American Day-Themed Parties: Tips For Cooking a Mouth-Watering Steak

It’s a trite, but often repeated saying: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So why, when a special occasion comes around, do we buy endless ties and “message” T shirts? Is the way to his heart through his clothes? Not likely. It’s the stomach, people, and that means good food. For many men and women alike good food comes in the form of a great steak.

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Photo Credit: Williams Sonoma via Pinterest

So what if you’re not a steak eater, or you eat it only in restaurants and the thought of purchasing a raw slab scares you to death? Fear not. It’s not that complicated, really. Even a caveman can handle this job. You can definitely throw a good old American themed party with good old steak and barbeque.

It’s important to know your cuts of meat before planning the menu. You don’t want to cook your guests a tasteless, tough piece of leather. You might not notice the difference, but let’s face it – they will. Since you’ll likely be grilling, it’s important to know the best cuts of meat for the grill.

You want to choose the most tender portions of meat for grilling. Experts generally consider these cuts of beef to be the best for grilling:

 – Rib Eye

 – T-Bone

 – Porterhouse

 – Strip steak (like New York steak)

If there is the word “loin” on the package, you’re in good shape, though most grill experts agree the T-bone is the most superior cut of beef for grilling. It stays tender and juicy, and is thick enough to withstand a fair amount of time on the grill without overcooking. Stay away from top round or anything with “round” or “chuck” in the name. These will not cook well on the grill. Flank steak and London broil can also be tough.

Next, it’s important to know how to choose a steak. Don’t just grab the first package that looks good to you. Look for some good marbling in the steak. Yes, this is another word for fat. But we’re not cooking for the dieter in the family on this special day, we’re trying to give dad a good steak, remember? Those little bits of fat scattered about the steak will essentially melt while the meat is cooking, giving the meat a rich and more tender flavor.

In that same vein, don’t trim the fat from your steak before cooking. It might be the diet book author in you coming out, but that thick layer of fat around your steak is what will give the steak a wonderful juicy quality and rich flavor. You can cook the steak, and then trim the fat, but cook the steak while it’s still dressed in its fat clothes. It’s worth it.

Do you need to buy a “name brand” steak? Experts say it’s not necessary, even though branded meat is a new commodity and becoming more widely available. Nor is it necessary to choose a steak from a butcher shop or from behind the glass window in the meat department at your local grocery store. Usually the pre-packaged steaks are the same you would get from behind the glass, and since the butcher is a dying breed, you could certainly go that route if you have a neighborhood butcher, but if not, a good quality grocery store will provide what you need.

Finally, it’s important to know your grades of steak.

 – Prime is the top grade, and it features the most marbling and is the most tender, but most of us don’t have access to this grade in mainstream grocery stores. This is often what you get in a restaurant.

 – Choice is the best grade most of us can get in the grocery store. But choice does not guarantee high quality as this grade encompasses meat that can be almost as good as prime, or almost as bad as select, our next grade.

 – Select beef is the leanest and least expensive beef and is the grade of beef most commonly found in your grocery store meat case. Since this is Father’s Day, try to find choice and splurge a little.

If you are unsure about your ability to pick up a good steak locally, consider ordering online and having fresh, high-quality steaks delivered to your door.

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How to Host the Best 4th of July Barbeque Party

The 4th of July is one of the special holidays where we get to spend free time with the family or relatives at home or by having a party. One of the best things to do during this time is to plan a BBQ party with a small group of friends. Nothing beats the fun that comes with being able to bond over good food, great conversation together with the people you enjoy spending time with.

Here are some great tips you can follow and adapt to make this year’s 4th of July Party even more fun and entertaining as you host it together with friends and your family.

Food preparation

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Photo Credit: Cooking Classy via Pinterest

Keep it simple. Good old barbeque do not need to be complicated to make it sumptuous and memorable. Prepare different kinds of meat so that kids and adults alike will have something to enjoy during the BBW party. You could stick with the staple ones like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and ribs. Do not forget to prepare side dishes as well kike potato or macaroni salad or pasta. Corn on cobs are also a must have during such events. Do not forget condiments and have a chocolate dessert available to tone down the BBQ flavor afterwards. Have plenty of beverages available as well for everyone to enjoy.

Designate

If it would be too costly for you to prepare for all the food and beverages, you can ask your guests to bring something to add in for the occasion. They can bring side dishes, dessert, a few chips and dips and the like. For large groups, you can even ask them to bring their own meat and you’ll be in charge of the rest of the items needed for the party. A common practice during 4th of July BBQ parties is bringing their own drinks.

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Decorations

Decorations for this kind of occasions are not necessary but it wouldn’t hurt as well. You can adorn your backyard with red, white and blue streamers or a few balloons. A few decorating pieces just enough to add color to your venue will add the festive mood in your backyard. It would be best to have paper plates, napkins and disposable glasses during the party so that you won’t have to worry about the dishes afterwards.

Entertainment

Entertainment including music and games would definitely add up fun during the party. A karaoke machine is a fun idea as well as long as your neighbors wouldn’t be disturbed with all the singing you will be having. Whatever type of entertainment you plan to have, be sure to inform your guests so that they would come in prepared or dress accordingly in case you’ll be having a pool in the venue or if it will be a social event.

The venue

Fourth of July parties can be simple held on your backyard if you have enough space. However, to some who takes this kind of celebration to the extreme, having a party on a special venue might be necessary especially if you plan to have a lot of guest. Decide on where to celebrate the event and book as early as possible. Be sure to call ahead to reserve chairs and tables as well as other items that you would need for the event.

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Photo Credit: B-Inspired Mama via Pinterest

Celebrating and commemorating independence can be fun, educational or simple, it is all up to you and the people you would want to celebrate with.