Why a Barbecue is So Much Fun!

Step outside on just about any weekend day during the summer and chances are you will smell the nice smell of someone cooking on the barbecue grill. This holds true for holidays such as the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.

The main reasons that barbecues are so great are that the food tastes so great when it comes off of a grill, and it is time for family and friends to gather. Barbecues provide some of the most memorable moments of a lifetime.

There needs to be adequate planning to pull off a great BBQ. Put out a “feeler” to potential guests to see if there are any conflicts in people’s schedule. I have found that as long as you plan in advance scheduling is not an issue. Weather also plays a major role in planning a successful outdoor cooking party.

Most of us are not meteorologists, but some common sense applies. Do not schedule a cookout during the rainy season or times when it is excessively hot. In case of an unwanted thunderstorm or rain shower, have a backup plan. Indoor parties can be just as fun as long as you are prepared.

Barbecuing has been around since man discovered fire. Once the Neanderthals figured out that food tasted better on an open fire, BBQ’s have been popular. Now, even though a barbecue is a gathering, there would be no event at all without meat. All meats are good on a grill, and thankfully there is a great variety of meats to choose from when it comes to setting a menu for your next BBQ gathering.

Preparation should take place 12 – 24 hours in advance. Set the menu first then visit the grocery store. There are many things to take into consideration such as spices needed, condiments, and sides.

Are you going to make or buy certain items such as potato salad, beans, etc? Lastly, no party would be complete without an alcoholic beverage for those who choose to imbibe. Once the grocery list is complete, it is time to prep everything. Do you need to marinate the meat?

BBQ 4th July

During certain holidays or events, you may want to have a themed event. If it is themed then get decorations, tablecloths, napkins, and plates to add to the décor. A luau theme is fairly cheap because you could buy some leis and tiki torches and there you have a Hawaiian theme.

You should be prepared for the party and the area should be set up before guests arrive. Depending on the situation and what you are cooking, you may want to have the food already cooking on the grill. Depending on the time frame you may have some appetizers to cook first. I personally like to grill some stuffed jalapeños prior to cooking the main course.

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The Buyer’s Guide to Single Serve Coffee Maker

If you are the lone coffee drinker in your house and would like to buy a coffee maker for yourself, then the single serve coffee makers would be the correct choice for you. They are simple and quick to brew coffee and provide you with a delicious cup of coffee without any leftovers.

Since this is a long-term investment, it is important that you check all the features and drawbacks before buying it for yourself. With the help of this guide, you would be able to make an informed decision easily. Here is the list of the top coffee makers for 2017.

Why Single-Serve Coffee Machine?

Single-Serve Coffee Machines provide you with convenience and a fresh cup of coffee whenever you want in just a couple of minutes. It has a lot of advantages which makes it a more popular choice for most people.

  • Convenience

Single Serve coffee machines are very simple and convenient to use, all you have to do is fill the machine with your coffee pod or capsule and press the brew button and your coffee will be ready.

  • Freshness

Since the ground coffee is stored in a pod or a capsule, you can always be sure that your coffee would be fresh and there won’t be any leftovers.

  • Variety

With a single serve coffee maker, you can make a variety of coffee, you just need the right flavored coffee pod for that.

  • Quickness

It takes just 3 minutes to brew a cup of coffee with single-serve machines which make it a better choice than the other coffee machines.

What are the types of Single-Serve Coffee Machine?

There are mainly three types of Single-Serve Coffee Machines:

  1. Pod Makers

This type of coffee machines is more famous in hotels and use the drip system to brew coffee. You load a tea-bag in the bag, add the water and then press brew to prepare your coffee.

  1. Single Brew

This type of coffee machines are good for a single coffee drinker and tend to be smaller than a normal coffee machine. They follow the normal concept of filling the ground coffee, loading the filter and hitting the brew button.

  1. Hybrid

One of the best machine for people who want both a pot of coffee and the single-serve option, this coffee machine does both and allows you an option to choose from both the functions.

  1. Capsule

The simplest single serve machine which requires you to load your machine with a capsule and then hit the brew button and your fresh coffee is ready. They have special K-cups or capsules which you would need to stock up on whenever you want a cup of coffee.

What features to look for?

  • Brew Settings

One of the most important feature to look for in a coffee machine is if it has a variety of brew settings to allow you to different flavored and strength coffee whenever you want. If you are a coffee lover, then you would want many settings but if you are a casual drinker, you might be happy with fewer settings. One of the best single serve coffee maker is ninja coffee bar. Here, you can check ninja coffee bar price and reviews.

  • Quantity

The next important thing to check is that how many cups of coffee your coffee machine can brew in a single go. If you need coffee frequently, then you might want a machine which can brew 4-10 cups of coffee at a time so its water reservoir should be big enough to hold that much water.

  • Size

Another important thing to consider is the size of the coffee machine. You don’t want your machine to take up a greater part of the counter if you are going to use it only once a day. So go for a size which is manageable and easily portable.

  • Ease to get coffee grounds

One of the most important feature to check out is that what is used to make coffee in the coffee machine. Whether it is pods or capsules or ground coffee, you would need to determine how easy it is to obtain it and then choose a coffee machine for yourself.

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Chocolate Cupcakes

I was just asked for my opinion on a graduation cupcake. My friends and not friends all know that I love to give my opinion. Who doesn’t? I have opinions about just about everything, though wise enough to know when not to voice them.

When it comes to cupcakes though,  I always say chocolate is the way to go. For decorations, make some mini flags of the school’s logo, tape them to toothpicks, and stick in the frosting. Make sure the flags are not too big as they’ll topple over.

The frosting could always be tinted to show the school’s colors. This chocolate cupcake recipe is heaven. I have used it for years and you will find it posted in many different variations on my website. Can’t live without it!

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

1 ¾ c. flour                       2 cups sugar
¾ c. baking cocoa            1 ½ tsp. bak. soda
1 ½ tsp. bak. powder        2 eggs
1 tsp. salt                         1 cup milk
½ c. veg. oil                      2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup boiling water

1.  Combine dry ingredients
2. Add remaining ingredients except for boiling water. Beat 2 minutes.
3. Stir in boiling water.

Bake: 350* for 20-25 minutes in cupcake liners. Makes 24. Make sure to fill cupcake liners only 2/3 full.

Fluffy Frosting

Thicken over low heat and cool:
3 tbsps. flour
¾ c. milk
pinch salt

Cream: ¾ c. sugar
¾ c. shortening
1 tsp. vanilla

Add to flour mixture and beat until fluffy.

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How to Make Blueberry Muffins Like A Pro!

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on my site due to some extraordinary jerk that decided to hack my site along with my son’s CookManFood. What a shame that people have nothing better to do than go out and destroy what others have done.

It takes a lot of time and energy to create and keep posting a blog, especially when one has to take pictures to make the site more appealing.  My saving grace is that I truly believe that what goes around comes around and that this perp will definitely get their just reward. What a dink! Well with that behind me now, let’s talk food.

A lot has been going on this summer and I did manage to create some tantalizing meals. I made some absolutely delicious blueberry muffins. Not rocket science to create them.

I used my blueberry cake recipe and baked them in large muffin tins and the end result was worth every calorie. Just look at those blueberries. Yum! I also added a sprinkling of coarse sugar on the top of each muffin before baking.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ c. shortening   ( part butter)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. bak. powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1-pint blueberries
  • Coarse sugar for top

The Procedure:

1. Sift flour, bak. powder and salt 3 times.
2. Beat egg whites till stiff. Set aside.
3. Cream shortening with sugar and add egg yolks, beating well.
4. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
5. Fold in egg whites, lemon juice, and add blueberries last.
6. Sprinkle batter with sugar before baking. Bake in muffin tins – 350 for 30-45 minutes

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Nutella Frosting on Fudge Brownies

A while back one of my dear friends introduced me to the wonderful taste of Nutella. I wish she hadn’t as I really cannot have it in my house as I have no self-control and could easily devour the entire jar in a week.

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the year.  Woohoo. We plan on having a special lunch feast in celebration of this miraculous event, (miraculous in the fact that we made it through another school year fully intact and with our mental faculties not totally destroyed), so I was thinking, hmm, I haven’t had Nutella in such a long time and that it was time for something that included it as an ingredient. So, what will it be? Brownies full of chocolate chunks and nuts and Nutella frosting! Yum!

Nutella Frosting on Fudge Brownies

Nutella Frosting

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 tbsps. softened butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 jar Nutella
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat together all the ingredients and spread on the cooled brownies.

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How to Make the Perfect Multigrain Rolls

It is time to go back to healthy eating. I have been on vacation, had guests, put on parties, went on vacation again, and truly overdid everything. As of yesterday, I am back on track with my diet.

I usually eat healthily, but like every other normal human, I tend to give in to any and all cravings for delicious foods, such as ice cream, pastries, salads with loads added goodies and crunchies, butter, pizza, and the list goes on endlessly.

Not all the time mind you, but, when the cravings appear, I sometimes have a difficult time not caving. I decided to create a really healthy lunch and thought I’d pass it on as it turned out extremely delicious and satisfying. I had a leftover grilled chicken breast which I placed on a multigrain but with field greens, my first tomato of the season, and some Russian dressing!  This was very tasty!!

For dessert, I had a half of cantaloupe, also known as muskmelon, filled with fresh berries. Yum! This makes a perfect lunch for anyone and anytime.

Here is the recipe for the multigrain rolls and the Russian dressing. I have to post this tantalizing pic of the cantaloupe I prepared. Looks yummy, doesn’t it?

Multigrain Rolls

Multigrain Rolls


  • 5 tsp of yeast
  • 3 cups warm water (110*-115*)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 5 1/2-6 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Extra oats

The Procedure:

1. Dissolve yeast in water. Add whole wheat flour, oats, seeds, oil, butter, sugar, salt, vinegar, and 2 cups flour. Beat till smooth. Add enough flour to form a soft dough.
2. Knead on a floured surface for about 6-8 minutes. Place in a buttered bowl, turn, cover with a cloth, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled. A perfect warm place in the oven with just the light turned on.:)
3. When doubled, punch down the dough. Turn on a floured board and form into 18 balls. Press each ball into a 4 1/2 inch circle. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise till doubled. (Back in the oven with the light on)
4. Beat the egg yolk and water. Brush on buns. Sprinkle with little more oats.
5. Bake in a 350* oven until golden brown. This should be about 20 minutes.

Homemade Russian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients and refrigerate for 2 hours.

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