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Play Ball! Opening Day Menu

I am traveling, again. Taking both dogs with me, which should be…interesting. I’ve actually never taken a car trip with two (or three when I had them) Danes. Although, when I purchased my car, that was the one of the requirements. Hold two Danes. Wish me luck!

I thought I would leave you with a little something since today is the best day. OPENING DAY!!

Here’s a little baseball trivia for you: The Colorado Rockies Mascot is an anthropomorphic purple triceratops named Dinger. Do you know why? (Answer at the bottom of the post).

Here’s my traditional opening day menu to bring the ballpark to your house. I tried to be as authentic as I could with each dog. Personally, I would grill any of mine, authentic or not. I was lucky enough to have my friends spoil me with authentic Fenway Franks (grilled) and buns while I was back east. They were as good as I remember them. My all time favorite though is the Italian Sausage with grilled peppers. Here in Colorado you can’t swing a metaphorical cat without hitting a brewery (even our Governor is a former brew master), so we have plenty of great choices for a cold brew. Okay, PLAY BALL!!

On the board today:

Pick Favorite (recipes below):

  • Fenway Franks
  • Boston Dogs
  • New York Dawg
  • Italian Sausage w/peppers
  • Denver Dogs
  • Dodger Dogs (adults only)

Vinegar & Salt chips (if you can find them, Cape Cod chips are excellent)

Raw Vegetable Tray (hey it can’t all be junk food)

Pick one:

  • Ice cream in dipped cones
  • Cracker Jacks
  • Popcorn
  • Peanuts in shells
  • Lemonade
  • Favorite Ice Cold Brew

Fenway Franks

The closest I can find to these are to use Ball Park Brand Franks. The secret to these tasty franks is to bring the water to a boil, then add the franks and let them cook until just heated through. If you can find them, authentic Fenway franks are served in white bread sliced rolls (these look like two bun size slices of white bread, joined together at the bottom and sliced open at the top). If not, regular buns will do. Mustard only, please …though I like them plain.

Boston Dogs

Follow in the instructions above and add hot chili and shredded cheddar.

New York Dawg

Follow the instructions for Fenway Franks and add sauerkraut.

Denver Dogs

Split your dog lengthwise, but not all the way through. Flatten on hot grill, keep the rack far from the flame, don’t let them burn, flip and grill the other side. Brush rolls with melted butter and a touch of garlic, toast on the grill. Bring bun & dog together, top with relish or spicy brown mustard.

Dodger Dogs (Adults ONLY)

Get a can or bottle of your favorite beer, take your dogs and use a fork to poke holes around the dogs. In a large, shallow bowl, add dogs & beer and let soak 30 minutes. Now, this is a two-step process for authentic dogs, but if you want, you can skip the boiling part. Bring water to a boil, drop dogs in for 3 to 5 minutes, remove and immediately pop onto a hot grill and grill all sides. Serve in warm rolls, top with spicy beer mustard or relish.

Italian Sausage w/Peppers

Spicy Italian sausage or bratwurst grilled or pan-fried. These are thick, so make sure you cook them long enough to cook completely through (follow pkg. directions) Slice a green pepper in rings and sauté in butter & olive oil. Toast regular hot dog bun in skillet or on grill, add sausage and top with peppers.

Ice Cream in Dipped Cones

  • 4 waffle cones
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 oz package chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream

In a double-boiler (or a saucepan with a Pyrex or metal bowl place on top), add water to the bottom and melt chocolate & butter. Dip top of cones into melted chocolate, then dip immediately into sprinkles. Let cool completely, scoop in ice cream and top with remaining sprinkles

Why is the Colorado Rockies mascot a dinosaur? Because when they were excavating the stadium – they found a triceratops skull.  Not the first time around there – this past summer they found one near my old house.

Okay, I’m off. Wish  me luck.



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Sammich Pr0n – Bean Dogs

Tidbits

Mmm… sloppy joe with giardiniera and a side of chips.  Those are Utz salt ‘n vinegar flavored chips.  Amazon had a deal on them for Prime members, alas the deal has moved on. [ETA:  They’re back in stock!]Mrs J sent me this pic of Toby at the vet’s office.  He tangled with a feral cat and got a bite on his tail that abcessed.  He’s fine now.Gabe waits by the door with Homer keeping him company.  Mrs J has just left for the vet with Toby.  She told Gabe he wasn’t going but he hoped she would change her mind.Franks with beans on the side.Franks with beans on the top.Mmm… gumbo!  This recipe came up first with a Google search and it looked pretty good.  I took my usual liberties with the ingredients, crawdads for the shrimp, and chicken because I like chicken.  I used a small can of tomato paste and added four fresh ripe tomatoes sans their skins.  It does have andouille sausage.Ribs and fries.  I need to work on my presentation – the half slab doesn’t look “ribby” enough.Here’s a fresh loaf in a plastic bag.  Do you tie?  I often use small office binder clips if the loaf is going into the freezer but the twist and tuck under is the way I go if the bread is going to be used that day.Gabe likes to climb on my lap to be reassured Mrs J will come back home.

Tidbits

img_09931600x1200Here’s a photo from the archives.  I like the symmetry.20161112_1654231600x1200Kroger had a sale on strip steaks.  They needed some trimming but were still a pretty good value.  I did this sous vide, setting the water bath to 130 degrees for a couple of hours.  They finished in a smoking hot cast iron skillet in olive oil and butter, deglazed with white wine and chives for a simple pan sauce.20161115_1204201600x1200Sloppy joes for lunch the other day.  This one has American cheese and a few dill pickles.  The potato salad looks like it has the traditional dusting of paprika but it’s really Creole seasoning.  It adds a bit of a tang to it.20161111_163233-1600x1200BBQ chicken!  I’ve taken to cooking these leg quarters in the toaster oven using the slo-cook setting.  I did this on the high setting for two hours, no particular reason to choose that time – it’s the default for the high setting.  Set it to low and the default is four hours.20161116_0824161600x1200I snapped this one of Bitsy lounging atop the sofa, prompted by the play of sunlight through the slots of the vertical blinds.  It seemed like a candidate for the Prisma treatment:img_20161116_082932_processed

20161114_1131091600x1200Hot dogs!  I’m not sure how long these buns have been offered but I’m liking the slit on top rather than on the side.  These are Pepperidge Farms brand.20161115_1712191600x1200I’ll wrap up with some soup. This one uses the broccoli left over from that steak dinner, a bit of smoked pork, rice, and three kinds of cheese in chicken stock and milk.

Sammich Pr0n – Chili Cheese Dogs

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Sammich Pr0n – Chili Cheese Dogs

DSC_1903 (1600x1060)I used the King Arthur bun recipe for these, the recipe is great but my bun-fu is still weak.  I have another batch working right now, I’ll do it divided 12 ways rather than 16, most of the buns in this first batch are a bit skinny but I did manage to find a few that were just right.20160312_121325[1] (1600x1060)

Sammich Pron

DSC_0756 (1600x1060)I made a batch of dough the other day and tried to form soft baguettes and they came out looking more like long hot dog buns than anything.  Only one thing to do with them!  There are actually two dogs in there, placed end to end.DSC_0738 (1600x1060)My dough-fu is weak.  I have a couple of these thawing for garlic toast later today.DSC_0736 (1600x1060)I roasted a chicken and used the leftovers for soup.  The grilled sammich has ham, a scrambled egg, and some mozzarella that was bought fresh for a pizza and really needed to be used up.  Not my first choice for a grilled cheese sammich but it wasn’t bad.DSC_0742 (1600x1060)Here’s a bacon cheeseburger with a few of those refrigerator pickles.  They are very close to bread and butter pickles so I’ve taken to calling them by that name.  They aren’t as sweet as the bread and butter pickles you can buy at the market.DSC_0812 (1600x1060)Mmm… sloppy joe with cheese and hot gardiniera.  We had these last night, accompanied by fries and roasted sprouts with a balsamic glaze.  Yum!DSC_0802 (1600x1060)Another cheeseburger.  This one has provolone and fried onion rings with Sweet Baby Ray’s Vidalia Onion BBQ sauce.  I’m out of those jumbo Russet potatoes that those fries were cut from, need to make another grocery run.

Tidbits

DSC_0067 (1600x1060)Mmm… slaw dogs!  The slaw has a mayo based dressing that works well with the squeeze of hot mustard.  We’ll be eating beans until we run out.  I make them up in a 10″ cast iron skillet and we get several day’s worth of sides out of them.DSC_5192 (1600x1060)Here’s Homer!  He really, really loves to play chase the laser dot and every now and then he comes to the little side table next to my chair to remind me that that is where it’s kept.  It’s the little red cylinder under his nose, there.  He does it often enough that I was able to set up for a quick photo, this is my best one so far.  He usually has both feet up there, too.DSC01917 (1600x1200)This is Bella.  The staff at a local nursing home asked if St Francis could provide them with a dog to replace one that passed.  I’ve heard of organizations that took pets around for visits but they apparently wanted one to stay right there permanently. They took Bella over to see if she would work out and so far it looks like she has found a new home and many new doting parents.DSC01922 (1600x1200)Mrs J says it seemed that Bella wanted to say hello to everyone!  Looks like she will fit right into her role.DSC01923 (1600x1200)They took a dog bed and toys and some food over with her but they said they wouldn’t need anything because they had bought all that already, in anticipation.DSC_0073 (1600x1060)Roasted Brussels sprouts with a chicken fried pork tenderloin and a baked potato.  Sprouts are fabulous roasted like this, trim the ends and halve them and toss with olive oil and kosher salt and roast them in a 400 oven, cut side down, until they look like this.  The cut sides are browned and the outer leaf may look burnt but they taste great.DSC_0040 (1600x1060)Spaghetti is always a favorite.  This one has a sausage and tomato sauce and was sprinkled with the remainder of a bag of Italian blend cheeses I had leftover from something else (pizza? I forget).  I had plenty of sauce leftover so I made some bruschetta:DSC_0062 (1600x1060)

Variations on a (Chili) Theme

DSC_9236 (1600x1060)Mmm… chorizo chili.  This one also has ground beef, an onion, a can of tomato bits, and pinto beans.  It’s a basic chili made with a sauce of dried chilis that had been simmered and soaked then pureed in a blender with a few cloves of garlic.  Push the puree through a strainer with a spatula and discard the last little bit.  Plenty of chili leftovers, but I have a plan…DSC_9244 (1600x1060)Mmm… chili dogs!  I have these garnished with minced onions, green jalapenos, and red ripe Anaheim peppers – some of the last we will get from our container garden out on the front patio.DSC_9249 (1600x1060)Mmm… not quite Cincinnati chili.  This has everything that the five way chili has but isn’t distributed the same way.  The Cincinnati chili is seasoned differently, too.  Theirs has cinnamon, allspice, chocolate and other stuff I won’t try to replicate.DSC_9251 (1600x1060)Mmm… chili cheese fries!  This dish is finished with a couple dashes of hot sauce.  Mrs J had tater tots instead of fries but she scarfed them down before I could get a picture.  Here are a couple of puppies instead:DSC00628 (1600x1060)

Tidbits

DSC_9025 (1600x1060)Here’s a piece of that raspberry pie.  Yum!  A scoop of vanilla will improve most anything whether it needs it or not.DSC_4874 (1600x1060)A hummer looks at the vitex.  A lot of the birds zoom in to check it out but there isn’t much there to keep them interested.DSC_9036 (1600x1060)We’ve eaten more of those stuffed Anaheims.  This batch is filled with cream cheese and cheddar with ground beef cooked with taco seasonings.  They are topped with more cheddar and a sprinkle of lime flavored red pepper.DSC_9032 (1600x1060)This is a curly dog with slaw, topped with yellow mustard I’ve turned into a relish with chopped and sliced serrano peppers.  Cut a hot dog lengthwise but not all the way through and then with crosscuts and they curl when cooked.  There was a diner in my home town that made these, I first ate one over fifty years ago.  Time flies!DSC_4884 (1600x1060)We spotted this snapper crawling at a considerable remove from its regular home in a small pond.  I’m not sure why it left home, it seems late for an egg laying expedition.  Just wanderlust, maybe?  Population pressure?DSC_9002 [1600x1060]Mrs J favors bean soups and I am happy to oblige!  This isn’t the best I’ve ever produced but it wasn’t bad.  I’ve developed a habit of taking some of the cooking liquids released from chunks of meat that I smoke and reducing them more in a saucepan.  Because of all the salt in many of my dry rubs the reduction is too salty to use in a gravy but  can be frozen in an ice cube tray and treated like homemade bouillon cubes.DSC_8997 (1600x1060)Tacos are a quick and easy meal.  These are ground beef with the usual accompaniments.