All posts filed under: Ramblings

Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub | DadCooksDinner.com

Throwback Thursday: Chicken Under Pressure

Can’t talk now. Busy. Gotta run. Work, work, work. We had a software upgrade over the long weekend, and I’ve been working 12 to 18 hour days ever since. What do I do when I work late and have to squeeze in dinner before another scheduled install at 8:30 PM? I give in to the dark side…of the chicken. Instant Pot Chicken Legs, here we come. Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub Recipe here: Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub – [DadCooksDinner] An update to the recipe: I use Penzeys Sunny Paris Seasoning instead of the Italian Seasoning. Any herb blend will work, but I’m in love with Sunny Paris. They hooked me with a free sample; I’ve gone through three more full-sized jars since then. Sunny Paris goes with chicken, pork, and vegetables – Especially vegetables. If there’s a Penzeys near you, try a jar. You won’t be disappointed. What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below. Related Posts …

Rotisserie Grilling cookbooks now available on Walmart eBooks

Big news in the eBook world: Walmart teamed up with Kobo to make the Walmart eBook store! Walmart and…Kobo? Who’s that? In the US, Amazon is the elephant in the eBookstore, with the vast majority of the market. Outside the US, Toronto-based Kobo is giving Amazon a run for their money, making them a close second in global eBook sales. Kobo is a subsidiary of Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce giant. Rakuten also owns OverDrive, which most libraries use to loan out eBooks. In other words, Kobo has some eBook muscle. Walmart and Kobo are a fascinating pairing that could give Amazon serious competition. Kobo has a reputation for well-made e-readers as well as the usual reader apps for iOS or Android, and a vast eBook selection to rival Amazon’s Kindle store. Walmart is…Walmart. You may have heard of them?  As an eBook author, I love the idea of e-readers promoted in every Walmart in the country. That means, at least indirectly, my books are now sold in Walmart! As an eBook reader, I like the …

Ten Years of DadCooksDinner

Ten years. Holy cow. In 2008 I was a food fanatic with a seven-year old, a five-year old, and a three-year old, and a brand new blogspot account. Now I have a high school senior, a daughter itching to get her learners permit, and a just-turned teen. And a successful food blog. It’s easy to get caught up in the rhythm of posting every week. Stepping back, seeing where I am now, and how much I’ve grown in ten years? That’s harder. I’m wired to worry about today’s problems, not to sit back and reflect. But, ten years is such a big, round number that I can’t let it slide by. So, here are a few thoughts about ten years of writing DadCooksDinner. What have I learned? Get better by doing the work. How did I learn to cook? I cooked dinner every night for my family. How did I learn to write? I wrote ten years worth of blog posts. I was a hobbyist photographer back before I had kids, but the improvement in …

Throwback Thursday: Ribeye Pork Chops

Temping the pork chops Summer is winding down. This week started school for the kids, and tonight’s low is supposed to be 50°F. (Which I love – I’m a Fall weather kind of guy.) There’s still time for some late summer grilling, so I pulled out my recipe for pork ribeyes (aka bone-in loin chops) I keep coming back to paprika, garlic, and coriander as my default spice rub; I love how those flavors go with milder meats, like pork and chicken. Also, this is the first pork recipe I wrote after finding out the USDA changed their pork guidance from “overcook it” (160°F) to “just right” (145°F with a 3 minute rest.) The National Pork Board finally convinced the USDA that home cooks know to use digital thermometers – the key to a good chop. Don’t overcook your pork chops! (I recommend the $99 Thermapen thermometer if you’re a fanatic like me, or the $30 ThermoPop thermometer if you’re not. I’m a Thermoworks affiliate, so I may be biased, but I feel like I’m …

Do Not Wash Chicken Before Cooking!

A question from a reader: Marinating chicken…contained in a bag, in a baking dish to catch any drips Is it best to wash the chicken off after removing from package or not? I hear conflicting advice on this. Some say to wash off any germs from packing and some say it’s doesn’t matter b/c the germs are cooked off. Should I wash chicken? No! Please, no. Do NOT wash poultry before cooking. (Or any other meat for that matter.) Washing chicken doesn’t rinse away bacteria; it splashes it around. The bacteria is still on the chicken…and now it’s been sprayed onto the sink, countertops, arms, clothes, and anything else nearby. The safest thing to do is take chicken directly from its packaging to the stove. Now, I don’t take chicken directly out of the package and to the stove. I usually have to mess with it first – seasoning, cutting it up, that kind of thing. I treat chicken juices like a biohazard – because they are, until they’re cooked – and try to contain …

Lake Erie Vacation 2018

I’m on vacation, spending a week at my family’s cottage on the shores of Lake Erie. Then, the week after that I’m recovering from hernia surgery. (Fun!) In other words, posting will be sparse for the next two weeks. (Cell coverage and wifi are spotty out here.) I’ll be back to my regular schedule in August. See you then! PS:  Amazon’s Prime Day Instant Pot Duo for $58 deal is still on through the end of the day today. Did you get one? Let me know in the comments.

Amazon Prime Day 2018 – Instant Pot Deals? (Yes, on the IP-Duo)

Looking for a deal on an Instant Pot? You’re in luck – it’s Amazon Prime Day! I’m an Amazon affiliate, and I get a small commission on anything you buy through the Amazon links on my site. Thank you! Why is Prime Day such a big deal for Instant Pot fans? Because Amazon traditionally has a fantastic Instant Pot deal on Prime Day for Amazon Prime members. Their lowest prices of the year are on Prime Day and Black Friday. (Side note: Prime “Day” is now Prime Day-And-A-Half, starting at 3 PM EST July 16 (today), running through the end of July 17.) Which Instant Pot is on sale for Prime Day? I don’t know yet, and I’ll update this post when I find out. The sale is usually on one specific model; 2015 and 2016 were on the IP Duo 6-Quart, and 2017 was the IP Duo 8-Quart. What will it be this year? I think it will be one of these six Instant Pots: [UPDATE 2018-07-16 3PM] The sale is on the Instant …

Grill Smoked Trout: trout on a foil sheet, on a grill, with smoking coals on the other side of the grill

Throwback Thursday: Grill Smoked Fish

My grill smoked trout recipe is suddenly popular! I’m not sure what happened, but I all of a sudden I’m getting questions and comments on a post I wrote years ago. That’s a good thing – I love smoked fish, and grill smoking is easy enough to make this one of my go-to appetizers for parties. Now, grill smoked fish are different from cold smoked fish, like smoked salmon or lox. Cold-smoked fish are cooked at 180°F for hours. Grill smoked fish are a cross between “cold smoked” and grilled – they have a similar taste to cold smoked, but a flakier texture. The grill smoked technique is simple: Brine the fish with salt and brown sugar Lay the fish on a sheet of aluminum foil and pat dry Put in a 250°F to 300°F grill with smoking wood until cooked through and flaky, 30 to 90 minutes depending on the fish thickness. Here are my two favorites: Grill Smoked Trout and Grill Smoked Salmon Recipe: Grill Smoked Trout Recipe: Grill Smoked Salmon What do …

Gnawing on the bone - Tomahawk Ribeye | DadCooksDinner.com

Thursday Throwback: Happy Happy Birthday

How did I celebrate my birthday? With a long-bone ribeye: View this post on Instagram My birthday present to myself… a tomahawk ribeye! 🎁 . . . . . @CertifiedAngusBeef #BestAngusBeef #SteakHolder #BestBeef #sponsored #CertifiedAngusBeef A post shared by Mike Vrobel – Food Blogger (@dadcooksdinner) on Jun 13, 2018 at 3:34pm PDT I saw the steaks at my local butcher, and could not resist. (At least, I could not resist for me. The rest of the family got (much less expensive) regular ribeyes. Hey, I was celebrating…) This is a honkin’ big piece of meat. Reverse searing is the way to go, with my trusty Thermoworks ChefAlarm probe thermometer telling me when it’s cooked through to medium rare, and ready to sear and serve. Link to the recipe Recipe here: Grilled Tomahawk Steak (Long Bone Ribeye, Reverse Seared) What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below. Related Posts The Best Grilled Steak: Reverse Sear or Sear and Move? Grilled Cowboy Chop (Double Cut Ribeye, Reverse Seared) Reverse Seared Rack …

Keep Warm mode and Natural Pressure Release

Throwback Thursday: Instant Pot Natural Pressure Release – Leave Warming Mode On

After Tuesday’s Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs post, a few people asked about Natural Pressure Release and Keep Warm mode: Question: for the 5 mins natural release, do you leave the “warmer” on to count up to 5, or do you shut down the power completely? Reader Warren I had the same question, so I did some testing a few years back. The results: Keep Warm mode does not change Natural Pressure Release time. It takes Here’s the original post, and a video of my testing: Should I cancel Keep Warm mode for a Natural Pressure Release? (No.) [DadCooksDinner.com] Video: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker – Natural Pressure Release – Keep Warm Mode On or Off [YouTube.com] What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below. Related Posts Should I cancel Keep Warm mode for a Natural Pressure Release? (No.) How to fix Instant Pot Overheating What to do if I Dump Liquid into my Instant Pot without the Pot Liner My list of Pressure Cooker Recipes Enjoyed this post? Want to …

Road Trip: Italy Food and Wine Writing Workshop 2018

These are my memories about the Food and Wine Writing Workshop run by Demet Guzey and Dianne Jacob in April 2018. To paraphrase Ruth Reichl, “Everything here is true, but it may not be entirely factual.” I took copious notes during the classes and tours, but not during the writing sessions. (I was too busy writing.) I am sure I confused times and people, so I apologize in advance. Write about our visit to Quintarelli winery. I’ll give you…30 minutes. Demet starts the session with wine writing advice, then turns us loose on our notebooks. 30 minutes? That’s it? I’ve learned to shut off the Editor Voice and write, but I’m not sure 30 minutes will be enough for something I have to read in front of the whole group. Don’t worry, just go. Keep the pen moving on the page. I write about grandpa Giuseppe Quintarelli and his quest for quality. Giuseppe moves his vineyards from the valley to the hillside, making the vines work harder. Hard-working vines produce less wine, but better wine. …

On The Road: Travel Day

  Thirty-three thousand feet above the North Atlantic, thirty minutes west of Dingle, Ireland. Heading home. I hear an opera carrying along the canal. The sleek prow of a gondola glides into view, carrying a singing soprano and her accordionist. A middle-aged couple holds hands in the plush seat in the back, enjoying their own private Venetian concert. Except it’s not private. The gondolier eases his boat along, under the bridge at my feet. The soprano is a pro; she times her finish for the bridge, using the echo to amplify her last note. It hangs in the air for a second, then applause fills the void, from the gondola and all around me on the bridge. The narrow bridge. That I stopped in the middle of, blocking traffic. Whoops. I look around, ready to excuse myself to everyone…but they’re too busy clapping to notice my apology. I wasn’t the only one enchanted by the melody. I’m not ready to go home – there’s so much more to do, so much more to see, I’ve …

Tortelli class in Verona, Italy

On the road again: Tortelli in Verona, Italy

Sorry this post is late; I think I lost a day to travel somewhere. That, or I’m actually relaxing on my vacation – a food writing workshop in Verona, Italy. Today was a tortelli making class in a local restaurant. The staff showed us how, then stood back to let us try. We did OK – we are a bunch of food writers, after all. But we were not the pros. They roll and fold with flair, smooth and effortless. Posting will be a little sparse for the next week or so, until I get home. After that, I apologize in advance for all the “Well, when I was in Italy…” stories.