Monday, April 30, 2012

backyard bbq..

this weekend was so nice out.. how could you not have a backyard bbq..yesterday we where in the 80's.. now a lot people think our weather is just to dang hot.. but we love it.. we think those of you that live where it gets freezing cold are the crazy ones.. he he ..i guess to each their own.. give me 110 on the lake with boat and i am one happy girl.. make me go into a cold grocery store and i get cranky.. ha..he dogs love when we have famly get togethers.. we had pete's parents over and the kids!! and of course frankie came with them.. :) so all afternoon frankie, monroe and junior "fought" over the bone.. they didn't really fight they strategically stole it from each other..


monroe started out with the bone.. then...


frrankie stole it..


junior seeing an opportunity sneaks over to where frankie is.. and


score!! steals the bone.. yeah junior!!


but it's ok the other dogs decided to chew on each other.. ha so while all that was going on i was getting our bbq all together..

we started with appetizers..
(i will post what we had then over the course of the week post each recipe with directions.. )


cheese tortellini, salami, pepperoni, olives and artichoke hearts on a skewer..


seafood macaroni salad..


fresh cut up fruit..


italian sausage burgers, sliders, hot dogs, chicken sausage and corn on the cob all cooked on the grill..


all the condiments you could ask for!!

(normally put all the condiments in their own individual bowls.. but i wanted to be outside with the family so figured what the hay and skipped that part this bbq..)

as if we weren't full enough.. we had an apple tart.. with a pineapple, apricot and brandy glaze.. for dessert



to end the evening a cigar and beer outside..


or in granny's case a glass of wine and a cigar..



well that concludes our bbq folks.. i hope where ever you were you were able to enjoy your weekend with family and friends..

Thursday, April 26, 2012

bbq chicken.. super easy!!!!


ok so i think we have established over the last month that i love to bbq.. and i'll bbq just about anything.. one of my all time favorites is bbq chicken.. when shell requests dinner it's either bbq chicken or ravioli... growing up i wouldn't eat bbq chicken.. it always looks burned and scary looking to me.. what i later found out was the sugars in the bbq sauce where actually what was burned and it was only the outside that had char marks but the inside was juicy and delicious.. when i finally embraced bbq and started loving it was in my 20's and i knew i had to cook mine to where the bbq sauce didn't burn.. it still looked unappealing to me even though i knew it wasn't "burned" per say.. i tried the method that a lot of cooks and books recommend, which is too cook it plain with nothing on it then the last few minutes put the bbq sauce on.. and guess what it tasted like to me.... plain chicken with bbq sauce on top of it..not bbq chicken.. i know that method is popular but just not for me.. then about 25 years ago i bought a bbq book at a yardsale (the name and author i have no idea it's been long gone for years..) well it had this style of cooking called indirect heat..  hallelujah and praise the heavens i found a way too cook my chicken with the bbq sauce on it the entire time and it not be burned to a crisp on the outside.. over the years i have switched up the bbq sauce numerous times.. (but the cooking style has remained the same..) and the past few years my favorite has been sweet baby rays!! it seriously doesn't get better than his!! this recipe and cooking method are so easy your going to think why in the world does she need to have an entire post deidicated to this.. well i will tell you why.. sometimes we forget, or at least i do.. that the simplest meals can be just as delicious as the complicated fangled ones.. 3 ingredients i used.. boneless/skinless chicken thighs.. sweet baby rays bbq sauce and a siracha for a little heat.. grill grill.. dinner's ready..cooking with indirect heat may take a bit longer but it's ohh so worth it!! i will on occasion use a dry rub.. or make my one bbq sauce or do both.. but for the quick work night gotta have it fast this recipe works out perfect!!


bbq chicken

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 4

ingredients:

8-12 thighs (mine where on the smaller side so i gaged 3 thighs per person)
1/2 a bottle of sweet baby rays (or your favorite bbq sauce)
1 tblsp. siracha (less if your a wimp or more if your insane.. ha j/k)

light your grill to high.. leave on high while you get your chicken ready.. pour out your bbq sauce in a small mixing bowl and add your siracha.. mix well.. rinse and pat dry your chicken.. lay out on a lined baking sheet and using a bbq brush slather on your bbq sauce.. (wash your bbq brush) let sit for about 10 minutes while your grill gets nice and hot.. turn one side off and keep the other side on high.. put your chicken on the off side.. close the lid and let cook for about 10-12 minutes.. then flip your chicken to the on side.. turn on the side you just had your chicken on and turn it off on the side the chicken is now on.. (make sense? i hope so) slather on another layer of bbq sauce.. and close lid and cook another 10-12 minutes.. your looking for an interntal temperature of about 165-170..remove from grill when done and cover and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving..

take my word for it wednesday.. smoked tri tip & twice baked taters


it's been another week and it's another wednesday where i ask you to take my word for it (actually it's thursday this was supposed to post yesterday ha).. today your going to have to trust me on this... this smoke tri tip was to die for.. juicy, smokey, spicy.. paired with twice baked taters and prosciutto wrapped asparagus it was an awesome dinner.. it was jake's 22nd b day and this year he said no parties.. no cake.. no nuthin!! yeah that didn't last long.. he calls around 2:00 (dinner was at 6) umm did mom make a cake.. Dad: no mom said you didn't want one.. jake: ohh i changed my mind i do now.. ha so he offered to go buy a cake but i said no.. i could quickly whip up grandmommy's miracle whip cake and fudge frosting.. recipe found here... it's a quick and easy cake to whip up.. the frosting has always been tricky and hard for me so this time i took a bag of dark chocolate chips a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips, 2 cups heavy whipping cream and a tablespoon of powdered sugar and cooked over low heat until the chocolate was melted and it became thick.. then i let it sit until cool.. i whisked it about every 10 minutes or so until it became the desired consistency then i poured it over the cake.. i put it in the fridge until time to eat it made a thick fudgy frosting layer on top.. it might have been the best cake i've ever made!! but anyway.. pete decided to smoke some tri tip.. there isn't any other pictures except for the one above.. ha not sure why. and there is only one or 2 of the taters while i was making them not the finished product.. sooooooo take my word for it the recipes are definitely worth trying!! we have 3 different smokers (why i have no idea) the one used above is a brinkman smoke n grill charcoal/wood chip smoker the one we use for parties and such is a brinkman smoke n pit charcoal/wood chip smoker..(basically it's bigger) and then we have the green egg.. we have not really used it because we don't know how.. ha ha so if anyone has good recipes for the green egg send them my way...

smoked tri tip (adapted from here)

prep time: 4 1/2 hours
cook time: approx. 2 hours
servings: 6-8

ingredients:

2 2-3 lb. tri tip (try and not get ones that have been trimmed of all their fat.. you cook it with the fat cap up and it drips down and flavors the meat if you have no fat it's not as flavorful!!)
dry rub (recipe below)
salt and pepper
your choice of wood you like to use in your smoker.. we used apple

salt and pepper your roasts and then slather with your dry rub.. cover and put in the fridge for about 3-4 hours before.. remove from fridge about 30-45 minutes before your ready to put on the smoker.. you don't ever want to put cold cold meat on a grill.. then smoke until your desired doneness.. we like it rare to medium rare so it took about 2 hours.. your looking for an internal temperature of about 135-140 so remove it around 125-130..it will continue to cook once off the smoker.. when it reaches the temperature you are comfortable with remove from the smoker and let it rest for about 20 minutes.. then slice thin across the grain.. it's sooooo good!! grab a beer.. sit on your patio and enjoy your meal!!



dry rub

ingredients:

1 tbls. chili powder
1/2 tbls. cumin
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 tsp. cayenne (or more he he)
1/2 tbls. smokey paprika
1/2 tbls. brown sugar
1/2 tbls. pepper

mix together and keep what isn't used in an air tight container.


one of my all time favorite side dishes to serve with anything bbq'd is twice baked potatoes.. they are so yummy and you can change them up every time you make them.. this time i used butter, light sour cream.. fat free 1/2 n 1/2.. chives, sharp cheddar cheese, roasted garlic.. salt and pepper.. but you can change up the herbs.. or use cream cheese instead of sour cream.. or use flavored cream cheese that would be good too.. so anything is possible.. i've been making twice baked potatoes since i was in high school so there is no one to credit the recipe too, well except my mom of course ha.. if you have never had one make them this weekend you will not be disappointed.. and if you have had them make this weekend!! you won't be disappointed either!! pinkie promise!

twice baked taters

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: approx. 1 1/2 hours
servings: 4

4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed, dried then rub olive oil all over them
2 tblsp. butter
1/3 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 cup non fat 1/2 n 1/2
1 tblsp. chopped fresh chives
3-4 roasted garlic cloves
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

pre heat oven to 400 degrees (f).  place potatoes in the center of the rack, which should be in the center of the oven.. bake for 30 minutes.. then pierce each potato a few times and continue baking until tender.. approx. another 30 minutes... remove potatoes and turn the oven down to 350 degrees (f).  hold potato with an oven mitt, slice directly in half and scoop out the inside of the potato into a medium mixing bowl.. (be careful those puppies are hot!) make sure not to take out to much you want your skin to be like a canoe or boat.. once they are all scooped out place your empty potatoes in a casserole dish.. throw in your roasted garlic and using a potato masher or mixer mash up the potatoes and garlic.. then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.. refill the shells with the potato mixture mounding slightly.. i like to then place 1/2 a piece of american cheese on each.. why because that's what my mom did.. but you can sprinkle some shredded cheese on top or leave plain... put your casserole dish in the oven and bake until heated through.. about 20 minutes more.. serve immediately..
now it was jake's b day so i will throw in a few photo's of the evening!!


let me test that frosting for you mom.. yep it's good..




i still have to blow out candles.. i'm 22.. yes blow out your dang candles kid!!



it was a warm day out and frankie kept sneaking in and laying under the table on the cool tile..


frankie and monroe doing what they do best.. playing!!!

well that's all folks!! i hope where you were had the same great weather as us and you got to spend time outside enjoying it!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

chicken gyro (aka yee-roh.. or gyy-roh)


growing up in las vegas my dad's office was in the part called down town las vegas.. he never ever worked on saturday's that was his day to do his yard work, family stuff, chores around the house, ect.. but on sunday's he always went into the office for a few hours.. i liked to go with him.. his old office was fun.. lot's of places to hide and explore.. back then it was ok to walk around down town and my brother and i would sometimes go the movies at a theater right on fremont street (i remember seeing rocky with my brother..) it became a dirty movie house in the 80's and 90's, lovely.. but the downtown area has, for the past 10 or so years been on a path back to it's glory days and i think now it's a night club or something.. sadly my dad had to move offices sometime in the 70's when the four queens hotel took over the block that his office sat on.. and he moved a little bit away from the actual "down town" part but still pretty close.. on the sunday's i would go to work with my dad we loved to go to a fast food place called "gyro time" (which was right by his new office) i always looked forward to going to work with him if i knew a gyro was in my future.. even sometimes if it was nice out we would walk (which is rare to do in vegas because it gets to be a million degrees outside..ha) the gyro time by my dad's office closed down and as far as i know there is only 1 still in town.. and i haven't had a gyro from a restaurant in years.. but every now and again i get nostalgic and want one..  for that reason i have since learned to make them and we actually like the chicken gyro's the best these days.. the other day i was in a yeee-roh mood.. (and nope they didn't make us call it that when ordering and in fact when they said "hi welcome to gyro time" they actually pronounced it the wrong way too) what do you do when in the mood for a gyro you fire up the grill and make grilled chicken gyros.. i've actually been making them forever but when i saw this recipe here.. i liked the variation.. it was a little different than mine same old same old and i thought i would adapt this new recipe from hers.. and it was sooo good..  and for the record i love love love tzatziki sauce.. (they didn't call it that either you got cucumber dressing).. but weather you call it a yee-roh with tzatziki or gyyy-roh with cucumber dressing makes no matter.. just don't call me late for dinner if your making it!


grilled chicken gyro

prep time: 20 minutes (marinate time: 8 hours)
cooking time: 20 minutes or so
servings: 4-6

ingredients:

4 cloves garlic, minced
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tblsp. olive oil
2 heaping tblsp. of plain non fat greek yogurt
1 tsp. fresh chopped greek oregano (dried regular will do i just happen to have greek oregano in my herb garden)
salt and pepper
2 lbs. chicken (boneless/skinless breasts and thighs)

combine everything above except the chicken.. put the chicken in a zip lock bag and pour mixture over the top.. seal the zip lock and kinda squish everything around make sure it's all coated evenly.. put in a casserole dish (in case your bag decides to leak) and keep refrigerated for 6-8 hours.. then after it's done marinating heat your grill to medium/high heat.. get your grill nice and hot then turn it down to medium low and remoce chicken from the ziplock and put your chicken on the hot grill.. it's going to sizzle and get those nice grill marks..cook on each side for about 7-9 minutes per side.. you want your chicken cooked all the way through no pink inside.. remove from grill.. let sit for about 5-7 minutes then slice up into strips.. serve in naan/pita bread with your favorite toppings and tzatziki sauce..

wrappings/toppings:

fresh soft naan bread/pita bread
tomatoes, seeded and diced
onions, sliced thin
cucumber, sliced thin
radish, sliced thin


tzatziki:

16 oz. plain non fat greek yogurt
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Juice and zest of a small lemon
drizzle of olive oil
chopped parsley for garnish

mix all of the above except olive oil and parsley.. once combine drizzle with olive oil combine again.. then refrigerate for about an hour before serving so all the flavors can marry.. then sprinkle with parsley right before serving..

Thursday, April 19, 2012

matbucha aka moroccan tomato dip

so i was cruising pinterest and came across this recipe here... and i thought this actually sounds like something i make.. but uses different seasoning.. so let's give it a try.. last night i was making chicken gyros which by the way were yummy and i thought this "dip" might be a good appetizer.. and boy was i right.. i am so making this next time i have a get together.. it's rich.. saucy.. spicy.. sweet.. it's very good!!


i kept dipping my naan bread from my gyro into it i couldn't help myself.. i did change it up a bit from the recipe i found only because of what i had on hand..



prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
servings: approx. 1 cup

ingredients:

1 can diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. splenda
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
olive oil
1 tsp. smokey hot paprika (you can use sweet if you prefer)
salt
chopped parlsey for garnish

in a small non stick saucepan over medium heat combine, tomatoes, garlic, splenda, chili pepper flakes and salt.. bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook.. stir every 10 minutes or so.. let the mixture cook for 60 - 75 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and it's a thick sauce /jam like consistency.. now add a couple of drizzles of olive oil and paprika.. cook another 10-15 minutes.. check for seasoning.. you might more salt.. or sweet.. or spicy.. remove from heat.. cool completely sprinkle with parsley and serve with pita bread or naan bread.. or pita chips or just about anything.. heck serve it on chicken.. who knows the possibilities are endless... it's so good!! (i threw in some chopped up scallion i had left over from dinner)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

for the love of pizza!!


i love pizza.. it might be bordering on obsession.. i could easily eat pizza once a week and never tire of it!! when i was a kid one of my all time favorite things was ordering pizza and having pizza nights, which i carried on with my children and family we loved to order pizza and get a movie and have a pizza movie night.. !! when i first got married i used to make pizza probably every other week because it was easy and cheap and we couldn't afford to order it out.. (back then i would use frozen bread dough thawed.. it never entered my mind to make my own..) over the years my tastes have changed.. from the mushroom only when i was a kid to the 80's when i had to have the deep dish from pizza hut with cheese only add extra cheese (the thought actually makes my stomach hurt).. to experimenting in the 90's and order things like anchovies (they were ok.. but then again i went through a smoked oyster phase in the 90's too, i probably ate a can of smoked oysters every other day for a year, oddly enough i haven't had then in years).. and now it's the thin crust!! can't get thin enough.. (remember the fig, prosciutto and goat cheese pizza i made here...) i now make it all the time it's so quick.. you just roll out the dough pretty thin throw on some olive oil (be careful when throwing the oil.. he he) prosciutto or bacon, onions, goat cheese, garlic and thyme.. a very quick simple meal..


i actually crave this "pizza" all the time.. 

just look how bubbly and thin the crust is *sigh*.. perfect!!


add a fresh salad and you have a very simple... slightly elegant.. sit on the back porch sipping a glass of wine (if I drank wine) kinda dinner..


shell likes hers a little thicker.. and of course with nothing i like on mine..



she wanted pesto on hers so i made a sun dried tomato pesto (recipe found here..) and topped it with mozzarella and tomatoes and once it was cooked tossed on a little basil.. she likes her crust a little thicker so i didn't roll it out as thin..



see how puffy it gets..it's so chewy and delightful...


of course pete wanted to be different and only wanted pepperoni (boring ha) and well i tried to make it look like a slice.. a very large slice.. but it was his own individual pizza.


another favorite of ours is whenever we have leftover bbq chicken.. make our dough.. slather on bbq sauce.. add cheddar and mozzarella cheese.. top with chopped left over bbq chicken, purple onion.. then when it comes out sprinkle with cilantro.. simply delish.

i like to add a little kick to my bbq chicken pizza and add a some cayenne to the sauce before putting it on the dough..


back in august we were in san diego and had what might have been the best pizza ever.. they topped our pizza with pineapple, pepperoni and jalapenos.. the sweet with the spicy.. seriously dreamy.. (i made this for valentines day he ha see the heart shaped pepperoni.. he he)

i thought i would post again on how i make my pizza.. it's so simple and yummy.. make some this weekend.. i know i will..

pizza dough (adapted from christine ferrare's big bowl of love) (or in a pinch the store bought pre made dough from vons/safeway's deli is actually really good.. they have a white wheat one that works out perfect)

1 package of active yeast
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 tbsp. of agave
1 tsp. of sea salt
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 up warm water, at 110 degrees (any less the yeast won't activate if gets hotter then 130 it will kill the yeast)

to make the dough.. in food processor bowl add yeast, warm water and agave.. allow mixture to activate.. it will get foamy takes about 3-5 minutes.. insert dough blade add flour and salt. pulse mixture once then add olive oil. pulse mixture until it forms a ball.. it will start to "clean" the side of the bowl, it only takes about 30 seconds to knead the dough.. the dough might be slightly sticky.. coat the dough lightly with olive oil and put in a large bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap. once its doubled in size, around 45 minutes or so you are ready to make your pizza.. cut into 4 equal parts for smaller individual pizzas or 2 for larger pizzas.. preheat your oven to 500 degrees (f) with your pizza stone in the oven.. roll out dough on a floured surface to the thickness your family likes.. slide the pizza dough on to a piece of parchment paper or foil brush dough with olive oil or add your favorite pizza sauce.. a very good one can be found here.... top with your favorite toppings.. pick up parchment and pizza and slide gently onto pizza stone, about 2 minutes into baking pull out parchment paper (it might catch fire if you don't).. continue baking until lightly brown and cheese is melted.. about 6-7 minutes total.. but keep an eye on it the thin pizza cooks up pretty fast..

take my word for it wednesday.. lemon monkey bread is bananas!



ok so the title is a bit silly.. but i have to tell you, i think out of all the stuff i made for easter this might have been my favorite.. i love love lemon.. i didn't take a picture of it, i forgot with all the craziness, i.e. 30 some people over ha ha.. so i nabbed the picture of the table off facebook from my niece's post from her phone.. your going to have to take my word for it that it's the best.. my brother in law jimmy said it was his favorite too.. i am going go make him some this weekend and send it to down to him so i will update the photo then!! it's soooooooo simple to make and of course was inspired by pinterest.. i saw this recipe here.. i knew i was going to make mine differently but her recipe was the inspiration for mine!!


you do not need to wait until easter brunch to make this .. any brunch will do.. maybe mother's day!! even a youngen could make it with the help of their older sibling or dad!! or heck forget a brunch any old saturday or sunday will do.. it's so delish!!

lemon monkey bread

prep time: 15 minutes
coking time: 20-25 minutes
servings: 10

ingredients:

2 cans of pillsbury grand refrigerated biscuits, cut into 1/4's
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tbls. butter, melted

glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbls. thawed lemon juice concentrate (or the juice of one lemon)

put cut biscuits in a zip lock bag.. pour melted butter and shake up to coat everything evenly.. mix lemon zest and sugar together in a small bowl.. add sugar/lemon mixture to ziplock and mix everything up so it's coated evenly in lemon/sugar.. divide between two greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees (f) for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.. remove from oven.. allow to slightly cool and remove from loaf pans.. combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over lemon bread and serve..

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

prosciutto wrapped asparagus...


i was walking through the living room the other day.. not really paying attention to what was on tv.. going about my weekend routine of chores and what not.. and the show kelsey essentials was on the cooking channel..her voice caught my attention and i was thinking i know her.. then i remembered she had competed a few years back on the next food network star.. she didn't win but apparently got a show.. as i was picking up the living room she was making this recipe here.. asparagus wrapped in prosciutto in a buerre blanc sauce.. well faaanncyyyy i thought.. then walked away.. then i thought i have asparagus.. hmmm i have prosciutto left over from an amazing frittata i made.. this might actually be pretty good.. i ditched the buerre blanc sauce.. i was grilling rib eye and had made a wonderful salad we didn't need any sauce for these babies!!! now my mom has always said you eat first with your eyes.. if you make your food look pretty it will be appealing and i remember even being young always trying to make my plate or food or whatever "pretty".. and well asparagus wrapped prosciutto is about as darn pretty as you can get ha..



i am really loving prosciutto.. i had never really used it until recently.. actually i think the first time when i made this fig, proscuitto, onion and goat cheese flat bread, here.... talk about scrumptious i was hooked forever after just one bite.. i now try and buy it whenever it's one sale and put it on everything.. ha i've made many pizza's with it and a few frittatas.. i will definitely be making this again and soon!


prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 10-15 minutes
servings: 4

1 bunch of thin asparagus, trimmed (about 18 stalks)
6 thin slices of prosciutto
olive oil
black pepper

pre heat oven to 400 degrees (f).. remove the woody end of the asparagus.. bundle three asparagus stalks together and wrap each grouping with one slice of prosciutto.. leaving the tips exposed.  drizzle the bundles with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.  roast the bundles for 10-15 minutes, or until the asparagus ends and the prosciutto slices are crisp... there are no pictures of the finished product because when i tell you how amazing they looked when they came out of the oven pete and i gobbled them up!!


speaking of eating pretty food i wanted to post this pretty salad ha we had it with this meal and it made the whole meal "pretty"..


i had 2 kinds of lettuce from my bountiful basket.. romaine and butter.. i tore them up (i was told never cut your lettuce always tear it..) chopped up some cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, scallions and chives.. tossed it all together added salt and pepper then drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and viola.. pretty salad..

Monday, April 16, 2012

a weekend of grilling and chilling!

so this was one of those weekends where the weather would not make up it's mind.. friday night it rained all night.. saturday it was brrrr cold.. and sunday beautiful.. just gorgeous.. we had a pretty busy weekend.. saturday morning we picked up our bountiful basket and then off to ollie's soccer game.. later that evening was shell's junior prom!! sunday we decided to hang around the house..grill some bratwursts for lunch and chicken for dinner..the kids came over.. so all in all a very nice peaceful weekend..  friday night i decided to grill some flat iron steak, peppers, onions and make "grilled" fajitas.. they were soo yummy.. there is no picture of the finished product it was raining cold and gloomy!! i even grilled in the rain!


i was inspired for friday night's dinner from reading my food network magazine and coming across this recipe here.. it sounded so yummy i wanted to try it.. and i was right.. soo good!!


prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
servings: 6

ingredients:

2 lbs flat iron steak
1 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, including the onions and carrots from the jar
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
small flour tortillas (heat according to package directions or heat on the grill quickly)

put steak in a baking dish and toss with the pickled jalapeno mixture, let marinate at room temperature for one 1 hour.  pre heat grill to medium high.. brush the jalapeno mixture off, season steak with cumin, salt and pepper and grill until slightly charred.. 5-6 minutes per side.. transfer to a cutting board and let rest.. we also grilled veggies at the same time in my grill basket and made fajitas..


i cut up a red pepper, yellow pepper, jalapeno, onion and cilantro.. tossed with cumin, ancho chili powder and a little olive oil and grilled in my grill basket until stoft and tender about 15 minutes..


we got to see ollie play in his second ever soccer game.. and while i think he is the next beckham he was more interested in playing keep away..


he still isn't sure about the concept that someone gets to kick the ball he just kicked but it was fun to watch!! the weather cleared up nicely there was no rain but it was still a bit chilly..


grilled ribs sounded good for dinner and they were so yummy!! so i pulled out my old recipe for beer braised ribs found here.. i did make a few changes.. i used guinness beer.. mainly because i still have some left over from st . patricks day and it's not going to get drunk in my house.. blah that stuff is nasty to drink but good to cook with.. and i used sweet baby rays bbq sauce.. because well i think it's amazing and i love it.. and that's what i had and didn't want to make my own.. i know lazy.. but..


braising/steaming the ribs in the beer.. they come out fall apart tender.. so juicy.. seriously good!! i wish i had brought them for lunch today :o(*



after we were able to eat this delectable wonderful meal.. shell went to prom.. she had a really nice time and looked fabulous!! she didn't eat the messy ribs ha..


shell and sam..


her brother tends to get cranky when she goes out on dates.. ha ha  


shell and her boys!! (her bbf's ha ha)


the group she went out with.. they went to margarittaville on the strip.. had a blast!!


and finally her and patrick..


it turned out to be a long night and i was up very late.. i actually slept in until 8:00 am on sunday i was so happy.. when i finally woke up i could not believe what a beautiful day it turned out to be.. i quickly did my chores.. cleaning, laundry, etc.. and then retired to the backyard to read my book, (mocking jay the third book in the hunger games trilogy), play with the dogs and do some more grilling.. for lunch i made bratwurst with onions..


i got some cheddarwurst and regular stadium brats.. poked them with a toothpick all over and soaked them in guinness and a tablespoon of chili powder for about 3 hours then put them on a medium hot grill and cooked them until done.. about 5 minutes on each side.. topped with grilled onions and horseradish mustard.. and an ice cold beer.. talk about a great sunday!!


i hadn't had a brat until about 6 years ago and ever since i've been addicted.. in the summer i grill them and in the winter i boil them in beer.. truly doesn't get much better than that..


to make the onions i sliced one large white onion.. i then shed a few tears.. recovered and sauteed them in a little olive oil.. two twirls around a medium size pan over medium heat.. threw in my onions, salt and 1/2 tblsp. of chili powder and cooked until tender and caramelized.. they were perfect on the brats!!


see that mustard back there.. beer n brat horseradish mustard.. umm it's amazing!! after lunch we tossed around a toy for monroe and junior and enjoyed the rest of the weekend..




perfect weekend for grilling and playing.. i hope you got to do some of both yourself!!