I'm a mom of boys.
Food is life at our house.
It seems like I shop one day and it's gone the next. There's gotta be some moms out there who know what I'm talking about. If I cooked every meal from scratch I'd need to quit my job because I'd be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning all day. There are worse things. But...I love my job so I think its time to train some boys in my house to get the job done. I certainly don't mind opening up my kitchen to the kids.
We live in a world where technology wins if we don't offer some solid substitutes to keep our kids entertained. We've got church, sports, community ed activities, honors choir and more. When we are at home together, I think it is important to try to use that time intentionally. The kitchen is a great place to do that. Cooking together allows us to talk. It helps the boys follow directions. It takes EVERYTHING I have not to try to control things. If I can bypass those "mom" feelings we usually have a great time. Ha!
Here's some things I try to remember when I cook with the kids.
Chill. Yes. I have to physically tell myself to chill. When cooking with my kids I know that I count on things being messy and a little more unorganized than I would like them to be. If I get all crabby and bossy they aren't going to want to hang with mom in the kitchen. So relax. Communicate with them on their level. Don't raise your voice and keep it fun.
Let them shop. Part of the skill of cooking is learning to buy the ingredients. Online shopping is so fun for them! It adds a little technology to the mix, which my boys never complain about. They like any opportunity to use a computer. Obviously, check over the cart before you order. You never know what extra stuff you might find in there. :-)
Put your phone away. It's cool to snap a pic. After that, put your phone away and pay attention to them. Watch what they're doing and add in some tips when it's appropriate. Just enjoy watching your kids do what they do.
Print out the recipe for them. This helps us a lot. Phones and computers get messy. I like to print the recipe out so they can hold it and read it. Does this make us old school?
Keep it simple. Part of the reason we love Grillin' Magic is it makes cooking simple. It's perfect for kids because it isn't too spicy and you can season an entire meal with ONE go to seasoning. Green beans. Done. Chicken breast. Done. Dessert - well, I'm sure my kids will be willing to give it a try.
What recipes are your favorite to make with your kids? Comment and I"ll share them with our readers!
This is what family dinner time looks like at your house....right??
Everyone's eating their veggies.
We're using freshly ground pepper out of the pepper mill at the table.
And Dad or big brother...whatever he is...is helping the little guy cut his food into smaller bites.
Nope. Not at the Bernard house.
First let me say this. I'm over using table cloths and placemats unless there is something seriously fancy to be celebrated. It's just more laundry and I already have enough of that!!
I'd be thrilled if my boys ate all of their veggies at dinner time. Sometimes we win...sometimes I just chose not to fight the battle.
The only time someone comes around our table with freshly ground pepper is at Olive Garden. :-)
And yes, dad helps our youngest cut his food...but I don't really let the oldest two around each other with sharp objects.
Here's a few things I've learned about family dinners...
Friends, I hope you have a couple of great family dinner times together each week. Find a healthy balance between the paper plates and pizza rolls - and grandmas china with prime rib. No matter what your family is comprised of or what circumstances you might be going through...eat and enjoy each other.
Congratulations to the Berry Family of Washington, PA! They are the 1st Winners of The Grillin' Magic Taste of the Neighborhood Christmas Lights Contest! Floyd has done a beautiful job decorating his entire property, including the pool! Thank you for sharing your Christmas cheer with all of us to enjoy! We know you will LOVE your Grillin' Magic prize! Now, you have to decide who you gift with that extra bottle! (Forgive the rain in the pictures....our PA weather doesn't want to cooperate this year!) Merry Christmas Everyone!
It may seem odd to some, but December was the best time for the Pennsylvania Branch of the Grillin’ Magic family to “heat up the grill.” With baseball moving to just practices and marching band season wrapping up, Josh and Donna have hit the road with Grillin’ Magic this month.
We have participated in two large craft shows in the area. It is so fun to get out and tell people all about Grillin’ Magic and it’s creator. I (Donna) was thoroughly enjoying a craft show last weekend at the Greene County Fairgrounds. I love to people watch as I talk to so many throughout the day. As I stood there and talked all day about my wonderful Dad, it struck me just how much he truly loved people. We come in all shapes and sizes and no two families are the same. Some of us are easily lovable and others take some work to love. But Dad seemed to really have a gift at loving people. I know that he prayed to have a Christ-like love for people. I truly feel that that prayer was answered and was on full display to the very end with Dad.
Dad loved Christmas time too. He was always the biggest kid around the tree and loved surprises. I spent hours baking cookies with him. I remember one Christmas our house smelled of meat for a month as he made sausage to give away as gifts to his board members. And another Christmas, he decided to try to add Grillin’ Magic to EVERYTHING…EVERYTHING…not just the usuals…We had to draw the line when he added it to the pancakes and added the maple syrup! LOL He had finally found the one thing that GM didn’t work on!
We decided this year to start a new family tradition with Grillin’ Magic. To honor Dad and his love of Christmas, we have started the Grillin’ Magic Taste of the Neighborhood Christmas Light Contest. The weekend prior to Christmas, we will drive around Washington with our boys and together will decide on our Family Favorite with 3 Runners-Up. Each will receive a Certificate along with a Bottle of Grillin’ Magic for themselves and one to share. We hope to be able to share pictures with you! Stay tuned!
Finally, keep in mind, Grillin' Magic makes a great gift! If you are local to Washington, PA or Rochester, MN - we have it ready for pickup! There are always brand new cooks, lifelong chefs, or those really hard to buy for people in our lives...Grillin' Magic is perfect for all those folks! So, buy 2 for gifts and keep 1 for yourself!
We are so grateful for our loyal customers who continue to support our GM business over the years. We enter 2019 blessed to be able to continue to share Dad's gifts and legacy of love with so many people that we meet through our fantastic seasoning! At the center of it all, we celebrate Jesus and His great love for us! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? If so, you might want to give a little thought to this special meal now. Once November 1st hits it seems that Thanksgiving comes so quickly. It just sneaks up on you! Here's a few things to think about as the prep begins.
Guest List: It's hard to plan anything until you know who's gonna be there. I know that in our family everyone likes a few really special things. Although you can't make everything...you can make a valiant effort to have a little bit of what everyone loves. Basically this means blueberry smash or strawberry pretzel salad. HAHAH! Cathy Jo...I know that made you laugh.
Menu: Plan it. Stick to it. Once you've got the killer menu you can find recipes and begin to build the playbook for an epic thanksgiving dinner. I love to build a binder and put the recipes in sleeves so they don't get messy. Yes...I've been known to try a recipe ahead of time, just to make sure it is as good as it looks on paper. After a while, you find your go to's and you tend to make them each year. It can get a little boring though, so leave room for one or two new things. (On a trial basis of course) I think my best trial recipe was a sweet potato casserole. It has become a regular part of the thanksgiving playbook now. Also...don't forget that special beverage. It's fun to experiment with different punch recipes.
Tablescape: There's a few pieces to the puzzle here. Can you fit everyone at one table? The answer is usually a big NO. So, figure out how many tables and chairs you're going to need. In our family, we usually have an adult table and a kid table. Are you having guests that aren't a part of your immediate family? I'd suggest using place cards. It really does take the stress off guests. There's nothing like wondering where you should sit. Wouldn't want to sit in someone's time honored seat. :-) . My only other tip about the tablescpape is to make it simple enough that that the condiments, rolls, salt and pepper, carafe for beverages can fit on the table as well. Large dishes will probably be passed around but there are some things that just need to be on the table for the entire meal. You also need to figure out what you need two sets of. The Bernard's need a butter dish and sugar dish for each table. For the lefse, of course!
Shopping List: Once you have a good idea of the first three items - you can begin to make a legit shopping list. Go browse through the pantry, check the holiday decos, rummage through the craft drawer and decide what still needs to be purchased. This is my LEAST favorite part of the process. There are times that I have chosen to shop online and have it delivered. If you take that route, give yourself a couple days to head back to the store (in the chaos) to purchase any items that you might have missed or just ordered incorrectly. That's the downside of online shopping...especially when you are doing it after the kids go to bed and you're sleepy!
Prep and Cooking Schedule: The last tip I'll give is to actually sit down and chart out a prep and cooking schedule. I find that if I write it down I can stick to it much better. It also helps you delegate to another family member who wants to help. I'm terrible at this. I need to learn how to let people help!! Is anyone else like this too? The prep and cooking schedule will also insure that things are going into the oven at the right time. If you CAN make it ahead you SHOULD. Let's all thank the Lord for the invention of the roaster!! I'd never get everything ready in the oven if I actually had to have the Turkey in there. Ha! Speaking of Turkey...you can check out the turkey recipe blog here.
I hope this gives you a few time saving tips to make this one of the most exciting and fun Thanksgiving holidays ever. I'm all the more aware that we have a limited number of holidays with our loved ones. The memories that we make are SO important. This year, put that extra effort into making your meal unforgettable.
Let's talk about brussels sprouts. YES....it is actually spelled brussels sprouts. HAHAH! I'm dying. Never in my life did I think that was how it was pronounced.
I feel like you either love em' or you hate em'. This holiday, I think you should give them another try. You tried them when you were a kid, you say? Give them one more chance. You just might be a little more mature now than you were back then. :-)
It was about a year ago that I was on one of my "alone time" shopping trips. My go to places are...of course, Target...but let's not forget good ole' Trader Joe's. I don't shop there for my normal every day groceries. When the holidays come, I love to head over to Trader Joe's and see what fun and unique things I can add into our holiday celebration. Anyway...on this particular trip I saw the fresh brussels sprouts still on the stem. I LOVED the way they looked and wondered if they could make a fun side dish. So I bought them to go along with our prime rib Christmas Eve dinner. Not only was I trying Prime Rib for the very first time. I had never made brussels sprouts before. Why not just try everything brand new on what is probably the most important dinner of the year?!? (I was nervous.) I brought them home and our boys were super impressed. They had no idea what they were, but they thought they were pretty special.
To make a long story short, the prime rib and the brussels spouts turned out amazing.
Here's how I made them.
P.S - It's not rocket science.
Start by setting your oven to 400 degrees.
Step 1: Trim off each sprout off the stem. (Is that what you call them?? a sprout? a brussel?)
Step 2: Wash em off and then dry them really well.
Step 3: Cut off the end just like you are cutting of the end of a teeny tiny head of lettuce. They will separate if you cut too much off, so try to get just the hard end.
Step 4: Spread the sprouts out on a large baking sheet.
Step 5: Grab a head of garlic and get a least 5 cloves peeled. I crush them with the back of knife. Then mix them in on the pan.
Step 6: Drizzle a heavy amount of olive oil over it all.
Step 6: Sprinkle Grillin Magic! Start with just a bit. As you taste throughout the cooking process, you can decide if you need to add more. But, you can't add less. :-)
Step 7: Throw them in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. You'll want to mix the pan around for even browning during the process. The browning is what makes them taste so great!
Step 8: Taste em...add more GM if necessary.
Step 9: Add some fresh parmesean cheese over the top and mix.
Step 10: Put them under the broiler for just a couple minutes if they need to be crisped up a bit. (I always like them to have the extra crunch).
Serve your brussels sprouts in a great big bowl. Some like a little squeeze of lemon over the top to brighten them up. I'll leave that up to you! Bacon can fit in here well too. yum!
Give it a try. If they turn out great post a pic on our facebook page so we can see!
I've got a confession to make. I'm what you all an "early Christmas decorator." I feel like it's something I was born with. When I got married and started my own family the symptoms became to strong to deny. November 4th became the day that we put up the Christmas decorations. Election Night? Yeah...we decorate on Election Night. You should try it! It sort of softens the blow if your favorite candidate doesn't get voted into office. At least you have the beautiful glow of Christmas lights to cheer up your soul.
For those of you who don't fall in the "early Christmas decorator" category, I'd suggest trying out out the "early Christmas shopper" category. This is one area where I am not proficient in. I seem to be scrounging for the perfect gift up until the last minute. But this year, it doesn't have to be that way!
Pastor Bob's Grillin' Magic is the perfect, homemade, unique gift that you can't get in stores. Are you a small business owner that loves to get your staff a gift? Grillin' Magic is an option that everyone will love. You could even pair it with a gift card to your favorite butcher shop in town. We love "Ye Old Butcher Shoppe" in Rochester. Do you have a man in your life that is super tricky to shop for? Grillin' Magic fits the bill. A single friend that lives by themselves? Grillin' Magic is the only seasoning they'll need.
I am aware that it is only October and some of you can't even get your minds to think towards the holiday season. But, any early Christmas orders are super appreciated because they allow us to keep up with demand and get orders out quickly.
Pastor Bob (my father in law) absolutely loved Christmas. He was a great big kid. He couldn't shop early for the simple reason that he couldn't stop himself from giving the gift before Christmas. I hope that the anticipation of the holidays starts to make you feel like a kid again too.
p.s - Don't you LOVE this rustic wrapping? All I can hear in my head is "brown paper packages tied up with string". I'm going to attempt a little rustic wrapping for underneath our tree this year. I'll let you know how it goes. Here's a pinterest board with some fun ideas.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Can you smell the goodness??
The holidays are my favorite. Christmas wins for me, but Thanksgiving is a very close second. We all know that the turkey is the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal. I hesitate to share my secrets...but the KEY to an amazingly moist (sorry to those who hate that word, haha) and delicious turkey is Pastor Bob's Grillin Magic. If you have experienced what GM does to a plain chicken breast or pork chop then you can be confident that it will do the same for that great big turkey in your roaster this Thanksgiving.
There's no great recipe for the turkey magic, but for those of you who need step (rule followers)- here you go.
Step 1 - Unthaw that bad boy. Take it out of the fridge and put it in a sink of cold water a couple of days before you need to cook it. I've seen some put it in the bath tub, but for some reason that kinda grosses me out. Ish. Kitchen sink it is.
Step 2 - (The morning of the big day!) . Wash off the turkey and pat dry. Make sure to take that package of giblets and the heart out of the rear end. Am I the only one who forgets to take that out?? Rookie status I guess.
Step 3 - Stuff away. I don't claim to be a master of the stuffing recipe. Whatever Pinterest recipe you're trying this year...make it and stuff it. If you have a great family recipe...I'd LOVE to hear about it. Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe you'll make it in the Bernard Family Turkey this year. Wouldn't that be special?? Extra points for incorporating some GM in your recipe!
Step 4 - I like to cook our turkey in a roaster. This is simply because I don't have the oven space that I need to cook everything. Can anyone empathize? If you have a metal grate with handles, you'll want to put this in first so that you can "easily" lift the turkey out of the roaster when it's time. Now comes the fun part...
Lather BUTTER all over the entire Turkey. I try to keep it to one stick, but you can go Paula Dean on it if you want to. Now open up the Pastor Bob's Grillin Magic and give it a good covering. You do not need any other salt, pepper, garlic salt, poultry seasoning. The skin of the turkey will be amazing. The meat will be dripping with flavor.
Step 5 - Get out that food thermometer. Sometimes I think that we tend to cook our food too long. A food thermometer will tell you when the turkey is cooked. You'll want it to be at about 165 degrees at the deepest parts. You might have one of those high tech turkeys with the pin that pops when it's done. I have trust issues...so I usually check it with my thermometer anyway. If it's done, let it rest for 20 minutes or so. Then it's time to call in the official turkey carver of your family to get to work.
I'll send some more recipes your way in the November newsletter. For now...ORDER YOUR GM so you have plenty to make your Thanksgiving Turkey one for the books.
P.S - The Bernard family is thankful for all of you! Thanks for loving GM as much as we do. Use the Coupon Code GMTURKEY for 10% of your next GM order.
Hello and Happy New Year to all of our wonderful Grillin' Magic customers!
2018 is here and 2017 is in the rear view mirror. Let's just get this statement out of the way...
We miss Dad! A little over a year has passed since we said goodbye to Pastor Bob, the creator of this wonderful seasoning. He was a lot more than that to us. We are so thankful that he was a part of our lives. He left us a legacy of loving Jesus, caring for people, and the recipe for his famous "Pastor Bob's Grillin' Magic".
This past year has brought quite a bit of change for us. Mom has done an amazing job of honoring dad by moving forward in each new day. She has moved from Eagle Bend to the Twin Cities. This is why you will notice that our delivery options have changed a bit. Thanks for understanding. She loves hearing stories about Pastor Bob's Grillin' Magic. Feel free to send stories, recipes, or even memories of Pastor Bob to us. It will bring a smile!
We are putting our 2018-2019 Craft Show & Festival calendar together. Keep an eye on our calendar page to see where we will be throughout the new year. It is our hope that Thursday's on 1st will be even bigger and better this year! Feel free to put in a good word for us if you loved having PBGM as a vendor. We'll continue to visit as many of dad's favorite craft shows as we can.
Online sales are the fastest way to get Pastor Bob's Grillin' Magic in your kitchen. We can ship anywhere in the United States in 2-3 days! We will continue to get your orders out as quickly as possible. Thank you to everyone who purchased Christmas presents through the website this year. WOW! There's a lot of great pot roast happening in your kitchen right now.
Our family would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. Thank you for loving Pastor Bob's Grillin' Magic. Use it to make amazing dishes for your family and friends. Share love from your kitchen, deck, patio. Bring it to the cabin. Stick a bottle in your RV and drive straight out of the cold weather to somewhere warm. We'll be here with updates and recipes to get you all the way through the winter into summertime again.
In dad's mind grilling season was 12 moths long. So, maybe I'll scrape the ice off our grill and throw on a couple of steaks today.
Happy New Year and blessings from all of us at Pastor Bob's Grillin' Magic!
You'll see articles from all of the Bernard family here. Maybe even a grandson will post now and then!