Tuesday, August 29, 2006

boneless skinless chicken breasts on the grill

Life is so much more convenient now. I know my Grandma used to have to go out in the back yard and kill a chicken to have chicken for dinner. I suppose I might be a vegetarian if I had to get that close to my food.

One really handy, more-recent offering is the packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. OK. They've been around for a while, but I'm mentally walking back in time with Grandma. But, seriously it's really nice to grab meat at the grocery or out of the freezer ready to cook right up.

I've found that some friends have problems with these chicken pieces on the grill. The boneless breasts usually don't have the skin and fat which does mean they take a little thought. But, once you get the basics down, they are both quick and easy. They are also low in fat and much healthier than the beef that I do adore on the grill.

Tips on Making Delicious Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Top off that barbecue grilled steak with some peanut butter fudge. YUM!

We had grilled steak last night using my favorite barbecue steak recipe. I started making steak this way back in college which I must say is quite a few years back though I won't say how many. Really, I'm just too lazy to do the math. Let's just say that I was at NC State when they won the basketball national championship in 1983 under Valvano. In any case, everyone thought my steak rocked back then, and they still do.

I decided to get lazy and just tossed the charcoal in the grill. After throwing dry grass and paper towels on the charcoals with lots of lighter fluid (ugh), I remembered why I recommend using barbecue chimney starter - an inexpensive and very handy grill accessory. Next time I grill (which will be soon I'm sure), I'll do it right and not dink around for over a half hour getting the fire going.

We hadn't had anything homemade sweet in a while, since it's been hot. My air conditioner does not do the trick when the temps hit the 90s (F). My boys were at the begging stage. Since fudge is a stovetop dish and pretty quick, I decided to make a pan of my Easy Southern Peanut Butter Fudge. That did stay in the house and not outside in the heat, but it sure was a nice treat after our grilled meal. In fact, the whole pan was gone in two days, and I only had two little pieces. My kids go wild for this fudge, and it's always a favorite at pot luck meals. No one would ever guess it's so quick and easy to make.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Barbecue Ice Cream - Now that's just GROSS!

I love to keep up with what is going on in the barbecue world. The Washington Post just posted an article about Barbecue Ice Cream. That, I think, is taking it too far. Ice cream is wonderful. Barbecue is delicious. But, some things just weren't meant to be mixed. I will only guess that this is just a publicity stunt. I just don't see folks lining up to eat BBQ ice cream.

If you do want some great ice cream, then check out my home churned recipe. You can make that in the old fashioned crank ice cream makers or in the new electric which are much less labor intensive. My family has tried many recipes over the years, and this one is the one we keep coming back to. It's a basic vanilla, but you can dress it up with fresh fruits or other additions. I don't think you'll find a better base recipe. It's really yummy!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Heinz - Design Your Own Bottle Label

If you have a barbecue person to buy a gift for or if you want a unique barbecue warming present, then visit Heinz online. You can customize a bottle of ketchup or mustard in the mini or full size and surprise someone special.

This is a new program that kicked off two days ago. Right now, you can get free shipping on your order if you spread the word. Check details on the page about that.

Be sure to read the fine print. They can't put star names or ball teams on bottles or the name of restaurants. I'm sure that's all legal stuff. Also, they're not going to put anything really naughty on the bottle. Hey, it's a family company. There are other places to go get something racy.

I thought this was a cute idea. If you have a big ketchup fan in the family, brighten his or her day with a bottle that says something personal.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I don't know if I would have experimented with Dutch Oven pit cooking if my boys hadn't joined Scouts. The grill and smoker are usually fine for home cooking, but you've got more variety and can do larger quantities with Dutch Oven over an open fire. It's also just plain fun. It didn't take me long to get with the program.

As a the big time cook in our group, I decided to buy my own Dutch Oven. Then, the boys and I put up cinder blocks to create a small pit in our yard. We later expanded that to hold two dutch ovens. It's nice to be able to start a dessert while the main meal is cooking. This whole project was very low tech and nothing fancy. Another Scout family simply used a tractor rim for a pit in the yard. You just need something to contain the fire and centralize the heat.

Since the guys in our group like to fish and dutch oven cook, I experimented with some ideas for doing fresh fish in the DO. The easiest recipe I came up with was to just put the fresh fish in the dutch oven, pour a bottle or two (depending on the amount of fish) of Italain dressing (the spicy Italian type--oil not creamy) over the fish, close the lid, and let it cook.The only thing you've got to watch here is that you need to make sure the fish is cooked through. It should flake and look very white when done.

This dish is a bit messy, but it's outdoors or should be if doing Dutch Oven. It works well for any fresh caught stream fish. The spices give it a mild kick but not enough to turn off the picky eaters. Some of the kids were not used to seeing bones in fish, but if you've been a fresh fish eater, you can quickly show someone how to get the bones out. It's rather a rite of passage for the big outdoor types.