Monthly Archives: June 2010

Black and whites from the Barnyard

Dinner is served: Paella by Paul and Noah

I didnt make this and it didnt come from the grill, but thought I would share this photo!

Dinner is served: Pizza

I’m pretty sure I can cook / grill just about anything.  It’s actually pretty easy and really anything can be cook on a grill.  Think of it as camping only a little more sophisticated.

Tonight’s menu:

Make your own pizza

disclaimer:  While I make my own dough, I cheat in other areas.  Like pre-made pizza sauce.  We have italian sausage, pepperoni, red onions and cheese (and what ever else we can scrounge from the refrigerator).

Rolling out the dough

I found a recipe for pizza crust in the Betty Crocker cookbook.  It called for 2 1/2 cups of flour.  Sure no problem… Well…. unless you just made bread the day before.  I typically keep a couple of types of flour in the pantry, usually unbleached all-purpose, bread flour and whole wheat flour.  Well I used the last of my bread flour yesterday, and turns our most of my all-purpose flour.  I ended up only having about a 1/2 cup of all-purpose.  So whole wheat pizza crust it is.

I pre-cooked the crusts just enough to firm them up a little bit so we could add our toppings.  While I was grilling the crusts, Noah was helping brown the sausage.

Then the crusts were ready for toppings, one for each of us.  We had sausage, pepperoni, red onions, and various cheeses to top our crusts.  I also pulled out some garlic cloves (of course) and sliced some on to mine and Noah’s pizzas.  Al found some jalapeno in the fridge to put on his.

Then each one had to cook.  I was trying to be very careful of not burning the bottom of the crusts too much.

Left to right- Noah's Pizza, Al's Pizza

Al’s cooked the fastest cause he had a really thin crust.  So I added mine to join Noah’s.

Look Mom- no plates to wash!

Dinner is served: Rib-eyes with Roasted Broccoli, Spinach and Fresh Bread

"THE Grill"

This might be one of the best investments we have ever made.  Al and Noah actually got this one weekend right after we moved into our Garfield house.  They got a really good deal on it cause it was out of the box and a little dented, but it grills GREAT!

Tonight’s Menu:

Bone in rib-eye steaks, Roasted Broccoli with Garlic Cloves, Roasted Spinach with Andouille Sausage and Onions, and oven fresh bread.

I try to get everything ready grill side that I’m going to need.  I don’t like to keep running back and forth to the kitchen when I need something.  Plus this way I can keep the door shut and the cool air in the house.  At the time I’m cooking each night is when the sun is beating down on the west side of our house heating it up.  Our next house is going to have a bigger, nicer outside kitchen/grill area with more countertops.

I usually put what ever veggies I’m roasting right on the grill while its pre-heating.  This gets a good heat on the bottom of the pans to start the roasting process, put it helps burn off whatever was left from the night before on the grill grates.

My bread bell fits perfectly!

While it stayed nice and cool yesterday, rather than turning the oven on in the house I just cooked my bread in the outside oven.  My bread bell fit right in there, which made me VERY happy!  Now there can be fresh bread all summer long with no worry about heating up the house.

Ozzy's idea of helping...

I thought these rib-eyes looked like little angels' wings...

Yum- look at those garlic cloves!

The bread cooked nicely although I crowded it a little bit.  I’m hoping on my trip to Iowa next week Mandy can show me how to knead bread.  I always knead it like I’m kneading clay and work all the air out of it, which makes it dense  good but still a little dense.  I like the air bubbles in it.  However after all my clay throwing in college, I have ruined myself on kneading, and just end up wedging.

a good dinner, topped off with some sun tea!

Dinner is served: Grilled Shrimp and Roasted Sprouts

I’m not very original when it comes to updates or posts of what I have going on for Facebook.  I tend to post of what I’m eating or what I’m fixing for dinner.  The suggestion was made that I become a food blogger, but I’m not quite sure what that means. Here is my first attempt.

But first a few disclaimers…

I’m not very good at listing recipes.  Ingredients, SURE- but details, not so much.

80% of the time when cooking, I just wing it!  I mean, really…  I have two boys and two dogs in my house… all 4 will eat almost anything you put in front of them.  You either eat what Mom makes, or starve.

I don’t measure, I tend to eyeball.  A sprinkle here and a pinch there…

Sometimes I get caught up in the process and hurry that I forget to take pictures.  I did ok tonight, but you just wait and see.

I cook with butter, olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic cloves.  These are staples.  If I have these I can make ANYTHING taste good.

Everything tastes better with a nice glass of red wine.  None of that white wine crap- that’s just for cooking!

Ok, continue at your own risk – cholesterol be damned (mine by the way is excellent- the only good numbers my DR. ever sees when she draws blood!)

Tonight’s Menu:

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Shrimp Your Way, and Garlic Bread.

A nice light dinner for us.  We ate late, and have brownies from the grill’s oven for dessert.

I hard a hard time finding small brussels sprouts.  I like the small ones, but larger ones work too as long as you split them open.  Take your sprout and cut off the bottom stem and remove the first couple of leaves.

Split in half

I’m a big fan of those disposable pans you can find in the baking isle at the grocery store.  I buy them on sale and stock up.  They are GREAT for roasting veggies on the grill.  In large roasting pan, put a couple of table spoons of olive oil and salt and pepper in the bottom of the pan.  Place your split Brussel sprouts cut side down.  Fill your pan.

In our house, garlic is its own food group.  We probably go through 4 or 5 whole heads of garlic weekly.  Most of which is roasted in with the veggies we eat in whole cloves. So if you don’t like garlic you can omit (and if you don’t like garlic your totally missing out), but at this step we add several cloves of garlic.  I also drizzle with more olive oil and add salt and pepper.

This goes on the grill on HIGH while its warming up.  Next I prepare the shrimp.  I like the bags of frozen shrimp that have big shrimp.  I used a whole bag and it turned out to be 29 shrimp.  This works well when its the only protein/ meat source of the meal.  I put 5 shrimp on each skewer, making 2 skewers per person.  This way we can each season how we want.  Al did his spicy with a chipotle lime rub and the other with a Zulu fire seasoning we have.  Noah was distracted by video games when I asked him what he wanted so he just went with butter and garlic.  Mine were a mix, 1 butter and garlic and 1 bbq.

Before I put these on the grill I spray it with Pam so they don’t stick.

After a good roast on the sprouts you can turn them.  Its ok if they are a little crispy on the one side…

Serve with RED wine and Garlic Bread (another staple in our house)

To be followed later by Turtle Brownies.

Try on your own and let me know how it turns out!  More to come- time permitting!


Not to much new going on around here.  Summer break is in full swing and we are all enjoying it.  Noah has been training four days a week for an hour and a half in the mornings with Matt Glasser, who just graduated from DU and Kyle Ostrow who will be the DU team captain this coming season.  Its pretty cool for him to get to train with a couple of hockey players!  There are about 14 kids training with them.  We hope it will give him a let up as we head into the fall and tryouts.

Our road trips is just around the corner!  We are headed to Iowa this Saturday- so pray for nice cool weather for us!  Here are a couple of pictures from the back yard.


I found some aphids the other day on one of my pepper plants and then noticed a lone ladybug on another plant – so I moved it over to the pepper plant so it could have some lunch.  Well yesterday I was at the garden store and bought a bag of ladybugs: 2000 of them to be exact.  I opened them up last night in the garden to let them go to work.  This morning when I went out to the garden there were ladybugs EVERYWHERE!  Here are a couple of pictures.

Flowers and strawberry advice?

Everyone seems to be posting their flowers, so I thought I would post my favorite that is blooming right now.

I also have a question for any strawberry experts out there-  I just bought a big hanging basket of strawberries and there are a few berries on the plant but the shoots are very long.  Im wondering if the plant is spending too much energy sending off shoots and not enough on producing fruit and if I should trim it up… Suggestions

The latest from the kitchen…

I have subscribed to a weekly delivery of organic fruits and veggies to be delivered on each Monday afternoon.  In this week’s order was a bunch of living pea sprout.  I was out of town when they were delivered so they were just left on the counter for a couple of days.  When I got home they were a little wilted so I put them in a shallow pan and add a little water and they sprang right back.  But I had no idea what to make with them.  So I went on Facebook to my favorite organic expert cousin and asked her what I should do with them.  Luckily Stephanie posted this recipe  Well I tried it out tonight and it was very good.  I made a couple of changes to that recipe but mostly just added about 6 cloves of garlic.  Then served it with grilled shrimp on the side. Yummy!

We have also been mowing through the fruit from the weekly delivery.  One of Noah’s favorite things is apple pie.  So I went to the store the other day and found disposable personal pie pans.  Actually they were disposable pot pie pans, but same thing.  Im all about short cuts too so I picked up a couple of boxes of pie dough from the refrigerated section at the store. Anyway – we had really cool temps this morning and I had about 10 minutes before a conference call so I threw together an apple pie for him.  Think he will be having it for desert soon.

Earlier this week we had a 1/4 of cow delivered and now our freezer is packed full.  Im looking for suggestions for recipes with ground beef.  Last night I made a pan of sloppy joes with cream of mushroom soup, bbq sauce and horseradish sauce.  It was pretty good!  Whats your favorite ground beef recipe?  Whats been happening in your kitchen?

I want a ceiling like this…

I recently visited a friend in Vegas and we walked through the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel.  The entire ceiling is compiled of Dale Chahuly blown glass.  Its so amazing!