August 29th, 2014

5 Easy Back-To-School Night Meals

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The kids are back in school and the schedules and time crunch is back!

We need meals that are nourishing and delicious, but also hassle-free. That’s why I LOVE these Heat & Serve Gourmet dinners. You literally heat, then serve them!

Here are 5 easy ways to make weeknight dinnertime a wonderful experience:

1. Brisket with twice-baked potatoes. The meat is already sliced and sauced. Put it in the oven (the potatoes, too) and voila!

2. Hickory-smoked ham and mashed potatoes with porcini mushrooms. Delicious and different. This meal is a hit!

3. Chicken Spiedini. A new twist on a mealtime favorite – chicken! This Italian dish is so savory your family will devour it. Serve with your favorite noodles.

4. Cold Water Lobster Tails. Did they ace the test? Break out this seafood favorite! You can grill, bake or boil them. Whichever way you choose, it’s simple! Try with creamed spinach.

5. Beef Wellington. Put it in the oven and you have a gourmet meal that is rich and flavorful. Green beans in a mushroom cream sauce are an excellent accompaniment!

May all your school nights be stress free – or at least the ones when you take it easy on yourself and serve these meals!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


August 26th, 2014

Labor Day Favorites

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What are all holidays made for?

Food! That’s what!

And this Labor Day is no different. We’ve got one last summerish hurrah coming up and I intend to do it up right. I know you do, too!

Let’s get in those summer grilling favorites before the crispness of fall sets in…

We’ll start with burgers. I mean, heck, it’s not Labor Day without burgers!

Steaks are a must as well. Is the grill going? Then steaks must be on it!

Throw in some ribs, too. They’re a traditional Labor Day favorite at our house. We’re outside so it’s okay to lick our fingers, right?

Now sides are very important at this soiree. There are plenty of side dish recipes to choose from.

These delicious deviled eggs must make an appearance. Everyone will literally eat them up! Get the recipe here.

BBQ baked beans? Yes, please! These go with everything – and they’ll go fast. Try this fantastic recipe.

Feeding a big crowd? This potato salad recipe will please ‘em all. And check out more recipes here whether you want to go fancy or simple and traditional. There’s something right up your alley!

Have a great Labor Day feast, my friends! And send summer out with a bang!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


August 22nd, 2014

Gourmet Camping = Glamping

By

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A glamorous camping experience?

Sure, why not!

Glamping can be fun! You just have to bring the correct gear to do it up right.

Whether or not you “rough it” in an air-conditioned tent is up to you, but the meals? Well, those should be top-notch.

A cooler filled with caviar and crackers makes for a great appetizer. So do these jumbo shrimp – just grill ‘em over the coals!

And while you’re eating your caviar and shrimp (and sipping on something bubbly) you can watch some beautiful, thick-cut filet mignon as it sizzles over the fire. Nothing like the smell of a juicy, tender steak grilling to create some serious anticipation.

Your filet will go well with some sweet potatoes in a butter rum glaze that you wrap in foil and heat over those same coals. Roughing it? Sure!

Then, as a grand finale, whip out some molten chocolate cakes from the cooler and heat them gently over the coals so the chocolate oozes just the right amount. Delicious!

Ahhhhh, “back to nature” may have a whole new meaning after this glamping excursion. But I bet it’ll be the camping trip you remember most fondly for the rest of your lives!!!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


August 8th, 2014

Sunday Dinner Ideas

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When I think of Sunday dinner, images (and aromas) of slow-cooked homestyle meals come to mind.

Roast, meatloaf. Meals that say “home” to me.

What will you be cooking this Sunday?

Sometimes I WANT a meal that takes time to prepare, but I simply don’t have the time. Or I just want to spend Sunday with my family instead of in the kitchen. On those days, these Heat & Serve Gourmet meals are ideal. Everything from Beef Wellington and twice-baked potatoes to brisket to Chicken Cordon Bleu, lobster tails and salmon.

Literally, you just put them in the oven and serve them. Even I can do that.

Want to spend some time preparing a home-cooked meal from scratch this Sunday? There’s a plethora of great recipes over here to try. May I suggest a gorgeous Chateaubriand?

Enjoy your Sunday dinner this weekend – however you plan to spend it!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


July 14th, 2014

Recipes for Your Barbecue

By

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Are you barbecuing? It’s time!

Here are some of my favorite barbecue meal ideas – pick some and have a go!

ENTREES

I absolutely LOVE a good brisket. That smoky flavor makes me so happy. And ribs are a great go-to entree as well. Ever tried burnt ends? They’re boneless and not messy. Delicious! Try beef or pork.

SIDE DISHES

What goes with everything? Twice-baked potatoes! Cheesy, bacony goodness. Another great option my family loves is green beans in mushroom cream sauce. Delish!

BBQ SAUCES

You could buy those store-bought sauces but why not try something fresh? A little extra effort makes it taste that much better. Here are some awesome sauce recipes – give ‘em a whirl!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


July 8th, 2014

Baseball Tailgating Tips

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‘Tis the season to have a cookout in the parking lot! Baseball season, that is!

And to have a successful tailgating experience, you’ve gotta have a plan. So here’s mine…

THINK AHEAD

How many people will be joining you? After you figure that number, add 10. Making friends with other tailgaters is the norm, not the exception. So bring enough plates, napkins, utensils, condiments, drinks, food and fun for that many. Hey, leftovers are always welcome. Oh, and bring a cooler just for leftovers.

THINK COMPACT

Bring a portable grill (think camping style) for your chef. Plus grill supplies. Nothing that needs plugging in, unless you have a generator or other power source.

MAKE A MENU

Go with tried and true favorites – burgers, hot dogs, buns, chips, drinks and condiments. Anything unusual at a tailgate party and you might not have takers. Then what will they eat? And don’t forget dessert!

GET COMFORTABLE

Bring lots of folding chairs and at least one table. You’ve got to have a place to set all this stuff! Make it inviting for folks to hang around and talk about your favorite team. A tent to shade your group from the sun is also a great idea. Your relish and mayonnaise will thank you, too.

HAVE FUN!

Make lasting memories with your friends and family – all while eating your favorite foods! It’s a WIN/WIN!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.

 


July 7th, 2014

Ball Park Inspired Menu

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Summertime’s baseball time! And one BIG reason we like to go to the ball park? Why, the food, of course!

Bring the excitement of the ball park home with a ball park inspired menu and it’ll be a home run for sure!

Start with …

HOT DOGS

I mean, how can you not start there? Hot dogs, franks, frankfurters – whatever you want to call them – make sure to have lots of condiments – sauerkraut, relish, mustard, the works! Just make sure it’s Kansas City beef for the best taste.

Then offer …

BURGERS

Hot dogs and burgers just go together. And at the ball park, you ALWAYS get a choice.

Then make sure to have …

BEER-BATTERED ONION RINGS

Absolute perfection. And they go with everything. Try this recipe for killer rings!

And finish up with …

GRAND SLAM CUPCAKES

Cupcakes in the spirit of baseballs with licorice laces. Adorable and delicious. Get the recipe here.

 

Have fun creating your own customized menu and bring the ball park to your house!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 30th, 2014

Hot Dog Heaven: Make a Cookout Condiment Bar

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One of the greatest things about beautiful weather is the ability to have COOKOUTS!

Next time you’re grilling up hot dogs, try a Cookout Condiment Bar to make it even more special.

Really make it a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. It’s the secret all great restaurants know. :)

Separate all condiments into stainless steel or clear bowls – out of their original jars and squeeze bottles. Supply each bowl with an appropriately-sized serving spoon and line them up, preferably in a covered, shaded area.

Be sure to include all the traditional items like relish, mustard, ketchup, maybe onions, sauerkraut, and chili.

But why not add some non-traditional choices as well? Try including avocado, tomatoes, spicy condiments like sriracha, and then throw in a unique twist like sliced lemons. Have you ever squeezed lemon juice onto your hot dog? Try it! You might love it!

Have fun thinking up wild condiments that not only add flavor to your hot dogs, but color as well. A beautiful plate makes it taste that much better.

Be sure to start with all beef hot dogs (my must-have) and have fun with your own Cookout Condiment Bar!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 20th, 2014

Guide to Grilling Summer Ingredients

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We’re all out there grilling up a storm. After all, it’s summertime!

Delicious beef is a given, but what else are you complementing it with? We’ve got to take advantage of summery favorites at this time of year – things like summer squash, zucchini and corn on the cob.

To die for.

When putting these delicate veggies on the grill, we’ve got to be careful to treat them just right. For instance, cutting the SQUASH into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick horizontal slices will ensure they don’t fall through the grill. Start them off in a pan with olive oil, garlic cloves and salt and pepper. Then finish them off on the grill – about 5-10 minutes per side until they’re YOUR desired tenderness. Be sure to brush them occasionally with the oil mixture for great flavor.

On the ZUCCHINI, this recipe is a must for perfection every time:

Grilled Zucchini Medley

Ingredients:
1 lb. zucchini
1/2 lb. yellow squash
1 red pepper
1 medium onion, sliced vertically into thin strips
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Directions: Cut zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper in matchstick size pieces. On one half of a 22” x 18” sheet of heavy-duty foil, layer vegetables in order listed. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and drizzle with oil. Fold top half of foil over vegetables to meet bottom edge. Grill over hot coals for approximately 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
Source: KC Steak Company

 

For great CORN ON THE COB, remove husks and silk, rinse with cold water and wrap in foil. Place on the grill for about 15-20 minutes until tender, turning occasionally. Create a butter mixture to your taste – add garlic, salt and pepper, Parmesan cheese, parsley – whatever your fancy. Then spread liberally on each ear of corn after grilling. YUM!

And then try these VEGGIE KABOBS…

Vegetable Kabobs

Ingredients:
Marinade:
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp. minced parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, mincedKabobs:
2 large green peppers
3 small zucchini, sliced 3/8 inch thick
1 qt. fresh mushrooms
1 large red onion
Can of potatoes
Directions:Stir together marinade ingredients and pour over vegetables. Toss to coat. Cover and marinade several hours or overnight. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. Put vegetables on skewers and broil 6 inches from source of heat for 10 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with marinadeServes 8-10 skewers.
Source: KC Steak Company

 

With these tips and recipes at your fingertips, you CANNOT go wrong at the grillside this summer! Enjoy!

Photo and recipes courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 18th, 2014

Planning a Cookout? Use This Checklist

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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!

1. INVITATIONS

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!

2. MENU PLANNING

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!

DRINKS

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!

DECORATIONS

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!

ENTERTAINMENT

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 4th, 2014

Menu Ideas for Father’s Day

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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!

APPETIZERS

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.

ENTREE

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.

SIDE DISHES

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

DESSERT

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.


June 2nd, 2014

Checklist for Planning Your Father’s Day Cookout

By

Dad’s big day is coming up! June 15th is Father’s Day and it’s time to celebrate!

Lots of us equate celebrating with food. Why? Because it’s how humans have shown love since the dawn of man.

And what better way to show Dad you love him than with a steak and beef-filled cookout?!?!!

To make sure we don’t forget a thing, let’s make a checklist of things we’ll need to make this cookout DA BOMB:

 

1. High-quality steaks, burgers and whatever kind of beef Dad loves

2. Veggies for amazing kabobs or fantastic, colorful side dishes

3. A clean grill!

4. Spatula/tongs for optimal grilling

5. Buns or bread

6. Dessert

7. Condiments, condiments, condiments

8. Plates, cups, utensils

9. Ice!

10. Beverages of Dad’s choice

11. A beautiful tablecloth/table setting – Dad-themed, of course!

12. Lots and lots of love!!!

 

Definitely tailor your fiesta to your specific needs but this is a great start. And check out some yummy menu ideas for Dad’s day over here. Hint:  Steak is the main course!

Follow this list and maybe you’ll find, like I have, that planning to celebrate someone is almost as fun as the celebration itself!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.

 


April 30th, 2014

Special Treat for Bacon Lovers

By

Will they stop at nothing, these bacon-crazed chefs?

I’m not saying I WANT them to, just WOW!

This tasty treat is smoked bacon wrapped onion rings with a sriracha mayo dipping sauce.

In my mind this is either a killer appetizer or a scrumptious side to accompany, say, a bacon-wrapped filet mignon?

This recipe comes to us from our friends at Grilling24x7.com. Geniuses!

For an even bigger taste explosion, you can try applewood double smoked bacon or maple hickory smoked bacon to wrap those rings.

Now that’s just good eatin’! Will YOU try these?

Photo courtesy of Grilling24x7.com.


March 24th, 2014

Easter Make-Ahead Menu

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It’s time to start thinking about Easter menus. And, for me, I stress less if I can make most things ahead of time.

So let’s stress less, shall we?

There are so many menu choices that we can prepare beforehand, and then heat or simply serve when mealtime comes.

For me, a ham is a must-have. We don’t sit down to eat a ham often so it’s usually a holiday dinner for us. Luckily, it’s a heat and serve type entree. And that makes me happy.

The sides and dessert? Well, that’s a different story.

Click here to see a beautiful make-ahead Easter menu including glazed carrots with pistachios (beautifully displayed above), spring pea soup, chutney-glazed ham, pepper cheese biscuits and lemon beehive meringues.

This, my friends, is the recipe for a fantastic Easter meal!

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens at BHG.com.


January 30th, 2014

Football-Shaped Food Ideas

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It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday!

That means it’s time to dust off our thinking caps and come up with some creative menu ideas for the big day.

Isn’t that the funnest part?

Oh, yeah, there’s a game, too. But what’s a game without great food to munch on?

These incredible football-shaped food ideas are so fun to try at your party for the big game.

Take the mini meatloaf you see above. Meat. Good. Football. Good.

There are also recipes for making football-shaped pretzels, oatmeal cream pies and more. There’s something for everyone – all shaped like a football, of course.

Check ‘em out – they’re sure to be a touchdown!

Photo courtesy of A Family Feast via FoxNews.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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