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246 posts categorized "10) Picnics, Barbecues & Grills"

04/20/2024

~Tangy-Sweet Strawberry White-Balsamic Vinaigrette~

Strawberries are no stranger to salads -- spinach and strawberry salads with poppyseed dressing were trendy on restaurant menus in the 1970's. Those salads caused me to experiment with strawberries, when appropriate, in place of tomatoes, in salad recipes using a variety of other greens and proteins too. It was only natural that I would experiment with sweet and savory salad dressings containing strawberries too. This vinaigrette recipe is the one that captured my strawberry loving heart. My Strawberry, Steak, Blue-Cheese and Arugula Salad (pictured in the background), is not only perfect for Spring, it's dazzling dressed with this vinaigrette:...... View full recipe for "~Tangy-Sweet Strawberry White-Balsamic Vinaigrette~"

04/05/2024

~My 18-Minute Philly-Dilly Flank-Steak Cheesesteaks~

Knowledge is power. As the 2018 "Dilly-dilly" Bud Light, Super Bowl commercial spiked in popularity, then filtered into the mantra for the Eagle's super-bowl victory parade in the form of "Philly-dilly", my curiosity caused me to research it -- and I'm glad I did. I'm here to report "dilly" is a real word, and, as per Merriam-Webster, it's a noun that comes from an obsolete adjective that refers to something "delightful", "remarkable" or "outstanding", which describes with perfection: My latest take on the cheesesteak -- The Philly-Dilly. If you have never eaten a cheesesteak sandwich in Philadelphia proper, you've never...... View full recipe for "~My 18-Minute Philly-Dilly Flank-Steak Cheesesteaks~"

03/10/2024

~ Thai-Style Oven-Roasted Barbecued Half Chicken ~

In the wide, wide world of food, almost every culture has a favorite way to serve grilled chicken. In Thailand, that would be gai yang. Those are the Thai words for grilled chicken, more specifically a very small, whole or half chicken that's been marinated in a soy-and-fish-sauce-based coconut-creamy, cilantro-greeny mixture laced with fragrant lemongrass, ginger, garlic and scallions. Throughout Thailand, the recipe for gai yang does vary from cook-to-cook, but not very much. Not to be confused w/authentic Thai gai yang... ... mine = American chicken infused w/authentic Thai flavor. In Thailand, small, lean chickens are skewered, cooked over...... View full recipe for "~ Thai-Style Oven-Roasted Barbecued Half Chicken ~"

02/20/2024

~Pork Butt Blade Steaks w/Peachy Keen BBQ Sauce~

Known as pork steaks, pork butt steaks or pork blade steaks, these bone-in steaks are cut from the shoulder of the pig -- the same part of the porcine used to make pulled pork. Similar in taste and texture to close-kin country-style spareribs*, they were invented in St. Louis, MO, and are a Midwest staple. As a country-style spare rib lover living in central Pennsylvania, I ask my butcher to custom-cut these inexpensive, lesser-to-unknown-here steaks for me. Perhaps this post will help them to catch on "here in the counties", and start showing up in our local markets. *Country-style ribs...... View full recipe for "~Pork Butt Blade Steaks w/Peachy Keen BBQ Sauce~"

10/05/2023

~ Amish Honey-Mustard & Pickle-Relish Pasta Salad ~

Walk into any Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch grocery store or a market that caters to a region with a large Amish population, then, walk up to the refrigerated deli-case. There you'll find several traditional, high-quality side-dishes: eggy-rich macaroni- and potato- salads, creamy cole slaw, sweet 'n sour slaw and pepper-cabbage. Next, take a stroll down the condiment isle and gaze at the array of honey-mustard- and sweet and sour- salad dressings, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, vinegar-marinated vegetables or mustardy chow-chows (a crunchy vegetable medley in mustard sauce). Lastly, check out the sweet treats: streusel-topped Dutch-apple, rhubarb-streusel and shoo-fly...... View full recipe for "~ Amish Honey-Mustard & Pickle-Relish Pasta Salad ~"

09/20/2023

~Grillmarked: Thai-Inspired Hot & Sticky Honey Wings~

Wings and tailgate. Tailgate and wings. If two words ever went hand-in-hand onto the gridiron, yep, it would be those two. If I say tailgate, you say wings, and, if there is one thing we tailgaters can't resist, it's a new wing-flavor-profile to experiment with. I came across this one in the Parade Magazine insert of my mom's local newspaper about a decade ago. Parade credits the recipe to Michael Gulotta, chef-owner of MoPho and Maypop restaurants in New Orleans. It's a keeper. The moment I read through the ingredients list, I knew I was gonna love this recipe. For...... View full recipe for "~Grillmarked: Thai-Inspired Hot & Sticky Honey Wings~"

09/05/2023

~Grillmarked: Ground Chicken Caprese-Style Burgers~

Today is a glorious day in early-September, but unless we get a wealth of warm weather and sunshine for at least three more weeks, it's probable that I picked the last substantive batch of garden tomatoes this morning -- and it's been a banner year. While walking my basket of dew-covered beauties back to my kitchen, I passed by my last full-leafed basil plant, the one I've been saving for that celebratory "last caprese day" of the season. Today ended up being the day. While I'm always, and I mean always, in the mood for a classic caprese salad (sliced...... View full recipe for "~Grillmarked: Ground Chicken Caprese-Style Burgers~"

08/10/2023

~ Southern Comfort: Classic Pimento Cheese Spread ~

When I was a little kid, pimento cheese spread was a staple in our refrigerator -- right next to the Old English cheese spread. I had absolutely no idea it was Southern. I thought it was Kraft. To this day, if someone puts a jar on of the store-bought stuff on the table next to a box of Ritz crackers, I'm more than happy to sit down and dig right in. Slather it between two slices of white bread and make me a pimento-cheese grilled-cheese sandwich and I'll follow you anywhere. Known as "the caviar of the South, or, "Southern...... View full recipe for "~ Southern Comfort: Classic Pimento Cheese Spread ~"

08/05/2023

~ She's Gone Bananas: Banana-Walnut Bundt Cake ~

How many bananas can a gal put into a bundt cake? Every time I bake this banana cake, I push the envelope a little farther, and, today I used the entire bunch. Six bananas. It yielded a total of 3 cups mashed bananas, and, the recipe, which started out using 1 3/4-2 cups, came out super-moist and full-flavored -- just perfect. Often times, this is how recipes are developed or improved upon (by trial, error and gutsy experimentation). That said, me thinks I'll stop improving this one. The original recipe came from my mother's recipe box and I'm pretty certain...... View full recipe for "~ She's Gone Bananas: Banana-Walnut Bundt Cake ~"

07/05/2023

~ A Very Berry Sour Cherry and/or Blueberry Cobbler ~

While I adore a traditional cherry or blueberry pie -- who doesn't -- sometimes, especially July thru September, the months when there is so much (too much) growing in the garden, I need to speed things up in order to make use of all the fresh fruits and vegetables in a timely, manner. When it comes to "short shelf life" fruits like sour cherries and blueberries, this cobbler is my solution. All I need is four cups of one or the other or a combination of both, along with 15 minutes of hands-on time and: dessert is in the oven....... View full recipe for "~ A Very Berry Sour Cherry and/or Blueberry Cobbler ~"

06/30/2023

~ Seriously Simple & Sweet: Fresh All Strawberry Pie ~

When it comes to freshly-picked, home-grown strawberries, past eating them out-of-hand, as a strawberry dessert lover, I'm a purest at heart. Today's recipe is a perfect example. I'd rather bake a smaller-sized pie that's loaded with lots of strawberries, than add another ingredient to them (because I don't have enough strawberries) to fill a bigger pie dish. Note: I have nothing (zero) against the quintessential strawberry-rhubarb pie concoction (we grow rhubarb in our garden too), I just prefer to indulge in a slice of pie containing all of one or all of the other. Period. My memories of fresh strawberry...... View full recipe for "~ Seriously Simple & Sweet: Fresh All Strawberry Pie ~"

05/31/2023

~Things to Know about Ground Beef, aka Hamburger~

Hamburgers, sloppy Joe's, meatloaf, chili, tacos, stuffed peppers, etc. Unless one is a vegetarian, ground beef, commonly referred to as hamburger because of the iconic all-American 'burger, is used in households all across America. I'm guessing on this next point, but, ground beef has got to the number one way we Americans buy our beef. If onef is on a budget or has a lot of people to feed. in today's economy, it's modest price tag makes it even more popular. Everyone knows that ground beef is beef that's been ground or finely-chopped. The grinding process itself tenderizes tough cutswhile...... View full recipe for "~Things to Know about Ground Beef, aka Hamburger~"

05/25/2023

~Grillmarked -- Things to Know about the Filet Mignon~

Filet mignon. We are all familiar with this cut of beef, but in case you don't know it's name is French. In French, the word Filet means a thread or a strip, and mignon means small and pretty. Filet mignon, known worldwide as the king of steaks, when cooked properly, is melt-in-your-mouth tender and can literally be cut with a fork. It's particularly pricey if your ordering it in a restaurant, but becomes more affordable if you buy the entire tenderloin and cut the steaks yourself. What part of the cow does the filet mignon come from? Filet mignon is...... View full recipe for "~Grillmarked -- Things to Know about the Filet Mignon~"

05/20/2023

~What's a Cowboy Steak and the Best Way to Cook It~

Learning about various steak cuts can indeed be confusing -- filet mignon, NY strip steak, ribeye steak, flank steak, cube steak, etc.. They're all steak, but they're all a different cut of steak coming from a different part of the animal. Things get more confusing when you find out that one single cut can be referred to, regionally or butcher shop to butcher shop, by more than one name. Which brings me to one of my favorites: the cowboy steak. Long story short, the delectable cowboy steak is essentially a bone-in ribeye steak, also known as a tomahawk steak. Cowboy...... View full recipe for "~What's a Cowboy Steak and the Best Way to Cook It~"

05/10/2023

~Grillmarked -- Things to Know about the Flank Steak~

The flank steak is one of my favorite steaks. It cooks quickly, it's tender and juicy when cooked and sliced properly, and, in terms of the economy, it's less expensive than many other steaks. That said, culinarily, the flank steak is technically not a steak. It's a tough cut of beef coming from the cow's belly muscles, which is why it's important to take the time to learn how to cook it properly. For me, that's under the high heat of the oven's broiler, or, on the high heat of my grill. What part of the cow does the flank...... View full recipe for "~Grillmarked -- Things to Know about the Flank Steak~ "

05/05/2023

~ Grillmarked -- Things to Know about Ribeye Steaks ~

Card-carrying carnivores love ribeye steaks. All world-class steakhouses have them on the menu and they are the number one purchased steak by backyard drillmasters. While I'm not even close to being a drillmaster, in my food world, the ribeye is indeed my favorite steak to grill, followed by the New York strip steak. It and the NY strip It and the ribeye steak, along with the filet mignon are considered to be the high-end cuts of boneless steaks, but, the filet mignon, which does not contain enough fat is least likely to succeed over the dry, open flame of any...... View full recipe for "~ Grillmarked -- Things to Know about Ribeye Steaks ~"

04/30/2023

~Grillmarked -- Things to Know about NY Strip Steaks~

Grill season is upon us. For us carnivores, this means picking up a few of our favorite steaks and lighting the fire. In my food world, my favorite steak to grill is the ribeye, for a multitude of others: the New York strip steak. The strip steak is known by several names: New York strip steak, ambassador steak, strip loin steak, Kansas City strip, club steak, or the Omaha Strip, but, most people call it New York Strip. Why? That’s where it had its beginnings – in the great steakhouses of New York City. It and the ribeye steak, along...... View full recipe for "~Grillmarked -- Things to Know about NY Strip Steaks~"

11/30/2022

~ Easy Barbecue-Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen ~

Do you love slightly-sticky, finger-licking good barbecued chicken but find it a kinda unruly mess to serve? I know I find it a kinda unruly mess to serve. When I make it outdoors on the grill, cleaning the sticky grill grids is a task I can live without. Plus, there doesn't seem to be a way to please everyone's preference for breast-, thigh-, leg- or wing- meat without overbuying. Then, one day, I got it in my head make barbecued chicken indoors using the Rock Cornish game hen, instead of chicken parts. Who doesn't love a mini-chicken all to themself?...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Barbecue-Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen ~"

09/25/2022

~Classic-Style Chunky Tuna, Egg & Shell Pasta Salad~

We Americans have been eating tuna salad for over a hundred years. The first reference to tuna salad appeared in 1907, and by 1914 dozens of recipes had been published. Tuna salad, classically made with with celery and mayonnaise, was a spin off of chicken salad, with tuna salad being touted as more convenient (due to the use of canned tuna) -- a big reason for its rise in popularity. Because of its nutritional value, it was marketed as diet food during the 1960s. Until the 1800s, the sardine was the canned fish Americans ate. Tuna was available, but, what...... View full recipe for "~Classic-Style Chunky Tuna, Egg & Shell Pasta Salad~"

09/20/2022

~ Classic-Style Creamy & Chunky Rotini & Egg Salad ~

Classic-style, old-fashioned macaroni salad. I like it a lot, almost as much as potato salad, and in my kitchen, just like potato salad, it's not restricted to Summertime eating. That said, when macaroni salad is made with elbow macaroni, I often lose interest in it after a few bites. Why? Texturally, in a to-the-tooth sort of way, it misses the mark, which is why I've always liked potato salad better. Then came the day I discovered that my creamy, mayonnaise-dressed macaroni salad recipe, if made with larger pasta and chunkier pieces of eggs, puts it on the same level as...... View full recipe for "~ Classic-Style Creamy & Chunky Rotini & Egg Salad ~"

09/15/2022

~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Shrimp Caesar Pasta Salad ~

We Americans love our Caesar salad. Over the course of the past four decades, the Caesar salad has overwhelmingly become America's favorite salad. If you are a lover of a crisp and tangy classic Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with plump, tender grilled shrimp (or chicken) tossed into it, there's more. If you are a lover of pasta salads too, you are gonna fall in love with this recipe. Adding pasta and a protein to a Caesar salad makes sense on many levels. Besides stretching it to feed a crowd, it turns it into a hearty and...... View full recipe for "~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Shrimp Caesar Pasta Salad ~"

09/10/2022

~Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad~

If you are a lover of a crisp and tangy classic Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with juicy, grilled chicken tossed into it, there's more. If you are a lover of pasta salads too, you are gonna fall in love with this recipe. Adding pasta and a protein to a Caesar salad makes sense on many levels. Besides stretching it to feed a crowd, it turns it into a hearty and refreshing main-course salad perfect to to serve at any almost any gathering -- a picnic, potluck or tailgate. We Americans love Caesar salad. Over the past...... View full recipe for "~Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad~"

09/05/2022

~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Sandwich ~

Over the past four decades, the Caesar salad has become America's favorite salad. It altered the lettuce industry, as the demand for romaine has skyrocketed, and, it turned the chicken-topped Caesar salad into the most ordered chicken item on restaurant menus -- even more than chicken wings and chicken fingers. If you are a lover of Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with juicy, grilled chicken tossed into it, you are gonna fall in love with my sandwiches. A bit about the chicken: Experience has taught that chicken sandwiches made with boneless, skinless breast are usually a "miss",...... View full recipe for "~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Sandwich ~"

08/24/2022

~All About the All-American Cheeseburger in Paradise~

A cheeseburger, eaten anywhere in the good old USA -- each one a cheeseburger in paradise. It's become the quintessential American food. There are two claims* as to who slapped that first slice of processed American cheese on the lonely hamburger, but, we can all agree it was the best marriage of food since sliced white bread married peanut butter and jelly. And, we've come a long way baby -- nowadays the cheeseburger is eaten in fast food chains, fine-dining restaurants and all points in between. Cheeseburgers are for pick-up, delivery, drive-thru, eat-in, eat-out, eat-alone or invite-some-friends from sea to...... View full recipe for "~All About the All-American Cheeseburger in Paradise~"

07/24/2022

~Broiled & Baked Oven-Method for Cooking Spareribs~

I adore spareribs. That said, I do not like spending time outside in the heat or the cold tending to them for the lengthy period of time it takes them to properly cook (and, because of their fat content, they do require careful and almost constant tending to avoid fiery flare-ups). For that singular reason, I decided to figure out my own way to make perfectly-cooked babyback or St. Lewis-style spareribs in the comfort of my own kitchen. I am demonstrating with a rack of St. Lewis-style ribs today, but, trust me when I say: , this method works the...... View full recipe for "~Broiled & Baked Oven-Method for Cooking Spareribs~"

07/21/2022

~ Babyback Spareribs vs St. Lewis-Style Spareribs ~

When it comes to purchasing pork spareribs, we cooks almost always have a choice to make: babyback (sometimes labeled "pork back ribs"), or, St. Louis-style (sometimes labeled "breastbone-off, pork ribs"). To the eye, babybacks are smaller (which appeals to many home cooks because they're more manageable), but, please know, this has nothing to do with the size of the pig (meaning, for those spreading false information: they're not taken from baby pigs). Babybacks are cut from where the rib meets the spine after the loin is removed. Each rack weighs about 1 1/2-2 pounds and averages 10-13 curved, 4"-5"-long ribs....... View full recipe for "~ Babyback Spareribs vs St. Lewis-Style Spareribs ~"

07/15/2022

~How to Indoor-Grill Amazing Whole Pork Tenderloins~

I recently purchased a countertop grill in order for me to grill a few things indoors -- not everything, just a few things. I am here to tell you, I love it. It controls the heat perfectly, it's easy to clean, and, most importantly, I am no longer at the mercy of, hot or cold, the weather, to grill a few of my favorite proteins -- boneless-skinless chicken tenderloins, whole pork tenderloins and shrimp. In honesty, I am simply not an outdoor kinda gal, so indoor grilling is perfect for me. A bit about indoor grilling on indoor grills in...... View full recipe for "~How to Indoor-Grill Amazing Whole Pork Tenderloins~"

07/12/2022

~ How to Indoor-Grill Amazing Chicken Tenderloins ~

I recently purchased a countertop grill in order for me to grill a few things indoors -- not everything, just a few things. I am here to tell you, I love it. It controls the heat perfectly, it's easy to clean, and, most importantly, I am no longer at the mercy of, hot or cold, the weather, to grill a few of my favorite proteins -- boneless-skinless chicken tenderloins, pork tenderloins and shrimp. In honesty, I am simply not an outdoor kinda gal, so indoor grilling is perfect for me. A bit about indoor grilling on indoor grills in general:...... View full recipe for "~ How to Indoor-Grill Amazing Chicken Tenderloins ~"

07/09/2022

~Guide to Indoor Grilling Chicken or Pork Tenderloins~

How many of you have invested in an indoor countertop grill or are considering investing in an indoor countertop grill? I have one, and, I am here to tell you, I love mine. It controls the heat perfectly, it's easy to clean, and, most importantly, I am no longer at the mercy of, hot or cold, the weather. to grill two of my favorite super-tender proteins: boneless-skinless chicken tenderloins, and, pork tenderloins. In honesty, I'm not an outdoor kinda gal, so indoor grilling is perfect for me. A bit about indoor grilling on indoor grills in general: Let's start with...... View full recipe for "~Guide to Indoor Grilling Chicken or Pork Tenderloins~"

06/17/2022

~My All-American All-Purpose Hamburger Seasoning~

When it comes to hamburgers, as long as mine arrives steaming-hot and medium-rare, I don't much care what you did to get it there. Cook it anyway you like or know how -- gas-grill it, charcoal-grill it, grill-pan it, pan-sear it, flat-top it, or broil it. Flip it once or flip it twice, that's fine with me too. Steaming-hot and medium-rare -- that's all I ask. I'm flexible about condiments too. Lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo? Awesome. Ketchup, mustard and pickles? Count me in. With or without cheese -- it matters not to me. Steaming-hot and medium-rare -- that's all...... View full recipe for "~My All-American All-Purpose Hamburger Seasoning~"

05/26/2022

~Curry-Up with a Summertime Curried Chicken Salad~

Just like I have preferences in movies, I have preferences in chicken salads. I prefer white-breast- over dark-thigh- meat, roasted chicken over poached, greasy rotisserie chicken makes me cringe, and, I want my chicken hand-pulled instead of diced or cubed, because the latter looks plasticy and fake. Error on the side of under-dressing mine, as I want to taste the chicken, but yes, by all means, please add some lightly-toasted seeds or nuts for crunch. I enjoy it served as a forkable salad or as a sandwich, but, if served as a salad I want it on tender soft lettuce...... View full recipe for "~Curry-Up with a Summertime Curried Chicken Salad~"

05/23/2022

~My Simon & Garfunkel Seasoning for Poultry or Pork~

Store-bought seasoning blends and bottled sauces. Every home cook has their favorite brands and there is no shame in that. I am no exception. When pressed for time, some days I reach for a container of Chef Paul Prudhomme's Meat Magic and other days a bottle K.C. Masterpiece will do just fine. When correctly paired together, a high-quality store-bought spice blend and bottled sauce can be a busy cook's best time saver. That said, all serious cooks make the time to prepare their favorite homemade concoctions too. I am no exception, and, at any given time, if you peek into...... View full recipe for "~My Simon & Garfunkel Seasoning for Poultry or Pork~ "

05/20/2022

~The Difference between Frozen-Custard & IceCream~

The Summer holidays are just around the corner. Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day -- they are indeed our country's Summertime patriotic big-three, but, all are also associated with laid-back atmospheres full of fun activities shared family, friends and, of course, food. Whether it be an outdoor picnic in the grass under a shade tree at the park, or on a blanket on a sandy beach, or eating from grill-to-table around the backyard pool or on the patio, or, simply story-telling in the night-air gathered around the campfire, nothing screams Summer like a scoop or two of home-churned...... View full recipe for "~The Difference between Frozen-Custard & IceCream~"

05/02/2022

~ Kebab, Kabob, Shish Kabob and lots of Kababba ~

Kabbaba is the ancient Aramaic word meaning to char or to burn. Medieval Persian soldiers, who used their swords as instruments to grill food over open fires in the field of battle, are credited with inventing kabobs. It was only natural that this simple method of cooking food relatively fast on a "sikh" (a metal skewer), made its way into the kitchens of the royal houses, then onto the tables of the common folk and eventually into the streets, where vendors cooked and sold them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (where they untreaded them onto or inside some form of...... View full recipe for "~ Kebab, Kabob, Shish Kabob and lots of Kababba ~"

03/30/2022

~ Chick-fil-A -- Rave Review of Five-Dipping-Sauces ~

For the love of chicken sandwiches, I admit to being a fair-weather fan of our local Chick-fil-A fast-food chain restaurant. All of THEIR not-my-cup-of-tea politics aside, on occasion, if it's a really nice day and I feel the need to relax and get away from my stove, I enjoy the drive across town to pick up one of their signature chicken sandwiches. As one who loves chicken sandwiches many ways, their trademarked slogan, "We didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich," their "Eat more Chikin" cow commercials, and, Doodles, their mascot, all make me smile. When one is perusing...... View full recipe for "~ Chick-fil-A -- Rave Review of Five-Dipping-Sauces ~ "

03/21/2022

~No Secrets in Hidden Valley Ranch's Secret Sauces~

I am a huge fan of Hidden Valley ranch dressing. If you and yours are too, be it a picnic, potluck or party, Hidden Valley Ranch has a secret sauce ready and waiting on a shelf in a grocery store near you. Labeled as Golden, Spicy, Smokehouse and Original, there is one that is guaranteed to be a great mate to whatever fare you're serving. No one enjoys a scratch-made condiment more than me and no one enjoys a creamy scratch-made condiment more than me, but, I gotta be honest, when I come across one or four in my store,...... View full recipe for "~No Secrets in Hidden Valley Ranch's Secret Sauces~"

02/26/2022

~ All Politics Aside -- Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies ~

All politics aside, former first Lady Laura Bush's recipe for cowboy cookies rocks. Back in 1992, Family Circle magazine began the tradition of a friendly First-Lady Bakeoff contest during every presidential election year. Hillary Clinton won the very first First Lady Bakeoff when her chocolate chip cookies beat Barbara Bush's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Mrs. Clinton won again in 1996, with Hillary's same recipe for chocolate chip cookies winning over Elizabeth Dole's pecan roll cookie recipe. Then, in 2000, Laura Bush debuted her Texas Governor's cowboy cookies, which won over Tipper Gore's ginger snap recipe. While it's all in fun,...... View full recipe for "~ All Politics Aside -- Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies ~"

10/24/2021

~The History Behind New York's Dirty Water Hot Dogs~

Hot dogs -- one of my favorite subjects. I relish eating them, never tire of discussing them, and, whenever traveling, if the destination is known for a style of hot dog, it's one of the things I make a point of eating while I'm there. The New York-style hot dog is one I've not chatted with you about yet. That said, had I not had advance, concise, clarification of what "dirty-water-dog" means (the affectionate but unappealing nickname New Yorkers have given their dogs), cuing myself up in the line in front of the closest pushcart would not have happened. A...... View full recipe for "~The History Behind New York's Dirty Water Hot Dogs~"

08/12/2021

~The Best Way to Make Slow-Cooker Babyback Ribs~

When it comes to slow cookers and crockpots, most folks either love them or they hate them, period, or, they neither love nor hate them, they use them due to circumstances beyond their control. I've heard all the reasons in favor, against and in between. Trust me when I tell you, I understand. I neither love nor hate mine. I simply recognize it for what it can do and do not try to make it do the things it cannot. The machinations of making ribs in a slow cooker never seemed right to me -- kind of like trying to...... View full recipe for "~The Best Way to Make Slow-Cooker Babyback Ribs~"

08/06/2021

~ The Bell Pepper Season & Why We All Love Them ~

Ok, maybe we ALL don't love the bell pepper but the majority of us do, including me. Served raw or cooked, they impart both flavor and color in all sorts of dishes from cuisines all around the world. At first sight, it's hard not to be attracted to their bold green, red, orange or yellow color, and, even if a recipe calls for a specific color, it's nice to know they can be used interchangeably -- although the green bell pepper is not quite as sweet as the others. Store-bought or home-grown, kept stored in the refrigerator, they have a...... View full recipe for "~ The Bell Pepper Season & Why We All Love Them ~"

07/28/2021

~Tomato Season & Why I Adore the Compari Tomato~

The Campari tomato claimed its fame in 2002 when a brief reference was made to it in the TV series, "The Sopranos." One mention -- it boosted both its relevancy in the tomato-loving world and its level of respect within the all-important Italian-American community. In 2003, Campari was rewarded with a 50% uptick in sales. To this day, it is my year-round store-bought tomato of choice. In my opinion, the Campari tomato is the most perfect tomato ever produced -- it's so damned flavorful, having the ideal balance of acid to sugar, and a texture that endears each one to...... View full recipe for "~Tomato Season & Why I Adore the Compari Tomato~"

07/18/2021

~ That's a Wrap Cheesy Flank-Steak-Fajita Burritos ~

A fajita-burrito has its origins in Mexico and features the best of two South-of-the border worlds -- all those luscious strips of well-seasoned grilled or sautéd chicken or steak, bell peppers and onions that go into fajitas, wrapped-and-rolled, burrito-style, in a large, warm flour tortilla that's been slathered with refried beans and scattered with a layer of Spanish-style rice and shredded cheese. The outcome is indeed the best of two worlds and, there's no need for embellishments either. Hold the guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa. Pick 'em up 'cause they're ready-to-eat. No need for embellishments. Pick 'em up -- they're...... View full recipe for "~ That's a Wrap Cheesy Flank-Steak-Fajita Burritos ~"

07/15/2021

~ Kids-Stuff Tex-Mex Broiled-Flank-Steak Fajita Filling ~

Newsflash. A flank steak does not have to be grilled outdoors to be a great flank steak. While grilled is very, very good, truth told, my oven broiler method does a marvelous job with no stress, guess nor mess. The end result is wonderfully seasoned, perfectly-cooked medium-rare steak. The process is so foolproof, I prefer it. There's more. Once sliced, a flank steak feeds an entire family. When the flank steak gets added to an easy-to-make sautéed vegetable medley, this meal feeds a crowd. It's perfect for any indoor or outdoor gathering any time of year. When the steak is...... View full recipe for "~ Kids-Stuff Tex-Mex Broiled-Flank-Steak Fajita Filling ~"

06/27/2021

~ Pack a Picnic-Basket w/Boxed Turkey Chef Salads ~

I might not be an outdoor kinda gal, but, I do enjoy an occasional picnic, if it's a Hallmark Card kinda day. That said, if I'm the one in charge of the food, I'm not one to traipse around the great outdoors carrying a basket full of food containers that are gonna cause me a whole lot of cleanup when I get back home. When I pack a picnic, boxed lunches are my way of enjoying the day and the return trip. There's more. It's doesn't matter what I'm making and taking, everyone gets a bit of everything portioned into...... View full recipe for "~ Pack a Picnic-Basket w/Boxed Turkey Chef Salads ~"

06/20/2021

~Wrapped and Rolled Cheesy Chicken-Fajita Burritos~

A fajita-burrito has its origins in Mexico and features the best of two South-of-the border worlds -- all those luscious strips of well-seasoned grilled or sautéd chicken or steak, bell peppers and onions that go into fajitas, wrapped-and-rolled, burrito-style, in a large, warm flour tortilla that's been slathered with refried beans and scattered with a layer of Spanish-style rice and shredded cheese. The outcome is indeed the best of two worlds and, there's no need for embellishments either. Hold the guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa. Pick 'em up 'cause they're ready-to-eat. No need for embellishments. Pick 'em up -- they're...... View full recipe for "~Wrapped and Rolled Cheesy Chicken-Fajita Burritos~"

06/16/2021

~ Nacho Mama's Sheet-Pan Chicken-Fajitas Nachos ~

Spicy fajitas and cheesy nachos. Together. Carefully layered on top of each other on a sheet pan. Yes, a sheet pan. Why? Because nachos require a perfect ratio of cheese-to-toppings on each chip and the sheet pan provides the surface area needed to accomplish that. Nothing is sadder than picking up a cheesy nacho to find no goodies on top of it, or worse, picking up a nacho chip overloaded with goodies to the point they all slide off onto the plate or your lap. Research has revealed that nachos made their debut in Northern Mexico in the 1940's when...... View full recipe for "~ Nacho Mama's Sheet-Pan Chicken-Fajitas Nachos ~"

06/13/2021

~Kids-Stuff One-Skillet Tex-Mex Chicken-Fajita Filling~

Tacos and fajitas. Akin to Cheeseburgers and pizza, I can't much conjure up four more kid-friendly meals. That said, if you're a mom or dad attempting to get your kids to eat more vegetables, it goes without saying, fajitas are an argument-free way way to get the job done. If you're a mom or dad trying to cut some fat out of your life, chicken fajitas will accomplish that too. There's more. If you've got a big family to feed or the need to feed a crowd, simply do the math and double the quantities. In about the same amount...... View full recipe for "~Kids-Stuff One-Skillet Tex-Mex Chicken-Fajita Filling~"

06/10/2021

~ Tex-Mex Skinny Chicken-Fajita Corn-Tortilla Tacos ~

Fajitas were originally named tacos-al-carbon and were served as portable food, ready-to-eat-with-the-hands, by wrapping strips of unpretentious skirt steak that had been cooked over a campfire or on a grill, in a warm corn or flour tortilla, meaning they were served taco-style. "Faja" is the Spanish word for "strip, band, sash or belt", and, with "ita" added to the end, it means "a little strip, band, sash or belt", meaning the ingredients for fajitas are always cut into strips. The dish dates back to cattle ranching life along the Rio Grande Valley regions of the Texas-Mexico border in the 1930's....... View full recipe for "~ Tex-Mex Skinny Chicken-Fajita Corn-Tortilla Tacos ~"

06/04/2021

~ My Dijonaisse-Dressed Baked Russet Potato Salad ~

I'm a lover of potato salad, and, when a hankering for it hits, I don't want to waste a lot of time getting from point A to point B, meaning, I want potato salad, aka as quickly as possible. For that reason, this is my "go to" recipe -- it's nothing fancy, but, it's done within the hour (and in potato salad time, that's quick). There's more. While the potatoes are in the microwave oven baking, I often chop some optional additions (celery, onion and/or hard-cooked egg), and mix them in too, but, I'm here to tell you, this quick-fix...... View full recipe for "~ My Dijonaisse-Dressed Baked Russet Potato Salad ~"

06/01/2021

~So You'd Like Perfectly Caramelized Onions on That~

Caramelized onions are a marvelous condiment to have on-hand. They're an awesome topper for a hamburger, steak or cheesesteak, they're wonderful on pizza, and, oh-my-sigh, I love them in a cheese omelette for breakfast. That said, it does take a bit of time and patience (not energy) to properly caramelize onions, about 40 minutes, but, on average, that's how long it takes onions to properly caramelize on the stovetop, and, after all, one can't serve French onion anything without properly caramelized onions -- quite frankly, they're the star of any French onion show. The words I use to describe the...... View full recipe for "~So You'd Like Perfectly Caramelized Onions on That~"