Surprisingly Easy and Delicious Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken

Surprisingly Easy and Delicious Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken

September 28, 2016

Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken

    Grilled chicken legs?  Yes, these are Surprisingly Easy and Delicious Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken legs!  Dave loves chicken legs and thighs, while I prefer the white meat.


    However, Dave grilled some chicken legs one night.  He just seasoned them with salt and pepper.  I was pleasantly surprised by how juicy and delicious they really were.  Since then, we have had them frequently.

   I usually keep chicken legs in the freezer.  Using the big gallon freezer bags, I place them in the bag in a single flat layer and freeze.  Thawing them is much easier and faster when frozen this way. For this recipe, the chicken legs were thawed in the bag in a bath of cold water in the sink.  Then, the marinade was just added to the bag. 

   Searching for a recipe to kick these up a notch, I found a recipe for ‘Grilled Beer Chicken’ on ‘’.  It is probably delicious, too!  Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the ingredients.  After this, I will buy some limes to have on hand, too.  Then, I will try their recipe to compare tastes.

   So, I began to create a similar version but with ingredients, we did have in the pantry.   It’s amazing what you can discover when you step outside of the box and try to improvise instead of running to the store. 

  Their recipe called for onion salt.  We were fresh out of that.   Did you know that you can make your own onion salt?  It is just 1 part onion powder and 3 parts salt.  1/4 teaspoon of onion powder and 3/4 teaspoon of salt is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of onion salt.  

   So, isn’t it interesting that you can also make garlic salt the same way?

Duh!  So, why would we even buy onion salt or garlic salt?   It’s three-quarters cheap old table salt!

   We also did not have a lime.  The recipe called for the juice from 1/2 of a lime. You can substitute equal parts of lemon juice for the lime juice, which I have done before.  We always have lemons in the freezer.  I saw a post on Pinterest that said you should freeze your lemons!   So I did. 

   I have started doing this, no more shriveled lemons going to waste.  This post also says you can grate the entire lemon, peel and all, to add extra flavor to your dishes!  Most of the flavor is in the peel.   

  Garlic cloves, which I almost always have on hand, were missing from the vegetable basket.  I thought about using garlic powder but remembered we had‘Tastefully Simple’ Garlic Garlic Seasoning Blend in the pantry!  1 teaspoon of Garlic Garlic is equivalent to 1 medium clove of fresh garlic.


 The ingredients for the marinade were combined in a bowl and then just poured over the chicken in the freezer bag.


1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1- 1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika       

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

3 tsp. Tastefully Simple’s ‘Garlic Garlic’ 

Juice from 1/2 of a lemon’

1 cup of beer   (We used Leinenkugel s’ Beer)  

    Next, a bunch of fresh parsley was chopped and added to the bag.  The bag was turned around and upside down a few times to distribute the parsley in the bag.


    The bag with the chicken legs covered in the marinade was refrigerated for about 5 hours.  The legs were removed from the bag onto a platter and then placed on the grill, reserving the marinade.

   These were grilled at medium heat for about 40 minutes.  (If the heat is too high, it will flame up.)  The chicken should have no pink inside.  Every 5 – 10 minutes the legs were turned and some of the leftover marinade was brushed on the pieces.

    Can I tell you that these were delicious?  Yes, I was really surprised at how flavorful they really were!  We grilled twelve legs and Dave ate six of them.  He said he could taste the beer.   I don’t drink beer.   The flavor was really good, though. 

    Grilled chicken legs?  This may be one of my new favorite recipes.  Yes, these are Surprisingly Easy and Delicious Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken legs! 

 P.S After making this a few times, the Angry Orchard Apple Hard Cider is my favorite!  


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Isn’t This Easy DIY Melted Snowman Tablescape Adorable?

Isn’t This Easy DIY Melted Snowman Tablescape Adorable?

September 26, 2016

Melted Snowman Tablescape

      Isn’t This Easy DIY Melted Snowman Decoration Adorable?  The plan for this Snowman Tablescape has been on my mind for several years.  I saw the idea for this in a magazine and sketched the idea in one of my ‘idea notebooks’.  

    The snowman hat I made in an earlier post was the beginning of this little project.  The hat ended up being about 4″ high and 7″ wide.  My first intent was to make a larger hat for this display to be used on the kitchen table.  Then, finding the corncob pipe was difficult.

   Dave remembered seeing some at the local liquor store and he picked one up for me.  Well, this little pipe is only 3-1/2″ long.  It seems to be the perfect size for this little hat!  So, the original idea was downsized a little. 

   Since we have no coal for his eyes, I found a couple of rocks and simply painted them with black spray paint.  I deliberately chose more angular rocks to look more like coal.  Coal is not smooth and round. 

   Like Frosty, he also has a button nose.  This button was one my grandmother had in her button box, which I inherited!  It coordinates perfectly with the plaid flannel fabric. 

   A couple of snowflakes were cut from white felt and added to the arrangement.  I just cut out a ‘simple’ snowflake and pinned it to the felt.  Then, cut around the snowflake pattern. 

   The scarf was made from a plaid flannel.  It was very simple to make.  You could also use a store bought one, but this is a perfect size.

 Scarf “How To”

   To make the scarf, cut a piece of fabric 8-1/2 inches wide across the width of the fabric.  The fabric is 45″ wide.  The finished scarf will be about 45″ long and 7-1/2″ wide.  This plaid fabric was woven with different colors of thread.  All I needed to do to make a straight line was to cut following one of the lines in the fabric. 

    Fold both long edges up 1/2″ and press with a steam iron.  Then fold the loose edge in half and press again.     Cut off the selvage edge on both ends of the fabric.

    Stitch 3/4″ from the end of the scarf, catching in the folded edges.  The fringe will be made by removing cross-threads.  (I waited to stitch the long hems on the side until the fringe was made.)



    After the fringe is made, edge stitch the folded and ironed 1/4″ hems on both long edges.   If you are using a regular sewing foot, here’s a trick to keep the hem flat and not puckered.  Every 3-4″, let the needle down penetrating all three layers of the fabric.  The needle holds the fabric in place.  Lift the presser foot, straighten, and re-position the fabric around the needle.  

   You should see that the bottom fabric was beginning to be pulled through the feed a little faster than the top fabric.   Using this trick will assure that both sides of the fabric will be even at the end of the stitching.

    There is a foot for your sewing machine called the ‘walking foot’, which has top feed dogs, too.  This eliminates that problem.   Have you ever had this problem?  I seriously need to buy one of those, but this trick has served me well for years!


   This display may be changed a little before Christmas Eve this year.  Thinking of adding some sticks for arms or maybe some mittens I’m planning to make from burlap.  But, seriously, isn’t This Easy DIY Melted Snowman Decoration Adorable?




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Cooking Classes For Little Kids at Local Restaurants?

Cooking Classes For Little Kids at Local Restaurants?

September 22, 2016

Cooking Classes

  Not knowing exactly what to expect, I bought tickets to a cooking class for kids atMaggiano’s Little Italy in Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The information was found on their Facebook page.   Apparently, this chain has kid’s classes all over the United States. 

   When asked if she would like to go, Sophia was beyond excited.  She loves helping in the kitchen and has expressed a desire to be a chef.  

   The extra bonus was that we would be making treats for our dog Lady, her Dad’s dog Winston, and Sunny her other grandma’s dog.   A portion of the proceeds from the cooking class will be donated to Tri-State CART, a local Animal Response Team, and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue to help with search and recovery efforts in Louisiana.

    When we arrived at the restaurant, we were directed to the lady’s room to wash our hands.  Then, we were escorted to a banquet room with large round tables.  A chef’s hat sat at each place and an apron was draped over the back of each chair.  


   A couple of aluminum take out containers, a pair of disposable food service gloves, a bowl of dry oatmeal, a small container of water, and a couple of plastic spoons were placed at each setting.  A large bowl of pumpkin puree sat in the middle of the table. 

   Printed recipes for two dishes, one for the dog treat and one for lasagna were also on the table. 

   Several children along with a parent or grandparent filled most of the chairs in the room.  The class was for children 5 and up, who had to be accompanied by an adult.  One of the boys with his grandmother had been to these cooking classes before.

    Chef Karl introduced himself and gave some interesting information about the restaurant and about the food service business.  He also quizzed the kids on different vegetables and herbs, passing those around so the kids could familiarize themselves with some of the ingredients.

    Kristin, who worked at the restaurant, gave directions on how to make the ‘No-Bake Dog Treats’ first.  The treats are actually good for the dogs.  I didn’t realize that the adults would be making these, too.  Sophia was tickled.  She wanted to be sure there would be treats for all of her dog friends.  She listened attentively and took it very seriously.


    After mixing the ingredients, we were instructed to roll the oatmeal mixture into small balls for the dogs.  Sophia got creative with hers and rolled one into a cylindrical shape and one into a patty.  She said Winston would like those shapes better.  Cooking Classes For Little Kids at Local Restaurants? on

   The lid was placed on that container, the mess and plastic gloves were whisked away, and it was on to the lasagna.

   Chef Karl explained the ingredients and demonstrated how to assemble the lasagna in the containers.  The kids all listened and watched attentively.  Then it was their turn. 

   The container was layered with marinara sauce, lasagna pasta, ricotta cheese filling, parmesan cheese, meat filling, mozzarella cheese, the layers were repeated, and then it was topped off with provolone cheese.  That container was sealed shut.  The empty bowls, the used gloves, and mess were once again whisked away.

   Then, plates, napkins, and silverware were placed on the table.  Next, bowls of pasta and salad were served family style.  I don’t know what is in it, but the salad dressing is, without a doubt, the best I have ever had!  ( Couldn’t get the recipe, but Chef Karl gave us a little takeout container with some to take home!)


   All in all, we got a lot for the price of the ticket!  A cooking class, dog treats, a meal, a take-home meal to bake and share with the family, and a memorable afternoon with my granddaughter!

  Yes, if you have a little aspiring chef in your family, I would recommend these classes.  The kids all seemed to really enjoy the class.  I can guarantee Sophia will be making lasagna soon, and of course, more dog treats.  Lady, Winston, and Sunny all love them!

  Cooking Classes For Little Kids at Local Restaurants?  Yes, there are probably some close to you!



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5 Awesome Fall Recipes Perfect For This Wonderful Season

5 Awesome Fall Recipes Perfect For This Wonderful Season

5 Awesome Fall Recipes

September 20, 2016

  There are just some foods that we begin to crave as Autumn approaches.  Here are

5 Awesome Fall Recipes Perfect For This Wonderful Season. 

    Don’t you love vegetables?  Beef Vegetable soup has always been a favorite of mine.  Dave isn’t such a big fan of vegetable soup for whatever reason, but Will, my most finicky eater of all, loves this soup!

   Years ago, when I first made this soup, he told me he liked it.  Whoa!  Not long after that, he requested ‘that soup with the green beans in it’.

   I like the fact that the beef and vegetable pieces are larger than the pieces in the canned soup and you can’t even begin to compare the flavor!  

   Growing up we always made chili, but my mother added elbow macaroni to it.  I am sure that was a way of making the pot of chili last longer and go farther with my three brothers and a sister.   I always hated leftovers the next day.  The macaroni expanded and was not appetizing to me at all!  Yuck! 

   So when I left home and began cooking for my family, we completely eliminated the macaroni.  I love this chili.  I brown the meat, leaving sizable pieces of hamburger, and it seems to me, it is a little heartier chili, because of that.

   Kidney beans were in my mother’s original recipe, too.  I do not like the hard shells on kidney beans in chili.  I eliminated them and now use a can of spicy chili beans instead.  We always drained the kidney beans, but I now use the entire can of chili beans.  There is extra flavor in the sauce.

   When we moved to Kentucky, I found ‘Buena Vida Chili Powder’ and have been using it for many, many years.  It comes in a packet weighing .63 ounces and has chili pepper, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper in it.  It seems like a good combination of spices for the chili.  It’s a little more complex than the plain old chili powder we used when I was growing up at home.  ►Chili recipe.

   Big chunks of potatoes, carrots, and slices of celery are abundant in this creamy, delicious Potato Soup.   I always leave the skins on the Yukon gold potatoes because it adds a rustic look to the soup.  The onions are softened in butter.  Flour, salt. and pepper added to the onions and butter create a roux.  The liquids are added and the result is a thick creamy soup.

    When I was in high school, a long time ago, I found this recipe for stew in a teen magazine.  It was actually for lamb, but I use it for beef and venison.  The meat is so tender and the sauce is so delicious.  The flavor of the sauce seems so complex but the only seasoning is salt and pepper.  

   You seriously have to try this Beef Stew!  Over the years, I have changed things a little.  My kids did not like the big pieces of celery, so I sliced the celery into thin pieces.  They ate it with no complaints then.   I use olive oil instead of the original vegetable oil.   

   The original recipe called for canned tomatoes.  I usually use the petite diced tomatoes now.  In the summer, when fresh tomatoes are available, I will use those.  (The tasteless ones at the grocery the rest of the year don’t have the flavor of the canned ones.  After all, they do pick them at the peak of harvest.)  Depending on how many are going to be here for dinner, I might add a little more meat or a couple more potatoes.

   I grew up on beans and cornbread, cornbread and beans.  We had them a lot!  It was an inexpensive dish to make for a family. 

   You would think that after having that dish so much, I would be over it, but I still crave bean soup each fall.  This bean soup is full of flavor and much better than what we made growing up back then.

   So there they are, 5 Awesome Fall Recipes Perfect For This Wonderful Season!  Hope you enjoy them, too!



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You’ll Love This Adorable Easy DIY Decorative Snowman Hat!

You’ll Love This Adorable Easy DIY Decorative Snowman Hat!

September 16, 2016

Snowman Hat

    You’ll Love This Adorable Easy DIY Decorative Snowman Hat!  Isn’t it cute? This has been an idea of mine for some time, but this year I finally got around to it.

    I scoured Pinterest for a pattern for a snowman hat.  I did find a couple of them, but they were not exactly what I wanted.  By trial and error, I came up with this pattern.  This little hat ends up being about 4″ high and the brim is 7″ wide.   You could easily reduce or enlarge the size of the pattern. 

   One of the patterns I came across included a liner of cardboard.  Forget that!  It is not needed with this felt fabric.  I used the felt you can buy by the yard.  It is relatively inexpensive. 

   My plan is to make a few of these little hats, varying the size of the brim, the height of the hat, and the decorations on them.   I am also making a larger one for the top of the Christmas tree we have on the catwalk each year.  Usually, it is “The Christmas Story Tree”, but this year it is going to feature ‘Snowmen’.

   I sewed this with the sewing machine, but you could easily sew this size by hand and even add some decorative stitching, too.  Wouldn’t it look cute to mimic the decoration on Frosty’s hat in the movie?  It would be really easy to make a few flowers from felt, too.  Hmmm.  That gives me an idea for a wreath! 

   This year, our theme for the dessert contest is “Snowman”.  It is always interesting to see what everyone comes up with for their dessert.   Sophia, who has a snowman collection, decided this would be a good theme for the contest.  So, I am incorporating snowmen into more of the decor. 

   This is a picture of the original pattern used to make this hat.

    First, using the downloadable pattern below, cut one each of the top of the hat and the side.  Cut 2 of the brim.  Carefully, cut out the center of the brim, too.

    Fold the short pieces of the sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam across the end.  Pin the top of the hat to the ‘sleeve’ you just made from the side piece.

    Sew around the outer edge of the top piece of the hat 1/4″ from the edge.


    Sew the two brim pieces together 1/4″ from the outer edge.  From the center hole, turn inside out.  Gently, push the outer edges out and flatten with your fingers.  Using a damp pressing cloth, (This is wool felt.) press on the wool setting with an iron.

   After pressing, topstitch around the outer edge.

    Open up the brim and fold back over the crown of the hat.  Pin one edge of the hat brim to the crown of the hat, right sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam, removing pins as you go. 

    Unfold the brim of the hat back to its original position, smooth out, and roll the inside loose edge of the underside of the brim under 1/4″ and pin following the seam.    It’s best to pin this and work around the pins so the fabric doesn’t shift as you sew.   

    Whip stitch the underside of the brim to the crown of the hat.  This makes a very nice, neat finish.


    Turn it right side up and you have your hat!  Now, the fun part begins – decorating!   I bought two little Christmas sprays at the craft store.  Even though they were little, I disassembled them.  They were too big to use in their entirety.

    Add a ribbon around the crown of the hat.  This was just hot glued at the point where the ribbons overlapped slightly.  Add a bow.

    Cut apart the floral picks and play around with the pieces until you have a nice arrangement.  Then, hot glue the pieces to the hat.  It’s that simple.


   Christmas is just around the corner.  There are several more of these to be made yet, but they go together pretty quickly.  The time-consuming part was making the initial pattern and making sure it all fit together well.  The felt is easy to work with, too! 

   Hopefully, You’ll Love This Adorable Easy DIY Decorative Snowman Hat, too!



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