Thursday, February 17, 2011

Elways in Denver

So being from Missouri and a fan of the Chiefs it was really, really hard for me to consider going to Elway's Restaurant - in Denver, but it came highly rated and they are known for their steaks so I thought I could overcome by Broncos hatred and dislike for John Elway to check out. In the ground level of the Ritz in downtown Denver is a great lively location that serves local fare - Colorado lamb that Amber enjoyed and even a sushi bar that Susan and I sampled as our appetizer. But the steaks were wonderful and the hit of the night. They were juicy, corn-fed and seasoned just right. Consequently we visited the All American Seasoning company that day and they are the ones who make the special spice blend for the Elway steaks, and we just so happened to to get a container to take home with us...seasoning that is not the steaks. So next time your in Denver and looking for a special place for a great steak, check out Elways.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Velvet Nort Surprise Cupcakes

So much to say but not a lot of time so I'll expand next time...I just 'sampled' one of these cupcakes and they were marvelous if I do say so myself. There are so many ways you could make these cupcakes so use your imagination, but this is a wonderfully rich cupcake with a great little surprise in the middle with the use of chocolate candies. These are super easy, but look very fancy. With Valentine's Day being tomorrow I used little pink and white heart sprinkles to decorate the tops. Red Velvet Nort Surprise Cupcakes 1 box red velvet cake mix (egg, water and oil) 3/4 cup nort or port wine 18-24 Chocolate candies or chips 1 can cream cheese frosting decorative topping (optional) Make cake as instructed on the box, but replace 3/4 cup of the water with your favorite sweet port or nort in my case, I used some Jowler Creek Nort (If you don't know who Jowler Creek is, visit their website:, they are friends with a vineyard and winery north of Platte City, MO). Prep your cupcake tins as you desire using either paper liners or Pam for Baking spray and put a 1/4 cup of batter in the bottom of each cup. Place a piece of chocolate candy (I used Dove Dark Chocolates, Milk Chocolate squares, and bittersweet chocolate discs) in the middle of the cup and top with remaining batter and bake per instructions. Let cool and top with cream cheese frosting and decorate to your liking.
The label for the Jowler Creek Nort that I used in the cupcakes! Chocolate candies floating in Red Velvet batter goodness, notice the extreme color of the batter, the Nort really helps accent the color!

What a pretty cupcake!

Look at the chocolate candy goodness, this is an example of a Dove Dark Chocolate, the cupcakes had cooled for 2 hours and it is still gooey and completely yummy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Greek Sliders with Yogurt Mayo

It is I [heart] beef month once again, and I think in honor of this great month I am going to provide as many great beefy recipes as I can to encourage and remind everyone that beef is not just for special occasions and can be made easily any night of the week (even those nights where your time is limited). The recipe today is a fairly healthy option for a Superbowl Party Slider...Greek Sliders with Yogurt Mayo. Now a lot of Greek food is lamb based. I don't particularly care for lamb and plus it is I [heart] beef month, not lamb month so we are making these with good ol' American corn-fed ground beef. These burgers not only contain veggies and Greek yogurt, but you can get lean ground beef or sirloin and whole wheat low-fat pitas and get by pretty light. The mayo is pretty tangy so if you aren't a fan of yogurt and lemon juice you could easily add traditional mayo or other burger condiments to this dish, but with the dryness of the pita pockets you will need some moisture for the burger. This recipe will make 10-12 mini sliders depending on the size you make them so you can range up or down depending on the size of your party. Greek Sliders with Yogurt Mayo 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek Yogurt 1 lemon or 2 TBS lemon juice 1 pound ground beef 1 medium sized cucumber - I prefer seedless and peeled for this, but either would work salt and pepper to taste 5-6 whole wheat low fat mini pita pockets Prepare the yogurt mayo first. There really isn't a mayo component to it, but people get freaked out by yogurt sauce or spread for burgers so go with me on this one. Place 1 cup plain Greek yogurt in a small bowl, if your yogurt is really soupy then you can drain it over a paper towel lined strainer for 10 minutes or so. Grate a 1/2 cup cucumber into the bowl and squeeze one half lemon into the bowl, combine and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Now for the sliders, put ground beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste, if you are an egg in your burger person then add your egg now, if you are not then forget I said egg. Using a grater, and being careful not to grate your fingers (this is not a Greek slider with essence of (insert your name) burger) and grate half the cucumber onto a paper towel. Squeeze or blot some of the excess moisture out of the cucumber and place in the hamburger meat. Combine with your hands and make into small patties. Cook burgers in a skillet on the stove, broil pan in the oven or on a grill (if you are not with 3 feet of piled up snow in KC or if you are have dug out a path to your grill before you dug out your car like any good KC resident would do, priorities people!), the cucumber will soften and meld into the patties as you cook them. While your patties are cooking, slice your pita pockets into halves or quarters depending on the size of your sliders. Once your sliders are cooked to your preference let them rest on a plate or serving platter for 2-3 minutes to allow the juices to settle into the burgers. Serve sliders inside a pita pocket with a dollop of yogurt mayo on top of the burger. Higher fat option: Add 1/2 cup feta cheese to the Yogurt Mayo for a little creamy kick.