Baked Beans Queso-dillas

Need an appetizer while things are heating up on the horizontal drum? Try this flavorful bean filled tortillas grilled on the side.

12 – 6 inch flour tortillas
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small white onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can (28 oz.) BUSH’S Country Style Baked Beans or your favorite baked beans
1 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup sour cream


Lay out 6 of the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese, onions, peppers and baked beans. Add another layer of cheese and top with the remaining tortillas.

Cook on a warm area of the grill for three minutes each side or until warm throughout and cheese has melted.

Serve with sour cream and salsa

Napa Valley Chicken Salad

Grapes make the taste twist on this cool and creamy (great for hot summer days) salad

2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup seedless red grapes, sliced in halves
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing


Combine chicken, grapes, celery, pecans and green onion in a medium bowl. Stir mustard into dressing; toss with the salad. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Turkey Breast ala Speedy

Although I am not a fan of meat cooked in a microwave here is a, sort of quick, method that produces very tender slices of turkey breast.


4 to 7 pound turkey breast, thawed
1 Reynolds Oven Bag, large size (14″ x 20″)
1 Tablespoon flour
1 medium onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Shake flour into Reynolds Oven Bag, temporarily twist it shut and rotate it to coat all of the insides. Place the bag in a 2″ microwave-safe baking dish.

Add onion and celery to bag. Arrange ingredients in an even layer. Brush turkey breast with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper. Place turkey breast on top of vegetables in bag. Close the bag with the included nylon tie. Cut six 1/2″ slits in the top.

Microwave on MEDIUM or 50% Power until turkey breast registers 170 degrees F on a microwave safe meat thermometer, about 11-13 minutes per pound. Rotate dish every 15 minutes. If you don’t have a microwave safe thermometer probe, test for internal temperature every 15 minutes starting at 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

A wholesome salad with the flavor of my favorite ranch dressing.


1 cup Orzo pasta
1 can (2 – 1/4 oz.) Sliced ripe olives, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (best to add the dried basil to the dressing below)

1 packet (1 oz.) Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar


Cook orzo pasta according to package directions, cook without salt. Drain, rinse with cold water.

Mix orzo, olives, red pepper, feta cheese, and fresh basil in a large bowl.

Whisk together seasoning & salad dressing mix, oil, vinegar and sugar. Stir dressing into orzo mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil or parsley

Attributed to: Sunny days in Southern California

Judy’s Mustard Based Sauce from South Carolina

The war always rages around the border of South Carolina and North Carolina, over the proper base for BBQ sauce. The folks at Bone Suckin’ Sauce will tell you the only real Q-ing Sauce is red and is so because it is ketchup based. Now just south of that border the real Q-ing sauce is yellow ’cause it is mustard based.

Well my good friend Judy from Columbia, S.C., sent me this amazing recipe and after I made it, I do believe it made a mustard based fan out of me. Try it yourself and tell me which sauce basis you believe to be the one on top!

* 1 Cup prepared Mustard
* 1/2 Cup Vinegar
* 4 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
* 3 Large Onions, finely chopped
* 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
* 1 Cup Water or Cooking Stock
* 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar or 1/4 Cup Honey
* Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. It is as simple as that.

Judy says “cook the onions first. You may also want to try molasses instead of the honey or the brown sugar. Try apple cider as a substitute for the cooking stock. Don’t forget the pepper”

She also told me that she likes to toss a little Cavender’s Greek Seasoning in for good measure. Also, that Larry at Three Fountains Hardware fries a mean turkey.

I don’t know who Larry is, or where Three Fountains Hardware is, but if Judy says it is so. I will have to believe her.

Mustard based sauce, may seem a little unusual to folks up north and certainly to folks out here in Sunny Southern California, but let me tell you. This is a sauce that is genuinely special. It provides a completely different nuance to everything you grill. I make it in batches and fill up large jars with it, and it seems to disappear like a house afire.

Red sauce, and its many variations are well known and to our regional taste buds red or ketchup based sauce is also very familiar. Having said that, mustard based sauce is quite special. You gotta try it cause – “Oooooh That’s Good!”

Sunshine Barbecue Chicken

Grilling purists will cry foul, but here is a quick way to make tasty barbecue chicken, when the weather outside is frightful.

8 skinless chicken pieces
1 Reynolds Oven Bag, large size (14″ x 20″)
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1/4 cup orange juice


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Shake flour into Reynolds Oven Bag, temporarily twist it shut and rotate it to coat all of the insides. The flour keeps the bag from popping in the oven. Place the bag in a 13″ x 9″ x 12″ baking pan.

Add barbecue sauce and orange juice to bag. Squeeze bag to blend in flour. Add chicken to the bag. Turn bag to coat chicken with sauce. Arrange chicken in an even layer in the bag, in the pan.

Close the bag with the included nylon tie. Cut six 1/2″ slits in the top.

Bake until chicken is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the chicken, stir the remaining sauce and spoon over chicken before serving.

Smoke Back Trout

This is a quick preparation recipe that results in a subtle smoke flavor on the back of the trout and a rich buttery onion sauce from underneath.

* Large Cleaned Trout with Head, Tail and Skin.
* 2 Tbs. Butter
* Small Yellow Onion
* Salt and Fresh Pepper to Taste
* Pinch Cayenne Pepper

First take a piece of aluminum foil and place your hand down onto it. Fashion a foil “boat” that will hold the entire body of the trout.

Chop up the onion or slice it into thin rings. Place two tablespoons of butter at each end of the boat. Lay the onions on top of the butter and season with a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of pepper and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to your taste, similar to how you would apply it on a finished dish.

Rinse and dry the trout and fan out the underside so it lays as flat as possible on top of the onion and butter. Do not close the foil boat. The smoke from the grill should be able to circulate freely over the back of the fish.

Start the grill, and when the coals are perfectly gray, place the wood chips of your favorite flavor onto the coals and then quickly place the trout boat on the grill and cover the grill with the top.

Cook for 7-12 minutes and test the back for doneness. The skin should just crack easily and the meat should be light pink to white.

When done. Remove the trout to serve, and pour the contents of the foil boat around the trout on the plate. This dish is fantastic with plain or buttered white long grain rice. You can also garnish with a lemon wedge.


Mexican Seasoned Chicken Halves with Foster’s Fiesta Platter

* 8 – (1 to 1.5 – pound) Chicken halves marinated in any combination of mexican seasonings with a light sprinkling of chili powder and marinated at least overnight (this is a slightly dryish marinade).


* 2 – 16 oz cans of refried beans with 3 finely chopped green onions blended in, and 1/4 pound Queso Blanco folded in after the onions. (just heat on low while you are cooking the following rice).

* Seasoned Rice, I cheated and used a “bag ‘O blend” type. But it was recommended by the butcher at my local Latino Meat Market (Carniceria) in Glendale. (I’ll get the address for you later). They have both chicken and pork, already cut up and sitting in the afore mentioned red marinate, ready for the grill.

* 1 Pickled egg per plate, slice with hard boiled egg slicer and lay along the middle of the dish to border the area where the chicken will sit.

* Mexican style iceberg lettuce salad, sliced not chopped or torn, (Full round sliced beefsteak tomatoes, paper thin slices of small red radishes, fragrant slices of sweet onion separated into half rings, no dressing needed, once that chicken hits the plate.

Homestyle Southwest Skillet

Great for camping and cooking around the campfire. This is a twenty minute excursion into a delicious pasta and ground beef medley.

Makes 4 servings

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 – 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 (5.8 ounce) package of PASTA RONI Creamy Garlic Flavor
1 cup thick and chunky salsa
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup (2-ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion and chili powder. Remove from pain to drain; set aside.

In same skillet, bring water, milk, margarine, pasta and Special Seasonings (from PASTA RONI package) to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Gently boil uncovered 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Return Beef to skillet. Stir in salsa and corn; return to boil. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until pasta is slightly firm. Combine cheese with Topping; sprinkle over top before serving hot.

Saucy Beef Over Rice

Makes 4 servings

Rain or snow keeping you from your dome top? Fire up the oven and grab a Reynolds Oven Bag, the secret to tender roasts and poultry.


1 pound beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
1 large size Reynolds Oven Bag (14″ x 20″)
2 Tablespoons flour
1 can (14 – 1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups hot cooked rice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Shake the flour inside the oven bag to thoroughly coat the interior surface (keeps the bag from exploding). Place the bag in a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan.

Add tomatoes, soup mix, water and pepper to bag. Squeeze bag to blend in flour. Add beef strips to bag. Turn bag to coat beef with sauce. Arrange ingredients in an even layer.

Close the bag with the included nylon tie. Cut six 1/2-inch slits in top. Bake until beef is tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Open bag carefully and serve over rice.

Inspired or Credited to: The folks at Reynolds Metals Company, over in Richmond VA. Makers of Reynolds brand Oven Bags.