Sunday, October 9, 2011


Yeah I know, real Oktoberfest is in late Sep but we had to do it. This dinner had couple of twists that we found when we were in Denver a few weeks ago.  We started off with some bratwurst that had cheese in the casing.  I boiled them fist in beer and then grilled them outside to give them a nice brown and crispy outside.  They were ok, we like the traditional bratwurst better.  The cheese did nothing for them.  Lauri did a couple of unique things with this dinner.  Have you ever had mashed potatoes with sauerkraut mixed in?  Awesome!  I am no fan of the kraut but wow it really made the potatoes pop.  Another treat we ran into in Denver was a sauerkraut, swiss and pastrami eggroll.  Yes, eggroll.  Dipped in a good mustard and again, awesome.   To go with this German dinner we found some Spatan Dunkel at the store.   That just toped it off nicely.  Can you say full?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fresh Green Chili and some guests.

It is that time of year for fresh green chile straight from Hatch New Mexico.  There is nothing like the smell and the flavor of fresh roasted chile .
So what do you do with all of that Chile?  Make burritos and cover them with the stuff.  They were awesome.  Black beans, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, ripe olives, onions, sour cream and homemade guacamole.  To top that off I brought back a growler of Left Hand Fade to Black 3, Pepper Porter.  The meal was especially good with a couple of friends to share it with.  Tim and Andrea came up and shared it with us.  The meal, beer and company were awesome.   

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mini Vacation

Last week we took a Mini vacation to Denver by way of Albuquerque.  Lauri and I drove over and picked up the kids and rented a mini van for the trip to Denver.  The plan was to stop at all of our favorite restaurants and take photos and talk about them a bit.  Well after the first one the rest just seemed kind of pointless.  Our first stop was our old home town of Los Lunas for lunch at a place we use to frequent every Thursday, Teofilos.  We had not been there in over a year and walking is was like walking into a good friends home, warm welcoming and the smells from the kitchen were almost overwhelming with the smell of fresh chile.  Not the bean and meat Texas chile, we are talking about the green and red New Mexican chile that will warms your heart from the inside starting with your mouth to your stomach.  What really blew us away was our waitress.  Like I said we had not been there in over a year and the first thing she said to us was “Where have you guys been? Did you move to Hawaii or something?”  It was kind of funny and made us feel even more like we were at home.    The first thing that came to the table was the chips and salsa.  Fresh chips, thick and salty and the salsa was just like we remembered, a bit on hot side and just the right amount of cilantro. 
I ordered my usual the Chile Rellano combination plate.    Again it was just as I remembered.  I always had it served Christmas (both red and green chile) I could never make up my mind what I like best, green or red.   Lauri had a beef and been burrito covered with green chile.  It was huge and covered with cheese.    The entire meal was served with fresh hot sopapillias with a thick, dark local honey.  The perfect end to a perfect New Mexican Lunch. 
The rest of the meal we had on the trip were good but none of them were on scale even close to our lunch at Teofilos.  So if you are ever in Los Lunas New Mexico stop by and have a great meal. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Labor Day Dinner

In honor of Labor Day we did kind of a traditional BBQ at my house for such an occasion. We did Hamburgers.  Yep old fashion hamburgers, well not quite like I use to get when I lived at home.  These had real beef in them and not the frozen patties and they had some seasoning in them.  I use the regular salt and pepper along with soy and worcestershire sauce, garlic and chopped onions.  Then I built the patties with a large amount of cheddar cheese in the middle.   The plan was that the cheese would melt when I cooked them on the grill and it would all stay in the middle until you took a bite and it would run out.  It kind of worked on a couple but they were very juice.  With our love of green chile the hamburgers would not have been complete without one on top.   To go with that, Lauri make her famous baked beans and something new in the Hagen house hold, real German potato salad.   Did you know that real German potato salad is warm and sweet?  It was good, but not something we are going to do again. It sounded good when we read the recipe.  Anything with bacon in it had to be worth a try.
For those of you that know me well you might have been questioning the beer selection that went with this meal.  Well I though since we were doing the kind of old time Labor Day BBQ we would step it back a notch with the beer.  I even have proof that I have been drinking it for a long time.
I still drink it sometimes put I gave up the pipe in the first grade.   

For desert Lauri made up her homemade pie crust with strawberries and rhubarb in a skillet and I cooked out on the grill.  It gave it slight hint of hickory smoke flavor in the curst and the filling was a perfect mix of sweet strawberries and the tart rhubarb.  It was so good we both had two pieces after dinner.      
Well what do we do next week?  Oh yeah we will be on vacation next week.  So the update may be a little late but I am sure we will have something on here as soon as we get back.    

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Crab/Shrimp Boil

In honor of Hurricane Irene last week we decided to do a Crab and shrimp boil.    You know sea food. We were thinking of just boiling up a bunch of shrimp, crab, potatoes, corn and sausage.   Sounds easy right?  Not so fast.  You start thinking about it and questions come up like, what do you season it with.  My first thought was beer.  That always works.  Well come to find out we had what we needed in the cabinet.  Old Bay Seasoning.  Yep a bunch of that, along with a 12oz beer in the water did the trick.  Next hurtle was, what goes in first?  You know you just can’t throw it all in at the same time, it all won’t cook at the same rate, right?  Ok, internet here we come.  This is a real science.   Depending on what you are going to use and if is fresh or frozen and shelled or not shelled.  It was a real dance getting all of this right.   So we start with the potatoes then the corn and onions then the shrimp and the sausage.   So far so good.   Next comes the crab legs.  The pot is getting quite full and we still have the crab legs to go.  In they go and the pot stops boiling.  They were frozen.  No worries it starts again and everything finishes.  The potatoes were a bit soft but good and we should have used more beer in the water but I added that separately while we ate.  Lauri wanted to dump it on the table on top of news paper like you see in the restaurants but the table is still kind of new and a bowl seemed like a better idea.  It was a good meal and kind of fun.

We are already starting to think about next week.  We could use some ideas.

Jason and Lauri

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Prep, Prep and more Prep.

This one took a bunch of work to get it done.  The dinner turned out very good.   We did lettuce wraps with peanut sauce, fried rice and egg rolls.  Everything was fresh and not frozen out of the box, like we normally do our egg rolls.  Yeah, we cheat but not on Sundays.  The peanut sauce was different. Like I said a lot of prep but, it was tasty. 
I think next week we will do sea food.    

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicken under a Brick (ok two bricks)

Why would you put a chicken under a brick?  To cook the other side.  Ha.  Ok not funny.  It is suppose keep the chicken moist.  It turned out great.  The hard part about this was turning a whole roasting chicken into a flat piece of meat on the grill.  Two words "good scissors".  The technique is called Spatchcocking.  Fancy term for “ cutting out the backbone and laying it flat.  It was kind of yucky but it worked well.  It laid flat on the grill and cooked up nicely.  I used olive oil, salt, pepper and some fresh thyme to season it with.  It looks kind of strange. 
To go along with this we grilled some sweet corn and baked some fresh squash from a friend’s garden.  Thanks Cecilia.  It was good.  The dinner turned out a bit yellow looking but was very good.  For the second week in a row I was able to have a good beer to go with this.   Stone IPA.  It went very well.   
Lauri and I were taking about next week and what to do and we decided that we are going to start doing a regional theme dinners.  Asian, German that kind of thing.  Let’s see what we come up with next week.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The best so far

This meal turned out just perfect.  We are starting to get good at this.  First off we had two very nicely marbled rib eye stakes that we let age in the frig for a few days.  A little rot adds to the flavor.  We seasoned them with a burber rub, no not carpet, first thing that came to my mind.  It is sea salt cracked pepper, paprika, onion and garlic.   I grilled them over some hard wood along with onions, bell peppers and a couple of whole garlic cloves.  Lauri lightly toasted some bread and  olive oil.  We used the garlic cloves as a topping for the bread.  Great stuff for some bad breath.   To accompany the meal I found some barley wine ale that complemented the meal perfectly.  It was just enough to cut the garlic and really bring out the flavor of the steak.  It was a great paring of food and beer.  
For Desert Lauri baked a yellow cake and served some fresh strawberries over the top.   Just enough to top of a perfect meal .       
I think next week we do something with chicken.  
Until next week.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Good Stuff!!!

Enough with the grill, well almost. Sunday was baked ziti with hot Italian sausage and three types of cheese. Rich and hot.

Lauri and I made a deal a few weeks back. She was cooking whole wheat pasta. I know it is good for you but it tastes like the inside of a feed bag and never seems to be done. It ends up like paste in my mouth, no matter what is on it. Leftovers, forget about it, it has to consistency of paste again after being heated. Our deal was when we had Pasta, it would be the unhealthy normal starchy stuff and when we had rice, I would have to deal with the brown stuff from now on, except for with Sushi.
Any how the Ziti was great and so were the left over’s. We had it with a tossed salad and garlic bread, slightly burnt and a good bottle of Merlot.

Here is where the grilling came in. I BBQed Ice cream. I did it. Yep, we have pictures. It works. It took a lot of prep work and a trip to the hardware store for the bricks, but it worked. The sad thing was it was not really that good. Kind of bland with a hint of hickory smoke. I used vanilla ice-cream and coconut. It was not very flavorful. Next time I think I will use something else. Not sure what. Suggestions?

We are having a lot of fun doing this and it gives us something to kind of plan for the week ahead.
We are still looking for dinner guests to share this with. Next week I think we will do something with beer and beef. MMM beer..

Sunday, July 31, 2011

MMM Salmon

This Sunday was Cedar planked Dill salmon, Steamed broccoli and Garlic mashed potatoes.  It turn out great.  We have done salmon quite a few times but never with dill.  It added a nice flavor.  I am a sucker for anything dill anyhow. 

The wine was also very good.  I am not much for a white but this one was just right for the meal.  This dinner was not very adventurous this week but we got plans for next week. 

Still looking for some guests.  Drop by if you find your self close by. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday July 17th.

We will see how this works.  This is last Sundays Dinner. 
This is a pork roast marinated in a soy and ginger marinade.  I cooked it slowly on the grill. It did not have a real good smoke ring but it was very tender.  Lauri did a nectarine cilantro relish that was very good over the top.   The big flat thing is what we call a Seattle smashed potato.  We bake them in the microwave and then smash them with a heavy spatula.  Just to add a bit more flavor besides salt and pepper and olive oil I put them over the coals for about two min.  Gives them a nice color and smokey flavor.  Just to top it all off,  a nice green salad.  We picked a nice Cab for the wine.  The label said it went well with pork.  No it did not, but it was good for after dinner.  The good thing about having a nice Sunday dinner is the Monday leftovers.  This was really good the next day at work.   

That was last week.  This week we are thinking fish.   Other than that it will be a surprise. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Catching it all up.

So as I said we are still working through the logistics and how this is going to roll.  What we thought we would do this Sunday was catch everyone up on what we have done on our past Sunday dinners.

This was from a few weeks ago.  Cedar planked Salmon, grilled veggies and garlic mashed potato's topped off with one of my favorites Bass Ale.  Always good. 
I know, Very attractive.  A twist on Beer butt chicken, I used a good Cabernet in the can.  Turned the chicken purple but it was good.  Only other issue with this one is that I pulled it off of the grill too soon.  Rare chicken, even if it is purple is not good for you.
Presentation is everything, right?  Well it was 108 this Sunday and turning on stove or starting a fire was not an option.  We took this idea from a restaurant we do enjoy and made a cheese, fruit and meat plate.  All very good but I do admit I was hungry an hour latter but the wine took care of the hunger.
This was from the 4th of July.  My Daughter and Son and Law were here and they always request ribs.  So here they are.  I make my own BBQ sauce to go with them. A Lemon citrus BBQ sauce that is sweet and a tangy.  Lauri also made her potato salad a huge favorite of mine.  To go with this I did a raspberry and pare crisp on the grill. Very good with Ice cream or freshly wiped cream.


Well I think you are all caught up.  This Sunday dinners is done but I think I will save that one for next week.  Let me know if you have any questions and remember, if you want to drop by on Sunday for dinner, we will be glad to have you.

Jason & Lauri.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Start.

A while back Lauri and I were looking at how much we were eating out and did not like the result.  We were spending a bunch of money and were not really enjoying anything about dinning out any longer.  Most of the places we would vist had very poor service, limited menu selections or were just bad.  We do not mind paying for a good meal but we no longer wanted to.  After a bit of pondering we decided that we could just as good at home for much cheaper and make the event much more enjoyable.

We had been doing this for a few months and started posting our Sunday dinners on Facebook and getting some feedback from our friends. Then the othere day Lauri saw a story on bloggs and sugested that we should try that for our Sunday dinners.

So here it is.  The plan right now, is to give it a try.  We will work out the logistics and see what happens.

Hope to see you in the future.

P.S Please share with your friends.