Ruby’s Herb Laced Lamb Chops

Sulking in the Horshoe Pit

Our little Ruby has been down in the dumps the past few days.  Very uncharacteristic of our happy go lucky Brit.  Most days she tends to go on lengthy adventures throughout our farm and neighboring fields, mostly sniffing, sometimes hunting and eating who knows what.  She doesn’t have a very discriminating palate.  I could relate some pretty disgusting stories…but being a G rated food type blog, we’ll keep it more chipper.  One thing that does get Ruby back in the saddle are chops!  When we barbecue lamb chops, she knows there is likely a little treat in it for her.  So here’s to you Ruby girl.

parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Although it may be sweltering in some parts of our world, here on the island in the Pacific Northwest it’s barely breaking 70° during the day, and in the evening we’re dropping down to the 40’s.   Sometimes it’s difficult to whip together a light, summery meal for dinner when we are in our flannel PJ’s and putting wood in the stove.

serves 4

8 lamb loin chops about 1″ thick, trimmed of excess fat

1/4 cup each of chopped parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

1/4 cup of canola oil (or other high temp oil)

Salt and pepper

Prepare or preheat barbecue for a medium-high heat, about 350°.  In a small bowl blend oil and herbs.  Salt and pepper chops and rub the herb mixture on all sides.  When the grill is to temp, sear both sides of the chops about 2-3 minutes.  Continue cooking until desired doneness.

Alternatively, preheat oven to 400°.   In a heavy bottom – oven proof pan, sear chops on both sides until browned, about 3 minutes a side.  Place in oven for an additional 5-8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145° for medium rare.


Ruby Tuesday

Songwriters: Jagger, Mick;Richards, Keith

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained to a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost, at such a cost

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

"There's no time to lose", I hear her say
Cash your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time lose your dreams and you
Will lose your mind, ain't life unkind?

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you


Upright & Outtasite Cornish Game Hen

'juiced' and ready to cook


Crispy on the Outside & Juicy on the Inside

Beer Can Chicken has been around for a while and is still very popular – the reason being it’s a fantastic way to prepare the humble bird or it’s relation the cornish game hen.  We use game hens when we cook for two.  The method is the same with only a few tweaks.  The most obvious one being the size of the can that the bird ‘sits’ on.  A normal beer or soda can is perfect for most chickens, but we found a smaller can such as an energy drink or cold coffee drink can works well with the smaller game hens.


serves 2


1 cornish game hen, cleaned inside and out

1 can sized to fit the bottom hole of the bird

2 tablespoons light olive oil

1 tablespoon herbs de provence

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 350° or prepare grill with lid to 350°.  If using an oven, move the rack low enough to accommodate the upright (and Outtasite) bird on the can.  Drain the liquid from the can and rinse.  Fill the can only halfway with water, beer, or soda.  The flavor of the liquid is pretty much indiscernible after cooking.  Place the can on a small sheet pan. Dry the hen inside and out with paper towels and tuck the wingtips behind the back.  Rub oil on the outside and season with herbs and spices.  Carefully mount the bird on top of the half filled can.  For the oven, keep the bird on the sheet pan to cook.  For the grill, place the hen with the can directly on the BBQ grill and cover with a lid.

Roast or grill for approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.


Spicy Mango Wings & Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

A few bottled products are used for these dishes, not necessarily as shortcuts-although welcome, but because they add a truly unique flavor boost!


serves 4 as main or 6 as appetizer

For the Wings:

8 chicken wings

5 ounces of PickaPeppa Spicy Mango Sauce (not so spicy actually)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat (toaster) oven to 350°. Place wings in a sealable container, add sauce and salt and mix thouroughly.  Let marinate for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray and line with foil.  Spray the top of the foil with non-stick spray as well.  Place the wings on the sheet pan so they don’t touch.  Bake wings for about 3o minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare or preheat the BBQ for a 2 station area – one at about 300° and the other about 350°.  Your shrimp will cook over the 300° and your chicken will brown over the 350° area.


For the Shrimp:

8 extra large or jumbo shrimp (26/30 or 21/25)

8 strips of bacon, thick cut

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

salt and pepper

8 toothpicks, soaked in water


Preheat (toaster) oven to 400°.  Place a wire rack into a rimmed pan and lay the strips of bacon on the rack.  Bake the bacon for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven.  Add a grind or two of pepper.  Turn bacon over and brush with maple syrup, adding more pepper.  Bake for another 3 minutes. Place bacon maple side up on paper towels.  The bacon should be soft, pliable and just about cooked through.  Cool.

Remove the shells and de-vine shrimp.  Season with salt and pepper.  Wrap each shrimp with maple bacon and secure with a soaked toothpick.


When your BBQ is ready, place the wings over your hotter station and the shrimp on the cooler one.  Watch, and turn each piece so that it browns but doesn’t burn, moving if necessary.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Use Patak’s® Medium Mango Relish as a dip for both the wings and the shrimp.

far tastier than it appears! Patak's Mango

The Patak’s® Mango Relish medium is actually pretty darn spicy so a little can go a long way.  It’s intense and very unique flavor adds an amazing dimension to many dishes.

#mce_temp_url#

#mce_temp_url#

Fusion Roll

a mixedsoup creation

You can whip this appetizer up before you can say ‘Kanpai!’

makes 24 mini-rolls


8 ounces of cold smoked salmon lox

4 ounces quality cream cheese

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1/2 teaspoon lemongrass, peeled and finely grated

caviar, tobiko, wasabi paste, sriracha‘ for garnish

If necessary, cut the lox into smaller pieces about 1 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches long or smaller if preferred.  In a bowl combine ginger, lemongrass and cream cheese until completely blended.  You may want the cream cheese to be closer to room temperature for easier blending.  Spread approximately 1 teaspoon of the filling on each lox piece, leaving a small border so the filling doesn’t ooze out when rolled.  Top with a garnish.

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Fast & Feisty ‘South of the Border’ Pie

from Pamela Karleskint

Grab your most obnoxious matching shirts, your mp3 playlist of kooky retro party music AND this timeless potluck winner.

The great twist on this dish is the surprisingly moist and rich topping verses the more traditional cornbread style, which can get dry and unappetizing.

serves 4-6

1 pound of hamburger or turkey

1 envelope of taco seasonings

4 ounce can of diced green chilies

1 cup of jack cheese, grated

1 cup of canned (drained) or frozen corn

1¼ cup of milk

¾ cup of Bisquick, or similar mix

3 eggs

⅛ teaspoon red pepper sauce


Preheat oven to 400° F. Cook hamburger and drain fat. Stir in taco seasoning mix. Put seasoned meat in a greased oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with green chilies and cheese. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth and pour over top of meat mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

from Pamela Karleskint

Asian Inspired Flank Steak with Mandarin, Almond Salad


from Kit and Gary Maestretti


This simple dish hits on just about every flavor point, sweet and sour from the mandarin oranges and dressing, salt and savory from the flank steak, crunch from the almonds and squishy-juicy from both the fruit and the meat.


serves 4

For the Flank Steak:

1   two pound flank steak

2   garlic cloves

1    one inch chunk of fresh ginger

1    cup soy

1 1/2  cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon agave nectar


For the Mandarin, Almond Salad:

1 head of butter lettuce

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1  four inch piece of cucumber

1 fifteen ounce can of mandarin oranges, liquid reserved

1/4 cup of light oil, such as canola

1 tablespoon reserved mandarin juice from the can

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons light vinegar, such as rice or white balsamic

pinch of sugar, salt and pepper


1. For the Flank Steak: Peel the ginger with a spoon or vegetable peeler and slice into approximately 4 pieces.  Peel and smash the garlic into slightly broken cloves.  Place both ginger and garlic into a re-sealable bag.  Pour wine, soy and agave nectar into the bag.  Shake vigorously, then add the flank steak.  Marinate for about an hour.

2. Build your fire or pre-heat your gas grill.  If using  coal let the heat reduce to a 3 second hand fire (about 375°). This is a hot and fast cooking method as the flank steak has little fat and is normally fairly thin.  Grill about 3 minutes a side.  When steak has reached  145° internal temperature, slice thinly across the grain.

3. For the Salad:  Chop, rinse and dry the lettuce.  In a small pan, toast the almonds to a light brown and let cool.  Peel the cucumber and slice thinly.  Place 1 tablespoon of the reserved mandarin orange juice into a cruet or bowl.  Add the oil, vinegar, soy, sugar, salt and pepper and shake or whisk vigorously until fully incorporated.  Toss the lettuce, cucumber and mandarin oranges with the dressing and place in four bowls.  Garnish with toasted almonds.

A helpful BBQ link #mce_temp_url#


The Bloody! Bloody Mary Experiment

I thought bacon was cure for all ails…and I’m sure at some point in my adult life I’ve heard that a Bloody Mary is also a cure for what ails ya.  So one would be safe to assume combining bacon with a Bloody Mary could be the magical cure all.  The best Blood Mary has alluded me for some time now.  Anyway, here’s what NOT to do:

serves 2

3 strips of thick sliced bacon, 2 for garnish 1 for snacking

5 beefsteak tomatoes, halved and seeded

1 jalapeno

2  1/4″inch slices of sweet yellow onion

4″ piece of cucumber, peeled and seeded

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 12ounce can of tomato juice

Do not bother to preheat your oven to 400° or mess with the rest of this process, BUT you may be able to prevent making the same mistakes.

Lay bacon on sheet pan and bake in oven for about 12 minutes or until crisp.  Meanwhile chop the peeled and seeded cucumber and place it in a pitcher or blender with the lemon juice.  If using a pitcher, use a hand mixer to macerate the cucumber into a fine pulp.

Remove cooked bacon and drain on paper towels.  Place the tomato halves, jalapeno and onion on the sheet pan with bacon drippings.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove cooked vegetables and let cool.  Remove the tomato skins and discard.  Place the tomatoes, onion, and 1 tablespoon of the jalapeno in the pitcher or blender and mix until no more mixing can be done.  Add 12 ounces of tomato juice and blend well.  Cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Serve in chilled, iced glasses.  Garnish with a lemon wedge and bacon.

The sad part was this wasn’t much more interesting than a spicy V8 mix.  It was a little more complex in flavors, but unfortunately not different enough to really justify the time and mess. We vote thumbs down on this one  –  SO, if anyone has a really great Bloody Mary recipe (even w/o bacon 😉  )  please let us know!!