Kitchen Gear: POP Containers for a well stocked pantry

I love our POP Containers. Our pantry is infinitely more organized since we've purchased them. So, to those of your with small kitchens, small cabinets, and those of you who don't want to sift through your cabinets for ten minutes just to find your oats are infested with bugs, this post is for you. 

To be honest, we had all of those issues. And so we knew we needed a new solution for our dry goods. We make most of our food from scratch, so we reach for the flour, cornmeal and bread crumbs on a regular basis. We also have several different flours that we use in different recipes, but not all of them quickly enough to keep them fresh and bug-free.

Cook's Illustrated has assured me that keeping flours, even all purpose, in the freezer is acceptable and does not alter the flavor of foods made with it in any way. Great. But the freezer we have is also pretty maxed out. I can't store 8 flours in there along with the giant beef tenderloin.


The POP containers are a great solution to these problems. They seal airtight, so we've had no issues opening up a container of flour after a month and finding little buggies in there. The square shape allows for easy stacking and is a more efficient use of cabinet space. The clear plastic allows the content to easily be seen making finding what you need a piece of cake. We've been using them for a few months now and I'm very pleased with the product so far.

These opinions are my own and, as with all my product reviews, they are intended to help you make educated decisions on kitchen products. I am not paid in any way to endorse these products.

Steak with Flame Sauce

This recipe does have a fancy name, Steak au Poivre to be exact. But I prefer steak with flame sauce. Trust me, it's appropriate.

2 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2" thick
coarse sea salt
2 tbsp whole peppercorns
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1/3 c. Cognac, plus 1 tsp.
1 c. heavy cream

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt.


Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. Coat each side of the steaks with the crushed peppercorns.

In a skillet (we used cast iron) over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan. Cook about 4 minutes a side. When the steaks are cooked to your liking (we prefer medium rare on the rare-ish side), remove them from the pan and onto a plate. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest. Pour any excess fat from the pan (we sop it up with a paper towel and then discard). Do not, however, clean the crusty bits from the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and add 1/3 c. Cognac to the pan and ignite with a stick lighter. Shake the pan a bit until the flames die and the alcohol has burned off.

Place the pan back on the stove and add the cream. Bring the mixture up to a boil and whisk until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the remaining tsp. of Cognac and season with salt.

Add the steaks back into the pan and coat with the sauce. Serve the steaks with a heavy drizzle of the cream sauce.

Pumpkin Cookies

These pumpkin cookies are so yummy. They are soft and fluffy with the right combination of sweetness and spice. I can't say the health benefits of the pumpkin outweigh the fats and sugars, but if you are like me, and have a group of co-workers that devour homemade goodies, bake some for yourself and take the rest in to work so that you don't end up sneaking these at midnight.

I asked Nick how many he would eat. He said 3, maybe 4. "I don't like cookies that much, dear," he said. I took it as a compliment that he had eaten two before I had gotten them off the cooling rack and onto the platter.


For cookie dough:
1 c unsalted butter
1 c sugar
1 c pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 c flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of nutmeg

For icing:
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. heavy cream
3 tbsp butter
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
two pinches of pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream the sugar, vanilla and butter together in a large bowl.


Add in the pumpkin puree and the eggs and mix until thoroughly incorporated. 

Sift all the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add, in batches, to the wet ingredients. Stir after each addition to incorporate.

To prepare the icing, melt the butter, brown sugar and cream on the stove in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Whisk in vanilla and pumpkin spice. Sift powdered sugar into the butter mixture in 1/4 c. batches and whisk to combine. Sifting and adding the powdered sugar slowly decreases the amount of lumps that will end up in your frosting.

To form cookies, place 1" dough balls onto the cookie sheet. The dough is rather wet, but that is normal.

Place cookies in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes and once removed from the oven, allow to cool on a cooling rack. Once cooled, drizzle icing over the cookies and allow to dry. Be smart (not like me) and layer the counter under the cooling racks with wax paper to catch the drips.

Serve to hungry co-workers. But don't forget to save more than a few for yourself, Nick upped his intake to 6-8 cookies (not including those already eaten). So beware if you have sweet eaters in your house. Hide them if necessary :)

This recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen 2 1/2" to 3" wide cookies. This recipe was adapted from this recipe for Glazed Pumpkin Cookies.

Pumpkin Crazy! A list of pumpkin recipes I can't wait to try.

Pumpkin patches.

I miss them greatly. I haven't been in years, but just the fact that they don't exist here in Florida makes me nostalgic. And craving pumpkin. I love love love pumpkin recipes. Fall may be my favorite season for the warm, comforting foods that are plentiful (and holidays that require you eats lots of them!) and the addition of sweaters and scarves to one's wardrobe.

Since this week is scary busy at work and we are basically eating a combination of freezer meals (made previously) or simple to prepare meals that require little effort, unfortunately pumpkin was not on the menu.
To satisfy my craving however, I found several pumpkin recipes that I would just love to try in the upcoming weeks and months (it may take years..I went a little crazy). I thought I would share them with you all in case you are my pumpkin-loving kindred spirit. And please, if you have any additional pumpkin recipes, leave a link in the comments section. I can't get enough!

Pumpkin Scones
Pumpkin Lasagna
Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies
Pumpkin Bread Sandwich with Cream Cheese Filling
Pumpkin Roll
Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pork and Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin & Cranberry Rissole
Pumpkin Ravioli with Hazelnut Cream Sauce
Savory Pumpkin Ravioli
Pumpkin Filled Ravioli
Pumpkin Pasta
Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecake
Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins
Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin Cannelloni
Pumpkin Tiramisu
Pumpkin Bars 
Pumpkin Soup
Spiced Pumpkin Doughnuts
Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Pumpkin Fritters
Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

What are your favorite pumpkin recipes?

Mr. & Mrs.

Just in case you were wondering why there were so few posts in your reader/email from The Saucy Kitchen this summer (because you are a subscriber, no?) - I was getting married. So, to compensate for the lack of posting during those months, I thought I would share a few photos - good deal right?


Some food pics since, you know, it's a food blog...

Our fabulous allergy free cake - Pittsburgh Penguins, of course, made by my talented Aunt Reen:

The traditional Pittsburgh cookie table (made by loads of moms, aunts, and neighbors):


 All photos are by Catherine McKinley Photography.

Ahh... Fall

Despite that the temperatures are still in the 70's here in Florida, and that palm tree leaves don't change into beautiful shades of gold, red and rust (but instead seem to always have a yellow green color that indicates that they are just barely alive), fall is upon us. So, while I don't think that pulling out my sweaters and hats and heading to a pumpkin patch for a hayride is in my future anytime soon, I am excited for the flavors of fall - the last little bit of a real fall I'm hanging onto down here.

This week we've tried to incorporate some warmer flavors and preparations, substituting our grill for the dutch oven and incorporating one of my favorite fall flavors - apple.

Sunday - Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms, Crusty Bread with Pesto, Roasted Vegetables
Monday - Pork Loin with Smoky Pepper-Tomato Sauce
Tuesday - Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (from the freezer), Avocado, Bread
Wednesday - Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Meatballs, Salad
Thursday - Pork Chops with Apple, Roasted Vegetables
Friday - Steak with Potatoes and Broccoli
Saturday - X

Nick's parents are coming in this weekend, so we've left Saturday open. But I'm excited for this week's menu. Not to mention we are using up plenty of our freezer stash - making room for new!

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday.