Spring Cleaning Time!!!

Today is the first day of Spring.  So we all know what that means.  Time to do some spring cleaning.  This past weekend I decided to get a jump start and Spring Cleaning - Spicescleaned out the kitchen cabinets in our house.  My main goal was to relocate the all of our spices to another cabinet that was more on eye level.  Before I had them above the oven which was a bit high even for me.  So take a look at my picture.  I now have all of my spices organized and it is easier to find what I am looking for now.  I also went through all of the rest of our cabinets and re-organized all of our food and went through and threw out some of the food that had expired.  So take this next weekend and clean out your kitchen cabinets and throw out any old food.  Organize them and the next time you cook your life will be that much easier.

Happy Spring!

Happy Easter!

and

Happy March Madness!

Hearty Texas Chili

What goes with a cold winter day?  CHILI!!!  So here is my recipe for Hearty Texas Chili.  It is easy to put together but can be time consuming.  But the result is well worth the wait.  This recipe is not hot, but instead has a sweet tomato flavor.  You could add some hot sauce to the recipe for a bit of a kick.  Perhaps I will try that next time and let you all know how it came out.

Ingredients

• 2 lb ground turkey

• 1 large spanish onion

• 1 large green onion

• 1 – 28 oz can of tomato puree

• 1 – 28 oz can of diced or petite cut tomatoes

• 1 – 14 oz can of pinto beans

• 1 – 14 oz can of great norther beans

• 1 – 6 oz can of tomato paste

• 2 cups of water

• 8 teaspoons beef bouillon

• 2 tablespoons chili powder

• 1 tablespoon ground cumin

• 2 teaspoons oregano leaves

• 2 teaspoons sugar

 

Texas Chili ingredients

Items used to make this recipe

• Large Pot

• Knife

• Measuring Cups

• Cutting board

• Can Opener

• Spatula and a spoon

Recipe

1. First get out a large pot and put your ground turkey in it and brown the turkey.

2. While your ground turkey is browning up chop up your onion, and green pepper.  You want to chop them up into fairly small pieces like pictured.

3. Once your turkey has finished browning add in the chopped onion and green pepper.  Use a garlic press and press 3 cloves of garlic into the pot.  Cook and stir the onions and peppers until they have become tender.

Mix together ingredients

4. Now it is time to add in all of the remaining ingredients.

5. After you have added in the rest of the ingredients stir them all together and bring the chili to a boil.

6. Once the chili starts to boil reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Be sure to stir every 15 to 20 minutes.

Chili simmering

After about 2 hours we have our bowl of chili.  Just add your favorite cheese on top, and grab a spoon and enjoy!  It will be even better the second day but who can wait that long.

Enjoy!

Chili in the bowl ready to eat!

 

Candied Salmon

This recipe will be the first one that I use that some one else has created.  And they have created an awesome recipe at that.  Below I will show how I made the recipe, and also any modifications that I made to it.  You can check out the original recipe for candied salmon by going to AllRecipes.com.  Now I am always nervous trying out a new recipe, but this one came out so tasty and good that I can not wait to make it again.  I hope salmon is on sale next week!  I sort of cut this recipe in half cause it seemed like there was quite a bit of onion being used and that just seemed like way to much.  But after eating it I can see how you would want to have alot of onions with this one.

Ingredients

• 1/4 cup of butter

• 1 clove of garlic, minced

• 2 (8 ounce) salmon fillets

• 1 large sweet onion

• 1/2 cup of white vinegar

• 1/2 cup of brown sugar

Items used to make this recipe

• Garlic Press

• Toaster Oven

• Skillet

• Knife

• Measuring Cups

• Aluminum Foil

• Baking Sheet

 Candied Salmon - Ingredients

Recipe

1. First off I cleaned the onion and then chop it up into small pieces like shown.  Then placed the onions in the skillet along with the vinegar and brown sugar.

2. Cook the onions for about 15 minutes at medium heat until they are good and caramelized.

3. While your onions are cooking preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.  Place your salmon fillets on the baking sheet.

Candied Salmon - Cook onions

4. In another small skillet melt the butter with the garlic.

5. Now take the melted garlic butter and spread that over the top of your salmon fillets.  Next pour the caramelized onions onto your salmon fillets.  It will now look like the picture to the right.

6. Place the salmon into the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.  You can also check to make sure the internal temperature of the salmon has reached 140 degrees to insure it is cooked properly or that it is flakes with a fork.

Candied Salmon - Add onions on top of Salmon

Here is the finished product on the plate with some steamed green beans.  This was probably the best salmon I have ever had.  I would recommend that every one tries this recipe.  My wife and I are looking forward to the next time we get a chance to make it.

Enjoy!

 Candied Salmon - Plated and ready to eat!

Baby Back Ribs – Indirect Grilling Method

Baby Back Ribs - Plated and ready to eat!Do you like eating ribs when you go out to eat, but hate paying the money for them?  Well you can make them at home just as tasty and save a few bucks as well.  Making ribs is not that difficult.  This is my 4th attempt at making ribs at home and I have got it down to a science.  Each time I make them they get more and more tender.  This time they were better than any restaurant ribs I have ever had.

For this recipe, I cooked on a gas grill using the indirect grilling technique, but you could also use a charcoal grill or if you would like to step up to the next level check out my article on Smoked Baby Back Ribs using the 2-1-1 method.

Any one that has a grill can make ribs!  You just need a little bit of time and patience!

Ingredients

• 4 pounds pork baby back ribs or 2 racks

• 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Kansas City Style Rib Rub

• 1/2 cup brown sugar

• 1/4 cup paprika

• 1 tablespoon black pepper

• 1 tablespoon salt

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1 tablespoon garlic powder

• 1 tablespoon onion powder

• 1 teaspoon cayenne

Baby Back Ribs - Ingredients

Items used to make this recipe

• Serving Platter

• Gas Grill

• Tongs

• Knife

• Paper towels

Recipe

1. Remove the ribs from the packaging.  Wash each rack of ribs off and then you will need to peel off the membrane from the bone side or the back of the ribs.  This can be done by using a knife to get under the membrane and then take a paper towel to get a good grip on the membrane and then peel it off.

2. Cut your racks of ribs in half.  Leave about 6 to 8 ribs for each one.

3. Next, combine all of the ingredients for your rub and mix them together well.  You will probably have extra so use an air tight bottle to save the rub mix for the next time you make ribs.

4. Now, take the rub mix and sprinkle it over the ribs and rub it in with your fingers.  That’s it your ribs are prepared.  Not to bad so far.  Now let your ribs sit out and get to room temperature which should take about 20 to 30 minutes.

Baby Back Ribs - Spice Rub Applied

5. While your ribs are sitting, preheat the grill and set it up for indirect grilling.  You want your grill to be at medium low heat or 250 degrees.  With a gas grill this is very simple.  Just turn on one side of the grill.  For a charcoal grill move all of your charcoal to one side of the grill so you have the other side not over direct heat.

6. Now you are ready to put your ribs on the grill.  Just put them onto the side of the grill that is not turned on.  Like shown in the picture.  Be sure to rotate your ribs every so often.

Baby Back Ribs - On the grill with indirect heat

7. The ribs will take about 2 to 3 hours to get done.  You will know they are done when the meat pulls back from the bone about a half inch or so.  This is demonstrated in the picture to the right.  You can see that the rack in the middle has started to pull back quite a bit so those are definitely ready to go.

8. During the last 15 minutes of cooking is when you’re able to baste the ribs with your barbecue sauce of choice.

Baby Back Ribs - Apply the sauce

9. After the 15 minutes, pull them off the grill and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down.

Now your fingers better be ready to get sticky! Enjoy your homemade ribs.

These ribs were awesome this time.  I can’t wait to make them again in my new smoker!

Baby Back Ribs - Plated and ready to eat!

How about some Smoked Baby Back Ribs!

Rice Cooker – Cuisinart CRC-800 8-Cup Rice Cooker

For several years, I have tried to make good rice, but failed miserably almost every time.  I always wondered how to make better rice and if it was ever possible for me to do.  I tried the conventional approach of making it in either a skillet or in a pot with a lid.  A few years back, I put the Cuisinart CRC-800 8-Cup Rice Cooker on our wedding registry.  Fortunately, for my new wife and me, a good friend of ours purchased it for our wedding present.  Boy what a great present it has been.  Now I enjoy making rice with this no hassle rice cooker.

After taking the rice cooker out of the box, I must say, I wasn’t to impressed with it.  It didn’t seem to great a first site.  I was expecting more buttons to play with. It only had one switch to push down and a couple of lights.  I am a bit of a technology geek, so I am used to having tons of the settings to play with.  I was searching all over the place for an on/off button or some other settings.  Turns out, you don’t need anything else with this rice cooker, just one switch.  It is very simple!  You just plug it in, add your rice and water, and push down the switch You will see a cooking light come on.  After about 15 or 20 minutes, I haven’t actually timed it yet the switch pops up and the warm light turns on.  Just like that, your rice is done!  You just have to wait 5 to 10 minutes and you will be enjoying perfect rice with your meal.  How great is that?  Now I make rice on a weekly basis instead of attempting to make it a few times a year.

This rice cooker is also able to steam food as well.  I have only used that feature once though.  I steamed some chicken and made rice at the same time.  They both came out pretty good.  I am mainly interested in cooking rice in this.  So I would recommend if you are interested in only making rice to go with a different model and perhaps it would be a bit cheaper.

In conclusion I would definitely purchase this rice cooker.  It does exactly what it is supposed to do.  Make excellent rice each and every time.  It takes me a minute or two to make tasty rice and the clean up is equally easy with the nonstick coating on the cooking pot.  So if you enjoy eatting rice but don’t know how to make it to well this is the rice cooker for you.

Click here to purchase the Cuisinart CRC-800 8-Cup Rice Cooker

Red Pepper Rice

OK I am all about easy recipes to get the site kicked off.  Here is my recipe for Red Pepper Rice.  Now I love to eat rice, but I was never able to cook it well until I got a rice cooker.  In this recipe I am going to use a rice cooker but you could certainly make it the traditional way with on your stove top with a pot.  If you like to eat rice but have never been good at making it, I would highly recommend purchasing a rice cooker. It will make your life easier.

Ingredients

• 2 cups of rice

• 4 cups of water

• 1 Red Pepper

• 1 Garlic Clove

• 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Items used to make this recipe

Rice Cooker

• Garlic Press

• Knife

• Cutting Board

Red Pepper Rice - Ingredients
Recipe

1. Chop up your red pepper into small pieces and place that into the rice cooker.

2. Pour in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the rice cooker and use the garlic press to put in your garlic.

3. Now plug in your rice cooker and push the switch done to the cook setting.  Place the lid onto the rice cooker and wait for the peppers to get soft.

4. Once the red peppers have softened.  Place the two cups of rice into the cooker and the 4 cups of water and place the lid onto the rice cooker.  Push down the cook button and you are all set.

Red Pepper Rice - Cook

OK once the rice cooker has finished the lights will switch to warm.  Just wait about 5 minutes and you rice is ready to serve.  Perfect every time.

I made this rice with my Baked Tilapia.  I think they complement each other very well.

Enjoy!

 Red Pepper Rice - Plated and ready to eat!

Baked Tilapia

Tilapia is one of my favorite fishes to eat.  This is the recipe I use most often when I bake tilapia.  This baked tilapia recipe is very easy to make, with only a few ingredients.  Plus it is good for you!

Ingredients

• 4 Tilapia Filets

• 2 Garlic Cloves

• Old Bay Seasoning

• Butter

Items used to make this recipe

• Baking Sheet

• Garlic Press (optional)

• Aluminum Foil

Baked Tilapia - Ingredients
Recipe

1. Get out your baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil.  Spray the foil with cooking spray.

2. Take your tilapia and place them onto the foil like pictured on the right.

Baked Tilapia - On the baking sheet

3. Now spread some butter onto each tilapia filet as shown.

4. Next put your garlic into the garlic press and squeeze it through.  Spread some garlic onto each tilapia filet.

5.  Finally sprinkle some Old Bay seasoning onto each tilapia filet.

6. Get some more foil and place it over the fish and make like a little pouch for the fish to be in.  This sort of steams them and keeps them moist.

7. Now place the tilapia into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

 Baked Tilapia - Garlic and Spices applied

After the 15 minutes are up, remove the fish from the oven.  Generally, you can tell if tilapia is ready to eat if it has turned all white and is flaky. Furthermore, you can use a meat thermometer to make sure they have arrived at the proper temperature, which is 140 to 150 degress.

 Baked Tilapia - Done

I served up the baked tilapia with a Red Pepper rice creation that I like to make. This was a great, fast dinner to make and it was very tasty.

Enjoy!

 Baked Tilapia - Plated and ready to eat!

 

Chicken Burgers

The first recipe on the site has finally arrived!  Who likes Chicken Burgers!  This is one of my favorite easy recipes to make.  Rather than making the normal run of the mill burgers I have chosen to make my burgers with ground chicken instead of ground beef.  This recipe can also be done with ground turkey.

Ingredients

• 1 pound of Ground Chicken

• 2 Garlic Cloves

• 2 Tablespoons of your favorite A1 sauce

• 1/2 Teaspoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning

• 1/4 Cup of chopped spanish onions

Items used to make this recipe

• Large Mixing Bowl

• Garlic Press

• Chef Knife

• Spatula

Chicken Burgers - Ingredients
Recipe
OK first of all you are going to need a large mixing bowl like the one pictured.  Then place your chicken into the mixing bowl.  Now you will have to chop up your onion and add that to the mixing bowl.  Now for the garlic you can either chop up a the garlic cloves or use a garlic press.  I have a great garlic press and I use it all of the time.  So if you don’t have one and like to cook with garlic I would highly recommend one.  Now put in your 2 tablespoons of A1 sauce and the 1/2 teaspoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning.  After you have put in all of your ingredients into the mixing bowl you will need to mix them together well. Chicken Burgers - Mix Ingredients
After all of the ingredients are mixed together, you can make your burger patties.  I chose to make two large 1/2 pound burgers but you could certainly make smaller burgers and get 3 to 4 burgers from this recipe.  Chicken Burgers - Patties

Now it is time to fire up the grill.  Heat up your grill to medium and once it has reached temperature spray your grill with olive oil so your burgers will not stick.  Now place your chicken burgers on the grill.  They should need about 5 minutes per side.

For this recipe, I am using a gas grill, but you could also bake these burgers in your oven if you would prefer.  I would recommend cooking them at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.

 Chicken Burgers - On the Grill

I put white american cheese on my burgers because I love cheese.  Feel free to place your favorite cheese on these burgers if you prefer to have a cheese burger like me.

To the right is the finished product.  Place it on a bun with all of your favorite toppings.  I put mine on sliced bread with mayo and ketchup!  It was quite good.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  If any one decides to make these delicious burgers, please let me know how it goes.

 Chicken Burgers - Plated and ready to eat!

 

Char-Griller Smokin Pro – Assembly

Well yesterday was finally the day to put together the smoker, I got for Christmas!  Char-Griller Smokin Pro - Boxed UpThe weather was perfect outside and it seemed like a great idea to get outside and assemble the smoker out on the back patio.  It was a nice sunny day and the temperature was just right.  One of the perks to living in Florida during the winter time.

It wasn’t to difficult to assemble the grill it took me approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.  The hardest part was probably putting on the Side Fire Box.  The directions call for you to get out the hammer and knock out a portion of the side of the grill.  That gave me some problems.  I was a bit affraid of damaging the grill.  Overall the directions were not extremely detailed and I would imagine if they were a bit more detailed I could of finished it a little bit quicker.

Take a look below at some of the pictures of the assembly of the Char-Griller Smokin Pro!!!

Update: check out the Smoked Baby Back Ribs recipe I did with the Smokin Pro!

 

Char-Griller Smokin Pro - Opened

Here is what the contents of the boxes looks like.  Both boxes are fairly heavy so get assistance when carrying them.

 

Char-Griller Smokin Pro - Structure together

Here it is with the basic structure put together.

Char-Griller Smokin Pro - Grill Assembled

Here is what the assembled grill part looks like.  You can purchase just the grill part and use as just a normal charcoal grill.  But we want to Smoke some ribs so next up is the Side Fire Box!

Char-Griller Smokin Pro - Side Fire Box

And here is what it looks like with the side fire box attached to the main grill.  Now we have a Smoker!!!

Char-Griller Smokin Pro - Finished Open

Here is what the finished smoker looks like with both hoods open.

Char-Griller Smokin Pro - Finished Closed

And here is what it looks like closed.  I must say it is a nice looking grill.  Now this weekend we will see how well it cooks.

 

 Update: check out the Smoked Baby Back Ribs recipe I did with the Smokin Pro!

 

 You can check out and buy the Char-Griller Smokin Pro at Amazon.com.

Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro Charcoal Grill

Kick Off Week!

OK last week I launched the website but this week I get it Kicked Off with some articles.  This week I will put up the first recipe article onto the site and also a product review.  Plus I plan on putting together my new smoker so I will show how that goes and hopefully this weekend I will be making my first meal with my new smoker!

Maybe I will have time to throw in a Super Bowl dip or two!

So stick around for Kick Off week!  Just in time for the Super Bowl!