Tuesday, January 12, 2021

This week's new recipe: Peach barbeque chicken - totally worth the price of the recipe book.

One of our goals for 2021 is to try making a new recipe every week. This week's effort was Peach Barbecue Chicken.

The recipe was taken from the Book Canada Grills! By Char-Broil. It was an Ollie's Outlet find. $2.99 for the book of 222 recipes.

The ingredients:

  • 6 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup peach preserves
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp bbq sauce.
I sprayed the breasts with olive oil and threw on a little Morton's salt substitute. I then coated one side with about 2/3 of the ingredients above.

On the grill

Then I added this to what was left:

  • Some amount, probably a tbsp – bourbon.
  • And some amount, probably another 3 tbsp bbq sauce.
  • About another 1/6 cup peach preserves
  • This gave me a thinner sauce to apply while grilling.

The grilling:

I put the breasts on the grill – sauce side up, and grilled over medium-low heat until the internal temperature got to 110. I then flipped and brushed on sauce every 10-15 degrees until the internal temperature got to 165.

The book left it entirely up to me on what kind of barbeque sauce, so I went with Stonewall Kitchen Bourbon Molasses (this might also be why the mix wasn’t thin enough to spread on the chicken at first.

Recognizing this error I went with Skipkenny Whiskey BBQ sauce for the “added to what was left” sauce.  

The finished product

I modified the book recipe like crazy. The original recipe called for onion salt, which is essentially some onion powder mixed with a lot of salt. I don't do salt. (The barbecue sauces had more than enough anyway). My really thorough Google research indicated that onion salt was about 3/4 salt and 1/4 onion powder. So 1 tsp of onion salt became 1/4 tsp of onion powder.

Bon appetit!

Monday, January 4, 2021

Four before my feet hit the floor - how I start my day

What do you do when you wake up? 

If you're like me you go one of two directions:

1. Hit the snooze button, or

2. Think "Oh Schitt's Creek. I'm late." And immediately the rush is on. 

(By the way, those two are NOT mutually exclusive).

But what if you spent the first five minutes of your day - while still in bed - paving the way to a great day?

I use an acronym to help me remember: PAVE. This is how I "PAVE" the way to a great day.

P - Prayer: 

The first thing I want to do is express gratitude. The act of praying and saying "Here is what I'm grateful for" puts me in the right mindset for the day. 

When it comes to gratitude I have my "usual suspects": My wife, my sons, my family and extended family, our dogs, dogs in general, my job, our house, coffee, and so on.

It doesn't really matter what I list in my prayer of gratitude. It doesn't even matter if it's a prayer or not. What does matter is I start the day with one minute of gratitude. And I've learned (through experience and science) that how you start the day makes a huge difference.

(Note if you prefer to just categorize this one as "Gratitude" it still works. The acronym just becomes "GAVE" and you say "I GAVE myself the best shot of having a great day").

A - Affirmations:

So yeah, the first time I heard "Affirmations" I immediately thought of Stuart Smalley.  But that thought aside, affirmations will help you start the day on the right foot. I have a list of affirmations from Craig Groschel. Again, it's faith based, but the one I say in the morning is just a good affirmation:

"Today I will bring my best and then some. It's what I bring after I do my best that makes a difference."

Just saying that and thinking about it for maybe five seconds gets me fired up.

V - Visualization:

This can take one of two formats: Long term or short term. Or, if it's a cold morning and the dog is snuggled up next to me, maybe both.

Long term: I visualize accomplishing one of my vision board goals.

E - Energize:

Technically this one could be called breathing, but PAVB isn't a word.

Five deep breaths - Four seconds in, eight seconds out. One minute in total. 

With each one I stretch my legs, my arms and my back.

I count backwards. This serves as a countdown.

When I get to zero, it's time to blast off. And as soon as I get up our three hungry dogs help to make sure I'm at the point of no return.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Making dad's Irish Coffee

During our last Kroger pickup order I put a bottle of heavy whipping cream in the cart. (Step one complete).

On our last trip to Jungle Jim's I went to the liquor store and picked up a bottle of Bushmill's Irish Whiskey.  (Step two complete).

I now had everything we needed to make Irish coffee. (Because we already had coffee and sugar).

For many years our family took vacations at a cabin at Oglebay Park in Wheeling. At some point we started a tradition: Dad would make us an Irish Coffee (or two) for breakfast.

This year I decided to bring the tradition back for Christmas morning.

But before we could bring the tradition back, we had to test it out - quality control is important (when day drinking is involved).

The recipe:

First I had to make the whipping cream. I did it while Beth was getting her shower.

I did it by hand with a whisk. Never again!  

Don't do it with a whisk! I don't care if that's what's on the side of the heavy whipping cream bottle. If you have a hand mixer use that. 

Beth said "Don't you remember how your dad used to bring the hand mixer to Oglebay?" (I didn't remember that until she told me). 

Following that, the recipe was as follows:

  • One (or two) packets of sugar in the raw. You can also use brown sugar (that's what I put in mine).
  • One (or two) shots of Irish whiskey.
  • One k-cup of coffee.

Stir the coffee until the sugar is fully dissolved. Then add the whipping cream on top.

It. Was. Amazing.

Later I called mom. She told me that dad had used a whisk once - and said never again.

As far as the recipe went I was close, but she had two suggestions.

  1. After whipping the cream, add a tablespoon of refined sugar to the whipping cream.
  2. And add less about a teaspoon of vanilla (also to the whipping cream).
The above changes can only be done after the cream is fully whipped. Adding them before it's fully whipped could mess up the formation, or whip-ability, or whatever you call it.

Also, and I remember this from dad, you hand mix it until you get points in the heavy cream when you pull the mixer out.

Is the new recipe better? We will find out on Christmas Day!


Monday, December 21, 2020

Monday, December 14, 2020

Picture of the week!

This one is brought to us by my son's high school in 2017.

I hope they meant snacks... but I didn't give him money just to be safe.