Monday, June 30, 2008

The Best BBQ Meal Ever!

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

3 lbs red potatoes, half peeled (peel some strips off and leave some strips on)

1 head of roasted garlic, squeezed out of the husks and crushed with a fork*

*cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in a pan for 30 mins at 350 degrees

One 3 oz package cream cheese (I use 4 oz--everything is better with cream cheese, right?!)

1 c sour cream

1/2 c milk

4 TBL butter, cut in pieces

1 TBL freshly ground black pepper

1 TBL salt

Yield: 6-8 servings

In a large pot, boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and put in a big bowl. Mash the potatoes (do not use a hand mixer!). Add the other ingredients one at a time, mashing and mixing constantly. The potatoes should still be a little chunky when finished.

Big-Time Barbecue Sauce
--This is a very good all-purpose barbecue sauce that can be used for basting, glazing, and dipping.
1 1/4 c commercial chili sauce
3 c ketchup
1 c prepared yellow mustard
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 TBL garlic powder
1 TBL onion powder
1 TBL freshly ground pepper
1 TBL salt
1/2 TBL dried thyme
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 c honey
1 c brown sugar
Yield: about 2 quarts
Combine all the ingredients except the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and very slowly bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add in the last 2 ingredients. Mix well and mix again occasionally as it cools. Store in a covered glass or plastic container in the regrigerator for up to one month.

"Meat Loaf for Lisa Marie"
3 lbs ground chuck
3/4 c beef consomme (canned is fine)
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 small bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, chopped fine
1 jalapeno chile, seeds and stem removed, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 c seasoned breadcrumbs
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
recipe calls for 2 medium aluminum foil loaf pans--I use the three pack of foil pans purchased
from WalMart.
In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients well. Punch a few holes in the aluminim foil pans. Split mixture between the pans, packing it tightly in the corners.
Prepare BBQ for indirect cooking at 275 degrees, using cherry and hickory wood for flavor (I often can only find hickory--follow directions on woodchip package). Put the loaves on the grill for one hour. At that time check for firmness. They should be ready to be turned out of the loaf pans, and put directly onto the grate. Cook for another hour and begin checking the internal temperature. When it reaches 155 degrees F, they are done. Remove to a plate and glaze with BBQ sauce, if desired. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Because I divide the mixture between three pans, it takes a bit less cook time.
Both the sauce and the meatloaf have a bit of a "kick" to the them. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Round Cake

Kim asked how I made this cake, um, this Pokemon Ball. I borrowed this cake pan from a friend--it cooks the ball in two halves. You level the halves with a knife and then stick the two halves together with frosting. It works great!! The halves stick together without cracking or breaking. It's easy and fun. My friend has used this pan for a disco party for her daughter (white frosting with shiny sprinkles) and a death star for her son (great star wars party!). I think I'll eventually make some kind of sports ball, too.

The only hint I have is to use a stiffer cake batter. I used a white cake mix where you just use egg whites--very stiff. However, anything will work. You just have to be more careful.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chicken Caesar Salad

This is just a super fast, delicious summer dinner to put together. I love it with a loaf of French Bread (Cynthia's recipe) and cold grape juice. Yum!!!!! This is so simple - I guess the secret to it is the dressing. Litehouse makes the best Caesar dressing.

1 head romaine lettuce, torn
2 big spoonfuls of Litehouse Caesar Dressing
1 handful croutons
freshly grated parmesan cheese
2-3 breasts chicken, cooked and sliced

Mix all ingredients and Voila!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Any tips on cooking bacon? I cooked bacon twice this weekend. Once for baked beans for a baseball potluck, and once for a Father's day salad. I'm just not very good at it and I'm wondering if you cooking experts have any suggestions.
(Bacon pictured was not cooked by me)

My main complaints are:

1) How do you get the strip to cook evenly and not curl up?

2) How do you empty the grease when you need to do more than one batch? (mine seem to get black on them from previous batches)

3) How do you avoid getting grease burns from the popping bacon?

4) How do you get crisp bacon that isn't burned?

I think one of my problems is trying to do too many things while my bacon is cooking .(I burned a few strips this morning.) But I just don't think it should be so hard to cook bacon!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Melt in Your Mouth Muffins

This is a recipe from a friend of mine (Karalyn Barton) who is so good at making very, very yummy things out of wheat. It's a mix you can keep and use whenever you feel like having yummy muffins. Having a ready-mix = less stress/less time. We usually make these for breakfast and then I pop a few in lunches. We like the plain muffins, but the variations are delicious, too.

Muffin Mix:

8 C. flour (4 cups white flour and 4 cups wheat flour)
2 tsp. salt
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well. Put in a large airtight container. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6-8 months. Makes about 11 cups of muffin mix.


2 3/4 cups muffin mix
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cups butter or margarine, melted OR
1/2 vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400. Grease muffin tins or use liners. Put muffin mix in medium bowl and mix egg, milk, and butter in small bowl. Fold in wet ingredients. Batter should be lumpy. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown.

Banana Muffins: Mash 1 banana (1/2 cup) and add to liquid ingredients before adding to muffin mix
Blueberry Muffins: Add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to batter just before filling tins. Then, sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top before baking.
Butterscotch-Pecan Muffins: Melt 6 T. of butter in saucepan. Stir in 6 T. of brown sugar. Place 1 T. of sugar mixture in each muffin and 2-3 pecans in each muffin tin. Fill 3/4 full.
Chocolate Chip Muffins: Gently fold in 1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips in batter just before filling tins.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chicken Tater Bake

1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
2 TB butter, melted
1 1/2 cup cubed cooked chicken (I like to boil with salt, pepper and celery seed in the water)
8 oz frozen peas and carrots
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
16 oz frozen Tater Tots
Combine all ingredients except some of the cheese and tater tots. Spread into greased 8X8 baking dish. Top with tater tots and remaining cheese. Bake covered at 350 for 35 minutes, and 5-10 minutes uncovered.
*This was a hit for my whole family and that says a lot right now! I was so impressed my 2 1/2 year old milk addict would actually eat two servings-she doesn't eat hardly anything! This size actually has just enough for a small serving of seconds for the second night, so relieving! This came from my Simple and delicious magazine.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I made up this recipe when I was about six, but it is still a really refreshing summer drink.

You will need:

A blender
A measuring cup


6 oz. orange concentrate
1 cup canned peaches
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup of water
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 trays of ice


Mix ingredients in blender till smooth. After pouring your PeachJulius into glasses or cups, you can enjoy your yummy drink with scrambled eggs and toast!