Snowcows and Steakhouse Leftovers

Sometimes nicknames get lost in translation.

I went to a teeny-tiny engineering school in the middle of Lake Superior for college. While the area is known for its magnificent fall colors, hiking, boating, and winter sports, it’s also known for the sheer lack of females.

In particular, my college class had a ratio of 8 guys to 1 girl.ย  The overall college was 3 guys: 1 girl at the time (it’s since improved). And still, the odds were not always in your favor. “The odds are good, but the good are odd” is a phrase that could definitely be applied to some of my male counterparts.

The ratio was also misleading…

  • If you subtracted the guys still dating their high school girlfriends, the ratio was 4 guys:1 girl
  • If you subtracted the computer engineers/science majors who thought that girls only existed in anime and had never spoken to a female in real life, except through a video game, the ratio was 2 guys: 1 girl
  • If you subtracted the man whores that you were sure were sources of an STD epidemic, the ratio was 1 guy: 2 girls
  • However, if you subtracted the female counterparts of the first and third lines, the ratio was still maybe 1:1.

There also was an unfortunate nickname for the girls that were less than desirable but would sleep with anyone…


Anyway, it was the fall of my freshman year of college, and the grandparents and mother of the boy I was dating came to visit. During the exploration around the Upper Peninsula, we had the misfortune of stopping into a gift shop.

Now, somehow, his grandmother had heard the phrase “snowcow” (but, of course, just thought it was a cute term for any girl that went to Tech) so when she came across a cow puppet, there was logically one thing she thought of…

“Oh, here, let’s have you take a picture with this puppet! It’s two snowcows in the picture!”

I then was forced to endure a picture with said puppet, while my boyfriend at the time stood there absolutely mortified, since his grandmother had unknowingly just called me a whore.

Leftover Steakhouse Risotto

this is the only cow I’m okay being in a picture with


  • 4 c low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 1 c white wine (I use a sauvignon blanc in the $8 range)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 c leftover roasted vegetables, brought to room temperature and diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 c leftover steak, cooked rare, brought to room temperature and diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 c grated smoked gouda (this gives it a mac-and-cheese type feel)
  • 1 tbsp steak seasoning (or more if you so desire)


  1. Bring broth to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low to medium heat until onion is translucent (about 3-5 minutes)
  3. Add dry rice and saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add 1 c wine and stir until absorbed.
  5. Once the rice has absorbed the wine, start adding the broth, two ladles at a time. Your goal is to have this at a simmer. Stir frequently (but not constantly) until absorbed. Add more broth. This does take a while (youโ€™re looking at about 20-30 minutes of active cooking from start to finish).
  6. Continue adding the broth at 2 ladles at a time until all the broth has been added. Add the butter.
  7. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the risotto reaches your desired consistency (maybe another 5 minutes, tops!). Add in the leftover vegetables and steak.
  8. Turn the heat to as low as possible, then stir in the smoked gouda and steak seasoning. Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes to let the leftovers heat up, then serve.

44 thoughts on “Snowcows and Steakhouse Leftovers

  1. Very funny anecdote, and the recipe looks so good!

  2. Sanjiv Khamgaonkar July 24, 2012 — 11:25 am

    Haha, nice. The recipe too.

  3. That’s kind of funny, really. I think we have all had situations similar to this.

  4. that was a very good writing, and the recipe looked so yummy also!

  5. That is a hilarious story! Oh My Goodness. : )

  6. This is just too funny- your stories always make me laugh! Keep it up!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Isn’t it wonderful how rich and humorous things become in hindsight? I enjoyed both the story and the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Too funny. Love this recipe, I usually stick to a mushroom risotto, but will have to try roasted veggie and steak

  9. I hope your then BF corrected his grandmother later. We had an awful term at university, viz., bush pig. I’ve never used the term.

  10. Ah well, at least she did it inadvertently. My husband’s Italian grandmother called me a putana (and meant it)…

  11. Ha. Hilarious.
    Were you at MTU? I’ve a buddy who teaches there.

    1. Haha yup…my youngest brother is now there, too!

      1. Ha. Nice. My pal Abby actually just graduated from there. I was supposed to give a lecture at MTU last fall, but it didn’t pan out.
        When I think about it, I’ve a strangely numerous amount of connections to the UP, especially now that my friend Matt just took a professor job in Marquette.

  12. Hilarious story. As usual.

  13. Very funny story – thanks for making me laugh on a rainy day!

  14. Wow! What a moment!! Guys come up with the cutest names for women, don’t they?

  15. Hilarious. I so can relay! Snowcows and I may just have a beautiful friendship together LOL I love anything leftovers…with 3 growing teens, I am the designated human disposal/compactor. Thanks for the delectable recipe ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Hi there. I know you already have so many awards but I’m hoping that you don’t already have the Sunshine Award as I’m nominating you for it!

  17. for the life of me i don’t know how you go to a steakhouse, and come back with leftovers, but i like that you’re giving me ideas for my leftovers. you got anything for those days when you come home from work, and you don’t want to put in any more effort that day, and you don’t want to do anything involved; especially for someone like me that doesn’t know their ass from their elbow, and you just wish you knew someone who could tell you how to make hamburger helper taste good?

      1. that’s pretty much what i came up with too.

      2. You could always do a frittata…they sound complicated but are pretty simple. Just saute whatever veggies you have, throw in meat or other leftovers if you want, mix some eggs together with a bit of milk, add those to the pan and throw the entire thing in the oven until it’s cooked. and probably faster than takeout.

      3. i thought a fritata was salsa on top of bologna. learn something new everyday. thanks. but does it come with a fortune cookie like takeout?

      4. You can buy fortune cookies at the asian grocery store ๐Ÿ™‚

      5. i went to try this fuitata thing. all i have in my fridge is water, that powder that doesn’t make it smell, coffee, 4 tortillas, and assorted condiments. my only option is jelly on a tortilla, isn’t it? my fridge sounds like the worst iron chef contest ever.

  18. Your posts are always geniously funny. I always love your punchlines that then flow into an amazing recipe and the witty caption under the picture. It’s amazingly done!

    1. Thanks! Residency has been busy but I’m still trying to find time to blog!

  19. Hilarious moment! Thanks for sharing- as always!

  20. What an equation! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Hi there, thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog Vacant Pages and choosing to follow, much appreciated. Great blog and I am looking forward to trying todays recipe. Looks wonderful.

  22. Hi there! Iโ€™m dropping a line to each of my followers to let everyone know that as of tonight my blog will be located at I hope youโ€™ll join me over there!

  23. Yum, looks like a food comfort recipe! Where is that picture grandma took? Haha!

    1. I shockingly never got a copy…I think he might have destroyed it.

  24. Wonderfully funny story! And the recipe looks great too.

  25. Priceless! Thanks for the laugh this morning.

  26. Oh my gosh…that is mortifying. Luckily she didn’t know what it meant, or you would have really had motive to be insulted.

  27. That is too funny. Leave it to grandmas. That recipe looks great! I’m always at a loss over what to do with leftover steak, so I’ll keep this in mind.

  28. Great writing!!
    Wonderful recipe!!

    Happy cooking!

  29. I just wanted to thank you for following my blog. Recently, my blog moved to its own domain – I’d love to have you as a follower there, so you don’t miss out on any new posts. Thanks again!

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