Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fire 'er Up

"Grilling, broiling, barbecuing - whatever you want to call it - is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach" ~
James Beard

Fired up the grill again today, why turn on a stove when we have warm breezes and sunny skies? Today's menu was inspired by Paula over at It's All Gouda. Ever since she posted her super stuffed peppers, I knew that these babies would make it onto my grill. I put my own twist on these using chicken instead of beef, check Paula's blog for her recipe and directions for assembling and cooking these peppers.

Super Stuffed Peppers

My changes/substitutions:

1 pound ground chicken
1 cup cooked brown rice
3/4 cup corn
3/4 cup black beans
1 small onion, minced
1 cup Sargento's Classic 4 Cheese Mexican
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. fire brick pepper
Chopped fresh parsley
Chili powder
Light basting of BBQ sauce
Note: I did not parboil the peppers, they turned out crisp/tender

I had a 2 pound package of ground chicken, so I also made Super Chicken Burgers with grilled Vidalia Onions

Super Chicken Burgers

1 pound ground chicken
1/4 to 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 onion, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt & Fire Brick Pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients, shape into patties. Grill on each side till done. I lightly basted them with BBQ sauce and left them on the grill for about another minute (each side). The Vidalia onions were basted with equal portions of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with sea salt and grilled.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Taking it outdoors...

I bet you wondered when I would actually post some food on my cooking blog again. Well the official start of summer started this past weekend, so I fired up the grill. Now I know that some use propane grills, but not me. I like the old-fashioned barrel and charcoal. Nothing gives your food that smokey goodness like charcoal. Then we have the decision whether to use a dry rub or marinade. My preference is a dry rub with four simple, readily available ingredients. My secret to fall-off-the-bone ribs follows.

BBQ Ribs

Dry Rub:
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. fire brick pepper
1 Tbsp. smoky paprika
6 Tbsp. brown sugar

Mix well, rub over ribs and cover, refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld into the meat. Mix up 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water in a spray bottle. Lightly (and I mean lightly) spray your meat to keep it moist while cooking (too much water will put out your coals). I let my ribs stay on the grill long enough to get brown and absorb that nice smoke flavor, then I baste them with BBQ sauce (we go light on sauce, you can always serve extra on the side) and place them in a covered roaster. Place the roaster in a pre-heated 275 to 300 degree oven for an hour (or more) and your meat will fall-off-the-bone. I have been preparing them this way for over 30 years, my ribs are in high demand at family reunions. Guarantee your family will love them too!

We kept it simple this year and served veggie pockets and fresh from my garden salad as sides.

Veggie Pocket

Simply cut up your favorite vegetables and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and thyme), fold the foil and seal well. Place on grill and let cook, turning occasionally for 30 to 45 minutes or until tender.

Fresh from the garden salad

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memories of Dad...

When I'm Gone

When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile.

Forget unkind words I have spoken; Remember some good I have done. Forget that I ever had heartache And remember I've had loads of fun.

Forget that I've stumbled and blundered And sometimes fell by the way. Remember I have fought some hard battles And won, ere the close of the day.

Then forget to grieve for my going, I would not have you sad for a day, But in summer just gather some flowers And remember the place where I lay, And come in the shade of evening When the sun paints the sky in the west Stand for a few moments beside me And remember only my best. - Mrs. Lyman Hancock

Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pot to Plate

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, green onion and Violas

We had salad for lunch today, harvested fresh from my garden. The salad was dressed with a Warm Vinaigrette borrowed from Peter over at The lettuce seed was a gift from my daughter Racquel, it was delish!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dawn In The Garden

It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought ~ James Douglas

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I Learned From You

I learned about love from you, Watching your caring ways. I learned about joy from you In fun-filled yesterdays.

Mom, circa 1946 in front of Grandma's home in Cleveland, Ohio

From you I learned forgiving Of faults both big and small. I learned what I know about living From you, as you gave life your all. The example you set is still with me I'd never want any other. I'm thankful for all that you taught me, And I'm blessed to call you "Mother." By Joanna Fuchs

Lake Erie Shoreline

The above oil painting was done by my mother before I was born, I have one other and they are my most prized possessions.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Early morning walks...

Earth laughs in flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our early morning walks have been filled with the fragrance of Lilacs, this morning I took my camera along to capture the beauty of Spring in my neighborhood. Enjoy!

I haven't cooked/baked anything of note recently, with almost two years of recipes posted on my blog, I am taking a break from the stove. Look for updates on my rooftop garden and local foods. Ramps have arrived at the farmers markets, check out The Cage Free Tomato for two yummy recipes.

Allium tricoccum, commonly known as ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, or ail des bois (French), is a member of the onion family (Alliaceae). Found in groups with broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems and a scallion-like bulb strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible ~ Wiki