40 In Life/ Recipes

A Friday Night With Friends…

A Friday night with friends is worth a Saturday morning in the kitchen.


Our night with friends was wonderful and worth every minute I stood over the sink this morning cleaning up. Especially since there was a young man close by to attend to my every need with such joy.


He’s such a funny little Rover and all I ever want to do is hold him and kiss him. Although, last week he did happen to draw back his little hand and hit me smack in my face {and it wasn’t an accident}. I’m hoping it’s been made clear to him that such behavior is not becoming of a little man. Thankfully he’s yet to try that again.

I didn’t take too many pictures last night of our actual meal. I did snap a few while I prepped. My sweet friends provided the appetizers: prosciutto wrapped asparagus, steamed won-tons, and edamame. We had Rum Slushes as our festive beverage and for dinner: marinated and grilled flank steak, Jasmine rice, baked peaches, a Chinese salad, & whole grain bread. And for dessert, a chocolate sheet cake with vanilla ice cream & whipped cream! All of the recipes are from my mother, who is a wonderful cook! Her easy peaches are a regular around here. The kids love them and we do too!

The baked peaches helped balance out the salty soy flavors from the flank steak and the salad dressing. The recipe is so easy: open a can of halved peaches, place in baking dish, add little syrup from the can, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 until warm.


The salad is made from Napa {Chinese cabbage} and Bok Choy {another Chinese cabbage that is more like celery but not like celery 🙂 }.

And green onions too.


The best part about the salad is the dressing and yummy crunchy topping which consists of butter, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, and crushed ramen noodles {without the flavor packet}


The only other picture that I took was of the sheet cake smothered in heavenly chocolate frosting…. mmmm!


The food was good but the fellowship was even better! I’ll include the recipes below. 

::Rum Slush::
Usually this is made with bourbon/whiskey but we used rum instead. And I didn’t follow these instructions below to a t… but this is the recipe I went by! Some variations call for pineapple juice & Sprite.
7 cups water
3 cups rum
12 oz frozen lemonade
6 oz frozen orange juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups strong tea {I used decaf and instead of adding the sugar I just lightly sweetened my tea while it was still hot}
Mix all ingredients a day ahead and place in freezer. When ready to serve, take out of freezer and put desired amount in blender for a second or put in a bowl and mix until it is semi-liquified. Serve in old-fashioned glasses.

::Flank Steak Marinade::
1/3 C soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs honey
2 tbs olive oil
Combine ingredients in small sauce pan and stir until it comes to a boil then remove from heat. Let cool completely before marinating. This recipe will marinate 2 flank steaks, I doubled it for 4 and marinated for about 12 hours in the refrigerator in ziploc bags.

I’m funny about grilling. I’m very much over gas grills. They don’t distribute the heat evenly and only last a couple years before having to replace burners… charcoal is so easy, and if you want consistent heat, it’s the way to go, just make sure all the coals are very white and all the “lighter fluid” is burned off before you put your meat on! We grilled the flank steak for about 6 minutes on each side… some, because of thickness, were medium rare and others medium well.

::Chinese Salad::
1 head of Napa cleaned and chopped
1 stalk of Bok Choy cleaned and chopped {I cut off the very top like I would celery}
1 bunch of green onions cleaned and chopped

::Salad Dressing::
2 tbs soy sauce
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C white wine vinegar
1 C oil {I used extra virgin olive oil}
Add these ingredients to the blender except the oil and blend. While it blends add 1 C of oil. The dressing will likely still separate before serving. Just give it a good shake.

1 tbs butter
1/4 C sesame seeds
1/4 C sunflower seeds
1/4 C slivered almonds
1 package of ramen noodles crushed {w/o flavor packet}
Melt butter in large skillet add all ingredients to it until well toasted about 5 or so minutes. Place on parchment or wax paper to cool and keep in airtight container for up to a week. {It will not seem “toasted” until it cools down.}

The Texas Sheet Cake came from my Cook’s Country Cookbook {which I LOVE, thank you Daddy Boy!} but here is the online version, and it unfortunately looks like you have to create a free account to get it. I would copy and paste the recipe here but I’d hate to be hauled off to jail for doing so. Does anyone watch them on PBS on Saturday mornings? It’s a really fun show you should tune in sometime, the girls love to watch it too… and their test kitchen… makes me very happy and I’d like to spend some time there!!

 Ok, see you Rovers soon!

**Diane, I still love my lemons and I think of and pray for you often!

You Might Also Like

  • Whitney Adams Mastin
    February 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Yum! Thanks for the recipes! The peaches seem particularly easy and may become a regular around here 🙂 Glad you had a fun night with friends!

  • Lauren
    February 6, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I love the cooking show on APT on Saturday mornings….it’s great! I’ll have to check out that chocolate sheet cake recipe. It looks great! The peaches look awesome as well! Have a good night!

  • Kristi
    February 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Wow! Those recipes sound so good! Thanks for sharing the them. Glad you all had a great time. Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

  • elizabeth
    February 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    yum! recipes sound good! thanks for sharing

  • Christy
    February 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    can I please come to your house for dinner? Everything sounds so yummy! I’ll definitely be printing out these recipes! thanks!

  • Jen
    February 6, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    love your first sentence. and my how you realize that even more the older you get!

  • Ashley
    February 6, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    YUM YUM YUM!!! This all looks delicious! And it’s all so different! I can’t wait to try all of these recipes this week! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • your cool friend Cheryl
    February 7, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Totally trying the peaches! They’ll be a fun alternative to baked apples…yum!

  • Ramsey
    February 7, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Looks delish! That was very original and beautiful pictures as always!

  • jessica
    February 7, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Can’t wait to try the recipes! And we love pbs on saturday mornings. I always turn it on while I’m cleaning and doing stuff around the house – so I can peep in and see whats going on. I am determined to make it a tradition to have pbs on the tv on saturday mornings when we have children. By the way, where does the term “rover” come from – my husband and I love it!

  • Holly @ Times Two
    February 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I can’t wait to try the bok choy recipe. My mom had a similar one, though hers was absolutely PACKED with sugar. Thanks for sharing!

  • MaryBeth
    February 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Since I can’t cook a lick, I need more recipes from your mom. One or two steps and done is for me. xo, MB

  • mommasissy
    February 7, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I want to come to a dinner party at your house!! I try really hard to not be jealous of your lemon painting from Diane. If I ever get out my paints again – I might have to paint myself something similar.

  • mommasissy
    February 7, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I’m back. I’d also like to tell you that I want to move into that house. That’s all. That’s going into my file under “dream house”. Kiss your Rover, Raiger, and Mo’. XO

  • Dianne
    February 7, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Oh Darby, what a surprise your comment was. I read everyday and was delighted you think of me now and then. We still are asking for prayers, no clear diagnosis yet. Thank you sweetie for the cheer your blog brings me everyday. Kisses to the children. xoxo Dianne

  • angela
    February 7, 2010 at 11:17 am

    How simple is that peach dish….and I would have never thought to do that. I will give it a try!

    I love the picture of Rover with the gloves on! Did your children stay tucked in their rooms during the dinner?

  • Cousin
    February 7, 2010 at 11:41 am

    mmmm,all looks delish! Love the Chinese salad! Glad you had a good time! Love you and all of your Rovers!!

  • Keeley
    February 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I just found your blog and I’m enjoying your stories and your beautiful photos. I started a food blog last year because I love to cook. I feel that a dinner at home with friends is far superior than an elaborate restaurant meal. You can eat and drink as much as you like at your leisure and you don’t feel rushed to leave your table.

  • Shannon
    February 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    My family, especially my son, love those peaches. We even do them in the microwave when we are in a hurry. My mom made those for us growing up, her recipe has the peaches flipped the other way with a little butter plopped inside. Adds some richness, so yummy! Love your blog. I am new reader, I just love your sweet, joyful spirit, your love for the Lord and your family.

  • Kristi
    February 7, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you for posting all the recipes!! I have been looking for one to use Bok Choy and now I have one! 🙂 I have an 18 month old who recently smacked me in the face as well!!!! I’m hoping she understood that it’s a NO-NO!
    Your blog is fantastic. And I make my egg salad the same way! 🙂

  • Lauren
    February 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time!! Thanks for the recipes.

  • Kristen
    February 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Your entire menu sounds DELISH! Steve’s aunt gave me that same recipe for what she calls “Bourbon Slush”…very yummy! The girls will love the peaches…can’t wait to try it!

  • Christina
    February 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Everything sounds great. I especially love the ease of the baked peaches. They look yummy! I LOVE your lemon painting. It’s beautiful and just perfect for that space.

  • Karen Jo Moseley
    February 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Naughty Darby! Posting that photo of the cake! I JUST made the “Striped Dessert” yesterday. It is so scrummy, by the way. And, oh my, the CALORIES….although I did use the Lite-Cool Whip, sugar-free chocolate pudding and Splenda white sugar, so that helped some. ; )
    I think I’ll be waiting awhile to bake that cake.

    Love the photo of your little Rover with the gloves. I canNOT imagine him smacking you. It had to be a one-time thing, ya’ think?

  • Brooke G.
    February 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    The peaches seem right up my alley! I love recipes that involve opening a can and dumping 😉 LOVE the Rover with those gloves 😉 He is so cute…. And I totally hear you on the squeezing and smooching all day…. I do that to my two-year-old guy who is just now starting to protest…. booo hoooo hooooo ;(

  • Montye
    February 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Yum, Yum! Will try to attempt the salad, looks great. Hope you and your family have a great week.

  • trish
    February 8, 2010 at 9:10 am

    this meal looks delicious!! and the chocolate cake looks just like the pioneer woman’s chocolate sheet cake. you can take a look at her recipe on her website under the cooking tab for free 🙂

  • Rachel @ Pencil Shavings
    February 8, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Oh man, my little one slapped me right in the face when I went to pick him up from the nursery at Bible Study. AT BIBLE STUDY! I was mortified. So glad to know that it’s happened to other moms, too!

  • Amber
    February 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    We just discovered the cooks show and love it! We have gotten the magazines for a while, and my husband really loves to read through all of the test kitchen stuff, so getting to watch it all on the show is even better! We joke about how that would be the perfect job for him, but now that I’ve seen a picture of the house and the kitchen, I think it might be the perfect job for me!
    Oh – I love that there is a lego in your picture of the drying dishes!

  • Lori
    February 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    recipes sound yummy – thanks sharing those. I’ll definitely try them out!

  • Emerging Domesticity
    February 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Peaches could be one of my most favorite foods on the planet. Thanks for posting!
    ~Emerging Domesticity

  • Jenny B.
    February 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    yeah, yeah… it all looks yummy and it sounds like a great time. nothing new. 🙂

    what i really want to know is if your counters are granite. b/c we just went under contract on a new house and i want black counters, but not sure if we should do granite or something else. i’ve only seen your kitchen a million times on here, but for some reason i’m just now thinking to ask.

    thank ya, darby!

  • Emily
    February 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Darby, I have been reading your blog for about 9 months now (ever since my girlfriend told me to look at the AMAZING orange bathroom reno pics) and I truly appreciate the sharing you do. Your recipies and crafts are so “do-able” and inspirational. The simple directions and photos make them easy to follow. I am especially excited to try the Chinese salad. Please blog more! Thanks

  • Kelly
    February 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I think the salad sound good and I can’t wait to try making it. Sounds like you had a fun nite.

  • andi
    February 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    It was wonderful, beautiful, scrumptious and full of laughter…all of which are just a few reasons we love having dinner. 🙂 You are so precious! I am just so glad the perky peaches made the photo shoot.

  • Christie
    February 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    My husband grows both Napa and Bok Choy for a Chinese food distributor in Chinatown in NYC. I have never made anything with either, but this recipe looks great! Now I have no excuse not to try them!

  • Diana
    April 9, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I went to college with Micah Melnick and stumbled upon your fabulous blog when she posted a link to recent post about Big House and the Pepsi grant voting on her facebook page. I have a very similar flank steak marinade recipe, but it doesn’t use ginger. I can’t wait to try your version along with a batch of those delicious-looking peaches.

  • coupon
    November 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, great written and include approximately all important infos.
    I’d like to see more posts like this .

    Take a look at my web blog :: coupon

  • felt
    June 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I am curious to find out what blog platform you are utilizing?

    I’m experiencing some small security issues with my
    latest site and I’d like to find something more secure.
    Do you have any suggestions?

  • bondage equipment
    September 7, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Can I simply say what a comfort to uncover someone who genuinely knows what they are discussing over the
    internet. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More people really need to check this out and understand this side of your
    story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular because you certainly have the gift.