Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Hull's come to visit

Brian had a shoot for MDOT so Hollie and the kids hitched a ride and hung out with us. It is always a pleasure to have them visit. We made fillets with boursin butter and roasted asparagus. Heather had made a HUGE batch of roasted garlic and we noshed on everything. The big hit of the night was dessert: Snickers Ice Cream Bars. Yummy!

A picture too cute not to post

This is Tanner showing something to Jake and Emma.

Chicken with artichokes and hearts of palm

We had a busy night so I again, grilled some chicken breasts, but this time I tossed some vermicelli with artichoke hearts, chunks of hearts of plam, and olive oil. I topped it all with a bit of shaved Parmesan.

Pickwick fillet with green beans

We were allowed to spend another weekend at Pickwick and had some fillets. We premade as much as we could so when we got there we could relax as much as possible. The fillet was seasoned with my steak seasoning blend and topped with boursin butter. Heather took care of the green beans by blanching them for 6 minutes then sauteing them with onion and bacon. The boys had burgers. Everyone was happy. Chance chased girls around in the golf cart. What a great weekend.

Greek rollups

We didn't have plans for the chicken we had out so I through this together. I seasoned the chicken with Cavender's Greek Seasonings and grilled them. I took some Flat Out whole grain pitas and layers some hummas on. Heather made a feta dressing out of feta, sour cream, and garlic. I added the sliced chicken and sauce, then rolled them up. Amazingly enough, Tanner even ate it.

Heather's carmalized onion and blue cheese pizza

We cheated on this one and used a premade crust. Heather carmalized some red onion and layerd it over the crust. She added chunks of blue cheese and a bit of mozzarella to bind it all together. She halved some grape tomatoes and put it all in a very hot oven. The results were not at all what I expected. The carmalized onions added a very sweet flavor with a nice contrast from the blue cheese.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rueben with home chips

We braised a corned beef brisket and I sliced it up into chunks. I added saurkraut, cheese, and thousand island dressing on rye bread. The chips were thinly sliced potatoes brushed with oil and seasoned with a cajun seasonings blend and crisped up in the oven.

Berry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream

Heather took a bag of frozen mixed berries and add a little sugar. She whipped up a topping for cobbler following the bisquick box instructions. It was quite good considering its simplicity.

Hanger Steak with horseradish sauce and Hez Mac & Cheese

Heather marinated a hanger steak overnight in some concoction she developed. She was supposed to mix horseradish with sour cream and some other things, but forget the horseradish at home. She substituted creole mustard and it worked well with the steak. She had pre-prepared the mac & cheese. Elbow pasta, sour cream, cottage cheese, sharp cheddar, 1 egg, salt/pepper, and a dash of cayenne. We just threw it in the oven an hour before we knew the steak would be ready. Can you believe Tanner ate all of his?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trip to Pickwick

My sister and brother-in-law let us use their "cabin" at Pickwick. This was exactly the break we needed. It was far too short, but our boys had a blast. Thanks to Karen and Tommy for allowing us to forget about reality for 48 hours.

Fillet with boursin butter and creamed spinach

We found some beef tenderloin at Sam's for a very reasonable price, but I was hesitant because it was Sam's. All doubt was removed when we seasoned them up with Penzey's spice and black pepper. I had the grill so hot that it wouldn't register on the thermometer. I would guess it was about 800 degrees. I plopped them down for about 2 minutes per side and they were a beautiful medium rare. I took half of a package of boursin and mixed it with 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter. I topped the steaks with the boursin butter and let it melt. Heather had made a packaged creamed spinach that I added just a touch of cayenne to. It was pure luck, but it might have been the best fillet since we went to Ruth Chris' Steakhouse. We enjoyed a nice Grenache with it and it was a memorable meal.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independce Day Celebration at the Smith's

We made our annual pilgrimage to the Smith's to celebrate the birth of this great nation. A nation conceived in liberty and the right to pursue delicious shrimp, sausage, and ribs. All joking aside, I thank God every day that I live where I have the freedoms we have been granted.

Roger boiled some shrimp and sausage in a cajun crab boil concoction. He grilled chicken wings and made some hot, some mild. He also grilled the corn. There were plenty of fruit trays and Lisa made some vegetables in a warmer that were cooked to perfection, even though she was overly concerned about them. I made 3 racks of ribs that I used my new Penskey's BBQ3000 dry rub on. I finished them with a little Sticky Fingers sauce to give them a nice glaze. I also made some of Mimi's slaw. Cabbage and onion is shaved, not thinly sliced, but shaved. If you only thinly slice them Mimi yells at you. A little mayo, garlic salt, and ground pepper is added and mixed. I don't really like slaw, but I love this stuff. Heather made her famous chocolate cookies and for once, we nearly ate everything.

We had a good time and met some new friends. Isn't that is what Independece is all about anyway?

Eggplant Parmesan

I had purchased another eggplant and Heather decided to make eggplant Parmesan. She made thin slices, salted them, then put them on a rack to leech them. She made an eggwash and dredged them in panko. She fried them till they were crispy then took jarred marinara and alternately layered them. They were topped with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. She opted for this option instead of the traditional assembly and baking it. It was much lighter and less greasy. She made her famous lemon salad as well. Tanner went hungry, but the rest of us had a great lunch.

Grilled pork tenderloin, gratin potatoes, and fried okra

Renea gave me some fresh okra and I sliced it up and soaked it in a milk/egg wash. I put them in a bag of Sunflower cornmeal shook them up to coat and fried them in vegetable oil. The gratin is simply a drained can of diced potatoes, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a little cream. I topped it with panko and baked it at 350 for about 20 minutes. The tenderloin was sliced on the thick side and flattend to even out the thickness. I made a paste of garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and very course black pepper. After covering the loin with the paste, I grilled it until it reached 148. I let it rest a few minutes then sliced it up and ate.

I love fresh okra.