Photo: Erin Kunkel
Greetings from Utah! Last week, I ditched my surgery recovery strategy of binge-watching Billions from the sofa and declared myself “recovered.” (Mind over matter, amirite?) Over the last 10 days, I’ve traveled to teach “Meat Camp” at Belcampo’s ranch; to Jackson Hole, WY for fun with family; and to Park City, Utah for quality time with my boys. Today we’re off to Salt Lake for a work day, then home, and then I’m off to New York on Wednesday. I’ve driven 1200 miles and taken one plane flight so far, and as I write this, it all sounds so hectic, but it has been incredibly relaxing. How, you ask? During the travel, I’ve had hours of time to get lost in my own thoughts, be it driving from spot to spot or walking by myself while my sons catch up on The World Series of Poker and Summer League Basketball on TV.
During all of this time to myself, I keep reflecting on how much has happened in my life over the past few years. BIG stuff has happened—good stuff and not-so-good stuff. But lately, some of my biggest dreams are coming true, and I keep asking myself why? As I’ve been deep in conversation with myself, here’s what I’ve concluded:
I started taking huge risks in my life. (I stopped letting fear control my decision-making abilities.)
I’ve been working my ass off. I love my work, but those extra efforts I made are paying off now.
I am grateful. Even through the crappy stuff, I’ve always understood that my life is pretty great. I know how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, food on my table, healthy children, and an ability to earn a living. I don’t know when I mastered gratitude, but I have it and I don’t intend on letting it go.
I’ve realized my own abilities. I didn’t acquire a decent amount of self-esteem or self-confidence growing up—I have my theories why—but is only recently that I’ve started to understand what I bring to the table. (Maybe I’m coming into my own power?) Suddenly I understand my talents, and I’ve stopped apologizing for them. I’m no longer acting like people are doing me a favor to work with me. I’ve also realized being nice isn’t a weakness. It’s one of the things that makes people want to work with me.
I’ve stopped asking permission for what I want to do with my life. I’m just doing it.
I’ve surrounded myself with wonderful people. This has been the biggest game changer for me. I literally have a zero-tolerance policy for jerks. It is AMAZING what happens when you only keep room in your life for good peeps.
As I reflect on all of the good things happening, I keep saying to myself, “I did this!” The hard work, the bad decisions, the great decisions…I have made this life for myself, and I am so grateful for how it’s unfolding! I hope each of you has a minute this week to think about something great you’ve made happen in your own life.
And on the note of asking for what I want, have you pre-ordered a copy of The Vibrant Life yet? I’ll let you in on a little secret: if I want to be on the NY Times Bestsellers List, selling books in advance really matters. So help a girl out! Pre-order my book online and then enter to win a Traeger Pro Series grill, right here on my website! We’ll select the winner on August 6th. And for fun, here’s one of my favorite recipes from the new book—a grilled ribeye steak with Hasselback sweet potatoes. You can cook the whole meal on your new grill!
Grilled Rib Eyes with Hasselback Sweet Potatoes and Preserved Lemon Gremolata
- 2 bone-in rib-eye steaks about 1 1⁄2 lb each
- 4 sweet potatoes about 8 oz each
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preserved Lemon Gremolata (see below)
Preserved Lemon Gremolata
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- ¼ cup finely chopped shallot
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup roasted, salted almonds finely chopped
- 2 tbsp minced preserved lemon plus 1 tsp preserved lemon liquid
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- One hour before serving, remove the steaks from the refrigerator to allow them to come to room temperature.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each sweet potato crosswise into 1/8 in [3 mm] slices, cutting only three-fourths of the way through the potatoes so they stay intact.
- To prepare the potatoes in the oven: Preheat the oven to 425°F [220°C]. Place the cut potatoes, sliced-side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until the potatoes are browned on the outside and tender in the center, 50 to 60 minutes.
- To prepare the potatoes on the grill: Prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat, 400°F [200°C]. Grease the grill grate lightly. Place the cut potatoes on a grill-safe roasting pan. Drizzle with oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the pan on the grill, then cover the grill. Roast until the potatoes are browned on the outside and tender in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the grill or transfer to the warming section of the grill.
- Rub each steak with oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper generously over each side. Place the steaks on the grill and cook, allowing each side to sear, until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 130°F [55°C] for medium-rare, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the steaks from the grill, and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice the steaks against the grain. Place the potatoes and sliced steak on a platter. Drizzle a spoonful of the gremolata over each sweet potato and serve, passing the remaining gremolata at the table.
Preserved Lemon Gremolata
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and honey until the honey dissolves. Stir in the shallot and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, almonds, lemon and liquid, and oil, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.