Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Sometimes kitchen experiments don't work out. We've all had disasters in baking. But when our creative efforts produce something worthy of our praise, it's a glorious day. And the day I made these chocolate-hazelnut cheesecakes was a glorious day!
I love the challenge of working with ingredients at hand and trying to make them into something delicious. A can of mixed salted nuts which yielded exactly enough hazelnuts for this small dessert, a block of Neufchatel cheese, heavy cream, Greek yogurt, hazelnut liqueur and imagination were the components of a memorable dessert.

I carried the chocolate hazelnut theme all the way through: from the chocolate-hazelnut crust to the chocolate-hazelnut filling to the chocolate-hazelnut creme fraiche, this dessert has the milk-chocolate hazelnut taste in every bite. It doesn't taste like Nutella. But it is definitely hazelnut and definitely chocolate. And most definitely delicious. If you have the ingredients and two (4-1/2") springform pans, you are all set for a taste adventure.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecakes for 2
Source: Judy's Kitchen
Rating: 9 out of 10

Non-stick cooking spray
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. salted hazelnuts, skin on, divided use
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2-1/2 Tbsp. + 1/3 cup sugar, divided use
1 Tbsp. cocoa, divided use
2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. hazelnut liqueur, divided use
1 (8-oz.) pkg. Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. non-fat vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
1/2 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate, 60-70% cacao

For crust, heat oven to 325F. Spray two (4-1/2") springform pans with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. In work bowl of food processor, pulse hazelnuts, just till coarsely chopped. Reserve 2 Tbsp. for topping. Add flour, 2-1/2 Tbsp. sugar, and 1-1/2 tsp. cocoa to work bowl, and pulse till nuts are finely ground and ingredients are well mixed together. Add melted butter and 1 tsp. liqueur and pulse again till well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of pans. Bake 7-8 minutes, or just till set and beginning to brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

For filling, wipe work bowl clean with damp paper towel. Pulse 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese with remaining 1-1/2 tsp. cocoa and remaining 1/3 cup sugar till well blended and smooth; scrape down sides. Add egg, and pulse briefly, just to combine. Scrape down sides. Add vanilla, sour cream, remaining 2 tsp. liqueur, and melted chocolate; pulse briefly to combine. Scrape sides and bottom with spatula, making sure there are no lumps and all ingredients are distributed well. Pour carefully into cooled crust. Bake at 325F about 25-30 minutes, or till sides are puffed and set but center is still jiggly. Place cheesecake in a closed area (such as a microwave oven) free of drafts for one hour while it cools and continues to cook. Transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Serve plain or with chocolate hazelnut creme fraiche: In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 tsp. cocoa, and 1-1/2 Tbsp. 10X sugar. Beat till stiff. Slowly beat in 1 Tbsp. vanilla Greek yogurt and 1 tsp. hazelnut liqueur. Serve over cheesecake and sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp. chopped hazelnuts over top.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I'm back from Branson, and I didn't win. Here are the 4 top pies:

1. Sour Cream Peach Pie -$2,500 + 4 days, 3 nights in Branson for 2.
2. Mixed Nut and Fig Pie - $1,000
3. Dreamy Creamy Peanut Butter Pie - $500
4. Vermont Maple Oatmeal Pie - $250

Of course I'm disappointed, as are the other 8 contestants who did not win prize money. What we did win was the trip to Branson, including airfare and meals, a signed copy of Al Roker's best-selling Grilling Cookbook, an apron with Taste of Home Cooking School on it, free entry into the Taste of Home Cooking School, a gift bag, free tickets to Branson shows of our choice on Friday and Saturday evenings, and a Finalist Medal. They told us there were 1200 entries for this pie contest, and we had the top 12 recipes.

Taste of Home has never had an on-site pie baking contest before, and they are hoping to make this an annual event in Branson with the Branson Chamber of Commerce. I'm sure it will get better every year. For this first time, there were a lot of mixups, inconsistencies, errors and last-minute switches. Needless to say, the contestants were in a state of confusion.

My recipe was the only one using a food processor. Each station had a KA mixer, but I needed a food processor. Unfortunately, they didn't have one, so they tried to borrow one. It was a GE and it was from about 30 years ago. That was problem #1. The processor had a chute coming out the side and when I put the almonds in, they went all over the floor. We did finally solve that problem, then the next problem was the microplane grater. They brought me a coarse grater that had dull blades (yes they do get dull). Then they brought me a regular fine grater. Neither of these was able to extract any zest out of the limes. Finally, they brought me a microplane fine grater. There was no oven thermometer to check the calibration of the ovens (which were off by 10 degrees I later found out). My recipe called for a 1-1/2 quart pot, and they gave me a 4-quart pot. I needed a hand mixer, and, again, they gave me a borrowed one about 30 years old. It had vents in the top -- seen any of those lately? It was filthy dirty. When I started to beat the topping with it, oil and lint spewed out of the vents into my topping. The TOH rep told me not to worry about it, no one would know. The pie plate they provided was a straight edged deep dish pie plate, and I needed a standard fluted edge. They finally brought me disposable pie plates, which I didn't want to use but had no choice. The TOH reps came around to all the cooking stations and repeatedly told us not to worry about presentation. We were supposed to finish our pies, then cut them into pieces for the 10 judges. At the last minute, they told us to put the pies on a presentation table so the judges could see them before they were cut. We were marked on presentation. But the real kiss of death was my placement in the judging. They put me first. Never go first or last. The first pie is always scored low because the judges haven't seen any of the others yet. By the time they get to the last pie, they're all filled up with nuts, berries, etc. and can't even taste the last one. I knew when they put me first it was over.

Contests are luck of the draw. And I drew all the short straws on this one. But I learned a lot. Next time (if there is a next time), I'll be sure to bring ALL my own equipment. But the placement in the judging is something that cannot be controlled. My hubby told me to keep submitting this pie, because it's a winner. And when he tells me that, it spurs me on, because he is not a dessert eater. He really loves this pie.

It was a fun time in Branson. I met some wonderful people that I would love to see again (several have submitted recipes to the Pillsbury Bake -Off Contest and just might be there next year.) The Chamber provided "Velcro Buddies" for each of the finalists. They stuck to us like velcro and took care of all our last-minute needs. My Velcro buddy, Kitty, was wonderfully kind, thoughtful and delightful to be with. She introduced me to Janet Lennon, took me to the Landing (an outdoor mall), and to the Branson Five and Ten Cent store, and just made sure that I was ok. All in all, it was a fun time and a great learning experience that I'll never forget.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Things are getting hairy around here, with lots of last-minute preparations for the Branson-Taste of Home Great American Pie Show later this week. I'm practicing my key lime pie recipe for the bake-off on Friday. With a 2-hour timeframe in which to make it, I've had to come up with some shortcuts. Instead of letting the crust and filling cool naturally, I've resorted to putting it into the freezer. It seems to be working. Every time I make it, I come up with another way to take a shortcut.

I've decided to take a hiatus till next week. While I'm gone, please consider clicking on the link to the right to become a follower of this blog (if you aren't already). You'll get automatic updates whenever I post a new recipe -- so cool of Blogger, huh? And, of course, I'll reciprocate by becoming a follower of your blog, if you'll post a comment telling me you are now a follower.

Till next week, happy blogging.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Donna, of My Tasty Treasures, posted this awesome recipe from Better Homes & Gardens' website that just looked so very good. I mean, panut butter, honey-roasted peanuts, Reese's peanut butter cups and chocolate chips in a cookie? Yummo. I just had to make these.

I wondered how they would stack up against my all-time fave peanut butter cookie. The cookies are similar, in that they have the same add-ins, but the flavorings are different. My fave has more peanut butter, plus creme de cocoa and cinnamon, an extra egg yolk and cream of tartar. To even things up a bit, I added in some creme de cocoa and cinnamon to this recipe.
Resisting the urge to eat a cookie straight out of the oven, I waited till they cooled a bit, then indulged. These are really, really good cookies. But not as good as my fave. The extra peanut butter, egg yolk and cream of tartar in my fave do something magical to the texture of the cookie that almost defies description. IMHO, I don't think there will ever be a cookie to beat it. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed these cookies and would make them again if I didn't have an extra yolk and cream of tartar. Thanks, Donna, for a great PB cookie recipe! This blog award is for you.

Chocolate-Peanut Blowouts, Adapted Half Batch
Source: My Tasty Treasures and
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

INGREDIENTS: 1/4 cup butter or Smart Balance 50/50 Butter blend
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. sugar (or 1-1/8 tsp. Stevia)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 egg (1-1/2 tsp.)
2 Tbsp. creme de cocoa (or coffee)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 + 1/8 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1/4 + 1/8 cup honey-roasted peanuts
1/4 + 1/8 cup peanut butter cups, frozen, unwrapped, chopped (about 8)

Preheat oven to 350F. In large bowl combine butter and peanut butter with electric mixer on medium speed, 30 seconds. (Note: I mixed by hand.) Add sugars, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; beat till combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Beat in egg and flavorings till combined. Stir in remaining ingredients till combined.

Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten cookies slightly with fingers. Bake 10-11 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs. Yield: about 13 cookies

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, "The Romagnolis' Table." It was a gift from my youngest sister many years ago. I've made a few changes to the recipe, but nothing that really affects the outcome: I use Panko breadcrumbs in place of plain; Italian 5-cheese blend instead of mozzarella and Parmesan, and I add soy flour to the all-purpose flour to increase the protein content. The soy flour imparts a nutty flavor that goes well with the eggplant. (I do this because I'm a borderline diabetic, always trying to reduce carbs and increase protein content in foods.)

I particularly like the sauce for this dish. Of course, you can use a jarred sauce, and I've taken that shortcut many times. But if you have the time, try this sauce, because it's really good. If you like the taste of crispy fried eggplant, then you won't like this dish. I oven-fry the eggplant, using less oil. The flour and the oven-frying combined soften the eggplant, and it doesn't get crispy. The finished dish tastes great, but the texture is soft, not crispy. Eggplant Parmesan is a great meatless meal, and when it's done with less oil and calories and more protein, it's even better. Wonder of wonders: it's a dish Guy and I both agree on.

Melanzane Alla Parmigiana (Eggplant Parmesan)
Adapted from The Romagnolis' Table cookbook
Rating: 9 out of 10

INGREDIENTS: 1 medium-large eggplant
Kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil for sauce + extra to drizzle over eggplant
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
2 small onions, chopped
6 cups tomatoes, fresh or canned
6-8 large basil leaves (or substitute dried basil, about 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
about 1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour + 3 Tbsp. soy flour (or just 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, if preferred)
1 cup Italian 5-cheese blend (or just grated mozzarella + Parmesan cheese)
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or plain breadcrumbs)

Slice the eggplant in half and salt the cut sides liberally; let stand about 20 minutes to get the bitterness out of them.

Prepare the sauce: Saute garlic and onion in oil till transparent using a medium saute pan or fry pan and medium heat. When the garlic is golden, you can discard it and add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Let simmer about 15 minutes.

Scrape the now-moistened salt off the eggplant and cut the halves into lengthwise slices no thicker than 1/2 inch. (My eggplant was long, so I cut each half into half to make shorter pieces.) Peel the skins, as they can be tough in a casserole. Dredge the slices in flour, coating them well, and lay them in a 10x15 baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle about 1/4 cup oil over the eggplant and bake at 375F for about 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Drain on paper towels. (You can also fry the eggplant in hot oil if preferred.)

In an oven-proof baking dish or shallow casserole, spread a layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of eggplant. Sprinkle with some of the cheese. Repeat until everything is used up, finishing with sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, or till the bread crumbs are toasted and the cheese is melted. (This freezes very well, and for my family of 2, I usually make small casseroles, eating one and freezing the rest.)
And, P. S., I didn't have any fresh basil, so I used dried.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Very Happy Easter to you all. This has been a stress-filled week.

First, I got good news. I'm a semi-finalist in the Taste of Home Branson Great American Pie Show Contest, April 24-25. Twelve of us will be competing for the grand prize of $2,500. A panel of 10 judges (including Al Roker of the Today Show) will pick the winning pie. My recipe is "Marshmallow Cream-Almond-Topped Key Lime Pie." As can be expected, there's been a lot of activity generated from this -- emails, phone calls, and the like back and forth with the Branson Chamber of Commerce and Taste of Home. That would be enough, but....

My computer started acting up. I won't go into the morbid details. We bought an external hard drive, backed up all our files and reformatted. The reformatting was more complicated than expected because we were missing some important files. Our younger son helped us but at a certain point he remotely controlled our computer and he inadvertently formatted our external drive in addition to the computer hard drive. We lost everything, and I mean everything. Besides being tied up all week with this project, we became totally frustrated, and Guy went out yesterday to Staples and bought a new computer......

The new operating system is Vista, so we have some learning to do....

Of course, this all happens when there is no time for it. I was heavily involved in some contests and trying to send recipes in. But without Word, I can't send recipes in very easily. So I'm at a standstill with only a few days left.... and if that isn't enough......

Guy is recovering from a 3-hour wrist fusion surgery on March 11 that was supposed to be 1-1/2 hours. He's usually very fast to recover, but he has had a really tough time, with a lot of pain, swelling, discomfort, and not to mention, the loss of use of his right hand/arm. So I'm doing double duty around the house, in addition to going down to Wilmington (1-3/4 hours) a lot for his doctor visits. He's still got several weeks to go before he'll be able to use his hand/arm....

And, I'm supposed to be practicing my recipe, because I have exactly 2 hours to make it when I get to Branson. But I haven't had time. ...

Luckily, my posts were done through May 2, because I knew I'd be busy during March/April. But I have a stack of new posts to put into blogger with no photos because we lost them....

The really bad news is that Guy will not be going with me to Branson. He wanted to drive, I wanted to fly, and we couldn't seem to come to an agreement. Before I retired, I traveled quite a bit with my job -- that is until I got hit really bad with Meniere's disease. It will be interesting to see how I fare alone with several health challenges facing me. I'm a polio survivor with weakened muscles and nerves that have been impacted by a car accident injury; I have myriad food and other allergies, chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia and Meniere's disease and I'm pre-diabetic. These are the exact reasons I've avoided any contests where you have to bake on-site. Don't ask me why I entered this contest. And really don't ask me how I intend to pull it off....

But today is Easter, a day of rebirth, new beginnings and hope. So I am hoping for the possibility of something glorious awaiting me in Branson. A chance to be redeemed from some of the despair I've been living with for the past 5 years -- the despair of not wanting to leave the house because I might have a Meniere's attack and be flat on my face with vertigo and nausea, and the despair of not being able to sleep because the room is too hot or too cold or too noisy or I ate the wrong thing. Today is Easter, and I am hopeful for something new and wonderful. I am not giving up. I am going to Branson.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Last night, Guy and I enjoyed our first two aged steaks from our dry-aging experiment. Simply rubbed with sea salt and black pepper and grilled to medium-rare, they
momentarily transported us both back to Trenton, New Jersey,
where we always ate good aged beef. Earlier in the day, when we cut the whole rib and froze it, we had a few scraps left over. They were from some of the steaks that were just a bit too big. I butterflied the scraps, then pounded them thinner with my meat mallet, and had enough for two steak sandwiches.
I cooked the steaks in a skillet with some onions. When I turned them to cook the other side, I placed slices of horseradish cheddar cheese on them. Topped with salsa, these steaks were amazing. Even though the rolls were not Trenton rolls from Italian Peoples Bakery,(just the very best bread and rolls in the whole world) they were fresh and pretty decent.

The only problem that Guy and I will have now is that, no matter what I cook, no matter how good it is, it will pale in comparison to the steaks we ate last night and today. Dry-aging of beef at home is not only doable, it's a must.

Friday, April 10, 2009


With our tongues hanging out in anticipation of a juicy flavorful aged steak, Guy and I trimmed the darkened, moldy covering on the meat. Next, we cut straight through to separate out a roast. We were surprised to learn that there was no bone in the meat. Duhh. Why didn't we know that? We further trimmed off the cap (the thin strip of fatty beef that surrounds the eye). This will be reserved for braising.

And here's what we wound up with: a 3-1/2 lb. boneless rib roast, 9 beautiful rib eye steaks, and a little over a lb. of rib caps for braising. We reserved 2 steaks for tonight's dinner, and froze the rest with our vacuum sealer. First, I weighed the steaks and made sure that we froze what would be typical for us -- between 12 and 14 oz. This yielded 5 steak dinners for us, counting the 2 steaks for tonight; 1 company dinner using the roast; and 1 braised rib dinner most probably with leftovers for lunch or another dinner.

And our dinner tonight was heaven for sure. Just salt and pepper on these beauties; nothing else is needed when you have aged beef steaks. They went on the grill and were cooked to medium rare -- we savored every tender, juicy, flavorful bite.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Cook's Illustrated closely guards its online recipes. They're only available to members. But sometimes, another blogger posts them. That's how I got this recipe. Mac & Cheese, a neat blog with loads of restaurant reviews and recipes, posted this recipe in 2006. When my local Harris Teeter had a bag of Melissa's key limes on clearance for $.89, I thought it was a great opportunity to try key lime bars. Boy, am I glad I did. These are so-o-o-o-o-o good. The filling is nicely tart with a full tablespoon of lime zest and 1/2 cup of juice. But it's mellowed out just enough by an animal cracker crust and a slightly sweetened whipped cream topping. CI says the best topping is toasted shredded coconut, which you could sprinkle on top of the whipped cream, if you want. I left mine plain. These bars are divine. The sweetened condensed milk makes them creamy, smooth and delicious. A real keeper.

Key Lime Bars
Adapted from and Cook's Illustrated
Rating: 9 out of 10

Non-stick cooking spray
5 oz. animal crackers
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
pinch of sea salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 oz. cream cheese, softened,
1 Tbsp. minced zest from key limes
Big pinch salt
1 can (14.5 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg yolk
½ cup juice from key limes
½ cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar (10X)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut
Heat oven to 350F. Position oven rack in center of oven. Line an 8x8 baking pan with tinfoil, with overhanging ends. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Pulse animal crackers in a food processor until finely crumbled. Add sugar, salt and butter and pulse until combined. Press crumbs firmly into bottom of baking pan. Bake until golden, 18-20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Wipe out work bowl of food processor with damp paper towel. Combine 4 oz. cream cheese, zest and salt in work bowl and pulse till smooth and fluffy. Scrape bowl on sides and bottom. Add condensed milk and pulse till lumps are gone. Scrape bowl on sides and bottom. Add egg yolk; pulse briefly. Add lime juice; pulse till mixture is smooth. Scrape bowl on sides and bottom to be sure no lumps remain. Pulse again if needed. Pour mixture into cooled crust. Bake 15-20 minutes, or till edges are set. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours. Refrigerate, covered, overnight to blend flavors.

Before serving, beat cream with powdered sugar on medium speed of electric mixer in medium-sized bowl till thick. Add vanilla and continue to beat on high speed till very thick. Spread over bars with spatula. If desired, sprinkle with toasted flaked coconut. Cut into 3 rows by 3 rows.
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Yield: 9 servings

Monday, April 6, 2009


Today is day 10 of our beef aging experiment. Here is the beef on day 1:
Here it is again on day 5:

And, finally, here it is on day 10:

You can see how much darker the meat is. You can also see some mold growing on it. This is the dry-aging process working on the meat. In four more days, we're going to be eating a steak from this rib.

Each night at dinner time, Guy changes the cloth and checks the humidity and temperature of the fridge, which have been holding steady at 36F temperature, and 75F humidity.

So far, the experiment is going well.

Friday, April 3, 2009


My son says his favorite Italian restaurant serves lobster ravioli with a plain cream sauce as the star item on its menu. I wanted a cream sauce, but with shrimp. And I only buy local fresh shrimp, not the easy-peel which is farm-raised shrimp. Farm-raised shrimp and fish are fed antibiotics and pellets for food, so I avoid them. And the taste difference is amazing. Fresh local fish and shrimp are so--- well --- fresh tasting. While the Monterey Pasta Company declares that their ravioli has no preservatives, it has to make you wonder how they can stay in a package for so long without deteriorating. Oh, well, half the meal was fresh.

A cream sauce was the right choice for this meal. Tomato sauce would have overpowered the lobster. A mild cream sauce played in with the shrimp and lobster flavors and just accented them. We both enjoyed this detour from our normal entrees, and thanks to Sam's Club, the ravioli was a decent price. One-half of the double package was 15 oz. I cooked the half package, leaving us another package for later.

Probably because I added shrimp, we had plenty left over for a second meal and we're eagerly looking forward to reheating it on another night, very soon. Served with a green leafy salad, this meal was completely satisfying, and is quick to prepare. The ravioli cook in 5 minutes, and the sauce cooks alongside it. Easy peasy.

Lobster Ravioli with Shrimp Cream Sauce
Source: Judy's Kitchen
Rating: 10 out of 10

1 package (15 oz.) Lobster ravioli
2 Tbsp. Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend
1 large garlic clove, grated or minced
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup drinking-quality dry white wine
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. shucked and deveined shrimp
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. When it's ready, add the ravioli and off the heat. You can cover the ravioli. Do not let it boil for an extended period. It's ok if it boils in the beginning, but when you off the heat, it should die down. If you cover the pan, it should cook gently in the very hot water while you prepare the sauce.

In large heavy saute pan, saute the garlic in the SB over medium heat briefly. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper, then the wine. Let the wine bubble up, then add the broth and stir till everything is mixed well. Add the shrimp and let it cook about 2 minutes, then stir in the cream, parsley, and cheese. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more salt if necessary (If sauce is too thick, add more broth.) Don't worry about the shrimp being cooked enough. Off the heat, put the lid on and let the shrimp sit till the pasta is cooked and drained and ready for the sauce. Check the shrimp before serving to be sure it's done, but shrimp doesn't take long to cook. I used the 21-30 size which was perfect for this dish.

If desired, top with additional Parmesan cheese when serving, but don't overpower the seafood by adding too much.  Serve this with a nice green salad, if desired.

Yield:  2-4 servings  (For us, 4 servings because we are not big eaters.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here's our meat on day 1. Guy changed the cloth every day around dinner time. It's simple: just take the old cloth off and wrap the clean cloth around the meat. Finis. Back in fridge.
(The old cloth will have blood on it. Guy rinsed the old cloth well, hung it to dry and kept it in a clean bucket until all the cloths were ready to be put in the washer.)
Here's the meat on day 5. It's gotten darker. Not too much mold, at least not yet. The humidity was at 75F before the meat went in the fridge. After the meat went in, the humidity rose to 85F, which is still ok, but Guy wanted to keep it to 75F. So he bought two rechargeable silica gel canisters ($17.73 incl. shipping) and put one in the fridge. The humidity came down to 78F, which made him happier. He also put an open box of baking soda in the fridge to keep it fresh-smelling.
Here's the other end of the meat. So far, everything is going well. Every time he takes the meat out, we start drooling. Soon we'll be tasting these delicious steaks.