Friday, February 13, 2015

"No Need For The Grill Ribeyes."

I call these my "No Need For The Grill Ribeyes."  

Why?  Because you don't need one to get that incredible flavor and tenderness!  A big juicy Ribeye steak just doesn't get much better than when it is cooked in a hot skillet. Don't get me wrong, I think a grilled steak is awesome, but when you can't always grill you can get the same incredible taste by using ...this stove top method.  

Now it's not just about throwing a steak in a frying pan. It's about flash searing to keep the juices and flavors in. And you'll need a large heavy skillet for this. Preferably a big cast iron skillet that is well-seasoned.

No Need For The Grill Ribeyes Steaks 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Take your steaks out of the refrigerator and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides of each steak. Allow them to sit on the counter at room temperature for about an hour before you're ready to cook them. This will get rid of the cold spots and your steak will cook evenly.

Heat the olive oil in a 12-14 inch skillet over medium high heat. You do not want to crowd them or they will steam and not sear.

Once the skillet is VERY hot you are ready to add the steaks carefully to the hot sizzling oil. The oil should just start to ripple across the bottom of the pan and it just be just starting to smoke a little. One way to test it is to sprinkle a tiny bit of water dances and if it sizzles across the skillet, you'll know it is ready for the steaks.

Cook the steaks on the first side on medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes or until they have caramelized well.  Do not touch them while cooking. You want a nice sear on each side to lock in the juices.  Using tongs, flip the steaks on the other side without moving. Allow the steaks to cook another 2 minutes or so for medium rare as shown.  If you want medium well, add one more minute to each side.

Once they have seared on both sides, put the skillet in the oven and bake at 400 to 450 degrees for 2 more minutes.

Once your steak is at the desired temperature, place it on a plate and tent it with a sheet of aluminum foil and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

How I Know My Steak Is Perfect

 I have used this "hand"  method for years when checking my steaks ...

For Rare Steaks: touch the middle of the steak with your fingers. It should have a similar feel as when you touch your cheek. It should have plenty of give and cushion.

For Medium Steaks: touch the middle of the steak with your fingers. It should have a similar feel as when you touch your chin.

Well-Done Steaks: touch the middle of the steak with your fingers. It should have a similar feel as when you touch your forehead.

Temperature and Descriptions if you like to use a thermometer

Rare: Bright red center with outside brownish-gray. The center will be warm, but not hot. (approximately 125 degree core temperature)

Medium-rare:  Reddish-pink instead of red. (approximately 130 degree core temperature)

Medium:  A band of pink through the middle of the steak as shown in photos. (approximately 140 degree core temperature)

Medium-well: Very slight hint of pink in the middle. Otherwise, it will be primarily cooked through and will feel quite firm. (approximately 155 degree core temperature)

Well-done: A well-done steak should show no hint of pink whatsoever. Its center will be grayish-brown throughout and the outside will be nicely charred. (approximately 165 degree core temperature)

The perfect meal!  Serve with a nice side salad and baked potatoes or even chunky steak fries as shown in the photos.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Faded Rose

The Faded Rose

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read, 
beneath the long, branches of an old willow tree. 
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, 
for the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day, 
a little boy approached me, all tired from play. 
He stood right before me with his head tilted down 
and said with excitement, "Hey! Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and a pitiful sight, 
With its petals all wilted from no rain and no light. 
Wanting him to leave and go off to play, 
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side, 
and then he declared with overacted surprise; 
"It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too. 
That's why I picked it; just for you."

The flower before me was already dead, 
no longer vibrant of it's colors of red. 
But I knew I must take it, or he'd never leave. 
So I reached for the flower thinking that's just what I need.

But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, 
he held it mid-air without reason or plan. 
It was then that I noticed how I'd been so unkind. 
It was then that I'd noticed the little boy was blind.

My voice quivered as I thanked him for what he had done. 
I told him he'd picked the very best one. 
"You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play, 
unaware of the impact he'd made on my day.

I held that old flower up to my nose 
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose. 
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see 
such a self-centered woman sitting under that tree.

How could he have sensed my self-indulged plight.
Perhaps God had blessed him with a truer sight. 
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see, 
the problem wasn't the world; the problem was me.

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Cheese Bread

I baked bread this past weekend...a few loaves of different kinds that I wrapped up and stored in my freezer for those cold winter mornings when I feel like some warm homemade bread with a cup of coffee. My Mom was a bread baker and I have always followed her recipes as well as her methods and techniques. They are easy and delicious....especially this homemade cheese bread....I love this with scrambled eggs!

Cheese Bread

1 tablespoon active yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk (about 110 degrees)
2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Combine yeast ,sugar and milk, stir and leave for 15 minutes to dissolve. Add the melted butter to the mixture after it has cooled.

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until you form a rough dough. You want the dough to be soft and tacky but not too sticky. If the dough seems too dry, add 2-3 tablespoons of warm water.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 or 2 minutes to make any final adjustments, then form the dough into a ball.

Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. I usually spray my plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray before I cover the bowl. Let it rest at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes or until it doubles in size. Punch down the dough with your fist and then knead in 1 and 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, distributing it as evenly as possible.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 inch bread loaf pan. Fold the dough, form into a loaf shape in the pan, tucking the ends under. Leave in a warm place until the dough rises above the rim of the pan. Sprinkle top with the remaining half cup of shredded cheese. Bake for 50 minutes on center rack in oven.

Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

NOTE: If you don't plan to bake your bread the same day, make sure you allow it to rise in the refrigerator overnight. The dough should double in size in the refrigerator.

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Monday, February 09, 2015

Rotini Meatball Casserole

I just love pasta. I love how you can take a few ingredients and turn them into something so divine that you close your eyes as you savor every bite!  Like this one:  It starts off with your basic pasta (I like Rotini for this one), and ends up loaded with incredible meatballs, a rich chunky tomato meat sauce and tons of cheese. This is a keeper my friends!

Rotini Meatball Casserole

For the Meatballs

1 tablespoon Star Fine Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 ground pork
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs (or more if  needed)
1  1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Shape into small meatballs. Heat olive oil and butter in skillet and sear meatballs on all sides. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat onto a plate and set aside.

Meat Sauce

1 pound ground beef
1 (26 oz) jar Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic, Onion

Brown ground beef in large heavy skillet until no longer pink. Drain and return skillet to burner and reduce heat to low. Add sauce and simmer for 15 minutes until heated through.


1 box (16 oz) Rotini
4 cups Mozzarella cheese

Boil Rotini as directed on package and drain well.  Return to pot and turn off heat.  Mix in meat sauce and stir well. Pour into a 9 x 13 casserole and arrange meatballs on top of casserole.  Top entire casserole with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until cheese has melted and casserole is hot and bubbly.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home 

You can buy Star Fine Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil at the following locations:    Raley's, Save Mart, Food Lion, select Walmarts and online at:

 Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!

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♥ Clam Chowder with Oyster Crackers

I love hot soups and stews and chowders when the weather starts to turn cold and I usually make them up and freeze them so I can have them as often as I like. I especially love cream soups and chowders like this one that I made for you over the weekend.

Thick and Creamy Clam Chowder

6 -7 pieces bacon, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (5 ounce) cans baby clams
reserved juice from the 2 (5 ounce cans) of baby clams
6 -7 potatoes, cubed or diced into small pieces
2 (10 1/2 ounce) cans cream of celery soup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

Add bacon to a heavy soup pot or dutch oven and cook on medium high until crispy. Add onion and cook until tender. Next add all the clam juice from both cans of baby clams and stir until blended. Add potatoes and cover. 

Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Keep stirring every few minutes to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Finally, add the clams, soup cream and milk and stir. Then add the butter and simmer soup for about 45 minutes on low heat until thick and creamy.

If you want a thicker base, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of cold water and stir into chowder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for another 20 minutes until you get the consistency you want. Stir occasionally while simmering. Serve in soup bowls or bread bowls and sprinkle with a few oyster crackers. 

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Saturday, February 07, 2015

Mom's Slow Cooked Pot Roast

When I think of comfort food, I immediately think of pot roast. Tender beef and vegetables with a smooth thick gravy. Maybe some crusty homemade bread and a nice salad...yum. That's what I'm having on this cold winter's cooking now and my house smells wonderful! 

Mom's Slow Cooked Pot Roast

1 boneless beef chuck roast, about 3-4 pounds
4 slices bacon
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces
2 stalks of celery, cut into pieces
4 carrots, peeled, cut pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

Place uncooked bacon across the bottom of the empty crock pot. Arrange potatoes and carrots over the bacon. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and half of the thyme. Place the pot roast on top of the vegetables, then add the onions all over and around the roast. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and the remaining thyme.

Combine beef broth and tomato paste; pour over the pot roast. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Once the roast is fork tender, remove to a warm platter. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables and arrange around the roast. Cover with foil to keep warm while making your gravy.

Skim fat off the top of the broth; discard fat. Put the broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. In a cup of small bowl, whisk cornstarch with water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the broth until thickened and bubbly. Serve gravy with the meat and vegetables.

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich With Coleslaw

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich 
With Coleslaw


2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoon brown sugar, more or less according to your taste
1 tablespoon brown mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or according to taste
Few drops of Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp. liquid smoke – optional
2-1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 (4 lb.) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl. Rub the pork and marinate, let rest for at least 1 hr. Set aside.


1 onion, sliced
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup barbeque sauce – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbeque Sauce

Mix chicken broth, tomato paste and barbeque paste in a bowl. Place onion in the bottom of a slow cooker. Put the marinated pork on top of onions. Pour chicken broth combination on top and sides. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hrs. Remove pork from slow cooker and let rest until cool enough to handle. Shred with 2 forks and return to slow cooker.

Strain accumulated liquid on a saucepan, discard onions. Boil until sauce is reduced and thickened, you may adjust seasoning at this point. If you want to make it thicker, you may add cornstarch dispersed in water. Pour some sauce on top of shredded pork and may serve some on the side.

Another option is to discard accumulated liquid and use your favorite barbeque sauce to make a sandwich. Make a sandwich and serve with coleslaw. Bread of your choice – I used Hoagie bread this time and sometimes we use burger buns.


2 1/2 lb green cabbage, cored and cut into 3-inch chunks, then finely chopped or shredded
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

Toss all vegetables in a large bowl with 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar, then toss with slaw. Chill, covered, stirring occasionally, at least 1 hour (for vegetables to wilt and flavors to blend). Slaw can be chilled up to 1 day

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Slow Cooked Chili

Who feels like a big old bowl of chili on this cold winter day? Lots of savory beef, slow cooked until tender and some beans...gotta have beans. Maybe top it with some cheddar cheese and sour cream and serve it with some homemade cornbread slathered in butter? Maybe sprinkle a few sweet onions on top too. 

Slow Cooked Chili

2 pounds ground beef
1 (14.5 ounce can) tomato sauce
1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can pinto beans
1/2 cup diced onion
6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water or beer

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, leaving the meat chunky as you break it up. Drain off extra fat.

In a large dutch oven combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a slow simmer and cover. Cook for 3 hours, stirring about every 20 minutes or so to blend well. You can also do this in a crockpot and cook it on low for about 5 hours.

Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. You can also top it with chopped sweet onion or thinly sliced scallions. 

Want a kick? Like it hot and spicy? Add some hot sauce, cayenne or red pepper flakes to your chili. You can also add some chili peppers or jalapenos's all in how hot you like it!

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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Honey Mustard Corned Beef

Corned beef makes the best sandwiches. Sometimes you just feel like a sandwich for dinner.  I use my Crockpot and let my corned beef brisket cook on low all day. I add some potatoes and cabbage and I have myself a traditional Irish dinner.   But the next day I also make sandwiches... I use my electric knife to slice it thin and stack it on a toasted roll with some baby in this photo. The next day, I chop and dice it to make corned beef hash. 

Honey Mustard Corned Beef

1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups water
4 pounds raw corned beef brisket with spice packet
6-ounces beer
1 cup honey
1 cup whole grain mustard

Rinse your brisket and pat dry. Place the onion, brisket and seasoning packet in a slow cooker or Dutch oven, add your beer and cover with water.

Cook the brisket for 8 hours on low. Just before you’re ready to eat, heat the broiler to high heat. Trim off any fat on the exterior of brisket. Carefully remove the brisket from the pot and place it in a baking dish.

Mix together the honey and mustard and pour directly over the top of the brisket, coating evenly. Broil for 5-7 minutes or until the glaze begins to brown and caramelize. Slice and serve.

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