January 5th, 2015

New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Foodies

By

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The new year is here!

Time to make some resolutions. And if you’re a foodie (and I know you are) at least one of them must involve food.

How about trying steak tartare in the new year?

Cooking beef bourguignon?

Maybe resolve to host more dinner parties?

For me, I’d like to teach my almost-teenage son how to grill a steak.

It’s a lesson every man or woman needs.

What are your foodie New Year’s resolutions? Happy cooking and eating in 2015!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 31st, 2014

New Year’s Meal Pairing Ideas

By

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I like meal ideas that are quick, but don’t cut corners. These full meal pairings help to get the dinner on the table fast without sacrificing quality and flavor. Plus, they’re not the same old same old.

Try ‘em in the new year!

  1. 3 Cheese Arancini (can be an appetizer or a side), Chicken Spiedini and Lemon Coconut Cake.
  2. Crabcakes, Filet Mignon and Red Velvet Cake.
  3. Lobster Flatbread, Veal Cutlets and Hand-Dipped Chocolate Macaroons.

Want more full meal ideas? Create your own customized meals here!

Happy (tasty) New Year!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 29th, 2014

14 Favorite Things From 2014

By

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What I should really call this post is “14 Things That Made Me Happy in 2014.”

A bit wordy. But more accurate.

The nightly news was filled with dramatically terrible things that happened this year – devastating weather events, shootings, etc.

For me, in light of all that can and will go wrong in the world, it’s been the day-to-day simple pleasures that brought a smile to my face. 2014 was filled with them. But you have to stop and look for them. These are mine, so here goes:

  1. Giggling through the movie Big Hero 6 with my youngest son. Animated. Silly. Perfection.
  2. A visit to the beach. Brief, but very necessary.
  3. Prince George’s Christmas photographs.
  4. That one time I had five minutes to myself in the bathroom. Moms and dads, you know what I’m talking about.
  5. Grilled steak on the patio, my husband pouring me a glass of wine and Garth Brooks on the radio.
  6. The love my dogs showed me every day.
  7. My husband’s silly texts. He’s got a way with emojis.
  8. My boys hitting the baseball over the fence. Exhilarating.
  9. Finding “Friends” reruns when I couldn’t sleep.
  10. Summer. Just the whole thing.
  11. “The Voice.” It’s a show my kids actually watched with me.
  12. Good friends coming to my rescue when I needed it most.
  13. Lupita Nyong’o. Don’t know who she is? Check her out.
  14. Gathering around the dinner table and seeing faces I adore.

This is my personal list for 2014. What’s yours?


December 26th, 2014

Those Glorious Christmas Leftovers

By

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It’s that time!

Leftover time!

The holiday dishes have all been put away, but there’s a delicious reminder in the fridge of all that merriment and cheer.

It’s turkey and Chateaubriand and prime rib roast and spiral ham all tucked in their Tupperware beds. Just waiting to be called upon for the Leftover Parade.

There are two ways to go about this.

One: Reheat and serve.

I’m partial to this one because I’m usually exhausted.

-OR-

Two: Repurpose those leftovers into equally dazzling second meals.

My sister-in-law Chef Sandy is a master at this.

Roast turkey becomes turkey soup, turkey stew, turkey enchiladas.

Spiral ham becomes ham omelettes and ham soup.

Chateaubriand? Why, beef sliders, of course!

What are your favorite leftover ideas? Time to whip them up!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 24th, 2014

Holiday Table Ideas

By

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Everyone has their own ideas of what makes a great holiday table.

Some cannot veer from the classic turkey, spiral ham and sides combo.

And I understand that. I’m in touch with that.

Sometimes, holiday time is the only time of year you serve those dishes.

But, for some, the holiday table allows you to try something out of the ordinary and special like Chateaubriand or prime rib.

The most important thing is that your holiday table makes YOU happy.

Have you ever served a nice salmon or lobster on your holiday table?

How about lasagna?

Tell me, what are you serving on your holiday table this year?

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 22nd, 2014

Recipe for a Happy Life This Holiday Season

By

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What really makes you happy?

For me, it’s good food, good people and gratefulness.

Here’s my RECIPE for a happy life during the holidays (and all year ‘round):

 

Add equal parts juicy steak and potatoes

Place happy, smiling people around my table

Sprinkle liberally a good dose of humility and thankfulness

 

That’s it.

It’s simple, really.

If we all focus on the truly wonderful things we have in this life, there’s no room for the negative.

I did mention steak, though, too, right? Make sure there’s steak.

Hungry people tend to be grumpy.

The taste of a perfectly grilled steak with its hearty, yet tender, flavor makes everything right in my world. The happiness recipe definitely calls for steak.

Enjoy the holidays with this recipe, friends! And be sure to share it!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 16th, 2014

Delicious Holiday Desserts!

By

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We spend so much time during the holidays focusing on the mealsturkeys, hams, green beans – but let’s not forget the all-important dessert!

I love to have a variety of desserts to offer, not only because I will eat EVERY ONE of them, but because they are beautiful and everyone likes something different.

Some of my favorites are little holiday cheesecake bites (eat one or five – I won’t tell!), beautiful Buche de Noel (a timeless classic), and decadent chocolate macaroons.

What a gorgeous array these make! Seriously, just looking at these delicious desserts is almost as fun as eating them.

Almost.

What are YOUR favorite holiday desserts?

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 12th, 2014

Easy Appetizers for a Stressless Holiday

By

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Remember how we’re going to cut down on the stress this holiday season?

Well, that extends to the appetizers, too.

Appetizers serve a few purposes:

  1. They give growling bellies something to do while the main entrée is finishing cooking.
  2. They create anticipation for the gorgeous meal ahead.
  3. They sometimes substitute for a main entrée for picky eaters.

So they’ve got to be good, right?

But GOOD doesn’t have to mean HARD.

Why not try some made-ahead appetizers that you just heat up or simply serve? Some of my favorites are baby brie bites, crabcakes, bacon and cheddar sliders and jumbo shrimp.

With a great variety like that, everybody is sure to be covered. And NO ONE will go hungry.

Here’s to a stress-free holiday!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 10th, 2014

Holiday De-Stressing Tips: Made-Ahead Sides

By

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With so much going on when you’re hosting a holiday dinner, it’s helpful to cut down on the last-minute scrambling by serving made-ahead side dishes.

Delicious options like twice-baked potatoes you just pop in the oven and steak butters to enhance the flavor of just about anything – from those steaks you have on hand to mashed potatoes with porcini mushrooms you simply heat in the oven.

Creamed corn that just requires heating up is also a great option that just about everybody loves. Don’t labor over EVERY side dish AND the main entree. Save your energy for the showstoppers!

Delicious AND easy is the way to go to keep stress at a minimum. Don’t let the food get you worked up. Remember, Aunt Susie will be there with her advice about your love life. Again.

THAT will be quite enough stress, thank you.

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 8th, 2014

Tips for Making Your Holiday Less Stressful

By

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People are coming! People are coming!

Do those words strike fear in your soul?

Don’t fret. Plan!

Holiday time, while joyous, brings an enormous amount of stress. Especially if YOU are the host.

That’s why planning ahead is so important.

  1. Plan a menu now, taking into account who is coming, their dietary needs and preferences, and the time you’ll have to commit to cooking.
  2. Appetizers are important. I like to offer little bacon and cheddar sliders or lobster flatbread to satisfy appetites while I’m finishing up the main course. Nothing worse than grumpy, waiting guests. Plus, if for some reason a guest doesn’t dig the turkey you’re cooking there are other options to fill them up if needed.
  3. Grill or broil a few steaks to have on hand. Why? See #2. There may be guests who are too shy to share their taste preferences with you. You won’t know until you see them fake-nibbling off a virtually empty plate at dinnertime. If no one partakes of the gorgeous steaks, they WILL be eaten. Think of the bazillion mealtimes ahead with overnight guests.

What are YOUR favorite plan-ahead strategies to reduce stress during the holidays?

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


December 5th, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for Co-Workers

By

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Co-workers are a tricky bunch.

At holiday time, you’ve got to find the right gift that sends just the right message.

In my book, these are always winners:

1. Steak and wine pairings. Classy.

2. Gift-boxed steaks. Delicious! And beautifully packaged!

3. A selection of appetizers – you know, to serve at parties you’ll be invited to.

Gifts of fine foods speak volumes. They’ll appreciate your taste AND the message.

And THAT sets a nice tone for a fabulous 2015 at work!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com


December 1st, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for Her

By

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Is it tough to come up with dynamic gifts for the ones you love?

Trying to figure out what to get that special lady this year?

As a female myself I KNOW I would love these:

1. Filet Mignon (with bacon, please)

2. Beef Wellington (I’m in charge of cooking for my family and I can just pop these in the oven and they’re done!)

3. Anything that’s Heat & Serve (ham? yes! sides like twice-baked potatoes? double yes!)

The way to a woman’s heart is definitely through her stomach. And in my case, steaks are a direct route.

Surprise her with something that says “I know you!” this year and she’ll always be grateful.

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com


November 26th, 2014

Thanksgiving – Are You Ready For This?

By

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One more day and it’s time to feast!

Is your turkey thawing?

Are your side dishes prepped?

Dishes sparkling?

Serving utensils locked and loaded?

Napkins clean and folded?

It’s time to set the alarm and put that turkey in in the morning!

Did you go with a Chateaubriand this year? Prime rib roast?

As I mentioned, I’m serving a traditional turkey with a side of spiral ham – among other things.

My hubby always requests macaroni and cheese so that’s on the menu, too. Oh, and cranberry sauce for my dad, mashed potatoes for me, mushrooms for Mom, and more bread than a freightliner could hold for my boys. They can put away some bread.

The one thing we ALL have on the menu? Thankfulness.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


November 25th, 2014

Thanksgiving Serving Tips

By

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When you’ve got a big meal to serve – and isn’t Thanksgiving the biggest of them all? – success is all in the details.

Plan ahead to make sure you have all the right serving utensils. Planning a spiral sliced ham? Do you have the right serving fork? Side dishes planned?

Thinking of cooking a lovely Chateaubriand or prime rib roast? Make sure to time it just right so there’s just the right amount of aroma to whet the appetite before you sit down.

Make it an enjoyable experience for your guests (and easy for you) by having two each of the essentials on the table. Two baskets of bread – one for each end of the table – so that the entire meal isn’t spent passing and passing, two gravy boats, etc.

Think of the meal from your guests’ perspective and everything will flow nice and easy – the way a holiday should be!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


November 24th, 2014

Time to Start Thanksgiving Prep!

By

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Whether you’re serving a Chateaubriand, a prime rib roast or a good ol’ fashioned turkey this Thanksgiving, there are so many things you can do ahead of time to make the day run smoothly.

  1. Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need and shop way ahead of time to avoid the last-minute rush at the supermarket.
  2. Prepare side dishes beforehand, refrigerate them and just pop them in the oven the day of the big feast.
  3. Wash special china now so you’re not scrambling to set the table while you’re worrying about the meal.
  4. Prepare desserts, too, and keep them cold until Thanksgiving Day. Then, when you’re ready for them, just bake!
  5. Or you can even order desserts and let someone else do the baking!

Think through all of the details that can add up to lots of time on Thanksgiving Day itself. Anything you can do ahead of time – do it!

I like to break out my spiral ham a couple of days before as kind of a teaser. No reason we can’t enjoy it even before the big day.

Have fun planning this holiday meal. The prep and anticipation is half the fun!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


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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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