Kel’s Bacon and Bleu Cheese Cabbage Steaks, as a Side and a Meal

Kel's Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Bacon and Bleu Cheese

Cabbage lovers, rejoice! You will love, love, love this delicious recipe and it will yield two meals with some simple planning.

Cabbage haters, rejoice! With the addition of cheese and bacon, here’s a dish that just may turn your hate into love. Or at least a strong like. C’mon, give it a try!

This recipe appeared in one of my newsfeeds from and I immediately knew I had to try it. I love cabbage raw, steamed, sautéed, stuffed, etc., so this was a no-brainer, especially since I was eager to throw cabbage on the grill for a new way to prepare it. I decided to go ahead and use the prepackaged marinade instead of making my own and made just a couple of tweaks to the recipe, adding bacon grease and changing the oil type.

You can make this indoors on a stovetop grill, like I did. But an outdoors grill should be fine, too. And leftovers are awesome to cut up and reheat in a skillet with some sliced kielbasa for a complete meal.

Cabbage and kielbasa

So just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, consider making cabbage this way. It will go great with your corned beef.

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Crispy Canadian Bacon and Two-Cheese Hash Brown Waffles

Kel's Canadian bacon and cheese hash brown waffle

Here’s a great recipe I threw together shortly after I bought my Belgian waffle maker. It combines some of my favorite breakfast foods (Canadian bacon, eggs, cheese and hash brown potatoes) that can be served any time of the day. These are so easy to make and are simply delicious!

If you don’t have a waffle iron, no worries. Just use the batter to make hash brown pancakes instead, as mentioned at the end of the recipe.

Hash brown pancake ready to eat

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Craft Beer and Girl Scout Cookies, Part 2


As I mentioned in a recent post, Brixx Wood Fired Pizza at Parkside Town Commons and Bradford Shops in Cary offered a unique Beer & Girl Scout Cookie Tasting on Feb. 22, 2017. Guests received three drink samples specifically selected from a variety of craft beers accompanied by three popular Girl Scout cookie samples, all for just $5.50.

Beer and cookies? Why not, I thought, when asked to cover this event. I love to pair chocolate candy with red wine, but this was the first time I had heard of pairing cookies with beer. I don’t know where I’ve been, because after doing some upfront research on the Internet, this is an idea that’s been around for a while. Oh well, being late to the party is better than not going at all.

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Firebirds Wood Fired Grill Spiced Pecan Green Beans. You’re Welcome.


Growing up, Mom often bought fresh green beans instead of the canned variety. She’d have one of us kids break off the ends and snap them in half as needed, which was a chore I never, ever minded. To this day, I’m not of fan of canned green beans and prefer them fresh. I like to sauté them with onions and lots of pepper or prepare them steamed and lightly tossed with cucumber ranch dressing, Good Seasons Italian dressing or just some salt, fresh ground pepper and cider vinegar.

Several years ago I discovered the signature spicy pecan green beans at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, which are served as a creative side to its yummy meatloaf and other entrees. Love, love, love, love these! The pecans add a spicy yet sweet crunch to the crisp green beans for a wonderful flavor combination.


I finally decided to make these at home when both pecans and green beans were on sale at the same time — yaaay! I followed an online recipe from Firebirds’ Sous Chef, Joseph Howard, and only changed the spiced pecans a tad, where I substituted regular chile powder for the ancho chile powder, which turned out fine.

This recipe is easy and takes little time once the pecans have been spiced. While these spiced pecan green beans don’t replace Firebirds’ real deal, they come so close and are totally worth the effort.

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Girl Scout Cookies Paired with Beer? A Tasting Event You Must Attend


Brixx Wood Fired Pizza at Parkside Town Commons and Bradford Shops in Cary, N.C., will be offering a unique Beer & Girl Scout Cookie Tasting Wednesday, Feb. 22. The Beer & Girl Scout Cookie tasting menu will be available from 5 p.m. to close for just $5.50. Guests will receive three drink samples specifically selected from a variety of craft beers accompanied by three popular Girl Scout cookie samples, as noted below.

Bradford Shops pairings:

  • Samoas with Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale
  • Peanut Butter Patties with Wicked Weed Hop Cocoa
  • Savannah Smiles with Deep River Twisted River Wit

Parkside Town Commons pairings:

  • Thin Mints with Gizmo Peppermint Stiletto Stout
  • Lemonades with Knee Deep Breaking Bud IPA
  • Peanut Butter Patties with Draft Line Pilsner


  • Thin Mints with Fortnight Coffee Amber
  • Lemonades with Appalachian Mountain Nitro Raspberry Porter
  • Peanut Butter Patties with Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot Barleywine

So come out and enjoy your favorite Beer & Girl Scout Cookie pairing at one of the Cary Brixx locations.


I’m planning to try one (or both) of the pairings at Parkside Town Commons since Lemonades are my favorite Girl Scout cookie — hopefully I’ll see you there!

***Disclaimer: I will be receiving my Beer & Girl Scout Cookie pairing in exchange for this blog post.

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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Kel’s Crispy Shrimp Egg Rolls



For some reason I’ve been craving Chinese food lately and have been experimenting with (and perfecting) various recipes, such as my delicious shrimp stir fry and easy pork pot stickers. The next Chinese dish on my list to make was egg rolls, but I just couldn’t decide on the filling. Then recently, I found deveined shrimp on sale and knew it would be the focus of these yummy egg rolls. The older I get, the more I hate to devein shrimp. Really, really hate. Plus, I always love a good bargain, so shrimp was a no-brainer. I then went to the Grand Asia Market in Cary to pick up the bulk of the other ingredients – the prices are excellent and it’s such a fun and delightful place to shop.


I was quite pleased with my filling for these egg rolls. To make things easy, I used prepackaged Chinese mustard and duck sauce as dipping sauces (cheap, cheap, cheap at aforementioned Grand Asia Market). I know I still need more practice when it comes to rolling egg rolls, but my technique did improve slightly by the time I had finished this batch. The trick is not to overfill the wrappers and to roll them as tight as possible. There are several good videos on YouTube that show you how it’s done.


These egg rolls freeze really well, so make a bunch to enjoy later. I’ve included freezing and reheating instructions at the end of the post.

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Ronda’s Twice-Baked Stuffed Potatoes:  Some For Now, Some For Later


The first time I had these heavenly potatoes was at my dear friend (and excellent cook) Ronda’s home, back in the late 1980s. Ronda and I both worked Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at The Pub (may it rest in peace). One of us would bartend while the other cooked and waited tables, and then we would change roles the following weekend. After work, we would suck down a beer or six (it was the 80s, after all, so please don’t judge) and often head across the street to her and Dickie’s townhome, where we made dinner and then settled in for a long night of poker with a cast of other Pub regulars (may many of them RIP as well, heavy sigh).

Anyway, we often grilled steaks and Ronda would make these awesome stuffed potatoes that I immediately became hooked on and have been a part of my culinary life ever since. I’ve tweaked her recipe a bit over the years, mainly because I never wrote it down, but these are by far one of my favorite comfort foods, EVER! Potatoes, cheese, bacon — need I say more?


I usually make several of these at a time to freeze and enjoy later. You would never guess they have been frozen previously, and will thank yourself for making these in advance, wishing you had made more! For those of you who love to save time in the long run, I’ve included freezing and reheating directions at the end of this post.

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