Friday, January 2, 2015

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

Thursday, January 1, 2015

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.

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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Peach Cream Cheese Cobbler

Oct 18 2014

The wife and daughter in law went to a craft show this afternoon so the grandson hung out with me. The wife was cooking tonight, pizza from Sandmans  Beer and Wine Depot carry out, so I baked a peach cream cheese cobbler for our dessert. I made up the recipe by combining a peach and cream cheese pie and a peach cobbler recipe.

Most of the desserts I make have my favorite fruit, peaches in them. I use Margaret Holmes’s O’sage peaches, they are the closest I have found that taste almost like home canned peaches.

I changed the cobbler this time; I added 8 oz. cream cheese, 4 Tbs. peach juice and 1/3 cup of sugar. I thought it came out better with the extra cream cheese.

We tried Sandman’s new style pizza on the menu; a Ranch, bacon and chicken. The wife and I both loved it!!! Delicious!!!

The daughter in law and grandson didn’t stay for supper but came back later for some peach cream cheese cobbler with Edy’s vanilla bean ice cream. A great dessert!
Cobbler ingredients

Cream cheese mix

Topping mix in bag

Peach mix in casserole dish

Cream Cheese mix added

Topping mix added

Cinnamon sugar added and in the oven

All done and cooling

Pizza from Sandmans

My dessert

Friday, October 17, 2014

Beefy Meatloaf and a Cabbage Pie

Oct 16 2014

I decided I could do this meal in two steps; it would be easier on my bad leg. Wednesday it was nice enough I did the meatloaf on my Traeger; it would be good warmed up for tonight’s supper. Today I did the cabbage pie in cast iron in my oven; had some Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes and Heinz beefy gravy, some cold pickled beets all with bread and butter.

I found the cabbage pie recipe at Food52 by Kukla. A look at the ingredients said this should be delicious. Then I had a couple of goofs in assembling the pie. I had half the sour cream and mayo stirred in the cabbage and onions before I realized it was supposed to go in the batter mix. I thought I could use the rest in the batter and it should turn out ok anyway. I had the batter in over the cabbage and looked over to see the feta cheese still setting there! I had forgotten to add it over the cabbage before adding the last of the batter. I scraped off what I could get of the batter; added the cheese and then the batter back in. In the oven it went and hoped it turned out ok.

I thought the cabbage pie would be the star of tonight’s supper; mediocre at best. It looked nice and the batter was done right. I think it was the flavors of all that just didn’t work well together. My wife and daughter in law both said it was just OK. I don’t think my goofs hurt that much; I had all the ingredients in but just not in the right order.

I doubt if I try this again but if I do I would get the ingredients in the right order and change the cheese to Swiss. Whenever I think of a cheese to go with cabbage I think of Swiss.

I still got filled up good and did eat all the piece of cabbage pie I had. A link to the cabbage pie recipe is here in case anyone thinks they might like to try it.

Meatloaf ingredients

Ready for the fridge to rest

Ready for the smoker

Done on the smoker


Ingredients for the cabbage pie

Into the oven

Ready to serve

My supper

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Smoked Chicken Creamy Lasagna

Oct 14 2014

I had smoked a chicken Sunday for my supper and pulled most of the rest to use for tonight’s dish. I am still hampered by a bad leg and cannot stand at the stove long so I am limited to what I can cook. I found out yesterday from a MRI that I have a ruptured disc and a piece of it is against my sciatic nerve causing the pain. The meds I am taking are not giving me much relief. The Dr. called today and said they had me an appointment to see a neurosurgeon Nov. 17th I said I didn’t know if I could take the pain that long. I called the neurosurgeon today to see if I could get in any sooner. Hope to hear something tomorrow.

If you already have shredded chicken on hand this is about the easiest lasagna I ever made. Instead of tomato sauce this uses cream of chicken soup, onions, green peppers and milk or cream for the sauce. For my lasagna noodles I used ready to bake so didn’t have to boil any. The recipe was from Betty Crocker; it called for 2 cups shredded mozzarella and one cup shredded cheddar cheese. I used what I had on hand; 2 cups of 4 blend Mexican and 1 cup mozzarella. I was generous in my measuring.

I forgot to add some parmesan to the layers so I added some parmesan, Romano and Asiago to the top the last 20 minutes of cooking. I can see this would make good Tex-Mex by just adding some mild or hot green chilies, chili powder and cumin for Italian use Italian cheeses, oregano, basil and thyme. You could use some ground beef too instead of the chicken.

Following the recipe it comes out pretty mild but very tasty. I baked mine at 350 deg. for the 50 minutes and it was bubbly and getting brown on top. I let it rest 10 minutes before serving. We had a small green salad and some toasted garlic bread. I had some Vidalia onion salad dressing, fresh ground pepper and some dried garlic flakes on my salad. This is a keeper recipe for something quick and easy. It should serve six easily.
The chicken

My ingredients

Ready to bake


My salad

My supper

Monday, October 13, 2014

Smoked Chicken for Sandwich and to pull

Oct 12 2014

It was a nice week-end. The grandson played in a soccer tournament Sat. and Sun.; they took 2nd place. I couldn’t make it to see him play, since my leg is hurting. Saturday evening our son had a party for his wife and son’s birthdays which are Mon. and Tues.

I haven’t been able to do much cooking with the bad leg; I can’t stand up for very long. My wife was going to a play and then out for supper with some girlfriends. I needed something for my supper so the wife went and got me a chicken this morning. I could make me a sandwich for supper and pull the rest for some chicken lasagna for Tuesday.

I just had enough time for a two hour brine and then an hour to dry before time to get it on. I mixed up about a half cup of mayonnaise, a ½ teaspoon each of smoked paprika, and chili powder and ¼ teaspoon of cumin to rub on the chicken and some under the breast skin. I had enough left for my sandwich.

I got the chicken on at 3:00 225 deg. grill level and then eased it to 325 deg. grill level. When it hit 120 deg. breast IT I went to 350 to 360 deg. grill level to finish to 172 deg. IT. Total cook time was an hour 25 minutes.

I let it cool some and then cut some of the breast for my sandwich. I ate both wing tips and pulled the rest off to save. The dog and I had to have a few bites!

I had a small baguette to use for my sandwich. I smeared both bread halves with some of the mayo, heated the chicken some and then melted some provolone cheese over the top. I was hungry for chili so I opened a can of Wolf’s brand Texas no bean chili to have with some cheddar cheese. That was a good supper.

Ready for the smoker

Chickens done


Making my sandwich

Cheese melted

Sandwich and chili

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chicago Italian Beef open face sandwich

Oct 06 2014

I was glad our son was able to take my wife to the dentist early today to start a long process of getting two tooth implants. They pulled a tooth and put in two screws today. She came through it well.

I am still limping around on my bad leg. I wanted something for my supper tonight and had an excess of flank steak I had rolled and smoked in the freezer. I was hungry for some Chicago style Italian beef. I usually use a good all meat beef roast like eye of round or sirloin tip cap. The flank steak has very little fat so sliced thin it would work. I used about two pounds.

I can’t stand up very long prepping food so I put a tray and cutting board on the table and sat down to slice up the meat. I got it all in my Crockpot at noon and set it on high for the first two hours and then turned down to low the last 3 to 4 hours. After the first hour I added a couple of pats of butter and some sea salt. My beef broth was fat free so I added the butter to get some fat in it.

I had some take home and bake hard crust dinner rolls for my bread so I baked it at 4:00. At 5:00 I stirred in a tablespoon of porcini mushroom powder to enrich the beef broth some. I had some store bought real mashed potatoes for a side. A few years back I would make my own mashed potatoes but as I get older I look for a lot of short cuts. I drained a can of yellow corn and heated with some butter for a side.

We ate about 6:00. I had my sandwich open face; the mashed potatoes on the side, corn on top with gravy over all. My wife’s numbness was gone and was hungry so she had mashed potatoes and some bread with gravy over it. She has to eat all soft food for five days now.

That sure tasted good on a cool fall day. Our son stopped in at 6:30 and made two sandwiches to take back home with him.
Half the beef sliced

Onions in the pot

Peppers in

Beef and seasoning in

All in

Ready to serve

My supper