Sunday, July 24, 2005


The Spurrier and Patch families are on VACATION at beautiful Weko Beach on the shores of Lake Michigan. Be back with a recipe or two on Aug. 1

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


It's camping season! But much of the upper Midwest and West are suffering severe drought, which means fire restrictions. No roasting wieners over an open fire, no fire roasted chicken or ribs, no flame broiled burgers or NY Strips. When I can't stick something on the end of a stick and cook it over a fire, I like to keep my meals as simple as possible. Which means one pot meals. I take liberal advantage of Vigo one package meals like Red beans and Rice or Santa Fe Rice. Add water and a little ham, smoked sausage and or chicken, and in twenty minutes you have a meal. Fried Spam and egg sandwiches are also a staple in dry weather camping. Add a slice of Muenster cheese and a little spicy brown mustard...mmmmmm, hog heaven!

Here are 3 extremely easy one skillet meals, perfect for camping.

Breakfast Skillet:
1lb breakfast Sausage
1 med Onion, chopped
1 med Bell Pepper, chopped (optional)
1 16 oz pkg Hash Browns, thawed (or if using dried, reconstituted)
1 doz. Eggs, scrambled
8 0z sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (or 8 slices American cheese)

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, break up sausage and brown. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they start to soften. Add Hash Browns, continue cooking, turning occasionally, until potatoes start to brown. Stir in eggs, cover and cook about five minutes or so, until eggs begin to set and just start to brown. Use a spatula and turn eggs over in sections, pressing on whole mess lightly. Cover and cook till eggs are completely set. Top with cheese, cover, and cook till cheese is melted (around 90 secs or so). Serves 6 to 8

Vacation Hash:
2 T Butter
1 small Onion, chopped
2 cans Roast Beef (these are about the size of a large can of tuna)
2 16oz cans diced Irish Potatoes, drained

Melt butter in large skillet. Add onions, saute until just soft. Add roast beef with gravy, and potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, till meat and potatoes start to brown. Serves 3 to 4.

Western Skillet Rice:
1 lb Ground Beef
1 env. Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
1 1/2 cp Water
3/4 cp long grain White Rice or Converted Rice (NO MINUTE RICE!)
1 16oz can stewed Tomatoes
1 6oz can Peas
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

In medium skillet, break up and brown meat, stirring frequently. Stir in onion soup mix, water, rice, tomatoes and peas (with liquid). Simmer, covered, about 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Top with cheese. Makes 4-6 servings.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


You can fit about 10 22oz hens on your 22" Weber Kettle.


For each game hen you will need:
1 lunchbox size can of juice, paper removed
1 half gallon ziplock bag
jam (the same flavor as the juice)

Remove paper from juice can. Pop top of juice can, and pour 2/3 of can into a zip lock bag, saving remaining juice in can. Add 1 cleaned Cornish game hen (Parson's Nose removed) to bag, seal and refridgerate 4 to 6 hours, turning every hour. Refridgerate juice cans.

Set up grill for indirect heat, as described HERE. Remove hens from bags, rub with salt and pepper. Discard juice. Carefully slide juice can into the cavity, opening facing up, so that top of can is completely inside cavity, but at least half the can sticks out. Arrange hens over drip pan breast side up, so drumsticks and cans face coals. Cover and grill about 60 min, basting with marmalade/jam 3 or 4 times in the last 20 minutes.

Remove hens to cutting board, and carefully remove cans. Cut in half by inserting a heavy knife into cavity and cutting along backbone. Turn and cut along breastbone. Each hen serves two.


Marinade (enough for 4 hens)

1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 minced garlic clove
1 minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 to 4 canned chipotle chilies, chopped

Mix together all ingredients and chill for several hours in a covered jar. Shake well.

Split hens in half, as described above. Place halves in a non metallic dish and pour marinade over. Cover and refridgerate 3 hours, turning pieces at least once.

Grill directly over coals, searing each side for 3 minutes. Place skin side down, cover grill, and cook 15 min. Turn pieces, baste with your favorite BBQ sauce, and cook for 10 min. Baste again and remove to platter. Serves 8.


1/2 cp Lime jc.
6 Tbls Oil
4 Tbls Honey
4 tsp chopped, fresh Thyme
4 tsp chopped, fresh Rosemary
2 clove Garlic, minced
4 Cornish Game Hens
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/8 tsp ground Black Pepper
2 Tbls chopped fresh Cilantro

Halve hens as directed above. Place in large ziplock bag and pour marinade over top. Seal, refridgerate for 2 hours, turning bag frequently.

Set up grill for indirect heat. Remove hens from bag and reserve marinade. Rub pieces with salt, paprika and pepper. Place skin side down over drip pan and cover grill. Cook 25-30 min, or until juice runs clear. Remove hens to platter.

In sauce pan, heat reserved marinade to a boil. Allow to boil for one minute. Pour marinade over hens. Spinkle with Cilantro. Serves 8

This dish goes really well with herbed rice, or black beans and rice.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


. What is a gathering, especially of guys, without a big pot of chili! This makes 10 to 15 bowls, depending on your generosity! I have a large, heavy aluminum stock pot and usually triple this recipe for a cookout!

2 lbs Ground Chuck
1 large Spanish Onion, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, minced
4 dried Pasidlla Chilies, seeded and chopped fine*
3/4 cup Chili Powder
1 Tbl Oregano
28 oz can Whole Tomatoes, chopped (juice reserved)
1 tsp Tabasco
3 cps Water
6 oz Tomato Paste
48 0z jar Pinto Beans (drained)

Brown ground beef, drain, reserve. Saute onions, garlic, chilies till onions are almost clear. Add chili pwd, oregano, bay leaves, saute 2 min. Add chopped tomato, saute 2 min. Add juice, tabasco, water, tomato paste, and beans. simmer 1 hour

* I use an old coffee mill