August 31st, 2015

Labor Day Menu Ideas

Labor Day Menu Ideas

Planning a Labor Day blowout?

Friends and family by the pool or on the patio, relaxing in the late summer sun, taking in what’s one of the last remnants of beautiful, wonderful summer.

Ahhhhh…

Of course, the smell of the grill going is the TRUE life of the party. It provides ambiance and makes sure your guests’ FIVE senses are all engaged. Plus, you know your stuff and that’s why everybody is at your place, right?

Ribeyes, filets, steaks of all kinds are sizzling. You’ve got a cut that’ll please everyone on the grill whether they like ‘em hearty and meaty like a Kansas City strip steak or a sirloin or whether they like them fork-tender and delicate ala the exquisite filet mignon.

That’s a given. But what else are you going to prepare?

For me, burgers are a must. Everyone likes them and those babies, along with all-beef hot dogs always satisfy the kids. They’re easy to eat with your hands and, hey, we’re outside so that’s cool with Mom and Dad.

Labor Day Barbecue

So how about some BBQ ribs and brisket? This party screams for barbecue. Eating it outdoors just adds to the enjoyment. Something about BBQ on the patio just feels right.

And sides?

Well, a delicious potato salad goes with everything. Pasta salad, too.

And, yes, an ACTUAL salad with all the fresh veggies of summer. It’s your last chance before they’re gone.

Speaking of veggies, scrumptious creamed corn and grilled asparagus are always crowd pleasers. As are baked potatoes and then some fresh fruit. Ya gotta have fresh fruit. It’s an appetizer, side AND dessert!

Did somebody say dessert? My vote is for red velvet cake. Or a nice cheesecake. Yes! Lots of choices make this a party for the ages.

Need some more Labor Day menu inspiration? Check out these mouth-watering recipes. You’re sure to find something that strikes your fancy.

So let’s do up Labor Day right! It’s the perfect ending to our dear summer and a nice welcome to a fall filled with more delicious food.


August 28th, 2015

How to Plate a Filet Mignon

How to Plate a Filet Mignon

Remember how we discussed being visual people? Okay, ME being a visual person.

Well, that applies to food presentation as well.

When I eat, I like it to be a feast for ALL the senses – not just my taste buds. I think everyone can appreciate the extra effort.

The same meal slapped on a paper plate without rhyme or reason tastes differently when presented on a beautiful dish and arranged in an eye-pleasing manner.

Don’t you agree?

It might be the exact same food, but we will perceive the well-plated version to TASTE better.

We don’t just taste with our taste buds. We taste with our eyes as well.

And a filet mignon definitely deserves to be plated well.

So how does one plate a filet successfully?

  1. Choose a plate that is simple and elegant – like your steaks. A basic, white, circular plate will do nicely. That way, the colors and arrangement of the food can be easily seen.
  2. Consider color and texture. Pair your filet mignon with greens, reds and yellows for beautiful effect.
  3. Think of symmetry, design and balance. A heaping pile on the left side of the plate is not visually pleasing. Space it out – think of it like a painting.
  4. Minimalist is best. Leave space on the plate and don’t pile it on.
  5. Go up. Finer restaurants stack up rather than space outward. It gives the plate visual depth and provides white space on the plate. Beautiful!
  6. Do it sparingly, but do garnish with spices, and a dab of sauce for color and embellishment and flavor.

And, remember, if it’s beautiful to you, it’s probably beautiful to whomever sits down at your table. So take the time to plate your filet mignon well.

Your guests/family/friends will appreciate you – and the filet – that much more!


August 24th, 2015

Filet Mignon Video Tutorial

Are you a visual person?

I am.

Sometimes I just need someone to SHOW me how to do something. Seems like with YouTube and social media, video is the quickest way to thoroughly explain a topic.

And what better topic than steak? Filet mignon, to be exact.

The corporate chef for The Kansas City Steak Company has put together a video that provides tips on preparing their #1 best seller – the filet mignon.

It’s tender. It’s juicy. It’s buttery soft. But cook it wrong and it’ll taste like a hockey puck.

Trust me.

These steaks are delicate so you want to treat your filet with tender loving care. That way, it’ll love you right back.

Like it wrapped with bacon? Done.

Marinated? Check.

Bone-in or without? Sure!

So many choices. And when done right, this cut is brimming with flavor and leaves a lasting impression. It’s cut from the beef tenderloin roast and it’s really special.

So, what are the chef’s main tips?

  1. Make sure it’s aged 28 days and the fat has been hand removed. That way, the beautiful beef shines through.
  2. Check to ensure it’s well marbled for optimal flavor.
  3. Thaw frozen steaks overnight in your refrigerator.
  4. Take them out about a half hour before and let them come up to room temperature. That will allow them to cook evenly on the grill.
  5. Use a clean, hot grill cranked up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. A high, dry heat works best with a low fat content steak like filet mignon.
  7. It’s recommended to cook these steaks to medium rare for best results. Do not overcook. (Remember the hockey puck?)
  8. Season all sides of the filet mignon so the natural flavor is brought out in every single bite.
  9. Keep one side of the grill hot and the other side on medium. Halfway through, move the steaks to the medium side so that they continue to cook but don’t burn on the outside.
  10. Cook to an internal temperature of 128 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer in the center of the steak to test. Don’t ever check with a knife.
  11. Let the steaks rest on a platter for 5-10 minutes. They won’t get cold! This allows the natural juices to flavor the whole steak.

Follow these chef tips for a beautiful filet mignon every time! And watch more videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ_4TmXyDks


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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.

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