Sriracha T-Bone

We celebrated our daughter's Gotcha day by doing what we do best. Eating steaks!  I decided to do a little something different with my T-bone I  purchased, and I was very pleased of the result! I never knew putting sriracha on a steak before you cook it would turn out so well.

1 T-bone steak
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp clarified butter
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp sriracha

The day before you cook your steak, remove from package and pat down with a paper towel. Sprinkle 1/2 of the amount of kosher salt to use on both sides and set in the fridge uncovered overnight. This will pull out any excess moisture.

The next day, about 20 minutes before cooking your steak, remove from fridge and pat down again with another paper towel. This next step is an optional step, but I did it anyway. Take a fork and poke small holes in both sides of the steak, then beat slightly with a meat tenderizer mallet.  Take your garlic powder and mix with your melted clarified butter.Add a pinch of salt to the butter. After doing so divide the butter evenly into two small bowls. Take a brush and generously brush both sides from only one of the bowls.  Sprinkle the rest of the salt on both sides of steaks, and add pepper and paprika.Brush sriracha evenly on both sides.

Take a skillet and turn to medium high heat. Cook steak for 6 minutes on first side and flip.  Take your unused garlic butter and spoon over the top of the steak and cook another six minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

The result was one of the most tender, flavorful steaks I've had in a while. So tender I could tear it apart with a fork.  The Sriracha  gave the steak a rich flavor with just a little bite to it. Try this when you get a chance!

Chocolate Delight

As we try to maintain our diet, every now and then we get a sweet craving. For me, its primarily chocolate. We found a recipe on a diet board online (I wish I had a link to share) that gives us great chocolate flavor without so much of the guilt that is involved.  Here is what we did:

2/3 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

If you are not  a honey person, you can substitute for maple syrup. 

First, begin by making sure the coconut oil is liquid. If it is not, warm it in a boiler until it melts on low heat. 

Add cocoa powder, honey vanilla extract and salt to coconut oil. Mix well.

Take a mini-muffin tin and spray with cooking spray. Fill each tin about 1/3 of the way full. This should make about 20 chocolate pieces.

Place tin in fridge and let harden for at least 2 hours. After they are set, take then out of the tins, but I would keep them in a container in the fridge, due to melting.

And there you have it! They are tasty, and help with craving every now and then. Try it sometime!

Coconut Flour Waffles

We decided to have breakfast for dinner and try using some coconut flour we received as a gift. After we found a recipe on the Girl vs. Dough website, I must say these are great! The are light, fluffy,and tasty. Put your favorite (light) syrup and some cooked apples, and you have some good waffles. I also made some homemade sausage to go with it. In all, this dinner is gluten free and Paleo approved!

8 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk

The original recipe called for coconut milk, but we substituted for regular milk.

Break eggs into a mixer and mix together. Pour melted butter and mix for another 10 seconds. Add your milk, then dry ingredients and mix until incorporated well.

Pour batter into a waffle maker, about 1/4 cup and cook until desired doneness.

It was a delicious breakfast for dinner!

Seared Pork Chops

This recipe is another Whole 30 favorite that is simple and flavorful. I cooked up some sweet potato fries and apples with it to make a great combination. For this recipe the ratios are approximate for the chops.

5 pork chops (thick cut)
2 cups apple cider
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp clarified butter

Take your thick cut pork chops and butterfly them so they are flat. In a fridge safe container, place all your pork chops and cover with the apple cider. Marinate 4 hours to overnight.

Remove pork chops from liquid and pat dry with a paper towel. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika on both sides evenly.

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add clarified butter.  Cook pork chops for about 4 minutes per side or until the chops are cooked medium-well. Don't overcook!

The result is very flavorful pork chops that are moist and tender. The apple cider is the key!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

We are having a social/swimming  party at church and it gave me a good excuse to try my hand at some chocolate ice cream.  It turned out great! Creamy, chocolaty, goodness! Here is what I did:

2 cans chocolate sweetened condensed milk
1 can pet milk
1 ½ cups sugar
1 quart half n half
4 eggs, to be tempered
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate syrup

In a small boiler, take two cans of the chocolate sweetened condensed milk, one can pet milk(evaporated milk) and sugar and bring to where all contents are hot and sugar has dissolved but not boiling.

Take four eggs and whisk. Take hot mixture and slowly temper the eggs. Once eggs are properly tempered, mix eggs in mixture and remove from heat. Add vanilla. Pour mixture into four quart size ice cream maker. Pour in half n half. Stir and place in fridge for two hours or longer.

When thoroughly chilled, use electric ice cream maker as per instructions.
This is one you need to try! The chocolate condensed milk is the star of this recipe.

Old Hickory-Columbus, MS Review

Image via  It was raining when I tried to take my pic.

My dad's birthday is coming up Sunday and we decided to take him out for a steak. We decided to take him to Old Hickory in Columbus, MS. I wanted to also review the restaurant while I was there, because Old Hickory is a happening place in Columbus. Here are my thoughts:

1. The atmosphere: The atmosphere is a very rustic, old-fashioned restaurant. If I had one word to describe it, I would call it a "manly" restaurant. I would not call this a fine dining restaurant, and would not take someone for a "date night" dinner. It has a much more casual feel to it. 

2. The service: The service was average to above average. The waitress was very pleasant and checked on us periodically. She had a smile on her face when she waited on us. 

3. The food: 

Sirloin for two.

You will realize quickly the only food you can order on the menu is beef.  From rib-eyes to large sirloin to filet, you have beef galore. Every main meal comes with a salad, potato, and bread. 

We noticed right at the beginning that the salad only came with three types of dressings: ranch, blue cheese, or thousand island.  My wife does not like mayo or cream based dressings so she had to eat her salad with no dressing. Also, we noticed that the dressings are "community" dressings. The dressings came out in three large bowls to the table that you dipped with a spoon.  Now I am not sure of the protocol, but we noticed two possibilities happening with the dressings. 1. They were wasting a huge amount of dressings by bringing that amount out  and then discarding it. Or, 2.  They were re-using the same containers at different tables,  in which how do we know someone didn't lick the spoon and put it back in the dressing? That seemed a little off for us, either way.

We had the sirloin for 2 and it had a good flavor to it. However, the sirloin was very thick and had a very large amount of silver skin that made about 1/3 of it not edible or hard to cut. The pieces that did not have the silver skin were very good. It was cooked perfectly medium-rare.

The potato was just an average potato that came with the meal. 

4. Price: At almost $25 for a steak, it would need to be a near-perfect steak. Unfortunately, due to the toughness of our steak we didn't feel it was worth the $46  steak for 2  that we purchased.  We feel this was probably more of a $30 steak. My parents whom were with us had rib-eyes, and said they were cooked very well. 

5. Overall: For a casual experience with one of the better tasting steaks you can go out and eat, this is a good place.  The price is a little steep, for I could buy the same steak and cook at home for a fraction of the cost with just as much flavor.  I would not recommend this as a "fancy" date you would take a first date or for your anniversary.  It is a man's man restaurant. If you don't like beef don't go here. With just a few minor criticisms, however it is a good place to eat. I recommend you try it a least once if you are in the Columbus, MS area.

Visit their Facebook page here.

Old Hickory Steakhouse
1301 Hwy 45 N
Columbus, MS 

Smoked Chicken Thighs

It was a challenge to continue to be on Whole30 and celebrate the 4th of July. So I decided to do some research and find a recipe that sounded good and was still Whole30 compliant. I found a recipe on Recipe Diaries and tried it out on a wing and a prayer. Or a thigh? Anyway, it turned out really good! Smoked and then finished in the oven. I adjusted to recipe due to spiciness and amount of thighs.

    12 chicken thighs
    2 tbsp clarified butter
    2 tsp paprika
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1 tbsp thyme
    1 tbsp garlic powder
    1 tbsp cayenne
    1 tbsp salt
    2 tbsp black pepper

 Take clarified butter, melt it down, and rub or brush each thigh thoroughly with it. Mix all of your spices together and coat all thighs well. Place your thighs skin side down on a smoker cooking indirect at 225 degrees(if you don't remember my indirect method, click here). I used hickory chips(about 1/4 bag, soaked) and charcoal to smoke the chicken. I smoked the chicken  1 1/2 hours on the smoker(only turning once) then cooked in the oven 1 1/2 hours at 225 degrees.

I will say now, that this was BETTER than the recipe where I marinate it in Dale's Seasoning. Yes, it is that good! And it is Whole30 compliant!

Blueberry Lara Bars

We were introduced to a new kind of snack while we were doing our Whole30 program that became a game changer for us. What we liked about the Lara Bars was that there is no added sweetener to some of their bars, therefore making them Whole30 compliant.

The recipe we made was blueberry. These were very tasty, and a good alternative to snack or protein bars.

1 1/2 cups pitted dates
1 1/2 cups almonds
1/2 cup dried blueberries
2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp lemon zest

Take all of your ingredients and place in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients until they are blended well but still chunky. The bonding of the ingredients will work better if it is not over processed.

Take the mixture and place in any refrigerator safe container lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly on paper, about 1/4 inch thick. Place in fridge and let set for 2 hours.

Remove from fridge and cut with a pizza cutter the size you would like. In the size we cut, we made them about 4 inches long and got 12 bars from it. Individually wrap with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place back in fridge until ready to eat.

These are a tasty treat and Whole30 approved if you just leave the chia seeds out. Try this sometime!

Shrimp Romesco With Zoodles via Whole30

In sharing some of our favorite Whole-30 recipes, we begin with Shimp Romesco. You will begin by making the Romesco sauce that I previously posted here. After you make the sauce, you can construct an easy meal that tastes wonderful.

2 large zucchini
2 tbsp clarified butter
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound of large shrimp, peeled
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp parsley leaves

One thing I suggest investing in if you don't have one is a spiral slicer. It does a wonderful job on the"zoodles". If you don't have one you can use a peeler and a julienne peeler. Make the zucchini in noodles and place on a plate. One thing I noticed in this dish is that the zoodles tend to get very moist and watery after you noodle them. I sprinkled about 1/2 tbsp kosher salt on the top, then placed a dry towel on it and let it set for a few minutes. It will draw a lot of moisture out.  I then place them in a metal colander.

In a skillet, add clarified butter and put on medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the raw (or cooked, whatever you prefer) to the pan and mix the shrimp well with the garlic and onion. Add 1/4 cup water and let simmer with a lid o top for about 6 minutes or until shrimp is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.

With the zoodles I left them in the metal colander and placed them over a boiler filled with water and steamed them for about 5 to 7 minutes on high heat.Once the zoodles are heated through, transfer to a plate or pan that has a dry towel on it to remove excess moisture.

Place zoodles in a bowl, and heat your Romesco sauce so it will be hot throughout. Place the Romesco sauce on top of the zoodles, then place your shrimp on top of the sauce. Top with parsley. Enjoy!

This was one of our favorite dishes while doing the program. Try it!

Paleo Pancakes Via Happy Healthy Mama

As we have reached the end of Whole30 we are looking for good alternatives to foods we at one time ate. Thanks to Happy Healthy Mama we found a great Paleo recipe that was tasty and not to difficult to make. The ratios were altered a bit for our tastes.

2 bananas
1 medium size sweet potato, cooked until soft
4 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder

I put the bananas, cooked sweet potato, eggs in to a mixer and blended until smooth (about setting 4). I would probably break up the bananas into small pieces before putting it in the bowl. After it has mixed smooth, add your cinnamon and baking powder and lower speed to stir.

In a pan add the oil or butter of your choice (we used clarified butter) and turn to medium heat.  Add about 1/3 cup of mixture at a time for each pancake. I noticed that it does take a little longer to cook, so I cooked the pancakes for about 5 minutes on the first side and about 2-3 minutes on the other.

What I can immediately compare it to is banana bread. It had a great texture and actually cooked up like a pancake. It was tasty with some fruit.

Try this when you are looking for a good alternative to regular pancakes or have a sensitivity to gluten. It was enjoyable!

Peanut Thai Chicken via

Here is a recipe that I found via that is good for you, and good for company. It has a good mixture of a little bit of sweet, and a little bit of heat. The recipe calls for these to be grilled, but I used a good cast-iron grill pan and the oven to do the trick.

1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos ( I used soy aminos)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 1/2 lbs chicken drumsticks
Salt and pepper to taste

I took all the mixture ingredients and blended them until smooth. I took my drumsticks(placing them in a fridge safe container) and lightly salted and peppered each one. I poured the mixture over all of the drumsticks and let sit in the fridge for about an hour. When I take them out I lightly salt and pepper each drumstick again.

On medium high head with place the drumsticks on the cast iron skillet and brown on both sides, which will take about 6 or 7 minutes. I recommend the side with the most skin down first.Take your pan and place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees.

It was a great dish. With a cool cucumber salad to go with it, it was great!