Untapped Grilling and Other Addictions

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Beets Me!

Just Awful!

Do you remember your Mom serving canned beets once in a while? Had to be the most disgusting thing I ever put in my mouth. I think they served ’em at our house when there was nothing left in the cupboard. My Dad would eat them cause he would eat anything, and my mother would fake it so she looked like a responsible parent. But I know she couldn’t stand them either.

About 10 years ago my wife and I were celebrating our anniversary at one of those”Fancy Pant” Restaurants. On the menu was Trio of Fresh Beets and Goat Cheese with Balsamic Dressing. Now I do love balsamic vinegar and I do love goat cheese. So I thought I would give Beets another shot. There were red ones, yellow ones, orange ones. There were variegated ones, multi color ones, and striped ones. Who knew. Well I loved them and set out on a journey to produce my own garden grown beets and make a meal out of them.

I harvested three types of beets for my dish, yellow, red, and variegated right from the garden. The I cubed them and put them in a bowl.

Cubed Beets

Variegated Beet

Then I started adding some other wonderful delights form the garden. Fingerling Potatoes, green onions, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and sprinkled some fresh chopped oregano in it. Coated the whole mess with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a little salt and pepper. Then spread them on a cookie sheet and roasted them for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Beets Me!

Next placed a bed of mix greens in a bowl with some couscous on top and covered them both with the grilled beets and veggies. Topped with some garlic goat cheese and what a meal!

Everythiong Should Get a Second Chance

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One Potato, Two Potato Three Potato………..

………………….Sixty-one Potato!!!!!

Did you play this game as a kid growing up. It was kind of the unisex version of “Patty Cakes”.  And the next words after Three Potato should have been Four. But as you can see, my number is “Sixty-One”. Thats becuase after 5 months of germinating, underground growing, followed by beautiful blooms of foliage on the surface, I harvested 61 potatoes from the humble roots of three potatoes.

That’s called Leveraging.

Purple Haze Potato

 I started out with one Purple Haze Potato and buried it about 6 inches under some good soil. Two feet away I planted two Fingerling Potatoes. It took about 2 1/2 months during the winter mind you, but all of a sudden little leafy vines started coming out of the soil.

Fingerling Potaotes

A few weeks later little flower blossoms started appearing. To be perfectly honest with you, I had no idea what was going on. But I met this young mother with her two toddlers at Community Garden and she told me to add dirt. And add dirt…and add dirt each week until the flowers and vine start to die. When they are all dead, start digging! And that’s exactly what I did this weekend. The first turn of the shovel produced 1 fingerling. I was expecting maybe about 5 to 6 potatoes in total. But the next shovel full had 5. Then 4 more. The next thing I new, I had dug up 49 fingerlings and 12 Purple Haze! I was giddy over this first time adventure. I couldn’t stop giggling.

The “Haul”

So after a little scrubbing and cleaning these spuds went into the oven. Here is all I did:


Finished Fingerlings

Fingerling and Purple Haze Potatoes

2 Sprigs Rosemary

3 Sprigs fresh Sage

3 Sprigs fresh Thyme

6 cloves of Garlic unpeeled

Purple Haze insides

4 tablespoons of extra virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper


Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place baking sheet in to heat up

Add Potatoes, rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic to a medium bowl. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour Potatoes onto preheated baking sheet. Reduce heat to 425 degrees. Roast for 20 minutes until crispy on the outside.


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The Sandwich

The Good Ole’ Days

Remember this stuff? Brings back some really good memories of growing up back in Mississippi. My mother used this stuff for filler. Most of you probably don’t understand what filler is. But filler is what a lower middle class mother stacks up on the dinner table for the younguns to stuff themselves because 1 lb. of hamburger meat ain’t goin to fill up a family of seven. Well thank the good Lord that there are much better things to do with this and they are called Sandwiches! 

Today I am going to give you my Top Ten Sandwiches of all time, along with a couple of secrets you may want to try the next time you whip one of these up. So here we go:

Barbeyaki’s Top Ten Sandwiches

#1 The Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Secrets: 1. Elvis’s favorite Sandwich  2. Mash the Bananas with a Tbsp of Mayo  3. Greek Yogurt can replace Mayo for health nuts

#2 The Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Secrets:  1. Sub some cream cheese for part of the Mayo 2.  Put Kosher Pickles of top with Tomatoes  3. 2-3 cloves of chopped Garlic spices it up

#3 The Monte Christo

Secrets:  1. Use a little baking soda to fluff up the batter  2. Vegetable Oil only for frying  3. Top with Sour Cream and Raspberry Jam

#4 Fried Bologna Sandwich

Secrets: 1. Bologna should be 1″ thick  2. Score the bologna in the middle a few times to keep from curling  3. A little hot pepper butter in between bologna and cheese makes all the difference.

# 5 The Tuna Melt

Secrets: 1.Albacore only  2. Put some Potato Chips in the middle  3. Caramelized Onions mixed into the tuna

# 6 The BLT

Secrets: 1. put Mayo and Basil in processor and puree a bit  2. Thick bacon only 3. Put some avocados and red onions on top of the L and T

#7 Pulled Pork Sandwich

Secrets: 1.Toasted Brioche buns only 2. Put some Sour cream and whole grain mustard in the cole slaw 3. Make sure that Pork Butt is covered in Brown Sugar when you smoke it.

# 8 The Turkey Pannini

Secrets: 1. Puree Pine Nuts with Olive Oil and a little bit of provolone for a pesto sauce 2. Turkey Brest only. 3. Avocados baby! 4. Sourdough bread please

# 9 Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

Secrets: 1. Left-over steak is perfect for this 2. Hoagie rolls only 3. Fontina Cheese

# 10 The Spam Sandwich

Secrets: 1. Fried Spam only 2. Lots of Mustard 3. White bread only

Yum Yum

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There are a few truly great sayings about friends, especially old friends:

“Best friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway.” Elbert Hubbard

“True friends are very difficult to find, hard to leave, and impossible to forget.” Anonymus

“A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half cracked.” Anonymus

I only have a few Friends. Other than family, I can count them on one hand. I thought at one point in my life I had a ton of friends. But as I started growing older, a little more wiser perhaps, the value and meaning of real friendship began to define itself more clearly to me. How many do you have? Lots? Really? I want to introduce you to two of my OLD FRIENDS. 

This is Mavis.



And this is her overweight Chihuahua Tiberius. Mavis is my friend. And so is Tiberius. Mavis is somewhere between 95 and 100 years old. I am not sure as she still has a woman’s vanity and tries her best to buy a couple years when she can. She moved to Southern California 5 years ago from New York where she was an executive for RCA and Warner Borthers. She personally knew Elvis, Kenny Rogers, The Eurythmics, John Denver…..the list goes on and on. Mavis is Panamanian. Her brain is sharper than most 25 to 40 year old people. These days she sits alone in her condo and occasionally has visitors where she delights us with her “Cracked Egg” stories of her colorful past. She would do anything for me, and I would do anything for her. She loves me for who I am; messed up, overweight, slightly red neck. I love her for the similiar reasons. We do not judge each other, but relish in each others imperfection.

This is Julius.


Julius is a World War II veteran and as you can see by his attire, an avid fisherman. I have been bringing Julius birthday cake, chocolates, all kind of sweets for a long time until he finally shared with me he was Diabetic. Ooops! Julius’s wife died several years ago. He misses her dearly. Her pictures surround him in his apartment. He truly loved his wife who was surely her best friend. I could not visit Julius for about two weeks and went to see him this past week. When I walked in he had a piece of white bread stuffed with some pastrami hanging out of  his hand. When he saw me, he stopped in his very slow tracks and said, “where in the hell have you been”.  Julius missed me! It is a very nice feeling to have been missed. And I had missed Julius too.

Well I am starting to tear up as I write this so I better get to the end quickly. The simple nuts and bolts of this is that true friends are very rare and share a couple of very powerful characteristics. They accept each other for who they are and they miss each other all the time. So go back and start counting how many friends you really have. Did you get past your left hand?

conocidos muchos amigos pocos

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Feelin’ The Blues

The other day I was minding my own business and driving my pick-up in Orange County. Suddenly there was an abrupt honk of a horn which scared me to death. I whipped my head around to the right and there sat a “Very Blue” girl.

Feelin’ Blue

Well, other than shaking the piss out of me, it completely took any and all of “Feelin’ The Blues” out of me. It all just struck me at that very moment, that we spend so much of our time in deep thought, searching our inner-most feelings, pondering what we have done right, and what we have done wrong. We have become Soooo Serious! And this crazy little teenage girl decided to get real silly and act a little nutty and made my day! Why don’t we have more fun? Why are we letting worry conquer us. We only control maybe 10% of our environment. So why don’y we get a little crazy more of the time and enjoy our life and make others happy? What’s wrong with us?

The other day I was taking a leak in a store that sold a little bit of everything. When I came outside of the can, I heard somebody just cackling and laughing their butt off. Of course in this depressed, mundane world we live in I had to search out this paradise. I came across a big guy that was filming a small plexi-glass box in the middle of the store. Of course I asked him what he was doing, and he immediately stopped filming and walked away ( aren’t people so friendly out here). When I got to the box I peered in and this is what I saw:

Click on this!

Doesn’t that feel real good. Let’s make a point today to make someone laugh just like this guy did. It will wipe away any “Feelin’ The Blues” we might have.


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Going Nuts?

Yum Yum!

Now this is what I think about when I think of Acorns. You too? A cute little squirrel dipping and diving under tree branches, flying to the ground to scoop up that precious Acorn. Then munching at the speed of light to secure that tasty treat inside.

But did you know that there was another type of Acorn that squirrels don’t eat. Another kind of Acorn that you and I should eat every chance we can. WEll there is. And this one is called an Acorn Squash.

Acorn Squash

An Acorn Squash has a fairly similar shape to an Acorn, but that is about all the similarity you will find. All I can telll you is that if you treat them right, this will definitely become one of your favorite veggies! These things are very easy to grow. They take about 2 1/2 months to mature and will work in

The Vineyard

almost any moderate climate. You have to spread them out because the vine growth can reach up to 6 feet. But the best part about Acorn Squashes is what they taste like So let me tell you a very simple way to prepare them and I will let you take the first bite without me blowing it for you and telling you how great these things are.

Start by cutting the Acorn Squash in half from the stem in down to the other end. Scoop out the pulp and seeds that you will find in the middle. Then take a pairing knife and score the squash from the center to the edge about 8 times around. Then here comes the magic. Take a little softened butter and smear it with your fingers all over the inside of the Squash. Then sprinkle a half teaspoon of Brown Sugar on top of the butter. Next drizzle a tiny bit of real Maple Syrup into the center of the cut piece. And last but not least, drop some home made bacon bits on top and throw it in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 400 degrees and get ready. This is going to be the best thing you ever put in your mouth. Make sure you let me know how it was right after you try this.

Oh La La

You Owe Me Big Time

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Good Poop is a Wonderful Thing! Right?

Just thought I would give you a quick update on the miraculous effects of Good Poop!

The Best Poop I have Ever Had

Most of you surely remember the glorious Christmas present my sweet sister Sue sent me………Nope, not a pretty sweater, or nice cologne, or a good bottle of wine. Nope, my big picture, deep thinking, and eco-conscious Sis gave me……….

Turkey Poop!  Let’s take a look at where this special stuff has taken us in less than 6 weeks:

First we started with a jungle of overgrown weeds.

The Mess

Then we raised the beds, built the picket fence and put the new soil with The Poop.

Then we planted our tiny little vegetables into the Poop enriched soil.

Site Development

Next we planted our tiny little veggies into The Poop Enriched soil.

It Has To Start Somewhere

Check out where The Poop has taken us so far. Hmmm? Makes you wonder if you can feed this stuff to growing kids!

Up Close and Personal

La Jardin

Giant Zucchini


The entire Community Garden is in complete awe over The Poop! 

Thanks Sis

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