June 30th, 2008

Paradise Found

Well, we made it! And we’re all in one piece and very happy to have arrived in Florida.


Our drive went pretty smoothly. But we did get to experience many, many oddities of humanity along the way.

We traveled down lots of two-lane highways so we got to see fellow travelers going the other way up close and personal. And I have to say, if I never see another pair of bare feet perched on the dashboard again it will be too soon. I counted 11 pairs of feet in Alabama alone.

The state of Mississippi is beautiful and green and it provided lots of entertainment for us. One of my favorite sights was the yellow fiberglass cow balancing on its front two feet with the words “Jesus Saves” emblazoned on its side. This was in someone’s front yard. Talk about a sacred cow!

And speaking of cows, as soon as we got here I ventured out to the local supermarket to get some basics and prepare for our steak dinner later in the week. I got potatoes and all the fixins, A-1 sauce for the hubby (don’t judge) and Teriyaki sauce for me.

I love ya, Florida, but I’m not buying your supermarket steaks. I’m having the good stuff delivered!

Stay tuned for more adventures so far from home . . .

June 27th, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun

Today, I embark upon an age-old tradition — the family car trip.

We will attempt to drive 13 hours in the car with two boys under the age of 7 over two days.

Hopefully, at the end, we will reach sand and surf . . . if we all survive.

Traveling with us will be a cooler full of sugar-free drinks, Coke Zero, water and the ever-present insulin vials for my youngest.

Ever given someone a shot in the back of an SUV? I must say I’ve gotten pretty good at it. And my son looks at it as an adventure. Ah, youth . . .

Yes, we might be crazy, but if we’re headed for the funny farm we’re all going together.

Here’s a self portrait of what I anticipate I will look like in two days’ time.

As you can see, the proverbial walls are closing in on me. Plus, it looks like I may need some Propecia or other hair-loss product . . .

But a shining ray of light for me is that I thought far enough ahead to order some amazing steaks to be delivered to us during our week-long stay in paradise. This I know:  the food will be good.

Why? Because I will be preparing those steaks just the way I like them.

And we’ll be making some memories, too.

Catch you next week when I’m hangin’ ten, dudes!

(That is, if “hangin’ ten” means sitting under an umbrella reading back issues of “Real Simple” and “Oprah” magazines while my sons inadvertently flick sand in my drink.)

June 26th, 2008

I’ve Gratin Used to Your Smile

Ever wonder what the heck “gratin” is anyway? I did. I’m intimately familiar with potatoes au gratin, but I knew gratin had other connotations also. I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what.

So, once again, I turned to my trusty Wikipedia. Here’s what it says . . .

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gratin adapted from French cuisine is a type of casserole dish that is covered with Béchamel sauce or Mornay sauce, topped with buttered breadcrumbs or grated cheese and either baked or broiled, then served in its baking dish with a golden crust. Cooking au gratin is a technique rather than exclusively a preparation of potatoes (which is specifically a gratin dauphinois): anything that can be sliced thin, layered with a cream sauce and baked is material for a gratin: fennel, leeks, crabmeat, celeriac, aubergines.

So, the Ribeye Gratin dish I tried called for spinach and cheese to create the gratin (along with lots of other yummy ingredients.)

I’m thinking of a new ad slogan for it now:  Gratin:  It’s not just for potatoes anymore.

Okay, so it never really WAS just for potatoes. My slogan is still in the working phase, people.

Anyhoo, THIS gratin recipe started off with some tender, thick ribeyes.

Then, we made the gratin (just look at that gorgeous spinach!).

And here is the final finished meal. This cheesy, spinachy gratin really created some wonderful texture and flavor and complemented the steaks really well.

Ribeye Gratin

Try it for yourself!

Ribeye Gratin

4 10 oz. Ribeye
2 Cups Spinach, chopped
½ Cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. Dry White Wine
1 Tbsp. Shallot, minced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced

Saute the spinach in the white wine until wilted.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook 1 more minute, remove from heat and toss in the cheese. Grill steaks to desired doneness (about six minutes per side for medium, rotating a quarter turn every three minutes to create the cross hatch grill marks.)  Top each steak evenly with the spinach mixture and place under a broiler until the cheese turns golden brown, about 30 seconds.  If you don’t have a broiler, you can melt the cheese in the oven but ensure you undercook your steaks before placing them in the oven to avoid over doneness.

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About Me

Hi! My name is Dena P., and I love steak. In fact, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect steak for a few years now.

I love experimenting with food and I like to get my family, friends and neighbors involved. They add a lot to my cooking experience by helping me perfect techniques and sharing recipes.

Read More About Me »

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