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April 18, 2007

Ham & Cheese & Cucumber Sandwich

Noah's newest favorite lunch food is a Ham & Cheese & Cucumber Sandwich. He even asks for it for breakfast sometimes! I've never tried it, but I may have to... just to see what it's like. ;-)

April 14, 2007

By popular demand, the 'Grandchildren'...

Some anonymous Canadian reader thinks I should post more pictures of the grandchildren... so, here ya go! :-D

NoahBflyHouse.jpg
Noah with the butterfly house he (and Steph) made at Home Depot.

EmPinkCar.jpg
Em enjoying the warm Spring teaser we had.

EmBlueChair.jpg
A preview of Summer?

KidsWagon.jpg
Wagon rides were quite popular for a few days there... :-)

EmCarClose.jpg
Did I mention that Little Miss Pig Pen loves it outside?

Is that what you wanted Grandma Sandy? :-)

April 13, 2007

This Grill Rocks!

OK, one last grilling post... for a day or two, anyway. :-)

I have always been a firm believer that with things like cooking, photography, golf, etc.; the talent and skill of the individual using the tools or equipment is more important than the actual equipment used. A great chef can make a gourmet meal on $10 fry pans, a talented photographer can take memorable photos with a basic point-and-shoot camera, and good golfers can make great shots with cheapo clubs. With that being said, having a better tool for a particular job can provide for that extra bit of control that helps make the desired outcome so much easier. Such is the case with my new grill.

Monday night we grilled Japanese Chicken Thighs with Rice and Grilled Veggies (from the latest Cooking for the Rushed cookbook). I soaked two handfuls of hickory wood chips, and then placed them in tuna cans on top of the 'Flavorizer Bars'. Then I followed Weber's instructions for cooking chicken thighs... I heated the grill up very hot (up to over 500 degrees), and then turned all three burners down to medium. Then I placed the thighs on the grill and closed the lid. Halfway through the cooking time, I flipped them... and was amazed by the perfect grill marks... then I just let them finish.

I think it may have been a combination of the marinade and the hickory smoke, but whatever it was; it made for some absolutely delicious chicken -- it tasted just like it had been cooked on a Traeger. It was so good, in fact, that I have been 'filleting' the leftovers and using them on sandwiches... yummy. Oh yeah, and I also had some red peppers, zucchini, and red onion going in a grill basket, and they also turned out perfect.

Then last night, it was time to try my hand at hamburgers. My old grill used to make a mess of hamburgers because it would flame up so much... in which case the 'Charbroil' name was most appropriate. I followed the same preparation and grilling procedures as with the chicken, flipping the burgers halfway through the cooking time. Once again, I was delighted to see some gorgeous grill marks -- and to see a lack of charring. In fact, when I flipped the burgers, the juice dripping off them barely made the burners flame up at all -- just momentarily.

The end result? Thick, juicy, uncharred, perfectly grilled, delicious hamburgers -- and it even did a fantastic job of toasting the buns, too. I had that old Charbroil for ten years and was never able to get results like this -- and I still don't know all the little idiosyncrasies of this grill! I'm most definitely looking forward to the coming grilling season...

Now, if we can just get some decent weather so I can wheel this thing around to the back yard...

April 6, 2007

[FIRE HAZARD!]

BBQ Grill Update

Tonight I wheeled my BBQ into position for grilling, and it rocked and rolled (like it has done the last few times I've used it). When I went to light it, I could tell something was amiss immediately -- the burner didn't light as it was supposed to, but I could hear the gas and see fire from somewhere. All the twisting around had knocked the propane tubes out of alignment, and a large gas-fed flame was burning under my [plastic] side tray. Yikes!

I quickly shut the gas off at the tank, and thanked God that nothing bad happened. I was able to re-align the pipes and grill up some steak and pork chops, but I think maybe this was a sign from God... one saying: [BUY A NEW GRILL!]

I think for safety's sake, I will be getting one very soon...

I would love to get a Traeger, but they are very expensive, don't heat up very hot, aren't the best for simple hamburgers and hot dogs, and they are rather bulky. I love the smoky flavor they impart to foods, but they just aren't in the budget.

One of my friends, whom I consider to be a master griller, has a Weber gas grill; and he says they are high quality and provide even, consistent heat (he uses soaked Hickory chips in a tuna can for smoke, as I do). The Weber is half the price of a Traeger, so that is what I will get... maybe tomorrow, if time allows.

[SATURDAY UPDATE]

One of these is now sitting in my garage...

I fired it up and tested it out, but didn't have a chance to grill anything. It ended up raining much of the day, so we didn't get to spend any time outside. But come Monday evening, we will be grilling regardless of the weather... :-)

Ahhh... Spring.

The sun is shining and it's 73 degrees out (23C). What an absolutely gorgeous spring day.

I just got done mowing the two acres at my moms, and the little three-quarter acre section at the box factory. It's too nice to sit inside all day. You can't imagine how happy this makes me (OK, if you live in Oregon, you probably can). It's like finally coming out of hibernation. Tis' indeed a Good Friday.

Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful, too. Here's to a weekend of playing outside, barbecuing, and even a little yard work. Woo-Hoo!

Amen! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!