Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My Traeger & cook area

Below you see my cooking equipment, my Traeger 07E, to the left is a gas cooker w/cast iron skillet & to the right is a fish friar on the cabinet.
Since this photo I have added a Weber Q100 gas grill. Below that you see a photo of me & my faithful companion. Click on any photo to view larger size it opens in a slide viewer with all the photos in the post.

My Smokin Deck,I can cook rain or shine.

Set up for winter weather

Summer Kitchen 2015
My new Camp Chef single gas burner, a Weber
 Jumbo Joe that I got last year, a Weber Spirit 
2 burner gas grill and my Traeger pellet smoker 
on the deck

All covered up

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Let's Talk BBQ, One Great Forum

Let’s Talk BBQ; no matter what you cook on this is one great forum for discussing BBQ and learning about BBQ. Whether you use a grill, smoker, or other type of cooker, using gas, wood, charcoal, or electric for fuel there is a place for you there.

Their rules are pretty simple; just treat others the way you want to be treated. Leave your ego at home and have fun learning and discussing cooking and food in a family way.

Most members are from the USA but they are slowly getting some international members. I know of two from Australia and one each from Germany and S. Africa. There may be some from England. I like this since we can learn about other recipes and ways to do BBQ than in our own country.

The forum is laid out well; there are different sections for each style cooker, a recipe section, a general section, a place for sausage making and a place for other hobbies. There are a lot of knowledgeable members there now.

If you are interested in Sous Vide cooking there is a section on it with some knowledgeable members using the method.

I do most all my BBQ on my Traeger wood pellet smoker; but can adapt most recipes from other types of cookers. I use it year around and do most all of the cooking for my wife and I.

So; if you want to talk BBQ get over there sign up and join in the fun of cooking and eating some good BBQ.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

IP Beef & Gravy over Noodles and Green Beans

Mar 23 2017

Last night’s supper was easy and tasted good. It doesn’t get much better than a good beef roast and gravy over noodles, mashed potatoes or both. I am finding the Instant Pot is the best for doing chuck or arm roasts. For me they come out more tender and flavorful than using a Crockpot.

For last night I had a 2 lb. chuck roast from my butcher. I browned it in a skillet seasoned with salt and pepper about 5 minutes per side. I cut up a med. sweet onion in large dice and placed in the pot, I had sprayed with some olive oil. The onions act like a trivet and keep the roast off the bottom, besides adding good flavor.

I placed the roast on top of the onions, added a packet of Pioneer Brown Gravy mix. I deglazed my skillet with a little beer and poured over the roast. I added a little more beer and beef stock to come up half way on the roast. I set the IP on “Meat normal” and cooked it for one hour.  After an hour I released the steam; removed the meat and shredded it removing any fat. It went back in the IP and set on “slow cook low”. I had plenty of time to cook my noodles and green beans.

The noodles are from a bakery in Van Wert Ohio and I have been using them for years; just like old fashioned homemade noodles. They are a lot better than I can make myself. I had just enough green beans left for our side. I browned a slice of bacon and then added the beans and some chicken broth and cooked about 15 minutes..

I served the beef and gravy over noodles and green beans on the side. We had buttered English muffins with it and thought all tasted great!

Browning the beef

All in the pot

Beef shredded and back in the pot

Noodles done

Green beans done

My supper

Monday, March 20, 2017

Crowders & Snaps W/ Cajun Brats

Mar 20 2017

Sunday’s supper was for me and the wife ate other leftovers. I had some crowders; a member of the field pea family along with lady creams and black eyed pes. They are not really peas but beans that were brought here from Africa. They grow well in the southern climate. The crowders were named because of the closeness, now crowded they were in the pods.

I used a recipe from Mary of Deep South Dish; Crowders and Snaps, green beans. I soaked the peas overnight. I followed her recipe and for seasoning I used salt, pepper, a teaspoon of Cholula hot sauce.
I browned up 5 thick slices of bacon to use. I cooked the beans with water for the first hour and added half the bacon. After an hour I added the rest of the bacon, sautéed onions, seasoning and green beans for another 30 minutes or more.

I had smoked some Cajun brats in my Traeger for 1 ½ hours and heated up to have with my beans. I used a slotted spoon to just get the beans and had a biscuit and some Maille mustard for my brat. Tasted great; tonight I will eat some with the broth like soup.

Note: the crowders really swell up and I have enough beans to feed a small army!

Click Here for link to Mary's recipe

The crowders

Smoked brats

For the peas


Onion & garlic sauteing

Bacon, onions and seasoning added

Green beans added

My supper

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Louisiana Oyster Pot Pie

Mar 19 2017

This recipe I found at Louisiana Cooking blog. I have made oyster soup some but good oysters are hard to come by here in Ohio. It was one thing I was surprised my wife likes. If I lived on the East Coast I would have it more often.

When I saw the recipe I knew I had to try it. I had to go to 3 groceries before I found some oysters. I got two half pints; I just wanted a pint since I would cut the recipe in half for the wife and me.  I also used Grands southern style biscuits instead of making ones per the recipe.

I fried up the bacon and then added the veggies and made my roux using Wondra flour. I never did get to the light brown stage since it kept drying up as I added the cream and oyster liquid. For the oyster liquid I added chicken broth to it to make a cup.

I did the half recipe using my Stargazer 10 inch cast iron skillet and it was just right. After getting it all cooked and oysters, bacon and seasoning added I baked at 400 deg. for 20 minutes. When I added the Grands biscuits I noted their directions were to bake at 350 deg. so I lowered my oven to 375 deg. and it was done in 15 minutes. I only put 3 biscuits on the oysters and baked two separate for my supper tonight.

That sure tasted good! The wife even had seconds.

Click Here for my half recipe

Click Here for link to full recipe


Browning the bacon

Veggies added to bacon grease

Making the roux

Oysters, bacon and seasonings added in

20 min. at 400 deg.

Biscuits added and ready to serve

My supper

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cabbage and Rice Dressing

Mar 17 2017

For last night’s supper I turned to Mary from Deep South Dish blog. I turn to Mary a lot for southern comfort foods for ideas or use her recipe. She is from South Mississippi; her cooking is southern style, Cajun and Creole with her Mississippi touch. She just posted this recipe lately and knew I had to try it.

I probably would call this a casserole but she calls it dressing. I followed her recipe pretty close; I used Cajun seasoning; chicken broth for the liquid and my bread crumbs were some herb dressing mix that was pretty fine. I added it at first when it went in the oven but took the lid off for another 10 minutes and they did crisp up.

I had baked a take home and bake roasted garlic bread to serve with it. I went through a period where I was baking my own bread but after they came out with the take home and bake that come out so good I use it to save time.

The wife and I both thought this was pretty darn good! Give it a try sometime. Thanks for the recipe Mary!

Click Here for Mary's recipe

 The bread


Browning the ground chuck

Bacon and veggies in

Cabbage and seasoning in

Rice and soup mixed in

Ready for the oven

Ready to serve

My supper

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wagner Ware Ashtray & Bullet Mold Ladle

Mar 13 2017

A large percentage of the early cast iron cookware was made here in Midwest Ohio. Wapakoneta, Piqua and Sydney are all pretty close. Piqua Ware was made from 1916 – 1935, Sydney Halloware was made from 1884 – 1960, Wagner Ware was made in Sydney from 1891 – 1958 and Wapak Halloware was made from 1903 – 1926. Ahrens and Arnold were also made in Wapakoneta but only a few years.

I have a Wapak Z logo skillet I use to make corn bread and a Wapak sad iron. My wife got me an Ahrens and Arnold skillet for Christmas; that was the first time I knew they were made here. My wife’s aunt is an avid antique collector. Her and my wife goes to a lot of auctions together. The last time my wife was down to see her she sent a cast iron ashtray for me; she knows I like cast iron. Here it was a Wagner Ware. It has an oval logo with one W for Wagner and Ware. It says “made in the USA” 1050 and an E at the bottom.

I had a 3 leg cast iron bullet mold ladle I bought about 40 yrs. ago for making lead round balls for my black powder rifles. I think I bought it from Lahmen’s Hardware; the back says “Reproduction from original old bullet mold ladle”.

I cleaned both of them out and re-seasoned in the oven twice to get a nice black color. I have a place above my Ahrens and Arnold skillet to display the ashtray.