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Classic Barbecue Dishes and Sides

You know what to expect at a barbecue. The usual assortment of delicious meats and sides all served with a smoky goodness that enhances the taste. Stuff like you see on Smoky Goodness BBQ.

Or at least, BBQ food should be delicious. Unfortunately though, a lot of people think just throwing a piece of meat on the grill is enough at these kinds of social gatherings.

But with the right recipe, your BBQ food can be taken to the next level, instead of being an exercise in bland eating. Read on to find out how.

Perfect burger

No barbecue is complete without a burger. But here is a recipe for the perfect burger. Trust me, after people have taken a bite out of one of these, they’ll be swarming around you asking about the recipe.

2 onions
5 crackers, or 3 slices of bread
600 g lean minced beef
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 heaped teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large egg
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Cook some chopped onions for about 12 minutes or until the onions have begun to caramelise, then put to one side to cool. Blitz some crackers or bread in a food processor until you get a fine crumbs. Put the onions into a mixing bowl with the rest of the burger ingredients. Scrunch the mixture together really well, then divide into 6 equal patties. As simple as that. Serve with garlic mayo and a toasted bun.

Tangy barbecue chicken

I still cant decide between a burger or barbecue chicken as my fave BBQ food. Regardless, chicken is a staple for a good cookout. So learn to cook it the best way.

1 chilli
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/16 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 x 5 oz boneless skinless higher-welfare chicken breasts

Crumble the dried chilli, paprika, mustard, honey, ketchup and a splash of olive oil into a bowl. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Place the chicken breasts in the bowl and turn them over in the marinade until well coated. Next, cover with plastic wrap and leave to sit for 10 to 15 minutes or until the grill is ready.

Lovely served with a good potato salad or a fresh green salad. Alternatively, these are delicious sliced in good-quality bread.

Wedges side

Nothing compliments burgers or grilled chicken better than some good old-fashioned wedges. The dry, moreishness of a golden wedge goes so well with the juicy meats.

Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
700 g baking potatoes
Sunflower oil

First, put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Wash the potatoes under the tap and get rid of any roots. Cut the potatoes into thick wedges. Add to the pan of boiling water and par-boil for 10 minutes. Drain in a strainer and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes.

Transfer to a roasting tray and add a generous lug of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together so all the wedges are coated in the oil then spread out on the tray. Cook over the heat for about 30 minutes until golden crispy and cooked through.

Restaurant Worker Tip – 7 Fast Food Employee Scholarships

Are you a fast food employee that would like to have a much brighter future thanks to education? If the answer was yes then you should definitely keep on reading. There are several different fast food companies today that are worried about the future of their employees, after all most fast food workers are teens or young college students who are struggling with money to be able to live better in the future. There are several different companies that offer scholarships for either high school or university. Keep on reading and see a few examples of the best fast food scholarships available today. In case the company you work at is not listed, make sure you ask your boss, he will definitely help you out.

Below is a list of 7 scholarships, if you are looking for a more complete list visit –

Burger King

If you are American, Canadian or Puerto Rican you will have a chance to get one out of the 1600 scholarships that are given on a year basis by this fast food company. The company gives $1000 dollars for each student that managed to win the scholarship. Students who are outstanding are eligible to get the regional scholarship award that is worth $5000 and the ‘King’ scholarship winner who will have the opportunity to get $25.000 dollars to pay college. Students need to work at least 15 hours a week to be able to apply. Check their official website


A $5000 scholarship is given for a good employee that would like to pay off some of his expenses with college. The student can get the $5000 every single year , 4 years in a row if he continues to study. Scholarships are directly linked to a KFC mentor (someone who works at a KFC or even owns a franchise of the brand). Read more at

Boston Pizza

Boston Pizza is one of the most famous restaurants and fast food places in Canada. The team offers a very good opportunity for students who would like to have a much better future thanks to college. Students are able to get $1000 dollars as long as they work in the restaurant for at least 6 months and have outstanding performance. Know more information at

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is by far one of the most famous fast food places in the USA and Canada (as well as in the whole world). Every year several $2500 awards are given to the best employees that show they are willing to change the world. Read more at!_andy_pearson_scholarship_program.htm.


As one of the largest fast food chains in the USA and Canada Wendy-s is also willing to be one of the largest scholarship provider of the field. The company provides good students awards for the best high school students from all over the country. Know more at


McDonald’s employees are eligible to get $1000 dollars as a school expenses help. This is perfect for US high school students who live within area that the program covers. The awards are often worth $1000 , however other values might be given depending on the location. Visit to know more.


Chick-Fil-A gives scholarships for their best employees and the value varies, however it is often $1000 dollars for each student. Over 3000 scholarships were distributed already. Students must work at the restaurant at least 20 hours a week. Check to know more.

Nurse Night Out- Rustic Foods are Love

A nurse’s (or as a billing specialist – or even a coding specialist) life can become pretty hectic. One can forget to breathe sometimes as they are always on the go and thinking of others. The job isn’t just physically demanding, but emotionally and mentally as well. Sometimes, the best thing we can do as nurses, is take time for ourselves and take some time to relax.

For the first time in an embarrassing long time, my fellow nurse friends and I had off the same night. We usually have the hardest times trying to catch up and stay connected as our busy rounds at the hospital or schedule conflicts always had us planning for next time. So, we used this great rareness as a reason to celebrate and go out to eat.

Being surrounded by the world of medicine and medical care, sometimes simple is best.  I wasn’t feeling anything too fancy or anything that would make me feel uncomfortable. It was my night off, and I still wanted to relax! We ended up going to a very nice, rustic restaurant, and I couldn’t have been happier with the night.

With a relaxed casual atmosphere, it’s a place where anyone can feel at home — even if you’re not from the area. I liked that immediately, and knew I wanted a meal to make me feel at home as well. Sitting at the restaurant’s patio, made the sky pour down on us making the night feel even more special.

I started off the meal with a nice rustic wine that made me feel as if I was sipping wine on my back porch swinging, not a care in the world. I could tell my friends felt the same way as most of us sipped on our wine glasses in our own heads or laughing uncontrollably to some silly said.

One of my favorite things about rustic restaurants and foods is that there is no pre-fabricated, frozen and processed products. They are committed to using whole ingredients, fresh produce and herbs and most cooks make their meals from scratch. You just cannot beat the taste of a made from scratch homemade recipe and most restaurants will try but fail to think simply and use whole ingredients.

I ordered the potato soup, and boy am I glad I did! Chunks of natural potatoes were found swimming in the creamy broth of the soup. And let me tell you that they did not skimp out on the potatoes. There was plenty of potato in each bite, but accompanied with wonderful toppings like apple-smoked bacon, green onion, and cheddar cheese. I definitely tasted cream cheese in there, which made the soup just oh so creamy.

The soup was made with bread to dip in, and the bread alone was enough to make most restaurants go running for the hills. Even the bread tasted like homemade and fresh off grandma’s farm. Needless to say, I had to resist the urge to lick the bowl clean!

While the amazing rustic atmosphere and whole, true ingredients made the night amazing, the friends and company made the night memorable.

Eating out: Worth the time!

Do you ever wonder why food tastes so good at restaurants, and why at home it seems to taste a little bland?  One reason, I think, is that food always tastes better when someone else prepares it.  My mom used to make me cinnamon toast when I was growing up, and I just can’t seem to make it myself quite as good as she could.  My theory is because there are more expectations when you are sitting there working with the ingredients and taking the effort to mix ingredients, and then clean-up and take up apart your blender or food processor afterwards.

Why is Eating Out so Tasty?

The other reason that food tastes better at restaurants is that they use seasonings less sparingly than we do at home.  Not only do they use more seasonings, but their seasonings are also fresher because they cycle through them more quickly.  How long does it take the average chef to go through a grocery store tin of nutmeg?  A long time.  My grandma made pies, and I still remember going through her spices and finding some that were more than a decade old.   Spices lose their flavoring after time, but of course we don’t throw them out because they don’t grow visible mold like bread, cheese, or fresh fruits and vegetables would.  Restaurants are also generally very liberal with the butter and salt.  Unfortunately, if you’ve worked in the restaurant industry, you are aware that even at very find restaurants the food is not always as fresh as we think it is, and sometimes this can be made up for with good spices.

Add a Twist to an Ingredient

Another way your restaurants make the food taste differ or special is by taking regular ingredients and adding a twist.  A great example is flavored mayonnaise.  Sure, Miracle Whip is great, but what if it had a special twist?  Some examples of flavored mayonnaise that are easy to make with the right kitchen appliances are pesto, garlic, chili, roasted pepper, cold muster, or my personal favorite, wasabi.  This will take a familiar dish and flavor and will add a slight twist that will wake up the taste buds and make you wonder, “What exactly is in this?”  So if you want to capture “restaurant” style type flavorings, think about your spices and how you could slightly alter the familiar ingredients to add a little extra kick.

Healthy deep fried options for at-home cooking

It has been said time and again that you should avoid eating all deep fried foods if you want to be healthy but research and development in the culinary industry is showing that this is not true. It is also believed that staying away from all fats is the best thing to do but this is not right. Science shows that your body needs small amounts of fats for energy production. Deep frying food has always been associated with lots of fats but when done right, it can be a healthy form of cooking. In the event that you are wondering how to do it safely at home, you’ll need the best deep fryer you can get, and also to read on as this article explains some options that you can use.

Always make sure that the quality of the deep frying oil is high

The very first thing that you need to do is to make sure that the oil you use when deep frying food is of high quality. A majority of people buy cheap deep frying oil and this signifies the beginning of their deep frying troubles. High quality deep frying oil will always cost more but you will reap the benefits of healthy deep fried foods by investing in it. Many people avoid using olive oil as it starts to disintegrate if heated above 375 degrees. It is very effective and healthy and if heated to about 360 degrees, it works just as well. Using high quality deep frying oils is the first option you need to make use of. If you want the absolute best, we recommend peanut oil for deep frying.

Be selective of the foods you deep fry

Make delicious and healthy tempura at home.

Many people have the notion that to make any food edible, you just deep fry it. This is not true and it has landed people in trouble with both their health and weight. If you want to enjoy healthy deep frying at home, you will need to be selective of the food that you deep fry. The general rule of the thumb is to stick to vegetables and foods rich in carbohydrates and starch. To enjoy this, research healthy foods, particularly from other cultures, as much as you can, and see what is deep fried – then try it at home. For example, the Japanese cuisine will reveal foods such as tempura and deep fried courgettes.

Make sure the oil is hot enough

When deep frying foods, you need to make sure that the oil is hot enough. If you add the food before the oil is hot enough, it will get absorbed and the result is greasy food. If the oil is too hot, the exterior of the food will burn before the interior cooks and this is the basic definition of a ruined meal. If you are using deep frying food recipes, follow the instructions and make sure the oil is heated to the right temperature (typically 375 to 400 degrees F).

Be moderate

Now, just because there are options for healthy at-home deep frying, you don’t want to go full throttle with it. Eating a lot of deep fried food on a regular basis will get you into weight trouble, even if you are doing it at home. For this reason, eat fried foods no more than twice in the same week, make sure you’re doing it right, and choose healthy foods to start with, and you will be okay.

Southern Cooking At Its Best

Southern cooking is in its own right a type of art. This is comfort food in the extreme, and to make it the chef will need the right tools and a love of spending some time in the kitchen. The best cookware for this type of family style food demands going with nonstick surfaces for skillets and pans. The chef will also need a saucepan for the gravy. Whatever is chosen for the sides the skillet will need to be deep, and capable of holding up to at least 6 pieces of chicken at a time. Southerners have traditional used a large cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven for this task, but it’s easy to find newer, and easier to use skillets large enough to accommodate an entire chicken after it’s cut up to parts.

The Challenge

Starting out by only making the chicken is a good plan since trying to dive into the complete meal can send a cook quickly back to the fast food lane for a bucket of anything resembling chicken. The fact of the matter is fried chicken takes some prep, and care in order for every piece to be thoroughly cooked, but not scorched or burned.

The Right Choices

In looking at chicken the cook can either opt for a whole chicken to cut up into pieces, or buy selected pieces ready for frying. It’s also possible to opt for only breast meat pieces as well. Looking online it’s possible to find instructional videos on how to cut and prep chicken for frying if this is something new. In looking at preparing a whole chicken it’s necessary to keep in mind not all pieces will cook through at the same time. Darker pieces of the chicken will take longer, and the thicker the piece the longer it will need to remain frying in order to cook all the way through.

Prepping the Chicken

Some southern cooks swear by using a variety of “soaks” or marinates hours before frying, but while this is worth a try if following a specific recipe that calls for it, using the chicken just as it is fresh cut with a “rub” of milk, butter, salt and pepper is often all that’s needed.

The Recipe

In going through the recipe of notes of many Southern cooks the new cook might find some frustration with the words “a bit”, “a pinch” or the truly frustration lack of notation next to an ingredient. What is needed without question is 6 large eggs, salt, 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and freshly ground black pepper. A half-pound of cut chicken rounds off the recipe. Some cooks will have a few small differences here and there including adding at least a half-cup of cornstarch. Southern cooks of long ago did not use vegetable oil, for the skillet, Dutch oven, or fryer, but to satisfy modern palates it’s recommended.

Following the Recipe

Having the best cookware possible will come in handy in not making a mess while working on this recipe. Taking a large the eggs are beaten with a “pinch” of salt, and in another bowl the flour should be whisked with the cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and the ground black pepper. Drench or dip the chicken pieces in milk and then coat the piece of chicken in the flour mixture. In the skillet selected for the frying heat ¾ inch of oil to 360 degrees. Place the thicker and dark pieces in first and give them several minutes to cook before putting in smaller white meat pieces. Cook until golden brown.

Proper Shoes for Running a Marathon and Healthy Pre-Run Recipe

Spring is approaching and with that comes marathon season. Many of us are deep into our training by now and are preparing our bodies for what we are about to endure. Now is the time to eat the proper foods that will help you maintain your stamina and purchase the shoes that you intend to run the marathon in. I will briefly cover some important factors to consider when purchasing new running shoes and have included a tasty recipe to boost your running stamina.

There are a few essential things to consider when purchasing your new running shoes to ensure that you will have the absolute best fitting and most comfortable shoes on marathon day. A few things to remember before you go to make your purchase: try on and buy shoes at the end of the day and bring the socks that you intend to wear with the shoes.

  • Make certain that you’re purchasing running shoes that are designed for your foot and gait. There are many different kinds of shoes out there for runners, namely motion control running shoes, stability shoes and cushioning shoes. Each has a specific design that will benefit a runner in comfort and fit.
  • Have your feet measured to ensure that you are getting the right size shoe and the width. It is also a good idea to purchase a shoe that is a half size to a whole size larger than your normal size. This allows for swelling on marathon day. You don’t want to have a running shoe that is too tight and may become painful.
  • Bring your old running shoes with you to compare and contrast with the new ones you are about to purchase. Consider the pro and cons of the old shoes and try to buy accordingly
  • Buy based upon quality and fit, not style and price. Everyone wants a nice looking pair of shoes, but the cute ones may not be the most comfortable or best for your feet. It is also easy to look for cheaper shoes but again look for shoes that meet your running needs and consider price secondary.

We’ve covered shoes, so now let’s talk about food! Runners need the best to fuel our bodies daily and especially on marathon day. The recipe below is loaded with energy boosting protein and other healthy nutrients that you will need to keep pushing the day of your run. Feel free to add more veggies or even substitute tofu for the prosciutto.

Bean Bourguignon Recipe:


3 tablespoons coconut oil

1 package (10 ounces) baby portabella mushrooms, quartered

Sea and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion, chopped

6 ounces of prosciutto or vegetarian bacon, minced

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (you can use dried if you don’t have fresh)

2 bay leaves

¼ cup coconut flour

1 cup dry red wine (I prefer merlot or cabernet sauvignon)

2 cups vegetable broth

3 (15 ounce) cans of white beans, drained

½ cup chopped fresh parsley


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms start to turn brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of oil and onion to the pot, cooking onion and stirring frequently for about 3 minutes or until translucent. Add prosciutto (vegetarian bacon), garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook for about two minutes. Sprinkle in the coconut flour a little at a time and stir, then whisk in wine and vegetable broth. Stir in beans and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Take Time to Cook!

I feel like I am always busy and on the go. I am constantly looking down at my watch to see what time it is or to see if I am supposed to be somewhere else. Taking the time out to prepare a meal that is healthy for my family really feels near impossible some days, so we usually end up just eating something that I can easily throw together. The hiccup here is that when I am trying to get dinner made I am limited on time since we usually still have homework to do, laundry to wash/fold, baths to be had and there is this little thing called cleaning that takes up a ton of time. I often find myself reaching into my cabinet to grab a box or package of something that requires little effort on my behalf. These boxed and packaged dinners are full or preservatives and empty calories with little to no nutritional value when all is said and done. I don’t want to feed my family these things even if I am limited on time any longer.

My conundrum got me thinking that there has to be an easier way to get a healthy and satisfying dinner made without taking too much time and without using premade things. Well I was right and the answer was right in front of me the entire time. My cute little crock pot was staring me right in the face and it was going to be the tool to get me out of my cooking rut for sure. I made a meal plan and decided I would shop for the week on one day the week or weekend and cook for the entire week on another. On cooking day I was immediately overwhelmed by the sight of all the ingredients for a week’s worth of meals laid out before me, but once I got into my cooking groove I felt in my element and proud that I was providing my family with the proper nutrition and great tasting food they deserve. I didn’t once feel the need to check my watch for the time or feel the panic of needing to do something else. The meal that was the biggest hit in my house was a butternut squash and chickpea coconut curry. It was delicious, filling and super healthy…did I forget to mention easy as well! Toss all the ingredients into a crock pot and go about your day.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry in a crock pot


2 ½ cups diced butternut squash

1 ½ cups dried organic chick peas

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 13.5 ounce can organic coconut milk

1 bunch of freshly shelled peas (you may use frozen as well)

1 bunch of fresh spinach, roughly chopped (you may also use frozen here, but I really prefer fresh)

1 large tomato, diced

3 cups of vegetable broth or water

3 tbs curry powder

1 tsp sea salt

½ fresh cilantro, freshly chopped


Rinse and sort through the dry chickpeas. Cut the skin off the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1 inch square cubes. Add all of the ingredients to a crock pot besides the peas and spinach. Cook on high for 6 hours. About 20-30 minutes before serving, add the fresh peas and spinach while gently stirring. If your sauce seems to be a bit too thin or watery when it is done cooking, you can add a little mix of cornstarch and hot water. Pour a tablespoon or two of the mixture into the crock pot, allow it to simmer a bit longer. The cornstarch mixture with thicken the sauce up nicely.

I like to serve the curry over jasmine or basmati rice topped with some fresh cilantro or basil. You may also add toasted coconut as a nice bit of extra texture.

Brats and Beer Chedder Chowder!

The first time meeting my boyfriend’s brothers, I was a huge ball of nerves. They were coming over to hang out and watch the hockey game and eat dinner. I knew I didn’t want to just order pizza and call it a night. I wanted to impress them without looking like I was trying too hard. So I started the complicated search for the perfect recipe.

That’s when I came across the Brats and Beer Cheddar Chowder. That sounded like something dudes would eat, right? It has beer in it! Instantly my attention was peaked and found out it was super easy to make. Being the worrier I am, I made a pot of the soup before as a test run just to make sure, and it was really tasty and cheesy!

Before even tasting the soup, his brothers all insisted that I didn’t have to cook and pizza would be fine. Then they ended up really liking the meal, and finished the whole pot! I told them that I would give them the recipe, but they swore they would mess it up and would only have me make it for them. I take that as a good sign. J


2  tablespoons butter or margarine

1  medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1  medium carrot, coarsely shredded (1/2 cup)

3  large shallots, chopped

1 14  ounce can vegetable broth or 1-3/4 cups vegetable stock

1/3  cup all-purpose flour

1  cup whole milk, half-and-half or light cream

1  teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed

1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper

10  ounces Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

4 cooked smoked bratwurst, knockwurst or Polish sausage (about 12 ounces total), halved lengthwise and sliced

1 12  ounce can beer or 12-ounce bottle ale

In a large sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and shallots; reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is very soft and golden.


In a large screw-top jar, combine broth and flour. Cover and shake until combined and smooth. Stir into the onion mixture. Add the milk, caraway seeds and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Gradually stir in the cheese; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese melts, but do not boil. Stir in the bratwurst and beer. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. If you like, serve with rye bread. Makes 4 to 6 main-dish servings (7 cups)

My Grandma’s Cream Corn Mac ‘n’ Cheese Recipe

Recently I moved into my own apartment, and I’m sure it’s no secret that moving out of your parents’ house can be pretty amazing. I knew that my lifestyle was going to be different living on my own and being even more independent of my mom. Now I wouldn’t be offending anyone in my house by not getting out of my pajamas all day or watching shows by the season, not episode.

Get all the stuff you’ve ever wanted to do at your parents’ house but couldn’t out of your system early because sooner or later we all have to grow up (or at least act like it). It’s all fun and games until you open your refrigerator and empty shelves are greeting you. Then it becomes the real Hunger Games.

While you could easily run out to McDonalds or some other cheap fast food place, there’s an easier solution in the long run. Stock up your fridge with basic necessities: bread, milk, butter, etc. Now print out recipes and make it a fun tradition to make a meal every Friday or free day to make a home cooked meal with loved ones.

I came across this recipe while watching Food Network, and instantly was drawn to it. I love mac ‘n’ cheese as much as the next college student, but when I heard cream corn was an added ingredient, I was sold. When eating this delicious warm meal, the cream corn brought me right back to all my Thanksgivings and my mom rubbing my fat, bloated belly, and I tackled adulthood a little bit more that day.

Enjoy! J


8-ounce can creamed corn

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Pinch ground nutmeg

Salt and ground black pepper

3 dashes hot sauce, optional

2 cups elbow macaroni

8 ounces grated mild yellow Cheddar

12 ounces grated mozzarella

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup croutons

1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a saucepan, simmer the corn with the milk for 5 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons water and stir well.

Add the cornstarch to the corn mixture and whisk over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Season the corn cream with a little nutmeg, salt, pepper and hot sauce if using.

Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.

Boil the elbow macaroni in boiling water for 4 to 6 minutes.

Drain the macaroni well and add to the corn cream.

Add the Cheddar, half of the mozzarella and the egg.

Stir well.

Pour into a 4-cup casserole dish or 12-inch cast-iron skillet and top with the remaining mozzarella.

In a zip-top plastic bag, lightly crush the croutons using a small mallet or rolling pin.

Stir together the oil and crushed croutons and spread over the top of the macaroni and corn mixture.

Cook on the top rack until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with hot sauce.