Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lemony Cinnamon Chicken Noodle Soup

Lemon and cinnamon in chicken noodle soup? That just doesn't sound right, does it? Well, I decided to give it a shot after reading all of the positive comments on this recipe from Chef Anne Burrell.

I had some chicken leftover so I used that instead of roasting a chicken. You can also use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, if you'd like.

Makes: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 4 ribs celery, cut into 1/2" dice
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/2" dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 t ground cinnamon (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 t dried nutmeg (more or less, to taste)
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1. Add oil to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and cook over medium-high heat until vegetables start to soften.

2. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and thyme and cook another 3 minutes.

3. Add the chicken and bay leaves and enough broth to completely cover everything in the pot and cook for 20 minutes.

4. Add the juice of the lemon plus the two halves, cinnamon and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Cook the oroz per the box instructions, except stop 1-2 minutes early so that the pasta is still a little al dente. You don't want to cook it completely since it will cook more in the soup. Drain well.

6. Remove lemon and bay leaves from soup. Add beans and orzo. Stir well, serve.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Arni's Restaurant, Indianapolis Indiana

We were near the northside of Indy the other day, and decided to swing by Arni's for lunch. I'd eaten there before when they first opened on 96th street, but this was Anita's first time eating there. They have restaurants all over the state.

I ordered my usual, a reuben. Anita had the club. Both were good. Anita's club was specially good. The reuben was your typical reuben, executed well but nothing too exciting. We looked around and noticed everyone else seemed to be ordering pizzas, so next time we eat at Arni's that's what we'll try too.

Check out Arni's. If you're in Indiana, chances are you're not too far from an Arni's!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Strawberry Sorbet

With strawberries in season, I thought I'd make an easy sorbet using our ice cream maker.

Mint grows wild in our backyard, so I just snipped off a bit for garnish.

Makes: 2 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 T light corn syrup

1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Reduce the heat and simmer, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

3. Place strawberries and lime juice into a blender and puree. Press the puree through a strainer to remove the seeds.

4. Add the syrup to the strawberry puree and add in the corn syrup. Stir.

5. Add mixture to your ice cream maker and process according to instructions. Freeze for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

Cheyenne Burgers with Chipotle Onion Rings

These onion rings are the bomb. And the burgers rock too.

A good friend of mine, Chez John over at Fat Johnny's Front Porch, suggested a change to the usual buttermilk onion ring batter. Just add a few beaten eggs to it before you dip your onions in it. Works like a charm! I got the original rings recipe from the Homesick Texan's blog.

Makes: 2 burgers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb ground beef (I used home-ground 75/25 or thereabouts)
  • 2 slices smoked cheddar cheese
  • 2 hamburger buns
  • 4 T your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Missouri Hick's Spicy)
  • 2 slices thick cut smoked bacon
  • Onion rings (see below)

1. Preheat grill. Form beef into two large patties. Season with salt and pepper. Place on grill, topped with bacon and cook until nearly done.

2. Remove bacon from tops of burgers and put directly on grill. Cook until crispy.

3. Top burgers with cheese and cook until melted. Toast buns lightly.

4. To assemble burgers, slather buns with BBQ sauce. Add burger patty, bacon, and a few onion rings.

For the onion rings:

Makes: 2-4 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes


  • 1 very large Texas 1015 sweet onion (or two medium-sized ones will do)
  • 1 pint buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t chipotle powder (you can substitute chili powder, but they won't be nearly as good!)
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • Oil, for frying

1. Slice onions into 1/4" rings. Place in a large bowl or baking dish and add buttermilk. Allow to soak for 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

2. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, chipotle chile powder, oregano and cumin. Put one half of the mixture in a large resealable plastic bag.

3. Heat 2-3" oil in a large pot or Dutch oven to 350 F.

4. Remove onion rings from buttermilk, shaking off the excess, put them in the baggie with the flour mixture and shake to coat. Reserve the buttermilk.

5. Working in batches, remove onion rings from bag and dip them in the buttermilk, then dip them in the flour, coating well. Fry 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grilled Sausage Sandwiches

I wanted something to try out my new Fire Wire flexible skewers, so I decided to make some easy grilled sausage sandwiches.

These flexible skewers are really easy to work with. Food doesn't fall off or seem to rotate on them. And as you can tell, you can lay them on your grill in any which way you want, leaving you more room to cook other things.

I think I might get me another package of them.

Makes: 2 large sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium sweet onion (Vidalia or Texas 1015), cut into chunks
  • 2 large sub rolls
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • BBQ sauce (I used Missouri Hick Spicy)

1. Place sausage, peppers and onions on skewers and grill until vegetables are starting to soften and meat is heated thoroughly. Remove from grill.

2. Toast buns lightly. Top with sausage and vegetables and cheese. Drizzle with BBQ sauce and serve.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Creamy Greek Salad Dressing

This is a great, easy to make dressing. We loved it on a simple salad of greens, olives, chopped cucumber, feta and grape tomatoes.

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


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 t sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 T fresh dill, chopped
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Place all ingredients except the buttermilk into a blender and purify for 1 minute.

2. With the blender running on slow, drizzle in the buttermilk until the dressing starts to thicken. Do not overblend or the buttermilk will curdle.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Greek Macaroni and Cheese

This is an excellent recipe from the Steamy Kitchen. We had it as a side with Greek burgers and also with grilled chicken gyros. This makes a big batch, but it goes fast!

Makes: 12-16 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, stems removed if desired, roughly chopped
  • 3 T flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/8 t dried nutmeg
  • 2 cups Havarti cheese with dill , shredded
  • 1 8 oz package feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 12 oz jar Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 T capers
  • 2 T sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

1. Cook pasta according to box directions. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.

3. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.

4. Add spinach and a pinch of salt. Cook until spinach is wilted. Remove mixture to a bowl. Wipe skillet clean.

5. Add two tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot whisk in the flour. Add a large pinch of salt, some fresh ground black pepper and the nutmeg. Continue whisking until the roux turns a light golden color.

6. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Add in the Havarti cheese and stir until melted. Add the feta and stir.

7. Add the bowl of the spinach mixture, along with the olives, capers and sun-dried tomatoes.

8. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Add in the macaroni and cheese mixture. Combine well. Top with bread crumbs and place under broiler for 5 minutes until the crumbs are browned.

Grilled Chicken Gyros with Tomato Tzatziki

I found this great idea over on the Weber website.

The flavors are fantastic. Next time I might add some more diced tomatoes on top for a little added color to jazz up the appearance.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe

For the gyros:

  • 6 pitas
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts cut into thin strips
  • 1 small red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2" slices
  • Olive oil

For the marinade:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 T mint leaves, chopped fine
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 t fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato, seeded, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and diced

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients. Pour into a resealable baggie and add the chicken. Shake to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Combine all of the sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.

3. Set up grill for indirect cooking. Brush onions with oil. Grill chicken and red onions until the chicken is done and the onions are tender.

4. Warm pitas on grill for two minutes.

5. Assemble gyros by topping pitas with chicken, onion, and tzatziki sauce.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Greek Burgers

The tzatziki sauce on these burgers is the perfect match for the feta and oregano beef patties.

I found the original recipe here.

Makes: 4 burgers
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes or more, depending on doneness
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 2 t red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 T dried dill
  • 4 Hamburger rolls

1. Place beef, feta, oregano, one clove garlic and the black pepper in a bowl. Mix well then form into 4 patties.

2. Peel the cucumber and shred it using a grater. Place on a towel to remove some of the moisture and place in small bowl.

3. To the bowl add the yogurt, remaining garlic, dill and salt to taste. Combine well. Refrigerate until needed.

4. Grill burgers to desired doneness. Serve on toasted buns topped with the tzatziki sauce.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Greek Dip

I came across this easy-to-make dip the other day. We'll definitely take this to our next family get-together.

Makes: 16 appetizer-sized servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2-24 hours (in refrigerator)
Printable Recipe


  • 1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t dried Italian seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups hummus
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
  • Pita chips (see below)

1. Beat the cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning and garlic with a mixer until smooth.

2. Spread mixture over the bottom of a 9" pie plate.

3. Spread hummus over cream cheese.

4. Top with a layer of cucumber, followed by layers of the tomato, olives, feta and green onions.

5. Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours. Serve with pita chips.

Pita Chips

Makes: 16 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


  • 1 package pita bread
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Cut pita in half, then half again and then once more into little triangles.

3. Place pita pieces on baking sheets and brush with oil on one side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 5 minutes, flip, and bake another 5 minutes or until crispy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Roasted Rutabaga

Quick and easy, with a little zest to it.

I found the original recipe at Straight from the Farm.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 3 inch strips
  • 2 rutabagas, peeled and cut into 3 inch strips
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/4 t dill weed

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Combine the carrots, rutabaga and water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain.

3. Combine the remaining ingredients along with salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Stir in the vegetables and toss to coat.

4. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and are lightly golden. Serve hot or cold.

Recipe Snapshots

Blogger has added a new feature that let's you view posts in better ways. I've set up a snapshot view that makes it easier to find the recipe you're looking for.

Try it out by clicking here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Grilled Stuffed Bell Peppers

These peppers are fantastic. I took a great recipe from Cajun Delights and put in a few changes.

I grilled these on my Weber Performer. You could use an oven instead if you want.

Makes: 4 large peppers (or 6 medium)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 4 large or 6 medium bell peppers, any color
  • 1 lb Italian sausage (can substitute ground beef)
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes, drained (I used hot Rotel)
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 T Cajun seasoning
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 small cans tomato sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Shredded cheese (I used queso blanco)

1. Cut tops off of the peppers. Remove seeds, rinse.

2. Brown sausage in a large skillet. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

3. Add onions, green bell pepper, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, jalapeño and garlic to the skillet and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

4. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, cans of tomato sauce and Cajun seasoning and mix. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add hot sauce to taste (you won't need much if you use hot Rotel instead of regular diced tomatoes). Add in the rice and mix.

6. Brush peppers with oil inside and out. Fill with meat mixture. Transfer to a grill and cook over indirect heat (300 - 350 F) for 30 minutes.

7. Sprinkle tops with cheese and grill another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake

Got leftover chicken? This is a great way to use it up.

I made these in ramekins, but you could just as easily bake it in a single 9x13 baking dish.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Cook pasta according to box instructions and drain.

3. Heat the butter and cream in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir often.

4. Add the Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste to the cheese sauce. Stir until cheese is completely melted.

5. Add pasta to sauce and stir to coat well. Add in the chicken, tomatoes and green onions.

6. Pour mixture into greased 4oz or 6oz ramekins or a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with the Italian cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbling hot and the cheese has melted.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bacon Cheeseburger Doggy Style

Grilled meaty goodness! Like a hotdog, but you use ground beef instead. Top them just like they were burgers (because really, they are)!

Another great idea from the BBQ Pit Boys.

Makes: 2 burgers
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30-45 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese cut into strips
  • 2 large hot dog buns
  • Ketchup, mustard, onions, etc. for topping

1. Set up grill for indirect cooking.

2. Divide beef in half. Roll into a hot dog shape. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap in bacon. Place on grill over indirect heat at 400 F and cook 20-30 minutes or until meat is nearly done as desired.

3. Add cheese strips to top and move to direct heat to melt. Be very careful moving them as they will want to split in half. Grill another 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

4. Remove, place on buns and top with favorite toppings.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Strawberry Focaccia with Maple-Balsamic Onions

I recently came across this recipe in a Saveur emailing. Anita made it last night and it is just absolutely outstanding. We would absolutely make this again, specially since strawberries are in season right now.

Use a quality balsamic vinegar when making this as it makes a big difference. We did make a minor change to the original recipe as the amount of yeast stated was incorrect.

Here's the bread just before going into the oven.

All baked! The house smelled great!

Makes: 12 slices
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 1/2 t dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (around 100 F)
  • 1 t honey
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t sea salt plus a little more for topping
  • 1/4 cup plus 5 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 t pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced into 1/8" pieces
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

1. Place the yeast, warm water and honey in a small bowl and mix. Let rest for at least 5 minutes until the yeast blooms.

2. Whisk together the flour and one teaspoon of salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.

3. Add 1/4 cup of the oil to the yeast mixture and mix. Pour the yeast mixture into the well in the flour mixture. Stir to combine.

4. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. If the dough is too dry, add a little water to it.

5. Form dough into a ball. Grease a large bowl with 1/2 tablespoon of oil and add the dough ball. Roll the ball around to get it covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until it is doubled in size, about an hour.

6. Grease a 9" x 13" baking sheet with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil. Place dough ball on the sheet and flatten it out to the edges of the sheet. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers and then brush the top with two tablespoons of oil. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 450 F.

8. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until browned and caramelized, stirring often, about 15-20 minutes. Add in the balsamic vinegar and syrup and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

9. Press the strawberry slices into the dough. Top with the onions and basil. Drizzle one tablespoon of oil over the top and sprinkle with salt to taste.

10. Bake until the bread is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shrimp Cakes with Peach Salsa

Mmmmm, yummy!

The salsa is better if you make it a day ahead. For the shrimp, use wild caught shrimp from the USA.

Makes: 6 cakes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined, cooked, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups corn
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
  • Hot sauce
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • Peach salsa (see below)

1. Place shrimp in a food processor or blender and pulse. Remove to a large bowl.

2. Add corn, red pepper, onion and jalapeño and pulse until fine. Remove to a cheesecloth squeeze to remove all liquid. Add to shrimp along with 1 cup of the bread crumbs, a few dashes of hot sauce, the chili powder and eggs. Stir well. Form into 1" thick cakes and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to let set.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet medium heat.

4. Place the remaining 1 cup of bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Roll cakes in the panko mixture and add to skillet, cooking about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

6. Serve topped with the peach salsa.

Peach Salsa

  • 3 peaches, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate overnight before using.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jalapeño Steak Sauce Sliders

Simple and tasty. I am not usually a big fan of steak sauce, but it works well with the jalapeño.

You could substitute Worcestershire sauce instead.

Makes: 6 sliders
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 T steak sauce, plus more for topping
  • 1 large jalapeño, diced
  • 2 slices pepperjack cheese
  • 6 slider buns

1. Heat grill to high.

2. In a bowl, combine the beef, steak sauce, and jalapeño. Form into small patties. Grill until done. Top with small pieces of the cheese.

3. Place patties on buns and top with a few more drops of steak sauce.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Chicken Wings

This is another great idea from the BBQ Pit Boys. I made these on my Weber Performer.

I did not trim up the wings, but you can if you want. You can also cut them at the joint if you prefer. I served them topped with the hot sauce mixture, with more sauce on the side for dipping. You might also want some ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Here's a picture of the wings just going on the grill:

Wings are all done, covered with cheese and chopped bacon:

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 24 chicken wings (trim and cut if you desire)
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 t granulated garlic
  • 6-8 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1-2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)

1. Prepare grill for indirect grilling.

2. Combine salt, pepper and garlic and season the wings.

3. Place wings over indirect heat, packed in tightly. Layer with bacon and cook at 300 F for about 50 minutes or until wings are done.

4. Remove bacon from wings and place over direct heat until crispy. Remove and chop, then mix with the cheese. Sprinkle bacon cheese mixture over wings and heat another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove chicken from grill.

5. In a sauce pan, combine the butter and hot sauce and heat until the butter is melted.

6. Serve chicken drizzle with hot sauce and more sauce on the side for dipping.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Grilled Onion Bacon Cheese Buds

I came across this great idea from the BBQ Pit Boys.

These are really good. The dipping sauce is great with the sweetness of the grilled onions.

Makes: 2 onions
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 2 sweet onions (vidalia or Texas 1015s)
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Dipping sauce (see below)

1. Set up grill for indirect cooking, 400-450 F.

2. Cut ends off the onions then slice into 1/2"-3/4" wide cuts, but do not cut all the way through the onion (I place two wooden spoons near the onion to stop my knife). Turn the onion 90 degrees and make more 1/2"-3/4" wide cuts. See the picture for what the onion will look like.

3. Sprinkle with paprika and cayenne then top with each onion with a slice of bacon.

4. Grill for about 50 minutes or until the center of the onion is done.

5. Remove bacon and chop. Mix with cheese then place on top of onions. Grill another 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t garlic flake
  • 1 T prepared horseradish

1. Combine all ingredients.

Southwest Potatoes

Yummy taters!

Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 lbs new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (can use canned)
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Oil, for frying

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the jalapeño, corn, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until corn starts to brown. Remove to a plate.

2. Add 3 more tablespoons of oil and add the potatoes. Cook until browned and tender, about 25 minutes. You may have to add more oil during the cooking process.

3. Add in the chili powder, beans and the corn mixture. Mix well.

4. Transfer potato mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese. Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

5. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Birthday Card

My birthday was a few days ago. Anita got me this great card.

I guess my obsession with bacon and all things pork is getting a little obvious.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Panko Ranch Po'Boy with Ranch Remoulade

Oh me, this is good eats. The chicken is moist with a little crunch from the panko, and a little hint of ranch. The ranch remoulade closes the deal.

Makes: 4 large po'boys
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
Ranch remoulade (see below)
1 loaf French bread
Green leaf lettuce

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Combine chicken with mayonnaise in a bowl.

3. Combine panko and ranch in a pie plate.

4. Dredge chicken in the panko mixture and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear.

5. Cut French bread in half and slather with the remoulade. Add lettuce and top with chicken.

Ranch Remoulade


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle, diced
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T dill pickle juice

1. Combine ingredients.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Greek Chicken Wings with Cucumber Feta Dipping Sauce

These wings are out of this world crazy good. They went fast.

These are a nice change from your usual hot wings.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 40 minutes
Printable Recipe

  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 lbs chicken wings, trimmed and cut
  • Cucumber feta sauce (see below)

1. Place chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, oil, honey, oregano, garlic and salt and add to the chicken. Seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place chicken on a rack over a foil-lined baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes until juices run clear, turning once.

3. Serve with the cucumber feta dipping sauce.

Cucumber Feta Sauce


  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 T fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 t salt

1. Place all ingredients and process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Garter Snake

The people that are building a house behind us bulldozed the fence line a few weeks ago. Since then, I've been trying to clean up our side of the fence. I was outside yesterday removing a large thorn bush when I came across this guy. I always jump the first time I see a snake. After that, I'm fine with them, but it's that initial shock that gets me.

This is definitely the largest snake we've seen here. He's close to three feet in length. We used to have a brown snake living near our deck, but I think the hawk got him a few years ago. He was about two or so feet long.

Now that I know this guy is around, I'll be more careful to not upset his world. Or step on him.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sam's Gyros, Indianapolis Indiana

Lucky for us, there's a Sam's Gyros right up the street from us.

We love their gyros and hummus. Anita goes for the regular gyro, while I always get the spicy version. Good stuff! If you're in the area, swing by and at least get you a gyro. You won't be sorry!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Roasted Rosemary-Garlic Chicken

I picked up a Weber roaster for my grill the other day. I was excited about getting to use it. I've done beer can chickens before and they've come out good, but the can was a little bit of trouble. This roaster is heavy and stable. It has a place inside for liquid, and a cap that prevents moisture from escaping from the top of the chicken.

This recipe came from the booklet that came with the roaster. The original recipe used white wine, but I used chicken broth instead.

The chicken came out fantastic. It was very, very tender and moist. We used some to make chicken salad sandwiches, which had a great flavor. I can't wait to use my new roaster again!

Makes: 1 chicken
Prep time: 2-12 hours
Cook time: About 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T dried dill
  • 1 T dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper

1. Grind dill and rosemary with a mortar and pestle. Combine with garlic, sour cream, oil, salt and pepper.

2. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Slather outside with the marinade. Place in a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 2-12 hours.

3. Start grill for indirect cooking.

4. Pour broth in base of roaster. Lower chicken onto infuse and add neck cap.

5. Roast until meat reaches 180 F in the thickest part of the thighs. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Coney Dogs

Yep, they taste just like you remember. I used to sell hot dogs similar to these out of a truck on an army base in Virginia. They always went fast.

These are a copy-cat of the A & W coney dog. I found the original recipe here.

Makes: 6 dogs
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 6 hot dogs
  • 6 hot dog buns
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • Chili sauce (see below)

1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Add hot dogs and boil 8-10 minutes. Remove.

2. Spread a few tablespoons of chili sauce on the buns. Add dogs, cheese and onion. Serve.

For the chili sauce:

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-45 minutes


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T yellow mustard
  • 1 T dried minced onion
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1 cup water

1. Brown ground beef in a medium sized pot. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cheese-Stuffed Cucumber

This turned out nicely. You may want to adjust the amount of herbs depending on your tastes.

I found the original recipe here.

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


  • 1 4.5 oz tub Boursin cheese
  • Handful of arugula, chopped fine
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
  • 3 T red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 T fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled

1. Place cheese in a small bowl and add all but the cucumber. Mix well.

2. Cut cucumber into 1 1/2" pieces. Hollow out about 3/4ths of the centers. Fill with cheese mixture and serve.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mom's Morels

Anita scored a little over a pound of morels the other day from a co-worker. She had them often as a kid, but I've actually never had them. Nor had I cooked them until now.

We basically followed Anita's mom's technique, except we didn't soak them in salty water. Instead, we just wiped them off as you would any other mushroom. There are a lot of ways to prepare morels. We might try some other ways, but we'll always make a batch just like Anita's mom's, too.

They were deliciously crunchy, moist and almost gooey inside, with a great woodsy taste. I'd make them again!

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


  • 1 lb morels, cut in half, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup flour (more or less)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil, for frying

1. Barely wet the mushrooms (shake off any excess water). Put into a large baggie. Add in flour starting with 1/4 cup, and salt and pepper. Shake gently to coak. You will probably need to add more flour. If so, add a bit more salt and pepper too.

2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Add morels and fry until browned and crispy, turning once. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Salt if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crispy Salami Sliders

I found this great idea over at Mikey's Kitchen.

The cool part about these sliders is the crispy salami, which adds a nice flavor change and a little crunch.

Makes: 8 sliders
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 slider rolls
  • Dill pickle slices
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 slices pepper jack cheese, divided into 8 smaller pieces
  • 8 slices salami

1. Preheat your grill.

2. Saute onion in a small skillet with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

3. Heat another skillet over medium heat and add the salami. Cook until browned and crispy. Remove.

4. In a large bowl, combine the beef, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper. Form into 8 small patties.

5. Grill burgers, about 3 minutes per side. Top with cheese and melt.

6. Assemble sliders by placing salami on bun bottom. Top with burger, onions, and pickles.

Monday, May 2, 2011

South Street Smokehouse, Lafayette Indiana

I love an old-school smokehouse that turns out quality meats. This place fits the bill for me. They make some of the best smoked brisket I've had. They smoke it for over 18 hours, and as you'd expect, it's super tender and tasty.

I recently returned to the South Street Smokehouse with some co-workers. I ordered the KC Brisket Sandwich. It's a big ole mound of brisket on a bun with some outstandingly good onion rings (piled high on the sandwich) and provolone.

The South Street Smokehouse has 6 sauces. You get what you want, mix and match, as much as Linkyou want. I really like that, and I really like their sauces. I don't drown my BBQ in sauce, as I like to taste the result of a good long smoke, but I also like a good sauce. They have Smokehouse mild, sweet n'tangy, hot, Mike's mild, Mike's spicey, and Mike's fire.

If you're in the area, swing by the Smokehouse. Oh, and expect the place to be busy. They move fast, but it gets crowded. You can find them on Facebook here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Reuben Dip

I had a little corned beef left from making Reuben sandwiches the other day. Instead of making another sandwich, I decided to make this easy dip.

Turns out, Triscuit now makes rye crackers which went with this deep just perfectly!

Makes: 8 appetizer servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1 lb sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 lb corned beef, shredded
  • 1 lb Swiss cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Combine the mayonnaise and salad dressing.

3. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.

4. Spread sauerkraut over dish. Layer corned beef, Swiss cheese, and the mayonnaise and salad dressing on top of the sauerkraut.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly hot. Serve with rye crackers.