Grilled Steak and Potato Kebabs

img_1980Adapted from Delish
Yields 3 servings

1 1/2 Pound beef, top sirloin, boneless trimmed, cut into 1-in cubes
2 Tbls oil, olive
1/4 tsp pepper, cayenne
1 tsp seasoning, Montreal Steak
1 Tbls soy sauce, low sodium
16 Small potatoes, Yukon gold creamer
1 Tbls mustard, dijon
2 Tbls oil, olive
1 Tbls rosemary, fresh
1 tsp salt, Kosher

Tools Needed:
Skewers – either bamboo or metal suitable for the grill
Lodge Cast Iron Reversible Indoor Grill Pan

Preheat grill to medium-high. Soak skewers for 20 minutes (if using bamboo)

Toss steak with cayenne, oil, soy and steak seasoning. Let marinate at least an hour.

Place potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on until just tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Mix together the mustard, oil, rosemary and salt. Toss well.

Thread steak and potatoes onto skewers.

Grill, turning occasionally, until steak is desired doneness, 6 minutes for medium rare; 8 minutes for medium.

Serve with steak sauce, if desired.

Spaghetti Sauce

spaghettiFrom Eileen Fight Sparks and Nancy Sparks Frank
Yields 3 quarts sauce

2 Pounds beef, ground chuck
12 Ounce(wt)s tomato paste
16 Ounce(wt)s tomato sauce
3 1/2 Cups water
6 Cloves garlic, fresh
1/8 Cup oil, olive
1 Large onion, white chopped
2 tsp oregano, dried
1 tsp basil, dried
1/2 tsp pepper, black, ground
1/2 tsp salt
16 Ounce(wt)s mushrooms, fresh, sliced

Brown meat in a skillet until no longer pink. Drain fat and transfer to a bowl. Add oil to skillet and saute onions until soft and slightly browned on the edges. Transfer to bowl and set aside. Add butter to skillet and add mushrooms and half the salt. Saute until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned on the edges. Remove from heat.

Move everything into a Dutch oven. Add tomato paste, sauce, water, garlic and herbs, remaining salt and pepper.

Simmer until thick consistency, approximately 2 hours.

If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

Serve over pasta of your choice and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits


1 Cup flour, all-purpose
1/4 Cup oats, old-fashioned
1/4 Cup coconut, dried, unsweetened
1/2 Tbls baking powder
1/2 Cup peanut butter, all natural (well mixed)
1/2 Cup milk, skim
1 Tbls oil, olive
1 Tbls applesauce, unsweetened

Tools Needed:
Fox Runs Brand Dog Bone 3-Piece Cookie Cutter Set

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Knead into a well incorporated ball.

On wax paper, roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out treats and place on an unlined baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Store in an airtight container.

The Best Roasted Corn


6 Each corn, fresh, yellow
1 to taste salt and pepper
2 Tbls butter, salted

Shuck corn and remove all silk threads.

Line cookie sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay out your corn on the cookie sheet; season generously with salt and pepper – I recommend kosher salt. Top each with a 1 teaspoon pat of butter.

Insert in the oven and roast for 45 to 50 minutes, rolling the cobs halfway through the cooking time.

Remove from oven when beginning to brown and serve.

Taco Chicken Pasta Salad


Yields 8 entree servings or 16 side dish servings

1 Pound pasta, small shells
15 Ounce(wt)s beans, black, canned drained and rinsed
2 Cups corn, fresh, yellow roasted
1/2 Cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 Large tomato, beefsteak, seeded and diced
1 1/2 Cup salsa, medium
1/3 Cup oil, olive
1/4 Cup juice, lime
1/4 Cup Taco Sauce
2 Tbls seasoning, taco
2 Cloves garlic, fresh, minced
1 to taste salt and pepper
2 Cups cheese, Mexican, grated
2 Large avocado, diced

Optional Ingredients:
3 Cups chicken, cooked, white shredded
2 Tbls seasoning, taco

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.

In a large bowl, add the cooled pasta, black beans, corn, cilantro, tomatoes, and salsa. Toss gently.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, taco sauce, taco seasoning, and garlic.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until serving.

Right before serving, toss in the cheese and avocado.

To make this an entree salad, saute the chicken in the 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and add to the salad.

Mini Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes


Yields 36 mini cheesecakes

48 Each cookies, oreos divided
32 Ounce(wt)s cheese, cream regular softened
1 Cup sugar, white
1 Teaspoon extract, vanilla
4 Large egg, whole lightly beaten
1 Cup sour cream
1 Pinch salt, Kosher

Tools Needed:
500 pcs – Reynolds White Paper Cupcake Cup Liners – STANDARD Size
Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 12-Cup Muffin Pan, Gray
Norpro Stainless Steel Scoop, 56MM (4 Tablespoon)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin pans with liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each liner (36 total). Chop remaining 12 oreos.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, beating until combined. Beat in vanilla.

Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.  Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups using a large disher, filling each almost to the top.

Bake until filling is set, about 22 minutes.

Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Best served really cold.

Lemon Spaghetti


Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian
Yields 6 servings

2/3 Cups oil, olive
2/3 Cups cheese, parmesan, grated
1/2 Cup juice, lemon
3/4 tsp salt, Kosher plus more to taste
1/2 tsp pepper, black, ground plus more to taste
1 Pound pasta, spaghettini
1 Tbls oregano, fresh chopped
1 Tbls zest, lemon

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to blend. Set the lemon sauce aside. (The sauce can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.

Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce, and toss with the oregano and lemon zest. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to bowls and serve.