Barbecued Burritos – August 22, 2015

Barbecued burritos on the grill

Barbecued Burritos are a lot of work.

Let’s just get that on the table right now.  That’s not a reason to avoid making them.  The cost – benefit ratio is there.  Just be warned, it turns into a frenzy at the end.

This recipe comes from my Betty Crocker Great Grilling cookbook.  I have no shame, I like Betty Crocker and I am not afraid to admit it.  Of course, I should add that I got it as a gift.  I did not go out and buy it.

I am intentionally loose on the quantities of the ingredients.  My experience is that this is a “less is more” type of dish.  Try to stuff too much into each burrito and the whole thing falls apart.  Think in terms of tablespoons.  One or two tablespoons of ingredients is all you need.


Steak.  The specific cut is up to you but the better ingredients make for a better finished product.

8″ soft tortilla shells

1 or 2 tomatoes

1 red onion

1 avocado

Shredded cheddar cheese

Barbecue sauce


1. Grill the steak to your liking.

Grilled steak. I overcooked this one.

2.  While the steak is on the grill, chop your tomatoes, onions and avocados.

3.  Stage the other ingredients.  What I mean by “stage” is divide them into piles depending on how many burritos you intend to make.  If you plan to make eight, make eight piles of the tomato – onion – avocado combination.

4.  For the last five minutes of grilling, wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place them on the grill.  You want them warm because that makes them easier to work with.  Be careful not to overcook.

5.  When your steak is done, remove it from the grill and cut it into bite sized pieces suitable for the burritos.

Cut the steak to go in the burritos

6.  Place your desired amount of ingredients in each tortilla (steak, tomato-onion-avocado, and cheddar cheese).  Remember, less is more.

7.  Fold one side of the tortilla over.  Brush the folded side with barbecue sauce and fold the other side over on top of it.  The barbecue sauce acts like glue and holds the burrito together.  Repeat the process with the ends of the tortillas.  Flip the wrapped burrito over and brush the whole thing with barbecue sauce.

8.  Put it on the grill and watch it.  It won’t take long, maybe 5 minutes each side and probably less.

I like this recipe but it is easy to screw up.  Ideally you will have someone to work out.  These are best done as a team.

Experiments of the Week – August 15, 2015

First – this fish and chips recipe that I found on Cooking For  It calls for cod, I had shark but decided to give it a try anyway.


I screwed this up for a few reasons:

  1. I failed to season the fish.  Big mistake.
  2. I have no idea what malt vinegar is so I did without.
  3. I used plain potato chips.

Was my version of the recipe terrible?  No.  I was ok.  I think it would have been much better had I just followed the directions.

There is alot more labor involved than I expected.

One other thing I did differently – I added ground flax seed to the batter.

Second – a couple of people in my family came down with a cold.  Its was a good time to try this recipe from Simple Green


I have no scientific evidence, but I think it worked.  With honey, lemon and ginger, how can you go wrong?

I regret not having put this one together a while ago when I first read about it online.  Had I done that perhaps it would have been even more effective.

The plan is to keep it on hand from now on.

Third – bamboo pillows.  We got them for the kids.

No particular story on this one.  Just thought I would share.  So far they like them.


Finally, here’s the dog going for the honey – lemon – ginger:


Barbequed Limas – August 1, 2015

Lima beans.  Except for me, no one in my house likes lima beans.  I don’t care.  I like ’em, they’re good for you, so I eat ’em.

Lima Beans

Enter Nancy’s recipes.

Nancy has a box full of recipes that she got from her grandmother.  Most are from magazines like Good Housekeeping and Womans Day, but others are hand written on index cards.  These are the ones I like and not just because of the little notes she threw in like “yum” and “delicious”.  There is something cool about a recipe that someone took the time to write down maybe 40 or more years ago.  For some reason, it just feels superior to something printed in a magazine.

I found one with the tile “Barbequed Limas – Florence – Delicious” and decided to give it a try.  The result was outstanding as even the haters in my home had second helpings.


18 oz of frozen limas.  The recipe calls for 1 lb of dried limas.  I couldn’t find dried.  I settled for 9oz frozen packages of Green Giant Baby Lima Beans.  I used two of these packages.

1 can of tomato soup

1 lb of bacon

1 onion chopped

1.5 tsp mustard (not dry mustard, I’m talking about the Guldens)

1.5 tsp Tajin

2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup of white vinegar


1.  Fry the bacon.  You want it crisp and you want the bacon grease.  When done, separate the grease from the bacon.

2.  While the bacon is cooling cook the lima beans as directed on the package.

3.  Combine all the other ingredients and the bacon grease in a medium sauce pot and let it simmer for five minutes.  I know, the grease is terrible for you.  I’m not suggesting this dish should be a regular part of your weekday meals.  Trust me, it tastes great.

4.  Put the cooked limas in a baking pan or dish.  I used my CorningWare baking dish as show in the pictures.  Add the sauce and put the crisp bacon on top.


5.  Cover the dish and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.  Uncover it for the last five minutes.


This stuff is awesome.  Try it.  The limas work for the slow carb diet.

The bacon grease is the only thing that bothers me.  I need a healthier substitute.


Beet Soup – July 28, 2015

I owe my beet soup recipe to a man named Ryan Rasmussen.  I don’t know Ryan. He posted this recipe in 2002 on a bodybuilding forum that I used to follow.  I’ve been using it as a core weekday meal ever since.

The great thing about soup is that you can make big quantities ahead of time and freeze it in serving size containers.  Make sure the containers are glass – I prefer mason jars.

By the way, beets are very healthy and might even contribute to your VO2 max.


4 or 5 medium beets, scrubbed or peeled and cut in quarters


1 or 2 granny smith apples

1 or 2 oranges


Water or broth

Fennel seeds


1.  Place beets and the fruit in a soup pot and cover with water or broth.  Optional – you could add some mint to the mix as well.


2.  Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until the beets are tender.IMG_2576

3.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

4.  Puree the beets and the fruit with an immersion blender.IMG_2582

5.  At this point I divide into some mason jars.  As I said above, I prefer glass containers when at all possible.  Freeze the jars if you don’t plan on eating the soup in the next few days.


You can add juice or olive oil to the soup if you want a little more flavor.   OJ in particular is a tasty addition.

Sesame Grilled Pork Chops with Creamy Garlic – Leek Sauce


The pork chops themselves couldn’t be easier.  All you do is coat them with a little canola oil and sprinkle sesame seeds all over.  Grill them over medium heat until they are no longer pink inside.

What makes these pork chops so delicious is the smooth, creamy sauce.  Here’s how to make it:


2 Tbs butter

4 chopped cloves garlic

6 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes

2/3 cup  milk

1/3 cup finely chopped leek


  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan.  Add garlic and cook over medium heat until golden brown. IMG_20150712_1709221_rewindIMG_20150712_1715176_rewind
  2. Add cream cheese and milk.  Continue to cook until  completely smoothIMG_20150712_1719391_rewind
  3. Add leeks, remove from heat and pour over pork chops.


(Shown here with Grilled eggplant.)

Grilled Beets – July 19, 2015

Grill vegetables!  Everyone barbecues meat.  Vegetables are always an afterthought and I have to admit that this recipe is probably in that category as well.

Today we grilled beets. I like beets because they are a little on the sweet side for a vegetable.  Also, I like to eat a variety of colors in my vegetables – its too easy to stick with greens day after day after day.  More colors = better nutrition.

The thing about grilling beets is that you need time.  Burgers and dogs cook quickly, but beets are dense and take a while, even when you do cut them up into small pieces as I like to do.  Of course, the smaller you cut the quicker it will cook.  Experiment and keep checking them as you go.


Lots of beets

Olive oil


1.  Peel the beets.  Scrubbing them is a labor intensive alternative.


2.  Place the beets in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil.  How large?  It depends on how many beets you want to cook in each aluminum foil packet. I put three or four medium beets in each so I take a piece of foil approx. 2 feet long.

3.  Drizzle olive oil over the beets being sure to get them all.  Alternatively, you could place a chunk of butter in each packet.

4.  Salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Fold the sides of the aluminum foil up and seal at the top.


6.  Place the packets on the grill over medium heat for approximately one hour.  Test them periodically with a fork . When they are tender they are done.


French Toast Pancakes – July 12, 2015

This one comes to you courtesy of our 10 year old son. He often thinks of ways to remake a dish with a twist.  This time I guess he was torn between having pancakes or french toast for breakfast, so decided to combine them.  Whenever possible (time/ingredients available) we  like to encourage our kids to cook and experiment.


For the Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tsp melted butter
  • 1 banana

For the French Toast Batter:

  • 1 egg
  • a little milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • a little sugar
  • a little cinnamon


Sorry for the lack of specifics – My ten year old, like all creative types, is not much for exact measurements.

1.  Combine the flour, brown sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl.


2. Melt the butter in a frying pan or skillet on your stove top.  You can use the same pan for the pancakes .  You want a hot pan when the pancake batter goes on.

3.  Combine the milk and eggs in blender.


4.  Add the dry ingredients to the blender.

5.  Add the banana.

6.  Add the melted butter.

7.  Make the pancakes by pouring the batter onto a hot griddle or frying pan.  Cook them on one side until the bubbles stop coming though, then flip them.


8.  Set the oven to bake on 200°.  I use the oven to keep the pancakes warm while I’m making the rest of the batch.

9.  Combine the french toast ingredients in a pie plate or other shallow container of similar size.  You need something big enough to dip the pancakes in.


10.  After all the pancakes are made, begin dipping them in the french toast batter and put them back on the griddle for a few seconds each side.  Leave it in the pan just long enough to cook the french toast batter.


11.  Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Rice Krispies Smores Pinwheels-July 10, 2015


I saw this on Pintrest and decided to give it a try.


  • 5 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 10 oz bags of marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup butter ( plus more for greasing )
  • 6 Hershey bars



1.  Line a jelly roll pan with very buttered wax paper.  Melt 1/4 cup of butter and 1 bag of marshmallows in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add Rice Krispies and graham cracker crumbs and press into jelly roll pan.


2.  Melt the second  1/4 cup of butter and 2nd bag of marshmallows in a large skillet over medium heat.  Pour and spread over the base layer.


3.  Place Hershey bars on top of that and bake in a 200° oven for a minute or two.


4.  Spread the chocolate evenly.


5.  Let cool for about 10-20 minutes and then roll and carefully remove the wax paper.


6.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour, slice and enjoy 🙂


Empanadas – July 4, 2015

We have my sons friend Matt to thank for this.  His mom makes them so my son wanted to try them. We searched Pinterest for a recipe and found one that looked good. I almost never follow a recipe exactly. Most times I will tweak it a little bit according to our tastes and experience.
We have given you an ingredients list and step-by-step instructions with photos but I have a few extra notes.
1. I don’t have a big board to roll the dough out on so I cover my granite countertop in plastic wrap and roll it out on that.
2. Most often when you add cornstarch to recipe you should mix it with cold water first so it doesn’t clump.


For the filling:

  • 1 lb grass-fed top round steak
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion
  • ½ cup taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp Tajin
  • 4 oz shredded colby-jack cheese
  • ½ tsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbs cold water

For the dough:

  • 2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup nacho-taco blend finely shredded cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¾ cup warm 2% milk

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs cold water
      1. Meat, a can of tomato sauce, taco seasoning and onion go in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker July 3

    1. It cooks overnight.
    2. In the morning the meat is shredded and put in the fridge until later in the day.


      1. Heat oil in large skillet.
      2. Add chopped garlic and brown slightly.


      1. Add cumin, coriander and tajin to meat mixture.
      2. Add shredded meat mixture and cornstarch mixture.
      3. Let cool about 5-10 minutes.
      4. Add cheese.


      1. Make the empanada dough, cover and let sit about 1/2 hour.



      1. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.


      1. Roll the dough out and cut  circles with a cookie cutter or a bowl.  I started with a smaller bowl, but switched to a larger one.  Small is probably better for appetizer sized empanadas.


      1. Make the egg wash.
      2. Brush the edge of empanadas with the egg wash.


      1. Put some of the shredded meat in each empanada.


      1. Fold them over and seal using a fork.


      1. Bake @ 375 for 15 minutes.


      1. Serve.