Friday, December 23, 2011

Steak Soup

I often search the WWW for good recipesWWW and when I find a good one I often make it and then I modify it to my liking. But sometimes I just come up with a good recipe using my own pea brain and it comes out pretty darn good. That is the case with this recipe, I wanted a good steak soup Steak graphicrecipe with everything that I love about getting a good steak dinner at a nice steak house. So I created this steak soup. I did a little research on the web and found that most steak soup recipes used stew meat. I did not have time to let the stew meat marinade nor did I want to cook it in the crockpot all day. So I used a good New York Steak. I cut it up into cubes and then dredged it in seasoned flour and my own steak rub (My steak rub is 1 tablespoons thyme, 1 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 tablespoons parsley flakes 1/4 tablespoon paprika, 1/4 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 tablespoon salt, grind all together in a coffee grinder). Then I seared it all together in two tablespoons of oil in a hot skillet until they were nicely browned on the outside then added them to the pot.Image 1. Image 2Image 3Image 4

Image 10Image 7large potImage 5Then I diced 1 half of a large yellow onion and about 1 cup of mushrooms and sautéed those until the onions were soft. I put a pot on the stove and put in 1 can of beef broth and 1/2 can of water into it. Then I added some veggies; a half bag of California blend which is carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. To that I added 1 can of green beans, drained and a cup and a half of chopped frozen spinach and 2 cloves of garlic minced. Next I diced up a medium potato and added that to the pan. Then I added the meat inImage 8

and added about a tablespoon of my Steak rub. I let the whole thing cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes were fork tender.  The soup was so good! Hope you try it and tell me what you think.

Tim’s Steak Soup:
1 Can beef broth
1 New York Steak chopped Into cubes
Half bag California Blend vegetables (Carrots, Broccoli and Cauliflower)
1 1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach
I medium potato cubed
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
Tim’s Steak Rub (See recipe above)
1 Large clove garlic, minced
*Note, the broth was a bit green from the spinach so next time I am going to rinse and drain the spinach first.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas, not Xmas.

The other day I wrote about Internet abbreviations, I know they are sometimes needed when people are in a hurry but I dislike them really. I use them though, but there is one that I really don't like: using xmas or Xmas instead of Christmas. My friend Darin made a really good point about that one to me a few weeks ago. He said that it was like deleting Christ from the celebration, you know the 'X' being a abbreviation for delete. That is sounded awful so for me I will always use Christmas. Just say'n.

OK so my other friend, Mike, sent the following definition from the Wiki:
"Xmas" is a common abbreviation of the word "Christmas". It is sometimes pronounced/ˈɛksməs/, but it, and variants such as "Xtemass", originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation /ˈkrɪsməs/. The "-mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for "Mass",[1] while the "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as "Christ".[2]

There is a common misconception that the word Xmas is a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas[3] by taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas".
So I stand in correction and humility. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Internet slang and Christmas

Abbreviations: There are a lot of them used today in texting or social media and in chat rooms accross the internet, why is it that people seem to want to always take shortcuts? I am guilty of this myself but I always try to keep from using them as much as possible because I like to keep in practice with my typing. I am a 6 finger typist, three fingers per hand and most of the time I have to look at the keyboard when I type. I can type about 35 wpm this way and I know that if I learned to type in the proper fashion I could be much faster... OK enough of the ranting, let's get on to the fun of this post.
What do these abbreviations all mean? Well here is a small list of them thanks to Wikipedia:
First let's look at the definition according to Wiki:
Internet slang (Internet short-hand, netspeak or chatspeak) is a type of slang that Internet users have popularized, and in many cases, have coined. Such terms often originate with the purpose of saving keystrokes. Many people use the same abbreviations in texting and instant messaging, and social networking websites.
OK so what are some of them and what do they all mean? Here is my short list:
LOL = Laughing Out Loud or Laugh Out Loud
BRB = Be Right Back
TTYL = Talk To You Later
TTYLG = Talk To You Later Gator
WTG = Way To Go
GDWYBS = Get Down With Your Bad Self
AKA = Also Known As
L8ER = Later
L@U = Laughing At You
ROFLOL = Rolling On Floor Laughing Out Loud

There are of course many, many others but there is one that seems to have been forgotten, it is WWJD and it means 'What Would Jesus Do'? Well I will tell you what He did do. He came down out of heaven, leaving glory and prominence to be born as a human child, live a short 33 year life and then suffer for our sins and die for us, then be raised up in Glory and sit at the right hand of God. Just remember what Christ-mas is all about and that taking keyboard shortcuts is OK. But hey Christ did not take any shortcuts... :) Have a great Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Home made Spanakopita

Today I made Spanakopita which are little Greek appetizers, if you have never heard of them before check out this link:

To make them I drained 1 pound of frozen spinach and squeezed out as much of the water as I could. Then I chopped 1 bunch of green onions, and sauted those in 1 tablespoon olive oil.

To the spinach I added salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, 1 large pinch garlic powder and 1 pinch of nutmeg. When the onions were soft I added the spinach and cooked for about 3 minutes. Then set the spinach aside to cool.

Next I whisked two eggs and measured out 16 oz. of Feta Cheese. After the spinach cooled I added the feta and just enough of the eggs to moisten the mixture.

Then came the fun part; I have never worked with phyllo dough before and was a bit apprehensive. When working with frozen phyllo you have to let it defrost in the refrigerator the day before, then when you unroll the phyllo out it has to have a damp towel kept on top of it or it dries out and gets brittle. Well I did all that and had no problems, it is not as hard to work with as I first thought.

I cut the sheet into 3 by 11 inch strips, then working carefully I laid out one strip at a time and brushed with melted butter. Then put in about 1/2 teaspoon of the spinach filling and folded up each one like a flag (Or for those of you who remember playing table top football with the piece of paper folded into a triangle you will know what I am talking about) put the filling 1 inch from the end and fold over then keep folding until you have a nice looking triangle, simple.

Then they bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Here is the recipe that I followed with my modifications:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds spinach, (or 1 package frozen) washed and drained
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1Tablespoon dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large pinch garlic powder
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 to 2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ box phyllo pastry sheets
Drain 1 package frozen spinach, set aside. Add olive oil to a large skillet, add scallions and sauté until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the scallions, along with the parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder and nutmeg. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, and then remove from heat to cool. (This part can be done ahead and kept refrigerated).
Stir the feta and as much beaten egg to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
Unroll the phyllo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn't dry out and become brittle. Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and re-cover with the towel. Use a pastry brush to brush a strip of phyllo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, and then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.
Brush the triangles lightly with butter, and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)
Variation: Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, and spread 6 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter, on the bottom. Spoon the spinach filling over the phyllo, then cover with 6 more sheets of phyllo, buttering each sheet. Score the top 3 sheets with a sharp knife. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden, let stand 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve warm.
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It is neat how food is so comforting, but I have learned that the Holy Spirit is way more comforting than food but I sure am having fun cooking!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christ-mas greetings and Lemon Tea Bread

December is in full swing and the Christ-mas season has come again, it is wonderful to read all the blogs about what people are cooking and the treats they are making for the season. I can’t wait to try some of them myself esp. A recipe I got from my friend Yoshiko, she, her husband and I go to church together and they host a bible study at their house. She made this wonderful Lemon Tea Bread from a cookbook called
‘Quick Breads’ well it was really good the way she made it and I think I am going to give it a whirl for Christ-mas eve. I love lemon anything! When I make it I will post the recipe with pictures.

But what I really want to get off my chest is these Christ-mas greetings that are going around, people wanting to be ‘politically correct’ and say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” instead of Merry Christ-mas. It is after all, Christ’s birth that we are celebrating. To be honest it is really not His birth that we are really celebrating but the fact that He (Who is after all God (John 1:1)) came down to live as a human, to go through the things that we all go through so that He could comfort us when we are going through them and to teach us about this Agape love that we should have for Him and for our fellow man (Neighbors). To be endure temptation, again so He can comfort us when we are tempted and ultimately pay the price for all of us by dying on the cross and then raising back to life 3 days later. Ah but that is another Holy day.

So, where do you stand In the ‘Happy Holidays’ camp or in the ‘Merry Christ-mas’ one? I for one am and always will be a Merry Christ-mas guy.

Photo of Lemon Tea Bread courtesy of