Thursday, July 31, 2008

E-Z Yeast Rolls

I've mentioned a few times that I can barely bake, I'm intimidated by baking and I don't bake very often because of my phobia. I'm trying to work through my fear of baking by baking. I'll keep you posted on what actually works as well as the disasters. I found this recipe for yeast rolls in an old cook book my Mother gave me. I believe she told me my Dad received it at a sales meeting he attended back in the late 50's or early 60's. It's pretty cool checking out the fare of that era. I tried these rolls and they are REALLY good and REALLY let's start baking.
E-Z Yeast Rolls -
2 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup hot water (I heated the water in the microwave for 1 minute)
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, mix the shortening, sugar, and hot water with a fork to break up the shortening and dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool until lukewarm, and mix in the yeast until dissolved. Mix in the beaten egg, salt, and flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (about 40-45 minutes).

Grease muffin pan and spoon in dough into prepared muffin cups (halfway in each cup), and allow to rise again until doubled in size.

Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Ok, it was an eating teen loves bread and I actually did all of this for her.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chicken Salad - My Way

There are just so many ways to make chicken salad. I'm not going to claim this is the best chicken salad ever on the face of the earth, but it is the way I like it. You can use this as a basis to add or subtract ingredients you like and come up with your ultimate chicken salad recipe.
Chicken Salad (My Way) -

Starting off with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store makes this step simple.
Boil three eggs - I only used two for the salad, my teen asked for one.
While the eggs are boiling, de-bone the chicken and discard the skin. Shred the meat into the size you like. We like ours a bit on the chunky side.
Finely chop 1/2 red onion, 2 scallions, 2 stalks of celery and about 2 tablespoons of celery leaves.
In a large bowl, mash the yolks of the 2 boiled eggs with a fork and finely chop the egg whites.
Add 1 cup of mayo, 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish, 1 tablespoon Creole or spicy brown mustard, salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Blend well.
Add the chopped veggies and the chopped egg whites, blend and then add a couple of dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce.
And 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. Fold in the chicken.
Now that's a sandwich for a warm, humid summer evening. Make some chicken salad today!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shopping Bag Etiquette

This is semi-food related, we have to "make groceries" to cook them. Since "Going Green" is the big buzz word these days I was wondering if any of you have purchased re-usable shopping bags from your area grocery stores. You have probably seen these 'green' re-usable shopping bags and each store has their own bag with their logo on it.

My question is this - Is it acceptable grocery shopping etiquette to use any re-usable shopping bag regardless of the logo, or do you have to use the correct bag per store? Should I be more worried about not using plastic bags or having that particular store's bags?

This is silly, but I am sure I am not the only one with that question. I really think the whole idea is to reuse shopping bags, not to promote a store. Last time I checked there were no shopping bag police.

I'd like to read your thoughts!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tag You're It!

April from Abby Sweets tagged me for a meme, so here we go...

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Ok Abby...
*I love to cook. Big surpise, I know...
*I like to sit on my front porch, talk to my husband, drink coffee and at gaze at the mountains.
*I love hanging out with my daughters, they are my “budz”.
*I love long dinners with really good friends and a good glass of wine.
*I am blessed to have such wonderful friends.
*I am afraid of clowns.
Now, I am supposed to tag 6 more people...

John from My Viewfinder
Lanny from Lagniappe
Paula from It's All Gouda
Prudy from Prudence Pennywise
Leah from A Corner of My Kitchen
Lori from Lori's Daily Photo

Bananas Foster by Brennan's

Bananas Foster by Brennan's

I have to admit that out of all the various types of fruits out there, bananas are my all time favorite. Bananas don't stand much of a chance in my house of getting brown specks all over them.

I was able to get my hands on one of the most internationally famous dessert recipes. But before we start making impressive desserts, I want to share with you it's origin so that way when you impress your friends with your cooking talents, you can also impress them with your smarts!

In the 1950's, New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Owen Edward Brennan challenged his talented chef, Paul Blangé, to include bananas in a new culinary creation, Owen's way of promoting the imported fruit. At the same time, Holiday Magazine had asked Owen to provide a new recipe to appear in a feature article on Brennan's. In 1951, Chef Paul created Bananas Foster. The scrumptious dessert was named for Richard Foster, who, as chairman, served with Owen on the New Orleans Crime Commission, a civic effort to clean up the French Quarter. Richard Foster, owner of the Foster Awning Company, was a frequent customer of and a very good friend of Owen. Little did anyone realize that Bananas Foster would become an international favorite and is the most requested item on the restaurant's menu.

Thirty-five thousand pounds of bananas are flamed each year at in the preparation of its world-famous dessert.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup banana liqueur

4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved

1/4 cup dark rum

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Directions: Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Say to yourself over and over again that this is good because fruit is involved.
P.S. These are not my photos...Brennan's shared

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cajun Crab Cakes

Who likes crab cakes? I'm way in the back raising my hand. Crab cakes bring back so many memories. One taste of these and you feel like you're on vacation and just ate something really special. Let's get them started, we all need to be on vacation and to feel special.
Crab Cakes -
The most important ingredient of course is the crab meat - you'll need 1 lb.

Saute in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 onion, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1-1/2 stalks of celery, 2 tablespoons celery leaves all very finely chopped. When the veggies begin to wilt, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and salt and black pepper. Saute another 2 minutes, remove skillet from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes to cool just a bit.

While the veggies are cooking and cooling, in a large bowl, mix together, 1/4 cup of Kraft Mayo (and please in the name of all that is good and special about seafood, DO NOT use Miracle Whip), 1 egg, 5 dashes of Crystal or Frank's Hot Sauce, salt and a pinch of cayenne. Mix together with a fork until completely blended and set aside.

In another bowl add one cup of all-purpose flour and season with 1-1/2 teaspoons of cayenne and set aside. Now add 1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs to the mayo mixture and blend. Once completely blended, add in the veggies and mix together thoroughly. Now it's time to add the crab meat - YUM! Gently fold the crab meat into the mixture being careful not to break up the lumps.

Form the mixture into patties. If the mixture feels too wet, add more bread crumbs until the consistency feels a little firmer. Dust the patties in the seasoned flour and fry in hot vegetable or peanut oil approximately 3 minutes per side.

Look at the crab meat lumps! The smell is amazing too.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels and serve. Actually this makes 8 patties, I still have four more cooking. I just couldn't wait to show you the finished product and maybe scarf one while no one was paying attention.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Taco Shells

My tween is starting to get interested in cooking. She likes to experiment and she's actually pretty good. Kaitlin does not want me anywhere near the kitchen when she's in there. She does not want me looking over her shoulder, I think I make her nervous. Kaitlin came into the kitchen Monday evening and asked me if she could plan Thursday's dinner. My arm did not have to be twisted to answer "YES!". I thought she should have to cook it too so I could relax and watch HGTV. My cooking is what she had in mind. Oh well, I can dream can't I? I asked her what she had in mind and she described what I wound up cooking last night. It sounded good and I made her dream a reality.
Taco Shells -

Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan with a thin layer of taco sauce. Cook 1/2 box of large shell pasta in salted water for about 10-12 minutes. Remove pasta with a slotted spoon to a waxed paper surface to cool. While pasta is cooking, brown 1 lb. of lean ground beef or ground sirloin, drain excess fat from pan. Return pan to heat and add 1 package of taco seasoning and prepare per directions on taco seasoning package.
Spoon taco meat into cooled shells and place in baking dish.
Spoon the remaining taco sauce over shells.

Sprinkle shredded cheddar and shredded Monterrey jack cheese over shells and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. I didn't used the Mexican mix shredded cheese because it seems like they skimp on the Monterrey Jack.

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly and to set.
Serve with a side of sour cream or garnish with sliced scallions and maybe even black olives. When I was serving Kaitlin's plate, I asked her how many shells she wanted. she told me she wasn't too hungry, give her two.
By the time the carnage was over, she had scarfed 5 shells! No, she's not embarrassed...

She's just enjoying her meal and no, I didn't teach her to do that! I would never do that if a camera was around!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Herbed Farfalle

Have I ever told you I've never met a pasta I didn't like? Well it's true. I like to use different types of pasta in different dishes and sometimes, depending on my mood, I like to go with something different. Something about farfalle or bow tie pasta is just fun; maybe it's the "ric-rac" looking edges or the way it's gathered in the middle. Bow tie pasta not used as often as penne or spaghetti and it's my job to get farfalle out there front and center. Farfalle just brings a little bit more fun to certain pasta dishes.

Herbed Farfalle -

Cook 1 lb. of farfalle pasta to al dente and drain and return to pot. Halfway through your pasta cooking time, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Over low heat and I mean the lowest setting, put 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan with 2 cloves of garlic that is semi-smashed. Just let the pan set while you do everything else. The garlic will infuse the oil with a wonderful garlic taste.

While the pasta is cooking and your oil is infusing, grate 1 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, chop 2 scallions, 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley and optional 2 teaspoons lemon thyme. Actually you can use just about any herb you desire such as basil, rosemary, creative.

Remove garlic cloves from the oil, discard and pour oil over pasta, pour reserved pasta water over pasta and combine all. Add scallions, parsley, thyme and combine. Add cheese and combine.

I did find that the lemon thyme gave the pasta a subtle lemon taste in the background.

Time to eat!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Please take a look to your right. I am so excited and flattered that I've received my very first blog award from Prudy at Prudence Pennywise! Thank you Prudy!

Cranberry-Barbecue Chicken Wings

I want to thank all of you for all of your wonderful and encouraging comments on the "Grilling Sauces" post. The Cranberry-Barbecue Chicken Wing Sauce was concocted about six years ago because of my love of cranberries. I happened to have a can in the pantry that summer that was probably leftover from the holidays. I stared at that can and tried to think of something I could do with it. Until I made these wings last night, I forgot how light this sauce was and how wonderful it smelled on the grill. I'm serious, if I did drugs, I'd do the smell of this sauce on the grill...does that make sense?

Cranberry-Barbecue Chicken Wings -

Place your chicken wings in a shallow dish. In a 2-quart sauce pan over medium-low heat, mix together 1 can of jellied cranberry sauce, 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Creole or brown grain mustard, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons Louisiana Hot Sauce. Stir these ingredients until smooth.

Pour sauce over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Place wings on grill and reserve marinade sauce. Cook on medium-low heat on grill turning as necessary and brushing with reserved marinade sauce. Cook time about 25 to 30 minutes.

Keep eating until you've finished the last wing, groan, take a nap. I won't tell anyone. Seriously, once you take these wings off the grill, you will be attacked.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Coffee Cake

I have a great idea, let's make some coffee cake and invite friends over for a visit. We can gossip about people we know and even gossip about people we don't know. Anyway, this coffee cake is a keeper and if I can make, you can make it!

Coffee Cake -

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt or tube pan.

Cream 1-1/2 sticks of room temperature butter and 1-1/2 cups of granulated sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time 3 extra large eggs at room temperature, when eggs are thoroughly mixed in, add 1-1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and 1-1/4 cups of sour cream. And please in the name of all that is good, do not use low fat or fat free sour cream! In a separate bowl, sift together 2-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and stir to completely mix the batter.

For the cinnamon swirl, in a separate medium size bowl add 1/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light), 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons COLD butter in a bowl. Pinch the mixture together with your fingers until it forms small crumbles. You can mix in 3/4 cups of pecans or walnuts at this point, if desired.

Spoon half the batter into prepared cake pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate.

Whisk together 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 3 to 6 tablespoons water. You want the glaze to be thick but also just a little runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

Serve on a plate and feel unguilty because there's no chocolate in this cake!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Crabmeat Broussard

I am very excited to share a real treat with all of you today. With a little persistence, I was able to finesse a well renown recipe from one of the finest and most famous restaurants in New Orleans. Many of you may have heard of Broussard's which is located on Rue Conti in the French Quarter. Crabmeat Broussard is an appetizer on their daily menu and has been served to many celebrities during their visit to the Big Easy. The simplest way I can sum it up is it's layer upon layer of flavor and just one big party in your mouth. Try this and enjoy, that's an order!


1 tbsp. butter
6 jumbo shrimp, peeled, tail left on, deveined; butterfly
1 oz. (2 tbsp.) olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 fresh artichoke hearts, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
3 oz. brie cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. whole fresh thyme leaves
3/4 lb. jumbo lump crab meat


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the shrimp until they are just cooked. Set aside to cool.

In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the yellow onion, artichoke hearts, and garlic over medium heat until the onion becomes limp.

Sprinkle in the flour and mix well while cooking for a minute more.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine, then add stock.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for three minutes.

Add the heavy cream and simmer for another five minutes.

Take the brie and scrape off and discard the white skin; cut cheese into small pieces.

Add brie to the cream sauce and stir until all of the cheese is melted and mixed well.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, olive oil, and thyme. Set aside.

After the cheese mixture is cool, gently fold in the crab meat, being careful not break up the lumps.

To assemble, place one shrimp in the center of an oven proof serving dish so that it stands.

Spoon the crab meat mixture around the shrimp and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.

Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Arrange the dishes on a large baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for fifteen minutes, or until the crab mixture is hot and bubbly.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Grilling Fruit

If you've gotten away from your Pilates lately, I have a 4th of July treat for you. While everyone else is gorging themselves on pies, cakes and ice cream treats, we'll enjoy grilled fruit. Fruit is perfect for grilling because it's so easy and it is made up of water and sugar. By grilling it you can concentrate the flavors by reducing the water and caramelizing the natural sugars. All you need sliced fruit, water, and cooking oil to make the most basic grilled fruit. What you will get is a quick and easy addition to any meal whether it is as an appetizer, side dish, or dessert.

Hard fruits like apples, pears, and pineapples are the easiest to prepare since they hold their shape and texture while cooking.

Softer fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums and mangos will become soft and mushy if overcooked. You will need to be more attentive of these kinds of fruit. Either way, pick a fresh firm fruit that is just short of being perfectly ripe. You will want a fruit that is solid enough to hold together and maintain its texture on the grill. With many fruits you can simply cut them in half.

Split bananas lengthwise and cut apples, pears and similar fruits down the middle and remove the seeds and core. Typically, with most fruits you can leave the peels on. This helps hold them together whether you eat the skin or not. Large fruits and citrus should be cut into slices to expose the flesh to the flame.

Once you have cut the fruit, soak it in water to maximize the amount of liquid inside the fruit so it stays juicy on the grill. Use enough cold water to completely cover the fruit and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to each cup of water to preserve its color. Let fruits soak in the lemon water for 20 to 30 minutes. If you need to, add ice to keep the water cold. It is best to grill fruit over medium heat on a very clean cooking grate. Nothing will ruin the flavor of fruit like left over drippings from the last batch of hamburgers you made. So, make sure to clean the grate before using.

To keep the fruit from sticking to the grill, lightly spray them with cooking oil or brush them with melted butter. Many oils, like olive oil have too strong of a flavor for fruit, so pick something that will compliment but not overpower it. This basic process will give you flavorful grilled fruit that will be perfect for any course.

To step up the flavor of the fruit, try adding spices to the water the fruit soaks in and increasing the soaking time. Simply throwing a stick of cinnamon into a bowl of soaking apples will enhance its flavor. You can also add spices like nutmeg, allspice, cloves, or ginger to the melted butter used to brush the fruit with. Since fruit is naturally high in sugar you won’t typically need to add any. If you do want it sweeter you can dust the fruit with brown sugar, but be careful because sugars burn quickly and easily.

Now to really add something to grilled fruit. Try marinating them in a combination of your favorite spices and your favorite alcohols. A mixture of rum, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg will make a truly fantastic set of pineapple slices perfect for topping with vanilla ice cream. Be careful when they hit the grill though, because the rum will cause a spectacular and immediate flare-up, something that is sure to impress the guests.

Grilled fruits have such a delicious flavor that you can add them to virtually any dish. Try grilling apple slices for your next apple pie. Or grill plums, puree them, and combine with tomato sauce and jalapenos for a fruit-based barbecue sauce. Let your imagination run wild and you’ll find what a great addition grilled fruits can be.

Grilled Pineapple: This tropical fruit is delicious sliced and grilled until lightly caramelized. Select a ripe pineapple, slightly soft to the touch and with a fragrant smell. Cut off the top, slice off the tough skin, core and slice into 1-inch rounds. Grill until warm and browned. Serve along alongside grilled chicken or pork, or as a dessert.

Have a fantastic 4th of July!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grilling Vegetables

When my husband and I first started dating, the only vegetable in his bubble was corn. Naturally, I took out a hat pin and popped that bubble and told him corn was a starch. He fell madly in love with me for saving him and pleaded with me to marry him. Nah, just kidding about bubble popping, but corn was his only vegetable. Anyway, disguising the taste of veggies is the easiest way to get him to eat them. Plus, guys will eat just about anything that's been cooked outdoors and I personally like food that is cooked outdoors because it's less mess I have to clean up.

Grilling vegetables is easy. The basic rule is to cut them into pieces that will cook quickly and evenly. All pieces should be of consistent thickness and no more than about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
A neat little trick I learned is to soak the vegetables in cold water for about 30 minutes before grilling them to keep them moist. Pat them dry and then brush lightly with oil to prevent sticking to the grill or grill basket.

Do not over cook and you'll have vegetables better than you thought possible.
If you like grilling vegetables and want to try smaller things use a grilling basket to keep them out of the fire.

Asparagus - Hold at each end and gently bend until the spear breaks. This will be your guide to cut the remaining spears in the bunch. Soak in water for 30 minutes, pat dry and brush with olive oil or for a twist, brush with vegetable oil with a few drops of sesame oil added and brush on spears). Season with a little salt and black pepper. Place on grill, turning every minute. Remove when tips start to turn brown.

Bell Peppers - Cut through the middle of the pepper top to bottom. Remove stems, seeds and whitish ribs. Brush lightly with oil and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Chili Peppers - Brush with oil. Grill whole on each side, 2-3 minutes. To reduce the heat, cut off the stems and pull out the seeds.

Corn on the cob - Gently pull back the husks but don't remove. Remove the silk and cut off the very end. Soak in cold water for about 30 minutes. Dry and brush with butter. Fold the husks back down and tie or twist the ends. Place on top rack of grill for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn to avoid burning. Another method is to de-husk and clean the corn, place on a piece of aluminum foil, place two pats of cold butter on the foil with the corn. Sprinkle the corn with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Wrap the corn tightly and grill on upper rack for 15-20 minutes.

Eggplant - Peel and cut lengthwise for smaller eggplants or in disks top to bottom for larger eggplants. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Pat dry, brush with oil and grill 2-3 minutes.

Garlic - Take whole bulbs and cut off the root end. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and place cut side down over a hot fire. Grill garlic bulbs for about 10 minutes or until the skin is brown.

Mushrooms - Wipe off dirt with a damp towel. Place clean shrooms in a disposable foil bread pan, add 3/4 stick of butter, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Place pan on top rack of grill and let butter melt while the rest of your goodies are cooking. OR Brush portabella mushroom caps with oil and grill for about 10 minutes.

Onions - Remove skin and cut horizontally about 1/2 inch thick. Brush with oil and grill 3-4 minutes.

Tomatoes - (Technically a fruit) Cut in half, top to bottom. Brush with a light coating of oil, sprinkle cut side with salt and black pepper and grill cut side down 2-3 minutes.

Potatoes - Wash thoroughly and dry. Rub with oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and grill 35-40 minutes, turning occasionally.

Zucchini and small squash - Slice 1/2 inch thick rounds or cube. Brush with oil, season with salt and black pepper. Grill 2-3 minutes per side.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Grilling Sauces

The quintessential summer holiday is upon us. Ok, really it's time to panic. Hordes of people are coming over and we know we're going to grill, but WHAT are we grilling? I've been asking A.J. this for a couple of weeks now and all I get is, "Let me get back to you.". He's a kind of fly by the seat of his pants type person...he calls it spontaneous, I call it procrastination. I was going through my recipes looking for ideas of things we've done in the past that came out really good and for a few new things. So here goes...

Lemon Steak Sauce for Burgers

1/3 cup A-1 steak sauce
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon McCormick Montreal Grill Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In small bowl, combine steak sauce, lemon peel, garlic, grill seasoning, and olive oil; brush on both sides of burgers. Grill burgers over medium heat on each side until done, brushing with sauce occasionally.

Grilled London Broil Sauce -

3 teaspoons McCormick Montreal Grill Seasoning
1/2 cup Kraft Mayo
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Scallions finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In large shallow dish combine mayonnaise, soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, scallions. ginger and grill seasoning. Add steak, turning to coat. Cover, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Grill or broil about 6 inches from source of heat, turning once, 25 to 30 minutes or until desired doneness. Slice diagonally across grain.

Grilled Honey-Garlic for Pork (Tenderloin or Ribs) -

3 teaspoons Pork Seasoning
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Scallions finely chopped

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over tenderloin/ribs in heavy plastic bag, seal. Refrigerate 2-24 hours. Prepare covered grill with drip pan in center banked by medium-hot coals. Remove tenderloin/ribs from marinade, reserve marinade. Grill pork 12-15 minutes, turning once and basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Discard remaining marinade.

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms (Also Great for Trout or Talapia!) -

3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bottle Italian Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons Emeril's Essence
3 dashes Crystal or Louisiana Hot Sauce

In a medium-size mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and whisk them until fully blended. Heavily brush the sauce over the Portabellas/fish. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and allow to marinate for at least an hour. Brush on the sauce occasionally as the mushrooms or fish grills.

Cranberry-Barbecued Chicken Wing Sauce -

1 can jellied cranberry sauce (8 ounce size)
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons prepared Creole mustard or Brown Grain Mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons Crystal or Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 cloves of garlic minced

Place chicken wings in shallow glass dish. Mix remaining ingredients in 1-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth; pour over chicken. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Remove chicken from marinade; reserve marinade. Cover and grill chicken 5 to 6 inches from medium coals 20 to 35 minutes, turning and brushing 2 or 3 times with marinade, until done.

Hope this gives your some ideas for the 4th!