#10DaysofTailgate: ‘Da Bears in ‘Da Blankets

Tailgate LogoOn this second Sunday of #10DaysofTailgate, which is hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, I have decided to highlight my favorite NFL team – the Chicago Bears. It is also fitting that today we play our rivals, The Green Bay Packers.

When you think Chicago food you think three things: pizza, beefs, and dogs. And Chicago’s favorite condiments: giardiniera, relish, and mustard.

I decided to create a tailgate friendly version of classic Chicago flavors. Pigs in Blankets, or well, in this case, ‘Da Bears in ‘Da Blankets! (Shout out to my mom for helping me come up with the title.)

I used all beef little hotdogs for my “bears” and the “blankets” classic crescent rolls sprinkled with poppy seeds. To satisfy the classic toppings of mustard and relish I served my dogs alongside some snack sized pickles and three different mustard dipping sauces. Why three? Because I couldn’t decide what flavor I wanted!

ElDiablo_Logo_Color_TaglineEl Diablo Hot and Spicy Mustards is one of our sponsors for #10DaysofTailgate and they generously provided their six flavors of mustard for us to play around with. Three of them I am showcasing today and one will be showcased tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out! I admit I’m too scared to try the habanero flavor while breastfeeding and I’m allergic to the mango – but my husband has assured me it’s delicious and he’s already used it for dipping grilled chicken. Based on other #10DaysofTailgate postings, the Mango is very popular! My personal favorite is the Steakhouse.

MBBQ-LOGO-120309I didn’t stop there with the Chicago menu though, I also made giardiniera. But not any giardiniera. I wanted to highlight another sponsored product, so I made a grilled giardiniera! I used the mesh grilling skillet from Mr. Bar-B-Q to grill all of the veggies! This skillet is awesome! The handle is detachable which makes for easy grilling. Simply place the skillet on the grill, remove the handle, and then when you’re ready to remove from the heat reattach the handle – no oven mitts required.

Grilled Giardiniera

‘Da Bears in ‘Da Blankets

Ingredients for the dogs:

  • 35 mini all beef hotdogs
  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds

Ingredients for the mustard dipping sauces:

Ingredients for the giardiniera:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
  • 6 baby carrots (or 1 large carrot)
  • 1-2 serrano peppers
  • canola oil for grilling
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 tsp Gourmet Garden oregano paste
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps for the dogs:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.
  2. Cut each crescent roll triangle into strips of 4 and wrap around each of the mini hotdogs. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  3. Bake 15 minutes, until dough is golden brown.

Steps for the mustard dipping sauces:

  1. In a small bowl combine mayo and sour cream.
  2. Divide into three smaller bowls (1/3 C each).
  3. Stir 1 tbsp each flavored mustard into one of the bowls.

Steps for the giardiniera:

  1. Brush all of the veggies with canola oil and sprinkle with S+P. Grill veggies, tossing occasionally, until tender and the cauliflower is lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. When cool enough to handle, finely chop all of the veggies and mince the garlic. Peel the skins off the serrano peppers and also remove the seeds. Note: If you don’t want a super spicy giardiniera use only one.
  3. In a bowl, combine veggies with olive oil and oregano. Season with salt. Keep refrigerated.

*The dogs and mustard dipping sauces are adapted from Pat and Gina Neely at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/neelys-pigs-in-a-blanket-recipe.html *

Da Bears in Da Blankets 1 Da Bears in Da Blankets 2

Thank you Jennifer and Mr. Bar-B-Q for sponsoring our event.

Disclaimer: I received El Diablo Hot and Spicy Mustards, a mesh grilling skillet, and herb pastes through this event, however all opinions are my own.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Starters
Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Philly Cheese Steak Eggrolls by Cooking In Stilettos
Ketchup & Mustard Glazed Meatballs by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Duck Bacon, Pear, Brie Baked Wontons by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Mains
Buffalo Chicken Sliders by girlichef
Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wings by Cheese Curd In Paradise
White Chicken Chili by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Saucy Maple Leaf Duck Sliders by Making Miracles
Three Pepper Burgers by Eliot’s Eats
Chipotle Mustard Pork Chops by The Pajama Chef
Cherry Chipotle Drumsticks by Summer Scraps
Sides
Salads in Jars by OnTheMove-In the Galley

#10DaysofTailgate: Thai Chicken Skewers

Tailgate LogoWe are now more than halfway through #10DaysofTailgate hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. While there are a few healthy tailgating dishes that have been shared by my fellow blogger pals, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of our posts lean a little more towards the sinful side of the diet spectrum. So today I’m going to share a healthy grilling recipe with you! (Actually, come to think of it, my post tomorrow is healthy too! So be sure to come back and check it out. I promise, I don’t plan these things.)

Today’s recipes features two of our wonderful sponsors – Gourmet Garden and FireWire Grilling.

If you’ve never used Gourmet Garden herbs before I highly encourage you give them a try. I’ve purchased their herbs before, and usually buy them instead of bunches of fresh herbs. Gourmet GardenI cannot grow anything to save my life and I can’t keep fresh herbs alive for more than a day after bringing them home from the store. So unless I need fresh herbs for garnish, I’ll buy Gourmet Garden’s herb pastes. They last in the fridge for up to 3 months and give you that fresh flavor you’re looking for.

FireWire Grilling provided their Flexible Grilling Skewers for us to try. I don’t often go crazy for grilling gadgets, but these are worth getting excited about! I’ll admit, I was hesitant. Why would you want a flexible skewer? I asked. FireWire logoWell, let me tell you (in my best infomercial voice)! Don’t you hate it when you’re putting marinated meat and veggies on a skewer and your hands are all sticky and messy? Instead, put your meat and veggies on the skewer, and put it in the bowl or bag of marinade! (Yes, you still have to wash your hands if you’re handling raw meat, sorry.) That wouldn’t be possible with a typical straight skewer – it wouldn’t fit! What I also loved about these skewers was the skewer tip – it’s not sharp yet the meat slipped on easily. Remember that bag you’re putting the skewer in? It won’t poke a hole through it. There’s also no more fear of piercing fingers!

FireWire Flexible Skewers

An Original Recipe

Thai Chicken Skewers

Ingredients:

Steps:

  1. In a bowl whisk together sugar, lime and orange juices, fish sauce, coriander, pepper, chunky garlic paste, cilantro paste, and Thai seasoning. Reserve about a 1/3 C to baste skewers with.
  2. Place chicken and onion on skewers.
  3. Marinate skewers a minimum of 30 minutes.
  4. Grill skewers 4-5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through.

*This recipe was inspired by http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/shrimp-with-thai-lemongrass-marinade *

Thai Chicken Skewers FG1

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Starters
Diablo’d Cheesy Bacon-Onion Pinwheel Rolls by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Spiced Kofta with Carrot Karma Yogurt Dip by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Dips
Baked Potato Beer Dip by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Hot Caramelized Onion Dip by Eliot’s Eats
Healthier Buffalo Cauliflower Dip by The Spiffy Cookie
Dunkin Duck, Cheesy Bacon and Ranch Dip by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Mains
Honey Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Bacon Cheeseburger Soup by From Gate to Plate
Sides
Grilled Parsley Potatoes by Curious Cuisiniere
Grilled Vegetables by Summer Scraps
 Sweets
Pumpkin Bars by The Pajama Chef

And for yesterday’s tailgating fare check out Camilla’s page here.

Thursday Thoughts #8

Thursday Thoughts

I’m posting a second Thursday Thoughts this month because there’s just so much going on!

We’ve been in our new house a little over a month now – and we’re getting closer to calling it home. We downsized when we moved to Ohio. I know, sounds crazy when we added a family member! With an older house we have much less storage space inside the home – but there’s a shed in the backyard and an add-on at the back of the garage where all of our extra furniture is housed in while here. Funnily enough I have a smaller kitchen, but more cupboard space. A very small amount of counter space though means the dishes pile up quickly; I’m still working on how to efficiently do my food prep. One thing I haven’t figured out is the lighting. The light fixtures, while new, have covers on them and provide a very yellow glow. I’ve been utilizing the covered back porch to get natural light and take my food outside to photograph. I’m not so sure foodgawker likes seeing grass in the background of my photos – it’s been a struggle to have images accepted on their site again. So, it’s back to square one with food photography. I do have a photobox that I might just have to become more proficient in using. If anyone has any tips please let me know!

IMG_0245We signed the lease for this house sight-unseen while still in Florida. We were hoping to avoid our belongings being placed in storage by having a door-to-door move. Unfortunately, our personal plans of a week’s vacation along the way meant that wouldn’t be possible. When we arrived, the house was smaller than we anticipated (the storage room I mentioned was included in the square footage, but it’s not a livable space). The photographs of the property that we saw online were accurate though, which was comforting. We were nervous this house wouldn’t work for us, but with creative use of space we’re happy with our new home. What is meant to be the dining room is our living room with couch, tv, and small table to eat on and the living room doubles as Stuart’s office and my craft space. The backyard is beautiful, too. The sink in the kitchen is underneath a window that looks into the yard and I love it!

I do love our neighborhood, and better yet, our neighbors! We always said we were “bad neighbors” in Florida. We’d always do the kind “wave hello” driving through the neighborhood and on our walks, occasionally we stopped to converse with the family on the corner. We vowed to be better neighbors when we moved and so far our neighbors have made that possible. Our next door neighbors stopped by to welcome us with fresh tomatoes from their garden. (You may have seen the photos on Instagram)

I’ve always heard that nothing can compare to homegrown tomatoes. That statement is absolutely correct. I don’t eat tomatoes plain – but these I could with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Perfectly firm yet juicy and full of fresh flavor. I wanted to do these tomatoes justice – by not heating them! – and prepared two meals with them. We did BLTs that hit the spot and I created a tomato blueberry “salsa” to top grilled honey balsamic chicken which we ate over a bed of wild rice (photographed below).

Tomato Blueberry Salsa

#10DaysofTailgate & SRC: Asian Inspired Turkey Burgers

newsrcbannerTailgate Logo

I am very excited about today’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! Why? Because it’s also part of #10DaysofTailgate. #10DaysofTailgate is a virtual tailgating party that lasts 10 days and is hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla and in the secret recipe club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned Nicole’s blog I am a Honey Bee. Nic’s blog is a great blend of food posts, travel posts, and family posts. She has a 9-mo daughter and I love her monthly updates. Like me, her favorite channel is Food Network. She admitted to having sewn over her finger with her sewing machine in high school – OUCH! I managed to slice mine with my fabric rotary cutter. I guess that makes us sewing-injury buddies.

Funnily enough, my first Tuesday Tattles post was inspired by her baby favorites! It either threw her off of my scent as her “secret blogger” or it gave it away. But I promise – I had that post in the works before she was assigned to me! I’ve been following Nicole’s blog since before I joined the Secret Recipe Club. Nicole was actually assigned my blog in May – here’s her take on my Copy Cat Almond Joys.

So what did I make from I am a Honey Bee? The idea of Tatchos was tempting, her pizza pot pie pulled a tug at this Chicago girl’s strings, and these bang bang shrimp are on my to-make list. But, I went with her Tangy Burgers. Fish sauce is one of those ingredients that I’ve always been afraid to use and too cheap to buy and I keep setting recipes aside because I didn’t have fish sauce. Thank you, Nicole, for forcing me to get over this strange fear.

Asian Inspired Turkey Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2″ piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sauteed mushrooms (optional)
  • gruyere cheese (optional)

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, mustard, and pepper. Add turkey and mix with your hands until liquid is combined. Let marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  2. Divide turkey into 4 burger patties.
  3. Grill burgers 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. If using cheese, top burgers during the last minute of cooking time.
  4. Assemble burgers with mayonnaise and sauteed mushrooms, if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Nicole at http://iamahoneybee.com/2010/05/07/tangy-turkey-burgers/ *

Asian Inspired Turkey Burgers

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

But don’t stop your recipe stumbling there! There’s a giveaway to enter and more tailgating recipes to check out too:

Starters
  Dips
  Mains
Bacon Cheeseburger Egg Rolls by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Chicken Parmesan Sliders by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Cherry Chipotle Meatloaf Sandwiches by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Cherry Chipotle Meatballs by From Gate to Plate
Sides
SRC Surprise Recipe by A Day in the Life on the Farm
 Sweets
Cinnamon Puppy Chow by The Pajama Chef
Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies by Love and Confections

Grilled Pork and Pineapple

Before the summer disappears and the weather gets too cold for grilling you have to give this recipe a try! This dinner is ready in under 20 minutes and according to Better Homes and Gardens is under 320 Calories with only 7 grams of fat. So before you’re switching your menu to comfort foods, enjoy this summer meal.

Grilled Pork and Pineapple

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced into rings
  • 1/2 C yogurt
  • 3 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 1/4 C cashews

Steps:

  1. Season pork with S+P. Grill pork over medium heat for four minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  2. Grill pineapple.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt and marmalade.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.bhg.com/recipe/pork/grilled-pork-and-pineapple/*

Grilled Pork and Pineapple

Guest Post: Grilled Marinated Chicken with Tomato-Fruit Salsa

I am very excited to feature my first guest post on Sew You Think You Can Cook! This post is brought to you on behalf of Hunt’s by Julia. Her recipe is perfect for summer and the grilling season. Enjoy! -Lauren

When I think of summer I think of dinners out on the back porch with food fresh off the grill.   While there will always be a soft spot in my heart for hot dogs and burgers, my favorite grill-able is chicken breast simply because of the huge range of flavor possibilities.  Thanks to the science of marinating, there is a chicken breast for every taste, so preparing a light dinner for a picky family is a snap.

This grilled chicken recipe was a hit for my entire family, including my preteen who has recently become “too cool” to enjoy his mom’s cooking.  The marinade kept the chicken from becoming dry, and the tomato-fruit salsa on top added a unique dimension of flavor that really took the edge off a hot summer night.

Grilled Chicken with Tomato-Fruit Salsa

 Grilled Marinated Chicken with Tomato-Fruit Salsa

 Ingredients for Chicken:

  • 1/4 cup Hunt’s® Tomato Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • PAM® Grilling Spray

Ingredients for Salsa:

  • 1 can (14.5oz each) Hunt’s® Petite Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Steps:

  1. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, honey, soy sauce and garlic in large resealable plastic bag; blend well. Pound chicken with meat mallet to even out thickness for more even cooking. Add chicken to bag; seal. Turn to coat evenly with ketchup marinade. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade.
  3. Combine drained tomatoes, pineapple, onion and cilantro in small bowl; set aside.
  4. Spray cold grill and utensils with grilling spray. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  5. Grill chicken about 10 minutes or until no longer pink in center (165°F), turning once. Serve chicken with salsa.

Pro Tips:

  • If you don’t want to us a grill, this chicken can also be cooked in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  As always with chicken, be sure to cook all the way through until no longer pink in center (165°F).
  • Pineapple can be substituted for other favorite tropical fruits, like mango or papaya (or a combination!)

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Julia S. on behalf of Hunt’s. Visit our site at www.hunts.com to find tomato recipes, chili recipes, and easy meatloaf recipes.

Rosemary Steak and Potatoes

I am not a steak-and-potatoes type of gal. Potatoes? Yes. Steak? No thanks, I’ll pass. But my husband is most definitely a steak-and-potatoes type of guy. In fact, it’s the meal he always gets when we visit his parents.

I was informed that I needed to add more iron to my diet – so that means you’ll see more red meat entrees floating around Sew You Think You Can Cook. I’ve always tried to limit the red meat to once a week, typically in the form of Mexican Monday. And I am guilty of enjoying a burger quite often.

For this recipe, par-boiled potatoes share the skewer with cubes of sirloin and the result is divine. The potatoes end up resembling fries and the marinade is full of flavor. I particularly like the rosemary. Serve these skewers with your favorite vegetable and you’ve got yourself a complete meal!

If you’ve had too much red meat this week, Mom made this recipe using chicken instead of steak and it worked just as beautifully.

Rosemary Steak and Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 2 lb steak, cut into cubes
  • 2 C golden potatoes

Steps:

  1. In a bowl combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, steak seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.
  2. Pour 3/4 C of the marinade over the steak and set in the fridge.
  3. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes, until slightly fork tender. Drain. Pour the rest of the marinade over the potatoes.
  4. Skewer the steak and potatoes. Grill until the steak is cooked to your liking and the potatoes are done.

*This recipe is adapted from Whitney at http://littleleopardbook.com/2013/10/16/rosemary-steak-skewers/*

Rosemary Steak