Fireman's Corn- Pre Labor-Day Grilling Recipe


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Looks burnt beyond all goodness, but so good!

It's been a lot rainier this summer than most, so we haven't gotten to grill quite as much, but we still grill almost every chance we get.  We saw this recipe on an episode of Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen and tried it that same night.  Since then we've made it 4 or so times.  It's our new favorite way to eat corn.

It's simple, tasty, and economic.  It's also easily scaled to suit more or fewer ears.  The one downside is that it does require advance preparation, but even the prep doesn't take a lot of time.  This would make a great addition to any cookout, and with Labor Day coming up, it's good timing!  Yay!

Oh, and did I mention that this corn is made directly over coals, immediately adding a cool factor?  Yep, it is.

Fireman's Corn
from Primal Grill

Four ears corn, silks removed and approx 1/2-1" trimmed from the top
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 gal water
Softened/Room Temp. butter
Cayenne Pepper
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Make a brine for the corn by combining the salt, sugar, and water in a tall, cylindrical vessel.  Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.  Add the corn, cut end down, into the brine and allow the corn to brine in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours.

Prep your gill by preheating charcoal (or if using gas, prep for direct grilling).  Once the charcoal is ready, spread it out in an even layer.  Place your ears of corn directly on the coals, or on the grill grate of your gas grill.  Grill until husks are charred and blackened and even missing in places, 5-8 mins. per side.

Remove from grill, strip off remainder of husks, and slather with butter.  Sprinkle with ground black pepper and cayenne pepper.


  • The one note I can think to type is that my 1/2 gallon plastic pitcher works perfectly for 4 ears of corn.  When we made 8 ears for a family dinner, we used our 7 qt. stock pot.  

Meatless Mondays- Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette


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I'm a little late in the game on posting this one, since it's a peak of summer salad and as I type it's a rainy Monday with a slight chill in the air and all I want is chili for lunch.  In the case that we might have some nice, warm days still ahead or that you find a mysteriously perfect package of strawberries, I wanted to still post this salad this summer.

This is easy, quick, and makes for a great light main course or for a side salad.  It's really tasty, too.  The toasted pecans...well if I were a poet, I am sure there are some stanzas to be written about them.  The vinaigrette, too, is easy, and makes a ton.  I gave some away and kept some for myself and still have a cup or so left.

Strawberry Vinegar- It's pretty and makes you feel accomplished!

The recipe comes from the Gourmet Today cookbook, and I was so happy to find a spinach and strawberry salad with a dressing that isn't loaded with sugar.  Making the strawberry vinegar is pretty easy and involves all of about 10 minutes.  With a food processor and strainer, you too can sound super food cool when you tell others you made strawberry vinegar.

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
from Gourmet Today
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side

1- 5 oz. package baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (see notes)
1 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb. strawberry vinegar (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, place spinach, pecans and strawberries.  In a jar or small bowl, mix together the olive oil and vinegar, along with salt and pepper.  Pour over spinach mixture and toss to coat.

Strawberry Vinegar
1 lb (quart) strawberries, hulled and trimmed
2 cups white balsamic vinegar
2 Tb sugar if strawberries are not sweet

Pulse berries with sugar (if using) in a food processor until finely chopped and very juicy. Transfer to a bowl and add vinegar. Let stand 1 hour. Strain vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.


  • To toast pecans, preheat your oven to 350.  Place pecans onto a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned and fragrant.  
  • Variations I've tried include adding blueberries and chicken.  I bet almonds or even walnuts would be a good sub for the pecans.  

Hoe Cakes


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I've been a little behind on posting things, but Drew and I made these about three times within a span of about 2 weeks, and LOVE them.  The first time we ever ate them was a The Lady and Sons, Paula Deen's well known restaurant in Savannah, GA.  It's worth the trip.  They hand them out to people in line- isn't that hospitable?  They're delicious- a cross between corn bread and a pancake, you can eat them with syrup like a pancake or with savory foods, like corn bread.  How fun is versatility in food?!

They're also pretty easy and quick to throw together, which is why I chose to make these rather than a cake of cornbread.  All the flavor in less time!  Fun fact- hoe cakes reportedly got their name because field hands would fry the batter on their hoes they used to work the field.

Hoe Cake accompanying assortment of grilled veggies and black eyed peas- yum!

I am posting the recipe as Ms. Paula Deen created it, but I'll post changes in my notes section.  The recipe title links to the recipe on foodnetwork.com

Hoe Cakes

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal, or from a mix (recommended: Aunt Jemima's)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
Oil, butter, or clarified margarine, for frying

Mix well all ingredients, except for the frying oil. Heat the frying oil or butter in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter, by full tablespoons, into the hot skillet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula, and then brown the other side. With a slotted spoon, remove each hoecake to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.


  • I cooked my hoe cakes just like pancakes, which is to say I didn't use a lot of oil.
  • I didn't have self rising cornmeal, so I sort of fudged it with cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  • I also didn't have buttermilk, so I put 1 Tb. vinegar in regular milk and let it sit.  

Snickerdoodle Muffins


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I found this one on tastykitchen.com, and pinned it for later trial, and I am so glad I did.  These muffins are easy and come together quickly, but most importantly, they're good.  I also love that they're made mostly with ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen.  Since I line my muffin tin with liners for easy cleanup, I only dipped the tops of the muffins.  It's probably a lot less messy that way.

The original title is "Muffins that Taste Like Doughnuts" but I beg to differ- to me they tasted just like the snickerdoodle cookie, but somehow maybe better.  I made no changes, so recipe is posted as you'll find it on the original post, but the recipe title links to the tastykitchen.com site so that you can see what else lemanda has come up with!

Snickerdoodle Muffins
from user lemanda
1-¾ cup Flour
1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Nutmeg
½ teaspoons Cinnamon
⅓ cups Oil
¾ cups White Sugar
1 whole Egg
¾ cups Milk

¼ cups Butter
⅓ cups White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Combine oil, sugar, egg and milk. Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a bowl. Combine the white sugar with the cinnamon in another bowl.
Shake muffins out while still hot. Dip muffins in butter, then into the sugar/cinnamon mix. Let cool.