December 16th, 2014

Delicious Holiday Desserts!

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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

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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 8th, 2014

Tips for Making Your Holiday Less Stressful

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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 1st, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for Her

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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 25th, 2014

Thanksgiving Serving Tips

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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 19th, 2014

What’s on Your Thanksgiving Menu?

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So I’ve already told you that I MUST have a turkey on my Thanksgiving table.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be other options. I like to have a spiral sliced ham on board, too, so I can make future breakfasts and lunches with it.

Have YOU ever been daring and served something a bit less traditional for Thanksgiving? Perhaps a gorgeous Chateaubriand or a prime rib roast?

That’s not to say that those amazing meals are not classics in their own right, they’re just not strictly by the book like a Thanksgiving turkey.

They’re edgy. Daring. Different.

And I like that.

What will you be serving this Thanksgiving? Traditional or living on the edge? Tell me!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


November 17th, 2014

Flavorizing With Herb Roasted Turkey

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Turkey is a must-have at Thanksgiving time around my house. It MUST be on the table. No ifs, ands or buts.

But… this year I’m exploring new options to spice it up – or herb it up, as the case may be.

I’ll be serving an herb roasted whole turkey. It’s already infused with a blend of herbs that brings out the juiciness of the turkey while flavorizing it.

Yes, it’s so good I had to make up a new word for it. Flavorizing. You can use it, too.

With a flavorized turkey, beautiful sides, delicious desserts, and the company of my family, I will be in my happy place this Thanksgiving.

There is so much to be thankful for!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


November 7th, 2014

Lamb: A Little Something Different

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A beautiful piece of meat is always the centerpiece of the table at my house — especially at holiday time.

Looking to try something a bit different? Try lamb! Wouldn’t a rack of lamb present beautifully for your guests?

Roasted or grilled, this meal is made to be savored and enjoyed. Perfect for enjoying the company of your holiday guests!

There are so many meals to be had at holiday time. Why not mix it up a bit for at least one of them?

Lamb is understated elegance and a welcome twist to your holiday traditions!

Go on, live on the wild side! Try something different!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com


November 6th, 2014

Ham Makes it a Special Occasion

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It’s hard to present a beautiful spiral-sliced ham on a platter and it NOT be a special occasion.

Seriously, a gorgeous ham like this makes just a regular Tuesday night something to talk about.

But when it comes time for actual special occasions (hey, there are lots coming up in the next two months) a ham really fits the bill.

Holiday gatherings always require ham at my house. And one of the beautiful things about having overnight company and serving ham is that it can be served for breakfast, lunch AND dinner!

Serve a mouth-watering ham and all the right sides for dinner, then, the next morning chop up some ham and create the most amazing omelettes. Lunch? Ham sandwiches! Perfect.

Some food for thought for the holidays to come. Ham should always be a part of the equation. And I can’t wait!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


November 4th, 2014

Holiday Centerpiece Favorites

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Oh, how I love this time of year!

Halloween is over and it’s time to start thinking HOLIDAY MEALS!

I look forward to this with great anticipation all year long.

When I think of my holiday meals, I first think about the centerpiece of the meal.

My personal go-to centerpieces are a gorgeous Chateaubriand or a prime rib roast (oh the beef!) and a spiral-sliced ham. My family loves them all.

At holiday time especially, presentation is so very important. And these main course centerpieces make quite an impression.

And, of course, they TASTE delicious! You just have to decide which taste to go with.

That’s the fun part! Good thing is, holiday time brings lots of visitors and lots of mealtimes. You really can serve them all over the next couple of months!


June 26th, 2014

Red, White and Bleu Cheese: 4th of July Ideas!

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It’s time to start thinking of fun things to serve on the most patriotic of holidays – the 4th of July!

Try these USA-inspired meal ideas and whoop it up this Independence Day!

BLEU CHEESE BURGERS

Color is of utmost importance with your 4th of July presentation. So try some colorful burgers with white onion, ketchup/tomato and a sprinkle of bleu cheese. You may have to hunt to see the blue – but, hey, that’s half the fun!

LAYERED PATRIOTIC DRINKS

For a fun red, white and blue-colored drink, start with ice cubes that will appear white, pour cranberry juice on the bottom of a clear glass or cup, then add blue G2 Gatorade on top. You’ll have patriotism in a glass!

DELICIOUS FLAG CAKE

Chef Ina Garten’s gorgeous flag cake (seen above) features all of the beautiful colors of the American flag. What better way to show your appreciation for our country? Click here to see the recipe and ingredient list for this beauty.

 

Then, have fun coming up with your own ideas using the red, white and blue theme. Get the kids involved, too. It’s more fun that way! Happy almost 4th, everybody!

Photo courtesy of FoodNetwork.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

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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.

 


May 21st, 2014

Video: Steakhouse Secrets – Perfect Steak at Home

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Looking for the secrets of the pros? Check out this video on making your own PERFECT steak at home.

Tips and techniques from chefs always make at-home meals better.

Try it this weekend – this LOOONNNG, EXTENDED weekend!

And while we’re enjoying a day off, let’s remember the folks who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom this Memorial Day.


May 20th, 2014

Memorial Day Party Checklist

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If you’re like me, hosting parties is fun, but you get a little frazzled just beforehand.

Did I forget anyone? Did I forget anything? Do I have enough food?

All of these questions come tumbling down upon us if we don’t prepare well in advance.

And, well, I never seem to do that.

So here is a Memorial Day Party Checklist for those of us who need a little bit of help.

Location? Check.

Seating? Check.

Clean grill? Check.

So many things to think of, but the beauty here is SOMEONE ELSE THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING!

I love it when that happens.

So whether you’re serving burgers or brisket or steaks or hot dogs, you can be sure your party is a success.

Check out that list here — and get checking!

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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