Congratulations Jake!

Congratulations Jake!   He killed his ASVAB today!  His recruiter was absolutely thrilled with his performance on the ASVAB. He scored above where he needed to for the jobs he’s interested and high enough on the general score to have several great options for him.

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As you may recall from my Transitions post, Jake is slated to go into the Air Force later this fall. Today was the day he took the ASVAB to see what job he’d qualify for in the Air Force.  He’s been studying the ASVAB for the last several months  as the jobs that he’s interested in required a very high electrical and general score.  Fortunately, I was insistent that he take the ASVAB before going to MEPs, so he know what he qualifies for and have less to worry about at MEPs.

So now the countdown to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) and BMT (basic military training) has now begun.  On Monday he’ll go back to his recruiter to start putting together a list of the jobs and duty stations he’d like.  While it’s a wish list, hopefully with his score he’ll get one of his top choices.  As a side note, he used Kaplan Test Prep’s ASVAB test preparation and it helped tremendously.  If you or your child are planning to take the ASVAB, make sure you pick up the test prep.

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Meanwhile, the younger two are still living their best lives up in Minny nary missing us for a moment.  The hubby is busy working away on a nice manse on the water up in Jupiter. While he works his tail off, I’ve been spending my days at the dentist/doctor.   I am trying to get everything done this week my FSA ends on 7/31.  Consequently, my face feels like it’s going to be numb for days.  Anyway back to what this post is all about:  congratulations Jake!

 

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One Week

It’s been one week since I left the office for the last time.  So many emotions and so much fun has been had over the past seven days.  It’s not that I’m not sad to move on or anything like that, but I choose to embrace the madness and the excitement of moving forward. That isn’t to say I don’t have tough moments, but by and large I’m feeling good!  I started my first week off with a brilliant session at the salon with my girl Daniela and Jenja.  Nothing makes a girl feel better than a fresh hair cut and a nice brow wax.

During the intervening days, I had the occasion to meet several former colleagues and friends for lunch and drinks.   A fantastic time was had by all.  As an aside, I went to Farmer’s Table for the first time for lunch.  The food and service were absolutely brilliant.  Fortunately, Farmer’s Table’s menu had several amazing gluten free options.   I quite enjoyed the spasta with meatballs – spaghetti squash with marinara and chicken meatballs.  It was absolutely amazing.  I can’t wait to go back.  The next day, I had an amazing meal at Taverna Trela in Delray.  This meal was equally amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed my steak, mushroom and onion rice bowl.   Another menu with some great gluten free options.  I look forward to going back there as well.

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Friday also brought a doctor’s appointment, where my doctor noted how much happier and relaxed I looked.  My blood pressure was pretty freaking phenomenal too.  They see me all the time there on account of the regular bloodwork I need to get down for the thyroid, so it was encouraging they noted the change.  It was also encouraging that my thyroid is starting to approach the normal range!  Yes – victory is in site my friends.

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The weekend brought happy hours, another massage and some mini golf.  I thoroughly enjoyed my blueberry martinis at Burt & Max’s.  The lettuce wraps were pretty freaking good too.   Of course, the Chipotle at the end of the night was pretty good.  Admittedly, it was the first time I’ve had Chipotle in years.  I enjoyed the steak tacos on a hard shell.  It brought back memories of driving across the University of Minnesota on game nights to get to the only Chipotle close to our house because it was the best thing since sliced bread. Now that Chipotle is on every corner and they’ve had a couple e-coli scares, the novelty has worn off a bit.

Sunday night we hit the mini golf course with J&M2 also known as Jake and Mel.  .  Even though we went in the evening, it was still hot as hades on the course.  By the time we finished, I felt like I had been sitting in the sauna for an hour in my jeans.  Fortunately, the club house had the same temperature as the Baltic Sea.  In 5 seconds flat, I went from near heat stroke to hyperthermia.   If I’m being honest, mini golf isn’t my sport, but we had a blast.  I’m also declaring victory having ended a mere 13 above par.  Over previous efforts, this represented a serious improvement in performance

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the boys are living their best lives with their cousins.  They’re having a blast hanging out with their cousins and chilling on the boat with their Uncle J.  The Mayor loves tubing with his cousins, while Goalielocks is enjoying fishing the Minnesota lakes.  He caught a nice sized large mouth bass on Lake Minnetonka Sunday.  Last week, their cousin X and his soccer team were playing in the USA Cup in Blaine.  Needless to say, given the heat indices in Minny last week, I’m thrilled my boys play hockey.  I’ll never be sitting by a sideline in an 115 head index.  Suffice to say, if you asked the boys, they would tell you there’s no better passage of summer than one spent in Minnesota.

Goalielocks is also enjoying lessons with his former goalie coach from the Hawks, Coach Ryan, who is now coaching with MEGA Goaltending in Minnesota.  It’s fun for the boys to reconnect with Coach Ryan and to get back on the ice.  Since Goalielocks went on a growth spurt, we’ll need to buy him a full set of gear upon his return to Florida.  Oh the expensive joys of the hockey mom life.

Today is my father’s 66th birthday please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays!

Transitions

Life is full of transitions, but when you’re a parent of teens they seem to come non-stop.  The youngest two seemingly look, sound and appear older each and everyday.  I can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown since heading to Minnesota earlier this month.  They won’t be back in town until right before school starts in early August.  Yeah, early August.  I know what you’re thinking (and you’re right) Palm Beach County Schools start schools entirely too early.  Each day I call to speak to the boys, their voices seem to have shifted another octave lower.  I’ve resorted to asking discrete identifying questions to ensure I know which one I’m talking to on the phone.

The Boys
Now and Then: 2012 and 2019

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Meanwhile, Jake is deep in preparations to join the Air Force.  We met with the recruiter as a family late June to discuss the Air Force as a possibility.  Consequently, we’re pretty excited for Jake and the future the Air Force will bring him.  As a mom, it’s brought many mixed emotions as I’m excited that he’s got a solid road map for his future.  On the other hand, my boy is leaving the nest for good and joining the military (a bit scary.)   All in all, this fall promises to bring a major transition.

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Today marks the start of new beginnings as I close out my ten year career at KHE.  It is with mixed emotions that I move forward.  I will miss the work family that I have cultivated over the last ten years, but am very excited for what the future holds.  To all of my colleagues both current and former, thank you!  To keep in touch, hit the follow button on the blog. After all, everything maybe changing, but relationships don’t have to change.

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Given this week’s transitions, I’ll be fundraising much more aggressively for the Mayor’s trip to Europe next summer.   You can find the link to donate here: fundraising link

Memorial Day 5k

Better late than never, last Monday Jake, the Mayor and I ran the Memorial Day 5k.   This was my third race since being cleared to work out again.  Although I’m not sure my doctor will be thrilled when I tell her about it Tuesday, but we shall see. She did after all give me the clearance to exercise…

Race morning, I was filled with the usual pangs of regret as my alarm went off last Monday for the Memorial Day 5k.  After all it was 5:05 am and usually I’d get up, take my Synthroid and go back to bed for another hour or two before finally crawling out of bed. Meanwhile the bookends and I headed to Boca by 5:45 am to get our run on.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, this run started at 7:00 am, which sounds early, but is the only way to beat the South Florida heat.

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The run itself went really well.  Fortunately, there were no bridges to contend with like in the Mamacita Mimoas 5k two weeks ago.  The Mayor went out guns blazing, which is never a recipe for success when running distance.   We ended up running together for the first two miles before I ended up pulling away.  I was thrilled that I was able to complete mile 1 in less than 10 minutes.   It felt like a huge accomplishment.

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Mile two was slower, but not by too much.  It was difficult and the water stations kind of through of my mojo a bit.  They had stations every half a mile, which is nice, but it slows you down a bit.  By mile three, however, I was struggling.  In fact, an old guy with a limp, who was power walking the race passed me as we approached mile 3.  I cannot tell a lie: that was quite the hit to the pride.  I was resolute, however, that I would finish before him come hell or high water.  In the end, I had enough in the tank to finish before him and 2 two minutes faster than the previous weekend’s 5k.  Yay!

I quickly found Jake post race as he waited for me at the finish line.  The Mayor, however, took another four minutes to cross the finish line.  Apparently, he had made a friend along the course and took to socializing instead of running.  Nonetheless, he still covered the 3.1 miles and logged some decent cardio.  Afterwards, we waited for the mile run to finish, so we could watch Jake get his award for taking second place in his age group.  As for the Mayor and me, we were just happy to get our finisher pie.  We then headed home with our three finisher apple pies because that’s exactly what you need after a hard fought race.

Here’s our gear:
Shoes brought to you by Asics – my go to running shoe.  I love my Gel Kayanos and am on my fourth pair.  They’re the perfect shoe for serious runners.  My little man loves his Asics GT1000.  

My running pants and shirt: Call by Carrie Underwood Shop at Dicks Sporting Goods

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Lazy Sunday

After an insane week, lazy Sunday was the perfect follow up to lazy Saturday.  Yep, there was a 90% chance that today was gonna be a Netflix and chill type of day and indeed it was.  That’s not to say I wasn’t productive.  I caught up on all the laundry after Goalielocks finished scorekeeping at the rink this morning.  I even meal prepped for the week.  Meanwhile Goalielocks fished and the Mayor watched Netflix from the comfort of my yoga silk.

As I continue to on the Graves/thyroid rollercoaster, meal prepping has become increasingly important in my attempts to stay healthy.  I say healthy because while I see no change on the outside, I’d like to think under the layers I’m getting both stronger and healthier.  We’ll see what Dr. G has to say when I see her on Tuesday.  I’m sure she’ll be none to thrilled that I didn’t just complete the corporate run, but two other 5ks as well, but more on that later.

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For my meal prep, I look for something easy, high protein and relatively quick to put together.  This week I made five containers of chicken stir fry and brown rice.  For my fasting days, I’m currently doing the 5:2 intermittent fasting plan, I did not include brown rice.  For simplicity and time’s sake, I used Target’s Simply Balanced organic steamed in the bag stir fry vegetables.   Tyson’s thin sliced chicken strips, non-gmo and antibiotic free, were the perfect protein for the stir fry.

I started my meal prep, by firing up my Instantpot to make brown rice.  Fortunately, the Instantpot has proven to be a real time saver for cooking rice.   If you’re not a fan of brown rice, you could definitely substitute white rice.  Each weekend, I’ll cook up an entire bag of brown rice, which I’ll use for my weekly meals.  In addition, I have enough rice to package up three portions of rice that can be used for family meals.  This is where my Foodsaver plus is truly clutch.  I cook the rice in a 1:1 ratio rice to water for 22 minutes on high pressure followed by 10 minutes natural venting.  Lastly, I turn the knob and release all of the pressure.

Meanwhile on the stove, I’ve already browned my chicken.   The vegetables, which were steamed in the microwave were then stirred into the pan with the left over oil from the chicken.  Once I’ve cut up the chicken, I add it back to the pan with the veggies and teriyaki sauce.  In the span  of less than an hour, I’ve made my lunches for the entire week.  Additionally, thanks to my beautiful egg cooker, my breakfast for the week was done even before the rice had finished cooking.

The key to maintaining healthy habits is ensuring it’s simple, easy and can fit into your lifestyle.  If it takes too much time or is too cumbersome, it won’t stick.   My Instantpot, Foodsaver and egg cooker have been complete life savers.  These three handy appliances have been life altering.    I can now plan ahead and meal prep my lunches as well as family dinners.  We don’t time during hockey season to make family dinners.   Fortunately, being able to prep on a rare free weekend gives us the help we need to eat healthy during the crazy hockey season.

This evening I was able to sneak in a 30 minute run on the elliptical as the roast cooked in the oven.  My ankles have been a bit sore since the last 5k, so I’ve taken it easy on them this week by sticking to the elliptical instead of the road or treadmill.  Tomorrow will be leg day – oh joy!

P.S.  Tonight’s drama was our duck’s escape from its cage.  Yeah, there’s a whole series of posts coming your way on our duck drama.  I assure you it will be worth the wait.

Products used for today’s Meal prep:

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Corporate Run

Last Thursday was the annual Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I was excited to participate for my third running. This year was a bit different though since I haven’t run a 5k in over a year. Unfortunately, after tearing a tendon and a subsequent diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I was sidelined for what feels like forever!

Thankfully, my doctor was able to clear me for exercise once my thyroid finally stopped functioning in February. Yay! Nonetheless, a 5k was a tall order. I trained as much as I could, but with a hypoactive thyroid my energy is nonexistent. Meaning, instead of a normal, rigorous training schedule, my body needed 2-3 day breaks in between workouts. This itself represented a massive departure from my grandiose expectations for my recovery.

I was back at my doctor’s office early last week for my six-week check-in. She made some adjustments to my medication, which should help immensely. Honestly, the effortless weight gain, the absolutely no energy, the absolute exhaustion and the absolute inability to sleep properly have gotten old. On a positive note, my blood work supports my symptoms, which in my doc’s words “means we can fix it!”  My doc is a rock star and is taking good care of me through out my treatment. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process as we figure out the right Synthroid dosing.

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She did reiterate my ability to work out, but added a caveat about common sense. Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I did ask about the 5k, to which she responded “I hope you lose – meaning I hope you walk.” As I got up to leave, we compromised on a solid effort in the first mile with common sense dictating mile two and three.

In the end, I was nervous and excited for my first 5K in over a year. I went into the race with reasonable expectations and the hope that I’d finish somewhat respectably. As the race neared, we entered the start corral, which was huge. The corporate run had over 9,000 participants this race. Fortunately, it was a chip to chip race.  Consequently, my time was not negatively impacted by being encumbered by mobs of people behind the start line. img_0615

It felt amazing to be racing again! The first mile went pretty smooth and I felt pretty good. As I promised my doctor, I was conservative over the remainder of my race. In the end, with my foot asleep and pride swelling in my heart, I crossed the finish line. While my heart was swelling with pride, my right foot was coming back to life, after falling asleep on mile 2, as I waited patiently for my post race free beer.

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My time this race was the slowest I’ve ever logged at a 5k, but it will forever be the one that gives me the most pride. After a torn tendon, a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, subsequent treatment and no exercise for nine months, my time of 37:23 is pretty damn good! Moral of the story, winning isn’t always about getting a PR every race. Sometimes winning is not being afraid to show up and do your best no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. 

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Lastly, I had to share this photo from last year’s race as it included Paul.   My associate director Paul was someone who embodied perseverance.  While he wasn’t with us this year physically, he was definitely therein spirit.  We miss you Paul!

One Week in Quebec

One week in Quebec for the hubby and Mayor. Meanwhile in Florida, the freezer and an AC unit have gone done. I definitely picked the sort straw in this equation. Truly, I’m just happy it’s Friday. It’s been a long week.

As for my Mayor, he and his team had a scrimmage against the Flyers AAA team. It was a completely one-sided game. Until the coaches decided to do mix the teams and do a split squad game. Honestly, these are some of the best game experiences. It’s super cool to have the opportunity to play with new kids in this environment. Also, instead of a blowout game, you get a more even and entertaining game for everyone involved. The kids loved it!  Plus, my boy got a nice goal.

Between the games and in the small amount of downtime the kids have, they spend it hanging out in the hotel. Apparently, my boy even does wake up calls. You can see how the kids are getting progressively more tired as the week has progressed. They follow a pretty rigorous schedule day in and day out. Needless to say, I think they’re sleeping pretty soundly.

My Mayor was so excited today to try sushi for the first time. Consequently, post game my Hubby took him to pick up sushi to go. He grabbed his sushi and headed to the Patro with the rest of his team for dinner. The Hubby meanwhile went out for Mongolian with some of the dads. We can only hope there was no Canadian Whiskey involved.

Here at the homestead, I attempted to flush the AC line. It didn’t work and I got water everywhere. Clearly, I’ll be waiting for my Hubby to fix it upon his return to Florida. Goalielocks set up Doordash, so we had Sushi Yama delivered. I’m far too tired to cook. This weekend I’ll be doing nothing, but relaxing.

Thursday in Quebec

It’s Thursday in Quebec and that meant game two of the tournament. Unfortunately, the squad didn’t have a good morning and was knocked out of the tournament. Fortunately that doesn’t mean the hockey is done for them as they’ll likely have more exhibition games tomorrow and maybe Saturday.

It’s incredibly hard not to be there because it’s such an amazing experience for the kids. Tonight they went out to the skate park in Shannon, Quebec. This place is magnificent. It has hockey rinks, a skating trail and a ice slide. The trail through the woods is beautiful. It could hardly get more picturesque.

As for the hockey, there’s nothing better than watching these Florida kids enjoy hockey as it’s supposed to be. Outside and without all the equipment just like The Hubby and I grew up playing in Minnesota. Incidentally, neither of us had played hockey inside or in full gear until we moved to Florida.

When Goalielocks and I went in 2016, we got some snow. They, however, have mountains of snow. I’m watching the winter storms carefully in case they’re delayed in getting out Sunday. Although I’m sure none of the kids would mind spending more time in Quebec. Lastly, I’m happy to report that the hockey dads have survived the Canadian whiskey and the bromance continues!

Meanwhile in Florida, our AC unit died!

Peewee Quebec 2019

IMG_7363.jpegIt’s time for Peewee Quebec 2019! For the uninitiated, Peewee Quebec is the penultimate youth hockey tournament in the world. Goalielocks was fortunate to go in 2016, so we’re thrilled that the Mayor has the opportunity to go.

They flew out yesterday, flying to Montreal and then driving to Quebec City. Fortunately for my hubby, his booking faux pas paid off. It turns out they wouldn’t have made their connecting flight to Quebec City due to flight delays. Thankfully, it also meant our friend’s who missed their connecting flight were able to catch a ride to Quebec City. My Mayor called me from the road to let me know they had made it to Montreal and were headed to QC.

Their night ended late last night, while today started bright and early. The Mayor’s team had their first exhibition game of the trip against the Les Esclairuers. It wasn’t a pretty game, but the Mayor had two assists and a good time. After the game, they headed to the Patro to eat.

I can’t wait to hear the Mayor’s impression of the Patro. When we were there the cashier looked like Sloth from Goonies, but with a French accent. It was super cool to see the teams from all over the globe. On our first day there with Goalielocks, his team met the teams from Calgary, Ukraine, Austria, and Minnesota. It’s a pretty unique experience.

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Tomorrow the Mayor’s squad will take on a Czech team before hitting the slopes at Val Cartier. We had an absolute blast at Val Cartier, so I can’t wait to see how my hubby and my Mayor enjoy it. It’s an amazing tubing park and absolutely beautiful. While they’re in Quebec over the next eight days, I’ll be sharing pictures from their trip and our first trip in 2016

Meanwhile in Florida, Goalielocks and I made pan friend ribeye steaks last night. He wanted an appetizer, so we kept it classy with pigs in a blanket (puff pastry since we’re fancy.) Tonight we made home made pizza and French bread pizza with the leftover bread from last night. Goalielocks made the pizza crust for our pie from scratch. We fancy!

I also hit the gym, which felt good. Unfortunately, my joints did not tolerate my treadmill at all. I’ve got a lot of pain and swelling in my knees and other joints. My doc said the pain should abate as my thyroid levels normalize in the coming weeks. I hope she’s right. In the interim, I’m sticking to the elliptical and bike to ensure I’m getting the joints movement with minimal impact. Also taking shots of fresh squeezed ginger and turmeric post workout to help mitigate against the inflammation.

Here’s the video of their entrance this morning, be sure to watch to the end.

Just Another Saturday

It was just another Saturday spent at the rink. Goalielocks had five games to referee this morning while the Mayor had a marathon practice for Peewee Quebec. Today’s games were Goalielocks first travel games. Fortunately or rather unfortunately, they were mites or as we call them now U8.

For the uninitiated, hockey parent craziness seems to be inverse to the age of the kids. Meaning as the kids age, the parents tend to mellow. At U8, however, every kid is going to the NHL and every game brings an intensity from the parents you only wished to get out of your players.

It’s been awhile since we’ve been in mite hockey, but the cavalcade of cowbells quickly brought me back. I found my seat in the bleachers next to the hubby, so we could anonymously watch him ref.

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Honestly, I only made it through one game. Refereeing is hard enough because of all the rules and all the responsibilities that go with it. When you add crazy parents screaming at you and you’re only fifteen, it’s a whole different world. At least from a mom’s perspective. I think the best part is watching them scream at both refs for not calling penalties forgetting that penalties are assessed at the end of the game. I left, but my husband was quick to point out this cycle continued. How quickly people forget….

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My ref was good with it, which is why refereeing is so good for our kids. You learn so many viable life skills. On the otherhandn I headed home to take care of the laundry and grocery shopping since I had no desire Not wanting to get into a fight. Goalielocks did end up having to eject his first parent. No surprise here, but it was a goalie dad. We goalie parents are a special breed. Long story short, my boy enjoyed his day refereeing.

Midway through Goalielocks’ marathon ref session, the Mayor’s Peewee Quebec practice started. His practice ran from 11:30-5:30 with Coach Shawn putting them through two on ice sessions and off ice. I missed the practice, but the hubby was able to watch most of it.

We’re so excited that our Mayor’s been given an opportunity to play at Peewee Quebec. Goalielocks did the tournament three years ago and it was one of the best trips ever. I love Quebec City, especially old town, so I’m bummed I’m going to miss this trip. Nevertheless, someone has to hold down the fort in Florida!

The best part about the last practice before the tournament is getting all the swag. My Mayor was wearing his new hat all night! The pin bag brings back great memories for both Goalielocks and I. I know the Mayor will love trading pins.

Tonight we grilled some flank steak fajitas (recipe below) and served it with grilled onions and roasted peppers for a healthy low carb dinner. Well, mine was low carb as I used romaine lettuce as my tortilla. I know what you’re thinking, I’m taking my life into my hands using romaine lettuce and you’re probably right. The Mayor was deeply offended by our gross dinner choice, so he made himself pizza rolls.

Make it here:

Steak Fajitas:

1 flank steak

1 juice of one lime

2 onions sliced

1-2 lbs of mini bell peppers, sliced lengthwise

Olive oil

Pepper

Salt

Instructions:

If using a charcoal grill, get it started.

Onions:

Cut the onions into slices.

Coat the onions in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place onions on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes until they’re tender.

Peppers:

Pre-heat oven to 450

Slice peppers lengthwise

Coat peppers in olive oil and season with salt and pepper

Roast the peppers for 20 minutes and remove from oven once the edges have started to turn black.

(If using regular bell peppers, I prefer to cook them on the grill with the onions.)

Steak:

Use the juice of one lime and olive oil to coat both sides of the flank steak. My hubby prefers to rub the steak with olive oil and freshly squeeze the juice over the steak. Use the salt and pepper to flavor as desired and set aside until the grill is ready. Don’t let it sit for too long or it will get mushy.

Once the grill is hot, cook five minutes per side. We cooked ours for about ten minutes and it was medium rare, which is how we like ours.

Let the meat rest 5-10 minutes before slicing at a 45 degree angle against the grain.

And then assemble. I should have taken a picture of the final product, but I ate it too quickly! It’s so simple and so good!