Archive for ‘Summer’

April 24, 2010

BLT (and then some) Salad

A Friday night dinner after my daughter’s dance. I love BLTs so I thought it would make a great salad, but I had to add avocado and blue cheese because those go so well with tomatoes and bacon!

Iceberg lettuce (I used red leaf in the photo but iceberg is good BLT lettuce)
4 slices chopped cooked bacon
1/2 cup left over roasted chicken
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2c. chopped tomatoes
pine nuts
homemade croutons
sea salt
1c. Ranch dressing (your favorite or homemade)
1 green onion finely chopped
1/4c. blue cheese

Up close

Mix dressing, green onion and blue cheese.

Arrange lettuce on plate. Top with chicken, tomatoes, avocado, pine nuts, and bacon.

Top with dressing and a little coarse sea salt and croutons.

March 16, 2010


Yes barbeque not just grilling (you know who you are!).

I bought a smoker this weekend and something was missing….


Since I already bought the ribs and I want to eat ribs today I will alter my propane grill. Next weekend we smoke! (My daughter and her Auntie Tara will be able to have some then too…they will be so happy!)

3T. Kosher Salt
3T brown sugar
3T black pepper
2T paprika
2T garlic powder
2T onion powder
2t. mustard powder
dash of cayenne (or more if you like the heat)

1 rack of baby back ribs
covered with rub and placed in fridge overnight or a few hours

Hickory is my favorite so I wrapped up some hickory chunks in foil. If I had an aluminum throw away pan I would have used that but instead I just used my roasting pan with the rack placed on top of the pan the opposite way so that I can put water in the pan and keep the ribs above it.


Using one burner only, I placed the ribs on the opposite side of the grill of the burner that was turned on. I kept the temp about 220-230 until the ribs are done.

“Done” is an art that I’m still perfecting. Some places say until the meat falls off the bone. That is good and all, but I like the ribs a little “less done” so you have to pull them off with your teeth, but they still come clean off the bone. So about 3-4 hours.

But first you have to decide how you like your ribs…falling off the bone, or slightly less done…then figured out how long it takes in your environment (altitude and temps may change the cooking time) with your equipment.

If you use sauce, after slow cooking the ribs, crank up that heat on your grill. Slather those baby backs with some good sauce and place on grill and cook until the sauce carmelizes.

March 16, 2010

Barbeque Sauce

I love vinegar-sweet sauce and have played with this recipe a lot. Everytime I make it I seem to alter it maybe a little more. But this is the best version yet.

1/2 white onion (Or 2 shallots)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c. beer
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 c. vinegar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1T worchestershire
1T soy sauce
1T hot sauce
1t. mustard powder

Saute onion and garlic in butter for 2 minutes. Add beer next and stir. Add the rest of the ingredients – adding the tomato sauce last. Simmer for 1 hour.

February 17, 2010

Marinated Skirt Steak

This is a recipe I got while in Sonoma at my FAVORITE winery – Mazzocco. Great wine and great food! This was the place we got to barrel taste and go into their vineyard and get a lesson on how to prune vines. I can’t wait to go back. I bet it’s so beautiful there right now…ahhh good times!

This is so super simple (yes John it really is!)

3 parts soy
3 parts teriyaki
3 parts red wine
1 part pineapple juice
Skirt steaks
(I used one steak and 1/3c soy, teriyaki, and wine and about a 1/4c. juice)

I make it the night before and then flip it once in the morning. Cook it on the grill to your liking – I like Med Rare. about 6 minutes per side. That’s all so easy huh!

Here are a few side ideas:

Grilled Veggie Salad
Roasted Ranch Potatoes

You can also turn this into an appetizer by thinly slicing the meat and placing on top of sliced baguette pieces…YUM YUM.

February 17, 2010

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

These are so simple for easy weeknight dinners and SO good. My daughter will even eat these potoatoes and she doesn’t usually eat potatoes unless they are french fries (Yes I know! How does she not like potatoes?!?!?)

1 lb. small yellow potatoes
1 package of ranch dip mix (or dressing mix, the dip is better)
1/4 c. olive oil

Wash potatoes. Place potatoes in a shallow ovensafe dish. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Sprinkle half the packet of ranch dressing over the potatoes and toss again.

Bake in the oven at 425° for about 25 minutes. toss during cooking. Make sure large potatoes are cooked through.

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

February 1, 2010

Chicken Tacos

In my younger days my friends and I went to a local bar ate $1 Tacos and drank Corona on Tuesdays…mmm…ah the olden days! LOL. Anyway just a little reminiscing.

So I felt a taco fix was necessary, it’s usually a summer food to me, for whatever reason I don’t know… but I’m ready for warmer weather. If I haven’t said already, by this time of winter I’m ready for warmer weather! 🙂 I’m going to take some skiing lessons this year though so I can get my daughter in lessons and learning next year. Maybe then I’ll like winter better – if I don’t break anything…ha ha ha 

Here is a new recipe inspired by an Eating Well recipe I read, with my own spin on it of course. It’s fast and easy for weeknights. This recipe makes about 8 tacos.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 limes
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 jalepeno

1 avocado
3 roma tomatoes
1 white onion
1 clove garlic

package of corn tortillas

Squeeze limes in a glass pan, add roughly chopped cilantro and thinly sliced jalapeno. Mix in salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts and marinate overnight, turn chicken part way through marinating.

In a hot pan add the tomatoes whole and cook until charred on all sides.

Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Slice avocado and chop cilantro.

Slice onion into thin wedges and finely chop garlic. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute for 2 minutes. Slice chicken into thin strips. Cook in pan with onion and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned. Add chopped tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro.

I like to toast my tortillas on the stove to get a little char on them…MMM. If you have a gas stove set the flame to medium and place a tortilla on the flame and move around to get a little toasty action on it…like this:

Separate taco filling among the tortillas and top with sliced avocado and cotija (my favorite!) and serve with a lime wedge….scrumptous!