Friday Recipe Exchange: Lots of Kabobs

Kabobs

Happy Labor Day weekend. This will be a quick exchange before I run out the door. Oh, I’m not going anywhere for the weekend, we’re still working on potty training with Bixby. LOL. His latest update is here.

I decided on shish kabobs for the recipe exchange because they are a favorite for large get-togethers. I can prepare them a day ahead and then pop them on the grill when guests arrive. They cook up quick and everyone can get theirs cooked to their idea of perfection. And if you’re lucky and everyone is staying at your house, you can form an assembly line to put them together.

Pictured above is one of my go-to skewers, easy marinade and simple to assemble for a small family dinner or a big get-together. It’s equal parts vegetable oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, and toss in some crushed garlic cloves. Mix together and marinate cubed pieces of steak (sirloin works well) for at least an hour or overnight. I remove the steak pieces from the marinade and then toss the veggies with the marinade quickly before alternating meat, vegetables and pineapple chunks on skewers. The ones above really need some cherry tomatoes, too. Grill over high heat, turning frequently until steak is cooked to desired style.

Some other fun food on a stick:

Fajita Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs can be found here.

Grilled Chicken and Papaya Skewers are here.

Lamb Kabobs recipe is here.

And a variety of other Marinades can be found here, to create any number of skewers to grill.

What’s on your plate for the weekend? Grilling anything tasty?

For tonight’s featured recipe, I thought it would be fun to make sure dessert was included in the mix.

Spicy Fruit Kabobs

You can substitute or add any fresh fruit you’d like in this recipe. 

  • 1 cantaloupe or honeydew melon, seeded
  • 2 pears, cored
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 2 bananas, peeled & quartered
  • 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water
  • ½ cup warmed honey
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup limejuice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • 1 to 2 tsp chili paste

13×9 glass baking dish, blender

Cut fruit into large chunks, alternate fruit on skewers, ending with banana chunks to hold fruit in place. Place in baking dish. Blend together honey, water, lime, jalapeno & chili paste until smooth. Pour over fruit. Let set during dinner (approximately 30 minutes at room temperature. Grill over low coals 5-7 minutes, basting with marinade. Serve immediately.

Banana Split Kabobs

(serves 4)

  • 12 fresh large strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 bananas, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 12 fresh pineapple chunks
  • pound cake, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • chocolate syrup
  • shredded, unsweetened coconut

4 long bamboo skewers, 4 dessert plates

Roll strawberries in sugar, coating lightly. Alternate fruit and cake on the skewers. Place on plates and drizzle with chocolate syrup and garnish with coconut. Serve with additional syrup for dipping if desired.

That’s it for this week. Have a safe and fun holiday weekend.  – TaMara

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Thursday Night Menu: End of Summer Edition

Homer and his pretty red cast

September is Disaster preparedness month. Are you prepared? I used to be a Disaster Relief Coordinator, so I’m a little preachy on this subject. I’ve been in hurricanes, earthquakes, 3-day blizzards and spent many a stormy night in the basement during tornado warnings. I’ve helped more people than I can count after home fires. And one week it was a broken water main, leaving me scrambling to figure out how to get fresh water to us, three Great Danes, 2 cats and a duck. These are all things made a bit easier if you have some type of plan in place.

In other news, we have a new blog mascot, a kitten who has seen some hard times. His name is Homer and he now resides at the home of JeffW and Mrs. J in a pretty red cast and with a total look of trouble in his eyes. If you can look at the pictures without saying “aaaaahhhh” then you are made of stronger stuff than I am.

I thought we’d send summer out with a bang and do a spicy grilled mix and some fruit cobbler. I am a summer worshiper and I mourn its passing. Let’s have a moment of silen…okay, done now. Bring on the fall foods!

On the board tonight:

  1. Fajita Chicken & Vegetable Kabobs
  2. Black Beans
  3. Rice
  4. Fruit Cobbler

Fajita Chicken & Vegetable Kabobs

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp fajita seasoning

bowl

In bowl, mix together 1 tbsp oil, garlic, salt, pepper, & 1 tbsp fajita seasoning, add chicken and toss, coating chicken well.

Cut all vegetables into large chunks (about 8 pieces each):

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp fajita seasoning
  • 1 cup fresh salsa

4 metal skewers and bowl

In bowl, combine vegetables with oil, vinegar, garlic, 1 tbsp fajita seasoning and toss gently to coat well. Assemble onto skewers with chicken, using tomato chunks as first and last item (keeps everything else in place).  Grill, turning frequently until chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overcook.

Black beans

To liven up black beans, add a dash of lime juice, some chopped cilantro and a bit of cayenne or chili powder.

Fruit Cobbler

  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 16 oz fresh fruit (peaches, berries, apples or a combination, whatever is best available in your area)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

8X8 baking dish, bowl

In 350° oven, melt butter in baking dish. In bowl, sift together flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder & salt. Add milk & egg, whisk to form a smooth batter. Pour into baking dish (don’t stir butter in). Scatter fruit evenly over the top of the batter and sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until fruit bubbles and batter is golden brown.

Shopping List:

  • 12 to 16 oz can black beans
  • 1 cup dry rice
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • fajita seasoning
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 8 oz fresh salsa
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 oz milk
  • 1 egg
  • 16 oz fresh fruit (peaches, berries, apples or a combination, whatever is best available in your area)

Also: oil, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, baking powder

Chicken Somethings

Been busy last few days, mowing everyday, battling the heat.  We got the first real batch of tomatoes in, noticed several ripe and ready as I mowed around the garden.  Mrs J collected a bucket full-we juiced the lot and have it reducing on the stove now.  Some herbs and garlic in there.  It’ll simmer for a good while, smells great already.

Thawed some chicken breasts and was ready to do something fancy, was thinking feta stuffed breasts last night as I took them out of the freezer.  Alas, lazy kicked in hard after mowing and juicing the tomatoes.  I ended up just pounding the breasts flat and dredging them in flour.  Fried them up in some butter and olive oil.  Still wasn’t quite sure what to do with them until I noticed the fajita seasonings in the cupboard.  That made my mind up.  Sliced some bell pepper and onion, warmed a few tortillas and there they were.  Mmm…good stuff, too.

Enjoy!

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Leftovers

Ever notice that leftovers are often better the next day?  And sometimes they aren’t?  Soups and stews come to mind as probable “better the next day” candidates.  The “not better the next day” candidates would have include to any recipe that has crisp veggies in it as a selling point.  I love salads but lettuce of any description rarely survives overnight after being exposed to a dressing.  Broccoli that is crisp and inviting in a stir fry loses much of its allure when reheated.  I could go on and on and I’m sure you have your favorite entries into both categories.  But I’m blathering on.  Really only wanted an opportunity to post a picture.  Did a little experimentation with the media uploading software-prompted by differences in the sizes of displayed photos.  I think I have divined why the software has forced me to insert the pictures in the “medium” size lest lest posting them in the “large”  or “original” sizes blow out the margins.  Let’s see if I’m right:

Ta Da!

I note that the onions and peppers in the fajita filling suffered from storage but the pineapple salsa seems OK although not as brightly colorful as when fresher.

Chicken Fajita on a Pita

I messed up and left some chicken parts out overnight, figured I could salvage them if I gave them a good long boil.  Boned the chicken quarters and froze the meat, also froze the boneless breasts save one that I left out for these fajitas.  Sliced the breast and warmed it in some oil with chili powder.  Earlier I made some ancho sauce so it was ready to mix in with some sour cream.  Diced the last of my peppers, some red and green onions.  Opened a can of jalapeno slices.  It all looked ready to go, called Mrs J in for lunch.  She’s not a fan of jalapenos, too bad for her.  Just the facts ma’am. /Sgt. Friday

Enjoy!

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Welcome Back

I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to take up the recipe task yet.  I seem to have been cooking non-stop for the last two weeks.  Last night I made my last Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, and did something a bit different.  I made a full batch of the cake part of the recipe and a half recipe of the cranberry filling and a half recipe of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake filling (which was by request – hard to turn down a, “my favorite cake is…” comment).  Very easy to do and a nice change of pace.  And really made me a hero today.

When I went grocery shopping this weekend, I found myself drawn to a theme: lime, cilantro, corn tortillas, pico de gallo (the spice, not the salsa) and pineapple.  I’m thinking I’ll be making chicken tacos at some point and maybe fajitas later in the week.  Usually when I shop, I’ve already planned out my meals for the week, but couldn’t face it this weekend, so it should be fun to see what I can make from the mish-mash of ingredients I purchased.  Always better to shop with meals in mind, but this could be fun, too.

This week will probably continue to be light in posts as we all recover from the holidays and next week I’ll begin in earnest on our series and tips.  But I’ll post a couple of light recipes this week and a friend’s recipe for baked eggs.  Until then….

Fajita Steak Salad

Here’s a  secret to make this an easy, tasty, hot day salad.  Mix marinade, add meat and freeze until you are going to do some grilling.  Thaw, add peppers to marinade, let marinate 30 minutes, then grill along with your other meal, let cool and slice into strips and refrigerate.  They will refrigerate for up to 3 days.  When you’re ready to make the salad, the meat and peppers are already cooked up, sliced and ready to go.  Quick and easy for a hot summer night.

Fajita Steak Salad:

  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup limejuice
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 lb sirloin
  • 1 ea. Red, yellow & green peppers, quartered
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced in rings
  • 12 oz spring greens or 1 head leaf lettuce

serving bowl

zip-lock bag

Mix together garlic, limejuice & cumin.  Set aside 3 tbsp.  Combine remaining marinade, sirloin and peppers and marinade overnight.  Mix together the 3 tbsp of marinade with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, mixing dressing well and refrigerate until served.  Remove steak & pepper from marinade and grill steak for 3 to 5 minutes each side for rare, grill peppers, turning frequently, careful not to burn them.  Remove to a plate, let cool slightly while adding onions and greens to serving bowl.  Cut steak & peppers into strips, add to salad and toss with dressing.