The essential part of any recipe besides quality main ingredients is the seasoning. Lack of proper seasoning or over seasoning can ruin a dish faster than than you can say Jack Robinson and of course no one wants to ruin dinner.

The second most essential part of a recipe (in my opinion) is to remember the golden rule—- DRIED herbs at the beginning of the cooking process and FRESH herbs at the end.”—–  I will go one step further and say that it is highly advisable to use a Sachet when putting dried herbs into something like stock or soups unless you like seeing the dried herbs floating around in the finished product.

Now Sachet is one of those fancy French cooking terms that simply means “small cloth bag used to scent things” …. in this case food and it is one of the simplest things in the world to make because all you need do is place the herbs and spices in the middle of some Cheese Cloth and tie it up with a string and then pop it into the pot. The cheese cloth allows the flavours of the herbs and spices to escape and penetrate the dish without having them float freely in the pot and when the cooking process is over the sachet bag is easily removed from the pot.

Cooks Note: Once you have secured the sachet with the string if you tie the opposite piece to the pot handle you will not lose the sachet in the liquid.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                          Bon Appetit 



Raised Veggie Garden



When I first decided to do a blog my wife and I kicked around various and sundry themes in an effort to come up with something unique but also something that would reflect what we both like. After about a half a dozen ideas we hit on the simple reality that she liked to garden and I liked to grill and so gardensandgrills was born.

Now in the very beginning I had every intention of writing as many garden posts as I did grilling ones however as oft time happens life jumped up and my wife became sick so she could no longer garden as she loved and since I was picking up the slack doing things she couldn’t the gardening aspect for us was put on the back burner.

Fast forward and she is doing remarkably better than she has in years and she can get back into the garden which then allows me the time to get back to my second love, or maybe my third after my wife and cooking….. veggie gardening.

What you see pictured here is a raised garden idea that I found on the web and decided that it was exactly what I had in mind and that with a little time and patience (it’s 14 feet wide, six feet deep, ten inches of soil and each side section is five feet wide in the front) I could build myself however mother nature had something to say about my schedule but after three straight days of rain I managed to get it finished and the planting done….. all for around $350.00.

Now, as with anything else that gets planted into the ground, I need to weed, feed and pray because I really really want a bumper crop of veggies and herbs and since I planted things I use all the time, Celery, Cucumbers, Red Onions, Tomatoes, Garlic, Chives plus the Hot Peppers for some awesome Salsa and Relishes….. I’m a wee bit on edge but we will see what happens.

So there you have it, my raised veggie garden and although it may not be another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” what it grows will surely contribute to that.

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit



Revitalize rather than toss (part one)



This post is going to be a little bit different than anything else to date because it does not have a recipe attached nor is it something that just anybody can do and I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s simply that this post won’t appeal to you if you don’t have an old BBQ sitting around gathering rust.

The BBQ pictured on the left is one of the first charcoal BBQ’s I ever purchased and although it was useful in the beginning it simply didn’t really fill my need and so it was eventually replaced and wound up being relegated to the side of the house where it started collecting rust.

Fast forward a couple of years and what was once my vegetable garden has now become my better half’s domain with plants and bushes and trees”—– Oh My!  So I decided to revitalize my old BBQ and turn it into a Herb garden…. that’s half the finished product on the right which happens to be the bottom part of the “cue”. This kind of project is easy and does not take long as it is a simple matter of clean out the dirt, scrape off the rust and paint it with a colorful Rust Preventative paint. As I said this is the easy part.

If you’re a cook like me choosing the right herb to plant is the hard part and you do need to put some thought into it or you will wind up with a bunch of stuff you can’t use and you have then wasted your money.

When I picked the ones that I wanted I took a look at the things I like to cook and then designed the herb garden to compliment my recipes. I now have things like Pineapple Sage, which is excellent with poultry, Vietnamese Cilantro— Why?— Why Not?, Greek Oregano, Habaneros and Jalapenos—- Okay those last two are not herbs but I like to use hot peppers in some of my dishes and sauces. I have two types of Basil-one for spaghetti sauce and one for pesto and something I have never cooked with in my life but I am ssssssooooooo looking forward to using it—— Tomatillos—- otherwise known as Mexican Tomatoes and I only wound up with these because the lady at the garden center has them growing wild in her garden. Tomatillos make an excellent Salsa Verde (green chili sauce) for which I can use the hot peppers and Cilantro I am growing and then include it in things like Chicken Enchiladas, Green Chicken Tacos or simply as a dipping sauce for homemade Nachos and this is why it is important to match your cooking style with what you grow.

So as you can see Revitalizing something like an old BBQ can open up a whole world of new projects and can make your favorite dishes sing with flavor.

I still have to finish what was the top part of the BBQ and that will be part two of this post so please stay tuned and until next time……..


Bon Appetite