Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a song for 2010, top ten news stories of 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to make Ice Globe Luminaries

Here’s how to make these cool candle lit ice globes.

1. Live in MN or somewhere unreasonably cold.

2. Get some 12″ balloons and fill them with water. Put them out on the deck to freeze.

usually takes 2 nights to freeze completely

I had better luck putting them on a hard surface than in the snow. The snow gives it a little rounder shape but also insulates the bottom part, making the freeing uneven.

3. Peel off the balloon. Take a drill and a 1″ bit and drill one hole straight down the middle. Then place the edge of the bit on the edge of the whole and mover around the edges widening the hole. (See video)

Drill out the hole

4. Use a propane torch to melt away the scratches or other scuff marks on the outside and in the hole.

use a propane torch to smooth the surface

5. Lite a candle and put it in the globe for guaranteed winter fun. Use small candles without a metal base rather than tea lights. The metal tends to melt the globe and make the hole longer or completely through.

be a light in the darkness

Here’s a rough vlog on how to do it.

Take pictures of your globes and send them to

Have a great winter. In 4 more days the nights get shorter and the days longer!!

Rob Barrett, Jr.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Johnsonville contest and prizes, Big prizes!

As many of you know, last summer we had a brat tasting contest and Johnsonville won. This summer they are doing a fun promotion where you can play an online game or submit a video and win some of the $30,000 in prizes and give aways. All you have to do is register and play the game to be entered in the drawing for the prizes. Just go to

Before July 20th, register and play.

For my Cooking for Dads friends they’ve offered up a secret word. :-)

This Week’s Johnsonville GRILLVILLE Secret Code Word is – Brats.

So enjoy, win some prizes, and grill well.

Rob Barrett

Cooking for Dads

Saturday, May 29, 2010

No-bake Fresh Cherry Pie

Just tried this one yesterday and it is really refreshing. I’m not a big fan of normal cherry pie, cooked cherries or especially cherry flavoring. But we were really pounding some fresh cherries the other day and I found myself thinking, why can’t we make a pie that tastes like this. So off to the store.

Here’s how you make it. It couldn’t be easier.

Buy one ready made keebler graham cracker crust.

Slice in half and remove the pitt from 3 cups of fresh cherries. Cut around the pit with a knife, like you’re cutting the cherry in half, and use a spoon to remove the pit. Place in a medium bowl and sprinkle with a spoonful of sugar then stir to coat.

In a small bowl add 1 cup Daisy sour cream, 1/3 a block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened in the microwave if necessary.) 1/3 cup sugar, 1 spoonful vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.

Add sour cream mixture to cherries, stir to combine and then pour into pie crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Slice and enjoy.

We found it really refreshing and I think it captured the essence of those fresh cherries.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Cook well,

Rob Barrett, Jr.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What's for dinner, 5/28/10 - Super Target

Open Face Chicken Sandwich on Archer Farms 3 Cheese Semolina Bread with Fresh Mozzarella and hidden Spinach.

It’s a great way to get some spinach into your kids without them knowing.

Just head down to your local Super Target. The whole thing takes 15 minutes or less from start to finish. Cost $12

Here’s what you need:

1 loaf semolina 3 cheese bread (it’s really good), 8 Chicken tenders, Roasted garlic butter (by the meats), spinach, tomatoes (optional), 1 small ball fresh mozzarella

Here’s what you get.

First fry (or grill) your chicken tenders with a little olive oil, salt and pepper,

Then slice your 3 cheese semolina bread in half, add a little Roasted Garlic Butter and toast under the broiler for 30 seconds, until just browned.

Add a thin layer of spinach ( the kids won’t know)

Add your chicken

Add some tomatoes (optional)

Slice your mozzarella

and add to sandwich.

Put under broiler for 30 seconds or until just brown.

Slice and enjoy!

Rob Barrett, Jr.

Cooking for Dads


Monday, May 3, 2010

Mango Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Cilantro

Some thing new if you’re looking.

Mango Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Cilantro

1 box Barilla Pasta Shells

1 lb Jennie-O turkey sausage

1 ripe mango, peeled and cut in small pieces

1 1/2 cup pasta sauce

1/4 cup half and half

2 handfuls (1/2 cup) chopped red onion

1/4 cup cilantro chopped.

salt and pepper

olive oil

Cook the turkey sausage, chopping it into small pieces.

Cook pasta shells, reserving 1/4 cup of the water from the pasta.

In a large frying pan, fry the onion with a little olive oil over high heat. After about 3 minutes add choped mango and fry for about 30 seconds stirring constantly. Add turkey, stir and remove.

Combine 1 1/4 cup pasta sauce, 1/4 cup pasta water and 1/4 cup half and half.

Place shells in large bowl, pour sauce over noodles, pour sausage and mango combination over sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro. Stir and serve.

(in our family my wife doesn’t like cilantro so we keep that off and use it as a condiment for the people who want it.)

© 2010 Cooking for Dads

making money

Sorry for the quietness of the posting, I've been getting paid to do it here.

Which has been nice.

Stay in touch and cook well.

Rob B

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Burger King vs. McDonald's vs. Subway - Breakfast Sandwich Show Down

There's a war a brewin' and it's not in the middle east.

It's in the USA and it's over your breakfast buck. Recently BK has touted stealing the recipe for the Sausage McMuffin with Egg from McD's, saying it's not original but it's a buck. (McD's has price matched although that is not reflected on the menu.) Subway has entered the breakfast sandwich fray as well with both muffin and flat bread breakfast sandwiches.

So who's winning? Who will be king of the hill for your fast food breakfast buck.

Recently our esteemed panel of judges headed out in my jeep for a Muffin Sandwich throw down. We ordered sausage, egg and cheese version at each place 2 sandwiches, one for eating hot and fresh at the drive in window and another for dissecting at home. While it was a close call, there were significant differences.

Winner - BK Breakfast Muffin sandwich. Best over all taste and best sausage. $1.00 Nutritional info coming.

Close second - Sausage McMuffin with Egg. Slightly buttery aftertaste with strange egg texture pushed it in to second. $1.00 (currently) 450 calories, 27 g fat.

Last place - Subway Egg Muffin Sandwich with Sausage. Not a lot to like and the most expensive. $2.45 nutritional info coming

The differences between the firs two were in the sausage and egg. Everyone liked the sausage in the BK sandwich better and while the egg in the McMuffin tasted more like an egg, there is always a unnatural rubberiness to those McDonald's egg circles. The muffins were very similar with McDonald's doing the best job of toasting it. They get a small amount of brown right around the edge. It gives it a nice crunch.

The Subway sandwich was much more greasy and had much less taste. To be honest it would have fared better if we had added the veggies but that wouldn't have been fair. The egg part was the least flavorful of the three. Unlike their other sandwiches, they don't make the bread fresh on premises.

The egg parts are all from different origins. While they all claim to use real eggs, the McDonald's and Subway sandwiches both get the egg part delivered by truck twice a week. The BK people cook up the egg fresh on premises and we thought that came through, although they use an egg mixture they get from corporate.

So enjoy that BK sandwich while it lasts. Actually make one at home.

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Gadgets from the Chicago Home and Housewares Show

Cool new kitchen gadgets from the Chicago Home and Housewares show. Check them out.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuna Nachos, Need I Say More

Sometimes I get strange ideas.
Normally, my wife just shakes her head but I've had enough lucky hits that she's started to just say,"Go ahead, you never know."

So I had this idea for Tuna Nachos and also Tuna Pizza. I mean, what's the worst thing that can happen. (see previous 46 posts)

First I made some normal nachos for my eldest daughter who doesn't like seafood, and also in case the tuna ones are gross.

Pile o chips.

Melt some cheese under the broiler with the plate on the middle rack. Careful, it's hot.

Add left over sloopy joe meat or any kind of meat or chili. Put back under broiler for about a minute to heat up the meat.

Remove and add vegetables and salsa. Yum.

I recently found these Frontera chips that I really like. They are great for nachos, just a little thicker than normal chips.

Now do the same thing with Tuna.

Pile 'o Nachos

Add just a little cheese, include some fresh mozzarella, melt under broiler for a minute or so.

Now add sliced tuna (salt and pepper) and Tzatziki sauce. (Greek sauce from Costco)

Place back under broiler until tuna just starts to brown (about 30 seconds).

You want the under sides still raw if possible.

Add some pomegranate seeds serve. Yum.

We also did a tuna pizza that wasn't as successful.

Pizza dough with olive oil, green onions, fresh mozarella cheese, cook for 6 minutes or until just browned. Add tuna and Tzatziki sauce and place under the broiler until the tuna just turns, about 30 sec. Add some Pomegranate seeds.

Serve hot. It was fine, I experimented with the dough a little and that wasn't the best, but the tuna part and the sauce were good.

Definitely try the nachos if you're game.

Cook well.

Rob Barrett