Saturday, December 09, 2017

Cook for Start of December was Pork Roast

BGE Getting Ready to Grill
BGE Getting Ready
On Sunday, December 3, we did a pork roast on the grill. First time I tried doing a pork roast. We did two so we could have extras for the week. I did not plan well, so did not start preparing for the cook until mid-afternoon. I put a nice rub we had from the store.

Took a while to get the grill ready, but worked out as I was preparing the pork roast for the grill. I never did get a high heat going with this cook. I have not cleaned out the lump since we bought the grill. The highest the temperature would go was about 300 and that was not until about the end of the cook. I added more lump before I lit the grill, but still could not get a high temp. I need to spend more time in the forums to see what others say. I am guessing that having the lump in there since the start and sitting in the elements is the issue. Granted, it is covered, but probably moisture still gets into the lump. I need to get some containers to hold new lump (instead of keeping in the bags) and then container to remove lump. I saw someone early on in my BGE experience with someone recommending this technique for dealing with new and old lump.

Pork Roast Getting Ready for the Grill
Pork Roast Ready for the Grill
I let the pork roast sit out on the counter for about two hours with the rub before grilling. I found various recipes that talked about brining the meat the day before or at least 5 - 6 hours before grilling. Not having started preparing the meat until a few hours before it was needed on the grill, I was left with doing a quick prep.

The rub we used was Jack's Gourmet Seasoning. We had picked it up at the store prior to planning this cook. The bottle said it was perfect on steaks, seafood, pork, etc., so figured we would try it out. I thought it had good flavor. It went on nicely and did not add olive oil or anything else to make it stick. Even through the cook, the rub remained on the meat. Gave it a nice almost crust to the finished pork roast.

Reading through how long others had cooked the meat, I thought it was going to take about an hour. It ended up taking about and hour and half. Again, I think this was due to the heat not being as high as I had wanted. Others had said they grilled at about 300 - 350, but the highest the heat would get this day of cooking was only about 300 and again it was at the end of the cook. Most of the cook it was about 250 degrees. Even though it took longer to cook, I thought the pork was nice and moist; easy to cut with a knife or fork with good flavor from the rub. Carrie was a little grossed out at first as she was not sure it was done. The color looked odd in a few places, but the internal temperature was well above what was recommended of 140 internal.

Pork Roast Final Product with Picture of Rub in Background
Pork Roast Off of the Grill and Ready to Eat
To the right is the picture of the final product as well as the rub that was used. I think it had nice color inside and the color outside with the rub turned out nicely too. After removing from the grill with internal heat of around 140 degrees, I covered with aluminum foil and let stand for about twenty minutes on the kitchen counter allowing it to cook further.

We served the port roast with a salad although I do not have a picture of the plated pork and salad. It was a good way to start December. I am hoping to do much more grilling before the end of the year.

I still have not cooked a chicken breast, whole turkey, or ribs on the BGE yet. I have so much to learn about cooking and grilling with the BGE... I am having a blast with it so far. No disappointments with anything I have cooked so far on the grill.

Enjoy your weekend and happy grilling!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Cook from October 29 Cook of Steak Filet and Turkey Steaks

After a busy couple of weeks without any grilling, we finally grilled on Sunday, October 29. The weeks leading up to this day to grill were kept busy by completing a eight class which has ended. Still, posting this the week after, I am not grilling as much as I would like. Hoping to do more grilling over the next couple of weeks before the end of the year.

Steak filet and turkey steaks.
Steak filets and turkey steaks Ready for Grill
It had been a while since I had grilled, so we decided to grill not only for our dinner that night, but to have leftovers to have later in the week too. We went with steak filets for Sunday night and turkey steaks later in the week.

Seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Typical seasoning used that I got from my father-in-law and tastes great with steaks. Usually use soy sauce too, but we were out of soy sauce.

Preparation of the Big Green Egg went much better too. Still takes a little while to get it lit and ready for grilling, but I cannot complain when I have something cold to drink and we are not in a hurry. We had a lazy Sunday afternoon on October 29, so I was able to let the grill reach maximum heat before cleaning and preparing to grill.

Resting steaks after grilling on Big Green Egg
Steak Filet Resting
Grilled the steaks first. Got the Big Green Egg nice and hot to around 700 degrees before reducing slightly to about 500 degrees. Put the steaks on and grilled on each side for about ten minutes. Turned out great!

The steaks had been in the freezer and were from Omaha Steaks that my mom had given me for my birthday. I thought they were really good with good flavor although mom said the ones she got from his batch were not good and would not be ordering again from them. Carrie and I really like steaks from Hy-Vee although I cannot complain about the meat from Omaha Steak either. My dad started getting me steaks and other assorted meats from Omaha Steak before he passed and my mom kept it going the past few years. I think last summer was the last time we got steaks from there when she said she would not do them any more.

Dinner is Served with Steak Filet and Risotto
Steak Filet and Risotto is Served
Carrie made mushroom and pea risotto. Turned out great and went well with the steak. I have not done any vegetables on the Big Green Egg yet, but I plan to do some soon. I cooked on a gas grill the next week at my moms and did steaks then too (no pictures), but we did do veggies on the grill which tasted really good. I need to those on the BGE sometime too. I think the flavor would be really good with the smokey flavor. Usually when we have veggies to cook, we simply do them in the kitchen on the stove, but plan to do then the next time on the grill. The risotto, steak, and a bottle of wine was a perfect night!

Turkey Filet Cooked Same Night for Eating Later in the Week
Turkey Steak for Later in the Week
After the steaks came off the grill, we put on the turkey steaks for us to eat later in the week. Marinated in the same they tasted very good. I believe we ate these on Tuesday or Wednesday of the next week and tasted very good.

I am hoping in the next month or two to be able to post and document how a whole turkey cook goes for me. We did buy a pork butt that was on sale at Hy-Vee last week, but it will be a little while before I have a chance to cook the pork butt. I cannot wait though to spend a weekend cooking. I am happy with the Big Green Egg purchase and have been pleased with how the food comes off the grill.

Have a great week and hope to have another post of my grilling soon!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Boneless Pork Chops Done on the Green Egg

Picture of Boneless Pork Chop from the Grill
Boneless Pork Chop from the Grill
Tonight we did boneless pork chops on the grill. Low and slow was the setup for tonight. Kept the grill between 250 - 300 and cooked them for 90 minutes one on side. After 90 minutes, flipped and started lathering on BBQ sauce for another 30 minutes. All told, did them for about two and half hours. We could have left them on longer and turned down the grill a little more to get it below 250, but we were hungry and decided to take them off.

They turned out great! Not as tender as I was hoping, but good flavor. Carrie was concerned about the BBQ sauce I was using, but she liked it in the end. Happy with how they turned out.

This was the sixth cook from the Big Green Egg. Another low and slow cook with another one planned for Sunday. Planning on doing our first brisket on Sunday, so I will be spending time on the Big Green Egg EGGhead Forum gathering hints and information. I see another person just posted that they were doing a brisket and getting a lot of pointers from others on the forum. I believe that will be about an eight hour cook, but need to research further before Sunday.

Starting the fire tonight went much better. Got the temperature hot within about 30 minutes. Stopped by Patio Pool and Fireside on Saturday to pick up another bag of lump along with a new tool to scrape the grill between cooks. The scrapper I have had few a few years is falling apart and the high temps from a week ago (Fifth Grill Opened up Flame and Cooked Steaks) made it about disintegrate from the heat. Bristles falling out of it and no longer useful.

Looking forward to another cook on Sunday. Until then, I will be working on homework with two forum posts due Friday night and a paper due that night too. A lot to do and instead here I am posting an update on what I cooked tonight.

Have a great week and I plan to post pictures of preparation, cooking, and final product Sunday evening.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Fifth Grill Opened up the Flame and Cooked Steak

Picture of Fifth Grill of Steak
Fifth Grill Steak Cooked to Perfection with Brussels Sprouts
Following the first four grills of keeping the temperature under 350 degrees, we were finally able to open it up and grill steak. We are actually doing our fifth and sixth grills tonight with another pork tenderloin going on here shortly. After getting the grill temperature up to between 600 - 650 degrees, I realize now I should have done the pork tenderloin before the steaks. Taking a long time for the temp of the grill to come down so we can do the pork tenderloin.

At one point while getting the grill ready, the temperature went all the way around the dial which I am estimating was a 950 - 1000 degree temperature. I had gone inside to prepare mushrooms for the steak and came out and realized the temperature continued to climb after I went inside. Hoping that did not cause any damage as I brought it back down closing vents further and the temp dropped to around 650 - 700. Doing additional fine tuning with the top and bottom vents I was able to keep it between 600 - 650 degrees.

Picture of fire starting in grill
Getting Ready
Still taking me a little while, it seems, to get the grill started. I know some people on the EGGhead Forum suggested getting a weed burner to start the grill. I have not done so yet and using fire starters we got from the shop. They work, but it takes about 25 - 30 minutes to get the grill ready to cook.

After finishing the grilling of steak that took two minutes each side, it seemed odd it took longer to get the grill ready than it did to actually cook the food. Although we are doing another cook tonight with the pork, but seemed odd. I am sure I will get the hang of starting the grill and maybe it will get faster.

Using advise I got from the forum, I did leave the lid open until I made sure enough lump was lit. That did seem to make the process better and got the temperature up. I will continue to monitor and fine tune the process of lighting and see if I can increase the time it takes to get started.

Picture of Temperature Gage on Big Green Egg
Kept Temp at 600 - 650
I snapped a picture of the temperature gauge simply because it got so hot. I could not believe how hot it got. I had read descriptions of the heat that Big Green Eggs can get extremely high temperatures. As I mentioned earlier, the temp got so hot that it basically circled around and 950 or 1000. The needle on the gauge was pointing at the 200 mark when I closed vents and started taking the temp back down. Again, hopefully I did not cause any issues for the Egg or the gauge by getting it so hot. The plan was not to get that hot. I thought I had it pegged at the 650 - 700 mark, but it started going up and got very hot. As they warn, I did the burp when opening it which is good as a ring of flame came out each time I opened it. I had an oven mitt on which was good because it was very hot even when I got it down to the temp I wanted to cook at for the steaks. Impressive!

Picture of Pork Tenderloin to Finish the Cooking for the Day
Pork Tenderloin Cooked at 300 - 350
I just took off the pork tenderloin. Took a while to get the temp down so the pork did not burn. Looks like it turned out great! Cooked for 14 minutes each side to start. The temperature was about 150, so left on for another minute or two each side. We will have this over our salad tomorrow night for dinner, so decided to take it off before it got to 160. Leave it juicy and then hopefully will not dry out when we heat it up tomorrow.

Impressive evening of cooking. Had a good day! Got up and went for a run. We went shopping and then came home to study a little bit. Finished my reading for the week, but struggling to get writing done for this weeks posts. Hoping to knock them both out tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day and long weekend. Have a  great rest of the week!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Fourth Grill of the New Big Green Egg

Pork Chops Grilled on Big Green Egg
Pork Chops for dinner with forth grill
A simple night of grilling. Carrie wanted to cook the pork chops in the fry pan, but I told her I could do them on the Big Green Egg instead. After thinking about it for a little bit, she decided that would work.

Took about an hour from lighting the fire, grilling, to plating the finished product. Not too bad!

I used a new technique that I used that someone told me on Big Green Egg EGGhead Forum with their suggestion being that light the brick and leave it open a bit longer until more of the lump lights. Worked a lot better tonight lighting the grill. Temps before I started lowering it got up to around 400 degrees. Actually, at one point it went up to about 500 as I was inside and came back out to close things up and lower it back down to about 300. The temperature was still climbing when it was at 500, so I have no doubt I will be able to reach high temperatures in a few more grills.

Cook pork chops with a stir fry style veggies. Good way to start the week.

Have a great rest of the week and hope to post more grilling pictures soon. I am off to study and work on my class.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Green Egg First Cook through Third Cook

Picture of me with Big Green Egg
Picture of me with Big Green Egg
August 19, 2017

Purchase of Green Egg

After years of thinking about getting a Big Green Egg, I finally got one on August 19, 2017. I had been going back and forth thinking about a Traeger Grill or Big Green Egg. Finally, Big Green Egg won out. I like the idea that it is only me cooking and not relying on power to make the thing work.

So far, I have cooked twice on the Big Green Egg. We cooked the day after we purchased and then again on that Monday. The only pictures we gathered were from Instagram where Carrie took pictures of the completed food.

To start, we did a pork tenderloin. It is recommended that the first 4 - 6 grilling we keep the temperature 350 or below. This is to allow the Green Egg to seal and do it's thing. After those 4 - 6 grilling, then we can do higher temps.

We are both dying to do a steak on the grill, but recommended to do those after a few grills as need a temperature of 600 or more. So, we are hoping to be able to do steaks next weekend.

Pork Tenderloin

The pork tenderloin took about 30 minutes to grill. It took me a little bit to get the grill started, but once it lit it was easy to keep the temperature targeted right around 200 degrees. Open vent a little and it would shoot up or close it and it would go down. It will take me a little bit to get use to how it works.

I thought the pork tenderloin turned out really well. Especially for my first try and using the Green Egg.

Chicken Breasts

Monday night, we grilled four chicken breasts with bone in. This night, it took me a long time to get the fire started. I had watched videos on YouTube about lighting and did exactly what they said not to do... I got the starters going and poured more charcoal and put out the starters. So, that extended the grill time a bit. Because the time was extended we did not eat until about 8:30 or 9 that evening. The only picture we got was of the chicken salad we made with the grilled chicken. Let me tell you, that was delicious though as the smokey flavor could be tasted in the chicken salad.

A post shared by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

The grilling of the chicken breasts was also fun because with about twenty minutes left in the grill, it started to downpour. I had an umbrella and continued to cook. The rain did not seem to have any effect on the grill as it kept the same temp and I continued to grill. It was worth the wait as the chicken was moist and delicious.

Chicken Breasts Part Two

Picture of Chicken Breasts Done on the Green Egg -- Third Grill
Chicken Breasts Bone-in... Ready to Prep for Lunches
Catching us up today, August 27, I started off the afternoon doing four large chicken breasts bone-in. I did these at 300 degrees over indirect heat. They appear to have turned out perfectly. Internal temp got to about 160 before taking them off of the grill. These are actually for lunches this upcoming week.

We used a simple salt and pepper coating on these and put them on the grill. When we did these the first grill last week, we coated them in Olive Oil and then coated in salt and pepper. That was recommend as we were using direct heat. This afternoon, we were able to skip the Olive Oil and use only salt and pepper with it being indirect heat.

Carrie will take these and make chicken salad. I am not sure what else she has planned for these, but she said cook and I cooked. 

The indirect heat was done using the convEGGtor. First time trying it. I also used a drip pan. Smelled really good as they were cooking and I could hear the grease being caught by the drip pan as these cooked. Odd to be grilling and hear the sizzling of grease. The only thing we were wanting was the skin to be a little more done, but not sure how I can get that done with the indirect heat being used. I will browse the forums to see what people suggest to get a crispy skin for future grills.

Leg Quarters 

Leg Quarters Grilling on the Big Green Egg
Leg Quarters Final Few Moments of Grilling
Finishing off the afternoon grilling were the leg quarters. Another hour and half grill. Set the Green Egg and forget about it. Turn every 45 minutes. These are dark meat, so we need to make sure the internal temperature is at least 200 degrees. The grill is set as before with indirect heat and a grilling temperature of 300 degrees. Early in the grilling the temperature did get to as high as 350, but the past forty minutes it has been right at 300.

This finishes up the third grill for me on the Big Green Egg. It was a fun afternoon of grilling and after lots of chicken is done, we are ready to eat.

Leg Quarters Dinner Picture... Turned out Great!
Dinner is Served with Leg Quarters, Brussels Sprouts,
and potato salad. It was good!
Final dinner picture from the leg quarters tonight and they were delicious!

Let's Feast

Fun day and I learned more about how to grill on the BigEgg. This finishes up our third grill using the Big Green Egg. Two or three more to go and I can open up the heat to see how hot I can get it to go. So far, not very hot even when preheating. I was warned to keep the temperature below 350 as I mentioned, however, even when preheating the hottest I have seen it go is 400 and not much over it.

Until next time, have a great rest of your Sunday and I look forward to grilling again soon!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Where Did the Summer Go?

What a busy summer. Classes have already started for the fall semester. Seems like the summer just started. Seems to be what I hear everyone saying about where the summer went. It was a busy summer which made it fly by fast!

I had actually planned on posting a update over the summer and making it plans for the summer. Well, that did not happen and here we are almost to the end of August. Wow! So, to provide some updates from the summer months here we go.

The spring semester ended and I passed my class. Second class in the Communication and Leadership master program. Doing weekly postings and various papers for eight weeks kept me plenty busy.

Bachelor Party at the Twins vs. Royals Game
Target Field for the Twins vs. Royals game on Friday, May 19, 2017
About two weeks after the semester was over, I went on a road trip to Minneapolis, MN for a bachelor party weekend. Erin and Greg wedding date set for June 10. We did a road trip in a van to Minneapolis on Friday, May 19 and we planning to be there for two Royals games through Sunday. As it turned out, we were only able to attend one game on Friday night. We had a blast... even though the Royals lost. Sunday we spent the day eating, drinking, and having a great time.

We had a lot of great beers and a  lot of fun that weekend. I will remember it forever. I was honored that Greg asked me to be his best man. I will admit, I was a bit nervous about giving a speech in the upcoming weeks. I had plans to have it all written before the bachelor party weekend. That did not happen though and ended up writing it the week of the wedding. More on this later though.

One of my favorite spots we went to that weekend was a Town Hall Lanes. A brewery with bowling lanes. We had  blast! I would not mind another trip to Minnesota to see a Royals game and go to that bowling alley. Fun time! We spent the afternoon at the boiling alley Saturday as it was pouring down rain. They ended up doing a double header on Sunday which of course we had to miss as we were driving back to Topeka. Still, we had a lot of fun and it was great to get to know the future in-laws and close friends of Greg. Great group!

A week later we did another road trip to Dallas, Texas and then on down to Houston, Texas for a big party. We were gone for ten days and had a blast! We were going down for a combined birthday celebration and wedding anniversary for Carrie and Tommy Galloway. A live band, dancing, and a whole lot of fun was had by all. We were in Houston for the Memorial Day weekend and spent the day at the pool. More fun before we finally drove back and spent a few more days in Dallas with my friend Javier. We hit up a lot of places to drink good beer and ate a lot of great food. Carrie and Corrie drove back to Dallas a day later and we continued to have fun going on wine tours and eating very well.

Carrie and I were back in Topeka the week of the wedding for a few days anyway. I had a conference to attend in Hays, KS for work. I was out there Wednesday and Thursday that week. It was a great conference before the rehearsal dinner scheduled for Friday, June 9, 2017. This is the week that I worked on my speech for the wedding day.

Erin and Greg Listening to Rehearsal Dinner Speeches
Rehearsal Dinner June 9, 2017
What a wonderful evening we had on Friday, June 9, 2017. Rehearsal dinner for Erin and Greg. The dinner was held at Arterra Event Gallery in Lawrence, KS. A beautiful location and wonderful setup for any event. The food was wonderful and the drinks were delicious too! We heard speeches from the father of the groom (Eddie), brothers of Erin (Cole and Drew), Tommy Galloway (family friend referred to as Uncle Tommy and best friend of Eddie), and Robert (Uncle to Greg). With the weather perfect that weekend, we were able to sit outside and enjoy the outdoors while people visited before dinner.

I was able to record all the speeches that evening, although I have not had a chance to export or do anything with them yet. I hope to have those available in a future post to share. It was a fantastic evening and prepared us well for the wedding day.

The day of the wedding, Greg and I went to get our first straight edge shave. Nice and close shave although we both had to admit that when the aftershave went on it burned a bit more than we expected. It was a great way to start off the day.

During the day, the guys stayed in the hotel while the ladies had their hair done and makeup in the afternoon. We had to be over at Macelis for pictures and prepare for the wedding by 3 pm that day. The guests were scheduled to start arriving about 5:30 and the wedding set for 6 pm. Beautiful wedding and everyone looked great!

The reception began at 7 and time was getting close for Carrie and I to give our speeches. Food and drinks were so good! I am not sure why I did not eat more. I think it was nerves from having to give a speech. Of course by this time both Carrie and I had our speeches written and had gone through them a few times.

For my speech, I had done research and tried to make it unique and light. I also wanted to have a lot of toasts in my speech. The one thing I forgot to do was make sure everyone had a full glass of something to drink. Other than that, I thought it went well. Carrie did a great job with her speech too.

The Wedding Party with Another Dude (Javi) in the Picture too... After Party!
Fun in Lawrence... Guys Table
Here is my speech in full (Best Man Speech June, 10, 2017 for Greg and Erin Wedding) which I wrote up and had on my phone. It was better that way rather than me trying to read off of notes or remember what I had planned to say. I know everyone wanted to get through what I had to say so we could get to the partying, so I did my part and kept it less than five minutes.

Wedding Party Having Fun After Wedding
Fun in Lawrence... Girls Table
Following the reception, the wedding party, friends, and family went out on the Lawrence town. Great fun was had in Lawrence following the wedding. We were out late having fun and the plans were to be up early to do gifts. I think Carrie and I were a little late getting to the gift opening party the next morning. I think I was just a little hung over, but not too bad. Fun night!

Two weeks after the wedding, we had Tap That Topeka to attend which is a beer tasting event in Topeka. This was the forth annual event and again, we had a wonderful time. We went with the newly married bride and groom and many of our friends. Another great evening! There was dancing and more drinking that evening following the beer festival.

July 4 feel on a Tuesday this year, so it was very low key for Carrie and I. We did not fire off or watch any fireworks this year. It was kind of nice and we were able to comfort Oliver who was a little freaked out over the loud booms in our neighborhood. We stayed indoors and watched movies most of the day into the evening.

A few more weeks pass and suddenly we are into the middle of August. About a week ago I purchased a Big Green Egg. So excited to finally have a grill that can really cook and more import smoke meat. I have only cooked twice on it so far, but plan to do a lot more and try a lot of different cooking techniques. More on this in the upcoming months as I plan to post updates on what is cooked along with pictures.

Note, I only made it to one Royals game this year and it was up in Minnesota. With classes having started this past week and my assignments all due on Friday (including papers), I am not sure I will make it to a game at Kauffman Stadium this season. I hope so, but it will depend on how disciplined I am in reading and writing for class. The Royals have struggled a few times this season and also had some good winning streaks. We are still a few games out of first where we have been most of the season. Still within striking distance and just barely out of the wild card hunt.

I hope you have had a wonderful summer. Watch for more posts regarding cooking and my experiences with the Big Green Egg.

Thank you!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Dad and I from 2008
Happy Father's Day! Remembering my Dad on this day and everyday. Miss you!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Picture of Oliver in the Back Yard
O Says 'Happy Mother's Day'!
(Photo Credit Carrie Haverty)

Celebrate Mother's Day with your mother today. Call your mother and let her know you are thinking about her. Do something special for her and remember all the times she has done so many special things for you. Try not to make this the only time this year that you call her to just talk or say hello. 

Why the picture of Oliver? Well, I thought it was a good picture to help wish a good day! 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March Madness 2017 Tournament Challenge

ESPN Tournament Challenge Picture
This is the best time of the year if you are a sports fan! Baseball is well underway for spring training with opening day just a few weeks away, March Madness is in full effect, and for the golf fans, golf is each weekend. There is always something sports related to watch whether through the week or on the weekend. This week is my favorite week of all. Today, the brackets are announced at 5 pm this evening for Selection Sunday. On Thursday, the real madness begins with games starting mid-morning and going until late in the night.

Each year, there are millions and millions of people filling out their brackets. That is after all part of the fun of the madness trying to pick the team that will win it all. Each year, I have put out a bracket and it is open to anyone. The bracket is on the ESPN web site and the winner gets bragging rights for being lucky and picking the most right.

If you are looking for a group to join, I invite you to join the ESPN Tournament Challenge 2017 with the steps below...
  1. Visit the link to ESPN which will take you directly to the March Madness Hopefuls.
  2. If you are already signed into the ESPN web site, you can immediately create your bracket. If not signed into the site, you will need to sign in first.
  3. Join the group and use the password: haverty
  4. After the Selection Show, you will be able to make your picks.
  5. Repeat the above process to create additional brackets. In the March Madness Hopefuls bracket, you can have three entries.
Enter your brackets before the first tip-off on Thursday morning. Do not wait until Thursday to enter your entries as sometimes the site gets busy with everyone else who forgot to get their entries entered.

Any problems or questions joining the group, please post in the comments or drop me a message.  Share this information with your family, friends, co-workers, etc. The more entries the more fun it is for everyone.

Good luck with your picks and good luck to your team!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Final Day of Whole30 with My Top Five Dishes from the Past Thirty Days

Picture of Calendar View of #Whole30 Countdown and Final Day

Our last day on #Whole30. I feel somewhat sad that the first month on this journey has ended. I have enjoyed the process. I have really liked all the food that Carrie has fixed. I enjoy the way I feel now and enjoy how I felt throughout the process. I feel really good! It sounds odd, but it is true! I cannot explain it any other way than I feel like I have a lot of energy.

Tonight though is about my top favorite foods during the #Whole30. This is proving to be very difficult as I review all of the various dishes that Carrie fixed. I think between the two of us, we can think of maybe two dishes that we would not make again. Or, might make but with major changes to the recipe.

I could rank each of the five, but instead, I am going to post them in no particular order. If interested in the recipe for any of these, or others posted on @whole30loulou, please let me know.

To begin, I will select the meal we are having again tonight on our last day of #Whole30. It is Mexican Stuff Acorn Squash. Great flavor and I give it a kick with a jalapeño which really accents the dish. Highly recommend this for your #Whole30 or for meal.

Next, we look at the Sole meunière. Everything about this dish was delicious. It was one of those dishes where when I finished, I could have eat all of it again. Not that I was hungry, but it was that good! The fish, green beans, and then new potatoes were the perfect combination and end to a good night.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

The BLT salad is another favorite. Yes, if you follow my blog, you would have seen this on the posting from this past week. We had this at least twice during the #Whole30 program. The BLT salad looks cool with soft-boiled eggs and then the flavors explode and taste just like a BLT sandwich. One of my favorites that I hope the cook continues to cook.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

The roasted butternut squash with roast chicken is always sure to please. The soup had excellent flavor and paired with the roast chicken was perfection! Another one of those meals where when I finished, I was hoping there was a bit more for dinner. No, we kept the rest for lunch the next day... which was fine! Something to look forward to at noon.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

It is not possible to go wrong with a pot roast. Eating this meal, it did not feel like we were on #Whole30 or any diet program at all. Great combinations and the flavor was excellent. The best part is that we were able to enjoy this for a few days following as there enough leftovers. Enough leftovers where I was able to have a extra helping the first night for dinner too!

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on
There are so many wonderful dishes we have had during this journey. However, I said I would pick five early into the program and that's what I am staying with for this post.

A little bit about what we do now that we are done with the first month of #Whole30. Our plan is to take a short break and begin again in about a week. Carrie selected the start date for the next round and I told her I was fine with the selection. We will begin again on February 14. That puts us sometimes in the middle of March that we will finish the second round of #Whole30. The cool kids on the block call it the #Whole60 (i.e. Twitter) as we keep going through the process.

I still plan to continue working out. Although, this past week has not been the best for me working out. I only made it to the gym once last week. I plan to get back at it this week although looking like it will be Wednesday might be the only day I made it to the gym.

Hopefully these posts will help you through your journey. I know I have been searching for and reading other Twitter posts using the #Whole30 hashtag and have connected with people just starting out, just finishing, or going through for their second, third, etc. time through the process.

Until next time, happy #Whole30...

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Twenty-nine Days Completed for Whole30 and Favorite Foods from Past Week

Picture of Whole30 Board with One Day Remaining

Last full week of #Whole30 is done. We only have really one day remaining as it ends on Monday. Hard to believe it has been thirty days already. Yes, both Carrie and I have both lost weight. We can both tell differences in our clothing and how we feel. I mentioned it before and I will mention it again, I feel better than I have in years over a 30 day period.

This update is about my favorite meals from the past week cooked by @whole30loulou. Another post will be posted Monday (our 30th day) with my top five favorite meals from the past thirty days. That will be really difficult. There have been so many great meals Carrie has cooked for us!

I had mentioned in a previous post that after we finish this first session of #Whole30 that we plan to take a short break and then do it again for another thirty days. I asked Carrie if she is going to keep posting to Instagram for the next round and she said that she will. Only once during the thirty days did I not think we were going to eat "healthy" that day. It was after a long day for us both, but Carrie forged ahead and prepared a wonderful meal. During this thirty days, neither of us have broken from the routine. We did not sneak a bite of sweets, have a swig of beer, etc. We stayed with the planned routine and intend to do so for the second round too.

Enough of the background, now for the pictures of favorite dishes during the past week.

This one is so good! Quick and easy and does in fact taste like a BLT.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

This is a favorite because it is good and because Oliver is in it too! A comfort food based off of a recipe my Mom use to make for me when I was a kid with hotdogs and zucchini. Carrie was able to find hotdogs that meat the requirements of the #Whole30. It was delicious!

Carrie has mastered the making of soup from vegetables. No, I am not sure how she does it, but they are fantastic. As Carrie stated in her description, this soup was "velvety & amazing." Fantastic and I know she will make more of these in the weeks to come. I believe she has made this type of "velvety & amazing" soup three or four times during this past thirty days. Really good and easy to eat!

Can never go wrong with pot roast.... So good! We had this for leftovers for a few days following the initial meal. Yum!

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

I am always a fan of breakfast for dinner and this one fit that mold. Light and refreshing once again. Carrie was able to locate bacon that meets the #Whole30 criteria. Believe it or not, but regular bacon from the store does not meet the requirements of the #Whole30, but this one she found is really good and meets the standards of the program. If interested in the brand, post a comment as I would need to get that from Carrie.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

Roast chicken, green beans, and buttercup squash... Mmmmm....

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

This is a breakfast we had before we were on #Whole30 and it remains to be very good and enjoyable to eat.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

As you can see, we have had some great meals during this past week. Follow and check out the other pictures from Carrie on her @whole30loulou account.

Reminder that Monday, I will have a post of the top five favorite foods from the past thirty days. I expect it will be very difficult to pick the top five favorite and I know that many great dishes will be left out of the selection. I am up to the challenge and ready.

So you know, Carrie and I have a deal where she cooks and I clean up. I do dishes, unload dishes, and prepare the kitchen so she can cook. I was not doing enough to keep the counters clean which she informed me about Friday night, so yesterday (Saturday) I cleaned the counters to make it so she could cook in style. I think we have a good agreement! Works out for me as she is a great cook and cooking healthy meals for us to eat.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Closing in on Final Days of Whole30 and Favorite Meals from Past Week

Picture of calendar marking off days remaining in #Whole30 program

With a little over a week remaining, Carrie and I are entering the final days of the #Whole30 program. I cannot say enough how much I have enjoyed this program. For my part, it has been very easy. I cleanup the kitchen following meals, eat, and compliment the chef or let her know what dishes I do not like. Yes, for the most part, I have liked all dishes she has created.

This past week was another good one. I worked out twice and it felt really good! Continued eating regarding the #Whole30 program. I even ate out twice and I was able to stick to the program. Tempted Friday evening to have a beer and refrained from doing so. I feel great!

Carrie and I will finish out this program the first weekend of February. We plan to take a one week break from the program and then start it again. Carrie again told me that I did not have to stick to it again for the second time, but I plan to do so. The program is certainly making an impact as I feel great and I continue to feel as though I have a lot of energy.

Now to share some of my favorite dishes from the past week. I do plan at the end of the program to do a final post with my top five dishes from this #Whole30meal program.

Using steak I had cooked the night before, we had a fairly easy dish of salad with steak on top. Delicious!

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

The butternut squash soup was fantastic! Had this for a few days after wards as leftovers was very nice! She did a great job with this soup!

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

Can never go wrong with tuna salad. We had this for lunch and again it was easy and quick eat so we could get back to work.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

The sweet potatoes she did with this next dish are probably some of my all time favorite methods for cooking vegetables. I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but they are so good this way that I could eat a whole bowl full. A little crunch and sweet they are almost like dessert.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

The buffalo chicken stuff acorn squash was really good too! I think I like the Mexican Acorn Squash she did earlier, but this had good flavor.

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

The egg salad over spinach was really good! Had this one for lunch and again it was quick for her to make and delicious!

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

The salad with Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken Burger was certainly a hit!

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

Finally, for dinner Saturday night, she made chicken, asparagus, and roasted carrots. She did the chicken over leeks which I liked a lot. The flavor of the leeks cooked in the same pan where the chicken had been was fantastic!

A photo posted by CarrieloulouEats (@whole30loulou) on

Another post next weekend with favorites from the past week and then a final post with my top five dishes from the #Whole30 program. It has been a fun journey and I look forward to doing the program again!

I do know that during our week off of the program, we will hit some favorite spots in town, I will have a beer or two. We do not plan to go crazy as we do not want to reverse everything we have accomplished during this whole process.

Have comments or questions, please let me know. Feedback is always welcome!