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Becoming a Supporting Member 
Feb. 6, 2012 10:54 am 
Updated: Feb. 11, 2012 3:58 pm
I've been a member since August 2009, but today I took the plunge and decided to support since it's become so invaluable to me!  Updating my info and finding a photo .... while I'd rather be doing a hundred other things ... seemed like a good place to start this day.  

Watching the SuperBowl last night with my daughter Tori (and baby Maddie) was enjoyable, and I don't like football!  My husband had gone to bed with a sick headache and to listen to the game because he's eyes were hurting.  Too bad he missed such a good game.  Even worse, he missed a wonderful dinner.

We marinated inch thick rib eye steaks in my version of Rafferty's Restaurant & Bar marinade.  We use this marinade for beef, pork, and chicken so I mixed up a huge recipe last year and stored it in a Jack Daniel's bourbon bottle in the refrigerator where it only gets better!  If you want to make this recipe, here're the basic ingredients:  mix together one small can (6 oz.) Dole pineapple juice with 6 oz. teriyaki sauce.  Add one tsp. ground ginger and two cloves of garlic, crushed.  That's it!  When you're ready to marinate, just put the meat in a Ziploc bag and pour in enough marinade to coat the meat.  I like to marinate overnight or up to 24 hours.  Four steaks or chops fit nicely in a gallon bag.  I add about 2/3 c. marinade and find a shelf in the refrigerator where I can lay the bag flat with all the meat touching the bottom of the bag.  I turn the bag over several times to during the marinating period to season each side.  The enzyme in the pineapple juice acts as a tenderizer so it's great for cheaper cuts of meat!  Before grilling the chops/steaks, etc. drain and discard the marinade.  

The real surprise at dinner was the potatoes.  Generally I bake Idahos and Sweet potatoes.  To fancy up an Idaho, sometimes I'll slice the raw potato in half, prick the interior surface with a sharp knife or fork in several areas and then add a thick slice of onion and a few strips of bell pepper.  Put the two halves back together and wrap in foil to bake as normal.  The veggies give the potato a lovely flavor.  Salt, pepper, butter, and sour cream are the favorite toppings.  I love the skin!  However, yesterday just seemed like a good time to try something new.  I've made twice baked potatoes several times, but I wondered if there was a twice baked sweet potato recipe anywhere on the net.  It didn't take long to find a slew of them, almost all by Paula Deen (is anyone surprised?).  I read all the ingredients in all the recipes and decided I could combine some of the ideas, plus pare down the recipes for just two sweet potatoes.  After baking the sweet potatoes until they were very soft, I let them cool, and then sliced in half and scooped out the potato to a bowl.  The skins were left intact.  I added two ounces of cream cheese (one ounce per potato), a heaping tbsp. of brown sugar, and a rounded fourth tsp. cinnamon.  With the hand held electric mixer I whipped up the concoction until it was light and fluffy.  The skins were placed on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  I sprinkled each skin with a handful of miniature marshmallows and then topped with equally divided spuds being sure to cover the marshmallows.  Then I topped with chopped pecans (but I won't do this again because the nuts were beginning to burn before the potatoes were heated through).  Bake at 350 deg. F for 30 min.  I'll put the nuts on the last ten min. of baking next time, and there will be a next time!

Who had room for salad?!  Only Tori.  
We love tossed salad with every ingredient imaginable.  I made the salad right after breakfast to get it out of the way.  I don't like to be rushed when making a salad.  Since we hardly made a dent into it last night, I think we'll be eating steak salad tonight and grilled chicken salad tomorrow night!  Yum!  It's like spring here in Georgia anyway.  Why not eat that way too?  ;-p   

Yes, I can and I did!  I just used my regular recipe from the Oregon Pitted Red Tart Cherries label (reverse side) but made a simple change.  Since I had so many Dark Sweet Cherries, I added two cans (drained) to one can Red Tart and made the initial sauce with the one can of Red Tart juice.  The pie pan was a bit deeper than my regular pan so the extra cherries seemed like a good choice.  This is Ivan's favorite pie.  I hope the alteration to the recipe doesn't present a problem for him.  Personally, I love the color difference in the cherries.  Since we like this pie on the tart side, I never use more than 1/2 scant cup sugar and never forget the 1/4 tsp. almond extract!  Guess I'll have a piece for lunch.  ;-)

Feb. 11, 2012 3:58 pm
Yes, this is a great resoucre! Member since 2006 and I too just became a supporting member! Love the ingredient search! It's great to win in the area of cooking! Keep it up!
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