Adventures in smoking…

I had a great day playing with my new Camp Chef smoker today.After performing the initial burn in. I set a couple of small pork shoulder roasts in.

Camp Chef Smoke Pro DLX

After smoking the roasts to 160, I foiled them and placed two meatloaf in the smoker.

They turned out pretty good, don’t you think?

Change in diet…

I’Healthy Saladve had to take a turn towards the extra healthy. Doc’s orders 😉 So I’ve laid off carbs and most fatty things and have instead gone to dinners like this… Superfood salad, chicken on the side, bit of eggs, mushrooms and fat free dressing. I’m also going to start adding sprouts (home sprouted) to the diet.

Cast Iron Dutch Oven <3

Lately, I’ve been really loving cast iron. I have a skillet and a couple mini skillets (for puff pancakes for example). I have been waiting for a good deal on a dutch oven and today I ran across this smoking hot deal and immediately ordered one. Lodge Logic is the best and this one has a lid which doubles as a  skillet. I can’t wait to get it! I might make some bread in it right away.

Get your Lodge Double Dutch Oven here! 🙂

Shawarma Rice for my wife’s birthday!

On my recent trip to Thailand and the Philippines I became a total addict for SSC (Shawarma Snack Center) shwarma rice plate. So much so, that I did a very unusual thing and had it every night for dinner for a week! Well, I came home and after a month, had a craving to eat it again. Knowing that I didn’t have a proper shawarma (swarma) grill, I looked for a good recipe that explained how to make it and found a good one here. Although I’ve never made it before, I had a very good idea of what I was looking for, so I made a few adaptations to the recipe.

A couple things I did was to score the beef at half inch intervals. I then flipped it over and scored the other side in half inch intervals alternating with the cuts I made on the first side. I went about 80% through the meat, so as not to have it all fall apart on me. That allowed me to massage the marinade into the meat and cover more surface area. I allowed the marinade to work in for a day before cooking. Once it was ready, I used both cooking techniques, baking it sealed in foil first, then cutting it and grilling it with thinly sliced onion.

I discovered orzo (how could I miss it all these years!) and made the pilaf and served it as pictured below.

shawarma shwara rice plate

Ken’s beef shawarma rice plate

It came out really well and everyone enjoyed it. The next time I make it, I’m going to probably under cook it during the baking process and allow myself more time on the grill.

After dinner, we had birthday cake and my daughter caught my wife on camera in a rare moment, as she’s usually camera shy and only manages a mona lisa smile for me 🙂

Happy Birthday!

I hope your holiday plans are coming along and that you have a wonderful Christmas season!


November update

Hi friends!

It’s been a while since our last update and I just wanted to throw a quick post up on the blog. I finally got back from my last trip to Asia. I spent over five weeks in Thailand and the Philippines and had a chance to eat all my favorite foods (repeatedly! :D).

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, we’re all prepared for the extended family and a few guests to show up at our humble home for some potluck goodness. This year we’re cooking two seventeen pound turkeys. Thirty-four pounds of turkey for roughly thirty people. There should be a bit of leftovers this year (I hope!).

This year, I’m thankful for many things. Family, my wife, my two wonderful daughters, the safety and security of our home, traveling and coming back in one piece, the opportunity to share my experiences in our blogs and financial stability (if not prosperity). I’m thankful for my readers and especially for your encouraging comments, on Facebook, YouTube, and on the blogs.

May the remainder of the year, and the year to come be terrific terrific for you.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

I lost count of how much bread I’ve made this week, for each of the extended family dinners, for presents, and just plain eating 🙂 It’s been a joy, though, to make each and every loaf and bun and muffin. I’m a true believer in the notion that food can be an expression of love. With that in mind, much love to everyone this Christmas. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then Happy Holidays to you and yours, and to all: May this season be filled with goodness and cheer!

I just made some whole wheat bread.

I saw this whole wheat bread mix at the store today and couldn’t resist, Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat. I popped it into the Zojirushi bread maker, and it came out great.

I haven’t made too many loaves from mixes. This is my third loaf I’m pretty sure, but I really like the way the loaf came out. Lots of flavor, nice texture, great to eat.

Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Bread baked in my Zojirushi BB-CEC20

7-11 Fried Chicken with Sticky Rice vs. Tamnanthai Fried Chicken with Sticky Rice!

A few days after I ate at Tamnanthai (report HERE), I saw the fried chicken and sticky rice at a 7-11 for twenty or twenty-five baht. I figured I already knew who would win, but what I wanted to know was by how much! With the package in my hands, I took it to the register and asked them to heat it up as I pulled a green 20 and a silver 5 baht coin out of my pocket. Continue reading

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