Tag Archive: Grillin’

Oct 17

The Rents (parents) Come to Town!

All, I would like you to meet my pops!  He built the knowledge foundation to just about everything that I’ve accomplish in life.  That foundation is something I draw on all the time when doing the things that I write about on Fireside Dreamers(DIY, Recipes, etc…)  I was very fortunate to have grown up in a place that not everything was handed to me.  I had to work for many of the things that I had back then, which now translates into working for thing things that Kelli and I have now.  I could go on and on about the many things that I love about my dad as well as my other amazing parents but we have plenty of posts for that.

Let’s jump back over to the topic of this post: My Dad and Step-Mom, who I also am very lucky to have in my life, have driven the 550 miles to come pay Kelli and I a visit for a long weekend.  For more a detailed map of their general directions see below or if you would like to schedule your own personalized visit please contact us at 1-800-We love visitors so come see us(not sure what the exact numbers would be on the phone for that one.)

If you do come visit us, you will also be greeted by this crazy feller.   He looks like he is very much on alert right now.  It’s probably from a leaf blowing or some other killer threat to our property.  Oh Barkley, you wear a tough look on the outside but you are such a cuddly baby on the inside.

We had quite the manly meal this particular evening.  I don’t know the exact amount of ingredients used in any part of the dish, mostly because I cook on the fly.  So, if I ever make food that you eat its guaranteed to be one of a kind!

The summary version of this meal: meat and potatoes!!  now that’s what I’m talking about!!!  Don’t get me wrong I like some Eggplant Stacks or some Zucchini, Tomato, Cucumber, Feta Pasta Salad , but it doesn’t get any better than a T-Bone, Filet Mignon, and some roasted potatoes(see below 🙂 )

My dad and I swapping photo tips.  We look so intense!

Just a little FYI.  I used to stand over steaks while they were cooking on the grill and watch them like a hawk.  And I would get anxious and nervous that they would burn so I would flip it too soon and then have to flip it and flip it and flip it and flip it and flip it because it wouldn’t be done.  Note to self(and others): let the steaks rest and only flip twice!!!

I’ve learned that if I get them on the grill and go do something, by the the time I get back, they are ready to turn (roughly 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the steak.)  Then I flip them, go do something again and then come back and they are just about finished.  It’s like the old saying ‘A watched pot never boils.’

While the steaks were on the grill Barkley and I had enough time to take a photo op.

And that my friends, is a well grilled steak!  I’m personally a medium-rare guy, but Kelli likes hers medium on the inside.  You throw a little asparagus, my favorite grilled veggie, and you got yourself a meal fit for king!

My dad had a pretty good idea for the asparagus.  Use two skewers through either side of each one to make it very simple to flip.  It worked like a beaut!

The steaks were amazing, but having my parents here to feast on them made them that much better.  Anyone can make food, but it’s the company that you are with that makes a meal unforgettable!  Kelli and I loved having the rents in town over that weekend and hopefully they can come again sooner rather than later!  Love you guys!


Aug 27

Fireside Dreamers Site Night

When our “development” team for Fireside Dreamers gets together for a site night we try and mix the work and play.  For example: the site night prior to this particular site night we had our wing-off where Jay ran away with the win.  You can read more about his killer recipe on the wing-off post.

We decided that for this night’s event/menu would be shish kabobs but with a little twist. The challenge that was presented to each of the site nighters was to bring a vegetable or dish that was a little different or unique than our usual just meat on the grill menu.  I think we ended up with some tasty things to eat and had a great time making them.  Also, you will notice below that we have some adult beverages.  They really help get the creative juices flowing.  These are a must to come up with the master ideas that come out of the site night!

Kelli is putting the sirloin steak that had been marinating since lunch onto the skewers.  I don’t believe the marinade was anything special.  I think it was a basic A1 marinade that we got at the store…still pretty tasty thought!

  One quick tip: if using wooden skewers do not forget to soak them in water prior to use.  If forgotten, plan on having crispy skewers that snap like twigs and leave a burnt smell on your kabob.

Tess rose to the challenge of acquiring and using some unique vegetables on our kabobs.  We had the obvious vegetables like onions, peppers, mushrooms, but we also had some very different veggies like avocados, cucumbers, and plantains!  The new veggies put a cool twist on a dish that we eat so often, even though I think the grill master(me) extremely overcooked the new veggies…oops!

Here’s what Barkley thinks of site night….  Now if it was “throw my soccer ball all night long” night he might be a little bit more excited.  Maybe next time bud.

Here’s what a site night really consist of:  85% of the time is us sitting around chattin’ it up and drinking some brewskis, 10% of the time everyone’s productive and building cool things, and the last 5% is looking at the other blogs that Kelli just found when she told us she was “working.” Staying up just isn’t in the cards for her.  If she tries to stay up too late she gets a little loopy.  That’s when kooky Kelli shows herself, its quite the site to see if you’ve never had the pleasure to observe it!!

For our kabobs we decided that it was just easier to separate  the veggies and the meat.  This makes it quite a bit easier to make sure that everything is cooked correctly and things don’t get to burnt or not quite done.  The picture is making me hungry just looking at it.

Here’s our grill full of food! Like usual, we cooked enough to feed an army.  That just means leftovers for the next couple days’ lunches.

One thing I forgot to mention that Jay has become the master at his jalapeno poppers.  It’s essentially jalapenos sliced in half with the seeds removed, cream cheese placed in the cavity where the seeds were, and then wrapped in my personal favorite, BACON!!!!  These are super simple to make and if you bring them to your next backyard party or tailgate I guarantee you will be the hit of the party!

I’m pretty sure Jay has started eating them with just about every meal that he makes.  I mean they are GOOD!!

The rest of the grilling was pretty simple.  Just leave the skewers on each side for 7-10 minutes depending on if it’s meat or vegetables.  Take them off and serve.  Be sure to eat the jalapeno poppers first as your appetizer!

In conclusion, up to the point of eating was the 85% of the site night.  We worked for the next 10%, which we got some ads up and began to set up an Etsy shop(much more to come later on that),  and finally concluded with Kelli finding it very interesting that you can make your laundry detergent.  I call it a success! Thanks for reading and stay classy San Diego.

Don’t forget that if you enjoyed reading this post or any other writings you should subscribe to Fireside Dreamers!  The only thing that happens from this is you will get that newest post straight to your email inbox.  Click here for instruction!

Jul 06

Chicken Drumstick Heaven

Let me start by saying that I don’t ordinarily enjoy eating meat off of a bone. Eric, on the other hand, doesn’t find anything more manly than doing just that. Admittedly, I have a strange relationship with meat…I either love it or hate it, depending on the day. Very strange, I know. My Mom says that I’ve always been particular about my meat eating.

Regardless, Eric and I like to buy meat at Safeway on Sundays when it goes on clearance. That’s right, clearance meat. It’s not past it’s sale by date though, we promise. We usually buy whatever is on sale and figure out a way to cook it. We like a good challenge! When we bought chicken drumsticks last time, I wasn’t quite thrilled. I have to say, after making these delicious fellas I’ll be excited next time the drumsticks go on sale!

We decided to make two batches of marinades to try them two different ways. One was a wet marinade that soaked for 4 hours. The other was a dry rub that sat in the fridge the same amount of time.

This is a beer marinade inspired by www.keyingredient.com. Find her recipe here.
It consists of:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 can room temperature beer
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 Tbs chilli powder
1 Tbs brown sugar

& half a beer 🙂
A couple Tsp salt and pepper

The dry rub was my own creation.
Dry Rub:
Fresh chives (about 6 slivers chopped)
1 tsp Sriracha
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tbs seasoned sea salt
1 tbs pepper
We started with the grill on high heat.
When you place the drumsticks on the grill, immediately turn the heat to low. See the dry rub hard at work. The beer chicken had a nice charred skin. SO good!Leave on the grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side (or until done). Don’t flip them before the 4 minutes are up or you can take off some of the yummy charred skin. I have to say, the dry rub had a great deal more flavor than the beer marinade. Personally, I liked the kick that the Sriracha gave the little guys. I’ll definitely be using that rub again soon! I think it’d be great on chicken breasts as well.

We have an amazing local greenhouse called Ricky and Lucy’s. Visit their website here. They have all sorts of wonderful plants to choose from, as well as spices, pastas, oils, herbs, etc. We took a visit out there a couple weeks ago and bought lots of goodies. We got a garlic, spinach, tomato pasta that was absolutely to-die-for! We topped it with olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, and fresh basil. There are no words to describe the flavors in this pasta. Talk about pasta heaven! It was a great addition to the delicious drumsticks.

We also bought an olive oil herb mix at Ricky and Lucy’s. I made some bread that we dipped in the mixture as an appetizer. It really doesn’t get much better than this!So, next time you see chicken drumsticks go on sale, pick them up and try these recipes! It makes for a great summer evening meal!

Jun 26

Chicken Wing Off

Hello Chicken Wing Off Night! I like to think of the chicken wing as a little bite sized piece of heaven.  You have 3-4 bites of every thing a person could want: chicken, sauce, eating off a bone, and usually an adult beverage to wash it down.  In the food world, I’m not sure anything gets more satisfying and simple as the chicken wing.

If you haven’t figured it out yet this is me, Eric, writing this post. About once a month, the FiresideDreamers “Production Team” gets together for a good ole fashion “site night”.  Each time we get together we like to mix it up a bit, so this particular evenings theme was Site Night – Chicken Wing Off. Below was the picture-perfect final result!!  Here’s how it all unfolded…

If you’ve never had the chance to make chicken wings, this will be a good post for you.  I’m going to take you from start to finish how to prep, grill, and coat the wings in sauce.

The first step is to buy the wings.  We get ours from Wal-Mart because literally no other grocery store sells them here in Sidney (which is pretty much the story on most things here)

Once they’re home, I will take the entire wing (which consists of a mini-drumstick, a wing, and a tip) and separate them into individual pieces.  It’s not the most visually appealing part of the process. I bought one package for roughly $7.00 that had 16 full wings x 2 once separated, which totaled 32 chicken wings for the group.

** Something I learned during this part is to make sure to use a super sharp knife and make sure you are cutting through the cartilage and not the actual bone.  You can tell the difference because the bone will take a lot of force to cut, where the cartilage should be fairly easy to get through.

Once each full wing is cut up, I like to throw them all in a bowl with a little bit of olive oil and some salt and pepper and let them sit for a bit.  The real reason I do this is that my arms are tired from all the cuts that I need a breather :). Oh, and it seasons the wings.

Now on to the competition. Here’s the FiresideDreamers production team, Jay and Tess. Both are very talented people and we want to thank each of them for all the help that they VOLUNTEER for the site in order to make “The Dream” (get it!) happen!!  They are getting their shake on, trying to coat the wings with their signature sauce.

For this competition, we did a blind taste test.  For those of you that don’t know me, that means Eric making up random rules that he thinks are legit (that may or may not make sense). Below is what I came up with.  The three “tasters” next to each other with Kelli dipping toothpicks into each one and then handing to each of us.  We then tallied on a scale of 1-4 what we thought of each one.  And the winner of the Chicken Wing Off blind taste test was….

JAY!!!!  He definitely put the most time into his sauce.  He used this Bourbon Whiskey BBQ Sauces Recipe as his base and then Jay-ified (it’s a new word) it with some more adult friendly beverage as well as, and I quote,”I also sang to it while it cooled which I feel added depth to the flavor.”  It won him the competition so I wouldn’t rule it out the next time you are craving some killer wing sauce.

Now back to the actual grilling of the wings.  Once I’ve let the wings sit in the oil, salt, and pepper for a little while I will place them on a medium-high preheated grill.  I usually leave them on each side for roughly 3-5 minutes and then flip as needed until thoroughly cooked.  At this point you are getting hungry and just can’t wait for them to get done.

You have two steps left.  As soon as you feel the wing is cooked, place them into a Tupperware container that already has the sauce in it.  Shake them vigorously to completely coat the wing in your award winning sauce.  The last step, which is crucial to a crispy wing, is to place each coated wing onto a cookie sheet in your oven on high broil.  I would highly recommend using a cooling rack with a piece of foil underneath.

Keep a close eye on this step!!!!!!!!!  I cannot stress this enough.  These will burn very quickly!!

If the heavens align, and you didn’t get too caught up in those brewskis, you will turn out some great wings.  All of which is done at a very reasonable price.  So, next time you have a group of friends coming over or you just have a hankering for some wings remember this Chicken Wing off!

Do you have any good wing sauce recipes that you would like to share?  We are always looking some new things to try.  Leave us a comment on below or hit us up on Facebook.  Until next time, enjoy!