Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grilled Corn

We had people over for a pool party this past Sunday.  I smoked two pork butts - that was exiting.  Our smoker is on the front porch, and the pork butts were still cooking at 11:00 at night.  I went out on the porch to pull them out of the smoker, and low and behold--------a skunk was checking out my smoker!!  I guess he thought it smelled good.  Luckily he went back into the wood across the street without stinking up the the place.

To go with the pork, I also roasted corn - it was wonderful.  I used the same Big Time BBQ Rub that I used for the pork, combined with butter.  I have used Emeril's Essence in the past, so whatever your choice is will work.

Roasted Corn

1 dozen ears bi-color corn
rub - your choice
butter 1 stick

Clean corn leaving husks peeled back to use as a handle.  Soak corn for 30 minutes in water.  After corn has been soaked brush liberally with butter that has been mixed with rub.  Place on grill so that the husks aren't on the grill.  Grill on high heat, turning often until corn is done - about 20 minutes.  Add more buttered rub as needed during cooking process.  Serve immediately.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

So yesterday, I smoked chicken legs, and they were great!!!  They were well flavored - I used the rub from my previous post, and added some homemade BBQ sauce.  They were spicy, tender, smoky, and just plain wonderful.  I love smoking; it is a lot of fun, and the end product is so worth it!!!!  All receipts come from Ray Lampe's cookbook.

12 chicken drumsticks
Big Time BBQ rub
Big Time BBQ sauce - see recipe below

Prepare the cooker for indirect cooking at 275 degrees F, using cherry wood for flavor - I didn't have cherry wood; I used apple.

A half hour before cooking, peel the skin back on the drumsticks and season lightly underneath with the rub.  Pull the skin bak up and season liberally all over.  Leave the drumsticks out at room temperature.  Put them in the cooker after 30 minutes, being sure to pull the skin up and lay them down neatly.  Cook to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F - this should take about 2 hours.  Glaze with the BBQ sauce and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the cooker and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Big Time BBQ Sauce

1 1/4 cup commercial chili sauce
3 cups ketchup
1 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients except the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and very slowly bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add in the last two ingredients.  MIx well and mix occasionally as it cools. Store in a covered glass or plastic container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

If you want to smoke and are hesitant about it, Lampe's cookbooks are great.  They are detailed, yet to the point.  I have had much success using his recipes.  As I get better at smoking, I can start to develop my own rubs and sauces using flavors that my family likes.

Big Time BBQ Rub

In one of my previous posts, I talked about how I smoked pork.  Following in the recipe for the Big Time Rub from Ray Lampe's Big Time BBQ Cookbook.

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients, mix well, and store in air tight container.  He recommends that granulated garlic and onion be used - they are a coarser grind, but the powdered may be substituted.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Father's Day Appetizer

We went to my brother and sister in law's house for Father's day.  They grilled and asked us to bring an appetizer.  Trying to find something new, easy and healthy, I chose a Mexican dip recipe  called Layered Mexican dip that I found at  I know that it is high in carbs, but that is due to the beans which I consider a good carb in that they have fiber and aren't processed.  Now, I know that some will want to use low fat sour cream or low fat mayonnaise, but I would argue that your body actually needs to process the fat that is in those items.  The other thing to take into consideration is that this is an appetizer - don't eat too much!!!  It is had to do though, because it is so good and the mozzarella cheese adds just enough of a difference to the average layered Mexican dip.


Grilling Healthy

We love to grill in the summer, and I found a way to get my kids - or at least one of them to eat veggies.  I make Kabobs!  Kabobs are easy to make - just use the veggies you have on hand.  I had peppers and onions.  What took them to the next level was the marinade I used.  It was an easy recipe using spices that most of us have on hand.

Mediterranean Marinade from Weber's Way to grill

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Mix dry ingredients together, combine with oil.

I used about one pound of kabob meat and all the rub.  It worked very well in a large zip lock bag.  Be sure to marinate for at least an hour.  The smaller cuts of beef don't have to be marinated over night to get maximum flavor out of the marinade.

The marinade was a hit for the family.  The cumin added a smoky flavor, but no heat so the boys really liked it.  The coriander, with its lemony flavor added a brightness to the kabob's flavor.  What I like best about this meal is that it is tasty, easy to make and no carbs, so I don't feel guilty about eating tater tots with it! (ok, just one serving - yummy!!!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Birthday Cake Key Lime Cake III

I know that I said this would be a healthy blog, but sometimes......

It was my son's birthday, and with his help, we found a recipe for his birthday cake.  He originally wanted a lemon cake, but when we happened across this recipe....need I say more, he had to have it.  I like to refer to it as the Shrek cake, but the real recipe name is Key Lime Cake III that we found on  I don't know what the III really means, but oh well.

Anyway, my other son doesn't like cake, but he really likes Key Lime Pie so he tried it.  He at three pieces; he thought it was that good.  The cake had to be one of the moistest cakes I have ever had, and making it was a blast.  The jello added a great flavor and wonderful color.  Not only was the flavor great and fresh - I love lime, making it was a snap, and it looked great when finished.  Making three layers allowed for a faster cooling time, so making it in the afternoon was no problem.

My son's little get together with family was a success.  I had to give out copies of this recipe to my mother in law and his godmother.  If you want something different, yet very tasty, try this cake.  I know the health quotient isn't there, but once in a while that is ok.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sometimes it doesn't

I am trying to make different vegetables for my family.  This time I tried a new recipe with brussels sprouts - a vegetable that my husband really doesn't like.  I looked up several recipes and combined two that I thought my family might enjoy. They didn't enjoy the sprouts, but they liked the marinade and said that I should try the marinade on other veggies that they actually like.  I am sharing this recipe because they really liked what was on the sprouts; they just really don't like sprouts.

Brussels sprouts recipe

1 1 1/2 pounds fresh brussels sprouts
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce
Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except cheese and place on a sheet pan.  Roast a 350 for 15 minutes.  turn oven up to 400 degrees and roast for another 25-35 minutes.  In the last five minutes, add cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Serve immediately.