Bringing Family Together with Bush’s Beans & French Marinated Flank Steak

As I’ve said before, when I think of cookouts, I think of tradition, family and fabulous food.

I simply adore the idea of gathering those I love to relish in a moment, indulge in good food and make memories to cherish for a lifetime.

And that’s exactly what we enjoyed this past weekend.

I decided to set the scene with my great-grandmother’s antique blue Transferware dishes. There’s just something so comforting and personal about entertaining with items that have been passed down from one generation to the next.

So simple and elegant.

Fresh cut lilacs from the yard made for lovely and fragrant centerpieces.

Some fresh appetizers kept everyone busy while the main meal was being prepared and My Yanni was getting the grill ready to go.

Family mingled and reveled in the day.

Aunt Marcey and Sweet Cheeks enjoyed many a moment together.

We relaxed as my youngest entertained us with her own rendition of  “There She Goes” by the La’s (she’s an alternative music lover, I raised my girl right).

There’s just something so medicinal about an acoustic guitar.

Meanwhile My Yanni prepared the flank steak for the grill.

For as long as I can remember, a delicious flank steak has been the backbone of our family cookouts. I can still feel the sting of the sun on my cheeks and the crunchy dried chlorine in my hair as I peddled my bicycle home from the pool as fast as I could to enjoy our family summer cookouts.

My Yanni prepared a delicious French marinade that we all loved!

These are the ingredients,

Herbs De Provence, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, red wine, olive oil and garlic.

I on the other hand was slaving away in the kitchen.

I prepared the savory, smokey, delicious baked beans.

This is my secret…

I opened a can of Bush’s Grillin’ Smokehouse Traditional baked beans…

poured them in a pot…

Heated them and poured them into one of my great-grandmother’s gorgeous antique bowls.

Voila! That’s all there is to it.

My Yanni grilled the flank steaks to perfection.

Would you just look at all of that gorgeous food?

The flank steak was so melt-in-your-mouth-tender and juicy.

It paired beautifully with the smoky flavor of the beans and the crunch of the salad.

Once grace was said, we just couldn’t dig in without giving a traditional lemonade toast.

As I glanced around the table smiles where spreading amongst the guests…

as they enjoyed the fabulous food,

phenomenal company,

and the many faces of Uncle George.

Magical moments where captured as Nana gazed upon…

her granddaughters,


and more sweet melodies were served up,

along side the strawberry shortcake.

It was indeed a day full of indulging in fabulous food, enjoying all that family has to offer and relishing in the traditions that make memories to last a lifetime.

Make sure you enter the Grillin’ Kit Giveaway below!

Happy Grilling to you & yours!


Here is the scrumptious flank steak recipe:

French Marinated Flank Steak
serves 6-8

1-2 pounds flank steak

1/2 cup Bordeaux wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons Herbs De Provence
2 garlic cloves- crushed
1 teaspoon salt & pepper

Here’s what to do:

First grab a fork and poke some holes all over the flank steak. This will help all of the yummy marinade absorb into the meat.

Place steak into a large plastic storage bag, add all marinade ingredients. Make sure bag is completely sealed, then squeeze and massage the bag until all ingredients are incorporated and the meat is thoroughly covered. Let meat marinate in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.

Grill steak on medium heat about ten minutes on each side to desired temp. Cover steak with aluminum foil and let rest, thinly slice across the grain.


Now don’t go anywhere…

Don’t forget to enter the fabulous giveaway for the Grillin’ Kit below.

Bush’s Grillin’ Beans Grilling Kit includes:

  • Emile Henry Dutch Oven
  • Rosle Barbecue Tools
  • Bush’s Apron, Can Opener, and Grillin’ Beans
  • $50 Visa Gift Card

To enter the giveaway just leave me a comment below answering this question:

What’s your favorite cookout memory?

This giveaway begins today and runs until Monday, May 30, 2011 at midnight EST and is open to all U.S. residents. One winner will be randomly selected and announced sometime on Tuesday May 31, 2011 EST. Please make sure to leave a valid email address so that we can notify you about prize details!

Disclamer: The cookout and giveaway are in partnership with Bush’s Beans. However my opinions, thoughts and photos are 100% my own.



  1. Susan Ayers says

    I love your grandmother’s Willow Print China… I have my Great Aunt’s collection….

  2. says

    What a beautiful family you have. Looks like everyone enjoyed that delicious meal and the time you spent together, priceless.

  3. says

    My favorite cookout memory was the first time I met my Fiance’s whole family – he has 11 aunts and uncles…and more cousins than I can count on ANY fingers or toes. It was last summer, and it was my (future) Mother-in-law’s 50th birthday. I have never laughed so much in my life, I learned what real northern food from Pittsburgh meant – and I realized where the man I fell in love with truly came from.

    I even got the uncle who doesn’t like anyone to admit I’m his favorite. It was a day that will always stick with me, and it’s a great memory.

  4. Kimberly says

    My favorite cookout memory is going to visit my grandparents and my grandfather making his famous barbequed chicken. I have never had any chicken that tasted the same since he passed. Im sure it was more the company then any secret ingredient.

  5. says

    Your photographs of your beautiful family, food and dishes are lovely. I love that you choose to use the heirloom china during your family gatherings. Food always looks more enticing in it and I have never felt that these dishes should be display items only and that by using them, the spirit of our loved ones who had left the table years ago, always return.

  6. hianna S says

    my favorite grilling memory is back last summer when we introduced our firstborn to our family. some of the guests had not met before, and it awesome to see how they now shared a common ground to start a good family relationship.

  7. Stacy says

    My favorite cookout memory was at my graduation party. My dad worked all day and night smoking the most delicious brisket for our family and friends. Good times!

  8. Jennifer says

    My favorite grilling experience was when my dad had perfecting making his own BBQ sauce and grilled some steaks, ribs and brisket (after a bit off smoker time too for the ribs) so everyone could try it. We did it in a big shop building and covered big pieces of plywood with paper laid across barrels to have make-shift tables. It was a fun time of friends and family – and some amazing food! Just a side note – he made his own sauce for about year and then just decided that there were some reall good store bought sauces out there too!

  9. Mandy Koerth says

    My favorite cookout was with my boyfriend and our friends. Everyone brought something to make in my tiny “closet” kitchen and we had a blast!

  10. Donna B. says

    Going camping with my dad and cooking over a campfire – nothing special but I have very vivid memories of how great it felt.

  11. Tracy says

    As a child I loved gathering kindling with my siblings and having hot dogs and s’mores. One of the few times the kids cooked!

  12. says

    Sounds like a great day! My favorite cookout memory happened recently at our ranch. It was a beautiful day with family and friends. My husband was playing his guitar and my father-in-law and I maned the smoker and grill while everyone was singing on the deck watching the sun set over the hills. We ate a fabulous dinner srtaight from that days harvest and this seasons hunt and laughed with everyone we loved. Makes you realize how food can really bring everyone together.

  13. says

    Oh my gosh, Wendy. What a wonderful post. I didn’t even have to think hard about my favorite cookout memory. As I was reading your post, it came flooding back to me. My Gaga, he loved a good burger. No cheese, no tomatoes, just a couple slices of red onion, and really good burger meat, cooked to perfection.

    I remember clearly one Saturday, the whole family was gathered at their place, and then some. Gaga had the grill going, and was using one of those easy burger flipper deals where you load in 6 or 8 burgers and then can flip the whole thing all at once? Only it wasn’t all that easy. The clip hadn’t cinched right, and as Gaga went to flip those burgers, they all came tumbling out on the deck, with only 10 year old me to see.

    Gaga took a look at me, loaded them all back up on the flipper, and said, “They always taste better with a little dirt in ’em anyway.”

    Then he laughed. Oh, how I loved that laugh, and the way his blue eyes crinkled when he did it.

    Not a single word was uttered about those burgers, bar “perfection”, “delicious”, and “can I have another?”.

  14. says

    Camping with my cousin by ourselves for the first time and having hot dogs we cooked over the fire (with s’mores for dessert, natch!).

  15. says

    GORGEOUS photos!!! What a fun day, you deserve that!
    My favorite BBQ memory is eating crabs in Maryland with a mallet, napkin on long picnic tables in August…reminds me of my mom :)

  16. Haley D says

    Love that marinade- My favorite Cookout memory, is when the whole family centers around the grill and munches all night, one of the last memories of my parents being together as I was little. Everyone laughed, and it was 4th of july and I was super excited to see the fire works. I remember that night being so perfect, I was so little i don’t remeber what we cooked :) But I lOVE cookouts and the memories and good times they bring.

  17. Sharon Rooney says

    Favorite cookout memory is of the 4th of July. The whole family and friends were there, some of which we hadn’t seen in a long time. Great food and drinks. We all had a blast catching up.
    A lot of pictures were taken to keep the memory alive.

  18. ACMommy3 says

    One of my favorite cookout memories, is on our first tent-camping trip, when we had to set up our new huge tent during a sudden very gusty rain storm. We got soaked, but got busy grilling up some steak and the fixin’s and it warmed us up and keep us in good spirits. :-) creedamy[at] yahoo[dot]com (BTW, your photos for your post are lovely!!)

  19. Cheryl W. says

    One of my favorite cookout memory was when we had a “small” cookout for my son’s 8th grade graduation. Well, turns out every neighborhood kid showed up and even some adults. We just went back to the store and stocked up on more food. We all had a blast! We ended it with a huge bon fire, singing, dancing and smore’s. We were then, the coolest parents on the block.

  20. Stephanie W says

    A big beach barbeque with all the cousins, our kids and our remaining parents. Salad from the farmers market, fresh salmon on the grill, Dungeness crab caught that afternoon, homemade bread and for dessert a piece of my Aunts blackberry pie. Food was great, but the time with family was as they say – priceless.

  21. says

    What a beautiful table set with the lilac, I love them too, and what a nice family you have. I love to meet with my people too.
    Happy memmorial day and happy weekend.
    Kiss from Spain

  22. Katharina says

    The cookout with your family looks like so much fun! :-) My favorite cookout memory involves a state park my family always used for picnics. It was in the mountains and so beautiful.

    It never got really hot even in the worst mid-summers because of the trees. There was a stream for cooling watermelons and even a waterfall for those willing to take a short walk. I don’t know how many times we went there when I was a kid but it was many. Each time has its own sweet memory.

    I’ll try to block the memory of me always being scared a bear would want to share our cookout. I was a little scaredy cat. :-)

  23. Kelly Justice says

    Love spending time grilling in the backyard with good friends. Had a blast last summer with the kids playing with their glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces on while they kicked the soccer ball around. Happy memories!

  24. says

    My Grandfather, ‘Papa’, as we affectionately called him, bbq’d the turkey on a spit every Thanksgiving. He was known for his love of using pepper in all his cooking. Usually the turkey was delicious, but one year, he went a little overboard on the pepper and it was so hot that we had to resort to ordering a pizza. oh well…so much for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner! But bless his heart, Papa enjoyed every juicy bite of his turkey, meanwhile periodically wiping the sweat off his forehead from the heat of the pepper. I guess we were all just sissys, or maybe we just valued keeping our taste buds intact?

  25. says

    My favorite cookout memories center around my family. I love having cookouts with my family! I have one funny memory of being in Boston in late fall or early winter one year and my sister and her boyfriend tried to grill, it was so cold that it took forever to get the grill hot & cook the meats!

  26. Martha says

    When the kids are up north at our place. Good food, wine, beer and a lot of laughter. Making the bond fire and starting the s’mores, good times!!!!

  27. Gina F says

    My favorite cook-out memory was 4th of July’s at my Nana & Papa’s house with cousins, aunts & uncles all pitching in, ribs and chicken and burgers, potato salads, deviled eggs, pies and more. After the massive meal my uncles would light fire crackers in the street in the front of the house.

  28. says

    Such a great post!!! What a beautiful family and an incredibly yummy meal. It makes me even more excited for my family’s Memorial Day barbecue on Monday… if only the sun would come out! Thanks for the flank steak recipe – that looks delicious!
    Star Hughes Living

  29. says

    I grill a lot…I outta be a guy I grill so much. But my best memory? The 2nd weekend when after my youngest had left for college and she asked if a few friends could come down for a BBQ. Sure honey, imagining a couple of roommates who were homesick for their families (Lauren was less than an hour away from home).

    I think the whole freshman dorm came and even though it had only been a couple of weeks; it was fun for me to give them a home and a home cooked bbq meal that they were all craving. It became a fall and spring tradition each year and you know what…realize now how I much I miss them!

  30. Teresa Harper says

    Where do I start – it could be cookouts at the river when all we had was a tent and open fire and all my family sitting in the tent porch as it is pouring rain all around us. Or, it could be when we were having a party at my parents for a special occasion – birthday, wedding, baby, 4th of July or just because. All of my favorite cookouts revolve around family and everyone being together for whatever reason. I love to keep this tradition going!

  31. says

    This totally made me all teary! You have such a way with words sweet Wendy. I cant recall a memory right now… but I am going to enjoy thinking about it now… :)

  32. Erica Best says

    I fave cookout memory was i was a teen and we all went over my uncle house it really nice and everyone got along lol.

  33. says

    My very favorite memories of cooking out is my dad pitching the tent in our backyard for it to dry out after a camping trip we had just returned from. My parents would let me invite my friends over to have our own backyard slumber party. They would have a bonfire to let us roast our own hot dogs and s’mores. Life was simple then. I look forward to enjoying these same summer time events with our children.

  34. Jessica T. says

    My favorite cookout memory was when my husband and I were dating and we travelled to Charlotte to see the Nascar race. We grilled out beside his truck and we were totally unprepared. We didn’t bring grilling tools or plates. We had a knife that we used to flip the steaks and eat with! It is a great memory now!

  35. says

    What a great post, Wendy. It looks like everyone had an amazing time with great food. I am always on the lookout for great marinade recipes and this one sounds great.

  36. donsterb says

    my karate school would do a big camping trip every year with other schools in the area, being there with my friends and cooking out and learning new karate stuff is my best memory.

  37. Teri says

    My favorite memory is of my dad lighting the charcoal and the talks we had waiting for the coals to be ready. He could grill anything to perfection.

  38. Sharon says

    My favorite barbq memories all involve my brother, the master barbq-er ….he who made the best chicken and burgers ever!

  39. Kathy Stafford says

    My favorite family cookout memory is of my husband grilling big, thick steaks, juicy chicken, and yummy burgers. He’s also my favorite family outdoor cook. The kids were in and out of the pool and, as the smell of the meat would waft over them, they found their towels, dried off, and followed the scent.

  40. April says

    Lots and lots of good memories of good cookouts over the years but the funniest would be when my husband and I first moved to Florida and decided to go camping at a local inlet. We brought wonderful steaks and sides for the dinner on the second night before we would leave. The first day was hot and miserable and full of bugs. The night was full of raiding racoons. The next day, more heat and humidity and mosquitoes but we made a big trip out to the closest store and bought every bit of bug repellant they had. That night we surrounded the camp with citronella candles and smokers and doused ourselves and began to cook. As soon as the food was on the table and we tried to eat we ended up practically eating bugs. By quick mutual decision we packed up the entire camp, quicker than a wink and got in the jeep and hightailed it out of there. At home, after a cooling shower, I counted bug bites on my legs alone: 57. We decided to never do that again.

  41. Summer says

    I have just stumbled across your site recently. While looking around I found this recipe. I made it last night, in the bitterness of January because I could not WAIT until spring to try it. It is amazing. I will keep this as a go-to for the summertime bbq’s we host. Thank you for sharing!

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