile and Watermelon Salad.

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I am giddy with excitement.

The favorite season of the year is rolling in. Chicago in the fall is the best. I just drank a coconut milk latte from Starbucks. The best. I am working on a very exciting project that I cannot wait to share with you. The best. I am getting better at grilling. The best. My apartment is finally coming together and looks like someone lives there. The best. And Chicago Gourmet is just around the corner. THE. BEST.

Okay, that was incredibly obnoxious. You get it, things are really good right now. The last month or two has been stressfully busy. Almost to the point of exhaustion. But things all happen for a reason. At the time they are meant to happen. Over the last two years it has been amazing to see everything come together. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought that life was shambles. How often I thought nothing was going my way. How frequently I thought that all the hard work and energy I put forth was all for nothing. This is life, right? We have ups and downs.

I am here to tell you this: keep going. Whether you're in a job that you don't love. Or you don't feel like you are reaching as many people as you'd like on your blog. Keep going. Life isn't easy. And nothing happens over night (unless you're a delicious steak marinade). It is the effort that you put forth, little by little, that will bring you to the end goal. Corny and easier said than done, I am aware. But please trust me. You can do it. Things get better. Things will work out.

Speaking of nothing happening over night...this marinade recipe for flank steak is to die for. And the chile and watermelon salad? The perfect combination of spicy and sweet. Quick, before the weather cools down too much, go outside and grill up some flank steak. Pop open a bottle of beer. And enjoy life.


Flank Steak with Chile and Watermelon Salad 4 servings


Steak: 1 ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon sriracha ½ teaspoon grated peeled ginger ½ teaspoon agave nectar 1 ½ pound flank steak

Salad: ¼ cup sriracha ¼ cup grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar 1 ¼ teaspoon agave nectar kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 large bell peppers, preferably assorted colors, cut into ½-inch squares 2 tablespoons minced red jalapeños 2 cups ½-inch cubes seedless watermelon



  1. Whisk all ingredients except flank steak in a glass baking dish.
  2. Add steak; turn to coat. Cover and let marinate at room temperature, turning occasionally, for 2 hours. Alternatively, cover and chill, turning occasionally, for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before grilling.


  1. Whisk sriracha, ¼ cup oil, vinegar, and agave nectar in a small bowl; season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Place peppers and chiles in a large bowl. Toss with 6 tablespoons dressing.
  3. Let marinate at room temperature for 2 hours. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and salad separately and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
  1. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Brush grill grate with oil.
  2. Grill steak with some marinade still clinging until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for rare.
  3. Transfer to a work surface; let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Slice steak thinly against the train; transfer to a platter.
  5. Drizzle with some of the remaining dressing from salad.
  6. Toss watermelon into pepper salad.
  7. Serve flank steak and salad with remaining dressing alongside.