November 26th, 2014

Thanksgiving – Are You Ready For This?

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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

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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!

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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.


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 6th, 2014

Ham Makes it a Special Occasion

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Maple Bourbon Ham Glaze

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.


October 31st, 2014

Fall Harvest Party Meal Ideas

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The centerpiece of a great fall harvest party? The food!

Dishes that warm the soul and the palate are what celebrating the fall harvest is all about!

Here are some of my favorite foodie ideas to usher in the season:

1. Start with tantalizing appetizers. How about some applewood bacon and cheddar sliders? Or offer tasty basil pesto gorgonzola kisses, three cheese arancini, herb citrus scallops and lobster flatbread.

2. Whole Smoked Turkey. This is the main event. Delicious and showstoppingly beautiful, the aroma alone will have your guests drooling.

3. Sides with a twist. Try mashed potatoes with porcini mushrooms, carrots with maple glaze or lobster mac and cheese.

4. Finish up strong. Desserts that hail the season are winners like hand-dipped chocolate macaroons, spiced apple streusel tartlets or cognac pumpkin cake!

With a menu like this, no one will forget THIS fall harvest, for sure!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


October 2nd, 2014

Tailgating Hacks

By

BBQcombo

Are you a heavy-duty tailgater?

Then you probably have this tailgating thing down!

For the rest of us non-professionals, some tips might be useful before heading out to cheer on your team – and eat like a champ!

Tip #1 – Prepare as much food as you can beforehand. You don’t want to spend ALL your tailgate time working away over a hot propane stove.

Tip #2 – Keep it simple. Do you really want a four-course meal with dijonnaise sauce and delicate fritters? No! You’re out in a parking lot for goodness’ sake. Try brisket. Ribs. Burgers. Steak. Bite-sized appetizers.

Tip #3 – Never, ever run out of food. We don’t want a brawl on our hands. Those fans get hungry!

Tip #4 – Since you will be following tip #3, make sure to bring a cooler specifically for leftovers. Tailgate food is great even the next day! But you have to store it properly so it will keep.

Tip #5 – Don’t make it so complicated that you won’t have time to have fun yourself. Try sides – and even meals – you can just heat and eat.

Have fun cheering on your team at your next tailgate party. And eat a rib for me!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


September 30th, 2014

Fall Soup Serving Suggestions

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It’s soup and stew time of year – hooray!

So you’ve got your hearty bowl of goodness – beef stew, steak soup – but what do you serve WITH it?

Here are my ideal soup and stew sides…

1. Good ole grilled cheese sandwich. Oh, I can taste the melted cheese right now.

2. Delicious, nutritious salad. The perfect accompaniment.

3. A second serving of soup/stew! ‘Nuff said.

4. Fresh bread. You know, for dipping.

5. Panini sandwich. Delish!

Okay, those are my top 5 fall soup and stew serving suggestions to get your taste buds going this fall. What are yours?

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


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

BBQcombo

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.


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.


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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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