Monthly Archives: June 2008


That is a fun word to say.  Last night, Matt and I grilled a chicken, using our outdoor charcoal grill for the first time this year.  Matt got a recipe from Ruhlman to do a spatchcock chicken – which is really just a chicken that’s had it’s backbone cut out and then flattened prior to grilling.  Ruhlman had a great baste for the chicken, to be applied in the last 20 minutes of cooking which I will simply copy/paste here.  This post is not us doing anything original, but just following a couple of recipes for a really great summer night of grilling.  We cooked everything on the grill from the chicken to a couple of roasted tomatoes stuffed with blue cheese and topped with breadcrumbs and olive oil (from the grilling issue of Bon Appetit) to our baguette.

These are the blue cheese stuffed tomatoes.  Probably our favorite part of the meal as we cut them up and ate them on top of our grilled baguette.

We used the baste for the chicken and slathered it on our baguette and laid them down to toast as the chicken was finishing up.

Matt applying the baste to the chicken.

Yes, you are a yummy chicken.  Here is the baste recipe, a la Michael Ruhlman:

Rip’s Grilled Chicken Baste

Juice from ½ lime
4 ounces butter (a stick)
1-1/2 tablespoons Coleman’s powdered mustard
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon minced shallot

Squeeze the lime juice into a small sauce pan and place it over high heat.  When the juice is warm, add the butter and swirl it in the juice constantly over the high heat until the butter is melted (you can just melt the butter if you want, but the swirling keeps the butter emulsified, which helps to keep the ingredients well distributed).  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.  That’s it.

Serve the grilled chicken with a chilli lime mayonnaise or simply squeeze some juice from the other half of the lime over the chicken.

The full view.  I love summer.

Here is the recipe for the tomatoes.  I seriously recommend putting these with toasted baguette for a meal in and of itself.

blue cheese crusted tomatoes Bon Appétit | July 2008

The flavors of two classic steakhouse menu items—blue cheese dressing and stewed tomatoes—are combined in one incredible, simple-to prepare grilled dish.

Makes 6 servings

by Judith Fertig


1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 medium tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 3 ounces)


Prepare barbecue (high heat), leaving opposite side unlit if gas grill or without coals if charcoal grill. Mix breadcrumbs and olive oil in small bowl, mashing to coat. Cut top 1/4 from each tomato. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Top each with 1 tablespoon blue cheese. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.

Arrange tomatoes (topping side up) on unlit side of grill. Cover grill and cook tomatoes until slightly soft and cheese melts, about 13 minutes. Serve immediately.


Filed under Food Stuffs, Photography

Mom’s Meat Loaf

My mom stayed as far away from diced peppers, tomatoes and onions as long as I can remember.  She loves the smell of onions but doesn’t want to bite down on a chunk of one.  She finds the appearance of tomatoes very offensive and diced peppers are fine, but only in soups or cut so fine they appear to be a powder.

These endearing qualities worked to her advantage (in my opinion) when it came to her version of meatloaf.  While I like all of the aforementioned ingredients, I didn’t miss them in this dish.  I would think in a crowd of 100 you’d get over half that say they aren’t too crazy for meatloaf.  But if you gave them my mom’s version, they’d ask for seconds. It’s cheesy, savory and has a nice crust on top.  Served with mashed potatoes, green beans and a yeast roll – you got the South, baby.

So you moms out there who need a savory, hearty, fill-your-stomach recipe for Sunday dinner or for the Monday night “blah who wants to cook!” Or for those who have a picky eater at the table, try this – I bet you already have everything in your pantry to make it.

Mom’s Meat Loaf

2 lbs ground beef (I remember mom bought lean)
1/2-1 package Saltine crackers
1 egg
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tbs chili powder
Onion powder or minced onion
Black Pepper
Seasoned Salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Crush half of the saltine packet and add it to the mixture. Add a little more if the mix seems too soupy but the crackers absorb a lot of it.  Mom hardly ever used measurements for this part – she just added until it looked right.  So let’s hope you have that judicious quality.  For the onion powder, salt and pepper, just add to taste.  Put the mixture into a loaf pan and cover with wax paper.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes.  Transfer to oven and bake 30 minutes at 400.  Or, forgo the microwave and just bake in oven at 400 for 1 hour 15 min.

Serves 6

no picture for this post as finding an appetizing picture of meatloaf is…difficult


Filed under Food Stuffs, Tips and Tricks

Tracy and Alan’s Wedding

Tracy and Alan had a beautiful wedding in Ft. Collins, CO.  Their families were just wonderful – so full of love and happiness.  I enjoyed my entire day with them and actually teared up a bit when they left.  Such a sweet couple and so calm and patient with me even when I made Tracy drag herself down into a dirty stair way.  (those happen to be my favorite.)  So bear with me – there are 50-something photos in this post.  More to find here tomorrow night. 



one little flower girl a tad shy at first (she was extremely photogenic later on)

the other flowergirl’s gorgeous hair.  she wasn’t upset about a thing – until the very end of the day! 






I loved this.  Alan said he had to get married on Texas soil so he brought some from home and poured it in his boots. 






awesome Alan in his awesome hat


one of the many antics I did not discourage in the groomsmen.




antic #2.  They all took turns going down the slide and all the pics are awesome of this.  Unfortunately, I was having too much fun and didn’t notice that my card ran out of space and I just kept snapping away so I don’t have the last 2 guys going down the slide – and that includes Alan!  I was so upset.  Sorry guys!  We’ll have to do it again sometime!


everyone helping Tracy get ready



I love how this photo looks so retro.










Tracy had just about enough of her fancy shoes (first picture) and opted for the boots instead.  I loved the expressions of the flowergirls. 



sorry, but I just have to say – when these darlings came out from getting ready, they saw their grandpa (Tracy’s dad) and said, “Papa looks handsome”  SO CUTE.



Alan and his parents




this was about as excited as the ring bearer got.









Mixed emotions.  He kept going from tearing up to smiling really really big as Tracy came down the aisle.































this one and the next from the rusty dirty stair way


worth a little dirt on the dress










img_2676tracyalan a time for toasts





everyone was outside waiting for Tracy and Alan’s grand exit and I thought grandma looked amazing. 









one of the groomsmen pouring out the rest of Alan’s Texas soil so they could make their exit properly.



The looks on the faces in this shot are priceless.  This is when I teared up.  You can click on any of these images to make them larger.



The rest of the pictures will be on my site tomorrow evening.  It takes a while to get thousands up!  Just thought a couple of you 😉 would be dying to see SOMETHING!


Thanks again.


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Filed under Photography, Weddings