Friday, June 23, 2017

Coffee-Crusted Steak, Oh My!

Missy Tippens

For my son's recent college graduation, we took our family plus grandparents to a new-to-me restaurant called Stoney River. They had the most wonderful steak that several of us ordered. It was Coffee-cured filet mignon. It was cured in a blend of coffee, brown sugar and molasses.

The other day, I took advantage of a BOGO sale at Sprouts on boneless New York strip steaks. They were about 2 inches thick! So I decided to do something similar to Stoney River. I didn't have molasses and decided not to use the brown sugar without it. But I did want to try a dry rub using salt, pepper and coffee grounds.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

I had allowed the steaks to get to room temperature and then dried them with paper towels.

I decided to grab one of my K-cups and cut it open. :)

I used a recipe from Ina Garten to help me decide how to cook the steak. It's her Steakhouse Steak recipe (click here).

I lightly coated the steaks with olive oil. Then I generously seasoned with Kosher salt, freshly-ground pepper, and the coffee grounds. (Be sure to do on both sides as well as the edges!) I rubbed it into the meat really well. I have to say they looked heavy on the coffee, so I was a bit nervous. But don't worry if they look heavily coated. They'll turn out fine!

Heat an iron skillet to medium high. Once really hot, add the steaks. Let sit for about 2 minutes and then flip. Cook the second side about 2 minutes, then tip it up to sear the edges, a couple of minutes on each edge all the way around. Be prepared for some smoking! Thankfully, I didn't set off the smoke alarm like I usually do when I sear salmon. LOL

Once browned all the way around, set them back on one side, top with a pat of butter, and then put in the oven to finish them.

Since ours were so thick, I cooked them for about 12 minutes for medium rare. Then took out the one for my husband and son. Then left mine for an additional 5 minutes (I think). Mine ended up medium well, which is what I usually like.

Cover with foil after you take them out and let them rest for a few minutes (maybe 5-10) before serving.

This may look a little burned in the photo, but it wasn't. It had great caramelization, and the coffee beans added a lot of great flavor. We loved them!

Now, apologies to our vegetarian readers! You can quit hiding your eyes now. I hope to share something more appealing to you next time. :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Strawberries & Cream Stuffed Croissants Revisited

That is the literal truth... My cord for my camera, the one I use for kitchen and food pics, is missing... so while there are fun pics on the camera, I've got nothing to show!

But while that's true, we're just finishing strawberry season here on the farm... we don't have a major strawberry patch, we're testing growing procedures and marketability, and we're learning as we go... But we had a lot of fun tempting customers in with heaping quart baskets of fresh, red berries... and bright green asparagus.

I love strawberry season... and strawberry everything. So I'm going to repeat this easy Strawberry Dessert favorite because I love it... and so does everyone else!

Strawberry and Custard Stuffed Croissants for Simply Saturday!

You're thinking this is hard.


You're thinking it might not be worthy....

Nope. Totally worthy.

So now you've stopped thinking and you're simply preparing a quick batch of pudding because that's the only time consuming part of this and you can do it a day or two ahead of time.... Suh-WEEEET!


Basic ingredients:

Mini croissants (you can use the big ones, but they're like a MEAL....the minis work well for dessert)

Fresh strawberries

Two cups custard or vanilla pudding

One - two cups of heavy cream, whipped and lightly sweetened.

Make the custard: really, truly, this is the only INVOLVED step and it's minimal... promise!!!

2 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in two-quart saucepan.... Mix sugar and cornstarch together with spoon. Take butter off heat, mix in the sugar/corn starch combo.... Whisk in the two cups of milk and two egg yolks. Return to heat, hold great Love Inspired novel in one hand while stirring mixture as it heats and thickens over medium high heat.... Pudding thickens once it boils.  Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Chill. Or use Vanilla Pudding mix with 1 3/4 cup of milk instead of 2 cups of mlk....

Split croissants in half the l-o-n-g way....

Spread some whipped cream on bottom. Top with a spoonful of custard. Slice a nice, big red strawberry onto the custard. Top with more whipped cream. Put croissant top on whipped cream and press lightly.

Refrigerate. Eat. When I actually make these today, I'll post a real photo of the finished product!


So you split the croissants and spread or pipe thick, lightly sweetened whipped cream on bottom...

Then add a generous spoonful of vanilla custard pudding...

I'm glad you cannot see me. I'm salivating.

Soooo not pretty.

Now the strawberries...

Some of these berries were the size of small peaches!!! One thick slice did the trick.

And now, the top layer of whipped cream:

Place the croissant top on the whipped cream and press lightly...

Then dust with confectioners/powdered/10X sugar, whatever you call it in your neck of the woods...

And here is the finished plate:

And here is how 'Lijah's croissant looked (minus the runny nose inherent to toddlers...)

I love having little helpers in the kitchen, LOL!

SO THERE YOU GO, A BLODGETT/HERNE FAMILY FAVORITE... Easy and sure to delight a crowd!

Huge thank yous for stopping in today. It is always, always, always a pleasure! And here is the newest release we're so excited about here on the farm... Book One of The Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard.... The first of 24 cozy mysteries set on the beautiful and bucolic island of Martha's Vineyard, MA! 

And I'd love to have you friend me on facebook... follow me on Twitter.... or stop by my website Or my blog You're always welcome, company is loved!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

One-Eyed Egg: A Father's Day Memory

This last week of school involves lots of work (mental - report cards & physical - packing up for a move to a different classroom) which means lots of late nights and food grabbed when you're near to starving.

Eggs have been my go-to meal.
I have come to love a fried egg sandwich.

But, I can't make an egg sandwich without thinking of my father. When he was in charge of cooking, this is what we got. Obviously, it's pretty easy.

1. Tear a hole out of the center of a piece of bread.

2. Coat the pan with melted butter and heat.

3. Place the bread in the pan and crack the egg into the center.

4.  When the egg has begun to cook through, flip it to finish on the other side.


We're studying mythology, so I'm dubbing these Cyclops Eggs!

One difference - my egg is made with Dave's Killer Bread. Thanks to Tina Radcliffe for turning me on to the awesomeness that is Dave's bread.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Peach Cobbler for the Win!

Mindy here. So we've had this discussion before regarding peach cobbler. Up north, the cobbler tends to be more cakey while here in Texas people prefer theirs more crust-like. I've even shared my recipe that I found to be somewhat of a happy medium (recipe here).

But recently a friend of mine served a peach cobbler that I instantly fell in love with and have been dying to make. So guess what?

For the first time since the big move, I actually baked. And despite the broiling temperatures outside, it was worth it.

So here's what you'll need:

4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced (frozen peaches are a great shortcut for this one, since the peaches are cooked a bit before baking)
2 cups of sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Ground cinnamon to taste

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Now combine your peaches (no need to thaw if using frozen), water and 1 cup of sugar in a medium sauce pan and mix well.
Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat.
Once boiling, turn heat to low and simmer for ten minutes.

Remove pan from heat.

Put butter in a 9X13 baking dish and place in oven to melt.
Meanwhile, mix together your flour and remaining cup of sugar.
Then add the milk, stirring until combined. You can use a whisk, if you like, to insure there are no clumps.
Remove melted butter from oven.
And pour batter over the hot butter, but DO NOT STIR.
Next, using a slotted spoon, place the peaches on top of the batter.
Then gently spoon the syrup over that.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
And bake for 40-45 minutes.
My, oh my, this smells absolutely wonderful.

Serve warm with your favorite ice cream.
Or au naturel.
It's pretty good cold, too.

Yep, I think we've found a new fave. Because there's nothing I like better than a good peach cobbler.

Things are still clicking along here at the ranch, though renovations at the house are a little slower this week.
I couldn't help taking this picture of Maddie. I wondered why she was perched atop that roll of carpet, sitting perfectly still. Then I looked out the window and saw the cow.
Needless to say, once the door was opened, Maddie was no longer still.

Oh, and look who's offering up real smiles now.
Yeah, there's nothing like gratuitous puppy and baby pix to make your day.

Now it's your turn.
What's your favorite fruity, summer dessert?

Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and the last of her five children. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Eggs and Avocados

Jan here, talking carbs.

Not just carbs, but the overload of carbs.

Don't get me wrong - I love carbs! Especially the healthy kind. Like veggies, and whole grains, and salad, and  - one of my favorites - banana oat smoothies!

Some of my favorite carbs (and a couple of their friends)!

But then there are those other

Oh, do I love those carbs, too! But if you've ever done a carb binge (you know - pizza with all the toppings followed by a generous helping of cheesy garlic bread, and then a big bowl of ice cream for dessert), you know how your body hates you the next morning.

At least, mine hates me.

When I was younger, I could bounce back from a carb binge with no problem. But now?

I have to follow up a carb binge with a breakfast made of delicious protein and healthy fats.

Yes, I said fats!

These are the healthy proteins and fats that go into one of my favorite breakfasts. I got the recipe idea from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.

Eggs, olive oil, and avocados provide the fat and protein for this dish. It's filling and yummy, and it quiets those sugar cravings that scream at you after a carb binge. :)

Eggs and Avocados

First, cook two eggs the way you like them. Fried, boiled, scrambled, poached - any of those ways work for this recipe. But don't try to cheat yourself out of the healthy fats and powerful nutrients of your eggs by using an egg-whites-only alternative. Use real eggs! Your body will thank you.

While the eggs are cooking, prepare 1/2 avocado by peeling it and cutting it into bite-sized chunks.

What do you do with the other half? If you leave the skin (peel? husk? hull? cover?) on, and the seed in place, it will stay fresh longer. Just put it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until another meal within the next day or so.

Why only half of an avocado? Avocados are yummy, and loaded with healthy deliciousness, but you don't want to overload with fats. Be reasonable by keeping your serving to one half.

Put the eggs on one side of your plate and the avocado chunks on the other side. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil (only a teaspoon or so - remember: you don't want to overload the fats!)

Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, and add some nutritional yeast for some extra healthy deliciousness.

This breakfast is so satisfying and delicious that you won't be hungry for hours. 

And when you follow up with a salad for lunch - one that's loaded with veggies and low-fat protein like chicken or beans - or this Waldorf Cottage Cheese salad - that carb binge will be a distant memory. 

Find this recipe HERE!

You're welcome. :)

Meanwhile, we have a cover reveal!

"An Amish Courtship" is coming from Love Inspired Historical in August 2017! Pre-order here!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Cranberry Apricot Scones with Orange Glaze

Ugh! I've been felled by a terrible stomach bug and so although there has been cooking in my house, I wasn't eating any of it, or taking pictures! So, I've dragged myself from my bed to repost this scone recipe. Strangely, even though I'm two months into "no sugar" these don't look tempting at all.
 It's a miracle! Or the flu, either one. So, thanks for bearing with me and I hope to be back to my perky self by next Friday! 
Without further ado, cranberry orange scones from November 2015. 

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have a delicious dessert to share. Right around this time of year, I CRAVE cranberries. I want them in everything. Other people go seeking out pumpkin spice, I look for cranberries. I've already made some cranberry oatmeal cookies, but I wanted to try something new. 
 But before I get to the recipe, I have to share a photo or from a beautiful day we had here. It was probably the last sunny we day before it turned GLOOMY. And when I say gloomy, I mean it. Dark at 7AM, lightens up to dreary at noon, and dark by 4:30. We were just at the park and it was pitch black at 4:45. That's just unnatural, I'm telling you.
But this day, this one day last week, was marvelous! So much light and color! I got some beautiful pictures of all the kids. One at a time, and all together. 

I hope one of them will become a Christmas card... if I can get through my " to do" list in time!
Preheat the oven to 375F
The ingredients for the scones:
2 cups flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs orange zest
5 tbs chilled butter
1.5 cups cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 cup whipping cream
The orange drizzle:
3 tbs butter
1.5 cup powdered sugar
3 tbs orange juice
So, as I said... cranberries. Delicious and packed full of antioxidants, and are high in fiber,vitamin C and K. Mine were frozen and a lot easier to chop.
 MMM. Dried apricots. I sent my teens to the store to get dried apricots but didn't specify how much. Instead of calling, they returned with two giant bags. YUMMY. I could hardly be mad, since they were so delicious. We snacked on them for a few days, completely ignoring our apples and pears.
 Mix the cranberries and apricots together.
 Add dry ingredients and cut in the chilled butter.
 Add the cream to the fruit.
 Looks terrible. I have faith this will be great! If it's not... I shall cry lots of tears.
 Mix in the dry ingredients with the fruit. I think we over stirred because it turned pink!
 Make 1 inch think disks.
 Hmmm... It smells delicious but I wasn't sure how this was going to taste.
 Cut it like a pizza.
 Lay out several inches apart.
 Crossing my fingers! Into the oven they go. Bake for 15 minutes. I checked them at ten and them seemed done, but I wanted to make sure they didn't fall to pieces, so I gave them another few minutes.
 With the orange drizzle...
 AMAZING! Even the pickiest eaters enjoyed these. My husband, who doesn't like sweets, thought they were really good. I think scones are more like pan dulce or the sweet bread he's used to. Also, the dried fruit gave it such a satisfying texture. Scones are soft and buttery, and the dried fruit was a great counterpoint.
That's all for now! My friend Christalee sent me this bowl because it matches my kitchen. Isn't it adorable?? My kids are calling it my new coffee cup. LOL

Be sure to pop into my facebook page at Mary Jane Hathaway, or at my blog The Things That Last. Until next time!