Postings.

I never write in this thing. I just got home from a birthday party for one of my friends (and being home for the first time since Thursday) and I’m warm and in my own bed and I’m thinking. Thinking. All I can think about is how I don’t write in this thing. There are so many things in my head tonight that I want to talk about and I want to discuss! I’ll have to make a list and make sure I keep up with this because I really love the idea of blogging. Reading so many different ones and seeing the fun that bloggers have when they meet each other (and experiencing it somewhat at a birthday party for Healthy Ashley) was so much fun!

Another reason I feel the urging to post is because one of my favorite public speakers (who I mentioned slightly in my very first post) is having health problems and it is very upsetting to me. I won’t name who it is because they are controversial but they teach me a lot about life and how to live it and they inspire me constantly. I made a promise to myself that I would actively pray for them daily and, in complete honesty, I have yet to do so. I still need to find my faith. I have a door to it via my favorite college professor and I haven’t walked through it yet and I still can’t figure out why, maybe because I’m scared to do it alone. However, I am blessed enough to have a wonderful friend named Dante who said he’d accompany me to church and help me find what I am looking for so I’ll have to take him up on it. I particularly want to go to the church that my History professor, the professor I just mentioned, is a pastor at. Though I haven’t brought that up to Dante yet, perhaps I will.

Coming around to what I was getting at, my favorite public speaker always says to write everything down. As a lover of history, I really believe in it. This is one of the reasons that they (the speaker) says it is so effective. Our forefathers did it and we have learned so much about them through their writing and their words, and I think it’s so important to this day. So I plan to write more, in honor of one of my favorite people in the world and in honor of myself.

I’ve been busy with homework and trying to be social. Rekindling relationships with best friends that I strayed from, mainly because they lived on the opposite side of town and it would take me an hour of driving to see them. It has been so much fun! However, Β I do miss home. I don’t know if that makes me immature or not, loving to be home with my parents and in a house that I love. Maybe I just am ready to start a family. Who knows. I just know that I love being home and I really miss it. I also can’t take my darling cat TJ with me when I stay over which breaks my heart.

I’m still focused on school but not nearly enough. I need to keep at it. I’ve managed to keep an A in each of my classes so far, I hope I can keep it up. Things are starting to pick up the pace even faster and time is going by so fast. I have another school I attend online for job training, in medical coding, and I need to finish it by February. I really hope that I do so I didn’t waste a bunch of money. That and it will be really helpful in future training for databases and library systems.

I’m unhappy with quite a few of my life choices and I need to fix them. Some of them being my absolute gluttony and laziness as of late, I’m really frustrated. That and I’ve been spending money like a fiend and need to stop, it’s making me unhappy. I don’t like being wasteful and I definitely have been so I need to rectify it. The easiest way for me to do it is to stay at home and enjoy what I have here. I have more than enough things that I need.

I’ll elaborate more on these things for sure as I keep posting and updating about my life. I need to get back to my cooking soul when I’ve got the time and my training of being a southern belle. Boy, do I love the south. It’s an overwhelming love that I have felt so much lately driving around in gorgeous Florida weather.

Darlings, it is time for me to go to bed. Now that I have posted and gotten these thoughts out I am ready to relax and sleep. I look forward to this again πŸ™‚

Restaurant Steak

Hello, beauties! πŸ™‚ I have spent my day redoing so many things on my computer because I had to format on a whim the other night. Thank you, pop up ads! But everything is fine and I didn’t lose anything (that I know of…)

So after the chocolate pants cake fiasco the other day, I haven’t tried baking anything. I have been cooking delicious meats! Since my Mama is out of town I’m in charge of feeding the Papa bear so I’ve had a bit of leeway with cooking this week. I don’t mind cooking for myΒ Mom at all, but it is easier to cook for 2 thanΒ 3. You don’t have to double recipes and other things.

Β I have a brine for porkchops that is seriously to die for, I’ll make a post on that soon. This post is about steak πŸ™‚

Last year, Adam of The Amateur Gourmet posted a link about making the perfect steak. I’ve been dying to try it and finally gave it a whirl tonight.

Two things to start off with:

  • I did not use a New York strip steak, those are astronomically priced so I just cut up a sirloin we were going to use.
  • I would probably triple the amount of seasoning I put on as I didn’t get a “crust” on my steak like I was supposed to.

Get your steaks out, your seasonings ready (salt and pepper), a cast iron pan (or any pan but get it very very hot, but preferably cast iron or stainless steel), and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Also take out 2-3 tablespoons of butter per steak and 2-3 cloves of garlic per steak. You will also want a few sprigs of fresh thyme, however, I had none!

Once your steak is cut up (or if you bought it pre-cut), time to season!

According to the video, you’re supposed to use pepper that is not finely ground and then top it with salt. This keeps the pepper from burning.

As you can see, I went really light on the spices. Should have been a bit heavier. Primarily cover the large sides and any that has spilled around the steak, roll the sides of the steak in.

Now here is one of my biggest tips I have learned so far in my short jaunt into cooking: cast iron rules. So get yourself one ASAP! I use my pan for so many things, it works so well. Lodge is my favorite since it’s made in good ol’ Tennessee and has been for over 100 years.

Now, Make sure your pan is scorching hot*. You want the crust to happen so everything needs to carmelize and create that very quickly.

*A friend of mine just tried this and says I advise it should not be scorching hot. So make it very hot! I don’t want you burning your house down. πŸ™‚

After your pan is hot enough, add some oil (I used olive and I think I put a bit too much.)

Once your steak has sizzled for a few minutes, check it to make sure the crust is forming. Since mine didn’t really form one because of not enough seasoning + too much oil, I jus waited til my fat started to turn golden brown, then flipped.

This looks more like pork than steak! Woops πŸ˜‰

Β 

While the other side is sizzlin’ make sure you tip your pan and use a spoon to ladle and baste some oil to the top of your steak since it’s about to go into the oven.

Remove from the heat and place your butter, garlic, and thyme into the pan. I felt like there was too much oil so I drained some of it before I put the pan into the oven.

Β 

Also, I love butter. So…I used 3 T for each steak πŸ˜‰ mmmm. Cholestorol!

Check until the meat feels a little firm if you want a medium rare steak. It took me 6-8 minutes to get mine perfect.

Shiny steak is delicious steak πŸ™‚

Not usually. I have never thought that before but hey…I’m sellin ya on this!

Β 

The steak, despite my failure at making a crust, tasted freaking awesome. If I had made a crust and had the thyme in there, it would have been freaking fabulous. I really cannot wait to try it again now that I know what I did wrong.

One of my main problems is that I’m really worried I’m going to over season something. It gets scary sometimes! I don’t want to add too much salt! But on the other hand…I could care less about adding too much butter πŸ˜‰

I really wanted to have time to make another recipe post, Jenna over at Eat, Live, Run just posted a cookie recipe that has 14 tablespoons of butter in it and I swear to God I swooned when I read it. I’m also remaking her chicken and biscuits recipe soon for my Mama once she is back in town. So there’s two things to look forward to! πŸ™‚

As for this weekend, I have 2 VIP Lady Gaga tickets to use! One of my best friends surprised me with them and I had to throw together an impromptu trip to Las Vegas at the end of last week. Two of my best friends here were able to make it work to come with, and it works out because Alex is the biggest Lady Gaga fan I know! πŸ™‚ Huge post on that when I get back (or possibly while I’m there?), and a huge post on the buffets πŸ˜‰

Chocolate Pants Cake

Intrigued by the title? I sure hope so!

So remember a few posts ago (I tried to find it to link it but alas…I cannot! I type too many words per entry.) I told y’all I would be documenting my cooking triumphs and failures?

Well, I have another failure for you! πŸ˜‰ It seems like I post those more than I post triumphs! However, I think it’s more fun this way. I’m still learning! I know a lot of others out there in blogger/internet world are, too. I also know that I get frustrated and scream to the heavens (in my head) that these people who wrote the recipes never had to deal with these failures!!! Why me!?!?

Which of course we all know is false. Still. I wonder it.

Onward we shall go with my tale of chocolate pants cake.

The other night I was in my amazing google reader and I saw that Smitten Kitchen had updated. Now, I love that blog. It drives me to go bake things all of the time because her pictures are beyond amazing and she is so fun. So, she posted a wonderful chocolate cake recipe and I was amazed that I had the book she had gotten the recipe from! Hooray, so exciting!! So I vowed to make it the next day.

Her directions are very simple and require a very small amount of dishes so I was even more pumped up. That’s my least favorite thing about baking.

So here I am, mixing my ingredients, looking smug about how great the batter tastes and how it’ll be done before it’s too late in the evening.

Also smug about the batter I got on my counter.

I popped it into the oven and was ready to kick back for an hour when I realized….I forgot to add baking soda.

Well, poop.

Quickly, I whined to my Papa who told me to toss it and start over otherwise I’d just be more upset.

Onto cake numero 2!

Added everything!

Kicked back.

Chilled.

Wondered to myself “I wonder why the middle isn’t rising? Oh well. It will, it’s only been in for 30 minutes.”

Wondered again “There’s only 15 minutes left and it’s still not rising.”

Papa says “Your cake fell.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I cried. (In my head)

And this was the result.

😦

Sinkhole Cake

How upsetting!

I thought maybe I could get away with frosting it and covering the hole.

My cat judged me.

To the icing!!

See?! You can’t even tell. Kind of. Just that it bends a bit with the plate. Hrrm.

The foundation is crumbling!

Now, just because a cake doesn’t rise doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good! This cake honestly tastes like rich brownies and I’d recommend baking it. However, mine cooked a little too long because my oven runs very hot. So keep a check on it after about 40 minutes.

And if your cake falls and you cover it in icing then eat a piece? Be prepared for a plateful of chocolate cake pants. πŸ˜‰