Barbecue for the 4th of July

Summer grilling and barbecue season has been wonderful these past few weeks in Michigan.  The weather has been lovely minus one weekend which showered us with an above average amount of rain.  However, yesterday was absolutely beautiful for the 4th of July. I have been truly enjoying a new product from the Charcoal Companion which…

smoker apple crisp

Outdoor cooking is becoming super popular.  I have joined the excitement and have a new vertical smoker.  Cooking with a smoker has many options, including direct and indirect cooking.  To become more familiar with the process, I purchased a great cookbook titled, “Secrets to Smoking,” by Bill Gillespie. Everything that I needed to know before…

Backyard Pizza Oven

With the growing interest in expanding the indoors outside with added living space, it is no wonder why cooking outdoors has become even more popular.  I recently used a wonderful product called the Pizza Que pizza kit for Kettle grills. Most kettle grills can accommodate this expansion which turns the grill into an amazing pizza…

graham cracker sandwiches

I must be the last person to see this recipe for graham cracker sandwiches.  I think it has been around for a while and hundreds of variations are on Pinterest now. Even though this is not a new one, I just had to share it, because it is just that fabulous. Select any type of…

Barbecue sauce for appetizer drumsticks

March madness will be here shortly, so it is time to bring out those terrific appetizer recipes for game nights.  This barbecue sauce is very easy to make on the spot.  No need to boil and cook this one for hours on the stove top.  This one is ready in minutes and can be applied…

barbecue tools for the kitchen

  These are the months for summer barbecue.  I love to cook outdoors, and although I don’t have an outdoor kitchen, I enjoy my small grills.  I use both a charcoal grill and an electric grill for cooking outdoors, and recently was mailed a set of silicone basting brushes to try out and review on…

BBQ grill mats are the answer to easy outdoor meals

Grilling season is back.  Some of my best meals seem to be those made with fresh ingredients that come off of the grill during the warmer months of the year.  We use both a charcoal grill and an electric patio grill for cooking, and have found many recipes work perfectly on both types of grilling…

labor day antipasti salad

antipasti salad is perfect for a labor day barbecue.  i had all the ingredients between my pantry and refrigerator, so it came together in a matter of minutes. there are many variations, including those with slices of salami, banana peppers, and even various types of red onion or shallots.  this one was made with pasta…

grilling made easy

during the summer months, my outdoor grilling menus expand, and i have been attempting a variety of new recipes. one of the best decisions i made was to try out a new pair of super gloves for safety while cooking outdoors. these super gloves are comfortable to wear and provide an easy grip for tongs…

grilled green beans with walnut oil

green beans on the grill made a wonderful side dish for our dinner on the deck last night.  the grilled flavor of the beans gave them a nice taste with a great texture.  before placing on the grill, i simply tossed them in a bowl with some olive oil and kosher salt.  they quickly browned,…

cucumber salad

Jamie Deen has a good food cookbook featuring recipes using great ingredients–from the land, the sea, and the farm. one recipe caught my eye for cucumber salad.  i just had to make it.  i know this is one of those recipes that i seem to always see at other homes, but i have never made…

bruschetta with strawberries

  summer outdoor potluck season is back. i made this easy recipe for an appetizer garden walk party this past week.  it was perfect. strawberries and balsamic vinegar have been combined for years in Italy.  recipes similar to this one can be found in many cookbooks, and can be a wonderfully refreshing addition to any…