Cleaning Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Easy Tips for Cleaning Your Grill

Grilling season here, and if your grill is still buried in the ashes of last summer’s Buffalo wings, steaks, and burgers, NOW is the time to give it some much-needed attention. Whether you’re using a charcoal or gas grill, these simple clean-up and grill guide is sure to equip you with all the right steps to becoming the ultimate grill-master this season!

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO CLEAN YOUR GRILL

I vaguely remember growing up with the theory of “burning off the old” and not really cleaning the grates.  Yup, I’m old and our grill was well used all year long.  Did you know when you leave remnants of your last meal on the grates, it will char and burn the next time you fire up the BBQ. It seems like a no-brainer, right?  This not only changes the taste but also the quality of your barbecue.  The burnt pieces are also harmful to your health. When you burn those charred bits at high temperatures, a harmful chemical compound is produced which can potentially increase your risk of cancer. So you definitely don’t want to keep the old stuff around!

STEPS TO CLEANING YOUR GRILL

1. GRILL GATE REMOVAL AND CLEANING

Grates must be maintained clean because they are in direct contact with food. Remove the cool grates first, then use a brush to remove any large debris. Next you’ll want to  immerse the grates in hot water and dish soap. Let them soak in a sink or large bucket to make it easier to scrub later. Lastly, clean the grill with a firm grill brush,  rinse and dry!

2. INTERNAL CLEANING OF THE GRILL 

Brush the grates’ interior to remove any gunk gathering at the bottom and around the sides.  If you have a charcoal barbecue, you’ll want to scrape away any large peeling flakes of carbon/grease from the ash catcher and empty it.  To make cleaning easier the next time, wash the drip pan and grease cup in warm soapy water and line with aluminium foil.

3. EXTERNAL CLEANING OF THE GRILL 

Using a sponge or towel soaked in warm soapy water, wipe off the exterior, handles, side trays, and any bottom doors. Thoroughly rinse and dry before firing up the grill.

Brush Safety

If you opt to use a brush with bristles to clean your grill, follow these safety steps:

  • Grill brushes are like toothbrushes. When you see the bristles beginning to flatten or lose their efficacy, it’s time to replace.
  • Apply the “tweezer test”: take a pair of tweezers, randomly select five to 10 bristles and gently pull – if any bristles come off, it’s time to replace.
  • It is not recommend to leave grill brushes exposed to the elements when not in use. The rain, sunlight, humidity, snow, etc., can age them prematurely.
  • Above all, treat your grill brush just as you would any part of your grill and grilling environment: Follow manufacturers’ instructions and continuously inspect before and after using.

GRILL RECIPE TO KICKSTART THE BBQ SEASON

Now you’ve given your grill a total-body-scrubdown, it’s time to get grilling! So, pull out all your favorite gear and get ready to try out a new recipe idea!

Share some of your favorite tips and tricks that help you get through your cleaning routine? Which grill-worthy recipes are you most excited to try this season?
Looking for more recipes and hacks, check out my VIP group – Hope’s Healthy Kitchen. 
Hope Wissel

Marinating 101

Grilling season is upon us – does it excite you or intimate you?

Don’t just toss the meat on the grill and hope for the best…..Are you ready to add an amazing layer of flavor to your meal by simply letting food rest in the fridge?  YUP.. it is that simple.  Marinating is a versatile and fun cooking method even you can pull off if you are clueless.  I was there once too!  I actually marinate chicken and beef the most and cook in my air fryer all year long.

Why marinate?

Hey is the “technical explanation”:  Marination uses acid to break down proteins in meat, naturally tenderizing it and allowing it to better absorb the spices and other flavors. The oil seals in moisture and adds a level of protection against heat. If you eat organic grass fed like we do, this is HUGE because the meat becomes tender and juicy. 🛑WARNING: if meat is left in citrus for more than 24 hours, it will begin to “cook,” and we definitely don’t want that to happen!  It will not be good!

Experiment 

The sky is the limit with marinades!  You can let your creativity flow.  It all starts with the 3️⃣: The basic ratio is three parts oil to one part acid. The acid can be vinegar, wine, citrus or yogurt, while the oil could be sesame, canola, olive or even fish sauce. Beef, chicken, veggies and tofu can generally take the same marinades, with the variety stemming more from the flavor profile. In addition to oil and acid, you also need to consider a third component: the flavor! This is the herbs, spices, aromatics and salt.  Here is where you can really get creative!

Two reasons to marinate meat is tenderizing and to add flavor. As for beef, more affordable meats like flank or sirloin will really benefit, especially from tenderization.  No need to spend a fortune on premium cuts of meat to get a better taste, try your hand at marinating.

The key is timing

Marinating might not be ideal when you’re in a time crunch, but it doesn’t take as long as you might think. For beef and chicken, it is recommended two hours can do the job. You don’t want to go over 24 hours or so, as the marinade can toughen the meat. For fish, the general rule is 30 minutes, otherwise the fish can begin to cook. Veggies only need about 30 minutes, as they don’t need to be tenderized.

 

Put TLC into the prep

How can you help the marinade soak into the food. Start by chopping and removing skin when possible. As an added benefit, smaller pieces allow for faster cooking. As you prepare your marinade, calculate portions properly so you’ll have enough: Think a half cup of marinade per pound of meat. Be sure to reserve some sauce before you submerge the meat. Once you’re ready to start, one of the easiest ways to distribute the marinade and help with cleanup is to use a zipper-locked plastic bag (my favorite), but nonmetal covered bowls work, too. Don’t use foil, because a chemical reaction could botch your entire recipe. NEVER marinate at room temperature. Slip your food in the fridge, set a timer and enjoy the anticipation!

Share your favorite marinade with us… Looking for some more ideas, check out the recipes on my website by clicking the link.

Happy grilling and have an epic day!

Travel Tips, Unclutter Your Life

How To Bundle Up for Summer Fun

 

Waves crashing, burgers grilling, bees buzzing – summer has finally arrived, and the outdoors are calling. Excited for that trip to the beach? Lounging poolside? Camping trips and backyard barbecues? Us too!

To help you start planning, we took a few of your faves and created fun, destination-ready bundles for all your summer adventures. Each bundle features our super-fun summer prints (and even a few personalization ideas to help make your adventures even more memorable)!

(Pictured L to R): Picnic Thermal Tote in Charcoal Crosshatch w/ Camper Icon-It in Caramel and Platinum; Large Utility Tote in RV There Yet w/ Rounded Font Message in White; Zipper Pouch in Soft Camo w/ Compass (II) in Caramel; Essential Storage Tote in RV There Yet; Round About Cooler Tote in RV There Yet.

Feelin’ Campy

Whether you’re camping, glamping or wandering cross-country in a fancy conversion van, it wouldn’t be summer without trips to the great outdoors. So, the next time nature calls, don’t forget these road trip essentials in our new RV There Yet print:

Large Utility Tote: blankets, hiking gear, flashlights, bug repellent, games

Essential Storage Tote: snacks, first aid, eating utensils, plates, napkins

Round About Cooler Tote: ice, soda, water, juice, hot dogs, condiments

Need more cooler space? Our Picnic Thermal Tote in Charcoal Crosshatch is a great choice (and it holds ice, too). What about some place to keep all those little essentials organized? Our Zipper Pouchis the perfect add-on and coordinates nicely in Soft Camo.

(Pictured L to R): Large Utility Tote in Rays for Days; Round About Cooler Tote in Rays for Days w/ Popsicle in Hot Pink and Turquoise; Essential Storage Tote in Rays for Days w/ Large Serif Initial in Hot Pink; Small Essential Storage Tote in Rays for Days.

Catch Some Rays

Sandy beach, neighborhood pool or weekend at the waterpark, splash into summer with this awesome pack & go bundle in our new Rays for Days print:

Large Utility Tote: towels, toys, floaties, cover-ups, hats

Round About Cooler Tote: ice, sports drinks, water, popsicles, juice boxes

Essential Storage Totegoggles, books, sunglasses, sunscreen

Small Essential Storage Totephones, ear buds, reading glasses, lip balm

(Pictured L to R): Large Utility Tote in Tie-Dye Stars w/ Large Serif Initial in White; Tiny Utility Tote in Gnome of the Brave; Round About Cooler Tote in Tie-Dye Stars w/ Rounded Font Message in White; Clear Clip Pouch in Gnome of the Brave.

Grill & Chill

Planning for lots of summer celebrations and backyard barbecues with family and friends? Get in a festive party spirit with this bundle of bestsellers in Tie-Dye Stars and fire up the fun:

Large Utility Tote: plates, food containers, tablecloth, cups, chips

Essential Storage Tote: utensils, napkins, condiments

Round About Cooler Tote: ice, beverages, grill meats, cheese, produce

Know what goes great with Tie-Dye Stars? Our Gnome of the Brave print, of course! Our Tiny Utility Tote is ideal for condiments or utensils and our Clear Clip Pouch is the perfect place to keep hand sanitizer, sunscreen, wet wipes and more.

(Pictured L to R): New Horizons Tote in Patchwork Stripe w/ Popsicle Icon-It™ in Powder Pink and Hot Pink; Small Essential Storage Tote in Popsicle Party; Cinch Sac in Popsicle Party w/ All Caps Stamp in Navy Blue; Essential Storage Tote in Popsicle Party; Zipper Pouch in Patchwork Stripe w/ Sandy Flip-Flops Icon-It™ in True Turquoise and Navy Blue.

Popsicle Party

Kids love summer for the trips to the zoo, amusement parks and playgrounds. You’ll love how easy and enjoyable those trips are with this sweet solution set in our Popsicle Party print:

Large Utility Tote: diapers, snacks, wipes, water, umbrella

Cinch Sac: hat, sunglasses, medication, first aid

Clear Clip Pouch: sunscreen, phone, hand sanitizer

Looking for a couple more bags for your adventure with the kids? We recommend our New Horizons Tote and Zipper Pouch in Patchwork Stripe. The New Horizon Tote’s roomy interior and slouchy, casual shape make it ideal for hats, extra clothes, umbrellas and other larger items, while the Zipper Pouch is a convenient place for keys, wallets, tickets, receipts and other small essentials.

Love our new summer prints? Turn them into wallpaper for your phone! 

Download your favorite prints to your phone and enjoy them throughout summer and beyond!

 

Products shown are from Summer 2021 season, available from June 1 – July 31. 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Tasty Tuesday: Country Style Pork Ribs

Summer is here (well, almost) and everyone is pulling out the grill….I will admit, it is one of the things I miss from our old house.  As soon as it got warm, we started grilling EVERYTHING!  In the condo, the rules are so crazy about storing one, it just isn’t worth it.  
This recipe is from Rachel at Wicked Good Spice Mixes Company.  Be sure to check out her website. The spices can be used for so many different things – veggies, potatoes, dipping sauces and more..
Ingredients:
Instructions:  
  1. Grill or oven temp 375 degrees
  2. Rinse ribs thoroughly and pat dry.
  3. Rub both sides of ribs with olive oil and then rub Achilles blend on both sides.
  4. Grill  or roast  on both sides until nicely browned .
  5. Check with meat thermometer  for an internal temp of 145 degrees.
Serve with Tuscan potatoes and roasted veggies
Rachel started this company to show people how easy, healthy and fun it can be to make a delicious meal at home!  Rachel always thought the hardest thing about cooking is how much of this spice and how much of spice you should add.  So go ahead and throw all of those spices you use infrequently and start using our spice blends! They are fresh and economical!  Our blends are perfectly formulated to use for just about everything you like to cook.

Live in Brick? OR travel to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday from 9AM – 2PM. Be sure to stop by and sample some of the vinegars or spices at their table.  If you can’t make it, check out these awesome products at these local stores.

502 Baking Company, 502 Brick Blvd, Brick, NJ 08724 (732) 477-4502

Berry Fresh Farms, 151 Brick Blvd, Brick NJ 08723  (732)477-0606

Cream Ridge Winery, 145 Route 539 (PO Box 98), Cream Ridge, NJ 08514 (609) 259-9797

Dearborn Farm Market, 2170 Rt 35, Holmdel, NJ 07733  (732)264-0256

Delicious Orchards, 320 Route 34, Colts Neck, NJ  (732) 462-1989

New Egypt Marketplace, 53 Main Street, New Egypt, NJ 08533 (609) 458-7900

The Lusty Lobster, 88 Bay Ave. Highlands, NJ 07732 (732) 291-1548

Twin Ponds, Rt 9 Howell, NJ 07731

Lovelandtown Grocery and Provisions, 219 Bridge Ave, Point Pleasant,NJ 08742  (732)903-6855
Princes Farm Market , 1123 Mountain Ave, Mountainside, NJ 07092
(908)358-3311
Have a great recipe you want to share?  We would love to feature YOU (and your business)!  If you try this, let us know what you think…
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Hope Wissel

Tasty Tuesday: Mediterranean Garlic Chicken

 

 

Memorial Day weekend is over and we are now officially moving into the grilling season! I used to love grilling everything – chicken, beef, veggies – just about anything I could.  Now in the condo, we don’t grill.  One of the things I miss about our old house.  Check out this yummy recipe from Wicked Good Spice Mixes Company….

Ingredients:

Directions

1. Wash and pat dry boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

2. In a small bowl, mix together all seasoning ingredients.

3. Pour marinade over chicken and let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes.

4. Grill (or bake in the oven) and enjoy!

This woman owned company was started to show people how easy, healthy and fun it can be to make a delicious meal at home!  Rachel always thought the hardest thing about cooking is how much of this spice and how much of spice you should add.  So go ahead and throw all of those spices you use infrequently and start using our spice blends! They are fresh and economical!  Our blends are perfectly formulated to use for just about everything you like to cook.

 

Live in Brick? OR travel to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday from 9AM – 2PM. Be sure to stop by and sample some of the vinegars or spices at their table.  If you can’t make it, check out these awesome products at these local stores.

502 Baking Company, 502 Brick Blvd, Brick, NJ 08724 (732) 477-4502

Berry Fresh Farms, 151 Brick Blvd, Brick NJ 08723  (732)477-0606

Cream Ridge Winery, 145 Route 539 (PO Box 98), Cream Ridge, NJ 08514 (609) 259-9797

Dearborn Farm Market, 2170 Rt 35, Holmdel, NJ 07733  (732)264-0256

Delicious Orchards, 320 Route 34, Colts Neck, NJ  (732) 462-1989

New Egypt Marketplace, 53 Main Street, New Egypt, NJ 08533 (609) 458-7900

The Lusty Lobster, 88 Bay Ave. Highlands, NJ 07732 (732) 291-1548

Twin Ponds, Rt 9 Howell, NJ 07731

Lovelandtown Grocery and Provisions, 219 Bridge Ave, Point Pleasant,NJ 08742  (732)903-6855
Princes Farm Market , 1123 Mountain Ave, Mountainside, NJ 07092
(908)358-3311
Have a great recipe you want to share?  We would love to feature YOU (and your business)!  If you try this, let us know what you think…
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!