Tag Archives: grill

Stick On

When life is hectic, it’s nice to wind down at the end of the day.  Lately, winding down comes mainly in the form of listening to chatter from the Yankees game on TV while hanging out on Pinterest until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.  I’m still spending way more time on the Food and Drink and DIY boards than I should considering the lack of time I have to be making the food and drinks, or the amazing DIY projects I see.  On a recent evening, while peeling myself away from staring at gorgeous wedding photos on the Weddings board, I came across a beef satay recipe that looked so simple and so tasty that it immediately went on the upcoming meal plan.  Of course, I also saw a centerpiece I loved so much that it immediately went on the upcoming wedding plan.  I digress.

The beef satay recipe was perfect for our schedule.  I mixed up the marinade and let the sliced beef hang out in the marinade bath overnight in the refrigerator.  Lane threaded the beef onto skewers and grilled it while I drove home and whipped up the peanut dipping sauce.  I also made rice the night before (waiting an hour for brown rice isn’t in the weeknight schedule) and we had a pretty fantastic meal in no time.  The original recipe included a “sweet hot dipping sauce” that sounded incredible, but I didn’t have ingredients on hand for that like I did for the beef skewers and peanut sauce.  I know beef and peanut butter might not seem like the most obvious combination, but trust me it’s fantastic.  I will definitely make this again, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted about the original dipping sauce.

beef satay

Beef Satay with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce


for the beef skewers:

  • 2 lbs. flank steak, cut into approximately 1-inch wide strips
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 shallots, quartered
  • 1/4 C. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

for the peanut dipping sauce:

  • 1/2 C. creamy or crunchy peanut butter (I used creamy this time)
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3-6 Tbsp. milk
  • pinch of dried red pepper flakes


To make the marinade, combine all of the ingredients except for the beef in a resealable bag or plastic container with a lid.

Whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved.

Add the beef and stir to make sure that all of the beef has been coated in the marinade.

Seal the bag or cover the container and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to overnight.

When ready to grill, heat the grill to medium-high heat.

While you’re waiting for the grill to be hot enough, thread each piece of beef onto a skewer.  Metal skewers are fine, I use wooden skewers that I soak in water ahead of time (you can also soak the skewers and freeze them in a large resealable bag ahead of time, then pull out the quantity you need before grilling).

Place the skewered beef onto the grill and grill for 5-6 minutes, turning once.  Discard the extra marinade.

To make the peanut sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.

Stir constantly until the mixture is blended and smooth, and the peanut butter reaches a pourable consistency.  Start with 3 Tbsp. of milk and add more, 1 Tbsp. at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Source: beef satay adapted from Chef’s Catalog; peanut sauce Diana Dishes original

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Rough Cut

For some people, summer is when things slow down a little and it’s time to relax.  This summer isn’t turning out that way as we’ve been very busy with family and other events.  We’ve enjoyed each and every place we’ve been to and the time spent with family and friends but it’s nice to be able to stop and catch my breath for a minute before the next wave of activity starts.  The two weddings, four baseball games, two bridal showers and baby shower that have taken up these weekends are going to be hard to top, but we’re looking forward to many more upcoming celebrations.  Somewhere in the middle of the backlog of food photos and the backlog of photos of all of the fun things we’ve been up to, I also started a new job.  I decided it was time to have a regular schedule and let my fledgling photography business go back to where it started- a fun way to do something I love and make extra money.  It turns out that I enjoy putting on business appropriate clothing instead of workout clothes and flip-flops, and having a desk that is nowhere near the washer and dryer.  I’ll still be posting here, but it’s going to trickle in slowly for a little while until I get used to a new routine.

The highlight of a busy summer is that after we’ve been away from home for more than a day or two, Lane misses his grill.  That means he grills up a tasty dinner while I fold what seems like a limitless supply of laundry.  Okay, I should give myself more credit than that- I did whisk together a few things to marinade this London broil.  London broil refers more to a manner of cooking than it does to an actual cut of beef.  In my local stores, I’ve seen it labeled both “London broil” and “top round steak for London broil.”  Either way, it’s a tougher cut of meat that benefits from a long time in a marinade.  After that, grilling it or broiling it then slicing it into thin slices against the grain makes this cut into something really fantastic.  That’s exactly what we did here.  I made a simple marinade, let the beef hang out in its marinade bath for the day, and then Lane grilled and sliced it.  Teamwork has never tasted so good.  We did marinate two pounds of beef so that we could cook once and eat at least twice (Mondays are hectic around here now), and we weren’t disappointed.  Grilled with corn on the cob the first night, or heated with gravy and rice the second night this made for some fantastic meals.

grilled london broil sliced

Grilled Marinated London Broil


  • 2 lbs. top round steak (about 1 1/4 inches thick, sometimes sold as “London broil”)
  • 1/2 C. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 C. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the beef.

Place the beef into a large resealable bag or plastic container with lid.

Pour the marinade mixture over the beef, then flip the beef so both sides are coated in the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for 4-8 hours, flipping the beef once halfway through.

To grill this on a charcoal grill, heat the coals and grill the beef over indirect heat for about 7 minutes per side, to cook to medium or medium-rare (cooking the beef beyond medium is not recommended for this cut of beef).

To grill on a gas grill, heat the grill to 500 or 550 degrees.  Grill for about 6 minutes per side, to cook to medium or medium-rare.

Remove the beef to a cutting board, cover with foil, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it.

To slice the beef, cut thin (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch) slices, against the grain of the meat.

Makes about 10 servings.

Source: Diana Dishes original

whole grilled london broil

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On An Ordinary Day

Last year for my birthday, I made high heel cupcakes that we’re still talking about.  This year, I suspect Lane is handling dessert preparations for the occasion.  This morning M subjected him to a line of questioning about cake, concerned that because I’m the one who usually makes the cakes and I wasn’t planning on making a cake, there would be no cake.  She has declared cake the best part of a birthday.  I can’t say I completely disagree with her logic but I’m pretty happy with my new iced tea maker just the same.  When I was pet-sitting a few weeks ago, I briefly contemplated whether or not my dads would notice their iced tea maker was missing.  I’m guessing they would, so I’m glad the kids gifted me one of my own.  There are more surprises up their sleeves, but soccer practice and baseball practice call later, so we’ll save the celebrating for after that.  Until later, it’s just an ordinary day and that’s fine. 

Most of the best days are just ordinary days.  Okay, so today’s “ordinary” involves maybe sneaking out for a manicure (yeah, I know how to live it up!).  Other than that, I put the kiddos on the bus this morning just like I do every morning that we send them off for school.  I sipped my coffee, checked the news, and now there’s laundry spinning away in the washer.  It’s an ordinary day, and that’s perfectly fine by me.  Sunday was also pretty ordinary day.  Lane mowed the lawn, I did some housework, and we ran some errands together.  What made it extraordinary was these ribs.  Lane had been itching to make some ribs on his charcoal grill, and when the grocery store had these country-style ribs on sale for a steal a few weeks ago, all we needed was the perfect ordinary day to make them.  Sunday the weather cooperated and we were without social or other major obligations so it was the perfect time to put some ribs on the grill and let them hang out on there for a few hours while we read on the porch.  Simplicity turned out to be key here.  A little pork rub, a little barbecue sauce, and a lot of time were all these ribs needed.  We are by no means rib experts, but we know a good pork rib when we taste one and these are good pork ribs.  Lane grilled these to perfection and was nice enough to document the process for me, so the directions for grilling you see below are all Lane’s.   I see some guest posts in the future ;)

grilled barbecue pork country ribs

Grilled Barbecue Country-Style Pork Ribs


  • 4 country-style pork ribs (about 3 lbs.)
  • dry rub of your choice (I use my own mixture, you can use your favorite or seasoned salt)
  • 1/2 C. your favorite barbecue sauce


To prepare the ribs for grilling, trim off some of the excess fat.  You’ll want to leave some visible fat on them, but most of it can be removed if your ribs are particularly fatty.  Leaving too much fat on the ribs can cause the flames to flare up.

Sprinkle dry rub evenly over the ribs, flipping to coat all sides.

Lightly rub the dry rub onto the surface of the ribs to make sure it sticks well.

Cover and refrigerate the ribs for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

Remove the ribs from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before the grill is ready.

Here’s how to set your grill up for success {or, grilling ribs, according to Lane}:

*These are directions for a charcoal grill.  Keep reading for gas grill instructions.

First of all, you need to keep in mind that good ribs take some time, 3 hours for baby backs and individual thicker ribs, 4 hours for a rack of the St. Louis style. Getting the ribs right involves a little bit of proper preparation and patience.

First, set up your grill.  You will need two zones of heat: an indirect and a direct.  Most of the work is going to be in the indirect zone.  Start your charcoals using a chimney starter.  If you’re contemplating using match light briquettes or lighter fluid, stop right now, your ribs are going to taste like a chemical fire.  For the small investment of  about $15, you can have a chemical-free way of getting your briquettes going.

Once you have your briquettes lit and all of them starting to turn gray in the starter, dump them on one side of the grill. Place a 9″ x 9″ pan of water on the other side of the grill, opposite from the briquets. This water pan will provide humidity to keep the ribs from drying out, and will also moderate the temperature inside the grill.

Place the grilling grate onto the grill, then place the ribs on the side of the grill that has the water pan.  Put the lid onto the grill.  Try to put a probe thermometer in the grill and adjust the vents such that you achieve a target temperature over the water side of 250 degrees, give or take about 20 degrees.  You’re going to cook these low and slow.  Trust me, its worth it.

As an option, about 45 minutes into the cooking time, you can toss a small handful of hickory or applewood chips.  45 minutes later, do this again.  The wood chips will make for a very nice flavor and add a smoke ring.  Make sure you don’t open the grill more than necessary, you’re going to lose temperature every time you do this.  Don’t overdo the chips.  You can’t un-smoke too much smoke, and it won’t taste as good.

Maintain grill temperature and grill the ribs for about 3 hours , until they register 150 degrees on a meat thermometer.

When the ribs are done, you’re going to want to caramelize a little barbecue sauce on them.  This is where the direct fire of the coals comes in.  Brush on some barbecue sauce using a silicone brush, and place the ribs directly over the coals.  Grill, flipping occasionally until the barbecue sauce thickens and slightly caramelizes.  You want to caramelize the barbecue sauce, but be careful, there’s a very fine line between caramelized and charred. Charred is not tasty.

To make these on a gas grill, set up your gas grill to maintain a temperature of about 300 degrees.  Place aluminum foil on the upper grilling rack.  Place the ribs onto the upper cooking rack and close the lid.  Monitor the grill temperature, and start checking the ribs at about 45 minutes for doneness.

Makes 3 lbs. country-style pork ribs (about 4 servings depending on your crowd).
Source: Diana Dishes original, with grilling instructions provided by Lane
pork ribs on the grill


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Easy Peasy

Earlier this week, I volunteered to help O’s kindergarten class with their “Sink or Float” water project.  The class was organized into groups and moved from station to station completing various activities to teach them about the science behind things that sink and things that float.  It was a fun day, and I’m not-so-secretly glad that I didn’t get assigned to man the clay boat station.  At my station, the students were given various objects and had to make predictions about whether they would sink or float, then record the actual results.  For the two hours I was in the classroom, one phrase was repeated over and over again by the kindergarteners, “Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.”  Of course, that phrase is now stuck in my head.

“Easy peasy lemon squeezy” recipes are among some of my favorite.  It doesn’t get much more easy peasy than this (I would include “lemon squeezy,” but the lemon for this isn’t squeezed).  Chicken drumsticks are always a popular dinner in our house.  O exclaims “I love chicken sticks!” every time he sees them leaving the grill and headed to the table.  One man’s “drummie” is another man’s “chicken stick,” apparently.  Lane has been very into grilling everything on his new charcoal grill, but a gas grill or indoor grilling on a grill pan works fine as well.  While chicken drumsticks covered in barbecue sauce and grilled are a warm-weather staple for me, I love to change it up sometimes and coat the drumsticks with a rub instead.  This tarragon rub works great on the drumsticks, and would be great on chicken breasts if drumsticks aren’t your thing.

taragon grilled chicken drumsticks

Tarragon Rub Grilled Chicken Drumsticks


  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. dried tarragon
  • 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon (optional but recomended)
  • 1 1/2- 2 lbs. (about 6 large-ish) chicken drumsticks (skin can be removed if preferred)


Heat a grill (charcoal or gas) to 450 degrees, or heat a grill pan indoors over medium-high heat.

To make the rub, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, tarragon, salt, pepper, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with paper towels.

Sprinkle 1/2 of the rub mixture evenly over the chicken drumsticks, then flip the drumsticks and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 of the rub mixture over the chicken.

Evenly coat the chicken with the sprinkled rub mixture, using clean hands (wash hands immediately after handling raw chicken!).

When the grill is heated, place the drumsticks onto the grate (or heated grill pan).

Flip the chicken every 7-8 minutes, grilling for a total of about 30 minutes.  Keep an eye on the grill or grill pan temperature and adjust the heat accordingly to keep the chicken from burning.  Chicken is done when cooked to an internal temperature of 190 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving (chicken is way too hot to handle- especially for children- if served immediately so please allow for the resting time).

Makes about 6 drumsticks.

Source: Diana Dishes original

tarragon chicken drumsticks grill


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End of Summer

I keep seeing apple and pumpkin recipes everywhere, and I can’t help but wonder why we’re all rushing summer.  The time of year when summer becomes fall is my favorite, but I’m always a little sad to see summer go.  Summer doesn’t end for another two weeks, and I’m milking the last of it by getting outside to grill for dinner.  I have a pork rub seasoning that’s great to make when the seasons change, because you can use it on some pork chops for the grill in the summer, and sprinkle some on a pork roast to throw in the oven for fall.

I had made Lane this pork rub as a gift, and it works perfectly for pork chops or a pork roast.  I like to season the pork with this at least half an hour before I’m going to cook it, but I’ve sprinkled it on at the last minute and it’s been great.  This is going to make about a 1/2 C. of seasoning, and you’ll use about two tablespoons per pound of meat, but it stores well in an airtight container for about a year.  Here, I used it on some pork chops and they were a fantastic quick dinner.

Pork Rub


  • 1/4 C. paprika
  • 1/8 C. fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (you can add more if you like more heat)
  • 1/4 C. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar


Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl to combine thoroughly.

Store in an airtight container.

To use for pork chops or a pork roast, use 2 Tbsp. seasoning per pound of meat.

Sprinkle over meat on both sides, rub in with fingers, and cook using desired cooking method.

Source: adapted from BBQ Pit Boys

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All Summer Long

Earlier this summer I shared a beef kabob recipe with you, and I neglected to share one for chicken kabobs.  It’s time I remedy that, seeing as how the days of summer are dwindling.  The kiddos are back to school next week (including O, who’s off to kindergarten), and I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t put it on the calendar myself.  It’s been a great summer, but it’s time to get back into the school routine.  Oh, and learning and all.  Learning is good, I’m a fan.

Even as the days get cooler, I love to eat food that Lane has grilled grill.  Chicken kabobs are one of my favorite grilling recipes, and so easy to make.  The chicken does need to marinade, so some planning ahead is required.  I’ve listed as ingredients my favorite veggies for these (amounts are flexible- sometimes you’ll need more or less), but you can use any veggies you love.  Grilled zucchini is one of my favorite parts of this, so even though the veggies will change depending on what’s for sale at the farmer’s markets, I always put zucchini on these.  If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them for at least an hour before skewering the meat and vegetables to avoid burning the skewers.  A tip I love is to soak an entire package of skewers overnight, and then freeze them in a resealable bag.  Then, you always have soaked skewers ready for these chicken kabobs.

Chicken Kabobs


  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into roughly 1 inch cubes
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 onions, cut in half and then quartered (make 8 pieces of onion, total)
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 C. grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow squash cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 C. whole white mushrooms


In a large resealable bag or container, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, chili flakes, paprika, cumin, garlic, and salt.  Seal and shake the bag to combine.

Add the chicken to the bag, seal, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

When ready to grill, thread pieces of chicken onto skewers, alternating with vegetables.  For instance, a skewer would contain a piece of chicken, then red pepper, then green pepper, then onion, then tomato, then mushroom, then zucchini, then green squash and repeat, making sure to skewer the ingredients tightly together, until the skewer is full.

Repeat until all chicken has been used (again, you may not need all of the vegetables).

Heat the grill to medium-high heat and grill the kabobs, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes depending on how hot your grill is).

Makes approximately 4-6 skewers, depending on a number of factors.

Source: marinade from Rasa Malaysia

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