Friday, February 26, 2010

iPhone Photography

For Christmas, my whole family switched over to AT&T and I got an iPhone! Super exciting! Especially since before that I had a really old Blackberry. So now I have a camera with me at all times. I just thought I'd share a few pictures that I've taken. I'm surprised how well they turned out too! So here's a few different Louisiana Skies...


Outside my church one evening after a day of snow...

An angry sky on Christmas Eve...

Beautiful sunset...

Sunrise outside my house one morning...


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Beef Jerky

When I was younger, my dad used to make homemade beef jerky. And I LOVED it. Recently I've been bugging him to make it again. Like, nagging him all the time. Well last week, the grocery store paper came in the mail. We were glancing through it and he pointed at some steaks and said they were good for making beef jerky. (The key is to wait until the meat goes on sale.) So Tuesday, I went and got some. I got a little father-daughter bonding time as my dad shared his trick of the trade with me. It's his own little recipe he made up years and years ago.

First off, you're going to need a dehydrator. We've had ours for years and years- and it still works!



Get a couple of pounds of a good, thin steak... whatever is on sale- I used Top Round Steak (it was $1.97 a pound and I got about 3.5 pounds). Make sure it can all fit in your dehydrator.






Toss the steaks in the freezer for a little bit to freeze a little if they're defrosted. It makes it easier to cut. Using a good, sharp knife, trim off as much of the fat as you can. A little won't hurt but it doesn't dehydrate well. Slice the steaks- WITH THE GRAIN (not against)- into thin slices (depending on how thin you like your beef jerky). See how thin it is? Some pieces were even thinner




In a bowl large enough to hold all the meat, mix equal parts of Worcestershire sauce and Soy sauce. Add a little spicy seasoning (I used Tony's Seasoning Salt- it's a Louisiana thing). I also added a little garlic powder and onion powder for kicks and giggles. My family calls me the seasoning queen because I LOVE adding flavors. Add whatever seasoning you'd like. Mix this all together and then add the meat. Let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure most of the meat is covered by the marinade. I had to add a little more of the sauces.






In the morning, layer the meats in your dehydrator. I was lucky and able to get it all in one round. You may have to cook it in 2 separate batches.

Mmmmm
... It looks and smells so good already!









Turn the dehydrator on and let it do it's magic for several hours. I started it around 7:30 in the morning and turned it off at 4:00 when I got home that afternoon. 8 and a half hours. Although, you may want to adjust the time depending on your dehydrator and how thick or thin you cut your meat. Mine turned out a little overdone, but still tastes really good. My brother ate almost an entire row by himself that afternoon. It doesn't look to pretty but it sure tastes DELICIOUS!!







Well I hope you enjoyed this recipe and remember to keep it not so homemade!



Monday, February 22, 2010

Burgundy Steak

I've never blogged before, but, well, there's a first time for everything. I'm in school right now so I don't know how often I will be able to keep this up, but I love cooking and arts. I may not be so good at it, but most people aren't Rachel Rays. So this one's for all those who do things "not so homemade."

For dinner tonight, I cooked this recipe I found in an old Simple and Delicious magazine. The original recipe can be found here. I didn't have all of the ingredients so I edited it a little bit (well quite a bit). I took a few pictures too, but I took them with my phone so they're not that great. Well, here goes nothing:


Burgundy Steak

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper each
  • 1 pound beef chuck steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed French onion soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup Port red wine
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups hot cooked egg noodles

Directions

  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.
  • In a large skillet, brown beef in oil.





















    [A rough image of the meat cooking.]






    [The sauce simmering- see the nice bubbles?]






  • Add soup and wines; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and sauce is thickened. Serve with noodles.



    Yield:
    4 servings.








    The final result... along w
    ith some frozen broccoli, microwaved with butter, and some reheated rolls from another meal. Hey, I did say this was not so homemade now didn't I?










Another close up- Yummy!

Overall taste: It was pretty good! I was a little thrown off by the sweetness of the red wine (that's why I added a little white wine) but once I got past that, I really enjoyed it. My dad said he really liked it too. The verdict is still out for my mom (aka Picky Eater #1) since she hasn't tried it yet. My 17 year old brother
(aka Picky Eater #2) wasn't home tonight to test it either.



Overall ease: It was really easy to make. I got a little annoyed because the steak wouldn't cook as fast as I wanted it to, but I also lack patience...


I enjoyed making this recipe and I really think I'm going to enjoy this blog. I hope you enjoy and remember to keep it not so homemade :)
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