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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer time, and the livin' is easy

Quick side note...we have a family blog, and for the first year I blogged, all my titles were either song names, or lyrics.  I guess I'm in the mind set...

I can't believe that next week will be the 2nd full week of July.  Where is the summer going?  Oh wait, now I remember: family visitors, summer camp, and next week family vacation.  This is Jo's and my first summer blogging, and heard about the "summer effect" and WOW time does get away from us, doesn't it?

So, now that 4th of July is over, what else do you have planned?  My family (Shelley) lives overseas, and we just had one of my very best friends and her husband visit sans kids.  It was SO much fun.  I was very thankful my kids were in day camp, and that our babysitter wasn't on holiday yet.  This is one reason I have been slightly absent from the blog.  Thank goodness I have Jo as a sister to pick up my slack (I'm guessing this sentence will come and bite me back one day...don't worry Jo, it's probably the lack of sleeping that is impairing my judgment LOL).

During the past 10 days we did A LOT of BBQing.  I know that we may be beating a dead horse, but it is the summer, and in between all our vacations and outings, I believe you are also BBQing.  I'm going to share with you some of our favorites that we stuffed ourselves with over the past 10 days (and yes, Mags, my diet suffered considerably.  How much did you gain?).  Don't forget to go back and visit where we talked about my FAVORITE rib recipe and of course, what BBQ is complete without margaritas?

Besides the aforementioned, we had burgers, steaks, shredded pork sandwiches, and tried some new beverage recipes.

The great thing about having this new blog and great friends, is that I get to try new recipes and have people who are completely honest to let me know if we should share it with you all!  We tried the below burgers and they were FAN.TAS.TIC!


Raspberry-Chipotle BBQ Burgers

1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes (canned)
1 T chipotle sauce (See link to your left)
2 T white vinegar
2 lbs ground meat (beef, pork or turkey)
1/4 cup minced garlic (save your arm, and buy the jarred stuff)
1 t chipotle pepper or 1 T chipotle sauce
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
2 t kosher salt
2 red onions, sliced

1.  For sauce, in a saucepan, combine raspberry jam, barbecue sauce, crushed tomaotes, chipotle sauce and white vinegar.  Cook over medium to low heat until reduced by half.  In a large bowl, combine your meat of choice with garlic chipotle pepper, cumin, coriander and salt.  Shape into patties.

2.  Grill burgers to desired doneness (I like medium...Jo likes burnt).  Turn only once (flipping your burgers more than that causes tough patties).  Serve burgers on buns with sauce and onions.


Another confession, I only grill rib-eye steak and I always marinade!  Try this marinade next time you grill, and I promise you won't be disappointed...

In a zip lock bag, combine 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup red wine, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 t coarse-ground pepper, 1/2 t of salt, 1/2 t of Dijon mustard and a dash of lemon pepper.  Depending on how many steaks you grill you may need to double or more.  Seal the bag, and shake to combine.  Add your steaks and refrigerate at least an hour.  I always place our steaks in the fridge in the morning, for dinner time.

Savvy Tip:  If you have leftovers, slice the steak, and heat up on the stove with bell peppers and onions (use the frozen bags) and have fajitas the next day for lunch or dinner (or breakfast LOL)!

Shredded Pork 


7 pound pork shoulder roast trimmed of any excess skin and fat (I use a pork tenderloin so I don't have to trim it) 
3 T chili powder
1 1/2 t salt
1 t freshly ground pepper 
1 large onion, sliced
4 minced garlic cloves
3 cups (separated) of your favorite BBQ sauce

1.  In a small bowl, combine chili powder, salt, and freshly ground pepper.  Rub mixture all over pork roast until thoroughly coated.  Place sliced onion and minced garlic cloves in bottom of a slow cooker, then add roast and 1 cup barbecue sauce.  Pour water over roast until covered, about 4 cups.

2.  Cover slow cooker and cook pork on high until very tender and meat falls off bone, about 6 hours.  Carefully remove pork from slow cooker and reserve on a platter. Strain cooking liquid into sink, reserve onion; return pork and onion to slow cooker; shred meat with a fork and add 2 more cups of barbeque sauce.  Cook on high until heated, about 8 minutes.
Savvy Tips:  Use disposable crock pot liner.  Use pork tenderloin.  Liberally sprinkle all sides of meat with chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Use jarred garlic.  I like sweet barbecue sauce, so when I don't make my own, I try and find one with brown sugar in it.


Before you all think all I drink is margaritas (sometimes I drink strawberry margaritas), I'm going to share this super refreshing raspberry tea recipe!

5 cups water
6 raspberry tea bags
1 6oz can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
Ice cubes
Limes slice (optional)
fresh raspberries (optional)

1.  In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add tea bags.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Remove and discard tea bags.  Cool tea.  Transfer to a pitcher.  Cover and chill for a couple hours.

2.  Stir limeade concentrate into teas.  Fill glasses with ice, and garnish with fresh fruit.

Savvy Tip:  Up until last month, I RELIGIOUSLY used my Mr. Coffee Iced-Tea maker.  This is a MUST if you miss the great sweet tea of the south (which my DH and I do).  Putting it away one day, I drop and cracked the plastic pitcher.  So, if you don't have the maker, follow the above directions.  If you are fortunate to own the iced-tea maker, or are now inspired to purchase one (see the link to the left), just add the raspberry tea bags to the maker, and it brews your tea in minutes.  (Jo, my b-day is coming up, want to get me a replacement pitcher? LOL...or maybe Mikey can!)

Stay tuned, as we are going to post about my favorite party of the year, my family's Christmas in July party, back-to-school and more!

1 comment:

  1. I put my teabags in my coffee maker filter, run the water thru.. and hot tea in minutes! Perfect.. don't have to buy an iced tea maker!!


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