Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fresh Veggies!

This week was a short work week for me. I worked Monday through Wednesday. Today Isabella had a followup to her allergy testing. We can now reintroduce peanut and chicken back to her diet. She is still allergic to beef though. Now onto this last weekends grill adventures and slight misadventures. 
    Saturday for snack I cut a couple brownies in half and filled them with marshmallow creme. Then I quickly grilled them on each side till warm. They came out good.

Brownie smore!
 For dinner, I grilled Yukon gold potatoes, turkey breast and a fruit concoction for dessert. I grilled the potatoes wrapped in foil. The skins were rubbed in olive oil and salted. They cooked for about 40 minutes on the grill at medium heat. I filleted the turkey breast and rubbed it with Pampered Chef Smokey Applewood Rub, salt and pepper. I grilled it with applewood chips in my smoker box. It was done in about 15 minutes on medium heat.
For dessert, I cooked up some fruit together. I grilled some peach slices for a few minutes before putting them in a pan with melted butter, cut up strawberries, bananas, and frozen blueberries. I added brown sugar, oatmeal, vanilla and orange extract. The whole thing then cooked down on the grill for a while. 
Warning: Don't cook this recipe in a cast iron skillet like I did. It tasted very good and had a nice smokey flavor, but it stuck super bad to my pan. I think it needed more butter to lube the pan and to be cooked less time. Next time, I will cook it in a foil pan and for less time. I scrubbed my pan multiple times and I think I lost some of my great seasoning on my pan that I have built up since I got the pan for Christmas.  

Fruit concoction
Sunday, I made a fairly simple dinner. I grilled some bruschetta, and fresh veggies. Stacy made homemade mozzarella sticks. To make the bruschetta I buttered both sides of the bread, and topped it with sliced turkey and cheese. I grilled it till the cheese was melted and the bread was toasty. 

I kept the veggies super simple. I cut up fresh zucchini, carrots, and onions from our garden. I also added some mini sweet peppers. I tossed the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. I grilled the veggies on my Pampered Chef BBQ Roasting pan. I had applewood chips in the smoker box. I grilled them for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. They tasted really good. It was nice to use fresh ingredients that we had grown.

We will have more fresh veggies this weekend. We still have carrots, zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes growing. We also are going to go to a local farm and pick some veggies. It is nice to support local farms and businesses when we can. I hope everybody has a good rest of their week. Happy grilling!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Macaroni Salad!

I had another busy week at work last week. Over the weekend, I only grilled once, but cooked meals a couple other times. Saturday morning, I made a dutch baby for breakfast. We topped it with sliced sugared strawberries. We really enjoy dutch babies and Isabella likes watching them in the oven. On a side note, I miss eating strawberries that have taste. Most of the ones we get in the store here don't have a taste. I was hoping to grow some this year, but the critters and bugs are eating them before they are ready.
Isabella watching the dutch baby

She was watching and dancing

Isabella had her strawberry outfit on
For Sunday lunch, we made pulled pork nachos. We topped the chips with bbq pulled pork, cheese, and thawed frozen southwestern corn mix. Then we broiled it on low for a bit till the meat was warm and the cheese melted.
Sunday dinner, I grilled hamburgers and fries. In the hamburgers, I put bread crumbs, olive oil, green onions, chopped sweet pepper, Pampered chef Smoky BBQ rub, garlic, fresh grated parmesean cheese and salt and pepper. I formed them into patties in the morning and froze them till it was time to grill them. I grilled them over medium heat. I still had some bad flareups and had to move them to a safe zone on my grill temporarily. A lot of people spray their flareups down with water, but that is stupid. Flare ups on a grill are caused by burning grease and water makes grease fires worse. So the best way to deal with a flare up is to move the meat to a cooler part of the grill till the fire subsides. I wasn't prepared for the first flareup. I tried to flip the burgers with the cover still on my spatula and melted the cover slightly.
   I also grilled sweet potato and russet potato fries in the Pampered Chef BBQ Roasting Pan. I enjoy grilling fries this way. As a side dish, we also had macaroni salad. I made the salad in the morning and let the flavors meld all day. We cooked the noodles Saturday night and let them cool in the fridge all night. In the morning, I added all the other ingredients. I added light mayo, light miracle whip,  green onions, grated carrots, cut up roasted red pepper, dill relish, and salt and pepper. The roasted red peppers were peppers that I had roasted on the bbq months ago and froze. I roasted the whole peppers till the skin was charred. Then you scrape off most of the black and the seeds and I had put it in a freezer bag. When I used it in the mac salad, I took the frozen peppers out of the bag and sliced a few pieces off and diced it. The peppers thawed nicely in the salad. We really liked the mac salad. The peppers were a nice touch.
  I hope everybody has a nice week. Enjoy the last bit of summer we have. The leaves are starting to turn here in Alaska. Happy grilling!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Anniversary Weekend!

   Last weekend Stacy and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary. Stacy's parents watched Isabella for a few hours while we went out to lunch. We also picked up dinner for later. After Isabella was in bed, we heated up our Chinese food and watched The Big Year. It was a very good movie and I highly recommend it.
   Sunday for dinner, I grilled thin boneless pork loin chops, zucchini, potatoes, cabbage and onions, and sweet peppers. I seasoned the pork with salt and pepper on both sides. Then I rubbed it with Pampered Chef Smoky Applewood rub. I set the grill to medium low. I grilled it for about 5 minutes or less per side , since it was so thin. The potatoes were grilled whole with a little salt on the skins for about 25 minutes. The zucchini was the first zucchini from our garden. I cut it several times lengthwise and salted and peppered it before I rubbed it with Pampered Chef Chili Lime Rub. I grilled it for a few minutes per side. I could finally taste the rub. I have used it on several things in the past and hadn't been able to taste it as well as I did on the  zucchini.  It was pretty good. The sweet peppers were cut in half and grilled for a few minutes per side.

  The cabbage and onions were grilled in a foil packet. I doubled up the foil and put sliced cabbage and sliced onions in the foil. I put minced garlic on top, drizzled olive oil on it and salted and peppered everything. I put the foil packets on the colder part of my grill for about 15 to 20 minutes. When I opened the packets, they were perfectly steamed. This was a nice way to make cabbage and onions without heating up the whole house.

All the grilled veggies!
Foil cooked cabbage and onions

We had a great dinner and a weekend. I hope everybody has a great rest of your week. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Grilled French Toast!

I had a short weekend last week. I stayed an extra day at work and worked Saturday. Even though I was only home one day, I grilled 3 times. Saturday night after Isabella was in bed, I grilled chicken hardwood sausage for our dinner. I also grilled a caribou round steak in prep for dinner Sunday.
    Sunday morning, I preheated the grill to medium heat while I gathered everything. I took my french toast batter, bread and my new Pampered Chef BBQ Flexible Turner out to the grill. After I brushed and oiled the grates, I dipped bread in the egg mixture and put it on the grill. I grilled the bread till it had nice grill marks and toasted. I tried grilling bacon too, but it flared up too much. I finally put the bacon in my cast iron skillet. The french toast came out good.

    After breakfast, I made pizza dough and got it rising in the oven. I had preheated the oven to 200 degrees and turned it off once the dough was in there to rise. Later during Isabella's nap, I divided the dough in half and rolled it out. I put it on the grill and let it cook for a few minutes per side. Next, I brought it inside and put it on a cookie sheet. I topped one pizza with cut up caribou, mini sweet peppers, grilled onion, frozen grilled corn, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, and pepper. I also drizzled some olive oil on before I put the cheese on. I baked the pizza on the grill with the cookie sheet under it to prevent the crust from burning. I cooked it on medium until the cheese was nice and melted.
      I made the other pizza a dessert pizza. I whipped cream cheese with some sugar and spread it on the dough. Next, I topped it with cut up peaches, nectarines, cherries, and frozen blueberries. I drizzled honey on top and sprinkled cinnamon on it. I also cooked it on the grill with the cookie sheet under it. I cooked it till the fruit was nice and warm. When it was done, I sprinkled powdered sugar on top. Isabella loved both pizzas, but especially the fruit one. I forgot to get a pic of the caribou pizza.

While the pizzas grilled, I also grilled some corn. I tried something new to me and grilled it with the husk on. I grilled it till the husk had a nice brown to almost burnt color. When it cooled, I husked it and put it in the fridge. 

I hope everybody has a good rest of their week. Happy grilling!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I had another busy week with lots of overtime, but still managed to grill two days. Saturday after we ran some errands, I washed both our cars in the driveway. Isabella was scared of the pressure washer. I also mowed the lawn for the first time in three weeks. I got a call from one of the companies that I work for asking me to come to work that night. I took a nap while Isabella took her nap that afternoon.
      Soon after my nap, I started dinner. I took some pork sirloin out of the freezer and defrosted it a little. Next, I pounded it flatter. After that, I salted, peppered, and put some Pampered Chef Smoky Applewood rub on it. I whisked an egg with a fork and poured it over both sides of the pork. Then panko bread crumbs were sprinkled and rubbed in. I set the middle burner on my grill on low and the other two on medium. I grilled the pork until it was at a proper internal temp. It had a nice crust and was a lot like a schnitzel.
     To go along with the pork, I grilled some potato halves and broccoli. The potatoes were cut in half and salted and peppered. I grilled them cut side down for a few minutes till they were golden brown. I then finished grilling them skin side down. The broccoli was sprinkled with sugar and salt and pepper. The sugar is to keep the broccoli from getting bitter when grilled. I grilled it till it had nice grill marks and the tips a light char. Isabella ate all her dinner and even got ice cream as a reward.

     I went to work Saturday night and we got the inspection done by 3AM. I slept till 5 AM, then I drove home. I slept for another hour after I got home. I then got up and we went to Stacy's parents house. We had a nice brunch to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
       For Sunday dinner, I grilled salmon on cedar planks. I cut a salmon into fillets and steaks. I put it on soaked cedar planks. Then I put salt, pepper, lemon pepper, sliced onions and sliced lemons on top. The whole thing went on the grill at medium low heat. I cooked it for about half an hour until the fish was flaky.

To go with the salmon, I grilled pasta in foil packets. To make the pasta, cook it 2 minutes less than the al dente directions on the package. Then I mixed it with garlic salt, pepper, olive oil, peppers, and the leftover sliced onions from the salmon. I made 3 foil packets out of 2 layers of foil each and loosely wrapped each one. In one I grated mozzarella cheese and the other two had parmesean grated on top. I cooked them for almost as long as the salmon, rotating and shaking every so often. It came out good, except next time I will top it with the cheese after it was cooked. The cheese burned on some noodles. 

I hope everybody has a good week. I'll catch you next time.