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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Grillin’ and Chillin’.

Grillin’ and Chillin’.

Aaaah. Is that BBQ I smell? It is the smell of summer officially starting. Grilling out is definitely NOT my area of expertise. I’m not 100% sure that I even know how to turn the grill on. Pretty sad but luckily Eric has got it covered. I am, however, digging all of the new grilling tools and grilling recipes that I have been coming across lately. My fascination started at the Houseware’s Show in March. Tons of grilling accessories everywhere I looked. You can literally cook your entire meal on a grill. Appetizers, main dish, side dish AND dessert. It blows my mind a little but I am very excited to try some of this new stuff. (and by ‘try’ I mean make the food, put it in or on the new grill accessory and hand to Eric to actually grill).

  • Nordicware Chicken and Jalapeno Griller– This handy little accessory grills up to 17 chicken legs without having to turn them and also makes them much easier to baste. Or you can use it to make yummy stuffed jalapenos or tortilla rolls. Love it! This is available for @$20 at Walmart but I did find it on sale on Amazon.com for $15.97! Made in the USA!

  • Nordicware Meatball Griller- This Griller allows you to get the smokey BBQ taste in your meatballs. Great for an appetizer. Plus it has holes in the bottom so the grease drains out. (hate the word grease for some reason). You can also use this to make cute dinner rolls or stuffed mini tomatoes. Yum. This retails for @$18 at retailers (jcpenney currently carries this). Made in the USA too!

Nordicware Meatball Griller

  • Sur La Table Potato Grill Rack– this is great because you puncture the potatoes when putting on the rack which allows the potato to cook from the inside out. Delish! It retails for $12.95.

Sur La Table Potato Grill Rack

  • Lodge Grill Press-Everyone should have a grill press! It cooks both sides of the burger (or bacon) at the same time. This helps take your burgers from good to perfection! Lodge is known for its cast iron and is a brand that I am happy to recommend. They make their products in the US as a huge added bonus. $22.95 at Crate and Barrel. $14.95 at Amazon.com and Walmart.

Lodge Grill Press

  • Foil– Good ol’ fashioned foil. Foil is such an excellent tool to use in grilling. In this month’s edition of Food Network Magazine, it has tons of ideas. Click on the link below. It is incredible the things that you can cook on the grill in foil!

Food Network Magazine ’50 Things to Grill in Foil’

Foil

Happy Grilling everyone!!! and Happy Memorial Day!!

Oh and the ‘chillin” part? Pop. that’s the sound of an ice-cold bottle of Corona opening. The other sound of summer.

All choked up.

All choked up.

Why am I so intimidated by a little green spiky vegetable?  I am though.  It’s true.  I love to eat them.  They’re kinda cool to look at… but there they sit right now, on my counter, staring at me.  Stupid Artichokes.  How do I cut them? How many layers do you peel off?  Whats with the fuzzy part in the center?  What happens if you accidentally eat that?  What’s the best way to cook?  How exactly do you eat the these things again?  Good grief.  Why do I do this to myself?  Because they were $1.00 a piece at the store and I like them when someone else cooks them so why not me?  I can do this.  I can’t do this.  Chef Karla on one shoulder.  Not-so-much-a-Chef Karla on the other.

So, I dug out my steamer basket and off to the internet I went.  This was the best step by step that I found for how to cut the artichokes to prep them for steaming:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/how-to-trim-baby-artichokes/pictures/index.html

Now comes the steaming.  I ended up modifying a recipe from All Recipes.  I don’t like a lemony artichoke so after cutting the artichoke I put crushed garlic and a tiny bit of butter between the leaves and then sat them upright in the steamer basket.  Added water to the base and away they steamed.  I steamed them for about 45 minutes (until a knife went thru the center easily).

Appearance:  Good

Taste:  Meh

ROI (Return on Investment): Minimal.  Way too much time and effort for an okay result.

Conclusion (from both Eric and I):   Probably not going to happen again.

What a negative post this was.   Trust me when I say, I am sure that this was user error.  So please comment, add tips, add tricks, help me master this crazy veggie.

Until then…. Did you hear that pop?  That was the sound of my lovely little jar of marinated artichoke hearts popping open for the salad I am going to make.  🙂