Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grill- tasticness

I had another grill-tastic weekend. It was nice to have a good weekend after a super busy week at work. We are in our busy season at work from now until the middle of August. I grilled 3 times in 2 days. Stacy's parents came over Saturday morning and watched Isabella. Stacy and I went shopping. When we got home, I cooked bacon wrapped pork sirloin, potatoes and heated some Bush's Grillin' Beans. See my post Bacon Wrapped Pork for the pork recipe. I did the potatoes a new way. I cut them lengthwise in 6 or so slices, like big potato chips. After salting and peppering, I grilled them on each side until golden brown. I even heated the beans on the side burner of my grill, so the whole lunch was cooked on the grill.
      While Isabella was napping, I made a blueberry crumble on the grill. I found this recipe from Lodge Cast Iron on their Facebook page. Here is the text from the post.
 Just in time for berry picking' season, here's the Simple Berry Skillet Cobbler recipe from "The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook."

Try this recipe, we know you're gonna love it!

Simple Berry Skillet Cobbler
Before the earnest heat of summer sets in, a cold snap happens in Tennessee called blackberry winter; the old timers say the colder the snap, the sweeter the berries. Says Jane Gaither, who blogs at Gourmet Gadget Gal, “My family homeplace at the edge of the Smoky Mountains is covered with raspberry and blackberry brambles and we pick, can, freeze, and eat them year round.“ Her berry cobbler recipe uses raspberries but you can use any type of berry or peaches. Be sure to serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.
Serves 6 to 8
One 10-ounce bag individually frozen raspberries or 1 pint fresh berries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1. Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 350°F.
2. Mix together the raspberries, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of the flour, the lemon juice, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
3. Melt the butter in the skillet in the oven until it starts to brown around the edge and foam. It’s important to have the butter sizzling hot!
4. While the butter is melting, in a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup flour, remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the baking powder, salt, and milk until just combined. The batter may still have a few lumps but it should be about the consistency of pancake batter.
5. Pour the batter over the butter in the hot skillet. Do not stir. Immediately spoon the berry mixture on top of the batter. Bake until the crust looks golden and crispy, 25 to 30 minutes.

I used frozen blueberries and did it all on the grill. It took a little over 30 minutes. Next time, I'll try smoking it on the grill with some wood chips.

 Stacy had a Pampered Chef party Saturday night. Isabella and I had daddy daughter time. We went outside, watered the garden, and played.

 Sunday night, I made pizza, grilled pineapple, grilled bread and Stacy made a salad. For the pizza, I cooked up some bacon in my cast iron skillet. I then drained most of the grease out of the pan and sprinkled corn meal in the pan. I stretched a refrigerated pizza crust in the skillet and precooked it for a little on the grill. My pizzas have been turning out a little soggy in the center, not this time though. I also put on a little less sauce than normal.  I topped the pizza with Pampered Chef Beer BBQ Sauce, ground pork, peppers, onions, crumbled bacon, and cheese. I cooked it on indirect heat.

While the pizza was cooking, I made a glaze for the pineapple. I put fresh squeezed lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and a little vanilla extract in a pan and melted it over low heat. Also when I was cooking the pizza, I put a couple pieces of pineapple rind on the grill to add some pineapple smoke. Once the pizza was done, I grilled the pineapple. The pineapple got basted several times with the glaze. Also, I grilled some day old bread that I cut up like bread sticks. We really enjoyed our meal.

Hope everybody has a good week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dada Day!

I hope everybody had a good week! I had a good weekend. Saturday, we ran an errand then went to the post office to check the mail. I had a package! I got my prize that I won on Aviation Maintenance Technician day for answering a question on Facebook. My prize was a heavy duty step stool called the "Shure Step."  We are going to use it for now as a step for Isabella to use when she washes her hands at the sink.

       I mowed the lawn for the second time this year and weed whacked around the yard a little. During Isabella's nap time I prepped dinner. I salted, peppered and rubbed some Pampered Chef Smoky Barbecue Rub on lamb leg steaks. I also stuffed some peppers. I then got to watch some of my BBQ U and Primal Grill shows that I had DvR'd until Isabella woke up from her nap. 
     For dinner, I grilled the lamb, peppers and whole potatoes. The potatoes were rubbed with oil, then salt and peppered. Isabella and I really liked the lamb. Stacy found out she still doesn't like lamb no matter how it cooked. 
    Sunday was Father's day. While Isabella was eating her breakfast, I prepped dinner. Even though it was Father's day I wanted to grill dinner again. I cut onions, peppers and pork loin chops into strips. Next I salted and peppered everything. After that, I added Worcestershire sauce, honey mustard  salad dressing, minced garlic and a dash of Pampered Chef Smoky Applewood rub to the bowl and mixed it up. It all went into the fridge to marinate all day.  Here are some pictures of what Isabella wore on Father's day:

   We all went to Stacy's parents house and had a nice lunch. We had bbq chicken, ribs, salad, macaroni salad, corn bread, and cake. It was all very good. When we got home we Skyped with my Mother, sister Joy and my Dad. After that, I grilled the pork stuff that was marinating. I cooked it on the Pampered Chef Roasting pan and can holder. I also toasted some hot dog buns. One got a little too done and had to be thrown away. It only takes a minute or two to toast the buns. We put the pork, onion, pepper mixture on our hot dog buns and sprinkled a little cheese on top. We ate them with some chips. It was a nice easy grilled meal. Tasted good too.
         My Pampered Chef show is still going on till this Friday, the 22nd of June. I so far have no orders. It is super easy to order online and anybody can do it.  To order go to the website: and click "shop online", enter in Matthew Schneider as host and you're all set.  

I leave you with a few pics of Talkeetna at 11:30 at night. Have a great week!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I hope everybody had a good week. I had a nice 3 day weekend. I worked Sunday last week so I could have Friday off. Friday was a busy day for us. We went grocery shopping and then went to the city of Palmer's Colony days. Isabella got to go in the petting zoo and pet goats, a pig and a sheep. The sheep tried to escape while we were in there. We walked around and looked and tasted what people had for sale. We also had lunch there. After that we did more grocery shopping and went home. Stacy and I continued to clean the house for the party on Saturday. Isabella took a nap. After her nap, I started my grill cleaning project. If you read my last blog post, you will remember that I had a fire in my grill. 
       I started out by stripping it down to the burners and hosing it all off with water. I scrubbed out the grease from the bottom of the grill. I had over an inch of greasy crud on the bottom. I had not done a full deep clean of the grill in the 2 years that I have owned it. I washed and soaped it down some more and let it drip dry for a bit. 

I then blew the burners out with compressed air. After that I reassembled the burners and hooked up the propane. I turn on the propane and soaped all the connections looking for leaks. Once I was satisfied that there were no leaks, I lit the burners. The middle one was the only one that wouldn't light with the ignitor. I did get it lit with a grill lighter and when I used it again Saturday, it lit with the ignitor. So I put it all back together and let it burn for about 10 minutes to dry everything out. My best guess on the cause of the fire is that I had too much greasy build up because I didn't find any evidence of a gas leak.

Saturday we ran some more errands and prepped for the party. The start time was 3 and Stacy and I had decided that we were going to start even if nobody was there yet. At 3:15, I went out and lit the charcoal. At 3:30 we started making the pizza. We made the beer bbq Hawaiian pizza that we have made a few times before. This time, I cooked it on the charcoal grill. While the pizza was cooking, I made brats and corn on the propane side. We think that this is the first time I've cooked on both sides at once.
 I basted the brats with bbq sauce when they were almost cooked. I rotated the pizza a few times until it was done. It cooked for about 20 minutes.

 Once the corn was done, we rubbed it with a compound butter that we made. We took softened and mixed in Pampered Chef Chili lime rub.
We also had Bush's Sweet Mesquite Grillin' beans, fresh veggies and dill dip to eat. Everybody missed out because nobody showed. Stacy, Isabella and I had a nice feast. The pizza tasted really good. You could really taste the hickory from the charcoal. I used Kingsford Hickory charcoal.  The corn was really good too. Isabella really likes corn on the cob. We love grilled corn and don't plan on boiling corn on the cob again.

         On Sunday, we drove into Anchorage and celebrated Stacy's grandma's 80th birthday. We also celebrated a couple of her aunts birthdays. After that we went back to Wasilla and went to a bbq at an airplane part store. We had a fun time and entered a door prize drawing. Monday, I got a call that both Stacy and I had won door prizes. We won parts for planes that we don't own. So if you own a Super Cub and need a battery box or a long step let me know and I'll make you a good deal. 
         My Pampered Chef show has been extended to the 22nd of June. I so far have no orders. It is super easy to order online and anybody can do it.  To order go to the website: and click "shop online", enter in Matthew Schneider as host and you're all set.  

Anything you order will count toward my show. Have a great week and Happy Father's day to all the Father's out there!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I had a shortened weekend this week. I only had Saturday off and was back to work on Sunday. Saturday was a good day until the grill caught fire. More on that in a minute. We went to a plant sale that the Mat-Su master gardeners were having. We got 4 basil plants, an Oregon cherry tomato plant and a strawberry plant all for $8. Stacy and I planted them while Isabella helped when we got home. These are the last plants we plan on getting this year and they were to replace or supplement a few that weren't doing well.
      So my plan for Saturday dinner was London Broil, baked potatoes, stuffed mini peppers, and grilled bread all cooked on the grill. I rubbed the London Broil ( which is a thick cut of beef) with salt, pepper and Pampered Chef Smoky applewood rub. Then put in a ziplock bag with Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic and let it marinade for an hour or so. I heated the grill and put my smoker box under the grill grate with  apple wood chips in it. While the meat was cooking, I took some potatoes and washed and dried them. After rubbing the skins with vegetable oil, I salted and peppered them and put them on the grill. I rotated the meat and potatoes a few times and took the potatoes off when they were fork tender. At this point the meat was almost done, so I was inside getting the peppers out of the fridge and the bread ready. Suddenly, Stacy tells me that there is a lot of smoke coming out from the grill. I don't think much of it, but look outside to make sure things are ok. To my surprise, there are flames shooting out from under the lid and under the controls. I turn off the gas, disconnect the tank and get the meat off. It is still on fire after I get  the meat inside and it doesn't look like it is going to stop by itself. I grab the fire extinguisher and quickly put the fire out. After I knew it was out, I poured 2 gallons of water on it to help cool it.
     I then went back to making dinner. I broiled the peppers and bread in the oven and Stacy and I ate the meat. It was at a nice doneness, just a little extra char. We loved the potatoes. All of us including Isabella ate the potato skin. During dinner, I just kept staring at the grill feeling terrible. We decided to make a chocolate chip cookie in the cast iron skillet after Isabella went to bed to cheer me up. Here is the link to the recipe:
It came out really good. We added 1/4 of a cup of Craisens to the mix in addition to the chocolate chips. It came out nice and chewy. This will definitely be one of our go to desserts now.
     This Friday, I will be cleaning and inspecting the grill. Hopefully, it will come back to life. I am having a Pampered Chef Thrill of the Grill party on Saturday. I still have the charcoal side of the grill to use, but I was planning on cooking other things on the gas side, while we cook a pizza on the charcoal side. I also have my little portable gas grill as a backup too. Speaking of Pampered Chef, as part of this party I have an online catalog show going too. It would really help me towards my goal of more grilling tools if people would order online. To order online go to and click "shop online". Enter in Matthew Schneider as your host name and your all set! Your order will count towards my Pampered Chef Grilling Party! I will blog about how I use my new products, so help me out. I get more free product as show host the more people order. 
   Next week, I will post about my party and the grill repair. I will try and figure out what went wrong so none of you have to go through it. I will tell you that I will be doing an inspection and deep clean more often. Have a good week and happy grilling!