Jamaican Jerk Chicken

By | BBQ, Food, Main Courses, Meat, Paleo, Recipes | No Comments

Jamaican Jerk Chicken - Kohler Created

Changing it up this week and starting out with a recipe for Jamaican Jerk Chicken that we made over the weekend. My best friend Patrick sent us the recipe mid-week last week and when Friday rolled around we collected all the ingredients and prepared it for our first meal of this week. As I mentioned in last week’s weekly menu post, the weather has been awesome, so we’ve been grilling a bunch of meat every Sunday for the week’s meals. A welcome change of pace, and super easy.

A gorgeous day creates effortless food photos. Well okay, I’m not a legit food blogger, but the light is nice right? Here are a few pics of the process:

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Here is our “spring chicken” that Neil picked up. He simply quartered it, which is really easy to do.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

The colorful sauce right before blending. Ironic given how muted the color of the sauce ended up. Don’t bother chopping anything too finely, the blender will take care of it.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Ready to marinade in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Be sure to leave yourself some sauce in another container for more brushing, and to top. The color of the finished sauce does the flavor no justice.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Recipe Type: Meat/Barbecue
Serves: 4-6
An awesome chicken recipe that goes great on the grill!
  • One 3 1/2 lb chicken (3lb of chicken breasts may be used if preferred)
  • 6 sliced scotch bonnet peppers (jalapenos may be used if scotch bonnet peppers are unavailable)
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 2 tablespoons ground allspice
  • 8 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons. ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons of the following (to taste)
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1-2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  1. Chop the onions, garlic and peppers. These do not need to be chopped too fine as they will be liquefied by the blender.
  2. Blend all of the ingredients (excluding the chicken) in a blender to make the jerk sauce.
  3. Quarter the chicken in 4 pieces.
  4. Rub the sauce in to the meat, saving some for basting and dipping later.
  5. Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinade overnight (24 hours).
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turn the meat then bake for a further 30 minutes. To grill, grill the meat slowly until cooked, turning regularly. Baste with some of the remaining marinade whilst cooking. For best results, cook over a charcoal barbecue (ideally over a rack of pimento wood).
  7. Chop each quarter chicken portion in to 5 or 6 smaller pieces to serve. Goes great with veggies, rice, salad, etc.

While this may seem like a lot of ingredients, most of them are things you probably have around all the time. The smell is absolutely heaven, and it’s the perfect barbecue recipe to roll out this spring!

Sweet and Spicy Sriracha BBQ Wings - Kohler Created

Sweet and Spicy Sriracha BBQ Wings

By | Appetizers, BBQ, Recipes | One Comment

Sweet and Spicy Sriracha BBQ Wings - Kohler Created

It is so easy to eat well during the spring/summer. BBQ makes meat taste more exciting than it has in months, and fresh fruit and veggies are everywhere! Neil popped these Sriracha-inspired BBQ wings on the grill last weekend while he was doing yardwork, and I think I ate half of them just by myself. Not ashamed in the least bit!


Definitely give these a try! They aren’t breaded, and the sauce/marinade as you can see is easy and very minimal on ingredients. All you need is a grill (or an oven) and hopefully a little patience!

Paleo Cajun Burgers

By | BBQ, Beer, Food, Main Courses, Matilda, Meat, Paleo, Recipes, Weekend | 4 Comments

If you were to identify the most commonly used phrase around our house this weekend, it would probably be “son of a bitch.” It’s the perfect expression for those times when hindsight is painfully 20/20. Last weekend, while we cooped ourselves up in the house to paint, it was gorgeous outside. This weekend, which we had hoped to use for some automotive and yard projects, was completely washed out by nearly 4 inches of rain. We couldn’t walk by a window without uttering our new adorned phrase. To be fair, we got plenty of other work done, just not the landmark home and race car improvement projects we hoped to blog about. Instead, we vectored graphics, coded pages and cleaned the bathroom. I know, who wouldn’t want to hear some more about that right?

We did manage to score a brief let-up in the rain so we could do our weekly BBQ. Since it’s been warm enough to barbecue, we’ve been doing a weekly grill-up of about 3-4 days-worth of meat. It saves us so much time, and tastes far better than if we were to cook on the stove and finish in the oven (though still a delicious viable option). On the menu for this week: Paleo Cajun Burgers.


Starting with our pound of grass-fed beef in the mixer, we added about a cup of diced onion, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 1/4 dried thyme, and a healthy sprinkling of red pepper flakes (if you want extra heat), 1 egg and 1/4 cup almond flour.


We then formed the mixture into four large patties (any size is fine).


While Neil worked with the meat, I prepped our veggies: Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Fries.


We enjoyed Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Schafly’s Quadrupel while we cooked.


Schell’s Brewery glass, can’t wait to be there in a month!


Grill porn. We cooked the patties 4-5 minutes per side.


Evidence — courtesy of Squinty McSquinterson — that we hardly saw any sun this weekend…


Our normal local brat batch. Not paleo, but fresh and made from scratch.




A plate of awesome.


So Neil thought I was totally nuts for doing this, but I was craving a goober burger, which consists of peanut butter (or in my case — almond butter!) melted over a hamburger.


I think his confusion turned to disgust when he saw my finished product: hamburger patty with almond butter, pickle wedges, jalapeño slices and organic ketchup topped with sweet potato fries and an egg.


His by comparison was a patty topped with organic mustard and ketchup, pickles and jalapeño slices and egg. Okay, so not the most beautiful meal we’ve ever assembled, but you must try these burgers. Thick, juicy and SPICY, just the way we like them!

The pickles and jalapeño slices technically aren’t paleo, but we happened to buy them in bulk before we went paleo, so rather than waste them we’re trying to use them up.


We enjoyed our late lunch/early dinner with some nice background music. I don’t know why, but I’m completely obsessed with M83 lately. It’s perfect when you want to listen but still need to tune out at times.

So weekend over, nothing accomplished in the areas we’d hoped. However we did get some work done, and we are fully caught up on Mad Men and Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is NUTS this season, which says a lot because last season was intense too. I don’t know how people can just watch one episode. I must have four or five on deck or the suspense just eats me alive! Peter Dinklage is absolutely brilliant.

Did you get rained out this weekend or was the weather everything you hoped for and more?

Scenes from Our Weekend: Deliciously Un-Styled

By | BBQ, Food, Local Food, Paleo, Weekend | 7 Comments


Ever have a delicious meal you hesitate to put on your blog because it’s not “pretty”? Or one that was almost too easy but just so good you had to share anyway? Our barbecue this weekend yielded a plate that exceeded both of the aforementioned qualifiers, and I couldn’t help but share.


Our meal started as so many do. A hodgepodge of leftovers and random ingredients we’re trying to clear from the fridge ahead of our trip out of town to Kansas City this weekend and a anticipated stop at Trader Joe’s. We don’t have one, it’s like going to Disney World.



I chopped two randomly discovered sweet potatoes into wedges and started playing with some ideas. I plucked a sweet onion from the back of the pantry and diced into a bowl with the sweet potato along with 1/4 cup coconut oil, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon freshly ground coriander, 2 teaspoons sweet paprika and 2 teaspoons chili powder. I also added some fresh cilantro and lime juice.


Meanwhile, Neil prepped his beloved bunch of asparagus (I’m pretty sure we’re eating a trees worth a week now) with olive oil, garlic salt and sweet paprika. We wrapped everything in foil and placed our dinner packets in a circle around the edges of the grill. In retrospect, we should have placed the sweet potatoes right on the grill, but I was worried they’d fall through the slats. We also got some…


Tiger Tails! After having them for the first time this summer, we’ve been completely obsessed, and have gotten many of our friends hooked as well. They were not leftover, but I believe them ever being so is an impossibility.


While Neil was out manning the grill, I got a wild hair and convinced him to char a pepper we had leftover from dinner the previous night. I sliced it up and threw it in the food processor with some cannellinis:


Convinced that I was onto something, I added 1/4 cup basil, 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar (it might have been more, I’m an addict), a minced garlic clove, olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper. Although it wasn’t particularly pretty (green, but not green enough if you know what I mean), but it tasted great! Lightly sweet and fresh with a little kick. I poured it into our little crock warmer and let it warm for about 20 minutes or so until the rest of our meal was off the grill. Then we threw everything on a plate and well, it looked pretty random.


An above shot. Random isn’t it?


The tiger tail with spicy mustard and peppers sauce I made. Told you, green, but not green enough…


Beautiful asparagus with speckled hints of the paprika that we love so much.


And my sweet potatoes. Again, wish I had put them directly on the grill, but they still turned out great, just not as charred as I originally pictured. I think a lot of people think of them purely as sweet and something you make sweeter or more decadent, however coupled with onions, they become more savory, which I love.

So there you have it, our deliciously un-styled-not-very-attractive-but-still-delicious meal from this weekend. We had fun bumming around in the kitchen and we used up a lot of the random ingredients we had leftover from last week. I call that a win!

Have you ever had a meal like this, or is there one you enjoy frequently that just doesn’t photo well? We’d love to hear about it!

First BBQ + Lemon Potato Salad

By | BBQ, Food, Meat, MU, Sides, Weekend | 2 Comments


Don’t let his “caught off-guard” look fool you, until this weekend Neil had been chomping at the bit to barbecue at the new house since well before we moved in. Weeks before closing he was already plotting where the grill would go and what we were going to make for our first bbq. He’s already eyeing new grills and more permanent fixtures for the deck, but for the time being, he’s happy to have meat, cooked over fire, and in his stomach.

Neil in his element.

He was so excited to grill in fact that he went a little crazy at the meat market. I’ve told you about Neil’s love for our local Mizzou Meat Market before, so it was no surprise that he came home on Friday with a little bit of everything. Steak, pork chops (which we froze for later), bratwurst, and his favorite beef jerky. We had some chicken breasts in the fridge to use up from salads earlier in the week, so we threw those on as well knowing we’d be eating more salad this week.

Tiger Tails Bratwurst


Brats and Chicken


Here are the cooked brats. They are by far and away the best brats I have ever tasted, and I’m typically pretty picky. Fresh and super juicy with the perfect balance of spice and creamy cheese. Heaven!


The steaks were huge! I feel like we ate tons of steak but still didn’t get through even half of it. We prepped them with simple salt and pepper. Amazing how little good steaks need to be just right.

Neighbor pups

The neighbors were getting jealous of all the good smells emanating from our deck. Poor pups!


I also decided to make a few sides, because unless you are Dennis Leary, meat in our house has to have some kind of vegetable to accompany it. I whipped up some easy grilled asparagus (asparagus drizzled with garlic, olive oil, sea salt and a little parmesan) and a lemon potato salad that Neil proclaimed as his new favorite.


2 pounds small red potatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons thyme
1-2 teaspoons grated lemon peel


1. Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander.
2. When potatoes cool enough to handle, quarter, then toss with lemon juice and salt in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together greek yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, thyme and grated lemon peel in a bowl until blended. Whisk in additional salt (and pepper, if desired) to taste, then add to potatoes and toss to coat. Serve warm or cool after refrigerating.

I love potato salad because it’s so effortless. I probably went a little overboard with the Greek yogurt, but I just can’t get enough of the stuff and a little extra is never a bad thing right? The citrus is the perfect compliment to a creamy potato salad and almost makes it taste a little like a dessert. We’ve been eating tons of fruit and vegetables lately. The brief summer window of pure produce smorgasbord seems so brief doesn’t it? I feel like I’m constantly preserving and freezing, hoping to bottle a piece of summer to have year-round. Maybe it’s time to think about a little deep freezer?

Sweet Mustard BBQ Pork Chops

By | BBQ, BBQ, Food, Main Courses, Recipes | 6 Comments

Sweet Mustard Pork Chops

It’s no secret that Neil loves to barbecue, but did you know he is nearly obsessed with finding “the good stuff?” Get Neil in a butcher shop and he could probably remain there for hours, admiring all the cuts, shapes and quality. So when his coworker recently told him about Mizzou Meat Market, a mere couple hundred feet from his office, Neil gave me a “brb” on instant messenger and had pork chops waiting in the backseat on Friday when he picked me up.

This weekend was perfect barbecue weather. Warm, sunny and did I mention WARM? Plus, I had just finished my finals, a feeling which I can only compare to surfacing after a long dive underwater. I have been so ready to get outside, and back in the kitchen, so what better than a barbecue and Neil’s recipe for Sweet and Sticky Mustard Pork Chops?


4 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick center-cut bone-in pork chops
1/2 cup honey (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Sweet Mustard Pork Chops

Sweet Mustard Pork Chops

Sweet Mustard Pork Chops


1. Combine brown sugar/honey, dijon mustard, lemon juice, soy sauce and garlic in a bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves.
2. Place pork chops in large resealable plastic container or bag. Pour marinade over pork chops; seal bag/container. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (we typically marinade overnight), shaking container or turning bag occasionally.
3. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Sprinkle pork chops with fresh cracked pepper.
4. Grill pork chops until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 145°F to 150°F, about 5-7 minutes per side, brushing with leftover marinade and moving chops to cooler part of rack if burning.
5. Transfer chops to platter; cover with foil, and let stand 5 minutes. Serve.

Sticky and sweet, it doesn’t get much better than that. Neil is effortlessly amazing at barbecue. It has to be genetic, because I never knew love for barbecue like this until we started dating. I can say it single-handedly keeps me from being a vegetarian. I can’t help myself. I love the way the sharpness of the mustard mingles with the sweetness of the dark brown sugar we used. We started out trying to be well-mannered, using our forks and knives and carefully cutting bite-sized pieces and trying not to make a mess. By the end, our inner-cave couple emerged and we were using all our fingers and ferociously trying to get every last bite off the bones. Ahhhh spring, I think you’ve finally arrived…

For more information on Mizzou Meat Market, including hours, location and weekly specials, be sure to check out their website. Their specials are pretty phenomenal. We got four beautifully thick and high quality bone-in pork chops for $4.50. We also picked up a few boneless chops, so stay tuned for those later in the week. Also, as you can see in the first picture, I tried my hand at grilled artichoke, stay tuned for that recipe as well!

Scenes from Our Weekend: Spinach and Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Hasselbeck Potatoes

By | BBQ, Clive, Recipes, Weekend | 2 Comments

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

This weekend was gorgeous, simply gorgeous. With two client go-lives this week and a mountain of homework I feel like we didn’t see much of it, but we maximized our outdoor time when we could with lots of Clive time, a little garage and yard clean-up and some bbq!

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

I really overexposed this photo, but it was my favorite of the bunch…

We picked up some organic chicken, bacon, spinach, cheese and potatoes and whipped up some easy Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Hasselbeck potatoes. I’ve been dying to make these since I saw them on Joy the Baker and they are so simple!


For the Chicken: Adapted from AllRecipes member JERSEYGIRL_CHELL
1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach leaves, washed
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 pinch ground black pepper
8 slices bacon

For the Hasselbeck Potatoes:
4 (8 ounce) baking potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes


For the Potatoes:
1. Wash Potatoes, then, using a sharp knife, make slices across the potato the short way about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart, making sure to cut down to the lip of the spoon, not all the way through the potato. The slices should stay connected at the bottom, and the spoon helps keep the depth even.
2. Place each potato on a piece of foil (large enough to wrap the potato in), and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the tops and then wrap in foil.
3. Grill for 45 minutes flipping once.

For the Chicken:
1. Place spinach in a large glass bowl, and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes, stirring every minute or so, or until wilted. Stir in Greek yogurt, pepperjack cheese, and garlic.
2. Lay the chicken breasts out on a clean surface and make a slice through the middle of each chicken breast. Spoon some of the spinach mixture onto each one. Then wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon. Secure with toothpicks, and wrap in foil.
3. Cook on the grill for 30 minutes flipping once. At the end of 30 minutes you can uncover from foil and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to brown the bacon.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Hasselbeck Potatoes

In retrospect, Neil wishes he would have browned the bacon a wee bit after cooking the chicken. It will really bring the flavor out of the salty bacon (we just forgot). Otherwise? Delicious! We sat outside and talked about our ideas for the yard this year, where we want to travel this summer (I have the summer off of school, more on that soon!) and overall just enjoyed some much needed fresh air. Everything feels more do-able on a nice day don’t you think?

How was your weekend?