Sunday, September 18, 2011

We are all skeptics.

Looks like apples, tastes like apples,
but it's not apples!
My work friends are cool. They are the reason I semi-like going there. They give me great ideas for many of the things on my blog and they are usually the taste testers. My friend Carl, from work, eats a lot of "fake" things and tells us how they taste just like something else. For example, the fake Big Mac. He keeps on telling all of us about the fake Big Mac and how it really does taste just like the real thing. I'm skeptical. How in the world does fake meat ever really taste like a real Big Mac?

This is zucchini,
not apples. Skeptical.
Sliced up and ready to go.
Fake apples.
Well, now that it is fall and everyone's gardens are overflowing, there was a giant zucchini left on the table in the staff lounge, free for the taking. Seriously, this thing was huge. We split it in three and of course, Carl is telling us about this fake apple crisp that you make out of zucchini and that I should try to make it. Skeptical, but intrigued.

Wait! Could it be?
Apple or zucchini?
He emails me the recipe and I take it home, still skeptical, but since I had all of the ingredients, I thought, what the hell. I told Jasen all about this because I sometimes try to trick my family into eating things that they end up loving, but have no clue what's actually in it. Turkey Tacos. He is instantly in for this little journey down the fake apple crisp road. Skeptical.

Here is what we did:
8 cups of thinly sliced zucchini, like you would slice apples if it was real apple crisp.
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon, I actually messed up here and put in 2 Tbs and it was delicious.

1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cups of butter, room temp

My favorite part, the crumbly topping.
Oh how I love you crumbly topping.
Place the slice zucchini and lemon juice in a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until they are tender. It takes about 15 minutes. Add the nutmeg, sugar and cinnamon and blend until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and pour into a greased 13x9 glass baking dish.

Make the topping by combining the brown sugar, flour, oats and butter. Mix this all around until it is crumbly. This takes a little work to get it all crumbly, but it is worth the mixing. Sprinkle this over the top of the zucchini and bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

The house smelled like lots of cinnamon and we took this out of the oven a little less skeptical because it smelled sooooo good. We scooped it into bowls and topped it with ice cream. Even less skeptical because it looked soooooo good. Then we tasted it. Maybe that fake Big Mac really does taste like the real thing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What's Up? Chicken Butt!

Looks like you got a corn cob stuck up
your butt.  Nope,that's a beer can.
Butt, seriously, look at the
placement of the thermometer.
My friend Tracy, who is also my cousin which is a whole different story, sent me a link to Beer Can Chicken. I have seen this one before and have always wanted to make it. I have no idea what has been holding me back, but now that I have made it and it was DELICIOUS, I will be making it again, but with one of my little changes, of course. I might just do this rub to wings because the skin is so good.

My little helpers were in the kitchen today delegating and supervising when I had to rinse the chicken. I turn on the cold water, cut open the wrapper to the chicken and both kids said, "What are you going to do with that??" Logen also wanted to know where the chicken's head was. That alone turned into an interesting conversation. I start washing the outside of the chicken and tell the kids he is getting a bath and the both laugh. Then, I rinsed out the inside and the water started flowing right from where the chicken's head should be, Logen informed me, right out of his butt. When the shower of water came rushing out of that chicken's butt, the kids busted out! It was more than a 3 and 5 year old could handle. Imagine Hyenas. That is what these two sounded like. I can't knock them. Just hearing someone say fart still makes me giggle. Yes, I know, very sixth grade of me, but come on people, you know you laugh at fart too. Fart, fart, fart. Ok. Back to the story.

The little helpers
yucking it up for
the camera.
So the kids are busting up about this chicken's butt and I pat him dry with paper towels only to put a half of a can of beer onto a plate. Again, "Mommy what are you going to do with that?" Payten did ask if she could have a sip. Yes, I know, she is the one that is going to give us the problems. We three are standing at the kitchen counter staring down the can of beer, me wondering how the hell this chicken is going to stand with this can up its butt and the kids wondering what the heck is about to happen.

Coat that little butt good. You will
be happy you did when you
get a taste in about an hour!
That's when it did happen. One can of beer right up the butt, of the chicken that is. What's up? Chicken Butt! Again laughing and giggles. Then we put the rub on and when I rubbed the chicken's butt, that's when the shit hit the fan. Not literally, of course, I did just get done washing his little butt out. Every and all butt joke they could muster up came out. Mommy is rubbing a chicken's butt, ahahahhaha! Yes, I rubbed that chicken's little butt. Patted him all up with seasoned rub, just like talcum powder onto a baby.

Now it was time for the big transfer to the grill and the moment of truth. Will the lid shut with the beer can up the butt chicken on it? I set it on the grill, started closing the lid and trumpets sounded! Yes! It fit in the grill.

That chicken sat uncomfortably for about an hour with that beer can in his butt and he was done! We carved like it was Thanksgiving and I will tell you, Beer Can Up the Butt Chicken is AWESOME! So the next time you hear someone say What's up? You go right ahead and tell them Chicken Butt!

Here is what I did:

Heat the grill to medium heat, around 375.

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs Chili powder
2 Tbs Paprika
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Mix all of the above together.

1/2 can of beer
2 Tbs melted butter

Place the can of beer onto a plate. Rinse the chicken well and pat dry, then place the chicken onto the beer can, leg to the bottom. Sprinkle about 1 Tbs of the rub into the chicken from the top, then baste the entire chicken with the melted butter. Take the remaining rub and coat the entire chicken, top to bottom, with the rub.

Take this to the grill and put it on there. Place the thermometer into the chicken by the thigh, but not close to the bone, close the lid and let it cook. When the temp reaches 180 on the thermometer, the chicken is done. It is soooo good.