Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Steak Rub

I have two cooking goals for the summer. 1) I want to try new recipes on the grill instead of cooking the usual chicken, steak and hamburgers. 2) I want to come up with kid-friendly recipes that creatively sneak in fruits, veggies and other healthy stuff. To achieve goal #1, I purchased Weber's Way to Grill cookbook. The cookbook has mouthwatering pics on every page, grilling techniques and tools, and numerous simple grilling recipes. The back of the book is dedicated to sauces, marinades and rubs and tonight I tried a southwest rub. I used it on 2 steaks and it was phenomenal. I honestly wasn't expecting much from a steak rub but it was out of this world. The best part is I adjusted the recipe for the spices I had on hand and it still turned out well!

Southwest Rub from Weber's Way to Grill Cookbook

2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. pepper

Here's what I used tonight based on what I had in the pantry....

Kristen's Spice Rub

2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper

Mix together in a 8x8in dish. Add steaks and rub on both sides. Let sit at room temp for 30 min and grill. I've read that it's best to let steaks sit at room temp 30 min before grilling to ensure that they grill evenly. Enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Party time-Pulled Pork

McKenna's baptism was Saturday and I made pulled pork for dinner. It's a great party dish because you can cook it the day before and then just warm up in the crockpot. Pork shoulder is the best cut of meat to use for pulled pork. It's a cheap and fatty cut of meat. You can easily remove the fat from the pork as you are shredding it.

I'm sharing a few pulled pork recipes that I have tried. The easiest is coca-cola pulled pork. Open a 1-2 cans of coca-cola, pour it in the slow cooker and add a few pounds of pork shoulder. Cook on low for 8 hours. The cola creates a nice glaze as it cooks. Remove the pork, shred and add back to the slow cooker. Mix the pork with the glaze and let the pork warm a bit. Serve with hamburger buns.

My next favorite is a Tyler Florence recipe for pulled pork. It's designed for cooking in the oven but I made it in the slow cooker and it was excellent. It has a rub for the pork that gives it a great flavor. When the pork is done cooking, you make a bbq sauce with the pork drippings. It's a vinegar based sauce which is a southern thing but it's delicious.

The last recipe is my own creation. It's a combination of the coca-cola recipe, a bbq rub and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce. You can use the rub in the Tyler Florence recipe or a store bought bbq rub such as Mccormick's http://http//www.mccormick.com/Products/GrillMates/Dry-Rubs/Grill-Mates-Pork-Rub.aspx. Rub the pork, wrap in plastic wrap and marinade overnight if possible. Then add 1-2 cans of coke, the pork and cook for 8 hours on low. Shred the pork and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Turn the crockpot on low or warm, return the pork to the crockpot and add as much Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce as you desire. You can also add a bit of the cooking liquid. Serve with hamburger buns.

If you are making pulled pork for a party and trying to figure out how much to make, you can estimate 1/4-1/2lb. of pork per person. You can freeze leftovers or make pulled pork nachos. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Until about 6 months ago, I only used Bisquick to make pancakes. Then I made a huge ham and needed to do something with the leftovers. So I found a recipe for a quiche using a Bisquick crust and it was amazing. I don't consider quiche to be a very manly meal but my husband ate most of it and now loves quiche. The best thing about this recipe is you can use whatever meat, cheese and veggies you have on hand and it will be delicious. I have even used deli ham. You could also substitute milk for the half and half.

1 1/4 cups Bisquick
1/4 cup butter or margarine softened
2 Tbsp boiling water
1 cup of ham, bacon or sausage
1 cup of cheese
1 1/2 cups Half and half
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
splash of hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400 and grease the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan. Mix the bisquick, butter and water until it forms a ball. Press and spread the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour into the crust. Bake for 30-35 min. I usually sprinkle a bit of extra cheese on the top the last 10 min of baking.

This is an easy summer dinner to serve with a salad. It's also a great dish to make ahead of time and reheat before serving. Enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Baked Beans

I love baked beans but do you know who loves them the most? The Brits. I did part of my student teaching in England and these people put them on everything. Seriously. I remember seeing a commercial for a baked bean pizza and I wanted to vomit. The school I student taught at had some pretty fantastic lunches-think fancy sandwiches on a baguette. However, the most disgusting thing was a baked potato or jacket potato as they called them topped with baked beans! Gross!

Anyways, if you want to make some delicious baked beans, give this a try:

1 can of baked beans
Chopped, cooked bacon if you have it
2-3 Tablespoons of Brown sugar
A few squirts of Mustard

Mix together and cook for 10 min.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ranch potatoes

Ranch potatoes are simple and delicious. Pick your favorite potato, cook them and add ranch dressing. That's it! I was looking for something to do with potatoes one night and found a recipe for potatoes with blue cheese dressing. I LOVE cheese but I think moldy blue cheese disgusting. Anyways, it inspired me to make ranch potatoes.

3-4 potatoes Idaho or Red
Ranch dressing

Cook the potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Add ranch dressing and stir. Enjoy! I have tried this recipe 3 ways- microwaving the potatoes, grilling them in aluminum foil and boiling them and they all work in this recipe.