Archive for the ‘grill’ Category

Such a Bummer

I was excited for some juicy pork chops and tender, smoky potatoes the other night.

But the grill caught fire.

Such disappointment.


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We eat like kings around here. It’s a crime, really. Sometimes I feel guilty looking at all the delicious food we have on our plates! But I do feel a little less so knowing that we raised most of the food ourselves.

On that plate down there is Grilled Venison Back Strap, Stuffed Potato Skins, Roasted Asparagus, and fresh garden salad with this dressing. Here is what we raised/shot ourselves: the venison (acquired by Bradley), parsley, Swiss chard, yogurt, asparagus, lettuce, and onions (in the dressing). The tomatoes came from our neighbor’s green house. Unfortunately the potatoes came from the grocery store. We ran out of homegrown ones a couple of months ago. I guess we eat a lot of potatoes.

As I was sitting there eating this meal, flanked by Jada and Tage with Brad next to Jada, I thought to myself that it was the best one I’d eaten in a long time, and in some of the best company. I cherish those times when I look at my family and think, “I am so lucky!” I don’t get tears in my eyes over such things too often but that night was one of them. Eating a delicious meal with the ones I love. Spectacular.

Bugger. I’m tearing up as I type this!

(Oh, and then we had homemade ice cream with fresh strawberries later on for dessert, after I ran the mower out of gas and helped Brad hoe the garden. That ice cream was definitely worthy of a king’s feast! Recipe coming soon!)

Grilled Marinated Venison Back Strap*

Marinade recipe adapted from Goodness and Joy Cooking: A Collection of Recipes from Mount Joy Mennonite Church Families

1 1 1/2-pound venison back strap

1/2 cup canola oil

3 T soy sauce

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 t black pepper

1 t salt

1 T parsley flakes

1/4 t garlic powder

Mix everything together except the venison. Submerge the venison in the marinade and refrigerate at least half a day or up to 24 hours, flipping if necessary to give all sides of the meat a chance to marry the marinate.

When ready to make the meat, heat your grill on high until it reaches 500 degrees. Throw the back strap on and put the lid down. Flip it after about 10 minutes and cook for another 8 or 10 minutes. You want it to be pretty red on the inside as it continues to cook while resting. Remove to a plate and cover with tin foil. Let rest for at least 20 minutes. Slice thinly and serve.

This recipe works for beef steaks, too.

Serves: 4

Stuffed Potato Skins

4 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes

2 large leaves Swiss chard, chopped

2 t oil

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 T plain yogurt

1 t butter



chili powder

Scrub the potatoes. Cover them with water in a pot and cook until soft all the way through. Drain the water. Cool slightly, just enough to be able to handle them.

Meanwhile, saute the chard in the oil until wilted. Set aside.

Cut them in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/4 inch sides. Mash the flesh with the chard, cheese, yogurt, butter, salt, and pepper. Grease a baking dish and lay the potatoes in skin side down. Sprinkle the holes with salt and pepper. Fill them with the mash and using your fingers, sprinkle a bit of chili powder on top of each one.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or until hot. Serve immediately.

Serves: 8

Roasted Asparagus





Place the asparagus spears in a casserole dish or cookie sheet with sides. Drizzle with a bit of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for about 15 or 20 minutes, just until crisp tender and the tips are a bit crunchy.

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I splurged the other day. Bought two lovely salmon fillets. Mmmm, were they ever delicious on the grill. You see, we had an unusually balmy February day. 67 degrees! How could we not uncover the grill?! The kids were running about outside in the mud and muck. My brothers were here working. We decided to invite them for dinner and grill up the salmon.

So at 2 in the afternoon, I whipped up this marinade. It’s so simple and deliciously flavorful. They say you aren’t supposed to marinate fish for much longer than a half hour but the salmon didn’t seem affected by the long soak time. In fact, I’d say it only helped it. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Salmon Marinade

Adapted from Goodness and Joy Cooking (my church’s cookbook)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 T Cajun seasoning (recipe below)

1 T dried parsley

2 T lemon juice

1 T honey

1 T low-sodium soy sauce

Combine ingredients. Plop in the salmon and make sure every square inch has gotten drenched in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate a few hours. Cook in whatever fashion you please…we used the grill.

Yield: enough marinade for two nice salmon fillets

Cajun Seasoning

Adapted from some recipe I found on the world wide web

2 T paprika

1 T salt

1 T freshly ground black pepper

2 t garlic powder

2 t onion powder

1 t cayenne pepper (original recipe said two)

1 t dried oregano

1 t dried thyme

Stir all the spices together and store in a jar.

Yield: about 1/3 cup

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