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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Perfect Cast Iron Skillet Steak

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perfect cast iron skillet steak

Cast Iron Skillet Steaks

Spring is on the way but not yet here in Western New York. So, how do you cook a really good steak in the winter without your grill? Iron skillet steak cooking is the way to make a perfect steak.

I had a one pound strip steak about 1-inch thick. I realized the best way to cook this was in my cast iron skillet.
cook steaks cast iron skillet

The first thing that I did was preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I chopped up two cloves of fresh garlic because I like garlic. Then covered the bottom of my cast iron skillet with olive oil.

I set the burner to medium-high while I seasoned my steak.

cooking steak cast iron skillet

 I seasoned my steak on both sides with salt, pepper, and McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.

I firmly pressed the seasoning into both sides of the steak with my fingers.

By this time the cast iron pan was hot. I cooked the steak exactly 3 minutes per side.

steaks cast iron skillet

Then I place the cast iron skillet into the oven and cooked it for 10 minutes.

I wanted my steak to be medium rare. Using my digital thermometer I made sure that I had an internal temperature of  140 degrees.

I let my steak rest for 4 to 5 minutes before cutting into it.

Cooking time may vary by the thickness of your steak.

Internal Temperatures:
Rare130 to 135°F
Medium Rare140°F
Medium155°F
Well Done165°F  

This steak was so tender, juciy and full of flavor. What I like best about cooking with my cast iron is you can go from stove top to oven. Just make sure you have a good oven mitt to take the pan out of the oven.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Quick Easy Lemon Bars

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quick easy lemon bars

Quick Easy Lemon Bars: 

Well, since I had plenty of fresh lemons left over from what my cousin sent me from his backyard lemon trees I needed more recipes with lemons.

Jimmy was so kind to also send me his easy lemon bars recipe and easy is the keyword in this one. These lemon bars are so easy to make and such a treat for friends and family.

lemon bars best recipe
How to Make the Crust:

2 cups flour
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Dash of Salt 1/8 teaspoon

I placed the butter, flour, powdered sugar, and salt into my KitchenAid mixing bowl.

Using the flat bar attachment I mixed this to a crumbly consistency.  Spread this mixture into a 9-inch x 13-inch ungreased glass baking dish. Firmly press this into the bottom of the dish to form a crust. I pre heated my oven to 350 degrees and baked the crust for 20 minutes on the center rack.

recipe perfect lemon bars
Quick Easy Lemon Bars: Filling

4 eggs beaten
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Powdered sugar to dust finished bars

Again, using my KitchenAid I added the eggs, lemon juice, and sugar.


Using the whisk attachment I mixed this on medium speed until the sugar was dissolved. Now, pour this batter over the hot crust and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

After the lemon bars have been out of the oven for about 15 minutes sprinkle with powdered sugar. This will yield 24 squares (3 equal cuts down the length and 5 cuts across the width).

You may also like my Quick Lemon Meringue Pie


As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Grow your own fresh lemons with these indoor/outdoor trees.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Easy chocolate covered strawberries

These easy chocolate covered strawberries are most popular on Valentine's Day but are perfect for any time of the year or any occasion.

I've never made these before and thought I'd give it a try. Although I do need a little practice on my white chocolate drizzle but that's okay they are a perfect sweet treat.

You could go out and buy chocolate covered strawberries but what fun would that be. It only took me about 30 minutes and I had 28 of these finished and ready to enjoy.

Easy to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries:


easy to make chocolate covered strawberries
The first thing I did was wash the strawberries and let them drain for a few minutes.

Then I dried each one and placed them on a paper towel.

You want to make sure the strawberries are dry before you dip them. If they are wet the chocolate won't stick.


Nestle TOLL HOUSE Milk Chocolate Morsels 11.5 oz. BagNestle TOLL HOUSE Milk Chocolate Morsels 11.5 oz. Bag
I used 2 cups of Nestles Milk Chocolate chips, which was more than I needed but I wanted to be safe.

I melted them is a microwave safe bowl on 50% power for a minute at a time stirring between each heating.

In about 4 minutes the chocolate was melted then I did another 30 seconds on high power just to make sure.


Now it was time to dip the strawberries. I grabbed each strawberry by the green stem and dipped it into the chocolate.

Making sure I covered 3/4 of the way up the strawberry with chocolate.

Hold the strawberry over the bowl and let the chocolate drip back into the bowl.





Milk chocolate covered strawberries

Then I placed the strawberry on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

After all 28 strawberries were dipped I placed the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

I melted the white chocolate the same way in the microwave.

Then with a teaspoon, I drizzled the white chocolate trying to make it swirl. Again I do need some practice with my drizzling.

These easy to make chocolate covered strawberries were a lot of fun. Did I mention that they are the most delicious little sweet treats?

You might also like my: Sweet and Salty Chocolate Turtles

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

I used Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips for the drizzle and this microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Quick Lemon Meringue Pie

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Quick lemon meringue pie

Quick Lemon Meringue Pie

This quick lemon pie recipe is so easy and so good. Every time my mother made a lemon meringue pie it was a treat and I couldn't until it cooled so I could dig in.

My cousin Jimmy lives in Arizona and just happens to have lemon and grapefruit trees in his back yard. Last week my cousin sent us a box of lemons and grapefruits along with his recipe for lemon meringue pie.

There is nothing better than this basic lemon meringue pie recipe made with fresh lemons. When I opened the box I couldn't believe my eyes. These are the biggest lemons that I've ever seen.

basic lemon meringue pie recipe

Take a look for yourself, on the right is a lemon from our local grocery store and on the left is one of the lemons my cousin sent me. I used just one of these to make the lemon pie filling.

Make lemon meringue filling
Lemon Pie Filling:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1-1/2 cups cold water
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 baked 9-inch pie crust
grated zest of one lemon



Easy lemon meringue pie
For the Meringue: 


1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch or 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 egg whites







Here is how we made this: Simple Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the pie crust for 12 to 15 minutes.

The Filling:

Combine 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in water until smooth. Then stir in the egg yolks.

Bring this to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and boil for one minute.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and butter. Continue stirring until the filling becomes thick. Then spoon the filling into the pie crust.

The Meringue:

Beat the egg whites on high speed with a mixer until foamy. I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer for this it works the best.

Add the cornstarch and then add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Spread the meringue over the filling, sealing the edges of the pie. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until the meringue is golden brown.

Cool the pie on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for 3 hours. Make sure the pie is room temperature before you refrigerate. I have made this mistake before the lemon filling will not set properly if you put it the refrigerator too soon.

I used a store-bought pie crust for this recipe. If you need a recipe for pie crust you can check out my Apple Pie Recipe here.

A big thanks to my cousins Jimmy and Carmie for sending me these beautiful fresh lemons and your quick lemon meringue pie recipe.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy

Below are some of the handy kitchen gadgets that I used to make this quick lemon meringue pie. The small hand grater was perfect for grating the lemon zest. The small strainer was a big help squeezing the lemon juice, it fits over my measuring cup and catches all of the seeds. And of course my 9-inch glass pie plate.

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