Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grilling Asparagus

Just a quicky tip today...

I LOVE asparagus, but always had a tough time grilling them.  They roll around, many end up rolling through the grate and getting an even cook was tough.  Some were burnt (caramelized when i lie to my wife), some still too hard, not cooked enough.

Then I found this tip... Soak several toothpicks in olive oil.  this way they slide into the hard raw asparagus easily.

Put five pieces of asparagus on the toothpick, then repeat on the other end so you have something you can move with a set of tongs.

Easy to keep an eye on them.  easy to plate and much easier to get a perfect batch of grilled asparagus every time!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cajun Crawfish Boil - Road Trip!

A Big Pot
A Big batch of Crab Boil seasonings
Red Potatoes
And a couple dozen pounds of LIVE (well, they started live anyway) Crawfish!

And as spectacular as all that sounds (and indeed it was SPECTACULAR), the fun of the day was the third annual (first for Jackie and me) "East Tennessee Blogger Get together" (now updated to East Tennessee,  North Carolina and Kansas)!

 I will admit that it was a bit of a drive.  Quite a commitment to haul ourselves 1/4 of the way across the country just to hang out with people we had never met before for an afternoon.  But all of these folks are dear friends that we had we "meet" every few days.  Little by little, bit by bit all of these folks have become an important part of my life... Well worth the trip to put a face and a laugh with the friends!

And besides, just to break up the trip I got to stop at Metropolis, Il... Home of the giant Superman statue!

Jackie and I arrived the day before the get together and were invited to stay with Chris and Alexis (Chris who I introduce to my wife as the "Man with TWO Big Green Eggs", but you probably know him as the mastermind behind Nibble Me This blog).

In exchange for letting us crash in his guest room, Jackie and I offered to take his family out for dinner.  Instead, he recognized the invitation for what it was... us just being polite.  What I really wanted to do was to taste a bit of his talent and to see the Egg pro in action. I was not disappointed!

 Chris cooked up an appetizer of " quick appetizer of grilled ribeye steak kebabs (Greek marinade) with Tzatziki sauce, olives and grilled flat bread wedges".  This is my shot of Chris taking a photo for his blog.  I am always intrigued by the photo set up bloggers use.  To take a look at the dish and his selected image, take a hop over to his post... (Click HERE).

It was so much fun to start the weekend off watching, learning and enjoying Chris's work... the perfect host!

But of course, Saturday night with Chris and Alexis was just a prelude to the Main Event...

Sadly, I was meeting, greeting, enjoying myself so much I really do not have all the photos I need to show the day in it's total glory.  But fortunately all of the bloggers there took a few shots and have already posted their take on the day.  So, take a jump over to...

Larry and his wife Bev's post at Big Dude's Eclectic Ramblings

Chris and his wife Alexis's post at Nibble Me This

Katherine and AJ (The REAL deal, displaced Cajun's, settled into East Tennessee and MASTER Crawfish Boil Cooks) post at Smokey Mountain Cafe

Penney and her husband Dave of the Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen blog

And last but not least, Sam and her husband Meakin of the My Carolina Kitchen blog.

There were a few extra guests enjoying the day without food blogs, but if you click the blue letters you will see how the day went for the other bloggers!

Here's the few photos I took you might enjoy...

Our cook AJ... His wife Katherine who taught us all how to "Suck the Heads"

And aside from the food...  The fellowship, camaraderie and taking a "Blogger Buddy" friendship to true friendships made Larry's bit of Heaven rock with laughter throughout the day...

It was exhausting for all!

Oh and one more image just in case you do not believe these guys started their day alive...  Hard to eat anyone you name, but I named this guy Marvin...