Homemade Charcoal Chimney Starter, Burgers Topped with Cheddar and Coleslaw

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Raleigh Burger - Coleslaw Cheddar on a Kaiser Roll

Raleigh Burger – Coleslaw Cheddar on a Kaiser Roll

There used to be a wonderful coffee-shop in Santa Monica called Nick’s. One day, I went in there and ordered something called a Nick Burger. It had coleslaw and swiss cheese on it. It was so juicy you had to eat it over the plate. It became my favorite burger, and tonight, I decided to recreate it, with a little zip.

I’ve been becoming very brave of late with my Weber. First I started out with Match Light coals because they were pre-soaked, and easy to get started. Then, I graduated to using charcoal fluid and regular coals. Then today, I realized I had run out of fluid, and the corner store was closed. I knew that there are specially made charcoal chimney starters, and I thought I could make one from scratch. It wasn’t difficult at all making a homemade charcoal chimney starter. No more relying on charcoal fluid for me!

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Mexican Feast – Coleslaw, Black Bean Dip and Taquitos with White Sauce

Mexican Feast

Mexican Feast

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This afternoon when I was at the local store, I had a taste for Mexican food. I already had frozen taquitos in my freezer (I’m too lazy to make them myself), so all I needed was avocado. Well, surprise, surprise my little store didn’t have any, so I decided to make the white sauce similar to the fish taco white sauce at Rubio’s.

I also had some cabbage in the refrigerator. I love cabbage and it’s very good with Mexican food. I picked up a can of black beans so I could make the same black bean dip I used for my Black Bean Tacos.

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Shrimp Stuffed Wontons

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I Love Shrimp!

I wanted to make wontons for dinner tonight and stuff them with cream cheese and jalapeño, like I did with the Pope’s Hats. Since they have no meat, they are perfect for Fridays. But, on my way home from dropping Spane off at school, I stopped in at the local Hispanic market, where they had some lovely raw shrimp. So, I got some of that, and when to the local Armenian store to buy fresh cilantro, and fresh spring onions.

When I was a little girl, I had a severe allergic reaction to something, and I was tested and no one could figure out what it was. When I was in my twenties, I went to Encinada, Mexico and I again had a severe allergic reaction. Finally, a few years after that, I had one more allergic reaction. I thought about it, and realized that every time I had had a severe allergic reaction, I had eaten shrimp. But, I had been eating shrimp all my life, what was so different about those times? Then I realized each time that the sand vein had not been completely cleaned – I had eaten some of the sand vein. What is the sand vein in a shrimp? It’s their digestive tract, in other words, that’s where their poop is. There is also the “blood vein” (a euphemism for the ventral nerve cord) along the inner curve of the shrimp’s body that also has some nasty black stuff. I finally figured out after all those years that I was not allergic to shrimp itself, I was allergic to the sand vein, or to be more precise, the poop. I’m pretty much convinced that people who are allergic to shrimp are allergic to shrimp poop, not the shrimp itself, just like I am.

Why am I telling you all this? I am telling you this because, even if you are not allergic to shrimp poop like I am, there is still no excuse to leave the nasty digestive insides of shrimp intact. It may take a few seconds to clean, but it is well worth the effort, now that you know what that dark stuff is.

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The Coleslaw Recipe Collection

Recipes in this PostCabbage

I love cabbage, all year round, but in the summer time, when it’s hot and you want something cool, coleslaw always comes to mind.

Everyone has their favorite, whether it’s a recipe passed down from their grandmother, some kind of science experiment, or even KFC (which really is good coleslaw).

I have a few recipes on this site for coleslaw, and I found one at Miss in the Kitchen that I really want to try. So, without further ado, here is my Coleslaw Collection – well so far, that is.

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Poached Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa

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I love salmon, and I love avocado, and I love tacos! What could be better for a hot summer day than Poached Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa? When I was at a discount store with my friend Amber, I found green cactus tacos. I also had some red cabbage in the refrigerator and I thought that would look nice with the red and green. Continue reading

Memorial Day – Pork Loin with Balsamic Mustard Rub

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The smoke always goes to the prettiest one.
Major Charles Monroe Boswell, 1961

On the heels of Stevie and Amber Lewis’ anniversary party, is Memorial Day, unofficially that beginning of summer when all the barbecues stretch their legs as they come out of storage. My barbecue, Lola, has been living over at Amber’s house since last summer, but she is coming home today, and will have me as her chef. I am excited!

Lola is a Weber One Touch Silver Kettle Grill 18 1/2 inches in diameter. She is the third Weber I have had, the first was stolen when the person who borrowed it forgot to lock the gate, and the second had a run in with a BVM sister. The BVM sister was fine, the barbecue did not fair so well.

I love to barbecue. I remember when I was a little girl, my father would start the barbecue up on the lawn (I don’t know why he used the front lawn, but he did). We had a Weber, and I when I complained about smoke going in my face, my father said “The smoke always goes to the prettiest one.” I still tell people that when they complain about the smoke. I’m sorry, but even with the smoke, and having to clean out the charcoal, gas barbecues just do not do as good job. Even my church, Holy Family Catholic Community, uses a Smokey Joe modified with long legs so the priest does not have to bend down to get the flame to light the Paschal Candle at Easter Vigil.

The pork roast I am preparing always comes out very flavorful, moist and tender. It is my son Spane’s favorite, and if I’m not careful, he will eat the whole thing by himself. If you don’t have a grill, you can always prepare Pork Loin with Balsamic Mustard Rub on the stove top and oven.

To accompany our roast, I prepared Potato Salad with Red Onions and Italian Parsley, Red and White Coleslaw, and I also put chicken on the grill. Yes, there is a way to not burn chicken on the grill, and I am happy to share it with you.

Recipe: Pork Loin with Balsamic Mustard Rub

Summary: This recipe won a Blue Ribbon


  • 1 pork loin roast
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Zatarains or other Creole mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme


  1. Mix all the ingredients together and rub this on the roast, coating it well. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour before putting it on the grill.
  2. When putting it on the grill, put it on direct heat, and rotate to seal all the sides, about five minutes, then cook the rest of the time in indirect heat, covered until the roast reaches 165 degrees, about 20 minutes.
  3. If you are going to be doing this indoors, then heat an iron skillet on the stove top, brown all sides of the roast, then put in the oven for the rest of time, about 20 minutes.

Quick notes

Please use a good mustard for this. Plain yellow mustard will NOT work. A sweet, honey mustard, will not do well either.


You could use Dijon or a stone ground mustard.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 20 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Perfectly Barbecued Chicken

How many of you have had blackened chicken? I’m talking about the kind that is black on the outside, and bloody pink on the inside. I am sure the answer is too many times to mention.

Most people make the mistake of putting the sauce on the chicken and then putting it on the grill. Most sauce has sugar in it, and sugar will burn way before the inside of the chicken is cooked.

To cook chicken properly on the grill, have the coals at medium heat, then put the chicken on the grill skin side down. Cover the grill, and come back in about five minutes to check the chicken. Depending on the sizes of the pieces, if the top part of the chicken has started turning white, then it is time to turn it over on the other side, otherwise, wait another five minutes and check again.

Now is the time to get out your instant read thermometer. It is very important that the chicken reaches the proper cooking temperature as under cooked chicken can be very dangerous, worse than pork. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 175, so look to sauce it at about 170.

Once the chicken has reached that temperature, it is time to put on the sauce. Sauce one side, cover and cook about two minutes, then turn over, sauce and cover and cook another two minutes or until the sauce has begun to caramelize on the chicken.

At this point, you can remove the chicken from the grill, because it is thoroughly cooked on the inside, and nicely sauced on the outside.

Recipe: Red and White Coleslaw with Boiled Dressing


  • Salad

  • 1/2 head small white cabbage
  • 1/2 head small red cabbage
  • Boiled Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


  1. Slice or shred slaw finely. Bring oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and pepper flakes to boil in saucepan over medium heat. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.


You could add raisins, carrots or apples if you want. Add what you usually add to coleslaw and make it your own!

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.