A Delicious Dinner Party

cooked this blog idea up during a recent photo shoot for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s Nesting Garden tableware and scrumptious steaks that are sold online.

For this photo shoot, we set the scene for the ultimate backyard dinner party. Our photographer is also a fantastic cook, so she prepared everything for the shoot…except the steak. Imagine my surprise when I was asked to grill the steaks, FOR A PHOTO SHOOT. No pressure there!

I should tell you, although I love food that’s been prepared on a grill, I had never grilled anything before in my life. All of my “grilling” had been done in or on a stove, since I’ve never personally owned a grill and no one had ever thought to ask me to grill anything, until this photo shoot. But I digress.

Thankfully, these steaks come with a container of savory seasoning. My co-worker and I massaged the seasoning into the Ribeye and Strip steaks, then let them rest while the grill warmed up.

Once everything was ready, I grabbed several random utensils, placed the steaks on the grill and transformed into a grill chef! I don’t know what came over me but, next thing I knew, I was taking the steaks off the grill and they looked GOOOOOD!

We sliced the steaks up and it was a job well-done, which is sometimes rare. Get it?! I can say that, since I’m a grill chef now.

Steak Display

It was time to bring out the rest of the food and get everyone around the table for the photo shoot to eat this magnificent steak I had just made. Not only was it the best steak I’d ever made, but also some of the best steak I’ve ever had.


Do you see me? I’m the one passing the salad! Speaking of the salad, the dressing on this salad was delicious! I had to ask for the recipe and it’s surprisingly simple!

A Simply Delicious Salad Dressing

Equal parts (~T) Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and molasses in a jar (or bowl and whisk). Add 1/3c red wine or apple cider vinegar, plus 1/2t kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Put the lid on and shake. Add 1/2c extra virgin olive oil. Replace lid and shake again. 


Now that I’m on my way to becoming a grill master, I also asked for a herb butter recipe. It’s a great way to top a steak hot off the grill, season steamed vegetables, stir into pasta sauces, add to mayonnaise for sandwiches, fold into hot mashed potatoes, make your eggs… eggceptional. Too much?


It’s Not Your Butter, It’s Herb Butter

Mince together some aromatics and herbs and season it all together with a room temperature stick of butter. We’re looking for a thick herb paste, one that is green throughout, not one that is mostly butter. Some suggestions include minced or grated garlic 1-3 cloves or t-T, greens of green onion 1/2c, tarragon 1/4c, fresh thyme t-T, basil 1/4c, parsley 1/2c, rosemary t-T.

You can really use whatever you have on hand. We’re looking for 1-1.5c of minced herbs etc to a stick of softened unsalted butter. You could add grated Parmesan but you’d have to label it as a finishing butter, as opposed to one to cook with. Taste the mixture and season it with salt and pepper. Probably 1t kosher salt, taste again. 

Divide in half on two sheets of wax paper. Roll into a tight log then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place one in a WELL-LABELED (you’re not the same person in three months) freezer bag in the freezer, and the other in the fridge to be used within a week or two, like it’ll last that long! 


You can find steaks, tableware and more at Cracker Barrel’s online store, shop.crackerbarrel.com!

Susan Kohari

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