Rosemary Potato Packets

Yes I was cooking chicken again, but this isn’t about the bbqed chicken or the fresh green beans, it’s about the potatoes. I have posted other potato packets which I make often because they have the vegetables in them, but this is my favourite potato packets. The onion, carrots, and potato packets are great when fresh garden vegetables aren’t available. Now we can get fresh garden vegetables from the market gardens so it is what we have all the time. I could of had baked potatoes or rice with the beans and chicken but I am kind of a meat and potatoes person so it was going to be potatoes. My wife suggested baked potatoes but honestly this is a way better than baked potatoes in the summer.

Rosemary is an herb that goes great with potatoes wether dried or fresh. Often I will put dried rosemary in the water when I boil potatoes, garlic cloves get in the water also. If you have never boiled potatoes with rosemary and garlic in the water you should try it, the mashed potatoes turn out great. For the packets fresh rosemary works best but you can use dried. If you use dried soak them in warm water for a couple of minutes first. This again is for two people so just bump things up for more.

2 potatoes sliced a little less than a 1/4 inch

2 sprigs rosemary

slices of butter about 2 teaspoons

cooking spray

tin foil

The rest is to taste so use as much as you like.

garlic powder

onion powder



Spray the shiny side of the foil with cooking spray. Place a layer of potatoes and sprinkle with rosemary,salt, pepper, garlic powder,and onion powder. Add another layer of potatoes and repeat then top with the butter slices. Seal the packet tightly, light the BBQ and place the packet on and close the lid. The packet will take 20 minutes to cook, turn over after 10 minutes. Be very careful when opening the packet.

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Robbie’s Tin Foil Desert Packets

Desert is something I normally don’t even try to make because my wife can do a much better job of it. Occasionally I do venture into her space just for fun and if I am honest to bug her a little too. Over the years that has evolved lemon meringue pie, cherry pie, ginger bread cake and a few other things. Usually there are a lot of years between my attempts at desert. Few years ago I made this desert and was surprised how good it was and am going to make it again when I bbq steak and chicken.

What got me thinking about it was bbqing steak and chicken last night. When I do the two different things it always makes me think of my friend Robbie. He does the same thing, his wife Cathy doesn’t eat red meat and he loves a bbqed steak. So like myself he will bbq something else for her. After I posted my tin foil packets with carrot, onion, and potatoes he left a comment. He had always left what went with the steak and chicken up to Cathy to figure out. When I read the comment I could see how that would bug Cathy. The tin foil packets worked out for him and gave Cathy a break.

Since I know Robbie, I know Cathy has to put up with him and that is a full time job. So I figured, after laughing for a couple of minutes, he should treat her a bit and make her a nice desert. I immediately thought this desert because it is super simple and kind of fool proof. Oh! It also tastes pretty good. That’s why I titled this Robbie’s tin foil desert packets.

1 banana cut lengthwise and each half cut in 4 pieces

3 thin slices of butter, I cut thin slices off a pound brick of butter that are about an eighth of an inch thick

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

tiny amount of salt

cooking spray

tin foil

vanilla ice cream

Spray the shiney side of the foil with the cooking spray. Add the banana cut side up, top with the butter and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Sprinkle the brown sugar and salt and seal the packet well. When you take whatever your bbqing off turn the bbq off and place the packet on and close the lid. When you finish eating go get the packet, open carefully and spoon everything over vanilla ice cream.

Make Cathy happy Robbie and make her desert when you bbq your steak.

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Immunization Card, A Damn Good Thing

I apologize for what I am going to say here and how I am going to say it. Normally I bite my tongue on a lot of things I see and hear, but sometimes I just have to say it. My wife and I are fully vaccinated and glad of that fact, and yes we have our immunization cards on our phones and are waiting for the hard copies. Getting fully vaccinated is a necessary thing with covid 19 and knowing we have protection is a very comforting thing. We not only protect ourselves we protect the people around us. There are some jackasses out there that think the vaccine is a terrible thing, and they are truly jackasses. Those total fools who believe in the junk that comes from places like Qanon and news outlets that don’t deal in the truth can only be called true jackasses. They use the garbage they get from those places or twist religion to use as an excuse for not getting vaccinated. My feeling is that if those people get covid and infect another person that dies they should be charged with murder and put in jail.

There is a new thing happening now that is probably just as bad as what the jackasses are doing. Last night on the news they interviewed a person with the canadian civil liberty association and I couldn’t believe the garbage I heard. It was clear that person had never seen an immunization card. They stated it may infringe on a person’s right to privacy with their medical information if someone ask them to prove they are vaccinated. Here is how big a pile of bullshit that is. The card doesn’t even show my full last name and the only thing it shows if scanned is that I am vaccinated. Now how is that infringing on my right to privacy of my medical information, clearly it does not. Next thing was it discriminated against people that have a medical or religious reason for not getting vaccinated, again totally more crap, they can get exemption cards. Worst of all was that if a business would not serve you unless you had proof you were vaccinated they would be discriminating against people who refuse to get vaccinated. But the biggest bullshit I heard was that a fully vaccinated person that gets covid, and that is a very rare thing, can infect people the same as an unvaccinated person. The science shows very very VERY clearly that that is not the truth. Again more false information to promote the crap that immunization cards are a bad thing. The tv station should be embarrassed for doing the interview and the person giving the interview should be ashamed of themselves for given false information.

I listened to it and never once did I hear anything about MY RIGHTS as a fully vaccinated person. The only rights that seemed important where the rights of the JACKASSES who don’t believe in science and refuse to get vaccinated. My rights are I think more important than the jackasses and the rights of my family are also. I have the right to ask if the person serving me is fully vaccinated and if they aren’t to refuse to have them serve me. I have the right to ask a business if their staff is vaccinated and refuse to do business with them if they aren’t. We have a world wide crisis and we need to fix it and a vaccination and an immunization card is the best way to do it. Being asked to show your vaccinated is NOT infringing on anybody’s rights to say that it is is bullshit. The people promoting the jackasses that refuse to get vaccinated are just as bad as the people they promote. People need to open their eyes and the people who follow the rules and protected the people around them by getting vaccinated need to speak up. Don’t let the jackasses be the only ones talking, we need to speak up and say WE HAVE RIGHTS TOO.

Again I apologize for the language and the way I said what I felt needed saying


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Thawing Fish And A New Fish Batter

After my post when I made fish and chips a friend emailed me with some tips on making fish and chips. The first tip was for thawing fish if that was what you had. Since he has his own restaurant and the reasoning for doing it made since. I can be called dumb on this because it is what I do, and have done for years, when I thaw shrimp. Never even considered doing it with fish fillets which a smart person would of figured out when they do it when thawing shrimp. Needless to say I tried it a couple of weeks ago and was impressed. This is really simple and if you’re a bit of a science geek like I am it makes sense. When you take the fish fillets out of the freezer salt them generously and let them thaw out on lots of paper towel. First reaction likely is it will make them salty, it will not, it just draws the excess moisture out of the fillets. The salt leaves with the moisture and you end up with a fillet that is very close to a fresh fillet. A lot of people would not be able to tell the difference if you gave them a piece of each. So now it is my go to way to thaw fish fillets.

The batter recipe I have used for years because my greatest critic thinks it is the best. So I was hesitant to even try a different batter but finally decided to give it a try. As he put it my batter was what everyone uses and then wishes their fish was more like what you get in a great restaurant. The batter did two important things you need when frying fish, basically tell you when the fish was cooked and stay crisp right to the last mouth full. I had tried different batters that claimed they stayed crisp but in the end they didn’t. Never had I seen one that told you when the fish was cooked. He said he cut the quantities back to what was best for home use. The quantity they made for his restaurant was gallons. There was one thing he didn’t mention and that was it tasted great also. It sounded crazy to me that the batter wouldn’t get crisp until the minute the fish was cooked, but I have made a lot of crazy things. To my surprise the batter stayed soft and all at once it was completely crisp, just like he said. This for me is a great thing, no guessing if it’s cooked, just take it out when it’s crisp. As to staying crisp, well I had 4 pieces and the last mouth full was as crisp as the first, yes I did make a pig of myself. Best part was my wife loved it and said it was the best batter she ever had, so now it’s what I will always use. I think what makes it tasted so good is the vinegar, it just adds something to the taste that other batter don’t have.

Because I didn’t know if it would work I didn’t take a picture, but next time I will add a picture to this.

3/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoons paprika

1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup water

1 and1/2 tablespoons vinegar

Mix flour, cornstarch, paprika, baking soda, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Add the water and whisk until smooth, this can be done even a day before and kept in the fridge. Just before your going to dip the fish whisk in the vinegar.

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Front Porch Sittin And Sweet Tea

A couple of weeks ago I texted a friend to see if he and his wife and family were doing ok. Kind of felt bad that I hadn’t done it sooner, but been kind of busy with our move and getting all the new furniture. It really bugged me because I realized I had been using everything as an excuse for not checking on friends. Not checking on friends in normal times isn’t a good thing and with covid restrictions it is a bad thing.

When I got his reply over and hour later it surprised me. He had been having his afternoon nap, which he said was a benefit of being retired. Now, not many things that Robbie would do have surprised me but afternoon naps did. Of all the things I could of thought of Robbie doing since we both retired afternoon napping would of never came up. I have never been a napper, and never thought he would be either. We talked for awhile and when restrictions allow we will get together for coffee when he is in the city.

Now napping doesn’t work for me as a retirement benefits but I do have somethings that are a definite benefit of being retired. My blog is probably the biggest benefit that retirement has given me. It’s summertime and I find I am doing something I never thought I would ever do. I have started sitting on the front porch in the afternoon and having a couple of glasses of sweet tea. For Canadians that’s ice tea, but I learned the first trip to Pheonix never ask for ice tea. Ice tea there was just that, cold tea poured over ice cubes. Learned quickly to always ask for sweet tea and then I received what I was actually wanting.

I don’t like sitting in the sun and never have so with a covered front porch I have plenty of shade. I could just have water but there is just something about having sweet tea and sitting on a front porch. Don’t know why it just feels right but it sure does. It also has another benefit, people who are out walking stop and talk for a few minutes. So Robbie has his benefit, which I still find strange, of being retired and I have mine which he likely finds strange. For me front porch sittin and sweet tea are a great thing.

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A Summertime Treat, Corn On The Cob And Bbqed Pork Steak

This has become kind of a ritual thing with us every summer, it kind of says for us “hey it’s summer”. The first time we find decent corn in the store it’s a must buy. Living in Manitoba we get great corn in late August and what in the stores now is really just ok. Still for us it’s something we just have to have, and likely won’t buy again until we get local corn. Today I ended up with peaches and cream corn and that didn’t come with my saying great.

You can call me a corn snob but I think all peaches and cream corn is not great corn. Yes, it’s cute looking corn but I have never had a cob that had great corn taste. Even field corn (silage corn) if you get it when it is just barely ripe is better corn. There are farmers here growing peaches and cream corn and I have had it, it still isn’t great. Have to admit the local is better than what I bought today, but just barely. Plain sweet corn just has more corn flavour, but still what I bought today is corn on the cob.

Will not go into details about how much I like eating corn on the cob, let’s just say I think it is one of the greatest things to eat. My wife accuses my of eating a shopping cart full of it at a fall dance, it was a lot but the shopping cart was very small. So yes, tonight it wasn’t the very best corn but it was corn on the cob and I totally enjoyed eating it. No recipe needed because it was just bbqed pork steak and corn on the cob.

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A Little Treat, Asiago Potatoes

The reason they are a little treat is because you make them with little potatoes. They are something that I don’t make as often as I should. Started making them because I bought a bag of little potatoes and didn’t know what to do with them. I have to admit the multi-coloured ones are the ones I like the best. Think it has more to do with the fact they look cute and not that they taste better. When I bought the first bag of them there was just one company producing them, now there are multiple choices. Just pick a brand you like and use the cheese you like, my choice is Asiago. What makes this a great potato dish is the cream sauce flavoured with the cheese. So about the only cheese that might not work is Epoisse de Bourgogne, which is the stinkiest cheese ever made. The smell from it differently would make you not want to eat it. Most other cheeses will give you a potato dish you will enjoy. This is such a good recipe that even our son-in-law who hates cheese loves them.

Today I felt like feeding the carnivore side of me so felt a really good sirloin steak would work. My wife had chicken and she can have all the chicken she wants if I get to have a steak. Normally you think of baked potatoes with steak, which is good, but I like to be a little different. Guess different may be me being generous to myself, crazy might cover it better. Haven’t made asiago potatoes for about a year and I bought a bag of little potatoes so why not with steak. Also they work great with my wife’s chicken and that did have a little input in the decision. Honestly they are great with everything including fish so don’t think they are just a thing for steak and potatoes. This is very easy to make as long as you can make a simple white sauce you have 90% of it done.

Just so no one thinks it wasn’t a somewhat healthy meal we did have a big salad with it.

1 bag little potatoes

2 teaspoons butter

2 teaspoons flour

3/4 cup half and half cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 cup of finely grated Asiago cheese, I used the fine grate side of a box grated. This may seem like a lot but it isn’t.

1/2 teaspoon dry dill

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Put the potatoes on to boil, while the potatoes are cooking make the sauce.

In a small saucepan melt the butter with, salt, pepper, and garlic on medium heat. Add the flour and cook until the flour starts to change colour. Whisk in the cream and continue whisking until the sauce thickens, add the asiago and reduce heat to simmer and whick occasionally until potatoes are cooked. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add the sauce to the potatoes and mix well, sprinkle the dill and parsley in and mix and serve immediately.

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Tomorrow Is Freedom Day

It’s finally here the day we get our second shots. We have been waiting just about two months for it. Still will have to wait two weeks to be completely covered by the vaccine but that will be the easy part. Nicest part is all our family, except the ones under 12, will get their second shots in the next two weeks. So finally once the restrictions are eased for fully vaccinated people we will be able to get together for family meals. That is what we have been waiting for all these long months. Not much else will change for my wife and I for a few more months. We will still wear masks when out shopping and continue with sanitizing everything and the hand washing. Reason for that is because even with both shots you’re not 100 percent protected. When about 85% have both shots then you can say we are 98-99% protected and then the masks aren’t needed. It may seem that we are going overboard with protecting ourselves, but safe is better than sorry. When you’re in a big box stores you have no idea if anyone else standing around you has even had their first shot or have vivid. Same thing with all the things you’re buying could of been put on the shelf by someone with covid, or the person touching it before you also. We will be able to get our hair cut again and meet our fully vaccinated friends for coffee, which will be great. So yes the important things for us will change and kind of get back to normal.

There is one bit of a pain getting our shot tomorrow, our appointment is at noon and is a 25 minute drive, but it was the quickest place to get the shot. Told my wife I would of drove for an hour each way if it meant 1 day sooner. Since lunch is going to be late tomorrow my solution is fried chicken tonight and the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I consider that offsets the pain of the appointment because I like making fried chicken, and my wife likes eating it

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Happy Father’s Day!

To all the father’s who visit my site I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day filled with the joy of family. I know this is not the kind of Father’s Day any father wished for. Covid has changed what we all want but a father knows what you have to do. You make the best of what your given and reach out to be with your children any way you can. Covid may have taken the family get together from us but it can never take our family from us. So make the best of Father’s Day that you can and have a great day.


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Pan Fried Chicken With A Pan Sauce

Yes I am cooking another chicken dish, know my wife will say are you bbqing it when she gets home. The answer will likely not please her but the fact it’s chicken will let me get away with not bbqing. Think everyone knows how to fry a chicken breast so I am dealing with the pan sauce. When pan sauce comes up people automatically think it has wine, which you get in restaurants all the time. I would rather drink the wine not put it in a quick pan sauce. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a wine sauce and I do make them, but not often. Yes if you want then you can definitely make this with white wine.

Chicken is the perfect thing to make a pan sauce when you fry it. Frying chicken breast it is always a good idea to flatten it first. This allows it to cook quickly, evenly, and you don’t dry it out. The pan sauce gives you something to coat it and bumps up the taste. A pan sauce is something that is extremely simple to make and makes cleaning the pan easier. Whether it is made with wine or chicken broth you get all the flavour from cooking to have with the chicken breast rather than leaving it in the pan. This turned out great and my greatest critic really liked it so I know it’s good.

butter from cooking the chicken

1/2 cup of chicken broth

4 cloves of garlic minced

2 green onions chopped

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

When you remove the chicken from the pan add the garlic and green onions. Cook for about 1 minute, when the garlic smells great it’s ready. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, turn heat to medium and add the chicken back to the pan. Sprinkle parsley over the chicken and cover the pan. Cook for 30 seconds and then turn the chicken over. Cook uncovered for 1 minute and remove from pan. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the sauce over the chicken breast on your plate.

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