Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hippie Chips - White Room Cheddar

This is the third flavor of Hippie Chips I've tried. I enjoyed both the Memphis Blues Barbecue and Haight-Ashberry Jalapeno flavors. These white cheese flavored chips are smooth in taste. No bite or heat. Just a mellow chip. I'm more of a kick-it-up-in-flavor guy, so I'd have to say these are my least favorite of the flavors I have, but still, they are good.

I have to say I've really grown to like Hippie Chips. They are quite a bit healthier than a lot other chips so you don't have to feel so guilty when you eat an entire bag!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Grilled Chicken Stir Fry

I wasn't much in the mood for cooking a lot for dinner the other night, so I threw together this easy stir fry using grilled chicken.

You could use frozen pre-grilled chicken in a pinch.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package stir fry vegetables
  • Fresh mushrooms (whichever kind you prefer)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • Dried pepper flakes, to taste
  • Cooked rice

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill until cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add in the vegetables and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce. Stir and cook until vegetables are soft.

3. In a saute pan, bring two cups of water to a boil.

4. Add in the bouillon and stir until dissolved. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the remaining two tablespoons of soy sauce.

5. Mix 1/4 cup of cold water and the corn starch together. Pour into the water mixture and whisk together until thickened. Remove from heat.

6. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and mix in with the vegetables. Serve over rice with the sauce, sprinkled with dried pepper flakes (optional, but good!).

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hippie Chips - Haight-Ashberry Jalapeno

This is my second flavor of Hippe Chips. The first, Memphis Blues Barbecue, was quite tasty. I was looking forward to this flavor called Haight-Ashberry Jalapeno.

These chips are not super hot. I'd say their fairly mild, actually, but they're really good. If they sold the seasoning in a shaker bottle I'd buy it just to sprinkle on... well, everything. The seasoning is light and not overpowering.

The chip itself is made from potato flake. It's light, airy, and similar to a rice cake in ways, but better.

As an added bonus, a one ounce bag of these chips only has 120 calories and 4 grams of fat. And like many of Hippie Chip's snacks, they are gluten free.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Caesar Pasta Salad

A simple, easy-to-make salad, from Sandra Lee that is perfect as a side to some grilled burgers.

I think I might add some sliced black olives next time.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1/2 pound Rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup creamy Caesar salad dressing
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup garlic croutons

1. Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain well.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dressing, lemon zest and juice, parsley, and cheese. Season with fresh ground black pepper, to taste.

3. Add the pasta and toss to coat.

4. Serve topped with croutons, or you can mix them into the salad.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hippie Chips - Memphis Blues Barbecue

I've been on a quest, of sorts, to find good chips that I'd never tried or even heard of. I started with Route 11, which is a hard act to follow. This time, I ordered a case of chips from the Rock-n-Roll Gourmet.

These aren't like any other chips. They look a bit like rice cakes. And they have a similar texture. But, they are made from potato flakes. They are light and airy, and quite frankly, pretty darned healthy when compared to regular chips. I didn't feel the least bit guilty eating them.

The first flavor I tried was the Memphis Blues Barbecue. It's seasoned lightly with a sweet barbecue flavor. Sometimes I think healthier chips pour on the seasoning to hide the fact that their chips taste bad. Not here. The chips is tasty and crunchy with just the right amount of seasoning.

I was skeptical at first. Like many people, I'm used to a big honkin' deep fried chip that'd make my doctor cry (all in moderation!). But these were a welcomed change and really pretty good. I'm glad I have more flavors to try too!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tacos

I've been on a taco kick lately. They're easy to make and you can pretty much anything you want on (in) them.

This is my take on a recipe from Rachael Ray. Since the weather has been fantastic here in Indy lately I opted to grill chicken tenderloins for these tacos. They came out great!

Makes: 8 tacos
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pound chicken tenders (you can substitute chicken breasts)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Your favorite wing sauce (or hot sauce)
  • 2 ounces blue cheese (or Gorgonzola)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 6 radishes, shredded
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 8 tortillas

1. Heat your oven to 200 F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven to warm.

2. Heat your grill on high. Salt and pepper the chicken tenders and grill until done, turning once. Remove to a bowl. Pour on the wing sauce and toss to coat. Cover with foil.

3. Place the blue cheese and mayonnaise into a blender and pulse a few times. You can add up to two tablespoons of water if the mixture is too thick, but you don't want it to be thin and runny.

4. Combine the lettuce and shredded radishes and carrots in a bowl. Fold in the blue cheese mixture.

5. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.

6. Serve warmed tortillas topped with the lettuce mixture and chicken.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hot Chick On A Stick

I am a big fan of Alton Brown. I've always enjoyed Good Eats, but I think my favorite series of his was Feasting on Asphalt. The show highlighted some of the greatest locally-owned restaurants and cafes.

I recently picked up the book Feasting On Asphalt The River Run at an antique mall. Besides being a great read (it has much more detail than the TV store), it also has some great recipes in it. Like this one from Fast Eddie's Bon Air in Alton, Illinois.

I was smoking wings the other day, and was looking for something different to do with the drummettes.

This recipe is simple and tastes great. This would make a great recipe for a crowd, as you can bake the chicken ahead of time, then throw it on the grill for a few minutes when you are ready to eat.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 16 chicken drummettes
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • Your favorite dipping sauce (I used warmed Blue's Hog Tennessee Red)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Put chicken in a large bowl. Combine the seasonings and sprinkle over the chicken. Toss to cover well.

3. Place chicken on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and back for 45 minutes.

4. Place chicken in fridge for 1 hour.

5. Preheat grill for direct grilling.

6. Skewer the drummettes and grill, rotating once, for 5 minutes per side.

7. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Smoked Chicken Thighs

This is my take on an excellent post over on The Hog Blog. For BBQ competitions they use bone-in, skin-on thighs. For us, at home, we use boneless skinless thighs. It's my go-to cut of chicken. Chicken breasts are tasteless, can have a funky texture, and have you noticed... they keep getting bigger and bigger? That can't be a good thing.

Anyway. This is a simple recipe for great tasting thighs.

You can also make this on your grill, just use indirect heat and try to keep the temp between 250 and 275 F.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 1/2 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 1 large package boneless skinless chicken thighs (around 3 pounds)
  • Your favorite BBQ or spice rub (I used Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce  (I used Blues Hog Original)

1. Fire up your smoker to 275 F.

2. Trim any extra fat off of the thighs. Place into 2 aluminum pans. Sprinkle one side of the thighs with rub. Flip and sprinkle the other side.

3. Top each thigh with a pat of butter. Cover with foil and place on smoker and cook for 1 hour.

4. Remove foil and cook another hour.

5. Brush BBQ sauce over tops of thighs. Return to smoker, uncovered, for another 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Grilled Big Mac

This is my take on the McDonald's Big Mac.

I'm not a big fan of any burger that isn't cooked over fire, so these burgers have that Big Mac taste along with that great grill flavor. They're big, messy, and delicious!

Makes:4 burgers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • Special sauce (see below)
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • Dill pickles
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce

1. Form ground beef in to 8 patties, each about 3 1/2 ounces each. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Grill burgers until done. Top with cheese.

3. Lightly toast the buns.

4. Assemble burgers by slathering bun bottoms with special sauce. Add some onion and lettuce. Top with a burger patty and dill pickles. Add another bun. Slather it with sauce and add onion, lettuce, a patty and more dill pickle. Top with another burger bun top.

For the special sauce:


  • 1/2 cup fat mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons French dressing
  • 4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 3 teaspoons onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Pinch of salt

1. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Avocado with Crab-Mango Salad

This is a great dish for a warm day. It's light and refreshing and darned tasty to boot!

Use a good quality lump crab. I made these by using a cookie cutter to form them. You can also just use an avocado halve to serve them in.

The original recipe came from Daisy Martinez.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lime, zested and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 3 avocados, cut into 1/4" bites

1. Squeeze half a lime into a bowl. Add the oil and cilantro and mix well.

2. Add the lime zest, mango, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno and mix well.

3. Add the crab and mix gently.

4. Drizzle the remaining lime juice over the avocado.

5. Place 1/4th of the avocado in the bottom of a large round cookie cutter or metal ring. Tamp down slightly with the bottom of a spoon.

6. Add in 1/4th of the crab salad and tamp down. Slowly remove the cookie cutter. I put a spoon on top of the salad mixture to hold it down while removing the cookie cutter.

7. Repeat with remaining avocado and crab salad.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jose's Restaurant and Cantina, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Any time we're in Fayetteville, Arkansas, we have to swing by Jose's for a bite to eat and the best margaritas around. After all these years (I've been going to Jose's since it opened 25 years ago), the golden margaritas on the rocks are still just $3 at Happy Hour. Man, you can't beat that!

We'd had a long drive that day, and we wanted a good-sized meal. We both ordered the Jose's Special Enchiladas, and we weren't disappointed! Everything was tasty.

I usually have the steak or chicken asada, but I figured I'd change things up this time. Oh, check out my attempt to recreate them here. They came out great!

Ole for Jose's!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tiny Tim's Pizza, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Back when I lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas, about 20 or so years ago, Tiny Tim's Pizza on the square was one of my favorite places to eat. I've been craving their subs and pizzas ever since I left.

Anita and I recently spent a few days in Northwest Arkansas, and were lucky enough to have time to swing by Tiny Tim's for lunch. The reason I say were lucky is because our car broke down. Were it not for a great long-time friend of ours who lent us a car, we wouldn't have made it.

I ordered my favorite, the Tiny Tim's sub. It has pepperoni, Canadian bacon, lettuce, Swiss and creamy Italian dressing on a hot po boy roll. The star of the show is the Canadian bacon, which is ground.The taste is out of this world. I could eat 5 of these. Really.

Anita ordered a small pizza. I stole a piece. It was as great as I remember, with a super crunchy crust and delicious toppings. Anita said it was the best pizza she'd ever had.

Oh, how I wish there was a Tiny Tim's in Indiana!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crystal Bridges Museum - Part 3

This is my last post on the Crystal Bridges Museum. My first two posts showed some of the fantastic art being exhibited. You can find those posts here and here.

This post shows the beautiful architecture of the museum itself. It's a really awesome place.

A model of the museum buildings:

The ceiling over the cafe:

The museum store has art reproductions, toys and lots of other cool things:

View down the hall to the temporary exhibition:

View back to the cafe:

The cafe. The food was quite good and service was fast and courteous. In fact, every employee we encountered at the museum was very pleasant.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Crystal Bridges Museum - Part 2

This is my second post on the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. You can find my first post here, along with a brief introduction to the museum.

Joseph Stella's Red Flower, 1929:

George Tooker's Ward, 1971:

Tom Wesselmann's Smoker #9, 1973:

Louise Nevelson's Night Zag Wall, 1969-1974:

Lynda Benglis' Eat Meat, 1969, 1975:

Kara Walker, A Warm Summer Evening in 1863, 2008:

Neil G. Welliver's Snow on Alden Brook, 1983:

George Dombek's A Few Water Drops, 2008:

One of two paintings from Andrew Wyth:

Alfonso A. Ossorio's Dream, 1947:

Edward Hopper's Roofs of the Cobb Barn, 1931:

Charles Bird King's Wai-Kee Chee, Sanky Chief, Crouching Eagle, 1824, and Otto Half Chief, Husband of Eagle of Delight, 1822:

Karl Bodmer's Massika, Saki Indian, Wakusasse, Musquake Indian, 1832-1834:

Wayne Thiebaud's Supine Woman, 1963:

Gene Davis' Black Balloon, 1964:

Stuart Davis' Breakfast Table, 1917:

Oscar Bluemner's Motive of Space and Form - A New Jersey Village, 1915:

Jacques Lipchitz's Marsden Harley Sleeping, 1942:

Jim Dine's Walking to Boras, 2006:

Alexander Calder's Trois noirs sur un Rouge, 1968:

Joan Mitchell, untitled, 1952-1953:

Jasper John's Alphabets, 1960-1962:

Andy Warhol's Dolly Parton, 1985:

Marisol's Portrait of Martha Graham, 1977:

Amazing... looks like a photograph, doesn't it? Rudolph Stingel, untitled, 2006: