Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pizza Fattie

Oh yeah. It's fattie-licious!

Start with an Italian sausage fattie. Fill with pepperoni, sauteed mushrooms, black olives, fresh buffalo mozzarella. Top with homemade sauce.

Smoke for 3 hours at 225. See our standard fattie technique for more info.

Money shot. Topped with warmed sauce and fresh grated Parmesan.

Tastes just like a pizza!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New School Bologna Sandwich

I got this idea from the menu of one of Michael Symon's restaurants, B Spot Burgers.

The pickles I used were called 'sweet heat'. And they were. You could use regular dill pickles if you don't have anything with some kick.

Makes: 2 sandwiches
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes


  • 2 hamburger buns
  • 2 slices thick bologna
  • 2 T Russian salad dressing, divided
  • Sweet heat pickles, to taste
  • 2 eggs, fried

1. Preheat grill to medium. Toast buns. Place bologna on grill. Cook 1-2 minutes then rotate slightly to get pretty grill marks. Cook 1-2 minutes more, then flip and cook for 1 more minute. Remove.

2. Spread 1 tablespoon of the dressing on each of the bottom buns. Top with bologna, egg, and pickles.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grilled Potato Skins with Horseradish Sour Cream

I made these potato skins and served them up as a side with some grilled burgers. I'm a big fan of loaded potatoes, but this time I scaled back a bit to keep it lighter.

Get creative with the toppings, but don't skip the tomatoes. They add a great contrast.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 large russet potatoes, cleaned
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar (I used Tillamook)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 T prepared horseradish
  • 3 T green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake potatoes for 1 hour or until fork-tender. Allow to cool and cut into halves. Scoop out the pulp.

2. Cook bacon in a skillet. Drain and crumble.

3. Preheat grill over medium-high heat.

4. Brush the potatoes with butter and season. Place on grill and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes, flipping once. Top potatoes with cheese and bacon and place back on grill for 2 more minutes.

5. Combine sour cream and horseradish in a small bowl.

6. Serve potatoes topped with green onions, tomatoes, and the horseradish sour cream mixture.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Muffaletta Fattie

This idea came to me out of the blue one day. Why not stuff an Italian sausage fattie with a muffaletta olive salad?

You have to make the olive salad at least a day before you make the fattie so the flavors get happy. Then, make your standard fattie using Italian sausage and add provolone cheese and the olive salad and smoke as usual. Outstandingly good!

For the olive salad:

Makes: 2 1/2 cups (enough for a fattie with plenty for a sandwich or two leftover)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 day
Printable Recipe


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, rough chopped
  • 1 cup Calamata or black olives, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted sweet peppers, rough chopped
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 T white wine vinegar

1. Combine all ingredients and let stand overnight. You can do this in or out of the refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spicy Beef Skewers with Sour Cream

I stumbled upon this recipe one day while watching License to Grill, one of my favorite grilling shows. The meat has a great flavor to it, while the sour cream cools your taste buds off a bit.

I did have a little difficulty getting the meat to stick to the skewers, so I updated the recipe to drain the grated onions. I also added some green onion to the sour cream. When grilling, be sure you don't try to turn these until a side is done or the meat will stick and tear away from the skewers.

Makes: 8 skewers, about 3 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 medium onion, grated and well-drained (I used a cheese cloth to squeeze out the liquid)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1 t dried marjoram
  • 1 t ground caraway seed
  • 1 t fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 8 10" bamboo skewers, soaked in water 1 hour

1. Mix beef, grated onion, garlic, paprika, marjoram, and caraway in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper and mix well.

2. Diving meat into 8 equal sections by first forming into a log. Divide the log in half, then divide each half into half, and those halves into half. Mold each portion onto the skewers, shaping into a sausage.

3. Preheat grill to medium high. Season skewers with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil.

4. Place on grill and cook 10 minutes, turning every so often, until meat is done. (Note: Put aluminum foil under the uncovered portion of the skewers to prevent them from burning).

5. Mix the green onions with the sour cream. Serve with the cooked meat.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fried Cheesecake Bites with Warm Peach Coulis

These are absolutely insanely good. The kind of good that when you take a bite you just stop for a minute, close your eyes, and almost come to tears.

We went to the farmer's market yesterday and came across some just-picked local peaches that were some of the best we've ever had. I remembered that I had seen a good dessert recipe in a recent copy of Louisiana Cookin' that made use of fresh peaches, so we bought a few quarts worth.

This recipe alone makes subscribing to Louisiana Cookin' worth it. Before I subscribed, I picked up a few back issues off eBay to see if I'd like it, and I did.

You will love these bites.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours (freeze time) and 15 minutes (actual cook time)
Printable Recipe


  • 1 10 ounce store-bought baked cheesecake, plain
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups graham crackers, crumbed
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Peach coulis (see below)

1. Cut cheesecake into bite-sized pieces, place in a container and freeze for at least one hour.

2. Lay out 3 bowls. In the first one place the flour. In the second bowl, place the eggs. The third bowl is for the cracker crumbs.

3. Roll each cheesecake piece in the flour. Shake off the excess. Next, roll the piece in the egg making sure you get all sides. Shake off the excess egg. Finally, roll in the crumbs. Place back in the container and refreeze for at least two hours.

4. Heat oil to 350 F. Working in batches, fry the cheesecake bites for about 1 minute or until they begin to float. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate.

5. Serve with warm peach coulis.

Peach Coulis

Makes: 3 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 3 cups of fresh diced and peeled peaches
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/8 t pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

1. Place peaches and orange juice in a saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cover and cook until the fruit is softened, 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2. Pour into a blender and puree. Return to saucepan and add remaining ingredients. Stir well and simmer another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Peach Salsa

The fine folks over at Simply Recipes posted this wonderful salsa recipe the other day. The next day I picked up the ingredients for it and Anita made it.

It's a really nice, refreshing salsa. We made a minor change to the original recipe by using cilantro instead of mint. We also left out the ginger and did not blend the mixture.

Makes: 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour (marinate time)
Printable Recipe


  • 4 ripe peaches (optionally, remove the skins)
  • 3 T red onion, chopped
  • 3 jalapeƱos, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 t sugar

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let sit for 1 hour before serving.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beef and Cheddar Sandwich

This is a clone of one of my favorites from Arby's.

We don't eat much fast food any more. In fact, I'm not sure when the last time was that we did. Probably on the road somewhere. There aren't a lot of good sit-down restaurants along the interstate any more. You really have to search hard for them.

Make sure that you let the sauce sit a while to let the flavors get happy.

Makes: 2 sandwiches
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1/2 pound lean roast beef, sliced thin
  • 8 oz Velveeta cheese
  • 2 hamburger buns
  • 2 T sauce (see below)

1. Toast buns on grill or in oven.

2. Melt cheese in microwave.

3. If desired, heat the roast beef by warming it in a pan.

4. Place roast beef on buns. Top with cheese and sauce. Enjoy!

Arby's Sauce clone:

Makes: 1 1/2 cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 t onion powder
  • 3/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 3 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 2 T corn starch
  • 2 T water

1. In a small bowl or cup, combine the water and corn starch. Set aside.

2. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk together well. Place in a bender and blend for 20 seconds.

3. Pour mixture into a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.

4. Add corn starch mixture and stir. Continue cooking and stirring over low for another 10 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pancake Fattie

Our neighbor's daughter suggested this fattie to us last week. What a brilliant idea!

The flavors were outstanding! We loved the pancake and maple syrup. I was afraid that the pancakes would get soggy from the pork fat, but they held up great!

Check out our fattie page for more information on fatties. This pancake fattie doesn't require a fattie piston.

We made this two different ways as we weren't sure which would hold up the best on the smoker. First, Anita rolled out a standard breakfast sausage and topped it with a pancake. She then drizzled it with grade A maple syrup, making sure the entire fattie was covered. This fattie was difficult to roll up, and almost fell apart. Ultimately, it came out great (that's it in the first picture above).

In case the above approach didn't work out, we also tried it by stacking slices of pancake in the fattie. We didn't cut this one open (we let the neighbor's daughter take it home for them to enjoy), but it did look better on the outside than the whole pancake fattie.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Warm Italiano Spread

I came across this recipe in a monthly email I get from Kraft.

It looked so good that I ran out and picked up the ingredients to make it that day. I can see making some variations of this, such as using Velveeta instead of the cream cheese, topping with shredded cheddar, and using jalapeƱo pesto, served with tortilla chips.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • Crackers (I used Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits)

1. Heat grill to medium.

2. Place cream cheese in center of a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with pesto and top with tomatoes and shredded cheese.

3. Place open-faced on grill for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

4. Serve with crackers.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Grilled Pork Satay

We love peanut butter. And peanut butter on grilled pork? Even better!

I let the meat marinate overnight, but you can probably get by doing it for 2-4 hours.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 T smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 T oil
  • Skewers, soaked at least 30 minutes prior to grilling

1. Place all but pork and skewers into a blender and mix well.

2. Pour mixture into a large baggie and add the pork.

3. Allow meat to marinate 2-4 hours or better, overnight.

4. Preheat grill to medium high. Put meat onto skewers and grill 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until done.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Barbecue Bean Bacon Dogs

This is a combination of two ideas that I've been wanting to make for a while. First, there's a bacon-wrapped hot dog. Second, a quick and easy bean topping.

You can't beat them! You can wrap the dogs in the bacon, or just lay the bacon out on the buns as I did. Either way, you're in for some bacony, beany good eats!

Makes: 2 dogs
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 hot dog buns
  • 2 large hot dogs
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 T chili seasoning
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T prepared yellow mustard
  • 8 slices center-cut bacon
  • Small white onion, chopped

1. Cook the bacon in the oven at 400 F until almost done. Drain.

2. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the BBQ sauce, beans, chili seasoning, brown sugar and mustard. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Preheat the grill the medium high.

4. Toast the buns.

5. Cook the hot dogs.

6. Arrange bacon on buns or wrap the hot dogs with them. Top with beans, cheese, and onion and serve.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jasper Indiana Strassenfest Auto Schau

Some of the pictures we took at the auto show at the 2010 Jasper Strassenfest. Some awesome cars and trucks!

1917 Model T Ford. Great truck. The owner was really friendly. He bought this truck over 60 years ago, and has kept it as authentic as he could. Great work.

1971 Chevy. One of my favorites. I had a 1972 Ford F-150 that I really loved. The guy that bought it from me restored it and won a bunch of awards for it in Virginia. I'd be happy to just have the stereo out of it.

One of the best paint jobs. Sweet.

1950 Chevy pickup. Just gorgeous! Look at the lines!

1950 Bel Air. I really thought it was an Impala. Shows how much I know about cars.

1966 Impala. Love the interior. We could do some serious cruising in this car!

Anita's favorite. Orange. Corvette. Her two favorite things. Well, besides me, of course!

'74 Nova hatchback.

Well, it's a Ford. That's all I remember! Love the interior!

I think this was the best shot I took. This car is fantastic. Looks like it just came out of the showroom.

Absolutely beautiful Mach 1. I can remember riding in one of these in high school. We might have exceeded the speed limit by a bit.

I took a picture of this Z28 because, well, it's in great condition, and I really don't remember this color. Nice.

Anita's old Mustang. Ok, not really. And that's not her standing next to it. Or in it.

Not original, but nice anyway. We could cruise in this.

1952 Ford.

I can't remember what year this Volkswagen is. 1955, I believe.


Only thing missing is a root beer float.

Meatballs with Italian Sauce

We love these meatballs. We cook them in the accompanying sauce, or smoke them and serve them with the sauce over spaghetti or on rolls as sandwiches.

Here they are with sauce and provolone on a roll:

Wrapped in bacon and cooking on the smoker (along with a fattie):

Bacon-wrapped smoked meatballs over pasta, with parmesan:

And smoked on a roll:

This is a combination of a few different recipes I've found on the internet.

The important part is to let the meatballs set overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.

For the meatballs:

Makes: About 15 large meatballs
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 hours, plus (see text)
Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 lbs ground pork
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 T garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Note: You can use more pork if the beef you are using has a higher fat content (80-20 or more).

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, using your hands.

2. Shape into meatballs and place on a wax paper-lined pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

3. To cook, place in the sauce (see below) and simmer for 40 minutes. Or, place on a 225 F smoker and smoke 2-3 hours. You can also bake the meatballs at 325 F for 25 minutes.

For the sauce:

Makes: 10 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 6 hours


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (can sub sauce)
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

2. Add the onions, oregano, basil, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until the onions are softened.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

4. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.

5. Add the wine and stir to combine.

6. Add all of the tomatoes. Do not drain first. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for up to 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Grilled Asparagus Potatoes

At first glance, these seem a little odd, but the flavors really work out.

Be careful to not overcook the asparagus on the grill or they won't be rigid enough to stand up in the potatoes.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 russet potatoes, cleaned
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 small bunch asparagus
  • 3 T BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook)
  • Sour cream
  • 4 Toothpicks, soaked in water for 30 minutes

1. Boil potatoes until just fork tender. Peel and cut ends off, then cut in half across the center. Scoop out the potato, leaving 1/2" around the edges. You'll be left with what look like potato cups, that can stand up on their ends.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high.

3. Wrap each potato with a slice of bacon and secure with toothpicks.

4. Grill potatoes, opening side up, until the bacon is cooked. Flip over (so the opening side is down), cover with foil, and reduce heat to medium.

5. Place asparagus on grill and coat with BBQ sauce. Grill until done but still crunchy.

6. Flip potatoes back to opening-side up and place 1/4 cup of the cheese in each and let melt. Remove potatoes and asparagus from grill.

7. Trim the asparagus so that the top 1/3rd of the spears remain (save the stems for another use. I like to put them over a garden salad).

8. Remove the toothpicks from the potatoes. Fill with asparagus tips, standing upright.

9. Serve with sour cream.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Indiana Railway Museum

We made a quick stop at the Indiana Railway Museum in French Lick on our way to Jasper for the Strassenfest. Here are some of the cars/locomotives they have on display there.

The locomotive that is currently used to haul passengers on various trips.

Steam train's engineer's seat. I bet that was hot work!

View inside an old caboose. Small sink, bunks, and even a wood-fired stove.