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Summer Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids

Summer Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids

Looking for summer recipes you can make with your kids (and that they’ll actually eat)? Look no further. We know it can be hard to battle boredom and feed the kids continuously throughout the day, so why not do both at the same time? Plus, we know that kids are way more likely to eat things that they have made themselves. Even the picky ones give it a try!

To get you started , check out some of our favorite summer recipes that are kid-friendly and parent-friendly. Oh and you probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen already. No need to hunt down some exotic spice or extract when your 10 year old is just going to pour ketchup on it am I right?

Yogurt Pie (photo credit Ari Adams lovepeaceandtinyfeet)

Summer Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids

The best part of these summer recipes is that they are delicious for kids and adults and they are all ‘better-for-you’ options. Even the desserts are great because they are one bite wonders! Check out these 9 summer recipes you can make with your kids and let us know which one you’ll try first!

9 Summer Recipes that are Totally Kid Friendly Recipes Too

  1. Homemade granola bars

Have you ever bought a box of granola bars and then went back to get one a day later and the box was empty? Happens in my house too often! That’s why I love this summer recipe for homemade granola bars. It’s both cost-effective and delicious. The best part is that you can pretty much add anything you like into your own homemade granola bars. It’s entirely up to you (and your kids). You can try peanut butter, chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit, or coconut. This is especially helpful for families who have to be mindful of food allergens. My trick? We use “nut-free” peanut butter and then everyone in the family can enjoy these really healthy snacks.

 

Granola Bars (photo credit: Ari Adams/lovepeaceandtinyfeet)

  1. S’mores Pops

Nothing says summer like a s’mores, right? But nobody has time to build a fire, find roasting sticks, and not drop all the ingredients in the dirt! For those times when a campfire is just not happening, have the kids make these s’mores pops with you (or have them make them for you…even better)! You get the tastes of s’mores (graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow) in a fun, much easier way. If you really want the gooeyness traditional s’mores have, put the s’mores pop in the microwave for 5 seconds. Get ready to win parent of the year (or at least the day)!

https://jamonkey.com/smores-pops-night-and-light-fury-inspired-recipe/

S’mores Pops (photo credit: Meghan Cooper/jamonkey)

  1. Yogurt Parfait Breakfast Popsicles

Honestly, this is one of those summer recipes that are just genius! It is a super quick, healthy breakfast idea and kids LOVE it. They think they are getting dessert for breakfast. Shhh…I won’t tell them if you don’t! I’m just happy they are eating something that isn’t sugar-coated cereal. These yogurt parfait breakfast popsicles are sure to please everyone because the kids can make them individually and include all the things they like. In my house, one kid adores strawberries but another one can’t stand the sight of them. I can make both kids happy with this super  healthy breakfast recipe.

https://jamonkey.com/yogurt-parfait-breakfast-popsicles/

Yogurt Parfait Breakfast Pops (photo credit: meghan cooper/ jamonkey)

  1. Mini Yogurt Parfait Pies

Because you definitely need more than one ‘dessert-for-breakfast’ summer recipes, this one for mini yogurt parfait pies is awesome. You can add in just the right mix of everything you love . Pick your favorite yogurt, some sliced fresh fruit that’s in season, add it to individual graham cracker pie crusts, and top with whipped cream! Voila! I love that you can make this as healthy as you want it. Turns out these kid friendly recipes can also be adult friendly too! For a different kind of cool summer treat, freeze the pies!

Yogurt Parfait Mini Pie Recipe #EffortlessPies

 

  1. Crock pot Apple Butter

Crockpots are tailor made for summer recipes. Don’t bother heating up the whole house! Grab some apples from the local orchards once they are in season or simple snag some from your local grocery store. With simple, wholesome ingredients, you can set it and forget it and come home to a house smelling like heaven! Want to save yourself a step? Buy apple slices that are already peeled. (It’s a thing!) Use the apple butter as a spread on just about anything from bread to waffles to saltine crackers. Your kids won’t even realize they are actually eating fruit!

https://jamonkey.com/crock-pot-apple-butter-recipe/

Apple Butter (photo credit: Meghan Cooper/jamonkey)

  1. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Banana Raspberry Muffins

Even if you are dealing with food allergens or diet guidelines that doesn’t mean you can’t create delicious treats for and with your kids. These muffins might not have gluten or dairy but they are packed with flavor. This kid friendly recipe is the perfect way to sue those old, brown bananas. The raspberries add some tartness and the combination is really just delicious.

https://www.reallyareyouserious.com/delicious-gluten-free-dairy-free-banana-raspberry-muffins/

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Banana Raspberry Muffin (photo: Krystyn Hall/reallyareyouserious)

  1. Pumpkin Pasties

Who said you have to wait until Fall to eat pumpkin? Not in my house! These Pumpkin Pasties are quick to make, filling to eat and can even be a part of a balanced breakfast. These little handheld pies are made using refrigerated biscuit dough and just a few ingredients. Not feeling pumpkin? How about using that apple butter from the Crock Pot Apple Butter recipe?

https://www.redheadbabymama.com/easy-pumpkin-pasties-recipe/

Easy Pumpkin Pasties recipe (photo: Lindsey Paris/redheadbabymama)

  1. Ant Man Snack Mix

If your kids love combining food with their favorite movies as much as mine do, this snack mix is sure to be a hit. Not to mention that it is drizzled in white chocolate too! This is one of those summer recipes that are as fun to make as it is to eat! It contrasts honeycomb cereal (for the Wasp) with raisins (for the Ant). The recipe also calls for some super cute tiny ant candies which are tons of fun, but may gross you out. If, on the other hand, you have some kids in the house who like to be grossed out, then go for it! More power to them!

Ant Man & Wasp Snack Mix (photo: Lindsey Paris/redheadbabymama)

Ant-Man and the Wasp Snack Mix

 

  1. Chocolate Hummus

This is one of those kid friendly recipes that you must not, under any circumstances, underestimate. Yes it is made with chickpeas. Yes, it is technically a hummus. BUT, it looks like dark chocolate ganache and tastes more like brownie batter than anything else. Have your kids help you with this recipe OR just make it for them and don’t tell them how healthy it really is. Spread it on graham crackers, or really anything you want.

https://www.reallyareyouserious.com/dark-chocolate-dessert-hummus-recipe-gluten-free-and-dairy-free/

Dark Chocolate Dessert Hummus recipe (photo: Krystyn Hall/reallyareyourserious)

 

Cooking these summer recipes with your kids can be fun, educational, and delicious all at the same time. Banish boredom for good! Which of these kid friendly recipes will you try first?


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Nana’s Traditional Italian Easter Bread

Nana’s Traditional Italian Easter Bread

When I was growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, we would always visit my Sicilian grandparents in Sacramento for Easter. My nana didn’t speak or write English very well, but boy that woman could COOK. She made this traditional Italian Easter Bread each year, and I couldn’t wait to dig into it. Whenever I see it now, I remember my sweet little Sicilian nana bringing it to the Easter table.

No that is not a giant egg in my hand, it’s an orange, silly!

A Sicilian Easter Tradition

Now as an adult I know the correct name for this simple bread is Pane di Pasqua (literally translated as “Easter Bread”). What always amazed me as a kid was how my nana got those dyed Easter eggs into that bread! Of course, I didn’t realize you color the eggs raw, and then weave them into the Italian Easter Bread before baking. The eggs cook in the oven right along with the bread, and turn out as perfectly hard boiled (baked, actually).

Pulling the Italian Easter Bread apart is the most fun part, especially for kids. Since the dough has been braided and forms an Easter wreath of sorts, the eggs are tucked in about the braids. When you pull the bread apart, the braids unwind and loosen the eggs. All around each egg, the colors of the dyes have usually bled a little into the bread dough. Each piece ends up soft, slightly sweet and multi-colored. So much fun for a kid!

Italian Easter Bread ingredients

We dyed the eggs the night before so they were ready to weave into the Italian Easter Bread.

How to Make Italian Easter Bread

My Nana never wrote down recipes, so we had to watch her carefully and then scratch down the proper ingredients and measurements on a nearby pad while she made the dish. Her recipe and directions for making Italian Easter Bread are super easy, but it does take a while to make.

Whenever you make bread from scratch, you have to let the dough rise for a bit. I like to get the recipe started so the bread can rise, and then go on and do something else in the mean time. After all, I end up with an least an hour to kill. Plenty of time to watch an episode of Game of Thrones. Or depending on your sense of humor, Gay of Thrones is a hilarious watch as well.

Here’s the recipe – I had to modernize and improvise a bit for current tastes.

Ingredients

½ cup milk, warmed slightly

¼ cup sugar

1 packet active dry yeast

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp orange zest

½ cup orange juice

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tbs anise seeds (optional)

6 raw eggs, dyed various colors

Optional Icing

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 tbs milk

1/4 cup slivered almonds

Even the Easter Bunny gets into the act when we make Italian Easter Bread at our house.

 

In a small bowl dissolve the sugar in the warm milk. Add the yeast, mix well and set the mixture aside.

While the yeast is taking action, mix together 3 cups all-purpose flour and salt in a large bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the orange juice and zest, eggs, melted butter, and anise.

orange zest

Orange zest is my nana’s secret ingredient in this Italian Easter Bread recipe.

Add the yeast mixture and orange juice mixture to the flour, gently stirring together (do not overstir).

Add the remaining flour to the dough a little at a time, mixing until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until soft and smooth. Place the dough in a clean bowl, and cover the with a kitchen towel.  Set the bowl in a warm (70-75F), draft-free place to rise for about an hour or more.

Dividing bread dough

Dividing the Italian Easter Bread dough into three equal parts with my handy thingy from Sur la Table.

Check the dough, and once it has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and gently roll each into an 24” rope. Pinch one end of all three ropes together and braid the strands loosely. Shape the braid into a ring and place on a baking sheet. Weave the dyed, raw eggs into the braid. Let the ring rise until puffy and nearly doubled, 45 minutes – 1 hour.

Italian Easter Bread unbaked

When you weave the eggs into the bread dough, make sure they are anchored and don’t roll off!

Near the end of your rising time, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.  Let the bread cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Optional: When bread is completely cooled, mix together powdered sugar, almond extract and milk in a small bowl. Drizzle mixture over bread, avoiding the eggs. Sprinkle almonds on top of drizzle in order to stick.

Serve by allowing guests to pull apart bread in pieces. Eggs can be peeled and eaten alongside, or saved for later.

Italian Easter Bread Pane di Pasqua

Italian Easter Bread, or Pane di Pascua, is one of my favorite childhood memories of Easter with my Sicilian Nana.


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Halloween at Our House is a Thing

Halloween at Our House is a Thing

Halloween at our house is a Thing, and always has been. Since the kids were babies, we’ve hosted a big Halloween party at our house and it gets rowdier every year. As the kids have grown, the candy frenzy has died down but the tradition lives on. The tradition of Halloween celebrations morphs and changes, but All Hallows Eve is always a night to remember at the Bailey-Klugh household!

Dead Panda and Dead Alice in Wonderland costumes

Dead Panda Bear and Dead Alice in Wonderland costumes were our kids’ themes in 2011.

The Tradition of Halloween Celebrations Begins

At first it started as an opportunity for some of our friends to bring their babies over so we could take them trick or treating together, pushing strollers along the sidewalks amid the older kids who ran around like lunatics. Now our kids are the lunatics, hopped up on candy, sugar and teen drama. We parents now enjoy each other’s company, toasting with a glass of wine and chowing down on Jon’s White Chicken Chili recipe with cornbread.

LGBT family with Halloween costumes

We’ve had some pretty elaborate get-ups. Look how small the girls look in this photo from 2012!

The party has grown a bit – last year there were close to 50 adults and kids roaming around the house. Still, the love of Halloween and the lure of Butterfingers keeps them coming back each year. It’s our thing, and we love it.

Decorating the House

Skull Halloween table decor

Spooky skulls, bones and test tubes make our Halloween table extra fun.

Over the years. we’ve collected a fair amount of Halloween decorations to adorn the house. In fact, there are now 5 bins worth of paraphernalia that we scatter about the property – inside and out. The kids used to freak out over some of the stuff, especially the ghoulish face that emerges with a scream from its spooky coffin. Even now, it still brings a slight discomfort to their faces. Of course this makes us laugh, and then they get mad.

Halloween decor with skulls, Indian corn cobs and black crow

A little Dia de los Muertos inspired, these bowls are filled with mini Indian corn cobs, skulls and adorned with a spooky crow.

Halloween Costumes are a Specialty

Last year, Triton and I decided to dress like the Grateful Dead. Get it??? Dead?  Yeah, so that was fun.

Grateful Dead Halloween costumes

Halloween costumes are a tradition in our family, dating back to way before our kids were born.

Another year we had a Little Mermaid theme going with some close friends, and Triton was – wait for it – King Triton. I was Prince Eric, our friend Erica was Ursula the Sea Witch, and our friends Julie and Nick came as a cross-dressing Ariel and Sebastian. That was pretty epic, considering Nick is a giant ex-military special forces dude (he looked awesome in his Ariel tail and red wig!)

children in costume on Halloween

What a crew for Halloween 2010! But who is that kid in all black – he is creeping me out.

Last year, we had a Game of Thrones theme going. You’ll have to wait until that night to see what our costumes are this year, but I must say they are pretty epic. Maybe it helps that Triton works for a Halloween company called InCharacter Costumes, but we still put most of the pieces together ourselves, scavenged from the bins of years past with a few new extras.

The girls? They will probably dress as pretty teen girls this year, carrying a brown lunch sack and extorting candy from the neighbors – just as it should be. Other parents with their cute little babies in strollers can dodge around them now.

So, what are YOU going to be this year????

gay couple Hawaiian costumes

Oh remember those Halloween parties before we had kids, and we had abs and tans and all our hair? Yeah, well.


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Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with Sophia

Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with Sophia

It’s really fun when your kids catch on to something you love, and I love to cook. I learned to cook from my mom, and she learned from her mom, and so on. No mom in the house? No problem – Dads are great cooks too! I’ve taken over that cook role, and am teaching both my girls the way around a kitchen. It makes me soooo happy when one of our girls is inspired to cook, like Sophia recently when she asked me about making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes.

baking chocolate mint cupcakes

Our little baker. Sophia knows her way around the kitchen, especially when baking delicious desserts.

No matter that we didn’t have many of the ingredients in the house. Luckily for us, there is a Vons supermarket just blocks away. A little spin around the grocery aisles, and we were in business.

Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

A while back when cupcakes were just becoming a thing, I bought this great cookbook called Your Cup of Cake by Lizzy Early. These are not your average cupcakes mind you – they are fancy and delicious works of art. It was a little daunting for Sophia to pick a recipe from this book, but we were game on a Sunday afternoon. The results may not have been as pretty as the photos in the book, but they sure were tasty.

Watch Sophia’s video to get inspired!

Recipe for Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

(Courtesy of Your Cup of Cake by Lizzy Early)

For Chocolate Cupcakes:

1 box devil’s food cake mix (we used Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake Mix)

3 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350-degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla together. Add cake mix until well combined.

Fill cupcake liners to 3/4 full and bake for 17-20 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. (Ours were ready at 17 minutes). Remove from pan and let cool completely.

pouring chocolate batter into cupcake pan

Make sure you only fill the cupcake tins to 3/4 full, or the cupcakes will grow too large in the baking process.

For Peppermint Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet)

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

4 tablespoons whipping cream

Put chocolate chips and peppermint extract in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Gently heat whipping cream in small pot until small bubbles form around the edges. Pour cream over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth.

Dip the top of each cupcake into the ganache, twisting and coating the top completely. Set aside to cool and harden.

frosting chocolate mint cupcakes

We doubled the recipe on the mint buttercream frosting, or we would have run out!

For the Peppermint Buttercream Frosting:

(We doubled this recipe for the frosting, and were glad we did or would have run out! The amounts listed below are NOT doubled.)

3/4 cup butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

4 cups powdered sugar (yes that is a lot)

4-6 drops green food coloring (optional)

Chocolate peppermint candies for garnish (we used Andes Mints)

Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add peppermint extract and slowly add powdered sugar until buttercream reaches desired consistency. Add green food coloring if desired.

Pipe buttercream on top of ganache covered cupcakes. Drizzle any extra ganache over top of the cupcakes, and finish with a chocolate peppermint candy.

chocolate mint cupcake

Ready to scarf down in one giant mouthful, Sophia’s chocolate mint cupcake turned out beautiful and delicious.

 

 


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Mama Bailey’s Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe

Mama Bailey’s Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe

I make my mom’s favorite family recipes all the time, a legacy of her Italian upbringing and my half-breed desire to keep that connection alive. One of my kids’ favorites from Nana’s Cookbook is her Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe.

Fresh ingredients for chicken piccata

Fresh ingredients for my Lemony Chicken Piccata recipe were sourced mostly from our local farmers market.

 

Traditionally, chicken piccata is known for its capers and white wine sauce. Sometimes a little lemon juice is added for flavor, but our mom was a BIG lemon fan. Her version includes the juice of two large lemons, and boy is it delicious!

Mama Bailey’s Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe is actually pretty easy to make even though there are several steps. Although mom made hers with chicken breasts, I prefer boneless and skinless chicken thighs for more flavor. I’ve gotten this recipe down to a quick and easy method, which I am happy to share with you here.

lemony chicken piccata flavor ingredients

Fresh squeezed lemon juice, capers and chopped Italian parsley are key ingredients in my Lemony Chicken Piccata recipe.

 

Mama Bailey’s Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe

(serves a small herd)

  • 2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs, flattened
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 large lemons, juiced
  • ½ cup capers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 lbs pasta of your choice (depending on how many people you are feeding!)
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Prepare the chicken

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a frying pan, pour ½ cup olive oil and set on low heat.

Flatten the chicken thighs between two pieces of wax paper, using a kitchen mallet. (If you don’t have a mallet, you can use the flat bottom of a small pot.) Pound the chicken flat to about an inch or so thick.

breading chicken for piccata recipe

The three part breading process is critical to the chickens flavor and crispiness.

 

In three separate bowls, put the flour, scrambled eggs with salt and pepper, and bread crumbs. Dip each piece of chicken into the flour to coat, then the egg mixture, then finally coat with bread crumbs. Raise the heat on the frying pan to medium, and cook each piece of chicken until browned on each side. Add olive oil as needed to keep the pan bottom well coated for frying. When browned, place the chicken into a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

chicken thighs frying

Breaded chicken thighs are fried crispy in olive oil before adding the other ingredients.

Create the sauce

 

In the same frying pan, add another ½ cup olive oil. Cook the onion and garlic until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, parsley and capers. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to combine flavors.

making chicken piccata

Now that the sauce has been cooked, pour it over the cooked chicken and pop into the oven.

 

Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, making sure to spread evenly. Sprinkle with basil and pop into the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. When you remove the pan, the juices should be bubbling.

While the chicken is in the oven, cook the pasta, drain and put back into the pot. Coat with about ¼ cup of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking.

chicken piccata in baking dish

Straight from the oven, this Lemony Chicken Piccata is tangy and crunchy.

Plate It Up

 

First put a healthy scoop of pasta on the plate, then top with pieces of chicken and ladle juices over both. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired, and serve with a side vegetable like broccoli rabe or asparagus.

chicken piccata ready to serve

And voila! The finished and plated chicken piccata looks quite delicious.

 

I hope you enjoy Mama Bailey’s Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe as much as our family does!

Family of cooks @2Dadswithbaggage

For such a little woman, Mom was a dynamo – particular in the kitchen. Miss you Mom!


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New Skillet Breakfast Meals from Omaha Steaks are Legit

New Skillet Breakfast Meals from Omaha Steaks are Legit

This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks, and the views and opinions expressed here are our own.

When we heard Omaha Steaks was introducing a new line of breakfast meals, we weren’t quite sure of the connection. What did a place famous for its top quality steaks know about breakfast, we asked ourselves. But then we had the chance to taste a couple of them, and realized these new skillet breakfast meals from Omaha Steaks are legit. So yes, they know what they are doing!

Omaha Steaks breakfast skillet

The Omaha Steaks Ranchero Steak & Beans Butcher’s Breakfast is delicious and easy to prepare.

With hearty flavors like Ranchero Steak and Beans, Meat Lovers’ and Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash, these new Omaha Steaks Butchers Breakfasts make it easy to eat well in the morning. Those same great ingredients and prime cuts of meat that have made Omaha Steaks so popular are all here for morning munching. Super easy to cook, delicious and nutritious, these Butchers Breakfasts can be prepared and hit the table in under 15 minutes flat.

Omaha Steaks Meat Lover's Breakfast Skillet

Straight from the freezer into the pan, the Omaha Steaks Meat Lover’s Breakfast Skillet is so delicious.

Quick and Easy

Our family can really use the help most mornings, since the girls are always pushing things to the last minute. Jon is the morning dad, and so breakfast duties fall on him. Everyone rushes around to get out the door for school and work. Dogs walked, hair brushed, outfits changed at least three times – sometimes there hardly seems time for breakfast at all.

With the new Omaha Steaks Butchers Breakfasts, just take the meal directly from the freezer, pour contents into a skillet, cover and cook. In a bowl, you heat the sauce packet while the skillet is cooking. Then you add the sauce to the skillet, and it simmers for a couple of minutes to blend all the goodness. We topped ours with poached eggs, and voilá! A delicious meal ready to enjoy before running to make the carpool.

Omaha Steaks Ranchero Steak & Beans Butcher's Breakfast

The breakfast skillet meals from Omaha Steaks are legit.

Delicious Ingredients

Well of course there is good meat. It’s Omaha Steaks after all! The Ranchero Steak and Beans Butcher’s Breakfast is loaded with seasoned Omaha Steak and savory uncured bacon. The meats are mixed with fire-roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, green chiles, green & poblano peppers, and onion for a morning kick. Sauté all this in their sauce of lime juice, chili peppers, and sweet paprika, and you are ready to roll. My family gobbled their breakfasts right up, and the kids arrived at school fueled and ready to learn.

Ranchero Steak & Beans breakfast skillet Omaha Steaks

Add a couple of poached eggs to to the Omaha Steaks Butcher’s Breakfast, and you’ve got a hearty meal.

That beats a bowl of cereal any day. Now how to teach the girls to cook breakfast for me . Hmm, stay tuned on that one.

 


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How to Barbecue the Perfect Steak

How to Barbecue the Perfect Steak

*This post was created in partnership with Omaha Steaks, and all the views and opinions expressed here are my own.

My pop taught me his barbecue skills when I was a teenager, passing on the age-old tradition like it was some manly ritual dating back to the cave men. Among his many lessons were solid recommendations on how to cook a chicken breast without drying it out, or how to put the perfect char on a hot dog. However, the one thing he did not teach me was how to barbecue the perfect steak.

Honestly, I think he did not know how to barbecue the perfect steak, and used mostly a keen sense of hunger to determine how long the damn steaks stayed on the grill. He passed on absolutely no skills in this area. He also clearly knew nothing about ordering quality meats from Omaha Steaks. I had to learn all this the hard way.

grilling Omaha Steaks bacon wrapped filets

Demonstrating how to barbecue a steak, I’m grilling up some delicious Omaha Steaks bacon-wrapped filets.

 

How to Barbecue the Perfect Steak

Start With Good Meat

 

No joke, the quality of your meat makes a huge difference. If you bought your steaks from the bargain counter at a gas station, you should expect them to be tough and taste lousy. However, when you are willing to spend the proper amount to buy premium cuts of meat from a high-quality source like Omaha Steaks, you can expect the best in flavor and consistency. That’s why we don’t fool around. When we eat steaks, we prefer to order them from Omaha Steaks because we know they will taste amazing. The more marbled the meat, the better. Enough said.

raw Omaha Steaks bacon wrapped filets

Look at the marble on these premium Omaha Steaks bacon wrapped filets!

 

We received our steaks as part of a cool collection from Omaha Steaks called the Guaranteed to Thrill Collection. Look at all this cool stuff:

Guaranteed to Thrill Collection  
4 (5 oz.) Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignons
4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burger
4 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops
4   (3 oz.) Gourmet Jumbo Franks
boxes of Omaha Steaks

Whenever we see these distinctive red boxes with the historic photos, we know they contain quality Omaha Steaks products.

 

Avoid Mishaps By Prepping the Grill

One of the biggest pitfalls leading to a burnt crispy steak in not prepping the grill properly. Here’s an easy checklist and a couple of helpful tips I’ve learned along the way:

  • Make sure the barbecue is VERY hot.
  • Clean the grill with a steel bristle brush, careful to get off all the little leftover bits.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-high (if using a gas grill) or wait for the charcoal to burn down a bit.
  • Cut an onion in half, and dip it cut-side down into a bowl filled with a little olive oil. With the tongs or long fork, grab the onion and glide it across the grill to coat and season it.
  • Put the onion off to the side or in the corner – it will add some nice flavor/smell as it cooks.
  • Now you are ready to place your steaks on the grill.

 

priming the barbecue grill with onion

I always prime the barbecue grill with a fresh-cut onion dipped in olive oil.

Prepping Your Steaks

Hopefully you ordered quality cuts from Omaha Steaks, but even if you didn’t these steps are good  to follow. Getting the steaks ready for grilling will help ensure they cook well and retain their juiciness.

  • Make sure the steaks are at room temperature. Starting with the cold from the frig will cause them to cook unevenly – too much on the outside and not enough in the middle.
  • With your hands, coat each steak lightly with a little olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper both sides.

 

Timing to Barbecue the Perfect Steak

As with any cuts of meat, there are variations depending on the size and thickness of your steaks. If there is a bone in the steak, it will take a little longer to cook.

Our family likes our steaks medium rare, which is also what the majority of Americans prefer as well. My good friend Tim who is an excellent cook taught me this rule, and it is nearly foolproof for medium-rare steaks. Say it with me: Four Minutes, Four Minutes, Four Minutes.

  • Place the steaks in the middle of the oiled grill area, and close the lid for Four Minutes. Do not touch them – just leave them be.
  • After those Four Minutes, turn the steak over and cook the other side for Four Minutes.
  • Whatever you do, DON’T cut into the steak with a knife to see if the inside is cooked enough. All the juices will pour out, leaving you with a dry nasty old piece of meat. If you must, prod the steak with the top of your tongs. When it jiggles a lot, it is more rare. If it moves like a solid piece with no give, it is more well done.

 

butter topped Omaha Steaks filets

Sometimes for a little added decadence, I’ll top these delicious Omaha Steaks with a little butter.

 

  • When both sides are cooked, take the steaks off the grill and place on a serving dish. Cover with foil and seal for Four Minutes. It’s important to let a steak “rest” after grilling so that the juices will stay intact.
  • Sometimes if I am feeling decadent, I’ll put a thin slice of butter on each steak before letting it rest under the foil. So good!
  • Serve immediately.

 

Four Minutes, Four Minutes, Four Minutes – it totally works!  We just enjoyed this method of how to barbecue the perfect steak, using bacon-wrapped filets mignons from Omaha Steaks. They turned out perfectly cooked, and we scarfed them down with a corn-avocado-tomato salad and some crispy baked red potatoes. Deeee-lish.

My pop would be so proud.

 

Omaha Steaks bacon-wrapped filet dinner

Served up with some corn/avocado/tomato salad and some crispy potatoes.

 

 

 


Read Next

Tandoori Potato Salad Recipe

Tandoori Potato Salad Recipe

Years ago a friend made something like this Tandoori Potato Salad recipe, and I was an immediate fan. This exotic combination of flavors works beautifully together, with just the right sweetness from the red potatoes and spice from the Tandoori paste. Now I’ve made it my own, having figured out my own Tandoori Potato Salad recipe that I’m happy to share.

Tandoori Potato Salad ingredients

The ingredients needed to make my Tandoori Potato Salad recipe are pretty simple.

Tandoori Potato Salad Recipe

Personally, I have always loved potato salad all kinds of ways. I like the traditional kind my mom made, with mayo, mustard, celery and black olives. I also make a tangy dill and sour cream potato salad concoction that always turns out well. This Tandoori Potato Salad Recipe is my favorite, however. The tandoori gives it a little kick that is a perfect accompaniment to a summer BBQ.

boiled red potatoes

Baby red potatoes work best for this Tandoori Potato Salad recipe.

Tandoori Potato Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs baby red potatoes
  • 3-4 large green onions, sliced in rounds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped coursely
  • 1/4 cup Tandoori paste (you can buy this at most specialty food stores)
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
freshly harvested green onions

Freshly harvested from our backyard vegetable garden, these green onions add great flavor to my Tandoori Potato Salad recipe.

To prepare:

Boil potatoes for about 15 minutes (careful not to overcook because they get too mushy). You will know they are ready when you can just pierce them with a fork. Drain and chill in cold water to stop them from cooking further. When cold, cut into halves or quarters and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, yogurt, tandoori paste, garam masala, mayonnaise, salt and  pepper. Pour over the sliced green onions, chopped cilantro and cut potatoes. Gently fold the tandoori mixture into the potatoes, stirring carefully to avoid smushing the potatoes.

Mixing Tandoori potato salad ingredients

Mix together the tandoori and yogurt sauce with the potato, onion and cilantro.

Spoon salad into a serving bowl and chill for at least two hours. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and serve.

Hope you enjoy this exotic Tandoori Potato Salad recipe as much as our family!

Tandoori Potato Salad recipe

A favorite at BBQs, we love this Tandoor Potato Salad recipe with a glass of crisp rosé.