Friday, March 1, 2024

Honey-Lemon Blackberry Bourbon Smash

This recipe is an original.  When I have some free time, I sit around and try to invent cocktails that are appealing to those who enjoy them.

This recipe uses "good quality" products in it such as honey from Savannah Bee Company and Bourbon from Buffalo Trace Distillery.  Make sure to use ripe blackberries in the recipe to get the most flavor and sweetness from them.


  • Blackberries 6-10, depending on their size.
  • 1 1/2 ounces of honey
  • 2 ounces of bourbon
  • Juice from half a small lemon (can use a lime, if preferred)
  • Club Soda


  1. Place 2 or 3 large blackberries in the bottom of a shaker glass
  2. add 1 1/2 ounces to the glass.
  3. add 2 ounces of bourbon to the glass.
  4. add juice from half a lemon to the glass.
  5. place rind from lemon in the glass and muddle well, make sure that everything is muddled and mixed well.
  6. Strain into an ice filled "Rocks" glass.
  7. Top with club soda and a couple of blackberries for garnish.
  8. Stir and enjoy!

 Savannah Bee Company

Buffalo Trace Distillery - Home Page





Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

With the cold winter weather, I like to enjoy a hearty casserole on occasion.  This casserole is very flavorful and very simple to make.  It's a twist on a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.  I think most of you will find it very tasty.


  • 2 pounds of shaved steak.  You can ask for this at your local butcher.  I prefer to use the cap of a ribeye steak.  You can also use two pounds of ground beef.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 large bell peppers.  You can use green, yellow, orange, or red or a mix of any of these.  Cut the peppers into equal size squares, approximately .75" * .75".
  • 1 large onion, diced.  I use Sweet Spanish onions, but yellow onions or red onions will work as well.  Just remember, the stronger the onion, the stronger it will be when the dish is cooked.
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese.  If you would like it "cheesier" you can go up to 8 ounces.
  • 8 slices of provolone cheese.


  1. Preheat an oven-safe skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.  Add in the shaved steak to the skillet.  Season the steak with salt and pepper as you are cooking it.  If you don't have an oven safe skillet, you can brown it in any skillet then transfer it to a casserole dish as I did.
  2. Add in the diced onion and bell peppers, sautéing the mixture until the vegetables soften.
  3. Add in Worcestershire Sauce. 
  4. Stir in the cream cheese and remove the mixture from the stovetop.  Transfer mixture to a casserole dish or leave in the oven safe skillet.
  5. Cover the entire top of the meat mixture with slices of provolone cheese.
  6. Bake the casserole in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and the cheese is melted.  
  7. Serve and enjoy!!!

My drink recommendations for this dish are pretty straightforward.


My recommendation for this is truly any beer that you like.  A bright pilsner is good with it, as is a stout or porter.  If you are local, get yourself to one of the local breweries and pickup your favorite beer. 

 Brewery | Lockport Brewery | United States (

Hoodletown Brewing Company - Brewery in Dover, Ohio

5 Barrel Bullet Brewing Company | Ohio Craft Brewers Association (

Holy Moley Brewing Company


For this dish, I recommend a nice dry red.  If you want my recommendation, I would enjoy a glass of Cooper & Thief Pinot Noir aged in brandy barrels every time.  

Home - Cooper & Thief Wines ( 


An Old-Fashioned cocktail would be my choice as an accompaniment for this dish. 








Friday, January 19, 2024

Cowboy Stew

The cold weather has definitely set in, here in Ohio.  With cold weather, comes a hankering for soups and stews.  The recipe below isn't one of my normal recipes because I utilize a lot of canned and frozen items in this recipe, not fresh vegetables like most of my recipes.  With that being said, I still think that you will enjoy this dish.


  • 1 pound ground beef browned and drained.
  • 1 pound of smoked sausage sliced into bite sized pieces.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cans of pinto beans (I use Serious Bean Company Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Pinto Beans)
  • 1 bag of frozen sweet corn
  • 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes and chilis
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 4 cups of chicken stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste.


  1.  Add browned ground beef, smoked sausage, garlic, onion, beans, corn, Rotel tomatoes, frozen veggies, chicken stock or broth, cumin, and chili powder to a large heavy bottom cooking pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer uncovered on high heat, then reduce heat to low and cover.  Simmer covered for an hour or two.  If you prefer a "thicker" stew use less broth or you can add baby potatoes, halved.  Cook until potatoes are fork tender if you use them.  I don't use potatoes as I try to keep my carbs a bit lower.
  3. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spoon into a large bowl.  Serve with corn-bread, crusty bread or just enjoy it by itself.


If you really want to enjoy a drink with this dish, I recommend a full-bodied stout or porter.  If you are in East Central Ohio, a Big Debbie Stout from Lockport would work well with this dish.  Another good beer that pairs well with this meal is Station 2 Smoked Lager from Hoodletown Brewing here in Dover, Ohio. 






Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Hot Honey Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas with Sriracha and Lime

Large 16-20 shrimp seared and glazed in a garlicky, sweet and spicy sauce...and the dish only takes about 20 minutes to make.

 This dish can be served with lo-mein noodles, rice or veggies.  The sauce works with chicken or pork as well.


  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter 
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 count)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper 
  • 8 ounces of sugar snap peas or snow peas 


  • 1/3 cup of hot honey or regular honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic-minced
  • 1 teaspoon of Sriracha or more or less to taste.
  • juice from 2 limes


  1. Parboil snap peas or snow peas for 4 minutes, remove from boiling water and set aside.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil and butter.  Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne.
  3. Add shrimp to the skillet in a single layer (you may need to cook the shrimp in batches depending on the size of your skillet).  Cook 2 minutes per side, until pink and golden brown.  Transfer cooked shrimp to a plate.
  4. Reduce heat to medium.  Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, then add to the hot skillet.
  5. Stir and let cook for 2 minutes or so, until bubbling.  Add snap peas or snow peas to skillet and heat through, then add shrimp back to the skillet and stir to coat.
  6. Serve by itself or with rice or noodles.
  7. Serve with lime wedges and additional Sriracha if you like it a bit spicier. 




Wednesday, December 20, 2023

How about a Maple Old Fashioned Cocktail?

Maple Old Fashioned Cocktail, it's a pretty drink but it's simple to make.

I want to start with an apology to all of my faithful followers.  I have been truly lacking in posting new recipes over the past few months.  My only excuse is that "sometimes life just catches up with you" and you have other things that have to be done, leaving little time for the things that I enjoy. 

My favorite way to make a maple old-fashioned cocktail--good quality bourbon and bitters, a hint of maple syrup, a generous twist of orange peel, and a couple of Luxardo cherries.

I learned years ago that using a teaspoon of sugar to make an old-fashioned cocktail is a real pain.  It doesn't mix well, and you always have to keep a supply of sugar on, under, or in your bar.  If you're like me that could be problematic as my bar tends to move around depending on the season.  It could be in my "bar".  It could be at the bar in my sunroom.  It could be on my patio.  Who knows, it's a very real possibility that I will take the ingredients with me to a friend's house. With that being said, I went to 1/4 ounce of simple syrup in place of the sugar, but for this recipe it is 1/4 ounce of maple syrup.  I use a bourbon barrel aged natural maple syrup. 

 I purchase my maple syrup out in Amish Country at Walnut Creek Cheese here in Ohio. The syrup is Lincoln County Reserve 100% pure artisan Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup, U.S. Grade A, Amber rich syrup.

You do not have to use bourbon barrel aged syrup in this cocktail.  You can use standard maple syrup, or if you choose, go for the Log Cabin at the grocery store...but I wouldn't recommend that choice.  When it comes to this classic cocktail, I would choose natural maple syrup all the time.  Since this old-fashioned cocktail is made with bourbon it is naturally sweet already.  It doesn't need to be loaded up with extra sugar.  I add just a hint of maple syrup to the cocktail.  The flavor of the maple syrup is much more interesting than plain old sugar.



 Whiskey: Bourbon or Rye are typically used for this type of cocktail.  I usually use Buffalo Trace but if you would prefer to use something "local", I recommend the bourbon from Gervasi Vineyards in Canton, Ohio.  Any good quality whiskey or bourbon will work with this cocktail, even a "less expensive" bourbon if you so choose.  I just prefer a better-quality bourbon.  If you want to use a Rye whisky, Angel's Envy has a very good Rye.

 Bitters-For my bitters, I typically use Peychaud's or Angostura bitters, for a little difference in flavor try using cherry or citrus bitters.  Again, I recommend that you purchase good quality bitters.  You can truly tell the difference between cheap and good quality bitters in your cocktails.

 Garnish--Always use a thick-skinned fresh orange when making your Old-Fashioned.  The more aromatic the orange is, the more flavor that will be imparted to the cocktail.  I usually purchase a nice navel orange that is on the "ripe" side as they typically have more "oil" in the rind.

The "cherry" for your old fashioned should always be a good quality cherry.  Take my word for it, once you use Luxardo cherries for your cocktails, you will never go back to the waxy maraschino cherries that you used to get on top of your ice cream sundaes.  These cherries are the best.  You may find that you need to hide them when you are planning on having guests over.  At over $12 per 14-ounce jar, you only want to share these with your really good friends. 

 How to make this maple-sweetened cocktail:

  1. Prep your orange peel.  Use a vegetable peeler  or knife to carefully cut a 2-3 inch-long piece of orange peel.  Run the pulp side of the peel around the rim of the cocktail glass.
  2. Add Bourbon, maple syrup and bitters.  Add two ounces of bourbon, 1/4 ounce of maple syrup, and a couple of dashes of bitters to a mixing glass.  Use a bar spoon to stir and combine.
  3. Ice.  Add some ice to the mixing glass and stir with the spoon again to mix and chill the drink.
  4. Cocktail Glass.  Add a large chunk of ice to the cocktail glass.  I typically use a single large cube of ice that is about 1.5"*1.5".  Pour cocktail from mixing glass to cocktail glass with a strainer.
  5. Garnish.  Give the orange peel a good twist over your cocktail to release its oils, then tuck into the drink.  Add a Luxardo cherry on top and serve immediately.




I hope that you enjoy this cocktail.  Please feel free to comment your thoughts when you make one for yourself.  I really don't think that you will be disappointed at all.  This cocktail warms you up on a cold winter evening.

Cheers to all of you.  Wishing Happy Holidays to all! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ribs

Peanut Butter and Jelly Spareribs

I have been a bit lax in posting new recipes for all of's summertime...and I get busy with my other business during the summer.  

I also tend to get a bit lazy during the summer months.  After a day of mowing, driving or yardwork, the last thing that I feel like doing is sitting for a couple of hours on the computer.

I know, I know...that's a poor excuse for all of you that are looking forward to my recipes so that you can add new things to your daily recipes.

The recipe below is for a new favorite of mine.  I found the original recipe on a "Pit Boys" YouTube channel.  My recipe has been changed some and I hope that you enjoy it.  I know that the combination seems odd, but once you try these ribs, I think that you will enjoy them.


  • Pork Spareribs (trimmed St. Lous style)
  • Paprika
  • Honey Hog Rub from Meat Church
  • 1 Cup of creamy Peanut butter
  • 1 cup of Jelly of your choice.  Strawberry, Black Raspberry and Grape all work well.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Beer of choice, I used a Modelo Especial for mine, but any beer will work.  Just remember, the stronger the beer, the more flavor it will add to the ribs.
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce.  I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce.


  1. Trim your spareribs and remove the membrane, if necessary.
  2. Mix paprika and Honey Hog Seasoning to taste.  (Use any rub that you like on your ribs, they all work equally well)
  3. Gently rub this combination on your ribs, covering them generously on both the front and the back of the ribs.
  4. Set your smoke to 250 to 275 degrees F.  I used a hickory blend for this smoke.
  5. In a pan, add 1 cup of jelly, 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of Honey Hog Seasoning (or seasoning of your choice), 1/4 cup of beer, 1 teaspoon of your BBQ sauce, stir and mix well.
  6. Place spareribs on the smoke with the meat side up.
  7. Mop the spareribs every hour with some beer and flip the spareribs to get them to cook evenly.
  8. After about 3 hours, place the ribs in an aluminum foil boat and pour 1/4 cup of beer, spread the mixed peanut butter and jelly sauce over the ribs, close the aluminum foil boat tightly over the ribs and place them back on the smoker for about 2 hours.
  9. After two hours, remove the ribs from the foil and mop the ribs with the remaining peanut butter and jelly mixture and smoke the ribs for one additional hour.
  10. Remove the ribs from the smoker, add additional BBQ sauce if desired (I don't think this is necessary) and enjoy.



Drink Recommendations

My personal favorite for this type of meal is a cold beer.  You truly can't go wrong with any style of beer that you drink with this type of meal.  I would probably enjoy a "Ruckus" from Lockport Brewery if I wanted to enjoy a local brew.  If I was going mainstream, I would go with a lager from any of those breweries out there that produce mindless corporate swill available all over the country.

If I was going to enjoy wine with this meal, I would recommend a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.  Breitenbach Winery here in Dover makes a pretty good Cab.  If you want something from a larger vineyard or winery that can be found anywhere in the country, Dreaming Tree has a good cabernet.

If you want to really bring out the smokey flavors of the BBQ, I recommend a Smoked Old Fashioned cocktail made with a Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker.  Link is below.

Smokeshow Starter Bundle Offer » Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker ( 

Brewery | Lockport Brewery | United States (

Breitenbach Wine Cellars | Award-Winning Amish Country Wines

Home | Dreaming Tree Wines



Sunday, July 2, 2023

Grilled Garlic and Herb Crusted Steaks with Blue Cheese Sauce

Grilled Garlic and Herb Crusted Steaks with Blue Cheese Sauce

A perfect dinner for a romantic evening at home with your best friend, wife or someone that you are hoping to impress.

Garlic and Herb Rub Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme 


  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Apply a thin coating of a neutral tasting oil like vegetable or canola oil to the steaks.
  3. Apply dry ingredients liberally to the steaks.  Allow the steaks to rest in the refrigerator for at least two hours, then remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before grilling.
  4. Grill steaks to your desired temperature.

Blue Cheese Steak Sauce


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola, divided.
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce


  1. Warm cream in a small saucepan by bringing it to a gentle simmer over a medium-low flame.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring as the cream thickens.  Stir constantly to prevent the cream from burning or curdling.
  2. Add 2 ounces of the blue cheese.  Using a fork, mash and stir the cheese into the cream until a few lumps are visible.
  3. Once the cheese has completely melted, add the Worcestershire sauce, stirring constantly to prevent burning or scorching.
  4. Continue to simmer 3 to 5 minutes more, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  5. Slowly stir in the remaining blue cheese to incorporate into the sauce.  Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove to prevent the cheese from melting completely, which would make the sauce runny.
  6. Serve immediately over cooked steak while it is still warm and before the cheese has melted, allowing the flavor to seep into the meat just before serving.
  7. Enjoy

* I actually add a bit of fresh chives to this just before serving.  Chop the fresh chives in small pieces and stir into the sauce.  The chives add a bit of "onion" flavor to the sauce, but it is not overpowering at all.






Your Go-To Summer Cocktail

 Here it is in all its glory:

Kentucky Cherry Limeade

2 or 3 cocktail cherries, muddled in a mixing glass plus a splash of the cocktail cherry juice


1/2 shot of grenadine

1/2 shot of lime juice

1 shot of bourbon of your choice to the cocktail mixing glass and stir.

Fill a highball with ice, pour contents of cocktail mixing glass over ice, top with sprite, stir and garnish with a cocktail cherry and a lime wedge if you like.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Shrimp Eggroll in a Bowl

The season to cook on my Blackstone griddle has arrived and that makes me very happy.

I love to cook outside, whether it be on my grill, griddle, smoker, or my Big Easy Air doesn't matter to me which I am using, as long as I am outside using one of the many devices that I have available to me.

 My Blackstone griddle is the 4-burner model which is ideal if you want to have the ability to make large batches of food for the entire family.  If you aren't apt to have more than a couple of people over for dinner, then a 2 burner model would suffice.

 I am going to give you my recipe for Shrimp Eggroll in a Bowl but this recipe can be modified to use any protein that you would like, whether it be beef, chicken, seafood or plant based proteins such as tofu.


  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 cups of roughly chopped green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup of chopped carrots (or you can purchase a bag of pre-chopped slaw mix that has the cabbage already chopped and the carrots in it.  This is what I do)
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails off
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce (you can use reduced sodium soy sauce if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon or Sriracha sauce (more or less to taste, I use about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds (optional)


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat or do the same on your griddle.
  2. Add the onion, cabbage, carrots, and garlic.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is softened, and the carrots are tender.
  3. Push the vegetables to the side of the griddle or pan.  Add the sesame oil to the griddle top or to the pan and let it heat up for a minute, then add the shrimp.  Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is pink and opaque throughout.
  4. Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, Sriracha sauce, green onions and sesame seeds (if using).  Stir to combine all items and cook for another minute or two, mixing the sauce well throughout the mixture.
  5. Serve and enjoy.
If you use chicken, pork or beef with this recipe the cooking time will be longer so that the meat reaches the proper temperature for consumption.

 Drink Pairings

Beer: For this dish, I would enjoy a Gateway Ale from Lockport Brewing here in NE Ohio.  If you can get their beers, I highly recommend making the trip.  

Brewery | Lockport Brewery | United States (

If you don't have access to the wonderful beers from Lockport Brewing, then I would go with a Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing or a Little Kings Cream Ale from Cincinnati Beverage Company.

Wine: A nice Sauvignon Blanc from Chateau St. Michelle is ideal with this dinner.  It is a light and tasty wine, and you can usually find it for under $20.00.

Cocktail: A classic Mojito is ideal with this dish. 




Sunday, May 7, 2023

Smoked Chicken Tostadas

 This recipe came about because I had left-over smoked chicken thighs...I obviously didn't want to throw out the chicken, so I had to find something else to make with it for dinner over the next couple of days.  This is the end result.  I will be providing you the recipe for "smoked chicken thighs in this dish, but you can just as easily grill these chicken thighs if you don't have a smoker available, or if you just don't care for smoked meat (what is wrong with people that don't like smoked meat)?



  • 10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I know, this isn't what you normally see in my recipes)


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper


  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of the spice rub from above
  • 2 tablespoons of barbeque sauce (your choice)


  1. Prepare your smoker by preheating to 225-250 degrees F.
  2. Combine all of the rub ingredients together.
  3. Rub the spice rub all over the chicken thighs, massaging some under the skin as well.
  4. Place the thighs, skin-side up in your smoker.
  5. Smoke using a fruitwood like apple or cherry.  I use a mix of the two.  If you want to make them a little "smokier" add some hickory to the smoker.
  6. Prepare your mop by mixing all of your ingredients together.
  7. After about 45 minutes mop the thighs, then every 30 minutes after that until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  8. Remove from the smoker and allow to rest for 15 minutes before shredding for use on your tostadas.

Assemble your tostadas!

  1. Place your tostada shell on your plate.
  2. Smear some pre-heated refried beans on the shell or skip this step if you prefer.
  3. Top with your freshly shredded smoked chicken.
  4. Sprinkle with three-cheese blend or cheddar cheese.
  5. Add jalapenos to the top.  (I used my candied jalapenos; the recipe is here on the blog).
  6. Add a dab of sour cream, as much or as little as you like.
  7. Squeeze blueberry habanero hot sauce on top of your tostada.  I use Blueberry Habanero hot sauce from Heartbeat Hot Sauce.  This hot sauce isn't what I would call "hot" but it does have a little kick along with the sweetness of the blueberries. Heartbeat Hot Sauce Co. 
  8. Enjoy!!!

Drink Pairings:

Wine: As with most smoked meats, a red wine is ideal with this meal.  I recommend Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon.  

Home | Dreaming Tree Wines

Beer: Lockpuerto Cerveza from Lockport Brewing or Negra Modelo. 

Brewery | Lockport Brewery | United States (
Casa Modelo | Casa Modelo Mexican Beer (

Cocktail: I would recommend a Blueberry Margarita with this dinner.   






Skillet Shrimp Fajitas

This easy recipe makes fantastic and flavorful shrimp fajitas.  This recipe works well in a fajita bowl with rice and sauce or wrapped in a flour or corn tortilla.  This is a recipe that you can prepare quickly, usually in about 15 minutes or so.


  • 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 3-4 bell peppers of different colors, sliced
  • a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Tortillas for serving (we use the "Carb Smart" from Mission)

Fajita Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika (you can use sweet paprika instead, but I prefer the smoky flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all fajita seasoning ingredients.
  2. Add the shrimp to a shallow bowl and sprinkle with half of the seasoning.  Mix well to coat, then set aside.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  4. Add the remaining seasoning and mix well, remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining oil and add the shrimp.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.
  6. Return vegetables to the skillet and mix to combine.  Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro and serve with warm tortillas.
  7. Top the tortillas with cheese, sour cream and guacamole or eat it as is...whatever you prefer.
  8. ENJOY

Drink Pairings:

Wine: A nice white Sangria goes perfect with this meal.  (I will be sharing a white Sangria recipe in the future)

Beer: If you are local to this area (northeast Ohio) then I recommend Lockpuerto Cerveza from Lockport Brewing.  Enjoy this Mexican-style dark lager with or without a lime.  If you can't get Lockport beers then I recommend that you move closer.  If that isn't possible, then I would go with a Negra Modelo. 

Cocktail: The Tequila Sunrise cocktail pairs very well with this dinner, especially if you are enjoying it "al fresco" on your patio or deck.  To make a Tequila Sunrise cocktail you only need three ingredients, tequila, grenadine, and orange juice.


  1. Add the tequila and then the orange juice to a chilled highball glass filled with ice.
  2. Top with grenadine, which will sink to the bottom of the glass, creating a layered effect.
  3. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.








Chipotle Pepper and Adobo Chicken Burrito Bowl


You don't need a trip to Chipotle for a chicken burrito bowl if you make this recipe.  The marinade takes the chicken to the next level and in my opinion, is better than what you get at Chipotle.

Marinate the chicken ahead of time and grill it right before you are ready to serve the burrito bowls.  Just like the restaurant, what you put in the bowl is your choice.  You can use white or brown rice, pinto beans or black beans, get the idea...right????


For Marinade:

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

For the Burrito Bowl

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups of cooked white or brown rice (I use white rice and add lime juice, dried cilantro and some garlic to the cooking process to give it more flavor, but that isn't necessary)
  • 2 cups of shredded lettuce (I don't use this, but many people do)
  • 1 can of cooked black beans (I add chopped onion and smoked paprika to my beans)  
  • Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • Salsa (whatever type you like)
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole (Julie likes this)


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the onion, chipotle peppers and sauce, garlic, chicken broth, lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and pepper.  I actually use a hand blender in a glass 8 cup measuring cup to make the sauce.
  3. Put your thawed chicken in a 1-gallon zip lock bag, then pour the marinade over it.  Seal and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to a maximum of 4 hours.  If you marinate it for too long, the lime juice will start to cook the meat and effect the finished product.
  4. When you are ready, pre-heat your grill.  Sear the chicken on both sides to lock in the juices then lower the heat on the grill to medium and cook until an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees F.  Remove from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Chop the chicken to the desired size.  Serve it on top of the rice along with lettuce, beans, cheese, salsa, Pico de Gallo, sour cream, and guacamole.  (Or any combination of toppings that you prefer.)
  6. ENJOY!!!

Drink Pairings:

Wine: A nice robust red wine goes very well with this dish.  Apothic Red is a very tasty wine and is typically found for around $10 per bottle.  A nice Sangria would work will with this dish too. (Recipe coming soon)

Beer: For this dish, of course you have to enjoy a "Mexican" beer such as Modelo, Tecate. Sol, or if you can't find anything else, a good old Corona.

Cocktails: The best cocktail to pair with this dish is a Margarita...seriously, were you expecting something else? 






Monday, May 1, 2023

Bloody Mary Brats---Give them a try, you will not be disappointed.


I love this recipe.  These brats are good on game day or just if you want to have some friends over for a gathering on your deck or patio.  Your dinner guests will ask for this recipe, there is not question about it.  Everyone that I know, loves these brats.  Served up on a "crusty bread bun" is the best way to serve them, in my opinion but many people will just eat them sliced up on their plate with the peppers and the sauce.


  • 10 brats, I prefer spicy brats but any style works with this recipe.
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 orange pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, sliced
  • 1 bottle of Bloody Mary mix. (I use Zing Zang bold but any type of mix will do)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 10 Hoagie or Sausage buns


  1. Melt butter in a pan/skillet add in onion, celery, peppers.  Cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Add the bottle of Bloody Mary Mix and allow to simmer uncovered.  While the sauce is simmering grill your brats, once the brats are fully cooked, add them to the sauce and pepper mixture and allow them to simmer for a few more minutes.
  3. Serve in a bun topped with the vegetables and ladle out a small bowl of the sauce for dipping.
  4. ENJOY!!  
I prepared this entire outside on my patio.  I used my Charbroil Commerical grade infrared grill with side burner.  I have had this grill for several years and it has been the best that I have ever owned.  If you get a chance, check it out on the charbroil page linked below.


4-Burner Gas Grill | Commercial Series™ | Amplifire™ | Char-Broil® (



Drink Pairings

Beer or Ale-Any style of beer will compliment this diner.  I would recommend something like Ruckus IPA from Lockport Brewing or Falls IPA from Hoodletown Brewing company.  French Ridge from Millersburg Brewing is another strong choice for this meal.

Wine-I would definitely recommend a "hearty" red wine with this meal.  Dusty Dewey from French Ridge Vineyards is a good choice as is the Cabernet Sauvignon from Josh.

For a cocktail, what better choice than a Bloody Mary, if you are really feeling adventurous you could use a chunk of the bratwurst as a garnish along with a celery stick and a couple of jalapeno slices. 


Brewery | Lockport Brewery | United States (

Hoodletown Brewing Company - Brewery in Dover, Ohio

Millersburg Brewing Company | Craft Beer | Millersburg Ohio

French Ridge Vineyards

Bloody Mary Mix – Zing Zang