11 Marvelous Marinades Made In Minutes! Plus, A Giveaway!


One of our favorite things to cook on the grill in the summertime is Marinated Flank Steak. It’s quick and easy and great for just the family or for entertaining a crowd. But as I was making it this past weekend I began to think about maybe mixing it up with a different marinade. I’ve always used Mr. Yoshida’s Marinade and Cooking Sauce for this dish…and while it is completely DELICIOUS, I thought it would be fun to try something new.

I started doing some research and came up with some delicious sounding ideas and then I remembered something that was posted as a comment in our most recent “One Good Thing By YOU Giveaway”  back in January! (How I remembered that I will never know! lol) It was from a reader by the name of Amy B and she shared with us her Dad’s California Marinade. It took some time to track it down amongst all the great ideas that were shared, but I eventually did and today I’m going to share it with you!

But FIRST, let’s talk a little bit about marinades in general.  Marinades not only add flavor to your favorite meat, it makes it more tender and juicy. All you is need is three basic components.

1) An acid such as lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt, or wine. The acid breaks down the meat, tenderizing it.

2) The oil. This protects and preserves the food while it is marinating and when it’s being cooked.

3)  Any herb and/or spice. This is what gives a marinade its unique flavor.

By experimenting with these 3 basic components of marinade, you can come up with some tasty combinations!




Here are some general guidelines for marinating:


  • Meat and poultry are generally marinated for 2 hours up to 2 days.
  • Seafood and fish should be marinated for no longer than one hour.
  • Use a nonreactive container such as plastic or glass. Stay away from aluminum, copper, or cast iron.
  • Wait for your marinade to cool down before pouring over the meat of your choice.
  • Always refrigerate your meat while it’s marinating.
  • Never reuse marinades! You can save any UNused marinade, but once it’s been poured over meat, it can’t be reused.


Now, back to Amy B’s marinade. Amy said her Dad made this marinade for almost every family gathering and after looking at it, I can see why!  I can’t wait to make it myself!

Amy B’s California Marinade

Amy B's California Marinade


  • 2 cups oil
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard (not dry mustard)
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic-chopped

Mix everything together and marinate meat, chicken or pork at least 2 hours (overnight is best) Grill, broil or bake as usual and enjoy!


Here are a few MORE marvelous marinades that can be made in minutes!



Coffee Marinade


You can marinate pork chops, chicken, steak, or any game meat in coffee. The coffee will give the meat a lovely smoky taste.

Coffee Marinade


  • 1 cup strong brewed COLD coffee
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

In a medium non-reactive bowl, whisk the above ingredients until well blended. The marinade will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.



Teriyaki Marinade


This traditional Japanese marinade is widely popular and simple to make. The basic ingredient is soy sauce which sweetens and caramelizes when cooked.

Teriyaki Marinade


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sake or mirin
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

Whisk soy sauce, sake (or mirin), brown sugar, garlic and ginger in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.



Greek Marinade


With a touch of sourness, thanks to the lemon, this authentic Greek marinade is a must-try! The marinade suits any meat.

Greek Marinade


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 8 lamb rib or loin chops or chicken breast, cut 1/2 inch thick

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and then add meat.





Lemon and Rosemary Marinade


Lemon and Rosemary Marinade


  • 3 large lemons
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary (or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary)
  • 1/4 cup of olive or salad oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cut lemons in half and squeeze out the juice into a nonreactive bowl or resealable plastic bag. Add in remaining ingredients, mix well. Great for chicken. Marinate for 2 hours.




Korean BBQ Marinade


Korean BBQ Marinade


  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Place meat in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or overnight.



Seafood Marinade


This is a great marinade for any fish; start marinating at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour before grilling.

Seafood Marinade


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a plastic food storage bag or marinade dish.
Add 4- 6 oz seafood fillets of your choice.
Refrigerate for at least 40 minutes.
Discard marinade and broil seafood for 3 to 4 minutes on on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.




Balsamic Marinade


Balsamic is one of the weaker vinegars, so you don’t have to worry about over-marinating. This works equally well for steak, pork, and chicken.

Balsamic Marinade


  • A few splashes of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper to cover all sides
  • Thyme (fresh or otherwise)

Rub the meat with all the ingredients. This is more of a wet rub, but it will impart a lot of flavor. Leave the meat in the fridge for half an hour before cooking.




Sweet and Sour Chicken Marinade



Sweet and Sour Chicken Marinade


  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste




Smoky Barbecue Chicken Marinade


Smoky Barbecue Chicken Marinade


  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
  • Dash of Sriracha or Tabasco sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6-8 drops liquid smoke

The VERY strong natural flavoring of the liquid smoke adds delicious smokey flavor notes that substitute nicely for bacon and other smoked meats. A great vegetarian option.



Lime and Cilantro Chicken Marinade


Lime and Cilantro Chicken Marinade


  • 2 cups lime juice—about 10-14 limes
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


ogt line



Now…for MORE delicious stuff…A GIVEAWAY! Announcing VOLUME FIVE of “One Good Thing By YOU!” All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling us what YOUR “One Good Thing” would be if you were ME for a day! It can be a tip, technique, recipe, craft, etc! The possibilities are limitless!

Just leave it as a comment below, and myself and a “distinguished panel of judges” will pick ten finalists that will each receive a $15 Amazon gift card, and one winner who will receive a $150 Amazon gift card! PLUS, I will feature the winning ideas in a future post! :-)


  • Follow me on Instagram @JillsGoodThings and post a PICTURE of your “One Good Thing” with the hashtag #MyOneGoodThing.
  • Follow me on Pinterest and pin your one good thing to one of your boards with the hashtag #MyOneGoodThing.


2 amazon gift cards

So don’t delay! Put those thinking caps on and get busy commenting! There is no limit to the ideas you can post, just make sure they are each in a separate comment. The finalists and the winner (along with their winning ideas!) will be posted on Monday, July 29th! Good luck everyone!



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  1. Rosemary S. says

    If I was ‘Jillee for a day”, I think I would write a book. It would be a large reference book with photos, that was sectioned off with:
    2. laundry
    3. Recipes
    4. Essential oils basics
    5. Essential oils advanced
    6. FAQ’s

    Maybe put it in a binder so that it opens easy.

    Thanks Jillee for all you do right now! I’ve learned so much! :)

  2. NaDell says

    If you have little kids, make dinner at lunchtime (or the night before) so after school and dinnertime is not so stressful. If you can’t make the whole dinner, at least prep the veggies or cut up the meat so it goes quickly. I like to make dinner in a 9×13 and then just put it in the fridge until an hour before my husband gets home. As a bonus, dishes are all in the dishwasher already too!

  3. Kathy W says

    I have to agree with Above comment — -I have started my own set of binders with cleaning, food etc in page savers –So many wonderful ideas and recipes –just hope I live long enough to try them ALL !!

  4. Donna Woods says

    We have 3 teenagers in high school and all of them have very busy schedules, so I have started making several dozen pancakes at a time and freezing them (3 per baggie), so that mornings are easier. I also do things like meatballs, pizza rolls, etc. for quick dinners during football season, theater season, etc. We can still (somewhat) eat together, but it is less preparation time!

  5. Anissa says

    Wonderful for strawberry season and especially for my homemade freezer jam. Take a regular straw and push through the bottom of the strawberry, the hull and leafy top comes off. Practically NO WASTED STRAWBERRY and FAST!

  6. Anissa says

    Put some DIY spray painted RED or purchased RED golf balls out with your tomato plants. The birds will peck at them and get frustrated. When your tomato plants ripen they will leave your garden alone.

  7. Anissa says

    Google coupon matchup for your favorite store to find a deal blogger for your area. They do all the work of checking out the weekly sales ad and linking coupons to print. This 15 minutes a week translates into $30 or more of savings.

  8. says

    I don’t know if the picture will show up through the website because my FB is all private but I have a 6 year old daughter and I love to do crafty projects with her, so around the holidays we hand make a lot of our decorations! With Halloween around the Corner I wanted to share my utmost favorite crafty project that we did last year.
    How To Make Audrey II Flowers from “Little Shop of Horrors” First you need some styrofoam balls any size, silk flowers sized to match your styrofoam balls like a hat (I used sunflowers), plastic vampire teeth, paint, scissors, hot glue gun and glue (clear) and a planter of your choosing! You cut a hole in the styrofoam ball to fit the vampire teeth after that step you paint the styrofoam ball(s) any color you’d like. once dry you glue the teeth in, pull apart the silk flowers and just glue the petals on as a hat then poke the stem in at the bottom and glue and last but not least you can make a drippy glue glob on the teeth and let it drip to mimic drool! They turn out adorable and I had tunes of feedback on how amazingly crafty and cute they were!!! I’ll send a picture through you FB page just in case the link doesn’t work!

  9. vicki raines says

    If I were Jillee for a day I might actually get something done instead of sitting at the computer far too long reading about all the creative things you do.
    A great and ‘cheap’ tip for those of us that have gardens is to buy 5 or 6 of the children’s pinwheels and place them around the perimeters of your garden. By doing this I keep varmints out. These colorful pinwheels reflect an animals eyes at night and seems to frighten them off, they make a whirring sound when the wind blows them and the movement startles the animals keeping them out of my garden. It’s worked wonderfully for me for years now. AND if you put them away after you are thru with your gardening for the season, they will last thru many gardens.

  10. Judy says

    My tip for the day would be simple. To stop “bits” going down your sink and blocking your drain place a used tea bag over the plug hole when scraping potatoes or cleaning dirty dishes and all the bits will collect on the bag ready to be composted or thrown away when you have finished. Love all your tips, thank you.

  11. says

    Last year Febreeze stopped selling their allergen version.

    My one good thing is an EO version to replace it. My godfather is severely allergic to dogs, so visiting us is difficult. When I went to the store, (actually about 7 stores) and discovered no more allergy Febreeze, I panicked…. That product was one thing that allowed him to come over and be comfortable. A few hours later, after much time on Pinterest, I found a Febreeze recipe, and decided to alter it. Here’s what I did and it works great.

    15 drops lavender EO
    15 drops Lemon EO
    15 drops Peppermint EO
    1tbsp baking soda
    1 tbsp fabric softener (homemade EO versions work as well)
    1 1/2 cups water

    Shake it up in a spray bottle, I reuse the Febreeze bottle, and spray.

  12. Marcia Hazlett says

    If I were Jillee for a day I would post about organizing my printables and printed ideas. First by purchasing 12 of the 1″ 3-ring binders. Labeling the sides with name of each month. (This turns out really cute if you use scrapbooking stickers with the names of the months) then filing each printable for the month you use it, as well as any other printed items you use specifically for each month.

  13. says

    If I were you for a day I’d post something about Oven Canning. It’s a great idea for when all those dry goods go on sale. Then I’d come on over to my house and make me some dishwasher detergent tabs, since my attempt was a HUGE flop.

  14. KD says

    My one good thing:

    I have a garden, and it’s getting hot outside. Last year my vegetables really suffered, even though I was watering them 3-4 times a day. So this year, instead of using a hose to water my vegetables, I use buried water jugs. I take an empty clear gallon water jug from the store, and drill a couple of holes in the sides, almost at the bottom. Then I bury them about four inches in the ground, between two plants. When my plants need watered, I just fill the jugs, and it leaks out into the ground. This prevents the water from evaporating like when you use a hose and just spray the ground. It also keeps the dirt from getting moved away by the force of the hose. My tomatoes are really loving this, there is no blossom rot this year. (where the ends of the tomatoes turn black from lack of water). AND, I only have to fill the jugs once in the morning now, since it’s not just evaporating away!

    The softer milk jug type works too, but I prefer the completely clear jug, it is much more sturdy. (also, the completely clear type doesn’t give water a musty taste if you don’t drink it right away. I’ve had unopened water on my porch for a couple of weeks, tasted like it was just bottled)

  15. Ashley says

    Peeling potatoes can be a bear at times almost making more of a mess than it’s worth. :) Place a plastic grocery bag in the bottom of your sink. The bag will collect the peels that can be taken to your compost pile etc…all the while making clean-up fast and easy.

  16. Patty says

    OK, I just came up with this today. As I looked outside at my vegetable garden, I realized that it seriously needs weeding. So as it is going to be over 100 degrees today, I am going to be watering it with the sprinkler AS I weed!

  17. Lisa B says

    If I were Jillee for a day I would post my home made laundry detergent recipe to share with everyone. It is a huge money saver and our clothes come out just as clean as using a commercial brand.

  18. Debbie G says

    I do not have any tips or crafty ideas. All my knowledge has been gained via your website. I do need to organize my printouts, so I can find instructions & items needed quickly. I am thinking about maybe naming my collection ” Mama’s book of household hints” & giving one to each of my 3 daughters, so that the knowledge can be passed down thru the generations.

  19. Amelia D says

    If I were Jillie for a day, I would do a post on things that children can make as gifts. Kids like to make things and they like to feel “big” when they have something to give. :)
    1. Draw their hand on cloth (or even thick paper) and let them stitch the outline. You could do multiple children on one cloth, letting each stitch their own in a different color, and then frame it. It would be a great gift for grandparents. Children love to show off their accomplishments and it helps develop hand eye coordination!
    2. Bake cupcakes or cookies and let them decorate.
    3. Let them draw or paint a homemade card and put stickers on it…..their favorite part….and then let them mail it “by themselves”.
    4. Help them make gifts with potpourri……take small jars, they can pour the potpourri in, place a small piece of cloth over the top and secure with a ribbon. They can decorate the jar.
    5. The list is endless.

  20. meenakshi says

    My one good thing involves one of my favorite pleasures, viz., reading.

    Hence I would earmark [never ‘dog-ear’, always use an arty-crafty bookmark ;-D ] at least One day every month to Review A Book. It would entail a personalized critique. Obviously, your wonderful followers will get an opportunity to share their ideas, suggestions, recommendations, feedback, critiques, etc.

    Maybe we’d All read a book recommended at the beginning of the month & then garner reviews & comments ?!

  21. meenakshi says

    I would also like to start a 101 series on playing any Musical Instrument or info about the same. Or how to read musical notes.

    Music is one area I know nothing about. This would give me a chance to really research & share, and also learn from comments, etc.

  22. pam c says

    When you are making deviled eggs, put the yolk mixture in a plastic baggie, snip the end off and fill..no fuss, no muss.. no need to pick up the whites, just pipe the mixture in…then just throw the baggie away.

  23. Linda says

    If I were Jillee, I’d share some tips about how to find, save, and organize info for blog posts, and some of my ideas about how I create my great blog posts. (Because the real Jillee really does a great job, and I’d love to learn from her!)

  24. Krystal Frank says

    I also use binders to collate my printouts into the different sections. But my fav is to tape my handwritten or snipped out recipes onto sheets of paper and put them in my recipe book. I’ve been using this method since 2003 and it is such a help.

  25. Olwyn says

    I’ve used this “one good thing” more often than I can count:
    I save the inner bags from cereal and crackers, shake the crumbs out of the corners, and use one whenever I have to flatten meat with a mallet. No mess, no splatters!

  26. Lillian says

    Yay! I need more marinade recipes. I usually fluctuate between one I have for London broil plus the Cornell marinade for chicken, and lately I’ve been buying bottled marinades for something different. But I like it better when I can pull ingredients straight from my fridge and cabinets to pull dinner together.

  27. Tracy says

    If I were Jillee for the day I would offer more contests like this because my followers have awesome ideas like the allergen Febreeze and oven canning. Also “My One Good Thing” I would post about organizing my favorite recipes, laundry, DYI, etc electronically in order to safe space around the home.

  28. Tracy Cornelius says

    Easy camping food! When we go on camping trips during the summer we love to bring Baggie Omelets. Just crack open a few 2-3eggs into a sandwich sized plastic bag, add cheese & veggies then close the bag up tight. Squish bag around with your hands until eggs are broken up & everything is mixed up. Make one bag per person. For added protection, I throw all of the baggies into a sealed hard plastic container before adding to our cooler. At breakfast time around the campfire, heat up a skillet & add the contents of one bag at a time. Cook as normal. Clean up is a breeze, toss baggie when done!

  29. Janet McCord says

    I loved the post on uses of old coffee grounds. I’d like to see what can be done with used tea bags. My husband and I use as many tea bags as we do coffee. Other than putting them cold on your eyes to help with puffiness I’ve not found a lot of suggestions. Uses for old loose leaf tea would be good too.

  30. Tammy says

    My one good thing would be….the miracle of coconut oil, my favorite remedy for everything! (even oil pulling).

    Or, 5 family favorite frozen dinners for those evenings where our inner chef is not kicking in….

    Camping food and shopping list



  31. says

    If I were Jillee, I would have a featured vegetable and/or fruit of the week. With recipes, links to other sites for recipes, information about the fruit or vegetable; where it originated from, what it does for your body; where it is grown; maybe even festivals that are in a particular area regarding that fruit or vegetable. For example the garlic festival in California.

    We need more promotion of fruit and vegetables rather than junk food.

    P.S. I am giving you this idea and thinkinging… I really need to do this on my site.;)

  32. Lynette says

    I reuse the liners to boxed cereals! They are strong enough for crushing crackers into crumbs, no holes like zip bags. If you open the cereal box liner you have the perfect surface to roll out a pie crust, and with a second opened cereal bag on top your rolling pin stays clean so easier clean up! I also use the opened box liners for rolling out yeast dough too!! I also process lots of garden produce for freezing and use the liners on trays for a no-stick surface!
    Thanks for all your wonderful tips, tricks, recipes and money saving ideas Jillee!!!!

  33. Carmen S says

    If I was Jillee, I post bout coconut oil! I’ve been so amazed at all it’s uses:

    Skin and hair moisturizer
    Natural lathering addition to homemade soaps
    Natural fabric softener
    Diaper Rash cream
    I use it to make my own lip balm
    And don’t forget it is a very healthy alternative to other cooking oils!

    Thanks for considering my entry!

  34. Jackie says

    I would post moving tips! We asked our local piano tuner if we could borrow his piano mover. It was a necessity for the piano, but also came in handy for several other heavy pieces. It added handles and wheels to the piano, cedar chest, a very heavy safe box, and more!

    Another related post, a checklist and tips for cleaning rented homes when moving out.

  35. Stephanie says

    Every year at the beginning of the school year we pre-make sandwiches, muffins, desserts etc and freeze them in individual baggies so when the kids start packing lunches it is easy to take one of each with some fresh fruit and veggies. I makes lunch preparation a lot less stressful.

  36. Denise says

    I am “owned” by 4 dogs and try to keep their food and health remedies as natural as possible. So my one good thing would be to share two natural remedies for doggie tummy troubles. First plain yogurt mixed with their food will relieve an upset tummy by re-balancing the healthy bacteria. Second canned pumpkin (plain pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling) works wonders to keep an older dog regular.

  37. says

    When you craft with kids, use an old (clean) shower curtain or buy one from the Dollar Store. Spread it out and let the kids craft on it. It contains the mess and can be hosed down afterwards. I even use one sometimes for my own crafting.

  38. Theresa says

    If I were Jillee for a day, I’d post about spreading the tips. Making gift baskets or gifts to introduce our friends and loved ones to the new world of making your own products. Telling them is one thing but giving them the tools (i.e. ingredients) plus a sample product(s) would really help them become involved.

  39. Kathy Cox says

    Here’s my tip – use denture cleaning tablets to help removed stains from Ice Tea Maker filters, or many other things. I also use them to clean the inside of the straws that come with the covered, insulated tumblers. Just put the straws in pan, cover with water and add tablets, usually 1per straw. Let soak and clean straws!

  40. Lynnette H says

    I would do a “One Good Thing” post on how to get rid of crab grass without the use of toxic chemicals. Even the most well groomed lawns still seem to fall victims to those noxious weeds!

  41. says

    I make myself aromatherapy inhalers for quick stress relief throughout the day! I buy blanks from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Aromatherapy-Inhaler-Plastic-Pack-wicks/dp/B000EFXKKS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1373897339&sr=8-4&keywords=aromatherapy+inhaler) and try different combinations of essential oils. My favorites so far are grapefruit & clary sage, and lavender & peppermint. I keep one in my pocket at all times, and when I need a little boost, I just whip it out and take a deep breath. Instant zen!

  42. Catherine Clark says

    If I were Jillee for a day, I would make fire starters! These fire starters are wonderful! Simply save your empty paper towel tubes and stuff your dryer lint inside. When you are ready to roast your marshmallows, place one or two stuffed tubes in between your logs and light the end of the tube. No more popping, no more fly away ashes. Perfect fire guaranteed!

  43. Lynnette H says

    I would love to see a blog post on how to create a impressive “photo booth” for any occasion: wedding, birthday party, baby shower, bridal shower, family reunion, even family pictures.

  44. Jessica J says

    My one good this in mason jars! Use them and a label maker to customize your cabinet. They are fairly inexpensive. They are glass so you can see through them, and safe to use with EOs. They also come in lots of sizes. Mason jars have made my kitchen much more organized!


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