Savory Lemon Grilled Drummies

Savory Lemon Grilled DrummiesEasy recipes that I can make off the top of my head are what I turn to most often.  A simple formula that I can make again and again with ingredients I always have on hand.  Generally, that is what this blog is all about.  Recipes that have passed the test and actually work.  No kinks to iron out and no surprises.  Today’s recipe is a prime example of this.  How something simple and quick can taste soooo good.  Tang + spices+fire=grilled wonderfulness.

I make this chicken all the time.  I just kind of throw things together without all that much thought because I am usually desperate to get dinner on the table.  Then I realized that I was ‘throwing things together’ pretty much in the same way.  So I decided to actually write it down!  No frills and no extra steps.  The great thing, is that chicken crummies (or even thighs) are fairly inexpensive so be sure to take advantage of them when they go on sale in bulk packages.  Divide them up into portions that suit your family and freeze.  Then, when you don’t know what to make, toss this dish together!  The other thing I love about these grilled drummies, is that I usually end up pairing them with whatever I have on hand to round out the meal.  Leftover mashed potatoes from a few days ago?  Great!  I can make this to go with it!  Random miscellaneous veggies floating around the fridge?  Perfect for this pasta salad.  Or good grief!  Just nuke your leftovers from the week and have a smorgasbord.  Its all good.  This chicken will pull it all together.
Savory Lemon Grilled Drummies Savory Lemon Grilled DrummiesOne Year Ago: Spring Asparagus W/Raspberry Vinaigrette & Toasted Walnuts
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Three Years Ago: Breakfast Burritos 

Savory Lemon Grilled Drummies
This would be equally great on skinless, bone-in chicken thighs.

the juice of 2 lemons, about 1/3 c
1/4 olive or grape seed oil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2-3 lbs chicken drumsticks, about 8, skin on or off

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy duty zip top bag, or bowl.  Toss chicken to coat and let marinade up to 3 hours, turning occasionally.  Grill over medium, direct heat, turning to cook evenly, until golden brown and cooked through.  Alternatively, roast in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until cooked.

Super Quick Peanut Butter CooPeanut butter is a funny thing.

You can turn it into a savory sauce for noodles, no-bake confections for the holidays, or the ever classic favorite, straight up peanut butter cookies.  Speaking of cookies, peanut butter needs little in the way of help to bake up as such.  The following recipe is a kind of classic formula that has recently become popular again due to the demand of gluten-free, dairy free, and grain free recipes.

But this isn’t some fancy schmancy new development.  I remember making something like this when I was a kid and maybe rolling them in sugar before baking?  Not sure.  But throwing together treats with few ingredients is old hat in the foodie world and these cookies are a prime example.  They just happen to be naturally gluten and dairy free.  Which, in turn, makes them great for the masses, just in case you need something that covers all your bases with guests.

In the end, what is really important here is that they taste good.  They taste awesome, actually, and may just replace your classic peanut butter cookie.  They are just so much more….peanut-ty…than other cookies.  Like, the essence of peanut butter in cookie form.  I still kind of marvel that you can put so few things together and have them bake up so perfectly cookie-like.  Because they are so wonderfully simple, they are the perfect platform to use in other applications.  For example, I highly recommend putting a scoop of chocolate and vanilla swirled ice cream between two of these.  I mean, its just…*sigh*…outrageously good.  Crumbled up and added to a bowl of vanilla frozen yogurt?  Also not a terrible idea.  Neither is using them as a scooper for applesauce.

Do YOU do anything special with your peanut butter cookies?
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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
I have never tried making this with almond butter, but I have no doubt it would be fantastic.

1 c creamy peanut butter
1 c sugar
1 large egg
3/4 tsp baking soda

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a sprayed or parchment covered sheet pan and bake at 350 for 9 minutes.  The cookies should be just barely golden around the edges.  Let cool on the pan until set enough to remove with a spatula.

Grilled Venison Steaks

Grilled Venison SteaksIf you grew up in Minnesota, then ice fishing was a pastime of yours.  You have eaten lutefisk, are at home on a lake, and you more than likely own a piece of clothing that is camouflage, blaze orange, or a mix of both.  You can make a snow igloo in your backyard, you mind your manners, and think nothing of whipping up a batch of creamy, wild rice soup.  In addition, few freezers up in the frozen tundra are without venison in some form or another and without a doubt, steaks are my favorite way to eat it.  Even here, in central IL, the land with an abundance of corn and soybeans but very little in the way of trees, I have my ways of acquiring good deer meat.  I generally like to drizzle venison with a bit of olive oil, season well with salt and pepper, the roast or grill.  That was my plan when I pulled a package of steaks out of the freezer to defrost for the next day.  I was just going to wing it and call it good.

But then I remembered the title of a blog post by a friend of mine over at the food blog Un-Processing My World.  She calls it The Best Venison Marinade.  Well how do you argue with that?!

I didn’t hesitate or pause.  I felt like doing something different from my norm so I just threw it all together, sealed it up, and stuck it in my fridge overnight.  The next day, I had nothing to do but pull out the steaks and throw them on the grill.  Easy peasy.

The result?  Excellent flavor.  Tangy and herb-y and just the thing too wake up my winter tastebuds and get them ready for spring!  Not that I need any encouraging to prepare for warmer weather…
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Grilled Venison Steaks
Recipe adapted from Un-Processing My World
The original recipe has an additional 1 c of red wine in the marinade, but I omitted it because I didn’t have any!  Try it both ways!  This would be great with chicken too, but in that case, only marinade for a few hours.

4 venison steaks
1 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c of grape seed or olive oil
1 T dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy duty, ziptop bag.  Press out as much air as you can, place the bag on a plate or in a large bowl, and refrigerate overnight.  This can also be made the morning of!  Turn the bag occasionally if you are around to do it, just to keep the meat marinading evenly.  When ready to cook, take the meat out a half hour or so while you preheat the grill.  This takes ensures that the venison isn’t quite so cold and ultimately cooks it much more evenly.  Grill for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat and turn once.  Grilling time will depend on the thickness of your steaks but you want a bit of pink left in the center of venison.  Don’t over do it!  Remove and let rest before enjoying!