Tag Archives: bbq

Snapshot Saturday – Boom!

July is the month that we, in the United States, celebrate our country’s independence.  Generally speaking, we honor the bravery and determination of our forefathers by having a BBQ, drinking some beer (or beerlike substance) and blowing stuff up!  I love FIREWORKS!!!  The boom, the colors, the majestic pictures in the night sky!  So, this month I’m going share some of my favorite pictures of this year’s fireworks!

5th of July Party

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Tasty Tuesday – Crock Pot Pulled Pork

I love Pulled Pork and I’ve been craving it for weeks, but I can’t find my recipe.  Yes, ridiculously organized me can’t find something.  It’s not that I don’t know where it is, it’s that I don’t feel like digging through the boxes to find my recipe folders.  I found my recipe in a cooking magazine (either Rachael Ray’s magazine or the Food Network magazine) a few years ago, and we really do like it.  I’ve looked all over Pinterest, trying to find a close approximation to my recipe, but I haven’t been able to locate the right one.  However, the craving got to be too much, and I resorted to using what promised to be a simple yet delicious crock pot version…

The recipe was as easy as the pin promised.  I gathered the ingredients and put it together in less than 10 minutes before I left for work.  It calls for 1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, 4 pounds of boneless pork riblets (I used boneless country style ribs), 3/4 brown sugar (this is optional, but my other recipe calls for it, so I used it), 1 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Ingredient

You dump half the bottle of BBQ sauce in the crock pot, then add the meat.

start with BBQ sauce   add boneless pork

Next, you add the rest of the BBQ sauce, the mustard, the garlic powder, and the brown sugar.

mustard   garlic powder   brown sugar

I stirred everything around to get the meat completely coated, and set it on low to cook for 8 hours.  (The recipe said to cook it on high for 4 hours, but I was going to be gone longer than that, so I adjusted my cooking time.)  When I got home from work, I used tongs to shred the pork and served the sandwiches on soft buns.

pull the pork   pulled pork sandwich

My dinner guests really enjoyed them, but I still like my original recipe better.  Guess I better get cracking with the renovations, so I can finally unpack the remaining boxes and find the stuff I’m still missing.

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Tasty Tuesday – Bacon Wrapped Honey Mustard Chicken Strips

We’re back out by the grill for this week’s Tasty Tuesday experiment.  I found a recipe on Pinterest for baked honey mustard chicken wrapped with bacon, that sounded amazing.  The only problem, it’s the middle of summer and my oven is on vacation until September when I have to start making Birthday Cakes.  So, that meant I had to modify a recipe a bit.  I know you are all ridiculously surprised that I would actually do such a thing, but alas I did and let me tell you it was so totally worth it!

The original recipe was intended for young children, but there aren’t any of those in my house, so I went with a spicier option.  I took a regular sized bottle of spicy deli mustard, image (37)

added about 4 oz. of honey image (36)

and 2-3 tsp. of Worcestershire Sauce.  image (35)

Once those were all in the bowl I poured about 2 tbsp. of red wine vinegar into the mostly empty mustard container image (49)

and shook it up to get some more out and added that to the bowl and whisked it all together.

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Time for a taste test, it needed something, so I added a bit more honey and stirred again.

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It took less than 5 minutes and man did it taste yummy.

I put my quartered boneless skinless chicken breasts in a giant resealable plastic bag

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and added half the honey mustard sauce.

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Then I smushed it all around and stuck it in the fridge for a few hours until it was time to make the rest of dinner.

Once it was nice and marinated, and everyone was home, I took the bag out and set about wrapping the pieces of chicken with bacon! image (44)

I used 1 pound of maple smoked bacon to wrap the chicken strips and I had 2 pieces leftover. (They were grilled, crumbled and thrown into the salad.)

Then it was off to the trusty stove of summertime, and a medium high heat for 6 minutes a side.

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With little to no poking or prodding.  Just a few minor bacon draping repairs when I flipped them, and a nice basting with the reserved sauce from earlier.

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Once everything was cooked all the way (no raw chicken at my table, please) we sat down to eat.

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I was a big hit.  Some of the gang even plan to take the leftovers for lunch!  Definitely a success.

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Tasty Tuesday – Grilled Garlicy Potatoes

It’s Tuesday, so we are off on our next cooking adventure!  Last week we made dessert on the BBQ and this week we are going to make another piece of dinner outside!  No, not the main course.  We are going to be making one of the side dishes on the grill!

Garlicy Grilled Potatoes!

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Today’s recipe is another Pinterest modification.  I found a recipe for grilled rosemary garlic red potatoes, which sounded amazing.  The only problem, other than my inability to follow a recipe exactly, was that we were out of rosemary.  Not really a big issue, but it does completely change the flavor profile.  Next time I make these, I’m going to make sure I have the rosemary on hand before I start.

First I washed the potatoes.  I used a 3 pound bag of small red potatoes.  Then I cut the pieces in half (or 1/3rds depending on the original size).  Then I precooked the cut up pieces.  Oh, yeah the original recipe also said to microwave the potatoes prior to grilling them, but we don’t use our microwave to cook, so I boiled them.

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Once they were mostly cooked – you could stick a fork in them easily, but they weren’t mushy, I drained them and set them aside to cool a bit.  When I could actually touch them I put half of them in a resealable plastic bag with about 2 tbsp. of olive oil and 2 tbsp. of minced garlic.  Then I smushed everything together in the bag and repeated the process with the second half of the potatoes.

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Then it was time to grill.  I was making sausage alongside the potatoes, and one of my grill’s burners wasn’t working, so time management and space planning became an issue.  But we overcame! and got everything on that needed to feel the heat.

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I left them be for about 7 minutes, so they’d get nice grill marks and be warm all the way through.  They didn’t stick to the grates, because of the light coating of olive oil from the garlic marinade, which was a definite plus.  The ones that I cut in thirds I flipped over, so there’d be grill marks on both sides, but the others I left alone.

They came out really well, even if I do say so myself.  Good flavor, not too greasy or mushy.  Overall a success.  I will have to try them again, and next time with rosemary.

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Tasty Tuesday – Honey Grilled Peaches

It’s summer time over where I live, so most of my kitchen adventures tend to either lead to the freezer or the backyard BBQ.  This week we are headed outside for a surprisingly good grilled dessert!

As usual, I found the recipe on Pinterest, but made it my own…  I’m really bad a following directions exactly, especially by the time I get to the dessert recipe – it is at the end of the meal, after all.  The original recipe was much more complicated than I was willing to experiment with after a long hard day, but I loved the idea of Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cheese.  Now, mind you I didn’t have any Mascarpone in the fridge, but it is summertime, so we always have vanilla ice cream on hand.  Which lead to the main change in this recipe.

Here’s what I did…

First I washed and halved 3 very nice ripe peaches.  It was the best peach splitting experience I’ve ever had.  Usually I massacre at least one of the peaches while trying to cut them neatly, but this time I didn’t squish any! (Happy Dance performed at the kitchen counter!)  Once they were cut and cleaned, I headed out to the trusty BBQ and put them on cut side up over a medium high heat.  Once they were all settled, I coated the cut side with some honey and flipped them over to get some nice caramelization and grill marks.

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The hardest part of grilling is leaving the stuff alone and not checking on it too often.  I suck at this, it’s that whole lack of patience thing.  I’m trying and this is one of my more manageable challenges in that department.  Once they’d had enough time to get a nice color and warm all the way through I took them off (it took about 6 minutes total – 1 before the honey and 5 face down over the flame).

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Then it was back inside for the fun part!  I took half a peach and placed it in a bowl, added a smallish scoop of vanilla ice cream and a pretty drizzle of caramel sauce.

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Once I took my pictures for the blog, I called the rest of the crew in to make their desserts.  Some followed my lead, others added enough caramel to make my teeth hurt, but to each their own.  Overall this was a great success and a new way to each peaches!

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Tasty Tuesday – The Late Edition

Ok, I know it’s no longer Tuesday, but the craziness that is my life happened to intrude yesterday, and I just couldn’t get my post done…  But I’m bound and determined to keep up with this project, so better late than never…

I’ve headed back to Pinterest for my next kitchen excursion.  This week’s recipe is actually 2 separate dishes, because I don’t eat red meat and the rest of my crew likes it!  I chose to make 2 grilled recipes for this week’s installment because of the holiday weekend and the unofficial beginning of the summer barbecuing season!

The first recipe I made was for a grilled caprese chicken dish.  I did something very unusual for this recipe – I left it completely alone and just followed the directions exactly.  It was a very straightforward meal, and was surprisingly yummy!

First I cut up all my ingredients – fresh mozzarella, beefsteak tomato, fresh basil and boneless skinless chicken breasts.

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Then I brushed the grill down with olive oil and cooked the chicken.

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While the chicken was getting all those pretty grilled stripes I made a simple balsamic reduction infused with a bit of butter.  Then it was time to put it all together!

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Next time, and yes there will totally be a next time, I’m going to put the cheese on while the chicken is still on the grill so it gets a bit more melty…

Now for the second half of our Memorial Day grilling extravaganza – Rolled Stuffed Steak!  This wasn’t exactly a recipe.  The pin I chose just brought you to an image.  It was a multi stage image, but there were no specific directions, so I got to improvise!  One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen.  I chose to take my steak in a Matambre type direction.  Matambre was an experience I first enjoyed when I was visiting friends in Colorado, back when I still ate red meat.

So, because there was no recipe I’ll give you my own directions here:

First I gathered everything I’d need:  carrots, celery, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, Pepper Jack Cheese (or regular Monterey Jack Cheese for the nonspicy among us), flank steak, olive oil, salt & pepper.  (You can use anything you really want as the filler in these.  The Matambre I enjoyed in Colorado had some Kielbasa and jalapeno pepper instead of green pepper.)

Next I prepped everything.  Julienne veggies and sandwich sized pieces of steak.

image (4) (not the best picture, but that’s everything…)

Once I was all prepped and ready to go I started stacking and rolling the steak.  I put a little bit of everything inside the steak and rolled it up into a neat little bundle.

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Once everything was all rolled up and pretty I put them on my olive oil basted grill…

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I made sure to season prior to grilling everything – my grandmother always said that the key ingredient in all recipes is salt & pepper.  I’m a firm believer in not overstimulating you grilling food.  Put it down, let it sit there and get all brown and grilled on one side and turn it over and repeat the process on the other side.

I took them off the grilled, plated everything on my fine china (gotta love the paper plate!) and served them along with the chicken and some grilled asparagus.

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Overall it was a very yummy dinner!

 

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