It has been 17 days since my last blog post and I must confess I have really missed the opportunity to blog, share pictures, thoughts, and recipes! My mom and I just returned from 16 days on the road. Our travels took us to Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado for three graduation ceremonies and a birthday party for my 5 year-old grandson! Every day seemed jammed packed without a moment to spare.
God blessed us with good weather and safe travel and I am so grateful. Spring sprung all across our nation while we were traveling. As our plane touched down in Kansas City 17 days ago we were in a full-on snow storm. My sister-in-law drove in that blowing, cold, wet snow for the first two hours as we headed towards Nebraska.
And then, just as God was telling me “do not worry”, we drove out of the snow into completely clear blue skies with a beautiful sun going down over the flat Nebraska landscape.
And even though snow was piled high as we crossed the Colorado Rocky Mountains heading for graduation #3 in Grand Junction, the roads remained clear and safe for us to travel.
My head is spinning with ideas to share with you and so I guess the best way is just to jump right in! Although I tend to use my outside BBQ grill year-round, now that the weather is nicer many of us are turning to the grill for the first grilled meals of the season. I recently pan-fried steaks and they turned out great! If you have a cast iron skillet, pan frying on the grill is a wonderful alternative or if you don’t have a BBQ grill pan frying steaks inside on the stove works great too! The cast iron allows the steaks to stay moist and full of flavor while still adding a bit of the barbecue flavor from the grill.
While in Punta Gorda, Florida this winter we visited Bella Balsamic & The Pressed Olive. I have fallen in love with flavored oils and vinegar. If you have a chance, stop by their shop as it is a destination in itself. If not, ordering from them online is a good alternative.
I chose a couple of sirloin steaks for this meal, but New York strip, Filet Mignon, or a nice Rib-eye works equally well. Just choose your favorite steak. Start out by setting the steaks out on the counter for 30 to 60 minutes to bring to room temperature.
Don’t cook your steak cold. Putting a cold steak straight from the fridge and into a hot pan results in uneven cooking and the loss of the beef’s flavorful juices.
Choosing a flavored extra virgin olive oil, brush both sides of each piece of meat. This Tuscan Herb oil enhanced the steak’s natural flavor to make an outstanding combination.
The only other spice I added was some cracked pepper. You can add salt or any of your own favorite rubs. The oil and pepper were enough for us.
Preheat a large skillet to medium-heat. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the steaks to the hot pan and cook 2 minutes on the first side, or until they are seared a nice, deep brown. Turn the steaks over and turn heat to medium-low and cook for 2 1/2 minutes more, or until the steaks become browned on the bottom.
Your steaks will be medium rare at this point. Add a little more cooking time if you prefer your steak more well-done. Remove the steaks to the cutting board and let them rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
By using a very hot skillet, you’ll be able to sear the steak nicely without overcooking the meat – thus preserving many of its natural heat sensitive nutrients.
While the steaks are warming to room temperature slice up onions and mushrooms. Toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.
In a separate skillet, sear and caramelize the onion mixture while the steaks are cooking.
As you bring these hot, sizzling steaks into the house your family will come running! Bon Appetite’ and Happy Cooking!
Whether you use a BBQ grill or cook on the stove-top this pan-frying method of cooking steaks will become a favorite from the start. Using the cast iron skillet sears in the flavors, juices, and nutrients making for an outstanding main dish!
- Two 8-ounce rib eye steaks, new york strip or sirloin, trimmed of excess fat
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil*, divided
- 2 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, optional
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 onion, sliced
- Remove steak from refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before cooking (see note below.) Brush each side of steak with olive oil. Sprinkle with pepper, salt optional.
- While steak is warming to room temperature, slice mushrooms and onion. Coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-heat. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the steaks to the hot pan and cook 2 minutes on the first side, or until they are seared a nice, deep brown. Turn the steaks over and turn heat to medium-low and cook for 2 1/2 minutes more, or until the steaks become browned on the bottom. Your steaks will be medium rare at this point. Add a little more cooking time if you prefer your steak more well-done. Remove the steaks to the cutting board and let them rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
- While steaks are cooking add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to second skillet. Add onion/mushroom mixture. Cook until nicely browned and caramelized.
- Serve steaks with onion/mushrooms on the side.
*To make this recipe dairy-free, leave out the butter and use all olive oil instead.
*Cooking a steak at room temperature will allow for it to cook more evenly and quickly.
*You'll get a better result in pan-frying your steaks if you avoid using a nonstick skillet. The steaks will brown more nicely and hold a better texture if you opt for a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet.
* When cooking the steak, use tongs instead of a knife or fork to turn the meat. By using tongs, you prevent puncturing the meat and thus losing valuable and flavorful juices.
**Flavored Olive Oil - I use Tuscan Herb olive oil for grilling steaks. There are many flavors to choose from. The flavored oil really enhances the overall flavor of the steak.
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Jesus Calms a Storm
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
This past weekend storms blew through middle Tennessee, flooding many areas with 5″ to 8″ of rain. I took these pictures after the rain moved on and the sun shone brightly reminding us that when we walk through a storm the Son is always there even when we can’t see through the clouds in our life.
My sous-chef dish-washing mom is also a bird lady. She lovingly fills the bird feeders come rain or come shine. After the storm clouds moved on, the birds attacked the feeder as if they hadn’t eaten for days. Granted, it had rained for 3 days … but that’s nothing like rain for 40 days and nights!!
Just before the rain I had seen the most beautifully vibrant-colored bird. This was a bird that hadn’t shown up at our home before. I immediately did what I always do in matters such as this — I called my brother John. I told him this bird was bigger than a finch, black, white and gray on it’s back, a black head, and a bright, bright red ring around the neck. John thought for a bit, asked me a couple of questions and said “look up a Rose-Breasted Gros Beak” and see if that is it.
How does he do that? I wondered. I was wrong about the “ring” around the neck, but even that didn’t throw John off. After the rain three of these little beauties played in the grass below the bird feeder pecking and eating what had fallen to the ground. I hope to get even better pictures as the summer goes on but I couldn’t wait to show you these!
My bluebird picture isn’t as clear as I would have liked but this little feller hardly stood still for a moment. Isn’t the blue color fantastic?
Now for the bottom line of this post — four lightening strikes took out towers providing internet service all around us. My internet service is gone, for now, to be repaired according to priorities — and I’m not a priority! Can you believe that? Neither can I.
Country living … that’s okay. We all need a break from time to time. I will be writing to you again after the middle of May. In the meantime, happy cooking and have a blessed spring!
Have you ever eaten Buttermilk Pie? The first time I had ever even heard of Buttermilk Pie was on a trip to southern Utah. We were with a large group of folks who were hosting exchange teachers from Taiwan. We had taken the teachers sight-seeing through the dramatic canyonlands, a geological wonderland that sprawls across northern Arizona, southern Utah, western Colorado, and New Mexico.
Bryce Canyon National Park national park located in southwestern Utah. According to Wikipedia “the major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters, along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors.
It was on this trip we stopped by a little cafe well-known for the 32 — yes 32 — different flavors of pie on the menu, one of which was Buttermilk. Fast forward a few years and I find myself living in southern Tennessee surrounded by buttermilk pie lovers! (I like it too!)
The Brown Eyed Baker recently posted this stunning picture and the recipe for Buttermilk Pie. I couldn’t have done better myself.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV)
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Have a blessed day, Catherine