Category Archives: meat rub

Donya Marie’s Kitchen Tips Now Available!

Donya Marie's Kitchen Tips

Donya Marie’s Kitchen Tips

Whether you cook a little or a lot, plain or fancy, healthy or hearty, for your family, just for fun or for a business, this is the one book you’ll use often. Organized in an easy-to-find format, Donya Marie’s Cooking Tips includes aclickable table of contents organized by category for quick reference to allow you to quickly jump to the help you need.Find out how to follow the example of this professional chef as you discover:

• How to get more juice from a lime or lemon
• How to soften butter quickly
• How to keep produce and other foods safe from spoilage
• How to blend spices for the optimal taste treat
• How to enhance beaten egg whites or pie crust with the addition of vinegar
• How to consistently make cakes more moist
• How to make your own cake flour or Bisquick® substitutes
• How to store and use stale breads
• How to prevent soggy or hard waffles
• How to substitute ingredients instead of running to the store
• How to use chocolate in ways you’ve never dreamed of
• How to save time using Donya Marie’s shortcuts and restaurant tricks
And so much more!

With this book, you can cook with skill, confidence, and pleasure knowing your cooking solutions are by your side whenever you cook. It’s the book you’ll reach for when you have a question or run across a new challenge in your kitchen.

Or just sit and read through it at your leisure to see what useful tips you can discover and try. Donya Marie’s Cooking Tips is a book you can simply pick up for fun when relaxing on the sofa. You can open it to any page in the book and just start reading. It will become your go-to kitchen tool.

Whether you’re just browsing or desperately trying to solve a vexing cooking emergency, every cook will appreciate this book.


Chocolate Mashed Potatoes w/bacon grease! (gluten free)

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I’m still quite limited to the amount of vegetables I can eat.  Potatoes are OK if I don’t over do it.  Not over doing it on potatoes is HARD!  I love potatoes!  I threw this beauty together the other day … Continue reading


Sirloin Tri-Tip Soup

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More often than not, I find myself with ingredients and the need for something different.  It was a bit cold outside on this particular day, when I deemed it a soup appropriate day.  I had already thawed out the grass … Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Spicy Meat Rub in Coffee Bark?


Cyndi and Rob

It began innocently enough. Making peppermint bark started out as a tradition of home-made gifts to give to family and friends. It was when Cyndi Arno began receiving requests to make it for others to give as home-made gifts, that her husband began encouraging her to market her bark.

She then learned of a fund-raiser, “Death by Chocolate”, where she brought over a thousand samples for attendees to taste. It’s put on by the Rotary Club and 25 local chefs, with different categories and chocolate galore. She went home with two awards that night, the most exciting being 2nd place with the Peoples Choice!

I met Cyndi while doing a demo of my products for a store in Sun Valley, Idaho.  She and her husband were shopping.  They were intrigued with my line of products and decided to stop and sample the goodness.  Cyndi engaged me in a lengthy conversation about business and we traded business information.  Since that time we have shared information and traded product (I’d be crazy to pass up her bark!).  I have watched her business grow in leaps and bouncoffebk_closeupds.  She had many requests from her customers to come out with a spicy bark.  Cyndi is not new to the world of business; when her customers talk, she listens.  Having had Donya Marie’s Dark Chocolate Spicy Meat Rub before, she decided to give it a try in her bark.  The result was her “Hot Coffee Bark” and I’m here to tell you, that even I was skeptical!  Can you believe that coming from me!  When I tasted it, it was like coming home to Donya Marie’s!  WOW.  She has another winner!

The Hot Toffee Bark is for those coffee lovers who like everything hot. It has a rich thick layer of Guittard dark chocolate, topped with Guittard white chocolate that is blended with lightly broken fresh dark roast coffee beans and coffee flavoring, but also a dash of hot sauce flavoring that is specially made for chocolate. Then topped with a generous sprinkling of slightly broken rich dark roast coffee beans. This is a bark that bites.

Arno BarkWhat sets Cyndi’s bark apart from others is giving each flavor chocobark_manya crunchy topping that matches the flavoring of the respective bark.  This gives a texture that makes it impossible not to get each morsel of flavor out of the bark rather than letting it partially melt and then swallowing before you’ve had a chance to benefit from all of the flavors married together with the chocolate.  It serves to enhance the chocolate experience.

Dark Chocolate Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot PieChicken pot pies bring back great memories for many of us.  I always wanted to make one that was heartier than what I have ever had in restaurants or from the frozen food section of the grocery.  Don’t let the Dark Chocolate Meat Rub throw you off.  If you’ve been with me for a while, you already know that I use my meat rubs as all purpose spices in my kitchen, not because I want a chocolaty dish every time, but because they give great flavor to the dishes I prepare.

I was fortunate enough to obtain my stewing hen from McClaskey’s Gladsmcclaskey.  They dont’ just raise the most beautiful gladiolas around, they also raise laying hens.  The stewing hen, a mature hen of 10 months or more is ‘put out to pasture’ so to speak when it is no longer considered a good laying hen, but in this case, it was ‘put into Donya’s kettle’!  Cindy and Mark McClaskey are local growers here in the Treasure Valley of Idaho.  They practice farming methods that are much better and safer than the large “corporate’ chicken farmers.  I know and trust there products.  Please try to purchase your products locally from small farmers.  We need to support the small farmer so they keep putting healthy food in our kitchens.

Recipes for dishes similar to chicken pot pie date back to the medieval era. Savory pies were an important element of any royal chef’s repertoire.  Recipes for chicken pie can be found as early as 1796.  The earliest recipe for a pot pie is found in 1839, and it is for a sweet, not savory, pie.  The first chicken pot pie recipe is from 1877, although it is very likely the dish was prepared long before.  Pot pies were baked in a deep pot lined with crust.  The purpose of the crust was to protect the food from the flavor of the metal; initially, it was not eaten. The first frozen pot pie was made by Swanson in 1951.

Chick PieRecipe

1/2 cup potato, diced

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/3 cup melted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken stock (recipe below)

1/2 cup half-and-half

½ tsp dried thyme leaves

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

2 – 9 inch pie crusts (either store bought or your own recipe)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Sauté onion, carrots and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes.

Add flour to sautéed mixture, stirring well.  Cook one minute stirring constantly.  Combine broth and half and half.

Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.  Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in peas, salt and pepper; add chicken and stir well.

Pour into shallow 9″ pie dish with crust on bottom and top with 2nd pie crust.  Cut slits to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

NOTE:  Can make these in pot pie tins and it make three.  Freeze these before baking.  When baking frozen pies, place on baking sheet and bake at 375F for about 50 minutes.


Stewing henChicken Stock

1 Stewing hen

3 large carrots (roughly chopped)

5 stalks celery (roughly chopped)

1 large onion (roughly chopped)

1 large red bell pepper (roughly chopped)

2 Tblsp minced garlic

2 Tblsp Donya Marie’s Dark Chocolate Meat Rub (Spicy or Double flavor)

Place above ingredients into large pot and cover with water.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and simmer 5 hours or more.  De-bone chicken and strain stock.  Freeze stock not used for future recipes.


carne platedCarne Asada is a roasted beef dish, simply meaning “roasted meat”.  The dish mainly consists of pieces or thin cuts of beef, usually flank steak or skirt steak.  Sometimes marinated, sometimes lightly salted or rubbed  with pepper and/or spices, and then grilled. It can be eaten alone, with side dishes, chopped and eaten as tacos, or chopped and used as a filler for tortas, burritos, etc. It is usually accompanied with guacamole, salsa, beans, cilantro, onions, salsa and tortillas (corn or flour).

 The dish is commonly prepared in the northern parts of Mexico (in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Texas.  It is sold at Mexican meat markets called “carnicerias” in the American Southwest; especially those states with Mexican/Mexican-American enclaves.

When purchasing Carne Asada from meat markets you can purchase meat that has already been marinated and seasoned or you purchase it un-prepared.  Buying the prepared meat takes all the fun out it, but does save you some time.  I like to have my own fun with it and put my own mark on it!

In Mexico and the American Southwest you will find that Carne Asada is the Mexican equivalent of Barbecue.  Traditionally a large fire pit is used to prepare this dish but you can use whatever you have.  Since everything is prepared over direct heat you don’t need a lid or a fancy grill.  If you are planning on a big party and want to have plenty of meat for everyone plan on about 1 pound of meat per person.  If you plan a lot of side dishes then you can cut back on the amount of meat you prepare.

A popular and good marinade for Carne Asada will have a lot of lime juice, garlic, onion and black pepper. Of course other fruit juices work great as well, like papaya, which makes the meat tender because papaya is a natural tenderizer.  You can add hot peppers to the marinade if you want but be careful you don’t over power the meat and make it too hot to appreciate.  Don’t add salt to your marinade.  Save this for the cooking stage.

Ideally the meat should be cooked over a charcoal fire.  Traditionally mesquite is used.  If all you have is a gas grill, not to worry – this will work fine.  When you get ready to grill you will want to have a course salt on hand (I use celtic sea salt).  You want to grill over a good, hot fire.  This dish cooks pretty quickly so have everything else to be served with your meal prepared before you start the meat on the grill.

Traditionally Carne Asada is grilled to well done.  In my opinion you get the best flavor when it’s grilled to well done (this is the only read meat dish I like well done).  Once you have the meat grilled to perfection you will want to take it straight to a carving board.  Cut the meat across the grain with a good sharp knife.  The pieces should be thin strips. Keep the meat warm in a heavy pot with a lid.  You don’t need to add heat but you want to hold in the heat you have.

Carne tortillaServe with warm tortillas and whatever fixings you prefer. A good Carne Asada taco would be in a homemade flour tortilla with homemade salsa, topped with guacamole.  If you have leftovers, make enchiladas the next day (I’ll save that for another blog!).

Now, I have tasted a lot of Carne Asada – being raised in Southern New Mexico/Arizona, so it’s not like I don’t have a corner on what it should taste like.  I have to say, hands down, the best Carne Asada I’ve ever tasted was using the recipe below.  The chocolate seriously added depth to the taste factor in the Carne Asada!  OH MY GAWD!  I’mHARDTRIGGER hooked!  All of that being said, let us not forget the important role that the meat played in this particular recipe.  I used Carne Asada (un-prepared) from Hardtrigger Canyon, a local 900 acre ranch.  Hardtrigger cattle are grain fed; the meat is dry aged for 15 to 21 days; the owners raise all of the corn, hay, and barley that is fed to their cattle (using ‘no till’ farming), with the end result being, beef that is leaner, has increased tenderness, and is more flavorful.  Certainly a plus for this delectable dish.


This recipe is for 1 lb of Carne Asada


2 cups Lime juice

3 cloves of fresh Garlic (Mashed with the flat of your knife – do not chop, as you don’t want the garlice to get stuck to your meat and remain there while you are grilling – it will impart a bitter taste to your meat)


3 Tblsp Donya Marie’s Dark Chocolate Meat Rub (your choice of flavor)

1/4 tsp cayenne

2.5 Tblsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 Tblsp Pepper

1 Tblsp Cocoa

1 Tblsp Onion powder

(note do not add salt to this mixture)

(For the Double Meat Rub – leave out the cayenne; use only 1 Tblsp of chili powder)

Mix together the cayenne, cumin and chili powder with the meat rub.  Mix the seasoning in with the marinade.  Place your meat in a zip lock back.  Pour the combination of marinade/seasoning into the bag.  Removing as much air as possible, seal and place the bag in the freezer for 8 hours or overnight (overnight is best).

Place the meat on the grill and when the juices start to rise on the surface, sprinkle with salt. When the salt liquefies on the surface flip the meat over and repeat. This seasons the meat as it cooks. Carne Asada is supposed to be on the salty side but this doesn’t mean that you need to drown the meat in salt.