Posted in Chicken, Food, glazes, Grilling

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade



When I grill chicken, I usually use a bottled marinade to flavor and tenderize the meat.  Well, this week I ran out of my favorite supermarket brand and decided to revisit an old recipe of my own.  I often pair this marinade with a few finely chopped slices of pineapple to give it a Hawaiian flair.  A hearty helping of rice and vegetables works great with this teriyaki grilled chicken dish.

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons white vinegar

 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 medium onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, graded

1/2 cup finely chopped pineapple, optional

In a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, water, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, oil, onions, garlic, and ginger. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Add optional pineapple.  Using a plastic bag or covered container.  Pour mixture over chicken pieces and marinate for 3 hours or overnight.  Grill or bake chicken until a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Dinner, Food, Grilling

Queso Blanco Chicken and Salsa

On a recent Saturday outing, my family and I stumbled upon a quaint new restaurant in the middle of our town square featuring Mexican cuisine.  As we were seated in the festive dining room, a heaping basket of freshly made chips and salsa was delivered to the table.  Looking over the extensive menu, I was excited to find a chicken dish that seemed fresh and flavorful with simple ingredients.  I immediately requested the dish and continued to munch on the crispy chips and spicy salsa while listening to the sounds of the lively Mexican music streaming through the sound system.  

As we waited for our meal to arrive, we chatted about our desire to visit a local farmer’s market to find lots of fresh produce to make our own salsa when returning home for the day.  

Alas, our meals arrived and as the waitress placed the scrumptious looking dish in front of me, I realized how simple it would be for me to replicate the flavors at home and quickly made a note of all of the items on the plate.  After a lovely meal, we headed out to the farmer’s market located a few short blocks through the town square. We enjoyed a lovely walk through the bustling scene teaming with a variety of fresh vegetables and quickly scooped up the ingredients needed to replicate my chicken dish.  This is how I assembled my own version of the delicious meal…

Queso Blanco Chicken and Salsa

6 chicken breasts

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (15 oz.) jar Queso Blanco Dip

1 1/2 cups Fresh (or store bought) Chunky Salsa (see recipe below)

6 ears corn, shucked and cleaned

2 avocado, sliced

Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Bake or grill for 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  In the meantime, place ears of corn on outdoor grill or indoor grilling skillet, roast until tender.  Slice corn off of the cob.  Season to taste with butter and salt, if desired.  In a microwave safe bowl, heat Queso Blanco Dip until warm and pourable.  To serve, place a chicken breast on each plate, drizzle with Queso Blanco Dip and garnish with fresh cilantro. Next,  add to the plate, a couple of heaping spoons of roasted corn, fresh salsa, and slices of avocado.  Simple and delicious!

Homemade Chunky Salsa

2 cups ripe plum tomatoes, diced 

1/4 cup white onion, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, bottled or fresh

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)

1 small garlic clove, minced

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.  Cover tightly and refrigerate before serving.



Posted in breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Food, Grilling, Main Dish, Skillet Meal

Homemade Savory Breakfast Sausage

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There is a small neighborhood grocery store not far from my home. It carries an assortment of staple groceries for local families needing a few things, without having to travel into town for a big shopping haul. After a late Friday work meeting, I stopped in to buy some milk and eggs for the weekend.
As I headed to the back of the store, I was lured in by the selection of fresh cut meat the butcher had displayed in the meat case. For a small market, this grocer always carries a wide variety of cuts that are quite reasonably priced. I purchased some chicken breasts, ground beef, and a few pounds of freshly ground pork.
This butcher incorporates just the right blend of pork cuts to make the perfect homemade sausage recipe. I knead lots of ingredients into a big bowl of ground pork and shape the mass into several round patties very similar to the familiar pre-packaged, national brand, sausage patties found in the refrigerator case in a typical grocery store. These homemade patties far exceed the flavor and tenderness of store bought sausage. Add your own ingredients to suit your family’s taste…

Homemade Savory breakfast Sausage Patties

2 pounds ground pork
2 teaspoons dried sage
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine the sage, salt, ground black pepper, marjoram, brown sugar, crushed red pepper and cloves with ground pork. Mix well with your hands and form into patties, if desired. Sauté the patties in a large skillet over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and meat is no longer pink.
Note: You can use the bulk sausage to make this delicious Savory Sausage Crescent Braid recipe too!

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Posted in Dinner, Fish, Food, Grilling

Marinated Grilled Salmon

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Yesterday, while grocery shopping with my youngest daughter, we spotted some beautiful looking salmon steaks in the meat market case. M suggested that we buy a few steaks to grill for dinner. We also picked up some squash, (to make our Autumn Squash and Apple Bake) salad fixings, and potatoes.
I’m happy to say that we had the perfect fall grilling weather. For the marinade, I use Marzetti’s brand Italian salad dressing because it has a little sugar in it. This caramelizes during the grilling process and gives the salmon a great texture.
We enjoyed a lovely Sunday evening meal together and all agreed that we should add more fish to future dinner menus.

Marinated Salmon Steaks

3/4 cup Marzetti’s Sweet Italian Dressing
4 salmon steaks, about 1-1/2 inches thick (about 2-1/2 lbs.)

Add salmon and marinade to large, shallow non-aluminum baking dish or plastic bag; turn to coat. Cover, or close bag, and marinate in refrigerator, turning occasionally, up to 30 minutes.
Remove salmon, discarding marinade. Grill or broil salmon, turning once, cook until salmon flakes with a fork (about 3-5 minutes per side on high heat).image

Posted in Food, Gardening, Grilling, side dishes

Grilled Corn on the Cob

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Ok…it’s grilling season and the Indiana corn is ripe for the picking. As blueberry season winds down…fresh vegetables are truly showing off their colors. This year, we planted plenty of tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, herbs, peppers, cauliflower and squash. Our property seems to be surrounded by acres and acres of beautiful golden corn. Farmers in the area often put a table out at the end of their driveway with a load of fresh picked corn. Next to the corn sits a coffee can where neighbors and others passing by can leave their money to pay for their corn purchase.
This recipe is surprisingly tasty. The corn in Indiana is super sweet so the flavorful herbs contrast the sweetness quite well. While I often steam or boil corn on the cob…this recipe is a nice change of pace.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

6 ears of corn, husked and cleaned
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup butter, softened

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, mix together the chili powder, oregano, onion powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix the softened butter into the dry ingredients. Brush this mixture on each ear of corn. Wrap each ear tightly in aluminum foil so melted butter does not leak out during cooking.
Place wrapped corn on the preheated grill. Grill for 20 to 30 minutes turning corn several times during cooking.