Showing posts with label grilling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grilling. Show all posts


BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the start to Summer. Summer. Summer.
It's been a long Spring here in Utah. One of those keep 4 blankets,boots,hat,gloves,scarf and portable heater at all times in your car for the baseball game seasons. So glad it is finally warming up.
Summer means salads. I've been looking for an excuse to try out this recipe I Pinned a while back.
Verdict? Loved it. My new favorite.
I think there is a similar salad at CPK? This salad comes from the blog Erin's Food Files. She adapted the recipe from Mel at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, but added her own twist, by throwing in some roasted sweet potatoes and succotash (a dish consisting of corn and any type of beans cooked together).
Hello Summer. So glad you're almost here.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing
Adapted from Erins Food Files and Mel's Kitchen

Chicken* early in the day, or day before prepare chicken in marinade:
4 chicken breast halves, any fat trimmed off
3/4 cup of barbecue sauce to marinate chicken

1 large head romaine
12 cups lettuce Spring Mix or Spinach (about 1/2 of a Costco box of Spring Mix)
2 sweet potatoes, baked or grilled on bbq  just until soft
olive oil for brushing on sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained & rinsed ( I like S&W brand regular or organic)
3 cups corn, frozen
1 teaspoon each sea salt & pepper

1 1/3 cup mayonnaise, light or regular, I used light Best Foods
2/3 cup buttermilk, sour cream, or nonfat greek yogurt, I used light sour cream
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
few generous dashes fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (you may use either home made or bottled) and additional for drizzling on salad
2-3 tablespoons milk, if needed for thinning dressing

The day before serving salad or early in the day:

Marinate chicken in BBQ sauce at least 6 hours. I like to use a large Ziplock bag. After marinating, preheat grill, and cook chicken until done.  Barbecue the chicken on low heat for about 8-9 minutes per side, depending on thickness of meat. Remove from heat, check for doneness. If cooked through, let rest for about 5-10 minutes. Slice after cooled.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add beans & corn, season with salt & pepper. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Combine all the ingredients together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine. I used a blender and pulsed the ingredients.

Place lettuce on platter or large bowl. Layer on top of lettuce with black bean & corn succotash, sweet potatoes, and chicken. Drizzle with additional BBQ sauce, followed by the Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing.

-Great dish for make-ahead. I made the entire salad the night before and bagged all of the ingredients separately. Then in the afternoon, took to a luncheon and assembled it in just a few minutes.
-You may use any combo of ingredients for the succotash. It would be delicious with red or yellow peppers, chopped onion (red, yellow or white) or tomatoes. I added  small grape tomatoes and loved the color and flavor.
-This serves about 20 as a side dish, and is easily halved.
-I like to make my own bbq sauce (recipe found here), but didn't have any on hand, so I used 'Sweet Baby Rays" bottled sauce in this dressing, and for the marinade.
-For the sweet potatoes, I wrapped the potatoes in foil and grilled them on my bbq (350 degrees) for about an hour. After they were softened, I cut them into about 3/4 inch slices, brushed both sides with olive oil and grilled them just until they were cooked a bit more and had grill marks on the outside of the potatoes.
You can eliminate the step of wrapping in foil and baking the potatoes. Simply place the peeled, sliced potato onto a greased baking sheet and bake or broil until softened. Or grill pieces on the bbq grill.
After the potatoes are cooked, gently chop.
-If you are a cheese lover, grate some cheese on top - Monterrey Jack would work well. I don't think this salad needs cheese, there are lots of flavors in the salad, and with the creamy dressing, I think cheese is a little overkill. Just my two cents :)


Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa Verde

To celebrate Cinco De Mayo and Stephen's 15 month mark on his mission (read about it here), I made these simple and absolutely delicious grilled Chipotle Shrimp Tacos last week. 
If you love shrimp and a little spice, you are absolutely going to fall in love with this dish. 

                 He looks like a native, right? 
Nobody believes he is Caucasian and a quarter Japanese.

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa Verde
adapted from Food Network Test Kitchen

Avocado Salsa:
1 small onion, quartered, or 1/2 sweet onion, 1/2 red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
4 medium tomatillos, (about 8 ounces) husked, rinsed
1 Hass avocado
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoons kosher salt
juice from one lime or about 2-3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
12 small yellow or white corn tortillas
2 limes, cut into wedges

Chop all of the salsa ingredients, season with salt.  Juice the lime and pour the juice onto the chopped vegetables, set aside.

Heat a stove top or outdoor grill to medium-high. Mix the olive oil, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Do not over cook, or the shrimp will become tough.

Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in a microwave.) Top  each tortilla with about 3 shrimp and some avocado salsa. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.

-If you don't have the time, or don't have a bbq grill, you may saute the shrimp over medium high heat in a frying pan. Lightly grease the pan or use a non stick pan. 


Grilled Teriyaki Elk Kabobs

Disclaimer: If you are offended by hunters, stories about hunting, pics of hunted animals, etc. ,  you may want to pass on reading this post...

Carpet Shoes. Camo. Face Paint. August 20th. The opening weekend of the deer bow hunt in Utah.
A joyous time for the Foster fam.  Well, at least for the males in the fam.  First the deer hunt, and then in a few weeks, the elk hunt.
The hunt is on. Today, I ran down to my basement and opened the freezer, I let out a yelp when I saw this:

My nephew, Nick "harvested" a buck on Saturday, the opening day of the hunt.
Oh happy day.
In honor of Nick, slaying  harvesting (huter talk) a deer, I prepared these tasty kabobs for Sunday dinner. No, I didn't use Nicks venison, just some elk steaks we had in the freezer. Now you know I'm not a fan of wild game, but after marinating these in my special sauce, and Grant working his magic on the BBQ, we ended up with some really delish kabobs on the table.
Happy Huntin' !
The Clampetts.

Nick's deer on the opener. 
Update-Monday night, Jake got a deer as well. 

Want to read more about my hubs obsession with hunting? This post tells it all. 

Grilled Teriyaki Elk Kabobs 

A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

For assembly of kabobs:
12-14  10 inch wood skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 15 minutes

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup A-1 or Heinz 57 Steak Sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar, preferably dark brown
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 clove garlic, optional
salt and fresh ground pepper

For kabobs:
2 lbs red meat (elk, venison, beef) cut into 1 inch cubes
fresh veggies and fruit:
1 pineapple, chunked
4 peppers total- assorted colors (red, orange, yellow, green) seeded and cut into chunks
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 large sweet onion, chunked
8-10 fresh mushrooms, washed

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a bowl, or a large Ziplock bag.
Add the cut up meat to the marinade and let sit for at least 1 hour, and up to 24 hours.
When ready to assemble, thread meat and vegetables onto skewers.
Grill on medium high heat for about 5-6 minutes per side, turning once.

-We have found over the course of YEARS of cooking (and overcooking) wild game, the best way to prepare steaks is to sear or cook in a short amount of time over high heat. Marinating helps tremendously.  

Linked up to:


Mother's Day Menu 2011 Part 1 and Winner!

 Barbecued chicken with Ina's Hoisin Sauce and Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Ina's Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

First- I was touched by all of the comments left about your Mother, being a mom, what you love about Mom, etc.  Hope you have a minute, maybe on Mom's day to get out the Kleenex and read some of the beautiful thoughts expressed.  So very sweet.  I also hope you cut and paste what your wrote and share it with your mom or kids. Thanks so much for sharing!
The winner of the Cavanaugh's Chocolate gift certificate, Ina's Cookbook "How Easy is That?" and the Stack'd  by SisterMade  napkins is:
Cassie S. said...
I love that my mom is a strong, independent, intelligent woman who taught me to never be afraid to speak my mind and respect myself. She is amazing!

Congratulations Cassie, hope you (or your mom) enjoy your fun gifts!  Email me at to claim your gifts.

So yes, it's that time again. Time to make dinner for Mom. Today, the main course Barbecued Chicken with Ina's Special Sauce, and a side of Baked Sweet Potato Fries.  I always choose easy but yummy dishes for you to serve up to Mom on her big day (of rest, hopefully).  If you want to see past menu's/posts about Mother's Day, check out MD 2009 ( includes guilt trip in case you were thinking about NOT making dinner for Mom), and MD 2010.
Alrighty then. The chicken. Easy. If it's too cold to bbq, if you live in say, UTAH, you may have to bake the chicken, in the oven.  It's all good. Whatever works for you. It's the sauce that makes this really yummy. If I were you, I'd make the sauce between now and Saturday, then it will just be sitting in your fridge, done. One thing checked off your list. This is sounding easy, right? It is. Remember how many meals mom makes or made for you? This is the very least you can do for her. Trust me.
You'll be her new favorite.

Oh, for planning purposes, here's our menu and schedule for posting:
Barbecued Chicken with Ina's Special Barbecue Sauce-Wed. May 4
Baked Sweet Potato Fries-Wed. May 4 (later this morning, after I feed the chickens)
Fresh Corn Cakes with Peach Mustard Sauce- already posted click here
Salad de Maison-Fri May 6
Lemon Yogurt Cake with Fresh Berries-Fri May 6

Barbecued Chicken with Ina's Hoisin BBQ Sauce
adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Cookbook 
print recipe

2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken ( assorted pieces) I used boneless, skinless, breasts
Salt and pepper

Pat chicken pieces dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat on barbecue grill about one hour total.  Baste with sauce about last 5-10 minutes of grilling.
If you are using boneless, skinless breast pieces, it will only take about 20-30 minutes cooking on low, or (in the oven) about 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, depending on the thickness of your meat.

Ina's Hoisin Barbecue Sauce
adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup Hoisin Sauce (found in Asian section of grocery)
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

In a large sauce pan on low heat, cook the onion and garlic in the oil until the onions are translucent, but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients, and simmer on low uncovered for about 30 minutes.  Store any leftovers in refrigerator.

This makes a load of sauce, but will keep for weeks in the fridge.


Mother's Day Menu 2010 -Part 5- Sweet and Sticky Grilled Chicken


Thanks for:
Hot breakfast every morning. I begged for cold cereal, but you would only let us have it two mornings a week. Because you thought eggs, ham, potatoes and toast were healthier :) Remember the phase I went through in jr high when I wanted soup & sandwich for breakfast? Of course, you accommodated me. Weird kid.
All of those home made lunches, because I wouldn't eat school lunch.
All of the drill and cheer costumes/uniforms and all of the school clothes you hand made for me. The sequined hat you made when I was in baton with matching wrist cuffs (red white and blue, of course). The mint green and white striped poncho you crochet in the 4th grade ( still have it), with pom poms, and fringe on the ends that Dad helped cut, while I waited for the school bus. All of the Mother -daughter matching dresses. How did I miss out on the sewing gene?

Always welcoming my friends into our home.
An endless supply of brownies, cookies and your favorite, Hawaiian Punch for fam and friends.
You taught me about love for family. Family was always first for you and Dad. I look back on my childhood with fond memories. Now that my third child is about to graduate from high school, I'm starting to really understand how wonderful you were/are. I'm just beginning to "get" what you gave up for me. You moved thousands of miles away from your mom. You left all of your friends and family in Japan to be with your husband, and raise your kids in a country where you struggled to learn the language. You had to learn how to drive a car at 30. How to write checks, keep a house, take care of us, all without the support of your family. Sometimes, Dad was on a ship for months at a time. The pay of a Navy Chief was small, and somehow, you seemed to make it all work-without credit cards! About once a year you could call home and talk to your family. I remember those calls- lots of laughing and loud talking in Japanese; the call always ended with a few tears.

You never had anything negative to say, about friends, neighbors, Dad or your kids. You just loved us. All of us. My lasting memory of our days on Country Lane will be you- leaning out of the side door in your house coat saying "Play nice". That's been your life motto. Play nice. Treat others with love and kindness. I'm still learning. When I grow up - all the way, I hope to be like you.
Love you Mom.

If you are lucky enough to be with your mom this Mother's Day, treat her to this yummy and simple Sweet and Sticky chicken. She'll absolutely LOVE the ginger pomegranate sauce!

Sweet and Sticky Grilled Chicken

1 1/2 cups Pomegranate juice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
8 chicken breast halves, or equivalent amount of assorted chicken pieces
Coarse salt,pepper
olive oil to prevent sticking to grill

Bring juice, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer until mixture has thickened to the consistency of honey, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool.
Using a sharp knife, make three diagonal slashes through the skin and flesh on both sides of each piece of chicken (this will help the flavors permeate the meat). You may also use skinless chicken.
Preheat grill to medium-low. (If you are using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 7 seconds.) Generously salt and pepper chicken and brush with olive oil. Place chicken on grill, cook for about 5 minutes. Turn chicken and begin basting side that was just grilled. Close cover, and grill 4 minutes. Flip chicken, and brush with additional sauce. Continue to cook, flipping and brushing with sauce every 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through, about 20 minutes total.


Take Me Out to the Ball Game- Bacon Wrapped Dogs

It's July 29th, and for us, baseball is finally over for the year. Two boys. Four teams. One Hundred and ten games (yes, I counted). Lots of : rain, wind, blankets, hand warmers, hot chocolate, umbrellas for rain/snow, Gatorade, licorice, candy, water bottles, Advil, ice, cameras, camcorder, thunder, lightning, folding chairs, sun, umbrellas for sun, sunscreen, hot dogs, fast food, sandwiches, Otter Pops, snow cones, coolers, more ice, seeds, seeds and more seeds.

This is baseball in the snow disappear...

love the dedicated fans in April...
This is baseball in June.

Last night was Stephen's last summer ball game. Ever. The summer before his Senior year. I love summer ball. Yes, it's hot. Often around 95 degrees when the game starts at 6 PM. As evening unfolds cool air comes, and soon, we are lounging in our chairs with the other parents. Cheering on the team with our bare feet resting in the long cool grass. Everyone is a little more relaxed during summer ball. The high school season is a little too intense for me at times (to put it mildly).

Jake plays on competition and rec 12 year old teams. They had a great time winning their league this year (both teams). His comp team placed third at a tournament in Omaha, NE.

yeah, we're 12.

Enjoying a CWS game.
Enjoying hot dogs at the game.

The boys played ball during the day. At night, we went to the College World Series games. So much fun. Good kids, great parents. Hard workers. Love for the game. Dedicated coaches. Chemistry. This little team (they would hate that description!) isn't perfect. Errors are made, strike outs, injuries etc. But the kids love to play together. The coaches and parents believe in the kids and the kids believe in each other.
So it's over, for a few months...No more dinners at 9 PM- after filling up on junk. No more big umbrellas. Or toting chairs up to the field. No more 2-3 hour blocks of chatting with friends, family and fans who came to watch, just because they love your kid, or the game, or both. Or sitting on the hot bleachers. Or yelling at the ump. Yeah, you know who you are...Grant, Michelle, Mindy. No more. Till next season.
In honor of the '09 season. Fire up the grill and enjoy some bacon wrapped stuffed dogs. Almost as good as being at the ballpark. Almost.

Take me out to the Ball Game Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs
Adapted from - Elise at Simply Recipes

2 teaspoon ketchup
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 large hot dogs
4 ounce cheddar cheese, cut into long sticks
4 Tbsp chopped onion
1 1/2 cups refrigerated sauerkraut, drained, roughly chopped
8 slices bacon
vegetable oil
8 long hot dog buns

Preheat grill - medium high heat.
Mix together the ketchup and mustard in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sauerkraut with the chopped onion, set aside. Slice open the hot dogs, down the center, lengthwise, forming a deep pocket in each, but not cutting all the way through. Coat the inside of each hot dog with the mustard ketchup mixture.
Place a strip of cheese deep within the pocket of each hot dog. Top with sauerkraut and onions.
Wrap a strip of bacon around each stuffed hot dog, securing with toothpicks at each end. Make sure you wrap tight enough so that the stuffing stays in, but not so tight so that when the hot dog expands will cooking the bacon would tear.
Coat grill surface with vegetable oil so that the hot dogs don't stick.Place the stuffed hot dogs on the grill, stuffing side down. Grill for 2 minutes, until the bacon on that side is cooked, turn the hot dogs a quarter turn and grill for a couple more minutes. Continue to grill for a few minutes each on all sides until the bacon is cooked. Cover the grill in between turnings to help with the cooking.
During the last minute of cooking, open up the hot dog buns and place them open-side down on the grill to lightly toast.
Remove the hot dogs and buns from the grill. Remove the toothpicks from the hot dogs, place them in the buns and serve.
-Make sure you buy a good quality hot dog. Hebrew National (my fave) or Nathan's are the best.


Texas Grilled Chicken with Lime Butter

Memorial Day thought-
I dropped by my friend Anne Marie's the other day, and there on her porch was a painting, waiting to be shipped. To say Anne is a talented artist is an understatement. Not only is Anne Marie a
talented artist, but her husband Garth is a gifted landscape artist. Last night, Anne was featured on a local news story about Project Compassion. She and 4 other artists have taken on the monumental task of painting portraits of fallen soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan and giving the paintings to their families. So far, they have donated their time and talents and painted about 1,500 portraits. They only have about 3,500 to go! What an amazing gift of love.
Are you looking for an alternative to grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for Memorial Day weekend? OK, so maybe not for the kids, but the adults in your company will love this. I found this recipe when I Googled "chicken lime and onion". About 386,000 results. The spice coating is really flavorful, so fresh vegetables are a perfect accompaniment. We had this last night with rice, corn on the cob and fresh green beans. The spices on the chicken make the outer layer a beautiful dark color. And the lime butter. Oh my. Pass it around. Yummy on top of the corn on the cob, too.
Happy Memorial Day. And thank you to all who give up so much to serve our country. We love you and will be praying for you.

Texas Grilled Chicken with Lime Butter

3 1/2 lbs chicken, bone in or boneless

Spice seasoning for chicken:

1 tablespoon ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

Lime Butter:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, not out of the bottle
1 Serrano chili, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons minced onion
cilantro, chopped (optional)

In a bowl, combine all of the spice coating ingredients. Blend well. Dip each piece of the chicken into the spice mixture, place in a 9 x 13 pan. Grill the chicken, over medium heat. About 7-8 minutes on each side, if boneless. More time needed if chicken has bones attached.
In another bowl, combine the butter and all of the lime butter ingredients. Mix well. Drizzle lime butter over chicken pieces on serving platter. Garnish with fresh lime slices. Or pass lime butter with the chicken.

-I used 4-5 large chicken breast halves, sliced in half, then pounded a little with a mallet to tenderize and thin out a bit for grilling .


Mother's Day is Sunday- Pacific Rim Glazed Flank Steak

Hello out there...Note to all Fathers.
Did you remember that Mother's Day is THIS SUNDAY. Oh, how I love Mother's Day. No, really I do. My Favorite Mothers Day story: Grant took Corrine about 7, and Brookie 1 yr old shopping to get a Mo Day gift. When they came home, Corrine was dying to tell me what they bought, but determined to keep a secret.
Me: "How was the shopping trip?"
Corrine: "Fine. But, I can't tell you what we bought"
Me: (in a nonchalant way) "That's ok, I already know what it is"
Me: silence
ANYWAY. On to the recipe. Here is an easyeasyeasy, but delish menu for all of you who want to make Mother's Day- a lovely day for Mother.
Unacceptable excuses for not making your wife dinner on MD: (skip over this part if you are tired of my sarcastic remarks)
#1 This one's a classic - "She's not my Mother". Pay attention- She's the mother of your children.
#2 favorite lame excuse -"I don't cook". My husband, who is officially the most challenged cook in marriage history, makes me breakfast every year. So, snap out of it.
Did I already say I love Mother's Day??
OK, sooo I picked this steak, because it's a little out of the ordinary - Mommy dearest will love it, and it's grilled, so Dad can do what he does best. Hey, in our house, it's either the microwave or the BBQ grill for Grant. A microwaved Mothers Day dinner... I'll pass. Here is how it's done: Copy and paste these recipes onto your WP program ( I highlighted all of the ingredients you will need in PURPLE), hit print and get yourself into the car no later than Saturday morning. Do not wait until Saturday night, when you will find malls and grocery stores packed with men and children who have that crazed look in their eyes similar to a cat that was just given it's first bath. You know the look - if you are ever out on the night before Mothers Day, or on Feb 13th, about 8PM, same look. That - "I don't care what is costs, I need to find a gift, NOW". Save yourself the stress, and go out Saturday morning with the grocery/gift list in hand. You can do this. What better way to show your wife appreciation for all she does for you and your children?
Remember, Food=love.

Mothers Day Menu 2009:

Pacific Rim Glazed Flank Steak
Grilled vegetables
Spinach Salad with strawberries
Good quality ice cream
with home made hot fudge sauce

Pacific Rim Glazed Flank Steak

1 beef flank steak (about 2 lbs)
1 cup prepared Teriyaki sauce ( I use 1 cup soy and 1/3 cup sugar)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH rosemary
1 tablespoons sesame oil
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated ginger

In medium shallow dish, combine marinade ingredients, whisk until blended. Remove 3/4 cup for basting. With a sharp knife, lightly score both sides of meat in a criss cross pattern. Place steak in remaining marinade in dish or gallon size Ziploc turning to coat. Cover and marinade in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Remove steak and discard marinade in dish. Place steak on barbecue grill over medium heat, Grill uncovered, for about 17-21 minutes for medium rare to medium, basting occasionally with reserved 3/4 cup marinade and turning steak once.

Place remaining basting marinade in small saucepan. Bring to boil on stove. Meanwhile, carve steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices; arranging on a platter. Spoon hot marinade over steak, garnish with orange slices and rosemary sprigs. 6 servings.

-If the fresh ginger and garlic are too complicated, you may substitute bottled ginger and garlic in the produce section. Rosemary (fresh herb section) is available in the produce section too. If you don't want to buy fresh, use dried Rosemary. That will work. It won't be AS good, but it will work.
-If you are a Costco person, they sell very good Flank Steaks in a two pack. You can freeze the second one for Fathers Day. ha.

Grilled Vegetables

Assorted vegetables MOM likes:
Asparagus, beans, carrots, peppers yellow and red,
onions, mushrooms
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

This is easy: Cut some veg's like asparagus, carrots (not the minis), and some onions, mushrooms up. Uh- you washed them right? Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Grill the vegetables, turn and remove from BBQ. If you have a fresh lemon, squeeze it over the top of the vegs when they are almost done. Don't over cook, they should still be a little firm to the tooth. It takes about 10 minutes, tops with the heat on medium to low heat. Grill the vegetables before the meat if your grill is on the small side. It's OK if they are done before the meat. They don't have to be hot. After you grill the vegetables, take out a nice platter and arrange them on the platter. Cover with foil until everything is ready to serve. Vegetable shrink up a bit after cooking, so make a little more than you think you will need, you know Mom will eat the leftovers.


2 cups rice
butter or oil

If you have a rice cooker use it. If not, a plain pot will do. Just place about 2 cups of rice in a pot, and about 4 cups of liquid. Water will work, or if you like put some chicken stock in. I like plain rice with this dish. Salt and a little butter, maybe a tablespoon. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes, stir, add a little more liquid if you need, and continue to cook until all liquid is absorbed, and rice is done. You can also do this ahead of time, early in the day, and just serve it at room temp. You can use short or long grain rice, or brown rice.

Spinach Salad

1 bag pre washed spinach ( I like baby spinach)
2 oranges or 2 cans mandarin orange segments
1/2 cup Craisins
3/4 cup pecans or almonds, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
grated cheese, Swiss, or Parmesan, crumbled blue cheese
bottled salad dressing - raspberry vinaigrette dressing or poppy seed

Pour the spinach into a bowl. If using fresh oranges, peel the orange, and cut the orange into slices. Remove any seeds. Or if using mandarins, drain, and place in bowl. Add Craisins. Grate 1/2 cup cheese, and toss together. Store in refrig until serving.
In a small Teflon pan, heat the nuts over medium heat and sprinkle with sugar. Stir just until sugar melts and coats the nuts. Remove from heat, and pour onto a piece of foil until cooled. Break apart nuts. I like to toss the salad with dressing and nuts just before serving. Use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup dressing.

Ice cream and Homemade Hot Fudge

Ice Cream
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 1 oz squares unsweetened or semi sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Combine milk and chocolate cook over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture thickens. About 5 -10 minutes. Add vanilla and butter, cook just until butter melts. Serve hot, or make ahead and store in refrigerator. Heat before serving. Make about 2 cups.

Buy some good quality ice cream - Haagen Daz or Ben and Jerry's. Western Family is for the kids. Or if you live near Nielsens, buy some frozen Custard.

Oh- Don't forget to do the dishes. :)


Mary Mac's Grilled Citrus Salmon

Yummy fresh Citrus Salmon

That's our little Mary Mac in front!

Mary Mac showed up at Central Kitsap High School our sophomore year. Her dad was in the Navy and by the time her family landed in Silverdale,WA she had lived all over the world. Remember the show "Love Boat" from the 70's?? That perky, cute cruise director, Julie? Well, that was Mary a.k.a.- "Mary Faith", or "Fifi" . In a time when most kids would have just been content to fit in and endure their last few years of high school as the new kid, she charmed us all with her enthusiasm for life, enormous smile and ability to love everyone. She was, and still is SO much fun. Mary had a serious shoe obsession (lucky for me bc we wore the same size in shoes and clothes) and it was a never ending clothing swap for three years. Back in our high school days, McDonald's employed hostesses who coordinated parties, gave tours, and generally promoted goodwill in McDonald land. Guess who was the Wheaton Way McD's hostess? As a fringe benefit of being BFF's, we consumed more than our share of free meals at the golden arches. Hey- we were in high school! Our usual order was a Fillet of Fish (her) two cheeseburgers (me), two fries, two Coke's and a chocolate shake (for dipping the fries). Our tastes have grown up a little bit, now Mare trades the fishwich for a salmon fillet.
In an attempt to eat one semi-healthy meal last month, I made Mary's Citrus Salmon. It only took a few minutes, and was delicious. Throw some fresh spinach on the serving plate, place the cooked salmon on top, and it's a dish pretty enough for company. Here's to Forever Friends!

Mary Mac's Grilled Citrus Salmon

1-1/2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 dashes cayenne pepper
2 dashes salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 teaspoons capers
3 pounds fresh salmon fillets

In a small saute pan over medium heat, combine lemon juice, olive oil, butter, mustard, garlic, pepper, salt, basil, dill, and capers. While stirring, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Place salmon fillets skin-side down on a piece of heavy-duty foil with edges folded up, to make a pan. Pour sauce evenly over fish. Place fish on grill and cover with a lid. Barbecue over medium-hot coals for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets. Fish will be flaky when cooked.

-I used a 2 1/2 pound fillet, and reduced the garlic to 2 cloves.
-In the winter, or if you don't have a grill, cook in an oven at 350 wrapped in foil for 15-20 minutes, or broil for about 9 minutes.


Grilled Fish Tacos with Mango/Pineapple Salsa

Several years ago, Grant and I were driving around town, looking for something to eat. That's when we found Lone Star Taqueria in Salt Lake. I tried a fish taco, and it was love at first bite. Corny, I know. They have the very, very BEST fish tacos in the world. At least, the best in Salt Lake. They know how to make a fish taco. Corn tortillas, fresh grilled fish (NOT BREADED) a pet peeve of mine with fish tacos. Who wants breaded fish on a taco?? Who wants breaded fish, ever?  If you want to totally disguise the taste of the fish, and question if you are eating chicken, or fish, or whatever, then go ahead and bread it. Unless you are eating fish and chips, then it's ok with me. I know some of you are thinking - you mean fish sticks? That's not fish.
Back to the fish taco ingredients...chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage, and Jalapeno Mayo.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Mango/Pineapple Salsa

1 package small corn tortillas - I like white
2 lbs fish - I like Talapia or Salmon
1/2 head white cabbage, washed and shredded
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons light mayo
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 fresh limes
1/2 pineapple or 2 mangoes
1/2 red onion chopped
salt and pepper

Squeeze one of the limes over the fish fillets. Generously season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill over low heat about 5 minutes on each side on a barbecue grill that has been generously greased. If it's too cold outside, or you don't want to risk losing the fish in the grates of the grill, just broil in the oven for about 7 minutes. Check to see if the fish is done by flaking with a fork. If the fish flakes apart easily, it is done. Don't overcook. I think overcooking is the number one mistake when cooking fish.
Chop the cilantro. Place the sour cream, mayo, taco seasoning and chopped cilantro in a bowl. whisk together until blended. Thin with milk. Should be the consistency of creamy salad dressing.
Chop the mangoes or pineapple. Add chopped red onion. Chop the other half of the bunch of cilantro, add to fruit and red onion. Squeeze a little lime juice (1-2 tablespoons) over the salsa.
Turn on an electric grill or pan over medium heat and grill the tortillas on each side until the tortilla starts to bubble and lightly brown. Turn and grill other side. Remove to plate.
Assemble the tortillas- Place a corn tortilla on a plate. Top with some grilled fish. Add some shredded cabbage, and a tablespoon or two of the cilantro mayo. Finish off with the mango/pineapple salsa.


Italian Apricot Marinade or How to make something out of a flop

The other day, I went up to Logan, to visit Brookie. It was a beautiful autumn day. The air was crisp, the sky was blue, the leaves were turning colors...On my way back, I stopped in Brigham City to buy some peaches.

This is a Blue Hubbard squash. I was going to buy one for fall I am looking for a recipe using Blue Hub's for pumpkin pie.

Look at these sunflowers!
I bought peaches, peaches, and more peaches. And a sweet friend gave me even more peaches! I froze, canned, and made jam for two days. Every time I put up fruit, I get in the middle of it and wonder, WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF??? It's a huge mess, takes a lot of time, and I'm sure it's cheaper to just buy a case at the store. But my family loves canned peaches, and homemade jam. And for a day, or two, or until I am tired of having the jars take up space on my kitchen counter, I can look at the finished product, and feel good. I heard a talk/speech this past weekend about the joy creating can bring us. I love this quote from D. Uchtdorf - " As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you, but also the world within you." It's true. Take a few peaches, add some sugar and - Tadah! See below. Words of wisdom, for sure.
Peaches and peach jam.
A few weeks ago, I put up some apricot jam. I was working away, feeling pretty good about myself...when I realized something was not quite right. After finishing 3 of the 4 batches, I realized I had doubled the pectin, AND only put in half of the fruit required. What was I suppose to do with all of those jars of double pectin jam???? Uh- how about apricot marinade/glaze for chicken. Here it is. Come on over if you need any apricot jam for this recipe. Really - it's calling your name.

Italian Apricot Glaze

1 cup Italian Dressing
1 cup apricot jam
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
fresh cracked pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Marinate chicken in about 1 cup of sauce in refrigerator for a couple of hours. Discard extra sauce from pan. Grill chicken over medium heat on barbecue until done, basting chicken with remaining sauce.