Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pancake mix

I do not like making pancakes from the pancake mix box. Jen likes it because it's quick and easy but I am not big fan because making pancakes from scratch there so much more flavor than from the box. I was making a breakfast dinner for the girls tonight and I would not in the mood to make pancakes and scratch so I decided to pull the good old box of pancake mix out. Instead of just using the 2 cups mix and 1 1/3 cups water I also added a teaspoon coconut extract and a tablespoon of sugar into the mix. I did not have vanilla or almond extract so the closest extract I had was coconut and it turned out not to be that bad at all. So the next time you do not feel like making pancakes from scratch and you have the box of Mrs. Butterworth's pancake mix Sitting on the shelf I would recommend adding a little sugar and your favorite kind of extract to the mix and your pancakes will turn out better than you expect.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Record Breaking Heat=Grilling

The Hall's Grilling Meal

Today's high is 107 degrees in Lafayette, so the last thing I am thinking about doing is heating up the house by turning on the oven or even the stove top. Yesterday's high was about the same, so I picked up pizza, again to ward off turning on the oven. Unlike some of my friends and their family, my family cannot eat consecutive nights of pizza anymore. I wish it would be that easy, but my girls enjoy whining and more pizza would give them an excuse to whine. So grilling it is!
I bought some sweet corn from a local farmer and had half of the cobs a couple of nights earlier. I do not like wasting anything, but especially not fresh sweet corn. so I knew I would be grilling the sweet corn to go along with the meal. I was looking for some ideas and did a google search for some grilling ideas and grilled asparagus came up. My wife and I both love asparagus so I figure, why not and added that to the meal. Jen mentioned grilled chicken as she was thinking about things to eat so I clicked on the grilled chicken breast link and it brought me to a recipe through it is titled Jenny's Grilled Chicken Breasts. I quickly read through the ingredients and directions and the only thing I needed to buy was the chicken, so I added this chicken dish to the meal and the main course was complete. Now what about dessert???? Grilled peaches will go great with the main dish, so the grilling meal was set and now it is time to brave the heat and start up the grill!

That was the best meal I have made/ate in quite a while! The chicken was most and the lemon flavor did not overpower the chicken. I was a little apprehensive about making the lemon chicken because I find the lemon takes over the dish, but the lemon was a nice backdrop to the chicken. I am assuming because you just dip the chicken in the lemon juice and you do not let it soak causes the lemon not to take over. The sweet corn was as good as it always is fresh out of the field. Also, I forgot how much I like grilled asparagus over the standard boil. The sea salt I used really brought out the flavoring of the asparagus.

The topper to the meal was the grilled peaches. I have made grilled peaches before, but I usually just split them in half and put it on the grill. The way I did it tonight, with adding the brown sugar and Cinnamon, made it that much better.

Grades are an A+ all around
(sorry that the pictures do not look that great because our camera is out of town.)

Jenny's Grilled Chicken Breasts

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • seasoning salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
  2. Dip chicken in lemon juice, and sprinkle with the onion powder, ground black pepper, seasoning salt and parsley. Discard any remaining lemon juice.
  3. Cook on the prepared grill 10 to 15 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob

  • corn still in the husk
  1. Soak the corn in water for about 30 minutes before placing on the grill.
  2. Preheat the grill to high, then turn down to medium. Place the corn over the preheated grill.
  3. The amount of time will very, but I turn it ever 10 minutes to make sure it is heating evenly on all sides. I open one husk up to test for doneness. If it still needs more time, simply place the husk back up and continue grilling. Do not worry if the outside looks chard, the corn will still taste great.
  4. After the corn is done, take it off of the grill. When you take the husk off of the corn, you will notice everything comes off much easier then when you take the husk off before it is cooked.

Grilled Asparagus

  • 1 pound asparagus (estimate 1/4 pound per person), thick spears
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  1. Preheat your grill for high, direct heat.

  2. Prepare the asparagus by breaking or cutting off any tough bottom ends (can save for stock, or discard). Place the asparagus in a pan (to contain the spears while you put them on and take them off the grill). Coat them with olive oil and sprinkle salt over them.

  3. Grill the asparagus spears for 5-10 minutes, until nicely charred and just fork tender, turning them every few minutes so that they brown relatively evenly.

    Remove from grill and serve.

Grilled Peaches


  • 2 Tbsp Sucanat or Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 4 Fresh Peaches, washed
  • Grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
  1. Slice peaches in half and remove the pit.
  2. Brush all sides of the peaches with the oil and place in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Add the sugar mixture to the peaches and gently toss until peaches are coated.
  5. Let sit at room temperature for 20-60 minutes.
  6. Cook cut side down on a hot grill for 5 minutes or until the peach has pretty grill marks.
  7. Turn the peaches over and grill on medium high for 10-15 minutes or until the fruit is tender. Top with more sugar and cinnamon if desired.

Anna ate and ate..... her chicken!

Emily looked a little surprised with having her picture taken

I think Lucy looks a little like Lucifer in this picture.

Sarah trying to cram the entire piece of chicken into her mouth at once.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Red/White/Blue rice krispy treats

I got this idea from Pinterest and decided to try it out this fourth of July. It was relatively easy.

6 cups of rice krispies
3 Tbs butter
package of marshmellows
red/blue food coloring

Separate your ingredients into three equal groups. I like to microwave my marshmallows because it’s easier. I stick them in for a few minutes or until they start to get big and almost touch the top of the microwave. Take them out, stir well and add the food coloring. Then add the 2 cups of Rice Krispies and stir well. Press into well greased 9×13 or 9×9 depending on the thickness of your treats. I wanted mine more thick so I used a 9×9.
Do this for all 3 layers starting with the blue, then white and then red. Pat down all layers really well using wax paper.