Watermelon-Feta Bites

Watermelon-Feta3 

This one is for “the wife”…these Watermelon-Feta Bites are all she’s been talking about since we made them!

She’s been asking me if we could do something a little bit lighter for summer. Kentucky Hot Browns with bacon gravy, Taco Egg Rolls…all totally delicious but once in a while you need something a little lighter. And what could be better than watermelon?

One of her favorite summer salads is a watermelon-feta salad but she’s pretty much the only one in the house that will eat it, so making a whole bowl of it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

So I turned her salad into bite-sized appetizers. And like I’ve been saying about putting things on sticks, somehow making this salad bite-sized makes it a little more appealing.

Well, at least to me anyway. I actually liked the combination of the watermelon and feta topped with mint. Very refreshing, I have to admit. If you gave me a whole bowl of it…I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t eat it. Little steps here…I think I’ve come a long way!

So this really isn’t too much of a recipe, all you have to do is get a seedless watermelon and slice it into a round about 2 inches thick.

Take the rind off and cut the watermelon into strips, then into cubes. Thats’ it!

Then top with cubes of feta or any other cheese you like. We also tried a ricotta-salada that worked well, it’s a little more mild tasting than feta.

Add a mint leaf and stack them up on a tray. These Watermelon-Feta Bites would make a great appetizer or even a side dish in place of a salad.

Ultra low-fat, pretty low-carb, very low in calories but big on flavor. That’s what the wife ordered and I delivered!

Watermelon-feta bites1

 

Watermelon-Feta Bites
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Ingredients
  1. Fresh watermelon, cut into 1"x 1 1/2" cubes
  2. 1 block of feta or ricotta salata, cut into 1/2" cubes
  3. Fresh mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Place the cheese cubes on top of the watermelon cubes and top with a mint leave.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be adjusted for as many people as you need to serve. Count on three to four bites per person.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Cherry Beer-Rita

cheery beer-rita2

Nothing beats a frozen drink in the summer time, so I blended up Cherry Beer-Rita for you tonight!

A while back my wife bought this cherry pitter gadget. You put a cherry in, squeeze, and then the pit comes out. And cherry juice goes everywhere. I mean everywhere. I would make the kids go outside if they were going to use it. Not a gadget that will appear here on my site – because it’s dumb.

Put the cherry in your mouth, eat around the pit and spit it out. No mess.

Her argument was that they were little and she didn’t want them to swallow the pit…OK, I get that. So no cherries for little kids. How about strawberries then?

Luckily, this Cherry Beer-Rita only uses cherries for garnish and only cherry brandy in the drink.

First you make up a batch of frozen cherry margaritas – just add all your booze to your blender and add a couple of cups of ice then blend.

You could drink these Cherry Margaritas right now, or take it another step and make it a beer-rita!

Pour some of the frozen margarita into a tall glass or a margarita glass. Any high glass will work, the important thing here is the ratio…

Only fill the glass 3/4 full, leaving room for your beer to be dumped on top. I do mean dumped…you literally tip the bottle of beer over into your margarita and start drinking.

I used the small sized beer bottles for these Beer-Rita’s and they worked out perfectly!

 cherry beer-rita 

So get rid of the cherry-pitting gadgets and blend up plenty of these Cherry Beer-Rita’s for cocktail hour tonight!

Cherry Beer-Rita
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 3 oz. tequila
  2. 1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  3. 1 1/2 oz. triple sec
  4. 2 oz. cherry brandy
  5. 2 c. ice cubes
  6. 2 7 oz. beer bottles such as corona, or whatever brand you like
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients except the beer into a blender along with the 2 cups of ice.
  2. Blend until all the ice is incorporated and the mixture is thick.
  3. Divide between 2 highball or margarita glasses, filling no more than 3/4 full.
  4. Turn a beer bottle over into the drink so it sits by itself in the glass.
  5. Insert straw - drink.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Kentucky Hot Brown

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Here’s a Kentucky Hot Brown for you, done the Mantitlement way!

We’re big fans of open-faced sandwiches with gravy around here. Roast beef or turkey right from the deli on toasted bread with brown gravy. This is the kind of dinner that I used to make when my wife was away or couldn’t be home for dinner.

Easy, and my boys love it. And yep, I used a package of powdered gravy. I think after all this time they might even prefer it over homemade gravy – as horrifying as that is to my wife.

So we had a bunch of chicken left over from our Beer Can Chicken, even after a night of leftovers. What could I make with the leftover chicken? Kentucky Hot Browns.

A Kentucky Hot Brown is a famous sandwich that usually has slices of turkey and tomato on toasted bread, then covered with a mornay sauce and placed under the broiler. And because I sure as hell didn’t know, I’ll tell you that a mornay sauce is a white sauce with cheese, just in case you didn’t know either…

Then you would typically top the whole sandwich with slices of bacon.

But I thought I’d switch it up a bit and make it my own way. More like the hot open-faced gravy sandwiches I like to make.

Here’s what I did-

First I shredded up some of the leftover chicken and cooked up some bacon.

hot brown ingredients 

Then I started the gravy. I wanted to put the bacon IN the gravy instead of on top. Much more bacon-y flavor that way…

All that was left was to toast up the bread, place the shredded chicken and tomato on top and cover with the bacon-gravy.

hot brown sandwiches-assemble 

You could stop right there and just dig in, cause we did just to make sure it was coming out OK…But to make it Hot Brown style, stick it under the broiler for a minute or two to brown the top. This is probably my new favorite sandwich ever!

kentucky hot brown

 

Kentucky Hot Brown
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. shredded chicken or turkey
  2. 4 slices of thick-sliced white bread
  3. 8 slices of tomato
  4. 8 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped (reserving 3 T. of bacon grease from cooking)
  5. 3 T. flour
  6. 2 c. whole milk
  7. 1/4 t. salt
  8. 1/4 t. ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Start by making the bacon gravy.
  2. Add the 3 T. of reserved bacon grease to a medium sized pot.
  3. When the bacon grease is hot, add the 3 T. of flour and whisk, cooking for 1 minute.
  4. Next slowly add the 2 cups of milk, stirring as you pour and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes until thick.
  5. Add in the chopped bacon, salt and pepper and stir.
  6. Toast the slices of bread, then layer on the shredded chicken, splitting between the four slices of bread.
  7. Top each slice of bread with 2 pieces of tomato, then spoon the bacon gravy on top.
  8. Repeat with the remaining pieces of bread and place onto a baking sheet.
  9. Place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes until the top gets browned.
  10. Slice each open-faced sandwich in half diagonally and serve.
Notes
  1. You can swap out the shredded chicken for turkey, or even use sliced turkey or chicken from the deli to make it even easier!
  2. Also, you can thin out the gravy with a little more milk if it gets too thick.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

eCool In-Ground Cooler

eCooler

Saving the Earth by drinking beer? Well, that’s one you can sign me up for.

It’s not really “drinking” the beer though, it’s how you store your beer. With the eCool In-Ground Cooler you don’t need to take up all your refrigerator space (OK, well half of it) with your beer. Or have an entire second refrigerator in your garage just for storing your beer.

Honestly I haven’t thought about the wasted energy much at all until I saw the eCool In-Ground Cooler. This might be bad of me to say but I think it’s just pretty damn cool…with the added bonus that your getting yourself off the grid just a little.

What this cooler does is use the cool temperature of the earth to keep your beer at it’s best.

Ice cold – that’s beer at it’s best.

And don’t you hate it when you get ready for a BBQ at your house and you’ve been running around doing errands and cooking for two days…then all of the sudden you realize you forgot to grab the ice? Or you might have remembered the ice but you just run out cause it’s 90 degrees in the shade that day?

The eCool Cooler holds a case – yes – a case of beer at a time. And when a few are gone, you can start feeding warm cans in to get cold. It doesn’t seem like you’d ever run out of space!

Yes, you do have to dig a hole in the ground. But only once and it’s done and then it will then forever be your in-ground beer cooler. Dig it right next to your deck or out by your pool. You’ll never have to run out for ice again!

Just sit back, relax and drink your perfectly earth-cooled beer.

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Beer Can Chicken

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Time to fire up the grill and make this Beer Can Chicken!

I know there are tons of recipes for beer can chicken, some are pretty complicated and some are easy. This one beats them all as far as easy recipes go. 3 ingredients…

1. Chicken

2. McCormick Sweet and Smokey rub

3. one beer

beer rub

That’s it. I had the McCormick Grill Mates® Sweet and Smokey rub sitting in my cabinet from when I used it on the Mango Shrimp from over the winter. I keep forgetting that it’s there, so when I was digging around for some sort of rub to make…I figured this would be just as good. If not better – and it was awesome. It has cinnamon and chipotle pepper to give it the sweet and smokey flavors. Then I grabbed an Eight Point India IPA pale ale. Just because that’s what I felt like drinking…

All you have to do is get this Beer Can Chicken on the grill and wait. There’s not really much to do except watch it for flare-ups or to make sure the temperature doesn’t get too high. A lot easier than steaks that you have to watch constantly so they don’t get over cooked and ruined then in my opinion) I actually cooked this chicken in the morning and we ate cold chicken blt sandwiches for dinner that night. An easy, no maintenance summer dinner!

I threw some red potatoes on the bottom of my roaster, just be sure to take them off after about a half an hour…they won’t take as long as the chicken.

 beer can chicken uncooked

 

Then this is what it looks like after about an hour…

 beer can chicken cooked

And it’s done. Try and get it to the table before everyone peels all the crispy-seasoned skin off…our chicken was pretty bare by the time we got it to our tabe… I should have taken a picture of that, but this looks a little more appetizing! Enjoy!

beer can chicken1

 

Beer Can Chicken
Serves 4
The easiest beer can chicken recipe, 3 ingredients and done in a little over an hour!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 6-7 lb. whole chicken
  2. 1 jar of McCormick Sweet and Smokey rub
  3. 1 can of beer (any kind)
Instructions
  1. Rinse and dry off the chicken with paper towels.
  2. Pour the beer into the insert on the roaster and place the chicken on top of the insert. (South side down)
  3. Pour some of the rub into the palm of your hand and rub liberally over the chicken. I used about half of the jar.
  4. Put the roaster on the grill at 400 degrees and cook for an hour. Keep an eye on the temperature of the grill while it's cooking to make sure it doesn't go too far over 400 degrees. Check the temperature after an hour - you're done when it's at 180 degrees. Mine took about 1 hour and 15 minutes for a 6 1/2 pound chicken.
  5. Place on a cutting board and cover with foil for 15 minutes, then carve up and serve!
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/