Archive for the 'feedbag' Category

Friday the 13th Chow

Cowboy Lasagna and Sides

Don’t mind the paper plate under this delicious array of good stuff. The Better Half put away one of our previous weekend cuisine specialties, leftover “Cowboy Lasagna” in the freezer a few weeks ago and she revived it today, served up with a nice salad and a slice of garlic bread. I poured shots of limoncello to complete the sumptuous dining experience.

There was nothing spooky or unlucky about this Friday the 13th. We simply had a peaceful Friday where the weather cooperated with our “second spring” by having clear, sunny skies with the waning crescent moon this morning setting in the west before noon. The temperatures were in the 70s this morning and rising to just over 90 this afternoon. It’s a good time of the year in upper Sonoran Arizona.

What’s for Dinner?

Clickable Image

We started the smoker on Friday night with a seven-pound pork butt roast and cooked it overnight with mesquite smoke in the chamber. On Saturday, we added more smoke and liquids to keep the roast moist. Prior to Dinner time, we took the roast into the kitchen and started shredding it with a pair of “bear claws.” After removing the bone and excess fat, the roast rendered over five pounds of good, lean smoked pork.

The Better Half was prepared with homemade BBQ sauce, some high quality sandwich buns and her Angel-hair Gorgonzola Cole Slaw. Yes it was quite good.

Our smoker has a nice remote control which allows us to monitor and adjust the smoker (which sits outside near the garage) from the office where our computers and a TV are located. Regardless of the remote access, we still have to add wood chips and liquids to the smoker by physically being there.

The (clickable) image above shows the smoker, the finished pork roast, the dinner plate and the remote.

July Fourth Festivities

What’s for Dinner?

Despite the 109° patio temperature this afternoon, we ventured outdoors to grill up some beef tenderloin steaks and roasted/grilled corn on the cob. The Better Half prepared “crashed” potatoes (microwave baked Yukon taters smashed with butter, sour cream and shredded cheese) to go with the meal.

We are about five miles away from the park where fireworks are scheduled to be launched at around 9PM, but we can see some of the higher rockets from the courtyard out front. This will be under a waxing Gibbous moon and the summer triangle with the Milky Way beyond. The night sky is usually spectacular to see out here, fireworks or not.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

 

Smokin’ Sunday

Electric SmokerWhen the summer weather here gets above 110° as it has for the last ten days or so, The Better Half would rather not prepare food in the oven and heat up the kitchen. Alternates for oven cooking, in our case, include Crock Pot, Steamer (out in the patio), Electric Smoker and the BBQ Grill, none of which result in heating the kitchen up.

The latter item above, the BBQ grill, is also somewhat undesirable in this weather since one has to tend to it while being out in the heat, although we have been known to “tough it out.”

(Clickable) Image: Our Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Yesterday, we opted for the crock pot with TBH preparing a tasty Tex-Mex Casserole dish. Today (starting last night, actually), we employed the electric smoker. Late last night, I put a pork loin into the smoker and cooked it on low with smoke overnight. This morning, I put a 2 pound beef brisket in the smoker and cooked it along with the pork with smoke all day at 250°.

This is actually the first time I have used the smoker for preparation of two different meals simultaneously. Today, we enjoyed smoked brisket with baked beans and potato salad. During the coming week, we will be having pulled pork sandwiches using shredded smoked pork loin.

What’s for Dinner?

Jägerschnitzel

Deutsches Küche ist zum Abendessen (German cuisine is what’s for dinner).

One of our favorite entrees is breaded pork loin cutlets (Jägerschnitzel) served with sides typical of German cooking. Today’s meal consisted of the cutlets served with braised Brussels sprouts (Rosenkohl, or “rose cabbage” in German) and an excellent hot German potato salad (Heißer Kartoffelsalat) recipe that The Better Half found. She also put some tomato and avocado garnish on the plate for color.

Lately, we have been dipping into our ancestry in hopes of locating some of the graves of our forebearers as we tour parts of the country in coming months and years. Despite our love of German, Italian and some French cooking, my family lines mostly seem to have come from England, whose cooking we can do without (Spotted Dick?? Really??).

The ancestry quest has gone pretty well, having located two cemeteries in Colorado, a couple in Massachusetts and one more in South Carolina which contain the remains of ancestors going from grand parents to a couple of generations back from that.

During our excursion to witness the Great American Solar Eclipse, we are planning to visit my great grandmother on my Mom’s Dad’s side in Montrose, Colorado and to visit numerous relatives’ graves in Pueblo, Colorado, including my paternal grandmother and grandfather as well as that grandfather’s folks, another set of great grandparents.

What’s For Dinner?

Smoked Brisket Dinner

I fired up a 2 pound beef brisket in the smoker this morning. I used a recipe I found on line for preparing the meat and the dry rub. Six hours later we had this wonderful dinner consisting of smoked brisket slices, The Better Half’s awesome potato salad and some baked beans. Clickable image.

This is the first attempt at smoking a brisket. I am pleased at the way it turned out, especially the smoky bark and the moist, tender meat.

I originally bought a four pound brisket and cut it in half so we could freeze half of it for another time. The half portion was more than enough for the two of us.

What’s for Lunch?

Meatball Sandwich

When you’re retired and budget your time to try and enjoy life, sometimes working in the kitchen can be a chore to The Better Half. Now, don’t get me wrong; she enjoys preparing meals, particularly during the weekends when we have a main afternoon dinner on both Saturday and Sunday. On the weekdays, however, a quick salad or sandwich, or some weekend leftovers fill the eating requirement.

Today she prepared Meatball Sandwiches. Since Thursday is our regular grocery shopping day, she put a couple of hoagie sandwich rolls in the cart while we were shopping. When at home later, she broke out some previously frozen meatballs that were extras made at the same time for a weekend dish featuring meatballs and pasta (or something). Add a little cheese, some homemade (also previously leftover) marinara sauce and - voilá - meatball sandwiches! These were tasty. Clickable image.

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