Food & Cooking

Food & Cooking (4)

Those of you that been around me for a while already know that one of the things I like to do when I am not doing something else is to cook (and eat!).  I hate blah mediocre food!  For a few years I even competed (and won a few) BBQ & Chili cookoffs.  One of my distant dreams has to been to write a cookbook... but for now I will be content to share some of my culinary adventures here.  If you have a good recipe then drop me a line!  I'd love to share some reader recipes too!

Ok... I admit it.  I am a cheapskate.  Not one of those dumpster diving behind the grocery store to get free expired groceries kind of cheapskates (ewww!).  I just hate paying premium prices for things that are poorly made, or just overpriced.  Sometimes I think I can just make it myself.  It doesn't always turn out that way, but for this project it was great!  

This summer we moved to a great new house (well, new to us, but built in 1962!).  It is located in a golf course community and our backyard has huge mature citrus trees and great view of the golf course fairway pond and the green on the first hole.  One of the side benefits that we didn't expect was the backyard wildlife we have right off our porch.  The golf course and pond is home to a huge flock of Canadian Geese (even in the summer!).  We also have white cranes, a few variety of ducks, pigeons, doves, quail, cardinals, wood peckers, hummingbirds, all kinds of finches, wrens and our favorite: the famous peach-faced lovebirds!  They are little green, blue and peach parrots.  We have as many as 20 at a time in our backyard. It's great!  

So, now we have decided to put up some bird feeders! Yay.   I went to a "Wild Bird" retail store in the are and bought a big round birdseed cylinder and feeder and hung it from the big grapefruit tree so we can sit on the porch in the evening, soak in the sunset and and watch the birds frolic just a few feet away. But then.. those pesky bastards ate all that stuff up lickety split and it was time to get a refill.  Dang! I learned that those silly blocks are proprietary to this feeder (can't get replacements at Walmart or Home Depot) and they cost $17-18 each depending on the flavor.  It is the birdseed version of the old HP Printer Marketing plan.  Sell the hardware cheap and make tons of money selling ink refills.  I hate that. 

So... I set out to the inter-webs to see if I can make my own. There are plenty of suet cake recipes, and a few one time "experiments" made by some attention starved Pinterest Whores. No real instructions. No real recipes and nothing the size of my block. We love the feeder, but hate paying $20 a crack for a couple pounds of birdseed.  



Wednesday, 13 November 2013 05:11

Jiarby's Ginger & Orange Blossom Turkey Brine

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 Jiarby's Ginger-Orange Blossom Turkey Brine

Thursday, 07 March 2013 19:14

Boston Baked Beans & Brown Bread

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Food has an amazing ability to function as a time machine and carry you back to decades gone by and help you relive pleasant weekends spent with family.  For me one of those great memory trigger foods is Boston Baked Beans...often served on top of a thick slice of hot griddled brown bread with raisins.  I know... you probably don't get it at all unless you grew up in a very narrow part of the New England, and  more specifically in the Boston area like I did.  


Tuesday, 18 December 2012 05:43

Glenn's Famous BBQ Baked Beans

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These days I usually cook dry beans from scratch, but that takes a day of planning for the overnight soak so now and then I like to start with some plain canned beans. This recipe came originally from a BBQ cookoff acquaintance (since passed away) and always gets rave reviews at family potlucks and picnics.  I usually do these when I am also cooking something in the smoker, maybe a brisket or pork butt.


 Glenn's Famous BBQ Baked Beans

  • 3 15 oz cans Great Northern Beans (White Navy Beans OK Too), partially drained
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced--seeds and membrane removed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped brisket or pulled pork
  • 1 tbsp bacon grease
  • 3 or 4 strips uncooked bacon

Start by sauteeing the onion and bell pepper in the bacon fat until the onion is just starting to carmelize. Add the garlic and continue sauteeing just until the garlic starts to turn color. Remove from heat.

Mix the beans, barbeque sauce, cumin and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped brisket or pork and the sauteed onion & pepper. stir until mixed.

Taste and adjust flavors as needed by adding more brown sugar if not sweet enough or more barbeque sauce if not spicy enough for your tastes. Cayenne (Great with chipotle powder!)can be added to boost heat. Salt will probably not need to be added as there will be plenty from the beans and sauce. If the mixture looks too dry, add a small amount of water or beer.

Pour the bean mixture into a disposable aluminum pan (I use a dutch oven). Lay the bacon strips across the top. Place the pan uncovered in your smoker for the last three hours of cooking. In a horizontal smoker place the pan nearest the hotter end, rotating end for end every hour to heat all sides of the pan equally. In a vertical, place the pan in the hottest portion of the chamber.

The beans are done when the bacon strips on top are done and it is hot and bubbly around the edges. The three hour cooking time is an estimate based on how my smoker performs. Yours may vary.