Category: Real Food

Bacon, Brie, and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Bacon, Brie, and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

This twice baked potato recipe happened because of leftover Super Bowl ingredients, kind of like my Creamy Avocado Dressing, and I couldn’t be happier.  They are amazing!  The brie flavor isn’t overpowering, so even the couple of people in my family who don’t care for […]

Avocado Dressing

Avocado Dressing

Do you ever throw something together and then get really excited because it turns out amazing?  That’ s how I felt last night when I tossed these ingredients into the Vitamix blender and ended up with my new, favorite, creamy, and healthy Avocado Dressing! Push the “Jump […]

Surf and Turf – A Romantic Dinner at Home on a Budget- In time for Valentine’s Day

Surf and Turf – A Romantic Dinner at Home on a Budget- In time for Valentine’s Day

This surf and turf is simple, yet absolutely mouthwatering.  The few ingredients compliment it wonderfully, rather than competing with it.  It only takes a half hour to make, at most, but is an impressive plate that really says “I love you.” If you are looking for something to make your special someone, or for something you can make together, this is a fun, easy, and rewarding meal fit for a king.

If you’re intimidated by the grill, don’t own a Traeger (you should fix that), or otherwise don’t want to grill these…All of these steps can be done in a pan.

My favorite romantic meal

This recipe is actually my husband’s, and I am the lucky lady who gets it made for me on special occasions.  With Valentine’s day around the corner, and with it being my birthday today, it’s the perfect time to get and share his recipe.  I loved the excuse to eat it again.  So delicious.

As always, you can use the “Jump to Recipe” button above to skip right to the printable recipe.

Preparing the Meat

Bringing the steak to room temperature ensures that they will be able to cook evenly.  This is important with steak, if you want to get it to a perfect level of doneness, such as medium rare (which is what I would absolutely recommend.)

Sprinkle each steak with a little salt and pepper, and then sprinkle a pinch of garlic powder over that.  Let them sit out for about 20 minutes before cooking.

raw new york steak
Look at these beautiful things! I could eat them already!

Preparing the Shrimp

The best way to do shrimp on the Traeger or grill is to put them on skewers.  That way they won’t fall in between the grates, and they are easy to flip from one side to the other.

You can use metal skewers or soaked wood skewers.  If you use metal, don’t forget they will be hot.  That should be common sense, but I was lacking it one day and grabbed the hot metal skewers.  Hard to enjoy your food while you’re crying, so be careful.

1 lb of shrimp should be about 4 skewers, so 2 each.  My picture has more because we had to feed the kids too.  We have often pushed our own romantic dinner back until after bedtime, by just snacking while we fed them, but we ate nice and early today so I could get good pictures of our food for you.

raw shrimp on skewers

Steak first, then Shrimp

It’s important for the steak to rest before you cut into it.  This makes it perfect to pull it from the grill first, and then put the shrimp on.  The steak should rest about 5 minutes, and the shrimp is going to take 6, so it’s a perfect couple.

You’re going to brush that garlic and dill butter all over the shrimp, and then brush it again in a few minutes when you flip it.  Just paint it right on.

brush shrimp with melted garlic butter and dill

Pull them off very carefully when they’re finished.

cooked shrimp in butter
Glorious shrimp!


Surf and Turf
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This Surf and Turf is done with minimal ingredients, that work just perfectly to bring out the natural deliciousness of the steak and shrimp.  

Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 998 kcal
Author: Blake Seward
  • 2 New York Steaks
  • 1 lb Shrimp (41/50) peeled, deveined, with tail removed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 cube butter
  • 6 cloves garlic fine chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
  1. Sprinkle each piece of meat with salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder, and allow to sit out to get to room temperature

    raw new york steak
  2. Heat Traeger to high (recommended), or heat grill to high heat.

  3. Slide shrimp onto the skewers (picture shows a larger batch)

    raw shrimp on skewers
  4. Place steak on grill and cook:
    Traeger--6 minutes per side for medium rare

    Grill--5 minutes one side, and 3-5 on the other side for medium rare.

  5. Melt butter and garlic in a bowl for the shrimp, and add fresh dill.

  6. Remove steaks before they reach your desired level of doneness (they will continue to cook). Wrap them in aluminum foil and let rest.

  7. Place shrimp skewers on the grill and brush with half of the garlic, butter, dill mixture

    brush shrimp with melted garlic butter and dill
  8. Cook shrimp (on direct heat if on grill) for 3 minutes per side, re-basting it with more garlic butter when upon turning.

  9. Remove from grill or Traeger carefully (metal skewers will be hot).

  10. Plate and serve (I recommend a fresh salad and some mashed potatoes).

    plated surf and turf
Nutrition Facts
Surf and Turf
Amount Per Serving
Calories 998 Calories from Fat 477
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 82%
Saturated Fat 21g 105%
Cholesterol 763mg 254%
Sodium 1951mg 81%
Potassium 1268mg 36%
Total Carbohydrates 3g 1%
Protein 117g 234%
Vitamin C 14.7%
Calcium 36.6%
Iron 65.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Creamy Dill Chicken Salad with Grapes and Bacon

Creamy Dill Chicken Salad with Grapes and Bacon

  Every now and then we crave a creamy chicken salad around here, and every time I try to make it better.  I just can’t help it. This recipe is the best yet; it is creamy and has the perfect set of flavors….but I already […]

Best Shredded Pork for Tacos

Best Shredded Pork for Tacos

Enough for a crowd, or to freeze some for later When I try to do a Taco Tuesday, we end up with a taco week, as I’m sure you can imagine when you see this recipe!  If you’re not cooking for a crowd, you can […]

Homemade Mayonnaise, real food ingredients- It’s white!

Homemade Mayonnaise, real food ingredients- It’s white!

I am so surprised at how white this mayo is!  Normally homemade mayonnaise is more yellow in color, and I thought this recipe was going to turn out even darker because I used apple cider and red wine vinegar instead of the white wine vinegar that normally gets used, and I also substituted raw honey for the sugar.  The ingredients were darker, but the mayo is white, and I’m stumped.

I should probably add that it is delicious.  Way better than store bought mayonnaise, and totally worth the 10-15 minutes it took to make it.

I was planning to explain how the yellow color is real and good, and the store-bought stuff being white is concerning, but….shhh.  Lets pretend that getting it white was one of the goals! I promise that this mayo was made with all the ingredients I list, and that I didn’t just scoop store bought stuff into a jar!  In fact, this recipe was important to me because I had another allergic reaction to soy tonight…and they keep getting worse every time.  I’m planning chicken salad sandwiches soon, and I am trying to eat real food, and I have to stay away from soy….so I gave homemade mayo another shot.

When I say I gave homemade mayo “another shot”, I mean since the time in 2014 that it ended up all over me and my ceiling. I didn’t think it was worth it then; especially since it “broke” and I had to Google how to fix it; and then when I finally got it emulsified, I removed the lid and looked right in it with the blender still on, like a lunk-head, to try to stir it around a little…and that’s when it shot straight up into my face and all over my ceiling.

mayonnaise disaster

This time it was pretty clean.  I cleaned up my blender by blending some soap and water in it when I was done, and gave a little wipe around the base because my measuring cup wasn’t the best tool for dripping oil with, and so that part got a little messy. Nothing on the ceiling though!

I really want to stress that using a blender is a lot different than using a hand mixer, or especially stirring by hand!  I don’t know about a hand-held emulsifier because I don’t have one yet.  Mayonnaise seems to be more forgiving in a blender than with a hand mixer.

Also, the part where I capitalize SLOWLY adding the oil? It’s important.  It’s not because I want to make things look more difficult than they are.  If you get impatient and put the oil in too fast, it will “break.”  That basically means the oil and acids will separate again, and you will have a curdled mess, which can be fixed with some more egg yolk, or water if you’re making it into a dressing…but you don’t want to invest more time and get more ingredients out, right?  It seems like forever, but it’s really no more than 10 minutes after you get your ingredients out.

As far as how long you can keep this in your fridge, I keep seeing 1 week is the safe answer.  We will probably make it two weeks here at my house, because I think “they” are always being overly safe, but we’ll see.  So, you decide what you will choose for your family as far as that goes.

real food mayonnaise

Real Food Mayonnaise

January 24, 2018
: Makes about 2 Cups
: 15 min
: 10 min
: Intermediate

This mayonnaise actually turned out white, despite the fact that I used darker colored vinegar, and honey in place of sugar. I made it with healthy, real ingredients. The results may not be the same without a blender.


  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 egg yoke
  • 1 tsp freshly ground Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • Step 1 Place eggs, salt, mustard, honey, and lemon juice in blender and blend on medium speed (I’m using a Vitamix. Trying to do this without a blender may not give you the same results that I had.)
  • Step 2 Mix vinegar into separate dish (I used the jar I would store the mayo into).
  • Step 3 SLOWLY drip in 1/2 cup of oil, just a few drips at a time, while blender is still running.
  • Step 4 Add 1/2 of the vinegar mixture, while blending.
  • Step 5 Drip in another 1/2 cup of oil, while blending,pouring too fast will cause the mixture to “break.”
  • Step 6 Add remaining vinegar.
  • Step 7 Drip in the remaining oil, still while blending, stirring as needed to combine ingredients.
  • Step 8 Let it sit out for a couple hours so that the acids can kill the bacteria in the eggs, making it safer to eat.
  • Step 9 Seal in a jar, refrigerate it, and keep for 1 week (but I’m doing 2 weeks).
Beef Stew- A flexible recipe

Beef Stew- A flexible recipe

I am trying to stick to real food (for at least 6 days a week), stay on a budget, and reduce the food we waste around here.  This stew is really good for this.  It’s very flexible; You can substitute for whatever you have on […]