June 18th, 2014

Planning a Cookout? Use This Checklist


It’s COOKOUT time of year!!!

You want to invite the whole gang over to beat the heat and share some good, grilled grub.

With a little planning, your cookout can be the Greatest Cookout of All Time. And everyone – including you – will have lots of fun.

How does this happen? Follow this simple checklist for a fantastic cookout!


You can obviously just verbally invite folks over but if you do that you don’t have a concrete RSVP list. And that makes food and supplies hard to judge. My advice is good, old-fashioned invitations in the mailbox. Guests can RSVP by e-mail, but go all out and send ‘em some paper!


Think about the number of people who’ll be there, but also WHO will be there. Does everyone like filets? Burgers? Chicken? Seafood? Make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy. And load up on sides and desserts, too, like gourmet mac ‘n cheese and red velvet cake. Check out these recipes for inspiration. Hey, variety is the spice of life!


Don’t forget to quench their thirst! Make sure if you’re going to have alcoholic drinks, you also have non-alcoholic drinks. And have lots of water on hand. It’s hot out there!


You can really give your cookout a special feel if you decorate just for the occasion. Go Hawaiian or decorate with a down-home Southern twist. Really make it special!


This can be as simple as setting out a game of horseshoes or croquet to play while the food is grilling. Or, even designating a DJ. Just give ‘em something to focus on before, during and after the food makes its grand entrance!


If you plan it all out ahead of time, you can just go with the flow and enjoy your friends and family at your cookout. And THAT is what summer’s all about!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.

June 13th, 2014

Grilling Tools For Different Meats


You consider yourself a grillmaster. You have immediately earned my respect and admiration.

But as a grillmaster do you have all of the important tools of the trade? Do you have different tools for different types of meat?

Let me explain.


It’s heavy and needs to be flipped without steak juices escaping all over the place. A SPATULA is the tool you need at grillside for this delicious dish.


Lighter than steak, but still substantial, burgers need proper flipping as well. But these babies require a SMALL SIZE SPATULA just large enough for the patty.


Hot dogs have a distinctive shape and require a tool to match. TONGS are your best bet for turning and grilling these to perfection.


Yum! Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a favorite around our house as well. Use a PRONGED FORK to do right by this healthy meat.


Seafood, especially salmon, is very delicate so it requires extra care and attention. Use ALUMINUM FOIL to wrap this meat before placing it on the grill. It’ll help it cook evenly and keep it all in one piece!


Now that you know all the tools of the trade, make sure you’re locked and loaded for grilling season. The right tool makes all the difference!

Photos courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.

June 4th, 2014

Menu Ideas for Father’s Day


Now that we have a checklist for planning a celebration of Dad on Father’s Day, let’s talk MENU!

We’ve got to do it up right for Dad!


We’re going to want to whet Dad’s appetite, but not TOO much because there’s lots more to come! Try some Jumbo Shrimp or Basil Pesto Gorgonzola Kisses to get him started.


Now on to the main course! Might I suggest a gorgeous Porterhouse steak for such an occasion? It’s manly, it’s delicious and it’ll let Dad know you’re serious.


This celebration meal calls for Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Mushrooms or decadent Twice Baked Potatoes. Delish!


MY dad is all about the German Chocolate Cake. But maybe yours would love Red Velvet Cake or Vanilla Cheesecake. Pick his favorite!

It’s so much fun to plan a meal for someone you love. Make sure you have all Dad’s faves and it’ll be a hit. Click here for more menu inspiration.

Happy celebrating!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.

March 17th, 2014

Yummy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes


St. Patrick’s Day is here! Are you wearing green???

Well, even if you’re not, you can still get in the Irish spirit with your food choices on this festive day.

Take this delicious corned beef above, it’s made by brining a beef brisket in water, sugar, salt and other seasonings for a week OR MORE.

Now THAT’S getting serious about your eats.

Read on here for more St. Patrick’s Day fare like Beef and Guinness Stew and Smoked Salmon. And make this day foodie heaven!


Photo courtesy of Getty Images via ABCNews.com.

March 14th, 2014

Complete Easter Dinner Ideas


Easter dinner is right around the corner. And it’s one of those meals that requires a bit of preparation to pull it off.

But it doesn’t HAVE to be formal. Or it can be. You get to choose what kind of holiday you want to have.

Here are some fantastic ideas for Easter meals that range from “easy afternoon” (think sandwiches) and “make-ahead casual” (shrimp cocktail, anyone?) to formal ham dinners, Southern lunch and even an Easter breakfast buffet!

With all these choices you’re bound to find a menu that fits your family, your taste and your mood.

Above all, make it memorable – whatever that means for you. Isn’t that what holidays are all about?

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.

March 3rd, 2014

Fat Tuesday Recipes


Mardi Gras celebrations call for AMAZING food!

But there are some Fat Tuesday dishes you just HAVE to try. One is this delicious Creole Shrimp and Grits recipe (yummy photo above). It’s a must! Shrimp is one ingredient that absolutely has to make an appearance at any Mardi Gras celebration.

Here are some more essential Fat Tuesday recipes to make – and the desserts? Well, they’re outta this world!

Enjoy and indulge!

Photo courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker via HuffingtonPost.com.

February 25th, 2014

Mardi Gras Meals Made Easy


It’s time for Mardi Gras parties! And what’s the best part about a great party?

The food!

Classic Mardi Gras dishes are absolutely out of this world. Take jambalaya (above), for instance.

Could there be a more flavorful combination of meats and spices?

Mardi Gras food is reason enough to host a party. Serve dishes like muffulettas, gumbo, etouffee, Cajun shrimp and so much more.

Want recipes for these beauties and others? Click here and keep a napkin close by for all the drool.

It’s time to party on, friends!

Photo courtesy of SouthernLiving.com.

May 22nd, 2013

Summer Steak Salad and Shrimp Flatbread


Now that’s a gorgeous flatbread full of shrimp and other delights.

Pair that with a summer steak salad and you’ve got a winning combination!

Angie McGowan over at Eclectic Recipes created these beautiful dishes – so why not try them at your home?

They’re light and perfect for those warm days outside. Plus, they’re really flavorful!

Visit Eclectic Recipes for the full lowdown on how to make these fab meals. For me, I’d serve the shrimp flatbread as an appetizer, then dig into the summer steak salad as my main dish.

BUT, you just might do the opposite! Have fun!

Photo courtesy of Angie McGowan via EclecticRecipes.com.

May 14th, 2013

Well, That’s ONE Way to Get Your Steak Fix


See this guy? That’s Trevor Runyon.

And this weekend, he really, really, really wanted a steak.

So much so, that he snuck into a grocery store just before closing and prepared himself a feast after everyone left.

Runyon devoured SIX steaks (cooked right in the store), some beer, shrimp and birthday cake.

Our hungry friend was not so smart, though, as he fell asleep and was discovered the next morning.

Now, I get a hankering for a steak myself quite often, but I have never considered this method for obtaining one — or six.

I like to eat mine at home (after I have purchased them, mind you) and then I can fall asleep wherever I want without fear of being discovered.

That’s just how I roll.

Trevor, here’s a link to order your steaks online.  That way, you can eat them on your couch and take a little nap right there. The legal way.

You’re welcome.

Photo courtesy of AP via DailyMail.co.uk.

May 10th, 2013

Mother’s Day Steak and Lobster


Your mom deserves the best, right?

Well, does it get any swankier than steak and lobster?

I didn’t think so.

Choose Mom’s favorite cut and pair it with yummy lobster tails this Sunday (you know, Mother’s Day) to show her she’s something special.

Moms like that.

The gorgeous cold water lobster tails above were prepared for me by my honeys.  Awesome, no?

Here’s a fantastic resource for cooking tips for your steak AND lobster. Follow these instructions and you can’t go wrong.

Happy Mother’s Day this weekend!

January 17th, 2013

Inaugural Luncheon Advice


President Obama’s 2013 Inaugural Luncheon is set to include hickory grilled bison and steamed lobster.

Something for everyone, perhaps?

It has been said that Mrs. Obama’s health-conscious mindset was at the forefront in determining this year’s menu so bison (being the leanest red meat) was chosen to be showcased.

I, personally, have feasted on bison and could not get through bite #2. I did not enjoy the taste or the texture.

But maybe I’m just a baby.

To me, it looked like a steak and smelled like a steak. But when I tasted it I wanted to bang my fists on the table and shout, “I thought this was going to be a steak! You tricked me!”

Was it all in my mind? I KNEW I was getting bison so I was ready for it. But maybe I was TOO ready for it, just waiting for it to be different.

And so it was.

So, Inaugural Luncheon attendees, be ye prepared. Bison IS NOT a good ole ribeye. It’s different. Don’t make a scene.

Enjoy your lobster and keep your composure.

You can always throw a ribeye on the grill when you get home.

You’ve been warned.

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.

April 25th, 2012

Mmmm, Surf and Turf


Looking for some new grill recipes?

You’ve come to the right place. The gorgeous meal above is seasoned with cumin, smoked paprika and lots of other goodness.

These steaks are T-bones, but you can use any cut you like.

Click here for all the ingredients to make your next cookout something memorable! Seafood and beef is always a great combo!

Photo courtesy of DayToDayThoughtsOnFood.com.


February 21st, 2012

Beef Jambalaya This Fat Tuesday!


It’s Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras is in full swing. But you don’t have to be in New Orleans to get in the spirit!

Try some Beef Jambalaya for a new twist on an old Cajun standby.

Everything’s better with beef, right? And this recipe calls for sirloin steak. You could try out tenderloin tips or another cut that tickles your fancy.

It’s Mardi Gras, for heaven’s sake! Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Click here for that fabulous Beef Jambalaya recipe – then make it your own!

Photo courtesy of TescoRealFood.com.

April 6th, 2009

Steak Recipe: Grilled Filet with Shellfish Butter


Okay, this recipe mixes two flavors many people crave — the ultimate in tender beef (the filet mignon) with tasty, distinctive shellfish (your choice of lobster, crab or shrimp).

It’s a little twist on the old “Surf and Turf” theme, combining the “surf” part right into the butter that will flavor the steak itself.

Utter genious.

And, it’s a simple recipe for steak butter you can try at home! I’m thrilled!

Give it a try!  

Grilled Filet with Shellfish Butter

(Serves four)

4 6oz. Filet Mignon

8 oz. Shells (Lobster, crab or shrimp)

8 oz. Butter

¼ Cup chopped Carrot

¼ Cup chopped Celery

½ Cup chopped Onion

1 clove Garlic, chopped

1 tsp. Tomato Paste

2 Tbsp. Brandy (optional)

2 sprigs Tarragon (optional)

Salt and Pepper

In a medium saucepan, sweat the onion, carrot and celery until soft, in 1 tsp. of the butter.  Add the garlic, tarragon and tomato paste and shells and cook for several minutes, stirring regularly.  If using shrimp shells, they should turn pink, since crab and lobster are already cooked, just break up the shells with a spoon or meat tenderizer if they are too thick.  Add brandy to deglaze and cook until almost dry.  Add the remaining butter. 

Cook over low heat for twenty minutes, stirring regularly.  Strain through a fine meshed strainer into a bowl and place in the refrigerator.  Once the butter has nearly set, spoon onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, tying the ends tightly and return to the refrigerator.

Season the filet on both sides with salt and pepper and grill to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium.  Slice the butter into thick slices and place on top of the filet while it is resting.  The heat from the filet should start melting to butter, if it doesn’t place it under a broiler for around fifteen seconds.

February 19th, 2009

Three’s Company


Our Valentine’s dinner started off with roses being delivered. Nice.


We placed the salmon in the oven for baking. It was already seasoned and marinated. Nice.


Then our neighbor called to rib us about something — and he ended up coming over to eat our steak and salmon.

Not nice.

So it wasn’t exactly the romantic spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp I had hoped it would be. But, really, with the kids in the other room watching Space Buddies on DVD, was it ever going on the list of most romantic dinners of all-time?


And after 11 years of marriage, we’ve come to expect the unexpected. I truly can’t remember the last meal we’ve had in our house where we weren’t interrupted.

It’s just usually done by someone under the age of 10.

All kidding aside, our neighbor brought laughter and frivolity to our dinner, along with his 6-year-old daughter who promptly went to watch the DVD in the other room. And we couldn’t have been more pleased to have them.

Here’s what we enjoyed . . .


A little garlic rice pilaf amazingly complemented this juicy Top Sirloin. 

And those salmon filets?


They were moist and tender — and very flavorful. What a treat to have surf AND turf!

We topped off our meal with a wonderful Lemon Charlotte Royale cake that had raspberry swirls in it. It was just right for Valentine’s Day. Who could ask for anything more?


And although it may seem like we had a very mature-sounding Valentine’s Day, don’t let us fool you. Our biggest topic of conversation was whether to Tivo “Bromance” on the living room TV or the bedroom TV.

Decisions, decisions.

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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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