Sunday, August 19, 2012

We're moving!

It's a work-in-progress, but we're moving over to our new site, Life's A Tomato.

We'll be posting more recipes, more places, more ... everything! And we'll bring some of the old along with us.

So join us at Life's A Tomato!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ballreich's Potato Chips - Smokey Sweet Barbecue

Sadly, I'm nearing the end of my journey through eating 7 different flavored chips from Ballreich's. Happily, these smokey sweet barbecue chips are definitely one of my favorites.

Like the other Ballreich chips I've tried, the chips themselves are great. Thick. Wavy (er.. marcelled, named after a popular 1920s wavy hairstyle). Crunchy. And they taste like potatoes.

Prior to smokey sweet barbecue, I'd have to say that the sour cream and onion was my favorite flavor. Ballreich's makes another BBQ-flavored chip, but it is more edgy and tangy. The smokey sweet barbecue chips are just that. Smooth, with a little smoke and a hint of sweet. This is a great chip. Great for parties or the big game, or anything.

You can find my reviews of the other Ballreich's flavors below:

Sour cream and Onion
Cheddar and Sour cream

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grilled Green Beans

This is the easiest side to make on the grill. I try and make everything I can outside on the grill, specially when it is hot out.

Add some diced white onion for extra flavor. I like to serve beans in a small glass jar. It just looks a little spiffier.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced (optional)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat grill for indirect cooking.

2. Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil.

3. Combine beans, oil, garlic, red pepper and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place in center of foil.

4. Add 2 tablespoons of water and seal the packet tight.

5. Place over indirect heat and cook until the beans are just tender, 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Uncle Oinker's Bacon Mints

Always on the lookout for something bacony for me, Anita picked up a box of these mints from ThinkGeek.

How are they? Well, they're a little minty. And a little bacony! (They are bacon mints, after all!)

Perfect for that first (or 100th) date. Let that someone you love know you care by having bacony breath.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Grilled Hobo Packets

I was surprised as to how well these came out. The first time I made them, they were a little bland, so I made a few changes the second time and they turned out great!

These are very easy to make and cook. They're perfect for a hot evening when you don't want to heat up the house - everything is all in one simple packet.

Makes: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pound summer (or smoked) sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 medium head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium squash, sliced
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins (or breast), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cajun seasoning, to taste
  • Italian salad dressing

1. Set up your grill for indirect cooking.

2. Tear off 4 large sheets of aluminum foil.

3. Combine all the but the seasoning and dressing in a large bowl. Toss to mix.

4. Divide the mixture between each piece of foil, creating a pile in the middle.

5. Season each packet with the Cajun seasoning (and/or salt and pepper) and seal well. Place over medium high heat and cook 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is done.

6. Serve drizzled with a little dressing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ballreich's Potato Chips - Hot-n-Sassy

This is the fourth flavor of Ballreich's potato chips that I've tried. The first three, sour cream and onion, cheddar and sour cream, and Bar-B-Q, were on the gentler side. Time to kick things up a bit!

Look at the picture below, and you'll know that you're in from something hot. And sassy. It's going to sneak up on you, too. You'll eat the first crunchy, potatoy, yummy chip, and you might think... Hmpf, not hot and not sassy... Then WHAM! Whoa nellie! The hot and sassy arrives!

Now, I'd still take a few big bags of these chips to the next family get-together. I'd make sure your grandma stayed away from them, though. She's probably more the sour cream and onion type. I'd put the hot-n-sassy down at the other end of the table, near the beer cooler.

Like the other Ballreich's chips, these are marcelled (wavy), thick, and super crunchy. And you can still taste the potato even with all that sass. Try some and get ready for a kick!
Other flavors of Ballreich's potato chips I've tried:

Sour cream and Onion
Cheddar and Sour cream

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Country Sausage Gravy

If you haven't ever checked out the BBQ Pit Boys, you should. They make some of the best food around. Their videos on YouTube are instructional, very well made, and everything they make will make you hungry. And the soundtracks are even good!

This country style sausage came from their video. It's fantastic and pretty easy. Great over biscuits or country-fried steak.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (plus more, maybe)
  • 2 cups whole milk (plus more)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, ground
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon  thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I used Slap Ya Mama Hot)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons green onion, chopped, divided

1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove.

2. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook until done. Remove.

3. Add in the butter. Melt and add the red onion. Cook until the onion just starts to soften.

4. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

5. Next, make a roux by slowly adding the flour, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until the flour starts to brown, but don't burn it.

6. Add the milk, 1/2 cup at a time, while stirring constantly. The mixture will get good and thick.

7. Add the chicken bouillon, sage, thyme, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and salt (not much) and pepper to taste. Stir constantly.

8. Add the meat back in, along with half of the green onion and parsley. Stir and heat through. Add more milk if necessary.

9. Serve garnished with remaining green onion.