December 18th, 2008

Kwanzaa Delights


My son is in first grade and his class has been studying different holidays people celebrate around this time of year.

I’ve enjoyed learning along with him about the ways people come together and celebrate.

I’ve zeroed in on Kwanzaa because, well, it’s really cool. Here’s a little background info from

Kwanzaa, celebrated by some African Americans, is a holiday which has gained in popularity in recent years. It came out of the 60s cultural revolution that set off an interest in African history, music, art and a growing sense of black consciousness.

Kwanzaa, which means “first fruits of the harvest,” is celebrated for seven days from December 26 through January 1. It is a cultural, rather than religious, holiday. Each day is celebrated, generally by a gathering of family and friends. Participants discuss and commit to seven guiding principles, one each day. A candle is lighted each day. The first day starts with a black candle – it represents African American people in unity. The next six days alternate between lighting a red candle, representing struggle, and a green candle, representing a “green future.” A feast is held on December 31 for sharing, remembering, reassessing and rejoicing. ~Bev Whitfield and Kathleen Wilson

Now, we celebrate Christmas at our house but I’m loving learning the cool things others do at their houses.

And naturally, ’cause I like to eat, I wanted to know just what they eat at this feast. So, here’s a Kwanzaa recipe we ALL can celebrate!

Moroccan-Rubbed Grilled Steak and Sweet Potatoes

From EatingWell Magazine April/May 2006

A Moroccan-inspired spice rub coats the steaks and is tossed with the sweet potatoes as well. The foil-packet cooking method for the sweet potatoes yields excellent results (and fewer dishes). Make it a Meal: Sautéed greens, such as arugula, kale or spinach, and a glass of Zinfandel round out the meal.

Makes 4 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 25 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes


1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound strip steak, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 4 portions
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound total), peeled and very thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
4 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1. Preheat grill to high.
2. Combine allspice, cumin, ginger, salt, cinnamon, coriander and cayenne
in a small bowl. Sprinkle steaks with 4 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture. Toss sweet potatoes and onion with canola oil, orange zest and the remaining spice mixture.
3. To make a packet, lay 2 24-inch sheets of foil on top of each other (the double layers will help protect the ingredients from burning); generously coat the top piece with cooking spray. Spread half of the sweet potato mixture in the center of the foil in a thin layer. Bring the short ends of foil together, fold over and pinch to seal. Pinch the seams together along the sides to seal the packet. Repeat with two more sheets of foil and the remaining sweet potato mixture.
4. Place the packets on the hottest part of the grill and cook, switching the packets’ positions on the grill halfway through cooking, 5 minutes per side. Place the steaks in the front or back and cook, turning once, about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to plates and let rest while the packets finish cooking. Open the packets (be careful of steam) and serve alongside the steaks.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 337 calories; 18 g fat (6 g sat, 8 g mono); 69 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 22 g protein; 3 g fiber; 347 mg sodium; 480 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (220% daily value), Zinc (26% dv), Vitamin C (20% dv).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 medium-fat meats, 1 fat

Recipe and photo courtesy of

December 16th, 2008

Yummy in my Tummy

This time of year brings out the 1950s homemaker in me. I didn’t even know she existed but she’s there — alive and kicking.

Cooking a beautiful meal for the holidays is a nice experience for everyone. And nothing expresses love like a great meal.

This is a wonderful, hearty holiday meal that your family and friends will rave about.


Beef Ribeye Roast With Red Wine Mushroom Sauce




1              3 lb. boneless beef rib eye roast

3/4  ts     Salt, divided

1/2  ts     Pepper, divided

1/2  c      Chopped onion

1/2  c      Dry red wine

1  tb        Cornstarch

1  cn       (13 3/4 oz) single strength beef broth

1  cn       (4 oz) mushroom

pieces and stems, drained

1  tb        Chopped parsley




About 1 1/2 hours before serving: Sprinkle roast with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Place boneless beef rib eye roast, fat side up, on rack in open roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer so bulb is centered in thickest part, but not resting in fat. Do not add water. Do not cover. Roast in 350 degree oven to desired degree of doneness. Allow 18 to 20 minutes for rare; 20 to 22 minutes for medium. About 15 minutes before serving, remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135 degrees for rare; 155 degrees for medium. Tent with aluminum foil; allow roast to “stand” 15 minutes in warm place before carving. Roast should continue to rise about 5 degrees in temperature to 140 degrees for rare, 160 degrees for medium. While roast is standing, remove rack from roasting pan; skim fat. Add onions to pan drippings; place roasting pan over medium high heat on top of range. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add wine; bring to boil; cook about 3 minutes or until thickened. Combine cornstarch and remaining, salt and pepper. Gradually, add beef broth to cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly; add to wine mixture in roasting pan. Continue cooking. Stir in mushrooms and parsley. Pour into serving container. Carve rib eye roast into thin slices. Serve with Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce.


Recipe courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Texas Beef Council.

December 15th, 2008

Holiday Kabobs

Here’s an idea with a little kick for the holidays.

These can be served as appetizers — or if you’re not very formal like us — they can be served as a fun meal. With company coming, these kabobs make for a great, quick, healthy option that everyone will like.



Holiday Meat and Vegetable Kabobs

  • 1 cup fresh pearl onions
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Original TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound boneless beef sirloin
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

Soak 3 dozen 4-inch-long wooden skewers in water overnight. In a 1-quart saucepan over high heat, bring pearl onions and enough water to cover them to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel away outer layer of skin.

In a medium bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, TABASCO® Sauce, basil, garlic and salt and mix well. Pour half of mixture into another bowl. Cut chicken and beef into 3/4-inch chunks and place in one bowl with vinegar mixture, tossing well to coat. In remaining bowl of vinegar mixture, toss cooked pearl onions, red and green peppers, and zucchini. Let stand at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Preheat broiler. Skewer one chunk of chicken or beef and one each of red pepper, green pepper, onion and zucchini onto each skewer. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or to desired doneness, turning occasionally.

Makes 3 dozen hors d’oeuvres.

Photo and recipe courtesy of


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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 »

Steak Widget