SPOG Steak and Pork Tatos

SPOG – Salt, Pepper, Garlic, and onion (garlic and onion in powder or granulated form)

I am a big fan of strip steak. My choice at any steak shop. Excellent texture and taste. Look for cuts with lots of marbling. Cook offset till 110 then sear for a couple minutes each side. Offset means, no direct heat. On the grill this is building the fire to one side and placing the steaks on the other. If done in the house, you would start the steaks in the oven at a really low temp, say 200 to 250. When they hit 110 or so, give them a rest and heat up a thick pan as hot as it can get, then sear. Always let the meat rest for a bit before cutting. Rest times will depend upon thickness, but in general you want the internal temp to start dropping rather than raising (also known as carry over).


The above are our spices. Powdered garlic and onion, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.

First up, potato


Seasoned with SPOG, but wait there is more!!!


Bacon never hurt anyone right?

For the main course, as mentioned before strip steak seasoned once again with SPOG.


Let those items rest while getting the smoker going.



Chimney ready. But wait, there is more!!!!


Why not add some small splits to it. Onto the pork-tatos. Those go on first.


Close that lid and let it got for a bit (15-20 mins) then rotate. Want the bacon to render slowly and let the potato to slowly come up to temp. Move it closer, or farther away from the heat as needed to cook the potato and not overcook the bacon.


Getting there. Time for the steaks to start.


After 5 or so minutes flip the steaks and rotate the potatoes.


Best part is next, but you should probably check the internal temps of the steak at this point. Mine was reading 109. Which means time for a sear. Couple minutes each side flipping and rotating to get the grill marks.


This is the fun part.





About that time to rest and serve.


Pasta salad, cause health.


Perfect medium rare which is how I prefer my strip steaks.

Chicken, burgers and more

This past week there was a sale on chicken halves for .39 cents per pound. Came in a 10 lb bag so made a few and vacuum sealed and froze the rest. Chicken was coated with oil then a Tuscan Chicken blend spice.

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Sunday we celebrated my daughter’s fifth birthday so on the menu was burgers, bratwurst, chicken, and threw on some kielbasa for a snack. To make the burgers I first cubed a chuck arm roast then pulsed 8-10 cubes at a time in the food processor

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It takes awhile to process all of them. After that was done I skinned 4 of the brats and added them to the mix along with onion powder, pepper, and garlic.

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Mix that all up and formed the burgers. No salt until just before hitting the grill.


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Made some garlic butter to brush on the corn and buns.

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Some hot dogs were cooked as well.

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Camping at Pymatuning in Jamestown PA

Annual camping trip to Pymatuning. This year we stayed at the Jamestown, PA camp ground due to the closing of most of the Ohio sites because of the bald eagles nesting. Good weather for the days we stayed. Fishing was a bit off I think because of the algae and water visibility. The sites were 222 and 223 and were fairly large and pretty isolated from the neighbors because of bushes. I think the ohio side is cleaner and these sites did not have electric unlike the Ohio ones. Also, there is no dumpsters close to the sites so you need to drive to the entrance to dispose of trash. We rented a pontoon boat from the marina nearby for about 6 hours at the cost of $120. The boat had a fish finder which was nice but did not really help us with catching much.

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Vacation week.

Started out with a trip to Lake Erie Bluffs, a very nice park in Perry, Ohio.

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Sunday we stayed at home where I made a brisket


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Monday we went to the Lake Erie Nature Center then a trip to Huntington Beach and a little park in Olmstead Falls

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Tuesday was the Cleveland Metro Park Zoo

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Wednesday we went to the Cleveland Botanical Garden then Lake View Cemetery to see the Garfield Monument, Eliot Ness, and Rockefeller.

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Happy Days Trail – Peninsula

We hiked the Happy Days trail in Peninsula, Ohio this weekend with the kids. Started out at the northern tip near the lodge and made our way to the Ice cave then down to the overlook and the very southern tip. Criss-crossed over several minor trails then back up. Very nice trail with some moderate elevation changes and rocky terrain. Kids liked it and Eddy only had to be carried thru a few places.

Trail map

Trails reviews

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Brandywine falls

The other week I took the kids to Brandywine Falls which is part of the Cuyahoga Valley National park. It has been a very long time since I have been there (late 90s) and the park falls park area has changed quite a bit. The path to the falls is all boardwalk with quite a bit of stairs. Only got a couple photos since Edward was being impatient. It was a good time and the kids really enjoyed it.

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