Monthly Archives: August 2014

31 Great Labor Day Grilling Recipes | Kitchen Daily

31 Great Labor Day Grilling Recipes | Kitchen Daily.

Planning on doing some grilling on Labor Day but what to go beyond the usual hamburgers and hot dogs? Kitchen Daily has put together 31 great grilling recipes for you that cover everything from your appetizers and main courses to side dishes and dessert so you can grill every part of your meal and make the most of that last unofficial day of summer. Check out the recipes and find one to try this weekend!


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Food That Stays Good Longer Than You’ll Be Around | Kitchen Daily

Food That Stays Good Longer Than You’ll Be Around | Kitchen Daily.

It always helps to know the expiration date of items that you store in your pantry and I go through everything ever few months just to check things and use items that may be nearing their expiring date. However, there are a number of things that when you store them correctly can last you for years, making them good items to have on hand all of the time to use whenever you really want them. Kitchen Daily has put together this list of 11 items that can last for a very long time, some even indefinitely when stored right. Check it out!


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A Fast Dinner on Friday (or Any Day) – Chicken Fried Rice

Sometimes you just want a meal that you know you can pull together in just a few minutes and without much of fuss. Maybe you can even make use of some of those leftover items you have in the fridge for the last few days and don’t really know what to do with them. That is when a meal like this can really come in handy. Making any type of stir fry is always a great way to use items, and having fried rice is always a favorite, but sometimes you would like the flavor without having the extra oil and fat involved in frying the rice itself. This recipe for chicken fried rice is originally from Food Republic, but I did modify it just a little to make it fit better with what I had on hand and what we like. It is still just as easy and tasty.

Chicken Fried Rice

2 cups long-grain riced, cooked and cooled completely

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

4 scallions, finely sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 green pepper, seeded and cut into strips

1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

4 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (breast or thigh), diced or cut into thin strips

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a shallow baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Turn the rice out onto the parchment paper, breaking up any lumps, and spray the surface with the nonstick vegetable oil. Place the pan in the oven and cook the rice for 12 minutes, it should be crisp on the surface. Season the rice to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set the pan aside to keep the rice warm.

Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet with a good coating of vegetable or canola oil set over high heat, fry the scallions, green pepper, red pepper, onions, carrot and green beans for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the peas and the chicken and fry to give the chicken a little color and cook it through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle over the brown sugar and then add the rice, breaking up any lumps along the way. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce and chili sauce and mix to blend everything well. Stir fry everything for about 3 to 4 minutes. Toss in the cilantro and serve.

Of course, as with any stir fry you can add just about any type of vegetable or protein that you like or have on hand. This would work well with shrimp, pork, beef or even just with the vegetables if you like. The rice does  come out nice and crisp without having to deal with all of the frying of it. You do want to make sure that the rice is dry before you put it in the oven so that it doesn’t just steam once it is in there. The whole dish comes together very easily, gives you a great one pot meal and has some great flavor with the chicken stock, chili sauce and soy sauce. This is an easy one you can use anytime.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!




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Alton Brown’s Backyard Baby Back Ribs – Sort Of

For me, finding new and different ways to cook ribs mostly means finding a new sauce or glaze to use on the ribs themselves. Since I am limited to just the use of my oven, I don’t have the options of a gas grill, charcoal grill or smoker at my disposal to use different methods to bring out different flavors. When I saw this recipe for Alton Brown’s backyard baby back ribs, I knew I wanted to try it, but I didn’t have the backyard methods to use like he does in the recipe. I also didn’t have any baby back ribs on hand; I only had some St. Louis spareribs in the freezer. I really liked the sound of the rub and the marinade on the ribs however so I decided to adapt it for my purposes. I’ll show you the original recipe here and then tell you what I did to change things around after.

Alton Brown’s Backyard Baby Back Ribs

2 full racks/slabs (about 4 1/2 pounds) baby back pork ribs
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons Rub Number Nine, recipe follows
1/2 cup orange juice (not fresh squeezed)
1/2 cup margarita mix
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Rub Number Nine:
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground thyme
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon allspice

Place each rib rack on a sheet of extra-wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil. (The foil should be 4 inches longer than the ribs on either end.) Season the rib racks liberally with kosher salt and sprinkle each rack with 3 tablespoons of the rub. Turn the ribs, meat side down, and tightly seal each foil pouch. Place on a half sheet pan and refrigerate the ribs overnight.

The next day, heat the oven to 250 degrees.

Combine the orange juice and margarita mix in a liquid measuring cup. Open 1 end of each pouch and evenly divide the liquid between the 2 pouches. Reseal the pouches and place the sheet pan in the oven for 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven, carefully open 1 end of each pouch and pour the braising liquid into a heatproof measuring cup. Reseal the pouches and place them and the measuring cup of liquid into the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

The fat in the braising liquid will have solidified on the top and can be removed at this time. Transfer the liquid to a small saucepan and add the honey, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, espresso powder and cayenne pepper. Whisk the ingredients until they are well combined. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce the mixture to a glaze, about 10 minutes.

Set a gas grill to medium-high and allow it to heat for 10 minutes. Cut each slab of ribs in half and place them on the grill, flesh side down, close the lid and decrease the heat to medium. Leave everything alone for 3 minutes. Flip and cook the ribs for another 3 minutes. Flip and cook the ribs for 3 minutes on each side 1 more time or until each rib has a nice char. Remove the ribs from the grill to a cutting board. and cut the slabs into 2 rib portions, using kitchen shears. Add the ribs and half the glaze to a large serving bowl and toss the ribs to thoroughly coat them. Serve the remaining glaze on the side.

For the rub, place all of the ingredients in an airtight container and shake to combine. Store for up to 3 months.

Really the only change I made in the recipe comes in the final step. I heated the glaze in a small saucepan while I baked the ribs in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. I then glazed the ribs, turned the heat up to 400 and baked them for another 15 minutes before glazing them a final time and putting them under the broil for 2 or 3 minutes to get the char on them. Keep in mind I was using the St. Louis ribs, which are thicker and larger than baby back ribs, so they do take longer to cook through properly. It may not turn out the same as it would with a gas grill, but the ribs were still cooked well and tasted great. I really love the glaze and although I was skeptical with the use of the margarita mix in the whole thing, it did work quite nicely along with the orange juice, honey and the espresso powder. I would certainly give these ribs a try again. I apologize for the fuzzy picture; I didn’t realize it had not turned out well and didn’t take another one, but trust me, they are good!

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!




Posted by on August 28, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Pork, Sauce, Spices


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Great for Any Time of Day – English Muffin Bread

My family loves English muffins. Of course, we all grew up eating the English muffins from the store and they are fantastic as a breakfast alone, with some eggs and bacon and are especially great with a hamburger for lunch or dinner. I have even made some Homemade English Muffins that were great and easy to make. When I came across this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for English muffin bread, I was a little skeptical myself. I didn’t really see how a simple recipe like this would turn out and taste like an English muffin, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This is one of the easiest bread recipes you will come across and it is a great one to make for any occasion. This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread so you can always freeze one for another day.

English Muffin Bread


5 cups bread flour

4 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups milk, heated to 120 degrees

Grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans and dust each pan with cornmeal. Combine the bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in the hot milk and mix until everything is combined, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until the dough is bubbly and has doubled in size.

Stir the dough and divide it evenly between the two prepared loaf pans, pushing the dough into the corners with a greased rubber spatula. The loaf pans should be about two-thirds full when you are done. Cover the loaf pans with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until it reaches the edge of the loaf pans, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Discard the greased plastic wrap and transfer the loaf pans to the heated oven. Bake in the oven until the bread is well browned and registers 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the loaf, about 30 minutes, rotating and switching the pans halfway through the baking process. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely, about 1 hour. Slice the bread and toast and serve or just slice and serve.

With just a few ingredients you can get a great loaf of bread. I have to say the texture of the bread is very much like that of an English muffin and while it may not have the nooks and crannies you love in an English muffin, everything else about it is perfect. The bread has great flavor and I served it with our dinner last night and then had some toasted this morning with my coffee and it was spectacular. This would be ideal to serve with a breakfast or brunch buffet or just to have when you feel like having a simple bread with any meal.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Breads, Cooking


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Take a Turn at These Turkey Burgers

Sean had been asking me to make turkey burgers one night for dinner because he really wanted to try them out. I figured it was a great alternative to ground beef and was happy to oblige, but I really needed to figure out how to get some great flavor into the turkey burgers. To me, ground turkey has a tendency to be somewhat flavorless unless you add something to it. I love to use it in chili and meatballs, so I really wanted to find a good combination of spices and vegetables to add to the burgers to make them great. I looked at a lot of recipes and really just ended up taking what I liked best from all of them and putting them together to make my own turkey burgers.

Turkey Burgers

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

1 shallot, diced

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon McCormick’s Montreal Chicken seasoning

1/4 cup chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Your favorite slices of cheese, optional

Hamburger rolls, for serving

Sliced red onion, for serving

Sliced pickles, for serving

Combine the ground turkey, diced shallot, egg yolk, chopped parsley, minced garlic, hot sauce and Montreal chicken seasoning with clean hands until everything is well blended but not overmixed. Add a little bit of the chicken broth at a time and mix it into the turkey mixture (you can add a little bit more if it seems like it needs more moisture). Shape the turkey mixture into 4 or 5 equally sized patties. Season both sides of the patties with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Place the patties into the skillet and cook the turkey burgers until they are golden brown and cooked all the way through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. If you are using any cheese, place slices of cheese on the burgers and cover the skillet for 1 minute or until the cheese is completely melted. Transfer the burgers to a clean plate and serve, along with the hamburger rolls or buns, sliced red onion, pickles or any other accompaniments that you like with your burgers.

I think everyone was a little skeptical as to how flavorful these burgers would turn out, but I have to say that I thought they were great. The turkey burgers were moist and had great flavor. I think the seasonings and that little bit of chicken broth really helped to make a difference. Of course, the great thing about any type of burger is that you can always add whatever you like best to the mix and get the flavors you want. I think the little bit of heat from the hot sauce  combined well with the shallots and garlic. You could easily add other vegetables to the mix instead, like grated carrot or some spinach and it would be very good.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Lunch, Poultry, Sandwiches, Turkey


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Barbecue Side Dishes – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR

Barbecue Side Dishes – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR.

Even though Summer may be coming to a close soon for most of us, you can always use your grill and depending on where you are, outdoor grilling can go on all year round. Even though I am in New York, I still like to make barbecue food even if it is an indoors version, and you need to have great barbecue sides when you put a meal together. Saveur Magazine has these 35 great barbecue side dishes that are perfect for all of your grilling occasions to try. Check it out!

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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Grilling, Side Dishes


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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

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