Thursday, January 28, 2021

This week's new recipe: Cincinnati Chili Pork Chops

One of our goals for 2021 is to try making a new recipe every week. This week's effort was Cincinnati Chili Pork Chops.

Once again, this 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.


6 pork loin chops, 1 inch thick
½ cup apple cider vinegar

We actually did nine chops. This is because we bought a boneless pork loin and I cut it up into chops (one inch thick). I cut the chops after making the rub. I also peeled off some (but not all) of the fat.

As for the apple cider vinegar, I had a squirt bottle of it. Instead of brushing it on the chops I just squirted them.


1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder (we used regular chili powder)
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coarse salt (we skipped that)

Whisk together rub ingredients in a large bowl.

Brush each chop with vinegar (I actually used a spray bottle - see above note).

Then press a generous amount of rub on all surfaces. (I just put the rub in a pan and pressed each chop into the rub (on each side).

Place the chops on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to two hours.

Remove from the refrigerator one hour before grilling.

Preheat the grill to medium high and spritz the chops with canola oil (I forgot this part. I did spray the grill with Pam grilling spray so they didn’t stick).

Sear over direct heat one to two minutes per side.

Move the chops to the warming rack, or some area with no direct heat and continue grilling until the chops reach an internal temperature of 160. (I got tired of waiting around 150 degrees so I moved them back to the direct side to finish).


Week one: Shepherds Pie

Week two: Peach barbecue chicken

Week three: Tuna casserole

Week four: This one

All of the above become links

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Playing with iMovie - my first trailer

My friend Bill made a video... 

And it was really cool. So I said "Hey Bill - how did you make that?" He said "iMovie trailers!"

All this time I've been messing with iMovie I never once did a trailer. Until now.

I took some of the footage from the Great kid movie project, and played with various trailers until I came up with something fun.

What would (will) I do differently?

I would make a copy before I tell iMovie to "convert trailer to movie". Somehow I missed the whole word "Convert". That meant that once I discovered something I wanted to change (specifically the camera bobble when Joe is standing by the cow fence) I couldn't do it. Not easily anyway.

And then there was the whole closing credits thing...

So who's Pickles McWeiner anyway?

 It's a Facebook account my oldest son created about eight years ago. This was another thing I wanted to change after conversion. That wouldn't have been too difficult actually, but once I saw it I thought "Meh. It's kind of an Easter Egg..."

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.