5 Spice Chicken Beer Can Style

If you don't cook whole chickens beer can style, you are missing something easy and delicious!  No, you don't have to use beer!  While I started out propping my chicken on a beer can twenty-five years ago, I progressed to affording a stainless steel beer can rack/pan to use on my grill. You can find those online in a variety of designs and prices. I even have a ceramic one to use in the oven.

I've been wanting to make 5 Spice Chicken, so I decided to just add it to my beer can approach! I really enjoy the combined flavors of fennel, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and ginger. As I was looking around the wine racks for something to pour in the insertion can, I found something I bought at Christmastime and never used!  Spiced Cherry wine from Germany ... that is normally mulled and served warm. I happily drank some of it on ice and used some of it for the chicken. Fusion ... German and Asian!  The spices were compatibly the same!

I knew I would have a nice iceberg lettuce salad with my dinner, so I added something creamy to balance the kick of spice on the chicken! I love the oven under my outdoor grill. It is perfect for any side dish and keeps me from heating up the kitchen! I made the hash brown potato casserole that we all love!

I called beer can chicken easy. It is! You simply add about 1 1/2 cups of liquid in the can with your favorite herbs ...  and set the chicken's bottom right down over it. Cook it over indirect heat on the grill - medium high - for about 1 1/2 hours. Use your meat thermometer to make certain your chicken reaches 165 degrees internally.  During the last thirty minutes of cooking, I usually brush my bird with a little olive oil and seasoning.  This time, the seasoning was 5 Spice. Your dried seasoning spice with make a dark crust and the skin will be delicious.  You don't have to do a think to this chicken while it cooks, but it is important to pay attention for a splatter of grease that causes a flame up. INDIRECT HEAT is the key.  Beer can chickens are always moist, juicy ... delicious!

I will probably share this post with a couple parties listed in my side bar. Take a look for more wonderful posts!

Favorite Red - White - Blue

I've set hundreds of patriotic tablescapes! Each one has something included that was on one from the past ... but each one has something new, too! I cannot resist red, white and blue decor.

Let's just start by telling that the navy blue star basket is one of a set of nesting baskets. I've had it twenty years! While the little flags are inexpensive (but made in the USA), they are treasures because I've brought them home from Lincoln Dinners, Sister Cities events and Veteran's activities! The single new thing on this table is the tobacco box perched on top of my tiered tray. It is only new to me ... bought it last weekend at a junk store! Oh, no ... I fibbed! There is another new thing on the table. You'll meet it later!

Tablescapers know that designs usually begin with one or two favorite things! For this table, the plan evolved from two vintage doilies that I have had for ages ... and the new to me vintage tobacco box! All those things were added together with my galvanized tiered tray, pigs (of course) and some other cute things.

After the tray was completed, I had to add a few more things to the middle of the table. Galvanized charger plates on end, a reproduction White House Cookbook and a tray of pint jar vases, complete with metal flower frog lids.

 This place setting is patriotic eclectic!  The cobalt blue dinner plates are Arcoroc. The rest ... we'll just call the 'eclectic combination'!!!

I fall in love with all my stuff and that is why I have so much that I cannot part with. Someday I will have a gigantic auction, but I'm not ready yet! This is the new thing on the table ... the little tray of 3 pint jars! Of course, I've fallen in love with it, too!

My most favorite things on the table ... the red Union Leader tobacco box. My husband would have loved it! ... AND ... the Blue Willow 6 inch platters. These are Buffalo China and were probably intended for use in a restaurant for a 'side of bacon' with a breakfast meal!

I'll be sharing this post with a couple parties listed in my sidebar. Make sure you click through to see all the fun!

Garden Quiche

There's no garden at my house, but I sure enjoy garden-fresh produce. I had some tiny heirloom tomatoes and pencil thin asparagus hanging around, so I decided to use it to make a quiche that I could enjoy for more than one meal! I used the easy Bisquick recipe and baked it for a late Saturday breakfast. Quiche is good for any meal. Add a salad and you have a perfect brunch, lunch or dinner!

The Basic Bisquick Quiche Recipe

2 cups milk, half and half or evaporated milk
1 cup Bisquick or any other baking mix
4 eggs
dash of salt and pepper

Whisk all the above ingredients until smooth.

Add any kind of shredded cheese you like, but make sure you add at least a cup.

Add about 2 cups of other cooked ingredients and bake at 350 degrees 
for 45 to 55 minutes.

For this quiche, I fried a half pound of breakfast sausage with 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1/4 cup chopped sweet green pepper.  I let this cool a big then added it to the milk/egg ingredients.  When I poured the mixture in my greased baking dish, I dotted the top with some of my small tomatoes and asparagus. Tomatoes and asparagus did not need to be pre-cooked.  I used a combination of cheddar and jack cheese.

I stored what was left in my new Tupperware containers ... in the freezer.  I can take this to work for an easy lunch.  

I'll share this post with a couple blog parties listed in my sidebar, so make sure you check out the other posts!  Have some fun and if you need Tupperware, you can buy it from my Phd daughter! She is having a blast selling Tupperware this summer and Miss Phoebe is learning all kinds of grown up things about doing business!  Visit Food, Fun & Tupperware by Niki

Country Style Ribs!

We love country style ribs because they are mostly meat and not much bone! Truth is, they are a little more like small pork steaks, cut thick!  I brined these little ribs in a combination of 2 cups white wine, 2 cups of cold water, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a clove of garlic, cut in a couple chunks. I left them in the fridge overnight and cooked them for Sunday lunch.

There is no magic timing to cooking country ribs. If they are super thick, they will take longer. These took about an hour over medium heat on the grill.  I turned them two times and after they reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees, I moved them to the corner of the grill, away from direct heat and let them cook for 15 minutes more. I brush on my favorite BBQ sauce in the last 30 minutes of cooking ... over the heat, then off the heat.

While the ribs were cooking, these delicious potatoes were steaming away in a foil pack on the grill.  I peel and slice a baking potato for each person. Spray the foil with PAM and layer the potatoes on the foil.  Salt and pepper them ... add chives, rosemary, chopped onion ... or whatever you like.  Close the foil packet tightly and place it over a low flame on the grill.  I make a pack per person! These packets take 45 minutes. They look like fried potatoes, but no oil is used.

One of our favorite summer salads is this easy cucumber salad. Sometimes I add sliced peppers, onions and tomatoes. This time, I sliced a nice yellow sweet pepper and added some tiny picked red peppers that I bought from the olive bar at a favorite grocery store.  The dressing is super simple!  Mix equal parts of vinegar, water, oil and sugar ... and whatever herbs you like.

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