Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Building a grill

Earlier this month I got motivated to build a huge grill out of a steel drum. To be honest it was just an excuse to use my welder building something instead of practicing on scraps. I had a blast building it and learned all kinds of things. Like the way I split the drum and framed it out with angle iron leaves gaps all the way around the grill, not good for temperature control. It cooks great as an open grill, but not so great for keeping lower temps. I am looking for another barrel to cut the door out of the side and re use all the metal from this one. In the mean time I will make to burn barrels from the two halves, one for the backyard and one for my dad to use with his camper.

Friday, June 15, 2012

BBQ chicken

It's time for more tasty photo's of what I've been cooking outside on the BBQ pit and today I've got some BBQ chicken. I fixed these up  with some of my own homemade BBQ rub and BBQ sauce, both of which were a smash hit. I am thinking of keeping both a secret so that it can possibly become a hand me down family recipe some day. I started making my own rubs and sauces last year, but have really taking to trying some new things and dialing them in for what I like. It all really started though with it being so much work to find out if the stuff I'm feeding my daughter is peanut free and safe for her. Since I started making my own sauces for her to enjoy I always have her be the first to try them and tell me what she thinks, there have been a two shes turned her nose up to. If you haven't tried making your own rubs and sauces, I highly recommend it. It's a lot of fun to make, you can make it to fit your taste buds, and when someone asks what you use you can tell them it's a secret family recipe. Which always seems to make everything taste better.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dinosaur Birthday Cake!

We celebrated our little girls 3rd birthday this past April, yes I realize that it's been almost two months since then, but my procrastination has been in high gear.....or is it low gear? Anyways about the cake.  For her birthday party she wanted a dinosaur party complete with a dinosaur cake. Well the cake came out great, but the icing.......well I obviously am clueless when it comes to that. The great part was that Sammie jumped up and wanted to decorate her cake, which after I failed miserably I figured what the the heck! Well here it is, the dinosaur cake decorated by the birthday girl herself. I think she did a fantastic job and she had a blast doing it, which completely overshadows my lack of frosting skill.

Chocolate Cake (with beets)
Recipe from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
/4 cup canola or vegetable oil, or trans fat-free soft tub margarine spread
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup beet puree (I used canned beets and pureed in a food processor)
1/2 cup low-fat (1%) butter milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablesp0on pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar with the oil or margarine until creamy. Add the whole egg and egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate, beet puree, buttermilk, and vanilla.
3. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat until smooth.
4.pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool 5 minutes in the pan before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese with the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla until smooth. Slice the cake in half horizontally. Spread the frosting over the top and between the layers of the cooled cake.
6. Refrigerate in in airtight container for up to 4 days.
Makes one cake.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Grilled Veggies and Sausage!

Summer is here and I thought I would share some of our grill favorites. This one comes directly from the fire house, but I have lightened it up a bit to make it a little easier on the waist line for those who care how they look in a swim suite.  The recipe will fill up a 9"x12" pie pan and three of us finished it off with no left overs, it was that good. I have found this is a great way to get my three year old to eat veggies, she absolutely tore up the squash, onions, and peppers.

2 yellow squash
2 zucchini
2 medium onions, what ever kind you like
2 bell peppers, I use red and green because I like their flavor a little better
1 Smoked Turkey Kielbasa
1/4 cup of butter
Favorite seasoning, I used my BBQ rub but you could use some creole seasoning or even seasoned salt, be creative its a great way to mix up the flavor.

Preheat grill to around 400º-450º F. Slice all veggies and the sausage, make sure the slices are sort of thick , about 1/4". Place in a 9"x12" foil pan, slice up a 1/4 cup butter and lay over the top of the veggies, season with your favorite seasoning and place on the grill to cook. Cook tell all veggies are tender, don't be afraid to give them a stir and reason if you like.  Cook time should be around 25-30 minutes depending on how thick the veggies were sliced.


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