Thursday, August 26, 2010

Labor Day $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway

It's almost Labor Day - the last official weekend of summer. What will you be doing to celebrate Labor Day? We are having an End of Summer, End of Baseball, Belated Birthday bash at our camper. We will be preparing lots of yummy foods and debuting our new Mango Lime Salsa.

As a way of celebrating the end of summer, we will be giving away a $25 Dad's Roadhouse gift certificate to one lucky person who posts their favorite Labor Day memory on our blog. The gift certificate can be redeemed on-line or at one of our events in the Chicagoland area. The winner will be randomly drawn on Tuesday, September 7th. After all, your favorite memory might occur this year!

How to earn entries -
1. Post your favorite Labor Day memory on our blog in comments.
2. Friend us on facebook at Dad's Roadhouse and let us know in blog comments.
3. Follow us on the blog and let us know in blog comments.

Good luck!

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Well, it's Thursday and a day late for What's Cookin' Wednesday but here we are anyway! Last weekend, we went to the great natural farm we stumbled upon earlier this summer in Plano, IL. We really look forward to our weekly treks to Audi's Acres. If you are in the area, stop by and check out the assortment of natural veggies available. In the meantime visit their website at Audi's Acres. Ed is super friendly and knows his tomatoes. This week we purchased a Morgage Lifter heirloom tomatoe as well as a Polish Lingusia heirloom tomatoe. We'll see what next week brings!

This week we have plans to grill some beautiful Michigan peaches. After they are grilled they will be sprinkled with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar. This will be a first so we will let you know how they turn out!

The local farm stand has some perfect looking pickling cucumbers. We will be making Ma's Pickles this weekend. These are freezer pickles Larry's grandmother use to make. We haven't made them in a very long time so now is a perfect time to dust off the recipe.

Please leave a comment on what's cookin' at your house this week!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekend Review

It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend in our part of Illinois this weekend. School is starting this week and travel baseball is gearing back up after a very short break. So what did you do this weekend?

School supplies are bought. The trip to Walmart wasn't too painful. We got out for less than $25 in supplies. And they had everything we needed!

We are finally planning the Labor Day end of baseball, back to school, birthday party. We are going with a somewhat Italian theme this year - marinated chicken breasts, wings, lasagna, Italian Bread salad and mixed lettuce salad. Of course there will be appetizers and deserts, too. We finally have a direction!

This weekends grilling creations included almost perfect grilled pork chops, caprase salad with the Japanese Purple Trifle and Green Zebra tomaotes we have come to enjoy, grilled zuchini, and grilled bbq chicken thighs and legs. No...we did not have this all at one meal.

Now your turn to share your Weekend Review!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's Cookin' Wednesday

This week at What's Cookin' Wednesday finds us planning to try out some new-to-us veggies - Patty Pan Squash and Tomatillos. The squash was picked up at yesterday's Farmers Market in Manhattan, Il and the tomatillos were a generous gift from a local farmer.

I did a quick search on Patty Pan Squash and learned that it is a summer squash variety and known by numersous other names including Scalloped Squash. It is rich in Vitamins C and A and in folic acid. A cup of cooked squash in only 30 calories. I appears that this squash is versatile and is great roasted, steamed, grilled, stuffed, you name it! We will be grilling ours with a little bit of flavored olive oil.

I think the Tomatillos will be made into a salsa being combined with some organic hot peppers. If you have a tomatillo recipe you would like to share, please leave us a comment.

We love the summer and the abundance and variety of fresh veggies. We are overflowing with sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, leaf lettuce, peppers of all sorts and basil. These will go perfectly with grilled T-bone steak and grilled swordfish steaks.

So What's Cookin' at your house this week? We would love to hear!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend Review...

With the weekend just past us, what was the best thing you ate this weekend?  For us, it was a busy weekend.  Not a lot of cooking time, but we still had the chance for a few grilled favorites. 

Saturday, we had the opportunity to throw some burgers on the grill.  Some were hamburgers and some were salmon burgers.  Both turned out just great.  We had the opportunity to try one of the heirloom tomatoes out of our garden.  It was a Green Zebra tomato.  If you haven't had the opportunity to try one, you might want to.  It was outstanding.

On Sunday, we had some Italian Sausage along with garden fresh green bell peppers on the grill.  So simple, but so good.

What did you enjoy most this weekend from your menu?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Salad

For a cool summer treat, try adding a few simple ingredients to your favorite green salad.  In addition to the lettuce, try some shaved carrots, bleu cheese crumbles, a sliced tomato or two along with a sliced Buffalo Chicken Breast.  It is a nice way to have a cool and spicy salad to avoid heating the house when it is hot outside.

Try it yourself.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's Cookin' Wednesday

It's Wednesday again to it's time to share what's cookin' on What's Cookin' Wednesday. Last week we mentioned that we were planning to do the grilled jalapeno stuffed poppers. They were good and definitely a keeper. We still have more jalapenos so those might show up again soon.

We went to the all natural farm in Plano, IL and stocked up on some more varieties of heirloom tomatoes. This week we will be having the following types of heirloom tomatoes - Japanese Black Trifel, Lemon Boy, Old Fashioned Goliath, Cherokee Purple and Pink Torboy. The Japnanese Black Trifel made the best tomatoe sandwich ever last week.

The white eggplant mentioned last week was a Casper variety. It had a creamy texture when grilled with a mist of olive oil. We have another for this week, too.

We are calling this summer our adventure in vegetables since we are trying so many new to us varieties.

So...please share...what's cookin' in your world?

Something from the garden...

Want a simple and easy meal with a few things from the garden?  Try this pasta dish to brighten up your table.


1 lb pasta - we used wheels, but substitute as you prefer
1 cup Roma tomatoes diced
1 handful of fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
1/4 - 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp garlic flavored olive oil

Cook the pasta per instructions.  Put the olive oil into a skillet over a medium heat.  Stir frequently until the tomatoes begin to form a sauce.  Might take 2-3 minutes.  Add the pasta to the skillet.  Stir to coat.  Immediately add the cheese to taste and the basil.  Stir to combine and serve.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Steak Marinade - Tried and True...

This has been posted here before, but since it has been awhile, I thought I'd post it again as it never gets old.

Awesome Steak Marinade

1/3 cup Steak Sauce - We suggest Merlot Steak Sauce

1/3 cup Bourbon - Your favorite brand will do fine

1 small sweet onion chopped finely

Mix the ingredients together and pour over the steaks.  It also works for a roast if you'd like.  Heat your grill broiler to a fairly high heat and place the meat on the grill to sear the flavor in.  Continue to cook until your desired results are reached.

While the steaks are grilling, take the remaining marinade and place into a small sauce pan.  Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  When the steaks are done, you can place the remaining sauce over the steaks and serve,

Doughnut Peaches

Doughnut peaches are an odd looking, sort of flat peach that is nothing like the traditional peach you might think of when you go to the market.  I was introduced to them on Wednesday at the Palos Heights, IL farmers market.  They are outstanding!

The ones I tried were grown in Michigan.  They are apparently a mid to late summer harvest in the area and are sooooo sweet and delicious.  They have a white flesh and are fairly low in acid.  If you have not had the opportunity to try one, keep an eye out for them and give them a try.  You should not be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's Cookin' Wednesdays

We are excited to bring a new regular feature to the blog - What's Cookin' Wedensdays! Every Wednesday we will talk about what's been cookin', what's going to be cookin' or what might be cookin' someday. We will talk about Dad's Roadhouse products and anything else that sounds good. So, let's get started.

This week we are going to be grilling up some stuffed jalapeno peppers. My high school friend, Matt, posted his recipe on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and we borrowed his delicious idea. We will be stuffing the jalapenos with cream cheese and wrapping them in bacon. Then on the grill they go! We will let you know how they turn out.

Since fresh vegetables are in abundance, we will be grilling veggies, too. This week we will be grilling a new to us variety of eggplant. It is has a creamy white flesh and has a taste that resembles mushrooms. We promised the farmer we would give him feedback when we see him next. We will let you know how we liked this eggplant, too.

August is also National Peach Month! We have been told by Kathy in Oswego that Dad's Roadhouse Peach Salsa goes great in scrambled eggs. And, Tammy from Yorkville, puts Peach Salsa on her brats. What other ideas for using Peach Salsa do you have?

What's Cookin' at your house? Please leave a commment and share your ideas!

Sweet Onion Peach Salsa

Sweet Onion Peach Salsa

Here is something new for us.  It is a very sweet salsa which has a flavor all of it's own.  This is great on chips.  This salsa contains no tomatoes so it is a little more non traditional, but has been very well received at this summer's farmers markets.

Stop by one of our markets to pick up some for yourself.