Tag Archives: grilled

Beer can chicken on the grill

beer, can, chicken, grill, roast, stand up, butt, flavor, rub, shanty, soda, awesome

You know how chicken can be the most boring, dry, flavorless meat ever? How just the effort of chewing through the tough, overcooked meat of a chicken breast is exhausting?

The trick, my friends, is simple.


beer, can, chicken, grill, roast, stand up, butt, flavor, rub, shanty, soda, awesome


Beer can chicken, or stand up chicken, or beer in the butt chicken (I personally like that one), is one of the easiest ways to infuse flavor into a whole chicken. And you get to drink some beer!

I’ve heard of this being done with soda, which is something on my to-do list. But since Kevin, my personal beer-connoisseur, is home for the week, I let him pick a fun summery beer to use.

I luckily have this great contraption where you stick the beer can in the middle, and then shove it up the chicken’s butt. It makes the whole process easier, but I’ve seen people do it without the stand.

First you clean your chicken and pat it dry. Then you make a dry rub. We made a potent, smoky rub that we adapted from this recipe, and it was awesome.

beer, can, chicken, grill, roast, stand up, butt, flavor, rub, shanty, soda, awesome

I may have gone a little overboard with the seasoning though.

Ha. Look at his fat saggy belly.  Continue reading

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Happy anniversary Dash and a Pinch! (Part 2 of 3)

My next item to recreate from last year’s failed first posts was the grilled corn.

When I made this last year, it was my first time attempting to cook corn on the grill. I had no clue what I was doing, but decided to barge ahead blindly and make something up. Well, that something resulted in the aluminum foil leaking out butter, which then caught on fire. Psh…rookie mistake, right?

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I wish. Pretty much every time I grill corn it catches on fire. I’ve learned several tricks since that first time though, and these result in actually edible (and delicious!) final products. Continue reading

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Happy anniversary, Dash and a Pinch!!! (Part 1 of 3)

Holy crap!!!

It’s been an entire year since I started this blog as a way to document my attempts at learning how to cook. It’s been an amazing year, and I doubt I would have come this far if I didn’t have the motivation of this blog to keep me pushing forward.

At this point I’d like to clarify that I have never been to a cooking school, class, seminar, what have you. I am a self-taught cook, who picked up everything she knows from the internet, cookbooks, and trial and error.

This means that I have had some fun disasters in the past year, but as a whole, I am proud of how far I’ve come in just 365 days. To celebrate my 1 year anniversary (let’s be honest here, who thought I would keep this up this long?!), I am “recreating” my original disaster meal. My first posted recipes were of an unappetizing looking grilled cajun salmon, inedible grilled corn that caught on fire, and a good salad. Taking the main ingredients, I decided to put everything I’ve learned in one year into this meal. So enjoy the before and after!!!


Oh god. I shudder when I look at this picture.

I was having issues with my old grill that day. Mainly, the heating was SO uneven that my fish came out burned and undercooked simultaneously.  And then I chose to take an overhead picture, with flash (double shudder), on these horrific plates from the 1970’s. If I had any dignity I would take this picture down from the internet, burn all copies onto a CD, shatter that CD with a hammer, and throw the pieces in the microwave. And then bury it, just to make sure it’s really dead.

But, I like to look at it every once in awhile, so that when I look at my more recent, and much sexier food pictures, I swell up with pride.

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Now, I know that corn and salmon do not really go well together. But, as I made them together 1 year ago, so I had to pair them again. This made the food styling particularly difficult, but I’m fairly certain the salmon stands out enough on it’s own. Continue reading

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Grilled peanut butter and banana split sandwich

grilled, peanut butter, jelly, banana, strawberry, banana split, chocolate, honey, honey monkey, pineapple jam, jam, preserves, PB&J, grilled cheese, lunch, easy, fun, kid, children, weekday, weekend, toasted,

You know what? I think I’m getting way better at food photography and styling. 

Know how I know this? Because I have to spend WAY less time post processing my more recent photos, and when I look at the images I took, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride.

And hunger…

The recent additions to my photo “studio” (aka: dining room) have been my lovely macro lens, and two lowel ego lights. FINALLY I have a decent lighting set-up, and maybe, just maybe, one of my damn photos will make it onto food gawker. I’ll tell you more about the lights and lens and how great they are later (probably by updating my Photography page), but now I want to talk about lunch.

If memory serves me right, I don’t have any lunch recipes on my blog. Granted, I have a lot of meals that were reheated at lunch the following day, but never have I made and documented a dish specifically for the midday meal. Most of this stems from working 9-5 all week, but why not just make lunch on the weekends, Sarah?

Because I’m lazy. 

I’ve never been a sandwich person. I just haven’t. You might try to tell me that sandwiches are the lazy man’s ideal food, but from years of experience, I can assure you that a bowl of cereal provides an even faster way to fill your stomach. Bowl. Cereal. Milk. Spoon. Bam. Done.

None of this opening and closing refrigerator doors, aligning meat on the bread, spreading mayo and mustard and who knows what else, and to make matters worse, I rarely finish an entire sandwich. I have a tendency to get bored halfway through and walk away!

Now, you’re probably thinking, Why are you telling us this? Because I found an amazing sandwich that will tempt even the pickiest, laziest eaters ever. I devoured mine, and then immediately had to stop myself from making another. There’s always tomorrow though… Continue reading


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Portobello mushroom burgers with chipotle mayo and onion rings

portobello burgers, mushroom burgers, grilled mushrooms, mushroom caps, grilled bellas, onion rings, onion straws, lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo, mayonaise, spicy, breaded, delicious

There are two types of people in the world: those who believe that burgers should be simple and elegant, and those who think that the more stuff you can pile on top of it, the better it is.

This burger appeals to that second group. It has a bunch of awesome components that give it a great texture and spiciness. It takes a little longer to prepare, but it’s totally worth it. Especially when you consider swapping out the mushroom for a juicy, red hamburger.


Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of mushrooms, and I love the portobello burger. I do my best to encourage other people who are biased against them to give my favorite fungi a chance, and I like to think I’ve brought a few over to the light side. But I’m a hearty meat eater, and it’s impossible to say no to a delicious, medium-rare burger.

So light that grill and throw some beef patties next to your mushroom caps, and try them both! See which one you like better. Continue reading


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Grilled plank salmon with garlic basil butter

2011 will forever be remembered as “the summer of barbecuing.” On that first warm day in April, when I rolled the small, dirty grill out onto the driveway and when, after staring at it for a few minutes, I had to go back inside and ask my mom how they hell you light it, I had no idea that in just a few short months I would have acquired grilling skills to rival those of my father.

And then I would surpass him in skill (Sorry dad, if you’re reading this. There was that one time where you had a gas leak under the grill and it was engulfed in flames!), at least when considering variety of foods I prepared and the consistency of quality. (Again, sorry dad.)

So in August, when I found out that Woot.com was offering 12 cedar grilling planks for $9.oo, I jumped on that deal right away. I’ve always wanted to try grilling salmon on a plank, as apposed to the other hundred ways it can be prepared, because it seems so fancy. It was bittersweet when they arrived, however, because it had already started growing colder, it was getting darker much earlier, and I knew that grilling season was almost over.

But not before I tried out these planks!

You will need:

  • 1 cedar plank
  • 1 1/2-2 lbs salmon
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 6 -7 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40-50 minutes
Serves: 4


The first step is to soak the plank in water. The longer you can do this, the better. In case you think you can get away with a ten minute soak, this is what happens:

That is me, holding a charred plank. It caught fire and before I could run in to the house, grab some water and run back out, it had completely ignited. The poor thing never stood a chance.

So yeah, soak your planks. You can weigh it down with a can of soup or spaghettios to keep it submerged.

*True story: my mom got really worried because she saw the can of spaghettios next to the salmon and thought I was taking my obsession a little too far, and was going to make spaghettios salmon. Gross…

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Cajun grilled burgers

My first attempt at burgers this summer was disastrous. In an epic way. I had never grilled by myself before and I thought “how hard can burgers be?”

Imagine a hockey puck but thicker, made out of ground beef. The outside is completely charred. Oh, and the inside is still raw. Now picture it in a bun with a diameter 3x the size of the burger puck. It was pathetic.

Artistic representation

Now, as the summer progressed, so did my burger making abilities. They slowly became flatter, wider, and more delicious. Finally I found this recipe, and I surprised even myself with how delicious an easy burger could be.

*Bonus: It goes perfectly with the Cajun grilled veggies*

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Cajun grilled vegetables

I only just started eating vegetables this summer, and the dish that made me realize they weren’t so bad was this one. I made it originally with zucchini, yellow squash, yellow onions and red peppers. It was bright and colorful and the flavor was out of this world. I’ve been making it ever since! (Here is the original recipe)

You will need:

  • vegetables of your choosing: for this batch I used 1 small zucchini, 1 small yellow squash, 1/2 package of baby bella mushrooms and 1/2 package of mini corn
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning: I use Emeril’s Bayou Blast!
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or a little more, if you like things spicy)
  • 1 tbs Worcester sauce (in a pinch I have used soy sauce with a little bit of water before. Came out great)

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Grilled sirloin steak with blue cheese-chive butter

My boyfriend Jeremy is a big carnivore, so when I was thinking about what to make him for our mini anniversary, I of course decided on steak. I googled a couple different recipes and finally decided on this one.

The recipe called for flat iron steak, but it was crowded at Wegmans and I didn’t want to wait in line at the butcher, so I just bought a packaged sirloin instead (some of the comments on allrecipes stated they had used other cuts, so I wasn’t too worried about substituting for the sirloin.)

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Cajun Grilled Salmon

This is a recipe I figured out by combining several recipes I found online for fish. I made it with tilapia once, but the cajun seasoning just compliments the salmon, in my opinion.

You need:

  • Salmon

    I bought this in March...and it's already half empty!

  • EVOO
  • Cajun seasoning of your choice (I like Emeril’s Bayou Blast, but feel free to substitute your own or even mix together some seasonings
  • butter
  • aluminum foil big enough to wrap around the salmon

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