Whole30: Balsamic Garlic Chicken

Back with another of our favorite recipes from our Whole30 challenge. We grilled a lot during our 30 days…like probably 5 days a week. That grill got a workout! We found that chicken breasts were the quickest and easiest option for us with our busy schedule. Pair it with some fresh veggies and you’ve got yourself dinner! The following recipe creates a melt in your mouth chicken and couldn’t be any easier…seriously!

Whole30: Balsamic Garlic Chicken | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Whole30: Balsamic Garlic Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine everything (including chicken) in a zip-loc bag and squish around to combine.
  2. Let marinate for 20 mins - 24 hrs in the fridge.
  3. Grill for 8-10 minutes, flip and grill other side 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink inside.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
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How ‘Bout Them Lemons?

What do you do when you find lemons on sale for $0.33 each? Make (strawberry) lemonade of course! We had my parents and my Brother’s family here for the weekend to celebrate Mother’s Day and it was only fitting to have an Edwards’ BBQ one evening. The Mason jars are from my Mom’s stockpile and the strawberry lemonade was whipped up from scratch in just a few minutes. The idea for using the jars came from Josh’s sister- so clever! It’s so easy to pre-make your drinks in the jars, store them in the fridge, pull them out and place them on ice when your guests arrive. Add a bendy straw and you’ve got yourself the perfect drink for a summer BBQ!

Strawberry Lemonade

  • 8 medium lemons or 2 c. lemon juice
  • 2 lemons for garnish
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 6-7 c. water
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberry quarters (you can use fresh strawberries if you’d like- I used fresh-frozen in lieu of ice)

To make simple syrup: Boil 2 cups of water and add 3 cups of sugar. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. You will only need about 2 cups of this syrup for the lemonade- store the remainder in a sealed container in the fridge for another use.

  1. Squeeze and strain seeds/pulp from lemons.
  2. Combine simple syrup and lemon juice in a pitcher.
  3. Add water until you like the taste of the lemonade (I ended up at about 6 1/2 cups water).
  4. Pour lemonade into Mason jars. Garnish with a lemon slice and add some frozen strawberries to each jar.
  5. Replace lids and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Add a bendy straw and ENJOY!

My 3 year old niece loved this to the very last drop…and so did I! Hope this is a hit at your next outdoor BBQ!

Lovin’ the lemons,
Mrs. Edwards

Wife of the Year and Gourmet Hamburgers

Attention! I have an announcement.

I have earned a highly esteemed award not one, not two, but THREE years in a row. I have yet again won Best Wife of the Year! YEAH! This award was won in 2010 when I surprised Josh with the Grill of his dreams and then again in 2011 when I got him the smoker attachment for dream grill.

How did I earn it again in 2012, you ask? Oh, just by being an awesome wife who is keen to what my husband wants. And what does this man want the most in this life? To be a Barbeque Master, to grill like no body’s business, to reign supreme in the smoking wars (smoking brisket, that is). A few months ago I saw a Living Social deal for a 5 hr. professional level barbequing class. Five whole hours with Big Ed from Big Ed’s Buzzard BBQ. Cha-ching! I bought that deal without a second thought. With Josh’s birthday at the end of April, I knew that this was just the thing I needed to get him!  I paired it with the Barbeque Bible and this awesome Stainless Steel Hot Dog Roller for the grill (awesome, right?!). I’m not gonna lie, this birthday present will probably benefit me just as much as it will Josh. I can see many, many awesome meals coming from this gift!

So, although I’d love to keep on bragging about how great of a wife I am, I’ll digress and get to what I’m really here to share. A few weekends ago we visited my parents and had a fantastic barbeque with them and some of our friends. Without too much effort, my mom whipped up some cheese stuffed hamburgers from a friends recipe. They were so so sososososo good! I cannot emphasize enough how great these things were. I strongly urge you to try this- not only is it pretty foolproof, it’s customizable and sure to please a variety of appetites!

Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers
*Add the following ingredients per pound of beef (we used 3lbs. of ground beef which made 7 huge burgers)

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s is recommended)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • Cheddar, provolone and/or crumbed feta cheese

1. Place your ground beef in a bowl and pour milk over the top. Mix to incorporate, cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
2. Remove ground beef from fridge and add all the remaining ingredients. The beef should have soaked in most of the milk- if not, drain off excess before adding final ingredients.
3. Scoop out ~2/3 cup beef and pat into 1/2 inch thick, flat, round shape onto wax paper. Repeat to make 2 patties the same size.
4. Place cheese in center of one beef patty leaving a border around the edge.
5. Place other patty on top and pinch edges together.
6. Refrigerate patties until you’re ready to barbeque- this also helps them to set up.
7. Grill over medium heat to your preferred done-ness (we like medium well).
8. Place on bun, top with favorite toppings, ENJOY!

These burgers were amazing and I can foresee us having them a lot throughout this summer grilling season! My favorite is the feta burger, Josh’s is the provolone. Hope this recipe helps you woo your friends at your next backyard barbeque!

Wife of the Barbeque Master,
Mrs. Edwards

What’s Cookin, Good Lookin?

Last night’s menu:

  • Smoked Brisket, courtesy of Mr. Edwards
  • BBQ Baked Beans
  • Honey Corn Bread

To start off with, I earned Best Wife of the Year in 2010 by surprising my husband with a BBQ he’d been drooling over for 6+ months. While we were away on our honeymoon, I had my dad and uncle assemble the behemoth and place it in our living room. On the flight back from Hawaii, Josh was telling me just how much he wanted to get the grill and how he’d like to start budgeting for it. All the while, his dream BBQ awaited him at home. When he walked into the house his mouth dropped! Hah! I did it!

November 2010

So with the start of 2011, I felt that I needed to continue my reign as Best Wife of the Year. One of the main reasons Josh wanted this BBQ was because you could get a smoker box attachment for it. Being faithful to his Texas roots, he’s had a desire to become a BBQ master and successfully smoking meat is very much a part of that. Josh’s birthday is this coming Friday, so I figured I’d give him a weeks head start on learning the art of smoking meat. On our most recent trip to Home Depot (our second home), I guided him down the BBQ aisle and told him that he was getting his present a bit early! I’m pretty sure he was walking on clouds the rest of that shopping trip! :) And, I can continue my reign as Best Wife of the Year. YEAH!

I picked up a 3lb beef brisket from Costco, figuring that J could try out his new toy this past weekend. To say the least, my husband is a natural at BBQ-ing. I’m not sure where he’s acquired these skills, but I don’t argue with them! He mixed up some magic potion and rubbed it all over the beef, slow cooked it for about 3 hrs and ooohhhh my, it was to die for! He’s still learning and has some polishing to do…but man, did I marry well! Seriously!

Keep an eye out for a guest blog by Mr. Edwards about the art of smoking meat. You won’t want to miss it!

To go along with the amazing BBQ Brisket, I made some honey corn bread and some baked beans. (Yes, I know there isn’t a vegetable on that plate, but I’m not crying about it. We’ll eat extra tomorrow, I promise.) The corn bread is a simple Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix split between two small loaf pans. I baked it exactly to the instructions and added way too much butter and honey on top after it was done. SO GOOD!  For the baked beans, I just use Bush’s Home Style beans and add some extra lovin’ (a 1/4 cup of brown sugar and about 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce). The sides were super simple, but were a perfect match to the smoky, mouth watering brisket. The best part of this meal is that we have leftovers for sandwiches this next week. YES!

If you’d like to experience Josh’s BBQ-ing, we’d love to share a meal with you! I predict that this summer we’ll be having 6 out of 7 dinners a week from his BBQ. And I’m more than ok with that :)

Loving my BBQ Master,
Mrs. Edwards

Tonight’s dinner…

On the menu tonight:

  • BBQ chicken sandwiches
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Asparagus

According to my easy-to-please husband, this meal was great!! (he might be biased though)

For the past couple of months, I have made a weekly dinner menu on Sunday, done grocery shopping for only what’s on the menu (plus breakfast & lunch items) and then tried my hardest to stick to the plan! We’ve had pretty good success so far with this, only once or twice have we strayed from the menu to get Taco V (locally famous taqueria) or Pizza ($10 pizzas on Monday at Round Table!). For tonight, I had planned on using the crock-pot to make BBQ chicken for sandwiches, mostly because Josh has been dropping subtle hints about it for about a month :)

I found a recipe on allrecipes.com for Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbeque. Sidenote…allrecipes.com is a-maze-ing. Seriously, you should check it out! I use recipes from there about 3 times a week and haven’t found one we don’t like yet! It pays to read user reviews and suggestions though. Back to the point…I found the recipe for the BBQ chicken, thought it sounded pretty fool proof and dove right in! It only calls for 5 ingredients, how could even I mess that up?! Frozen boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, bottle of BBQ sauce, Italian salad dressing, Worcestershire sauce (I can never ever say that correctly), and brown sugar. Easy, right? Yeppers.

I dumped it all in the Crock-Pot at lunchtime and when I arrived home at 5:30 the house smelled awesome! I dropped my stuff and hurried into the kitchen to see how my potion was brewing. But to my dismay, I found that the chicken looked overdone and the sauce looked way too liquidy…oh no! I pulled the chicken out and shredded it in hopes that it would help it a bit and put it back in the way-too-soupy BBQ sauce with fingers crossed

With high hopes for the chicken, I went to work on the second portion of our dinner, sweet potato fries! Seriously such an easy thing to make! My version started off as this one, found at…you guessed it, allrecipes.com. But, with the help of my Mom, it has morphed into something super simple and super awesome. Our version has just 5 ingredients- sweet potatoes (ok, ok, they’re yams), salt, pepper, olive oil and chili powder. Peel and cut the potatoes into fries, place in a zip-lock bag, add about 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. each salt, pepper, and chili powder. Shake-shake-shake, spread into one layer on a sheet pan and bake in a preheated 425F oven for 20ish min. Flip the fries and cook 15ish min. more. (I say “ish” because it varies to how thick your fries are…just cook ’em until they’re tender and toasty to your liking). Voila! Sweet potato fries! Note: they will be significantly softer than ones you’d get at a restaraunt because they aren’t deep fried. I actually like this version better!

By the time Josh got home, my chicken had redeemed itself! By shredding it and letting it cook for another 40 minutes, I had rescued it from crock-pot death and made something that he loved! It had a chance to soak up some of the liquid and was something I’ll make again. Although, I might do some adjusting to the recipe to make it my own. Stay tuned for that! Back to dinner- we toasted some potato bread buns for the BBQ chicken, cooked up some asparagus and loaded up on the sweet potato fries. SO GOOD! Success!  We’ll definitely be trying this dinner again! Very easy, very tasty, and gives me the satisfaction of a home cooked meal with the convenience of letting the crock-pot do most of the work for me. I see many more crock-pot meals in our future…

Patting myself on the back,

Mrs. Edwards