Category Archives: Grilling

Grilled Honey Mustard Pork Chops

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Grilling season is here! I reek at grilling. It is just not my comfort zone. Thankful that my husband enjoys it! I enjoy the prepping and planning and whatnot as LONG as he can grill it! Works great!! (PS. I am working on learning to grill. I no longer burn off all my arm hair!! HIGH FIVES!!!! One step. at. a. time.)

Grilled Honey Mustard Pork Chops 

1/4 c. Dijon mustard
4 tsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash of salt
4 pork chops (about 3/4″ thick is great!)

Mix together the Dijon, honey, apple cider vinegar and salt & pepper. Put in a large Ziplock bag ~ pour the marinade over top and mix. Seal bag. Freeze. (OR at least marinade in fridge for 4 hours – overnight.)

If you froze the meat, thaw completely. Grill over lowish heat. Grill about 6 minutes per side. Though this is hard to trust as all grills grill differently. Just grill till cooked through……

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from “Tried and True Recipes.”

Well we are on the topic of grilling….. do you find that you are grilling a lot this time of year?? Any favorite grilled recipes your family enjoys???

A few more grilling recipes…..

marinated Chicken Breasts

Grilled Vegetables 

BBQ Chicken Kabobs

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers

Pizza Dough for the Grill 

Brat Burgers

Ranch Chicken Wraps

Beer Brats

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Basic Burgers

Grilled Asparagus

Mushroom Side Dish

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It’s a “small town” kinda thing….. and Basic Burgers & How to Clean Smelly Dish Cloths.

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So I was just thinking. Some blogs are more of “Big City” Blogs ~ you know, everyone knows about them, everyone likes them, everyone wants to go there. Other blogs are more like “Small Town” Blogs ~ not everyone knows about them, or ever visits them. Suiting to my blog and myself. A bit more “Small Town” are we.  In a small town you basically know everyone. Well…..(you KNOW what is coming!!!) …… YOU know me, now I am interested it knowing you!!!!

Give a shout out, say “Hi!”, tell me your favorite color or number. Are you ready for summer??? What is your favorite thing to make/do?? Least favorite thing to make/do? ANYTHING!!!! Made anything REALLY good lately??? I just wonder if this small town has a population more than 5 others, myself and, well, me…..

I will tell you 1 thing. I am DONE (d.o.n.e.) with minute rice, brown and white. It turns out mushy and soggy ~ or maybe it is just me. I have quit them and moved on to long grain longer cooking rice. (UNLESS you have tips, tricks or recipes for me to try involving minutes rice……..) I am fine with the long grain rice. It is basic and I wonder if Ma from the “Little House” Books cooked it? She probably didn’t have minute rice and she was fine. (Though she didn’t have M&M’s,  Sugar Smacks, frozen pizza or many of the store-bought fancies that we have….so I am quite content to be where I am. Though I do enjoy watching a girl in a dress tromp through long grass  with the  wind blowing…. or a nice shady spot under a tree near the creek…….or thinking about wearing long fun dresses.) Anyway. Back to you. “HI!! Nice to meet you!!!

This spring  day is beautifully blustery rainy and chilly. Though, with Memorial weekend coming right up, grilling will be on our minds!! So a burger recipe coming up!!!!

* Usually 1 lb. of ground meat yields about 4 burgers. Though, gauge the size of your buns and/or the people eating the burgers and shape your patties according to that! For my kids I like to make some smaller ones………

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Basic Burgers 

1 tsp. dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 lb. ground beef
8 buns

Mix together the spices and seasonings. Mix well, add the ground beef and mix well. Shape into the size patties you want. Grill, how long?? Well, till your husband brings them in cooked…..oh. Just kidding. Cook over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes, (OF course you may cook your differently!!! Over lower or higher heat for longer OR for shorter…….grills cook differently, so watch carefully and cook till your desired doneness.) flip, cook 3-4 minutes(ish). Till done to your liking.

Take the time to toast your buns if you want to……just 1-2 minutes, cut side down, directly on the grill will give you nice buns. (FOR  your burger……)

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from “Everything Freezes” Cookbook.

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Ever have yucky smelling dish cloth??? Boil them for 7-8 minutes. Takes that smell right out!! Thanks, Kathy, for that very helpful tip!!

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers ~ 2 Ways!! & Acorn Cookies

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Check out the new feature on Favorite Family Foods!

I wanted to have a place were you wonderful readers can participate a bit more! Check it out right here and let me know what you think!

It is Weds. ~ we ALL know that means “Aldi Ad” time!!

Thanksgiving is fast approaching so I AM sure you KNOW there are a LOT of good things in this ad! To many to list, I just picked a few things that jumped out at me!!! Check the full ad(s) out here!!

Aldi Ad for Nov. 14 ~ Nov. 20

* 3 lb. bag of Sweet Potatoes ~ $1.29

* 1 bunch of Celery ~ 49¢

* 10 lb. bag of Potatoes ~ 99¢ (Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes)

* 12 bag of fresh Cranberries ~ 99¢

* 3 lb. bag of Onions ~ 49¢

* Fresh Pineapple ~ $1.29

* Turkey prices range from $1.19 ~ $1.49 per lb.

* Ham prices range from 99¢ ~ $1.49 per lb.

* Ground Italian Sausage ~ $2.49 per lb. (you will find a recipe below…..↓..)

* 16 oz. Butter ~ $1.99

* 8 oz. Cream Cheese ~ 99¢ (Pizza Dip and Pickle Rolls)

* 8 oz. Cheese Blocks ~ $1.49 (Fiesta Corn Chip Dip)

* 8 oz. Crescent Rolls ~ 99¢ (Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls)

* 12 oz. Brown & Serve Rolls ~ 99¢

* 12 oz. Hawaiian Rolls ~ $2. 29 (Mock White Castles)

* 29 oz. can of Sweet Potatoes ~ $1.29 (Easy Candied Sweet Potatoes ~ tho I prefer with real sweet potatoes)

* 6 oz. can of French Fried Onions ~ $1.99

* 14 oz. can Cranberry Sauce (whole berry or jellied) ~ 89¢

* 15 oz. can of Pumpkin ~ 99¢

* 11-12 oz. CHOCOLATE CHIPS  (semi-sweet, milk, white or butterscotch) ~ $1.29!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Chocolate Chip Cookies)

* 8 oz. Cashews ~ $2.49

* 48 oz. Ice Cream ~ $2.69

* 16 oz. Jumbo Shrimp ~ $7.49

*12 oz.  Cocktail Sauce ~ $1.29

THE Recipes.

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers ~ 2 Ways!!

This is my FAVORITE way to eat a stuffed pepper. Something about the grill, the thinner pepper, the cheeses and the sausage ~ makes it really good and a favorite around here! I hope you enjoy this and make it too.

* Look for the banana peppers that are a little bit bigger and straight, you will thank me LATER when you are stuffing your peppers, those skinny curved ones give you a run for your money!

* Try to keep the meat level with the top of the pepper, else the “meatball” wants to pop out while grilling and might just be annoying……

* I serve this with plan spaghetti noodles and some spaghetti sauce. Wala, spaghetti and “meatballs”!

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers 
about 24 banana peppers (medium)
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 TB. dry  minced onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, just a bit
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
To prepare the peppers ~ cut the tops off and cut around the seedy part to loosen it from the edges and just pull that whole center out, seeds and all,  set aside and proceed on. When you have them all done, smile and get a bowl ready for your sausage stuffing. Mix the sausage, seasonings and cheeses just till combined well. Carefully stuff each one, it will take some time, just go little by little.  (My husband sprinkles with just a touch of seasoned salt to give those peppers some seasoning.) Grill on low for about 25 minutes or so, till the meat in cooked through and the peppers are tender and browned/blackened. Serve with noodles and spaghetti sauce. Enjoy.

But WAIT! There’s more…..

Here is an indoor way to cook these SAME peppers! Follow the same directions, changing only a few things!

  1. Put the stuffed peppers in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Bake @ 350°, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain.
  3. Warm up a jar of spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce and pour over. Bake for another 25 – 30 minutes.
  4. Top with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese and broil till a lovely brown color.
  5. Serve over noodles!

 Enjoy!

Acorn Cookies


(Not a TRUE Aldi recipe….as it does NOT feature a “special” item. Sorry. But Aldi does currently carry EVERYTHING for it…..but the Caramels. Sorry.)

We are so QUICKLY speeding towards Thanksgiving, much to quickly. This time of year IS so festively fun and giddy-fying. I have WAY to many fall recipes I want to share…..with NOT enough time. (There is always next year …… right?!?!?!)
AS far as choosing what to share, that WAS hard. But these as so pretty on a cookie platter, I just needed to share the recipe. The cookie is sorta “shortbreadish” and the caramel and the nuts….yum.  They are time-consuming to roll out, but sit at your table with some good music to sing with or good company to chat with and you will be done in NO time!!
* Do not put ALL the chopped walnuts in the bowl when dipping from the caramel. The walnuts will start to clump together from the caramel yumminess. I start with 1/2 c. ~ when that is gone wipe out the bowl and then add another 1/2 c. ~ etc. till all the cookies are dipped.

Acorn Cookies

2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. butter, melted
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. finely chopped walnuts}
24 caramels (about 1/2 lb.)
2 TB. water
1 – 1 1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts

Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and vanilla ~ with your mixer, till well combined. Add the sifted flour mixture. Mix till all combined.  Mix in the chopped walnuts till thoroughly mixed.
Roll into 1/2″ balls. Shape into an acorn-like shape. Then place on an ungreased baking sheet, space about an inch apart ~ they do not rise a lot.(Lay the “acorn” on its side, for best results.) Bake @ 350 for 15-18 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Meanwhile……
Melt together the caramels and water. You can do this in the microwave, stirring every 45 seconds or so till melted and smooth OR you can melt in a double boiler. Dip the wider end of the “acorn” into the caramel then dip into the finely chopped walnuts. Place on wax paper to cool.
Yields about 150 “acorns”.
Enjoy!!!
Recipe from Mom W.

Salsa Mac & Cheese & Ranch Chicken Wraps

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Aldi Sales for August 22 ~ August 28.

IF you LOVE tortillas, salsa, chilies, etc. ~ then you will really enjoy the Aldi ad for this week! We do enjoy tacos, tortillas, quasadillas, and chip dips so I will for sure be stocking up on certain things! I am happily going to share 2 recipes with you. Sadly, one of which does not have a picture ~ I will add one when we make it next time, and one of them in a quick dinner.

1st let’s take a look at what we CAN make using some special buys!

* Hawaiian rolls ($2.29 for a 12 count package) and Dill Pickle Chips ($1.19 for a jar…not certain of the ounce, 24-32 oz.) are 2 of the important ingredients in Mock White Castles.
* Chicken Breasts ($5.49 for a 48 oz. bag) and Wheat Kaiser Buns ($1.49 for a 20 oz. package) are 2 important ingredients for Slow Cooked Chicken Caesar Buns.
* Tortillas are a staple in this house, how about your’s?? We use them for Baked Creamy Taquitos,  and Cinnamon Chips ~ just to name a few. You get 20 ~ 6″ tortillas for $1.49. Nice. (OR grab an 8 pack of 10″ tortillas for $1.29.)
* Gotta grab an avocado ($0.49 each) or 2 to make some guacamole to go with tortillas…how ever you choice to serve them! I would love to hear your ideas for avocado use! 🙂
* Tortilla Chips, anyone?? $1.19 a bag. Delicious to dip in your quac. Or are Corn Chips your thing?? OH, I NEARLY SCREAMED OUT. LOUD. They now have Chili Cheese Corn Chips…..I just spotted it RIGHT. NOW!!!! $1.19 a bag. I like those. Tortilla or Corn Chips and ESPECIALLY Chili Cheese Corn Chips are great with Fiesta Corn Chip Dip (don’t forget the Mexicorn!! $0.79).
* Looking to get some green veggies in your diet? NOW IS the time when fresh broccoli is $0.99 for a 16 oz. package. Here is one of my favorite salads that puts broccoli in the spotlight.
* Mushrooms are a great side dish, even IF you don’t like mushrooms….you might want to give these a go! Try to make Mushroom Side Dish, I did, and I liked. Shocker.  ( An 8 oz. package is $0.69. FYI.)

 This 1st recipe comes from my son ~ he has patiently been waiting for me to share it! This is not going to get any awards for health, it, however, was a GREAT memory from when my oldest son asked me if he could make dinner.  The kids Great Grandma gave them a cook book, it has all kids of easy recipes,  and A LOT of recipes have been flagged to try. He saw the idea for Salsa Macaroni and Cheese, but did not have the proper ingredients called for, it needed a cheese Ragu sauce or something, so we went to the fridge and pulled out some stuff, quite literally, he put it together (with a bit of help from me with the measuring and cooking of noodles) and they really enjoyed eating it!

It is memories like that that mean a lot, just a reminder to us to take the time in the kitchen to cook with the kids EVEN if it makes us want to pull out our hair…….  I am encouraged to see that all my kids enjoy getting in the kitchen with me EVEN if it is just to snag a beater…..or two too lick or a bowl to scrape clean. I hope you too enjoy cooking with your kids and letting their imagination run wild!  I grew up eating homemade mac & cheese made from velveeta and shell pasta, so this was a blast from the past ~ with some new flavors in it!  Salsa Con Queso (is $2.29 for a 16 oz. jar) and salsa ($1.69 for a 24 oz. jar) and a box of shell noodles ~ or elbow, whatever you like is all you need for this recipe.

* Salsa Con Queso is a jar of cheese/salsa sauce/dip, we eat it with tortilla chips sometimes on Sunday nights. It is by the salsa at Aldi, just wanted to tell you in case you had never heard of it!

Salsa Mac & Cheese 
8 oz. shell noodles, uncooked
1 c. salsa
1 c.  Salsa Con Queso cheese sauce
Cook the noodles according to pkg. (Mom’s you may have to help here!) Drain, put in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well, may need to re-heat a bit if stirring takes too long. (At this point you may add a little bit of velveeta cheese if you need to add a little more cheese.)  Let your kids serve it up. Enjoy their smiles when they talk about the dinner they made! Enjoy the memories you are making….

Recipe idea from “Simple 1-2-3 Cooking for Kids”.

Grilling is a wonderful treat in the summer, here is a unique recipe for grilling chicken. I really liked the idea of the sweet mango and cilantro ~ I LOVE cilantro! Leftovers make for great lunches! Thanks Denise for sharing this delish recipe with me! It will be a recipe I make often! Tortillas are $1.29 ~ $1.49 this week. Aldi also has chicken for $5.49 for a 48 oz. bag. The also carry Ranch dressing and honey, for sure ~ and at times they have mangos and cabbage. I THINK they have lime juice ~ don’t quote me PLEASE.

* I served with extra Ranch, by now you SHOULD know that my family really enjoy their sauces or dips or dressings!!

Ranch Chicken Wraps 
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. Ranch dressing
2 TB. honey
2 TB. lime juice
tortillas, maybe 8 or so
2 cut up mangos
fresh cilantro, cut up
thin sliced cabbage (I used lettuce)
Combine the Ranch dressing, honey and lime juice in a bowl and add the chicken. Allow to marinade in the fridge for 1 hour. Grill, about 6 minutes per side ~ give or take, till cooked through. Take off grill and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve on the tortilla with the mango, cilantro and cabbage. Roll up and enjoy!

Recipe from Denise.

BBQ Chicken Kabobs

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Today is generally my “Aldi recipe share day”. I do so enjoy shopping at Aldi ~ GREAT prices and they have mostly everything I need for my weekly grocery shopping! So I really enjoy sharing a recipe here or there that uses an Aldi item or a “special buy” item.  I HOWEVER didn’t have a recipe ready to go that fit with the ad this week. SO I am skipping it this week…..that being said ~ I want to know if this weekly “feature” is a good thing that I should keep up, or is it generally NOT very helpful.  Drop a line letting me know what I should do, please, just curious ~Should I keep up the “hey look whats on sale this week at Aldi!” thing or drop it and or forget the whole Aldi thing and just share a random recipe. (Click here for an example IF you are a new reader and PS, thanks FOR reading!!) Thanks for your help in helping me figure it out 🙂

These days it is really almost too hot to put the oven on, though I still do do it at times ~ I still need to get my baking fix every few days…..BUT it comes in handy to cook dinner on the grill. We had these kabobs not too long ago and we all really enjoyed them! My “men” sure are fans of BBQie stuff so this was right up their alley!

BBQ Chicken Kabobs 
4 TB. oil
3 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 c. chili sauce
4 chicken breasts
Combine all the ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Cut the chicken up into 1″ size pieces. Add the chicken to the bag, shake and mix up well,  place in the fridge to marinade for about 30 minutes. Place the chicken on skewers ~ not too tightly packed or you will have trouble cooking it through. Disguard the remaining marinade. Grill 12-15 minutes on lowish heat, turn the skewers a few times to insure that each side it cooked through. If you want more BBQ flavor  you may brush with your favorite BBQ sauce near the end of cooking OR serve with BBQ sauce for dipping. ENJOY.

Recipe from my files, original source unknown, I have made some changes.

Pizza Dough for Grill

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This is a GREAT weekend meal (ment to get it to you Friday, sorry…), though I would happily make it ANY day of the week! 🙂 It is especially nice to have on a hot day/night when you really don’t want  your oven on. The crispiness from the crust in so so good. The 1st time I made this for us, we all thought it was AWESOME! It is a fun spin on pizza for the summer that we look forward to each year. It really is not hard, get your table all set and your “fixin’s and toppings” all prepared and waiting for you! Then you can just sit and “chill” on your deck or driveway or where ever your grill placement of choice is, and enjoy the evening with your family.

* The following is a dough that I came across long ago, not sure of the origin, but it is the dough I like to use on the grill ~ probably cause it is called “Pizza Dough for Grill”. So I think it is great and holds up to grill cooking well!

*Put whatever you want on your pizza, it is YOUR’S by the way! Go for the meat or the veggie or just cheese. Add veggies fresh from your garden OR shred last nights meat up and use it as a topping. Really you cannot mess it up. I almost always use mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Oregano and garlic and my seasoning of choice. My favorite pizza is….drum roll please……fresh spinach, then cheeses, fresh tomato slices, then garlic and oregano and a pinch of salt. NOW….what is your favorite pizza toppings??? 🙂

Pizza Dough for Grill  
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 c. warm water
2 TB. corn meal
1 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of sugar
2 1/2 – 2 3/4 c. flour
cornmeal (for sprinkling on the pans)
Dissolve the yeast in the water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then add the rest, adding enough flour till you have a hard time mixing it. Dump onto a floured counter and knead for 6 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Shape into 2 balls. Let them rest on the counter, covered with a towel, for 10 minutes. Turn on grill and heat to med-low, a bit heavier on the low side. Line 2 jelly roll pans with wax paper(I don’t use the wax  paper, but is may be a good idea…..) and sprinkle with the cornmeal. Now, think about the size of your grill, you want to roll these pizza’s so that they both fit comfortably on the grill. Lay the dough onto the prepared pans. Brush with oil and put on grill, carefully so as not to burn yourself….. (I usually fold the dough in half, lay one half down and flip the other half over…easier to do then describe, sorry, just let me know if I am making NO sense!) Close grill and wait about 4-7 minutes till nice and puffed and golden brown on the bottom ~ this will depend on your grills cooking temp and also how thick or thin your dough is. Now with your handy-dandy grill flipper, lift that dough off and flip, so the uncooked side in now down onto the cornmeal topped wax paper, if using wax paper, else just on your cornmeal lined tray. NOW. Top with your toppings. Return it to the grill, kinda just lifting and pushing it off. Cover again and let cook about the same amount of time as before, about 4-7 minutes, plus or minus, depending again on your grill’s heat and thickness of your dough. You are really just looking for a brown crispy bottom and melty cheese up on top. Take off grill, let set 5 minutes, cut and DIVE in! Enjoy!!!

Recipe source unknown, but well-loved!

Grilled Veggies & “Joel’s Marinated Chicken”

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Well, being the master griller I am (insert sarcasm here)….I cannot even go on with that. Starting over. Being the “nervous nelly” griller that I am, I like to have things easy when  am doing the grilling…saving the difficult stuff for my husband.  He seems to nail it on the head every time and bring in perfectly cooked meat, while I bring in my steaming black hockey pucks. So in the constant effort to become a better griller, I spotted this grill wok thing and thought, “now that might help me”. It was a great Memorial Day weekend buy and has been used A LOT with much success EVEN with me at the grill!

* If you do not have a fancy dancy wok, no problem. I have been making these for years in a foil pan and only weeks in “the wok”,  just poke a few holes in the bottom of your foil pan and away we go.

*Not sure if this is considered a recipe, but here goes. Feel free to use whatever veggies you want to use and let me know what veggies you end up trying….I could use some ideas too! OH and go for whatever spices you like, we like oregano, italian seasoning, garlic herb or a citrus blend ~ again, I would love to hear about your spice choices!

Grilled Veggies    
2-3 small zucchini, sliced
1 green pepper, chunked up
1/2 onion, chunked up
2 Roma tomatoes, chunked
olive oil
seasoned salt
parmesan cheese
Heat grill to low. Put veggies in a bowl and toss with oil, sprinkle with seasoned salt. Pour into foil pan or wok. (Do this over the sink so the oil does not go on your floor, then put bowl or plate under foil pan or wok. Leave this bowl or plate by grill to carry your foil pan or wok back into the house. Just trying to save you some steps….) Put lid down and cook nice and slowly, it will take about 30-45 minutes depending on your grills cookability and your ideal cookedness.  Be sure to stir a few times, adding the tomatoes about midway through the cooking. Top with some Parmesan cheese and away we go. Enjoy.

Here is a deliciously easy recipe for grilled chicken, the marinade is fantastic and leftovers make great wraps or salads. I did not change a THING in the recipe so I am going to send you right to my friend Lisa’s blog called Cooking Up a Sale for the recipe for “Joel’s Marinated Chicken“. She has great tips, probably  more thorough than I would give you! (After comparing our pictures, I am thinking that I should have doubled the marinade, mine looks “paler” than hers. Even so, it still tasted delish!) Enjoy and thanks Lisa for sharing a great recipe that we will  use often!