Smoked Ribs

I try to find any occasion to give an excuse for cooking on the grill. Well, we had my parents over and I found that excuse! I love to smoke ribs, and the flavor that comes from them. Here is what I did for them:

1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
3 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp Chipotle seasoning
1 tsp dried yellow mustard

You may be thinking, there was no salt added! I did something professionals and bloggers have told me not to do with ribs: I brined them! That's right, I did a wet brine. I took about one gallon of water, 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, one cup of kosher salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar.  I brined the ribs overnight.

When I removed the ribs I noticed the meat turned to a different grayish tint. This is normal. I rinsed them off, then I dried them off very well and added all the dry ingredients.

On a prepared smoker using a mixture of charcoal and hickory, have your temp between 185-225 degrees. This actually was achieved with little effort once you get the fire right. Smoke the ribs for 8 hours. Yes, 8 hours.

While they are cooking I had a mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey and mopped it every hour or so.

What you get are very flavorful ribs, very tender, but not fall off the bone. I like ribs tender, but not so cooked that they turn to mush when you eat them.

These were great ribs. Try them and host a party. Or maybe two.

Chicken Tacos

This recipe is a easy, yet delicious dish. It as simple as using your crock-pot to cook the chicken and the oven cooking the taco shells. There is nothing like great, tasty slow-cooked chicken inside a crispy hard shell you cooked. Now there are two methods for cooking the shells. You can use the "Quick Taco Shell Maker" as seen on TV (all of that stuff works, right?) or you can simply use the racks in your oven. This recipe will account for 2  tacos, even though I made more. The measurements are approximate,so if you want to add more spices you can! Here is what I did:

2 boneless chicken thighs
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 corn tortillas

Take chicken thighs and remove skin. Place in crock-pot and add spices. Add water to bottom of crock-pot to add moisture, just enough to cover the bottom. Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours.

When chicken is ready, take the corn tortillas and spray both sides with cooking spray and cook in a 400 degree oven on your taco maker or simply hanging on your rack face down for 8-10 minutes or until it is brown and crispy.

Shred chicken and place in shells, add toppings if desired. You can put cheddar cheese, cilantro, onions, etc. Whatever floats your taco boat.

These were really good!

Homemade Bacon

Every now and then I make a discovery that brightens my day.  My wife and I had went to Sams and bought some pork butts that were relatively cheap. We decided due to the size, we would cut the butts in quarters and make 2 small roasts, and two batches of pork steaks.

As I was trimming the meat, I noticed a nice fat cap on one side. I usually remove this and discard it, but I noticed something. As I cut the cap off I actually cook a layer of the meat with it. So I ask myself the question, I wonder if I could slice it thin and make bacon? The result? You bet your bacon you can! This is what I did.

1 Boston butt
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
grill, used for smoking and hickory

Take the fat caps from the Boston butt and remove them, but leave some meat on it. Then slice long -way down the cap and slice into about 1/8 of an inch pieces.Take your kosher salt and put generously on your caps and do the same with the brown sugar. Place it in the fridge, covered, over night.

After you have seasoned it, take the bacon out and rinse it off. You can store it in the freezer for later or you can go ahead and get it ready to cook.

On a smoker grill with hickory smoke,try to regulate your grill temp to about 200 degrees. Smoke bacon for about  1 1/2 hours.

Take back and place in a oven on 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

No joke, this bacon was better than store bought! This should yield you about 10-12 pieces. Try it sometime!

Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato and Vinegar Slaw

This is similar to a previous recipe I made, but decided to do a twist on the presentation. I promise you, I will never go back to beef since I have been cooking turkey burgers. The burgers are moist and delicious. The recipe will make three patties.

1 lb ground turkey
1 large sweet potato, cut in thin discs
1 cup coleslaw mix
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
2 tsp Worcestershire
2 tsp smoke paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Take salt,  pepper, garlic powder paprika, and Worcestershire and add to ground turkey. Mix well until all is incorporated. Shape into 3 large patties.

Place sweet potato discs on a cooking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Salt and pepper for flavor, about 1 tsp for each. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Cook your turkey burgers in a large skillet on medium heat, turning every 3-4 minutes. They should be cooked in about 15 minutes, depending on the size of your burger. In the last 4 minutes place mozzarella on the top to melt.

For the slaw, I added 2 tsp of mayo, 3 tsp of white vinegar, salt, pepper to taste, and about 1/2 tsp of sugar.

Plate and eat. This is one of my favorites! Printable recipe here.

Breakfast Mushroom Melt

I don't know why I haven't done this one. This was a delicious sandwich. If I could give you a free sample I would.

2 pieces wheat bread, toasted
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 egg, fried
1/4 cup spinach
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp mayonnaise
1/2 tbsp butter

Saute your mushrooms until soft. Medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes. Take mozzarella and place on on side of toast. place Sauteed mushrooms, spinach, then put top other piece of bread on top.

Take entire sandwich and put back into pan with 1\2 tbsp butter allow it to cook until mozzarella begins to melt. Remove from pan, take off top piece of toast and place fried egg on top. Place the toast back on top and cut in half. Eat. Enjoy.

Definitely a game changer for breakfast! Click here for printable recipe.

Breakfast Quesadillas


 Breakfast Quesadillas

I always try to find new ways to use ingredients we  have on hand.  This tasty breakfast came to my mind when I thought about our waffle maker. Breakfast Quesadillas! This turned out to be a delicious breakfast; one that I would do again and again.

2  small flour tortillas
2 eggs
1/4 cup of onion
1/3 cup of sharp cheddar cheese
2 strips of bacon, cooked crispy
Cilantro, for garnish

Saute your onions until they begin to caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside

Whisk your eggs and fry them in a pan like an omelet. Keep it flat like a pancake. It will fit well in your tortillas.

Place one tortilla on a Belgium round waffle maker and place fried eggs, onions, cheese, and bacon. Place other tortilla on top. Close your waffle maker and cook until cheese is thoroughly melted, which is about 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove and cut in quarters. Garnish with cilantro and serve with salsa and plain Greek yogurt ( or sour cream) and enjoy!

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Pul Biber / Aleppo Pepper 100g

Chicken and Chocolate Waffles

This next recipe is an unorthodox one, but it was actually quite good. The main highlight is the waffles. The chicken are frozen pre-breaded cuts cooked in the oven, tossed in honey and hot sauce. Here is how I did the waffles:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter
2 ounces baker's chocolate
1 tsp coco powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt

Mix flour, salt and baking powder together. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler on about medium to medium-high heat. When the chocolate and butter has melted completely, remove from heat. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add eggs and mix well. ( Make sure mixture is not too hot when adding eggs!) Add dry ingredients and milk. I would alternate mixing the dry and wet ingredients in so it incorporates better.

Take mixture and cook on your favorite waffle iron until done. They may take a little longer due to the chocolate.

This was a different combination that actually worked! If you have a taste for the wild side in culinary terms, try this one! Printable recipe here.

Alice Spring's Chicken- Our Take

Side note: This is the first ‘real’ dish my wife learned how to cook. In fact, when we were dating she made this recipe for me. It was good then, and it is excellent now. She was so kind to share this variation of the recipe with me, because frankly, it was delicious. 

3 chicken breasts
3 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (note: restaurant doesn’t put green pepper on it…so if you are wanting it to be similar to that, just omit the green pepper)
9 mushrooms, chopped
3 slices mozzarella cheese
3 slices cheddar cheese (OR 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese)
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
Salt, pepper to taste

Using a basting brush, brush Dijon mustard on both sides of the chicken. Let sit for at least 10 minutes (in fridge) or longer for more flavor. Cook bacon. 

Put olive oil in pan and add onions and green peppers. Saute until soft then add mushrooms.
Salt and Pepper chicken and cook on grill pan until done. Top with vegetables, then bacon, then both cheeses. Put in oven under broiler until cheese is melted.

That's it! I hope you try and enjoy this recipe!

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Grilled Veggie Tostadas Inspired by Pioneer Woman

This is a dish not of my own but inspired by Pioneer Woman’s Grilled Veggie Burrito Recipe. We had this for lunch one day, and I must say it was awesome! There is absolutely no meat in this recipe. You don't really need it! The recipe below made is made for three people.

I must give Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, the inspiration for this dish, although we changed it up a little. You can find here original recipe on this link:

2 cups White Minute Rice
2 tbsp. Chopped Cilantro
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. smoked paprika
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 whole Zucchini, Cut Into Slices Lengthwise
1 whole Yellow Squash, Cut Into Slices Lengthwise
2 ears Corn, Leaves And Silk Removed (OR 2/3 c. frozen corn, thawed and warmed)
1 c. dried black beans, rinsed and boiled til soft
6 soft taco sized corn tortillas
1 whole Small Onion, Finely Chopped
2 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or cheese of your choice)
Optional Toppings: Salsa, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Extra Cilantro, Hot Sauce

Prepare white rice as instructed on box. After it has been prepared, add cilantro into it and stir. (Note: The original recipe uses lime to make cilantro lime rice. We were out of lime—but I am sure this would be wonderful as well).

Heat grill pan and spray with cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle salt, pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika onto the cut vegetables. Place on grill pan cut side down and cook about 3-4 minutes (or until they start to soften.) Turn and cook until done. (If your grill pan is small and you have to do this more than once, make sure you spray with cooking spray each time or veggies will stick). Remove from heat and let cool just a little bit, then dice.

Before you dice your vegetables, prepare corn tortillas by spraying both sides with vegetable oil spray and cooking in  a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the tortillas are brown and very crispy. Heat your black beans in a boiler or in the microwave.

Prepare by layering-corn tortilla, cilantro rice, black beans, vegetables, and cheese. Do this twice and then top with your toppings of choice. We used salsa, Greek yogurt, onions, and tomatoes.
This is a delicious dish! Try this one! Click here for a printable recipe!

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Breakfast Nachos

A simple, delicious, and different take for breakfast! I don't know why I haven't thought of doing this before. These are so good I could eat these for lunch and dinner too!

2 Corn tortillas, cut into eights, triangle pieces
2 eggs cooked, scrambled
2 slices bacon, cooked, diced
1 tbsp diced tomatoes
1/2 tbsp mozzarella cheese
1 tsp salsa
cilantro, to taste
1/2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

Spray the tortilla pieces with canola oil on both sides and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  On minute 5 take out and turn over. They should be a nice brown color and very crisp.

Place chips on plate and top with eggs, bacon, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, and yogurt. Sprinkle cilantro on top. 

Crunchy, flavorful, wonderful! I sprinkled a little sriracha on top as well for extra heat. Enjoy! Printable recipe here.

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Pan Seared Salmon with Creole Cream Sauce

We had some frozen salmon fillets and I was trying to think of a way to "spruce" it up a little. So I decided to make a bath of cream sauce to put it in, and top with our sweet and sour carrot and cucumber noodle salad I made recently.  It was awesome, and it made a simple dish elevated in flavor and presentation.

4 Salmon fillets, thawed
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp ground yellow mustard
1 tsp cayenne, 4 tsp Worcestershire
 1 tbsp honey, 3/4 cup milk or cream (I used 1% milk)
1/4 cup plain almond milk. 

Season the salmon with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, and a small sprinkle of paprika. On medium heat in a cast iron skillet, cook the salmon about 5 to 6 minutes per side. 

While it is cooking mix the yogurt, mustard, yellow mustard, Worcestershire, honey, milked and almond milk together. Place in a saute pan and warm on medium low heat, just enough to heat through.

After the salmon as cooked on both sides place in the broiler on high for about three minutes or until the top of the salmon is a nice brown color.

Plate your cream sauce on your place and place your salmon on top. Place your salad on top and, voila! Serve with a vegetable of your choice. This sauce is a perfect compliment with the fish. Printable recipe here.

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Sweet Rub Coffee Crusted Ribeye Steak

I made these a while back but I wanted to make an official recipe for them. These steaks are so good, you may want to eat two. The method for my steak was very similar to the coffee crusted steak recipe that I shared in an earlier blog post

1 Ribeye steak
1 tbsp ground coffee 
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp seasoned salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
More salt and pepper to sprinkle

Let your steak sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. After 20 minutes coat well with coffee rub mixture. 

The method for the steaks was a little different than my previous post.  The main difference is that I fired up my charcoal grill and seared them quickly over direct heat for 2 minutes on each side. I then placed them in a cast iron skillet and put them in a preheated 375 degree oven and then turned the oven OFF. I let them sit in the oven for 8 minutes. Take out and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

The asparagus was coated in olive oil, then salted, peppered, and sprinkled with garlic powder.  It was cooked in an oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

The Hollandaise sauce was a variation of a previous blog post, except I added 2 tbsp of butter.

Try this! It is delicious and not difficult to make! Printable recipe here.

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Peanut Thai Chicken

I took a variation of a recipe we found online and made it our own. It was a tasty dish. The peanut butter sauce mixed with heat of spices was great. Here is what we did.

1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 1/2 lbs chicken drumsticks and thighs
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix water, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger. Blend until you have a silky texture.

Place chicken flat in a fridge-safe container and sprinkle a small amount of salt and pepper on chicken. Pour 3/4 of  mixture over chicken. Let marinate for at least 3 hours. This will allow the flavor to get underneath the skin. I would recommend overnight.

In a cast-iron skillet on medium brown chicken on each side, cooking about 5 minutes per side. It should take about 10 minutes. 

Place skillet in a preheated 375 degree oven and cook for 10 -12 more minutes. On the last minute, turn your oven on broil and brown the skin.

Take the remaining amount of sauce and warm thoroughly.  Take chicken and plate. Place remaining sauce and put over chicken. 

And that's it! Serve with veggies and enjoy! Printable recipe here.

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Oven Rib-eye Steak


I found some rib-eye steaks on sale at our local market, so I decided to try pan searing and oven roasting them. I thought I had gone completely crazy when I said to myself I wasn't going to grill a rib-eye. However, the final result was a very tender, moist, juicy and flavor-filled steak. So good I would even dare say it rivaled a grilled steak. Yes. I said it. Begin throwing stones at me.

Before you do that you need to try this recipe.  Maybe once you try it, you will put the stones down.

3 rib-eye steaks
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika

I took the steaks  a couple of hours before cooking and sprinkled about 1 tsp of kosher salt on them and wrapped them in parchment paper. I placed them in the fridge for about 2 hours. This will pull excess moisture from the meat.

Take the steaks out of the fridge an remove paper. Pat dry. Mix all dry spices and salt together. Sprinkle lightly on each side of steaks (about half of dry mixture) . Let set at room temperature for 20 minutes.

While you are waiting, take some whole mushrooms, sprinkle with olive oil and place in a toaster oven for those twenty minutes. On minute 10, season with salt and pepper, just a light sprinkle.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and heat up your cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Sprinkle remaining dry seasonings on steaks evenly. Sear each side of the steaks for two minutes per side. Place in the oven. Let cook in oven for 2 minutes, then turn oven off. Let steaks cook another 6 to 8 minutes.

Take steaks out and let rest.  While they are resting, take pan you seared the steaks in and turn on medium heat. Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp salt and pepper, and 1 tsp lemon juice. Add 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese. When all incorporated place 1 tbsp butter and turn heat off. Mix until butter has melted.

Plate steak and place mushrooms on top, then top with cream sauce.  Serve with veggies.

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Asafitida / Asafoetida 100g

Smoked Chicken Thighs

This recipe is very similar to my smoked chicken halves recipe I did earlier that smoked the chicken with the indirect method of grilling. It is pretty much my preferred method of grilling now.  Juicy, flavorful, beautiful, and easy; you can't go wrong!

1 package chicken thighs
1/2  cup Dale's marinade
1/2 tbsp black pepper
2 tsp  garlic powder
2 lbs any type of charcoal
 hickory chunks

Set up your grill for indirect method. I explained it here on my halves post. While your coals are getting hot put thighs in zip loc bag and put dales seasoning in. Right before placing on grill, sprinkle both sides with seasonings.

Place thighs skin side down and let smoke for 30 minutes. Turn and let the thighs smoke more for another 30 minutes. The skin will begin turning a dark amber color and look delicious.  After an hour take chick off and place in a 200 degree preheated oven for 1 hour. 

Remove, plate with some pan seared zucchini and some white rice, and enjoy! Printable recipe here.

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Oven Roasted Chicken

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Oven Roasted Chicken

This was a rather simple recipe that I didn't have to tend to very often. It is almost one of those "set it, and forget it" recipes. This is what I did:

4 chicken quarters
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp aluminum free baking powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder

Mix all dry ingredients together and  coat on all sides of chicken. Place in a greased cast-iron skillet and put in a preheated 275 degree oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours.

The skin will be crispy on top and the chicken will be juicy due to the fat that rendered out.  It will be very tender!  We ate this with some cauliflower mash and cooked broccoli.

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Review: Wishbone Cafe

While we were away at Montgomery, the last night I was able to take the girls to a nice dinner.  When we go somewhere new, we decide not to go to a typical chain restaurant, but to try something local. A name that came up quickly was Wishbone Cafe. It is a traditional Cajun and Creole restaurant that wants to you feel warm, welcomed, and full when you leave. I must say, this place did just that.  In fact, I will say, out of about five non-chain favorite restaurant dishes, this is one of them.  This place was amazing. The hospitality was great, and the food was phenomenal. 

The "Bayou Classic". Cajun rice, crab cakes, Wishbone sauce, jumbo shrimp, and spinach. Served with Cajun bread.
The highlight of the evening was the Bayou Classic. It was salty, it was creamy, it was delicious,and I believe it was made for me. The textures of the rice, crab cake, and shrimp was lovely. Topped with the special Wishbone sauce, it took it overboard! This was perfection in a dish!

Henley's Supreme Quesadillas. Cream cheese, jack cheese, grilled chicken, bacon, and grilled onions and peppers.
Kelly ordered the quesadillas and they were also delicious. They went all out even for the quesadillas.

The Boardroom Burger. Angus burger stuffed with spinach and cream cheese. Homemade fries.
My wife had the Boardroom burger. The flavor was quite good, and the texture was amazing.  I am not a huge burger fan, but this one is a burger I could eat on a regular basis.

Overall, this place is amazing! If you are in Montgomery, Alabama, YOU MUST try this place! It is now at the top of my lists of places to eat when away from home! Ask for the secret sweet tea they have as well! 

Thanks to the crew at Wishbone for the hospitality and God bless!

Visit their Facebook page here.

Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my food blog! I will be cooking some recipes, trying some I have found, and show off some tasty food...