Easter Sunday Dinner

We had the family come over for Easter Sunday Dinner – with Smoked Tri-Tip, Country Style Pork Ribs, BBQ Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Ranch Style Beans, Corn, Micro Steamed Green Beans, and Bread. I started the day by Seasoning the Country Style Pork Ribs, and soaking the wood chips. I had some leftover Hickory Chips, and I picked up some Apple Wood Chips – and put them in water a few hours before starting the smoker. And I seasoned the Country Style Pork Ribs, with a mixture of Black Pepper, Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, Thyme, Ancho Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, and Ground Mustard.

I put the 2 Tri-Tips in the smoker around 3:00 pm – for about 2 hours. That will give them a good smoke ring, and will be Tender and juicy. I buy the Tri-Tip when it is on sale, and season them, wrap them individually, and freeze them. When I bring the. Out – they just need to thawed and cooked.

We put some large Potatoes in the over at 400 degrees for just over an hour for some good Baked Potatoes. Before baking them, we rubbed them with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper. Then, they are ready for whatever toppings anyone wants.

I put the Chicken Thighs on the gas grill – after having been marinating in beer. I mix up some BBQ Sauce by mixing Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce with some beer and Chalula Hot Sauce. That gives the Chicken a sweet, yet spicy flavor. My grandson, Gunner, thinks it’s the best BBQ Chicken there is, lol. Also, since my daughter-in-law, Laura, doesn’t like Chicken with BBQ Sauce on it – I made 2 pieces with no Sauce, and I marinated them in Italian Dressing.

The final meat is the Country Style Pork Ribs. After applying the rub, I put half of them on the smoker, and the other half on the gas grill. This give 2 distinct flavors of the same meat. For the last 10 minutes, I put all of the Ribs in the smoker.

Then, we finished the meal off with some Ranch Style Beans, some Whole Kernel Corn, Micro Steamed Green Beans, and some bread. It was a very very tasty, and filling Easter Dinner. Since it was a smaller gathering than normal – there were a lot of leftovers, lol. Our oldest granddaughter, Chelsea, and her family now live north of Sacramento, and were not able to come. Here is a final picture of my plate of food:

#tritip #smokedtritip #bbqchicken #bbqchickenthighs #sweetbabyrays #countrystyleporkribs #smokedcountrystyleporkribs #smoker #applewoodsmoking #kingsfordcharcoal #kingsford #Chalula #chalulahotsauce #budlight #beermarinatedchicken #schwansmicrosteamgreenbeans #ranchstylebeans #greatvaluefrozencorn #bakedpotato #gasgrill #gasgrillcooking

Air Fried Halibut

So, today was an experiment – to say the least. I cooked some Halibut in the Air Fryer – and I am not a big fish eater. In fact, this is the first time that I have ever cooked fish – of any kind – other than “Fishsticks!” Lol One of the “good” things about not having ever cooked fish in that I don’t know what I “shouldn’t” do, lol. So, what I did was to take some Halibut Steaks and butterfly them – and put them through the egg wash and breading.

I wisked together 2 eggs and mixed together some Panko Bread Crumbs and some Canola Oil and mixed them into a sort of “crumble” breading. Then, I dipped the Halibut pieces in the eggs, then into the Panko mixture.

I cooked them in the Air Fryer at 360 degrees for 11 minutes – flipping them half was through. Then I let the cool for a few minutes before trying them. I was very pleased with the results – the Halibut was crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. The Halibut pieces were very flaky – and nearly melts in your mouth.

Since I had never cooked fish before, I didn’t cook a full meal – just the Halibut. Now, I will do some research to determine what I make to go with the fish – the next time that I make it – because I will definitely make fish in my Air Fryer again.

If you don’t have an Air Fryer, I would encourage you to get one, and learn how to use it. Remember, I was a HUGE skeptic of the Air Fryer – but, now I am a big advocate of it. Everything that you normally fry, you can cook in the Air Fryer, and most things taste much better from the Air Fryer.

#airfryer #powerairfryer ##airfryercooking #friedfish #friedhalibut #Halibut #fishrookie #firsttimecookingfish #crispyairfriedhalibut

LA Rams Clock

Now, for some woodworking – a LA Rams Clock. This is truly a new venture for me – because it involves more “art” than actual woodworking. I never was known as much of an artist – but, I gave it a try – and although not perfect – I am happy with the end result.

I started with one of the older LA Rams logos, cut it out with matte photo paper, then cut it out with MDF.

Then, I took one of the 3 paper templates and cut out all of the “white” parts to start, then laid the template over the MDF form (like a stencil), and traced out the white parts.

Then, I started to paint the blue and the gold. This was a huge challenge for me. Finally, I decided to use some tape to help with the lines – but with only mediocre results. So, I got some 1/4 inch wide masking tape that they use in the Autobody industry – and that made a big difference.

As you can see, the lines were extremely rough – but, they do get better. I would go over with the Gold to smooth the lines, then go over with the Blue to further smooth the lines, then go over with the White, etc until I got to the finish.

Then, I drilled a hole for the clock mechanism to come through the inside of the Ram’s horn.

Once the hole was drilled, then I marked out for the clock mechanism on the back of the clock, then I clamped the clock down, and took my router and routered out the spot for the mechanism to fit into. Then, I attached the numbers to the face of the clock.

Then, I applied a clear coat to the back of the clock to start, then after it dried, I applied a clear coat to the front of the clock. I used a water based polyurethane (called Polycrylic) because the oil based Polyurethane has a slight hue to it, and can cause the colors (especially the White) to have a tint to them. While the Polycrylic dries “crystal clear” – with no yellowing.

I applied the clear coat over top of the numbers to better hold them in place.

Then I put the clock mechanism in place, tightened it up, and put the hands on it.

After I applied the clear coat – my lack of artistic talent really showed through – with all of the mistakes being highlighted by the clear coat. After that, we are done – just need to let the clear coat dry completely. As I said, this was a definite challenge to me – but, I think I met the challenge.

One thing that would change, if to do it again, would be to use Silver numbers instead of Black. I was hoping that the Black letters would show up better against the blue background – but, that’s one of the challenges to being colorblind.

This was another fun (and challenging) project that I enjoyed.

Next, on to a Cowboys clock for one of my granddaughters.

#woodworking #clocks #clockmaking #artist #clockpainting

Air Fried Chicken Parmesan and Cauliflower Rice

I had never made Chicken Parmesan before, and I saw an episode of Rachel Ray last week where she made some, and it looked good – so I thought I would try it. I changed things a bit – because Rachel used some ingredients that I did not have readily available – but, it turned out AMAZING! I started out with some Boneless Chicken Breasts, which I butterflied, and pounded out to about 1/4 inch thick. Then, I put some Salt and Pepper on them, and progressively put them through All Purpose Flour, Egg Wash, then a mixture of Italian Bread Crumbs, Panko Bread Crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, Garlic Powder, Red Chili Flakes, and Oregano – then they were ready for the Air Fryer.

I cooked the pounded out and coated Parmesan Chicken Cutlets in the Air Fryer at 380 degrees for 8 minutes – flipping them at the half-way point. Then I put them in the oven at 200 degrees to keep them warm while I finished cooking the rest of them. Here is the finished product – before adding the Mozzarella Cheese in the Broiler.

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While I was continuing to cook the Chicken Cutlets in the Air Fryer, I began to prepare the Arrabiata Sauce for the Parmesan Chicken. I started with some Olive Oil, Garlic Powder, Chili Paste, Chicken Stock, Crushed Tomatoes, and Salt. I let that simmer on the stove top for about 20 minutes.

Then, I shredded some Cauliflower in the Food Processor, and fried it in the Cast Iron Skillet, with Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, and Butter. I cook it for about 5 minutes.

I also made a second sauce – a Chili/Honey Sauce. This Sauce is a mixture of Chili Paste, Honey, and Chicken Stock. The interesting story of this Sauce started a few days earlier. We had some Bees in front of our house, and had to call someone to have them removed. We kept some of the Comb Honey. A friend of mine, Anthony Lopez, mentioned that it would be a cool story, if I could use some of that Honey in one of my recipes – which is what I did. Thank you, Anthony, for the suggestion.

We also, made some Corn on the Cob and some Ranch Style Beans.

When everything else is about finished, I covered the Chicken Cutlets with Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, and put them in the oven on the broil setting until the Cheese was melted, and starting to bubble. Then, I added the Arrabiata Sauce to those 6 pieces. The other 2, I covered with the Chili/Honey Sauce – for Jesse and I – This Sauce was very hot, and Jesse and I were the only ones that wanted it.

Here are the Chicken Parmesan after coming out of the broiler.

Here is the final meal – with the Chicken Parmesan, Ranch Style Beans, Corn on the Cob, and Cauliflower Rice. This plate shows the Chili/Honey Sauce. The Chicken Parmesan was crispy on the outside, and amazingly Tender and juicy on the inside – with the Chili/Honey Sauce being a great combination of the heat and the sweet. It was a big hit for everyone.

#castironskillet #castironcooking #caulifowerrice #cornonthecob #ranchstylebeans #chicken #chickenparmesan #chilihoneysauce #rachelray #foodie #airfryer #airfryercooking #powerairfryer #powerairfryerxl #oillessfrying #healthyfrying

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Those who know me, know that I like Pizza – most styles of Pizza – New York, Chicago, Pan, Thin, Hand Tossed, etc. But, my favorite is Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza. So, last night, I decided to make some – from scratch. I started by making the dough – a fairly simple dough – with All Purpose Flour, Cornmeal,Yeast, Sugar, Salt, Water, Butter, and Olive Oil. A quick spin in the Stand Mixer, and we are ready to place it in an oiled bowl to rise for one hour.

While the dough was going through its first rise, I made the Pizza Sauce – with Olive Oil, Butter, Minced Onion, Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Crushed Red Peppers, Minced Garlic, Crushed Tomatoes, Sugar, and Basil.

I cooked it on medium / low heat for 39 minutes, then removed it from the heat, and covered it.

Then, I took the dough that had been left to rise at room temperature, and rolled it into a 15 x 12 inch rectangle, then spread butter onto the dough. Then I rolled it into a tight cylinder, then flattened it into a 18 x 4 inch rectangle. Then I took each half, folded it in thirds, then pinched the seams together to form 2 balls. I then placed the balls back into the oiled pan, and placed in the refrigerator for the second rise.

While the dough was going through its second rise, I cooked the Sausage and grated the 1 pound block of Mozzarella Cheese.

After the dough was in the refrigerator for about 50 minutes, I took it out, and rolled each ball into about a 13 inch circle. I liberally coated 2 nine inch round pans with Olive Oil, and put the dough into the 2 round pans.

Then I began to assemble the 2 Pizzas – with the Mozzarella Cheese first, then the Sausage, the Pepperoni, the Mushrooms, the Canadian Bacon, and finally, the sauce on the top. I topped it off by sprinkling some grated Parmesan Cheese.

I put the 2 Pizzas in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes, then removed from the oven.

I let the Pizzas comfortable about 15 minutes, then removed them from the round pans onto a Pizza Tin, and sliced.

The Pizza was very enjoyable, however, I think I will back of on the Garlic in the Pizza Sauce next time – it was sort of over-powering – but, still good. It was even better, as leftovers today. If you have not tried Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, I would encourage you to try it – it is very good.

#chicagostylepizza #chicagostyledeepdishpizza #pizza #deepdishpizza #panpizza #pepperoni #sausage #Mushrooms #canadianbacon #goodfood #goodpizza

Air Fryer Baked Potatoes, Country Style Pork Ribs

Tonight I made Country Style Pork Ribs, Baked Potatoes (in the Air Fryer), and Green Beans. Let’s start with the Country Style Pork Ribs – I seasoned them with a mixture of Garlic Salt, Black Pepper, Ancho Chili Powder, Onion Powder, Thyme, Smoked Paprika, and Ground Mustard. I mixed this rub, and lightly coated the Country Style Pork Ribs with it. Then I cooked them on the gas grill to a Medium Well doneness.

Then, I cooked the Baked Potatoes in the Air Fryer. I started with some various sized potatoes, and coated them with Olive Oil, and Salt and Black Pepper. Then, I put them in the Air Fryer at 390 degrees for 35 minutes. Then, we served them with Butter, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Bacon Bits.

We then capped it off with some Frozen Micro Steam Green Beans from Schwan’s. These are some of the best Green Beans that I have ever eaten. We cook them in the Microwave inside the “Micro Steam” bag they come in. Then we add Butter and Montreal Steak Seasoning.

The Country Style Pork Ribs were cooked perfectly, tender throughout, juicy, and with the mixture of spices – very flavorful. As far the Air Fryer Baked Potatoes – they were very similar to Baked Potatoes cooked in the oven – in less than half the time – 7 potatoes, cooked to perfection in just 35 minutes. The inside of the Baked Potatoes were soft and fluffy, and after being coated with the Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper – the skin was firm, and crisp – much like you would expect at a Steak House. Then, the Green Beans – cooked as described above – were crisp, and they have a snap to them – like you might expect from fresh Green Beans.

Another great meal that we all enjoyed.

#powerairfryerxl #powerairfryer #airfryercooking #airfryerbakedpotato # bakedpotato #countrystyleporkribs #Schwan’s #Schwan’smicrosteamgreenbeans #goodfood #comfortfood #foodie #airfryergoodness #bakedpotatotoppings

Smoked Pork Loin, Cauliflower Rice, and Steamed Veggies

Tonight I made a Smoked Pork Loin, Cauliflower Rice, and Steamed Veggies. For the Pork Loin, I did a very simple Seasoning – Salt, Pepper, and Seasoning Salt. Then I smoked it for about 2 1/2 hours, and I used Apple wood to smoke the meat. I smoked it to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. The Pork Loin come out super tender, and juicy – and the taste of the Apple wood smoke capped it off nicely.

Then, I made the Cauliflower Rice the same way I normally do – with Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, and Butter – in a cast iron skillet.

Then, for the Steamed Veggies – This was the first time I had ever Steamed anything! I Steamed some Mushrooms, Broccoli, Baby Carrots, and Zucchini. I Steamed them in 2 separate batches – and I learned some things along the way.

In the first batch, I put all of the Veggies in the steam pot at the same time. The carrots took the longest to cook – so for the second batch, I put the Baby Carrots in about 4 minutes earlier than the rest of the Veggies. The Zucchini was definitely over cooked – and the Mushrooms could have cooked longer. So, the next time I steam these Veggies, I will put the Baby Carrots and the Mushrooms in first – then put the Broccoli in – and put the Zucchini in last – with only a few minutes left.

Then, I put some Butter in with the cooked Veggies, and sprinkled them with some Montreal Steak Seasoning. The Veggies were a definite hit with everyone.

Here is the picture of the final product – right before I “dug in.” Lol This was a very good meal. I did have to back off the Cayenne in the Cauliflower Rice – because the last time we made it – some of the family thought it was too spicy. And, with me being such a picky eater, I am always sensitive to others thoughts on food.

#porkloin #smokedporkloin #cauliflourrice #castironskillet #castironcooking #smoker #applewoodsmoking #steamedveggies #steamedvegatables #steamedbroccoli #steamedmushrooms #steamedbabycarrots #steamedzucchini #montrealsteakseasoning #brinkmansmoker