Lunch for a Rainy Monday

Sweet & Spicy Hickory BBQ Sauce on Toasted Bun with Brisket & Fries

Sweet & Spicy Hickory BBQ Sauce on Toasted Bun with Brisket & Fries

Having experimented for 2-3 days with my new Sweet & Spicy Hickory BBQ Sauce, I was craving something different, using this sauce. I thought a toasted hamburger bun with some chopped beef brisket, along with some fries, would hit the spot.

If you’re wondering about the fries, they’re my new favorite, carried in the frozen food aisle at Walmart, Checkers & Rally’s Famous Fries.  The crunchy coating on these fries is a pleasant surprise from the usual fare of seasoned fries, and I bake them on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven.  They make really good company for a beef brisket sandwich with my new sauce!

The brisket is thin sliced beef brisket from Jack Daniel’s, also at Walmart.  Three slices from the package were chopped with a sharp knife, warmed for 30 seconds in my microwave, and covered with my new sauce.  Yummy!

UPDATE: Review of K-Cup Coffees

Since I bought my first K-Cup machine just a few weeks ago, I have tried to find a K-Cup brew that will mimic my former two most favorite pot-brewed coffees, Yuban Original Roast, and Great Value 100% Columbian, both medium robust coffees.  Great Value 100% Columbian was rated #1, and beating Starbucks in a Consumer Reports test of Columbian coffees about two years ago.  I’ve been drinking it since then, but still consider Yuban Original one of my all-time favorites, even though it’s not rated #1 in my new favorite K-Cups listed below.
In the K-Cup, one of these two coffees have been replaced by a new favorite, Eight O’Clock Columbian Peaks, but others listed below marked with five stars, are also rated as very good by me.
Is your favorite on this list?
Rated in Order of Preference
Preferred Favorites in Bold Font
All Prices Per K-Cup at Walmart unless otherwise noted
  1. Eight O’Clock Columbian Peaks $9.97/18 @ 55¢, smooth flavor, great aroma, my 1st cup each morning *****
  2. Yuban Gold, Original Roast $9.94/18 @ 55¢ Medium roast, long time favorite, not in stores *****
  3. GV 100% Columbian $4.94/12 @ 41¢ Medium roast, great flavor *****
  4. Community Colombia Altura $7.99/12 @ 67¢, strong aroma, slightly sweet flavor (Brookshire’s) *****
  5. Green Mountain Columbian Fair Trade Select $11.94/18 @ 66¢, Strong aroma, medium flavor, slightly fruity, no aftertaste *****
  6. Starbucks House Blend $11.98/16 @ 75¢ Robust with a bite, best in 10-oz cup, an old favorite *****
  7. McCafe Med Roast $10.94/18 @ 61¢ Very pleasant *****
  8. Starbucks House Blend Decaf $9.98/16 @ 62¢ Medium robust tastes like original *****
  9. Cafe Escapes Cafe Caramel $11.94/16 @ 75¢, can’t find in stores, never tasted
Out of the Contest
  1. Green Mountain Breakfast Blend $11.94/18 @ 66¢ smooth but too light roast ****
  2. Green Mountain Nantucket Blend $11.94/18 @ 66¢, unusual bold blend, pleasant, with no aftertaste ***
  3. Starbucks Pike Place Roast Medium $11.98/16 @ 75¢ strong burnt flavor with slight aftertaste ***
  4. Keurig Donut Shop $10.98/18 @ 61¢, light and mild ***
  5. Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend Medium Roast $11.98/16 @ 75¢ strange off taste **
  6. GV Donut Shop Blend $4.94/12 @ 41¢ Medium light **
  7. GV Breakfast Blend $4.94/12 @ 41¢ Too mild but pleasant **
  8. Eight O’Clock Original $9.97/18 @ 55¢ extremely mild and bland *
  9. Starbucks Caramel Coffee $11.98/16 @ 75¢, strong coffee, slight caramel taste. *
  10. McCafe French Roast Bold Dark $10.94/18 @ 61¢, Strong, dark and bold, aftertaste *
Flavored and Other Drinks
  1. Grove Square Caramel Cappuccino $5.94/18 @ 33¢, light caramel flavor; added Sweet ‘n Low, I really like this one! *****
  2. Swiss Miss Chocolate $15.30/16 @ 96¢ Very tasty in 8-oz brew *****
  3. Café Escapes Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa $11.94/16 @ 75¢ good flavor in 8-oz brew *****
  4. Grove Square Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa $5.94/16 @ 37¢ good, lacks depth of Swiss Miss ****
  5. Grove Square French Vanilla Cappuccino $5.94/18 @ 33¢ lacks distinctive flavor, needs sweetener **
  6. Kuerig Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll $11.98/18 @ 67¢ tastes like cinnamon roll, not a favorite *
  7. Celestial English Breakfast Black Tea $15.01/18 @ 83¢ served hot with creamer and sweetener, strong aftertaste, not like tea I had in London in 1966 *

Removing Followers from this Blog

If you or someone on your behalf has added your address to be notified of any new posts, the only way that your address can be deleted is for you to click on the proper link in your email notification of each new post, such as this one.

There should be a link on each post notification you get from me that allows you to unsubscribe.

My Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee Makers

I recently became addicted to K-Cup coffee brewers.  The main reason for this was that the water compartment of my Mr. Coffee coffee maker became grungy, and it was almost impossible to get gunk out of all the nooks and crannies.  So I bought my first K-Cup brewer.

Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Gen II 49997R

Hamilton Beach Gen II Flexbrew

Test results and features:

  • Heats and brews in 1 minute 45 seconds
  • Compatible with any K-Cup® pack (not Keurig 2.0)
  • Capacity:  brews 8, 10, or 14 ozs. using single-serve packs or up to 14 ozs. with ground coffee in included filter basket (K-Cup mesh filter devices will not fit in this machine)
  • Brew options: select regular or bold setting for increased coffee extraction
  • Single serve only; no storage tank for extra water
  • Adjustable cup rest for standard cup or tall travel mug
  • Brew button options:  Regular or Bold setting
  • Shuts off when finished brewing
  • Colors:  black or red
  • Reduced Price:  $49.99 at Target, $59.99 at Walmart
  • Problems:
    • May occasionally shut off when cup is half-filled.  Solution:  Press and hold down brew button for 3 seconds to completely empty water from machine into cup.
    • Needle that pierces top of K-Cup frequently clogs and has to be cleared with a bent paper clip.  This needle has a hole with a 90° turn; therefore, the need to bend the paper clip.  Not like the Keurig needle with a straight-in hole.
    • Included filter basket for loose coffee ground usage is not very efficient for brewing, so K-Cups are the best option.

After 3 weeks of using the Hamilton Beach brewer, the Keurig K10 Mini Plus went on sale at Walmart and Target.  Last week, Target offered a $10 gift card with the purchase of the machine below, so I ordered an Emerald Green one from and got it for $79.99, plus they sent me my gift card for a future purchase.

Keurig K10 Mini Plus ($79.99 at Target)

 Keurig K-10 Mini Plus Single Brew

  • Heats and brews in 2 minutes 30 seconds
  • Compact size, perfect for small places
  • Can brew short travel mug by sliding out drip tray at bottom
  • Capacity:  brews 6, 8, 10 ozs. using regular K-Cups (not 2.0)
  • Can also brew regular ground coffee in Brew & Save Filter ($4.97 at Walmart)Brew & Save
    • Black
    • Emerald Green
    • Mauve/Faded Rose
    • Orchid/Dried Orchid
    • Red
    • Silver

You may have guessed that I prefer the Keurig machine over the Hamilton Beach, but you are only partly correct:  I like the looks and function of the Keurig and the easy way to use my own ground coffee when money is short, but like the ability to brew a tall mug with the Hamilton Beach and how easy it is to clean, but so is the Keurig K-10 Mini Plus.  I’m aware that some people without the tall mug option simply brew 2 cups of 6-7 ounce settings, and pour the resulting mix into their tall mug.  I have a friend who likes her coffee brewed weak, and uses a tall mug, so she would probably use one K-Cup with two 8-ounce cups of water, brewed one right after the other into her tall mug.  (Hello, Carol!)

Watch for my follow-up review today or tomorrow of more than 18 K-Cup coffees and other flavored drinks.

What’s your favorite K-Cup brewer?

Quick & Easy General Tso’s Chicken

Quick & Easy General Tso's Chicken

Quick & Easy General Tso’s Chicken

I had several packages of frozen pre-cooked grilled chicken strips, and was looking for something to do with them rather than my tried and true Mexican Chicken Stew.  Since I was craving something “stir fried,” my natural choice was something Asian.

Voila!  My new Quick & Easy General Tso’s Chicken.  I couldn’t believe how quick and tasty this was.  Why not try it today, and tell me what you think of it?

Mesquite Grilled Breast with Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce

Mesquite Grilled Breast with Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce

Mesquite Grilled Breast with Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce

Don’t fret!  This tasty, quick Mesquite Grilled Breast with Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce recipe uses pre-grilled frozen breasts in a bag from Sam’s Club.  Bake it in the oven.  I guarantee you will love it.  However, you will need to make the Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce first (about 15 minutes while the chicken is baking in your oven).

How to Remove Tea Stains from a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Yesterday, my doctor told me to quit drinking so much tea and to drink water instead. Normally, I make 3 quarts of iced tea every day using my old Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker.  Before I put it away, I noticed the years of accumulated brown tea stains on the decanter and the tea bag basket.  Normal washing with warm water and liquid dish detergent has never been good enough to remove this stain buildup, and it looked really grungy.

Trying to think of something different, I wondered, “Okay, what would I use to remove tea stains from clothing?”  Answer:  a normal washing machine.

Next, I poured about 2 tablespoons of Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent into the bottom of the decanter, filled it halfway with warm water, and proceeded to rub the stains with a sponge.  Lo and behold, for the first time ever, those stains began to disappear, and before long, they were completely gone.  Next, I attacked the tea bag basket.  Using the soapy water in the decanter, I used a long-handled brush with a round head of stiff nylon bristles that I normally use to clean deep drinking glasses on occasion.   After about 2 minutes of scrubbing with this brush, the stains disappeared from this plastic basket, too.

Now I can store my iced tea maker on the top shelf, knowing that the next time I need it, it will look almost brand new.  I love Arm & Hammer laundry detergent!

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent


Texas Hash

Texas Hash

Texas Hash

My Texas Hash will never win any prizes at the county fair with its non-descript seasonings, but if you’re looking for an uncomplicated, easy to prepare, and filling dish that satisfies a craving for food, this is the one.

I used to go camping almost every weekend in the 1970s, and this was very popular with all my camping friends.  After a hard day at play, this dish cooked on an outdoor camp stove was hard to beat for filling those growling tummies.  Most of the time, it was a one-dish meal, and we didn’t bother to cook any extras on the side.  It’s got beef, veggies (onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers), and rice.  After a short nap, we were ready to jump back into the lake.

Not bursting with spicy, strong flavors, but very palatable when you’re hungry for something more “normal,” this is sure to hit the spot whether you’re at home or in the woods!

Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies

Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies

Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies

Inspired by my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, this Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies recipe will delight you!  NOTE:  You will need a heavy duty stand mixer with dough beaters, such as my Sunbeam Mixmaster, because the final dough is too dense and thick for most hand-held mixers.

I used McCormick’s Coffee Extract in this recipe, but if you can’t find that, coffee liqueur or Kahlúa coffee liqueur (my favorite) will work just as well.

HINT:  If you’ve got some leftover cookies, but they’ve gotten a little hard, put them in a 800-watt microwave oven for 4-5 seconds each.  They will be warm and chewy, just like they were out of the oven!  You gotta love those chocolate chunks, too!


Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken

Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken

Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken

A little of my newly-revised Southwestern Chicken Rub and Marinade, olive oil, boneless chicken breasts, and a grill are all you need for this delicious Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken.  If you’re like me, you might like some of my homemade BBQ sauce on the side for dipping, too!


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