Dinner Menu: Cranberry Pepper Steak and Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Cranberries are on sale now, so it seemed a good time to re-up this recipe.  You can use sirloin steak, or ribeye or NY strip. Works well on chicken breasts, too.

My love of cranberries has been well documented here. So no wonder this is one of my favorite dinners. The potatoes are very creamy – you can make them more calorie friendly by reducing the amount of butter, you probably won’t miss it with the creamy dressing.

  1. Cranberry Pepper Steak
  2. Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes
  3. Sliced Carrots
  4. Grapes

Cranberry Pepper Steak

  • 1/2 cup canned whole cranberries*
  • ¼ tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 lb sirloin steak
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

saucepan, broiler pan

In saucepan, combine cranberries, pepper flakes, & vinegar.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, cook until thickened and reduced by half. Rub sirloin on both sides with garlic, chili, salt & pepper (use more of each if desired).  Cut into 4 pieces, broil (or grill) 5 minutes on each side for rare.  Spoon sauce over cooked steaks & serve.

Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup blue cheese dressing

saucepan

Wash and cube potatoes (peeling optional – I never peel mine, just scrub really, really well), add to saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes).  Drain well.  Add butter, salt, pepper and dressing.  Mash potatoes until fluffy (I find a hand mixer works best)

*I keep fresh cranberries in the freezer. If you want to use fresh, add 1/4 cup of sugar and dash of orange juice as a substitute for canned.

The Yard Is A Little Quieter Today

When I went to let the ducks out, Penelope had passed during the night. She was fine yesterday and a little lethargic when I put her to bed last night. I checked her out before bed, no sign of injury, no discharge from eyes or nose – so no virus. It will remain a mystery, but am keeping a close eye on Maddie and Mabel in case it was something viral.

She was more an exuberant puppy than duck and the yard will be quieter without her and my mornings will be a bit less happy without her demanding I pick her up and give her scritches.


Holiday Gifts: A Variety of Spritz Butter Cookies

A day late, but in honor of National Cookie Day, my favorite Christmas cookie recipe. I made my first batch yesterday and they are always a big hit.Spritz Cookies

I love spritz butter cookies. They’re tiny little, melt-in-your-mouth bites that go great with a cup of coffee. I didn’t realize how easy they were to make. It helped that a friend of a friend gifted me her all-metal, ratchet handled press. These are not easy to come by any more, at least not when I went looking. Most of the new ones are partially plastic and received tepid reviews, especially for durability and ease of use.

I love all the cute designs. Although my Christmas trees kind of look like trilobites, they taste great.

I have also upped the ante and made zesty butter cookies – one with lime zest and another with lemon zest and dust with citrus powdered sugar. Recipe here.

Spritz Raw

Spritz Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened/room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks, room temp
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Continue reading

Trying My Hand At Pizza

I’ve been trying my hand at pizzas. I’ve been using this dough recipe (here), I split it into four equal pieces, each makes a nice hand-tossed crust enough for two. I make a simple tomato sauce – adding basil, oregano and garlic to a can of tomato sauce.

Top with fresh mozzarella (never use shredded here) and usually pepperoni, though I have some fresh grilled onion and green peppers I may add to the next one.

I bake at about 450 to 475 degrees.

It’s taking me a bit to get the bottom of the crust the way I like it. I finally started using the lowest oven rack and that seems to be the final trick to get the crisp crust I like.


 

Thankful For These Guys

I feel like you deserve some bonus pets:

Gabe sleeping

Gabe is stretched from Bixby (see his back feet are pressed against Bixby’s butt) all the way to the corner…which is WHERE I SIT. Nope, not today. Zander is snoozing away, oblivious to the ongoing battle.

Open Thread: President-Elect Biden Thanksgiving Address Bonus: Pets

I thought you might like to see a full-sized Scout. She can reach the top of our 6′ fence now. It’s scheduled to be replaced in the next year and I’m thinking I’m going for an 8′ one as a replacement. Continue reading