Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our TG Dinner 2016

Nov 25 2016

Our daughter was home for the weekend and ate on Thanksgiving Day, our son and family went to her parents to celebrate. We had our family TG dinner Friday.

I fixed some Skillet Dinner Rolls and Spinach Artichoke Dip for an appetizer we had at 4:00. I posted pics and a link in the previous post. I took the easy way out and had some precooked ham I heated sliced and a little water in a foil pack in a Crockpot. I did a green bean casserole in a Crockpot and did cheesy potatoes and corn pudding in the convection oven.  I had some meatloaf leftovers and some ate it and the ham. We ate at 5:30.

It was all pretty good, my ham was from Walnut Creek Amish Country; it was above average but I like my butcher Kah Meat’s smoked hams better.  For desserts there was Black Raspberry Pie, Custard Pie and a Pumpkin Roll all from Amish Country.

We all stuffed ourselves then sat around listening to some good music and talking and joking. It was fun family get together!

Wife set a pretty table

The ham

Cheesy potatoes

Corn pudding

Green bean casserole

My plate

Skillet Rolls & Spinach Artichoke Dip

Nov 25 2016

This recipe makes for a delicious bread and dip appetizer. I found the recipe on Seasons and suppers blog. I used Pioneer Women’s recipe for the spinach artichoke dip. For my rolls I used some frozen dinner rolls that are about the size of a golf ball.

I thawed them out and then coated a skillet with olive oil. I placed a bowl in the center sprayed with some olive oil. I added the rolls, 16, around the bowl. I covered with plastic wrap and placed in a heated 200 deg. oven that I turned off for 30 minutes until the rolls had doubled in size. In the mean time I had made my dip.

I had a little trouble getting the bowl out after the rolls had risen. Next time I would put some foil around the bowl to lift out, mine had a vacuum seal and had to use a knife to get it out. I spooned the dip in the center and baked for 20 minutes after brushing with butter on convection bake. For standard ovens it may take 30 to 35 minutes.  If they are brown and you tap on them and sound hollow they are done.

This makes a pretty presentation and for those that like to make their own rolls would be great. You could also use about any cheese dip with it. I served this for an appetizer at our family Thanksgiving dinner.

Click Here for link to recipe

Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016 Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Nov 24 2016

Our daughter is home for the weekend and I am fixing our family dinner tomorrow. For tonight I fixed a Lipton onion soup meatloaf and potatoes; I used beefy for the meatloaf and original for the potatoes. The potato recipe is on the back of the onion soup box and you can get both recipes on Lipton’s site. For the lack of any other veggie I did peas in country gravy. I am having ham tomorrow and the meatloaf for anyone who doesn’t want ham.

I did the meatloaf on my Traeger pellet grill, It was in a little over 1 ½ hours at 300 deg. It was done a little early but held nice in the microwave. I did the potatoes in my oven at 380 deg. convection and was done in 35 minutes.  I made the gravy stovetop and added a bag of frozen peas. We had toasted English muffins with the meal.

Tasted good, I have other meatloaf recipes I like better than the Lipton’s but the wife and daughter loved it and had seconds. I liked the potatoes, thanks LTBBQ member, Art for telling me to look on the back of the box!

Hope all are having some good food and a fun and safe weekend with family! I wish the same for all who are not celebrating Thanksgiving.


Country gravy peas

Lipton Roasted Potatoes

My TG dinner

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sausage Burgers & Mac n Cheese

Nov 18 2016

I think I just had the last nice day sitting out in shirt sleeves and enjoying the 70 deg. temps before cold weather sets in.  Supposed to be 40 tomorrow with snow! I told the wife I would grill some sandwiches, we had beef last night so it was some sausage burgers tonight.

I got a pound of fresh sausage from my butcher. The wife wanted hers plain so I made up a patty for her, using 1/3 pound of the sausage. The rest I added a teaspoon of Penzey’s Italian sausage seasoning, a ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper and some diced green peppers and green onions.

They went on my Traeger at 195 deg. to smoke for an hour and then browned on my Weber Spirit about 3 minutes per side. I toasted the buns and added some cheese to my wife’s. I had some Bob Even’s double cheese pasta with Applewood smoked bacon I did in the microwave. It is about as good as I can do myself and a lot easier!

It tasted pretty good for a simple fast and easy meal! We both had some olives on the side and I just had mustard on the sandwich.

Sausage patties

An hour of smoke

Browning on the grill

My supper

Instant Pot Beef, Mashed Potatoes & Haluski

Nov 17 2016

It was a beautiful fall day here an unusual warm day of almost 70 deg. It was great to be out cooking. I was hungry for beef and noodles. I went to my butcher looking for a nice arm roast; he didn’t have any but had this nice English cut chuck roast. It has the short ribs included with a chuck.

It was too big for my Instant Pot and for the wife and me. I cut the ribs off and a tail piece to save and use for some Asian style ribs later, I seasoned the roast with just some pepper to smoke on my Traeger first. There would be enough salt in the onion soup and gravy mix.

I had wanted noodles but had almost a half head of cabbage left from making kraut so I would have some Haluski. The roast went on my Traeger at 3:00 PM for an hour of smoke at 195 deg. Then I seared it in my Instant Pot on Sauté mode about 3 minutes per side. I then added some chopped carrots and onions and let them cook a while until the onions started to brown. I deglazed with some beer and then placed the roast on top. I mixed a packet of Lipton’s beefy onion soup mix and Pioneer brown gravy with about 2 cups of water and poured over the roast.  I set the IP to Meat Stew normal mode for 55 minutes.

When the beef was done I let set about 10 minutes then released the steam, removed from the pot, and shredded; it was fall apart tender. I added the meat back to the pot and set on slow cook normal while I cooked the noodles and cabbage. When the noodles and cabbage was about done I nuked some Bob Evans garlic mashed potatoes.

I served it all with some toasted English muffins and butter. It sure was good tasting, the more I use my instant pot the more I like it.

The English cut chuck roast

Divided it up

It got an hour of smoke

Seared in the IP

Carrots & onions sauted

Beef added with soup & gravy mix in water

Roast was done

Shredded then back in the pot

Frying the Haluski

My supper

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Krauts on for New Year's Day

I just shredded cabbage to make a half gallon of Kraut for my New Year’s Day good luck meal of pork and kraut.  It takes 30 days to ferment so will be done Dec. 16th and have a couple weeks to mellow in the fridge.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Instant Pot Potato Soup

Nov 14 2016

Every since last Friday it has been too busy, at least for this old man. Friday afternoon my grandson invited me as a Veteran for a program his school does for Veterans. He had his other Grandpa there too.
Saturday my local VFW post had their annual dinner for members and their wives.  Had a great meal of roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and a small chicken breast. Sunday we had left over Greek ribs, fried potatoes with onions & green peppers and a salad.

Today I had an appointment with my eye Doctor for my macular degeneration.  After wards we ate at a favorite place in downtown Lima, Ohio on Main Street across from the courthouse, the Fat Cat Diner. It is a 50’s style diner that has been there since or before the 50’s. They have the best burgers and fries I have ever eaten, the wife agrees. My burger with cheese, mustard and onions must have started out a half pound patty and was done just right, crisp outside and a hint of pink inside and served on a toasted bun. The wife and I shared the fries. I am not a big lunch eater and could not eat the entire sandwich.

I know it’s a little rambling but we old retirees can do that! I had planned on some potato soup and a Kassler ham, made with a pork loin, sandwich for our supper. The potato soup was done in my Instant Pot and off the top of my head but potato soup is easy without a recipe. I was too full from my lunch to have any of the ham but my wife ate a slice with her soup. I had my bowl of soup with extra pepper, shredded cheese and bacon bits on top.  The wife just had bacon bits on hers.

The soup was great and the wife thought extra good so I wrote up the recipe to save for a keeper. To me it was about the best I have made but would experiment with incorporating bacon or ham in the recipe.

Click Here for printable recipe

Some ingredients

All in the pot

My supper

Friday, November 11, 2016

Greek BBRibs, Potatoes & Mush

Nov 10 2016

With the cooler weather my new Stargazer CI skillet and Instant pot has been my cooks lately. I was ready for something from my smoker. I was hungry for ribs but different from my regular and when I want that I go with Greek style BBRibs. With lemon juice & zest, garlic oregano, salt and pepper gives a great taste to pork ribs. This time I added a little fresh ground coriander seeds.

My sides were not Greek but had leftovers to use so it was some potatoes and carrots and cornmeal mush. I pulled the membrane and got the ribs seasoned and in the fridge for two hours before getting them on my Traeger pellet smoker.

I had planned on 5 ½ hours for the ribs; 2 ½ on smoke at 200 deg. 2 hours at 250 deg. and 300 deg. for the last hour. At 3 ½ hours in I thought the ribs were getting too done after checking temp with my thermopen so the next hour was at 250 deg. grill level. After 4 ½ hours I added some cornmeal mush and eased the temps to 300 deg. grill level for the rest of the cook.

At 5:50 I pulled the ribs and took inside to rest. I nuked the potatoes and carrots then brought the mush in. I served with some cheese bread and butter.

The ribs were great, a little fall off the bone but tasted great. The mush was not as good as crisp fried but still tasted good with the meal.

Click Here for printable recipe

Ribs seasoned

2 !/2 hrs. of smoke

Mush added, 300 deg. for last hr.

Done and resting

Slicing to serve

My supper

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2nd Seasoning My Stargazer with Grape Seed Oil

Nov 08 2016

I seasoned the Stargazer skillet with Crisbee cast iron seasoning. I have cooked in it twice and was very happy with the nonstick quality of frying in it. It turned a dark brown instead of black. I noted after my first cook there were some light spots; I thought some of the egg whites or flour I used had stuck. It was still smooth and used some 0000 steel wool to see if they would come off but did not.

My second cook was pork chops and fried potatoes and all went well; no sticking at all. After cleaning with hot water and a blue Scotch pad, which are non-abrasive, it looked like most of the brown had come off the bottom. It was a grey color. It looked like the seasoning was coming off.

I had got the idea of using the Crisbee from Jeffry B Rogers, the Culinary Fanatic, who is pretty sharp on cast iron. He had used it on a Stargazer Skillet and I never saw any results on his UTube site but found on his Facebook page he had the same results after his first cook. Some of the finish had come off.

I am not sure what I will do, I just did a seasoning using my grapeseed oil on top to see the results. I liked the results so I am going ahead and do it over the top with the grapeseed oil. I have it in now for a second round and will do at least 4 and maybe 6 times total.

I did it 5 times and quit there it looks pretty nice. Now I need to cook with it and see how it holds up. If it doesn’t I will strip it in my self-cleaning oven and start over; I think I will try the old Crisco if I do.

I fried my lunch in it today. I did 2 batches of bacon then fried 2 pieces of cornmeal mush. I had a bone in pork chop to fry for a sandwich. I was going to pour off the ¼ of bacon grease but decided to shallow fry the chop. I did it for 5 minutes per side. The sandwich was great; I had gotten the idea from my BBQ forum Lets Talk BBQ. Everything fried up nice and after it cleaned up easily.

I am happy with the skillet and will cook through the Holidays with it and see how it turns out before deciding to strip and redo.

After the 5 seasonings

Made my Lunch

Cleaned up afterwards

Monday, November 7, 2016

Instant Pot Meatloaf Stuffed Onions W/Carrots & Potatoes

Nov 07 2016

I am re-seasoning my new skillet so it was cook in the Instant Pot tonight. I found this recipe on Cowgirl’s Country Life blog by Jeannie. It looked delicious so decided to try it. She did hers outdoors in a Dutch oven so for you outdoor cooks that do Dutch oven cooks it will work for a one pot meal.

Her meat loaf was from Lipton Onion Soup Mix, and you can find the recipe on their site or on the back of the package. I cut the recipe in half for just one pound of ground chuck. I used the beefy onion soup mix. I cut a large onion in half and was able to get enough rings separated to hold the pound of ground chuck.

I diced about a pound of baby Dutch potatoes and 3 large carrots cut into ½ inch dice. They went in the pot with enough water to cover. I placed the stuffed onions on top. I locked the lid on and did on Meat/Stew normal mode for 18 minutes. I let them set on warm hold for 5 minutes while I cut and puttered some cheese bread. I released the steam and checked the meat temp and was overdone a little and the veggies were tender. I think 15 minutes would have been plenty.

I served the wife and I and always like to mash my potatoes and carrots, add a little butter, salt and pepper. Tasted great, we both thought the meatloaf was extra good too.

Getting the onions stuffed

Carrots & Potatoes in the pot

Stuffed onions added

Done in 18 minutes

My supper

Now I am ready to eat!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Pork Chops Fried Potatoes & Applesauce

Nov 06 2016

This has been the wife and I’s favorites over the years; pork chops fried potatoes and applesauce. I used to let her fry the potatoes because it’s one thing she can cook better than me. She always got a nice crisp to most of them.

This was my second cook in my new Stargazer CI skillet. I browned two pork chops in a little lard. They went into a casserole dish. I deglazed the skillet with a little beer and poured over the chops, covered and in a 350 deg. oven while I fried the potatoes.

I sliced the potatoes on a mandolin; a 1/8 inch thick. I soaked them in cold salt water for about 15 minutes then drained and dried with paper towels. I added some more lard to the skillet for the potatoes. I covered them for about 5 minutes then removed it to finish. I didn’t do too bad on the potatoes.

We had some bread and butter with the meal and enjoyed it. It had been a while since we had it.

I am loving my skillet, no sticking at all tonight and cleaned up easy.

Browning the chops

Frying the potatoes

My supper

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Veggie Night for the DIL

Nov 03 2016

Our son was away on business so told the daughter in law I would cook for her tonight. I was not going to post this but it turned out colorful and I haven’t done a veggie cook for her lately. I did it in a skillet and cooked some Jasmine rice in my rice cooker to serve it over.

My veggies were onions, red & yellow peppers, carrots, a couple of green onions, broccolini, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, water chestnuts and baby corn. I beat up 3 eggs and fried for topping. I did them in a CI skillet with some olive oil kinda in steps as listed. When all was in I added a little soy sauce and corn starch in water for a sauce, I covered and cooked to heat all through.

I served the grandson and then myself and the DIL and wife got what they wanted. The grandson finished what I gave him then went back and ate the rest of the rice and eggs.

It tasted pretty good but told the DIL I may have to fry some meat later! I did get some protein from the eggs.

The veggies

All in the skillet

My supper