Thursday, 30 May 2013

BBQ Meat Rub

The weather is warming up and we thankfully had no snow for Victoria Day Weekend.  :)  (always good!!!!)  So BBQ season is definitely going strong.  At our house we have a natural gas bbq that is on a covered deck, so we run it all year long.  LOVE grilling steaks in the middle of winter when everyone else is eating meatloaf...heehee....

But there are lessons to be learned in grilling.....Here is one that David and I have recently discovered.....Meat RUBS!  Apparently this is a very important thing in grilling. This element is sprinkled and massaged into the meat before cooking.  You can "do" the rub early and have the meat "marinating" beforehand if ya like.  And there are as many rub combinations as there are bbq sauces....and we all know how many of those there are!!!  So we have had the opportunity to try out a few different rubs, some too salty, some too hot, too peppery...etc.... but THIS rub!!!!!  THIS RUB is NOT too hot or spicy, or is REALLY GOOD and flavorful.

Rubs are very easy  to make on your own.  No need to buy expensive gourmet ones.  You could easily put together a rub with spices that you have on hand.  The main components to rubs are Sugar, spices, and salt.  We store ours in a mason jar and use as we like on all our meats.

This rub we have used on Beef, Poultry and on Pork.  Sprinkle as you like.  We do a liberal sprinkling and massage it into the meat.  We then cook meat as required and sauce later in the cooking process.

BBQ Meat Rub

What you Need:

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons salt

What you Do:

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Work into the surface of the meat. This rub may be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

 ***If you like some heat add some cayenne pepper....add by 1/4 teaspoons till you reach your desired "hotness"

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Well....the wind is back.....with a vengeance.  It blew off part of the roofs of a couple of businesses in town yesterday, and tons of shingles and branches.  Ugh, wind...takes it outta me.  Thankfully the only damage at our house was a few blown over bedding plants... Whew!

In my previous "before children life", I was a teacher.  I had the privilege of teaching Pre-school, Grade 3 and Kindergarten.  I loved/love teaching and I am so glad that I get to substitute teach occasionally now that my kiddos are getting older.  Anyways....

Grade 3's have to write these summative tests called P.A.T.'s.  Provincial Achievement Tests.  They write them in Language Arts and Math.  There is alot of controversy about these tests and I won't go into detail about my thoughts on them.  They are a requirement right now so why not make them as easy-going as we can.  As a teacher I had juice boxes and cookies for my students and an EXTRA long recess after each test.  The kids looked forward to these rewards for their perseverance.  This year, to help the Parent Council at our school I made some muffins for a Grade 3 class.  My privilege to do so.  Kids and teachers work so hard to reach this point and deserve a little treat.

When it comes to kid-pleasing muffins......Banana Chocolate Chip is the way to go....Let me tell ya.  So I have this version that is pretty perfect in my opinion....and MY kids.  (That's all that matters to me :)) I'll share it with you for anytime kids in your house, school, or neighbourhood need some treats to help them along.....:)

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

adapted from Company's Coming

What you need:

1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
3 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

1 egg
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of oil (I like canola)
3 medium RIPE bananas mashed

In a large bowl, combine  dry ingredients and stir. 

In a medium bowl, add egg and whisk with a fork until frothy, add milk, oil and bananas.  

Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir into batter.  Don't over mix as the muffins will be tough.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins or tin with muffin liners.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 12 - 14 muffins.

So very yummy!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Fudgy Oreo Pops

This past week we have had a veritable heat wave up here in Northern Alberta...and I'm not being sarcastic at all!!  Sunday was plus 30, and this week it has been in the 20's all week.  The best part has been that the wind has been a light breeze...just enough to take the extreme heat off.  So nice!  We've been outside as much as possible. Me - gardening and dying to put in her garden...(not yet.....could snow or freeze yet...) Kids - jumping on trampoline, bike riding, sand box,  my garden..(NO!!!) going to the park.  Hubby - thinking about staining the fence... :)

I've been crackin' out the summer staples such as Sun Tea, Lemonade, grilled EVERYTHING....and of course I gotta please the younguns with some frozen treats.  These Fudgy Oreo Fudgsicles are so yummy!....(yes that is redundant...but worth repeating...) Easy to make and easy on the pocket book too.

So go out and buy some dixie cups and Popsicle sticks and start freezing things people!!!!

Fudgy Oreo Pops
adapted from Kraft Canada

What you Need:

1 box of instant chocolate pudding (4 serving size)
2 cups of milk
1 cup pre-made, thawed whipped topping (CoolWhip)
8 Oreo cookies crushed

What you Do:

1.  In a medium bowl whisk together pudding mix and milk.  Whisk for 2 minutes until thickened.  

2.  Stir in Whipped topping and crushed cookies. 

3.  Pour into popsicle molds or dixie cups. Add sticks and freeze for 5 hrs.  

Makes 9 dixie cups pops.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My Herb Garden!

The first of May means one thing to me.....The day that the Greenhouses in my area OPEN!!!!!!  I have been truly looking forward to this day for a while.  So this afternoon I packed up the kiddos and headed out to Riverside Greenhouses on the GoodFare Road.  I was SOOOOO EXCITED!  The boys love to run up and down the greenhouse aisles and check out all the flowers all the while chasing the puppy "Remy".  Ok, my youngest called him "Remy the Rat" after Ratatouille....  Poor fluffy puppy....:)

Anyways, OF COURSE I GOT CARRIED AWAY!!!  Today's trip was just for a few herbs and maybe a hanging basket....Well, I LOADED UP!  On HERBS!  I got lots of basil, some rosemary, chives, spearmint, thyme and flat leafed Parsley!  So excited to use these herbs throughout the summer months in my cooking.  Our favorite use for herbs....Bruschetta!!!!!  LOVE IT! 

My little indoor garden:  nice sunlight and out of the way of the boys!  In about a month I'll move things outdoors!!

I did pick out a hanging flower basket that will liven up the front door.  On the weekend we will head out with Daddy to pick out a couple of beefsteak tomatoes (to go along with my plethora of cherry tomatoes)  and some flowers for our front flower bed....I LOVE SPRING!!!

I may have gone a bit overboard with the chives.....