Archive for June, 2013



A draft that was not posted till today.
Once and a while other than a hamburger, ground beef with some simple additions can be cooked as a loaf. Not a glamorous meal but considered a comfort food . Sliced and served on bread with a bit of catsup, an excellent sandwich. Utilizing a microwave oven makes short order of a meat loaf that would normally take a considerable time to bake in a conventional oven.


20130623-192348.jpga recipe from an old book for microwave ovens.







20130623-192624.jpga classic baking dish loaf pan.


20130623-192727.jpgas the ol’ saying goes”don’t let your meat loaf!”



current pricessam06


Raisin and cinnamon bread

Using a batch of bread dough , makes two loaves. Usually when making this recipe I add more sugar to the dough so it is more like a sweet dough.
Assuming you make bread just use you fav recipe for dough,divide the dough into equal portions.
Roll one out to a rectangular size the short end about as wide as the bread pan about triple or better in length.

20130615-220617.jpggive the dough the ol’ butter massage.


20130615-221046.jpgadd sugar, cinnamon and raisins, press into dough

20130615-220830.jpgroll up and place into bread pan. (Repeat for other loaf (or make a plain loaf ))


20130615-221529.jpglet rise. This is the second rise by the way, the first rise was before rolling out the dough.

20130615-221742.jpgthe tops have been slit during rising and placed in oven for baking.

20130615-221909.jpgbaked and cooling.

20130615-222101.jpgsliced, it’s easier to make a loaf like this than to make cinnamon buns, just slice the bread, excellent for toast.


Steak and eggs

Once in a great while, instead of bacon , beef is served for breakfast.

20130615-215217.jpgsauté some onion rings and peppers, here yellow peppers.

20130615-215350.jpgAdd some beef, here some sirloin sliced.

20130615-215501.jpgpush the mix to the side, add eggs.

20130615-215617.jpgcook to preference, serve over shredded lettuce.



BBQ chicken

Technically the first charcoal grille of the season a smoked BBQ chicken. The plan is to smoke a chicken beer can style vertically.

The bird was also going to be brined. After searching for a couple of recipes for brining I did the following.

Bag yourself a bird

Bag yourself a bird

Gathered ingredients for the brine:


sugar, white

olive oil

lemon peels

orange peels


bay leafs

onion, white

black peppercorns

red pepper flakes

Brine Ingredients

Brine Ingredients

Roughly cut the onion, fruit peels and garlic. The fruit skin sections were from frozen saved sections in lieu of lemon juice.

The salt amount will be the most  required (about a half a cup) to brine, all other ingredients are for flavor and since the bird is going to be rubbed and smoked the flavorings and herbs are kept at a minimum.

Place the ingredients in a saucepan with about 1/2 the amount of water you need to soak the chicken.

Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat and let steep essentially making a tea for the bird.

Chicken Brine

Chicken Brine

Add cold water to bring the amount necessary to submerge the bird.

I am using a 1 gallon  plastic bag in this case, better than a rigid container as it uses less water and allow the bird to be completed surrounded by the brine.IMG_2695

(The 1 gallon bag leaked so I had to double bag it with a burrito bag)

Prepare the whole chicken:

This is like giving the chicken a spa treatment, unwrap and wash and rinse the bird, place in a plastic Ziploc bag and pour in the cool brine solution. Let the chicken sit in the fridge 2 to 3 hours at best , more than this I’m told will make the bird too salty.

When the brine is completed, remove from the solution rinse the bird and pat dry.

All brined and ready for a Rub

All brined and ready for a Rub

Massage the chicken thoroughly with a seasoned rub to your preference, usually I make my own rub but I have many varieties that were gifted to me over the years.IMG_2699

Place the chicken in another clean plastic bag and you can add more rub at this point and massage it in the bag.

Application of the Rub

Application of the Rub

Let sit again for about and hour or two, prep the grille at this point and or find something else to do.

Originally I use a vertical roaster for chickens but wanted to try the beer can method, not having a beer can I immediately jumped in my car and went out to buy some beer…. NO WAY.  Instead, I used a 14 ounce tomato can jammed into the chicken.

Now this will have to be referred to as tomato can chicken!IMG_2701 Allow the chicken to stand up on a tin foil pie pan and then fill the can with white wine. (The wine was what I had in the fridge you can use beer or whatever.)

After starting a batch of charcoal , yes, this can be considered an all day affair making  this bird,  the charcoal pan was lowered into the Charbroil smoker and filled with the prepared embers.  Above that a grille grate with the chicken standing in the pie pan. The usual method I use to BBQ smoke is to add pellets, in this case a mix of oak and hickory, to the charcoal, cover and let it smoke away. Ahh what a aroma !!!IMG_2702Never seem to get enough pictures outside of the grille setup.

The temp was in the low end for BBQ, so I roughly figured about 1 and 1/2 hours.

At 2 hours the temp of the bird was almost up to par.

That turned out to be more like 3 hours, adding more pellets along the way the temp stayed steady for those 3 hours.

Well now being at the late hour I didn’t  get to taste the juiciness of the bird, as I decided to refrigerate it for the next day.IMG_2703 IMG_2704

Now even cold it’s a tasty treat, smoke of course is the dominate flavor and the skin is like a smoked sausage skin, snappy.


The carved pieces were  wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves and eaten to enjoy the smoky flavor.

I guess lemonade would be good to quench the smoky  flavor.


Red Beans and rice

Red beans and rice
Searched for a recipe and substituted with the ingredients on hand.
Using a small food chopper process white onion, bell pepper and garlic and add to olive oil in the bottom of a fairly large pan.
Sauté several minutes.
I also used the chopper to process some sausage, store bought smoked sausage that was the size of large hot dogs. Minced fine, now added to the sautéed vegetables and continue to cook several more minutes.

20130608-110704.jpgCanned red beans were added about one pound and a half, about one half of the large can. With suitable water to cover by about an inch. Seasoning varied but included smoked hot red pepper flakes, bay leaf,thyme, chili powder, and sage to taste. Mine is a bit hot and spicy. Note that the red beans are already cooked from the can so simmering will only be a short time.

20130608-110838.jpgPrepare white rice while the beans are cooking. Traditionally mash some of the beans to thicken
Plate up the rice and serve beans over or to the side . Serve with cold light beer, a golden lager very cold in frosted mugs always seems to compliment the spicy red beans.

20130608-110939.jpgnote: those familiar with the combination of food and drink presented here will be aware of gastric disturbance that may accompany this meal, typically the production of gas …. 🙊


Roasted vegetables with bulgar wheat

See my previous post, I’ll insert the link here later.
Round out a serving of roasted vegetables, opting for a meatless meal. Bread? Rice? Noodles ? Pasta? Barley? How bout bulgar wheat? Doesn’t take long to prepare and served with some lettuce leaf as wraps.

20130608-104011.jpg shave some cheese, Romano this dish

20130608-104031.jpgdone with another post, enjoy! Wait another use….
Prepare some stock, add the mixed roasted vegetables bring to a boil, add some Pepe # 51,is what I have, stir, remove from heat and let sit a will be rewarded later with a delicious soup.



Roasted vegetables

Eat your vegetables! Is a phrase we often hear as we grow up. I don’t have an issue with that as long as they are prepared the way I like them.
Roasting is an alternative to sautéing them. Once the chopping prep is done that’s all the heavy lifting you’ll be doing!

20130608-101340.jpgAs usual, a lot of photos to tell the story!





20130608-101532.jpg ok, now that all the work is done, making a dressing to go with the veggies, that is something based with olive oil and your fav flavorings. Butter , herbs etc.

20130608-101732.jpg toss the dressing with he veggies. A bit of refrigerated wort (unfermented beer) went in there.

20130608-101832.jpgonto a sheet pan lined with parchment, a small sample of the salad is tasted at this point, as if you didn’t know that, sea salt sprinkles are optional.


20130608-102046.jpg into a 325 degrees oven don’t rush it, let the flavors meld. An hour or two. Oops almost forgot , caramelization!

20130608-102140.jpgthe completed vegetables, now would you resist this if you had to eat all your vegetables to get dessert!



A simple pizza, the fresh basil available from a container plant that hs been doing good this year. Keeping it trimmed to encourage growth. Also a wedge of Romano cheese has been purchased from the warehouse club. Good grade cheese is higher priced compared to the individually wrapped processed tasteless slices of what gets passed off as cheese. In the long run the increase in quality and price of the better cheese evens out as you need less to get what it is supposed to taste like.
A plain white bread dough recipe, enough to fill a large 14 inch cast iron skillet and a 12 inch skillet. The pizza additional shell is available for other family members to build their own.

20130608-094120.jpgrinsed and drained 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes.
Just a tad of sugar added. Fresh tomato is available but I opted to go with the canned for now. Some of the fresh tomato available is like a hot house variety, not tops on the list for flavor. None planned for the backyard this year…. On with the pizza…

20130608-094441.jpgfresh basil. Taste with your eyes….

20130608-094600.jpgno explanation needed.

20130608-094636.jpgdrizzle of oil standard with this pie, not shown, some smashed garlic.

20130608-094710.jpgyep… Thick billowy crust for this pizza.

20130608-094755.jpgassembly complete, into the 500 degree or better oven.

20130608-094844.jpgout of the pan and on to the rack for the finish. Don’t mind some cornmeal falling to the bottom of the oven. I have a silicone mat, received as a gift, installed.

20130608-094931.jpgon to the chopping block.

20130608-095008.jpgglad the weather was cool this night…..


Bread Dough focaccia

Tired of the regular ingredients on pizza? Fresh basil and sage is available and a quick bread needed.
white onion and garlic to taste along with some sage and basil added to a food chopper, process.
Microwave with some butter a minute or two. Or sauté (if not in a hurry)!
Add to a small batch of bread dough.
Knead and add flour till smooth.
Utilizing corn meal, on a cutting board or equivalent , form into two flatbreads big enough to fit on a cast iron griddle that has been placed in a oven , heated to 500 degrees. Brush the flatbreads with olive oil and top with sea salt and blended cracked pepper if desired.
Slide onto the griddle and bake 10 to 13 minutes, till golden or well done to your preference.
Serve with olive oil to dip.
Goes well with a fruity wine.






June 2013

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