October 2nd, 2015

Common Tailgate Mistakes

Tailgate Tips

You wouldn’t think you could mess up a tailgate – but, really, it can be done. There are some common tailgate mistakes that can really trip you up and ruin the experience. And that’s no bueno.

The most common mistake is not planning ahead. Truly, you’ve got to think of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.

For instance, wherever you’re tailgating – be it a parking lot, on campus, etc. – you’ve GOT to have access to a restroom. Or an improvisational one. Nature will call and you HAVE to be ready. Seems elementary, right? But, believe me, it’s not. So think this aspect through beforehand. After all, you will be eating and drinking for hours so restroom breaks are inevitable!

Plan ahead for your food as well. Think about what you’re bringing and take along everything you’ll need to be successful. Grilling steaks? Make sure you know how to season a steak (it’s important) and don’t forget a spatula!

Steak Knives

Also, you’ve got to provide plates and utensils that will withstand cutting a steak. Not all of them will so choose wisely – and bring napkins.

And don’t get so caught up in the revelry of the pre-game action that you forget about steak grilling times.

Joe wants his steak medium rare? Ya gotta watch it. I suggest a steak grilling timer app. It’ll let you know when it’s time to turn that steak over and when it’s done, depending on the cut and how you want it cooked. That way, if you’re involved in a heated discussion about who’s better the AFC or the NFC you won’t burn Joe’s ribeye in the process.

Another common tailgating mistake is not bringing containers or bags to pack up leftovers. Bring a cooler specifically for that purpose and store those leftovers in the containers you brought so that no steak goes to waste. That’s a crime in some steaks. Maybe. I don’t know.

And last, but certainly not least, bring trash bags! If you’re out in the middle of a parking lot there most likely will not be garbage cans. Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Tell me, what are some of your tailgate mistakes?

September 28th, 2015

Best Recipes for Fall

Best Recipes for Fall Filet Mignon

Yes! Autumn is here! As much as I love summer, times change and I embrace that.

The new season is a welcome respite from blistering hot summer days. I’ll miss the pool and my floppy hat but I’m excited about sweaters, football and a nip in the air.

It’s a nice change of pace and I know the warm weather will be back again someday. For now, I’m happy to begin bundling up and lacing up my boots.

And now is the perfect time to cook delicious meals that warm the heart, the stomach and the soul – my absolute favorite part of fall. My family loves this part!

I have some favorite recipes that always hit the mark this time of year.

My go-to meal for fall is always chili. That soothing ground beef and tomatoes (with or without beans) in a bowl always, always satisfies. Put me in front of a football while eating it and I’m a happy camper. This is definitely a game-watching meal for us.

One item that stays the same in my house no matter what the season is steaks! We will grill or pan sear a filet mignon whatever the weather. Doesn’t matter. That NEVER fails to comfort. For fall, we’ll add a red wine mustard sauce or wild mushroom cream to give it that comforting touch. And, oh, does it comfort!

Or, an exquisite fall sit-down meal that won’t disappoint is a beautiful Mocha Rubbed Chateaubriand with Cocoa Compound Butter. The flavor is out of this world and the aroma will drive you crazy.

How about a Blue Cheese Stuffed Prime Rib? Add some twice-baked potatoes and a perfect pumpkin tart or red velvet cake for dessert and autumn never tasted so good!

So what are your favorite recipes for fall? Share them with me!

September 25th, 2015

Shop Early Holiday Gift Tips

Holiday Gift Tips

Fall is officially here!

That brings cold weather and . . . (cue dramatic music) the holidays!

And with the holidays come food preparation and gift giving!

Now, these things are supposed to be fun and wonderful, but waiting until the last minute can make them frustrating and downright stressful. I know. I’ve done it way too often and I hate myself for it. So why not plan NOW for the inevitable?

One thing I do get right is that I always, always stock up on steaks to have on hand for the holidays. There are tons of guests in my future and guests need to eat. Steaks are a fantastic go-to meal.

And speaking of steaks, steak gifts are ALWAYS appreciated at holiday time! Receiving a beautifully boxed gift of steaks totally makes someone’s day.

And you know they won’t return it.

Food as gifts always is a hit in my experience. It’s the perfect balance of giving a “thing” AND an “experience” all rolled into one. The experience of good food can’t be beat.

Besides steaks, some other gourmet gifts that are sure to be winners are holiday desserts like Buche de Noel and cheesecake, hickory-smoked hams and turkeys, and heat and serve meals like Beef Wellington.

Any gift that feeds my family and saves me time AND tastes delicious is a home run!

But the time to plan is now. Before time is short – and your temper is, too.

Make the holidays easy on yourself and give yourself the gift of time to enjoy them. Once they’re here, they go by so quickly. Plan now and you’ll really be able to live in the moment and just enjoy!

Click here for more gourmet gift ideas to make the holidays fun and easy on yourself! Happy planning and shopping!