Image via Pinterest, source unknown
It’s a heat wave!
Just in case you are a lucky person who does not live in the southern half of the country, you’ll know it’s way beyond 100 degrees at this point in the year. Oklahoma’s weather keeps breaking records — 114 degrees last week!
So suffice it to say, we’re not going to be spending too much time outdoors for the rest of the summer, unless large bodies of water are involved.
Or an indoor pool…
Image via House and Home
…if you have one, can we come over?
But if you have little kids, or a big spouse/kid, you’ll need to arm yourself with fun activities. I’ve come across a few ways to keep those summer blues at bay.
Image via Tater Tots and Jello
Indoor camp outs are perfect for kids — or adults. If you think the heat might spoil that summer barbecue you’ve been planning, set up an indoor camping area like this and you have an instant party showpiece. Serve campout classics, such as S’mores with toasted marshmallows made over the gas stove burner, foil packet dinners made in the oven, and beverages served out of the thermos. Presto…campy fun (forgive the pun)!
Image via Little Lovables
But if you do have a house full of energetic children, you still must have a good game plan. This fun, indoor hopscotch mat is just the thing to keep them busy and have fun before school starts.
Gardeners in Oklahoma, or most parts of the country for that matter, are throwing their hands up in despair during the blazing heatwave of August. Why not jump on the latest trend — terrariums? They are beautiful, self-contained and give you the feeling of having a green thumb while being fully air conditioned.
And finally, another necessary issue associated with these heat wave are mandatory burn bans — and we just learned why they are so important to follow this time of year, after horrendous wildfires ravaged Oklahoma this weekend.
That certainly changes your typical charcoal grilling plans, so we whipped up these steak tacos indoors one weekend night recently. They were just as yummy as the outdoor version.
Have a safe, air-conditioned heat wave!
Indoor Chipolte Steak and Avocado Tacos
2 pounds flank steak, or four thin strip steaks
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
2 large avocados, ripe
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice), shredded
Salsa verde (I prefer Herdez brand)
Salt and pepper
Lime juice of 2 limes, plus zest of one lime
1. Combine chipolte peppers, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper in a large zip-top bag. Add steak to bag, and allow meat to marinate for at least two hours in the refrigerator, up to over night. The longer the better.
2. Drizzle sliced onions and peppers with 2 teaspoons olive oil and salt and pepper on a sheet pan. Roast in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 12-15 minutes, tossing with a spatula halfway through, until browned and tender.
2. While veggies are cooking, prepare grill pan or cast iron skillet. Heat to high. If using flank steak, sear the meat for five to seven minutes on first side, then flip and sear for about five to seven on the second side until desired doneness — it depends on the thickness of the meat. If using four thin-cut strip steaks , cook for about five minutes on first side, and four or five minutes on second side.
3. When steaks are done, allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat the tortillas in an low oven (about 200 degrees) for about 10 minutes, or microwave in a damp paper towel for about 25 seconds.
4. Slice steak against the grain into strips, like fajitas. Assemble on warm tortillas with sliced avocado, roast onions and peppers, cheese and salsa.