Category Archives: Uncategorized

Moving my blog

…to my own domain name and stuff is up there in the top 3 HARDEST THINGS EVER (electronically speaking.) Phew.Ā 

It’s, like, 2 am. My husband got all into it because he’s a computer guy. Apparently I can’t actually do anything to it for a few hours because it needs that time to update itself. Or something. lol šŸ™‚

Anyway, if and when it ever gets fully updated, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, if it self-destructs and/or vaporizes, never fear. I will return. I think. šŸ˜‰Ā 

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“DeChristma-fying”

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That’s what my husband said we were doing today (aka taking down the Christmas tree and other decorations.) I thought it would be nice to end the day of hard work with a rewarding dinner at home, instead of being tempted to go out. I have to say a big THANK YOU to Carrie from Carrie’s Sweet LifeĀ Ā for posting this recipeĀ for Steak au Poivre with Brandied Cream Sauce (original source: Cooks Illustrated). I made this tonight with Roasted Fingerling PotatoesĀ (recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray via http://www.foodnetwork.com) and steamed broccoli. The brandied sauce was such a hit that my husband got up to get more sauce and even put it on his potatoes! (He’s normally not a sauce kind of guy.) Definitely make this steak…totally worth it!

Steak au Poivre with Brandied Cream Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot , minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 3/4Ā cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar *I used lemon juice
  • Table salt
  • 4Ā strip steaks (8 to 10 ounces each), 3/4 to 1 inch thick and no larger than 3 inches at widest points, trimmed of exterior gristle *I splurged on some prime filet mignon…we don’t eat steak very often, so when we do we go all out!
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns , crushed
  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat *I used my cast iron skillet; when foaming subsides, add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add beef and chicken broths, increase heat to high, and boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes *This took about 13 min. for me. Set reduced broth mixture aside. Rinse and wipe out skillet.

    Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of steaks with salt; rub one side of each steak with 1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns, and, using fingers, press peppercorns into steaks to make them adhere.

    Place now-empty skillet over medium heat until hot, about 4 minutes. Lay steaks unpeppered-side down in hot skillet, increase heat to medium-high, firmly press down on steaks with bottom of cake pan (see illustration below), and cook steaks without moving them until well-browned, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, flip steaks, firmly press down on steaks with bottom of cake pan, and cook on peppered side, about 3 minutes longer for rare, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare, or about 5 minutes longer for medium. Transfer steaks to large plate and tent loosely with foil to keep warm.

    Pour reduced broth, cream, and 1/4 cup brandy into now-empty skillet *Here I flambeed to cook off some of the alcohol, mostly just because I think it’s so much fun to flambee!; increase heat to high and bring to boil, scraping pan bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Simmer until deep golden brown and thick enough to heavily coat back of metal tablespoon or soup spoon, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons butter, remaining 1 tablespoon brandy, lemon juice or vinegar, and any accumulated meat juices. Adjust seasonings with salt. *I did not have to add any more salt.

    My brandied cream sauce, bubbling away:

    Set steaks on individual dinner plates, spoon portion of sauce over steaks, and serve immediately.

    Serves 4.Ā Ā  Published September 1, 2001.

    Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (Serves 4)

    Ingredients

    • 2 pounds small fingerlingĀ potatoesĀ 
    • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
    • Extra-virginĀ olive oil, for drizzling, 1 to 2 tablespoons
    • Salt and pepper

    Directions
    Heat oven to 500 degrees F. *I heated to 450 because I was doing these in my convection toaster.

    Spread potatoes out on a cookie sheet. Scatter garlic over potatoes. Coat lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and season potatoes with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes. *Note: the oil got very smokey as it was cooking at a high temp. The garlic also got more “toasted” than “roasted.” Next time I think I will reduce the temperature and roast for a longer period of time.

    Please pardon the fuzzy photo…we were hungry!
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    “Heaven”

    As promised, I decided to make a trifle with last night’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. I asked my husband to name it. See title of this post for his answer. Haha šŸ™‚

    I decided to use eight 8 oz. ramekins and make mini-trifles so it would be easier for him to take the rest to work with him tomorrow. I cubed the bread, made vanilla pudding, and layered as follows: pudding, bread, pudding, bread, pudding. I looked around for something crunchy for a garnish, but instead found a bag of peanut butter / milk chocolate swirl chips. I topped each mini-trifle with a few of those.Ā 

    My husband (obviously) loved them. I thought they were great, but a tad sweet for me. I found myself wishing for a strong cup of coffee to balance out the sugar overload. Hey, at least the sugar boost kept me up long enough to blog about the dessert!

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