Previous month:
May 2018
Next month:
July 2018

June 2018

Meal planning from the grill

By Mike Thayer

Meal planning, especially when grilling, is kind of like a game of checkers or chess - you need to be thinking a couple moves ahead.

There's meal planning for the moment - tonight's dinner - and there's meal planning for future meals. 

Batch Grilling
Multiple meals, chicken, hot dogs, a chop, skirt steak, meatballs

When you're making dinner, think beyond the meal you're about to enjoy and knowing you need to put chicken on before the steak.  When I'm talking meal planning, I'm talking about grilling more than you'll need for dinner, grill up multiple meals!    Think about lunch the next day, leftovers for the fridge, future meals in the freezer.   You're already prepped and ready to grill tonight's dinner, so take advantage of that charcoal heat, think a couple moves ahead.  Doing little things like taking a couple pounds of hamburger out and making some patties to grill up along with that chicken or steak for dinner is meal planning for future lunch and dinner.  Had a busy Monday and don't feel like fixing a big meal?  No problem, cheese burgers it is!

Another way to meal plan is to prep a bunch of meals for the coming week. I love to grill, so on my days off from work, you'll probably find me lighting the charcoal, not for just one meal, but several. I don't just grill a few things, I grill in big batches, why not, the charcoal is hot! I'll grill up chicken done a couple of ways, some pork chops done in different marinades, a few burgers, perhaps some fish.... Some of that will go in the freezer as a base for future meals, some of that will go in the fridge for the upcoming week.

A good way to meal plan and also keep variety in your lunches and dinners is to just alternate your days with different proteins. What do you feel like, beef, chicken, pork or fish? Start off with what hits you first, then alternate, pairing proteins up with a complimentary veggie. Grilled chicken and broccoli, pork chops and asparagus, steak and mushrooms, fish and green beans.... There, boom, four meals!

This isn't for everyone, but I have a white board in my kitchen, for menus and a grocery list. The point here though, is to jot ideas down.

Look in the freezer, peak in the fridge, check out your pantry and see what you have. Start writing it down in meal planning fashion, if you don't do this kind of thing already, you'll see how really easy it starts to flow - it's easier to craft a shopping list this way too! It's thinking a few moves ahead - checkmate!

When you don't have off-the-shelf fajita seasoning on hand

By Mike Thayer

Mike's Fajita Seasonin
Mike's Fajita Seasoning

Here's a great little fajita seasoning you can quickly put together if you find yourself without an off-the-shelfer in your cabinet....

  • 1-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

This will be more than enough to season about two pounds of flank steak or whatever cut of meat you've chose to use for your fajitas.  Bottle the rest for later use!

And if you haven't already enjoyed my Flank Steak Fajita recipe, here 'ya go!

It's the second recipe on the page.  It's another dose of YUM!


Food Review: Cookies Flavor Enhancer

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Cookies Flavor EnhancerMy go to off-the-shelf rub and all-purpose seasoning is Cookies Flavor Enhancer. It’s a great all purpose seasoning, does justice on a variety of meats and heck, it’s even good mixed with a little mayonnaise for a bologna sandwich.

The promo on the bottle is no lie, it's great on pork, beef, chicken, seafood, baked potatoes, spaghetti, chili, eggs, wild game and more!  It truly is, I've tried it on all the above and why I always have a bottle of the stuff on hand.

It goes beyond that too, shake some on lettuce salad.  Combine Cookies with some olive oil for a marinade.  Want to give those french fries a bit of a kick?.....  Cookies.....

The flavors in this mix are simple but balanced and when I say simple, simple is a very good thing.  Sometimes a person can over-complicate flavors by doing/adding too much.  Cookies is very nicely done with a combination of salt, pepper , garlic, chili powder, meat tenderizer and red pepper.  The mix literally enhances flavors just like the name implies.

Cookies Flavor Enhancer gets five out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars, it's priced right at just over $3 for an eight ounce bottle and in my opinion is the best all-purpose seasoning out there.

5 stars