September 30th, 2010

Beefy Stone Soup


It’s fall and my Super Sister-in-Law Chef Sandy is back today with a hearty, beefy, autumny favorite that any beef lover will eat up. She always knows just the right thing to make to welcome the season. Enjoy!

I made a fabulous pot roast on Friday, because the weather was frightful and was just begging for it.  It was tender and flavorful and everything you could hope for from a pot roast.  And it was large enough for leftovers, because I always like to have enough for second helpings – we all know it is just as easy to cook a 4 pound piece of meat as a 2 pound one, it just takes a little longer.  But, the question is, do we really want to eat the same thing twice?  If you ask my daughter, the answer is an emphatic “No!”  So this is where I have to get a little creative.

In this economic time of doomsday forecasts on all of the news media, it just feels right to be a little frugal in the way I run my kitchen.  One of the best ways to do this is to do a great job managing our food budget by not being wasteful.  But I still want to make mealtime delicious and enjoyable for everyone.  So I use my leftovers, a little creativity and a little bribery to make everyone happy at the dinner table.  I still shop for the best quality meats and vegetables, and we always get great bread.

Tonight we are going to have Stone Soup and salad for dinner.  Did you ever read the Grimm Brothers fable Stone Soup to your kids?  It is one that was read to me when I was probably in first or second grade, and it is a story that has stuck with me all of these years.  The idea is simple – just a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you can have a nourishing meal.

The bribery comes in with the garlic bread to eat with it, and the cookies and milk for dessert.  The soup will be vegetable soup, made with pot roast and gravy leftovers, plus some other goodies from the pantry, refrigerator and freezer.

Stone Soup, AKA

Quick and Easy Vegetable-Beef Soup

2 cups assorted vegetables, either frozen or leftover or fresh chopped

(I used 1 chopped carrot, 1 cup frozen green beans and peas, ½ cup of garbanzo beans, 1 leftover roasted potato)

½ cup spaghetti sauce, Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice

3 cups stock or water

1 cup diced leftover roast beef, plus gravy

Sauté any fresh vegetables in olive oil until they are tender, seasoning as necessary.  Add frozen vegetables, stock/water, tomato product and gravy.  The meat may be added at the very last minute, or right away, depending on your preference.  Bring the mixture to a boil, lower to simmer and cook gently for about 5 minutes until all the vegetables are just tender.

Just before serving, check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper (maybe hot sauce) as desired.  Maybe a little parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.

Great Garlic Bread

6 slices day-old Italian bread

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and cut in half

2 TB butter

Salt (if desired)

Toast the bread until golden in the toaster.  When it comes out of the toaster, immediately rub it with the cut garlic clove.  The more you rub the clove, the stronger the flavor.  Then butter the toast and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, which will bring out the garlic flavor.  Serve immediately.

For my chocolaty-chocolate chip cookies:

One recipe traditional chocolate chip cookies (from the back of any package of chocolate chips), with the following substitutions:

In place of 2 ¼ cups flour, just use 2 cups of flour, plus ¾ cup of best quality cocoa powder.

In place of 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips, use only 1 cup, plus one cup each white chocolate chips and bittersweet or milk chocolate chips.

When you have formed the teaspoonfuls of cookie dough, drop them into milk chocolate sprinkles and roll them around to coat.  Then place on a cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, or until you just can slide a spatula under a done cookie.

When you remove the cookie sheet from the oven, quickly place an assortment of 5 or so of the various chips in the center of the cookie.  Allow them to melt slightly and then swirl the top of each if desired.

Or use a refrigerated roll of cookie dough, adding 1/3 to ½ cup of cocoa to the dough before shaping.  Proceed as directed above.

September 28th, 2010

Fall Fun With Steak


We welcomed the brisk fall air this weekend with a sizzle . . .

. . . and it turned into this . . .

Pure greatness.

We grilled up some thin-cut ribeyes and this beauty above is a thick Kansas City strip steak. Oh, the joy.

The smells of the grill, the steaks and the fall air were absolutely divine.

Welcome, autumn. You can stop by my house any time.

September 24th, 2010

T-Bone Steak Sings…


I leave you on this gorgeous Friday with this…

It’s Boom Jay and T-Bone Steak singing everyone’s favorite – “It’s Crazy.”

And you thought T-Bones were just for eating.

I’m pretty sure whenever they show T-Bone in this video, there’s a glowing grill graphic behind his head. That’s some classic stuff there.

One word of warning:  If you watch this, you will be singing it for the rest of the day.

But go ahead and do it anyway. You might pick up some great moves to use in ‘da club this weekend. Or ‘da living room. Whichever. Point is, PEOPLE WILL BE IMPRESSED.

Have a fabulous, steaky weekend!

September 23rd, 2010

Sommelier’s Thoughts on Steak Wines


I’ve traditionally heard that a big, beefy steak requires a hearty red wine.

Truth is, I never follow that advice because I have, shall we say, unusual taste when it comes to wine.

This NY sommelier even pairs some whites with certain steaks at his restaurant. Seriously, he’s my new best friend – and we’ve never even met.

Turns out, each cut of steak requires a different wine pairing. I didn’t know that.

Read on to find out more tips on matching that perfect vino with your steak tonight!

Photo courtesy of Sarina Finkelstein via

September 21st, 2010

Beef and Chorizo Empanadas


Look, these guys have flavor just busting right out of them.

My mouth is watering.

If you’ve never indulged in these tasty babies, you’re in for a real treat.

Empanadas are a popular snack food in the Philippines and Latin America. But, I’ve seen an Indian version as well.

For me, these amazing goodies are an entire meal all on their own!

Click here for the recipe and expert tips from Jun Belen over at

They’re tasty in any language!

Photos courtesy of

September 17th, 2010

NY’s Love Affair With Steak


New York City is known to be a steak haven. That’s a fact.

But I, personally, did not know it permeated even the ranks of the mayor’s office.

In a recent article this was said about Mayor Michael Bloomberg (note that the original question was about his favorite vegetable!):

In a stunning reversal of a third-term campaign promise, Mayor Bloomberg today answered a reporter’s question about his favorite vegetable with a one-word answer: “Steak.”

“I like most vegetables. I’m not big on a handful of them,” he told reporters, as transcribed by the DN’s faithful Frank Lombardi. “But I love steak.”

This absolutely rocks! When asked about vegetables he changed the subject to steak! Classic! I feel the same way. Nice to know I’m in good company!

I now love New York even more than I did before. I didn’t think that was possible.

Quote courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

September 15th, 2010

Sweep Steak


This is a QUICK recipe from The I Hate to Cook Book.

The title is hilarious.

It’s simple and anyone could do this for an easy, flavorful meal in a hurry.

Nice. Me likey.

Sweep Steak

Recipe adapted from The I Hate to Cook Book

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2- to 3-pound steak or pot roast

Two 1-ounce packets of French onion soup mix

Preheat the oven to 300°. Place the meat in the center of a

large sheet of aluminum foil and sprinkle it with the onion soup

mixture. Fold the foil around the meat so that it is

completely enclosed, and place it in a baking pan. Cook the

meat for 3 hours, until it’s tender, then slice and serve.

With kids and sports and homework and laundry and work and various and sundry other activities, it’s hard to sit down to a yummy meal during the week.

Or maybe I’m just projecting my life onto yours.

Either way, this sounds like the best of all worlds – try it!

Photo courtesy of

Recipe from The I Hate to Cook Book via

September 13th, 2010

Lady Gaga’s New Meat Dress…


So . . . she appeared at the VMAs this weekend in yet ANOTHER meat dress.

This one was longer and more demure:

Check out the shoes, too!

Apparently, her message was that she never wants to feel like “a piece of meat.”

Hilarious! Me neither, Gaga!

I think I’ll make my own replica of this and wear it to go pick up the kids from school. Is that wrong?

(If you could see some of the get-ups moms wear at the school, the meat dress would not shock you so much.)

As a meat lover, what do you think of this “statement?”

Photo courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images via

September 10th, 2010

3 Ways to Cook a Great Steak


There are all sorts of helpful hints out there to get you on your way to the perfect steak.

Here’s an article with important tips to create your most amazing meal and three of the best ways to cook it.

It’s always good to heed time-tested advice — especially when it comes to something as critical as steak!

Listen to the experts, I say. This is too important to mess up!

Check it out here. And let me know how your incredible meal goes . . .

Photo courtesy of

September 9th, 2010

Flip Your Steaks By Hand


I’m often up late at night. The TV is on and you can imagine what kinds of ads I see.

Everything from “enhancement” products to hearing aids to – well – THIS:

It’s the Grill Glove!

Seriously, you put it on, reach right on that hot grill, grab your steak, flip it and all is well!

It’s even dishwasher safe. Bonus.

I don’t know what I think about this. Will I accidently burn part the of my arm that’s not covered by the glove as I reach over HOT FLAMES?

Also, do I want to actually pick up my steak with my hand as it is cooking? I’m worried about the “ick” factor here. Will it feel mushy?  

On the other hand, Anthony Sullivan is endorsing it. So you know it has to be top notch.

Who’s Anthony Sullivan again?

What do you think? Do you have any experience with the Grill Glove? Or is this a flash in the pan?

Photo courtesy of

September 8th, 2010

Steak Bikini? Steakini?


So, Lady Gaga is the “It Girl” of the music world right now.

I like her music. She intrigues me.

She also scares me a little. Just a little.

Lady Gaga will often do, say and wear outlandish things. That’s her thing.

Her outfit for the cover of the latest issue of Vogue Hommes Japan magazine?

A meat bikini.

Yes. A. Meat. Bikini.

Oh, and a meat beret. Can’t forget that.

Click here to check it out. It’s a little burlesque-ish so click at your own risk.

What do you think? Does she push the envelope just a tad with the raw meat clothing? Or is it all in good fun?

Photo courtesy of

September 3rd, 2010

BBQ, Burgers and Bonding


This weekend, I plan to spend lots of time with my family just . . . being.

School has started here and ever since we’ve been blowing and going. I am looking forward to doing some fun things with my kids and having an actual conversation with my husband.

A novel concept.

We’ll be grilling out, inviting friends over and playing. Thank you, Labor Day, for giving me the chance to enjoy my family — and some really good food.

I hope you do the same.

Happy Labor Day!

September 2nd, 2010

Are Your Steaks Ready for Labor Day?



In this fantastic article, chef Scott Popovic grills up some great advice on choosing the right meat and more to make this Labor Day the tastiest ever!

I hope you are planning on sharing some steakburgers or T-bones or something yummy with loved ones this long weekend. After all, that’s what it’s for!

Well, that, and honoring our country’s workers, of course.

But, seriously, what better way to do that than by cooking up a great feast?

Get your beef here, check out the article here and then let me know what you cooked. I want to see photos, too!

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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